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Independent Fundamental Baptist
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Everything posted by *Light*

  1. Hello Family of God, Brackets and ALL CAPS are used for [EMPHASIS]. Please excuse my grammatical inaccuracies and errors in punctuation; as I am a fallen creature who is capable of making mistakes here on Earth. Though some of my words may seem harsh, it is never my intention to verbally harm others in a negative manner; but rather it is to stir wayward Christians to be faithful slaves of the LORD, and to urge the unrepentant who may think that they are saved but are not; that they may surrender their hearts over to the Lord God so that they may be saved -- because tomorrow is never promised to anyone (cf. Ps. 90:12; Prov. 27:1; Rom. 13:11; 2 Cor. 6:1-2; Eph. 5:15-17; Jas. 4:13-15). I will separate this topic into parts due to the amount of letter contained in this thread. I also was unable to add another post in another thread I had made recently, so . . . although I would like to post all of it, I may not be able to considering issues that are hindering from doing so. "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But [SEEK] (Grk. "zeteite" ζητεῖτε [present imperative] -- i.e., "your utmost desire must be to honor God and His Kingdom") YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:31-33) I will be focusing on how we can be guaranteed to have our prayers answered 100% of the time. I will also be focusing primarily on the Perfect Will of God, and its relation to answered prayers. It is always my labor of love to serve my brothers and sisters in Christ who are in need of spiritual blessings, and to those who passionately seek to draw nearer to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. One of my greatest desire is to share my experience with God to others through my fellowship with Him; and to help others obtain a greater understanding of God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Nothing in this world pleases me more than to please my Lord and God. Nothing brings me more joy than to KNOW and UNDERSTAND my LORD in ways that I CANNOT possibly express in words; this is why I cannot contain the joy unspeakable that dwells within me, and every day of my life (Jer. 9:24; 1 Cor. 1:31). It has reached the point in my life where I literally plead with the Lord to take me home through death. Interestingly, this is the ONLY prayer that has yet to be answered; but this does not mean that my petitions have gone unheard, or that it will fail to come to pass in the Lord's Perfect timing. And I pray that I will GLORIFY God and Jesus Christ at the time of my departure. Fellowship with GOD has also given me the ability to conquer any sin in my life. I find it absolutely devastating to sin against the One whom I cherish more than anything this world has to offer, and this is the result of Him having first loved me that I have such an abiding, undying and overwhelming love for Him. He has NEVER failed me, not even ONCE; and He will NEVER fail me forevermore. I want to begin by examining with our spiritual sight the "model" prayer taught by the Son of God Himself: "[AFTER THIS MANNER] therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, [THY WILL BE DONE] in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from [EVIL] (Grk. "tou ponerou" τοῦ πονηροῦ; Lk. 11:4 is in the genitive masculine singular; i.e., "the evil one; or the Devil and Satan"): For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen." (Matthew 6:9-13) Continued . . . Please understand that the LORD does not answer our prayers based on OUR timing, but according to His PERFECT Will. We may expect our prayers to be answered in a timely fashion according to our finite understanding of God's Will; however, the Lord works at every angle in our lives which may need adjustment, mending or maturation. Most of this ties into the process of Sanctification in the life of every True Believer; and as our Potter, the Lord does not slap lumps of clay without careful consideration of its conformity to His design in which He already had in mind from Eternity past (Rom. 8:28; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 2:10; Phil. 1:6; 2:13; 4:13; Heb. 13:20-21; Jas. 1:2-4). We may pray for patience or self-control, and we may assume that our prayers are going unheard when it does not come to pass in our timing. We need to understand that there are areas in our lives which need pruning and are of utmost importance (e.g., "humility, being perfect in Love, TRUST, et al"), and we must FIRST have these priorities set right before moving on to maturity (cf. Matt. 23:23). "And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that [THE SPIRITS ARE SUBJECT UNTO YOU]; but rather rejoice, because [YOUR NAMES ARE WRITTEN IN HEAVEN]." (Luke 10:17-20) We are saved by His Grace through our faith in Him, and nothing on our part can merit this free gift of Eternal Life. This is FAR GREATER than being JOYFUL in knowing that wicked, non-human entities are under our authority by the power GIVEN by God. We are not to be prideful over our God-given authority over beings who intrinsically have more power than us (Jn. 14:12; Eph. 3:20; 2 Cor. 4:7; 12:9; Col. 1:11, 29; 1 Jn. 4:4). We are to REJOICE or BOAST that we have been saved SOLELY by God's Grace, and we can never merit this; and to deny this precious truth by attempting to obtain Eternal Life through meritorious efforts is not only PRIDEFUL, but will lead such a man or woman to eternal destruction (cf. 2 Cor. 12:9). "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, [I WILL] ascend into heaven, [I WILL EXALT] my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: [I WILL] ascend above the heights of the clouds; [I WILL] be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be [BROUGHT DOWN] to hell, to the sides of the pit." (Isaiah 14:12-15) The origin of sin began with Satan and his PRIDE. It was the SIN OF PRIDE which led to his rebellion and insubordination to THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY. Satan is not only the greatest deceiver, but he is also the one who is the most deceived OF ALL. Pride has led him to delusions of grandeur, and deceiving others is to deceive oneself by not having the TRUTH in oneself. Humility is one of the most, if not the most fundamental