Monday, August 31, 2009

Is the Celebration of Easter Biblical?

It is March 1st and the stores are full of Easter bunnies and chocolate eggs and all sorts of advertisements for new Easter clothes. Something for every member of the family. Even many of those who never attend church go at this time.

We often talk of the traditions of men in the church. …..This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men. Neglecting the commandments of God, you hold fast to the traditions of men Mark 7:6-8

Is Easter a tradition of men or a commandment of God? We use the term Easter as a celebration in commemoration of the resurrection of Christ, but is in the Bible? In the King James version in Acts 12:4 we read: And when he (Herod) had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him to bring him forth to the people. "Easter" is actually the Greek word pasha or Passover, but Easter is not another name for Passover. The American Standard translates Passover in verse 4.

According to Webster’s dictionary we read: Easter had it’s origin in pagan times. Eastre or Eostre, the old English spelling of Easter, was originally the name of a Germanic goddess who was worshipped at a festival at the spring equinox. Her name is closely related to Latin aurora and Greek eos, both of which mean "dawn".

Just as satan has managed to infiltrate the church with other pagan customs, this too what we call Easter is pagan in origin. In Genesis 10:8-10 we see the grandson of Noah, Nimrod, and we learn the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad and Calneh in the land of Shinar. Nimrod lead his people in rebellion against God and they practiced a form of satanic worship. Every kind of perversion and evil was used in this religion. They worshiped the sun, moon, stars and even offered human sacrifices as well as animals. Their practice in their ceremonies were things that are unspeakable.

Most of these practices originated at Babel. Most of us know the story in Genesis 11 of the tower of Babel and how the tower was to be built reaching into heaven. And the Lord said, "Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand on another’s speech." So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. Genesis 11:6-8 This is perhaps how this religion was scattered also.

Nimrod married Queen Semiramis who was even more wicked than he. When Nimrod died the mystery religion continued on and the Queen deified him as the Sun-god.. He was later known as Baal, the Great Life Giver, the god of fire, Bel, Baalim, Molech as well as others. Semiramis had an illegitimate son Tammuz, she claimed was an immaculate conception and that he was the savior promised by God in Genesis 3:15. He was also worshiped as the reincarnate of Nimrod. She was then the goddess of fertility and the moon. Tammuz was worshiped in the spring. After he was killed through the weeping of his mother he was revived in the springing forth of the vegetation in the Spring. Every Spring represented this supposed resurrection from the underworld.

In Ezekiel 8:13-16 we read: And He said to me, "Yet you will see still grater abominations which they are committing." Then He brought me to the entrance of the Lord’s house which was toward the north; and behold, women sitting there weeping for Tammuz. And he said to me, "Do you see this , son of man? Yet you will see still grater abominations that these." Then He brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house. And behold, at the entrance to the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were bout twenty-five men with their backs to the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east; and they were prostrating themselves eastward toward the sun.

Israel had turned their back on God and had turned to idolatry. Worship of the sun. Tammuz was a Babylonian god. Like Christ Mass and New Year’s and Easter, all began in Babylon.

Some called this evil woman the Mother Goddess, "Ishtar" originally pronounced Easter, wife of Baal, Eostre, Ashtartoth or Astoreth, Queen of Heaven etc. She was also worshiped as a mediator between God and man. To gain her favor there were sexual orgies and temple prostitutes.

In 325 AD the Nicean Council decreed Easter be celebrated on the 1st Sunday after there vernal equinox, anywhere between March 22nd to April 25th.

In the 4th century Easter became a Christian festival. All early Christians celebrated Passover on the 14th day of the 1st month. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover. Leviticus 23:5 We cannot confuse the pagan holiday of Easter with the Passover.


The Easter rabbit is actually a hare. The hare was sacrificed to Eostre. The hare was the symbol of fertility and the return of spring.


The egg goes back to some of the oldest known civilizations. It was believed to have played an important part in mythical accounts of the creation of the world. The Easter egg is a symbol of continuing life and the resurrection. Pope Paul V appointed a prayer that the eggs be blessed. The eggs were then eaten in thankfulness for the resurrection of the Lord.


The hot cross bun is eaten on Good Friday. They too are pagan in origin.

"The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out libations to other gods in order to spite me. Jeremiah 7:18

We read in Jeremiah 44:17-19 "But rather we will certainly carry out every word that has proceeded from our mouths, by burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pouring out libations to her, just as we ourselves, our forefathers, our kings and our princes did in the cites of Judah I and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then we had plenty of food, and were well off, and saw no misfortune. But since we stopped burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and p9uring out libations to her, we have lacked everything and have met our end by the sword and by famine." And, said the women, when we were burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven, and were pouring libations to her, was it without our husbands that we made for her sacrificial cakes in her image and poured out libation to her?

The celebration of Easter has nothing to do with Christianity. It is an abomination to God. It is not a celebration of the resurrection. It is a pagan custom that has been brought into the house of God with the traditions of men , not of God and not a command from the Bible. God gave us a celebration for the resurrection and it is called Baptism. Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4

"You shall have no there gods before Me. Exodus 20:3

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Have You Had an Examination Lately?

Americans have become very aware of self examination in the preventing of cancer spreading until it is untreatable.

When we are sick we go to the Doctor and allow him to examine us so he might treat what ails us. We go for a yearly exam to prevent any problems in our health.
When we have a toothache we go to the dentist for an exam to see how to treat us. Or we go for our yearly exam and cleaning.
Women do a breast self exam in order to find lumps that might be cancerous.
We exam all sorts of things in order to prevent problems.
The problem with most of us is when we are not presently experiencing any major difficulties in our lives we often neglect self examination. We need to examine ourselves daily. We need to honest with ourselves and God. We need to be honest about how we have dealt and reacted to people and situations. Were we a living testimony for Christ.? Was our speech glorifying to God? Were we helpful to others? Did we do something nice for someone else? Did we put someone else's feelings before our own? Were we honest in all our dealings? Do we owe someone a thank you or is there a need of an apology?
We need to set a time aside every day for self examination. We need to confess our faults and seek solutions in prayer and God's Word.
Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the Lord. Lamentations 3:40 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. James 5:16 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9
Father God, help us to always see ourselves as You see us. Help us to see with our hearts. We ask that You help us to change those things that are not pleasing to You. Amen

