Tag Archive: bondage


What drives a person to persist in sin, although they profess to love God?  I can think of several possible reasons.  There may be more.

  1. They do not understand that God requires holiness of His children.
  2. They have not truly repented.
  3. They are mocking God–attempting to gain the reward of eternal life, without making the sacrifice of ‘dying to self’.
  4. They love the pleasures of sin more than they love God.
  5. They do not have true faith in Jesus.
  6. They are in bondage to demonic spirits.
  7. They do not know HOW to fight sin.

 

Lets address these reasons:

1.  They do not understand that God requires holiness of His children.

God’s children MUST strive to live a holy life.

‘Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, WITHOUT WHICH NO MAN SHALL SEE THE LORD’  (Heb. 12:14)

‘But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

[Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, WHAT MANNER [of persons] OUGHT YE TO BE IN [all] HOLY CONVERSATION AND GODLINESS, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.  Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, BE DILIGENT that ye may be found of him in peace, WITHOUT SPOT, AND BLAMELESS.’  (2 Peter 3:10-14)

 
2. They have not truly repented.

True repentance is sorrow over having grieved God and broken His holy law.  True repentance is a wholehearted commitment to STOP breaking God’s Commandments.

True repentance leads us to purge out of our lives all that offends God.  True repentance says ‘goodbye’ to sinful friends.  True repentance cleans house, then builds a bonfire and destroys all the implements of sin from one’s old life–porn magazines and videos, New Age and occult books, music CDs, drugs, alcohol, etc., etc., etc.  True repentance purchases filtering software that blocks access to porn sites.  True repentance stops going to parties, bars, and concerts.

True repentance makes pleasing God and walking in holiness the NUMBER ONE priority in our life–even, at times, placing it before food (fasting) and sleep (travailing in prayer).

 

3. They are mocking God–attempting to gain the reward of eternal life, without making the sacrifice of  ‘dying to self’. 

Contrary to what today’s false gospel teaches, we do not become Christians simply by believing in Jesus and saying a ‘Sinners’ Prayer’.  Nor is salvation a once-and-done deal, at the time we decide to ‘accept Christ’.

No–salvation is the DESTINATION we seek.  Repentance and ‘accepting Christ’ by faith is the GATE we enter in at.  But we have a NARROW PATH to WALK, for the rest of our life, to reach our destination of salvation.

We do not say a ‘Sinner’s Prayer’, make a profession of faith in Christ, go on living a sinful life, wait on GOD to change us, and believe we are in a safe capsule that will be delivered to our final destination with no effort on our part.

Very few will attain to eternal life.  Most miss the gate.  Others won’t walk the narrow path until the end.  We are to STRIVE to enter in . . . and we must STRIVE to keep our focus and our faith, to the end.

God is not mocked.  He sees beyond our actions, to our true motives.

‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.’  (Gal. 6:7-8)

‘To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil . . .’  (Romans 2:7-9)

 
4. They love the pleasures of sin more than they love God.

‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is ENMITY with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the ENEMY of God.’  (James 4:4)

‘Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. IF ANY MAN LOVE THE WORLD, THE LOVE OF THE FATHER IS NOT IN HIM.  For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’  (1 John 2:15-17)

If you love the world, you do NOT love God, because God HATES the sins and system of this world.  If you love the world, you are positioning yourself as an ENEMY of God, and you will be destroyed along with it.

5. They do not have true faith in Jesus.

Saving faith in Jesus recognizes His true character:  loving, joyful, peace-loving, longsuffering, gentle, good, faithful, meek, self-controlled, gracious, truthful, just, having a deep hatred for sin, and an absolute zeal for holiness and purity.

Because He is just, God does not call us to do something without also equipping us to do it.  We are called to holiness and told we will suffer the fires of eternal damnation if we walk in sin.  We are likewise told:

‘According as his divine power hath given unto us ALL THINGS that [pertain] unto LIFE AND GODLINESS, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these YE MIGHT BE PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE, HAVING ESCAPED THE CORRUPTION THAT IS IN THE WORLD THROUGH LUST.’  (2 Peter 1:3-4)

Through reading God’s word we are instructed in righteousness, and we are spiritually transformed  IF WE TAKE HEED TO DO what is written in His word!  Hearing only profits us if we base our actions upon what we have heard!

Even more than this, we are given the Holy Spirit, which comes to dwell INSIDE of our mortal body, both guiding us and EMPOWERING us to live in victory over sin.

Although our ETERNAL salvation is not yet secured, our salvation from the bondage of sin certainly is!  Jesus death has saved us from the bondage to sin, and the Law of Sin and Death.  We are now born of the Spirit–the INCORRUPTIBLE Spirit of God.  Rejoice!  God has given you a new spirit that cannot be corrupted!