teaching in Scripture on how to live a godly and holy life pleasing to the Lord. To ignore this command to be humble in the sight of the Lord is in and of itself a clear sign of pride and arrogance, and reveals that such a person professing to be Christian is devoid of humility. If our motive is to "humble" ourselves just so that we may be EXALTED, then this proves that our motive is self-seeking. We're are not going to "fool" God with our false pretense through a feigned desire for humility, and such prayers will never come to pass. "Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be [CLOTHED WITH HUMILITY] (Grk. "enkombosasthe tapeinophrosynen" ἐγκομβώσασθε ταπεινοφροσύνην [aorist imperative] -- i.e., "to tie into a knot"; "e.g., "a command to be humble under God through His protection, and not to let this attitude depart; but to secure it so as to let it ABIDE in us"): for [GOD RESISTETH THE PROUD], and [GIVETH GRACE TO THE HUMBLE]. [HUMBLE YOURSELVES] therefore under [THE MIGHTY HAND OF GOD] (e.g., "the Lord's chastening, deliverance, discipline, protection, testing through trials to mature in spirit"), that he may exalt you in due time: [CASTING ALL YOUR CARE UPON HIM]; for [HE CARETH FOR YOU]." (1 Peter 5:5-7) Continued . . . We should not assume that our prayers are NOT answered if it does not come to pass in a time when we expect it to. And we should NEVER assume that God does not care for us if our prayers are not answered when and how WE would have it according to our limited comprehension when juxtaposed with the unfathomable mind of the Eternal God. What's most important is that God's Perfect plan and purpose be DONE in our lives regardless of how we feel personally (cf. Mic. 6:8; Jer. 29:11; Matt. 6:10; 1 Thess. 4:3; 5:18; Heb. 10:36; 13:20-21). There will be times in the lives of those who live godly where suffering is almost unbearable, and their cries seem to go unheard; but we are not to understand this as an indication that God has forsaken us. We must TRUST in God, and wait upon Him until what needed to be accomplished in our lives comes to fruition before we can move forward in spiritual maturity and continual sanctification (cf. Deut. 31:6; Ps. 27:13-14; 33:20-22; 34:17-18; 62:5; Isa. 26:3; 64:4; Matt. 6:34; Rom. 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 12:9-10; Col. 1:11; 1 Pet. 4:12-13). "And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the [dumb], or [deaf], or the [seeing], or the [blind]? have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say. And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send. And [THE ANGER OF THE LORD WAS KINDLED AGAINST MOSES], and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart." (Exodus 4:10-14) Moses' staff being transformed into a snake and reverting back to a staff (Ex. 4:2-4). He also ran from the snake in fear (v. 3). Moses' hand becoming leprous and then restored (v. 6-8). The water taken from the river being turned into blood on dry land (v. 9). To distrust the LORD is to doubt His Sovereign Power over every affair of our lives, and in the lives of every creature (Job 42:2; Ps. 115:3; 135:6; Isa. 43:13; Dan. 4:35; Lk. 12:7; Rom. 9:19-21; Eph. 3:20; Heb. 11:6). Moses doubted God's ability as sufficient enough, even when the power of the Almighty was clearly put on display. It is an insult to question the Absolute Sovereignty and Power of Almighty God, which is why it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God without FAITH (Heb. 11:6). Many are those who fear man rather than the LORD God, and whether those who do so may deny being guilty of such; this sort of mentality reveals that such a "professing" Christian believes that man has more power than God Himself (cf. Matt. 10:28). There are instances in the Old Testament where even godly men were killed for disobeying the direct commands from the Lord God Almighty (Lev. 10:1-3; 2 Sam. 6:6-7; 1 Cor. 11:30-32). "Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." (James 5:11) No one who prays for Humility should expect the Lord to fulfill that request overnight. There could come a time in our life where we are compelled to question the wisdom of God when things don't go our way; but it could simply be that God is using such a situation to give us a lesson on humility, AND not to question His Sovereign Wisdom and Will in our lives through His unsearchable ways (cf. Isa. 28:29; 40:28; 55:9; Job 12:13; Prov. 3:7; 11:2; 15:33; Rom. 11:33; 1 Cor. 1:25; 2:13; 3:18-19). What's important is what needs precedence in our life rather than what we may feel should be done in an immediate manner. "For [AS HE THINKETH IN HIS HEART], [SO IS HE]: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee." (Proverbs 23:7) "Let nothing be done through [STRIFE OR VAINGLORY] (Grk. "eritheian kenodoxian" ἐριθείαν κενοδοξίαν; i.e., "selfishness, or to be self-conceited"); but [IN LOWLINESS OF MIND LET EACH ESTEEM OTHER BETTER] (Grk. "tapeinophrosyn hegoumenoi allelous" ταπεινοφροσύνῃ ἡγούμενοι ἀλλήλους; i.e., "in modesty and not to exalt oneself -- cf. Rom. 12:3) than themselves. [LET THIS MIND BE IN YOU], which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a [SERVANT] (Grk. "doulou" δούλου; lit., "a SLAVE"), and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Philippians 2:3-8) "The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." (Psalm 34:17-18) Jesus set the perfect example of humility by becoming a human being. He literally took the form of a slave to fulfill all righteousness. There will always be quarrels and disputes regarding the Deity of Jesus Christ, and it is the result of a mind that does not understand what TRUE HUMILITY is all about. These arrogant and proud men and women will say, "If Jesus was indeed God, then why could He have not simply said: "I am God in the Flesh, and you are to WORSHIP me." This is the same NONSENSE in which Satan himself used when he tried to deceive Jesus into putting His Deity on display in a proud way; and of course the devil failed miserably. Jesus could have said: "You shall not tempt the Lord your God; and that God is ME." -- but He didn't. This is also why Jesus referred to His Father as His God (Jn. 20:17). "But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but [GIVETH GRACE UNTO THE HUMBLE]. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." (James 4:6-8) Continued . . .
