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Hello, Beloved...

How nice of you to drop in and visit my page. It's actually not really about myself, but about the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a place you can come, should you find time, and find encouragement and free resources for spiritual growth. I pray you will be blessed and provoked to follow on to know the Lord intimately yourself. Seek HIM and HIS Face for HE alone is WORTHY!! He alone is lovely! Most of what is written on this blog is written by myself, during my study time with the Lord unless otherwise stated. If it's otherwise, the author's name will be included.

God is our refuge, a very present help in trouble. Psa 46:1


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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hearing HIM---Are You HIS?

A man of God I know said something to me after church the other night that so resonated in my Spirit, it sent me digging in the Word. He said the Lord had spoken to Him and told him if we weren't walking close enough to Him to hear His voice for ourselves we wouldn't hear the trumpet sound, either. I was immediately convicted and the Holy Spirit bore strong witness with my spirit that this was true. As I began to search the Scriptures, He drew my attention some things I want to share with you.

In John chapter 9, Jesus has been confronted by angry Pharisees because He healed a blind man who was born blind on the Sabbath day. The blind man worships Jesus when he learns who healed him. In the Word, I have learned the word blind is often indicative of ignorance, and the word 'see' often means 'to know or understand'. He begins in John 10 and there are Pharisees there daring Him to say they don't understand "Are we blind also?" (Joh_9:40). Their righteousness is based on the accomplishments of self inside religious paremeters. But this is what He says:

Joh 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
Joh 10:2
But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
Joh 10:3
To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

Notice in verse 3 He says the sheep HEAR HIS VOICE. They hear, they understand. They consider what He says. They learn from Him. They give heed to His Word. In the Greek this word "hear" is akouo (G191) and that is what it means. It doesn't mean they hear just the sound of His voice. They hear with consideration and comprehension. They hear Him call them by name, and that means character, authority. His holiness, His complete otherness than what we are, calls to us, draws us to Him, so we can be like Him. His sheep hear, understand and are drawn to Him.

Joh 10:4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
Joh 10:5
And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

Next, they follow Him. They join Him, become HIS, and go where He goes. They side with Him every time. They learn Him, they become familiar with and dependent on Him. The word for know here is 'ido' (G1492) and it means this: if a stranger, a strange voice tries to talk to HIS sheep, they cannot understand and will not be able to pay attention for the stranger will not be able to hold their interest. They will not regard or care for the voice of a stranger.

Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

This word "know" is different. It's G1097. It means to be intimately familiar with, to understand with an increasing certainty. This is the same word used to imply intimacy between a husband and wife. He says I am intimately familiar with my sheep and they are with me. We have a special, close relationship with each other a stranger is not part of. That means there is a fidelity involved. Faithfulness.

Joh_17:3 says "this is eternal life that they may know YOU God, and Jesus Christ". This means there has to be an unbroken connection for when the connection is broken, the oil leaks out and the sheep dries up and withers.

Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

He summarizes this carefully: My sheep hear me, they understand me, they are intimate with me, and they follow where I go, they go. Now, I had to examine myself. Do I hear the voice of the Lord speak to me, yes, but not nearly as much as I want and need to. My fault, not His. Do I know Him as well as I want to? No. Again, my fault, not His. Do I always follow Him? I'm striving to, even when flesh doesn't want to. Have I been guilty of drawing back, battling unbelief and fear? You betcha. Thank God for the cross, the blood, and forgiveness. But you see how clearly He defines the relationship He has with those who are HIS and I ask you how many Christians do you know who fit in to this description JESUS gives of His own? He doesn't mention their status, age, race, or position in life. He doesn't mention whether they are smart or successful, or pretty or popular. He says they focus on HIS voice, they refuse strange voices, they know HIM and follow HIM. They follow Him because they have learned Him and desire Him, not things from Him, not other things besides Him. 2Ti_2:19 says He knows (same word) those who are His own and let those who profess His name remove themselves and cease and desist from deliberate sin, from that which is unjust, and wrong. The Scripture says we are the temple, or house of the Lord-His dwelling place. He sends His Spirit to live in us, to guide us, teach us and prepare us to meet Him. We are part of Him, members of His Body.

1Co 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

That oneness means complete agreement-there is no division or dissension. When we are joined, literally so totally united-glued to HIM, we think like Him, we talk like Him, we act like Him, we work like Him. This is what it means when the Scripture says as He is in the world, so are we. We are to be here in His stead, behaving as He would if He were here physically. Doing His will not just mentioning His name. That requires a deliberate effort to spend time with Him in prayer and the Word, learning Him. This requires a rejection of those things within and without that would cause a separation of fellowship with Him. This requires removing ourselves from whatever thing would seek to drown out His voice. In Joh_5:39-40 He warns there are those who search the Scriptures for IN THEM you think you have eternal life-but it's not so. He says you won't come to ME that you might have life. The Word is to teach us, confirm to us and strengthen us, to comfort us. But it's also to point us to HIM for it is in His presence we find LIGHT that shows us our need, our problem areas that need cleansing. In Isaiah 6 you have an illustration of a God-called prophet who has been preaching repentance to an apostate people, and rightly so. Yet, when he determines after the death of his uncle, king Uzziah, to seek God, and gets a revelation of the Lord, he sees his OWN need of repentance. Had he not gone to seek the Lord, he could have went on the basis of Scripture only, and missed the mark and ended up lost. I know that sounds like heresy to some but you have to combine reading the Word with talking to the Author and waiting on Him to hear from Him. He said if we called He would answer! (Jer_33:3)

2Co 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

This time we spend is an investment. We invest our time in seeking Him, seeing Him in the pages of this Book, praying and asking for understanding, the Word comes alive and the Holy Spirit ministers to us and shows us who He is, this lovely, incomparable Christ we are supposed to serve, and are betrothed to. Don't forget that. We are betrothed to HIM, not ourselves, not the world, not temporary passing things that we think we need now or we'll just die. The more we spend time with Him, the more like Him we become. Ever heard the saying "you are known by the company you keep?"