Saturday, August 29, 2009

No Damn Good

No, to my knowledge, these words were never spoken but their message was perceived by the child.
I'll call her Brenda. A bright, talented, energetic, twelve to fifteen year old growing up in a "Christian" home. I say twelve to fifteen years old because under "normal" conditions it can take more than one year to break a child of a positive attitude.
Brenda had art talent. She could look at something and sketch it's likeness on paper better than the average person. Seeing her potential, some friends purchased some basic drawing supplies for her so she could practice and develop her talent. With great enthusiasm she set out to become the artist she was gifted to be. Be it a vase on a shelf, or something else around the house, Brenda received great satisfaction in applying her talent to recording its likeness on paper. So enthused was she about becoming an artist that her whole family no doubt heard plenty of it. I'm sure a good bit of her time also was spent pursuing her newfound aspiration.
It was probably the time involved that disturbed her father the most. Time that I'm sure he thought could be put to better use reading the Bible. With the end of the world upon us, to him, it was useless to waste time drawing. Besides, "You'll never be able to make a living drawing pictures!" he would tell her. It wasn't long before she put the pencils away. What was the use?
It was much the same way when she enthusiastically brought a musical instrument home from school. She was going to play in the band! As you can imagine, there were some pretty terrible sounds coming out of her room after school. And I'm sure by now you can imagine what her father would say. You know it would be hard to study ones Bible with all that noise. "By the sounds of it you will never make the band! Stop making so much racket and do something constructive like studying your Bible."
The music went the same way as the drawing pencils. Brenda gave up on the good things she was interested in. That in itself was sad but something sadder still was to follow. If she could not take time to develop things that required practice she soon turned to things that were easy. Things like hanging around with poor role models and their bad habits. Bad habits, you know, don't take any discipline or hard work to develop and she was out of sight and sound of her father. Brenda found she was naturally good at things like running away from home, stealing a car, getting caught, ending up in a reform school, and getting pregnant. I don't think I have to say any more about Brenda. Her life was seriously altered by a well meaning parent who had grown up in an alcoholic home, beaten and unloved, who didn't understand that the things he was saying were being heard as "Your no damn good." She simply started to live out that message.
As Brenda's father read his Bible I don't think he understood these verses: ". . . I the LORD thy God am a Jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me." Exodus 20:5 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4 ". . .whosoever shall say to his brother Raca (worthless one), shall be in danger of the council but whosoever shall say, Thou fool (stupid), shall be in danger of hell fire." Matthew 5:22 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! For it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! Matthew 18:5,6,&7
This is not written to judge or shame Brenda's father, rather that we might learn from his mistakes! Here are some suggested lessons we might glean from Brenda's story: A person's value is not determined by how many religious things they do but that Christ died to redeem them. His Spirit will decide which gifts they are to use to God's glory. We cannot read the Bible all of the time and to develop ones physical talents is a worthwhile endeavor. Just imagine how the cause of Christ would suffer had none of God's children developed the talents He gave them such as graphic art, music, dance, drama, etc. We may be living in the end time but if we have Christ in us we are living eternal life! In eternal life there is plenty of time to develop our God given talents!

Brenda suffered from religious and mental abuse which stemmed from her fathers background. Are we passing on an abusive family legacy? By God's grace we can stop the cycle of abuse! Be kind! Think before you speak! Make sure your intended message is being perceived correctly by others. Let's build others up with positive reinforcement! They too can do all things through Christ who strengthens them!

Dear Father in Heaven, Please forgive us our blindness. Help us all to recognize the tremendous value you have placed on every person. Work in us to encourage and build up others to thy name's honor and glory.

In Jesus' name, Amen.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Seven Last Plagues of Revelation

Revelation 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

When the 7 last plagues begin, mercy is ended. God’s wrath will be poured out full strength. Everyone has made his decision and is sealed in that decision. The 7 last plagues are poured out on the wicked, but the people of God will not affected by these plagues. Like the closing of the door of Noah's ark, God will protect and provide for His people. He will send hamburgers from heaven if necessary. The wicked have received the mark of the beast, broken God’s law and they are the recipients of these plagues. The remnant of God are those who have lived by faith and have kept the commandments of God.

Let's take a look at these plagues.

Revelation 15:6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.

15:7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

Revelation 16:1 And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

Revelation16: 2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

16:3 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.

16:4 And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.

16:5 And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.

16:6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.

16:7 And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.

16:8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.

16:9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

16:10 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,

16:11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.

16:12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

16:13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Notice the close parallel of the destruction of the first 7 trumpets. The first 4 trumpets affected 1/3 of the earth and the 7 last plagues affect the whole world. The 5th trumpet announces the arrival of satan and the 5th plague marks the unmasking of satan. Satan blames the trumpets and the 1st 4 plagues on the saints and when Jesus pours out the 5th plague the wicked see the person claiming to be God isn’t their God, for God wouldn’t destroy His own throne. Their deceiver is satan himself.

The 6th plague is the battle called Armageddon.

Revelation16: 16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. Not one saint will die here.

The 7th angel announces the coming of Jesus.

16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air, and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.

Revelation 16:18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

The wicked people of earth cry out:

Revelation 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

6:17 For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Revelation16:19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.

16:20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.

16:21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

Man still in the end denies the authority of God.

2Thessalonians 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming:

The great hail that falls upon the earth at the coming of Christ can be compared to the fiery hail that fell during the 1st trumpet. The difference is in the devastation and size. During the 1st trumpet 1/3 of the earth, grass and tress are burned up. The hail of the 7th plague burns Babylon up.

Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

19:21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of His mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

The rider is none other than the King of Kings!

Rev 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war.

19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God.

19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

19:15 And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

19:16 And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

The saints will then be taken to heaven!

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

4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

Satan and his army will be defeated at the Second Coming and the saints return to heaven with King Jesus for 1,000 years. The saints will determine the punishment of the wicked. The saints will then descend within the New Jerusalem to the Earth to live with Christ for eternity.

Our prayer is that you will accept Jesus Christ as your Savior TODAY and learn to live by faith in Him. He is trustworthy. It is His wish and ours that no one would have to face this final wrath.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Tale of Lonliness

Across the dismal chasms of ones
Fog enshrouded mind,
A wretched bird in silence steals,
In search as if to find,
A friend to thwart off loneliness,
Sword to conquer fear;
It's scream oft breaks the silence
But there's no one there to hear.