  2. Hello Family of God, "[COME NOW], and [LET US REASON TOGETHER], saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18) This message will be divided into sections because of the length of it. "For this cause [I BOW MY KNEES] unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom [THE WHOLE FAMILY IN HEAVEN AND EARTH IS NAMED], That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to [BE STRENGTHENED WITH MIGHT BY HIS SPIRIT IN THE INNER MAN]; That Christ may [DWELL IN YOUR HEARTS] by faith; that ye, being [ROOTED] and [GROUNDED] in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the [BREADTH], and [LENGTH], and [DEPTH], and [HEIGHT]; And to [KNOW THE LOVE OF CHRIST], which passeth knowledge, that ye might [BE FILLED WITH ALL THE FULLNESS OF GOD]." (Ephesians 3:14-19) PART 1: Brackets and ALL CAPS are used for [EMPHASIS]. Please excuse my grammatical inaccuracies and errors in punctuation; as I am a fallen creature who is capable of making mistakes here on Earth. Though some of my words may seem harsh, it is never my intention to verbally harm others in a negative manner; but rather it is to stir wayward Christians to be faithful slaves of the LORD, and to urge the unrepentant who may think that they are saved but are not; that they may surrender their hearts over to the Lord God so that they may be saved -- because tomorrow is never promised to anyone (cf. Ps. 90:12; Prov. 27:1; Rom. 13:11; 2 Cor. 6:1-2; Eph. 5:15-17; Jas. 4:13-15). I have to wake up each morning to such absurdities on the local news discussing topics as: are these two muppets gay? This is what the news has devolved into; whether two inanimate objects are gay! Or about some celebrity in Hellywood taking up almost 15 minutes of airtime. There are terrorists, wars, famine, and people dying all over the world because of neglect; and this is the GARBAGE that is at times referred to as "BREAKING NEWS". "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, [THE SPIRIT THAT NOW WORKETH IN THE CHILDREN OF DISOBEDIENCE]: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." (Ephesians 2:2-3) The Good News of the Gospel has been veiled to those who are on their way to destruction; because the god of this world has BLINDED the minds of these lost men and women; and they are being controlled like puppets by an entire host of nonhuman entities that occupy the realm above, below, and on Terra Firma (2 Cor. 4:3-4; Eph. 2:2-3; Col. 1:16; Rev. 6:15; 9:3-10; 13:1,11-18; 12:7). A man or woman who is not being constantly led by the Spirit can easily fall victim to the desires of unclean spirits; and such people do not need to be "possessed" by such unclean entities in order for them to influence the disobedient who are under the control of the present age of the world (cf. Matt. 12:43-45). Even Christians can be inflicted by nonhuman entities as a result of disobedience, chastisement, to keep him/her in submission to God through humility, or to keep a Christian on their toes (2 Cor. 2:10-11; 12:7-9; Eph. 4:26-27; 6:12; Jas. 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:8). I have prayed unceasingly to the LORD for wisdom, spiritual discernment, and understanding concerning the rapid decline of morality in today's world; not only of those who are part of the world system (cf. 2 Tim. 3:3) -- but those who "profess" to be Christian . . . and undoubtedly, there are also MANY who are deluded into believing that they have been "born-again" while being completely devoid of the Holy Spirit; so they often say to themselves, "why can't I achieve victory over my struggle with my sins?" I will discuss in length on how the TRUE CHRISTIAN can overcome any sin/s that they are easily entangled in (Heb. 12:1). "And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tablets out of his hands, [AND BRAKE THEM] beneath the mount. And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it." (Exodus 32:19-20) Moses had discovered that the Israelites had made a graven image of THE ONE TRUE GOD. A man-made "representation" of THE ONE TRUE GOD is a false form of worship because they were worshiping the THE ONE TRUE GOD in the WRONG WAY -- and this is tantamount to IDOLATRY. This kindled the righteous indignation of Moses, and as a result; ALL TEN COMMANDMENTS WERE BROKEN as Moses shattered the tablets at the foot of Har Sinai/Horeb. Idolatry will consequently lead to rebelling against the rest of the Commandments. Our Golden calf will in no doubt lead to an inability to keep the Golden rule (Matt. 7:12) -- let alone, the Greatest Commandment of them all. If the Greatest Commandments [CANNOT BE KEPT], then a habitual practice of breaking the rest of the Commandments will naturally follow the rebellious heart, and then defiance against THE ONE TRUE GOD. "Thou shalt not make unto thee any [GRAVEN IMAGE], or [ANY LIKENESS] of [ANY THING THAT IS IN HEAVEN ABOVE], or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." (Exodus 20:4-6) PART 2: Here is the general outline on what I will be discussing regarding the believers battle with sin. You can also examine their Cross References to get a better understanding of their contexts. Born from above and filled with Divine Love: (Jn. 1:12; 3:3; (Jn. 15:10; 1 Cor. 13:4-7; Eph. 3:17-19; 1 Pet. 4:8; 1 Jn. 4:16; Rom. 10:9-10; Eph. 2:5-6; 2 Cor. 5:17; Col. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:22-23) Insubordination and Submission: (Ps. 68:6; Prov. 28:9; Isa. 63:10; Jer. 5:23; Lk. 6:46; Rom. 8:7; Heb. 3:15; Jas. 1:22) Bad Doctrine/Theology and Ungodly Living: (Matt. 23:1-39; Rom. 16:17-20; 2 Cor. 11:14-15; 1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 4:3-4; 2 Pet. 3:16; Rev. 22:18-19) Love Conquers Sin: (Rom. 8:28; 37-39; 13:8; 1 Cor. 13:4-8; Gal. 5:14; Col. 3:14; 2 Thess. 3:5; 2 Tim. