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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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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Lamp in the Dark: The Untold History of the Bible

                                            A Lamp In the Dark: The Untold History of the Bible

This is a historical documentary about the opposition of Rome and the Papacy, to prevent the people access to the Word of God. While watching this, I have been so struck by the similarities of the spirit of the Pharisees and religious rulers who demanded Jesus be crucified and the Popes of Rome, the Catholic Church-all the way back to Nero. This is a must watch for those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Please go to the Voice of the Martyrs and purchase this instead of Amazon.com or elsewhere...you couldn't make a more precious investment than sharing the Gospel with someone who lives in a persecuted country and may never have heard the lovely name of Jesus or His precious Truth.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Truth That Makes Us Free

Php 3:1  Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not troublesome, but for you it is safe. 

 Sometimes it's hard to rejoice in the Lord because we find ourselves plagued with life's problems. We have a natural tendency to think and operate in our own strength and understanding which are always insufficient to the task of ordering our own steps in the right way. Sometimes we do all we know to do and things still don't work out right, and we end up frustrated, tired, and discouraged because we expected more of ourselves than we should.

Things around us in this violent, evil and selfish world are disturbing with no peace to be found. He warned us there is no peace to the wicked. They are tossed about like waves of the ocean with no rest. Why is there no peace for the wicked? (Isa_57:20-21) That word peace actually means safety, prosperity, rest of the soul, and inner peace that comes from knowing Him who is our Peace. They may appear to prosper financially or have worldly fame, but inwardly they are never satisfied, never at rest. As for the word 'wicked' that simply means people who are morally wrong, who are condemned because they are guilty of violating the law of God and refuse to accept the sacrifice for their sins of His Son. He offers us HIS life but many reject Him because they prefer to be their own god.

He told us in Joh_16:33 that in this world we would have tribulation, trials, suffering, problems. But in HIM, not in ourselves, not in this world, not in this world system, but in HIM we would find peace. We can rejoice because He knows us, saved us, is saving us, and wants to reveal Himself to us. He's everything we need. He's everything good and pure that you will never find in this world, or in any human being. Regardless of what goes on around us, in our environment, we can rejoice in Him if we have our thoughts and hearts stayed on Him. He promises that He will keep them in perfect peace whose minds are stayed on or fixed continually on HIM. These are those who remember God is in control when it looks like everything is out of control.  These are they who trust Him, think on Him, depend on Him, love Him, and know He will not fail. They prefer His life, His truth, His way to their own. They refuse to be overcome by the evil around them because greater is HE who is in them and they are learning by His Spirit to refuse that frustrated flesh the opportunity to express its displeasure with the way things are going. They are better able to resist their own impulse to fall apart and instead fall on Him. Only the power and leadership of the Holy Spirit can take us to this place and teach us how to do this.

Even though there is darkness, wickedness, corruption and violence all around, we can rejoice in the LORD. He is holy, pure, kind, merciful, faithful, honest, righteous, just. We can rejoice in His absolute fair justice, His loyalty to us, His truth, His light, His way, His selfless compassion and goodness. I myself haven't felt much like rejoicing for so long. I've had my eyes on the situations too, instead of on my glorious Savior. Lord forgive me and thank You for not giving up on me when it would have been so easy to have given up on myself. We can find comfort in the Word of God if we will present ourselves to this Word and depend on, ask the Holy Spirit to minister it to our troubled hearts. He only has the Word of life. Where else is there to go? There is such a difference when HE teaches and ministers the Word to us! Why would we ever want to sit down with the Bible and try to read it ourselves without Him? It would not profit us at all. 

Php 3:2  Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

Make sure you are careful to avoid, protect yourselves from such. Consider them, examine them, know what they are. What is the concision? Literally it means mutilators. The Jews hated the Christian faith as much as they hated and rejected Jesus Christ. It was so offensive to them who were in darkness, spiritually blind to the truth, to be told the only way to be saved was to believe in and accept HIM. They had all this religion of the law pounded into their heads from birth, by non-spiritual men. They had been fed a dead letter by unregenerate men and it had made them harsh, contemptuous, arrogant and unkind. They took pride in the suffering of their flesh, the cutting off of the foreskin. They saw it as a badge of honor, a mark of acceptance of God. It was after all the symbol of the covenant God had made with Abraham. 

Still, they did not obey God or follow after God, or have an intimate relationship with God as Abraham had. They did not walk as he walked, they took it forgranted. I'm circumcised, I'm a Jew, I know the law, I'm saved. How many people today have with their mouths professed to believe in Jesus Christ, and because they were told if you believe on Him you're saved, and people take it forgranted they are saved, yet in their hearts do not know Him at all? They are unchanged in their hearts. These are just as lost as a sinner who avoids the church like the plague. Considering what Jesus Christ went through on the cross how can we sanely think we can take how we live our lives and sin forgranted? 

In Rom_2:17 Paul addresses this attitude that apparently lingered in those who had been born again into the church. He said, Look, you are called a Jew, and you still rely on the law and brag on being accepted of God because of this? You know His will and you know what matters, being instructed out of the law. You are sure that you are one who can lead the blind into truth, that you are a light to those who are in darkness. It's not enough to know the law and will of God, you must be a doer of this. You must be the message you preach to others about. You are still relying on the fact that you have the mark of the circumcision, that covenant God had with Abraham. 

Paul was teaching them how vain it was to trust in any accomplishment of the flesh, because the only circumcision that counts is the spiritual one done in the heart by the Holy Spirit of God. This one has been circumcised in the heart, they have had their own moral corruption exposed to them by the Holy Spirit. They know there is nothing good in them to bring to God that they are saved not by anything they could ever in their wildest dreams hope to achieve but it's by what HE did for them, what He does IN them, what HE IS that saves. We can't believe in ourselves, we have to believe even though we could never be good enough it's because HE is our righteousness, He is our holiness, our purity, our sanctification, our redemption, our wisdom, our access to God. He paid the price for our sins and it cost Him dearly. We have no right to take sin casually or take it forgranted that we can sin and confess and just keep doing that and get by with it. 