The cold engulfs it's visage,
Creeps into its hollow bones,
Instilling deep within it, through
Chilled and dampened tones,
The memoirs of the years gone
By, the basis of all fears,
The reasons for all sadness, the
Wellspring of all tears.

It's weary search is fruitless, it's
Cries are all in vain.
As deep within the void of its soul
It feels the pain.
It's naked body shivers in defiance
Of the cold,
As the elements of all mankind, it
Tries its best to scold.

Then the death toll, heard at last,
When God retracts His breath,
Consumes the silent blackness there,
The bird now meets its death.
No more those shadowed chasms will
Those once proud wings ere fear.
No more those screams of searching
Will those misty caverns hear.

The bird was but the soul of man,
The chasms common sins,
Eroded in the conscience,
The intellect thus dimmed.
With only mist within the mind,
Destroyed by satan's wave,
The soul could feed from nothing;
There was nothing there to save.

With sadness and concern too late,
The story now is told.
How God the Father looses grip,
How satan gains his hold.
Oh friend of mine, don't let your soul,
To satan's ground ere wander,
For many a man has lost his way
When life in prime he squandered

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm Different

I wasn't like everyone else, I was different. I wasn't the kind of person they were making me out to be. All I wanted to do was work, have a little hobby, feed my family and provide for their needs. I wanted to have a loving family, and eat supper at the table, and all the things that one would be and do. The only other thing other than that was I wanted to drink. Love peace, prosperity, work, good school grades, happy smiling faces, and alcohol.

I wanted it all and did seem to have it, for awhile, at least. I kept up the charade for many years, until I got drunk and wrecked the car with my family inside. It is a thousand wonders no one was hurt, and I did thank the Lord for that, right after the next drink. You see, I wasn't like that. I wasn't like the other drunks running around. I was different. I didn't have a problem with drinking. Nobody was fighting like on "Cops". I didn't get drunk and go crazy and forget everything. I wasn't one of those people.

So there I was. On probation just like those losers I have met at the lake, getting drunk and talking about how much a DWI was a drag. There I was, at some kind of meeting, ordered by the judge, listening to all those people whining about how alcohol has wrecked their lives. It's a good thing that I wasn't like them. I despised those meetings. I wasn't like them. I was different. I didn't like them stuffing their Christianity down my throat. I didn't like them trying to get me to talk to them. They couldn't understand me. I just went back home, kissed my wife, played with my kids, put them to bed, and got drunk.

You see, they got drunk because they were weak individuals.
They kept drinking because they had to have it. They couldn't resist it. I kept drinking because I wanted to. I was different. I fooled them all. I kept my private life to myself.

I met a group of people at work attending a little prayer group during break, and felt compelled to join in. I guess any Christian would. I remembered the Master saying something like "Deny Me before men, and I'll deny you before the Father." I thought I was still a Christian, since I walked down the aisle when I was nine. Never mind that I still drank, that was my private life. I just didn't talk about it, so it didn't exist. So, I began to meet every day, and spill my guts to God right there in front of other people. I had to be careful of what I would say, because people had no business knowing me. The more I prayed, the more I wanted to say. It was kind of compulsive.

There was one member whom I felt I could confide in though. This was very foreign to me,because (like I said) nobody had any business knowing me or my doings. We would discuss many things about my private life over the next few months. At first there were the questions. My question. I had studied many (and I do mean many) religions over the years, and I wanted to know what made Christianity the true religion. I mean, I thought prayer to any god (no capital) was sufficient, it is a theory called "Universalism", where all religions are right and all people (except Hitler and Charlie Manson, etc.) are going to Heaven.

I began to pray for a real understanding of the Holy Trinity, and to feel the effects of Him. I felt Him and it was a trip unlike any subatance I had ever embraced. It left me wanting another "high". I learned very quickly that I could achieve another feeling of the Holy Spirit by giving up another part of myself and to Him. Sort of like a junkie giving up the things he really loves for another hit, the only real big thing I had to offer was the truth about me and drinking. It was really worth the knowledge I received, and the Holy Spirit gave me a real feeling of a "high".

Next, I began to see the change in my family. I never saw a change in me, but I have heard about it.

Now, I'm not like everyone else, I AM DIFFERENT. I'm not the kind of person they're making me out to be. All I want to do is work, have a little hobby, feed my family and provide for their needs. I want to have a loving family, and eat supper at the table, and all the things that one would imagine a regular family would be and do. The only thing other thing that I want is to please my Master. Love, peace, prosperity, work, good school grades, happy smiling faces, and my LORD.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lukewarm: GoBeDo's Message to the Church

Revelation 3:14-16 And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.
Beginning in the 2nd chapter of Revelation we see the letters given to John to write to the 7 churches. These churches existed simultaneously then and now. Does this in any way describe your church or you. Are we sitting on our blessed assurances in a pew somewhere every Worship day, Wednesday nights, at Bible studies, prayer groups and all the fun things at Church activities? Are we eating the deliciously prepared meals of a church social? We are loyal in our attendance. But, what are we doing beyond the walls of the comfortable air-conditioned padded pew.
Do you enjoy the sermons prepared by your pastor with his added humor that you laugh at. Have we been properly entertained when we leave. Are we being fed week after week with exquisite morsels from the Word. But, did you pick up your Bible this week and study. Did you study, not just read a few scriptures here and there. Did you research everything you heard. Did you look up the other scriptures that might pertain to that subject so that you have a clear and accurate understanding of what we heard.

God gave you a mind and the Holy Spirit to help you to understand what He has to say to you. You don’t need to be a scholar, all you need is a willingness to listen to the Spirit of God. He is eager to teach you. You need only ask. In James 1:5-7 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord
Hebrews 5:12-14 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. How many sermons do we need to be weaned form the bottle and take solid food?

Praise God for those shepherds (pastors) who get down on their knees everyday asking God for guidance in the giving of his sermon that week. Who study continuously in God’s Word instead of pulling a sermon out of a text book. Those who have discerned truth themselves in the Word of God. Those who pray and encourage their sheep to study and pray for themselves for the will of God in their own lives. That equip their sheep to go out into the world as witnesses for Christ.

