I was standing on a kind of tower, a watch tower, with Yeshua. From the four corners of the world, people were coming. The frontline was bright with a light shining upon them.The people who walked behind them looked like a smaller level, but still there was light.Looking at this from above, standing on the watchtower, it looked like a big diamond with cutting glass.
Suddenly, there was a big hand that took the “diamond.” During that process, the diamond sparkled and twinkled. The light shone to the four corners of the world. Then, the stone was placed in a ring and Yeshua put it on His finger. Suddenly at the same moment, little pieces fell to the ground. These little pieces were literally pulverized.These small pieces were not a real diamond, but an imitation. What remains is the real thing — a real diamond of excellent quality.Interpretation:The diamond stands for the children of Yeshua.
They have been through the process of His cleancing fire and purification and shaking and are ready. The difference between the groups of people who carried the light is the different measure of anointing and the different call upon their lives. When the stone was placed in a ring, that symbolized that Yeshua is calling.His children together to be one army under His protection. The pieces that were pulverized when they fell to the ground after Yeshua put the ring on His finger are symbolic of the people who were going with the flow ...
with the rest of the people, but they did not realize that Yeshua looks at the hearts of people,and He can read it!
They seemed to be real, but they were not. Their hearts were not changed because they had not died to self. For the battle that is coming, only the real diamonds,the ones who are totally empty of their own plans and visions, can be used. They are the true Spirit-led people. Yeshua putting the ring on His finger also stands for the bride that married the Bridegroom
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A river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it was parted, and became four heads. 11 The name of the first is Pishon: this is the one which flows through the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12 and the gold of that land is good. There is aromatic resin and the onyx stone. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon: the same river that flows through the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is Hiddekel: this is the one which flows in front of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.Pishon means‘stream’,increasing Gihon‘sparkle,Hiddekel = ‘fast’. Eufraat fertile fruitful or productive water.The Best Of Both World My children, it is no longer time to PICK and CHOOSE! A little of this and a little of that-It is time for ME! Come out of your shelters, out of the hidden places.desire to leave everything behind, and give themselves completely to me,For my children, trying to have the best of both worlds is impossible!Those things you left behind already are gone, burned, never to be had anymore.You will not find anything in the old places!Come under My wings,Come into the shade of My presence.Allow Me to let My all consuming fire.And I promise you that you will not think anymore about the old days.You will not think about the past anymore.You will not remember what you have lost.You will be full of Me!All this, after you have found Me,In My river of living water you will see the purest gold*, and I will send to deliver and to set free, to heal and to restore. You will be My Bride without spot, blemish, or wrinkle! Gold that went through tremendous heat looks like glass- you will not find any impurities.It is pure!The name of the first is Pishon: this is the one which flows through the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; He showed me a “pure” river of the water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2 in the middle of its street. On this side of the river and on that was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruits, yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 There will be no curse any more. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no night, and they need no lamp light; for the Lord God will illuminate them. They will reign forever and ever.Before the throne was something like a sea of glass, similar to crystal.Revelation 21: 18 The construction of its wall was jasper. The city was pure gold, like pure glass. 19 The foundations of the city’s wall were adorned with all kinds of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire or, lapis lazuli; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; 20 the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprasus; the eleventh, jacinth; and the twelfth, amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls. Each one of the gates was made of one pearl. The street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
Deuteronomy 28:1-14 THE DESERT
What do you do when you are struggling, when you are hurting, when you are discouraged, hopeless, despressed or anxious? How do you respond when you're faced with lots of challenges? What is your normal reaction when crisis hits you? Let me take you to a journey, which I know is the blueprint of victory and success. The journey begins with you being in the vast stretch of desert, standing in the middle of nowhere and looking at the 600,000 or so square meters wide open spaces. You see no one. An eagle is soaring
At any given point in time, you, your loved ones or your church is probably in the desert in need of cleansing, healing, restoration, answers to prayers, help in your marriage or financial situations.
Jesus brings us to the desert wherein we feel spiritual dryness to help us understand our need for Him. Sometimes. He leads us to emotional dryness to make us reach out, care and love the people around us .
Whatever dryness you are experiencing, whether it involves dryness in your marriage, career, physical or social life, Jesus can take you out of the desert. He can take you out of the dryness if you bathe in His Holy presence and soak in the Holy Spirit.
WHAT DO I MEAN BATHE IN GOD'S PRESENCE & SOAK IN THE HOLY SPIRIT?
When you practice these, you are soaring like an eagle in the presence of God. So, when you soar like an eagle before God, you are always aware of the Lord's presence, feel Him near you and nothing can shake you (Psalms When, however, the Spirit comes, who reveals the truth about God, he will lead you into all the truth, He will not speak in his own authority, but he will speak of what he hears and will tell you of things to come. He will give me glory, because he will take what I say and tell it to you. All that my Father has is mine; that is why I said that the Spirit will take what I give him and tell it to you. (John 16:13-15)
Whatever negative situation you're going through, you will not be moved . . . no fears, no worries, no doubt. Why? Because your are firmly planted in God's word and God's promises.
