Revealing Truth Today

Standing for the truth and sharing Jesus with others!

The Birth of Christ

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the LORD” ~Luke 2:11

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It is now the month of December where many people remember the birth of Christ. Many scholars believe that Jesus was most likely born in another month, perhaps September or even in the Spring. Still, this is the time of year when His birth is observed. I would like to encourage each of you to reflect upon the scriptures when Jesus so willingly came to earth. Take in the depth and magnitude of His first coming.

To see a full list of the scriptures pertaining to Christ’s birth, please click HERE.

I made a little video for my family, but I consider my brothers and sisters in Christ my family also! So, please enjoy the video posted below. God bless each of you this season and into the upcoming year!

Sources: polyvore.com     youtube.com     whatsaiththescripture.com
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A Christian Response to the Election

PREFACE: This post is not against Democrats. This post is not against Independents. This post is not against Republicans. This is not a political post – but rather to be taken as a spiritual one. I grappled with the idea of posting anything about the election since the mission of this blog is certainly not to argue politics. However, in light of everything that is happening in the U.S. post-election, I felt that it was time for a Christian response to the bewildering chaos. We need to be educated about what the Bible teaches so that we can steer clear of danger and so we can lovingly assert Biblical truths to others. Christians need not be afraid.

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Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump


“I’ve Never Seen Anything Like This…”

timeAllow me to set the scene for you…

As the vast majority of the world knows, there was recently a Presidential election in the United States of America. After a long and hard-fought battle, the final two candidates were Hillary Clinton (Democrat) and Donald Trump (Republican). On November 8, 2016, millions of Americans cast their vote for the next President of the United States. When it was announced that Donald Trump had won the election, chaos ensued.

Protests and riots began and the hashtag “#NotMyPresident” popped up all over social media. Some of the protests were peaceful, most were not. Some of the protesters even called for the assassination of President-elect Trump. Some protests blocked public highways and the American flag was burned. Still, many are plotting even more sinister activities and protests to carry out on Inauguration Day.

It was reported that there were a few U.S. colleges and schools who offered their students grief counseling, therapy dogs, arts & crafts sessions, “primal scream night”, dedicated crying rooms, and even ponies, so they could process the results of the election. Classes were cancelled and some of the students acted out to show their disapproval of the election results. At American University, the American flag was burned by students in protest to the election outcome. California State University offered students phone numbers for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Because of these special accommodations being made at some public colleges, Iowa State Representative Bobby Kaufmann is proposing the “Suck it Up, Buttercup” bill. This bill would lower funding for state colleges who are trying to use taxpayer dollars for such accommodations (such as election grief counseling, cry rooms, etc.) post-election. Kaufmann believes that coddling the students does not prepare them for the real world. He said, “…in life, when your car breaks down, your kids get sick or you have to take a second job to pay your mortgage, you don’t get to go to a cry zone, you don’t get to pet a pony, you have to deal with it.”

Never in U.S. history has there been such a striving against the Presidential election results. All of this pandemonium about the election has many scratching their heads and saying, “I’ve never seen anything like this…”


God’s Chosen Leaders

Now that we see what we’re dealing with, let’s open the Bible to see what it has to say. After all, what guidelines do we have if we exclude the Bible? John Owen, the famous Theologian, once said, “Without absolutes revealed by God Himself, we are left rudderless in a sea of conflicting ideas about manners, justice and right and wrong, issuing from a multitude of self-opinionated thinkers.” We must rely on the absolutes in God’s Word.

Below are just a few scriptures in regards to who sets up our leaders. I needn’t expound upon these verses, because they speak for themselves. However, for clarification purposes, I have put certain portions of each verse in bold lettering to denote the emphasis.

16618“Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:” ~Daniel 2:20-21

“And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.” ~Daniel 5:21

By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.” ~Proverbs 8:15

“I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn: Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck. For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another. ~Psalm 75:4-7


Evil Leaders

The topic of evil leaders is more of a side note seeing how most elected authorities are in their position to bring order, peace, and good to the citizens. I just thought it bore mentioning while we were on the topic. But, now we have seen that God rules and that it is according to his divine plan who our appointed leaders are. This is not only true for the U.S. but for the entire world. But, some may ask, “What about evil leaders? Is that in God’s plan?” I will expound on that – but as a whole, most leaders are in such positions in order to have a positive impact and to look out for the well-being of the citizens by upholding the laws.

21796Nonetheless, we find evil leaders in prominent positions throughout history from time to time. Even as far back as Bible times, we find that not all leaders were righteous. For example, we see that Nebuchadnezzar was king although he had wicked ways. We also find that it was God who gave King Nebuchadnezzar this position. “Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory (Daniel 2:37). Amidst everything, God had a purpose for this and many lessons to teach the king and to teach others who read of this account in scripture. For a season, King Nebuchadnezzar was brought low. But in the end, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and his understanding returned to him (see Daniel 4:34). He then said, “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.”

Of course, God is the ultimate King of kings and Lord of lords – so if an evil ruler commands anything contrary to scripture, we must please God above all and not man. However, this is not an excuse for us to disobey on our whims. Again, allow me to clarify – we must respect and honor those in positions of authority whether we like them or not – and may only disobey if they command us to do what is evil in God’s sight. Just like the example of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They would not bow to the false gods made of gold which King Nebuchadnezzar commanded they worship, yet, God delivered them even after they were punished for disobeying the king (see Daniel 3).

God has a purpose and a reason for everything he permits. As we see in the biblical account of Job, God is always in control and there are boundaries which the enemy cannot cross. God’s ways are higher than our ways. Perhaps evil leaders are put in such positions to later repent and lead others to righteousness. Perhaps it is to emphasize that mankind cannot save itself apart from God. Perhaps evil leaders are permitted as God’s judgment upon a nation in order to bring repentance (see Isaiah 3:12). Perhaps it is permitted to show the downright depravity of sin and to bring a nation to prayer.

Scripture states: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” 2nd Chronicles 7:14. As long as God has people praying for his divine will and plan to be done, then there is hope.


Showing Honor and Respect

So, how are we to behave toward our appointed leaders – even if we didn’t vote for them? Once again, I will allow the Bible to answer this question:

28269Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.  ~Romans 13:1-7

Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.” ~1 Peter 2: 13-17


What About the Protests?