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:22; 4:8; 1 Jn. 4:12) Inward Renewal and Obedience: (Ps. 51:6,10; Rom. 2:29; 12:1-2; Col. 3:10-12; 2 Cor. 4:16-18; Eph. 4:23; Gal. 2:20) The Absolute Necessity of Prayer: (Matt. 6:9-13; 21:22; Mk. 11:24; Jn. 14:13-14; 15:7; Rom. 8:26; Eph. 6:18; Phil. 4:6-7; 1 Thess. 5:16-18; Heb. 4:16; Jas. 5:16; 1 Jn. 3:22; 5:14-15) Abiding in the Vine [CHRIST]: (Jn. 8:31; 14:23; 15:4; Rom. 6:1-23; 8:1; Col. 3:1-3; 1 Jn. 2:6; 3:6,15,24; 4:15; 2 Jn. 1:9) Pride and Humility: (2 Chron. 7:14; Prov. 3:34; 11:2; 16:5; 18:12; 29:23; Obad. 1:3; Mic. 6:8; Jas. 4:6-10) Walk in the Spirit: (Ps. 119:105; Rom. 8:14; 2 Cor. 5:7; Gal. 5:16; Eph. 2:10; 5:8,15-16; 1 Jn. 2:6; 3 Jn. 1:3-4) Trusting in The Absolute Sovereignty of Almighty God: (Ps. 9:10; 37:4-6; 56:3; 62:8; 91:1-2; 112:7; 91:1-2; Prov. 3:5; 16:20; 29:25; Josh. 1:9; Nah. 1:7; Isa. 12:2; 26:3; Jer. 17:7-8; Jn. 14:1; Heb. 11:6; 13:6; Jas. 1:6; et al.) Resisting the Devil: (2 Cor. 2:11; Eph. 4:27; 6:12-13; 2 Tim. 2:26; Heb. 2:18; Jas. 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:8-9) Avoiding any type or form of the Occult or Sorcery: (Deut. 18:10-12; 2 Chron. 33:6; Jer. 27:9; Mal. 3:5; Gal. 5:19-21; Rev. 18:23) Confidence in the LORD and NOT Spiritual Overconfidence in ourselves: (Ps. 27:3; Prov. 3:26; Rom. 12:1-3; 1 Cor. 10:12; Phil. 4:4-7; Heb. 10:35-36; 1 Jn. 5:14) Keeping the Commandments and The Joy of the Lord: (Neh. 8:10; Ps. 5:11; 16:11; Jn. 15:11; 16:24; Rom. 12:12; 14:17; 15:13; Gal. 5:22; Phil. 4:4; Jas. 1:2; 1 Pet. 1:8-9) "Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: [HE THAT DOETH RIGHTEOUSNESS IS RIGHTEOUS], even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for [HIS SEED REMAINETH IN HIM]: and he cannot sin, [BECAUSE HE IS BORN OF GOD]. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: [WHOSOEVER DOETH NOT RIGHTEOUSNESS IS NOT OF GOD], neither he that loveth not his brother." (1 John 3:6-10) I will be focusing primarily on the doctrine of sin (Hamartiology); but there are theological subsets contained in Scripture which tie in to the understanding of how one is to live a Holy life pleasing to the LORD through discipline, obedience, and complete submission to His Will. One of the main reasons why there is a decline in morality, purity, and holiness within the church visible today is due to the fact that there are MANY Pastors, evangelists, and preachers alike who are unwilling to discuss the topic of sin out of fear that their listeners will turn their ears away from this crucial Truth and sever ties with them. The Word of God is NOT to be compromised, even if and when these messengers of God feel under the gun. Perhaps they fear persecution; or maybe they are willing to compromise the Truth knowing that there is a high probability that they may "lose" the "respect" of their friends or loved ones -- and those whom they are closely yoked up with. Those who "profess" to love the Lord will be put to the test; and He will separate these hypocrites who were willing to compromise the Word of God rather than having their feet planted firmly on solid ground (cf. Deut. 13:3; Matt. 10:32-33; Mk. 8:38; 2 Tim. 1:8; 1 Pet. 4:16). "Thy word [HAVE I HID] (Heb. "tsaphan" צָפַן; "to treasure up") in mine heart, that I might [NOT SIN] against thee." (Psalm 119:11) "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by [PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION] with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall [KEEP YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS] through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)
  3. I had an interesting dream a few hours ago. It concerned a "local flood" where people ran from the torrential rain to find shelter; some went under awnings, while some tried to break into homes to find shelter. Those who broke into homes to find shelter found themselves swept away as the flood engulfed the entire homes. There were others who were paddling with a canoe, and so I hopped on one of the canoes with some unidentified man doing the paddling (looked Jewish). I prayed to the Lord for the rain to stop, and it ceased immediately. After all was said and done . . . there were others who were mocking me with taunts and words of contempt -- even AFTER they had escaped the local flood. So I departed and journeyed along with the man in the canoe. . .
  4. I had prayed for something like this to come along; to articulate the urgency of the Gospel Message to those who have ears to ear, eyes to see, and to understand with their hearts. God has so graciously provided me with such, and I am thankful for it. It isTRULY the desire of the Lord that none should perish, and that He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ps. 67:2; Isa. 45:22; Ezek. 18:23; 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9). All born-again believers should reflect the "heart of God" (i.e., the desire that the wicked perish not), and the lack of such a desire is a "red flag" that the one behaving in such manner may NOT be saved at all. Those of us who have TRULY been purged of our sins understood that we were ALL once vile, wretched sinners, deserving of an Eternal Hell and Lake of Fire -- no BETTER than the rest of the unconverted world. We approached the Throne of Grace with a broken and contrite spirit asking for forgiveness and mercy; and because of that . . . we have been given a FULL pardon. Those who claim to be in Christ that have little to no desire for the lost to come to repentance is NOT a heart which has been regenerated. For such a man or woman who has TRULY experienced the Grace, Love, Mercy, and Forgiveness of God would have a heart for the lost -- and TRULY understands what those attributes of our Father and God. God Bless!