To continue to walk in sin, therefore, is to disobey and grieve the Holy Spirit that God has placed inside you to guide you.  It is to reject the power He has made available to you.  It is to CHOOSE to walk in the flesh . . . to willingly submit yourself again to the Law of Sin and Death . . . to allow sin to again become your master . . . and to forfeit your hope of salvation.

No man can serve two masters.  Either you serve God or you serve sin.

‘ . . . Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.’  (Jesus, John 8:34)

‘Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?’  (Romans 6:16)

To continue in sin is to deny Christ:

‘They profess that they know God; but in works they deny [him] . . . ‘  (Titus 1:16)

‘But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.’  (Matt. 10:33)

To profess Jesus, but to live a life contrary to His teachings, is to take the name of God in vain.

‘Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.’  (Exodus 20:7)

6. They are in bondage to demonic spirits.

We must not give the devil a foothold in our lives.  Most of us though, while we were yet sinners, DID give Satan open doorways into our lives.  True repentance . . . housecleaning and destruction of all our belongings that we used in the practice of sin . . . will set us free from many demons.  However, there will still be some that will persist.

We must understand that there is an ongoing war for our souls.  When we become Christians, we change sides in that war.  The forces of evil are going to, at first, reach out and try to seduce us to come back.  They will play upon our weaknesses and try to get us to turn back to sin.  We must RESIST the enemy!

‘ . . . Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’  (James 4:7)

In the midst of your temptation: pray!!  Sing spiritual songs.  Quote Scripture and rebuke the devil, in Jesus’ name.  Get mad at what he’s trying to do in your life, and start fighting back.  Resist the devil and he will (eventually) flee from you.  Why would you willingly submit yourself to the enemy of your soul?  Submit yourself instead, to God!

7.  They do not know HOW to fight sin.

We must cry out to God for help in this battle.  We must pray until we have peace, yet not yield ourselves to sin while we wait upon His strength.

‘Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy*?  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. BE AFFLICTED, AND MOURN, AND WEEP: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and [your] joy to heaviness. HUMBLE YOURSELVES in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’  (James 4:5-10)

*Our flesh lusts not only to envy, but to adultery, to idolatry, to murder, etc., etc.  But God gives us more grace!!  By His grace He gives us enough power to overcome sin.  He does not call us to holiness, then leave us alone to flounder and fail, because He KNOWS that we still live in fleshly bodies that lust to sin!  Remember–God is faithful and just.

But notice:  He gives grace to the HUMBLE.  We access His grace and power in our lives, not through fleshly pride and believing we are strong enough to overcome sin ourselves–but by humbly pleading for His help, and acknowledging that we are weak, because we are encased in sinful flesh.

‘And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. . . ‘ (2 Cor. 12:9)

The Holy Spirit in us guides us with a still, small voice that shows us which way to go.  When we encounter situations that are beyond our strength, we can pray and tap into His power.  He is right there with us.  But although His Spirit lives in us, He will not violate our free will.  Nor will the Spirit live THROUGH us, without our explicit invitation for Him to do so, and then only for a time.

You may not see the evidence of God moving in your life, to deliver you from certain sins, until you are completely undone . . . until you HATE that sin . . . until you MOURN and WEEP at your inability to fight it on your own.  Although Jesus has already set you free from sin, it is your love for that sin that draws you back to it.  Throughout the Bible, God gave people over to what they lusted for.  You will not walk in the freedom He purchased for you, until you come to HATE your sin.  You want to over come sin?  Learn to hate it.

When you LOVE your sin, you will not listen to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit as He attempts to lead you away from sin.  Instead, you listen to the clamoring voice of your fleshly lusts, and the voice of the Spirit gets drowned out.  It is not that He abandons you in your weakness–it is that you do not attune yourself to Him, or obey Him.

Learn from the example of Peter: when he tried to walk on water . . . as long as he kept his focus on Jesus he was able to rise above the limitations of his fleshly body . . . but when he took his focus off Jesus, he lost connection with the divine power that was enabling him to do the miraculous, and he sank into the waves.

But if Peter had LOVED swimming, would he have even had the WILL to walk on water?  Instead, given the opportunity, he would have dived in and started reveling in swimming.  Walking on water or focusing on Jesus would have been the last thing on his mind.

True repentance gives us a new heart–a heart that hates sin.  If you still love sin, your repentance is not complete.  Repentance is not only a change of mind, but a change of heart and will.  If you still love sin, pray diligently for God to give you a godly sorrow over that sin, and to bring you to true repentance.

