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778 views · 18094 days ago

<p>&#160; The Fat Shepherds Are Fleecing The Sheep - Ezekiel 34 &#160; What has happened to our society? Why is the world becoming more and more immoral and lawless? Why has the church lost its godly influence? There was a time when the church was well respected and had a strong moral grip on society but that is no longer the case. Why? The fact is, when the world looks at &#39;Christianity&#39; today, they see paedophiles, homosexuals, filthy-rich leaders and televangelists teaching false doctrine, self appointed prophets prophesying lies, crazy antics in churches and so called Christians joining with cults and pagan religions etc. There really is no need for us to scratch our heads and wonder why there has been such a strong moral decline in society – it is simply because the church has gone astray and lost its stabilising influence. The unsaved are not stupid; they see through much of the nonsense and, quite rightly, consider themselves as good as any &#39;Christian&#39; and perhaps even more righteous. How can a Christian talk to them about their sinfulness when they see the &#39;church&#39; doing the same things? Why should they bother seeking our guidance? A friend said that the Devil has done such a great job destroying the church that he is now holidaying somewhere in the Caribbean, and it doesn&#39;t look as though he will ever need to return to work. He can relax and enjoy his holiday because the shepherds he has placed in the church are doing a great job for him. &#160; Looking after the flock Ezek. 34 tells how the shepherds of Israel fed richly off the people but didn&#39;t take care of them, just as many of the church leaders do today. Ezek. 34:2-4 says, “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally.” Israel&#39;s shepherds were feasting off the flock while neglecting to care for them physically or spiritually; the spiritually weak were not being helped in their faith; those needing physical help were ignored; those who had strayed from the faith were not brought back or even searched for – the flock was neglected and abused in every way while the shepherds ate off the fat of the land. This is exactly what is happening in many churches today. Leaders are not tending their flocks but rather they are fleecing them and living in luxury while there are believers in great need worldwide. It can&#39;t be justified. &#160; Ezek. 34:5 gives the result of neglecting the flock: “They were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals.” When believers are not being cared for, they can lose their faith and hope and wander off to become food for the many false religions and cults. It is common for people to get sucked into churches who promise all sorts of things but when these promises fail they leave in disappointment and bitterness, rejecting Christianity in the belief that it is full of lies. This leaves them wide open to other wolves who will seduced them into their hell-bound ways. &#160; False doctrine 2 Tim. 4:3 tells us that “the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” Surely that time is now. Many leaders and televangelists have replaced solid doctrine with shallow &#39;all about me&#39; nonsense - “Make me rich! Give me power!” Their teachings are shamelessly self-centred yet well received by many itching ears because it is all about what they can get from God, rather than death to self. Death to self is complete self-denial but many prefer the lies as Jer. 5:31 tells us: “The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end [at the judgment]?” &#160; Most Christians believe that Jesus&#39; return cannot be too far off. If we really believe this then we must also take careful note of His warnings of end time deception (Matt. 24). If you and I want to be able to discern this deception then we must have a good understanding of scripture. If we don&#39;t know the real thing then how can we discern a fake? Do you study your Bible and take it to church or do you just believe the voice from the pulpit? That voice could be one of the Devil&#39;s co-workers masquerading as a servant of righteousness (see 2 Cor. 11:13-15). We only get one chance at salvation so we must be careful and study the Bible to see if we are in the truth and truly born again. Jesus commands us not to be deceived - can you biblically defend what you have been led to believe? Do you get upset when someone questions your beliefs? If so, then it is a sign that you are not secure in your doctrine, you may be in error. We all need to study opposing doctrine and have peace about what we believe. If we are misled then we can&#39;t blame someone else. We must check things out for ourselves. Remember, there is no second chance, no Purgatory. &#160; Finishing off The greatest reason for the world&#39;s ever worsening condition is that the church has lost its godly influence over society. Christianity was once a standard for morality and common decency but ungodly behaviour by so called Christians has blackened the name of Jesus. Sadly, the unsaved see the wickedness and nonsense in the &#39;church&#39; and think it is Christianity. A good way to explain things to the unsaved, and witness at the same time, is to show them Matt. 24 where Jesus predicted it would happen before He returns to destroy the wicked. &#160; We really can&#39;t do anything about the falling away of the church because it is part of end time prophecy. However, we can be good Bereans and search the scriptures to be sure of what we believe. My question to you is, “Are you in the faith or into heresy?” Search the scriptures and be separate from the wicked. &#160; &#160; This article can be downloaded under the heading Blog Articles at http://www.christianissues.biz/downloads.html &#160; &#160; Mick Alexander Email: leeandmick@gmail.com Website: www.ChristianIssues.biz &#160; &#160; &#160; &#160; &#160; &#160; &#160;</p>

639 views · 18094 days ago
772 views · 18094 days ago

Keep Your Hand On The Plow

 

Every Christian is called to be God's servant and should strive to serve with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. In Luke 9:62, Jesus said, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." Jesus is telling us not to look back at the world and our old way of life but to to keep looking to God for all things. He seems to be speaking mainly to those in ministry, however, it applies equally to all believers. Even though everyone is not called into ministry, all believers are called to be servants for life. The Bible does not mention part-time Christians, part-time service or early retirement for anyone. Once a person accepts God's call into ministry, he becomes God's servant for life and should continue in service for as long as he or she is able. Once we have put our hand to the plow, we should not look back otherwise we will drift off the path God has chosen for us. If we long for what we have left behind, we will soon become worldly and backslide to become unfit for service in the kingdom of God. Our focus must always be on God and how to serve Him better.

