Deserter or Disciple?

"From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more." ~ John 6:66

When God, by His Spirit through His Word, gives you a clear vision of His will, you must “walk in the light” of that vision (1 John 1:7). Even though your mind and soul may be thrilled by it, if you don’t “walk in the light” of it you will sink to a level of bondage never envisioned by our Lord. Mentally disobeying the “heavenly vision” (Acts 26:19) will make you a slave to ideas and views that are completely foreign to Jesus Christ. Don’t look at someone else and say, “Well, if he can have those views and prosper, why can’t I?” You have to “walk in the light” of the vision that has been given to you. Don’t compare yourself with others or judge them— that is between God and them. When you find that one of your favorite and strongly held views clashes with the “heavenly vision,” do not begin to debate it. If you do, a sense of property and personal right will emerge in you— things on which Jesus placed no value. He was against these things as being the root of everything foreign to Himself— “. . . for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15). If we don’t see and understand this, it is because we are ignoring the underlying principles of our Lord’s teaching.

Our tendency is to lie back and bask in the memory of the wonderful experience we had when God revealed His will to us. But if a New Testament standard is revealed to us by the light of God, and we don’t try to measure up, or even feel inclined to do so, then we begin to backslide. It means your conscience does not respond to the truth. You can never be the same after the unveiling of a truth. That moment marks you as one who either continues on with even more devotion as a disciple of Jesus Christ, or as one who turns to go back as a deserter.

Source:  Oswald Chambers | My Utmost For His Highest

Image by: Hamed Saber

Testing the Spirits...1 John 4:1-6

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this we know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now is already in the world. You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”

Not only is testing the spirits to see whether they are from God commanded by the Lord in His word but is also commended by the Lord in His word –

“I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false” (Revelation 2:2).

1 John 4:1-6 is very pertinent and potent in testing the spirits to determine whether they are from God. However, if we don’t keep the whole paragraph in its immediate context along with the overall context of Scripture, we may fail to understand how these deceivers are to be spotted. At first glance this passage seems to be saying that anyone who professes that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. That is not what it is saying! Overall context of Scripture and the immediate context of this passage points out clearly that professing Jesus as coming in the flesh and as Lord isn’t the same as confessing that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh and is Lord.

The word “confess” is homologeo, from homos, “the same,” and lego, “to speak,” and therefore “confess” means to “speak the same thing as another.” This means that to confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh is to be actuated by the Holy Spirit of God and to say the exact same thing about the person and work of Christ that God Himself says. This is more than profession and head knowledge; this is confession and is heart knowledge. This confession of Jesus Christ coming in the flesh is to move into the realm of illumination concerning penal substitution and the exclusivity of salvation in Jesus Christ alone based on His sinless life, death for sinners, and resurrection from the dead for the purpose of the imputation of righteousness to the unrighteous whereby God can be both just and the justifier of those who have faith in Jesus Christ. This is clearly enunciated in Romans 10:9-10

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”

Jesus also addressed the issue of those who profess Him but do not really confess Him in Matthew 7:21-23

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’”

Notice that these false prophets of whom Jesus was speaking professed Him as Lord but didn’t abide by the Word of God doing His Father’s will. Instead they practiced lawlessness; they were workers of iniquity – twisting the Scriptures to their own destruction. This brings us back to 1 John 4:1-6 where John went on to say that the many false prophets who have gone out into the world speak as from the world and the world listens to them. How do we know if someone is just professing Christ as Lord and is a false prophet or if he is confessing Christ as Lord and is a true prophet? The answer is in whether or not he twists the Scriptures and speaks as from the world in order to be heard by and listened to by the world or whether or not he is true to the Scriptures and speaks as from God with the world rejecting his message.

If what a man teaches violates Scripture then he is a false prophet regardless of his profession of Jesus because right belief (heart knowledge) determines right behavior! Workers of iniquity (Scripture twisters) may profess Jesus with their mouths but deny Him by their deeds (see Titus 1:16).

See also How to Test the Spirits.
Source:  Reasoning from the Scriptures


Photo by: familymwr

Christ Our Forerunner

The Cross stands fast. It is an anchor of the soul. That figure of speech is found in the book of Hebrews 6:19-20. "This {hope} we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence {behind} the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, {even} Jesus..."

This is a sea-going picture from those ancient days. A ship comes into harbor, but cannot draw too near to the shore in the darkness. So a sailor gets into a boat with an anchor and a line attached which is also fixed to the ship. He is called the "fore runner". As he rows, the line between anchor and ship is played out and links them. Eventually the forerunner boat arrives and the seaman carries the anchor ashore and secures it on land. In the morning, no sails are needed. The crew of the ship begins to wind in the anchor cable yet it isn't the anchor which moves but the ship. Slowly the vessel winches towards the shore. This is the background to the word "forerunner".

Our "forerunner" is Jesus who has entered through the veil and our anchor is made fast. Our salvation is secure like the sailor ashore whom the crew cannot see. Christ is no longer visible to us, He is "ashore" in glory, and WE ARE ATTACHED BY FAITH TO GLORY BY HIM. He has entered glory for us. Day by day the cable is shortening, and pulling us nearer and nearer to Christ our forerunner. Eventually we shall reach heaven's shore and what shall we see? Our "forerunner" waiting to greet us, that "where He is there we may also be." Faith links us already, and will bring us to Him at last. THAT FAITH IS ASSURANCE. God bless you.