There's a purpose behind your situation. Whether it be a discipline or building your character, there are lessons to be learned in every dry spell. God is preparing you for the next level of your life, He's building your spiritual muscles so you will become like Him. He's monitoring your reactions to your crisis. So, don't despair when crisis hits you. Walk with God and feel the warmth and love of His embrace to comfort you, to give you strength, courage and equip you. Do not complain when the crisis or battle is going on, just lift special prayers, sing praise to the Lord no matter how bad your circumstances are, then read the bible and take time to hear God's voice. Have a dialogue with God. Do what is right, just soak in God's presence and leave everything to Him and God will show you His ways, lead in the battle and make you triumph over your enemies as what He has promised.
RED ALERT IN THE DESERT
It's vital for everyone to be a Desert Shield Warrior, armoured with praise, worship, Word of God, love, faith, trust, sweet smelling sacrifice, courage, perseverance, forgiveness, admitting of problems. The desert marks the praying ground that combats dryness. If you don't let these weapons arise, if you don't exercise them, you will experience pains and discomforts that is totally unbearable.
When you're in the desert, you must check the landscape for desert storms like deceit, falsehood, false brethrens, false prophets, judging others, pride, anger, jealousy, envy, competition, worries, anxiety, lies, selfishness, complaining, discontentment, weariness, self-pity, greed, stubbornness, idolatry, neglecting God and any negative and damaging emotions, hurting words and terrible actions. It could come in a lot of ways.
When you are in the desert, you must be vigilant because hurt, brokenness, and temptation are common threats. The desert is open and is prone to mind, emotional and physical attack. In these areas you will encounter many obstacles and hardships. The sands of battle are hanging on every side.
It is very hot in the desert during the day and very cold during the night and temptations soar high. An eagle can fly as high as 14,000 feet that you no longer can see it from the ground. Like the eagle you must soar high under the wings of God no matter what your situation is.
When you don't step into the presence of God, you can be lost. There are different ways to walk in the wrong direction. Sometimes a situation drives you to go to an unknown direction so different from the truth. Satan entices the victims with seduction and traps them. Some are tempted to stay and play a little with temptation while others linger after having a taste test resulting in being prisoners of sin.
When you become a prisoner of Satan, you will be deceived, lied to. If you follow his lead, you are headed for destruction and even death. Those who do not survive commit suicide.
Don't let Satan control your mind, your heart and your actions. Instead, submit yourselves to God. Ask forgiveness of your sins, resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7).
After you have undergone a little pain, the God of all grace who has given you a part in His eternal glory through Christ Jesus, will Himself give you strength and support, and make you complete in every good thing (1 Peter 5:10).
How does God train you for battle? When you release the power God has given you, you will strike down Satan and his troops that they cannot rise. They just lie defeated before you. How do you do this? If Satan is attacking you physically, you can say . . . "By the mighty name of Jesus, by His precious blood covering me from my head down to my toes giving me healing, I am releasing the power God has handed over to me and rebuke the sicknesses in my body by the power and precious name of Jesus. And I declare that it is done in the mighty name of Jesus. I thank you Lord for I receive healing. Amen and amen
When you rebuke Satan like this, you crush him so that he becomes like dust which the wind blows away. That is how to trample Satan because he cannot stay in God's presence. When you are covered by the blood of Jesus, Satan will pass over and not touch you. And this is how God gives you victory over your enemies and when you disagree with Satan and site Bible verses, Satan will turn away from you in different ways because as 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says: All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good deed. How glorious and majestic God is as He defeated your enemies. When God rebukes your enemies, they will be stripped of all they have and will sleep the sleep of death, meaning, all their strength and skill is useless that when God threatens them, Satan and his troops will fall dead. That's how mighty God is!
God made you and you belong to God (Psalm 100:3a). You are a child of God. Be covered by the blood of Jesus. Yes, there is power in the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. Mel Gibson's film, "The Passion Of The Christ deeply showed how Jesus shed His blood in many ways... blood came out of His back when He was whipped and it spread to the ground when he was dragged, blood rolled down from His head when He was crowned with thorns, blood came out of His hands and feet when He was nailed on the cross and blood came out from His side when He was pierced. Jesus suffered and died because of His great love for us. Yes, the blood of Jesus brings healing, restoration, amazing changes, freedom, delivers from death, stops curses, binds Satan, protects from accidents, cleanses all sins, redeems, brings blessings and unlocks abundance, miracles and power of God when you say it aloud.
Let the blood of Jesus be a wall that protects and shields you from the poisonous darts of Satan. In God you can look beyond your crisis and see the future ahead. Don't fall short in your heavenly goals. Some are so near their destiny and yet fall short a step away from the breakthrough, a step away from the miracles God has promised. Cross the desert holding God's hand and writing His name in your heart.