 

Going into ministry

Jesus warned those who wanted to follow Him that He had no place to lay his head and if anyone wanted to follow Him then they must leave their old life behind (Luke 9:57-62). Elisha is a perfect example of the attitude needed by a person accepting God's call into ministry. In 1 Kings 19:19-21, we are told that Elijah anointed Elisha to succeed him as prophet. At the time, Elisha was plowing with his oxen. After Elijah anointed him, he went home to say goodbye to his family. He then slaughtered his oxen and burned his plowing equipment to cook the meat as a feast for the people. Then, after burning his bridges, he set out to follow Elijah and become his attendant. Elisha knew he was going into ministry for life so he completely cut himself off from his old way of life; he left family, friends, cattle and land to serve the Lord. Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9:23). Elisha denied himself all things and completely relied upon God.

 

Remaining faithful to the call

Not all who go into ministry remain faithful. For example, Balaam loved the world more than he loved God and he became wicked (2 Pet. 2:15). Initially, going into ministry may not be such a hard thing to do but it can become very testing. It seems that when we first go into ministry, and also when we first get saved, we go through a honeymoon period with the Lord. We strongly sense the Lord's presence and everything goes very well (I floated on clouds for ages). However, after a while the Lord withdraws those feelings somewhat and the honeymoon ends, so to speak, because God wants us to live by faith, not feelings.

 

Continuing in faith

Some years ago, I quit work and went into full time service for the Lord. In Mark 10:29-30 Jesus promises to provide for anyone who, like Elisha, leaves everything for Him and the Gospel. He said, "I tell you the truth, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields--and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life." For many years I had no trouble believing this promise but, with age, my faith has weakened at times. It is easy to trust in something that is a long way off but the real test of faith comes when we are face to face with the situation. Jesus' disciples were very confident that they would not desert Him but they soon scattered in fear when He was arrested. In the same way, my faith is being tested as I face old age.

 

This testing of my faith resulted in serious agitation at times and a complete lack of peace for long periods. Recently, worrying that the Lord would not provide for me, I considered getting work to stop my bank account from emptying but that thought brought an even greater lack of peace. After much prayer, I came to understand how I was sinning against God: I was seriously offending Him in two ways:

  1. I had previously fully committed myself to Him but now I was considering going back into the world and removing myself from His service. Num. 30:2 came to mind and heavily convicted me. It says, "When a man makes a vow to the LORD or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said." If I went back to work then I would be breaking my word and that would make me a liar.

  2. I was calling God a liar because I was no longer trusting His promise to provide for those who had left everything for Him and the Gospel.

 

It's no wonder that I had no peace. God doesn't like being lied to or being called a liar so it is easy to see why He had taken my peace away. Thankfully, once I came to see that my weak faith was leading me into great error, I repented and, needless to say, the peace of God returned. There is no doubt that in the future I will waver from time to time but big mistakes leave big scars and I am not likely to forget this lesson in a hurry.

 

Finally

When we look back, it is always easy to see our error but, the truth of the matter is, sin often creeps up and can overcome us like cancer. It starts out small but if we don't deal with it quickly then it will grow and cause us to sin. A lack of peace is a sure sign that there is sin between us and God; He always removes our peace when we sin. Sin can start out small but if it is not quickly repented of then it can soon cause big problems: A lie can utterly destroy relationships; dislike can lead to hate and even murder; a lingering look or touch can lead to lust and immorality; a covetous thought can lead to theft or jealousy or worse and our emotions can lead us into error just like my fear led to unbelief. For this reason, if we want to keep our hand on the plow and honour God then we have to keep our eyes on Jesus and deal with sin as soon as the Spirit convicts us. As soon as we lack peace we should ask God why He has taken our peace away. In this experience of mine, I was far too slow in seeking God and I suffered for it. I should have looked to Him much, much sooner. I have an article on hearing and following the Lord's voice, called The Way Of Peace, at

http://www.christianissues.biz/thewayofpeace.html

 

(Please note that this article is about my personal walk with the Lord. I am not saying that it is wrong to be in ministry and work at the same time. Paul worked as a tent maker during his ministry.)

 

This article can be downloaded under the heading Blog Articles at

http://www.christianissues.biz/downloads.html

 

Mick Alexander

 

 

 

 

 