Has your church reached out to your community. Is there a person in need anywhere near your church, perhaps across the street or maybe in the church building itself. Is your church seeing miracles, God still does them) changed lives, and love for one another more than self. Are you willing to give up something for another of God’s children. Does your pastor preach the gospel.? Many do not even know what the gospel is. Romans 1:16-20 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in righteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident with them; for God made it evident to them.
Most will say they believe these are the last days but, are we living like it. Or are we more concerned with what we want, rather than sharing the gospel. Is the Church on fire for Jesus and do we desire His truth above all else in this world

Are we prepared for the things that are quickly coming upon this world or have we been lulled into a false sense of security. Has your pastor prepared you so you might understand all that God is doing and why. Can you share these things with others. We are not exempt from the tribulation and the urgency of the Antichrist’s appearing. Has your church prepared you for this. If your church has mislead you on this issue, could there be other areas too?


Monday, August 24, 2009

The Law of God

Matthew 5:17-18 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Jesus said he came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. If there is to be a society, there must be laws. If everyone was allowed to do just as he pleases, imagine the consequences. There would be no respect for others property nor for one another. There would be no morals and the world would be in complete chaos.

God wrote the perfect laws. Laws about how to love Him and our neighbor. Yet today most say the laws are no longer in effect because we are under grace. Some keep the law as a necessity of salvation, legalism.

Could our throwing out of the law be part of our problems in America today. Have we totally forgotten God. Has He been left out of most everything, our government, our homes, schools, even our worship.

We cannot keep the law within ourselves. But in our acceptance of Christ in us, it is possible. Yet we believe that one of God’s laws has been changed. We completely throw out His 4th commandment , but on what authority. Can you find anywhere in the Bible where God tells us He has changed the 4th commandment from the 7th day Saturday to Sunday the 1st day.

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God."

When and how did Sunday observance begin?

The change of the 4th commandment was a gradual process, yet Satan has finished his work. The following are statements by church authorities and are totally documented.

"Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her - she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no scriptural authority." A Doctrinal Catechism, by Stephen Keenan, pg 174.

The Catholic church, "declared Cardinal Gibbons, "by virtue of divine mission changed the day from Saturday to Sunday."

"We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the catholic church, in the Council of Laodicea (AD 364). Transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday." The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, pg. 50, third edition.

The Catholic Cardinal Gibbons, in Faith of Our Fathers pg. 111 said, "You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify."

In Matthew 15:9 "But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men."

Daniel 7:25 "And he will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law.

The Council of Trent (1545 AD), the church leaders ruled that "tradition" (human teachings) is as of great authority as the Bible!

In 321 AD the first Christian emperor, Constantine passed a Sunday law. "Let all judges and town people, and the occupation of all trades rest on the venerable day of the sun". Edict of March 7, 321 AD Corpus Juris Civilis Cod. Liv. 3, tit. 12 Lex. 3.

He passed this law with the intent to satisfy the sun worshiping pagans and to unite them with Christians and the Roman empire. This way they could make it easier for the pagans to come into the church. And thousands of them did. Some of the Christians resisted this and paid the penalty.

The Christians were told that worshiping on Sunday was because of the resurrection of Jesus.

Find one verse in the Bible that tells that the day of worship was changed from the 7th day to the 1st day of the week, Sunday because of the resurrection.

Bibles were forbidden by the priests and as the years went by the Sabbath of the Lord was forgotten. If starting this year we were to not even mention the 4th of July anymore, how long do you think it would take for the significance of this date be forgotten? Sunday worship has become fully established.

The 2nd commandment, "You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth." "You shall not worship them or serve them…" The making of, and bowing down to images, is omitted in the Catholic catechisms, and the tenth, which forbids coveting, is divided into two. "Bible Readings for the Home, (Washington: Review & Herald Pub. Assoc., 1942) pg. 221.

Anyone keeping the 7th day Sabbath of the Lord today is called a cult. No one is condemned by God for not keeping the Sabbath if they truly do not know. But, he that know has willfully committed sin.

Study the Scriptures, look into history and see for yourself if God changed the laws. Make a decision if you are willing to keep the commandments of God.

Revelation 14:12 Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.

The Ten Commandments : Exodus 20: 1-18

I Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.

II Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep my commandments.

III Thou shalt not take the name if the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.

IV Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor they son, nor thou daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, not thy cattle, nor they stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherfore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.

V Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

VI Thou halt not kill.

VII Thou shalt not commit adultery.

VIII Thou shalt not steal.

IX Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

X Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.

Exodus 20:1-18


I I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.

(Notice that the 2nd commandment as found in the Bible is left out.)

II Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.

(Notice the day of worship, the 7th day is left out.)

III Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.

IV Honor thy father and thy mother.

V Thou shalt not kill.

VI Thou shalt not commit adultery.

VII Thou shalt not steal.

VIII Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

IX Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.

X Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Christians and Depression

Being a Christian does not make us exempt from troubles and depression. Let's face it; everyone is depressed at some time or another. Even Jesus was depressed and had anxiety before going to the cross.
Luk 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be one. 43 And there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Don't let anyone tell that your depression is not real or that if you just had enough faith you wouldn't have it. Although some depression is because of sin not all is. The causes of depression can be both physical and psychological and spiritual. If we can find the cause of the problem, there is a good chance of being able deal with it or remove it entirely. Merely treating our symptoms with pills and or alcohol may bring some temporary relief, but recognizing the cause could help bring about a more permanent solution.

Our greatest enemies are those of fear, guilt, anxiety, depression, discouragement and loneliness. Satan will use these things against us. But realize he is powerless to do anything unless we give him that power. The greatest sin is not believing that God has the power to deliver us. Satan wants you to let go of your faith. He wants you to believe that no one cares and that there is no hope for you. If he can fill you with unbelief then he has succeeded in his mission to destroy you. God never walks away from you, YOU walk away from HIM!

Depression can stem from guilt.
David had committed adultery and was depressed until he confessed his sin.

Psa 32:1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. 3 When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. 4 For day and night thy hand was healed.

Psa 51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight: that Thou mightiest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. 5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. 9 Hide Thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me 12 Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit 13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. 14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation:and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. 15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. 16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

David went to the Lord with a broken heart and confessed his sin. If our depression is from guilt, go boldly to the throne of grace and confess your sin and deal with it.

1Jo 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. The Holy Spirit responds to your broken heart.

Heb 12:1 .. . . let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

What can we do when we have depression?
Call upon God. Keep your eyes upon Jesus, not the circumstance. If we let the circumstances overwhelm we limit God.