In this day and age we live in, evil is rampant. Moral views (or lack thereof) have become political views; thus, the chaos in our land over the election. One side wants their way and vice versa. The protests and uprisings against order are not having a unifying or positive effect. We see many such protesters acting out in physically violent ways. This is not of God and it is the works of the sinful flesh.

Galatians 5:19-26 states: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

We saw earlier that God sets up leaders and also removes them. Personally, before the election, I had purposed in my heart that whoever won was according to God’s will and that I would honor and respect his or her position as President. I had prayed for God’s plan in the election and I know many other Christians who were praying also. The results came in and our nation learned that Donald Trump had won the election. We, as a nation, (whether Christian or not) must respect the current President as well as the President-elect. It does not matter if we like them or not. It does not matter if we voted for them or not… their position of authority is to be respected.

I leave you with one final and profound, resounding scripture.

“And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.  ~Acts 5:38-39

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Sources: biblehub.com   gotquestions.org   facebook.com   nypost.com   foxnews.com   pdphoto.org   dailysignal.com
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“In the School of God…”

Keith Daniel (courtesy of sermonindex.net)

Keith Daniel (courtesy of sermonindex.net)

For those of you who have been following my blog for a while now, you will most likely remember that I have often quoted a man of God by the name of Keith Daniel. His honest teaching and anointed sermons have truly enriched my spirit.

Keith Daniel is an evangelist from South Africa who does a yearly tour to America in the Fall months to preach at various conservative churches. He also visits other countries and locations around the world, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In this day and age, it is often challenging to find sincere, humble, anointed, powerful, genuine teaching and preaching from the Bible. That is why I truly enjoy Bro. Daniel’s ministry – he makes certain to base his teachings upon God’s holy word.  We do not exalt man, we exalt God – and I can see the fruit of God’s blessings in the life and ministry of Bro. Keith Daniel.

Not long ago, I listened to one of his classic sermons, “In the School of God”. I found this sermon at SermonIndex.net. I have listened to this sermon more than once and find that it is so insightful and anointed. It is such an encouraging sermon to listen to if you are going through a battle in life. It is my desire for the body of Christ to be encouraged. I truly believe that we must find our encouragement through prayer, worship, scripture, and anointed teaching of the Holy Bible. I believe you will find great encouragement and insight by listening to the short excerpt video below. If you wish to listen to the entire sermon, you can find it HERE.

“In The School of God” by Keith Daniel

Sources: Youtube.com, Sermonindex.net

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Do You Hear What I Hear?

“And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” ~Mark 13:5-6

I once heard an anointed man of God, Zac Poonen of India’s CFC church, expound on the scripture above. He pointed out that most interpret the last part of this scripture to mean that there will be many who profess to actually be Christ, the Messiah – and in turn, shall deceive many. However, he pointed out another very plausible interpretation.  He stated that most people, even children, would know better if someone told them, “I am Jesus Christ.” Most of us would not be deceived to believe such non-sense. However, he said that one could come and say, “Yes, Jesus is the Christ” yet, would go on to deceive many by teaching untruths. But since this person said he believed Jesus was the Christ, we let our guard down and take in whatever he says as the Gospel; thus, the deception. Remember, even the demons believe (see James 2:19). So, we must be on guard and filter whose teachings we are listening to, making sure they do not deceive us.

In Proverbs 4:23, scripture teaches, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” In other words, guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. It is not a sin to test the preaching you are sitting under or listening to. In fact, that is wise and the Bible teaches us to do so. Scripture states: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” 1st John 4:1.  It doesn’t matter how smart, likeable, charitable, or charismatic a preacher is – what matters most is whether or not he preaches truth.

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What I’ve Heard In My Day

“The truly wise man is he who believes the Bible

against the opinions of any man.” ~R.A. Torrey

I am, by no means, bashing the true and genuine church – for she is the Bride of Christ and she is beautiful. However, I have been to many meetings and/or have heard sermons on TV or online where supposed “preachers” taught fallacies. If they do not correct their wrong beliefs and teachings, we simply cannot afford to partake of their teaching and listen to falsehoods. For, if they will deceive in one area, what is to stop them from deceiving in other areas? Our souls are too valuable to be exposed to such risks.

Below, I’ve listed a few bullet-points of wrong teaching I’ve heard in my time. Remember, this is NOT the teachings of the Bible nor of the true church.

jcrFalse Teaching: “If you are an unrepentant active homosexual, you can still go to Heaven.” (However, 1st Corinthians 6:9 teaches otherwise. I expound on this in my post HERE).

False Teaching/Belief: “There are many ways to God and Heaven.” (However, John 14:6 teaches otherwise.)

False Teaching/Belief: “No matter the reason, if you are divorced, then you are allowed to remarry while your first spouse is still living.” (However, Luke 16:18 teaches otherwise. I expound on this in my post HERE.)

False Teaching/Belief: “If you are in an adulterous remarriage, you can still pastor a church.” (However, Titus 1:6 teaches otherwise.)

False Teaching/Belief: “We don’t need to be childish in any way, therefore the child within us needs to be cast out.” (However, Matthew 18:3 teaches otherwise.)

False Teaching/Belief: “A good preacher or Christian won’t offend anybody by their beliefs.” (However, 1st Peter 2:8 teaches otherwise.)

False Teaching/Belief: “If you have sickness or disease in your physical body, it is because you are in sin.” (However, John 9:1-3 teaches otherwise. I expound on this in my post HERE.)

False Teaching/Belief: “If you give enough money to a ministry, you can be healed of physical ailments and become wealthy.” (However, Matthew 10:8 teaches otherwise. I expound on this in my post HERE.)

False Teaching/Belief: “It’s okay for Christians to have a beer or two, in moderation.” (However, Proverbs 20:1 teaches otherwise. I expound on the topic in my post HERE.)

False Teaching/Belief: “As a Christian, I have the authority on my own to creatively speak things into existence (even money), to command things, and to attract favor to myself by my own thoughts and words.” (However, Psalm 33:9 teaches otherwise. I expound on this in my posts HERE and HERE.)

False Teaching/Belief: “As long as I believe there is a God, then I will go to Heaven when I die.” (However, James 2:19 teaches otherwise.)