Text by: Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke
Image by: Stew Dean
All glory to Father God through His Living Son Jesus.

The Origin of Christmas - What Really Matters?

The origin of Christmas is presented beautifully in the well-known biblical account of the Gospel of Luke:

"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:1-11).

Origin of Christmas - The Traditions and Controversies

For today's Christian, the origin of Christmas is, and should be, the birth of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Bible. Nothing more and nothing less. However, most of what we witness on December 25th each year has absolutely nothing to do with that blessed day, which probably occurred in late summer or early fall about 2,000 years ago. In fact, most of the customs and traditions of Christmas actually pre-date the birth of Jesus, and many of them are downright deceptive in their meaning and origin. Here are a few examples:

The date of December 25th probably originated with the ancient "birthday" of the son-god, Mithra, a pagan deity whose religious influence became widespread in the Roman Empire during the first few centuries A.D. Mithra was related to the Semitic sun-god, Shamash, and his worship spread throughout Asia to Europe where he was called Deus Sol Invictus Mithras. Rome was well-known for absorbing the pagan religions and rituals of its widespread empire. As such, Rome converted this pagan legacy to a celebration of the god, saturn, and the rebirth of the sun god during the winter solstice period. The winter holiday became known as saturnalia and began the week prior to December 25th. The festival was characterized by gift-giving, feasting, singing and downright debauchery, as the priests of saturn carried wreaths of evergreen boughs in procession throughout the Roman temples.

Variations of this pagan holiday flourished throughout the first few centuries after Jesus Christ, but it probably wasn't until 336 AD that Emperor Constantine officially converted this pagan tradition into the "Christian" holiday of Christmas.

Origin of Christmas - What Really Matters?

The true origin of Christmas is filled with controversy and compromise. A quick study will reveal a number of disturbing roots that we haven't been able to cover in this brief article. In short, the Christmas holiday we celebrate today is indicative of Christianity's willingness to absorb the world's customs and traditions, and forget its simple roots in the historical reality of Jesus Christ. Christmas should be nothing more than a simple, yet wonderful reminder of Christ's humble beginning as a human child in this world. His birth merely set the stage for the power, glory, and salvation that would be revealed in His life, death, and resurrection! Whether it's December 25th, sometime in late September, or any other day of the year, we should use each and every opportunity to reflect on Jesus Christ and His message of hope for all of us.

Discover More Now!

Heavenly sky image captured by Mark Sebastian.

The Resume of Jesus Christ

Address: Ephesians 1:20
Phone: Romans 10:13
Website: The Bible. Keywords: Christ, Lord, Savior and Jesus
____________________________________________________________________
Objective

My name is Jesus -The Christ. Many call me Lord! I've sent you my resume because I'm seeking the top management position in your heart. Please consider my accomplishments as set forth in my resume.

_____________________________________________________________________
Qualifications

Father Forgive Them by Akiane Kramarik
I founded the earth and established the heavens, (See Proverbs 3:19).

I formed man from the dust of the ground,
(See Genesis 2:7).

I breathed into man the breath of life,
(See Genesis 2:7).

I redeemed man from the curse of the law,
(See Galatians 3:13).

The blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant comes upon your life through me, (See Galatians 3:14).

_________________________________
Occupational Background

I've only had one employer, (See Luke 2:49).

I've never been tardy, absent, disobedient, slothful or disrespectful.

My employer has nothing but rave reviews for me, (See Matthew 3:15-17).

_____________________________________________________________________
Skills Work Experiences

Some of my skills and work experiences include: empowering the poor to be poor no more, healing the brokenhearted, setting the captives free, healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind and setting at liberty them that are bruised, (See Luke 4:18).

I am a Wonderful Counselor, (See Isaiah 9:6). People who listen to me shall dwell safely and shall not fear evil, (See Proverbs 1:33).

Most importantly, I have the authority, ability and power to cleanse you of your sins, (See 1 John 1:7-9).

____________________________________________________________________
Educational Background

I encompass the entire breadth and length of knowledge, wisdom and understanding, (See Proverbs 2:6).

In me are hidden all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, (See Colossians 2:3).

My Word is so powerful; it has been described as being a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path, (See Psalms 119:105).

I can even tell you all of the secrets of your heart, (See Psalms 44:21).

_____________________________________________________________________
Major Accomplishments

I was an active participant in the greatest Summit Meeting of all times, (See Genesis 1:26).

I laid down my life so that you may live, (See 2 Corinthians 5:15).

I defeated the arch enemy of God and mankind and made a show of them openly, (See Colossians 2:15).

I've miraculously fed the poor, healed the sick and raised the dead!

There are many more major accomplishments, too many to mention here. You can read them on my website, which is located at: www dot - the BIBLE. You don't need an Internet connection or computer to access my website.

_____________________________________________________________________
References

Believers and followers worldwide will testify to my divine healing, salvation, deliverance, miracles, restoration, and supernatural guidance.