1Co 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

His Word is like a mirror, it's an enigma, a mystery that we learn a little at a time, as we invest our time. But one day, I will know (G1921) epiginosko, fully and thoroughly understand everything accurately-there will be no missunderstanding. Full revelation, full understanding.

2Co 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
2Co 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

It's not about us, it's all about HIM and the way we live and conduct ourselves is a message to those around us. God commanded the truth to light up chase away our darkened minds, our darkened understanding and that glorious truth lit up our understanding and helped us know that God sent His glory-His Son, to us, to live by His Holy Spirit in us. Since it is HIM that has the power, the goodness, the Truth, the Way, the Life, then HE is the Treasure within, and we can boast of nothing but our need for and dependence on Him. Only then does God get the glory.

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 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

What wonderful love the Father has given us to call us His children! This is why the world doesn't understand a true Christian at all. They don't understand and aren't acquainted with HIM so they don't understand us that are. Beloved, we are His children, and it's not apparent right now exactly waht we will be like when He comes for us, literally, but we understand that when He appears, when He makes Himself known to us, we will be similar-like Him, in appearance, character and behavior and speech, because we will see Him just as He is to be revealed. He manifests Himself to us by the Spirit, and as we understand more of who He is, it changes everything about us. It will change how we talk, how we act, what we do and how we think and how we treat others. But there's coming a day when He will descend from heaven for His Bride.

For the Lord HIMSElF shall come down from heaven with a command, a cry that will stimulate and incite or rouse His Bride from whatever she is doing at that moment..and she will be taken by the force of His power from this earth to meet Him in the air. His power will lift us up and draw us to Him and our eyes will see HIM, our Beloved, the One our heart longs for.

To those who look for Him shall He appear...that means they are expecting and waiting and watching for Him. Those who are watching for Him will see Him. Those who have that expectation. That word 'salvation' in the Greek means 'deliverance, rescue'. Those who know this earth is not their home, they are only passing through for they look for HIM who is their hope of glory.

2Pe 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

We know this world has been condemned, marked for destruction by the owner. There is no reason to put down roots here, to put all our hopes and dreams here. There is no reason to invest time and money in the things here when it is not necessary. Of course we need food and clothing and shelter and must pay our bills. But we are commanded not to lay up treasures down here. We aren't to store up things for self. We are to preach the Gospel, however and whenever we can. Whether it's from a pulpit, or by the life we live. We are all epistles seen and examined by those around us.

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.

A moment is an atom of time. How very small. Smaller than can be seen with the naked eye. The word is 'atomos' ...moment. An atom of time. How small is an atom? I don't know but I know that means I better be ready when that moment comes. In an instant, the final trumpet will sound, and what is mortal will become immortal. So, if this is the final trump-when is the first trump? Some of the Scriptures indicate that His voice will sound like a trumpet. In 1 Thess 4:16 it doesn't say the trump of God will sound, it says The Lord is bringing the trump with Him, but it stands to reason if He brings it, He's going to sound it.

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.
Rev 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
Rev 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

I used to panic and battle fear when I heard that Scripture read. It still tries to bother me-and sometimes it does. I realize now, I need not fear so long as I just make sure I stay in the Word, yielded to it, by the power of His Spirit (Zec_4:6) totally depending on HIM to make the promises real and effective in my life as He said He would, and talk to Him as much as I can, and listen even more than I talk, for if my mind is always on HIM then He will keep me in perfect peace. The more we direct our hearts and thoughts toward HIM the more He will direct HIS toward us. This is how we get prepared to meet Him. The Spirit is there to convict us if we do wrong and we are to be zealous and repent right then. He gave us a wonderful promise so we need not fear:

Jud 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

We have to keep ourselves reminded He loves us-He is our Beloved, and we are His. We have the Holy Spirit so He can teach us how to pray-how to let Him pray through and in us, which will build up and increase and strengthen our faith, as we guard the knowledge that no matter what happens God loves us, and we have been promised mercy of the Lord and grace at His appearing. We can learn to walk in the Spirit and overcome ourselves, the world and the devil. God is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all that we could ever ask or think-we just have to spend time with Him, learn what He wants to teach us, and follow Him where He leads. He can make us, take us, guide us and use us to help others follow too. Hallelujah. But if we don't know His voice, we will be misled. If we don't take time to get before Him, become intimate with Him, then we will fall away and be running with no oil in the midnight hour. There are many seducing spirits operating right now, deceiving many. Jesus repeatedly warned "be not deceived".