False Teaching/Belief: “I don’t have to believe the entire Bible to be a Christian, so long as I make it to church every Sunday.” (However, 2nd Timothy 3:16 teaches otherwise.)

jfAre you hearing any of these above-mentioned false teachings or beliefs in your church or in the sermons you may listen to on TV or online? Sometimes, I can’t believe my ears! What did I just hear that supposed “preacher” say?! Remember, Jesus warned us ahead of time to be on our guard. Beware of the twisting of scripture. We must use scripture in light of the entire context of the Bible.

Also, we must remember that, although few in number, there are still those anointed, genuine, and true preachers of the Gospel who preach the Bible accurately and who deeply care. If anyone’s teaching or preaching aligns with the Bible, then we can whole-heartedly take it in and allow it to nurture our souls. Evangelist Roy Daniel put it like this, “Truth does not change simply because Hypocrites exist. Christ and His word remain a foundation sure and true.”

It is SO important to know the Bible. Lack of knowledge can cause destruction (see Hosea 4:6). It is disconcerting and disheartening to see so many falling prey to false teachings. Let us not be deceived.

My final questions… Are you picking up on false teaching when/if you hear it? If so, what is your response? Are you hearing what I am hearing? Are you honing in on truth and turning a deaf ear to fallacies? I certainly hope so, for your soul’s sake.

Helpful Scriptures

“They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” 1st John 4:5-6

“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” 1st John 4:20

“Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s [money’s] sake. Titus 1:11

“They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.Titus 1:16

“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 2nd Timothy 3:5-7

Sources:     facebook.com (Christians on Facebook and Treasured Gems pages)     biblehub.com     polyvore.com
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The Walking Dead EXPOSED

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I have heard many people raving about “The Walking Dead” television show… “TWD” for short.  Many people who profess Christ are die-hard fans. Instantly, I became concerned for fellow-Christians who may watch this show; not in a judgmental way, but in a way that one would show concern for a friend who is in trouble. That is the reason for this blog, so hear me out…

Where I’m Coming From

As the author of this blog, I want my readers to know where I am coming from. I felt a strong sense that I needed to speak up on this topic in case there are those who are unaware of how a simple TV show can affect the mind and spirit. There is no need to re-invent the wheel, and since I already blogged on the way certain books, movies, and TV shows can impact us, I feel it unnecessary to go over that again. However, I will direct you to my previous blog HERE for more information.

As I have stated before, I am not perfect – God is. I am not the authoritarian – God is. This blog is yielded to God and I believe that He can work through this blog to bring things to the public’s attention. Quite honestly, it is hard to write blogs such as these; not because of the backlash I receive or even the name-calling. What is so hard for me, personally, is having to research things which I really have no interest in touching with a 10-foot pole; and for good reason.

As Christians, we must all strive daily to keep a pure mind and heart, free from the world’s pollution. James 4:8 says, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”  Simply researching the topic is unsettling – and I honestly do not understand my fellow-Christians actively turning the television on to watch such gory shows. As the old saying goes, “You are what you eat.”  It breaks my heart and causes me deep concern and bewilderment that such nonsensical filth is infiltrating the minds of Christians. Nonetheless, I research in order to help others and that is my whole intent and motivation for doing so.

Before I “got in too deep” I wanted to get my facts straight. Admittedly, I have not watched the shows; therefore, I do not claim to be an authority on TWD. However, I feel that I have researched enough to point out a few things as some “food for thought”. Again, I am not confused as to why sinners would watch such shows – since darkness attracts darkness; but, what confuses me is how Christians can take such shows in. I have heard it said that movies and TV shows are like sermons with pictures. I would agree.

What is TWD All About?

twdThe Walking Dead is a television show about, well, walking dead zombies which they call “walkers”. According to TWD website, the storyline is this: “Waking up in an empty hospital after weeks in a coma, County Sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) finds himself utterly alone. The world as he knows it is gone, ravaged by a zombie epidemic. The Walking Dead tells the story of the weeks and months that follow after the apocalypse.”

There is a lot of violence, gore, blood, shooting, and killing in the show. In fact, there is even TWD merchandise that, in essence, promotes killing. In an advertisement for TWD, the ad with the skull image said, “death knows no borders” and “fear the walking dead”. Of course, the Bible teaches contrary to fear and repeatedly says, “Fear not”. And we also know that “death knows no borders” is an entirely false statement in light of what the Bible states. Although these phrases are in regards to a fictitious plot, the mindset it strives to instill is very real.

But somehow, all of this is looked upon as good because it is the “bad guys” who are killed in the show. Totally fictitious, yes, but not a message we (Christians) should embrace or wear T-shirts promoting. I mean, am I way off in left field here? It seems common knowledge that a person who claims Christ should already know this. A valid question for Christians is posed in 2nd Corinthians 6:14: “…for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”  Just the imagery, alone, looks like it is straight out of the pits of Hell!

It’s Gotten Out of Hand!

imagesThe Walking Dead comics and television show have garnered so much attention that August 6, 2016 was officially declared “The Walking Dead Day” in Cynthiana, Kentucky. A free, public event to celebrate this day was hosted by the Cynthiana-Harrison County Chamber of Commerce. Not completely shocking, yet, hard to come to grips with the fact that some who profess Christ helped fuel this fire. How? By patronizing such events, by purchasing TWD merchandise, by never missing an episode of the show, thus, increasing television ratings.

How else has TWD gotten out of hand? Well, it is even impacting the Director/Make-up Artist of the show. Greg Nicotero has many roles behind-the-scenes of TWD television show. In a recent interview with Deadline.com, Nicotero stated: ” I think it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better for our group, and it’s pretty intense. I mean, the show, we’re sort of opening a new chapter.” He continued, “Everybody’s putting so much of their heart and soul into it. You know, after directing the premiere episode, I was ****** up for two weeks, you know? I really felt like I dragged a lot of my dearest friends into these really deep, dark places shooting that episode, and it’s been definitely an experience unlike anything that I’ve ever handled before.”

How then, can a Christian look on, craving more intense gore? Such gore and intensity that even the show’s crew member had trouble with it mentally! Why watch? As Missionary Keith Daniel once asked, “Is being entertained worth being defiled?” Don’t let your choices of entertainment get out of hand, fellow-Believers! We are accountable to God. The more evil we allow, the more we will crave to entertain us. Not to mention how such imagery desensitizes us. “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (see 1st Thess. 5:22).

A Double Standard

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(Click to enlarge)

As the above-mentioned scriptures briefly alluded to, having a double standard (a double mind) is dangerous and woeful for the Believer. We must choose if we stand for light or darkness. Yes, we must choose a “team”, so to speak. There is no neutral ground.

