40: A Time of Testing and Trials

So many people ask why it took forty years for the Israelites to get from Egypt to the Promised Land. Some do it to try and trip up believers.  The first thing is to understand that many things occurred that extended the travel time which are seen in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. During this time lessons were learned, laws and precepts were given, feast days were established, and the tent of meeting and the Tabernacle were built. There were also battles which meant preparation and recovery times as well as the length of the battles or skirmishes. This leads one to understand that 1 to 3 years of travel time is hardly enough. Also consider they used the lunar calendar which shortens the year.

The Book of Numbers gives a clue on the movement of the Hebrews as they travel:

On the day that the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony. And at evening it was over the tabernacle like the appearance of fire until morning. So it was always: the cloud covered it by day and the appearance of fire by night. And whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, after that the people of Israel set out, and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the people of Israel camped. At the command of the Lord the people of Israel set out, and at the command of the Lord they camped. As long as the cloud rested over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. Even when the cloud continued over the tabernacle many days, the people of Israel kept the charge of the Lord and did not set out. Sometimes the cloud was a few days over the tabernacle, and according to the command of the Lord they remained in camp; then according to the command of the Lord they set out. And sometimes the cloud remained from evening until morning. And when the cloud lifted in the morning, they set out, or if it continued for a day and a night, when the cloud lifted they set out. Whether it was two days, or a month, or a longer time that the cloud continued over the tabernacle abiding there, the people of Israel remained in camp and did not set out, but when it lifted they set out. At the command of the Lord they camped, and at the command of the Lord they set out. They kept the charge of the Lord, at the command of the Lord by Moses.  Numbers 9:15-23

It wasn’t till later that God actually put them on their forty year desert travel in circles, so close to the land yet so far. But God had to make sure the people were right and ready to be His Chosen and accomplish their part in His plan.

There is Something about 40

The number forty is very significant. Many testing, trials or probation periods, and changes, happened in each mention of forty be it days, nights, months, or years. The number forty is in the Bible well over 140 times and each time there is significant spiritual growth. The rains fell for forty days and forty nights, Moses was on the mountain with God for forty days, Jonah spent forty days ministering to Nineveh, Elijah fasted for forty days, Jesus was tempted for forty and also stayed teaching after the resurrection for forty days. David ruled for forty years. The number forty has much to do with learning.

When the Hebrews began their forty in the desert, God kept only Joshua, Caleb, and Aaron’s son Eleazar alive to enter the Promised Land from the time before the wandering. God had sentenced all men who were twenty years of older before the wandering to death so that a new generation would learn to trust in God for all their needs. Yes they grumbled and complained but in the end they knew God and trusted His care. It took this period of time to establish the moral and ethical codes that went right along with the Commandments and to get them to understand God’s Love.

We know from reading that humans do not always adhere to rules, regulations, covenants and promises because the Israelites really messed things up for themselves and blended with other cultures which corrupted our part of the covenant. But God’s Love and Compassion for His People is stronger than any human emotion or action.

40 Days of Lent

The Lenten season itself is not found in Scripture but the idea of forty days of testing and trials is. This is the season for us to repent, refresh, and renew while we give up things of this world to attain a better, Spiritual understanding and relationship with God. We should not return to that which we gave up or the Adversary has won.

Brothers and Sisters, keep watch and be vigilant. Share the Gospel as often as possible and be that light as we are commissioned to be. Are we in our forty years of testing? Maybe we are at an end and we lost or maybe this is just the beginning. Either way, the Adversary is coming soon to take control. Keep His Word on your heart and do not be influenced by the New Church as so many unfortunately are. God’s Word does not change, Jesus teachings have not changed. So why are we changing them to gain the world? Pay attention to your heart and God’s Love will carry you through.

Blessings, Rob Servant of God

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The Mystery of John the Beloved

The writings attributed to John the Apostle have a lot to do with love and spiritual matters. There is one particular matter that has many wondering what Jesus meant. It comes from John 21:22 which states, “Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”. This verse has been taken out of context throughout history as some believe Jesus was saying that John would live and never die until He returns. But why was this statement even made by Jesus? Peter had just been forgiven for his denial and was told how he would die. My guess is that John was present and basically asked Jesus to tell of the others. When Jesus told Peter the above verse, it was not to tell of John’s future but to tell Peter to basically mind his own because at that point he had just been renewed into the family and that he was to follow Jesus.

John was the only Apostle to die of old age

The Apostles went into the world only to be killed by the world while speaking of Jesus. This was showing us how much devotion is necessary to share the Word even unto death. Why was John’s situation different?

One theory is that because John stayed by Mary while the others ran, he would be granted a long life never tasting the blade, noose, or nail. It works because the others left out of fear but John’s Love for the Savior was stronger than any fear the devil could put in his path. John was the first to see the joy in the suffering and while Paul talked about counting all sufferings as joy, John lived in Love and suffering to the fullest.  