1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

If we focus on HIM and don't waste our time on things that don't matter, we are wise. He said if we seek first HIS kingdom, and HIS righteousness, everything else would be taken care of. Don't be lured by the enemy's temptation that you need to know knowledge of good and evil by studying the end times, the last days, the beast and all this other stuff-he just seeks to draw you away from the Tree of Life-and that is Jesus Christ. If we know Him, He knows us, and He won't deny His own. Knowing HIM is the most important and necessary thing a Christian can do.

Pro 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish:

That word 'vision' means understanding, or revelation. Think about it. On that day, nothing else will matter but does He know you? Can He look at you and see the reflection of Himself the way we look at our children and see ourselves? If we know Him, it will change us. It will save us. Lord, You alone our life, may we be hid in you, having in our hearts and minds forsaken ourselves and this world while the choice can still be made.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Nature of the (Mark) Beast

I have been studying the cross, the last weeks of Jesus' life, and His suffering on the cross and I just wanted to share this because I heard a message entitled "The Mark of the Beast" preached by Pastor BH Clendennen, of the International School of Christ. I was privileged to meet this beloved man of God one time, briefly, but have been greatly impacted by the School of Christ. Still, I take no man's word alone on what is truth without going to the Source and searching it for myself. However, that said, what I found and learned with the help of the Holy Spirit confirmed what Bro Clendennen said.

2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

The word for "made" here is G4160..in the Greek it is poieo. It means to be the author of, to cause to bring something about, to make ready, prepare, to provide a thing for one's own self, to make one do something, appoint or ordain something for someone else. Christ Jesus, our Lord, the Scripture says is the Author and Finisher, the beginning and end of our Faith. Every saint of God, born again, is marked by the blood of Jesus Christ, which in itself signifies forgiveness, cleansing of sin, self-sacrifice, the selfless act of Another that constitutes our hope.

The same word is translated in the KJV 'causeth' in Rev. 13.

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:

This anti-christ of the great tribulation that will come after the rapture, will have this thing, this mark ready. He will bring it about and produce and provide it for the people of this earth. It will be something that will seem to be sensible, convenient, and the people will not have to be forced to take it for the most part-they will clamor for it. I know that goes against traditional religious opinion. The mark ( likeness, or nature) of Christ is self-sacrificing love, for the good of others. It is something that marks or identifies His own. They also have this seal-the blood of Christ, and the word of their testimony (death to self, and the world and sin) making them alive to God, which sets them apart from the world. Many Christians (and I used to think this, as well) have bought the lie that if they miss the rapture they will refuse the mark when the time comes in the future that some decision will be forced on them.

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.

When you look up the word "mark" (G5480) the Greek word is charagma and it means to stamp, impress an image formed upon another. When we behold Him through faith, and divinely given revelation which must be sought after, we are then changed from our image into His. (2 Cor 3:18) Now, if God seeks man to conform him to the image of His Son, ("Let us make man in Our image") (Gen_1:26) you better understand the devil seeks man to conform man to his own image, which is another word for likeness. Simply put, God wants us to be like His Son, Satan wants us to be like him. What is he like? Selfish, proud, envious and angry. Christ is meek, humble, gentle, Light, Truth, long suffering, compassionate, loving, kind. Everything the devil is not. In order for the Anti Christ to be revealed, He who now restrains and with holds must be taken out of the way. That is the Holy Spirit. And since God is not going to take the Holy Spirit and leave those in whom He lives, it is reasonable to believe when the Spirit is removed, so the church too.
2Th 2:6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

So we see those who have the nature of the devil operating in their lives without repentance, without seeking the overcoming power of the Holy Ghost to deliver them, will not be going anywhere with the Lord. We are all born with these things and yet when we are born again, this nature conflicts with the new nature we are given. If we yield to the Spirit of God, and feed on the Word of Life, we will be strengthened and through the Holy Spirit overcome what we are. If we do not, and we have one foot in the church and the other in the world, we will not overcome and we have that mark already. If we hold onto selfishness, self first, pride, or any of the works of the flesh, then we allow that nature of the beast to mark us. We are what we feed on-what we eat. Is it the things of the world that please self or is it the Christ who is the Tree of life and His Word, His Spirit?

You can walk in Bible book stores and watch Christian TV and you see so many books about the end times, the anti christ, the mark of the beast, the movies, the tapes preachers make "what to do if you miss the rapture" and NONE of this is Christ-centered. Indeed, most of it is theologically wrong. To those who do not believe in pre-trib, that is your right. But ask yourself this: If you can't live close enough to the Lord to make the rapture, with the power of the Holy Spirit (of Truth) available and the support and fellowship of believers, HOW can you live for God with all that gone? You can't. Without the Spirit of Truth to show man right from wrong, man will believe the lie. It will be very convincing-the signs and wonders will deceive the whole world, according to the Word.

