Tag Archive: Holy Spirit


Tug-Of-War

Christians don’t knowingly, willfully, choose to sin if we love God. We love God more than we love the pleasure of sin, so we do everything in our strength (including praying and fasting) to not sin. When we are born again, we receive a new heart–one that hates sin. Our will is changed. We will still war against our flesh (which does not change when we are born again), until we bring it under subjection to our will. But if we love God, we WILL choose righteousness. Here’s how it looks:

New heart + new will + Holy Spirit <–> lusts/habits + demons

There is no question: what is on the LEFT side of this equation is stronger than what is on the right side. YES, there will be a struggle. This will be a tug of war for awhile (weeks? months? years?) Demons have to be resisted–demons YOU have given place to in your life. Lusts and habits (lusts and habits YOU have nourished and strengthened) have to be resisted and denied until your flesh learns to submit to your new will.

But I guarantee, you WILL overcome, IF you will persist. There is no way that your lusts and demons can overpower the Holy Spirit. The ONLY way you will lose in this tug of war, is if you give up. And if you give up, you will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. So–you’d better not give up.

We ALWAYS will have to be alert so that the flesh does not rise up again . . . so that we do not open the door to demonic influence in our life again. If we ever realize we have stumbled and sinned, we must get up and repent and start fighting again.

 

”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 3:8-10)

Advertisements
Fish ladder Window

Fish ladder Window

 

‘There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death.’  (Proverbs 16:25)

A way?  I wondered, ‘what is this particular way?’  Surely there are MANY ways that seem right, if there is only ONE way that truly IS right.

Now I understand.  It is the way of the crowd, the way of peer pressure, the way of group consensus.  The way of ‘everybody’s doing it’.  It just seems right, because that’s the direction of the flow.  Most times it doesn’t even occur to us to question it.  We go along without thinking, without critical examination.  It’s what we’ve been taught is ‘normal’.

But, while all the world is swimming downstream, God made Christians, like salmon, to swim upstream.  As we study God’s Word, our eyes become opened to what is acceptable behavior for us, in God’s eyes, and what isn’t.  As long as we submit ourselves to walk IN THE SPIRIT, we find ourselves having a constant urge to swim against the flow.

But the current is strong.  If we don’t continue in The Spirit, we will find ourselves swimming with the crowd too.  But again and again, the urge to go against the flow will return.  Yet if we don’t FOCUS our attention on that urge within us–that inner leading of the Holy Spirit–we will find ourselves passing the same scenery again and again.  Upstream, downstream.  We just don’t seem to be making any progress.

WE MUST CHOOSE to submit ourselves to God daily.  We must CHOOSE to put His will before our own.  We must CHOOSE to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.  If we do, His Holy Spirit gives us the supernatural strength and motivation to swim against the flow.  And the longer we do it, the stronger and more motivated we become–just like the salmon that find the water purer and more oxygenated the further upstream they go.  Soon they smell the familiar scent of the shoals where they spent their early life: home!

But if we DON’T choose to submit ourselves to God daily . . . if we DON’T choose to put His will before our own, if we DON’T follow His leading, we will simply be carried along with the flow.

There is yet a deeper parallel here: the issue of fish ladders.  Take the case of the Chittenden Locks: here boats are moved between Lake Washington and Puget Sound.  As always, water moves downstream.  However, it is not advantageous for migrating salmon to get caught in the huge locks, because the way they are constructed makes it virtually impossible for them to make their way upstream.  Therefore, a narrow ‘fish ladder’ was constructed on one side of the lock.  (But not every salmon finds it.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiram_M._Chittenden_Locks#Fish_ladder

Understanding the fish ladder brings new understanding to Jesus’ parable:

‘Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’  (Matthew 7:13-14)

Although God made us a ‘fish gate’, a way of salvation, we still must STRIVE to enter in.  We still must be the ones to CHOOSE to swim upstream and make the journey.  God has put everything needful in place for us, and will even turbocharge us to reach our destination, but He’s not going to airlift us there.  What is needful, is for us to choose to TURN and SWIM!