_____________________________________________________________________
In Summation

Now that you've read my resume, I'm confident that I'm the only candidate uniquely qualified to fill this vital position in your heart. I will properly direct your paths, (See Proverbs 3:5-6), and lead you into everlasting life, (See John 6:47).

When can I start? Time is of the essence, (See Hebrews 3:15).

Special note to readers: Please, send this resume to everyone you know. God’s supply of The Holy Spirit is endless, and everyone has an opening. Hope is a promise in Christ. If satan has deceived any of you into thinking you are at capacity, just ask Father God – in the name of Christ Jesus, to reveal the truth. The Father can open up spaces within us that are beyond the imagination of man, (See Luke 1:37).

Always - pray, listen, and obey, (See 1 Thessalonians 5:15-24, James 1:22-25). Thanks for your help.

Click this LINK for an easily printable copy of The Resume of Jesus Christ to share with the world.

Angry in Our Own Righteousness

"Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison." Acts 8:2-3

Thoughts for Today:

I find it interesting and not accidental that the words "Godly men" were used to describe those who mourned and buried Stephen. "Godly men" implies men who believe in our God. Saul believed in God too. But the fact that these men "mourned deeply for him" is in stark contrast to the picture we have of Saul, who is like a rabid beast -- with one purpose -- to destroy the church (dragging off to prison, out of their homes both men and women).

Gamaliel, the leader of the Sanhedrin had advised a cautious wait and see approach towards this new Christian movement (Acts 5:38-40). Saul appears to have completely disregarded these instructions. As we can see through Saul's example: too much passion for righteousness can create anger towards others with opposing views; anger can lead to errors; errors many times turn into guilt; and guilt can convert or pervert passion for righteousness into blind and compassionless persecution and/or violence. This is the cycle we see in Saul and it is a clear warning for us as well when we begin to feel angry in our own righteousness.

This same type of passion for righteousness -- turned wrong -- exists today in our country. Can you list a few examples in which a Christian's passion for a cause -- although right and just -- turned harmful or violent? When this happens we know that it is not the message of Jesus Christ or the acts of Godly men and women.

Questions to Ponder:

When you see Christians in the news involved in acts of violence, how do you think the non-believing world views such Christians? Do you think there is any just reason or cause for a violent act in the name of Jesus? If you saw a fellow Christian who you thought was on the road to violence or other persecution against a person or group -- what would you do? What is your responsibility? Do you have a passion for righteousness that is turning into anger? What do you need to do to change your approach?

Pray to God the Father in the Name of Jesus Christ - Ask, and the answers shall be given to you.

Devotion by:  The Pocket Testament League.  Image by: gruntzooki.

Our Return on His Investment

Investing Twenty-four Hours a Day. No matter how busy we are (or think we are), the fact still remains that every one of us has exactly the same amount of time to the split second; it is the difference in what we do with it that makes the difference in people.

If you had a bank that credited your account each morning with $86,400, but carried over no balances from day to day and allowed you to keep no cash in your account, and every evening canceled whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day, what would you do? Draw out every cent, of course.

Well, you have just such a bank, and its name is Time. Every morning it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off as lost whatever of these you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balances. It allows no overdrafts. Each day it opens a new account with you. Each night it burns the record of the day.

Each moment in life is a precious gift from Almighty God.

If you fail to use the day’s deposit, the loss is yours. There is no going back. There is no drawing against the morrow. You must live in the present— on today’s deposit. Invest it so as to give your utmost for His Highest. It was for that reason God gave you the “account” in the first place and as surely will He demand a reckoning of you. All stand before the judgment seat of Christ (John 5:22, Romans 2:16, and Romans 14:10).

After all, each of us (regardless of whether we want to acknowledge it or not) were created by and for the sole purpose of serving Jesus Christ. Our existence through salvation is the most wondrous gift; for which we owe God everything in return (Ephesians 2:8-10).

Suppose we deliberately analyze a week of Mr. Average Person’s time and see what we can learn. It has 168 hours in it; 8,760 hours in every year. For the people in this country who have jobs, those 168 hours are said to be usually divided more or less like this-- seventy-seven hours for sleep, meals, personal care, which means brushing your teeth, dressing, shaving… all the rest of it. Forty or fifty hours are devoted to work. (Modern authorities consider a work week unusual which has more than forty hours in it.) Ten hours are spent in cars, subways, buses, traveling to and from work. That leaves forty-one hours unassigned, which can be counted as leisure in its broadest sense…

Squander or Invest. The plain, unvarnished facts are that most of us—yes, even the most busy of us—waste enough time in odd minutes (just plain squander them) that if organized and conserved and used to make dreams come true would more than accomplish our ends as appointed by God.

Franklin reminds us that “If time be of all things most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality, since lost time is never found again; and what we call time enough always proves little enough. Let us then be up and doing, and doing to a [for His] purpose; so by diligence shall we do more with less perplexity.”

Pray, listen, and obey (1 Thessalonians 5:15-22, James 1:22-25).

Excerpts from “Investing Leisure Time” By Frank H. Cheley – Copyright, 1936, By The University Society Incorporated: Adapted to a Christ-centered viewpoint by Matthew Foutch – November 22, 2011.  Image by By KimCarpenter NJ.