Don't debate pre or post trib beliefs because that is not profitable. What is profitable is being ready to go, period, regardless of what you believe. One belief (pre-trib) lends itself to diligence, the other (post trib) to lukewarmness. Which is better? Diligence. If you, rather, spend your time seeking HIS face, getting to know the REAL ONE you will be able to spot a fake immediately. Ask yourself how your time would best be spent-reading a book or studying Scriptures on the anti christ, and the tribulation in an effort to prepare yourself ---or feeding on the Lord Jesus Christ who is our Strength, our Source, and trusting the Holy Spirit to get you through whatever comes? There are only two roads-narrow (Christ) and broad (everything else). If you are studying or debating the Anti Christ, or reading about the imitation, then you will not be communing with the Christ. You fall for the same lie Eve fell for..."you need to know knowledge of good and evil" when in fact you only need the Tree of Life-Christ. The Bride is making herself ready for her Bridegroom-not studying and and preparing to face the devil's imitation. The Holy Spirit will prepare the Bride to meet the Bridegroom not His imitation. The anti christ spirit is alive and well now in the world. You need look no further than your own heart to find it. How many times does the Lord convict us of things in our lives and draw us to prayer and we make excuses and do not listen or hang on to what He has said must go? That is self exalting itself in the Temple of God (as its own god) over all that is God.

2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

That is the root of the anti christ spirit. Self first. We are the temple of God if we are born again. Yet do we always yield to the Spirit or to flesh? Focusing on anything but Christ can cause luke warmness or carelessness. That was the central point to what Bro Clendennen said. When Christ is not enough to satisfy the Christian and their heart wanders to other things, even religious things, like Israel's did in the wilderness, they have stepped on dangerous ground. You can call it or defend it however you want. It's in the Book because He wants us to know how the Story ends. But it's not to become our focus. He is to have the pre-eminence in all things. Folks in America seem to think God is going to have to allow tribulation to come to the church here to shake us awake...and I have thought that myself and I believe we will face even worse persecution or tribulation ..but the rest of His Body in many places are already going through great tribulation and persecution. Perhaps America herself is symbolized by the five foolish virgins whose oil ran out because her time was not spent plugged into the Source of her life. American Christianity is having a love affair with the gospel of prosperity, and self, even in devoutly religious denominations, whether it's being at ease and peace, peace when there is no peace coming to this nation, regardless of who is elected president, or whether it's religious rules and regulations, the church is stuck in a routine and largely is at ease in Zion or ignorant of the danger of NOT being in close communion with the Lord regularly. If we are not living close enough to the Lord to hear His Voice for ourselves then will we be able to hear Him shout and call His Spirit out of here and us with Him? Isn't that something to think about................

1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Destroying the Works of the Devil

originally published January 2007

Jesus had been doing things, he had been healing people, casting out devils, working works that only He could do. He enters the synagogue which was the temple or the house of God. The synagogue when constructed was patterned after the tabernacle Moses had constructed in the wilderness. It was constructed so that worshipers as they entered the building looked toward Jerusalem. At the upper end of the Sanctuary, there was a replica of the ark of the covenant which contained the Book of the Law, and which faced toward Jerusalem, and at that end there were the upper seats reserved for honored or wealthy patrons. This is where the Pharisees and the Scribes sought to be seated. These seats were elevated above the heads of those on the lower level, and probably added to their own feelings of supremacy over the 'regular people' and the poor, for which they had very little concern. It was probably from their vantage point that they watched Jesus as He entered the synagogue.

Mar 3:1 And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.
Mar 3:2 And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.

This man had no strength in his hand. He could not use it. There was a law in Leviticus 21 that stated no man who had a blemish, such as being blind or lame, or any other physical deformity of the seed of Aaron which would be the Levitical priesthood, could come nigh to offer the offerings of the Lord or the bread of the Lord. He was to eat the bread of His God, both of the most holy and of the holy, but he could not go into the veil or come near the altar for it would profane the sanctuary. The Pharisees had added so many of their own precepts to the Law that it burdened the people, and obscured the Law of God by the Pharisees' traditions and rules and regulations. They did not look kindly on the man with the withered hand being inside the synagogue. Remember, in Acts 3, the lame man was laid at the gate called Beautiful OUTSIDE the temple. He was not allowed in because of his condition. But remember, this was not what God instructed. It was men with carnal minds, who were offended by the sight of those with deformities or disabilities, and did not desire their presence before God. In so doing, they totally misrepresented the character and heart of God before the people.

Jesus looked at them and was grieved and angry with the hardness of their hearts, but healed the man with the withered hand. He knew they were just looking at Him to find fault. Here was a group of religious people who appeared holy, and clean, and had a head knowledge of the Scriptures but did not understand the spiritual meaning of the Scriptures, were blind to Its truths, and had no power. Their form of godliness was in word and appearance. Inside they had wicked, proud hearts, and Jesus said in one place, were full of dead mens bones as whited sepulchers. They were threatened. The very presence of Jesus, who HAD power and authority and who truly cared about the needs of the people, exposed them as the frauds they were, and they recognized He was a threat to their position, their image in the eyes of the people, and to their own power over the people. The Pharisees had so esteemed themselves they felt they would be defiled if a poor person accidentally brushed against their garments as they walked through town. If it was a poor and infirm person, why, the Pharisee would feel defiled.
There is no shortage of religious pride in the world today. Men take pride in their traditions and precepts, and tend to look on those who are different as unworthy, or as unclean. We must be shaped and conformed into the image of CHRIST by the Word of GOD not men's opinions of what we are to be. I've seen people in churches who thought it sin to wear jewelry and makeup, yet there was immorality among the leadership and they had a tendency to judge you by their yardstick and it was hard for one to measure up. The ladies' dresses had to be so long, and their sleeves had to go all the way to the wrists, no matter the weather, or they were considered 'worldly'. Yet those holding the yardstick and doing the measuring, figuratively speaking, were apt to judge and criticize rather than encourage and point that person to the loveliness and majesty of Christ. They became powerful tools the devil used to discourage people from the House of God, which was why their numbers in their churches dwindled and the young people left and did not return.