 In Rom_2:28 Paul explains he is not a Jew (spiritually speaking, which is God's elect or chosen) that is one outwardly. I know there is debate on who is God's chosen but He chooses those who obey Him, who follow Him wholeheartedly and submit to Him, depend on Him, commune with Him. They take nothing forgranted. He is their life and they know it. They are willing to lose everything but Him. Paul said neither is he a Jew who keeps the rituals and rules of the law that are external, or obvious to others. There were the religious Jews who kept the commands of the law that flesh could keep. They circumcised their males, dressed to the letter according to the law, washed their hands, refused to associate with those who were unclean, or not a Jew. They wouldn't eat anything the law declared unclean. Jesus called these religious folks like the Pharisees hypocrites, blind guides, fools, like whitewashed graves, so they appear to men outwardly to be righteous but inside they are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

They took pride in their religious appearance, even though the keeping of these things which flesh could keep was tedious, they did this and because they did it, they became arrogant,  proud, mean viewing others who hadn't arrived where they had with contempt.  They did it-and they took the credit for it. But the keeping of these laws did not make their heart pure or holy. It did not make them acceptable to God. 

Paul said he is a Jew-God's chosen, spiritually, not naturally, who is a Jew inwardly-whose HEART has been circumcised, in the spirit not in the flesh, who is not praised by men but by God. Circumcision of the heart is so much more painful and personal than that of the flesh. Only God can do this kind of cutting. What is the circumcision of the heart? It is the Spirit of God in us working in us to show us there truly is nothing in us naturally that God can use because what we are naturally is always going to resist and oppose Him. He is selfless but we are selfish by nature. He is pure and we are unclean inwardly, craving that which He considers abomination. We are taught from the cradle to be self sufficient, exalt self, promote self, improve self, help self, decorate self, please self whatever it takes or costs. And we have no problem with this, we can rationalize our own actions when our conscience troubles us to shut it up. 

He works in us to expose the inner workings of our natural self life that must be overcome, put down like a dog because in the kingdom of God it is not allowed. He cuts away the notion that we can bring our talents and abilities to God and expect Him to bless them and be grateful and think He can use any of it. We have nothing worthy to bring Him except our faith, which originates from Him, and our life, which also originates from Him. The key thing is that HE is to become our life, our Source, the One we are to follow and live for, depend totally on. 

He shows us the futility and error of our religious ideas. He has been very misrepresented by the greatest part of what professes to be the Church for so long. It comes as quite a shock to a seeking heart to find that this Great God when He draws you to Him and chooses to begin to reveal Himself to us by His Holy Spirit, we find He is nothing like we were led to believe. As someone raised Pentecostal, I have lived this. He is nothing like I was led to believe in church as a child and as a young Christian in the Lord. 

One of the most precious things He has to cut away, cut out of us is our own notion of who He is and how we are to serve Him. Pentecostals are taught for the most part a strict code of conduct and rules that are to govern their manner of dress, their external appearance and outward behavior. They don't see the wickedness of this. Dressing and looking different is not in itself wicked unless it competes with Him for preeminence. I believe in a decent, moderate dress. The wickedness is making those rules and external things the focus, the center of their doctrine, instead of Christ. So much emphasis is placed on these external things, while very little emphasis is placed anymore on the necessity of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.We must learn the leadership of the Holy Spirit and walk in dependence and obedience to the Holy Spirit who alone can make Jesus real to and through us. He alone is qualified to reveal Christ. AND THAT IS THE PURPOSE OF BEING A CHRISTIAN-to reveal Christ to a lost and dying world. But we must know Him ourselves first before we can be like Him and we can't learn Christ apart from the Holy Spirit ministering the Word of God to us in Spirit and in truth, not as a dead letter.  

read more here

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ephesus: Getting Back To Our First Love

Rev 2:1-7 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things says he that holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands; I know your works, and your labor, and your patience, and how you can not bear them who are evil: and you have tried them who say they are apostles, and are not, and have found them liars: And have endured, and have patience, and for my name's sake have labored, and have not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against you, because you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you are fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto you quickly, and will remove your lampstand out of its place, except you repent.

The first thing Jesus says here is I Am (Rev_1:8) We have read it, but have we ever understood the reality of those two small words? I, the Creator, the Word of God that was made flesh, that came and lived among men, that was vilified, crucified, and put to death by wicked men, I exist. I AM. I have always been. I was, I Am, and I will always be. I Am without beginning and without ending. I AM bigger than your feeble minds could even begin to understand. My goodness, can you wrap your mind around that truth?

John was here, having been banished to the isle of Patmos. He's in the Spirit--this was a man who had learned how to walk and live in and by the Holy Spirit of God. He had given himself wholly to the Lord. That's what it means to be in the Spirit. One who has given himself wholly to the Spirit, who lives and moves according to the direction and leading of the Spirit, not his own self will or desire. John hears this loud, mighty voice. Remember when HE spoke, worlds were made. He commanded and it was done. He hangs the stars in heaven on nothing but His Word. He looked upon a dark, shapeless, chaotic world and said Let there be light and instantly there was light. He says I Am the Alpha and Omega, the first and last. He has always been and always will be. He's the beginning of everything. Everything that has ever been made was made because He desired it to be.

He tells John what you see, what I'm going to show you, look and understand it, take heed to it. Write it down and send My Word to the seven churches which are in Asia. The Lord identifies each church by name and His message is to be sent to the angel, or pastor of each church. He speaks to the leadership first.

As the Lord is speaking from behind John, he turns to look and see who this is, although by the Spirit, I know he knew. This was the man who was so profoundly moved by the love of the Savior as His disciple, He stayed closest of them all to His side. Now he looks upon the glorified Christ, and is stunned beyond words. He sees seven golden candlesticks and in the center of them is Christ. HE is truly to be the Center, the Preeminence of all, church. That simply means He's to have first place in everything. The seven golden candlesticks are the seven churches but the light and life of the candlestick or the church is the Holy Spirit. You can see this illustrated as well in Zec_4:2-6. The church can do nothing of its own accord for Jesus plainly tells us without Him we can do nothing.

He addresses the church of Ephesus first, and remember, He is speaking directly to the leadership there, to the pastor who will then have to notify the congregation of what the Lord said. He said I know what you're doing, how hard you're working. I am aware of all the trouble and toil you are enduring. I see how you have been hurt, your pain, your weariness. I see how you have endured, waiting with hope and how you can't bear them which are evil. I know you have tested them who say they are sent by Me and found them to be liars. You have carried the load patiently, and for My Name's sake you have worked hard even though you're tired. You have not grown weary or sick to the point of giving up.

First, He commends the things He has found pleasing in this church. But then He points out the flaw: You've left your first love and that I have against you. They had endured, been steadfast, for His Name's sake, and not given up, not given into weariness and fatigue. But He had something against them: they had forsaken their first love. They had allowed something else, be it the work for Christ, or the battle they fought, or other distractions of life to replace what was of utmost importance: the preeminence of Christ in their heart, affections and life. Remember He shows us in Rev_1:12 HE is in the center, the focus, the Source of the Churches. His Holy Spirit is the life and light of those churches and if they do not deal with the things He exposes, if corrections are not made, He will remove their candlestick. He'll take His Holy Spirit from them and they will lose their place in His Kingdom.