What the world needs now is Jesus.

Jesus is waiting for you.
Billy Graham once told of meeting Konrad Adenauer, the mayor of Cologne, who was imprisoned by Hitler for opposing the Nazi regime and who later became the highly regarded chancellor of West Germany from 1949 to 1963. Adenauer looked Graham in the eyes and asked, ‘Do you believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead?’ Graham said, ‘Of course I do.’ To which Adenauer replied: ‘Mr. Graham, outside of the resurrection of Jesus, I do not know of any other hope for this world'.
This account is attributed to Ravi Zacharias, D.D., LL.D., which appears in the book The Case For Faith by Lee Strobel (pg153).

“Outside of the resurrection of Jesus, I do not know of any other hope for this world.”~ Konrad Adenauer 

Image credit: angelofsweetbitter2009

JACOB’S BATTLE WAS WITH THE LORD

by David Wilkerson

One of the greatest lessons we can ever learn is that our battle is never with people. It is never with co-workers, neighbors, or our unsaved loved ones—but with God!

Jacob wrestling with an angel
If you settle things with God, everything else has to fall into line. When you are right before Him—sprinkled with Christ’s blood, having no sin in your life, prevailing in prayer—then all the demons in hell cannot make a dent in what God wants to do! He wants you to have that kind of holy strength.

Hosea said, “The Lord also brings a charge against Judah [His people]” (Hosea 12:2). What is this controversy God has with His church? It is spiritual laziness! We want miracles, blessings, deliverance, but at no cost, with no effort!

Who among God’s people today prays all night, wrestling, fighting, weeping, crying out to God as Jacob did? Who wants holiness, purity and Christlikeness so much they are willing to shut themselves in with God until they break through? Who is so consumed with pleasing God that they are desperate to be delivered from all habits, all lusts—and they cry out, fight and wrestle with God until He breaks all chains?

Hosea said to Israel, “All you want is prosperity and security! You are not willing to take a stand. You don’t want to live for Jehovah’s pleasure, but for your own!”

Jacob was a fighter from the day he was born. He prevailed “by his strength” (see Genesis 25:26) and so must you and I! We have His strength, but we do not use it! “Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy” (Colossians 1:11).

“He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:16).

The church of Jesus Christ is never going to see what God has for His body until He sees us seeking Him in earnest! “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16).

God wants you to lay hold of Him because He loves you! He is saying, “Here it is. If you want it, come and get it!” He wants to make a strong soldier out of you, fit for His army!

World Challenge Devotions

Further Study:
Bible Study On Jacob
Jacob Wikipedia Page

GOD OVER-ANSWERS PRAYER!

DAVID WILKERSON DEVOTIONALS

One of the most often heard phrases in church is, “God answers prayer!” Yet that is only half the truth. The whole truth is, “God over-answers prayer!”

Hosea prophesied to Israel, “You are backslidden but you are still God’s people” (see Hosea 14:1). “Take words with you, and return to the Lord. Say to Him ‘Take away all iniquity; receive us graciously’” (Hosea 14:2).

Israel’s prayer was simple. All they asked of God was to take away their sin and receive them graciously. “Lord, have mercy! Cleanse us and receive us back into Your grace.” God not only cleansed them and received them back graciously, He also added blessings beyond imagination!

“I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away from him. I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall grow like the lily, and lengthen his roots like Lebanon. His branches shall spread; his beauty shall be like an olive tree, and his fragrance like Lebanon. Those who dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall be revived like grain, and grow like the vine. Their scent shall be like the wine of Lebanon” (Hosea 14:4-7).

In a land of grain and new wine, where the heavens drop dew.
The dew of heaven (14:5) is the presence of the Lord. Up to this point there had been drought and everything was dying because God’s favor had been taken away. But now, because of true repentance and a heartfelt prayer, God said He would cause life to spring up on all sides. Israel not only would be forgiven, but revived as well! They would become well-rooted, spread out, and thrive!

All they asked for was mercy, forgiveness and acceptance. Instead, God opened the windows of heaven and poured on them blessings they dared not even hope for! God largely over-answered their prayer!

God has done the same for you! When you repented, all you asked God for was a clean heart, forgiveness and peace. Yet look at how He has over-answered you: He gave you a hungering heart—a thirst for more of Jesus! He gave you eyes to see and ears to hear. He has protected you from a raging, mad devil and flooded your soul with hope, joy and gladness!

You asked only to be saved and cleansed but God has poured out blessing upon blessing to you! He has over-answered you!

Image by Joel Penner (Image caption reference: Deuteronomy 33:28)

Why does God allow evil?

God, the Father watches us all everywhere.
The Bible describes God as holy (Isaiah 6:3), righteous (Psalm 7:11), just (Deuteronomy 32:4), and sovereign (Daniel 4:17-25). These attributes tell us the following about God: (1) God is capable of preventing evil, and (2) God desires to rid the universe of evil. So, if both of these are true, why does God allow evil? If God has the power to prevent evil and desires to prevent evil, why does He still allow evil? A practical way to look at this question is to consider some alternative ways people might have God run the world:

1) God could change everyone’s personality so that they cannot sin. This would also mean that we would not have a free will. We would not be able to choose right or wrong because we would be “programmed” to only do right. Had God chosen to do this, there would be no meaningful relationships between Him and His creation.