Never walk a single step without Jesus. Each step now is in victory because Jesus never deserts you during the desert storm and battle.
God is extending His invitation for you to come to His kingdom. It is really up to you to welcome and accept His open invitation. Your reaction will determine your destiny. God has given you the right to decide. He doesn't force Himself upon you. But He constantly knocks on your heart's door because all He wants to do is to bring all His loved ones to the fullness of life which can only be found in Him and nowhere else. Staying by His side is a great gain. To God be the glory, honor and praise!
While in the desert, you see a huge crowd of people. They're countless. Everyone is wearing full armor and some are bringingand waving the flags. You join them andnow warrior angels surround you all. All of you are now so ready for the battle and Jesus leads the battle. You move forward together with Jesus and His angels and begin to fight the enemies.
During your journey in the desert, you strongly feel Satan shaking you in your situations in different forms. This is a strong indication that God is truly bringing you to your breakthrough, bringing you to something new and grand. Otherwise, Satan will not bother you. He's the first to smell that something good will happen in your life, when he senses that God's favor is upon you and that's when he starts to hinder you to your blessings and miracles that God has for you. He will mess with your mind, with your emotions, with your health, with your personal relationship with God.
Don't let him rule you and don't let him attack you. This is your time to attack him and get everything that he had stolen from you. If you want to sing a song of victory, make God the head of the battle. He is your defender, He protects you like a shield and keeps you safe. Call to the Lord and He will save you from your enemies. Lift special prayers to Him and He will hear from heaven and release the answers of your needs. Praise Him and He will manifest into your life and fight your battles for you. (Please read Psalms 18:1-3)
How does God drive your enemies to the north and make you triumph? How does He fight the battles of your life? Go with me to Psalms 18:13-19.
Then the Lord thundered from the sky; and the voice of the Most High was heard. He shot His arrows and scattered His enemies; with flashes of lightning He sent them running. The floor of the ocean was laid bare, and the foundations of the earth were uncovered, when You rebuked Your enemies Lord, and roared at them in anger. The Lord reached down from above and took hold of me; He pulled me out of the waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies and from all those who hate me - they were too strong for me. When I was in trouble, they attacked me but the Lord protected me. He helped me out of danger; He saved me because He was pleased with me.
The Lord is faithful. Indeed, His words are dependable. He's completely good to those people who call for Him, whose heart is so in tune with Him, who seeks and love Him. He is like a shield for all who seek His protection. He lets His light shines upon you and dispel your darkness. He places His countenance upon you, gives you strength to attack your enemies and power to overcome their defenses. He trains you for the battle and gives you victory over Satan and his troops.
Glory, honor, blessing, and power belong to our God Almighty!
While fighting your battles in the desert, you feel someone reaching out and touch your hand and you find Jesus by your side.
His presence brings the desert alive. And it feels so amazingly wonderful when Jesus leads you out of the desert into a much larger territory.
The crowd is now jumping up and down in celebration of the victory God has given all of you. More banners are waved this time as all of you shout, Sing praise to the Lord who rules. Tell every nation what He has done! His greatness is seen in the entire world!
You scan the desert and as you are watching the desert, you notice that there are changes on the ground. You start to see a very large fishpond forming. It’s about the size of the universe. It has no water yet. So, you start to soar high in the presence of God and see Jesus in the middle of the vast fishpond. He’s so majestic, so glorious. His robe shines so bright like the sun with its rays that partly touch the lower side of His robe that the part of it turns bright yellow. You've never seen anyone as glorious and as mighty as Jesus.
The Lord protects you and saves you. His care has made you great and His power has kept you safe, keeping you from being captured by the enemies. He trains you for battle, so that you can use the strongest bow. These are God’s promises to us in Psalms 91.
It's like being in an aikido class. The teacher will teach the stroke to his students. God will train your movements. Each person in the training center shares the same vision but has specific functions to do for the glory of God, not for men. God will empower you so that people will sense the light and love of God is upon you and they will be drawn to you because of the strong anointing known as the rivers of the Holy Spirit. One river is about the power of authority. When you receive this power, whatever you say in Jesus name will be done for you by our Father in heaven. Another river is the dynamic and explosive power that brings healing and miracles. The third river is the power of invincibility wherein Satan cannot touch you for you are so deeply rooted in God's word and is totally covered by the blood of Jesus.
You must know God's promises whether it be personal or for all the people and you need to know His program. And how do you discern that it’s God’s program? By communicating and knowing God, knowing His voice, His word and getting comfortable with God. And this is one way of showering you His gifts. The gifts that He pours down to people when we step into His presence, during the mighty moving of the Holy Spirit brings us to the fourth river which is the power of efficiency... some people become apostles, some become prophets, others become evangelists and teachers and some are in the ministry of health, government, and giving. Wherever God places each person, they will make the name of Jesus famous and tell the people of all the great deeds He has done and will do in the future.