‘Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.’  (Luke 13:24)

Many preTrib Rapture teachers have TERRIFIED Christians with horrible descriptions of what they believe things will be like during the Tribulation. They paint a picture of a desolate, hopeless existence where God has withdrawn His Spirit from the Earth and any who come to Him are pretty much left to fend for themselves.

Nothing could be further from the truth! God is a loving Father and He will not abandon us in our hour of greatest need.

‘ . . . lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.’ (Jesus, Matt. 28:20)

‘The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.’ (Psalms 34:22)

‘But the salvation of the righteous [is] of the LORD: [he is] their strength in the time of trouble. And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.’ (Psalms 37:39-40)

‘And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the PEOPLE THAT DO KNOW THEIR GOD shall be strong, and do [exploits].’ (Daniel 11:32)

‘The LORD [is] good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.’ (Nahum 1:7)

Most of those that preach a (false) preTrib Rapture do not understand the wickedness they do. Not only do they create false hope in an escape from tribulation, which is contrary to God’s will . . .

‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world YE SHALL HAVE TRIBULATION: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (Jesus, John 16:33)

‘I pray NOT THAT THOU SHOULDEST TAKE THEM OUT OF THE WORLD, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.’ (Jesus, John 17:15)

. . . but these false teachers create terror and a certainty of being abandoned by God, for those who find themselves still here during the Tribulation. Because of their false teachings, MANY will despair and fall away from the faith.

Please understand their teachings are false, and take heart:

‘ . . . and there is a friend [that] sticketh closer than a brother.’ (Proverbs 18:24)

‘ . . . for he hath said, I WILL NEVER LEAVE THEE, NOR FORSAKE THEE.’ (Hebrews 13:15)

Saved by Faith, or by Works?

‘Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, STRIVE to enter in at the strait gate: for MANY, I say unto you, WILL SEEK to enter in, and shall not be able.’  (Luke 13:23-24)

Notice Jesus doesn’t just say ‘many won’t enter in’.  Instead, He says ‘many will SEEK to enter in but won’t be able’.  These are not just worldly, indifferent people–they are people who WANT to enter into Heaven.  What is the difference between those who seek to enter in but can’t, and those who strive to enter in and are able?

‘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)

According to Strong’s, those who ‘work iniquity’ are those who do ‘anomia’

iniquity = anomia (G458)

1) the condition of without law

..a) because ignorant of it

..b) because of violating it

2) contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness

 

This passage separates between those who DO the will of the Father, and those who don’t–and further clarifies it as those who live by His law vs. those who don’t.

Now, we know that as Christians we are not bound to the Mosaic Law.  But we ARE expected to follow the Ten Commandments (and the four restrictions in Acts 15:20).

‘ . . . but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.’  (Jesus, Matt. 19:17)

According to Matt. 7:21-23, the difference between eternal life and damnation is whether or not you follow God’s Commandments.  NO, we do not OBTAIN salvation by following the Commandments, or any other thing that we might do.  There is no salvation apart from faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross.  But when we become Christians we enter into a blood covenant with God, and our part is to do His will.  If we aren’t doing His Will, then we aren’t ‘abiding’ in Him.  If we aren’t doing His will, then we are walking in the flesh.  Christianity today is misrepresented as a free bus ticket: we say a ‘Sinner’s Prayer’ and then get a free ride.  But that’s never what God intended.  His will is to have

‘ . . .  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:’  (1 Peter 2:9)

When God made the first covenant (the ‘Old’ covenant) with the people of Israel, Moses gave the people The Law

‘And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.’  (Exodus 24:3)

Then a blood sacrifice was made, to seal the covenant.

We are heirs to a better covenant.

‘But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.’  (Jer. 31:33)

Not only does He write His law in our hearts, He gives us His Holy Spirit, to will and to perform it.  This covenant was sealed by the blood of Jesus.