616 views · 18094 days ago

<p>&#160; Denying Self "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9:23). &#160; Jesus left heaven and humbly denied Himself all things to become God&#39;s greatest servant. In Luke 9:23, He said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me" so if we want to follow Jesus then we also must deny self. The Bible tells us of many great men and women of faith who, like Jesus, denied themselves all things to serve God. These saints humbled themselves and turned their backs on worldly power, position and wealth to serve the living God whom they loved more than life. The following examples highlight the self-denial we are all called to. &#160; Humbling ourself In Luke 14:7-11, Jesus tells us not to take the best seat at a gathering otherwise the host may ask us to move so that he can give the seat to a more honoured guest. We should take a less important seat and the host may honour us by moving us to a better place. Jesus said, "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 14:11). The first step to becoming a disciple is to be humble because "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" (1 Pet. 5:5). Denying self starts with being humble. &#160; Power and position Peter was the leader of the Jerusalem church and a powerful, miracle-working Apostle yet he referred to himself as just a fellow elder. He didn&#39;t lord it over his fellow workers but wrote, "To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder … be shepherds of God&#39;s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers - not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock" (1 Pet. 5:1-4). Peter put serving others ahead of power, titles and money. Denying self includes treating others as equals and not lording it over anyone. &#160; Probably our greatest example of humility and servant-hood is Moses. We are told in Num. 12:3 that he was "more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth." At forty years of age, he no longer wanted to be part of Pharaoh&#39;s family (Heb. 11:24-27). He chose to leave his great wealth and power in Egypt to become a simple shepherd in the desert for forty years. Then, when he was chosen to lead Israel out of Egypt, he resisted that powerful position but God commanded him to go. Moses was a very humble man who denied himself enormous power, authority and wealth in order to serve God. Denying self includes answering God&#39;s call at the expense of all things. &#160; Wealth Many Christians seek wealth but, in 1 Tim. 6:8, Paul said, "if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that." Paul had absolutely no interest in money or the things of this world. Writing from prison he said, "I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ" (Phil. 3:8). The only thing Paul wanted was a greater knowledge of Jesus. Like all the great men of God, power, position and wealth were meaningless to him. &#160; Money can cause terrible problems, even the loss of faith. We are told in 1 Tim. 6:10 that "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." We need money for our basic needs but, other than that, the only thing money is good for is giving, either for the Gospel or to help those in need. &#160; Regarding giving, in 2 Cor. 9:7, we are told that "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver" and 2 Cor. 8:13 gives the reason for giving: "Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality." The generosity of our giving is not determined by the amount we give but by the amount we keep. Jesus praised the poor widow of Mark 12:42-44 because she gave her last two small copper coins, all she had to live on. He said that she had given more than all the others because she had given not out of her wealth but out of her poverty. If what we give doesn&#39;t affect our lifestyle then we really have nothing to boast about to anyone, least of all to the Lord. Denying self includes not clinging to our wealth. &#160; Reputation Because of our pride, one of the most difficult things to give up is our reputation. We are easily offended by what others have to say but we must put our reputation firmly into God&#39;s hands, just as Jesus did. 1 Pet. 2:23 says, "When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly." Jesus didn&#39;t allow His pride to rule His actions and, in Matt. 5:11-12, He said that there is a great reward for those who do the same: "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Denying self includes putting our reputation into God&#39;s hands. &#160; Finally Denying self is one of the greatest challenges in our Christian walk. We can&#39;t be a disciple of Jesus and love the things of this world at the same time; we must be willing to deny ourself worldly power, position, wealth and reputation; anything we put ahead of God is an idol. 1 John 2:15-16 tell us, "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world - the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does - comes not from the Father but from the world." We only have a short time on earth in which we can honour and serve the Lord so let&#39;s fight our sinful nature and deny our cravings, lusts and boasting and humbly serve Him while we can. &#160; This article can be downloaded under the heading Blog Articles at http://www.christianissues.biz/downloads.html &#160; It can be read online at http://www.christianissues.biz/blog/wordpress/?p=871 &#160; Mick Alexander Email: leeandmick@gmail.com Website: www.ChristianIssues.biz &#160; &#160; &#160; &#160; &#160; &#160; &#160; &#160; &#160; &#160;</p>

634 views · 18094 days ago

<p>&#160;</p>

<p align="CENTER" style="margin-bottom: 0cm; font-weight: normal"><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt">Unity In Truth</font></font></font></p>

<p align="CENTER" style="margin-left: 0.64cm; text-indent: -0.64cm; margin-bottom: 0cm; font-weight: normal"><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt"><i>"Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth."</i></font></font></font></p>

<p align="CENTER" style="margin-left: 0.64cm; text-indent: -0.64cm; margin-bottom: 0cm; font-weight: normal"><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt">(John 17:17)</font></font></font></p>

<p align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-bottom: 0cm; font-weight: normal">&#160;</p>

<p align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-bottom: 0cm"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt"><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><span style="font-weight: normal">Within Christianity there is a lot of pressure to ignore doctrine and to unite with churches which clearly have false teachings. Some people say that we all love the same Jesus so we should put aside our differences and simply look at what we have in common; basically they are saying that believing in Jesus is all that matters. At first, this would seem to be a good thing because Jesus prayed for all believers asking, </span></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><span style="font-weight: normal">"that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you"</span></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><span style="font-weight: normal"> (John 17:21). However, when we take a closer look at what Jesus was saying, we see that a few verses earlier He said, </span></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><span style="font-weight: normal">"Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth"</span></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><span style="font-style: normal"><span style="font-weight: normal"> (John 17:17). In these verses, Jesus is asking God to sanctify (make holy and separate) all believers in the truth of His Word. So, when Jesus was asking God to make us all one, He was asking that we be united in the truth of the Bible. God does not want us to unite with those who hold false teaching and this fact is made very plain in </span></span></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><span style="font-weight: normal">Rom. 16:17: </span></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><span style="font-weight: normal">"I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. </span></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><u><span style="font-weight: normal">Keep away from them</span></u></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><span style="font-weight: normal">."</span></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><span style="font-style: normal"><span style="font-weight: normal"> Rather than unite with those who have false teaching, this verse urges us to keep away from them. God does not want unity at the expense of truth.</span></span></font></font></font></p>