Instead, God made Adam and Eve innocent but with the ability to choose good or evil. Because of this, they could respond to His love and trust Him or choose to disobey. They chose to disobey. Because we live in a real world where we can choose our actions but not their consequences, their sin affected those who came after them (us). Similarly, our decisions to sin have an impact on us and those around us and those who will come after us.

2) God could compensate for people’s evil actions through supernatural intervention 100 percent of the time. God would stop a drunk driver from causing an automobile accident. God would stop a lazy construction worker from doing a substandard job on a house that would later cause grief to the homeowners. God would stop a father who is addicted to drugs or alcohol from doing any harm to his wife, children, or extended family. God would stop gunmen from robbing convenience stores. God would stop high school bullies from tormenting the brainy kids. God would stop thieves from shoplifting. And, yes, God would stop terrorists from flying airplanes into buildings.

While this solution sounds attractive, it would lose its attractiveness as soon as God’s intervention infringed on something we wanted to do. We want God to prevent horribly evil actions, but we are willing to let “lesser-evil” actions slide—not realizing that those “lesser-evil” actions are what usually lead to the “greater-evil” actions. Should God only stop actual sexual affairs, or should He also block our access to pornography or end any inappropriate, but not yet sexual, relationships? Should God stop “true” thieves, or should He also stop us from cheating on our taxes? Should God only stop murder, or should He also stop the “lesser-evil” actions done to people that lead them to commit murder? Should God only stop acts of terrorism, or should He also stop the indoctrination that transformed a person into a terrorist?

3) Another choice would be for God to judge and remove those who choose to commit evil acts. The problem with this possibility is that there would be no one left, for God would have to remove us all. We all sin and commit evil acts (Romans 3:23; Ecclesiastes 7:20; 1 John 1:8). While some people are more evil than others, where would God draw the line? Ultimately, all evil causes harm to others.

Instead of these options, God has chosen to create a “real” world in which real choices have real consequences. In this real world of ours, our actions affect others. Because of Adam’s choice to sin, the world now lives under the curse, and we are all born with a sin nature (Romans 5:12). There will one day come a time when God will judge the sin in this world and make all things new, but He is purposely “delaying” in order to allow more time for people to repent so that He will not need to condemn them (2 Peter 3:9). Until then, He IS concerned about evil. When He created the Old Testament laws, the goal was to discourage and punish evil. He judges nations and rulers who disregard justice and pursue evil. Likewise, in the New Testament, God states that it is the government’s responsibility to provide justice in order to protect the innocent from evil (Romans 13). He also promises severe consequences for those who commit evil acts, especially against the "innocent" (Mark 9:36-42).

In summary, we live in a real world where our good and evil actions have direct consequences and indirect consequences upon us and those around us. God’s desire is that for all of our sakes we would obey Him that it might be well with us (Deuteronomy 5:29). Instead, what happens is that we choose our own way, and then we blame God for not doing anything about it. Such is the heart of sinful man. But Jesus came to change men’s hearts through the power of the Holy Spirit, and He does this for those who will turn from evil and call on Him to save them from their sin and its consequences (2 Corinthians 5:17). God does prevent and restrain some acts of evil. This world would be MUCH WORSE were not God restraining evil. At the same time, God has given us the ability to choose good and evil, and when we choose evil, He allows us, and those around us, to suffer the consequences of evil. Rather than blaming God and questioning God on why He does not prevent all evil, we should be about the business of proclaiming the cure for evil and its consequences—Jesus Christ!

Article Source: gotQuestions.org
Image Source: flickr
Recommended Resource: If God, Why Evil?: A New Way to Think about the Question by Norman Geisler.

Amos 9:11 on 9-11

"On 9-11 I'm praying that Amos 9:11 breaks out all over the globe! Night and Day adoration of Jesus!" ~Rick Pino

Amos 9:11 KJV: "In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:"

What is the Tabernacle of David?

The Tabernacle of David is the name given to the tent that King David set up on Mount Zion in Jerusalem to house the Ark of the Covenant. It was the center of a new order of joyful worship which stood in sharp contrast to the solemn worship of Moses' Tabernacle. Instead of the sacrifices of animals, the sacrifices offered at David's Tabernacle were the sacrifices of praise, joy and thanksgiving (Psalm 95:2,100:4, 141:2). The Tabernacle of David is a type of the worship of the Church. Jesus fulfilled the sacrificial system of the Old Covenant by His death on the cross (Hebrews 1:3, 7:27, 9:12, 9:24-28). The sacrifices of the Church, the New Covenant priesthood, are the sacrifices of praise, joy and thanksgiving (Hebrews 13:15, 1 Peter 2:9). In addition to the worship of the Church, the Tabernacle of David points to the proclamation and authority of Christ through His Church, thus foreshadowing the priestly, kingly and prophetic ministries of the Church (Revelation 1:6, 5:10, 19:10, Acts 2:17, 1 Corinthians 14:1,3-5, 24-25, 29, 39).