  5. Knowing the truth and application of the truth are distinct and are two sides of the same coin. Even the devil and his minions know the scripture inside and out better than anyone on this planet; but we know that they are destined to Eternal Fire. Truth is made manifest by our outward actions of our inward self; and reveals itself not in word only, but also in deed. Unfortunately, such is a rarity these days in Christendom as many claim to walk in the Light but show no evidence that they have truly been regenerated BY the Truth. Many are deceived and fail to examine themselves to see whether they are truly in the faith; and as a result . . . the Lord will declare to them ON THAT DAY, "I never knew you!" God Bless!
  6. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:40-42)
  7. Thanks for the devotional, Jim! And I stand by every word you have said. Anyone who has truly been born-again through the shed blood of Jesus Christ will in no doubt have the light of life dwelling within them -- and that light can be seen among those who they come in contact with. What grieves me is that there are so many false converts who have prayed a prayer so that they might be saved; but their sole reason for calling upon the Lord was so that they might escape hell; or they simply desired Eternal life. And what these false converts miss is genuine repentance; and turning to the Lord with a true broken and contrite spirit. Their tree is barren of any fruits of the Spirit, and completely devoid of any sort of conformity to the image of Christ. Christians are supposed to stand out above the rest of the world by their new nature being manifest in their actions; and sadly . . . there are MANY professing Christians who continue to walk in darkness and are no different than the rest of the unbelieving world -- and sometimes even worse. All of us need to do a spiritual inventory and examine ourselves if we have truly been born again (2 Cor. 13:5; 2 Pet. 1:10-11). If we don't express Divine love, then all the "good deeds" amount to nothing -- and are done in vain; because they are not done through the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 13:2). God Bless!
  8. Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. (1 Peter 2:1-3)
  9. *Light*

    The Kindness of God

    There are always unbelievers who attack the God of the Old Testament, and accusing Him of being some sort of tyrant. What they fail to realize is that the God of the OT is the SAME God of the NT. God's righteous indignation was poured out on those who hated God and despise His ways. Furthermore, we find that the more sin abounded, God's Grace also flourished (cf. Rom. 5:20) -- especially in the Incarnation of the Son of God. God less!
  10. Being content with what we have is a sure sign that we are living for Christ and not for ourselves; and it's also indicative of a humble person who is aware that God is giving us what is best for us to mature in our spiritual growth.
  11. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. (Matthew 4:19) There are always disagreements that I have with certain preachers and bible teachers of the past and the present; however, I do find one statement from C.H. Spurgeon that is absolutely TRUE as the Word of God can testify of its veracity. It is: "Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you're not saved yourself, be sure of that!" The Word of God is replete with passages instructing us to minister to those who are lost and in dire need of the Gospel message (Matt. 9:37-38; 10:7-14; Mk. 16:15; Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:17; 2 Cor. 5:20; Eph. 2:10; 4:11; 2 Tim. 2:15; 4:5; 1 Pet. 3:15). The major problem in "Christendom" today is that most of the "soldiers" have fallen by the wayside and given up. Even more disturbing are those in a higher position who have been given MORE talents in order to serve the Lord as they were called to do so; and that they seem to have no interest in saving those who are in danger of hellfire (cf. Jas. 3:1). I am NOT speaking of those who disemminate false teachings on a regualr basis; I am speaking of unbelievers who are NOT saved and are caught up in a cycle of sin which entangles them. The bible refers to such "servants" of the Lord as "fearful"; and "ashamed of the Gospel" (cf. Rev. 21:8; Matt. 25:26; Rom. 1:16). Since our Lord used the fishing analogy -- and our Lord has made all of us believers "fishers of men" (Matt.4:19; Mk.1:17) -- we also know that every fisherman has his/her own technique and that all fish are different too. What all fish have in common is that if they are not biting, we are not going to catch them. But if they ARE biting, then a practiced fisherman who exercises patience always has a good chance. And in terms of actual witnessing, God is the One who is empowering the process and bringing success (cf. Ps. 90:17; Isa. 64:4; Eph. 2:10; Phil. 2:13; 1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 13:21). Divine love is the "anchor point" which compels genuine believers to reach out to the lost; and this is a sure sign that one has truly passed from death unto life (Matt. 7:12; Jn. 13:34-35; 1 Jn. 4:8-21). So the first thing is to determine if we really are being offered an opportunity. That is fairly easy to do, it seems to me. If the person knows we are Christian (our outward manifestation of our hearts and motives; Matt. 5:16; 23:3; 1 Cor. 11:1; Eph. 5:1; Phil. 3:17; Col. 3:17; 2 Thess. 