God is giving you the seed so you can sow according to God’s leading through His revelations. He reveals in different ways... in dreams, in visions, audible voice, insights, wisdom, or God sends someone or a fellow Christian whom He uses for you to get God’s message. That is why it is so important to read and meditate the Word of God so that you can discern God’s voice from Satan’s voice. If the voice you hear is not in line with the Bible, it’s not God’s voice. When you act on what God is telling you, prosperity and wealth is yours. And when people think about prosperity, the first thing that comes to their mind is financial. But prosperity comes in different forms; it could be physical, emotional, material, or spiritual, not just financial.
You believe in God’s promises, in God’s revelations, solutions for your situation before they come to pass. 2 Corinthians 1:20 - 22 says: For all God’s promises are in Him
And so through Him we can say to the glory of God. 21 Now the one who makes us - and you as well - secure in union with Christ and has anointed us is God, 22 who has placed His seal on us and has given us the Spirit in our hearts as a down payment.
You need to practice patience as you wait for God’s promises and revelations to come to pass. When God reveals personal promises during your one on-one-worship, believe, be confident that it will come to pass. Nobody and nothing can take those promises away from you because God has already deposited it in you, so make soaking in the presence of God a lifestyle.
If you want to live a blessed life and cultivate the fruits of the spirit
Love the Lord your God for the rest of your life
Bring a Sacrifice of Praise
Worship Him wholeheartedly (mind, body, heart & soul)
Walk in the light of truth consistently
Walk in faith
Walk in trust
Walk in wisdom
Make God your partner in everything you do
Hold fast in God
Abide in Him
Rest in the Lord
Wait on Him
These are the links that hook on God’s promises... healing, guidance, favor of the Lord, showering of gifts, divine provisions that are refreshed every morning, abundance, miracles... the better life.
To stand firm you need the grace of God. When you make these ways a lifestyle, then you will experience great results and experience God’s intervention, you will experience the supernatural moving of His power in your life.
Glory, honor, blessing, and power belong to our God Almighty!
You Are on your way to the blessed life...
You stand in awe before Him. And suddenly you notice that water starts to come in gradually. You continue to bring a sacrifice of praise and offer yourself as a living sacrifice before the throne of God. Now the water is getting deeper and a beautiful, healthy and deep-rooted tree stands in the middle, on the right side of Jesus.
When you commit yourself to anything worthwhile bearing Jesus name, He will surely bring you to the place where the river flows, where there is success and prosperity. Jesus was tempted in the desert but He did not sin. Like Him, everyone must pass the desert before going to the place where river flows, where trees grow, the place where there is prosperity and breakthrough.
When you’re just a few steps away from your destiny be careful because deceptions and lies just hover around over time. In some occasions you are tempted to backtrack in some negativity that you acquired from the desert. It sticks up and pulls you away from the path to wealth and prosperity God has intended for you. When you’re so close to arriving at prosperity land, the more the enemy will shake you. So, be vigilant not to listen to his voice. All he wants is to disconnect the anointing because the anointing will generate life in your life. But when God’s hand is upon you breakthrough will take place.
Let me take you in the desert for a while. What do you find in the desert? In the desert there is oil. When there is oil, there is light. So, don’t be afraid when God brings you to the desert again. You can look beyond the desert and see your future through dreams and visions God has poured on you. The bible says in Joel 2:28.. Afterward I will pour out my Spirit on everyone: your sons and daughters will proclaim my message; your old people will have dreams, and your young people will see visions.
The greatest and the most amazing ideas, guidance, understanding, insights, broadcast we receive from God is because of the anointing. He sends oil, to equip you. He opens up the floodgates of heavens and sends divine provisions. When you’re heart is in tune with God, united with God, you never lack heaven’s supplies. God will empower everything you do to make you successful.
When God has given you the victory, you will rise above new level of prominence and status with higher spiritual consciousness, with new found freedom and with greater awareness of God’s presence in your life and you family as well. God will bring you to new heights, higher responsibilities, higher achievements, higher ground, a place where the Lord God is. He’s going to move you to something new and grand. You are no longer ordinary but extraordinary because of the anointing acquired by soaking in the presence of the Lord.
To God be the glory, honor and praise! God bless!
Prosperity is already here.
Such is the wealth of life in this area. The lights of the new day flood the entire fishpond that occupies the whole area. You can’t believe how huge the territory is. You’re standing in front of it and yet it feels like watching the globe. It’s as if you and Jesus are standing on top of the mountain and watch the universe as God pointed His hand here and there.
In your journey God continues to anoint you more and more making His promises to come to pass, to turn the impossible into possible, to experience security during instability, to give hope during restless times, to give strength during hard times, to give courage and boldness in times of fears and doubts.