In James 3:11, another poignant question is posed, “Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?” God deals with absolutes – we are either in or out, hot or cold. In the book of Revelation, He says: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth” (Rev. 3:15-16). But He instructs in love. Later in this chapter, He says, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” His love allows us a second chance to live a clean life pleasing to him while we still have time.

You see, double-mindedness breeds instability. “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8). The Christian’s body is where the Holy Spirit lives – our bodies are His temple. But let’s remember that He is holy and does not mix with unholiness. We must choose, would we rather have the holy or the unholy? There can’t be both. Please see my previous post which speaks of this at length HERE.

The late pastor of Times Square Church in New York, David Wilkerson, often taught his congregation about the pitfalls that came with questionable entertainment and certain television shows. In a heartfelt sermon, he once warned his congregation by asking a valid question. He asked, “If you are sitting there when Jesus comes and you are watching that filth, how do you expect to come out of that cesspool suddenly and into the arms of Jesus?”

Take this to heart. Search your soul. Strive to please God above all other human desires. Eternity is at stake. The high road isn’t always the easy road – but it is always worth it! I would like to conclude with one final, resounding scripture from 2nd Corinthians 6. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

 

Recommended Video

 

Sources:
biblehub.com   thewalkingdead.com   deadline.com   polyvore.com   keyword-suggestions.com
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What Does It Mean To Accept Christ?

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” ~2nd Corinthians 5:17

To accept Christ, to be saved, to be born-again, to be a Christian… what does it all mean? In this classic sermon by A.W. Tozer, you will learn in an easy-to-understand way what accepting Christ means. I put together snippets for this video but the entire sermon may be found at SermonIndex.net. You can search by speaker (A.W. Tozer) and pull up both parts of this amazing sermon. Sermons are listed in alphabetical order. Please feel free to share this video with others to spread the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Sources: sermonindex.net, youtube.com, biblehub.com
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Why Playing Pokémon Games Is a Bad Idea

Preface: This article is written to parents, grandparents, and gamers who play the Pokémon game(s) or know someone who does. My intent is to present the facts and potential spiritual implications that a harmless-looking game may have upon you or someone you love. I write because I feel a responsibility to be a light in this dark generation. Although this is lengthy, please read in its entirety with an open mind and receptive heart.

Before we delve into this topic too deep, I feel it is crucial that we understand a little of the history about the creation of Pokémon and what it is about. Pokémon, created by Satoshi Tajiri, gained much popularity in the mid-late 1990’s after the first Pokémon games were released by Nintendo. From the games, other merchandise was manufactured such as Pokémon trading cards, cartoons, movies, apparel, plush toys, and the like.

I Get a Bad Feeling About This

025Pikachu_OS_anime_10When Pokémon first came out in the late 1990’s, there was an anime cartoon episode which caused nearly 700 viewers to suffer seizures, many of which had not suffered seizures before. The claims were that it was due to photo-sensitivity, but it brought to my mind another viable possibility. Do you remember the biblical account in Luke 9 where a boy had seizures due to a demon? If not, take the time to read Luke 9:37-43.

Even before the above-mentioned incident took place, there were Christian parents, grandparents, pastors, and teachers who did not have good feelings about Pokémon, but couldn’t exactly pinpoint why they felt uneasy. Even to this day, there are those of us who get an uneasy feeling about the new Pokémon craze. For me, it doesn’t agree with my spirit for some reason; and after research, I see why. I feel that this is the Holy Spirit protecting His children from something we may not see. And if you’re reading this, perhaps it is the Holy Spirit of God protecting you from partaking in something that will harm you, although to the human mind, it appears harmless as can be.

Games, movies, and books can, indeed, carry bad spirits. Think of the Ouija board game, for instance. It involves necromancy, psychic phenomena, communicating with evil spirits, etc. And certain movies have been specifically linked to causing people to commit suicide (see my blog HERE for more details). Evil begets evil, oftentimes. We should never leave the door open for potential evil to enter.

In the early years of Pokémon, trading cards were the big trend. However, this was dangerous because it introduced card traders to even more sinister cards such as Dungeons and Dragons as well as Magic: The Gathering cards where children would learn all about how to summons evil powers and such. The same company that produced Magic: The Gathering also produced the Pokémon trading cards.

If you are a Christian and have an uneasy feeling about allowing yourself or your children/grandchildren to play Pokémon games, don’t ignore that feeling or that “inner voice”, so to speak. Again, it may be the Lord protecting you from something you can’t see. God often speaks to His children in a whisper. Hone in and don’t ignore the Lord’s still small voice within your spirit. Remember how the prophet Elijah heard him? It wasn’t in the strong wind, earthquakes, or fires – it was in a small whisper. “…and, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice” 1st Kings 19:11-12.  

Addictive Pokémon – Go Away!

pokemon-go-logoNow, twenty years after the first Pokémon game was released, it is back in the spotlight and more popular than ever.  Just this month (July 2016) a new game app, Pokémon Go, was released for iPhone and Android cell phone gamers. It uses Google Maps to place the characters on your screen in familiar surroundings such as your own front yard! As you walk or drive around, you may find Pokémon creatures hiding in different parts of the city. The object of the game is to find hidden Pokémon creatures and capture them. Seems harmless enough, right? Well, let’s not take everything at face value. I will build upon this point later. Great technology, I must admit, but as fascinating as this technology is, we must see the bigger picture and not be smitten.

Pokémon Go is known as an augmented reality game and has the potential to become addictive in an unhealthy way.  While an unhealthy addiction is bad, it isn’t enough to necessarily “demonize” the game, because some could argue that they wouldn’t become addicted, thus, they’d feel free to play it with no feelings of condemnation. I will say that no one sets out to become an addict of anything; but once an addiction takes over, it gets a stronghold on the person and brings feelings of compulsion. Nonetheless, I find other reasons why playing this game isn’t such a good idea. The addictive game becomes a time-killer but also a time-waster. Ephesians 5:16 instructs us as follows: “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Does this mean that relaxing or having a time of leisure activity is evil – no. But, be aware of how many hours are spent in leisure and how many are spent in prayer, or in helping others, or in serving the Lord.