Christ Focus

Colossians 3 KJV

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Note the use of the word "all".

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all teaching.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all admonishing. 
(to admonish = properly, to place the mind, i.e. reasoning with someone by warning (admonishing) them.)
Whatsoever ye do in word, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Whatsoever ye do in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Christ focus is all encompassing.

The Prophet Elisha and King Joash - Missed Opportunity

2 Kings 13 KJV

 14 Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.
Joash Shooting the Arrow of Deliverance
 15 And Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows.
 16 And he said to the king of Israel, Put thine hand upon the bow. And he put his hand upon it: and Elisha put his hands upon the king's hands.
 17 And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the LORD'S deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them.
 18 And he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed.
 19 And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.

 20 And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year.
 21 And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.

Oswald Chambers - Abandoned to God

Truly the noblest work in this world is making disciples in his name…

My Lord Jesus Christ grows grander and more and more central to my mind and heart and being daily. How much, how intolerably much we owe Him? None of us begin to realize it. Such an indignation gets hold of me. Such a passion of penitency when I think of the days I've given over to thoughts and concerns other than Himself. How the prince of this world [satan] presses and throngs with clamors. More or less noble and good, but all in order to keep us away from devoting all to Him [Jesus].

Excerpts of Oswald Chambers' writings from - Abandoned to God: The Life Story of the Author of My Utmost for His Highest.

Audiobook part 1 @ 3h 51min and part 2 @ 0h 10min.  God bless.

Adam and Jesus

Just as one person [Adam] did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person [Jesus] did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life! One man [Adam] said no to God and put many people in the wrong; one man [Jesus] said yes to God and put many in the right. Romans 5:18-19 (MSG)

The Face of Our Lord and Savior - Jesus Christ

The book Heaven is for Real relates the story of a young boy, Colton Burpo, whom very nearly died as a result of a ruptured appendix. After recovery, he began to share vivid details about his visit to heaven. One of the details included meeting Jesus Christ in person. As the years passed, Colton viewed numerous paintings supposedly depicting The Lord Jesus. He always said they weren't right. That is, until he saw this one. According to Colton, this painting represents the face of our Lord and Savior.

The story of the girl who painted it is equally amazing. Her name is Akiane Kramarik. Watch the video below to learn more about her.  She too claims to have had visions of heaven, but unlike Colton Burpo, she did not nearly die in order to receive them. Many are skeptical about near death experiences and visions from heaven. However, no one can deny Akiane's gifts from Our Heavenly Father.



God is real. Heaven is real. The Bible is the Word of God. It is all true. Anyone who does not understand, please, be introduced to the four spiritual laws. Jesus will take it from there.  Praise His mercy.

Links-
Heaven is for Real: http://heavenisforreal.net/
Akiane's Gallery: http://www.akiane.com/store/
The Four Spiritual Laws -
Other available languages:  http://campuscrusade.com/four_laws_online.htm

Fill My House

I am a GOD that does not compromise. I am a GOD of light, in me, there is no darkness at all. I desire for you to be children of light without darkness or compromise. You are children of the day, not night. I see much darkness and compromise in the world today. I have sent you to change that. You are in the world, but you are not to be a part of worldly concepts.

There is darkness in your home (house). I am calling you to clean your home of anything not of ME. Cast it out -- (ANGER, CURSING, STRIFE, DISRESPECT). Clean your home so that you can live there with your family in peace and joy.

There is darkness in my temple (your heart). Remember there is a vacuum within you that only I can fill. Discard every spirit that is of the world -- (FEAR, GREED, UNFORGIVENESS, LUST, ENVY, HATE) and fill it with (JOY, PEACE, LOVE, HUMILITY, HOLINESS, MEEKNESS). I live within you and these are my gifts and the fruit of my HOLY SPIRIT.

There is darkness and much compromise in my church today. I am not a GOD of compromise. Remember you are a member and part of my church body. My church is my workmanship, created to do good works. Instead I see STRIFE, APATHY, BACKBITING, CRITICISM, ACCUSATIONS, DISCORD, LACK OF LOVE and LACK OF COOPERATION. Go back to My Word -- this is the foundation for my church (Ephesians 4, Galatians 6:1-10).

So I say to you this day. Fill your home, fill my temple, fill my house with the SUBSTANCE OF ME - The Great God. My substance is the Keys to the Kingdom (Matthew 16: 18-19). My substance is knowing ME and who I am - and knowing who you are in Me. My SUBSTANCE IS ETERNAL -- lasting forever. This is light. The things of this world are temporary -- lasting only a short time. This is darkness.

I am the vine. You are the branches. The fruit of the Spirit is a part of the vine. Walk attached to me. I will give you the gifts of the Spirit. These you are to give to others but the fruit is part of the vine and part of your walk with Me.