Jesus did not treat people like that. He was moved with compassion for them. He reached out and healed, comforted, restored, delivered, and helped people. He was so full of the power of God, and yet so approachable in the eyes of the people, they gathered around Him wherever they could find Him.

Mar 3:10 For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues.
Mar 3:11 And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.
Mar 3:12 And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known.

People who were vexed and tormented by unclean spirits, which means demonic, foul spirits, when they recognized Jesus cried out and fell down before Him. Again, He told them to hush. He had the authority with His Word, so full of the power of God to silence the spirits, as well as cast them out.

Mar 3:13 And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.

This same Lord was crucified, buried and rose from the dead. He ascended back to the throne of God on High. He began to call and draw unto Him whom He would, and those who hear Him calling, and come, repentant and humble to Him, are saved and washed by His blood and redeemed. Hallelujah!!!

Mar 3:14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,
Mar 3:15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:

That word 'ordained' means to make ready, prepare, to declare someone whatever the One in authority says he is, and put one forth and lead him out. To appoint one. He sent them forth to spread the message that people needed to repent for the kingdom of God was at hand. Help was here. Hope was here. Deliverance was here. They thought they needed deliverance from Roman authority, when in fact they needed immediate deliverance from demonic oppression and religious pride. Those He chose were to possess the authority given by the Lord Himself to heal sickness. Now that word 'heal' in the Greek is 'therapeuo'. It's like our word 'therapy.' It means to wait upon, menially, as a servant would for his Master, to adore God, as well as relieve one of disease, to cure, and worship. I was surprised to find worship was one of the definitions of the word heal. Isn't that what happens when we come, and like He told us to, cast our cares on Him, and worship Him, and adore Him, and spend time in His presence? He is able to reach down and work in us and fix what is wrong. I remember the first time I knelt in surrender before Him, he did a deep work in me, He healed a hurt in me so deep nothing else had ever been able to reach it, and it was destroying me from within.

But in a moments' time, He took that out, and poured in His love, and healed the pain I had carried for so long. There is so much in that verse. He calls and draws, and those who come and yield their all, He chooses and appoints and empowers. He reaches in the very depths of their being and heals their pain and that relieved soul breaks out in worship for the One who did what no other could do, and because they experienced His healing power, they can share this with others He sends them out to minister to. He also gave them power to cast out devils. Authority to drive them out, expel them from the habitation in a person's life and body. Force is not needed, violence is not needed, because when HE gives you authority, is the authority of God that backs you up. That is all that is needed. Someone who loves Him and believes His Word, and is willing to stand on what HE said, in faith, can put the devil out. It's not to say he won't try to sneak back in another way, the thief always tries to come back in some other way. Just as a wolf will hide in darkness or thick underbrush, waiting for his chance to snatch up a helpless sheep if the shepherd is not watching, or asleep, the devil watches. But praise the Lord, HE never slumbers or sleeps. He that keepeth me never slumbers. He watches over me always. Oh, thank you Jesus!!! Folks, I did nothing to deserve this wondrous, matchless love! He is so awesome!!! What He ever saw in me I could not even begin to figure out. But I am sooooooooooooo glad He reached down and saved me!

He said Fear not I will help thee! He said He'd be my rearward guard! He said He'd go before me and behind me, and nothing shall by any means hurt me. He promised me the power of His life and Spirit working in me that which is pleasing in His sight, and His Word which worketh powerfully, effectually in those who believe. When Jesus stopped the devil cold, He did it with His Word. He did not argue with, or converse with the devil. He did not threaten the devil. He did not shout or yell or wave his hands wildly. He did not have to lay hands on the person possessed. With the Word of His power, demons come out. Nor did they come out free to wreak havoc in another nearby person. They had to leave and go where He sent them, whether it be in a far country, into the swine, or into the abyss. He knew who He was. He knew He acted on behalf of a Holy God who was HIS FATHER. He knew His Father because He spent time with Him.

Dan 11:32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.

It is not for our reputation or so men will think we are something-we are nothing and can do nothing without HIM. We must not go unless we are sent. We must wait to be endued with power from on high, as He instructed His disciples, although He gave them the authority to cast out devils and heal the sick before they were filled with the Holy Ghost. They were filled with the Holy Ghost so they could be empowered to lay down their lives and thoughts and ways completely for the Lord. That's what He said. Ye shall be witnesses unto me. The word 'witness' in the Greek is 'martus' and it's where the word 'martyr' comes from. The old self life, it's all about me, has to die. Who wants to keep rags of self righteousness that are filthy and corrupt when we can have pure and holy righteousness that is Christ? Not me. No wonder that filthy, lying devil will tell God's people, 'give up, go back. It's too hard, God expects too much, His standard is too high, you'll never measure up, you can't make it!" HA! Liar!!!!! I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHICH STRENGTHENETH ME!!!!!!!! (Phil 4:13) I can't do it, but CHRIST IN ME CAN AND HE'S MY HOPE OF GLORY. HE KNOWS THE WAY AND HE LEADS. ALL I HAVE TO DO IS FOLLOW HIM. EAT HIS WORD, PRAY AND LET HIM FILL ME WITH KNOWLEDGE AND THE POWER OF HIS SPIRIT TO DO YIELD MY LIFE TO HIS CONTROL SO HE CAN WALK AND LIVE AND MINISTER THROUGH ME. And people in this world are seeking thrills? THAT is going to be a thrill! He didn't write this Book through the hands of holy men filled with the Holy Spirit for us to just read but for us to live! He gave us some things and we are fools if we let the devil lie and intimidate us out of claiming that which is ours-HIS LIFE in us, to build up the kingdom of God and tear down the works of the devil!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Seduced by the Strange Woman