It’s not only children who can become easily addicted. I have read accounts of where people would drive around for hours looking for Pokémon creatures to capture for their Pokémon Go cell phone game. Some adults will take time away from their families to hunt Pokémons to capture. Gamers can be so engrossed in the game that they get injured because the were not looking where they were walking; others will even jump fences and put themselves in harm’s way to look for fictitious characters.  Something about this seems very skewed and extreme, having strange mental implications upon individuals.

Just recently, a teenage girl in Wyoming was looking for some Pokémon creatures to capture for her game when she came across an actual dead body floating in a body of water. And while that is freakish to hear of, it was somewhat telling of what she and millions of others are doing – they are wasting time trying to find something that isn’t actually alive! It’s just like a chasing of the wind. Ecclesiastes 2:11 states: “Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit [like chasing the wind], and there was no profit under the sun.”

Life is as a vapor – here today and gone tomorrow. What are we spending our time doing? For one day only, write down how you spend each hour of the day. After 24 hours, review your chart and see where the bulk of your time goes. Granted, there are responsibilities – but focus on the “down time” – what do you do during those hours?

“Come now, you that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas you know not what shall be tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.” James 4:13-14.

This is precisely why we can’t afford to waste our time, our years, our life! Focus on what matters most. God, family and others. At the end of life, will we wish we had captured more Pokémon or will we realize what really matters?


pokemon-go3The word Pokémon is short for Pocket Monsters or Pocket Demons. Ironic that the cell phone is usually carried in the pocket, giving the gamer a tangible, weighty sense of the characters in their pocket. The idea is to capture as many Pokémons as you can so that you can become a Pokémon Master. Once a Master, you can summons or release them when you need help, power, or revenge.

Writer, Berit Kjos wrote: “What if they carry their favorite monsters like magical charms or fetishes in their pockets, trusting them to bring power in times of need? Many do.” For Christian parents, this should raise some red flags. What is being taught to the young and impressionable as to where to turn in times of need? Who holds the power? Is God their very present help in times of trouble (Ps. 46:1), or is Pokémon? It may sound ridiculous to an adult mind to reason like this – but a child’s mind can be very trusting in such things. The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Kjos further wrote: “Psychologists have warned that role-playing can cause the participant to actually experience, emotionally, the role being played. Again, ‘the child becomes the master.’ Or so it seems to the player. Actually, the programmer who writes the rules is the master. And when the game includes occultism and violence, the child-hero is trained to use his or her spiritual power to kill, poison, evolve, and destroy—over and over. Not only does this repetitive practice blur the line between reality and fantasy, it also sears the conscience and causes the player to devalue life. The child learns to accept unthinkable behavior as normal.”

Kjos continues, “The child must exercise his own intelligent mind to learn the complex rules. But after learning the rules, the programmed stimuli produce conditioned responses in the player. These responses become increasingly automatic, a reflex action. Naturally, this can lead to psychological addiction, a craving for ever greater (and more expensive) thrills and darker forces.”

But as I stated earlier, it isn’t just children who can become addicted to this game. Adults will shun responsibilities of the home, marriage, and parenthood to play games instead. Many will spend time away from their families to play or be so entangled in a game that they can’t lay it aside for a family dinner or to visit with loved ones. Little boys in men’s bodies and little girls in women’s bodies; when will we take seriously the responsibility to be an example to others, whether we are parents or not. We need to have the spiritual maturity to know when to lay some things aside. “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us…” (Hebrews 12:1).

Questionable Entertainment

“Is being entertained worth being defiled?” ~Missionary Keith Daniel

We are to be a light to this world and spending our time wisely doing good and not partaking in questionable activities. And yes, I consider the Pokémon games questionable. Why? For many reasons – I will explain below.

In a rare interview with Time magazine, Satoshi Tajiri (Pokémon creator) stated the following:

satoshi tajiri  brasil criador de pokemonTime: None of the monsters is really evil. So how do you know if one of them is with you or against you?

Tajiri: Think of it like this; if a horse runs over you and you die, then the horse is bad. But if you’re riding the horse, the horse is your ally. so, if you have a monster in your collection, then it’s considered good; but if not, it’s still not considered bad because it could be your friend one day.

Okay, for starters, there are some of the monsters in the game which are evil since they possess paranormal, psychic or hypnotic powers. Any type of powers like these are demonic in nature, just so you know. I wrote an entire blog about such powers being satanic. For scriptural references, see my post HERE. Although it is a fictitious game, the premise of the characters’ power is based upon non-fictitious evil. In turn, it teaches a misleading subliminal message that evil equates to power.

The game is heavily influenced by wrong beliefs of evil mysticism and New Age religions in the various elements it exalts (ex. Pokémon Sun/Moon games coming out later this year exalting certain earth elements as in certain New Age or Pagan beliefs. Also see Galatians 4:3 and 4:8-9). In a statement released in 2001 by Pastor Brett Peterson, he stated: “Buddhist Mysticism, Hinduism, meditation rituals, Egyptian Book of the Dead, Book of Tao, the Analects of Confucius, the Gita, the I Ching, The Tibetan Book of the Dead… All these philosophies influenced Pokémon!”

Then, we look at what Tajiri stated in his interview – basically saying that if you are the one riding a horse that kills someone then the horse is good. In other words, killing is good if you’re not the one killed. Then he goes on to assert that even your foe could become your friend; which is very misleading. Satan is the only enemy of the Believer and he will never become a friend. Jesus is that friend that sticks even closer than a brother (see Prov. 18:24). But we must draw the line in the sand and not be accepting of Satan or any of his schemes; he will never be on our side and the Christian will never be on his side. Again – a misleading belief held by Tajiri which is reinforced in the Pokémon games when it is lived out or “played out” by the gamer.

The Pokémon trend will be here for a while; so I want you to be informed about the possible pitfalls. Later this year (in November 2016) Nintendo will be releasing another couple of Pokémon games for their 3DS system – Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. Some are calling 2016 “The Year of the Pokémon“.

Even after presenting this information, some will choose to ignore it and justify playing such games anyway. If someone wants to do something bad enough, they will find some way to justify it. Nonetheless, I have said my piece. I hope that you will prayerfully consider your ways and make the best decisions in life. We only get one pass at life, let’s spend our time wisely and for the greater good. Let’s not fill our minds with useless junk all the time. Let’s step back and look at the bigger picture of eternity and not get so wrapped up in all of these trends.