In return for being redeemed from the bondage of sin and judgment, we are to yield ourselves as living sacrifices to Him.

‘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? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.’  (1 Cor. 6:19-20)

‘Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.’  (Romans 12:1)

To simplify it,

‘Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.

And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’  (Matt. 22:37-40)

And how do we find the love to fulfill these two commandments?  We walk in the Spirit, and not in the flesh. The Holy Spirit is the love of God, living in us, and flowing through us. The Holy Spirit will work in our heart to desire to do, and to perform the will of God.  The Holy Spirit will not lead us into sin.  The Holy Spirit will keep us on the path.

‘Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;’  (Titus 2:12)

The Holy Spirit works in conjunction with the Word of God, to change us from the inside out.

‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’  (Romans 12:2)

‘ . . . Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.’  (Ephesians 5:26-27)

How do we walk in the Spirit? We say ‘no’ to worldly lusts and ungodly temptations, thereby ‘crucifying the flesh’–because if we are walking in the flesh, we are not walking in the Spirit.  And we pray and read the Word of God . . . and then we live what we learn.

‘For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.’  (Matt. 11:30)

His yoke is easy, and His burden is light–but we must CHOOSE to walk on the narrow path.  We must STRIVE to enter in.  That striving is not a ‘work’ . . . it is our flesh and our will we strive with.  But if we say no to the flesh and yield ourselves to Him, His Spirit will lead us into all righteousness.

‘Teach me to do thy will; for thou [art] my God: thy spirit [is] good; lead me into the land of uprightness.’  (Psalm 143:10)

There is much confusion about ‘works’, but  here’s what the Bible says, in a nutshell:

‘For BY GRACE are ye saved THROUGH FAITH; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.’  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

‘Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.’  (Galatians 2:16)

But

‘What [doth it] profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? . . . faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone . . . I will shew thee my faith by my works.’  (James 2:14, 17, 18)

‘But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?  Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.‘  (James 2:20-24)

Saving faith produces ‘works’ in keeping with that faith–and that is God’s will for us.

‘Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.’  (Titus 2:14)

‘And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works’  (Hebrews 10:24)

‘That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.’  (2 Timothy 3:17)

‘[This is] a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.’  (Titus 3:8)

‘For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.’  (Ephesians 2:10)

Who are the ‘saints’?

‘ . . . they that keep the commandments of God, AND the faith of Jesus.’  (Rev. 14:12)

There really is no contradiction at all, except in the minds of those who don’t consider the full counsel of the Word of God.

If I understand Bible prophecy right, there is a fantastic event coming, even in the midst of the darkest hour the world has ever, or will ever, endure.  No, it’s not the Rapture . . . it will happen before that.  It is an event that no one talks about, that I believe has been hidden from our understanding–hidden in plain sight, for all the prophets talk of it.  That event is the revealing of the identities of those who are descended from the ‘missing’ ten tribes of Israel.

‘Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, [that] in the place where it was said unto them, Ye [are] not my people, [there] it shall be said unto them, [Ye are] the sons of the living God.  Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great [shall be] the day of Jezreel.‘  (Hosea 1:10-11)

Long ago, God divorced the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom, also known as ‘Israel’ (the Southern Kingdom was known as Judah–today’s ‘Jews’).  The prophecies of Hosea tell of the day when God forgives Israel and brings her back to Himself.

‘For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and [without] teraphim:  Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.’  (Hosea 3:4-5)

Prior to that day (and on the horizon now) is the day that the eyes of the Jews will be opened:

‘And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for [his] only [son], and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for [his] firstborn.’  (Zech. 12:9-10)

‘In that day’ is referring to the time of the Psalms 83 war, when the enemies of the modern day nation of ‘Israel’ will make war against her and take her land.  Although they will at first prevail against her, God is going to somehow, supernaturally, intervene and turn things around.

‘Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah [and] against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness.‘  (Zech. 12:2-4)

But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.‘  (Hosea 1:7)

Then ‘Israel’ will actually have her borders enlarged!