3:9; 1 Tim. 4:12; Tit. 2:7; 3 Jn. 1:11; et al.), and if we dangle a little bait, something like, "yes, the recent tragedy at XYZ is terrible -- I don't know HOW people get through this world without the Christian hope!" Now if someone really is searching for the solution to sin and death, they are likely to nibble at that one (and, by the way, I'm NOT suggesting this particular one for me -- everyone has their own way of stating the divine and godly viewpoint of anticipation of salvation and eternal life, and every prospective believer is different too, and we must take the audience into account in how exactly we express the truth, remembering that the truth always has to be presented truly). If they don't nibble, we might want to think about waiting for a better time and a better opportunity. We can't force the issue. We wait in the boat for a bite. We can wiggle the hook, but we can't make the fish bite. If we bang on the water with an oar and command the fish to come up, guess what. We may be making ourselves feel better ("Look at me! I witnessed to so and so!" -- but they didn't respond), but we are not winning anyone to the Lord that way. The fish have a vote, because it's all about free will (Ps. 37:23; Prov. 16:9; Josh. 24:15; Jn. 1:12-13; 7:17; Rom. 10:9-10; cf. Rev. 3:20). What if they do nibble? I think it can be a mistake to introduce the issue of sin IMMEDIATELY in giving the gospel, except for the critical facts that we are all sinners, that Christ died for all of our sins, and that all of our sins are forgiven when we believe (Lk. 24:45-49; Rom. 1:16; 10:9-13,14; 1 Cor. 15:1-28; Eph. 1:13-14; 1 Pet. 3:18-22; 1 Jn. 4:9-10). Don't forget: the gospel changes all who respond to it. The heart is washed clean. The person is given a new heart, one devoid of hardness. At the point of salvation, the new believer is freed from all prior sinful entanglement (Ezek. 36:26; Rom. 6:6; 2 Cor. 3:18; 5:17; Eph. 4:24; 1 Jn. 5:4). If they really are ready to persevere with the Lord from that point forward, He will help them to walk a sanctified walk, and change whatever it is that needs to be changed. But if we make an issue of some sin or sinful behavior in which they are enmeshed BEFORE the fact, then we are putting conditions on salvation -- and there are no conditions on salvation . . . except to accept the Gift of Jesus Christ, acknowledging who He is and what He has done for us through faith in Him. Death is something everyone dreads (except believers), and the offer of life eternal is the most wonderful thing on this earth. To avoid death, darkness and judgment is worth all a person has, like selling everything for the pearl of great price. If the Spirit convicts someone's heart of that truth, they will flee death by running to the gospel; they will need little convincing from us. The Spirit is the One who really does the convincing (Jn. 14:15-17,26; 16:8; 2 Cor. 7:9-10). Our job is to provide the truth, the simple yet incredibly powerful truth of the gospel. It is not up to us to try and fine tune an "after response". If we do that, there may very well be no "after response" because the person will see the gospel as huge load that requires them to "give up" this and that. Now we know very well ourself that we all ended up giving up "this and that" after we believed because the gospel and the truth we learn and accept thereafter changed us. It is the same for everyone. But that happens AFTER; it is not a BEFORE condition. And we don't have to worry about "saying sin is OK" either, not if we are witnessing correctly. Now if we are jamming the gospel down the throats of people who aren't interested in it, then this may be an issue because they are only interested in justifying their conduct and not in being saved, so that is where the discussion went. But if we are really only responding in love to those few who demonstrate that they DO want the truth, then it will all work fine (cf. 1 Jn. 4:11; Prov. 15:1-7; 27:6; Lk. 6:27; Rom. 8:28; 12:9-21; 1 Cor. 13:4-7; Col. 3:12). If they want eternal life and are grateful to accept Jesus Christ, guess what? They will easily begin to turn their lives to Him in all respects after they are saved. That is, if we net them after we have fished them. How do we net them? All too many Christians and even major Christian groups engaged in evangelism get the fish to the surface and then let them go (Gal. 6:9; Rom. 10:13-14; cf. 1 Cor. 11:1-2; 2 Cor. 5:18-20; 2 Tim. 4:1-2; 2 Thess. 2:14-15; Jas. 5:19-20). No. We have to give them direction thereafter, help them to grow as we have grown. Of course, way too many Christians and Christian groups involved in evangelism have not grown to spiritual maturity themselves, so even if they have them their nets are filled with holes if and when they do use them. A new believer has to be led to a place where he/she can grow in the truth (cf. Rom. 12:13; 1 Cor. 12:12-27; Col. 3:13; 1 Thess. 5:14; Heb. 10:24-25; 1 Pet. 4:8-11). That should be a local church but today most of these are sadly deficient of the score of helping to produce genuine growth because they don't teach the truth in any depth of detail. Nowadays one finds what one can find where one can find it. I would be pleased for any new believer to be pointed to (or Bible Academy) or any other place where the truth really is being taught. But pointing a new believer to a legalistic "church" that will dictate their behavior or to a libertarian church that will tell them it's all OK (whatever "it" is) will not produce growth in either case, and a very large number of such new believers "get away" and revert to the world as a result. In Closing: If a person really does want to hear the gospel, that is of God: give them the gospel. Once we do, if they accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, their hearts will convict them to turn away from anything and everything sinful, regardless of past behavior or beliefs. And if they are led to a good place where they can grow, they will do so in increasing sanctification. But if they aren't really that interested in the truth, will they believe? And if they "believe" on condition of doing ABC, are they really saved or is it a works contract in their heart? And even if they legitimately accept Christ, without being led to a place where they can grow, will they be able to resist the siren song of the world and their prior lives so as not to fall back away? Only the truth can save a person. Only desire for the truth can motivate a person to be saved. Only continued attention to the truth can keep a person safe after being saved. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. (Proverbs 27:6) God Bless!
  12. My mistake! If I may ask of you . . . what brought you to the Lord for Salvation?
  13. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another, as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35)
  14. Thanks for the devotional, Jim! It really gets my blood boiling once Christmas season begins. It's all about what sort of presents will I be receiving; instead of the Greatest gift that God the Father purchased for us: His One and Only Son who bore our sins on the Cross. This world is becoming more paganized as the Coming of the Lord draws near! God Bless!