Focus on the voice of the Holy Spirit, and obey Him.  He will show you how to stand strong and not sin . . . or how to escape the situation, if it is too much for you to bear.  Tune out the clamoring voices of your fleshly lusts, and of the demons that are trying to tug on you.  LISTEN and OBEY the Holy Spirit.

‘There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].’  (1 Cor. 10:13)

Learn to call on God IN THE MIDST of your temptation and sin.  He is with you there anyhow.  In our shame, we sometimes feel unworthy to call on Him, as though if we don’t call out to Him He won’t see where we are, or what we are doing.

‘What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?’  (1 Cor. 6:19)

God is with you all the time, and in your temptation is the time you need Him the most.  He is right there with His arm outstretched, hoping that you will allow Him to help and deliver you.  Don’t turn your back on Him in shame.  Don’t focus on the lust or the demonic voices that are tempting you.  Don’t worry about your dirty and tattered garments, and skinned knees.  RUN TO HIM!!

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The Matter Has Already Been Settled

Lets go through a passage in Galatians 2, that SHOULD put to rest the claims of those who say we need to be ‘Torah Observant’ (keep all The Law of Moses, including dietary restrictions).  I hope you have not gotten caught up in this yourself.

It is because the ‘churches’ have given way to an ‘easy grace’ gospel (that is a FALSE gospel) that basically says ‘do as thou wilt’, that many who are sincere in their devotion to God have done the ‘natural’ thing, and have swung to the opposite extreme.  But the truth is not to be found at either of these extremes.

Lets look at the passage now . . .

‘And that because of FALSE BRETHREN unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, NOT FOR AN HOUR; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.’  (Gal. 2:4-5)

These ‘false brethren’ were the equivalent of many in the ‘Hebrew Roots’ movement today.  They claimed to be Christians, but they had never given up their strict adherence to The Law.  Now, this would be an individual choice, which would be between them and God . . . but life is never that simple.  Our actions DO affect others, because people observe what we do.  But in THIS case, it was worse.  These false brethren (who had made the sacrifice of Christ of none effect, by clinging to The Law) were not content to let it be their OWN lifestyle . . . they felt compelled to make sure that everyone else lived by their convictions too!  Sadly, their convictions were wrong and they were causing great turmoil in the early Church.

‘ . . . the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as [the gospel] of the circumcision [was] unto Peter’  (Galatians 2:7)

Paul affirms that he was the ‘Apostle to the Gentiles’ and Peter was the foremost ‘Apostle to the Jews’.  So, you would expect Peter to be ‘keeping Torah’, as our Hebrew Roots friends would say, right?  On the contrary . . .

‘But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.  For BEFORE THAT CERTAIN CAME from James, HE DID EAT WITH THE GENTILES: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation*.’  (Galatians 2:11-13)

*dissimulation = hypocrisy

When Paul arrived in Antioch, he had to confront Peter over his hypocrisy.  Because, before the false brethren (Judaizers, ‘Torah police’) showed up, Peter ‘did eat with the Gentiles’.  Now this doesn’t mean that Peter just deigned to sit at the same table as them . . . it means that PETER ATE WHAT THE GENTILES ATE.  And this was not what Paul corrected Peter about.  Rather, he corrected him because he had given way to fear of the Judaizers and was putting himself back under The Law. (Make note also, that these ‘Torah police’ lied to give themselves added authority, saying they were sent by the Apostle James, who was in Jerusalem.  You will see that later, James himself addresses this lie.)

This doctrine that we must be ‘Torah observant’ is a powerful deception–it was then, even as it is now.  Peter KNEW the gospel, KNEW that He was now called to uphold The Law by walking in the (Holy) SPIRIT of Love–not by strict adherence to the LETTER of The Law.  He even had a vision from God (Acts 10), REPEATED THREE TIMES, showing him that there was no longer a distinction between ‘clean and unclean’ in regards to food or people.  Yet even so, when the false bretheren came preaching this powerful deception, it threw him into doubt, and had him bowing his head in fearful submission to it.

‘But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before [them] all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?  (Galatians 2:14)

Paul’s rebuke to Peter was not about eating unclean food or about not ‘keeping Torah’.  It was about hypocrisy and coming back under The Law (which he apparently hadn’t COMPLETELY done when Paul arrived), and about putting that yoke upon the neck of the Gentile Christians.

After this confrontation, the ‘Torah police’ felt it necessary that they and Paul and Barnabas should go to Jerusalem, to bring the matter before the Apostles and Elders.  When they arrived

‘ . . . there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command [them] to keep the law of Moses. And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.

And when there had been much disputing, PETER rose up, and said unto them, Men [and] brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as [he did] unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

NOW THEREFORE WHY TEMPT YE GOD, TO PUT A YOKE UPON THE NECK OF THE DISCIPLES, WHICH NEITHER OUR FATHERS NOR WE WERE ABLE TO BEAR? 