<p align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-bottom: 0cm">&#160;</p>

<p align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-bottom: 0cm"><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt"><b>Love one another</b></font></font></font></p>

<p align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-bottom: 0cm"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt"><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><span style="font-weight: normal">As already noted, if we believe that a church has false teaching then we should not unite with them. However, when we refuse to unite we are often told that we are unloving. After all, we are told, Jesus said to love even our enemies. If we don&#39;t think this through then we may come to feel that we are unloving and have a guilt trip which could lead us to being persuaded to unite, against our better judgment. The fact of the matter is, eternal hell waits for those who follow false religions so we should not unite with them. Real love is keeping separate and showing them their error in the hope that they too will repent and be saved. </span></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><span style="font-style: normal"><span style="font-weight: normal">Eph. 4:12, 15 tell us that God wants us to </span></span></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><span style="font-weight: normal">"be built up until we all reach </span></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><u><span style="font-weight: normal">unity in the faith</span></u></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><span style="text-decoration: none"><span style="font-weight: normal">"</span></span></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><span style="font-weight: normal"> </span></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><span style="font-style: normal"><span style="font-weight: normal">and that we should be</span></span></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><span style="font-weight: normal"> "</span></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><u><span style="font-weight: normal">speaking the truth in love.</span></u></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><span style="text-decoration: none"><span style="font-weight: normal">" </span></span></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><span style="font-style: normal"><span style="text-decoration: none"><span style="font-weight: normal">Real love and unity can only come through a common bond of truth, not a mixture of truth and error. In Phil. 1:9-10, Paul wrote: </span></span></span></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><span style="text-decoration: none"><span style="font-weight: normal">"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ."</span></span></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><span style="font-style: normal"><span style="text-decoration: none"><span style="font-weight: normal"> Paul is telling us that our love, purity and discernment grow with our knowledge and insight into God&#39;s word. Uniting with error is not loving, pure or discerning.</span></span></span></font></font></font></p>

<p align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-bottom: 0cm">&#160;</p>

<p align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-bottom: 0cm"><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt"><b>The Ecumenical Movement</b></font></font></font></p>

<p align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-bottom: 0cm"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt">The Ecumenical Movement is a Roman Catholic plan to unite all Christian denominations (as well as all the world&#39;s cults and religions) into a one world religion, headed by the Pope. Many people are being drawn into this, but born again believers should not be part of it as Roman Catholicism is a false gospel. Catholicism teaches that the forgiveness of sins and salvation can only be obtained in their church, through the Eucharist sacrifice in the Mass. They curse anyone who says otherwise. As a matter of fact, they have placed over one hundred curses on Protestants and anyone else who disagrees with their doctrines. Rather than love those who oppose them, they curse. </font></p>

<p align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-bottom: 0cm">&#160;</p>

<p align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-bottom: 0cm"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt"><b>The woman of Revelation 17</b></font></p>

<p align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-bottom: 0cm"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt">Rev. 17 tells us about a woman riding a Beast during the end times. She is called Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Prostitutes. The following points from Rev. 17 are given to help us identify this woman. </font></p>

<p align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-bottom: 0cm"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt">The woman:</font></p>

<ul>

<li>

<p align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-bottom: 0cm"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt">Commits adultery with the kings of the earth (v.2) – She has unholy relationships with world leaders.</font></p>

</li>

<li>

<p align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-bottom: 0cm"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt">Dresses in purple and scarlet (v.4) – Like Rome&#39;s bishops and cardinals.</font></p>

</li>

<li>

<p align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-bottom: 0cm"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt">Adorns herself with gold, precious stones and pearls (v.4) - She is extremely rich.</font></p>

</li>

<li>

<p align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-bottom: 0cm"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt">Has a golden cup in her hand (v.4) – Like the golden cup of the Mass.</font></p>

</li>

<li>

<p align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-bottom: 0cm"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt">Is drunk with the blood of the saints (v.6) – Like during the inquisitions etc.</font></p>

</li>

<li>

<p align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-bottom: 0cm"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt">Sits on seven hills (v.9) – Like the city of Rome.</font></p>

</li>

</ul>

<p align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-bottom: 0cm"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt">If this is not enough evidence to identify the woman as being the Roman Catholic Church then God leaves us with no doubt when, in <font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><span style="font-weight: normal">Rev. 17:18, He told John that </span></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><span style="font-weight: normal">"The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth."</span></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><span style="font-style: normal"><span style="font-weight: normal"> When John wrote Revelation, Rome was the city that ruled over the kings of the earth so it is very plain that the Roman Catholic Church is the woman called Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Prostitutes. </span></span></font></font></font></p>

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<p align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-bottom: 0cm"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt"><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><span style="font-style: normal"><span style="font-weight: normal">It may be argued that Rev. 17 is history but this argument is false as Rev. 17:12, 16 tell us that ten kings help the Beast destroy the prostitute and this event is not found in any history book. It is yet to come and Rev. 18 continues on to prophesy that it will happen. </span></span></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><span style="font-style: normal"><span style="font-weight: normal">Rev 18:2: </span></span></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><span style="font-weight: normal">"With a mighty voice he shouted: &#39;</span></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><span style="font-weight: normal">Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil</span></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><span style="font-weight: normal"> spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird.&#39;" </span></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><span style="font-style: normal"><span style="font-weight: normal">Rome is clearly identified as a demonic institution which will be destroyed and for this reason God commands His people to come out of her. Rev 18:4: </span></span></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><span style="font-weight: normal">"Then I heard another voice from heaven say: </span></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><span style="text-decoration: none"><span style="font-weight: normal">&#39;Come out of her, </span></span></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><u><span style="font-weight: normal">my people</span></u></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><span style="font-weight: normal">, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.&#39;" </span></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><span style="font-style: normal"><span style="font-weight: normal">This is a very strong warning to separate or suffer the consequences. </span></span></font></font></font></p>