  15. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (Matthew 7:24-27)
  16. Welcome here, Fairybird! If you don't mind me asking, but where were you a transplant from?
  17. Topic: The Golden Rule What does the bible mean when we are commanded to love our neighbors? There are a number of questions / issues intertwined here. First, Christians certainly ought to be loving towards everyone. Even though it is true that a "neighbor" in ancient Israel was another member of the national congregation (not a Philistine, for example, even though they lived nearby), and that in the New Testament, "neighbors" are believers (cf. e.g., Rom. 15:2; Eph. 4:25; Heb. 8:11; Jas. 2:8), still, the commandment to "love others" is one that clearly is not meant to be restricted to other believers only. How do we treat others in love? That is really the question. First, it is clear that we should not think, say or do anything negative, harmful or hateful towards anyone else, even our enemies. That is a very difficult lift for any human being, and only believers walking in the power of the Spirit and putting Jesus Christ first in their lives have any hope of coming anywhere near fulfilling this commandment -- and it's not as if any of us is not going to stumble from time to time. It is written: Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:12) This is often referred to as "the golden rule", and the above paragraph clearly applies here: we don't want others to attack us, to slander us, to think bad thoughts about us -- at least certainly not if we have done nothing to "rate" bad thoughts / words / deeds from others. But what about helping others? First, scripture is clear that in cases of genuine need, believers come first since they are our "neighbors" first and foremost: As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10) "Good" here is actually "the good"; i.e., "that which is good" or even what is REALLY good. This is divine good, something good in God's eyes rather than in the eyes of the world or in the eyes of those receiving it (cf. Ps. 90:17; Prov. 16:7; 2 Cor. 5:9; Eph. 5:8-10; Gal. 1:10; Col. 1:10; 1 Thess. 4:1; 1 Tim. 2:1-3; Heb. 13:16). If we were a billionaire and we gave an unbeliever who was a down-and-out drug addict a million dollars, no doubt he/she would think it "good" and the world would too. But said person would likely kill him/herself with drugs in short order as a result and would not have been saved in the process even if genuinely grateful for the gift. What is "the good"? For every single person it is the truth: the gospel first whereby we are saved and the entire truth of the Word of God thereafter whereby we grow, progress and produce for the Lord (Lk. 17:5; 1 Cor. 13:10-12; Col. 1:9-10; 2:6-7; Heb. 5:12-14; 6:1; 1 Pet. 2:2-3; 2 Pet. 1:5-8; 3:18; et al.) All this is not to say that giving, e.g., money or food to some indigent and needy person is wrong or that it is not an act of mercy -- It may be. But whether or not it is "good" depends on 1) the motives of the giver; 2) the circumstances of the gift; and 3) is not entirely independent of the worthiness of the receiver. How can we know #3? We often can't, but we often know more than we may be willing to admit to ourselves. In our Lord's example of the "good Samaritan", the person in question was 1) most likely a believer (being in an area where only Jews lived who were all supposed to be believers or, like himself, a marginal believer as Samaritans at least thought they were worshiping the same YHVH); 2) in unquestionable need (but we don't know for certain if the person on the freeway ramp with a ragged sign and unkempt clothes is only faking it); 3) wasn't going to abuse the gift (the example person in #2 might buy booze with your money but the Samaritan gave it directly to the innkeeper); and 4) needed the help desperately which could ONLY come from this man: if he hadn't helped, the man would have died (not true in most situations we face). All this is apropos of our situation when faced with such. If we know ahead of time from reasonable judgment or past experience that someone is not going to respond in an appropriate way to our help, then this seems to me to be a case of "pearls before swine" (cf. Prov. 26:11; Matt. 7:6; 10:14, 34-36; Mk. 13:13; Jn. 15:18-19; 17:4; 1 Cor. 4:13; 2 Pet. 2:22; 1 Jn. 3:13). God loves mercy and wants us to do the same (Micah 6:8), but He doesn't expect us to extend charity to those who would not actually need it if they were behaving in a responsible way (Gal. 6:4; 2 Thess. 3:10; cf. 1 Tim. 5:17). And we ALWAYS have to keep in mind the reason for all of our loving actions: the actual salvation and spiritual growth of those who receive them. Clearly, if a person is starving or naked, they aren't going to be able to grow spiritually until helped; but just as clearly, if a person loves drugs or alcohol and has no use for the Lord, all the charity and material help in the world aren't going to change him/her -- God has to help them to change (and many fight off His help to the bitter end -- cf. Lk. 10;16; Isa. 42:20; Jer. 6:10; 17:23; 25:4; Zech. 7:11; Jn. 5:40; Rom. 11:8; 1 Cor. 2:14; Eph. 4:18; Heb. 3:13; 5:11). So when does our love need to cease to be merely passive (i.e., refraining from doing things to others we would not want to be done to us) and become out and out active (i.e., doing positive things for others that we ourselves would want done to us in similar situations)? The test is precisely what is found in the last parenthesis. If we see an unbeliever who needs and desires the gospel just as we did, we should share it. If we see a believer who needs and desires encouragement as we might need it, we should encourage them (Mk. 13:10; Jn. 8:31-32; Rom. 1:1-32; 10:13-14; 2 Cor. 5:18-20; Eph. 6:15; 2 Tim. 4:1-2; Philem. 1:6; 2 Thess. 2:14-15; Jas. 5:19-20; 1 Pet. 2:2; 3:15). If we see a believer who needs and desires our material support -- and who is worthy of it in the sense of not being likely to squander it -- and we have the means to provide it, we should do so within our means since that is no doubt what we would desire as well (but we also no doubt would not want handouts from anyone unless it was a question of dire need). But feeling guilty about cases where the person is no Christian, not interesting in being one, or is a Christian on the wrong road for whom material help will not bring a change is totally inappropriate, not the voice of the Spirit, and may have a bad end. Our Lord told us to be innocent as doves -- but also wise as serpents (Matt. 10:16). As with many things in this life in this world where we have to apply truth to situations, both things are true (cf. Prov. 22:17; Col. 3:16; Rom. 13:14; 1 Cor. 11:1-2; Eph. 5:8; Phil. 4:9; Tit. 2:10; Jas. 1:22; 2:14-26; 2 Pet. 1:10; 3:18; 1 Jn. 1:7). We need to be merciful, but also apply good discernment and good judgment. For we are responsible for what we think and say and do, NOT for the decisions of other people. We are responsible to use the time, energy and resources the Lord has given us to advance our own spiritual growth, progress and production. That is the best way to help others in the Church (or who are willing to become part of it); that is the true path the Lord has called us to walk. If we are given opportunities to minister in love and mercy to others, that is wonderful; but we need to be wise about the individual cases, lest we open ourselves up to abuse and fraud unnecessarily. That is surely not of God and does nothing to advance the kingdom of our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Matthew 25:42-46) God Bless!