Without His life and light they will deteriorate into the impotent religious institutions you see on every corner today, going through the motions and rituals of religion while the world around them goes to hell untouched by this great God who died so they could be saved. This might offend a lot of church goers but it's true: Nowhere in the Word of God is there given an example or even a hint of church programs, skits, plays, puppet shows, clowns or dance and drama groups as a God accepted method of spreading His gospel. He showed us very different-a five fold ministry under the leadership and power of the Holy Spirit who alone does the work. He offers us a chance to be partakers and co-workers with Him in this but we are never to be in charge. HE is.

Now, Christ tells Ephesus you best remember where you have fallen from and repent, and do the first works. You best agree to cast out anything that interferes with what is most important in your life and that is Me. You can't serve anyone else if you don't first serve ME. If you don't abide in Me, stay connected to Me, then I will remove your light, and you will walk in darkness unless you repent. Unless you turn away with abhorrence for your sin and turn to Me. That was the warning here to this church at Ephesus where this doctrine and pattern of behavior illustrated by the Nicolaitans was trying to infiltrate a church that was operating in the flesh. These people were being faced with a teaching that allowed indulgence of the flesh, changing God's commands, going easy on the flesh so it can enjoy itself and not have to suffer for being separate, different. He acknowledged that they hated the deeds and behavior of the Nicolaitans as He did, He commended their hard work, their pain and suffering, acknowledged it, even. He understood. But He also knows if you don't love Him you won't remain, you will fall away. LOVE is what causes those who follow Him to follow Him. You would have to love Jesus to follow Him for the path He takes is not an easy journey. It's straight, narrow and uncompromising. And when He no longer has first place in our lives and we are walking in the flesh, sooner or later we will begin to fulfill the lust or desire of that flesh.

Remember what He told His disciples? Walk in the light while you have the light lest darkness overtake you. He said remember from where you've fallen. That means you've lost something, you've become inefficient, all the work you do has no effect. Why? Because it's no longer born out of communion with HIM. It's human reasoning, trying its best to serve a Master but many of His people, even in the ministry, don't spend enough time with Him to know Him, to draw the eternal life and strength from Him that is needed in this hour to bear fruit. How can you know what He wants you to be if you don't get alone with Him? How can we serve Him when we don't know Him, don't know or share His heart's desire? How can we represent Him accurately when we don't know Him intimately ourselves? He said I Am the way, the Truth, and the Life. If we try to use our way, if we try to interpret His Word ourselves, if we try to run on the resources of our human life, we can only miserably fail Him at BEST.

The key is love. You have to love Him to follow Him because His way leads to the cross and flesh wants to run from that. Self doesn't want to be crucified, denied and totally rejected. That sounds like lunacy. No wonder He said the way is straight and narrow and many will strive to enter in and not be able. Self can't get through that door, only what is hidden in Christ makes it through.

The Holy Spirit Who has been given to us from God to remain with us, to live in us, to teach, guide, direct, empower, reveal truth to, expose what is unlike Christ in us so we can repent and be cleansed, to take what Christ has available for us and show it to us, make it a reality in our lives. In Rom_5:5, the Word of God tells us it's the Holy Ghost that pours the love of God into our hearts. Eph_3:19 says to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge, it transcends the knowledge of religion or anything else. It's a far more excellent thing-hard to understand, but it's a reality. The Holy Spirit can so pour the love of God out in to our hearts, because when He is in us, HE is God, He is LOVE, and He will reproduce in us what He is. When He is active and working in our lives, there is evidence, the fruit or result of the Holy Spirit working in us. Love, peace, joy are just the first three. The kingdom of God is that we have peace with God, peace in our minds, we're covered by the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, because we have none of our own and we are strengthened, taught and fed by the communion of the Holy Ghost. (Rom_14:17) In His Presence is fullness of joy so why is it so hard to pray? To make ourselves and our troubled minds be still until we know once again HE is God, not us? He's responsible for the results, not us. We can't change the world but He can through us if we yield to Him, follow Him. He will change what needs changing, He will accomplish His will. But we must understand what that will is. It's not make this world a rosy place-He's already condemned this planet. His purpose is to seek out the lost, to call and reach out to those in darkness and deliver them from the grip of the devil. Satan is a merciless and cruel jailer. Only Jesus has the key to their prison.

The Word of God says in HIM was life and that life was the light of men. That Holy Spirit in Jesus Christ was the life that lit up the way for men in darkness. Oh, Hallelujah! No wonder the devil has lured people away from the preaching of the cross, from the preaching of the necessity of the Holy Spirit and being baptized by the Holy Spirit, walking in the Spirit. HE is the One who makes the Word real to our hearts, opens our understanding to its mysteries and makes it possible for us to be nourished by the Word of God. Without Him, the Word of God is a dead letter that only kills. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is vital to the Christian. Let us, like Ephesus, get back to the cross, put self out of the way and bow our hearts before the Lord, gripping His Word to us. No man can call Him Lord but by the Holy Spirit. No one can come to Him unless the Father draws them. When He draws them, the Lord won't refuse them. Without Him we can do nothing. We can't love, we can't order our steps right, we can't think right, do right or be right. We must realize we are totally dependent on HIM. He alone can get us back to our first love. Our flesh is too strong and we've made too many mistakes. For so long the church has been wearing herself out, trying to put God in a box, thinking wrongly about how it is supposed to be. Too many people in the church follow more of man's traditions and rules than God's commands. It's either name and claim it or a bunch of rules. Heavy emphasis, as with the Pharisees, is placed on external things by the church because these are things flesh can accomplish without God. But those things which require the work of the cross and the Holy Spirit in our lives, the weightier things, they are neglected, misunderstood, and rarely preached. The result is a tired, worn out, ineffective church that's operating in the flesh.
Sometimes we can get so busy, so set in our religious rut that we just don't see that's why there are so little results. He can't bless or anoint the flesh. Won't do it. But there's a remedy.

If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2Ch_7:14)

Read entire notes HERE.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Offended and Growing Cold

In Matthew 24, Jesus has been at the temple with His disciples, who are boasting in the glory of and showing Him this building and the buildings attached to it. You might wonder why they felt the need to defend the temple. That word 'shew' here comes from a root word that means to prove, demonstrate, to put on display something that belongs to one's self. That's indicative of pride and confidence in that thing. But Jesus turns to look at them and says all these things you see will be torn down. There won't be anything left of them. What a shock His declaration must have been to these disciples. Immediately they get alone with Him and want to know when this will happen and what will be the signs, or indications that these events are near, especially His return, His Presence, and the completion of the age? When will be the end be? What are the indicators that it is close?

