“Where Have All The Fathers Gone?”

father reading from a bk to his girlWhere have all the father’s gone? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America — one out of every three — live in biological father-absent homes.

With the increasing number of premarital births and a continuing high divorce rate, the proportion of children living with just one parent rose from 9.1% in 1960 to 20.7% in 2012. – Source: U.S. Census Bureau, “Living Arrangements of Children Under 18 Years Old: 1960 to Present.” U.S. Census Bureau July 1, 2012. 

One has to ask, Why’s this happening? How can a man father a child and just walk away? How can fathers be so cold-hearted, so uncaring of their own offspring? Do they have no sense of personal or moral responsibility? What has contributed to this crisis?

Some possible answers —

1) The government, via welfare programs, has taken over the responsibility of child-rearing which the father should himself carry; making it easier for a man to ‘walk away.’ Many single mothers don’t report non-payment of child support, or don’t go after the father for child support out of fear or other reasons. Some men are substance abusers, mentally unbalanced, or abusive, and should’t have access to mother or child. In these cases its best if the father isn’t around.

2) The moral climate of society in America, is one of disrespect and disregard for human life in general. I don’t think anyone could argue with that statement. Abortion and the obscene LGBT movement have played huge roles in the demoralization of society. Abuse such as you’ll read in the following article never gets reported on  mainstream news –  http://shoebat.com/2017/10/10/sodomites-adopt-baby-girl-they-shake-the-child-until-she-gets-brain-damage-beat-her-until-her-kidneys-fail-break-her-leg-and-then-finally-beat-her-to-death-over-the-course-of-months-while-cursing/

Read that story before you write me complaining about my justifiable criticism of the corrupting influence of gay/lesbians on our culture. As many others have said and I agree, gay and lesbian couples shouldn’t be allowed to adopt children. Their lifestyles are abnormal and heterosexuals should not be FORCED to accept them as such. It’s time the rest of us wake up and demand OUR rights for a change and demand that OUR representatives honor them. It’s criminal that the majority allows these minority aberrant groups to rule over everyone else. Gay rights wouldn’t exist if our lawmakers had any courage and if they honored the supreme law of God instead of man’s inferior laws. Our main problem as a nation is that it has stopped honoring the law of God even removing all remembrance or mention of God from our schools, courts, and most public venues. America has become a Godless, materialistic, narcissistic, hedonistic nation whose children are fast becoming the most illiterate, rebellious, self focused bunch of brats who live only for the moment and what can give them the most thrills in life. While many of the world’s population is suffering all kinds of deprivations, all most American parents can think of is how they’re going to afford Christmas’s gifts for their already overly spoiled children. Why not teach your children how to GIVE to others in need instead of only on GETTING something for themselves. It really won’t hurt them, in fact it’ll teach them something many of them, from what I’ve witnessed, don’t have and that’s COMPASSION for others. Children are killing each other, their parents, and attacking their teachers these days, something they wouldn’t have dared to do in past generations. You can thank idiotic psychologists for poisoning our educational and medical institutions with their ideas on child rearing and parenting; ilk like Dr. Spock and Alfred Kinsey who conducted sexual experiments on infants and young children. http://www.wnd.com/2010/10/214105/  http://freemasonrywatch.org/truth.behind.alfred.kinsey.html  https://concernedwomen.org/kinsey-film-sugarcoats-his-record-glosses-over-child-experiments/  If these reports don’t sicken and disturb you, I submit to you that your conscience has been seared or you didn’t have one to begin with.

The Talmud is Babylonian https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpZjSZRUEhA of pagan origin and not of God, which is why I reject it – http://fathersmanifesto.net/talmudchildsexok.htm  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXMa0fKHkJc

These defenseless little victims of sexual abuse had NO VOICE then, but WE can be their voices now. Am I impassioned? You bet I am and unabashedly so. These innocent victims are the very ones Jesus said that we should HELP, and I believe that He will judge us one day if we turn our eyes and ears AWAY from them and do nothing about it. Child abuse has become an epidemic in our nation and if you have even one ounce of compassion in you, please join me in fighting this EVIL and CORRUPTING influence on our society by financially supporting people like Walid Shoebat who exposes it, and others like him who also minister to abuse victims such as https://stellasvoice.org/

What you many not know is that there’s a movement to LEGALIZE child-adult sex, not surprisingly right here in good old America – http://fathersforlife.org/dale/bauserma.html  So do you still think America is a God-fearing, Christian nation? Well, maybe your brain has been fried by drugs, copious microwaves from being constantly on your cell phone, or from watching too much propagandizing television to be able to think at all. 

3) Women are viewed as ‘sex objects’ by men, for the most part, and the media (movies, books, magazines, TV) exploits women as such, with little to no objection from themselves, society, and even the Church. From what I’ve seen, most churches today don’t preach about modesty, virtue, and a fathers obligation to his children born in or out of marriage. The Church et al has abdicated its responsibility to its members, to God, and to society, through its silence on these issues and should be doing more to assist single-parent households. – 1Jn 3:17 But whoso hath the world’s goods, and beholdeth his brother in need, and shutteth up his compassion from him, how doth the love of God abide in him?

Mat 25:31-46 But when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all the nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats; and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry, and ye gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and fed thee? or athirst, and gave thee drink? And when saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? And when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, even these least, ye did it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry, and ye did not give me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not unto one of these least, ye did it not unto me.  And these shall go away into eternal punishment: but the righteous into eternal life.

4) Women themselves have a hand in their own demise through their passivity and/or by actively supporting their being portrayed as sex objects. They do this by adopting the lifestyles, behaviors, expressions, mindsets, work-ethics, aspirations, and fashions which the media and society suggest. Women in general dress provocatively in public; low cut and see-through blouses, heavy make-up, and skin-tight pants which show every curve and sometimes more. It’s become fashionable and acceptable behavior to accept a man’s proposal for sex before she’s had a chance to get to know him, and to continue having it without the benefit of marriage or commitment. Therein lies no protection for a woman, for whom sex is more than just a physical release no matter what the psychologists, agenda-driven social engineers, and media try to sell us. Women have lost more than their virginity from this immoral, dishonest, dangerous, and inaccurate boondoggle! They’re loosing their natural instincts to what their true needs are in relationships, or are repressing them because they’re buying the false images they’re being shown of what they ‘should be’ according to those who only want to exploit them and make millions off their beauty. Sex sells, but at what a price, more so to the women being exploited than to anyone else. They either knowingly or ignorantly, exchange their modesty for a phony sex image which robs them of their natural, innate beauty. Believe it or not, a woman’s modesty is what makes her truly beautiful! Modesty in women today has just about disappeared, which is a major loss for all. Children grow up thinking immodesty and self-exploitation is not only acceptable and normal, but even advantageous and desirable. The ‘new’ morality of today is turned around and upside down from what it was just fifty to a hundred years ago. Today, it’s almost considered a ‘virtue’ to dress and behave like a whore, to use your body and beauty to gain popularity, entice and control men, and or, to advance one’s career. Sure, hookers have been around for quite awhile but that life-style has mainly been looked upon as immoral. I wonder if that’s still true as women and young girls seem to be ever declining in modesty and moral behavior; loosing their innate sense of what it means to be a virtuous woman. – Pro 12:4 A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones. Pro 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. Pro 31:30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

Some Stats & Studies on the Effects of Absentee Fathers on their Children —

Statistics consistently point out that children who grow up without their fathers are more likely to suffer from various social problems. Crime, drug abuse, abortion and school dropout rates are often directly related to father absence.

The biological relationship between father and child is well-established in the literature as a basis for paternal investment and, therefore, child well-being; however, the finding that the legal relationship between the parents is also linked to child well-being is a relatively new and important discovery.” http://www.vision.org/visionmedia/article.aspx?id=4210

– Children in father-absent homes are almost four times more likely to be poor. In 2011, 12 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 44 percent of children in mother-only families.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Children’s Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March 2011, Table C8. Washington D.C.: 2011.

– Children living in female headed families with no spouse present had a poverty rate of 47.6 percent, over 4 times the rate in married-couple families.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; ASEP Issue Brief: Information on Poverty and Income Statistics. September 12, 2012 http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/12/PovertyAndIncomeEst/ib.shtml

– Children of single-parent homes are more than twice as likely to commit suicide.

Sources: The Lancet, Jan. 25, 2003 • Gunilla Ringbäck Weitoft, MD, Centre for Epidemiology, the National Board of Health and Welfare, Stockholm, Sweden • Irwin Sandler, PhD, professor of psychology and director of the Prevention Research Center, Arizona State University, Tempe • Douglas G. Jacobs, MD, associate clinical professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; and founder and director, The National Depression Screening Program • Madelyn Gould, PhD, MPH, professor of child psychiatry and public health, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University; and research scientist, New York State Psychiatric Institute.
http://www.webmd.com/baby/news/20030123/absent-parent-doubles-child-suicide-risk

– Father Factor in Child Abuse

A study using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study revealed that in many cases the absence of a biological father contributes to increased risk of child maltreatment. The results suggest that Child Protective Services (CPS) agencies have some justification in viewing the presence of a social father as increasing children’s risk of abuse and neglect. It is believed that in families with a non-biological (social) father figure, there is a higher risk of abuse and neglect to children, despite the social father living in the household or only dating the mother.

Source: “CPS Involvement in Families with Social Fathers.” Fragile Families Research Brief No.46. Princeton, NJ and New York, NY: Bendheim-Thomas Center for Research on Child Wellbeing and Social Indicators Survey Center, 2010. https://www.fatherhood.org/fatherhood-data-statistics

**Click on this link http://fathers.com/wp39/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/fatherlessInfographic.png to see a ‘FatherlessInfographic.’

**An excellent resource which I HIGHLY recommend is, THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR FATHERING – a well designed site with plenty of resources and aides for fathers, including some free e-books and educational programs for your schools, community, and more. NCF was founded as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 1990, with the purpose of “turning the hearts of fathers to their children.” Check it out at http://www.fathers.com/

Do it for your children, yourselves, and for future generations. Everyone matters and everyone can make a positive difference in the world, if they so choose.

~ Debra R. Stout, February 16, 2016

FYI – International Children’s Day is observed on June 01 annually. The World Conference for the Well-being of Children in Geneva, Switzerland, proclaimed June 1 to be International Children’s Day in 1925. After the conference, different governments around the world decided to declare a day as Children’s Day to draw attention to children’s issues. Many countries chose June 1 which is why International Children’s Day takes place on that date. This text has been taken from www.cute-calendar.com

Sons of God vs. Sons of Satan

1Jn 3:8  He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 

1Jn 3:10  In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. 
1Jn 3:12  Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. 

Mat 13:38  The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one
Mat 13:39  The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 

Joh 8:44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 

Jesus was speaking here to Jewish scribes and the sect of the Pharisees who were questioning Him about His teachings and claims of divinity. Some of those Jews believed on Jesus after hearing Him speak that day. Read John 8:1-30.

There’s a teaching that the “seed” spoken of in Genesis and elsewhere, is the physical offspring from sexual union between Eve and the Serpent in the Garden of Eden when he seduced her to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. [1] This teaching claims that Cain and his posterity were the physical offspring of Satan. This “serpent seed” doctrine also claims that the descendants of Cain are the Jews. Others who’ve studied this topic have arrived at different conclusions. Cain and his descendants may have been wiped out by the great Flood, pestilence, disease, beasts, famine, or war. Maybe Yahweh didn’t think Cain’s line worth mentioning after Cain became the first murderer? Maybe God didn’t mention him or his descendants because He had chosen a DIFFERENT bloodline to be the one through which Yeshua would be born into the world. Makes sense to me that Yahweh wouldn’t want the bloodline of a murderer to birth Yeshua (Jesus) Ha Mashiach (the Messiah).

Perhaps you did not notice that, besides Cain and Abel (who was murdered), Adam and Eve then had another son called Seth, and Noah’s line of descent came through Seth, not Cain. 1 Chronicles 1:1 states, “The descendants of Adam were Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, and Noah.” 

Have a read of Genesis 5:3-32. 

Cain’s descendants are mentioned in Genesis 4:17-26 and also that Seth was born later to Adam and Eve, who fathered Enosh and all the way down to Noah. Perhaps confusion comes with thinking the Lamech mentioned in chapter 4, having Cain as his great-great-great-great-great-grandfather.. is the same Lamech mentioned in chapter 5. However, THAT Lamech had Methusela as his father, whereas the Lamech of chapter 4 had Methushael as his father. 

I think that clears the misunderstanding up. There is no list of descendants from Cain after the flood. [2]

You can find the Serpent Seedline doctrine on the net, but always do your own investigation; search the Scriptures, comparing scripture with scripture. Pray and ask Yahweh to reveal the truth to you about everything.

The “children of the Devil” —

1) they commit sin; their works are evil

2) they’re liars who don’t abide in the truth; there’s no righteousness or light in them

3) they murder the righteous

The Sons of God —

1Jn 3:1  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 
1Jn 3:2  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 

1Jn 5:1  Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God:

Joh 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name
Joh 1:13  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 

Rom 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 

Gal 3:26  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 

Dear reader, are you seeing a pattern throughout these verses that the “sons of God” are those who have “received Christ as their Lord and Savior,” who “believe on His name,” “who believe that Jesus is the Christ,” and are “led by the Spirit?” Here are some marks of the sons of God —

1) they believe that Jesus is the Son of God, Savior of mankind

2) they receive Him as Lord and savior and are instantly “born of God” or “born from above”

3) they’re led by the Spirit of God

4) they “overcome” the world, the flesh, and the devil

Rev 21:7  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 

Rev 2:11  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. 

1Jn 5:4  For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 
1Jn 5:5  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 

Speaking of the New Jerusalem —

Rev 21:27  And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. 
Rev 21:8  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. 

Conclusion —

It would appear that the Serpent Seedline teaching that Cain was the physical seed of Satan and Eve (Adam’s wife) is speculative or inconclusive if going by the books of the Bible that were accepted as inspired. The books not accepted as inspired, referred to as extra-biblical, contain some details on these topics not included in most of our bibles today, such as the Gospel of Phillip and the Zohar (the main source for the teachings of the Kabbalah) [1] which are Gnostic works not accepted by most Christians. 

At any rate, Nephilim (giants) are definitely mentioned in numerous scriptures as being the offspring of human females and fallen angels (often referred to as hybrids) although many refute it claiming that scripture was referring to the sons of Seth marrying daughters of the Canaanites, a teaching that doesn’t appear to be supported by scripture. It’s easier to concoct an explanation no matter how flimsy in order to avoid admission of the plain yet awful truth in some cases. Yes, it’s awful that fallen angels left their “first estate” (in heaven) relinquishing their immortality to mate with human females – but it’s in the Scriptures [Gen 6:2&4; Jude 1:6]. Movies have been made about angels who lost their powers to mate with some woman they found irresistible as in the Michael movie; what are they trying to get us to believe, and why? Maybe it has something to do with a plot to convince humans that if they mix their DNA with nonhuman DNA, like that of angels for example, they’ll be better, stronger, more intelligent – “enhanced” like they were in the days of Noah when hybrid human-angelic flesh roamed the earth, called Nephillim. [3 & 4]

A word of WARNING to those who think it’s cool to flirt with the idea of having sex with angels and demons, or to actually engage in sexual intercourse with them — you’re in extreme DANGER of loosing your souls for all eternity!!! DON’T DO IT!!! (Movies like “Michael” promote this nonsense).

If you happen to be one, stop and think of what you’re doing, seek help immediately, write to me, I’ll pray for and with you. You’ll need deliverance if you’ve already engaged in such activity. Please take this seriously for your soul is very precious to Almighty God, Yahweh, who strongly desires that you turn away from all such wickedness and run to Him who has the power to not only forgive you, but cleanse you of all unrighteousness so that you can live with Him forever, free from demonic bondage. If you don’t know already, the Devil is a cruel taskmaster, he’ll grind you into powder after he’s used you for his own pleasure. Serve Christ who’ll reward you with eternal life and a seat on His throne. Your only inheritance from the Devil will be pain, sickness, strife, loss, and destruction in the Lake of Fire – an eternal miserable fate from which there is NO escape!! Don’t believe the false ministers who say that you can continue in sin without consequence because Jesus paid your sin debt washing your sins away with His Blood. That’s only a half truth. Yes, Jesus paid our sin debt, BUT that does not mean that we can now sin it up. Such teaching is refuted by scripture and is of the Devil himself. Heb 10:26  For if we keep on sinning willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but only a terrifying expectation of judgment and a fury of fire about to devour the enemies of God. [TLV] There are MANY false teachers and ministers of the Gospel in the world who are deceived themselves or knowingly serve Satan. You’re shocked? Ever since the Church was born, Satan has infiltrated it with his antichrists disguised as ministers of the Gospel. Apostle Paul called them “wolves” Act 20:29  I know that after my departure, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Even from among yourselves will arise men speaking perversions, to draw the disciples away after themselves. Jesus too in Mat 7:15  “Watch out for false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves

The Devil loves to beguile (deceive) the unwary into his black web of LIES. Sure, he can help you gain riches and fame in this world, but this world will be dissolved, burned up with “fervent heat” as will the elements, so why put your hope in a world that’s falling to pieces and will soon pass away? 2Pe 3:10  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up

Dear reader, are you sure you’re ready for the end of days? This is no fantasy like the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie “End of Days,” this is REALITY. Everyone will one day stand before the Son of God, Yeshua and give an answer for their every thought, word, and deed. Right now is the time in which you have an opportunity to choose between life and death – an eternity in Heaven with Yeshua or in Hell with Lucifer the Devil. Choose wisely, choose Life by asking Yeshua (Jesus) into your heart and serve only Him. Listen, soon I believe the door to Salvation will be SHUT and there’ll be no more time left to choose. Please don’t put this decision off, time is running out.

Debra R. Stout © October 7, 2017

FOOTNOTES:

[1] http://parablesblog.blogspot.com/2014/03/foundations-serpent-seed-doctrine.html
[2] https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AwrBT7R9VdlZ.VoAaW5XNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyOTAxbDliBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwM4BHZ0aWQDQjQ3MDdfMQRzZWMDc3I-?qid=20160120025000AAjnzLb&p=were%20the%20descendants%20of%20Cain%20wiped%20out%20in%20the%20great%20flood%3F
[3] http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/details-about-the-angelic-human-dna-template-dna-activation-and-ascension
[4] http://www.defendproclaimthefaith.org/DaysNoah.htm

You’re Polluting My Sanctuary with Your Idols!

Idolatrous priests – your idols shall be cast down to the ground, along with your censers with which you burn incense to the sun, moon, and stars! You lead men astray with your deceitful practices and doctrines of demons, worshiping the fallen ones and the hosts of heaven in place of Me! You pretend to be honoring Me while you honor Baal (and other false gods) in my house and in My Name, polluting my sanctuary! Such worship is a foul disgusting stench in My nostrils! Have I not said, “You shall have no other gods before Me”? You hide your wicked deeds behind a facade of righteousness, deceiving many. Your worship of Me is in vain. Behind closed doors you practice lewdness; your light is but darkness, thus darkness is reserved for you and your idols! I will shatter your idols to pieces for I AM Adonai, I will not give my glory to another or receive your false worship. REPENT and return to Me, or I will come at a time you do not expect to demolish your altars whereon you worship your idols. ~ September 30, 2017

2Ki 17:7  For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods

2Ki 17:8  And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made. 

2Ki 17:9  And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city. 

2Ki 17:10  And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree: 

2Ki 17:11  And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger: 

2Ki 17:12  For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing. 

2Ki 17:13  Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets. 

2Ki 17:15  And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them. 

2Ki 17:16  And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. 

2Ki 17:20  And the LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight. 

What I believe Adonai is saying to this generation through the prophecy and these scriptures, is that He’s sick and tired of his people worshiping false idols and gods, and that He’s no longer going to tolerate it! I believe He’s about ready to put a swift end to all of it. I don’t know how or when, just that He will, and will possibly use an Assyrian type oppressor to do it; a ruthless dictator who’ll be the “rod” in His hand to afflict the nation which has turned its back to Him to follow false gods, a nation steeped in IDOL WORSHIP, like America for one.

Upon awakening one morning last week, after dreaming I was somewhere in heaven (in the spirit), I heard one word – “Zephaniah.” I knew that the Lord wanted me to read the book of the prophet Zephaniah, so I read it. What I read was mainly a confirmation of the last prophecy “Then You Will Heed My Words!” given a week earlier in which He spoke of a great locust army which he’ll send to “consume” the land and resources of an idol-worshiping nation.

Zep 1:2  I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the LORD. 

Zep 1:3  I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumblingblocks (or idols) with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the LORD. 

Zep 1:4  I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims with the priests; 

Zep 1:5  And them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; and them that worship and that swear by the LORD, and that swear by Malcham

Zep 1:6  And them that are turned back from the LORD; and those that have not sought the LORD, nor enquired for him. 

The prophecy directed at idolatrous priests (top) I believe includes Christians who are “kings and priests” of God according to the book of Revelation 5:10 & 1 Pet 2:5-9. Yahweh has issue with believers who attempt to “eat from His table AND from the table of demons” at the same time! [1] This is an abomination to Him. Idols pollute Yahweh’s temple [2] whose temple you are if you’ve been Born Again. So, if you indulge in lewd images in the imagination of your heart, you’re polluting God’s temple! Do you realize that worshiping idols provokes Him to anger? Deu 6:14  Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; Deu 6:15  (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.

So you Dispensationalists, you think God has changed? Heb 13:8 Yeshua the Messiah is the same yesterday, today, and forever. [Tree of Life Version]

“Chemarims” were idolatrous priests who worshiped idols or false gods in the name of Yahweh! Strong’s definition: properly an ascetic (as if shrunk with self maceration). Maceration is to cause to waste away by or as if by excessive fasting. The Hebrew root means “black” (from the black garments which they wore or the marks which they branded on their foreheads); or “zealous,” from their idolatrous fanaticism. [Jamieson-Faussett-Brown Commentary] “marks” which they “branded upon their foreheads.” What religious order worships idols in the Name of Yahweh and places black marks on the foreheads of its members at a certain time of year, and where did that practice originate from? There may be no connection, but warrants further study I think.