2Co 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

Psa 50:15 And call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me.

Isa 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. 4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

When we call upon the Lord we can be assured that He hears the cry of every child of God.

Do not isolate yourself and close yourself in darkness. The devil wants to isolate you. He can bring you down to the very bottom when we do not have contact with other Christians to encourage and pray for us. Talk with someone in your family or a friend that you trust. Ask them to pray with you. Choose someone who understands. Sometimes God will use our loneliness for us to reach out to Him. So sometimes loneliness can be a good thing. Dr. Carl Menninger once gave a lecture on mental health and was answering questions from the audience. Someone said, "What would you advise a person to do if that person felt a nervous breakdown coming on?"Most people thought he would say, "Go see a psychiatrist immediately," but he didn't. To their astonishment, Dr. Meninger replied, "Lock up your house, go across the railroad tracks, find somebody in need, and help that person." To overcome discouragement, "Don't focus on yourself, get involved in the lives of other people."

Light has a definite impact on our lives.
Christ and the word are often referred to as light. Let us be reminded that there will be no darkness in the new heaven and earth.

Rev 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

Stop thinking Negatively
Depression can be caused by always thinking negatively, flesh controlled thinking. Reach up and turn that little radio off in your ear that keeps playing the same tune over and over. Make this a conscience choice that you will not listen to negativity.

Phi 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Rejoice even when you don't feel like it.
Nothing can make the devil flee from you faster than praising God. He will take advantage when you are down. Get the body in gear and the mind will follow.

Phi 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Jam 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.

Remember the devil doesn't mess with those he already has.

Choose to be thankful.
Have an attitude of gratitude. Make a list of all your blessings. And thank God for each one. Sometimes when we see all the blessings we do have it can be uplifting.

Sing and give praises to His name.
Singing and worship music can be very uplifting when we are down. It is hard to be depressed when we are singing. Stay away from old music that brings unpleasant memories to you.

Psa 9:2 I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.

Psa 21:13 Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power.

We can sometimes procrastinate about things that are not even going to happen.
Give God time to move in our situation. Mat 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Let go of self-hatred and anger with others.
Depression is anger turned inwards.

Eph 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Many diseases are caused by an unforgiving spirit. We need to learn accept ourselves as God made us. If we cannot love ourselves then we cannot love someone else.

Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

Remember you are made by God in His very image. To reject yourself is to look upon what God has made in criticism. Accept yourself as God does.

Stop looking to self and others or things in which to place your hope and happiness.
When we buy things to bring us happiness it is only a quick fix. We should not depend upon people to bring us happiness. All these things will forsake you but hope in Christ is everlasting.

Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Isa 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. 4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

When our happiness is dependent upon human relationships and that person fails to meet your needs you will be unhappy again. Your needs are spiritual and only God can fill them. The truth is until you are a whole person within yourself you will make the same mistakes over and over again in all your human relationships. So many marriages end with each trying to fulfill their needs by leaning on the other. When your relationship with God is not right then all your relationships will be affected. We do need one another, the comfort and love of our families and friends, but they cannot make our happiness last. Only God can do that.

How often I have heard, "If God would just put someone in my life I would be happy. I wouldn't be lonely anymore." Until we come to the realization that our happiness is not dependant upon someone we will repeat the same mistakes over and over.

Forget the past.
We should not constantly be living in the past. Although we should remember and learn from our pasts we should never live there for it can be depressing. Christians go forward not backward. Remember you have a whole new life before you in Christ and he can heal all those past hurts if we let Him.

Phi 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, Phi 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Learn from your depression, and when you have come out of it God will be able to use you to minister to others. You can't understand depression until you have been there. Let it produce love in your heart for others instead of bitterness and an uncaring attitude. Would you turn your back on someone with diabetes or cancer? Depression and mental illness is just the same!

Mental illness and depression
Depression is sometimes caused by chemical imbalances. God sometimes uses medicine to heal but, drugs can mask the symptoms instead of getting to the source of the problem. Seek help immediately for prolonged depression or if contemplating suicide. Seek professional help. Have a good physical to rule out any medical problems. And pray for God to lead you to the right sources. God loves you and He will supply those you need if you only ask.

Those who suffer need Christian support and the love of their families and friends. It could happen to any of us. A lack of support and encouragement is the last thing one needs when faced with emotional problems that have overwhelmed them. Find someone who understands that you can confide in. Be careful when choosing someone. They need to be Godly people that can be trusted. The last thing you need is a fair weather friend who will abandon you. The devil uses people like that to bring you even further down.

We can look at the book of Job to see how the wrong friends and an insensitive family can make things even worse. Few of us will ever enter into sufferings like Job did. Job lost all his possessions. His children were killed and his body was racked with horrible sores and his friends judged and condemned him, and his wife told him he should curse God and die. Job's pain was almost unbearable. Yet when his trial was over God increased
everything to Job two-fold. Would your character stand if satan were to challenge God over your reasons for serving Him.

The problem is that many are not sensitive enough to the emotional problems of others. They are too wrapped up in self. I pity these people for they may find themselves alone some day. Look at what friends and family did to Jesus. The devil will use other human beings. We need to love one another no matter what!

Some Biblical instances of depression.
Isa 16:14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him. 15 And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee. 16 Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well. 17 And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me. 18 Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD is with him. 19 Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep. 20 And Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid, and sent them by David his son unto Saul. 21 And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer. 22 And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me; for he hath found favour in my sight. 23 And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed.

In 1 Kings 19 we see Elijah's depression and how it was dealt with. Elijah's mind was focused on Jezebel instead of the LORD. He took his eyes off the Lord and focused on his problem. He got on his pity pot with a poor me attitude. Self pity leads to depression. In reality God had many other faithful believers. Elijah was not alone as he imagined. Instead of trusting in God as he had done in the past years, he ran for his life. He left God out of the picture. He wasn't thinking rationally. But God provided for Elijah and lifted him out of his depression. In his time of need God gave him a friendship with Elisha. When we have mistaken thinking then we have all the wrong emotional thinking.

Look at Jonah 4. Jonah became depressed and angry when God had mercy towards those of Nineveh when they repented after Jonah had prophesied their destruction because of their evil ways. He wanted to die. He was more concerned that he might be losing his credibility as a prophet. Jonah did the right thing but with a wrong attitude. God will deal with rebellion in our lives. He works in our lives in order to work through our lives to other people. A burden for the lost.