Prov 7 tells us we need to keep the Word of God in our heart and remain mindful of what the Word says at all times. The Lord said He would send us the Holy Ghost Who would remind us of all things He had said. He brings that Word to our remembrance, but we have to fill up on it, we have to feed our spirits with it. Solomon was the writer of most of the Proverbs, and he goes on to instruct, that we are to keep the commandments of God and live, to keep them as something very special to us, the apple of our eye. That word 'keep' means to hedge about, as with thorns, to guard, protect, to take heed to, to preserve from loss or injury and to observe-as in adhere to or obey. (H8104 in Strong's).
One thing I have learned as I have studied and read the Word is that it will not let you enjoy the pleasures of the world that would be like cold air on the fire of God in your soul. Those things that are hindering influences, it will not let you partake of in peace. When we yield our hearts and lives to the Word, we live. We partake of something that is eternal. It is life to our spirit. He tells us to bind the commandments to us. Let the Word guide what our hands do, hide It in our heart so It will guide our steps. We understand the Word of God is the wisdom of God written down for our benefit and is necessary for our survival as children of God. He wants us to know Him, to understand the wisdom He's made available. James 1:5 says if any man lacks wisdom let him ask of the Lord, and He will give generously to that man so long as he asks in faith and doesn't doubt.

Pro 7:4 Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:
Pro 7:5 That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.

For everything the Lord has the devil has a counterfeit look-a-like. When the Bible speaks of the virtuous woman in Prov 31, we are given a physical illustration of the Bride of Christ. This Bride of Christ shines with the glory of the Lord and the lost and hurting are attracted to her because she is gentle and kind and filled with the love and Spirit of God. She draws with compassion and love because she feeds on these things-her Bridegroom is love, He is kind and compassionate, and glorious. But there is another woman-the strange woman. She has turned aside from truth, she's profane, adulterous, and very seductive. She is animated by Satan himself, and she goes about seeking to allure and turn aside anyone she can.
When the enemy of our soul comes, he doesn't always come like a roaring lion. Actually, he rarely comes at us that way. He's found it's more effective to be subtle, to use the appearance of light, and smooth words of flattery. An unsatisfied soul, a soul that is empty, frustrated, dry, or discontent is an easy mark. These are things that can be exploited and with the right kind of provocation, used against you. For example, God rained manna down on Israel in the wilderness. It was light, nutritious, and provided everything they needed to keep them moving, and alert. But when they grew discontent, not appreciating the Lord was feeding them what He knew they needed, they cried for flesh. The Bible says they were eating angels' food-heavenly food.

Psa 105:40 The people asked, and he brought quail, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven.
Psa 105:41 He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a river.

But they grew discontent with it. They wanted something of flesh. They murmured and complained, so the Lord let them have what they asked for. It wasn't as healthy for them, because we know the Bible says when we mind the flesh above the spirit we will die. If you look at that in the carnal, if you eat a lot of meat, and few vegetables, you will clog your arteries, especially with beef, and pork, and you will end up having a stroke or heart attack much sooner than if you took care to eat a balanced diet and exercise to keep the blood moving, and make it hard for that plaque to settle in your arteries. What they wanted was something that would weigh them down and hinder their progress. Have you ever wondered after eating a large meal, especially at the holidays, when you indulge in treats, and sweets, as well as lots of rich food, you get very sleepy and tired? You can't be sober, alert and vigilant, remembering your enemy walketh about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour if you are going about feeding on things of the flesh, whatever that may be, and I'm not just talking food here. You can over indulge in food, and it will slow you down, pack on the pounds, and it's a sorry source of comfort because it's so temporary and only vaguely satisfying, at best. When you indulge in anything that feeds the flesh-food, or carnal things of this world, it has a detrimental effect on the spiritual life inside of you. Remember, there is a warfare going on inside the born again believer. Flesh wars against spirit and the one who gets fed the most will win.

Pro 7:6 For at the window of my house I looked through my casement,
Pro 7:7 And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,
Pro 7:8 Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,
Pro 7:9 In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:

Imagine Solomon staring through the lattice work on his windows watching the comings and goings of the people, and he sees a young man, approached by this strange woman, late in the evening, as the young man was passing nearby. It's important to note the young man was walking in places he should not have gone. He was near where she was, and in the falling darkness, she meets him. When he's going in the wrong direction, he's walking in darkness because he's drifted away from the light, and he doesn't understand wisdom. He's a youth, who probably thinks he knows more than he actually does. He sees the temptation, and it looks very appealing to the eye.
This strange woman is dressed like a harlot, appealing to the lust of the flesh, the sight of the eyes, and the pride of life is provoked here. She is on display as something that will incite these things in man. She is secretive, hidden in the darkness, watching and on guard to catch the unwary. She's loud, abrasive, she's rebellious, resistant to authority of any kind, she will not stay where she belongs. She is outside the life and light of God, and she is like a huntress waiting for her prey-somebody she can use, and infect with her darkness.