You say, that has nothing to do with us today? Ah but it does, for many in the Church are doing exactly the same thing today by worshiping Baal in the Name of Yahweh, claiming that they’re doing it to honor His son Yeshua’s birthday. Oh yes dear reader, it’s true! The Church has fallen to the level of the heathen, worshiping Baal every year on December 25, the birthday of the Sun god Osiris (Egyptian) or Apollo in the Greek. The Church puts up Christmas trees (Asherah polls) in their sanctuaries right under Yahweh’s nose, saying they’re doing it in His Name to worship Him.

Israel’s association of Asherah with sacred trees are biblical materials that describe the asherah (singular) or asherim (plural), the cult object(s) that are associated with the goddess Asherah more than thirty times in the Hebrew Bible. These cult objects are generally described as being in the shape of a pole or stylized tree. Like a pole or tree, they can be said to be planted, stood up, or erected. [3] Some Bible teachers say that the modern day Christmas tree finds its origin in the Asherah pole, and I believe that a connection can be made, because the similarities are too many in number. You can very easily go to a number of secular and Biblical encyclopedias (including history channel) and learn that the practice of placing evergreen trees inside of a home was something practiced by the heathens all over the world as a representation of life during the shortest daylight periods of the year, i.e. the time around the winter solstice. It is very likely the origin of what is now called the Christmas tree is the Asherah tree or pole. Do I believe that people who erect “Christmas Trees” in their homes are trying to worship Asherah? No. I believe they are often oblivious to the origin of the custom they are participating in. [4]

That is what the prophet Zephaniah was referring when he wrote that Yahweh would cut off them that “worship and that swear by the LORD, and that swear by Malcham. Malcham (also known as Molech) was the god of the Ammonites and Phoenicians to whom some Israelites sacrificed their infants in the valley of Hinnom. The point here is that the Israelites were swearing (taking an oath) by Yahweh’s name, and doing the same by the false god Malcham. In other words, they were worshiping the true God along with a false god, the same thing Christians do when they display and adorn the fir tree idol in their sanctuaries and homes on December 25, supposedly in the honor of Yeshua (Jesus) when in fact, they’re unknowingly honoring the false god Baal. Baal worship was quite prolific among the Israelites after they left Egypt and fell away from worshiping the true God Yahweh who delivered them from their bondage. You can read about it in the book of 2 Kings, Deuteronomy, Hosea, Ezekiel, and others. Baal means “lord” – he was the supreme male divinity of the Phoenicians or Canaanites.

The word’s Biblical senses as a Phoenician deity and false gods generally were extended during the Protestant Reformation to denote any idols, icons of the saints, or the Catholic Church generally. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford_English_Dictionary]  

Jesus and Mary in the Roman Catholic Church are Baal and Ashtaroth. This pagan duo have been redefined and christianized to make paganism both respectable and sellable in the West. Most segments of Protestantism clearly and outwardly reject Mary as the Queen of Heaven, along with her Immaculate Conception doctrine. However, they do, without question, hang onto other Romanized traditions such as Sunday observance, with the importance of emblem reverence being ministered by a cleric, separate from and outside the lay people. Not to forget to mention the likes of Christmas and Easter observance.

Eze 8:13  He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do. 

Eze 8:14  Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz (Baal, the Sun god). 

Eze 8:15  Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these. 

Eze 8:16  And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD’S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east

Here were the children of God, apparently at the Lord’s altar, gathered by the dictation of the rising sun. With the women folk caught up in emotional, tearful elation, evoking their “God”. At the same time of the men folk doing their morning service thing, apparently for the Lord, but in reality for Baal (Tammuz), the false lord. Yes, they, while being physically present, were spiritually absent, facing elsewhere. Pretty similar to what happens today throughout Christendom; whereas things have just been altered or names christianized, to make it look acceptable and relevant to our culture and “Christian” trend! As you can see from scripture, there is an undeniable connection between Baal, Lucifer, the east star (the sun), Easter and sun worship, Sunday attendance as a tradition or religious compulsion, and the Western term “going to church”. This Baal type of religion hides most effectively behind the christianized version as Sunday (the day of the sun) morning service. [5]

From many ancient writings, considerable is learned of this man, who started the great organized worldly apostasy from God that has dominated this world until now. Nimrod was so evil, it is said he married his own mother, whose name was Semiramis. After Nimrod’s untimely death, his so-called mother-wife, Semiramis, propagated the evil doctrine of the survival of Nimrod as a spirit being. She claimed a full-grown evergreen tree sprang overnight from a dead tree stump, which symbolized the springing forth unto new life of the dead Nimrod. On each anniversary of his birth, she claimed Nimrod would visit the evergreen tree and leave gifts upon it. December 25th was the birthday of Nimrod. This is the real origin of the Christmas tree.  “Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them [the pagans in their customs]… that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord they God: for every abomination to the Eternal, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods” (Deut 12:30-31). God says plainly in His Instruction Book to us, that He will not accept that kind of worship, even though intended in His honor. To Him, He says, it is offering what is ABOMINABLE to Him, and therefore it honors, not Him, but false pagan gods. God says we must not worship Him according to the “dictates of our own conscience” – a term we often hear. But Jesus says plainly, “God is a spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). [6]

Well, there you have it dear reader. Now you know that I have joined the millions of bible believing, Yahweh-fearing, born again believers who have LEFT Babylon – the entire network of Baal worship with all its idols and false pretense of honoring the one true God Yahweh when in fact, it knowingly or unknowingly honors and worships the Sun god, Tammuz or Baal (a pagan deity). To begin with, there was something about the Christmas holiday that I never felt comfortable about. It almost always left me feeling let down and unsatisfied after the excitement and anticipation were over. Deep down I knew something wasn’t right with it for it never delivered what it promised! Then Yahweh began revealing to me ‘here a little, there a little’ the truth about it. He’s been working in me for years now, taking me one step at a time holding my hand, helping me to let go of the many traditions I’d been taught. Now I’m not saying that every Christian knowingly worships idols or false gods by keeping pagan feasts like Easter, Christmas, and Sunday observance (the pagan venerable day of the Sun), but some who know do it anyway. Most are ignorant, some willingly, by refusing to look at this or even consider what the Bible says about it. Some prefer staying in Babylon because they can’t stand the thought of leaving their long held traditions; but what’s more important, one’s traditions or what Yahweh wants? If we say we love Him, shouldn’t we do what pleases Him and not ourselves?  Mat 15:3  But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? Perhaps they fear what their family and friends would think or say about them? Beloved, it’s time we do the will of the one true God Yahweh and fear Him only – Mat 10:28  And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. [KJV] It’s sad that so many professing believers are ignorant of the truth and what excuse will they give since they’ve been given the Bible and the holy Spirit to guide them into ‘all truth’? Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:

Lastly, notice in Zephaniah 1:6 that Yahweh ‘cuts off’ those who have “turned back” from following Him – these would be “back-sliders” or those who “fall away” from the faith. He cuts off those who have stopped “seeking Him” or inquiring” after Him. Inquire = A primitive root; properly to tread or frequent; usually to follow (for pursuit or search); by implication to seek or ask; specifically to worship: – ask, X at all, care for, X diligently, inquire, make inquisition, etc.

You see, it isn’t enough to come to Yahweh’s table every now and then, or to seek Him just occasionally, mostly when you need something from Him. He requires diligent worshipers and seekers to inquire of Him frequently, who worship Him in Spirit AND in Truth [7].

If you found yourself not where you want to be, there’s still time to change that. Just turn back to Yahweh with all your heart and worship only Him by keeping His commands and feast days. Leave Babylon with all of her idols, pagan feast days, false gods and goddess worship! Get out of her while you still can, before the dreadful Day of Yahweh comes, 2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 

2Pe 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,… 

Debra R. Stout © September 30, 2017

FOOTNOTES:

[1] 1Co 10:21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. 

[2] 1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 

[3]  https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/asherahasherim-bible (Third paragraph)

[4] http://www.ministersnewcovenant.org/uploads/9/1/6/1/9161032/asherah_and_the_christmas_tree.pd

[5] http://home.clear.net.nz/pages/tlamb/BaalWorship.htm *Note that I don’t necessarily agree with everything written in this article. His material on Baal worship and history appear to be correct, but as always, do your own research and study!

[6] http://www.fossilizedcustoms.com/christmastree.html

[7] Joh 4:24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“THEN YOU WILL HEED MY WORDS!”

My people, you feast at the table of demons, eating of the world’s dainties yet refuse to eat at My table. You turn your face away from the dispirited, the poor, the outcast, the fatherless, the single mothers – when I have told you to minister to them. Millions of my children are being slaughtered but you don’t hear their cries! Isn’t it because you’re too busy with your fund raisers, your concerts, and getting wealth, to hear their cries? Therefore, I won’t hear your cries when my indignation is unleashed upon this wicked generation. I will send the lash, then the sword! NO, you will not feel my Peace, but my hot displeasure! There is already a famine of my (true) words in the earth, there is already a drought in your spirits which are drying up as you don’t spend enough time in my presence soaking up the River of Life! Your vine will wither, the worm will eat holes in your bags, and I will dry up all your resources; and you will suffer barrenness until you REPENT of your idol worship and TURN BACK to Me. I AM and there is no other.

Beware, when they say, “Peace, peace, when there is no peace!” There is NO PEACE for millions who are dying from poverty, starvation, disease, and war every single day! Stop ”healing the wound of my daughter lightly” and start ministering to those for whom my heart is breaking – those who can’t help themselves or free themselves from their prisons. As I have commanded YOU My Body – go help them and free them! Don’t call me “Lord, Lord” when you don’t DO what I have commanded! How many times have I spoken tenderly to you but you have not heeded my words? After you feel the heat of my anger and I remove your comforts and your pleasures – the idols you worship instead of Me; then you will heed them!

Prophetic word given to Debra Stout, September 22, 2017

Dear reader, please know that this word was not easy for me to publish, for I know it’s a strong word. For that reason, I asked three Christians for confirmation and to let me know if their spirits witnessed to it or not. Two got back to me confirming the prophecy as being a true word from the Lord for this hour. The Scripture states, “1Co 14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the others judge.

What you should realize is that God doesn’t always give good feeling prophecy. Sometimes He has to speak sternly to get people’s attention, and often has to send ‘chastisement’ (the lash being a symbol of) for our own good – Heb 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 

Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 

Heb 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 

Heb 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 

Heb 12:9  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 

Heb 12:10  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 

The Lord therefore will chastise his people when it’s necessary, for their wellbeing, so that they may partake of His holiness when the chastisement has finished its work in them.

In the years ahead there is going to be a WORLD-WIDE FAMINE of food and probably of water too. This famine won’t be in just a few places, or on a small scale, it will be on a massive scale all across the planet. I don’t know when it will start but I imagine it will commence sometime during the tribulation period. Right now there are many regions in the world where extreme poverty exists and where starvation and disease is rampant. There have been many famines in the world, but something is coming that’s going to wipe out most of the world’s food sources. Some have speculated that some major war (nuclear?) or natural disaster is coming, but in one of my prophetic dreams (see “Fearful Sights & Signs in the Heavens”), I heard that the reason for this world-wide famine is that “creatures” will be consuming all of the vegetation and food. In my dream they were connected to the CREATURE I saw which resembled a saucer like vehicle. There was also a dragon like creature with scales, in the dream. Now, I don’t believe there are space ships carrying Aliens or Extraterrestrials, but I do believe there are fallen angels and Nephilim (the offspring of fallen angels and women) who fit this description perfectly. In fact, in the bible, there are various passages describing certain types of creatures as ANGELIC beings —

Eze 10:20  This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they were the cherubims (angelic beings).

Eze 10:21  Every one had four faces apiece, and every one four wings; and the likeness of the hands of a man was under their wings. 

Eze 1:5  Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. 

Eze 1:6  And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. 

Eze 1:7  And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. 

As you can see, these ‘creatures’ are angels. Fallen angels and their offspring the Nephilim, will again be seen all across the world in the days ahead. In fact the Bible prophesies that at the time of the End, a host of fallen ones will be released from the bottomless pit –

Rev 9:1  And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. (this star is one of God’s angels from heaven)

Rev 9:2  And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

Rev 9:3  And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 

Note that ‘locusts’ are demonic beings and armies! Also note that there are SO MANY of them released from the pit, that the SUN and the AIR were DARKENED by the SMOKE coming up from that pit! How interesting. Seems I recall other scripture that talks about the SUN being DARKENED  –  

Joe 2:1  Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand

Joe 2:2  A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. 

Joe 2:3  A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them. 

Do you see it? These CREATURES are a demonic hoard that’s going to DEVOUR the whole earth!!!

Joe 2:4  The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. 

Joe 2:5  Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. 

Joe 2:6  Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. 

Joe 2:7  They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: 

Joe 2:8  Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. 

Joe 2:9  They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. 

Joe 2:10  The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining

Do you see it now? This great army is made up of thousands of fallen angels who as they’re released from the bottomless pit like a pillar of smoke, will DARKEN the sun, moon, and stars all at once!!!

It won’t be an earthquake, a power plant meltdown, meteor strike, nuclear fallout, or any natural phenomena like blood moons or solar eclipses that are going to cause this darkening of heavenly bodies – which if you notice happens all at once. It isn’t just the sun that darkens as in a solar eclipse, it isn’t just the moon as in a blood moon. It’s ALL the heavenly bodies being affected at the same time!

In fact, I believe the description of a darkened sun, moon, and stars may not be literal but allegorical, to give us a kind of picture of just how many of these ‘creatures’ will be released from the pit.

Remember though, they can only go as far as Yahweh allows! Yahweh is still in charge and always will be!

You can do more research on your own about these creatures; this was just a small sampling of what’s said about them in the bible.

People, are you ready for the dreadful Day of the Lord which comes with lightening speed? If not, you had better get ready, for that day is just about here. I can tell you that without the protection of Almighty God, you won’t stand a chance against this demonic hoard. 

You get ready by asking Jesus Christ to be your savior and Lord, confessing that you’re a sinner who needs your sins washed away in His Blood which was shed for YOU, for the remission of YOUR sins. Stop sinning, read the Bible every day, pray and talk to your new heavenly Father!

Debra R. Stout © September 23, 2017

Your questions and comments are welcome! Let me know if I can pray for you, just send me an email at soareeng.eagle@gmail.com

 

 

I Hear You Knocking, But You Can’t Come In!

Image result for pictures of Jesus knocking at the doorDo you know that Jesus stands outside the door of your heart, knocking to get in so that He can fellowship with you? Do you also know that there are consequences for refusing to open to Him? Hear His words —

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.

Allow me to paraphrase this a bit – “if any man hears my voice and opens the door of his heart to me, I’ll come in and dine with him and he with me.”

dine = deipneō; From G1173; to dine, that is, take the principal (or evening) meal: – sup (X -per). “I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me – This is an image denoting intimacy and friendship. Supper, with the ancients, was the principal social meal; and the idea here is, that between the Saviour and those who would receive him there would be the intimacy which subsists between those who sit down to a friendly meal together. In all countries and times, to eat together, to break bread together, has been the symbol of friendship, and this the Saviour promises here.” [1]

Having a relationship with God entails the same dynamics of any personal relationship. In order to get to KNOW someone we must talk with them, ask questions and share our thoughts and feelings as well. Getting to know someone requires lots of time and effort. It isn’t quick and easy like speed dating, or the Bachelor TV show (ridiculously idiotic concepts in my opinion) in which both parties are flung into intimate settings and intimate relationships far too quickly, exposing their hearts to unnecessary hurt from not having adequate safeguards in place. Dear Reader, the purpose of Marriage is to provide the necessary protection for your HEART, so that you won’t suffer unnecessary hurt from sudden rejection and/or abandonment by one who hasn’t made a COMMITMENT to love and stay with you! Love today isn’t much more than physical attraction. In many cases couples merely live together and are intimate without a promise of fidelity or a commitment to stay, leaving hearts unprotected. Granted, there’s no guarantee that a husband or wife will uphold their wedding vows; divorce has been around a long time but it has never been God’s will – 1Co 7:10  And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband…

Mat 19:3  The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? 
Mat 19:4  And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 
Mat 19:5  And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 
Mat 19:6  Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 
Mat 19:8  He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered (allowed) you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 
Mat 19:9  And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. 

Marriage between one man and one woman is God’s will for most – [2]. 1Co 7:2  Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Gen 2:24  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 

In God’s eyes, MARRIAGE is a COVENANT between two people which BINDS them together forever, not for as long as it’s convenient or pleasant. Marriage is not only a safeguard for your heart, but is the perfect environment in which to raise children. God’s will for a married man and woman is to “be fruitful and multiply” [3]. That’s always been His will and it STILL IS. Nothing has changed with God for He “is the same, yesterday, today, and FOREVER.” [4]

Marriage has another purpose; it unveils the mystery of oneness between God and His Church – Eph 5:31  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. Eph 5:32  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Marriage may seem old fashioned or outdated to modern society, but it’s HOLY to Almighty God; a sacred union to be respected and guarded at all times, in every generation!

I believe there’s more than one reason I write about ‘marriage’ today, and it’s that the Marriage Supper of the Lamb of God is now ready, awaiting only for His Bride to come and dine with Him!

The Parable of the Wedding Feast —
Mat 22:1  And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, 
Mat 22:2  The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 
Mat 22:3  And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 
Mat 22:4  Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. 
Mat 22:5  But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 
Mat 22:6  And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. 
Mat 22:7  But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 
Mat 22:8  Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 
Mat 22:9  Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 
Mat 22:10  So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. 
Mat 22:11  And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 
Mat 22:12  And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 
Mat 22:13  Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Mat 22:14  For many are called, but few are chosen. 

The ‘chosen’ or ‘elect’ of God are those whom He ‘foreknew’ would keep His commands; these seek to please God regardless of the cost to themselves. The ‘called’ are those who’ve been ‘invited’ to the marriage supper, but REFUSE to come – But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise… They were TOO BUSY attending to their own affairs!

Likewise, those who refuse to ‘open’ when Yeshua comes knocking on the door of their hearts seeking relationship with them, are REFUSED entrance to His Kingdom —

Luk 13:23  Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, 
Luk 13:24  Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. 
Luk 13:25  When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: 
Luk 13:26  Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. 
Luk 13:27  But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. 
Luk 13:28  There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. 
Luk 13:29  And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. 
Luk 13:30  And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last. 

That last verse, Lk 13:30 is explained by Mat 21:31 (Jesus saith unto them) Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. Those who think they’re more righteous than certain sinners (as mentioned above) because they have an outer show of religion but whose hearts are full of wickedness, will find themselves LAST or ‘least’ in the kingdom, while the repentant ‘sinners’ who they looked down on, will be FIRST in the kingdom. ‘first’ = in rank, influence, honour / ‘last’ = of rank, grade of worth, last, i.e. lowest

Mat 5:17  Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 
Mat 5:18  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 
Mat 5:19  Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 
Mat 5:20  For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. What were the Pharisees if not hypocrites? Mat 7:5  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.  hypocrite = hupokritēs; From G5271; an actor under an assumed character (stage player), that is, (figuratively) a dissembler

Men can fool other men with an outward appearance of righteousness through doing so called ‘good deeds’ and keeping various religious sacraments and rites, but they can’t fool God. God sees and judges the thoughts and intents of men’s hearts [5]. He readily forgives the penitent and contrite of heart [6], but hypocrites (who pretend to believe but really don’t) will be thrown into outer darkness with unbelievers, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth [7].

A STERN WARNING to PASTORS, BISHOPS, PROPHETS, APOSTLES, & TEACHERS:
Mat 24:42  Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 
Mat 24:43  But know this, that if the goodman (overseer; pastor, etc.) of the house (God’s household) had known in what watch the thief (false teacher, heretical doctrine) would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered (allowed) his house to be broken up. 
Mat 24:44  Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. 
Mat 24:45  Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 
Mat 24:46  Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 
Mat 24:47  Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. 
Mat 24:48  But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; [8]
Mat 24:49  And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 

Note the contrast between a good and evil servant. A good servant ‘watches’ over God’s household, nurtures it, and doesn’t allow it to be ‘broken into’ – diorussō penetrate burglariously: – break through (up). He won’t allow a ‘thief’ to break in and steal the sheep through false doctrine. An evil servant does the opposite as he smites his fellow servants, and eats and drinks with the drunken! ‘smite’ = metaphorically to wound, disquiet one’s conscience; ‘eat and drink’ = metaphorically to devour, consume; ‘drunken’ = metaphorically one who has shed blood or murdered profusely. You can wound someone’s conscience by teaching them to sin against it – telling them to ignore what their conscience is convicting them of, and by living a sinful life-style thereby setting a bad example to those who look to you for guidance in matters of faith! You can murder someone’s soul by teaching that God’s commands aren’t valid for today, and therefore can be set aside. Who do you think God will hold responsible when those so taught end up in Hell? Who’s responsible for watching over God’s household, and sounding the alarm when he sees the wolf coming? The servant or overseer of God’s Household!

Mat 24:50  The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 
Mat 24:51  And shall cut him asunder (cut up by scourging, scourge severely), and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 
Joh 10:12  But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

Mat 7:21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 
Mat 7:22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 
Mat 7:23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 

The workers of iniquity won’t make it into God’s Kingdom. Iniquity = anomia; From G459; illegality, that is, violation of law or (generally) wickedness: – iniquity, X transgress (-ion of) the law, unrighteousness. Thus, the scripture here speaks of those who profess to know God but teach others to disobey and/or disregard God’s instructions; a very grave offense. Conversely, the truly righteous who DO His will shall enter the marriage and be glad – Rev 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready!

 AMEN! The Lamb’s wife is preparing herself to live and reign with Him forever! She isn’t idle while waiting for Him, nor does she engage in IDOL worship with idol worshipers, but fully devotes herself to living according to His righteous decrees even when it isn’t convenient.

Debra R. Stout, September 3, 2017

Footnotes:

[1] Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
[2] Some choose to remain single, like Paul – 1Co 7:6  But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment. 
1Co 7:7  For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. 
1Co 7:8  I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
1Co 7:32  But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord… 
[3] Genesis 1:22
[4] Hebrews13:8
[5] Hebrews 4:12
[6] Psalm 51:17
[7] Mt 22:13, Mt 24:51
[8] This passage is, in fact, “a parable,” though it is not expressly so called. The design is to show that his disciples should act as if they were each moment expecting his return. This he illustrates by the conduct of a servant who did not expect his master soon to return, who acted with great impropriety, and who was accordingly punished. ~ Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
*Words of Christ are in red text throughout.

 

ARE YOU SURE YOU’RE SAVED?