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<p align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-bottom: 0cm"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt"><b>Finally</b></font></p>

<p align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-bottom: 0cm"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt"><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><span style="font-style: normal"><span style="font-weight: normal">How can born again believers unite with a church that God says is demonic and will be destroyed? 2 Cor. 6:14 asks believers, </span></span></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><span style="text-decoration: none"><span style="font-weight: normal">"</span></span></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><span style="font-weight: normal">what fellowship can light have with darkness?</span></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><span style="text-decoration: none"><span style="font-weight: normal">"</span></span></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><span style="font-style: normal"><span style="text-decoration: none"><span style="font-weight: normal"> The obvious answer is, "None!" </span></span></span></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><span style="font-style: normal"><span style="font-weight: normal">Rather than join the Ecumenical Movement, believers need to separate otherwise they will share in her sins and receive her plagues. 1 Cor. 10:21 tells believers, </span></span></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><span style="font-weight: normal">"You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord&#39;s table and the table of demons." </span></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><span style="font-style: normal"><span style="font-weight: normal">In the same way that a Muslim convert must separate from Islam, born again believers must separate from Roman Catholicism and the Ecumenical Movement as God says, </span></span></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><span style="font-weight: normal">"come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. </span></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><u><span style="font-weight: normal">Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you</span></u></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><i><span style="font-weight: normal">" </span></i></font></font><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><span style="font-style: normal"><span style="font-weight: normal">(2 Cor. 6:17).</span></span></font></font></font></p>

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<p align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-bottom: 0cm; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal"><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt">There are two excellent videos on YouTube which expose Catholicism in more depth: They are called A Woman Rides The Beast and A Lamp In The Dark.</font></font></font></p>

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<p align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-bottom: 0cm; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal"><font color="#000000"><font face="Times-Roman, Times New Roman, serif"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt">This article can be downloaded under the heading Blog Articles at</font></font></font></p>

<p align="LEFT" style="margin-bottom: 0cm"><a href="http://www.christianissues.biz/downloads.html" target="_blank"><font face="Times-Roman, Times New Roman, serif"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt">http://www.christianissues.biz/downloads.html</font></font></a></p>

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<p align="LEFT" style="margin-bottom: 0cm"><font face="Times-Roman, Times New Roman, serif"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt">It can be read online at</font></font></p>

<p align="LEFT" style="margin-bottom: 0cm"><a href="http://www.christianissues.biz/blog/wordpress/?p=895" target="_blank"><font face="Times-Roman, Times New Roman, serif"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt">http://www.christianissues.biz/blog/wordpress/?p=895</font></font></a></p>

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<p align="LEFT" style="margin-bottom: 0cm"><font face="Times-Roman, Times New Roman, serif"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt">Mick Alexander</font></font></p>

<p align="LEFT" style="margin-bottom: 0cm"><font face="Times-Roman, Times New Roman, serif"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt">Email: leeandmick@gmail.com</font></font></p>

<p align="JUSTIFY" style="margin-bottom: 0cm; font-weight: normal"><font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><font size="4" style="font-size: 16pt">Website: <a href="http://www.ChristianIssues.biz" target="_blank">www.ChristianIssues.biz</a></font></font></font></p>

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2664 views · 18094 days ago

<p>It is time for the children of God to be partakeers of his divine nature.&#160; When Adam sinned he disconnected from God and connected to Satan.&#160; He exchanged his nature of being righteous in exchange for the nature of sin.&#160; And everyone born after him was born with that sin nature.&#160; But, as soon as Adam sinned God had a plan to get things back.&#160; Just as you were born in sin God came up with a plan for man to be born again.&#160; In your sin nature you are connected to Satan and the things of that nature- the curse, sin, sickness, depression, poverty, fear.&#160; In your righteous nature you are connected to God and all the things of that nature- the blessing, health, prosperity, peace, faith.&#160; So as a born again christian you have a right to the life of Christ Jesus.&#160; Because of what Jesus did on the cross you can exchange the devils nature for the nature of God.&#160; Jesus said he came for you to have life and have it more abundantly.</p>

<p>Jesus said, "I am the vine, ye are the branches."&#160; You don&#39;t have a healthy, prosperous vine and poor, sick branches.&#160; In the sin nature you are do the wages of sin, death (Romans 6:23).&#160; But, in your righteous nature you are do the wages of righteousness, life (Romans 5:17).&#160; All the things of Adams nature got passed down so likewise all the things of Jesus are passed down to those with that nature(those that are in Christ).&#160; So his peace, faith, joy, health, wisdom are passed down when you are connected(the vine and branches).&#160; Jesus came to bring man God&#39;s way of life. And one of the biggest jobs is renewing you mind to the things of God.&#160; For by the renewing of your mind you are transformed from the things of the world into the things of God (Romans 12:2).</p>