Pro 7:13 So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,

I have to stop on the word 'caught' for a moment. In the Hebrew, this word means to fasten on to, to strengthen, bind, fortify, make hard, prevail, and take hold. It's a word that implies force and strength, resolve or determination. Remember what I said earlier about the dangers of being discontent, dissatisfied or frustrated, and empty? Dry? When this seductive spirit gets a hold of this young man, it automatically strengthens and fortifies that thing in him that makes him susceptible to her wiles in the first place. This strange woman plays on his hunger for satisfaction, knowing she cannot meet that need. She wants to convince him she can. If you can see it, this is another page right out of the devil's play book, when he tries to tempt and distract those who are unstable, weak or new in their faith.

Pro 7:14 I have peace offerings with me; this day have I paid my vows.
Pro 7:15 Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.
Pro 7:16 I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.
Pro 7:17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.

She comes talking religious here. When she says she has peace offerings, that refers to the sacrifice and offering required of the people to God. A peace offering. Come on, you will find what you need here. It's a false claim to possession of something foreign to her. Peace with God. Everything will be alright, it's safe to trust in me. We can get along just fine. And then she starts whispering about all the material things she has-she indicates where she lives there is peace and prosperity and it's a sweet smell..a sweet song of lies to this boy's ears. She convinces him there will be no consequences to face. She urges him to satisfy that need he has with her, to satisfy that urge of his flesh, his lust, with what looks and sounds good. She gives herself away, as she continues talking, but this young man misses it.

Pro 7:19 For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:
Pro 7:20 He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.

As the Body of Christ we are warned by the Lord to watch, to be on guard because we don't know when the Lord is coming back for us, but He's only coming back for those who are watching, waiting and ready to leave. Remember He will not force Himself on anyone-He won't take anyone not wanting and ready to go. Those who are caught up in their own lives, their own pleasures and pursuits which have nothing to do with Him, He's not coming after. He warned to be careful not to be overcharged or caught up in the cares or worries and pressures of this life and be caught unaware. We are often guilty, but wrong to continually try to carry weights and problems, when He said cast them on Him, because He cares, and come, learn of Him, and let Him have our burdens. We are told to lay aside every weight. Be on guard. Be awake. Redeem the time. Make good use of it. Be working, with one eye to the plow in the field of God, seeking the lost for the Master, and the other eye on the clouds...for He is coming. Soon.
But then, this strange woman, this seductive spirit, gives herself away. She speaks of the goodman. Church, who is the goodman as mentioned here? In Matthew 24:43, we are told the goodman is the one in charge of the house. He is the steward, the husbandman. We were told by the Lord to occupy until He comes. Occupy-not let the devil run rough shod over us and take whatever he wants.

Mar 13:33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
Mar 13:34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

The Lord says watch. Be prepared. But what does the strange woman say? Oh, He's gone on a long journey, He won't be back for a long time. Some day He will return, but not now. There is plenty of time. She is persuasive. She flatters, exploits unmet needs, frustrations and discontent in this young man. Her powers of persuasion are strong, and he yields. She literally seduces him into bondage that will destroy him. A good example is when someone is trying to persuade your kids to try drugs out. They will tell our kids, oh, it will make you feel good, it'll numb your pain, give you strength, it won't hurt you. But there is a payday and it will do much damage. It will destroy.
There is a strange woman- a spirit of the world out there that seeks to draw in any it can.
Remember, those who are lost are already caught. They are not the target. The target is the child of God who is new in their faith and unaware of the danger, like an innocent child, bursting with a new life the devil wants to stomp out. Those who are weak in their faith and struggling, because they have been battling hard, and are weary, and have gotten a little slack on their prayer life and study time in the Word, making themselves vulnerable.

Pro 7:24 Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.
Pro 7:25 Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.
Pro 7:26 For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.
Pro 7:27 Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

If you are battling a sense of discontentment, frustrated by events in your life that aren't going like you want them to, or tired of the struggle, and you keep hearing thoughts in your head pointing you down or back, you need to cry out to God. He is right there. Even a new born baby in Christ can put the devil on the run through faith in the power of the name of Jesus Christ.


If you have started out strong with the Lord and grown tired of the constant harassment of the enemy, and have begun to neglect things of the Lord, time with the Lord, and that is where we find our strength, take heed. Don't turn to the beggardly elements of this world-whether it be food, television, or trivial pursuits to satisfy the longing of your soul. Don't turn to flesh, or self help books to try to make yourself feel better. Don't return to old habits, or seek relief in mind numbing influences. Don't seek comfort in the arms of the strange woman-whatever that may represent in your life. Don't turn on the television and watch some peace and prosperity so-called preacher tell you how to feel better and get rich. There is only ONE true cure.

Psa 16:11 Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore.