Image result for pictures of a sick seagullOn this bright but breezy Sunday afternoon I was out walking when I saw a woman sitting on a granite block (of which there are many in New England) beneath some trees in a park. At first I walked on by but then I heard a ‘still small voice’ tell me to go back and hand her a tract. So I went back to where she sat and asked if I could give her something as I reached out to hand her a tract. She thanked me and asked if I was Born Again, to which I answered “Yes.” Are you? I asked. She answered in the affirmative adding that she was kind of in a bad place right now and didn’t like getting close to people. I didn’t ask why, maybe because I was in high spirits and didn’t care to hear anything negative. For some reason however, I listened to her pour out her story for the next forty minutes or so. She began by telling that she didn’t attend church anymore, and had a strict religious upbringing by an abusive father whom she more or less, despised. She further expressed she was tired of Christians who say that God ‘allows’ suffering and we just have to accept it without questioning. Then she said she had given up questioning God about things as she felt she hadn’t gotten any answers.

After dropping those bombshells on me, she asserted that we couldn’t really know or understand God, or make any sense out of our experiences, so it was useless to try. I’m pretty sure that line of reasoning didn’t originate with her but came from someplace else, perhaps from an ancient belief system called Deism. [1] Deism is the belief that God is distant, unknowable, and impersonal; a god who doesn’t get involved in or intervene in human affairs. It means we’re basically on our own, left to fend for, and figure things out for ourselves. Could one call it Abandonment Theology? Another belief system that’s been around awhile is Existentialism, which basically asserts that man exists for his own sake, unencumbered by the restraints of religious dogma and demands of a righteous God because there is NO God. [2] In other words, ‘do- your- own- thing’ because there’s no purpose to life outside of pleasing yourself and fulfilling your desires. 

Make no mistake about it, these belief systems were inspired by ancient demonic SPIRITS who still roam the earth, seeking whom they may devour! [1 Pet 5:8] They’ll devour the lukewarm, the misinformed, the deceived, and those who love their lives in this world more than they love God. [Jn 12:25] They might be influencing your thoughts even though you don’t realize it. 

Further into our conversation the woman said that although she was ‘open to God,’ she wasn’t convinced that the New Testament scriptures were inspired of God since men wrote them fifty years after Christ’s death and resurrection. She reasoned that since she can’t remember what she said only yesterday, how could the disciples recall with any accuracy, what they’d heard and seen fifty, a hundred, or two-hundred years after the resurrection of Christ? This is a perfect example of how human intellect can get in the way of knowing God. So I asked her, “What would convince you that they’re inspired?” She replied, “Nothing on this earth!” Have to admit, I stood there in stunned disbelief at this supposed believer’s unbelief. There’s nothing quite as disturbing as a believer’s unbelief. Near the end of our brief encounter, I felt there wasn’t much more I could say to her because she really was not open to the Truth. Her final remark to me was, “You’re entitled to your opinion.” Wow that felt like an insult, since I had spent a good chunk of time listening to her and speaking God’s truth to her. I didn’t take offense realizing that she was just trying to defend her unbelief by labeling God’s Word as merely men’s opinions! To reinforce her stance, she added that everything we hear from anyone is just their opinion which you either believe or you don’t. She was wrong as the Holy Spirit still speaks through God’s servants [3]. People having her mindset can’t truly believe in ANYTHING, as it leaves them with NOTHING but a joyless, meaningless existence. How can one have joy who believes that life has no meaning and God is strict, distant, and uncaring, which she alluded to by saying how God allows suffering but does nothing about it. Truth is, God HAS done something about it. He sent His only begotten Son to die for men’s sins, bearing their griefs and sorrows [Isaiah 53]. But the truth can’t set you free if you don’t believe it.

Despite claims of being ‘open to God,’ her doubts about the reliability of His Word told a different story. It’s questionable how one so FULL OF DOUBT could be Born Again, but if true, she was definitely having difficulty in her relationship with the Lord. Believers have dry periods where they find it hard to sense God’s presence, pray, and worship. There are also times when doubts assail them but those moments should be short-lived. Persistent doubt and unbelief can lead to spiritual barrenness, drought, and spiritual death. When you have a vital personal relationship with God, you’re FULL OF THE JOY OF THE LORD. This woman had NO joy; her face was sullen and her eyes were dull. Believer’s faces SHINE from reflecting God’s glory [Exo 34:29]. The more I thought about these things, I began wondering if she had just pretended to be a believer in order to engage me in a debate. One tactic of the devil is to place people in your path who’ll speak disparaging words to try to discourage you in your faith, and or, plant doubts in your heart about God’s goodness. Isn’t that how the Devil tricked Eve into eating the Forbidden fruit?

The woman I met in the park certainly sounded more like a spokesman for the devil than for the Lord. The truth about God is that he’s NOT distant or uncaring. The fact is Jesus Christ HAS done something about all the evil and suffering in the world. He died for sinners so that “whosoever will” may come to Him in faith, and have eternal life [Jn 3:16]. The key is to be willing; God isn’t going to force or make anyone come to Him. We’re each given a choice as to whom we will serve, “Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord, But you’re gonna have to serve somebody…” [Bob Dylan lyrics to song, “Gotta Serve Somebody” 1979] Funny, I should think of Bob Dylan, who at the time he wrote that song, claimed to be a Born Again Christian, but later on defected from the faith! [4]

This encounter reminded me that not all who say they’re Born Again really are. Many sincerely think they are, but their words and actions don’t line up with the Truth. The proof is in the fruit, and we’re told to “try the spirits” as well [1 Jn 4:1]. A truly Born Again (born from above by the Spirit of God) person will bear the “fruit of the Spirit” in their lives which is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Meekness (humility) and Self-Control [Gals 5:22-23]. The woman I met in the park, displayed a good deal of intellectual pride (instead of trust), and stubborn resistance to all my efforts to share biblical truth with her. It’s also possible for one who has been Born Again, to FALL AWAY. This is where the woman could be headed in my estimation. “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance…” [Heb 6:4-6] In the end of days the Bible prophesies there will be a “great falling away” [2 Thes 2:3]. Doubting God’s Word and His goodness, is a treacherous, slippery slope that can lead you into Apostasy and spiritual death. As the woman and I walked out of the park together, she stopped to look at the river and spotted a seagull laying motionless in the mud at the river’s edge about twenty feet from us. Its wings were only half open, and it moved just its head. The woman commented that the gull was “dying.” She also pointed out some little fish that were swimming around in the water, but I saw none. At the moment I didn’t think much about it, but later the thought occurred to me that maybe the gull and absence of wildlife around it, could be prophetic signs of the woman’s spiritual condition. I had sensed a substantial amount of heaviness and gloominess about her which could be a sign of spiritual oppression. What’s certain is that her mixing of philosophy with Christian faith, and her over-intellectualizing is dangerous to the health of her faith and soul. Dear reader, WATCH your words and thoughts to be sure you’re not mixing your faith with the vain philosophies of men which can DESTROY your faith in God and the Bible! Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 

When you’re born anew you begin a new life that’s joined to the spirit of God who’ll never leave you, and will guide you constantly if you let him. So, who’s it going to be? Who are you going to serve; yourself, the Devil, or God? It’s the most important decision you’ll ever make in your life so give it lots of thought, counting the cost. Yes, there IS a cost to being one of Christ’s disciples, so make no frivolous or shallow commitment to Him for He hates ‘lukewarmness.’ [Rev 3:16] He wants fully surrendered, zealous believers who’ll lavish their love and worship on Him, and are willing to lose their lives for His sake. [Mk 8:35] Despite the costs of following Jesus, the benefits FAR outweigh them! In the Bible are thousands of wonderful promises for those who faithfully love and serve Him. How do I know that God cares about human suffering? I know because I’ve spent lots of time getting to know Him through studying His Word and by praying and listening to Him. How do I know that His Word is trustworthy and reliable? I know because I have TESTED it. I have STOOD on God’s Word many times when I was all alone raising a severely disabled child, and it was ALL I HAD to get me through long, anxious nights. Plus, it is written, 2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 

I’ve PROVEN God’s Word true by applying it over and over in various circumstances, and found it to be as SOLID as granite! Looking back, I can see how not always having human help available CAUSED me to lean hard on God and His Word, which made my faith STRONG. It wasn’t easy, but learning to trust His Word paid huge dividends for me in the short, and long run. Not that I never make mistakes, but they’re way less often and not catastrophic ones like they once were, due to having stored up so much of His Word in my heart. [Ps 119:11] You can do likewise and get the same good results, if you’re willing to trust and not give in to fear and doubt.

Just remember, not deciding to serve Jesus Christ IS a decision to serve yourself and the Devil. At the moment of physical death your eternal future is sealed, there’ll be no second chances. If you choose to serve Satan, you’ll eat the bitter fruit of death in hell with him and other unrepentant sinners. Why not serve Christ, while you still can, and live with Him forever?

Debra Stout © August 27, 2017

Footnotes:

[1] https://www.gotquestions.org/deism.html Deists deny the Trinity, the inspiration of the Bible, the deity of Christ, miracles, and any supernatural act of redemption or salvation. Deism pictures God as uncaring and uninvolved. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deism  Deism (/ˈdiː.ɪzəm/ DEE-iz-əm  or /ˈdeɪ.ɪzəm/DAY-iz-əm; derived from Latin “deus” meaning “god“) is a philosophical position which posits that a god does not interfere directly with the world. It also rejects revelation as a source of religious knowledge and asserts that reasonand observation of the natural world are sufficient to determine the existence of a single creator of the universe.

[2] www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=existentialism  Existentialism in its purest form is any philosophy which states that existence precedes essence; that is to say, that there is no inherent purpose in life (though … http://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_existentialism.html Existentialism is a philosophy that emphasizes individual existence, freedom and choice. It is the view that humans define their own meaning in life, and try to make rational decisions despite existing in an irrational universe. It focuses on the question of human existence, and the feeling that there is no purpose or explanation at the core of existence. It holds that, as there is no God or any other transcendent force, the only way to counter this nothingness (and hence to find meaning in life) is by embracing existence.

[3] It’s disheartening so many believers are misinformed about the gifts of the Spirit which are just as valid and available to believers today as they were in the early Church period. The super-natural gifts given at Pentecost have NOT ceased, Cessationism is a lie, and a doctrine of Demons.

[4] http://www.openculture.com/2014/08/the-religions-of-bob-dylan.html

Any questions re this or any other post, you can email at the address provided under “Contact Me” on my Home Page. Also, if you’re sure you’ve been Born Again yet you really struggle with feeling God’s presence, can’t worship or pray, and have little or no joy or peace in your heart, maybe it’s time to seek counsel. I have no counseling degree, but I have the Holy Spirit. So if you want to contact me via email, I’ll consult with you to see if there’s something I can do to help you. I’ll make myself available to the extent that I can, short-term. May Yahweh bless you.

THE POWER OF IMAGINATION

Related imageNever underestimate the power of imagination. While imagination is a gift from God, like every other gift, it can be used for good or for evil. When we imagine something, we create pictures and scenes in our minds that haven’t happened and aren’t real, but which affect our emotions, moods, even our words and actions. At some point we may end up doing what we’ve been meditating on. Paul addressed this when he wrote, “.. whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely….think on these things.” [1] 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; [2] This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. [3]

King David learned how his imagination could be used for evil when he didn’t turn his eyes away from the beautiful naked Bathsheba as she bathed on a nearby rooftop. David allowed lust for her to grow in his heart to such a degree that it overrode his love of God’s Torah which states, Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s wife, ……[4] and drove him to have her husband killed in battle so he that he could marry her. The results for David and his new wife were disastrous; the child of their union died shortly after birth. Sin (breaking God’s laws) never yields good results. David allowed his lust to move him out of a place of trust for God’s provision (a wife) to covetousness which led him to murder by proxy of war [5]. Despite David’s slip ups, he was a man after God’s own heart. I love what he wrote, Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD…[6] I think this is a good prayer to say every morning.

Our imaginations have power to bring about those things which we actively imagine. When we project pictures and scenes upon the screen of our imaginations, we begin an act of creation – of creating something new, something that hasn’t existed before. Just like God whose image we’re made in, God first IMAGINED the world before He CREATED it [7]. God gave us imagination so that we could envision and create things, all inventions have come about this way, but He wants us to use it for GOOD, not evil. Each imagination is as varied as the number of persons on the planet; no two persons are exactly alike. Granted, some have more lively and intense imaginations than others, but all have the capacity to dream or to imagine. Though what we imagine isn’t actually real, we may start talking and acting as though it was, which can have an effect upon us and others. We do in this sense, create our own realities. The Devil knows this so he constantly looks for ways to get a hold of our imagination to harness its power for his own nefarious purposes. Sadly, it’s not hard for him to do since we often submit our wills, minds, and emotions to him without realizing it. When you watch a movie your emotions are manipulated are they not? It’s a fact that movie directors and writers, know that if a movie doesn’t pull strongly on people’s emotions, the movie won’t be viewed much. This is why steamy novels and pornography are so popular because they arouse men’s fleshly appetites, and fill man’s innate desire for pleasure. Now, God gave us that innate desire for pleasure, but the Devil perverted it, as he has every other good gift God has given us. God gave sex to mankind that was pure, without lust in it, before the Serpent (the Devil) tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The Serpent used Eve’s imagination against her by getting her to IMAGINE how eating the forbidden fruit could make her wise like God [8]. What curses they incurred for disobeying God’s command; plunging themselves and all mankind into an abyss of sin and misery. Their mistake was listening to the words of the Serpent instead of God’s words. All we need to know about living well is written down for us in the Bible. If we compare what we hear, see, and think, to what the Word says, we won’t become confused or get deceived about what’s right and wrong. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. [9]

Our imaginations are easily captured by what we see and hear through television and computer images; technology is advancing to take this ability to newer and higher levels than ever before. We are to be very careful about what we watch I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid? [10], about what we hear “He that walketh righteously…… stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; “[11] God understands that our eyes and ears are gateways through which evil may enter into our hearts. Seeing that what enters our hearts can have serious ramifications, it’s imperative that we stay alert to what’s being projected onto the screen of our imagination at all times, whether by outside sources or ourselves. The images we project can come from four different sources; from God, our flesh nature, the world, and from the Devil or demons. If from God, the images will be light and good but if from the Devil, the world, or the flesh, they’ll be negative and dark; sadness, pain, sorrow, depression, suicide, revenge, murder, greed, lust, etc. [12] Thus, it’s to the Devil’s advantage to get us thinking “vain thoughts” [13] and projecting “evil imaginations” onto our minds so that he can defile our hearts and work wicked deeds through us. This is why Jesus said, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. [14] Jesus judges not only our deeds, but the THOUGHTS of our hearts as well. Man’s philosophy is that it doesn’t matter what you THINK, but only what you DO, but God’s Word says otherwise, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” [15]. Thus, what we meditate on tends to play out at some point in our lives, and or, may cause disease in our minds or bodies. Holding onto anger and grudges leads to bitterness which damages relationships and your health. It’s a scientific fact that excessive anger in a person often manifests in his or her physical body as high blood pressure, migraine headache, and heart failure. [16] Excessive fear may cause heart attacks [17]. In place of revenge, you can choose to forgive and let God meet out justice [18]. In place of worry, you can choose to trust God’s promises, and when facing lack of any kind, you can choose to trust God for his provision.

So the next time your flesh or the Devil tempts you to “imagine a vain thing” (vain=empty, useless) CAST it down right away; don’t allow it to linger in your mind, for if you do, you’ll be ensnared (caught as in a trap) by it and fall into sin. Jesus though pure in every way, still had to pray fervently with watching’s and fasting’s, that He might not succumb to temptation – as a man. Remember that while Jesus was the Son of God, He was also a MAN who was “tempted in like manner” (in every way) as we are, yet never once succumbed to temptation or sinned [19]. You should know that Jesus LEFT HIS GLORY (divine powers) in Heaven [20] in order to take on a body of FLESH such as mortal men have for a couple reasons. One was so that He could show us it’s possible to do the works He did, and to overcome temptation, by the power of the Holy Spirit alone. Of course, the main reason He left his glory in heaven, was so He could die on a Cross for you and me [21]. If He had retained all of His divine powers and come in a spiritual body, He would not have been able to die – a spirit cannot be killed so Jesus had to take on a flesh and blood body. It was the same with the Angels who “left their first estate” in Heaven to become mortal flesh so that they could “take wives to themselves” of the beautiful women they saw [22]. These “fallen angels” mated with human females producing offspring of hybrid giants called Nephilim, “men of renown” whom many ancient civilizations revered as ‘gods’ [23]. For some this is new and controversial material, but Scripture, along with copious historical data, supports these statements.

Summary —

Yahweh God made man in His image and likeness, so man has power to imagine and to create, just like God. Since what we meditate on will at some point play out in our lives, it’s imperative that we manage what we allow to be projected onto the screen of our imaginations [24]. While we can’t always control what we hear and see, we can choose what we meditate upon; we don’t have to allow evil thoughts or desires to linger in our minds and hearts [25]. We can choose to drink from the polluted waters of worldly wisdom and eat from the fleshpots of carnal pleasures, or from the pure streams of God’s Holy Spirit and Word. God has given us the power of freedom of choice, so that what we experience, be it life or death, is really up to us [26]. With freedom and power comes responsibility. May we chose wisely and use all that we’ve been entrusted with, for good and not evil. In the end, we will all give an accounting to Yahweh God for our choices.  

Debra R. Stout, July 24, 2017

FOOTNOTES:

  1.  Phil 4:8
  2.  2Co 10:5
  3.  Jos 1:8
  4. Deu 5:21
  5. 2 Sam 11:2-4
  6. Ps 19:14
  7. Gen 1:26-27
  8. Gen 3:5
  9. Ps 119:105
  10. Job 31:1
  11. Isa33:15
  12. Mt 15:19, Mk 7:21
  13. Ps 94:7, Jer 4:14, Mk 7:21
  14. Mt 5:28 ‘heart’ denotes the centre of all physical and spiritual life
  15. Prov 23:7a
  16. http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/features/how-anger-hurts-your-heart  http://migravent.com/blog/5-anger-styles-that-trigger-migraines/
  17. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295664.php
  18. Rms 12:19, Deut 32:35
  19. Heb 4:15
  20. Jn 17:5
  21. Heb 2:9, 14, 16
  22. Gen 6:2
  23. Gen 6:4, Num 13:33, Deut 2:20-21, 1 Sam 17:4
  24. Pro 4:23  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. 
  25. ….. let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Eph 4:26
  26. I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing – Deut 30:19

 

 

Zombie or Dragon Slayer

Related imageWhich one are you; a zombie or a dragon slayer? Right now you’re probably wondering what on earth I’m talking about. I’m using this rather stark contrast to illustrate the difference between what the average Christian’s reality is, to what it could be. From what I’ve seen, many church goers look a little bit like ‘zombies’ as they sit motionless, blankly staring at the minister as he preaches, never uttering a peep except for an occasional ‘Amen’ when prompted.

Not all churches are so restrained but many are, for reasons which may be similar to those which caused the Jewish high priests in Jesus’s day to do all they could to stop the message of the Cross from being preached, the dead from being raised, the sick from being healed and delivered of demons. Why weren’t they glad to see men set free from Satan’s dark domain, instead of opposing those good works? What motivated them to do so; was it envy, something else? For starters, they wanted to be the ones who people looked to for spiritual guidance, not some itinerant minister who just appeared on the scene one day – enter Jesus of Nazareth.

Mat 21:23 And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?

Mat 26:3 Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas,

Mat 26:59 Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death;

Mat 27:1 When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:

Mat 27:20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.

Mar 11:18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine. *In other words, they feared losing their influence over the people by whose tithes and offerings they lived. They felt Jesus was usurping their authority which they felt rightly belonged to them, their being ‘children of Abraham,’ which they weren’t! [John 8:39-44]

Luk 19:39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.

Luk 19:40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

Luk 20:1 And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders,

Luk 22:2 And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people. *Perhaps they feared mob violence, or at least a loss of esteem in the people’s eyes if they didn’t find a good excuse for killing Him, as the people believed Jesus to be a prophet sent from God [Matthew 21:46].

Luk 22:66 And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying,

Jhn 11:47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.

Jhn 11:48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place (power and position) and nation.

This last verse is very telling. The Roman authorities were comfortable allowing the Jews to have their RELIGION, so long as they bowed to the will of the ROMAN EMPEROR AND HIS LAWS! To the Romans, there was but one god, and that was the Emperor. State powers are no different today from those in the past; they still demand obeisance from their subjects! They believe that we exist to serve them, not they us. Corruption of power has infected every governing body since Babylon arose as the very first empire on earth.

How does this apply to the Church today? Whenever a Pastor ‘fears’ the authorities of the state more than God, he’ll do the State’s bidding, not God’s. In such a case, the pastor will severely limit what can take place in his church. He’ll restrain the Holy Spirit and forbid miracles, healing, and especially deliverance from demons. He’ll suppress God’s authority causing men to come under the State’s authority instead of God’s. You ask, “How could that happen?” It can happen when a church becomes 501c3 status —-

When a church accepts the 501c3 status, that church:

  • Waives its freedom of speech.
  • Waives its freedom of religion.
  • Waives its right to influence legislators and the legislation they craft.
  • Waives its constitutionally guaranteed rights.
  • Is no longer free to speak to the vital issues of the day.
  • Becomes controlled by a spirit of fear that if it doesn’t toe the line with the IRS it will lose its tax-exempt status.
  • Becomes a State-Church.

The church in America today is, by and large, not speaking to the vital issues of the day. The church has been effectively silenced. There has been a chilling effect upon the church’s freedom of speech for fear of IRS retribution should the church get out of line. The inevitable result is a moral downward spiral in the culture as the church stands mute. [1]

In a church I attended some years back, during worship I started praying for my disabled son standing near me. Suddenly, I felt my arms waving in and out around him, but it wasn’t ME moving them! I knew God himself was moving my arms so I went with it. It felt like a ‘force field’ or ‘energy field’ was being created through the movements that grew stronger and stronger. I heard one of the pastors say to the head pastor: “Look over there, see what she’s doing, you had better put a stop to it.” Sure enough, the head pastor abruptly stopped the music and worship leaders right in the middle of what GOD was doing in the Spirit! His abrupt interruption brought the whole beautiful experience to a halt and what God was trying to do was left unfinished. That pastor (so called) not only robbed my son of a healing and me of the joy of being God’s partner in a miracle, he robbed that whole congregation of a chance to see God’s miracle working power in action! And that wasn’t the first time. Some weeks later, this same pastor told the congregation that it wasn’t ready for miracles of healing, as too many people would come because of the miracles, and they weren’t ready to handle it! The moment he said that, I saw a picture of a large pitcher or bucket filled with ice water and a hand pouring it over the members, putting out the fire of their FAITH for healing! Immediately, I felt the Spirit within me “grieve.” I had known beforehand through the Spirit (a Word of Knowledge) that the congregants had FAITH for healing, and there were several people there with disabilities whom I felt God wanted to heal, but that pastor put it out with his faith-robbing words! Consequently, no one ever got healed in that church. 