After I was nearing the completion of writing this blog, I saw a Christian friend’s post on Facebook and it really made a lot of sense and gave a lot of food for thought. With her permission, I just had to include what she wrote below:

7-13-2016 4-25-06 AM“If we gave God as much attention as Pokémon, if we chased after Him as much as Pokémon, if we got into our Bible as much as Pokémon, we’d be so blessed, anointed, and would praise Him so much that we’d enter the world to spread His word and His love. Not to catch some animal. I understand it’s mostly for fun and exercise but how many of you with this app that are Christians go to your Pokéstops and talk about Jesus? How many of you find Pokéstops but don’t find at least one person to share the Gospel with or even pray for? I’m not bashing on anyone who plays the game, do what you want. But ya’ll gotta remember what we do with our time on earth will go into what we do with our eternity. I just spent 4 days soaked in the Presence of God. Drenched with the Holy Spirit. Baptized. Received a new voice. Praised Him like never before. Delivered from bondages. Spoken my future over me. Fallen in awe and surrender. I plan to sacrifice my comfort for a God who loves me, has chosen me, redeemed me, given me hope and life. I’m searching for people to reach the Heavens with me, not a character on my phone that doesn’t give me the pure joy that the Lord does. Yes, I am praying over this whole thing. When you become so filled with Him your focus doesn’t want to be on anything else. And yeah, ppl may be going to the church but honestly, is it for God or to catch Pokémon?! I mean, come on…”

Revivalist Leonard Ravenhill once said, “Entertainment is the devil’s substitute for joy. The more joy you have in the Lord the less entertainment you need.” Again, I am not stating that having times of leisure are necessarily sinful; but the point is, what type of entertainment do we choose and why do some seem to crave constant, stimulating entertainment more than others. Perhaps it could be due to an emptiness within their souls. The idea is to keep the mind distracted and noisy so they won’t have to get quiet and think about their life and how it is being wasted and how if feels so meaningless and devoid of joy.

God bless you for reading… please consider what I have presented (out of a deep concern) and please do not feel that I am “bashing” anyone who may have played such games unknowingly. Now that you have the wisdom, it is your responsibility to make the wisest choice. Let us all strive to please God in these last days. He needs the genuine, the attentive, the ones not easily distracted by this world. Are you one of those few?


Closing Side Note: You may have also heard in the news how Pokémon Go game was used to assist four people in robberies. The suspects created a PokéStop at a CVS parking lot in Missouri, and when they saw people gathering, they robbed them at gunpoint. This game can be used by predators to lure people to certain locations. This is just a side note, but bore mentioning, due to safety concerns.

Recommended Links:

Pokemon: What Is It? (article)

Pokemon: Innocent Children’s Game or Not? (article)

Watch What You Watch (blog)

Pokemon and Pokemon Go – Dangerous Occult Game (article)

 

Sources:
carm.org     chrisitiananswers.net     independent.co.uk     polyvore.com
google.com     content.time.com     wikipedia.com     forbes.com     worthynews.com 
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A Christian Perspective on the LGBT Fanfare

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” ~Proverbs 16:18

Nearly a month ago (in May 2016), the President of the United States, Barack Obama, signed a Presidential proclamation declaring June 2016 as LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Pride Month. Also, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in June of last year (2015) that states can no longer ban same-sex marriage. Ever since then, the news media, social media, and politics have exploded with “LGBT pride” support and rainbow-clad posts. Rainbow flags and cheesy hashtags began to be shoved down our throats.

Then, to further add to the media coverage and constant bombardment with this topic, there was a terrorist shooting at a gay night club in Orlando, Florida earlier this month. The gunman, a “radical” Islamic terrorist entered the Pulse night club and began shooting, wounding some and killing others. Apparently, because of his religious beliefs, he did not approve of homosexuality; thus, he killed them. Now, here’s where we need to pause a moment.

Firstly, let’s pause to clarify a few things. There are other religions that also disapprove of homosexuality; namely the Christian religion. However, there is a vast, vast difference in how the Christian handles such things. This needs to be clarified. As Christians, we do not take matters into our own hands by torturing and killing those who believe differently than we do. Instead, we are mourned because we see the deception and the direction the sinner is heading if they remain in such sins. This goes for the sin of homosexuality (see 1st Corinthians 6:9-11) as well as other sexual perversions; even sins that can occur amongst heterosexual people such as adultery, drunkenness, thievery, etc.

loveSin is what separates us from God – that is why the Christian is saddened when we see people engulfed in sin. We know that we were saved from the same sinful waters and know how to help. The sinner is drowning and we want to assist in rescuing them and pointing them to Jesus; yet, our extended helping hand is often rejected with hatred. Then, we are slandered and called all sorts of untrue names such as “hateful”, “bigots”, “racist”, “unkind”, “unloving”, “homophobic”, and the list goes on and on. In fact, I have a wise, Christian friend who made a very valid point. She said, “How long til modern cult society claims people who reject alcoholic beverages are alcoholphobes; [those] who use and abuse drugs and alcohol as addicts, addictphobes; [and] vegans are animalphobes.” This sinful society tries to label Christians as all sorts of things – to the point it is getting ridiculous. Nonetheless, this was foretold by Jesus. He said, “And ye [Christians] shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved” Matthew 10:22.

You see, scripture instructs us (in Ephesians 5:11) to “…have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” So we are not “judging” or “casting stones” – we are merely obeying scripture. If someone has a problem with it, they have a problem with God – not us. A stern warning does not mean we hate those we are cautioning; rather, we love them enough to care about their souls and to care about others whom they may be negatively influencing. We have a distaste for lies and evil; thus, we push back.

Sinners cry, “Stop shoving the Bible down our throats!” But, don’t they see what they are shoving down ours? At least what we’re “shoving” is good like a vitamin; not toxic like the poison they try to feed us – LGBT agendas, liberalism, abortion, scantily clad women on magazine covers, rainbow flags pridefully waved in our faces at every turn. I believe that it stirs up a righteous anger within the Believer.

It’s not okay with us to watch our nation go to “Hell in a handbasket”, so to speak. It’s not okay with us to see others (even large corporations) support a sin that will send masses to eternal damnation. No, it’s not okay – and we needn’t be afraid to stand up for what is right and say, “Stop shoving!” Stop shoving lies down people’s throats that will send them to Hell. Stop shoving the gay agenda upon the public, forcing us to uncomfortably share a restroom with the opposite gender all in the name of “equality”. Stop shoving new bogus laws upon us which contradict our beliefs. Stop punishing the Christian baker who may not want to support a “gay wedding” by baking a wedding cake for such an occasion. If others choose to defy God’s holy Word and live a sinful lifestyle, that’s their choice; but don’t force the rest of us to accept it as law or to be ostracised and punished if we don’t. Enough already! Just stop. We, as Christians, need to stand up and not cave in to the new beliefs of our society.