Our hope is in God.
Psa 42:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time

1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you. 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

2Co 4:8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

Isa 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Even when your family and friends forsake you, God never abandons you. God remembers you. Tell the Lord you are going to wait upon Him. You will come out a better and stronger person in the long run.

The apostle Paul was focused on the eternal rather than the temporal.

2Co 11:23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths often. 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

You were not created to live a life of discouragment.
Joh 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.

Don't let your circumstances bring you down.
His will can be revealed to you in these circumstances.

Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

2Co 4:8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

We cannot trust in self, but we can trust in Christ.
Lam 3:40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.

Jer 17:7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.

You are valuable to God.
Mat 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

You will never be released from discouragement and depression until you have a truly personal relationship with Christ.

Psa 84:2 My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

Without God in our lives we are lonely and depressed for we were made for God.

2Th 2:16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, God can use our sufferings to prepare us to be in His service of helping others.

Precious promises
Joh 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

Joh 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

2Ti 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

1Pe 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

1Pe 3:13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?

1Pe 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Psa 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

Psa 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

Psa 27:5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. 6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.

Psa 40:17 But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.

Psa 126:5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

Psa 126:6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Isa 58:9 Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

Dear Christian, if you are at the point that you are hurting so badly that you are crushed under the load then reach out to God. He will show Himself strong in your weakness. The Holy Spirit will impress someone into your path that will reach out to you and help you with your burden.

Heavenly Father, Help me to remember that I am created in Your image and that I am a somebody. Help us to turn to You in simple childlike faith, knowing that we will find You all sufficient. We pray for those who do not know that they can rest and trust in You, and who may not be able spiritually and physically, and we pray that You will give us an opportunity every day to do good in Your name. Let us be Your messenger of hope to this lost and dying world.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

It's a Dead Giveaway

"I am a Christian."

Does your speech portray that you are a Christian? Can others know by how you talk?
When Peter tried to deny Jesus they said to him .Matthew 26:73. And a little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, "Surely you too are one of them; for the way you talk gives you away."
How you speak says a lot about you. When Jesus is active in your life, others can't help but know that you are a Christian. Jesus can't stay inside those who are filled with His spirit. It just comes bubbling out so it can make room for more of Him. Your talk should always glorify God.
When we take the Lord's name in vain, curse, tell dirty jokes, or speak about others in an unkind way we are not spirit filled.
May it be our prayer that we be spirit filled and that our speech says to the world, "I am a Christian."

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Seven Churches and The Overcomers

The messages to the 7 Churches were given to John around 95 AD. These 7 churches in Asia all existed at the same time in John's day. It is important that we realize these messages are timeless. They may not be in the same place or with the same people but they remain just the same. They represent the body of believers in Christ!
The condemnations and the promises that Jesus gave to each church still stand. They are timeless because the problems with sin still exist within the church today. In fact, Jesus concludes His message to each church saying, "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." Who is the church, is it a building or a denomination? No, it is every believer. Each of us that have accepted Christ. The church is not a place we go to worship; it is all the children of God. 1Co 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.

The 7 churches are not numbered one through seven and they are not sequential or chronological in order. They are not apocalyptic and they do not represent seven time periods since the ascension of Jesus. They all existed at the same time in John's day and they still exist today.

We need to notice what Jesus said to each church and see, which church applies to our own experience in the Lord. Notice what Jesus says to each church.

1. Ephesus: Rev 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

2. Smyrna: Rev 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. 10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

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

3. Pergamum: Rev 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. See Numbers 22-24 (Balaam style refers to immoral sins committed with heathen who don't know better.)

Rev 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

4. Thyatira: Rev 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols Compare with 1 Kings 21 and 2 Kings 9 (This refers to sins committed within the church by those knowing better)

Rev 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

5. Sardis: Rev 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. 3:2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

6. Philadelphia: Rev 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. 10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

Rev 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

7. Laodicea: Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

What does it mean to overcome?

Strong's Concordance 3528 nikao {nik-ah'-o}

from 3529; TDNT - 4:942,634; v

AV - overcome 24, conquer 2, prevail 1, get the victory 1; 28

to conquer 1a) to carry off the victory, come off victorious 1a1) of Christ, victorious over all His foes 1a2) of Christians, that hold fast their faith even unto death against the power of their foes, and temptations and persecutions 1a3) when one is arraigned or goes to law, to win the case, maintain one's cause

Do you see that? God wants a people who have overcome their sins, they are victorious. He wants a pure and holy people to take with Him to heaven. He didn't say join the church and get baptized and go out and keep on sinning. He didn't say I know you can't help it and I don't care. If you are not happy here on earth overcoming your sins then you will not be happy in heaven! God will take no one to heaven that would not rather die than to sin. Do we not have enough faith in the power of God to help us overcome sin? Do we accept the doctrine of cheap grace taught by many that we cannot and do not have to overcome sin? By the shed blood of Christ we can overcome. But, before we can overcome anything we have to first acknowledge what is sin in our own lives and be willing for God to remove it.

Rom 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Rom 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

1Jo 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.

We many times we overlook things in our lives that to God is SIN. We cannot overcome sin on our own. It must be Christ in us. In giving ourselves to Him DAILY, trusting Him to do the work in us and through us. Our part is laying down our lives to Him. Placing ourselves on the altar and allowing Him to work in us. I call it spiritual surgery and sometimes it hurts, but it is always with His love that He corrects us.

God will reveal your sin to you if you ask. He knows things within us that we might not even see ourselves. Remember the story of the rich man. Mat 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 . . . . but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 18 . . . . Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Now God didn't need this man's money. But God knew this man loved his money more than he loved God. God wants all of you and He will reveal to you things that are inside you. He knows the very depths of our heart and the sin within. Only then can He use you. He wants to do a work in you so you can be Jesus with skin on.

The devil wants you to disobey God and he will use whatever means works. It can even be done in the name of religion. There are those sitting in the pews now that have no idea what sin is. They believe as long as they go to church and do their duty and are baptized that is all that is necessary. Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. These are those who claim to be religious. What is their problem? They have not done the will of God.

Mat 15:7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand 11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

Satan wants you to believe that you cannot overcome sin. And you can't in your own power because the flesh will win out every time.

What does God want?