Men naturally seek to be led by someone, having sought for kings to rule over them since the dawn of time. The Israelite’s begged God to give them a man to rule over them, which God agreed to do, even though He desired to rule over them Himself. They wanted to be “like the other nations” who had kings! [1 Samuel 8:1-22] So, God gave them Solomon, which means ‘peace.’ In the beginning of king Solomon’s reign, the nation did have peace and prosperity for as long as Solomon followed God. In time Solomon abandoned the true God for a slew of pagan deities, an action which caused him to fall away from God, and lose his kingdom to another [1 Kings 11:1-11]. Though the Israelite’s didn’t need an earthly king to rule over them, as Yahweh was their God, Solomon was allowed to be their king that they might learn to 1) not desire to be like the world around them, and 2) not put their trust or hope in anyone but God alone. Man is fallible but God is perfect in all His ways.

Jesus Christ is the rightful Head of His Church, not any man, be he a pastor, prophet, apostle, or king [Eph 5:23, Col 1:18]. Seems there are pastors who “fear the people” more than they fear almighty God! They fear the disapproval of those who would object to having ‘miracles’ happen in the Church, and seeing demons cast out. Yet Jesus performed miracles of healing and deliverance, setting Satan’s captives free wherever He found them. Should Christ’s Body be doing less? Didn’t Jesus commission His Church to “heal the sick, raise the dead, and to cast out demons?” [Mt 10:8]

So, what’s stopping the Church from doing these works? I believe there are several major hindrances – Unbelief due to wrong teachings about spiritual gifts such as the erroneous doctrine of ‘Cessationism’ [2] which teaches that the gifts ceased when Christ’s ministry was over, Passivism: [3] members of His Body are conditioned to be ‘passive’ in their faith by being expected to quietly listen in church and not be active participants which only the pastor and musicians are allowed to be, contrary to the teaching of Scripture [4], Fear of Man: worrying more about what man thinks than what God thinks, and worrying about looking foolish in the eyes of the world. Allowing men’s opinions to sway our beliefs and weaken our resolve to do the works which Jesus commissioned us to do. One other major hindrance is Religious Tradition: beliefs passed down from generation to generation; the pastor is the boss, don’t question what he says/does, keep quiet and do what you’re told. The pastors and priests know the bible because they studied many years (not always the case), lay persons don’t know it, and aren’t expected to know it (wrong!), so just trust whatever the minister says. If you question his words or actions, you might get told that you have a “rebellious spirit,” “Jezebel spirit,” “critical spirit,” or some other “demon!”

Religious spirits and Legalistic spirits flock to churches steeped in tradition, binding both priest and layperson from flowing in the Holy Spirit; no tongues, prophecies, healing, etc. will be seen in them. These demon spirits bind the minds of believers so they can’t perceive that there’s more than liturgy. They try to induce (false) guilt in those walking by the Spirit and not by their man-made rules. These demons can cause a great deal of havoc in the Church for they often attack believers who are filled with and led by the Holy Spirit. I know because I’ve been in their cross hairs many times. So as to avoid confusion, obeying God’s word is not Legalism! Legalists MAKE UP THEIR OWN RULES which they claim come straight out of the Bible but a close examination proves that they’ve misinterpreted what’s there. Sometimes well-meaning believers teach their PRIVATE CONVICTIONS as God’s commands, but they’re wrong. You need not come under their condemnation, another thing they try to put you under – don’t let them! I’ve come across many Religious and Legalistic demon spirits in churches, as that’s where they hang out. 

Jesus called His Church to do the works which He did when He walked among us —

Act 5:12  And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. 

Act 5:13  And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. 

Act 5:14  And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) 

Act 5:15  Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. 

Act 5:16  There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one. 

The Apostles Arrested and Freed

Act 5:17  Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation, 

Act 5:18  And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. 

Act 5:19  But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, 

Act 5:20  Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. 

Act 5:21  And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. 

Act 5:22  But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told, 

Act 5:23  Saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within. 

Act 5:24  Now when the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow. 

Act 5:25  Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people. 

Act 5:26  Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned. 

Act 5:27  And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, 

Act 5:28  Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. 

Act 5:29  Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. 

Did you hear that Church of Christ? Who then will you obey, God or man? Will you work the works which Jesus did, or will you prefer staying in your comfort zone, taking no risks while hoping someone else will do them? Do you fear what others will think? Fear you might get thrown in prison for preaching the truth, like the first apostles? Well the fact is, you might, but are we to just sit back and wait for the Rapture while the world around us perishes? What does Jesus our Lord expect of us?

Luk 9:23  And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 

Luk 9:24  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 

Luk 9:25  For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? 

Luk 9:26  For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. 

Part of picking up your cross daily and dying to your self-life, is worrying more what people think of Jesus, than what they think about you. Dying to self is obeying Christ, no matter what it costs. It’s forsaking everything to follow Him and do the works He did. It’s being willing to look foolish in the world’s eyes.

1Co 4:9  For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake…..

Let us therefore be fools for His sake and work the works of Christ. If we suffer for it, may we do so manfully, knowing that to this we’ve also been called, and faithfully take up the full armor of God as we march into battle with the banner of His Grace going before us!

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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.

We’ve been empowered to be Dragon Slayers! 

Debra R. Stout © July 14, 2017

 

FOOTNOTES:

[1] https://hushmoney.org/501c3-problems.htm

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cessationism

[3] a passive attitude, behavior, or way of life https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/passivism

[4] Co 14:26  How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. When kept silent in the service, believers are conditioned to be ‘passive,’ which affects their ability to witness and minister outside the confines of the church walls. Thus, they become “hearers only” instead of active doers, Jas 1:22  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. If members never get a chance to use their gifts and callings inside the Church, how are they going to receive correction and direction regarding them?

(Woman on horse is a depiction of Joan of Arc)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Godly Sorrow; A Loving Gift

Related imageIn the words of the great Apostle Paul, godly sorrow leads to life –

2Co 7:10  For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.  What was he talking about? There are many fallacies in our modern age about the subject of ‘pain’. We’re constantly being told that all pain is ‘bad’ for us; has no good purpose whatsoever. But is this true? Apostle Paul didn’t seem to think so. Let’s explore what he meant by ‘godly sorrow’ —

2Co 7:8  For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season.
2Co 7:9  Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
2Co 7:11  For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

The Biblical Illustrator [1] sheds some light on what godly sorrow  is—

Godly sorrow

  1. The mental state here exhibited. This sorrow was not of an ordinary kind. He afterwards defines it as sorrow “after a godly manner,” or “according to God.” The emotion was connected with certain local circumstances and events; but it must be regarded as forming an integral part in those arrangements of Divine mercy which are associated with the transformation and the final well-being of the human soul.
  2. This verse is a graphic record of the practical nature of repentance, which is a change of mind from unbelief and alienation against God and His law, to faith and love towards both; and a change of habit and of life from the pursuit and practice of sin, to the pursuit and practice of holiness.
  3. Its blessings. “Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation.” Elsewhere it is mentioned as being “repentance unto life,” because connected with everlasting happiness (2Pe_3:1-18).

The power of sorrow

Distinguish between sorrow and repentance. To grieve over sin is one thing, to repent of it is another. Sorrow is in itself a thing neither good nor bad; its value depends on the spirit of the person on whom it falls. Fire will inflame straw, soften iron, or harden clay.

  1. The fatal power of the sorrow of the world. It works death—
  2. In the effect of mere regret for worldly loss. We come into the world with health, friends, and sometimes property. So long as these are continued we are happy, and therefore fancy ourselves very grateful to God; but this is not religion; it has as little moral character in it, in the happy human being, as in the happy bird. Nay more, it is a suspicious thing; having been warmed by joy, it will become cold when joy is over; and then when these blessings are removed we count ourselves hardly treated, as if we had been defrauded of a right; rebellious hard feelings come; people become bitter, spiteful, discontented. This is the death of heart; the sorrow of the world has worked death.
  3. When sin is grieved for in a worldly spirit. There are two views of sin: as wrong, or as producing loss, e.g., of character. In such cases, if character could be preserved before the world, grief would not come. In the midst of Saul’s apparent grief the thing uppermost was that he had forfeited his kingly character; almost the only longing was that Samuel should honour him before his people. And hence it comes to pass that often remorse and anguish only begin with exposure. A corpse has been preserved for centuries in the iceberg, or in antiseptic peat, and when air was introduced it crumbled into dust. Exposure worked dissolution, but it only manifested the death which was already there; so with sorrow.
  4. The Divine power of sorrow.
  5. It works repentance, change of life, alteration of habits, renewal of heart. The consequences of sin are meant to wean from sin. The penalty annexed to it is, in the first instance, corrective, not penal. Fire burns the child, to teach it one of the truths of this universe—the property of fire to burn. The first time it cuts its hand with a sharp knife it has gained a lesson which it never will forget. Sorrow avails only when the past is converted into experience, and from failure lessons are learned which never are to be forgotten.
  6. Permanence of alteration. A steady reformation is a more decisive test of the value of mourning than depth of grief. The characteristic of the Divine sorrow is that it is a repentance “not repented of.” And in proportion as the repentance increases the grief diminishes. “I rejoice that I made you sorry, though it were but for a time.” Grief for a time, repentance for ever. And few things more signally prove the wisdom of this apostle than his way of dealing with this grief. He tried no artificial means of intensifying it. So soon as grief had done its work the apostle was anxious to dry useless tears—he even feared lest happily such an one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
  7. It is sorrow according to God. God sees sin in itself: a thing infinitely evil, even if the consequence were happiness instead of misery. So sorrow, according to God, is to see sin as God sees it. The grief of Peter was as bitter as that of Judas. But in Peter’s grief there was an element of hope, because he saw God in it all. Despair of self did not lead to despair of God. This is the peculiar feature of this sorrow; God is there, accordingly self is less prominent. It is not a microscopic self-examination, nor a mourning in which self is ever uppermost; my character gone; the greatness of my Sin; the forfeiture of my salvation. The thought of God absorbs all that. (F. W. Robertson, M. A.)

There must be sorrow for sin working repentance. Upon this point we must—

  1. Remove certain erroneous ideas with regard to repentance and sorrow for sin. Among popular delusions we must mention the suppositions—
  2. That mere sorrow of mind in reference to sin is repentance.
  3. That there can be repentance without sorrow for sin.
  4. That we must reach a certain point of wretchedness and horror, or else we are not truly penitent.
  5. That repentance happens to us once, and is then over.
  6. That repentance is a most unhappy feeling.
  7. That repentance must be mixed with unbelief, and embittered by the fear that mercy will be unable to meet our wretched case.
  8. Distinguish between the two sorrows mentioned in the text.
  9. The godly sorrow which worketh repentance to salvation is sorrow for sin—

(1) As committed against God.

(2) Arising out of an entire change of mind.

(3) Which joyfully accepts salvation by grace.

(4) Leading to future obedience.

(5) Which leads to perpetual perseverance in the ways of God. The ways of sin are forsaken because abhorred. This kind of repentance is never repented of.

  1. The sorrow of the world is—

(1) Caused by shame at being found out.

(2) Attended by hard thoughts of God.

(3) Leads to vexation and sullenness.

(4) Incites to hardening of heart.

(5) Lands the soul in despair.

(6) Works death of the worst kind. This needs to be repented of, for it is in itself sinful and terribly prolific of more sin.

A twofold soul sorrow

  1. The honest administration of gospel truth often inflicts sorrow on its subjects. The apostle made the Corinthians “sorry with a letter.” The gospel is a sword to cut, an arrow to pierce, a fire to burn.
  2. The sorrow is of twofold distinct types. Let us contrast these sorrows.
  3. The one is concerned with the principle of wrong; the other with the results.
  4. Some groan under a sense of their sins because of the injuries which they have already inflicted and their ultimate doom. It is a selfish regret, an unvirtuous emotion.
  5. But others mourn over the moral wrongness of the act; not because of the curse that has or wilt come upon them. The sorrow of Judas represents the one, the sorrow of Peter the other.
  6. The one is concerned for others, the other for self. “Godly sorrow” seems to engulf all personal considerations. The claims of God, the interests of society, the good of the universe, these are the subjects that unseal its fountains.

Godly sorrow

  1. Its nature—Sorrow according to God.
  2. It is sorrow for sin as an offence against God. Not that the penitent is unaffected with the evil of sin as respects his fellow-creatures and his own soul. It is, however, as an offence against God that he chiefly laments it; he views it as rebellion against God, as transgression of His law, a disbelief of His truth, a rejection of His grace, ingratitude for His goodness, and insensibility to His love. “Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done evil in Thy sight.” A consideration of his sins, as what occasioned the sufferings and death of Christ, is what especially affects his heart. He looks upon Him whom he has pierced, and mourns for Him.
  3. It is according to the will of God as revealed in Scripture. Not that God delights to see any of His creatures unhappy. He knows that godly sorrow is essential to our-happiness.
  4. It is produced in the heart by the Spirit of God. Man, in his natural state, knows nothing of this sorrow.
  5. It accords with the design of God respecting man. This is evidently none other than to bring us back to Himself.
  6. Its effect. It “worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of.” Repentance signifies a change of mind; a change of the understanding from darkness to light, and of the will and affections from sin to holiness. Such a change is attended with the most happy results. We do not wonder, therefore, to hear the apostle declare that it is “not to be repented of.” Whether we consult Scripture or experience, whether we search the Church below or above, not a saint can we meet with that regrets his repentance or his salvation. Conclusion: But is this the case with the impenitent?
  7. Is not the want of “repentance to salvation” often accompanied with such bitterness of reflection, even in the present world, and especially at the approach of death, as makes those who feel it unutterably wretched?
  8. “The sorrow of the world worketh death.” Having no connection with the love and fear of God and faith in His mercy it never ends happily, whatever may be the causes which produce it, it terminates at no time in a change of heart and conduct. (D. Rees.)

True repentance is a godly sorrow

  1. In speaking of the nature of godly sorrow we are led to remark that it is not only sorrow on account of sin, but sorrow of a peculiar kind. The sorrow of which the apostle speaks is godly sorrow which leads men to mourn with a right spirit, and has an eye towards God, against whom sin has been committed (Psa_51:4; Luk_15:18). Godly sorrow not only mourns before God for outward sins, but also for those evil thoughts which can be known only to Him who sees the heart. It will be also an increasing sorrow in proportion as the subject of this gracious repentance is led into all truth, as he is brought to know more of the depths of iniquity, and the evil of sin; as he is enabled to discern more of the workings of his heart, and more of the spirituality of the Divine law. But it will be a feeling accompanied with peace, because it will be recognised as an evidence of grace.
  2. Some of the means by which this godly sorrow is excited, which will farther illustrate this truth. It is difficult sometimes to trace the immediate cause of godly sorrow, because the first workings of this principle are often silent and gentle in their operations.
  3. Affliction. When men are at ease in their possessions, and are intoxicated with the bustle of worldly care, they can indulge in sin with little restraint, and neglect the salvation of their souls as a matter of little concern. The mercies of God seem only to supply fresh encouragement to sin. Hence He is sometimes pleased to awaken the sons of prosperity by means of afflictive dispensations.
  4. Not unfrequently His goodness leadeth to repentance.
  5. Another means which God is pleased to employ in producing godly sorrow is the reading or the preaching of His own Word. In some, as in the case of Josiah, the terrors of the law have prepared the way for spiritual peace. In others the effects have more nearly resembled those which were produced by the sermon of St. Peter on the day of Pentecost.

The effect of this godly sorrow. It worketh, saith the apostle, a repentance “unto salvation” not to be repented of either in this world or the next. Let it then be distinctly remembered that the blessing is not of a temporal character; but the salvation mentioned in the text has reference to higher blessings, and calls for increasing thankfulness because it respects the deliverance of the soul. (W. Mayors, A. M.)

Repentance

  1. The remembrance of sin is the cause of godly sorrow in the heart of a true penitent. The sinner is to be considered in two different periods of time. In the first he is under the infatuation of sin; in the last, after-reflections on his sinful conduct fill his mind.
  2. The sinner is affected with the number of his sins. When we reflect on our past lives sins arise from all parts and absorb our minds in their multitude.
  3. The true penitent adds to a just notion of the number of his sins that of their enormity. Here we must remove the prejudices that we have imbibed concerning the morality of Jesus Christ; for here also we have altered His doctrine, and taken the world for our casuist, the maxims of loose worldlings for our supreme law. We have reduced great crimes to a few principal enormous vices which few people commit.
  4. A third idea that afflicts a penitent is that of the fatal influence which his sins have had on the soul of his neighbour. One sin strikes a thousand blows, while it seems to aim at striking only one. It is a contagious poison which diffuseth itself far and wide, and infects not only him who commits it, but the greatest part of those who see it committed.
  5. The weakness of motives to sin is the fourth cause of the sorrow of a penitent. Motives to sin are innumerable and various; but what are they all? Sometimes an imaginary interest, an inch of ground, and sometimes a crown, the conquest of the universe, the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them (Mat_4:10).
  6. I make a fifth article of the penitent’s uncertainty of his state. For although the mercy of God is infinite yet it is certain the sinner in the first moments of his penitence hath reason to doubt of his state, and till the evidences of his conversion become clear there is almost as much probability of his destruction as of his salvation.
  7. Perhaps hell.
  8. In fine, the last arrow that woundeth the heart of a penitent is an arrow of Divine love. The more we love God the more misery we endure when we have been so unhappy as to offend Him. The union of all these causes which produce sorrow in a true penitent forms the grand difference between that which St. Paul calls godly sorrow and that which he calls the sorrow of the world, that is to say, between true repentance and that uneasiness which worldly systems sometimes give another kind of penitents.

  “Godly sorrow worketh repentance.”

  1. What is repentance? Many of you would answer “sorrow for sin,” but clearly this text draws a distinction between the two. The “repentance” of the Bible is, as the word distinctly expresses, a change of purpose in regard to the sin for which a man mourns. Let me remind you of one or two passages which may show that the right notion of the word, “the gifts and calling of God are without repentance,” i.e., without change of purpose on His part. Again, “The Lord repented of the evil which He had said He would do unto them, and He did it not,” i.e. clearly He changed His purpose. So repentance is not idle tears nor the twitchings of a vain regret, but the resolute turning away of the sinful heart from its sins. It is “repentance toward God,” the turning from sin to the Father.
  2. This change of purpose and breaking off from sin is produced by sorrow for sin; and that the production of this repentance is the main characteristic difference between the godly sorrow and the sorrow of the world. A man may have his paroxysms of regret, but the question is: Does it make any difference in his attitude? Is he standing, after the tempest of sorrow has swept over him, with his face in the same direction as before; or has it whirled him clean round? My brother! when your conscience pricks, is the word of command “Right about face!” or is it, “As you were”?
  3. The means of evoking true repentance is the contemplation of the Cross. Dread of punishment may pulverise the heart, but not change it; and each fragment will have the same characteristics as the whole mass. But “the goodness of God leads to repentance,” as the prodigal is conquered and sees the true hideousness of the swine’s trough when he bethinks himself of the father’s love.

Salvation is the issue of repentance.

  1. What is the connection between repentance and salvation?

(1) You cannot get the salvation of God unless you shake off your sin. “Let the wicked forsake his way,” etc. It is a clear contradiction in terms, and an absolute impossibility in fact, that God should deliver a man from sin whilst he is holding to it.

(2) But you do not get salvation for your repentance. It is no case of barter, it is no case of salvation by works, that work being repentance. “Could my tears for ever flow,” etc.

  1. What is the connection between repentance and faith?

(1) There can be no true repentance without trust in Christ. Repentance without faith would be but like the pains of those poor Hindoo devotees that will go all the way from Cape Comorin to the shrine of Juggernaut, and measure every foot of the road with the length of their own bodies in the dust. Men will do anything, and willingly make any sacrifice rather than open their eyes to see this—that repentance, clasped hand in hand with faith, leads the guiltiest soul into the forgiving presence of the crucified Christ, from whom peace flows into the darkest heart.

(2) On the other hand, faith without repentance in so far as it is possible produces a superficial Christianity which vaguely trusts to Christ without knowing exactly why it needs Him; which practises a religion which is neither a joy nor a security. “These are they which heard the word, and anon with joy received it.” Having no deep consciousness of sin, “they have no root in themselves, and in tinge of temptation they fall away.” If there is to be a life-transforming sin and devil-conquering faith, it must be a faith rooted deep in sorrow for sin. Conclusion: If, by God’s grace, my poor words have touched your consciences, do not trifle with the budding conviction! Do not let it all pass in idle sorrow. If you do, you will be the worse for it, and come nearer to that condition which the sorrow of the world worketh, the awful death of the soul. Do not wince from the knife before the roots of the cancer are cut out. The pain is merciful. Better the wound than the malignant growth. Yield yourselves to the Spirit that would convince you of sin, and listen to the voice that calls to you to forsake your unrighteous ways and thoughts. But do not trust to any tears, any resolves, any reformation. Trust only to the Lord that died for you, whose death for you, whose life in you, will be deliverance from your sin. Then you will have a salvation which “is not to be repented of.” (A. Maclaren, D. D.)

SUMMARY:

Godly sorrow leads to repentance. Don’t let yourself be fooled by the vain philosophies of men who say that all pain is bad and should be avoided through denial and/or medication so you can’t feel it. The psychologists prescribe you with this or that pill to blunt your GUILT and your God-given sense of SHAME which you feel after you sin! I say ‘after’ because sinning for the moment can feel good and pleasurable, but later on results in remorse and unsavory consequences, even to the loss of conscience and ultimately, death. The sorrow which leads to repentance, is a GOOD kind of pain, as it will save your soul from destruction. Don’t shun or try to numb the pain and guilt that come from consciousness of sin, but accept them as God’s loving gifts to lead you to true, biblical repentance and life.