Run to His presence. He promised anyone who comes to Him He would not cast out or reject. He knows the pain and frustration and need you feel. He alone can meet that need. He's coming back and He wants you to be ready to meet Him. He is able to keep you from falling and to present you to Himself spotless, before the presence of His glory. Listen carefully. In the chaos of your mind and your heart, can you hear the still small voice saying "Come." He is calling whosoever will come. He is the cure to our pain and loneliness and hurts. He is the Balm of Gilead, He is the Strength of the weak, the Hope of the hopeless, the Power of the fearful, the Defender of the helpless, the Refuge for the tired and weary. Whatever you need, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost of God, and the Father, who is Lord of all can say, honestly I AM all you need.

Go to Him. He will not criticize or condemn. He will open His arms wide, comfort and console you and strengthen you. He will not leave you or forsake you, He loves you. Don't listen to the voice of the devil saying it will be better if you go back. He will kill you if you listen to him. When Israel was in the wilderness-on the very verge of going into the promised land, the devil used fear and weariness of the way to keep them out. They wanted to go back to Egypt. If God had allowed them to return, they would have found vengeful, angry and hate-filled Egyptians waiting to slaughter them. That tempter is whispering, trying to seduce people so he can destroy them. Take heed, if you are battling against discontentment, discouragement, frustration-as a child of God, you CAN in the name of JESUS CHRIST REJECT THIS. Resist it in HIS NAME and it has to first bow to HIS LORDSHIP and then leave.

2Co 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Unworthy Communion

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:

Mark tells us in his gospel (chapter 15) that the chief priests, the elders, the scribes, and the whole council bound Jesus, had a little meeting and decided they had enough to convince Pilate He was worthy of death. Judas, the betrayer, had been there, watching and listening to all of these things with growing horror. The devil who had entered him and manipulated him by now had left him, I believe. The enemy had retreated so that Judas could realize what he had done. You know, I believe this is what happens when someone murders a loved one and then kills themselves. The devil that drove them to such lengths by inflaming their passions and rage retreats enough for them to see rationally what they have done and in horror, they condemn themselves, just as he knew they would, and take their own life.

Judas stands there, hearing them find Him guilty and sentencing Him to death. He hears how they have tried to get false witnesses to lie and accuse Him of blasphemy, but Judas knew the truth for he had been with Jesus long enough to know better. This situation was quickly getting out of hand from what Judas expected. When Judas understood that Jesus was going to die, he regretted and cared after the fact that this should happen and the part he had played in this awful thing. He felt remorse and regret. There was a repentance and regret that this was how it had happened, and wished he'd handled it differently. This is a change of purpose, not of heart. He returns with the 30 pieces of silver to the elders and chief priests and confessed that he had missed the mark, he had made a serious error, because he had betrayed someone who was guilty of nothing wrong. The Scripture doesn't say, but I wonder if he stepped out of this crowd in front of Jesus and everybody and tried to give the money back? Or did he get their attention and ease off to the side for a minute and try to change this by giving it back? Scripture isn't clear on this. But, either way, it was too little, too late. They would not listen. He went out and hung himself, ending his life.

One thing that troubles me here about this and will require prayer. Jesus did not warn Judas. He warned His own, what was to come. He told them all about the need for the Comforter, how the devil had asked to sift Peter like wheat. He revealed He had prayed for him that his faith not fail. He warned His own they would be scattered when He was smitten, and that He would not fail them or forsake them. He wanted them to have peace. These things were not said until after Judas left to betray Him. Jesus handed Judas the bread at the passover dinner, dipped it in sauce and handed, offered it to him. This represented the Bread of Life-the Body of the Lord, and Paul warns in
1Co_11:27 that anyone who eat this Bread and drink this cup of the Lord irreverently, unworthily, (and these both imply the condition of the heart at the time) shall be guilty of the Body and blood of the Lord.

One translation adds "dishonoring the body and blood of the Lord". Another says "he will be responsible for the (breaking) of the body and (shedding) the blood of the Lord." He's guilty of sinning against the Body and Blood of the Lord. Interestingly enough, the Complete Jewish Bible puts it this way: "he will be guilty of desecrating the body and blood of the Lord!" He's making criminal use of the body and blood of the Lord. Profaning it. Held responsible for it. If this is taken carelessly, this eating of the bread and drinking of the cup of the Lord, that person will have to answer for sin against the body and blood of the Lord. This also has a very personal application, as well. We sit down with this Holy Bible, which is the Bread of Life, the Word that was once flesh and dwelt among us, remember the flesh of Jesus Christ was always secondary to the Word. He made no provision for the flesh, other than what was necessary to keep the body functioning until the ministry God gave Him was complete. What an indictment against myself. Oh, Lord help us. Deliver us from SELF! Please! We sit down with this Bread of Life, and It is anointed (dipped-the word in the Greek is baptiso-immersed, baptized) in water, representing the Spirit of God who has been sent to teach us, and we dare to handle this Word irreverently, carelessly, we will be held responsible, we will be guilty of profaning the Body and blood of the Lord.

Paul warns again in 1Co_11:29 "He that eats and drinks unworthily (irreverently or carelessly, casually) will eat and drink damnation (judgment, condemnation) to himself, not making the distinction or understanding the danger he places himself in. Simply put, he's eating and drinking God's judgment upon himself or herself. The Word will either justify or condemn us. Depends on what we do with It.