First, He warns them about being deceived. Take heed that no one leads you astray, or seduces you from following the straight and narrow way. Many shall come in His name, (in His position, place, professing to be the voice of God, the man of God, claiming they have the anointing of God). Christ means 'anointed One'. There are many things that would lead us astray. There is the tempter, who tries to seduce us, and our own human reasoning which the devil can exploit and manipulate if we are not careful. There is the pull of the world, and again, our own human, carnal desires. And then you have so much corrupted teaching of the Word of God. There are so many religious celebrities out there-which is clearly not Scriptural but they have a disturbingly large following. They make merchandise out of simple people who take it for granted they speak truth and do not take the time to search these things out for themselves.

He said there would be warfare, and I believe that means both in the natural and the spiritual. The spiritual warfare raging against God's children right now is hard, and wearing many out. You are going to hear reports of wars, but don't be frightened for all these things must come to pass. There is going to be nations rise against nations, (racism will be rampant), kingdom against kingdom. People will be hungry and destitute because food will be scarce. Again, I believe this applies spiritually as well as physically. There is a great lack of shepherds in the pulpits actually feeding the sheep. There are those who are, but for the most part, it's a dead letter being ministered by a carnal preacher who is not filled with or led by the Holy Spirit or one who has let the oil leak out of his vessel. There truly is a famine for the Word of God but He promised to feed His children in such times. The key is looking to HIM, depending on HIM not man. And for those who are hungry, He knows how to lead you to green pastures. He knows if you want truth and will lead you to it.

He said there would plagues, disease, pestilence, earthquakes (a great shaking in many places), and there have been literal earthquakes that have been devastating. But there is also a shaking in our lives, too, or will be, in which He will shake those who are His loose from anything they are holding on to that is not Him. The famine, the pestilence, the warfare, the racism, the earthquakes, these He said are just the beginning of sorrows, like the birth pangs of a woman who is about to give birth. He warned them His people would be betrayed, surrendered or given up to prison, to be pressured, persecuted, unfairly burdened, and that great tribulation and trouble, and great anguish. Many would be put to death, and those who are His will be hated, persecuted for being like Christ, for Christ is the One who is hated. Remember He said they have hated me and they will hate you.

It will be a time of rampant racism, with deceivers on every corner, warfare raging all around, famine and hunger which leaves people weak and vulnerable, and everything that can be shaken is being shaken. It's a time when God's people are being terribly burdened, persecuted, accused, hated, with many being slaughtered simply for being like Jesus, belonging to Him, and standing up for what is right. What is the result of such an environment?

Mat 24:10-13 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall grow cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

There are a lot of things happening right now in the news that are stirring up a very unholy wrath in people. I have seen such a vicious hatred and malice directed at this young lady in Florida who was acquitted on charges she murdered her daughter that is is every bit as evil as the crime she was accused of committing. To partake of such will make you unclean. This is something that as terrible as it was, will pull at you, manipulate human emotions and seduce one into speaking evil and thinking evil.

Our government is doing things, saying things and behaving in such a way that makes you wonder if they haven't lost their minds, while they make this country the laughingstock of the world. This also can manipulate human emotions into wanting to get in the flesh and do something, fight against these things with carnal weapons. Flesh always wants to do something, amen? But it will distract you and seduce you away from your primary post and mission which is the kingdom of God and His purpose is to seek and save the lost. Remember, saints, Jesus testified that if His kingdom were of this world, then would His servants fight. Our warfare is not carnal, but spiritual. Don't be drawn away from Him and His life, His purpose by being seduced into getting entangled in this world's affairs. It's not your home if you belong to Him. Don't be moved away from that hope, and from His mission.

At the same time, there are as Jesus warned, false prophets and teachers that are leading people into error. When you think of the great falling away that Paul warned about, look to the pulpit first, not those who have quit coming to church. For the most part, preachers have fallen away from preaching the cross, the new covenant, the necessity of the Holy Spirit having the leadership in our lives. It's all about being open minded and understanding or being so legalistic their holiness is all wrapped up in rules their flesh can be made to keep. I talk to believers and ask them do you know what the cross means in the Christian life? Have you ever heard or understand what the new covenant means? And I'm met with blank stares or admissions that they have never studied it in their Bibles. I can see they've never thought to study these things. Why? These truths are key to an overcoming life in these last days. I believe the enemy has so clouded or distracted people's minds with the lie that these truths are too hard to understand, and aren't relevant that people just don't seek understanding of these things. However, if you have heard BH Clendennen from Beaumont, TX preach, or David Wilkerson preach, as well as the other ministers at Times Square Church in NYC, then you likely have heard these truths. They are so vital.

Jesus said in the last days many would be offended. Why? What's going to be happening that will cause this? What does it mean to be offended? Remember, we aren't to lean to our own understanding, folks. Don't pick up the Webster's Dictionary to look up that word. Pick up a Strong's Concordance and look up the Greek meaning of the word. Remember, it's HIS truth not ours that leads to life. His way, His life, not ours.

That word offended (G4624 skandalizo) is to scandalize, entrap, trip up, cause to sin or stumble into apostasy, because of displeasure. Not pleased with the way things are, or upset about something that is going on and people are manipulated into sin because human emotion is being exploited and provoked by what is happening. It is a stumbling block that put is in someone's way that can or will make them fall into sin or apostasy. What about the great number of people who spent weeks watching this trial unfold in Florida and neglected their Bibles and prayer during that time? Vulnerable to manipulation, to being offended. It can cause them to begin to lose faith in the one they should trust and obey-i.e. God. It can cause you to unfavorably or unjustly judge another. This can also make you indignant, angry with displeasure at something, or someone, and provoke you to act inappropriately. As the remainder of Mat_24:10 says "many shall be offended and shall betray and hate one another."