<p>Do you know you have a right to be healed, delivered, prosperous, blessed.&#160; That&#39;s right I said you have a right to those things because the blood of Jesus paid for them.&#160; And what you have a right to you are free to receive.&#160; For example, you take a friend out to eat and you decide to pay for the buffet and they have all kinds of food laid out.&#160; And you both come back to the table and all they have is one piece of food, what&#39;s the first thing you say?&#160; That&#39;s all you want.&#160; Why, because you want them to partake of all that&#39;s laid out for them.&#160; As a matter of fact the more they take the better you feel.&#160; So imagine how Jesus feel, he died for you to be healed and you put up with sickness, he died for you to be prosperous and you put with lack, he died for you to be free and you keep putting up with that bondage.&#160; Healing, deliverance, prosperity, and blessing are all on the buffet, receive.&#160; So, how do you receive from God&#39;s buffet first you have to believe God&#39;s word.&#160; Second you have to get your mouth involved "A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth" (Proverbs 13:2).&#160; So, you are going to have to start speaking "By whose stripes I am healed" (2Peter 2:24), "My God shall supply all my need according to his riches in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19), "Christ hath redeemed me from the curse of the law" (Galatians 3:13).&#160; That&#39;s why the word says, "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so" (Psalm 107:2).&#160; God invites you to taste and see that He is good (Psalm 34:8).&#160; What did you do to be a sinner, nothing.&#160; What do you do to be righteous, nothing, but receive Jesus as your Lord and saviour.&#160; Because it&#39;s all about what Jesus did.&#160; How do you receive Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you believe God raised Jesus from the dead and confess him as your Lord and Saviour (Romans 10:9,10).&#160; Come and take your first taste and see that God is good.</p>

<p>Prayer:&#160; Dear Father I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross and that you raised him from the dead and I confess now that Jesus is my Lord and Saviour.&#160; Amen</p>

635 views · 18094 days ago

<p>&#160; Saved By Grace What does it mean to be saved by Grace? &#160; In Matt. 1:21 we are told that Jesus will "save his people from their sins." The word &#39;save&#39; means to deliver, to protect, to keep safe or to rescue from, so Jesus did not come to save us IN our sins or WITH our sins but to rescue us FROM our sins. In Rom. 7:24-25 Paul said, "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? [and then he continued on to answer his own question saying,] Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!" So, in the same way that Jesus rescued Paul from his sinful body of death, He wants to rescue you and I from our wickedness so that we can live a holy life because "without holiness no one will see the Lord" (Heb. 12:14). &#160; Holy living comes through the Holy Spirit In our own strength, it&#39;s not possible for us to live a holy life. Rom. 8:7 tells us that "the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God&#39;s law, nor can it do so." From this verse, we can see that it&#39;s not possible for us to keep God&#39;s laws so, without help, we will continue in sin. But God doesn&#39;t command us to do the impossible and then leave us helpless. He sends the Holy Spirit to live within us so that through the Spirit we have the power to resist sin and live righteously. Rom. 8:4 confirms this where it says, "the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit." Note that this verse says that by living according to the Spirit we can FULLY meet God&#39;s righteous requirements. So, in His Grace, God gives us His Spirit to save us from our sins so that we can meet His command to "be holy, because I am holy" (1 Pet. 1:16). &#160; A new heart Before we were born again, we had hard hearts and did whatever we pleased. When our conscience convicted us of sin, we would often just ignore it and continue to sin to satisfy our lusts. But when we were born again, as well as giving us His Spirit, God gave us a new heart. In Ezek. 36:26-27 God says, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws." So, in His Grace, God not only puts His Spirit in us, He also replaces our heart of stone with a heart of flesh which will respond to the Spirit&#39;s leading. &#160; The battle within When the Holy Spirit enters our life, He strongly convicts us of sin by taking away our peace and making us feel very guilty (John 16:8). A spiritual battle begins between our sinful nature and the Spirit of God. Gal. 5:17 explains this where it says, "the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want." This is a very real and often painful battle which God wants us to win, and we will win if we live by the Spirit and repent of our sin whenever convicted. Gal. 5:16 tells us, "live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature." The Holy Spirit works within us to guide and empower us to overcome any sin. Php. 2:13 says, "for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." The following two passages speak of the Holy Spirit&#39;s work within us: &#160; 2 Pet. 1:3-4 say, "His divine power [the Holy Spirit] has given us everything we need for life and godliness [so that] you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires." Tit. 2:11-14 say, "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say &#39;No&#39; to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good." &#160; From these verses, we see that through God&#39;s Grace we can escape the corruption of the world and say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions and be redeemed (freed) from all wickedness. So, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can overcome our sinful nature and win the battle against sin. &#160; Finally Eph. 2:8 tells us that we are saved by Grace, through our faith. Because of our faith, in His Grace God does the following. He - Sends His Spirit to live within us Continually wills us to act according to His good purpose Gives us a new, soft heart so that we will respond to His guidance Strengthens us so that we are able to obey Him &#160; It&#39;s plain to see that apart from God&#39;s Grace no one can be saved from their sin. Without God guiding us, encouraging us, giving us a new heart and strengthening us to follow Him, we would all be lost. However, even though we are clearly saved by God&#39;s Grace, we are not totally free of responsibility. We have an obligation to live according to the Spirit as Rom. 8:12-14, 17 tell us: &#160; "Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation - but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God." &#160; Notice that in v.13 there are two ways in which we can live. We can live according to our sinful nature and die or we can live according to the Spirit and live. Next, v.14 tells us that those who are led by the Spirit are sons of God and "if we are children, then we are heirs" (v.17). It naturally follows that if we aren&#39;t led by the Spirit, but by our sinful nature, then we are not children of God and not heirs to eternal life. &#160; Being led by the Spirit is simply responding to the Spirit&#39;s conviction and confessing/repenting whenever we are convicted. In His Grace, God has made it possible for us to obey His command to live a righteous life and 1 John 1:9 promises that if we confess our sins we will be forgiven and cleansed of all unrighteousness. 1 John 3:7 tells us, "He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous," so it is up to each of us to do what is right and follow the Holy Spirit&#39;s leading if we want to inherit eternal life. &#160; &#160; This article can be downloaded under the heading Blog Articles at http://www.christianissues.biz/downloads.html &#160; It can be read online at http://www.christianissues.biz/blog/wordpress/?p=954 &#160; Mick Alexander Email: leeandmick@gmail.com Website: www.ChristianIssues.biz &#160; &#160; &#160; &#160;</p>