See the gallery slides below to see who is doing the most “shoving”.

These are the “milder” images – I could not post some because I did not want to defile my reader’s minds. And the Pride parades – forget it. Way too obscene to share (even though, sadly, some “parents” take their children to these events). Bear in mind, this is only a sample of what is out there and not an exhaustive collection of the images available.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Disoriented and Deceived

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” ~Isaiah 5:20

awYou see, in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting at the gay night club, I saw a trend taking place in the media and on the Internet. I saw many individuals and companies come out with rainbow-colored graphics which read, “Love” or “#PrayForOrlando“. Now, I certainly don’t begrudge someone praying for those who may have lost a family member in the Orlando shooting; but to mix the word “Pray” with the rainbow symbol known to openly promote the sin of sexual perversion – well, it just doesn’t match and is contradictory. Also, the word “Love” is so loosely thrown around in the LGBT community that it has almost become their logo. So, if one stands against LGBT sins, they are then viewed as unloving. Do you see what is happening? The sexually-disoriented are trying to disorient what is right and wrong.

I believe this will only escalate Christian persecution. It seems that God is beginning to separate the wheat from the chaff and only the genuine Believers with a backbone will stand.  I think the days of mere bickering and name-calling will escalate to Christians being fined, punished, denied rights, fired from jobs, imprisoned and even killed for their beliefs. We see what is happening with ISIS; Christians are beheaded, buried alive, and drowned for their faith in Jesus and what they believe; yet, this doesn’t get the media attention that Orlando got; most likely because they were not gay and because they were Believers. With all the media hype about LGBTs and such, society is trying to soften our backbone and get us to “lighten up” to believe lies.

If such sinners don’t change their ways and continue to believe lies, the Bible says that they will be damned in the end. “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2nd Thessalonians 2:12). And remember, homosexuality is defined by the Bible as a sin of the unrighteous. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1st Corinthians 6:9-11). Wake up folks, this is scripture; it is true and eternally-binding! Run to Jesus while there is still time and put away all unrighteousness. That’s the whole point of this blog – to point people to my loving, forgiving, renewing Savior, Jesus Christ! Jesus words were this: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you” (John 15:13-14).

Jesus Saw This Coming

None of this fanfare and liberation of gays has taken our Lord by surprise. He warned us about it in advance. In 2nd Timothy 3:1-4, the Bible says:

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God…”

God beckons the sinner to come to Him; but He will not always strive with them nor beg them. The door is open wide for all; it is an individual choice whether we accept God and His ways or not. The sinner must turn to God before his or her heart becomes hardened and indifferent. There comes a point when God will give them up to their sins. I implore anyone reading this not to get so deep into sin that you no longer have a conscience to hear God’s wooing. Take a moment to read this important, pertinent scripture found in Romans 1:24-32 below:

“God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

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

Need I say more? It’s crystal clear what God expects; His desire is to save us from self-destruction due to sin. Please, take deep thought about what the Bible teaches. Assess your life and take some alone time to do some deep soul-searching. Have a clear conscience when you lay your head on your pillow each night, knowing that your life is pleasing to God; for, that’s all that matters in the big picture.

Note: If you wish to read my previous posts on this topic, please click or tap on the links below. God bless!

LGBT Deception

Companies Defiant Against God’s Word

 

Sources: huffingtonpost.com, instagram.com, newsmax.com, twitter.com, google.com, businessinsider.com, usatoday.com, polyvore.com, facebook.com, abcnews.go.com, gettyimages.com, whitehouse.gov, cnn.com

 

 

 

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The Silence of the Lamb

He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not his mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.” Isaiah 53:7

freely-10094-preview-973x649Jesus, known as the Lamb of God, endured the brutal physical torture that led up to His crucifixion; still, He opened not His mouth. He held His peace and remained silent.  But what about when He seems to be silent in our lives? Where do we turn? What do we do when we experience the silence of the Lamb?

By silence, I do not mean that we once heard His audible voice in our ears which is somehow being restrained. By silence, I mean that there’s an emptiness; like He’s not active or “speaking” in our lives. Of course, sin would be an obvious reason for His withdrawal and silence – but what about when we are serving the Lord with all of our heart? Why are there still seasons of silence when He feels a million miles away?

I write this blog post, not from a self-help guru viewpoint. I write from the depths of my soul. I write as one who knows how it feels to yearn for a gesture of hope, yet, to hear nothing but deafening silence. I write knowing what it’s like to hurt; knowing how it feels to be in a deep, depressing pit with no rays of light shining in. I know. In the pit, I cry, “Oh God, please don’t hide your face from me. Give me God, or I die!” Life is meaningless and empty apart from God. But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God” (Acts 20:24 NLT).

Andrew Murray

Andrew Murray

I felt much like Andrew Murray, a preacher of the Gospel in South Africa.  One day, he was walking down the street and he suddenly fell with a gasp. Some that saw him fall, rushed toward him to check on him. The first one to get to him was a policeman. He lifted him up back on his feet and asked him, “What is wrong, why did you fall?” Andrew Murray said, “No, leave me be.” But the policeman insisted that he tell him what was wrong. Murray, realized he was going to have to give this policeman an answer. A tear came down his face as the onlookers were listening. He answered, “Just for a moment…  just for a moment, I lost the consciousness of the presence of God.” This caused him to physically collapse down to the ground. I recalled this account and thought, “Has this happened to me – have I lost consciousness of God?” Or worse – I feared that, maybe, God had lost a consciousness of me. But I knew that couldn’t be true.  His word says, I [the Lord] will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).  Still, the silence and feeling of being alone in this cruel world began to set in and I found myself with a sense of emptiness and hopelessness. My spirit was dry and almost barren.

Instead of wallowing endlessly in my grief and pity, I decided to take what little energy I had left, which had not yet been zapped by apathy and depression, and use it toward studying this topic. I knew that others had experienced such “silent seasons” in life and I wanted to learn how I could keep my head above water during this time of my life; during a time when my spirit inside longed for revival amidst a land of dead, dry bones. My prayers during this season were, “Oh God, restore unto me the joy of salvation”, and “Please, shine your face upon me and speak to me.” I needed reassurance from Him.