So let's look at what He's saying will be the result of being offended. It leads to betrayal. That word means also to surrender or give up, to put in prison, or into someone else's hands as Jesus was at Gethsemane thrust into the hands of the Jewish council. To deliver up treacherously to be judged, condemned, punished, tormented, scourged and put to death. That is what the word 'betrayal' here means. Now, you say you are a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, who came to seek and save the lost-including sinners whose behavior offends you, but you because you are offended by what they've done or got by with, you'd rather call down the fire of God on them? Think about that. It's unlike Christ. It's doing to them what was done to Him by HIS OWN PEOPLE. It's basically turning your back on them and by default handing them over to the devil to be destroyed without a fight or care for their souls. How wicked is that when you see it in the light of truth? Religious people get offended and they disagree over what Scripture means and instead of humbling themselves before the Lord seeking truth, they in pride assume they are right and distance themselves, often with contempt and utter disregard from the offending individual.

THANK GOD He did not treat us this way. They will hate one another-they won't love each other like HE said to. This word means also to persecute, or pursue one who is detested. Now, is this not what ill words do when spoken by someone offended by another? Instead of praying for that person for God to help them, teach them better or deliver them from their sin, they just write them off, judge them, condemn them and pronounce they are worthy of judgment (while meaning wrath) of God and go on unconcerned. I believe this is why Jesus warned about being careful how we judge others. That kind of selfish judgment is done because that person doesn't have the heart of God to suffer being hurt or let down, and would rather continue on their way being offended, telling everyone they know, every time they talk to somebody how this person did them wrong and how they didn't deserve to be so mistreated. I almost want to say "grow up crybaby!" here.

And then others may handle it differently. They may withdraw in bitterness and isolate themselves from those they feel have let them down or offended them. Both reactions are wrong and neither reflect the heart of God. Both are rooted in the selfish human nature which makes them evil. So what happened to the meek and quiet spirit God considers so valuable? How we need this operating in our lives! How many times I've vented my frustration about something or someone to another and later had to repent because who I vented to didn't see or hear Christ but a misrepresented something full of itself, concerned with its own needs and hurt feelings. Corrupt! Oh, Lord help me. Give me grace to face this. Please.

Iniquity is the condition of being without the law, ignorant of it or not, or to behave how one wants with contempt for the law, deliberately violating the law with contempt and utter disregard. Wickedness. Because we see this rampant in our society, it's going to have devastating results. Consider a pole with a concrete ball shaped object secured to the top of it. Now if every day someone with strong arms and determination stood there from daylight to dark pounding that concrete ball with a steel rod, how long do you think it would take to reduce the ball to powder? Now, consider the mind or heart of a true believer being pummeled daily by ungodly events and pressure from powers of darkness. All these terrible things we see happening around us are like that steel rod wielded in the hands of any angry devil. They are things he uses to constantly assault the love and faith of God's people. People get battered and bruised in this warfare, and he is speaking great swelling words to wear out the saints, as prophesied in Dan_7:25. All those disappointments, hurts, let downs, pain; he always reminds us and beats up on us about them and then we, filled with frustration take it out on others if we aren't very careful. For the most part, we are on the defensive instead of offensive. We are licking our wounds instead of fighting back the devil and his lies. And all the time he is whispering, if God's so good why would He let this happen? And that person who is tired, weary, hurting, can easily be influenced if they don't run to the Lord for shelter. But Jesus warned in Mat_24:12 'Because iniquity shall increase, abound, multiply, the love of many shall grow cold.'

This constant assault of a flood of evil will sweep them away if they are standing on a foundation of flesh, of human reasoning, human strength and human effort; they will not be able to hold on. Only those in Christ will be secure. Only those standing in the power of the Holy Spirit will be able to hold on because HE is their strength and He is able to secure them and keep them from falling. The enemy wears God's people out by wars, crusades, massacres, lies, constant attempts to deceive and lead astray, temptations, afflictions, troubles, trials, a constant stream of negative things shot at their minds, their eyes, to discourage and overwhelm them. This word for 'wear out' means to harass constantly, to wear away or wear out, to afflict.

Head to 2Th_2:4 and you not only have the behavior of the person who is called anti Christ but you have the definition of the human self will in every one of us. "Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God and that is worshiped so the he as God sits in the temple of God (which we are) showing himself that he is (his own) God. He's the opposite, the adversary of all that is revealed as being like or of God. That which provokes a worship of God. He has to rule, he has to have the adoration, the attention, the praise, the glory drawn to himself and away from anything like or of God. Which leaves the beast, his nature, his ways will be worshiped and that is death, destruction and darkness. You have reality TV shows celebrating and glorifying it, you have lawmakers protecting it, and that which is good and right and Godly being vilified as hate speech, as politically incorrect. Calling evil good and good evil. This is where we are. And oh, why aren't we heading with burdened hearts to our prayer closets instead of the streets with inflammatory signs that are only going to stir up flesh and produce more evil? That is not how Jesus did it, folks.

Consider the recent passage of laws allowing same sex marriage in places like NY most recently and the people who supported this law were nearly partying in the streets up there, while many misguided (offended) Christians and religious people were up there holding signs up with vile things on them and inflammatory statements on them, screaming at these homosexuals and lesbians that they were demon possessed, that God hates this, and probably worse, I don't know I wasn't there. But I saw some of the pictures of the signs on the news, some of the people holding them. And I found this too, very offensive. I found the behavior of these people more offensive than those celebrating the passage of this law. They were misrepresenting Christ. And I find that very offensive-even when I have misrepresented Him in any way and I have had to repent for attitudes, feelings, thoughts, words, deeds that were unlike Him.

Sometimes things originate out of our human hearts and minds rather than His Spirit and His life. That is always a bad thing. But unlike many I wasn't enraged by these things, just deeply saddened and grieved. I recognized that sinners who have never known God, never had His light of truth shine into their darkness, they don't even know they are in chains in darkness. I say that because I know what that is like. I remember being bound by drugs, by hate, by fear, shame, and one day at the foot of my bed under heavy conviction, just hitting my knees with a desperate cry for help in my heart that couldn't get past the word "please!" I remember closing my eyes and seeing a vision of a door opening and seeing myself chained up like an animal in a dark corner. I saw this silhouette of HIM standing there, keys in hand, surrounded by this beautiful light I hadn't even known existed. Until that door opened I hadn't even known I was in chains or in darkness. But without a word, He let me know I was free and I heard those chains break and pop and felt them fall off me and I followed Him out of that place and I never want to go back. I guess that is why my heart hurts so much for even the worst of sinners-as He said 'they know not what they do.'

Church people, religious people are very quick to holler for judgment, for punishment, the "God will get you" stuff. Oh, how awful that misrepresents Him. How that trivializes the suffering He went through on the cross for their souls. I pray the Lord help us see this. I look around at the church, and so often what I find is a critical attitude coming from the pulpit, a total lack of understanding of sin and the human heart, an eager willingness to blame people for being sinners, and an inability to grasp why they wouldn't want to serve Jesus. Show them an accurate witness of Him and they will either run to Him or from Him but let them see TRUTH so they can make the choice based on truth not a lie!!!!