Debra R. Stout, June 2, 2017

FOOTNOTES:

[1] This whole section was taken from The Biblical Illustrator, a component of e-Sword®Version 11.0.6, a FREE electronic Bible Study program. To download a copy go to www.e-sword.net  This is awesome software that makes bible study quick and easy, so there’s no excuse for bible illiteracy!

*The graphic is of the penitent tax collector vs. the self-righteous Pharisee (the smug looking man putting his tithe in the collection box). The Pharisee thanked God that he wasn’t a sinner like everyone else,“I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week and I give you a tenth of my income.” Luke 18:11-12  The tax collector stood at a distance and didn’t even dare to lift his eyes to heaven because of his shame. Instead he beat his chest in sorrow and prayed, “O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.” Luke 18:13

 

WHEN GOD SAYS “NO”

Image result for FREE pictures of ancient sacrificial altarsHave you prayed very hard for something you want, only to find yourself waiting and waiting while nothing happens? You didn’t get the thing you prayed for and wondered why? After all, you’re a good little Christian who attends church services regularly, you may even be involved in the ministry of your church. You might be spending countless hours in intercessory prayer for others, and yet, your desired answer hasn’t materialized. You begin to question the Lord, or wonder if you’re praying amiss. Fact is, you might be, but it’s more likely that you’re not seeing the thing you’ve prayed for because the Lord has simply said “No” to your request.

Now, I know from personal experience that there are some things in life which we feel we just CAN’T live without if we’re to be happy and fulfilled. Many years ago I made a difficult decision that deeply affected several people possibly for the rest of their lives. The situation called for it, nevertheless I was emotionally distraught over it, and while my pain has lessened with time, it hasn’t gone away; it may never go away completely. In the midst of my crisis however, the Holy Spirit spoke very clearly to me that He was ‘doing something’ which I wouldn’t understand now. He spoke this scripture verse to me verbatim, “You do not know what I do now, but you shall know hereafter.” [John 13:7] How did I know it was a word from God? His words always fill you with His peace, and I know the voice of the Holy Spirit who lives inside me. Despite that word, years later, that decision came back to ‘test’ my devotion to the Lord, to see if I would keep Him FIRST place in my heart, or succumb to bitterness and anger over the loss I’d suffered, and possibly “draw back” from Him. It wasn’t an easy test; I so badly WANTED what I had given to Him (someone I loved dearly) to be a part of my life, but it was not to be – GOD SAID “NO.” At least for now, that’s His answer, and I must accept it if I’m to remain in the center of His will, and be at peace with Him and myself. When we fight against God’s decrees He may withdraw from us or we may find ourselves withdrawing from Him, and for those who know Him intimately, that brings pain far worse than the loss of any person or thing on this earth! No human relationship can meet the deep needs of your soul and spirit like the Lord Himself. In His presence is fullness of JOY, and everything that you need. Need doesn’t exist in God, for He fills all things with Himself. On another note, it’s perfectly acceptable to God for us to express our feelings whatever they are, to Him. He actually wants us to bring everything which concerns us to Him in prayer —-

Php 4:6  Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Php 4:7  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus

When we pour out our hearts to the Lord, we release our emotions in a safe place, to a safe Person, Who takes our inner turmoil and restores our souls with His peace. This is something I’ve experienced many times in my spiritual sojourn. Psa 147:3  He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. 

So, the truth of the matter is that we can live without those things we feel we MUST have in order to be happy. God will test us from time to time, to see if He’s first in our lives and if we’ll trust Him, or throw a fit and rant and rave at Him for not giving us our ‘dues’ so to speak. Who hasn’t on occasion, yelled at God in anger for some imagined neglect on His part, of his or her needs? While there’s ”no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” [Rms 8:1] one still needs to repent and ask God’s forgiveness when he realizes his error in falsely accusing Him of wrongdoing.  God is simply incapable of being mean, petty, selfish, cruel, unfair, etc.; for ”God is Love” in the purest and fullest sense. God deeply CARES about our needs and wants, but He sees the BIG PICTURE and the Future which we can’t see. Oftentimes, what we want so badly and get, brings us nothing but trouble, heartache, and loss. God allows us to have this experience again and again if necessary, until we LEARN TO COMPLETELY TRUST HIM WITH OUR LIVES.  He always has our best interests at heart, and “works all things together for good for those who love Him, and are called according to His purpose” [Rms 8:28].

God has a higher purpose for those who have received Him as their savior than just getting saved. Most haven’t been taught what that higher purpose is or what it entails. Apostle Paul wrote about it in Philippians, Romans, and Hebrews, but it seems this vital teaching gets little, if any, attention these days. God’s higher purpose for His called ones, is to conform them to the image of His Son Jesus Christ –

Rom 8:29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  God won’t be satisfied until He sees His image fully formed in those whom He has chosen to rule and reign with Him when His Kingdom is established on Earth. But not all will qualify for that position. Those who are ‘chosen’ must undergo the strictest training and testing now, to prepare them to rule then; there’s no getting around this. The ‘many’ are all whom God has called, they comprise the general body of believers, while the ‘chosen’ are those who are willing to pay any price to “follow the Lamb wherever He goes” [Rev 14:4]. Their entire lives are “living sacrifices” unto God – Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. This means that they hold nothing back from God. All that they are and all that they have, want, or need, is laid upon the altar as a sweet smelling offering unto Him, to do with as He pleases! That is full consecration, and it’s what Yahweh is looking for in each of His called ones. Yet, not all who are “called” will advance to “chosen” status – “Many are called, but few are chosen” [Mt 22:14].

Tests and trials, often in the form of delayed or unanswered prayers, are required in order for the believer to grow up (mature) into the fullness of what God has for him. As a child I recall hearing that old adage, ‘God knows best.’ At that time I didn’t give it much credence, but now I know it was a true saying. God does know what’s best for each of us, and IF we let Him be Lord of our lives, we’ll end up with His BEST. Sadly, that’s often not the case because we insist on running our lives our way, refusing to let Him correct and mold us. God is supposed to be the Potter and we the clay, not the other way around.

If you have ever had a difficult time accepting God’s “no’s” and fully submitting to his dealings in your life (and who hasn’t?), I highly recommend two books to you, “The Secret of the Stairs” and “Waterspouts of Glory” by Wade E. Taylor. The first is an in depth exposition of the biblical book, The Song of Solomon. Both are anointed by the Holy Spirit, and contain pure, deep spiritual truths which you’ll want to read again and again. I wouldn’t (couldn’t) part with my ‘used’ but almost ‘new’ copies which I found at Amazon for less than ten dollars each. These books give insight into the “why’s” of God’s dealings with those who are being conformed to His Image, chosen to one day rule and reign with Him in His Kingdom.  Anyone who’s been ”called” can qualify to be one of God’s “chosen,” but there is a price to be paid. Dying to SELF and crucifying the flesh is required of those who wish to attain to the highest and best, the HIGH CALL of God in Christ Jesus –

Php 3:14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 

Mat 16:24 – 26 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 

Powerful words are they not? Fact is, not all will qualify to rule with Christ, for not all are willing to pay the price. If you are, God bless you as you seek Him with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength. May you submit to ALL of his dealings in your life however painful, that you might become one of His “chosen.” Heb 12:6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. All of God’s dealings are for our ultimate good and His higher purpose, and because God is Love, we can trust Him completely to do what’s best for us.

Please feel free to write me with any questions or concerns you may have about this article.

Debra R. Stout © May 21, 2017

THE WILES OF THE DEVIL

Do you sometimes find yourself distracted to the point that you’re neglecting prayer and bible study? I know I do.

God has been showing me this month some ways the Devil keeps his children from spending time with Him. One of his tricks is distracting them by whatever means he can. Scripture tells us not to be fooled by his wiles (cunning arts, deceit, craft, trickery) – Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 

For example, you’re about to read your bible and pray, when the phone rings and it’s a fellow believer whom you desire to speak with so you put your bible down and take the call. It’s so subtle you can easily miss it. By the time you’re done talking an hour or so later, you have chores which need doing. So, you don’t read your bible that day and the devil wins because he robbed you of spiritual, life-giving food!

Joh 6:51  I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
Joh 6:47  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
Joh 6:48  I am that bread of life.
Joh 6:49  Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
Joh 6:50  This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
Joh 6:52  The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
Joh 6:53  Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
Joh 6:54  Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
Joh 6:55  For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
Joh 6:56  He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
Joh 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

The Jews were offended by Jesus’s words because they didn’t understand that they need to be understood in the spiritual sense and not literally. As Jesus said, the words He was speaking were spirit, and can only be understood by those having spiritual ears with which to hear. Jesus Christ gives spiritual ears to whomever He chooses. When some Pharisees were questioning Him about where He came from and by what authority He did miracles, etc. Jesus answered by asking them some questions….

Joh 8:43  Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
Joh 8:47  He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
Deu 29:4  Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.
Mat 13:9  Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Mat 13:10  And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Mat 13:11  He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Luk 24:44  And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
Luk 24:45  Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures….

What Jesus meant by “eating His flesh” was that we feed on Him in the spiritual sense by being in His presence, praying, worshiping Him, and meditating on His words [1]. Jesus never meant for anyone to eat his actual flesh! Jesus often spoke in parables to hide the mysteries of the Kingdom from the impious while revealing them to whom they were “given.” The mysteries of the kingdom aren’t given to everyone but only to those whom God chooses. When you come to Jesus, receiving Him by faith as your Savior and Lord, you’re given spiritual understanding. Joh 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God… “received” = to receive a person, give him access to one’s self [Thayer’s Greek Definitions]

The Bible states that the Temple of God is not a structure made by human hands. 1Co 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? In the spirit of a believer is where Christ via the Holy Spirit dwells. It’s from there that believers can (and should) hear God’s “still, small voice” [1 Kings 19:12; Acts 2:37]. If they don’t or can’t, there’s a problem somewhere. It could be that the Spirit of Christ hasn’t taken up residence in them (because they’ve not really received Christ or his words). Those who haven’t a love of the truth (God’s word) will be given a “strong delusion” to believe a lie – 2Th 2:11  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 2Th 2:12  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. Other causes may include demonic interference of one form or another, or unrepentant sin. Some are afflicted with a ‘spirit of deafness’ which causes an inability to hear spiritual truth. Then there’s emotional and mental turmoil which can cause enormous distraction in a person. Abuse and a wounded spirit, which only the gentle, loving Spirit of Christ can reach and heal, can be a hindrance to hearing God’s voice clearly. Whatever the case may be, Jesus came to ”set the captives free” [Isa 42:7]. Isa 57:15  For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones

Another means of distraction are daily chores and errands which obviously have to be done. We all have them, but our first priority ought to be Related imagespending time alone with our Lord in communion – not the sacrament of Communion, but communion with His Spirit. SACRAMENTS can be an alluring and subtle means of distracting men from Christ by placing a non-scriptural emphasis on PHYSICAL elements. The Devil has tricked millions into believing the lie that merely partaking of physical bread and wine gives them spiritual life. Catholics believe that when a priest blesses the communion wafer and wine, they become the actual body and Blood of Christ. They call it Transubstantiation, but there’s nothing in the Bible to substantiate that doctrine! It’s a doctrine of men [Mark 7:7-13; Titus 1:14] not of God. Hear what the Scriptures have to say about it —

Col 2:20  Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances
Rom 6:9  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
Rom 6:10  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
1Pe 3:18  For Christ also hath once suffered for sins,
Heb 10:12  But this man (Jesus), after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

That last verse alone disproves the doctrine of Transubstantiation. Since Christ now sits on the right hand of God the Father, He isn’t coming back to earth every Sunday to be crucified all over again and offered as a sacrifice! He died ONCE for our sins at the appointed time, and that was/is sufficient. End of argument. The biblical doctrine of Salvation is that we are saved by faith and not by works – Tit 3:5  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost….

Eating a wafer and drinking wine without having a personal relationship with Jesus, cannot and will not save you from your sin, nor can it impart life to you. Only God through Jesus Christ can impart spiritual and eternal life, and it’s in communion with Him that we receive that Life, not through observance of religious works. Burning candles for the departed, wearing Scapulars, keeping man-made holy days not found in the Bible, etc., do not and cannot impart life. Such observances often serve to distract people from God by replacing relationship with Him, with rituals and talismans. A scapular has no more power to keep you safe from evil than does the sprinkling of water. Burning a candle for a deceased love one, or praying to a statue does no good whatsoever. Putting your faith in such things will lead you away from the Truth. Praying for and to the dead, and bowing before statues, is strictly forbidden in Scripture, Lev 6:1  Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God. [See also Exo 20:3-5; Isa 46:7; Isa 44:9-20].

“Praying for the dead is not a biblical concept. Our prayers have no bearing on someone once he or she has died. The reality is that, at the point of death, one’s eternal destiny is confirmed. Either he is saved through faith in Christ and is in heaven where he is experiencing rest and joy in God’s presence, or he is in torment in hell. The story of the rich man and Lazarus the beggar provides us with a vivid illustration of this truth. Jesus plainly used this story to teach that after death the unrighteous are eternally separated from God, that they remember their rejection of the gospel, that they are in torment, and that their condition cannot be remedied (Luke 16:19-31).” [2]

Distraction can take many forms. Martha, a disciple of Jesus, got distracted by her concerns —

'Christ in the House of Martha and Mary', Jan Vermeer van Delft, 1654Luk 10:38  Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
Luk 10:39  And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
Luk 10:40  But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
Luk 10:41  And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
Luk 10:42  But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

From this passage we can see that Jesus put a priority on spending time  listening to Him. He often spent hours, even whole nights in prayer, thereby setting us an example to follow Heb 5:7  Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared…

My prayer and hope is that believers become astute at hearing from God through spending time alone with Him, who like Mary, put devotion to God’s words first in their lives. May we lay aside our distractions and concerns awhile each day to hear the words of our Savior, for in doing so we’ll find shelter from the storms, as well as safety from the Tempter’s wiles.

Debra R. Stout © April 25, 2017

Footnotes:
[1] To meditate means to ponder, that is, (by implication) converse (with oneself, and hence aloud) or (transitively) utter: – commune, complain, declare, meditate, muse, pray, speak, talk (with) Psa 119:15.       [2] https://www.gotquestions.org/praying-for-the-dead.html

Elijah Is Coming Soon (Revised & Expanded)

Image result for pictures of Elijah the prophet“SET A PLACE AT THE END OF THE TABLE FOR ELIJAH; LISTEN WELL TO HIM, FOR HE’S COMING SOON” ~ Feb. 26, 2003

This prophetic word was dropped into my spirit by the Lord, as I was waking up on my birthday, when He often gives me a prophetic word, scripture, or personal exhortation.

Elijah’s Mission —

1) To announce the immanent return of Jesus Christ, or Messiah to the Jews (though many still don’t recognize Him as their messiah).

Jewish Talmudic belief is that Elijah will announce the advent of the Messiah at the conclusion of Shabbat which is supposed to be a foretaste of the messianic age. [1]

His appearance and preaching will convince many Jews of the truth that Jesus, whom their forefathers rejected, is their true and returning Messiah!

2) To prepare a people to receive their God.

Didn’t Jesus tell his disciples that John the Baptist was Elijah?

Luk 1:17  And he (John the Baptist) shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. 

Like Elijah, John the Baptist preached ‘repentance,’ the first step in preparing people to receive God. Isaiah prophesied that John the Baptist would “prepare the way of the Lord” – 

Mat 3:1  In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 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. 

People’s hearts have to be “prepared” – made ready, the hardness of them softened, which is done primarily through preaching. As we know, the Jewish leaders didn’t listen to John the Baptist and didn’t receive Jesus as their prophesied Messiah, but rejected and murdered them both! Obviously, their hearts remained hardened and unchanged. However, many of the Jewish people did believe the words of Christ, and did “receive” Him. Joh 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God…

3) To preach a message of REPENTANCE. 

Mat 3:2  And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Elijah will preach to all men to “turn back” (Heb. ‘shoob’) to their Maker, Yahweh. To turn back means the same as to “return to” and “come back” to Him. Who needs to return, come back, or turn back to God? ALL who have backslidden or drifted away from Him, those in the Body of Christ who have become “lukewarm” and “carnal” who have neglected their spiritual walk, leading “worldly” lives nearly devoid of spiritual works and faith. Such give little acknowledgment or thought to God, whose lives are filled with worldly cares and pursuits. These need to “turn back” to God, like the ancient Israelites did, after backsliding and returning to Yahweh after He chastised them. God exhorts people to ‘turn back’ to Him that they might escape utter destruction. In turning back to God, one repents of his sinning and starts living a life pleasing to God, in accordance with His Word, the Bible.

4) To bring a message of RECONCILIATION.

Mal 4:5  Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 
Mal 4:6  And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. 

To “turn the heart of the fathers to the children” and “the heart of the children to their fathers” – is that not a picture of reconciliation? This speaks primarily of men reconciling to God their Maker, but also may apply to brothers reconciling to each other, such as Christian and Jewish believers in Jesus Christ. This reconciling will be the fulfillment of Christ’s promise to “make of twain one new man.” Dogma will no longer cause separation and division among them, as both will come to realize they’re “one in Christ.” Gal 3:27  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Gal 3:28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 

To turn the hearts of the fathers to their children. By a very expressive figure of speech, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the rest of the patriarchs, are represented here as having their hearts alienated from the Jews, their children, because of their unbelief and disobedience; but that the Baptist should so far succeed in converting them to the Lord their God, that these holy men should again look upon them with delight, and acknowledge them for their children. Some think that by the children, the Gentiles are meant, and by the fathers, the Jews. [Adam Clarke’s Commentary] 

fathers to the children — taken literally, this denotes the restoration of parental fidelity [Meyer and others], the decay of which is the beginning of religious and social corruption – one prominent feature of the coming revival being put for the whole. But what follows, explanatory of this, rather suggests a figurative sense. If “the disobedient” be “the children,” and to “the fathers” belongs “the wisdom of the just” [Bengel], the meaning will be, “he shall bring back the ancient spirit of the nation into their degenerate children” [Calvin, etc.]. So Elijah invoked “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel,” when seeking to “turn their heart back again” (1Ki_18:36, 1Ki_18:37). [Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary] 

5) To bring a message of HOPE and RESTORATION.

Mat 17:1  And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 
Mat 17:2  And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 
Mat 17:3  And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. 
Mat 17:4  Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 
Mat 17:5  While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. 
Mat 17:6  And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. 
Mat 17:7  And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. 
Mat 17:8  And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. 
Mat 17:9  And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead. 
Mat 17:10  And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 
Mat 17:11  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 
Mat 17:12  But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 
Mat 17:13  Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. (*Elias was the Greek rendering of the Hebrew name “Elijah.”)

The Transfiguration (change, transfigure, transform) of Christ and the appearance of Moses and Elijah the prophets, was to give us mortal men who wait for the transformation of our mortal bodies into glorious, eternal ones, hope for the fulfillment of that promise. Moses and Elijah appeared to Christ to encourage and strengthen Him for the horrible ordeal of His trial and death. Jesus told his three disciples who were with Him, that Elijah had already come in SPIRIT in the person of John the Baptist, thus at least partially fulfilling the prophecy, Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. 

What we need to keep in mind about prophecy is that some prophecies have dual fulfillment, meaning they’ll be fulfilled more than once. Plus, it’s possible that this prophecy about Elijah coming before the return of Jesus Christ, may be meant in a spiritual sense as many in the Church now believe. However, that may or may not be the only possibility. I question this because Elijah along with Moses, were both seen ‘transfigured’ at the Mount AND because the prophecies in Revelation seem to suggest a PHYSICAL appearing of TWO PROPHETS who will preach in the streets of Jerusalem prior to the Second Coming of Christ – 

Rev 11:3  And I will give my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. 
Rev 11:4  These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. 
Rev 11:5  And if anyone desires to hurt them, fire proceeds out of their mouth and devours their enemies; and if anyone desires to hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. 
Rev 11:6  These have power to shut the heaven, that it not rain in the days of their prophecy and have power over the waters to turn them to blood and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. 
Rev 11:7  And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them and shall overcome them and kill them. 
Rev 11:8  And their dead bodies shall lie in the streets of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 
Rev 11:9  And those of the peoples and kindreds and tongues and Gentiles shall see their dead bodies three days and a half and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 
Rev 11:10  And those that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them and make merry and shall send gifts one to another because these two prophets tormented those that dwelt on the earth. 
Rev 11:11  And after three days and a half, the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon those who saw them. 
Rev 11:12  And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up here. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 

What causes me to question if there will be a physical appearance of Elijah and Moses, is that in this passage is a link to both prophets. Elijah did “shut up heaven so no rain fell” [1 Kings 17:1] causing a great famine in his time. Moses by the power of God, “turned the waters to blood” [Exodus 7:17-20] and smote the land with plagues. I’ve read several interpretations of this, one being that the two prophets (or witnesses), represent those believers who witness for Christ ‘in the spirit of Elijah’ and are killed in the Great Tribulation period just prior to Christ’s Second Advent. This interpretation may well be accurate. But what about Moses? How does he fit into this ancient prophecy? If all of God’s people represent the “two witnesses” or “two prophets” of Revelation, then it follows that they must also operate in the “spirit of Moses,” meaning that they would “have power over the waters to turn them into blood. To date, we haven’t seen God’s people literally shutting up the heavens or turning the waters to blood, but since Revelation contains mostly figurative language, perhaps this is to be interpreted spiritually.

Without question, Moses was the prophet of the Law (properly translated “Torah”) which is all the writings of the Old Testament including the Prophets, Psalms, and Proverbs. I believe that the Torah is what’s being referred to in the book of Jeremiah regarding the “ancient paths” – Jer 6:16  Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. For sure, there is a visible reformation happening in the Church in which believers are “turning back” to the ROOTS of their faith, to the FAITH OF THEIR FATHERS as taught by the Prophets in the ancient writings (paths) of the Torah! This fits the prophecy perfectly, that Elijah will “turn the hearts of the fathers toward the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.” 

One other interpretation I wish to address is that these “two witnesses” are the Old and New Testaments, but how does written testimony “shut up the heavens so that no rain falls,” or turn water into blood?  Some say the two witnesses represent the Jews and the Christians. But how can that be when ALL who put their faith in Yeshua (Jesus), whether Jew or Gentile, are considered to be Abraham’s seed? Both Jesus and Paul taught this truth –

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

Gal 3:28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal 3:29  And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. 