When God delivers you from bondage and promote you to be His son or daughter, blessings just overtake you. His favor is upon you and you have more job opportunities, increase businesses, increase income, new home, new car. And not just you, God blesses your household, the people who come in contact with you, your church, your ministries. God is now giving you increase, multiplication, advancement, promotion, wealth or prosperity.
God is truly faithful so, give more of yourself to God; give your time, your talents, your money especially your tithes. God keeps blessing you so you become His kingdom Businessman or Businesswoman. There are a lot of ministries that go to the ends of the earth to tell the thirsty, hungry, broken and orphaned people that Christ is King, that He is our Blessed Redeemer. God is calling His children to give financial aid for God’s kingdom advancement. Utilize the gifts God has given you and you will move upward in life. Do your part and be amazed. You don’t need to search the horizons for God’s blessings and provisions. They will just come to you. Learn to count your blessings each day, enjoy them and always thank God for everything He has given you as He continues to pump unending and unlimited flow of His life to you.
All these are the fruits of your labor, the rewards from God because of your hard work, faithfulness in listening and obeying God. Everything you believe God can do to your life will come true. Indeed all things are possible with God. He is our source. He manifests in unusual, unexpected and amazing ways. Give thanks for all the great deeds God has done in your life. Celebrate with Him. The harvest season is to be enjoyed. The greatest news is that harvest is forever when God is your partner in everything you do.
When you experience the fullness of life, the abundance of God’s blessings, the better life, be humble and love God and the people around you. As Deuteronomy 8:11-14 says:
Make certain that you do not forget the Lord your God; do not fail to obey any of his laws that I am giving you today. When you have all you want to eat and have built good houses to live in and when your cattle and sheep, your silver and gold, and all your other possessions have increased, be sure that you do not become proud and forget the Lord your God who rescued you from Egypt, when you were slaves.
Spread His love, let your integrity remain intact, be channels of blessings, tell the world about the great things God has done in your life. Make His name famous to the ends of the earth.
To God be the glory, honor and praise. God bless!
<p>  Saved By Grace What does it mean to be saved by Grace?   In Matt. 1:21 we are told that Jesus will "save his people from their sins." The word 'save' 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).   Holy living comes through the Holy Spirit In our own strength, it'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's law, nor can it do so." From this verse, we can see that it's not possible for us to keep God's laws so, without help, we will continue in sin. But God doesn'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'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).   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's leading.   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's work within us:   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 'No' 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."   From these verses, we see that through God'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.   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   It's plain to see that apart from God'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'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:   "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."   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't led by the Spirit, but by our sinful nature, then we are not children of God and not heirs to eternal life.   Being led by the Spirit is simply responding to the Spirit'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's leading if we want to inherit eternal life.     This article can be downloaded under the heading Blog Articles at http://www.christianissues.biz/downloads.html   It can be read online at http://www.christianissues.biz/blog/wordpress/?p=954   Mick Alexander Email: email@example.com Website: www.ChristianIssues.biz        </p>
Yesterday I titled my message, “Faith not Fact.” Today I say, “Just because faith is not fact, it does not make it fiction.
Some may ask, “How in the world does this make any sense logically.”
It’s easy you see.
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines faith a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty
(1) : fidelity to one's promises
(2) : sincerity of intentions
•\tacted in good faith
(1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God
(2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion
(1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof
•\tclinging to the faith that her missing son would one day return
(2) : complete trust
3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs
How can you make something a fact when it’s not direct evidence? How can you make something fictional, when situations occur daily that are not easily understood or explained by science and/or the medical field? How can you explain that of physicians polled believed religion and spirituality (including prayer) have a positive influence on health and recovery . Aren’t doctors some of the supposed “most intelligent” people on the planet? How then, do they overwhelming admit that prayer and other spiritual factors may have an influence on healing?
Yet the author of the video, “10 Questions Every Intelligent Christian Must Answer” seeks to poke fun at the intelligence of a Christian. He basically states that a Christian believes in an imaginary friend. I don’t know about you, but the last time I checked anyone who believes in an imaginary friend past the age of six is considered a little slow.
How can we be intelligent if we have an imaginary friend?
One way a person with low self-esteem attempts to hide his or her insecurities is by bashing others for what they stand for or what they enjoy doing. Rather than spending time enjoying your own hobbies and chasing after your own passions, these people waste precious time and energy trying to scrutinize the passions of others.
They tend to mask behind their own insecurity with statements about how intelligent they are and how much more they know. Yet, a wise person is never boastful because it contradicts everything about wisdom. Sometimes it’s wise to walk away but other times you have to stand up for what’s right.
The author of “10 Questions Every Intelligent Christian Must Answer” is not right, and despite some interesting points he brings up, he just does not get it. I’ll now try to make up a “lousy excuse for God’s behalf.”