Eph 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

There is a time and God only knows that time when we have rejected the prompting of the Holy Spirit to see truth and the sin in our lives. When that time has been reached God will turn one over to the devil. This is called the unpardonable sin. The heart is so harden that you do not hear God anymore. There is no guilt over sin. The work of the Holy Spirit is to lead us into all truth.

Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Jo 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. John is saying that no one who is walking in disobedience to God can be righteous. He even says that one who is not is of the devil. Strong words!

Does this mean we will never sin. No! But it is what we do with that sin. Do we stay in it or do we go to God and ask forgiveness and ask Him to help us overcome that sin. When we sin we have to lay Jesus aside. We cannot sin when Jesus is abiding in our heart. If we close Him out we will sin. It is always a matter of choice.

What is sin?

We cannot be good enough on our own to deserve salvation. No one can obey the commandments of God on his own. You cannot earn your way to heaven. Do not let any one tell you that you still have the assurance of salvation if you are walking in willful disobedience to God! This is a false doctrine. Truth faith in Christ will overcome sin. In God's sight it is non-negotiable. God didn't say, go to church and be baptized and go on sinning. John 8:11 . . . . And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Rom 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

1Co 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

1Co 8:12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.

Jam 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching 26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

The Lord sends each of us people and circumstances to speak truth into our lives to bring us to Him. He speaks to our hearts, but if we willfully reject His drawing there is no sacrifice for our sins. We need to pay particular attention to this one. How often has God sent someone to you?

1Jo 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

1Jo 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

What is the law? It is the Ten Commandments. Don't let anyone tell you they were nailed to the cross with Christ or that God changed one or left it out. This is a lie straight from hell.

1Jo 5:17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

Overcoming sin

Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Rom 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.

Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Jam 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Phi 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Heb 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

We need to be constantly aware of what we say, what we do and what we watch. What we feed our mind and bodies have a direct effect on our hearts. We are His lips, hands and bodies. We the church represent Christ to others. How can we expect the world to be drawn to Christ if we act like the world?

1Jo 3:6 Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

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

In Psalm 119:10 "For I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I do not sin against You".

We need to know the Scriptures and to apply them to our lives. We cannot know God if we do not know what He has to say. We need to keep in constant communion with Him to know His will and to ask Him to help us to overcome our sin. He forces know one.

The judgment and works

True faith in God will produce good works of obedience. Jam 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Many believe it is legalistic to say that we are judged by our works, but the Bible does not support this.

Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Our works do not save us, but they are evidence of the Holy Spirit abiding within us. Man cannot save himself by works of the flesh. Our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will produce works.

The bottom line is if one has truly come to Christ, he will live a life of obedience. He will strive to overcome his sins and will not live in willful disobedience to the commandments of God.

Eph 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

There is not one thing that we might have to give up or go through on this earth that will even compare with what God has for each of us who overcomes. May we each be found among the overcomers when Jesus returns.

There's an important question. When will the promise to each church be given? Answer: When Jesus comes. This little point is very important. Rev 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. We have the promise of salvation, but we will only receive it at the time of the Second Coming. Church it is time to take a stand. Christ will come for His church. Will you be among those He finds to have faith? Will you live eternally with HIM or will you be destroyed with satan?

Rev 6:17 For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?

Heavenly Father how loving is Your chastening. I hunger to know more of You, Lord. In all times of temptation may I remember Your example. I praise You for Your Word, which tells me how I should live my life. Make my heart completely devoid of self so I may be filled with Your Spirit. There are times that I may slip once again into the mire. Cleanse and strengthen me for Jesus' sake.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

One By One

One by one the gospel goes

O'r hill and vale and waters deep.

One by one the Spirit flows

Through consecrated souls to keep

The trust passed on. The flame of truth

Is ours to share until in death we sleep.
One by one, could we start in youth

With mind uncluttered and muscles strong

How many flames from the torch of truth

Could blaze in darkness, dispelling wrong.

One by one (through holy zeal)

To know God's love, to His church belong.
One by one, when age we feel,

When youth has flown and gray hairs last

(The truth is still alive and real,

In future days as in ages past,)

We gain from age its wisdom too

As we notice the sand in the hour glass.
One by one, though the days be few

Mourn not for time ill spent.

Each day is ours, each day is new.

Each face we meet is heaven sent.

God would have us share His love,

To us, for this His life is lent.
Just remember, one by one,

(Though we would deal with many,)

Is where God's brightest work is done

For He counts few as plenty.

What a shame if one we pass

While waiting still for many.
One by one, when lots are cast

When God's verdicts are finally known

Will your fruits forever last

Or be into the fire thrown?

One by one, is how it is done

From Eden to final home.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

When It's Time to Die

I am a death row inmate in the State Prison here at Indiana. I have often given many thoughts about death and how I can prepare myself for dying by execution. I'm sure I am not the only one who has thought about dying. I hear many things. Some say they are not afraid but, I know that they don't mean that deep down, I can see it in their face and eyes. No one wants to die. But everyone must die at some point in life: Hebrews 9:27 says, For it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the Judgment.
I believe that any one with half a mind believes in God and thinks about his soul and the judgment day. I sure do. When I was in Viet Nam I was always afraid of death, dying was not on my list of good things to do. Now I find myself in a new but different battle, Death Row. Do I still have the fear of dying? NO, I do not. I am a born again Christian, a child of God/Jesus and have received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. How can I be afraid? For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of Love and he that dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein our love is made perfect, That we may have BOLDNESS in the day of judgment because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear. 1 John 4:15-18 Love is I know, the greatest gift of all. And I know that God loves me and has forgiven me of all my sins and unrighteousness 1 John 1:9
I know that when I depart from this world I shall be with the Lord Jesus. God has promised me life everlasting 1 John 5:13 so I shall not be afraid of what men can do to me, For I live in Christ.
Now I must be honest, I don't always feel good nor do I always feel like singing and praising God, but I don't go by feelings, I live by faith. You see I am Blessed For I know that death will come some day, ah it could be closer than I knew. But, I have victory in that I have a chance to prepare myself, get right with God and confess my sins, and repent of the things I have done. Some people may not have a chance to prepare if they wait too long! Death could come at anytime, any place and catch you unprepared. So listen, Open your heart to Jesus NOW. Make a way for your soul to receive the gift of life everlasting with Jesus…Read your Bible and study and know the Word of God, that you may be able to receive His blessings. Only you can do it, no one else can do it for you. Now is the chance of your life time, now is the day of Salvation. Receive it through Jesus Christ our Lord and our Savior. It's your choice.
The Michigan City Gobedoer
Because of Calvary

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sin, Sickness, and Death for the Child of God

Why would a God of love allow sickness? Why are so many good people suffering? These are questions that we may ask at sometime in our life whether it be ourselves or a loved one who is ill. I have even seen among Christians, guilt trips laid on those who were sick. "If you would just confess your sin you wouldn't be sick". "If you just had enough faith you would be healed." How sad, I even saw a beautiful couple leave a church because of such an incident. I can only hope they did not turn from God because of other Christians who had made them feel condemned. In the book of Job we see a similar situation. Who needs friends like that.