As you can see, God makes no distinction between a Jew or a Gentile who believes in Him. ALL who believe in Him are reckoned as “Abraham’s seed.” To strengthen this point Rom 11:17 says, And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; The ”olive tree” is Abraham’s PHYSICAL SEED. The “wild olive tree” is Abraham’s SPIRITUAL SEED, the Gentiles who put their faith in Christ. Both olive trees become ONE family through their faith in Yeshua the Messiah, Christ the Anointed One (Christ means ‘anointed’). 

The Jews always set a chair, a knife and fork for this prophet at their marriage-feast, whom they suppose to be invisibly present. For the Church to ”set a place at the table,” means to be in a state of expectation and readiness, watching for his coming. When Elijah comes (in whatever form), we can know that the return of our Savior is very near and our “blessed hope” is soon to be fulfilled, because Elijah’s mission is to “prepare a people for their God!” The “blessed hope” is the glorification of our earthly bodies into heavenly ones at Christ’s appearing!

Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ….
Php 3:20  For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 
Php 3:21  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. 

To ‘set a place for Elijah’ also means to ‘welcome’ him and treat him as an honored guest. When we sit at table we’re usually ready to eat. So should we be eager to partake of spiritual food from God’s Word and through his spokesmen, always ready to listen. The Jewish people venerate Elijah at their meals, marriage feasts, the end of Shabbat, circumcisions, and Passover seders. According to Jewish folklore, “Tishbi yetaretz kushiot v-abayot-the Tishbite [i.e., Elijah] will answer all unresolved questions.” In other words, after Elijah returns to the Jewish people to proclaim the advent of the messianic age, he will resolve questions of Jewish law that confounded the rabbis for centuries. [2]

Image result for pictures of a lamb lying down with a lionWhat message brings more hope than the soon return of Jesus the Messiah, and His thousand year reign on earth called the Millennium? The Millennium will be a time of great peace, rejoicing, and rest for the entire world – when all things will be ‘restored’ to their original order and perfection. Mat 17:11  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. “restore” 1) restore to its former state, 2) to be in its former state. [Thayer’s Greek Definitions] Also read Isaiah 65:17-25. Obviously, Elijah didn’t restore all of Creation back to its original state. The ‘all things’ which Elijah is to restore are the teachings and doctrines of Yahweh which have been discarded, distorted, altered, or ignored over the centuries! 

There’s a strong exhortation in this prophecy to ”listen well to” the prophet Elijah. By this we know that what he says has great import for all of Abraham’s seed, therefore we would do well to receive his message. 

Perhaps very “soon” we’ll see Jesus coming with ten-thousands of His angels? Be ready, be watching, and be waiting!

Debra R. Stout © March 14, 2017

FOOTNOTES:
[1] http://www.reformjudaism.org/passover-mystery-fifth-cup (Section: Havdalah)
[2] http://www.reformjudaism.org/passover-mystery-fifth-cup  (Section: Passover Seder)

*All underlining, bold, and italics, are mine. 

THE CHASTENING OF THE LORD

God began to speak to my heart the evening of March 10, 2017, as I sat still and quiet in my recliner. He began to tell me why the ‘fiery trial’ had come to me (earlier in the day I had asked Him WHY so many things were going wrong in my life).

He began by telling me that this trial was sent to refine or purify my soul; as silver or gold is smelted, the junk rises to the surface where the Refiner can then skim it off, leaving pure metal in the pot. He told me that I have two choices, to embrace it and advance, or fight it and stay the same. If I embrace it, the process will be easier to go through, but if I fight it, the process will be harder, and need to be repeated in the future. He said He won’t allow junk (impurities) into His Kingdom. Then He mentioned my impurities and said that they must go! 

He then directed me to Hebrews 12:5, and after meditating on it, He showed me that my walk was uneven; one day walking in the Spirit, another day, in the flesh! He wants our walk to be even and level, living in the Spirit day by day. 

Fiery trials are sent to cleanse the heart and soul of impurities, like wrong thoughts, words, and actions. As metal is purified by fire, so is the heart and soul of a man. When gold or silver was refined in ancient times, it was heated to a very high temperature which caused the impurities (called dross) to rise to the surface. It then could be skimmed off the top of the liquid metal, leaving an unmarred surface that reflected the image of the refiner, a picture of Jesus as the Refiner’s Fire. This trial came to me so that my impurities (which lay hidden most of the time) would surface, so that I would see them, repent, and ask God to remove them. Sometimes these types of trials commence a ‘crisis of faith’ – something else the Lord pointed out to me twice on the same day several days before this trial arrived at my door. Not by accident, I found the phrase, ‘crisis of faith’ in a book title I wasn’t even searching for, and in a book [1] I had in my personal library at home about Moses when God commanded him to lead the Jews out of Egypt. Moses’ encounter with Yahweh brought him to a ‘crisis of faith’ in which he had to choose between believing God and moving forward, or letting his doubts rule and refusing God’s call. If Moses had done the latter, he would have forfeited God’s plan for his life, and God would have found someone else to free the Israelites. Moses would have lost out on his divine destiny. Fortunately, Moses chose to believe and obey God. In like manner, God told me that I could either stay where I was (stagnate), or embrace the purifying process and advance! He said that if I receive and embrace it, the process will be easier to endure, but if I fight against it, it will be harder. The purifying process, like the refiner’s smelting, will be repeated UNTIL all the impurities have surfaced and been removed! In other words, if I fight against the loving, fiery trials the Lord sends for my ultimate good, it will delay my reaching perfection and cause me more pain in the long run. It’s like when a child stubbornly refuses his parents discipline and suffers severer punishments, and or worse consequences further down the road as a result. It’s easier to just submit to God’s discipline when he sends it.

God disciplines those He loves –

Heb 12:5  And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 
Heb 12:6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 
Heb 12:7  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 
Heb 12:8  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 
Heb 12:9  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 
Heb 12:10  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 
Heb 12:11  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 
Heb 12:12  Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 
Heb 12:13  And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. 

And make straight paths for your feet,…. By “feet” are meant the walk and conversation of the saints, both in the church, and in the world, Son_7:1 and there are paths made ready for these feet to walk in; as the good old paths of truth, of the word and worship of God, of faith and holiness: and to make these paths “straight”, is to make the word of God the rule of walking; to avoid carefully joining anything with it as a rule; to attend constantly on the ordinances of Christ; to go on evenly in a way of believing on him; to walk in some measure worthy of the calling wherewith we are called, and by way of example to others.

Lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; a lame member, as the Syriac version, a lame member of the body of Christ, the church; or a lame person, as the Arabic version, a weak believer; one that is ready to halt, either through the corruption of nature, or through the weakness of grace, or through want of light and judgment, and through instability and inconstancy; lest such an one should, through the irregular walk and conversation of others, be stumbled and offended, and go out of the way, and leave the paths of righteousness and truth. God takes care of, and has a regard to such, and he would have others also, Mic_4:6. The Ethiopic version reads, “that your halting may be healed, and not offended”: that you yourselves may not halt and stumble.

But let it rather be healed; the fallen believer be restored, the weak brother be confirmed, the halting professor be strengthened, and everyone be built up and established upon the most holy faith, and in the pure ways of the Gospel. [John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible]

“In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths” – Prov 3:6

The word ‘acknowledge’ is ‘yada’ – to ‘know, regard, recognize, perceive, experience, observe, be aware, comprehend, understand, learn, be instructed, and more. See Strong’s H2045

In all thy ways acknowledge him,…. Or “know him” (l); the Lord: set him before thee; have him always in view; consider him as ever present with thee, observing every step thou takest; and take not one step without his leave, and without his advice; ask wisdom of him who gives liberally; consult his word, and make the Scriptures thy counsellors, or the men of thy counsel, as in Psa_119:24; take him as your guide; observe the footsteps of his providence; follow the Lamb wheresoever he goes; walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit; when things go cross and adverse, and not to your mind, submit to his sovereignty; and be still and know that he is God, that does all things right, for his own glory and his people’s good, Psa_46:10; and when things succeed, give him the glory of all; own his hand in it, and the bounty of it; acknowledge that all you have, in providence and grace, come from him;

and he shall direct thy paths; man cannot direct his own; no, not a man: this is a blessing from the Lord; who steps of his people, keeps the feet of his saints, and directs them aright in things temporal and spiritual, Jer_10:23. (l) דעהו “scito eum”, Pagninus, Montanus. [John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible]

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” – Psalm 119:105
Pro 4:24  Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. 
Pro 4:25  Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 
Pro 4:26  Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. 
Pro 4:27  Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil. 

Turn not to the right hand nor to the left – Avoid all crooked ways. Be an upright, downright, and straight-forward man. Avoid tricks, wiles, and deceptions of this kind. [Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible]

Ponder the path of thy feet,…. Consider well what path it is, whether right or wrong; or weigh it in the balances of thought, as Aben Ezra; or rather in the balances of the word, and see whether it agrees with that or not. The Septuagint version is, “make straight paths for thy feet”; to which the author of the epistle to the Hebrews seems to have respect, Heb_12:13;

and let all thy walls be established; so as to walk on steadily, constantly, uniformly, and not be easily moved out of the ways of religion and truth. Or, “let all thy ways be prepared”, or “directed”, or “disposed” (c); according to the rule of the divine word. Some render it as a promise, “and all thy ways shall be established” (d); when care is taken to look well into them; see 2Ch_20:20. (c) יכנו “dirigantur”, Tigurine version, Mercerus; “recte apparentur aut disponantur”, Vatablus. (d) “Stabilientur”, V. L. Pagninus, Montanus; “constabilientur”, Schultens. [John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible]

Ponder the path, etc., Pro_4:26. “Weigh carefully.” Act in haste and repent at leisure! Ask God to keep you back from presumptuous sins; and bear in mind the wise exhortation of Ecc_5:2. [Through the Bible Day by Day, F.B. Meyer]

In other words, consider well the course of your life, or the course of action you’re about to take (ponder the path of your feet). Let all your thoughts, words, and actions (ways) be prepared, directed, and ordered (established), by the Word of God. Ignoring it will yield negative consequences, and could result in ruin. May God’s sons escape such a fate.

May they all make their paths straight, and not despise the chastening of the Lord!

Debra R. Stout © March 11, 2017

Footnotes:

[1] “Experiencing God” by Henry T. Blackaby & Claude B. King, Chapter 3

“God is in Control As Age-Old Plan Unfolds”

We’ve reached a marker, a point in history at which many are reversing God’s order of things, like male and female, right and wrong. They’re doing this by changing their sex via hormonal manipulation, and blurring the demarcation between the sexes by cross-dressing and same-sex marriage. These trends aren’t really about individual rights or freedom to make one’s own choices, but about reversing God’s natural order of things and removing God, His Name, and His Law from every sector of society in an effort to create chaos and destabilize it. This is what the Progressives, and others like them, are after, this is their game plan and they will do anything to accomplish it.

Various movements have been slowly progressing towards this end for quite awhile, but now, they’ve become MILITANT, demanding ACCEPTANCE from society and that society change its mores to suit their beliefs and life-styles! Many in these movements spew vile speech in the name of ‘freedom’ of course, the very freedom brave men and women fought and bled for in order to protect their freedom of speech, and other freedoms which these bullies abuse to push their agenda. Bullies don’t have enough I.Q. to know how to negotiate with others for what they want, or how to live peacefully side by side with others of different persuasions, different faiths, different colors, and different creeds. One reason is they really don’t care about PEACE. Peace isn’t their goal, nor EQUALITY. These bullies don’t want to be merely equal, they want to PUSH their beliefs and life-styles upon society at large. If they had their way, every child in America would be exposed to and INDOCTRINATED into the Gay, Lesbian, Trans-sexual, Trans-Gender life-styles. If Progressives had their way, traditional marriage between one man and one woman would become defunct, and be rejected by future generations in favor of same-sex marriage. Today the term, CHOICE is associated with everything that’s ungodly, anti-Christian, anti-Bible, and anti-life. Satan has surely done a good job at deceiving many with his TWISTING of terminology – nothing new there, the Serpent did the same thing in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve [Gen 3].

What none of these bullies realize is that while they’ll be allowed to cause trouble for a season, their causes will fail in due time, and in the end they’ll be judged and sentenced to everlasting flames, unless they repent of their wickedness. Those who refuse to repent will face judgement and be punished accordingly.

Psa 2:1  Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? 
Psa 2:2  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, 
Psa 2:3  Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. 
Psa 2:4  He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. 
Psa 2:10  Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. 
Psa 2:11  Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 
Psa 2:12  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. 

While wrath awaits the wicked, God has provided a ‘way of escape’ for those who turn from their sins to Him for forgiveness, cleansing, and restoration of the soul. Only righteous Christians who’s sins are covered by Christ’s Blood, escape God’s wrath because they believed in and received Christ as Lord and Savior during their life times, Joh 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Everyone else is subject to the Law of God which states, “the soul that sinneth shall die” (spiritually). That law still binds those who refuse to receive Christ, Joh 3:18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 

Hiding behind a facade of equal rights, the wicked plot to create ‘chaos’ through rioting, violence, wars, genocide, false flags, plagues, disasters, spreading disease, economic collapse, destruction of the family, sexual perversions, corrupting the school system with Socialistic dogma, degrading God and His authority, disintegration of society, and shattering societal norms into a thousand little pieces. “Ordo Ab Chao” [1] or “Order out of chaos,” written on America’s One-dollar bill, is a goal the United Nations [2] is vastly involved in.

“Secret Societies have a great motto ‘Ordo Ab Chao’ meaning ‘Order Out of Chaos’. Agendas are formulated designed to give the powerful more power. Chaos is created, and media blitzed. Then cries go out for solution. Laws are passed which could never have been passed without the chaos. The order, has reigned through deception of the masses, and the agenda is accomplished.” –James Arthur, “Mushrooms and Mankind”

It would be to America’s (and the world’s) advantage to dissolve the United Nations, for it is an EVIL, corrupt organization due to its Socialist-Marxist-Communist core beliefs and plans for the world. I’ve often felt that the U.N. was a major player in the End-times game plan, and could be the headquarters of the New One-World Order government. “The United Nations is a de facto global government and does not rule by the consent of the governed. The United Nations is a global government to which American politicians of both parties have surrendered our Constitutional rights.” [3]

“On transfer of sovereignty to the United Nations, those who do not conform to United Nations authority will be considered RESISTERS and declared ENEMIES OF THE GOVERNMENT. Public statements in support of the old ways and favoring continued United States nationalism will be considered ENEMY DOCTRINE.” [4]

Once society is destabilized, it becomes easy prey for a ‘take over’ by some ideology like the Progressive/Socialist movement. If one takes a look at the past rise and fall of nations, this is easily seen. Nations become weak through careless, greedy, or inept rulers, and when they turn away from God and His laws, as did Israel many times.

The United States of America started out as a God-fearing nation, one which honored God and His laws, and which based its government upon biblical principles [5]. Thus, if America turns her back on God, will she not incur judgments like Israel did? God hasn’t changed his modus operandi, He’s the “same, today, yesterday, and forever” [Heb 13:8]. I really like that about Him because I don’t have to worry what kind of mood He’s in on a given day, if He’ll ever stop loving me, or if He’ll withdraw His salvation on a whim. Thankfully, God isn’t fickle like man! In my opinion, nothing this world has to offer can compare to the glory, riches, and honor that will be given to those who receive Him now. This world is just a ‘temporary’ dwelling place for Christians, who know that their real, everlasting abode is with God and Christ in the New Jerusalem, the City of God which will descend from heaven.

When Jesus Christ returns with ten-thousands of His Saints (the Redeemed Ones), He comes to depose all ungodly governments and thrones, to round up the wicked for the flames, and to gather His Elect unto Himself [Mt 13:49, 24:31; Mar 13:27]. Who’s side are you on? Are you on the side of the unjust wicked, or God’s side? Exo 32:26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, “Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me.” There is no middle ground! There is no compromising! Jos 24:15 “choose you this day whom ye will serve!” Mind you, God hasn’t changed! He’s still asking every man or woman, “Who’s side are you on?” If it be God’s, then come over to Him, if it be the devil’s then to him you may go, but woe to you if you do! The Devil or Satan, has nothing but fear, enslavement, hatred, murder, deception, death, darkness, and everlasting damnation to offer you! I can’t understand WHY anyone would want to follow Satan when his reward is only eternal damnation in a fiery hell. The only explanation which makes sense, is that they’ve been ‘blinded’, and therefore can’t see that they’re being manipulated and used by him to do his dirty work on earth, 2Co 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not….

Despite all the raging and tumult of nations, God has given his Elect many wonderful assurances such as Psa 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. 

No matter what wicked plans unfold, the Almighty God is in control!
And all His saints say “Amen!”

Debra R. Stout, January 28, 2017

FOOTNOTES:

[1] This term Order out of Chaos, in Latin Ordo ab Chao, is the slogan of the 33rd degree of Freemasonry. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Latin_ phrases_(O) http://www.orwelltoday.com/stagedevents.shtml 
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations
[3] https://beforeitsnews.com/prophecy/2016/01/pope-francis-exposed-the-one-world-religion-has-arrived-and-is-now-being-executed-video-2476626.html
[4] https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/esp_sociopol_un04.htm
[5] https://www.fbalions.org/editoruploads/files/Middle%20School/Our%20Nation%E2%80%99s%20Biblical%20Foundation.pdf

Seek the Lord and Be Restored!


Related imageHos 10:12  Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. 

sow = H2232 זרע BDB Definition:
1) to sow, scatter seed

Act righteously and ye shall reap the reward; a reward not of debt, but of grace. (Pro_11:18) in mercy — according to the measure of the divine “mercy,” which over and above repays the goodness or “mercy” which we show to our fellow man (Luk_6:38). [Jamieson-Fausset-Brown]

Gal 6:7  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 
Gal 6:8  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 
Jer 4:3  For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. 

fallow ground = H5215 נר / ניר 1) tillable or untilled or fallow ground. ‘break up your fallow ground‘ this is ground that lies untilled, not ploughed, nor sown, on which nothing grows but the produce of nature, as weeds, thorns, briers, &c. is common to men and beasts, and is trodden upon, and, so is hard and unsusceptible of seed; which, if it accidentally falls upon it, makes no impression on it, and is not received by it; and the breaking of it up is by the plough. The “fallow ground” fitly represents the hearts of unregenerate men, which are unopened to the word, and unbroken by it; nor have they the seed of divine grace sown in them; but are destitute of faith, hope, love, fear, and the like; there is nothing grows there but the weeds of sin and corruption; and are like a common beaten road; are the common track of sin, where lusts pass to and fro, and dwell; and so are hardened and obdurate, as hard as a stone, yea, harder than the nether millstone; and who, though they may occasionally be under the word, it makes no impression on them; it has no place in them, but is like the seed that falls by the wayside, Mat_13:4, unless divine power attends it; for the Gospel is the plough, and ministers are the ploughmen; but it is the Lord alone that makes it effectual to the breaking up the fallow ground of men’s hearts, Luk_9:62, but when the Lord puts his hand to the plough it enters within, and opens the heart; it is quick, powerful, and sharp; it cuts deep, and makes long and large furrows, even strong convictions of sin; it throws a man’s inside outward, as the plough does the earth; and lays all the wicked of his heart open to him; and roots up the pride, the vanity, and boasting of the creature, and other lusts; and so makes way for the seed of divine grace to be sown there:

and sow not among thorns; or, “that ye may not sow among thorns” (o); for, unless the fallow ground is broken up, it will be no other than sowing among thorns; and unless the hearts of men are opened by the power and grace of God, they will not attend to the things that are spoken; preaching and eating the word will be like sowing among thorns; cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, the pleasures of life, and the lusts thereof, which are comparable to thorns, because pricking, perplexing, and distressing, and because vain and unprofitable, choke the word, and make it unfruitful; see Mat_13:7, now this exhortation in the text does not suppose power in man to break up and open his heart; but to show his want of renewing grace; the necessity of it; and the danger he is in without it; and to awaken in him a concern for it; see Eze_18:31. The words may be applied to backsliding professors, since backsliding Israel and Judah are the persons addressed; and this may be done with great propriety and pertinence to the simile; for fallow ground is that which has been broke up and sown, and laid fallow. It is usual to till and sow two years, and lay fallow a third: and backsliding Christians look very much like fallow ground; so faithless, so lukewarm, and indifferent; so inattentive to the word, and unconcerned under it; so barren and unfruitful, as if they had never had any faith, or love, or good work in them; so that they need to be renewed in the spirit of their minds; to have a new face of things put upon them: and to have a clean heart, and a right spirit, created in them. [John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible]

Break up your fallow ground – Fallow ground is either that which, having been once tilled, has lain long uncultivated; or, ground slightly ploughed, in order to be ploughed again previously to its being sown. Ye have been long uncultivated in righteousness; let true repentance break up your fruitless and hardened hearts; and when the seed of the word of life is sown in them, take heed that worldly cares and concerns do not arise, and, like thorns, choke the good seed. [Adam Clarke]

Is it not time that we should look into our hearts and lives, break up the fallow ground, now covered with thorns and thistles, and begin to sow in righteousness? Let us ask God to drive the plowshares of deep soul-searching and conviction across the hard and sterile acres of our hearts, and sow them with His good seed. [F.B.Meyer; ‘Through the Bible Day by Day’]

*The ‘good seed’ is the Word of God. We need to sow the Word of God DEEPLY into our hearts, which can be done after we ‘break up our fallow ground.’ Our ‘fallow ground’ is soil that needs to be tilled or furrowed so that SEED can be SOWED into it, and we can reap a crop of righteous fruit. We won’t REAP if we don’t SOW. We need to tend the soil of our hearts, lest it become overgrown with ‘thistles and thorns,’ the cares and worries of this life –

Luk 8:11  Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 
Luk 8:12  Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 
Luk 8:13  They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. 
Luk 8:14  And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. 
Luk 8:15  But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. 