Right before this silent season, I had been noticing my prayer life lacked zeal. I recognized it but didn’t really know how to remedy it completely. I was in a pattern of praying before bed and usually when I was too tired to focus; therefore, my prayers became rushed, rehearsed, and repetitious with very little enthusiasm. Maybe I was to blame for my misfortune by ignoring this nudging to do something about my apathetic prayer life? Nonetheless, I found myself in a deep, dark hole filled with sadness, unfulfilled longings, and immense frustration.

Having endured so many setbacks in life, (chronic health issues, loss of our home, life-altering disabilities, emotional and spiritual wounds inflicted by certain individuals, family members being hospitalized,  loss of loved ones to death, etc.) I found myself becoming increasingly distraught and unable to take much more stress. Many things were stripped away and I was whittled down to the core of my being. It seemed life had turned out all wrong and situations kept going from bad to worse.  It all weighed very heavy upon me, and I guess I just folded under the ongoing setbacks and became apathetic, saddened and overwhelmed. It seemed God went silent and my hope was deferred.  Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12).

The more I thought about it, I recognized that God gave me the Bible as His word… so He wasn’t exactly silent. I also realized that He kept speaking to me in my dreams (see my post HERE) so He was still speaking then. But when I realized that His silence, otherwise, was an answer to my prayers – I felt a sense of peace. He knew all along what He was doing even when I didn’t understand. You see, I had been praying for God to give me a hunger and a thirst after righteousness (see Matthew 5:6). I also had been praying for a revival in my battle-weary spirit. Then I realized that His silence only made me long for Him more and more. I truly had a hunger and a thirst after Him, just like the Psalmist, who wrote, “As the deer pants after the water brooks, so pants my soul after thee, O God” (Psalm 42:1).

I recalled a quote by the Revivalist, Leonard Ravenhill, who said:

“There is no such thing as one filling with the Holy Ghost that’s going to last you from here to eternity. There are repeated anointings; there are times when God will withdraw himself and make you feel as though you are dropping into the nethermost hell. He’ll leave you alone to see if you’re going to struggle after his anointing or you’re going to go on in your own eloquence and ability. The Lord thy God is a jealous God.”

Finding Your Way In The Dark

“Trying to be happy without a sense of God’s presence is like trying to have a bright day without the sun.” ~A.W. Tozer

So, what do we do when we find ourselves in such silent seasons? Firstly, we must remember that if we are striving to please God, His silence does not mean His absence.  Also, let us remember that just because He isn’t speaking does not mean that He isn’t listening. Furthermore, it does not mean that He is mad or pouting, as we fickle humans so often do. After we realize that His silence is for a reason, and not to hurt us, we can find some sense of assurance.

darkLook at it like this: We orient ourselves to our surroundings when the sun is shining. When the sun goes down and it is dark, we orient ourselves by recalling how it was when the sun was bright and illuminating our path. When it is dark, we must often walk by faith and not by sight (see 2nd Corinthians 5:7). We must trust that the Lord has sure footing beneath us even though we can’t see it. Just because the darkness falls upon us does not make the sure path beneath our feet disappear, somehow. Just because we can’t see the path, for a season, does not mean that it isn’t there. We must simply go by what we know deep within and what we saw when the sun was shining. This will keep us on course and on the path that leads to life. We remember that it is His Word which is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (see Psalm 119:105). We find guidance through His word.

When God is silent, it feels so dark, lonely and sad. But we have to go on what we know to be true during these times. It’s not a sin to feel sorrow. God made us with emotions and we are not robotic. But remember this too; His silence is for a reason, only for a season – and it isn’t meant to harm us. Then, when the sun shines again, we will greatly rejoice! We come to a greater appreciation when we hear His voice speaking encouragement into our lives, once again. It is the most soothing feeling on earth!

Please Note:  I wrote what was on my heart in this blog, but have linked a few sermons, songs, and an article below that expound on this topic in an even greater way. I would highly recommend these resources as a source of help, hope and encouragement.

Article: When God Seems Silent (Read HERE).

See additional sermons and songs below. ↓ ↓ ↓

 

Sources:
sermonindex.net
biblehub.com
youtube.com
freelyphotos.com
gettyimages.com
churchm.ag

 

 

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Dreaming of Heaven

I had never seen anything quite like it. A blizzard – so intense that you could barely see your hand before your face. The furious wind whipped the snowflakes around in the sky. And the cold – it was so intensely cold as the freezing winds blew. Visibility was very low, but I noticed a clearing in the sky that cut through the downpour of snow. The dreary, gray sky turned into all shades of beautiful pastels. The sky was softly lit with shades of golden yellow, baby pink, and lilac.

Then, to my amazement, the sky seemed to animate. The fluffy white clouds billowed until they unfolded, as it were, to reveal an ivory staircase. Amidst this beauty unfolding before my eyes, I didn’t even notice the cold snow swirling around me. I was in awe and intrigued by what my eyes beheld. It was a jaw-dropping scene; but it was about to become even more awe-inspiring.

To my shock and amazement, I saw Jesus walking down the ivory steps toward me. It was as if time stood still. He didn’t look down at the steps as He walked, but His loving eyes were fixated upon me. He had a look of love upon His face that made me feel completely accepted and cherished by Him. The wind blew His hair and robe as He walked triumphantly toward me. Then, He began to speak.

He talked to me for a while, but I guess I was in such a state of shock that I couldn’t retain some of what He said. However, I vividly remember Him desiring for His children to never lose sight of Heaven. He advised: “Keep your minds on Heaven. Keep your eye on the prize and do not get diverted so easily. I want my children to be more Heavenly-minded and not lose sight of the Heavenly, eternal goal. Think of Heaven more often – in fact, think of it daily. Do not get too preoccupied or busy that you stop meditating on Heaven or lose hope. Never lose sight of this goal.”

And just like that – I woke up from this incredible dream. The timing of the dream was amazing. It came following an anxious night of worry and care; when in my grief, I cried out to the Lord to speak to me some word of comfort and hope. Although this was just a dream, I could feel His immense love. I knew that, somehow, this was meant to encourage me – and now, I know it was to encourage you too.

Image created on polyvore.com

 

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