Prayer and Healing
Prayer is considered one of the most powerful tools (and even weapons) in Christianity. One very popular example is about a young girl who was traveling alone through an alley where a victim was subject to rape just the day before. The rapist was waiting in the same alley again that day for his next victim. When the girl noticed the suspicious looking man, she instantly felt something was not right. She said a quick prayer, asking God to protect her. She continued walking and passed by the suspicious individual without harm. Weeks later the suspect was arrested and confessed to everything. The girl who walked by that day became a vital witness in the case. When asked why he didn’t attack this particular girl, the man responded, “Are you crazy? She had two men walking on each side of her.”
The guardian angel story is one of many miracles that cannot really be explained. It just happens and the parties involved are never the same again.
In the video, the author poses two questions about prayer and healing. Why does God not heal amputee legs and why does God not provide food for the millions that are hungry in Asia, Africa, etc?
Two great questions with no easy answer. In the Gospels, it does say that God will answer any prayer. Unfortunately, we do not know when the answer will come. It’s important to remember that God works on his time and not ours. If it was our time, everything would happen right away. We need to pray but we also must do our part to help. Are you donating money and other goods to those who need it over in Third World countries? Is the author of this video?
While God will answer prayers, we cannot just ask anything and assume it will magically appear. If that was the case, we would know God did exist and everyone would be a Christian. God is not a genie who grants you three wishes. He answers prayers in a very mysterious way. In today’s world we all want the quick fix, but God’s timetable is just not so. We have to look in the mirror before we point the finger at God. We also must trust completely in God and surrender everything to him before we can believe that anything will really happen.
I do not turn to another individual and demand that he instantly solves this issue for me. God is different yet if he solved everything instantly, the room for doubt would no longer exist.
God works in mysterious ways and you just have to accept it as truth if you really want to believe that he will eventually make a difference. Even non-believers in America without prayer must admit that they are not doing their part financially to support world poverty and hunger despite being in a privileged circumstance to actually have the ability to help.
God’s Demand on Death
The author cites Exodus 35:2, Deuteronomy 21:18-21, Leviticus 20:13, Deuteronomy 22:13-21, and other verses in the Old Testament as examples of an unloving God who was quick to put people to death based on the old law. It’s important to remember that the Old Testament and New Testament are highly different and each represent a different covenant.
As I stated last week, it’s important that we retain some of the old law such as the Ten Commandments. However, it’s obviously that not everything in the Old Testament is correct and or relevant to today’s society. The old law, which the four examples cited above fall under, was broken when Jesus Christ arrived on earth and died for our sins. His death on the cross represents the new covenant between God and man, one that broke the old covenant in the Old Testament.
Remember, back in the Old Testament only certain priests and certain prophets were filled with the Holy Spirit and only those individuals had direct communication with God. The law was established under Moses to keep “God’s people” under check as they left Egypt during Exodus.
The people in Exodus constantly complained and gripped in the desert despite just months earlier being freed from bondage in Egypt. They wanted instant answers much like the author of the video. God continued to show up and make known his presence. The people would flea in fear and then return to bitching as soon as God left.
If you have studied Exodus like I have, I think it’s quite clear that God is actually very loving and forgiving. God had plenty of opportunities to ditch this earth, starting with the original sin, yet he never left.
Yes, the four scriptures cited in the video talk about putting individuals to death, but they were all very serious offenses at the time. What’s to say it’s any different from a death penalty (which is even no longer considered politically correct) that punishes murderers?
Some may argue that killing someone for not honoring the Sabbath is very extreme yet they do not understand the importance of the Sabbath on Jewish culture. Others may say that killing disobedient teenagers is rash, yet couldn’t we afford to punish our rebellious teenagers just a little more in today’s culture. I’m not saying we kill them, but we’re way too soft on the young generation.
Homosexuality and fornication are two issues that each individual must decide whether or not is just. At the time these laws were written, they were nearly as serious as murder. You have to understand the time period and that they no longer apply today because of the new covenant.
In fact, when Jesus appeared, he said “the greatest commandment was to love God and the second was to love your neighbor.”
He preached love, mercy, and passive aggressive behavior rather than the person the author of the video makes him out to be.
The ultimate battle in today’s society is the warfare between science and the warfare of religion. Many religious individuals instantly neglect anything that is scientific and write it off without checking the facts. Individuals in science on the other hand are too focused on just the facts and often judge anyone who actually believes in a higher power.
An individual with a world that revolves around science is afraid to take risks. For them, everything is centered on what they know and what they can prove. If faith is the belief in something you cannot prove, how can you acknowledge God and religion?
One of the biggest bashes against the Bible include references to passages that go against scientific theory. Obviously God creating the world in six days completely goes against “The Big Bang Theory” and what science understands about earth’s creation. The great flood that also wiped out the entire earth is heavily discouraged in science. The video also cites Jonah living inside a whale for three days and Adam being created from a handful of dust.