Break up your fallow ground ….one sowing sufficeth not. It must be no surface-sowing. And “the soil of our hearts must ever be anew cleansed; for no one in this mortal life is so perfect, in piety, that noxious desires will not spring up again in the heart, as tares….” [Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible]

*Tilling the soil of our hearts would include pulling out the thistles and thorns of wrong or evil thoughts, motives, and pursuits. When we examine our hearts and find these things growing in them, we need to pull them up, and sow the seed of God’s Word in their place! Then we’ll reap a crop of good fruit from our righteous acts when it is ready or ripe. Just like natural crops must ripen before picking, we patiently wait for our spiritual seeds to mature before we see fruit appear –

Gal 6:9  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 

For it is time to seek the Lord – This should be immediately done: the season is passing; and if you do not get the seed in the ground, the early rain will be past, and your fields will be unfruitful. [Adam Clarke’s Commentary]

seek … Lord, fill he come — The prophet bids them “seek diligently,” and perseveringly, “not leaving off or desisting,” if they should not at once find, but continuing the search, quite “up to” the time when they should find. His words imply the need of perseverance and patience, which should stop short of nothing but God’s own time for finding.

“If Israel of old were so to order their ways in expectation of Him, and that they might be prepared for His coming; and if their neglecting to do this made them liable to such heavy judgments, how much severer judgments shall they be worthy of, who, after His Coming and raining upon them the plentiful showers of heavenly doctrine, and abundant measure of His grace and gifts of His Holy Spirit, do, for want of breaking up the fallow ground of their hearts, suffer His holy word to be lost on them. The fearful doom of such unfruitful Christians is set down by Paul” Heb_6:4-8.

The present is ever the time to seek the Lord. “Behold now is the accepted time; behold now is the Day of Salvation” 2Co_6:2. As Hosea says, “it is time to seek the Lord until He come,” so Paul saith, “unto them that look for Him, shall he appear the second time, without sin, unto salvation” Heb_9:28. [Albert Barnes]

Rain righteousness upon you – God will give you the early rain in due time, and in proper measure. Here are the metaphors, and the application cannot be difficult.. Here are ploughing, fallowing, sowing, harrowing, watering, reaping, threshing, and feeding on the produce of well-directed labor. All may be applied to the human heart, and the work of God upon it. Correction, contrition, conversion, receiving the grace of Christ, bringing forth fruit, etc. [Adam Clarke’s Commentary]

SUMMATION: The ‘Good Seed’ is the Word of God, the bible. The ‘soil’ represents the hearts of men. The Ploughmen are ministers and preachers who sow the seed. ‘Fallow ground’ is soil that has been left unattended and has hardened so that it can’t receive seed. It’s a condition primarily of unregenerate hearts, but can also occur in those who’ve accepted Christ. The hardened soil of men’s hearts has to be ‘broken up,’ (furrowed/plowed) before the good seed can be sown in them. Whether it be for the first time, or numerous times; however often men discover that ‘thorns and thistles’ (cares of this life) are growing in their hearts!

A PERSONAL NOTE: I feel that the Lord impressed me today with two passages of Scripture from two different prophetic books, Hosea and Isaiah. Both mention SEEKING God and being RECONCILED to Him and to one’s fellow man; a two-pronged message. I feel that the terms ‘seeking’ and ‘reconciliation,’ were highlighted to me as I read those texts, and go hand-in-hand. 2017 may be a year in which many estranged relationships are healed as people reconcile with one another. I sure hope so.

Debra R. Stout, December 31, 2016

TRUE VS. FALSE WORSHIP

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1Co 13:1  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 
1Co 13:2  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 
1Co 13:3  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 

Is the ‘love’ spoken of here, love for fellow men, or ‘love’ for God, or both? I should think we have to love God first, before we can properly love our fellow man. Thus, everything we do, if it is to bring forth good and proper fruit, must be founded in true LOVE of God first. Everything we say and preach must emanate from a sincere LOVE of God or else we’re simply making noise!

It’s the same with our worship. Much of what’s called worship in the Church today is nothing more than empty noise, devoid of Holy Spirit anointing, and therefore, devoid of His fruit. I’ve attended quite a few churches over the years, and have seen very little true worship. True worship draws attention to God alone, not the talent of choir members or worship leaders. You can tell the difference between true and false worship if you’re sensitive to the moving of the Holy Spirit. Those who aren’t sensitive to Him can’t tell the difference, which is one reason very little true worship happens in most churches. There are other reasons as well. Believe it or not, the head minister and worship leader don’t always have enough sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, often preferring their prearranged programs to the Holy Ghost’s moods, movements, and desires. Sadly, I’ve seen and experienced this quenching of the Holy Spirit in nearly every church I’ve attended. As I grew in the knowledge of the Scriptures through my own research and study primarily, and after receiving the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, I became extremely sensitive to this phenomenon. It got to the point where I could no longer stand the church’s quenching of God’s Spirit; it was simply too painful for me so I stopped going to church.

Many sincere church members are led to believe they’re worshiping God when all they’re doing is merely mouthing words to the music while their minds wander from their personal concerns to the minister’s new home, to how lovely so-and-so looks in her new dress. Many choir member’s think about how well they’re singing, which isn’t singing unto the Lord, but for men. When worship is about US, it isn’t about Him!

When true worship occurs, a person’s FULL attention is on God alone, and no one else in the room matters! You don’t think or care about who’s watching YOU! You don’t worry about, or care about, the TIME! You don’t care whether you’re hungry, thirsty, or tired! Fact is when you truly worship God, you won’t notice any of these things or other people in the room because all is overshadowed and subdued by God’s holy Presence! When His awesome Presence floods your soul, you want to keep on worshiping Him, as your needs don’t exist in Him. He truly ‘fills all in all’ when allowed and/or invited to do so.

I feel badly for those who have never experienced this kind of worship because it’s the most wonderful spiritual experience one can have this side of Heaven. Once you experience true worship, you’ll never be satisfied with anything less. Much, dare I say most, of what passes for worship these days, is not true worship, but mere ‘noise’ like that of  ‘sounding brass’ and ‘clanging cymbals.’ That type of worship is often just ‘loud’ and DEVOID of true DEVOTION, with an emphasis on SELF (see how great a voice I have; notice ME) not on God and His Holiness. It isn’t given in God’s honor, but to make a ‘show’ for others to admire. Such so called worship is shallow, empty, and a stench in God’s nostrils! ~ Mat 15:8  This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.  Php 3:3  For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. **Listen to this powerful sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-Ewozh-cGc

I’m so grateful for the church where I first experienced true worship, wherein the chief pastor coached its members on HOW to truly worship God. It was an experience I’ll never forget and one by which I judge all other worship, or should I say, attempts at worship. Worship is very important to God and He seeks true worshipers. Joh 4:23  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. Joh 4:24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 

If true worship returned to the Church, Revival would come as the Spirit of God subdues the flesh along with its fleshly works. We would see men saved, filled with the Spirit, delivered from sin, and healed of diseases. The Holy Spirit can and will work miracles and wonders through us, if we allow Him to! Whenever a minister or church member quenches (stops, interrupts, hinders) the Holy Spirit’s workings, be it in the form of verbal gifts like tongues and prophecies, or in the form of deliverance from evil spirits and miraculous healing – he or she SINS against God. Quenching God’s Spirit is a SIN of which the Church at large needs to REPENT. Now is the time for the Church to repent of this sin and turn back to letting God be God and Master over His own HOUSE! Who’s the rightful Head and owner of the Church? Is surely isn’t any man; not the Bishop, not the minister, not the priest, not even the Pope! Let me reiterate, NO MAN ‘stands in the place of God on earth!’ Christ is present with us on earth now through His Holy Spirit and He alone stands in God’s place until Christ returns. There is but ONE MEDIATOR between God and man and that’s the Man Christ Jesus – 1Ti 2:5  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 

Thus, no mortal man stands in God’s or Christ’s place on earth since Christ is the sole mediator between God and men. This is God’s Word, believe it or not, the choice is yours but if you choose men’s words over God’s, you’ll pay a heavy price, the loss of your soul. 1Th 2:13  For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, 1Jn 5:9  If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: Luk 11:28  blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

Truth is, the Priesthood was transferred from the Levites (temporary priesthood) to Melchisedek, the eternal priesthood of Christ. Thus, Christ became our High Priest, REPLACING ALL OTHERS. We now have no need of priests to be mediators between God and men. Christ is the new High Priest and sole Mediator between God and men. To all Catholics I say, Stop blindly accepting church doctrines (teachings) which say that priests, bishops, and the Pope, take the place of Christ on earth – and start reading/studying the Bible (God’s Word) for yourselves. Stop believing and start questioning everything you’re told. Search the holy Scriptures for yourselves and compare what you’ve been told to what’s written in them. If anyone tells you that the Pope or any other man’s teachings supercede the Bible’s writings, that man (whoever he be) is a LIAR and a traitor to Christ. These statements don’t originate with me, they weren’t birthed in my mind, but are the teachings of the Bible. If the Pope tells you something contrary to God’s Word, who should you believe? You who say you believe the Bible is God’s word, why don’t you do what it tells you to do? The Bible tells us to obey God not men ~

Act 5:12  And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. 
Act 5:13  And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. 
Act 5:14  And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) 
Act 5:15  Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. 
Act 5:16  There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one. 
Act 5:17  Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation, 
Act 5:18  And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. 
Act 5:19  But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, 
Act 5:20  Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. 
Act 5:21  And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. 
Act 5:22  But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told, 
Act 5:23  Saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within. 
Act 5:24  Now when the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow. 
Act 5:25  Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people. 
Act 5:26  Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned. 
Act 5:27  And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, 
Act 5:28  Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. 
Act 5:29  Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. 

Be forewarned, they who don’t do God’s will, won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven ~ Mat 7:21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Mat 7:22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? Mat 7:23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 

My comments won’t please everyone I realize, but I’m not here to pander to men’s opinions and beliefs. I’m here to tell the TRUTH. Stop worshiping the Pope, priests, ministers, angels, prophets, apostles, etc. Worship the living God and OBEY His words only! Render the fruit of your lips in true worship from a pure heart of love for, and obedience to His Words, adoring only Him. Let’s forget what makes us feel comfortable and start the New Year right by worshiping God the way He wants to be worshiped instead of how we think He wants to be worshiped. Then will the GLORY of God be seen again as it was in the desert of Sinai when He led Israel out of Egypt, and as was seen at Pentecost and in various revivals since. May the Glory of God fall mightily upon His Church again and ignite it with renewed desire to see His glory fill all the earth! 

Debra R. Stout, December 25, 2016

Commercializing Christ’s Birth

 

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Christmas – ‘the happiest time of the year,’ a common refrain heard during the season of what is referred to as the time of Christ’s birth. What makes this holiday the happiest time of the year? Is it the birth of Christ or the exchanging of gifts which we’ve grown accustomed to? Just who or what do we celebrate? I’m sure many would say it’s not the gifts, food or drink, but the sharing of warm moments with family and friends that makes this holiday so special.

While that may be true, I wonder what Christmas would be like if no one exchanged gifts, but just spent time together remembering Christ’s birth? Would everyone still feel it’s the most wonderful time of the year, or, would they feel deprived? It would make for one very interesting experiment if people dared to try it, but I’ve not much hope for that since most are hooked on the excitement and expectation that gift exchanging engenders. Yet there are some brave souls who have pulled back, even disengaged themselves from much of the season’s rituals, alleviating themselves of the stress, and saving a bundle to boot. Right about now, I can almost hear someone screaming, “Scrooge!”

Movies like “Scrooge” are designed to heap guilt on people if they don’t give like they should. Who made up these rules anyway? A myth invented by men, many believe Christmas is based on Christ’s birth and that gift giving is based on the three Wise Men or Magi who brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the baby Jesus. Fact is, there’s no hint in that biblical account, or anywhere else in the Bible, that the actions of the Magi were to be repeated. The Magi’s gifts were for travel expenses such as food and lodging for Jesus and his parent’s journey to Egypt, a one-time event. But who cares, gift exchanging is SO much FUN, right?

If the Magi aren’t used as justification for our ritual gift exchange, it’s jolly old St. Nicholas, aka Santa Claus. At least using St Nick is honest, since gift exchanging began with pagan festivals like Saturnalia and Yule based on the ‘return of the Sun’ at the Winter Solstice. Ancient Roman Saturnalia festivities began on December 17 and concluded on the 24th, when gifts were exchanged. Homes and streets were noisy with banqueting, heavy drinking, and riotous behavior. ‘Gift-giving has its roots in pagan rituals held during the winter. When Christianity folded these rituals into Christmas, the justification for bearing gifts was redirected to the Three Wise Men, the Magi, who gave gifts to the infant Jesus. But in early modern Europe, it also had its roots in Christmas begging. During the holiday seasons, bands of young men, often rowdy, would “wassail” from home to home and demand handouts from the gentry, says Stephen Nissenbaum, author of “The Battle for Christmas.” Christmas involved an exchange between the social classes.’[1]

Another common refrain heard during Christmas, is that “Jesus is the reason for the season.” Is He really? When families gather around their trees to open presents, how many talk about Christ’s birth or the Magi, even in Christian homes? Though many attend Sunday and Christmas Eve church services commemorating His birth, when they get home, their focus reverts back to gifts and other holiday trappings. It’s good for families to get together, but how has Christmas become the designated time of year for that to happen? The answer is simply, tradition or custom. But as Jesus once said to some Pharisees, Mar 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men…

While Christ’s birth is supposed to be the centerpiece, the commercial aspects of Christmas have pretty much overshadowed Him. Sadly, most of the world has commercialized Christ. Think about that for a moment. If true, this means that Christ is being ‘used’ to sell things to fill the coffers of merchants, and to satisfy man’s lust for material things! Is this not the commercializing or merchandising of Christ? The false notion that we give gifts at Christmas because Magi brought them to baby Jesus, gives people an excuse to spend excessively, get drunk, and overeat – all in the name of honoring Christ’s birth. When did Christ ever teach men to overeat, get drunk, or do anything in excess? He taught moderation in all things, and to give without expectation of a return. Tell me that most don’t expect a gift in return at Christmas, or don’t end up feeling disappointed by what they got, or feel they didn’t get enough. How much is enough anyway?

If we truly wish to honor Christ, shouldn’t we stop commercializing His birth? Why not just admit that we exchange gifts because we WANT to, not because the Magi gave gifts to baby Jesus? Now I know that many, if not most, Christians will balk at these facts, stating emphatically that it doesn’t matter what people did long ago, but only what we do now, and all that matters is our heart’s motivation. Dare we search our hearts to see if our motivation is to honor Christ’s birth, or to satisfy our wants? It can’t be both. Jesus taught denial of self – Luk 9:23  And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 

Could we not break away just a little from the commercialization and merchandising of Christ? It’s just too much. My mother shared with me that in her childhood days, most people hand made gifts to give to loved ones at Christmas. Their celebration was simple and frugal compared to ours today. It’s despicable how merchants have turned Christ’s birth, a HOLY event which took place in a lowly manger, into a massive commercial behemoth. Should Christians take part in this yearly exploitation of their Savior’s birth?

Besides, giving can occur any time of the year, whenever there is need, and without expectation of getting something in return. Jesus taught people to give to those who can’t pay you back, so that He may reward you at the Resurrection of the Just. Luk 14:12 When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. 

Luk 14:13  But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: 

Luk 14:14  And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. 

Jesus also taught, “It’s more blessed (happy, joyous) to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35

Debra R. Stout, December 15, 2016

Foot Notes:

[1] https://www.csmonitor.com/World/2013/1221/Christmas-How-did-gift-giving-and-caroling-get-started

Post-Election Riots Incited By Progressive Globalists

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To the rioters who are protesting Trump’s election – loving people don’t destroy property, attack and injure others, deface buildings with racial slurs, trample and burn the American flag, or spew filthy, derogatory words from their mouths! Image result for free photos or pictures of protesters burning American flag, or effigies of Donald TrumpBurning effigies of Donald Trump is a very HATEFUL act, can you see that? You and the Democrats spout ‘Peace, Love, and Tolerance’ so long as things go your way, but the minute they don’t, you go out and behave the very opposite! Do you know the definition of hypocrite?

Trump supporters involved in this outrageous behavior, STOP and THINK! If this turns into a race war or Marshall law, it will be YOU and President Elect Trump who will blamed, even if the majority of those carrying out violent and hateful acts are Hillary supporters! Besides, I find it hard to believe that Trump supporters are painting Swastikas and ‘Heil Trump’ on church buildings. Is it possible that anti-American provocateurs are paying demonstrators to make it look like it’s Trump supporters doing these things? It would be the perfect ploy; one that George Soros [1] the billionaire banker and his friends the Clintons could devise to further their Socialist cause of destroying America.

Speaking of provocateurs, our news media daily serves a rich menu of Liberal-Socialist-Marxist opinion [2] and continually INCITES hatred and division among people, instead of reporting the news in a non-biased, objective fashion. Another sector which bears responsibility for shaping minds, is our educational system, which is sadly saturated with Socialistic educators and funders who choose the curriculum. Then there’s the Church, who’s supposed to represent Christ and lead the world to Him, incorporating Progressive ideas into its teachings and making itself a corporation of the State (501c3), instead of being separate from the world like the Scriptures command [3]. Is it any wonder so much of our youth has turned from the faith of their fathers to embrace Socialistic, progressive, ideologies? [4] PROGRESSIVE = HATER of traditional, biblical mores and values! Ever since Atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair [5] and others like her, got God and His Ten Commandments kicked OUT of our schools, courts, and all public places – America’s morality has steadily declined! “Thou shalt not kill…thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, house, or anything that is your neighbor’s….thou shalt not steal….” displayed in public places reminds people there’s a right and a wrong way to treat one’s neighbor! Men and women devoid of God and His spirit, are beasts who brutalize and terrorize their neighbor, as we’ve recently witnessed all across our nation. Beating and injuring people is something HATERS do! Haters can’t blame President Elect Donald Trump or Racism for their hateful speech and acts! All must take personal responsibility for their own words and actions.

People, open your eyes to what’s really going on. Where might your rioting, violence, and vandalism lead – a race war? Marshall law? Civil war? Although someone like George Soros may want to dismantle our Constitution and national sovereignty, and reduce America’s greatness to a third-world status, how would America’s collapse serve YOUR best interests? Is that really what you want for your families? If you’re so intent on living in a third-world country, go find one to live in, but leave America to those who RESPECT and APPRECIATE IT.

The problem with most of the demonstrators, is that they’ve had it TOO GOOD in America. They’ve gotten everything they’ve wanted (and demanded) for the past eight years at least. Perhaps a long stay in some third world poverty-stricken nation, or jail time, would jolt them back to reality? Most of them appear to be college students. Colleges today are nothing more than RECRUITMENT centers for Socialist-Marxist ideology and agendas which are faithfully taught from textbooks written by social engineers [6]. Being a college graduate myself, I saw how much of it students are exposed to.

RIOTERS, you’re being manipulated by liberal, Socialistic-Marxist-Fascist proponents in the media, schools, and government. STOP being their PUPPETS! They’re only USING YOU to bring about the ‘changes’ they want to see happen in America, which is to turn America into a full Socialistic-Marxist-Fascist nation completely under THEIR CONTROL! If that happens, personal freedoms and choices would be very restricted! Health care, food, water, clothing, housing, transportation, EVERYTHING – would be controlled and rationed by the government. We’ve been heading in that direction for some time, no thanks to rich and powerful Socialists who have infiltrated America’s educational, agricultural, medical, religious, and political institutions – to subvert our laws, our values, and our freedoms!

Those COMPLAINING of not having enough in America must not realize that there’s no better place to be! Where else does one enjoy as many rights, including the right to peacefully protest? Note that the law stipulates PEACEFULLY, peacefully does not include violence, rioting, battering people, and vandalizing property! If you’re so miserable in America, why stay? 

If you would put your faith in GOD instead of looking to government for what you need, you wouldn’t be rioting in the streets and assaulting people. Your REAL PROBLEM is that you have NO FAITH IN GOD, or don’t have GOD in your lives at all. I’m convinced that if everyone knew GOD, there would be real and lasting, peace, love, and harmony between all nations and races. For it is written, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love [7]. 

“Seek Him while he still may be found” [8]. Seek Him NOW. Pray this prayer in Faith, “Heavenly Father, I realize that I’m a sinner and can’t save myself, and that only the Blood of Jesus can wash away my sin. I invite you Lord God to save me from sin and your wrath that’s coming upon all unregenerate and unrepentant sinners. Jesus, please be my Savior and Lord this very moment – I believe that you paid the price for my sins that I might escape the soul-destroying fires of Hell and live forever in your presence. Thank you Lord, Amen.”

If you prayed that prayer or would like to know more about being Born Again and receiving Jesus as your lord and savior, please don’t hesitate to send an email to calm_meadow@yahoo.com I’ll try to answer any questions or concerns you might have, and would be happy to hear if any of the content of this blog has encouraged or helped you in any way.

“THE TIME IS SHORT” said the prophetic voice of God, spoken recently through a church member. It means that the time for evangelizing the world and for sinners to get save is short, because Jesus Christ is returning soon! So, there’s no time to waste on self-pity, excuses, rioting, drugs and drunkenness, partying, pleasure-seeking, and so on. Sinner and saint alike – SEEK GOD WHILE HE MAY STILL BE FOUND, ‘before the door is shut,’ ‘before night comes when no man can work’ [9, 10].

Debra R. Stout, November 15, 2016

END NOTES:
[1] https://thefreethoughtproject.com/soros-trump-protests-revolution/  https://humanevents.com/2011/04/02/top-10-reasons-george-soros-is-dangerous/
[2] https://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/fascism_and_communism-socialism.html
[3] https://hushmoney.org/501c3-facts.htm and http://so4j.com/be-ye-separate
[4] https://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2007/07/the-progressive-movement-and-the-transformation-of-american-politics  
[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madalyn_Murray_O%27Hair
[6] http://akdart.com/edu32html
[7] 1 John 4:8
[8] Isaiah 55:6 & 7
[9] Luke 13:25, Genesis 7:16
[10] John 9:4

Apostate King Solomon’s Magic Ring

Image result for Free pictures of the Goat of MendesI was looking at this scene from a distance. I saw a Goat with two horns; similar to pictures I’ve seen of the Goat of Mendes or Baphomet. It wore a crown of some sort and sat on a seat resembling a throne. A man whose identity I couldn’t discern, approached the goat’s throne and knelt down before it. As he did, the goat stretched forth his hand and the man kissed the ring on the goat’s hand. The ring was round and red like a ruby. In the middle of it was a six-pointed star, sometimes called Star of David, other times Solomon’s Seal [1]. Interestingly, the name of a wealthy Jewish banker and Freemason, ‘Rothschild,’ means ‘red shield’ and the goat’s ring was red. The modern Israeli flag depicts a blue star but the original symbol was red.