But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.’  (Acts 15:5-11)

By now, Peter had come to the realization that the Gentiles were not saved AS THE JEWS (by ‘keeping Torah’), but that the Jews were saved AS THE GENTILES–by the grace of God, through faith in Jesus Christ.

I’m not advocating ‘easy grace’.  We are NOT to live according to the flesh.  If we live by the Spirit–the Holy Spirit, which is truth, righteousness, holiness, and love–we WILL uphold the SPIRIT of The Law.  And this is what God wants–those who will worship Him in SPIRIT and in TRUTH.  A holy people.  Without holiness, no one will see God.

‘God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.’  (John 4:24)

That Spirit, God’s Holy Spirit, will not lead us into sin.  But we must CRUCIFY our flesh.  WE have to ‘say no’ to sin and make the right choices.  God will give us the POWER to overcome sin, but He will not do it FOR us!

To wrap up, lets see what the conclusion of the matter was, after it was brought before the Apostles and Elders in Jerusalem . . .

Part of the reason for their decision was that

‘ . . .  Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.’  (Acts 15:21)

Our modern day ‘Torah police’ will tell you this is speaking of THE LAW of Moses, but I disagree, and the context of the passage will bear this out:  it is speaking of the Ten Commandments.  To wit, read the letter that was sent from Jerusalem to the Gentile Churches:

‘Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; [namely], Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren: And they wrote [letters] by them after this manner;

The apostles and elders and brethren [send] greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia: Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have TROUBLED YOU with words, SUBVERTING your souls, SAYING, [YE MUST] BE CIRCUMCISED, AND KEEP THE LAW: to whom we gave no [such] commandment: It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell [you] the same things by mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, TO LAY UPON YOU NO GREATER BURDEN THAN THESE NECESSARY THINGS;

That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.‘  (Acts 15:22-29)

And that is the conclusion of the matter!  The Gentiles were not to become ‘Torah observant’. Neither was (the Jewish) Apostle Peter corrected for ‘living after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews’.  The trouble, as always, had originated with the Pharisees.

Four needful things were laid out for Gentile Christians to observe, IN LIEU OF keeping the whole Mosaic Law.  That they should also keep the Ten Commandments goes without saying.  Jesus told us to keep the Commandments (Matt. 19:17; John 14:15, 15:10 also 1 John 2:3, 5:3; Revelation 12:17, 14:12).  But The Law and The Commandments are not the same thing.  The Law INCLUDES The Commandments, and MUCH more.

Hopefully you can see, from this short discussion, that we are NOT CALLED TO BE ‘TORAH OBSERVANT’!  We are called to WALK IN THE SPIRIT!

Striving to live by the letter of The Law–for WHATEVER reason–is as foolish as building an altar in your backyard and making the Old Testament blood sacrifices.  (And don’t think this won’t happen.  Rebuilding The Temple and resuming sacrifices will most likely be promoted by the Hebrew Roots movement.  They are teaching that we are COMMANDED to keep the feasts, and those feasts require sacrifices . . . )

Guard your heart and don’t let ANYONE use this fear-based doctrine to put you in bondage.

‘No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son [to be] the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.’  (1 John 4:12-19)

 

Please note:  this author in no way recognizes, supports, or condones the Seventh Day Adventists or Hebrew Roots movement.

My apologies to those who are dedicated, sacrificing Pastors who have the best interests of their people at heart.  To those of you who sincerely try:  God bless you.

However, some of you are being so helpful to the devil that he can leave your congregation alone and go on vacation!!

If you don’t teach your people right from wrong, the truth from lies . . . if you don’t preach about sin and repentance . . . who are you REALLY helping?

Sure, your attendance will be high, and you’ll go through the motions of being a minister of the gospel . . . your political correctness will make you popular, but it will be an intricate dance to tell the truth without stepping on anyone’s toes.  You’ll be so busy with the latest program that you’ll hardly notice that your old, faithful, Bible-thumping, Amen-corner Christians have departed.  The flurry of activity will distract you from the fact that you no longer feel God’s presence in your church–or in your life.

Is your church ‘lukewarm’ towards God, towards truth, towards sanctification?  You are the one who sets the standard for your people.  They aren’t going to achieve any more than you tell them you believe they can achieve.  If your church is lukewarm, it’s because you allow them to be comfortable with being lukewarm!

Pastors:  If you don’t teach your people right from wrong, don’t maintain a higher standard for your congregation (and yourself), don’t confront your people regarding their sins–do you really think you’re helping them?