What I don't find is the manifestation of Christ or the life changing power of His Presence in our midst to deal with the many things plaguing society and the church in these last of the last days of time. And I grieve and I fret. I know I shouldn't fret and I try not to, I repent every time but I long for Him to show up in His might and power and deliver us from ourselves and from religion and its offended pride.

These are just three things that have been plaguing my mind lately. I have warned people about this dark hatred being directed toward Casey Anthony and her family and how they needed to realize God was willing to forgive those who crucified His only begotten Son and He's willing to forgive her. This dark, malevolent hate being directed toward her will make people unclean. I found myself getting angry when she was found not guilty and wondering but by the grace of God was not swept up this flood of rage and hate being directed at her.

1-Many would be offended, 2-because iniquity would abound the love of many would grow cold. 3-But he that shall endure to the end will be saved.

There is much to be endured, as we consider things that are happening and coming against the church of the living God in these last days. That word endure means to stay under, to remain, to bear the trials, persevere, to abide, patiently suffer these things. He goes right on and says but the Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world. That is so the lost can be sought and rescued, folks. That is our purpose to reflect and be an accurate witness of Christ so those in darkness can see His life in us that is the light of men. The only way we can endure these things is to abide in Him. To lean heavily on His Holy Spirit for our strength. To stand on His promises that He is able to keep us secure and not let us fall. There is a remedy, there are safeguards against this:

"Great peace have they love thy law and nothing shall by any means offend them" Psa_119:165
His law is His Word and His Word was made flesh and dwelled among us. He left us His Word, and His Holy Spirit to make it alive in us and to us and through us. You cannot love what and who you do not know. The only place we can get the love needed to keep us from abandoning The Way, The Truth and The Life is from above as well. The human heart is not capable of this kind of real and enduring love that will be necessary to stand in these dark days. Rom_5:5 tells us where this comes from and 1Co_13:1 tells us what kind of love this is. We can have nothing that is not given to us. But it all depends on what we are feeding on. What are we feeding on? His life, His truth, which will strengthen and guard our minds and hearts from evil? Or are we feeding our minds on something that provokes our hearts and minds to wrath? We feel we just have to know what's happening? That kind of morbid curiosity is of the flesh and should be denied. It feeds the wrong nature. Even though we might call our response righteous indignation and begin to think and talk like the sons of thunder, like James and John in Luk_9:54? They got so offended over how people rejected Jesus and would not receive Him, they were ready to call the fiery judgment of God down on these people. Jesus quickly called them on that, did He not folks? Is not offended religious pride deadly?

Luk 9:55-56 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, You know not what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

The wrath of man never works the righteousness of God, does it? If you follow the letter of the Word in the wrong spirit you are still wrong. Slow to anger, slow to speak, that's what the Word says. God gave us 2 ears, 2 eyes, but only one mouth, folks. What does that tell you? His people, His own disciples were willing to write these people off, cut them off and judge them and execute them right there on the spot. They were His disciples but they did not reflect His heart at that point, nor His purpose. They could have quoted the Scriptures and said Elijah did it. But that was a different situation and that was not the purpose of this precious Christ who came into our world.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter took a sword, not understanding the Word of the Lord and or the heart of the Lord and cut a man's ear off trying to defend GOD. Consider that. As if this Almighty, Omnipotent GOD needed a puny man's weapon or strength to defend Him? Laughable. You know, flesh always wants to do something, to strike out. That's religious or personal pride that has been offended. That's a desire to inflict pain for pain. Payback. It's also ungodly and carnal. If we truly love Him, and remember where that love comes from-not ourselves but HIM, if we truly love Him, then should we not spend time with Him, in His Word, letting Him reveal Himself to us so we know HIM?

If the people who were in New York holding up hateful signs, giving the devil and the world opportunity and reason to mock His holy Name, His holy Word, had instead been obedient to the Word and brought that offended religious pride to the cross, and hit their knees acknowledging this is a spiritual battle that can't be won with carnal weapons, and began to fast and pray what might God have done? When He comes down by His Spirit He can melt the hardest of hearts and send fear into hearts that will be pricked and brought to repentance. Only the Holy Spirit can convince people of sin, folks. We can preach the truth from every street corner, but if our hearts aren't right, if our motives aren't pure, and in union with His own, He will not anoint that. If He didn't send us to do what we are doing it won't accomplish no matter how man Scriptures we quote. The Word of God preached by someone operating in their own strength, in their own wisdom and understanding will just bring people into bondage and death. It's when that Word is spoken through a surrendered, obedient vessel infused with the life and power of the Holy Spirit, letting the Spirit do the talking that the yoke is broken and captives are set free and blind eyes are open.

He said bless those who persecute you, don't curse them! Don't threaten them with His judgment! You are out of your calling and your place. That's like trying to describe the color blue to a man born blind-it can't be done. They can't see it because they are in darkness. It makes no sense to them. The natural man will not, cannot receive or understand the truths of God or the ways of God. They want nothing to do with Him. Remember Jesus said the Father had to draw them before they could even come? Oh, Father help us see people through YOUR eyes!

He said give place to wrath. That is a poor translation in the KJV. Examine it carefully, in context. In the Hebrew those words mean to give up, bring forth, to deliver up, strike or smite the condition, the location or spot where this wrath is (Rom_12:19). That thing in you that rises up in anger, take that thing bring it into captivity just like an evil imagination and lay it at the cross. It will not, cannot work the righteousness of God for it's rooted in a corrupt human nature.

Oh, Lord we don't understand except You show us and open our understanding to Your truth. Please forgive us for allowing ourselves to get drawn so far out of the way by the sight of our eyes, the pride of our life and the lust of our flesh. Please wash and cleanse us, as Your goodness draws us to repentance in ashes and mourning for our foolishness, for time wasted, for being such a misrepresentation of You while we thought we did You service. Please fix us, Lord, make us like You, and help us be willing to pay the price. Grant that Your love, Your wisdom, Your life which You died to give us be able to flow freely through us to a lost and dying world. Help us remember and understand where we were when You found us, and help us have compassion on those who don't know You. Holy Spirit, please come and take back control of Your church from the hands of man. We repent for our wickedness, we are sorry we presumed to try to run things ourselves.

2Ch 7:14 If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

The land we need healing is our churches, folks. The world is going down and America with it. Our only reason for being here is to be a vessel Christ can live and work in to seek and save the lost.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Demon of Discouragement

This is a must hear!!! For more of these free messages, and wonderful reading as well, please check out Keith & Candace Malcomson's website here.