527 views · 18094 days ago

<p>&#160; Faith That Saves "Without faith it is impossible to please God" (Heb. 11:6). &#160; What is faith? We often say, "I have faith" or "I&#39;m saved by faith alone," but what do we mean when we say this? Are we living up to what faith really is? Hebrews 11 speaks of many men and women of faith; what was it about their lives that earned them the right to be known as people of great faith? It&#39;s important for us to understand what faith it is because Heb. 11:6 tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please God.” So, if we want to please God, in fact if we want to be saved, then we must have faith that saves because it is through our faith that we are saved. Eph. 2:8 says, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith." &#160; Heb. 11:1 tells us that "faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Faith is an inner conviction which overflows into the life of Christians and results in a lifestyle of holy living and good works for the Lord. &#160; Faith and holy living It is through our faith that we believe in Jesus and are saved from our sins. Rom. 3:22 tells us that "righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe." The word &#39;believe&#39; means to commit to or to put trust in. When we commit our ways to Jesus, and put our trust in Him for the forgiveness of sins, we receive the Holy Spirit who empowers us to resist sin and to live a righteous life. In 1 Pet. 1:16, God commands us to live a righteous life where He says, "Be holy, because I am holy." It&#39;s very important that we follow this command because "without holiness no one will see the Lord" (Heb. 12:14). &#160; Faith and works A Christian&#39;s lifestyle includes both holy living and good works. Good works don&#39;t save us but rather, they are the result of being saved. James 2:18 tells us that someone may say, "You have faith; I have deeds." James&#39; reply to this is, "Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do." James is saying that faith is proven by its actions. The fact is, faith without good works (deeds) is a dead faith. James 2:26 says, "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." Good works, such as helping those in need, is a natural result of our salvation and part of a Christian&#39;s lifestyle. James 1:27 says, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress [that is, do good works] and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world [that is, keep oneself from sin]." So, a Christian lifestyle includes both good works and holy living. &#160; Living out our faith When we sit on a chair, we have faith that the chair won&#39;t break. If we thought it would break then we wouldn&#39;t sit on it. This is like the story of a man who walked a tightrope over the Niagara falls, pushing a wheelbarrow. When he got to the other side he asked the people if they believed that he could go across again with someone in the barrow. They said “Yes” but when he asked for a volunteer to get in the barrow, no one would do it. The people believed that it could be done but no one had the faith to do it. The fact is, we can&#39;t have absolute faith in material things like chairs and we can&#39;t always fully trust people because people and the things of this world can fail us but thankfully God never does. In Num. 23:19 we are told, "God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?" We can trust God fully because He faithfully fulfils every promise He makes. &#160; Jesus is our greatest example of faith and we need to look to Him for strength. Heb. 12:2 says, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Jesus willingly went to the cross with the absolute faith that God would raise Him from the dead. He had perfect trust in God&#39;s promises and so can we. The Old Testament saints were commended for their faith because they believed against all odds. By faith Abraham believed God&#39;s promises and was even willing to sacrifice his son, believing that God would raise him from the dead (Heb. 11:8-19). Hebrews 11 is known as the Heroes Of The Faith chapter. It mentions many men and women who had a living, active faith which was proven by their actions. Even though they faced mockery, rejection, terrible persecution, huge enemy armies etc. they believed God and kept their faith and have gone on to their eternal rewards. They followed James&#39; example where he said, "I will show you my faith by what I do" (James 2:18). &#160; Finally Faith that saves is an ongoing, active faith which leads us to repent of our sins and commit ourself to living a holy lifestyle and to stand firm in the face of hardship and persecution. Our faith grows when we exercise it by believing God&#39;s promises and acting on them. Faith is like a muscle: exercise it and it grows stronger; do nothing and it becomes as weak as a baby. 2 Cor. 5:7 tells us that "We live by faith, not by sight" but faith is not blind. Even though we can&#39;t see what we believe in, there is no need for us to grope along like blind men as we have the Holy Spirit and the infallible Word of God to guide us in thought, word and deed. By faith we can believe every promise in the Bible and when we act on that faith God fulfils His promises to us and our faith grows. Amen. &#160; &#160; This article can be downloaded under the heading Blog Articles at http://www.christianissues.biz/downloads.html &#160; Mick Alexander Email: leeandmick@gmail.com Website: www.ChristianIssues.biz</p>