Don’t you know, if you permit something, they think God permits it?  If you accept something, they think God accepts it?  If you remain silent about sin, if you don’t point it out and call it for what it is–your congregation will assume that you condone it, and that God does likewise!

It would be nice if your people read the Bible–but you can’t assume that they do!!  You need to shore up the foundations of their understanding–and then add the basic building blocks.  Forget the fancy trim and designer windows! Forget following the crowd!  Forget the latest fad!  Forget pleasing people–please God!!  Your people are falling into deception, and God is going to hold you accountable if you are not doing your job!

Satan has been waging a concerted attack against all that is foundational to the lives of human beings. He is setting the stage for his reign on Earth, as the head of a global government.  The day is fast approaching.  His reign won’t last for long–but it will be devastating while it does.  How many of your people will be able to (spiritually) endure?  How many of their children have already been led far astray?

Unable to conquer truth, he is changing the definition and concept of truth, making it a relative term–something of little importance.  Unable to obliterate the family as fast as he’d like, he is attempting to redefine it as well, and make the family (as God designed it) obsolete.  He calls the idea of reality into question, teaching that it is something we create through our own will and imagination.

When I say you need to get back to basics in your preaching–I mean the very foundations of our understanding of God and life!!  As obvious as these things may be to you–don’t assume your congregation knows the difference!! They need to know there is a God!  There really is such a thing as absolute truth!  There are actions and beliefs that are right, and others that are wrong.  Jesus is the only way.  Etc., etc., etc.

If you don’t teach your people what is sin, don’t confront them when they sin, and don’t hold them to a higher standard (because you don’t want to make them uncomfortable?)–do you think you are acting in their best interest?  Sin and deception will ensnare them and pull them deep into bondage! Which do you think is worse?  They trust you enough to put their spiritual well-being into your hands.  More than that–God thought highly enough of you, and trusted you enough, to place them in your care!!  Are you going to disappoint His faith in you?

Wake up and do what God has called you to do.  The hour is late!!  God is going to send a powerful delusion to those who do not love the truth . . . teach your people truth!! Teach them to love the truth, to search out the truth, to hold fast to the truth!!

You have labored long and hard–don’t give up now that we are in the final stretch!  Forget what is behind and press forward with all your might!!  Your finest hour may be just around the bend!!

The Gates Of Hell Shall Not Prevail Against Us

The God Factor

‘Buy Gold From Me . . . ‘  (Jesus, to the ‘Lukewarm Church’)

It’s too much to expect people, who haven’t yielded themselves to the authority of Christ, to accept ‘because God says so’ as a reason.  But, ultimately that IS the reason.  I’ll try to shed a bit of light on why God says that homosexuality is wrong.

God made the world, and all that is in it, and it belongs to Him.  He gets to make the rules and set the boundaries.  Some of you aren’t going to read any farther than this–and THAT is your problem.  You don’t accept the authority of God.

Unlike the culture that we live in, that defines people’s worth by their position, wealth and accomplishments, the kingdom of God is open to all.  God does not seek to hide His truth, revealing it to only a few chosen individuals with a title and capital letters following their name.  He has made it simple enough that a child, or a mentally challenged person can understand.  He has written His story all over creation.

When God speaks, there are layers of meaning in His words.  Beyond that, He speaks to us through the natural world, and through patterns and foreshadowings.  This universe is His creation, His work of art, and all of it is imbued with a message.  Over and over again, in harmony, His creation speaks of Him and His nature, so that everyone will have an awareness and an understanding of His presence, His character, and the unspoken rules of how to live in harmony with Him.

Satan was not pleased with the nature of God and thought himself better than his creator.  So, he set himself in rebellion against God, to try to remake God’s creation in his image.  Wherever Satan has been, the wondrous masterpiece of God has been blurred, smeared, marred and painted over, in his attempt to silence God’s communication with man, and make his own message preemminent.

Satan, unlike man, has no power of creation within him.  All he is able to do is pervert what God has created.  Everywhere he has influence, the creation and purposes of God have been perverted.

God’s plan for our sexuality must be very sacred, and powerful, because it is an area that Satan targets most often, and that seems to yield him the most power through its perversion. So, we probably have to look beyond the message Satan has painted over the surface, and beneath the smudges and smears where he has tried to obliterate God’s plan, to get a glimpse of what may lie beneath.  I believe his plan has been two-pronged: to downplay the power and sanctity of sexuality as God created it, and to play up the ‘merits’ of his version of perverted sexuality.

God’s design was for sex to be between a man and his wife–only.  If that’s all it is, for a lifetime, then we must not be experiencing the depth of what He intended for us.

Having grown up promiscuous, I can only guess at what the love life of a deeply committed, monogamous, married couple, who were virgins on their wedding night must be like.