Sure, Elijah was carried up into heaven in a “fiery chariot” into heaven too. How can you possibly prove that someone can enter heaven before dying? How can you prove that Jesus walked on water?
You cannot. Some of these circumstances in the Bible completely go against physics and basic scientific reasoning but does that make them fairy tales? Of course not. If you really believe in God and Jesus Christ as supernatural being, than you agree that they can make the impossible possible. I know I cannot walk on water, but I do not know the same about Jesus.
Could I alone live in a whale’s stomach for three days? No way. But what about under the supervision and power of God? You bet.
How does someone just one day decide to wake up after being induced for years in a coma? Is it mere chance or a divine power? Science cannot prove everything either.
A good friend of mine constantly states that one of his beefs with the Bible is the fact that it says “slaves, obey your masters.”
Like the author of this video, for my friend, this just does not make any sense.
What kind of rational person would warrant slavery?
This question that haunts every believer, but once again you have to consider the time period. At the time these passages were written, slavery was very common and accepted as “status quo.” Obviously a time arrived in society when the majority of the world tossed out slavery as taboo.
The video says that any intelligent person cannot support slavery, yet many of the forefathers of this great nation owned slaves. Abraham Lincoln, great of a man as he was, made slavery illegal in part because of peer pressure as much as doing what he knew was right. Are we saying all of our forefathers were dumb? If so, this nation was built on a lie.
Don’t get me wrong. I completely oppose slavery, but you have to consider the times. Abortion for example, is becoming more and more accepted in society. Yet a “radical” could argue that abortion is genocide in disguise. If we fast forward six hundred years and abortion is no longer legal, would people in that generation automatically write off our generation as dumb and ignorant? Despite all our technological advances, would we be haunted by one major misconception?
Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?
One of most mysterious questions in all of Christianity yet often misunderstood. Surprisingly, the author of the video “10 Things All Intelligent Christians Must Answer” skips over this question very quickly. Instead of backing it up with misguided information, the author merely poses the question, says “it makes no sense,” and then skips over to the next question
I’m going to take longer to answer this question because you deserve better
It’s a very fair and worthy question right? You may either be suffering now or have suffered dearly in the past. Now you want to get even with God and ask, “Why have I suffered so much?”
To get a better feel of this question, I encourage everyone to turn to their bible. I challenge you to look past Job, the king of suffering. Nearly every individual whose story is in the bible endured a long period of suffering. From Moses’ forty years in the desert, to David’s flee from King Saul, to Paul’s prison term in Rome - all great individuals in the bible often spent years in the lowest of lows.
Yet out of these great trials all of these men and women rose up to become stronger and better than ever.
While it seems unfair, there is a reason we suffer. Pain changes us like nothing else. If we are to be “the light and salt of this world,” we also must understand what’s it like in the darkness. Who goes and preaches to a group of people whom he or she knows nothing about?
People in this world hate nothing more than a fake or poser. Yet when you attempt to reach someone who is suffering, and you have not suffered, that person will automatically recognize you as someone who simply does not understand and shut down.
Jesus himself endured one of the greatest periods of suffering in the history of mankind. He was sentenced to death for no legitimate reason. He was tested through a long period of brutal punishment, however he did not waver in the garden of Gethsemane and took up his cross for the good of mankind.
At the heart of Christianity is Mark 8:34
Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. The verse is no hidden secret brothers and sisters. At the heart of the gospels Jesus tells his followers to “take up their cross” long before he was executed by the very same means. It appears Jesus already knew how he would die that way long before it happened and this statement was a foreshadow into the future of what every Christian must endure.
It’s a myth that once you become a Christian everything is fine and you have no worries or problems. A lot of things are fixed in your soul, but you must prepare for suffering and brace for pain. It’s just part of the walk.
Christianity is a sacrifice, and no sacrifice comes without pain.
Good people must suffer. No one wants the pain, but after every dark night we rise up to a warm, sunny day. After every long trek up a mountain, we reach the summit and a view like nothing we have ever seen before.
I encourage you all to read the 365-day devotional, “Streams in the Desert” by L.B. Cowman. It deals a lot with suffering and why we must suffer.
Lack of Evidence to Support Jesus’ Miracles
The video takes a bizarre turn with question eight. According to the author of the question, he wonders “Why didn’t Jesus leave behind any evidence of his miracles?”
Once again he quickly skips the question to the next.
I’m confused by what exact evidence the author is seeking. Perhaps he wanted Jesus to leave behind a note on a gigantic rock that reads, “Hello, this is Jesus, I took off but I’ll be back soon”? What about a photo of Jesus’ arm wrapped around the back of Peter while they stand on the water smiling? Perhaps he wanted to find a tomb with a body still in it?
Miracles, both past and present, rarely leave behind evidence for the long-term. For example, the recent emergency landing on the Hudson River. Some may say the pilot was very lucky while others may say the angels were there that day and it was actually a miraculous event. Sure lucky odds can describe anything, but when do they become so great that it’s hard to ignore a higher power?