In ancient times kings wore what were called Image result for free photos or pictures of a hexagram and star of david
Signet rings [2] with which they sealed letters so that anyone receiving them would know they came from the king when they saw his seal. Thus, the Signet ring was a symbol of a king’s authority. It may be that the six-pointed star is the Mark of the Beast and whoever receives it, declares Lucifer’s authority over Yahweh! Rev 13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Rev 13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 

“The Greek word for “mark” in these verses is charagma. Strong’s Concordance defines this word as a mark that is stamped, branded, imprinted or engraved on the individual’s forehead or hand, rather than implanted in the skin.” [3]

Solomon’s Seal, a Hexagram, was, and still is, used as a ‘talisman.’ Throughout history, talismans were used to protect the wearer from evil but God said that we must trust Him alone for protection, and to supply all of our needs. Many are putting their trust in their government to protect them from evil, especially in the wake of the threat of worldwide Terrorism. To trust in anything outside of Yahweh, is IDOLATRY, which God will neither endorse nor tolerate.

“The hexagram was brought to the Jewish people by Solomon when he turned to witchcraft and idolatry after his marriage to Pharaoh’s daughter in 922B.C. It became known as the Seal of Solomon in Egyptian magic and witchcraft. David had absolutely nothing to do with the hexagram and that star most certainly did not, in any way represent God’s people. Solomon gave himself up to satanic worship and built altars to Ashtoreth and Moloch (Saturn). Moloch, Chiun and Remphan are all names for the star god, Saturn, whose symbol is a six pointed star formed by two triangles. Saturn was the supreme god of the Chaldeans.” [4] ‘Remphan’ [5] 

Image result for pictures of the seven branched Jewish menorahWhile the six-pointed star became the modern symbol of the State of Israel established in 1949, the original, official symbol of Israel was the seven-branched Menorah.  Seven is a number used with reference to God and His attributes, like the Seven Spirits of God for example, while six is the number of man.“The six-pointed star symbolizes man’s ascent to divinity…. ” Link to full article in citation [3]. The Six-pointed star contains the number 666 (the Antichrist’s number) within its configuration. Apostate King Solomon adorned his temple with this symbol. While King Solomon started off right, later in his life he abandoned the God of Israel and began worshiping the many false gods his numerous wives brought into the temple. In essence, by promoting the worship of many false religions, apostate King Solomon became the very first MASON. Like Nimrod, who was the first world despot, there are many ‘firsts’ found in biblical history if we follow the trails to their origins. Satanists, Occultists and Freemasons venerate King Solomon, who owned a magic ring that was engraved with the Seal of Solomon, which gave him power over the invisible monarchy of demons. (The History And Practice Of Magic, Vol. 2) The end times False Messiah will no doubt be like a reincarnated Solomon, who unites the world together with his wisdom. [6] 

The six-pointed star is used today as a symbol in Masonic Lodges all over the world, which brings me to the point, or meaning of the dream. Though I may be wrong, the dream could be portraying that the end-time, one world religion will be Masonry, or a derivative of it. Since the one world church [7] will embrace multiple religions (as did Solomon of old), and Masons claim that they embrace ALL RELIGIONS (although they really worship Lucifer the Devil, and embrace his religion Satanism), it seems a logical conclusion. Masons are adept at fooling their lower level initiates into believing the LIE that they embrace all religions. Masonry is a vast organization with deep roots all over the world. It has operated undetected to a large extent due to its ability to keep its true allegiance and agenda hidden from the general populace. I believe the time is fast approaching when it won’t hide its true allegiance anymore, but will openly declare its worship of Satan and demand the same from the whole world. Might the mysterious man in the dream who kissed the goat’s ring, be the False Messiah, and or, every man and woman who worships the Beast, his number, his name, and his mark? 

Debra R. Stout © October 5, 2016

FOOTNOTES:

[1] The Seal of Solomon dates back to the Bronze Ages and is a powerful symbol with many mystical and magickal qualities…the Seal of Solomon is believed to offer protection against both enemies and the evil eye, control spirits, and bring good luck in all aspects of life. – Seal of Solomon, Amulet Power, Angelfire.com

In the middle Ages it was common to find amulets and talismans which reproduced the Seal of Solomon…It was believed that these magic drawings protected the wearer from the influence of demons and evil spirits, or just bad luck. It was also common to record the seal on a frame or lintel of the entrance door to homes…with the same protective character against the spirits or to potential fires. – The Hexagram, Star of David or Seal of Solomon, Looking4thetruth77.blogspot.com

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Wicca%20&%20Witchcraft/star_of_david.htm and https://humanityworldorder.wordpress.com/2016/07/13/star-challenge/

[2] Rather than signing their name on a document, people would use a signet ring to make their mark. The ring would be pressed into hot wax or soft clay, and would leave a distinctive impression that functioned as an official seal. Used by rulers and religious leaders, a signet ring could be used to mark a document, a doorway, or even to seal a tomb. When someone saw the mark of the king, it proved authenticity. The seal could not be opened without damaging the identifying mark, making it difficult to tamper with. The Bible also contains references to signet rings. The Old Testament tells the story of Daniel in the lion’s den. The king closed the mouth of the den, and then sealed it with his signet ring and those of his nobles, so that Daniel could not escape. (Daniel 6:17) Author: Jason Phillips, Posted@ http://www.history1700s.com/index.php/articles/14-guest-authors/703-modern-history-of-signet-ring-how-it-got-its-existence.html

[3] 5480 charagma 1) a stamp, an imprinted mark; stamped on the forehead or the right hand as the badge of the followers of the Antichrist; 1b) the mark branded upon horses; 2) thing carved, sculpture, graven work; 2a) of idolatrous images. http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Wicca%20&%20Witchcraft/star_of_david.htm

[4] http://www.moresureword.com/starof.htm

[5] Rhemphan By incorrect transliteration for a word of Hebrew origin [H3594]; Remphan (that is, Kijun), an Egyptian idol: – Remphan. Acts 7:43 – The tabernacle of Moloch (tēn skēnēn tou Moloch). Or tent of Moloch which they took up after each halt instead of the tabernacle of Jehovah. Moloch was the god of the Amorites to whom children were offered as live sacrifices, an ox-headed image with arms outstretched in which children were placed and hollow underneath so that fire could burn underneath.The star of the god Rephan (to astron tou theou Rompha). Spelled also Romphan and Remphan. Supposed to be Coptic for the star Saturn to which the Egyptians, Arabs, and Phoenicians gave worship. But some scholars take the Hebrew Kiyyoon to mean statues and not a proper name at all, “statues of your gods” carried in procession, making “figures” (tupous) with both “tabernacle” and “star” which they carried in procession.

[6] http://christianitybeliefs.org/end-times-deceptions/the-star-of-david-deception/

[7] http://www.cuttingedge.org/news/n1243.cfm AND http://www.cuttingedge.org/news/n2223.cfm

 

 

 

 

 

Who the Restrainer Is, and the Timing of the Rapture

 

Image result for FREE pictures of the Rapture of the saints

THE RESTRAINER’S ROLE 

2Th 2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
2Th 2:4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.
2Th 2:5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?
2Th 2:6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.
2Th 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. [English Standard Version]

restrains (KJV ‘letteth’) katechō
Thayer Definition:
1) to hold back, detain, retain
1a) from going away
1b) to restrain, hinder (the course or progress of)
1b1) that which hinders Antichrist from making his appearance
1c) to hold fast, keep secure, keep firm possession of

Notice that it’s a “him,” not an it or a thing that the ‘restrainer’ is holding back. “out of” means, Thayer Definition: 1) out of, from, by, away from; “the way” means, mesos: 1) middle, the midst, in the midst of, amongst. This is why Pre-tribber’s say the “restrainer” must be the Holy Spirit, because they say the Holy Spirit is in the “midst” of believers; Lk 24:36, John 20:19, and Mat 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. While that’s true, I don’t believe that the identity of ‘he who’s taken out of the way’ [KJV] is immediately clear, nor is the Holy Spirit the ONLY possible rendering. 

Many teach that the “restrainer” is the Holy Spirit who is “removed” from the Earth when believers are raptured out of the world right before the great tribulation begins. These teachers use a few verses from 1 Thessalonians  mainly, to support their Pre-Trib rapture theory, taken out of the context of the rest of Scripture, even the same book and chapter – 1Th 4:15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven… 

WATCH! When does the Lord Jesus descend from heaven?

Mat 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
Mat 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Mat 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

So you see, there’s already a problem with the Pre-Tribulation rapture and it’s that Matthew clearly places the coming of Jesus AND the ‘gathering together of his elect,’ AFTER the tribulation. And that’s not the only problem with it, these scriptures say something else – Mat 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Mat 13:49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, Mat 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

Now, to address a few objections to a post-trib rapture. Some say ‘clouds’ refer to the ‘saints’ who’ve already been caught up in a secret rapture before Jesus returns, and so return with Him. However biblical evidence doesn’t support that notion. It seems that these are clouds of angels that are spoken of. It also appears that the angels escort Jesus from place to place: “The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.” (Psa 68:17) “Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:” (Psa 104:3) “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. (Dan 7:13) The word “they” is referring to the angels who “came with the clouds” earlier in the verse. They brought the Son of Man to the Ancient of Days. 

As some are aware, there are two New Testament verses, Jude 1:14, and 1 Thess 3:13 which at first glance, appear to say that Christ comes with His “saints” but I’ll show you why that isn’t so. Let’s take the quote from Jude first – Jude 1:14 “And Enoch also the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying. Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.” 

“saints” here was chosen by the King James translators, as the meaning of the Greek G40 ‘hagios,’ which is often used to refer to redeemed human beings in the New Testament, but in this particular verse, it doesn’t. Why the King James translators chose “saints” over “holy ones” or “angels” I can’t say, but the English Standard Version chose to render it, “holy ones” (or angels) which lines up perfectly with the rest of what Scripture says, which is that Christ is coming with His ANGELS, not His saints – Jud 1:14  It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, [ESV] 

With ten thousand of his saintsOr, “of his holy ones.” The word “saints” we now apply commonly to “redeemed” saints, or to Christians. The original word is, however, applicable to all who are “holy,” angels as well as men. The common representation in the Scriptures is, that he would come attended by the angels Mat_25:31, and there is doubtless allusion here to such beings. It is a common representation in the Old Testament also that God, when he manifests himself, is accompanied by great numbers of heavenly beings. See Psa_68:17; Deu_33:2. [Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible]

With ten thousands of his saints (ἐν ἀγίαις μυριάσιν)
Lit., in or among holy myriads. Compare Deu_33:2; Zec_14:5. [Vincent Word Studies]

saints — Holy angels (compare Deu_33:2; Dan_7:10; Zec_14:5; Mat_25:31; Heb_12:22). [Jamieson, Fausset & Brown Commentary]

If that isn’t enough, Jude was making reference to what Enoch had prophesied many centuries prior, a prophesy which is nearly identical to Deuteronomy 33:2And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints:

Deu 33:2  He said, “The LORD came from Sinai and dawned from Seir upon us; he shone forth from Mount Paran; he came from the ten thousands of holy ones, [ESV]  Deu 33:2  And he said, Jehovah came from Sinai, And rose from Seir unto them; He shined forth from mount Paran, And he came from the ten thousands of holy ones: [ASV]

With ten thousands of saints – Render, from amidst ten thousands of holy ones: literally from myriads of holiness, i. e., holy Angels (compare Zec_14:5). God is represented as leaving heaven where He dwells amidst the host of the Angels 1Ki_22:19 and descending in majesty to earth Mic_1:3. [Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible]

As you can see, both the ESV and the ASV, render haggios, as “holy ones” while the King James version renders it as “saints.” Actually, either term fits, so long as it’s understood that haggios can also mean “holy ones” or “angels” as well as holy men! Throughout the Old Testament writings, there are several words used for angelic beings but a different word was used when human beings were meant. That Hebrew word is châsîyd H2623 חסיד  From H2616; properly kind, that is, (religiously) pious (a saint): – godly (man), good, holy (one), merciful, saint, [un-] godly. In my search I found that in every instance where a human being, or beings was meant, the word châsîyd is used, and where angelic beings are meant, the words qâdôsh or  qôdesh H6944 were used.

Thus, the term for “human saints” in the Old Testament, is châsîyd and the word indicating angelic beings” is qâdôsh or  qôdesh. Why is it important? Because false doctrine (the Pre-trib Rapture) has been built upon assuming the word “saints” ALWAYS means redeemed human beings but as is proven by comparing scripture with scripture and comparing the various terms used for “saints,” the truth is that the KJV doesn’t always discern the difference between the two terms châsîyd and qâdôsh; rendering them both in a few places as  simply “saints.” The English Standard Version renders qâdôsh accurately as “holy ones” (or angels), while the KJV rendered the same term inaccurately as “saints.”

Moving on now to the other N.T. verse which states the Christ is coming with his saints –

1Th 3:13  To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.G40 (In this case, the other bible versions also render haggios, as ‘saints.’)

So, what exactly is going on here? Why would Paul, who wrote first and second Thessalonians, say the opposite in 2Th 1:7  And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,G32

Well, this seems to present a conundrum, but I’m sure there’s an answer. While I don’t have it at the moment, in the mean time, I’m going to believe the 99% of Scripture which states that Christ is coming with his ANGELS – over the 1% of Scripture which states He’s coming with His SAINTS. And, when I find the answer to this puzzling, seeming contradiction, I’ll come back to this article, and insert it. Until then, I think we can safely conclude that since Jesus is coming back AFTER the Tribulation and sends His “angels” to gather his elect at that time, there can be NO PRE-TRIB RAPTURE OF THE SAINTS. Therefore, the doctrine of a Pre-trib rapture is false, false, false!!! Concocted by two Jesuit priests back in the 1800’s, for the purpose of diverting attention away from the Vatican as being the Great Harlot (apostate church) of Revelation. But please, don’t take my word for any of this. Do your own thorough study about the Jesuit priests and Margaret McDonald (who supposedly had a vision of the pre-trib rapture). [2-3] And remember Jude’s warning: Jud 1:8  Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. Now, I’m not saying that believers shouldn’t ‘have dreams’ as some dreams come from God and are one of the gifts of His Spirit – but not ALL dreams are from God. Dreams and visions must pass the same test with which we are to test all spirits and spiritual communications – 1Jn 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. *try/test 1) to test, examine, prove, scrutinize (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals 2) to recognize as genuine after examination, to approve, deem worthy

What I am saying is, if a prophet or anyone has a dream or vision that clearly goes against Scripture, then one should disregard it. This of course doesn’t apply to a Word of Knowledge [1], dream or vision that involves a particular person or place. God often gives supernatural knowledge to his regenerated ones for the purpose of praying for, encouraging and relieving those who are hurting, depressed, oppressed, etc. These types of messages aren’t usually found in the Bible, so are judged by the ‘witness of the Spirit’ within regenerated souls – 1Jn 5:7 And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is the truth. [ASV] There are many biblical examples in the New Testament and Old, where men of God received supernatural messages from the Spirit of God, to pray about and/or to deliver to others. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are not to be despised or rejected but embraced, albeit with discernment.

WHY THE HOLY SPIRIT CANNOT BE THE RESTRAINER

Since He lives in every true Believer, and as we just read, some believers will REMAIN – be alive when Jesus returns – He must therefore REMAIN on the earth until Jesus comes.

Joh 14:17 even the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive; for it beholdeth him not, neither knoweth him: ye know him; for he abideth with you, and shall be in you.

Jesus sent us His Spirit to dwell in and remain with us to the “END.” Mat 28:20(b) And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. If the Holy Spirit doesn’t remain on Earth until the end of the Age, then God is a liar! “Let every man be a liar, but let God be TRUE.” (Rm 3:4)

The Holy spirit is the One who draws men unto Jesus and convicts a sinner of sin and of his need for salvation, John 16:7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. John 16:8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, John 16:14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

It’s the Holy Spirit by which a saved individual is “sealed” unto Salvation, Eph 1:13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, Eph 1:14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it,

So you see, the Holy Spirit has to be present in order for a person to get saved! If the Holy Spirit is ‘removed’ before the tribulation starts, it would be impossible for anyone to get saved during the Tribulation. Scripture shows us that the Holy Spirit will remain with us to the end of the Age, and that Jesus returns AFTER the tribulation and gathers together his elect.

THE RESTRAINER’S IDENTITY

So, if the Holy Spirit is not the Restrainer, who or what is? The Restrainer is Michael the archangel, ‘protector of Israel.’

“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. (Dan 12:1) It is seen in Scripture more than once that God used his angels to bind up, cast down, and war against “fallen ones,” or Lucifer’s angels. One example, Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, the old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, Rev 20:3 and cast him into the abyss, and shut it, and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years should be finished: after this he must be loosed for a little time. More references on Michael the Archangel and how God uses him; Dan 10:21, Jude 1:9, & Rev 12:7.

The ‘book’ in Dan 12:1, “every one that shall be found written in the book” could be referring to the Lamb’s Book of Life – Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne; and books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works. Rev 20:15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Do you see that if your name isn’t found in the Book of Life, you won’t be found in heaven either?! You’re either a bonafide believer in Christ, or you’re not, there’s no in between. When a man was found at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb not wearing proper wedding attire, HE WAS THROWN OUT. No one can enter the wedding feast unless he wears the ROBE OF SALVATION given to him by Jesus Christ when one repents of his sins and receives Him as his Savior, Mat 22:11-13 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

which had not on a wedding garment — The language here is drawn from the following remarkable passage in Zep_1:7, Zep_1:8 : – “Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God; for the day of the Lord is at hand: for the Lord hath prepared a sacrifice, He hath bid His guests. And it shall come to pass in the day of the Lord’s sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king’s children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.” The custom in the East of presenting festival garments (see Gen_45:22; 2Ki_5:22), even though nor clearly proved, Is certainly presupposed here. It undoubtedly means something which they bring not of their own – for how could they have any such dress who were gathered in from the highways indiscriminately? – but which they receive as their appropriate dress. And what can that be but what is meant by “putting on the Lord Jesus,” as “The Lord Our Righteousness?” (See Psa_45:13, Psa_45:14). Nor could such language be strange to those in whose ears had so long resounded those words of prophetic joy: “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels” (Isa_61:10). [Jamieson, Fausset & Brown Commentary]

THOSE WHO BELIEVE ARE SAVED FROM GOD’S WRATH

Believers in Christ whether Jew or Gentile, are saved from God’s wrath, but not spared all tribulation, trials, tests, and persecution. All are called to suffer for His Name’s sake, as have God’s prophets, apostles, priests, and disciples down through the Ages. Why do believers in the twenty-first century think they should be exempt? 1Pet 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 1Pet 4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

Some feel that the “wrath of God” refers to the entire Tribulation period, not just the time when God pours out His “vials of wrath” on the wicked as seen in Revelation 16:1-21 where ONLY the wicked and unrepentant upon earth receive God’s wrath. Rev 16:2 And the first went, and poured out his bowl into the earth; and it became a noisome and grievous sore upon the men that had the mark of the beast, and that worshipped his image. Rev 16:9 And men were scorched with great heat: and they blasphemed the name of God who hath the power over these plagues; and they repented not to give him glory. Rev 16:10 And the fifth poured out his bowl upon the throne of the beast; and his kingdom was darkened; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, Rev 16:11 and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they repented not of their works.

They who patiently wait for Jesus in purity and holiness, like a Bride adorned for her husband (Rev 21:2) will be protected from God’s judgments and wrath poured out during the Great Tribulation period, just like Noah and his family were protected in an ark during the great flood (Genesis 7:1-24). Christ is the Ark of believers, who likewise shall be protected from the flood of judgments poured out upon the wicked during the great tribulation. God kept the Israelites safe from the plagues sent upon the Egyptians. Their houses marked with sheep’s blood, symbolizing Christ’s future sacrificial death, was a ‘sign’ that kept the angel of Death from destroying them. Likewise, God’s Born Again children are ‘marked’ with the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ! When God (Yahweh) sees one of His dear children, He sees the Blood of His Son Jesus covering them, and no demon, devil, or destroying angel can snatch them out of His mighty hand!

Jesus prayed to His Father, “Father, I ask not that you take them (believers in Me) out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil.” John 17:15 ‘That thou shouldest take them out of the world – Though they were going into trials and persecutions, yet Jesus did not pray that they might be removed soon from them. It was better that they should endure them, and thus spread abroad the knowledge of his name. It would be easy for God to remove his people at once to heaven, but it is better for them to remain, and show the power of religion in supporting the soul in the midst of trial, and to spread his gospel among men. Shouldest keep them from the evil – This may mean either from the evil one that is, the devil, or from evil in general that is, from apostasy, from sinking in temptation. Preserve them from that evil, or give them such grace that they may endure all trials and be sustained amid them.’ [Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible]

‘Christ doth not pray that his Father would take up his saints out of this sinful and troublesome world into heaven, because he knew that they were to be of use to him for a time in the world; but he prays that the Lord would keep them from the evil one, (so some would have it translated), or from the evil thing; by which we must not understand what is penally and afflictively evil, but only what is sinfully evil: and by his example he hath directed us how we ought to pray; not for death, nor absolutely for a deliverance from the evils and miseries of this life; but that we may be delivered from those temptations to sin, to which a multitude of sharp trials and afflictions will expose even the best of men.’ [Matthew Poole’s Commentary]

PERSECUTION PURIFIES THE CHURCH

“Many shall be purified, and made white,and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. (Dan 12:10) This is a reference to end time persecution of the saints on earth. Both Daniel and Revelation speak to the end time, and what happens to the world and to believers. This has been taught in the majority of evangelistic and mainline protestant denominations. 

CONCLUSION: 

Unless evidence can be found to the contrary, I conclude that Jesus Christ is coming at the end of the Age with His angels, not His saints. The evidence thus far, doesn’t support a Pre-trib rapture. When Jesus comes, he will judge the wicked, gather his Elect together, and reward the just, all at approximately the same time – as the book of Matthew states. Jesus appears in the clouds first, separates the wicked from the just, then gathers together his elect and disperses his rewards to them. Things and events move very fast in the spiritual realm so each of these events could happen simultaneously yet very quickly, in the “blink of an eye…”

1Co 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Debra R. Stout © August 31, 2016

ENDNOTES:

[1] 1 Corinthians 12:8
[2] https://fortheloveoftruth.wordpress.com/rapture/
[3] http://www.askelm.com/essentials/ess025.htm [4] http://post-triborpre-trib.blogspot.com/