Marriage is a symbol of Jesus’ relationship to Christians.  The relationship between a believer and Jesus is one of deep caring, sacrificial love, lifelong loyalty and fidelity, honesty, tenderhearted devotion, patience, protection, forgiveness, kindness, humility, respect, trust and complete acceptance. This kind of a relationship gives birth to a depth of intimacy that heals the soul, provides health, security, peace and joy.  Outside of this kind of love, no one will ever reach their full potential.

Besides a person’s relationship to Jesus, marriage is the only other environment where a relationship of such depth could exist.  This environment, with such a depth of love and commitment, is necessary for people to bring forth children and raise them in such a way that they can reach their full potential, and go on to create the same kind of relationship upon which they build their own family.  A community, built of families such as this, is what God had planned for mankind.

Into this framework, God wove his design for human sexuality.  I believe that sex between a man and wife was to be a kind of superglue that could permeate every space between them and bond them firmly together in unity–a means of complete connection, a deep form of communication, a continuous affirmation.  I think it was meant to provide a level of satisfaction that we can no longer come close to understanding.  We are so far from what God created for us, because of sin–in ourselves, our culture, and our world–that it must seem like a fairy tale to imagine it.

When two wounded people come together, especially if there has been promiscuity on the part of one or the other, it is nearly impossible to attain the level of loyalty, fidelity, honesty, devotion, patience, forgiveness, kindness, humiliy, respect, trust and complete acceptance that form the sturdy structure in which such a profound intimacy can thrive.  I believe, without this depth of intimacy, that sex cannot completely
fulfill the purpose God intended.

You’d have to understand my history to know that I am in no way judging.  I am a broken, wounded person myself.  I was never able to sustain a successful marriage and my own children grew up in a ‘broken home’.

I also am not intending to add to anyone’s despair, because when the intimacy and sexuality of a couple are not filling the spaces between them, as God intended, it can be DEVASTATINGLY painful.

Nor am I saying that it is a lost cause, if this describes your relationship, because God can redeem all things.  Perhaps this will give you an understanding of how to pray, and help you to understand that it is not outside your marriage where you will find satisfaction.  Rather, it is through a supernatural work of God to renovate the structure of the relationship between you and your spouse, that the environment can be created where this kind of intimacy and sex can be birthed and grow to maturity.

Another aspect that is important to understand, is that God didn’t intended it to be about the sex itself.  Not about the sex act, the orgasm, or the measure of ‘sexual satisfaction’ achieved.  It IS about the depth of feeling, love, vulnerability and connection between you and your spouse.  It is like the difference between

  • listening to the words someone is saying, taking into account their volume and tone, to understand the message they are trying to convey or
  • only listening to the volume and tone, thereby completely missing the message

Please forgive me for being explicit, but it’s not about focusing on the technique or position, but rather holding each other, looking into each others eyes and talking to each other about things that are deeply personal, as you make love.

So much has blurred what God created our sexuality to be, and the context in which He intended it, that few of us find it.  Then it becomes easy to be dissatisfied with what we have and look elsewhere.

Here is something I observed, as homosexuality made its way into the mainstream.  It seemed to start first with the wounded souls who had been living a secret life of homosexuality.  Then, as time went on, a number of older men joined up.  I could be wrong, but I sense that these men were heterosexuals who had not been satisfied in their marriage, had sex outside of marriage and didn’t find fulfillment there, and were seeking something new.

This is the problem inherent with focusing on the sex act, outside of the full context that God intended–it doesn’t fulfill us, and we grow bored.  First we try to spice things up with our spouse–new positions, toys, pornography.  Then we’re tempted to look outside the marriage, then on to the next thing . . .  and we come to the conclusion that what we had is all that God intended, and that it just isn’t enough.  (But we haven’t really had what He intended!!)

Not surprisingly, it’s easy for Satan to paint his version over top of God’s original design, and we’re ready to try it–whatever the ‘flavor of the day’ is*–believing it will bring the satisfaction we crave.

Perhaps now you can see why homosexuality, or sex outside of marriage, isn’t what God intended.  And you may be of the impression now that homosexuality isn’t God’s best, but is still acceptable as a consolation prize for those who are not blessed enough to have found the ‘real thing’. To be honest, I probably haven’t said enough to actually convince you that there is anything wrong with homosexuality.

Here’s the thing, I’ll lay it out for you, but it may very well not convince you.  Our culture is so perverse and depraved now, that purity seems ridiculous and old fashioned.  I’m not going to contrast homosexuality with heterosexuality, or even with a monogamous marriage.  I believe American heterosexuality is now so far from what God intended, that it is a mere ‘skip and a jump’ from there to homosexuality.  Instead, I will contrast homosexuality with what God created for mankind in the first place.