  18. I also wanted to add this as it came across my mind today as I was studying Scripture. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:14-15) But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2 Peter 2:1) What I find interesting is that the false prophets in the bible wore shepherd robes made out of wool; but inwardly they were deceitful agents of Satan. EvangAlived's avatar depicted a shepherd (supposedly Jesus), and he crept into this cite attempting to "privily" espouse his damnable heresies. It is truly sad that there are those who have been victimized by such a man as him. 2 Cor 11:14-15 states that Satan's (HIS) ministers appear as ministers of righteousness (keeping the commandments to BE saved). They are HIS (possessive pronoun) agents of destruction, and are OWNED by him; and some of them are even demon possessed. God Bless!
  19. Me and my family will be having a Memorial service on the 15th of this month for my recently deceased brother who is now with the Lord our God. I feel that this is a good opportunity to minister the Word of God and the Gospel to those who need to hear it. There are several in my family that needs to be saved; and God has promised me that He will assure me that all of my family members will come to the knowledge of the Truth; and turn to the Lord alone for Salvation through the precious blood of Jesus Christ. My parents and one of my older brother are antagonistic of the Gospel -- especially my next older brother. I'm uncertain as to whether or not my oldest brother (Tony) is a true blood-bought believer. He has a personalized license plate that reads "INDFAITH"; however, he seems to have no interest or desire to witness or reach out to those who are unsaved in our family. Please pray that the Lord will give me the boldness to proclaim the message of the Gospel; and that the Lord will put His words in my mouth that it may resonate in the hearts of the unsaved . . . because tomorrow is not promised to anyone. God Bless!
  20. Thank you for posting this, Jim! We know that TRUE Christianity is the ONLY "religion" that is not based on "human achievement" -- but through the imputed righteousness from Christ as you pointed out very well. I am exasperated by all these "cults" that attempt to attain a righteous standing before God on their own merit; not knowing that their "righteousness" is nothing more than a menstrual cloth in God's sight. Matthew 7:21-23 gives an example of those who call Jesus lord, and then "boast" about their works (v.22); such false converts like SDA's, Jehovah's Witness, and Mormons will be in for a rude awakening on that day. Their "works" are nothing more than an "abomination" unto our Lord and God -- and a stench in His nostrils. God Bless!
  21. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10)
  22. What troubled me the most is his treachery. He claimed to "walk" in love, but everything about him proved just the opposite. I had to delete his PM's because the very thought of the words directed at me was filled with cunning arrogance and prejudice. I've noticed this sort of behavior when confronted with other SDA's -- and such behavior is antithetical to any sort of Christlike Spirit. SDA's only love those who love them . . . and anyone outside their "cult" are deemed "unworthy". This sort of behavior is worse than an "unbeliever". This is a telltale sign that this person has never been born of God. Just TELLING others that you love them and not SHOW them that you love them is utter hypocrisy; and Jesus said that we can identify those who are His disciples if they love others as He has loved them (in like manner); even those who despise us (Jn. 13:35). This man is only fooling himself (cf. 2 Tim. 3:13). The day will come when God will send his reapers to separate the sheep from the goats into bundles -- as He will search the deepest recesses of their hearts and it will be revealed at THAT day -- and they will be WITHOUT excuse. I still pray daily for this man that perhaps -- if possible -- God will soften this mans heart and bring him to TRUE repentance; and that he will let go of his work-based salvation and to the PURE and undiluted Word of God (without mixture); which is Salvation by Grace through Faith. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I NEVER KNEW YOU: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:21-23) God Bless!
  23. It's usually the sauce, cheese, and the dough which makes or breaks the pizza. Fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese and fresh San Marzano tomatoes are always used in the best pizzas.
  24. And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan (diabolos, i.e., "devil"), and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years (i.e., the Millennium) should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them (i.e., they sat in judgment): and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded (lit., "beheaded with an ax") for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection (i.e., that of all believers). Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death (i.e., condemnation on unbelievers) hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:1-6) The Bible only has to say something once for it to be true. This passage alone says it THREE TIMES! I don't see anything that says "this is only an allegory so pay no attention to it". This is not symbolic. When the Bible uses symbolism, it makes that very clear. There are no such indications here. There are no allegories here. Nothing represents Satan, e.g.; Satan IS Satan. Nothing represents Christ here. Christ IS Christ. The passage says what it means, means what it means, and is very clear about what it means. Those who disagree only reinforces what we already know. Namely, that lukewarm believers who have no real interest in knowing God's truth and what He wants us to know and to do abound. The fact that others want to ignore the very plain truth of the Bible is no reason for us to despair, however. We know very well that we will be rewarded for our own works, that is, everything we have thought, said and done. And the more we have thought, said and done for Jesus Christ in response to the truth of His Word, the greater that reward will be. God Bless!
  25. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and such people have no fear of God at all . . . but they will when they're judged according to their works.

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