The Demon of Discouragement-Keith Malcomson

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Yesterday I posted an entry that in part reads this way, but I inadvertently left out a very important and key word. I think the intent was obvious but wanted to clarify. It reads as follows:

Believing on Jesus Christ is just a mental acceptance of the truth with the expectation of being saved from hell, but that is the lie being taught in many pulpits today. To truly believe means to surrender.

I meant to say it is NOT just a mental acceptance of the truth with the expectation of being saved from hell like I believe so many are deceived by. We can't just mentally agree with truth, we must embrace and seek God for the power to live and walk in His light-which is the only truth there is. Sorry for the mistake.

In Him, and longing to know Him more,

Monday, March 28, 2011

What it Means to Believe God

Read Entire Notes Here For Context

Act 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house.

Consider that statement very carefully. The word believe here means to trust the way, the truth and the life of Jesus Christ. It means your own idea of truth, your own natural way, and the way you have until now lived your life can no longer be trusted or continued. If you truly believe, you will understand that what you have apart from Him is not enough. One must have His life, His truth and live His way to be saved. That word saved means to be delivered, rescued, protected and preserved. From what? From the result of sin, of living the natural human life and believing the lie of all humanity which is live for yourself. Indulge yourself. Put self first. This is completely against the law and truth of God. It results in sinful and destructive behavior when people live only for themselves.

When you believe in Jesus, and accept His truth as the ultimate Truth which it is, you see there is no other way but His that leads to life. The Bible warns us not to lean to our own understanding, for the fountain of all human reasoning is our corrupt human nature. There is a way that seems right to man but to follow that way is to end up dead, condemned and outside the life and light of God forever.

We can see the strength of Paul and Silas' faith by the demonstration of their commitment to carry the Gospel when and where the Holy Spirit led and instructed them to go. They did not rely on their own thoughts or strength but His. They did not consider themselves in this calling but only His truth, His glory and the souls of the captives who needed deliverance. This is a costly way but it's the only way. In these Scriptures we see the results of true faith and the cross in the life of the believer. Paul and Silas were submitted to the authority and leadership of the Holy Spirit for their lives. They refused to depend on anything natural or of the flesh because that is against God as evidenced clearly in these Scriptures.

Paul said this: “For the preaching of the cross is to them that are perishing foolishness, but to us who are saved it is the power of God.” (1 Cor 1:18) Why is that? As we have read over these Scriptures in Acts 16 and considered the path the Holy Spirit laid out for these two servants of God, we see suffering, degradation, humiliation and public shame. We see them treated shamefully, and violently abused at the hands of sinful men. They had not done anything wrong. They weren't out of the will of God, though many who were unwilling to suffer for the sake of others would dare to say they were. But because Paul and Silas were willing to suffer, willing to endure some hard things, a young girl was delivered from demonic control, the first New Testament church was established in Philippi, and the jailer and the prisoners in that interior jail at Philippi were loosed from their bonds. Scripture says the jailer and his whole house were saved. The Lord Jesus Christ did not send His servants to suffer and endure that which He Himself had not already endured at the hands of sinful men. But this is the truth of the Gospel. It's a hard and a high call. He's calling His people to live His life, not theirs, to live His Way, to speak His Truth, because HE is the Word that was made flesh. He's calling us to be a vessel through which and to which He can reveal Himself. For He has and is the only way that leads to eternal life. Believing on Jesus Christ is just a mental acceptance of the truth with the expectation of being saved from hell, but that is the lie being taught in many pulpits today. To truly believe means to surrender.

Jas 2:14 What does it profit, my brethren, though a man says he has faith, and has not works? can faith save him?
Jas 2:18 Yea, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
Jas 2:19 You believe that there is one God; you do well: the demons also believe, and tremble.
Jas 2:20 But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

That word in verse 19 for believe is the same as in Acts 16:31. The devil himself believes, he knows the Word of God is true, He knows Jesus Christ is the only Way to life, but he isn't saved. He rejected the leadership and authority of God and rebelled, seeking his own way. And all who follow that path are doomed to end up where he will. It's not enough to say “I believe.” True faith requires we surrender to Him everything in exchange for Himself, His truth, His way, and His life. Ours will not save us. Our truth is a lie. Our way leads to hell. Our life is temporary and vain, for it is wasted serving the selfish desires of human flesh. Many believe that they can profess His Name, carry their Bibles, speak well of and go to the church on Sunday and say praise the Lord and carry in their hearts the expectation of heaven some day. They may tell others about Jesus Christ, but if they do not press on to know Him, how is their witness accurate? Only the Holy Spirit can teach us what the Word of God means and only He can show us who Jesus Christ is. Only He can reveal Jesus to and through us. Such knowledge is otherwise beyond our access. There is no other way to know Him but through and by the Holy Spirit. There is no other way to live His life but through and by the Holy Spirit. There is no other way for the cross to be effected in our lives but through and by the Holy Spirit. Is it any wonder so many churches and religions have minimized or preached away the reality and truth of the necessity of they Holy Spirit in our lives? Without Him, the church is blind and impotent, operating solely in the natural, by human reasoning and strength. When that is so there is no power, no light, and no life. Scripture tells us Jesus went and ministered in the power of the Holy Spirit from the beginning of His ministry. Is not everything He did a pattern for us to follow who believe? Yes, it was. We see in the life of Paul what happens when someone really believes in and on Jesus Christ. He becomes their life and others are saved by HIS life. There is no other way.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Greatness of God's Love

When we are hurt, or in trouble, we feel alone. When we face pressure or temptation, we struggle because for the most part we are trying to live for the Lord in our human strength and we function for the most part in disobedience leaning to our own understanding instead of seeking the mind of Christ which we have been given access to. All of these things God is well able to fix. One of the greatest hindrances is we tend to think of God as One who is far off, unmoved by what we are going through, or worse, unaware. How many times have we been going through some difficulty and wondered, Lord, where are You? How many times have we felt forsaken and wallowed in self pity? Where is our faith? Our faith was given to us when we were created. The Lord says He has dealt to every man THE measure of faith needed to believe Him. (Rom_12:3)

But we are to add to that faith. (2Pe_1:5) All these things we are to add come from the Lord. We can have nothing He doesn't give us. Pastor David Wilkerson said this about faith in his message "Without intimacy there can be no faith at all" in 2002:

"As we read Hebrews 11, we find a single common denominator to the lives of the people mentioned. Each had a particular characteristic that denotes the kind of faith God loves. What was this element? Their faith was born of deep intimacy with the Lord. The fact is, it's impossible to have a faith that pleases God without sharing intimacy with him. What do I mean by intimacy? I'm speaking of a closeness to the Lord that comes from yearning after him. This kind of intimacy is a close personal bond, a communion. It comes when we desire the Lord more than anything else in this life." http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/node/1169 (emphasis mine)

Oh, Lord help us get to that place where we want nothing more than to know You. Awareness and faith are vital. Are we really aware of how close the Lord is to us? How very well He knows us, yet He loves us in spite of ourselves? Do we really believe that? Can we lay hold of that truth? We must. Where does the Word of God reveal this to us?