First of all, physically, homosexuality is a filthy practice.  The amount of disease causing organisms you are exposed to during the act, and the manner in which those organisms are transported around, leaves you vulnerable to every sort of disease and infection, throughout your entire body.

While we don’t adhere to the laws in the Biblical book of Leviticus, at the very least they should serve as good guidelines for sanitary living.   (To get an idea of what I’m talking about, you can read Leviticus 15.)  Leviticus was written in a period of time before modern medicine.  Good hygiene and sanitation were vital to keeping sickness at bay. What may now seem like extreme measures, were in fact necessary to ensure that a community of people, living in close contact, could remain healthy.

  • So, one of the reasons God declared it to be sin is that it affects your health, and that of your family and your community.

Leviticus also reveals to us that certain acts or events rendered a person unclean in a way that an atonement had to be made.  Because God actually lived among them, a person could literally drop dead when near Him, if they were unclean.

  • Thus, another reason is for your own protection–that the physical presence of God wouldn’t literally knock you dead.  Also, for your family and community, so that God wouldn’t have to withdraw His presence from them because of your sin.

Beyond that were actions so displeasing to God, so dishonorable and/or perverse, that the person committing them was to be cut off from their community, by capital punishment.  Homosexuality is listed among those actions.  (If it doesn’t seem like that big a deal, it’s because we are already very corrupt sexually, and can no longer discern it.)

  • This was to protect the community/society.  It is based on the understanding that corruption spreads, and that all things reproduce in their own image.  Left unchecked, sinful behaviors will be accepted and adopted by an entire community.

From a purely logical point of view, and given the description above (of the kind of communities and families God intends), it is easy to see that homosexuality would displace male-female marriages and eat into the very foundation upon which society is based.

There are two more reasons I’ll cover, and they are the most important ones.  But, I’ve listed the reasons in reverse order, because most people who are held captive by sin are going to see their importance in reverse order.  When we are in bondage to sin, our first concern is ourself–and our last concern is the authority of God.

As I explained at the beginning of the post, God speaks to us through the natural world and through patterns and foreshadowings.  This universe is His creation, His work of art, and all of it is imbued with a message. In harmony, His creation speaks of Him and His nature, so that everyone will have an awareness and an understanding of His presence, His character, and the unspoken rules of how to live in harmony with Him.

Homosexuality is one of the things that perverts the picture.  It erases the message of how Jesus is related to the believer (husband and wife), and it replaces the message of cleanliness & holiness with one of filth & depravity.  It obscures the pattern God has laid out for the family and society.

That God is concerned with the picture, the pattern and the unspoken message, is reflected in his condemnation of other behaviors too.  In and of itself, it does not seem like a big deal for a woman to dress as a man, or a man as a woman, but ‘cross dressing’ is forbidden.  So is planting a field with two kinds of seed, or wearing clothing woven of two kinds of material. (If someone can show me a logical reason for this, please do!)  These things reflect a pattern that God wants to convey, and wants to have repeated.  His desire is for everything in His creation to be cohesive and give forth a harmonious, consistent message.

And that sums up the most important reason–HE is the creator, and HE gets to make the rules!  That’s the way He wants it, so that’s the way it shall be!

What great artist, upon finding his masterpiece painting vandalized and corrupted, would go ahead and exhibit it anyway?  Wouldn’t he instead be furious that his message had been lost?  Would he honor the one who erased his message by displaying their message instead?

Satan is the author of all perversion.  God will not shrug and walk away, and let Satan obliterate His message and replace it with an unholy one that flows from his heart full of hatred and rebellion.  Not as long as there is still one living soul left on earth whose heart is open to knowing God and knowing the truth.

It isn’t homosexuality, per se, that separates a person from God.  We were all born into sin and are destined to be separated from God, unless we accept the atoning death of Jesus Christ on our behalf.

But, although I can understand WHY homosexuals indulge in this sin, I can’t have an attitude of tolerance to it, and here’s why:  When a person sins, it is like a rock being dropped into a still lake–ripples move outwards from the impact, in all directions, eventually  impacting distant shores.  Although it is the person who practices the sin that faces judgment for it, countless other people are affected, to varying degrees, by their actions.

To those of you who say ‘that’s not fair, God made me this way’–I have to disagree.  Very few of you are hermaphrodites.  God would not establish homosexuality as a sin, then create you to be homosexual.

It is apparent to me that there are some sins that have a definite spiritual dimension to them.  When one engages in these sins they open the door to demonic oppression and/or possession.  Until one is ‘delivered’ from the demonic influences that accompany these sins, they will be continuously tempted and tormented.  Among these sins, I believe, are serial murder, homosexuality, pedophilia, incest, and bestiality, among others.