‘In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, [even] in Jerusalem.’  (Zech. 12:6)

All this is in preparation for the day of ‘Jezreel’.  This will be an event of momentous importance–so much so that God named a place in the Promised Land, in anticipation of that future day . . .a day that many of us will live to see, and some may even be a part of!

‘Jezreel’ means ‘God sows’.  What does God sow?

‘ . . . and they shall hear Jezreel.  And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to [them which were] not my people, Thou [art] my people; and they shall say, [Thou art] my God.’  (Hosea 2:22-23)

First Israel, where she lives now, will be punished, purged, and cleansed.  Then the remnant will be returned to the Promised Land.  ‘Jezreel’ will be a day of great rejoicing!  It is the day of forgiveness and restoration . . . of the remarriage of Israel to Jehovah God!!

‘And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.’  (Hosea 2:19-20)

For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all  countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them]. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.‘ (Ezek. 36:24-28)

I believe this complete, reunited Israel is the ‘woman’ spoken of in Revelation 12:6 and 14 . . .

‘And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days. . . And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.’

”Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. . .

 And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and [with] the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.’* (Hosea 2:14-16, 18) 

*Compare this to Ezekiel 34:25 and 28 . . .

‘And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods . . . And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make [them] afraid.’

Read the following passages for context, to confirm that they’re related and that this understanding is correct: Hosea 1-3, Ezekiel 34 (and 36-37), and Jeremiah 23:1-8.  They all foretell this grand event! I’ve only hit the highlights of what’s contained in these passages.

Let us stop living in fear of what The Antichrist is going to try to do to us, and know that God has a wonderful plan in store!  Even in a time of gross darkness, there will be light and rejoicing, provision and protection for His children.

‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.’ (Psalm 23:4-5)

‘And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.  And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.  And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.’  (Rev. 12:14-16)

Let us live with abandon, and put our faith completely in Him.

‘And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.‘  (Rev. 12:11)

‘If it be [so], our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver [us] out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.’  (Daniel 3:17-18)

Faith is the oil for your lamp.  If you hope to be one of the ‘wise virgins’, you must build your faith NOW, by reading His Word.

‘So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’  (Romans 10:17)

I cannot impart my faith to you–not now, not later.  Only the Holy Spirit can fill you with faith, and that comes by prayer and reading His Word.  Don’t neglect these things now, while you still have time.

It is also through the Word that we are taught how to walk in righteousness, and our minds are cleansed and renewed.  You cannot walk in the Spirit without prayer and reading your Bible.  If you are not walking in the Spirit, then you are walking in the flesh.  When you walk in the flesh, you don’t grow spiritually or bear spiritual fruit.  You are also choosing a very dangerous path–especially in these days of great deception.

You must walk IN THE SPIRIT for the promise of ‘no condemnation’ to apply to you:

‘[There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’  (Romans 8:1)

If we hope to be part of the remnant, then we must ‘walk worthy’ NOW.

‘For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of [them] whose heart [is] perfect toward him. . . ‘  (2 Chronicles 16:9)

‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.’  (Luke 21:36)

The exodus from Israel was a foreshadowing of what is soon to happen.  There is a great and exciting event on the horizon!  Let the hope of this day encourage you through the trials, testings, and persecution that are to come.  Never give up hope.

‘Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.  In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this [is] his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;  But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.’  (Jeremiah 23:5-8)

(What I’ve learned and shared with you today is further confirmation, for me, of what I wrote some time ago: Worthy to Escape

Who Feeds YOU?

There are some good teachers and preachers out there, but I trust no one 100%.  What I find brings about the most spiritual growth is listening to the KJV on MP3s (or reading it).  After you’ve heard or read enough of it, the Holy Spirit begins tying it together for you so that you understand things.  He will also bring verses to your remembrance when relevant (or key words from verses, so you can look them up).   This is the most important ‘food’ of all.