Jesus, according to the bible, raised people from the dead, healed leprosy, removed demons, and cured other disorders to name a few of his many miracles. Unfortunately Lazarus is no longer around to tell us if the story is true or not.
The bread that fed thousands was ate centuries ago.
f you’re searching some hidden or lost clue that may prove or disprove Christianity, you’re a helpless idiot like Tom Hanks in ”The da Vinci Code.”
Has Jesus Appeared to You?
The author of the video claims that you should be able to pray to Jesus and he will magically appear to prove that he exists.
While this concept is once again very ideal, it really does not make any sense. Just like I stated yesterday with Jesus instantly answering prayers like a genie, anyone who expects instant answers - especially from God is really misguided on the whole idea.
If Jesus would appear to anyone who asked through prayer, than once again the doubt would no longer exist. Everyone would be a Christian and the whole challenge of it all (your faith), would no longer exist. I mean after all, if God appeared to me, I would have to be the stupidest person on earth not to follow his word.
Even the great men and the bible had rare encounters with God and Jesus was even more obsolete. The bible does say that Jesus obviously meant a lot of people while on earth and twelve men in particular followed him religiously. John also notes that Jesus appeared to many crucial members in the Gospels days and weeks after he was resurrected. Acts 9 says Paul (then Saul) had a direct encounter with “God” (King James), but it fails to mention whether or not it was Jesus or just God’s voice from heaven as described as “a light from heaven.”
Interesting enough, Acts makes known that anyone who chooses to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior is immediately filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Ghost (as commonly referred in the bible) is the east understood of the trinity. While I could spend an entire day explaining The Holy Spirit and what it means - I’ll break it down in a nutshell.
The Holy Spirit is not an inanimate power or force, but rather a person
The Holy Spirit is one with God
The Holy Spirit has many responsibilities (to instruct, to counsel, to intercede, to comfort, and to convict to name a few)
(if anyone would like direct scriptural references, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org)
The most direct verse relating to The Holy Spirit and how Jesus is always within you is John 14:16
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. If you understand anything about Christianity you will understand that Jesus by spirit is always in you. You do not need him to come to you.
The author continues to show his misunderstanding of Christianity and the bible when he ignorantly asks, “Why would Jesus want you to eat his body and drink his blood?”
According to the author, eating one’s body and drinking one’s blood is from another pagan tradition but apparently he missed that in all of the Gospels, the books describe Jesus’ spending the Passover feast to honor the Jewish tradition and symbolize his sacrifice for mankind. Even when the declaration is made, the disciples do not immediately begin chewing on his body and drinking his actual blood.
Jesus symbolized his blood through wine and his body through bread. How can you possibly misunderstand that?
Anyone who takes that verse literal is an idiot.
Both the blood and the body have deep symbolic meanings. The blood represents the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. At the time, the disciples were completely unaware of what Jesus meant by this but in due time they would understand. If you have a deep background in the Old Testament you will surely know that the original Passover involved Moses slaying a lamb and letting the blood drip on the altar to seal the covenant with the Lord. Some may find this act very unusual and even cruel, but the lamb’s slaying actually represented God’s pact with his people to free them from Egypt and to keep them safe.
When Jesus made this claim in the Gospels, he was directly stating the new covenant was between his blood and our sins. At the time the disciples were unaware of the impact this gesture meant and apparently some people are still unaware of it today.
Secondly, the body represented both Jesus as a human and his sacrifice. When the bread was broken, Jesus said, “This is my body which is given to you. This do in remembrance of me.”
Divorce in Christianity
The last question on the video is “Why do Christians get divorced at the same rate as Non-Believers?”
Apparently the author believes that once you become a Christian you are not allowed to make a mistake. Once again this is a really naive question and falls in succession with the past four or five questions.
Yes, a Christian marriage is a sacred celebration where family, friends, co-workers, etc join in union to witness the declaration and eternal commitment of two people. Unfortunately it does not always work out that way.
Does a man or woman become a Christian and never sin again? Of course not, so why would you expect all Christian marriages to last?
What is the downfall or cause of a divorce? Some may say two people no longer love each other anymore. Okay, that’s a fair assessment, but what makes them not love each other anymore? Is it lust, greed, or pride?
All three are valid explanations and all three are part of the seven deadly sins.
If you really expect all Christian marriages to succeed, you must say that a Christian will never sin again. We’re all human, so how can you expect that? I’m not defending Christian divorces but rather offering an explanation for why it happens.
Look at all the famous individuals of the bible once again. Show me an individual besides Jesus who did not sin and I’ll make you a rich man.
Hint - For those of you who do not get it, the answer is “You can’t.”
Everybody sins, everyone makes mistakes, and marriage is something that does not always work out for the parties involved.
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