BUT, even if I am mistaken about demonic involvement, and mistaken about someone being ‘born that way’, consider this:  It is not unfair for God to require that a homosexual not engage in homosexuality anymore!

Adulterers are required not to commit adultery anymore!  We are all forbidden to have sex outside of marriage!  Thieves are required to stop stealing!  Murderers are required to stop murdering!  We are all commanded to stop lying!  The whole sum of the matter is that we are to yield ourselves to the authority of God and live by His rules.

When we accept Jesus’ death on our behalf, we must REPENT of our sins (all of us, every form of sin).  We must renounce our sins and turn away from them, living as images of Him.  By His grace and mercy He did not crush us while we were in our sins, but instead He provided a way that we could be forgiven and made righteous.  But, we must die to our former way of life.

There is a particular hardness of heart towards God, and an unwillingness to repent of the sin, among homosexuals.  This is because:

‘ . . . they neither glorified Him as God, nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.’

‘They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator . . .

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.  Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.  In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.  Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.’

* On the heels of homosexuality going mainstream, acceptance of pedophilia is in the works.  Then we have bestiality and incest trailing not far behind.  Hollywood is now in the process of beginning to desensitize us to both, as it did with homosexuality before it fully emerged.  I’m not yet ready to lay odds on which one will be accepted first.

This may sound extreme, but watch.  It is the natural progression when a culture turns its back on God and walks the other way.




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If This Is True, We’d Better Not Yield To The Temptation

I’ve just spent this cold, dreary day surfing the Web and reading lots of scary things about what is going on now.  What was most terrifying of all I saw today was a video on You Tube, about forced vaccinations.

I’m not going to link you to that video.  Let me tell you why.  I was not too concerned when I first started watching, and the Lord impressed upon me, simultaneously, two things:

  1. The incident that Paul had when bitten by a viper (Acts 28:5-6: ‘But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects.  The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead, but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.’  Of course he wasn’t a god, but this shows how lethal the venom of that viper was).
  2. ‘ And these signs shall accompany them that believe: . . . and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them . . .’ (Mark 16:17-18)

But as I watched the video, even with full faith in these things, fear came over me.  I have learned some mighty scary things lately, yet have not been afraid because I’ve had the ‘peace of God which transcends all understanding’ which is promised to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  I’ve even contemplated, quite a bit, the probability of death (eventually) for standing up for what I believe.  But this video made me afraid.

With the video came a spirit of fear.

Now, what is in the video may be true–or not. And I’m  not saying the motive behind it was to engender fear, because I believe that is a strategy and tool of Satan.  But, he is working in concert with things like this.  There is a lot of hysteria developing, and that hysteria will have repercussions.  As Christians, we should be the sanest, calmest people in the room.  We should understand what is happening, and why.

The Lord promises us not ‘a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind’, and  ‘you did  not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear . . .’  This should reaffirm to you that fear is a bondage, and this type of fear is not from God.

Now, I can understand if you are afraid, but let God take your fear away and replace it with strength and boldness.  He has done it for many of us already.  He will give you the grace to go through whatever comes your way.

There is one other point I want to make briefly, but cover in greater depth soon: The Rapture.

Yes, Christ will return after seven years of tribulation on the earth, but there is no ‘Rapture’ before the Tribulation.  We will not be whisked away just as trouble and persecution reach our shores.  I think in your heart you know this, but you are desperately trying to believe in it anyway, and this is why you struggle with fear.

When you try to believe in one thing while the Spirit is telling your heart differently, it makes you off balance spiritually and more prone to the attacks of the enemy.  When you understand that it is God’s design for Christians to go through the Tribulation, then the things He has been trying to impress upon your heart, to prepare you, will make sense.

Back to the issue of forced vaccinations–I really don’t want one, and I don’t want a tracking device on me.  But, not because I am afraid of that. For most of my life I feared the things that were to come, but now that they are at the doorstep, the Lord has given me peace and boldness. I am just a hermit-like person who prefers privacy.  I will not take the vaccination, unless I have to.  But if I have to, I will–and it will not harm me.

That is not my personal ‘line in the sand’. However, as a society, I believe we should continue to fight such things, when they are unfounded. But, the thing is, sooner or later, there will be a legitimately good reason for such measures. And, when that time arrives, we would be foolish to stand in the way.

I think it is important that we continue to remain sane and rational, because if hysteria takes hold we will lose all credibility.  Fear becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

We talk about living by faith, but how will you live in faith tomorrow if you can’t live by faith today?  Start practicing now!!

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