‘But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, HE SHALL TEACH YOU all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.’  (John 14:26)

‘But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and YE NEED NOT THAT ANY MAN TEACH YOU; but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.’  (1 John 2:27)

Yes, we can learn from and sharpen one another–but we should not look to the teachings of men for sustenance.  Whenever anyone stands between us and the Word of God, we MUST pray for discernment about what they are saying, listen critically, and check to see if it lines up with The Word.  (That means taking notes or stopping the audio/video to look things up in the Bible.)

I don’t believe in revelation that comes apart from the Word of God.  The Holy Spirit will reveal things to you AS YOU LISTEN or read God’s Word.  If things are revealed to you at other times, He will also bring to mind the Scriptures that go with them.  Too many people are setting aside the Word in favor of revelation through dreams or visions, etc.

Be VERY careful when you hear people preaching, and be sure that what they are saying lines up with the Bible.  (Be VERY cautious when they say that JESUS told them something, or they had a  vision of Jesus!!)  Surprisingly,  there are preachers who will preach on a verse, but when you look it up in the Bible, you see they took it completely out of its context.

Another favorite of false teachers is to act as though they’ve received revelation or understanding of some obscure verse that no one else seems to understand.  If they are ‘successful’, doctrine is built around their ideas (doctrines of demons) and a new cult, movement, or denomination springs up.

What I’ve found, as I study the Word, is REPETITION.  Ideas are repeated throughout Scripture–often even in the same passage–stated two or three times in slightly different ways in order to fully reveal it.  ‘Stand alone verses’ should be set aside as something we simply don’t understand yet.

If what someone is teaching is like nothing you’ve ever heard before–be very suspicious!!  Especially if you have a hard time correlating it with what you already know from God’s Word.  PRAY for wisdom and discernment–especially at times like that.

‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.’  (James 1:5)

Wisdom and discernment are not just gifts of the spirit for certain people, any and ALL of us can pray and ask for them.  God will grant it to you if you ask, but it’s not permanent.  Pray for it daily for best results.  🙂

If you think that just by believing in Jesus, you’ve got a guaranteed ticket to Heaven, think again. You can’t live just any way you please. Only those who heed the Holy Spirit and ‘abide’ in Jesus Christ, through obedience, will make Heaven their home.

‘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.’ (Jesus, Matthew 7:21)

Do you think God is such a pushover that He is going to let willful, rebellious children into Heaven?

Note this, and remember WHO is the author of ‘The Law’ . . .

‘If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and [that], when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son [is] stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; [he is] a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.’ (Deut. 21:18-21)

You may argue that we are now in the ‘age of grace’ and are no longer under The Law. This is true–but be sure you don’t misunderstand grace. Here is what the NEW Testament has to say, about willful, rebellious Christians:

”For if we sin WILFULLY after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

For we know him that hath said, Vengeance [belongeth] unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his [It is] a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.’ (Hebrews 10:26-31)

CHOOSE daily to walk in obedience to God’s Word, and to obey the leading of the Holy Spirit, and Romans 8:1 will apply to you:

‘[There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, WHO WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH, BUT AFTER THE SPIRIT.’

How many pastors today are preaching the truth on this subject? From my experience . . . not many. Instead, they let their congregations or their board of directors/elders dictate what they will preach . . .

‘For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.’ (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

‘. . . this [is] a rebellious people, lying children, children [that] will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.’ (Isaiah 30:9-11)

If your preacher preaches ‘smooth things’ instead of edifying and convicting truth, then you can be sure that your church is being led by rebellious men (or women), rather than by the Spirit of God. Get out before you suffer their fate!:

‘ . . . them that perish; because they received not THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH, that they might be saved. And for this cause GOD shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.’ (2 Thess. 2:10-12)

The ‘handwriting is on the wall’ for us (American Christians) now . . .

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.’ (Matt. 24:9-14)

But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against [their] parents, and cause them to be put to death.

And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.‘ (Matt. 10:19-22)