This message was written by my friend, Gilbert Stockton of Du Quoin Illinois, and it is used with his permission. All glory is to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

What is the Perfect Law of Liberty, and How is This Cornerstone to Our Personal Liberty?

by David W. Allan

America is at a crossroads concerning this "perfect law of liberty." Understanding the answer to the above question is extremely important and is critical for "We the People" of this "Land of the Free," if we hope to perpetuate and protect our liberty. My good friend, Jim Noorlander, has helped me to understand the answer to this pivotal question. I share here some of his perspectives.
The Liberty Bell

Many believe that liberty and freedom are the same; they are not. We will explain, and many say that our founding documents do not address moral law or the gospel of Jesus Christ. John Adams said, "Our Constitution is made only for a moral and religious people." Noah Webster, the founding father of American Scholarship and Education, and the author of the famous 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, proclaimed that "the principles of republican government have their origin in the Scriptures." And "God’s word, contained in the Bible, has furnished all necessary rules to direct our conduct."

We have the Apostle Paul’s clarion statement, "... where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." (2 Corinthians 3:17) The Apostle James gives the promise: "But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." (James 1:25)

We see this same message integrated into our founding documents. As we declared our independence from Great Britain, our founders said,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. [These rights entitle us as a nation to] the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle [us],

The perfect law of liberty under Nature’s God, as defined above in the Scriptures, is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Inspired by the Scriptures our founders wrote our famous Constitution and its preamble; the preamble reads:

We the People of the United States, in Order to... secure the Blessings of Liberty... establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

In other words, to secure the blessings of liberty under Nature’s God (Jesus Christ), the Constitution was established so that the perfect law of liberty (the gospel of Jesus Christ) could be had among the people in this free and independent nation. Profoundly, there is no coercion. Moral agency is paramount in Heavenly Father’s perfect plan of happiness and in the abundant life promised by Jesus Christ. (John 10:10)

As inferred from our founding documents and from the Scriptures, we qualify for the blessings of liberty and our rights from our Creator (Jesus Christ) as we:

The Ten Commandments
keep the commandments; (Deut. 7:9)

ask for His guidance in humility; (2 Chron. 7:14)

and strive to do His will. (John 7:17; Hebrews 13:21)

The most important of the commandments are to love God and our neighbor as ourselves. (Matt. 22:37-40)

Noah Webster said that he sought to build an education system embodying "a love of virtue, patriotism, and religion [meaning the Bible]." Specifically, he stated, "...the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed... No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people."

As Jim Noorlander pointed out to me, we are the only nation proclaiming that our liberties and our rights are granted to us by our Creator (Nature’s God), which is the Lord Jesus Christ. How important then it is to learn about the religion of our Creator, which is true Christianity as taught by the Savior in the New Testament in the meridian of time. (John 1:1-14). This is the religion of our founders.

Others have spoken clearly on these issues as well:

Woodrow Wilson
The sum of the whole matter is this, that our civilization cannot survive materially unless it be redeemed spiritually. It can be saved only by becoming permeated with the spirit of Christ and being made free and happy by the practices which spring out of that spirit.
Ulysses S. Grant
Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet anchor of your liberties; write its precepts on your heart and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this book we are indebted for the progress made, and to this we look as our guide in the future.
George Washington
There is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness.

The foundation of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.
There are two kinds of freedom: the false and the true.
  • The false is the freedom to "do our own thing" – to follow the natural man. The Apostle Paul says clearly that the "natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Cor. 2:14) Paul further relates that those following this false freedom path are the unrighteous, fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, abusers of themselves with mankind (homo-sexuals), thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, extortioners, liars, etc. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
  • The true is the freedom to chose to live our lives consistent with the perfect law of liberty – the Gospel of Jesus Christ – to follow our conscience, which will lead us to Christ, who will help us to totally overcome the Fall (the natural man), and to "walk in newness of life... through Jesus Christ our Lord." This freedom (choice) through Christ leads to the greatest joy in this life and a fullness of joy in the life to come. This comes as we (by personal choice) "yield [ourselves to] God." (Rom. 6:1-13; John 15:11; 16:20-24)
Furthermore, as my good friend, Jim, points out the following very important principle: "We never use [true] freedom to destroy liberty." If as a nation, we turn from the God of this Land (Jesus Christ), how can we expect the perpetuation of our rights (of life, of liberty, of the pursuit of happiness, and of private protected property with an adequate defense system – designed to protect the people of this free land.

Thus we see why we are at a crossroads in America. We can choose Christ and enjoy the protection of our rights along with the fruits of the Spirit (peace, love, joy, etc. Galatians 5:22-25) in the midst of the storms and challenges of life. Or, we can choose otherwise and be destroyed with Babylon the great, which will surely fall (Revelation 17 & 18). We are approaching a time of a great purging and preparing of a pure people (a true Zion society motivated by the pure love of Christ) to be part of the Bride to meet the Bridegroom at His glorious coming – the Great Day of the Lord. This is the most exciting and opportune time in the history of the earth. Let us choose Him, and He will teach us to love as He loves (even our enemies) and gain a fulness of joy and the greatest of all the gifts of God – Eternal Life. Look to God and live the abundant life He has promised here and hereafter. (John chapters 10 and 14 through 17)