We cannot possibly know all the reasons why God would allow some to suffer. It was not His intention in the beginning. The sin of Adam and Eve brought a curse of sin on the whole world. Therefore sickness entered our world. There is only one who never sinned and He was willing to die for our sins. Jesus loved us enough to take the sins of the world upon Himself.

God does not make us sick, but He does allow it. Sometimes we are sick because of sin and have to suffer the consequences. If we are an alcoholic we can have liver problems and if we smoke we can have respiratory problems and even cancer. Promiscuity can lead to disease. Even some of the foods we eat can make us sick. What we do to our bodies has a great affect on them.

Is all sickness a result of our sin?

The disciples asked Jesus when they passed by a blind man. And as He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; about it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in him. John 9: 1-3 Jesus went on to heal this man and it was a powerful witness to many others, as this poor beggar could not stop glorifying God. Not all sickness is a result of sin and God can use it for our good and the good of others. Romans 8:28 To Him be the glory.

Sickness can be an attack of Satan.

And behold, a man from the multitude shouted out, saying, "Teacher, I beg You to look at my son, for he is my only boy, and behold, a spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams, and it throws him into a convulsion with foaming at the mouth, as it mauls him, it scarcely leaves him. Luke 9:38-39

Satan often attacks those who are living closest to God. After all he doesn't have to inflict those he already has. Why not go after those that belong to God for he would love to cause the Lord's people to lose faith. He would like to take as many as possible with him to destruction.

And behold, there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent double, and could not straighten up at all. And when Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, "Woman you are freed from your sickness." And he laid His hands upon her; and immediately she was made erect again, and began glorifying God. Luke 13:11- 13

We have only to look at Paul's thorn in the flesh. Satan sent his fiery darts but God only allowed that portion which pierced only the part of Paul that was in danger of the sin of pride. And because of surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me- to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 2 Corinthians 12:7-8

Have you ever read the book of Job? I would suggest that you do. The book of Job has much to teach us.

There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job, and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God, and turning away from evil. Job 1:1 Now there was a day when the sons of God (angels) came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, "From where do you come?" Then Satan answered the Lord and said, "From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it." And the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil." Then Satan answered the Lord, "Does Job fear God for nothing? Hast Thou not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? Thou has blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. Put forth Thy hand now and touch all that he has; he will sorely curse Thee to Thy face." Job 1:6-11

Satan challenged God that the only reason that Job loved Him was because of all the things God had blessed him with. Poor Job lost everything, even his children. Satan struck him over and over yet Job still blessed the name of the Lord. He did not sin or blame God. Then Satan challenged that if he struck Job's own body that he would curse God. God gave Satan permission, but was told he could not take his life. Job's response to the entire crisis was worship, humility and acceptance. God allowed all of this, but Satan can not touch the life of a child of God without God's permission.

Job's reward was great. And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold. Job 42:10

Several years ago a friend of mine was dying of cancer of the spine. She was in great pain and so frail, like a little newborn bird. A sweeter woman you could not have ever met. She had served the Lord all of her life. She slept most the time under sedation. There were others in the room and they brought up the subject of the book of Job. Someone recalled what Job's wife had said during all of Job's suffering. Job was covered with painful boils from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head.

Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!" But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips. Job 2:9-10 When Job looked within himself he was shaped by God. My dear little friend heard this and with strength and conviction she sat up in her weakness and said, "Never". What a blessing she was to all. Our heavenly Father received the glory to the end and I am sure that many have been saved by the testimony she held throughout her life.

Sickness can used by God

One thing sickness can do is to bring us closer to God. It can also bring our families and friends into a closer relationship with Him in their prayers for loved ones. Spiritually we become strengthened. Sometimes the very suffering we go through makes us better people. God often uses adversity so that we might see the importance of having Christ in our lives. It can also produce compassion for others. Without Christ we can become bitter and resentful. Have your ever visited someone sick to comfort them and left feeling you the one blessed?

No temptation has over taken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it. Corinthians 10:13

For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. Hebrews 2:10

"And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulation, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3-5

Casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

There is no suffering that God Himself has not felt.

He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Isaiah 53:3

God has not left us.

Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. James 5:14

And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. "Matthew 10:28

Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Matthew 9:28-30

The Lord will sustain him upon his sickbed; In his illness, Thou dost restore him to health. Psalm 41:3

..and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 1 Peter 2:24

Heal me O Lord, and I will be healed…Jeremiah 17: 14

Sometimes through sickness and suffering we ourselves are brought closer to God. It takes great faith to praise God during a terminal illness than to be instantaneously healed at the diagnosis. It is our opportunity to testify to the goodness of God.

If Fanny Crosby had not been blind we might have never even heard her wonderful songs. She even claimed if it could be offered to her to regain her sight she would refuse. She didn't want anything to be a distraction.

Handel was paralyzed in his right arm and side when he wrote the Hallelujah Chorus. Look at how God has used Joni Eareckson Tada the quadriplegic as well as many others. If she had never had that diving accident which left her unable to even take care for her own needs we would not have been so blessed by her life. They are all living testimonies of God's greatness.

There will be no sickness or death in the new heaven and earth.

..and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any morning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." Revelation 21:4

If God says No

"Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death." John 8:51

Death is but sleep for the child of God. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall all be changed. 1 Corinthians 15: 51-52

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me…. Psalm 23:4

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones. Psalm 116:15

Whom have I in heaven but Thee"? And besides Thee, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26

When Christ died He destroyed death.

;;;knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. Romans 6:9

Even if God does not take us out of our adversities, He will see us through them. Death is not the end, but the beginning of eternal life. Amen