618 views · 18094 days ago

The Christian teen fantasy entitled Hafren: A Fantasy for the Young at Heart was just released.  I think you'll enjoy the fast-pace plot and occasional humor.  Hafren: A Fantasy for the Young at Heart is available from amazon.com and from the Lighthouse Christian Publishing website.  If you would like to read an excerpt from the novel, go to the following link: http://christianteenfantasy.webs.com/

582 views · 18094 days ago

<p>I recently received a prophetic word that God was going to restore 7 -fold what the devil had taken. Great word! I was thrilled! Jumped up and down. Shared it with Arthur. We were very excited about it. It was the first word on restoration I had received in 7 years. For 7 years, it had been either silence or our words had been: “you are in the battle; God says you have been faithful”. Nothing revelational there! You know when you are in the battle. You don’t need a prophetic word to confirm it! I knew the devil had stolen from us. It was almost as if everything was been sucked down into this black hole of nothingness. As I am very much a stickler for it that if God speaks, I act! , I started to act on my prophetic word. I sat down and made a list of all that the devil had stolen. Not because I was greedy, just because I wanted a visual list in front of my eyes to be able to thank God for His 7- fold restoration every time I laid my eyes on the visual. My “stolen goods list” looked along this line: - Houses (lost 4) We&#39;d all love to live in a "Smart House" - Cars - Money - Clothes - Make up - Health (from been under constant stress) - Medical Aid - Insurance - Holidays - Jewelry - I’m very tempted to list my hairdresser! (long story) - Our Jobs - Our Name - Our reputation - Bedding - TV’s, carpets, furniture - Food But a strange emotion occurred when I started the list. It started with the Health aspect. I really wanted (not needed) to have some dental work done, and the thought that kept on crossing my mind: “I can pay to have dental work done, but if I trust God, God will do it for free. Flip the coin, if I pay, the devil is stealing MONEY from me again, because I’m spending money on Health when God promises me: Ps 103:5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle&#39;s. REVELATION (yet again): I DID NOT NEED TO PAY MONEY FOR DENTAL WORK; GOD COULD DO IT FOR FREE! 2nd on my list was my family&#39;s health &amp; stress related symptoms. I kept on hearing this quiet whisper: " but my Son has paid the price for your healing." 1 Pet 2:24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness-- by whose stripes you were healed. REVELATION (yet again): You don’t need to pay MONEY for medication when Jesus paid the price in FULL FOR MY HEALING! ONLY BELIEVE! Next up was the houses and the cars: God just said: If I’ve called you to be a sojourner through this earthly land, do you need a house and a car? Yes, u do, but God provides all the way! The question God challenged me with was "you trust God to provide a house and a car?" Another issue sorted! God was ticking them off my list at an alarming rate! The JOB, MEDICAL AID and INSURANCE we had to deal with 6 years ago. We had to learn to live by faith. Arthur and I felt for US (not for you, but for OUR FAMILY) God was saying, I want you to rely on ME for your daily provision, and a roof over your head. It was a TOUGH LESSON to learn. When the restoration word came, the Holy Spirit whispered: “do you really want to go back to the bondage of a salary, medical aid and insurance? Do you really want to trade all the lessons you’ve learnt living by faith for a lifestyle of just enough (salary) and of having a backup plan incase I don’t work? (Medical Aid &amp; Insurance)” My response was: but what happens if it all gets stolen (insurance)! WRONG QUESTION! “If the devil has stolen from you and you have learnt to live by faith, you are able to faith it all back! And once again, I will restore more that the devil took! What have you really lost?” was quietly offered as an answer. The devil cannot rob me of my FAITH in God! As the Holy Spirit made mince meat of all of my "stolen goods to be restored 7 Fold" points, the only thing I came up with what had truelly been stolen (BY FAITH God could heal and replace all of the rest, I only had to BELIEVE) was my RELATIONSHIPS! (and the Holy Spirit just proved to me once again that I did not know God well enough to trust Him to restore) The devil has stolen many of our (ours &amp; the children&#39;s) relationships with family and friends. The crux of my list left me once again realising: GOD IS ONLY INTERESTED IN PEOPLE! Only when I had started "seeking 1st the kingdom of God" had I received the promise of 7-fold restoration. Only once I started leading people to the Lord, praying for the sick, started preaching the good news of the Gospel, - all the things important to God, did the promise of restoration come. Once my sights were focussed on what God saw as important, PEOPLE, not just people, but where people would spend eternity, how I treated individuals, what words of life had come out of my mouth to sow life etc, He sorted out the rest. All else comes down to my faith level in “ONLY BELIEVE” Matt 6:33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. The reality check I experienced was we all equate Restoration 7 - fold to Finance/Money! Even with all the lessons I&#39;ve experienced in the last 7 years, I really needed to shift my thinking into "the mind of Christ" before thinking of "things to be added to me" Now, I can truelly look forward to God restoring each and every relationship, and *SEVEN FOLD BONUS!* adding many more because He promised He would restore 7 fold all that the devil had stolen! *Bonus* Look after people (saved &amp; unsaved/rich &amp; poor/lovely &amp; unlovely/goodlooking &amp; ugly) and God looks after your needs!</p>

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