Jesus said, "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed" (John 8:36) – free individually from sin and free as a nation as we worship Christ as the King of Heaven. Through Christ we were given this land of the free that the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the perfect law of liberty, may be shared among the people of this great nation,. And that furthermore, it may be shared with all the inhabitants of the earth (see Isaiah 2 & 11 and Matt. 28:19-20 & Mark 16:15-16). Living the gospel of Jesus Christ means to learn how to love as He loves as we exercise faith in Him and His teachings, to repent of all our sins, and to forgive all that we may be forgiven of all. As we are filled with His love, we will want to share His love. As the gospel goes to the world and they learn that "God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life," (John 3:16) they will sing praises of rejoicing as they also learn that Jesus set the perfect example of love and service before us, and that He is "the way, the truth, and the life..." (John 14:6) In Him is the greatest of joy in this life and a fullness of joy in the world to come. (Psalms 16:11)

The pains that John the Revelator saw that the world would endure, as the wicked destroy the wicked and the Lord brings forth the "man child" called Zion, will be the worst this world has ever seen, but with the birth we will know not only that it was worth it, but will see the wisdom of the Lord in bringing forth the most glorious era ever (His millennial reign). We will feel to praise Him and to thank Him forever for it. (Rev.12:1-12)

Now is the time to hearken to the voice of the Son of God and to stand for the perfect law of liberty as was originally protected and projected by the sacred documents prepared by our founding fathers. The fullness of the gospel (the good news of Christ’s infinite redemptive powers) is at the heart of it all. Let us help all who will to come to know Him and our Holy Father, who is ever there to hear and answer our prayers. He and Jesus love us more than we know. Their promise is sure, that "The Righteous [are] lifted up" at His Coming.

In summary, what are the greatest truths we can learn and inculcate from the Bible to perpetuate liberty?
  • To learn to love (unselfishly) as Jesus loves (God and our neighbor), for those who love God, keep His commandments – knowing that they are opportunities for exaltation.
  • To know that we are the "Offspring of God" and are of infinite worth; in this we gain a love and a respect for all of Father’s children.
  • To utilize the gift of moral agency to choose to follow Him, and to perpetuate that gift to others and through inspired government. Choosing to follow Him leads to the greatest of all the gifts of God – Eternal Life and a fullness of joy 

David W. Allan has authored over 100 papers in the field of precise time and frequency. He and his colleagues developed the Allan Variance which is at the heart of international time-keeping algorithms.

Photo credits:  Liberty Bell, Ten Commandments, Freedom.

The Cross of Christ for Doctrine, Direction, Disposition, Discipline - Oswald Chambers



"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"

Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'

This is the first and greatest commandment.

And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Matthew 22:36-40)

Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go your way. From now on, sin no more."

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, "I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won't have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life." (John 8:11-12)

We Are Still Here - by Michael A. Youssef

DMY
Good Morning! 

Yes, we are still here. Yesterday was not the end of the world. As worshippers of Jesus, there is both sorrow and excitement in this realization. We experience sorrow because we are not face to face with Christ at this moment. On the other hand, we are excited because we still have an opportunity to share the Gospel message with those who have not heard or accepted the Truth of Christ. 

Some people were very concerned about the end of the world. There were even some Christians who were fearful. Although I had a little fun with it in my Open Letter to Harold Camping, the end of the world is a serious matter. We know there will be a day when Christ will return as a victorious and glorified King to judge the living and the dead. We don't know the actual day because Jesus said, "…no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father" (Matthew 24:36). 

Every Christian should look forward with hope to that day. Christ's return should motivate us daily to wake-up, love the unlovable, comfort the hurting, and share the Gospel message. Everything that we do should be for the glory of God with the anticipation that one day Christ will return. 

I have a special message that I want to share with you "Working While Waiting." It is designed to give you Biblical insight into end times and encouragement for the days ahead.

I am blessed to continue to passionately proclaim uncompromising Truth with you in this world as we anticipate Christ's return. 

In Christ,
Michael Youssef, Ph.D. signature
Michael A. Youssef, Ph.D.
www.leadingtheway.org

The Crown of Discipleship



Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20)

Update (9/5/2016):  At the end of the video above, Oswald Chambers uses the word "bondslaves" in regard to the marvelous opportunity that exists in choosing to give all of oneself to Jesus Christ.  The following link leads to a message that explains in great detail what it means to be a "bondslave" of The Lord Christ Jesus.

God's Iron Clad Guarantee To His Servants - by Jim Rich

Crucial promises from God - not guaranteed to all Christians... Do you qualify? 

Novena

 A novena is a devotion consisting of a prayer repeated on nine successive days, asking to obtain special graces.  You were chosen to receive this novena.  The moment you receive it, say :

This picture is miraculous & sacred
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven, give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

GOD WANTED ME TO TELL YOU, It shall be well with you this coming year. No matter how much your enemies try this year, they will not succeed. You have been destined to make it and you shall surely achieve all your goals this year.

All your agonies will be diverted and victory and prosperity will be incoming in abundance. Today God has confirmed the end of your sufferings, sorrows and pain because HE that sits on the throne has remembered you He has taken away the hardships and given you JOY. He will never let you down...

I knocked at heaven's door this morning, God asked me. My child! What can I do for you? And I said, 'Father, please protect and bless the person reading this message... '

Please pass the message on to someone you love.  Help each of us better experience the truth of His four spiritual laws.

For The Message

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. ~1 Corinthians 1:18