In Psalms 139 David is sharing a revelation he has received of just how aware of himself the Lord actually is. Thank God for this truth, and I pray the Holy Spirit help us to understand, to comprehend and lay hold of in faith these truths. In the coming days this truth will be a vitally important necessity. We must have our own personal, close and intimate relationship with the Lord where we talk with Him and He talks with us. We must lay hold of by faith His promises to direct us and keep us on the course He'd have us to walk.

Psa 139:1 [To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.] O LORD, you have searched me, and known me.

Psa 139:2 You know my downsitting and my uprising, you understand my thought afar off.

He searches us, explores our inward selves, penetrating us, examining us intimately. Why would He do that? Why would He take the time or even want to know us? The only answer that makes sense is because He loves us. There is nothing we can hide from Him, but there are things in our hearts we ourselves may not be aware of. When we consider this verse, consider the time involved here in conducting this examination of our lives.

He is God, but this verse does not reveal a far off God who is too busy to take time to know anything about the lives and problems of His children. He knows everything. Not only has He examined us, He sees, He knows us inside out. He understands who we are and why we are the way we are better than we or anyone else does. He knows where we live, where we go, the path we take to get there. He knows when we're down and when we're up. He knows when we sleep, when we wake. Isn't that the most incredible thought? Do we ever stop to wonder what He's thinking as He watches us carefully all the time? He sees us always so busy, busy, yet He said in His Word that whomever came to Him He would not deny? (Joh_6:37) How many of us make spending quality time alone with the Lord a priority even though it is in truth a necessity?

Downsitting means where we live, where we spend our time, when we ease ourselves or endure, when we fail, where we are settled down or married and to what, or who, including our situation. This sounds like a lot of entanglements that can weigh us down. It's basically what we are occupied with most. Uprising means when we are rising up in strength or power, when we are standing up, accomplishing, coming, confirmed, enduring enemies, being established, fulfilled, strengthened and when we take a stand. This is when we are being tested, proven, or validated.

Psa_56:8 says He keeps a record of of our wanderings-that word means exile-the aimless wandering of a fugitive. Of course, this is David speaking again. He was a fugitive, hiding from Saul who meant to destroy him. He puts our tears in His bottle in heaven. He has a record of all them, and keeps them bottled up. I don't understand it. But that tells me if those tears are kept by the Lord, both bottled up and recorded, those tears we cry have an effect on His heart-such a strong effect He keeps them and has a record of them.

He understands, He discerns and carefully considers and thinks on what occupies our minds from a distance, and He knows what we will be thinking on for a great while to come. When Hagar ran away from Sarah's anger-which she herself had provoked, the Lord heard the cry of her affliction (Gen_16:11) and sent a heavenly messenger to show her where water was and give her instruction and encouragement in her despair. Pro_15:3 says the Lord sees everything, good and evil. He knows the thoughts of men, that they are empty and do not satisfy. Jesus knew their thoughts when He walked on earth among the people. He let them know He was aware of the evil of their hearts. When Israel cried out in the wilderness, He was there, leading them every step of the way, providing for them, protecting them, and never one time failing them, though He endured much grief of heart when He had to afflict them for their selfishness and idolatry. Even when He had to punish them, Scripture says in Isa_63:9 that in all their affliction He was afflicted. As parents we can sort of understand this. When our children misbehave and we have to punish them, we do not like doing this. When they are miserable, it affects us. When Israel was in a tight spot, facing an adversary or tribulation, or distress, when they got in trouble, He was right there with them, afflicted and in anguish as well. The angel of His presence, surely a forerunner of the Holy Spirit, saved them. In His love and His mercy and pity, He redeemed them, kept them for His own, took them from the hand of the enemy and made them His. He carried them, and watched carefully over them. Remember, this was over three million people. He never lost track of one.

Every day we rise and His love for us, His Word, His faithfulness, the truth and purity of His Word is on trial, both in our own minds, often disputed by our own human reasoning, and always by the lies of the devil and the unbelief and scoffing of the world around us, even those tied up in religion. We must understand this. We must be on guard against this. This is why over and over in the Word of God, He warns us to gird up the loins of our minds, hold up the shield of faith, guard what He's given us. It's under constant attack from without and within. That's a hard truth to accept. We expect the world and the enemy to attack the purity of God's Word and love but our own selves? But we do. He deals with us to pray for someone, we dispute within ourselves that we aren't capable, (as if the result depended on us). Do we understand we look at the command of God and try to excuse ourselves based on our inadequacy rather than HIS strength and ability? How great an insult to the Almighty God is that? He says we are not to let sin have dominion over us, but we face a temptation that is so appealing and instead of handing that struggle to the Lord, denying ourselves and calling on the One who lives in us, we make excuses to indulge ourselves and we let go of God's hand to indulge that sin . We can't indulge our sin and walk with Him. How can two walk together unless they agree? So we have to let go, ease away from Him, indulge ourselves and presume we will be able to repent and run back and that God's hand will still be stretched out to us. He'll understand, we tell ourselves. When I consider that, it sounds like we exploit His love and take advantage of His grace in a very negative way when we do this.

My heart trembles with unease as I think on these things for I'm guilty. We all are. I had not thought about it like this before, but in light of what He's showing to me now, my heart mourns and fears. We tell ourselves we're weak. He knows I'm weak. They didn't have the kind of temptation in the Bible days they do now with TV, computers, and so many other things. But we conveniently forget He said back then, knowing everything the future held that we could do all things through Christ who strengthens us. The Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ in us is our Strength, our Source of all live and all godliness, all holiness. We forget He said we have the Holy Spirit to help us and pray for us in our infirmities (weakness) because we don't know how to pray or what to pray for. Without the divine intervention and leadership of the Holy Spirit the only people we'd ever pray for would be ourselves and our family. All our prayers would be selfish.

Read entire notes HERE.