John might still be alive

This theory has very few if any legs to stand on. Jesus did not say that John would not die but alluded to His power over creation saying that He could decide to keep John alive if He wanted. The believers of this theory often quote passages from Revelation only to realize that John’s long life was attributed to his faith and the great care of those who supported him. John will share the Word again just not as some people believe that it will be an earthly, physical form. John is alive in our memories through reading the Scriptures but so are other Apostles.

John’s body is not in stasis  

He is not frozen and hidden somewhere awaiting the return. He died of old age and was buried. He was not physically transformed into a younger version of himself. Why would people even think that God would do that. John is a witness to the end of the age through his writing. He saw Christ’s return and was allowed to write about it. John gave us insight to recognizing the end times but did not specifically give the five W’s. We know only what God needs us to know, the rest will be revealed on His time.

In Conclusion

 John was the only Apostle to live a full life giving him the ability to share God’s Love with at least four generations of people. He fulfilled the words of Jesus to Peter by living a long and joyfully suffering life and is now part of the Great Counsel of the Twelve with his brethren seated with Jesus. John, the Beloved lived to show and share God’s Love. He is alive in us through the Bible. Thanks be to God that we have discernment to be able to seek the truth of the Word.

Blessings,

Rob, Servant of God

What Does God Require?

To be honest, the requirements that God has of us are so simple they are almost too good to be true. There are those who believe that you must meet as a large gathering in a mega church (5000 or more seated at once) because the more people raising their voices to Him in one place in one accord will get their personal prayers wants and needs answered. Some believe that God requires total seclusion as to avoid the temptations of the world. Some firmly believe that placing ten percent of earnings covers all things and they do not have to lift a finger to help another because the money will take care of them. But, God does not need our worldly possessions. These are extreme measures for a God who desires only a completely personal relationship requiring our devotion and obedience.

God desires our worship as a community of two or more, however, too many in one place means someone may be forgotten or ignored. Yes Jesus preached to large crowds but that does not mean we should try and do that today. He wants quiet individual moments but there is no need to totally ignore the suffering world. Relying on money to take care of everything, that replaces God with an idol and does not even qualify the person as a lukewarm Christian.

God’s Grace

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

Titus 2:11-15

Knowing that God freely gives His grace for those who accept Him and that through His Grace, gave His Son for our sinfulness is still not what God requires. Rather, He requires our admission of guilt and seeks our desire for redemption through repenting of our shame and submission of our lives to His Son. All while understanding that the Free gift of Grace was presented to us in the form of a humble baby who would live a right life and die for us.

The Physical Requirements

All physical requirements are by products of the Spiritual requirements that are desired of us.

“With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:6-8

Do justice, love kindness (showing mercy), and walk humbly. Those cannot be done without the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Holy Spirit builds us up in order to love others as He loves us. It is the Love of God that gives us the strength to stand firm against temptation. It is the Love of God that keeps us humble. It is the Love of God that through Him, the examples of people from Scripture, and His Son that enable us to show mercy and kindness to others.

What is required of us?

To Love the Lord our God with all our Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength. This is done in our obedience to His laws and statutes requiring us to do our best to live a right life. He knows we cannot follow without stumbling so He gave us Jesus. It is through God’s Gift of Jesus that we are saved so our requirement is obedience and friendship with Jesus. Loving Him with all the love we give God because He is of God.

God also desires our worship through song, prayer, and the humble use of Spiritual Gifts. Giving of our earthly pay is good to a point but should not be considered the only form of offering. We are the offering God desires.

Brothers and Sisters, what we need to do is get back to the heart of worship and leave man’s made traditions behind. Jesus did say to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and God what is God’s. Caesar can have the worldly things, God has everything else.

Blessings  Rob, Servant of God 

The Company You Keep

Brothers and Sisters,

      The holiday season is coming to a close and it is time to start anew. It was a season of parties, family gatherings, meeting up with old and new friends. With everything that happened this year, relationships were strained due to disagreements on everything from life choices to politics. We let worldly things rule over us and there were many things that people became offended by even though they continue to listen, watch, or even conduct themselves in the ways and things that they found offensive (ex. Baby, It’s Cold Outside and they still listen to and idolize artists that promote sexual deviancy). With the New Year starting on Tuesday we must remember what Paul said about things that tempt us and staying away from those who do not consider those around them.

Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. Romans 14:13-23

In today’s society this goes way beyond food and drink. So many boast in their sinful life choices and when we accept the life choices of others as a part of who they are, we are just as guilty (Jesus said that). This goes way beyond sexual preference and depravities, it is the materialism (love of money), addictions, fantasy worlds that become realities, life on the internet, all the distractions and idols that keep us from God. We live in a world where being sinful is the norm. This must end.  

It is time for us to welcome the Father back to our great nation. Jesus asked us to Love our enemies and bless those who persecute us but we have let them run over us. We also must remember to protect ourselves from those who may harm us. Remove, not welcome, those who do not conform and destroy our way of life. Give to those in need but ask God to lead you first. Too many seek to live off others while they are perfectly capable to be on their own.    

2019 is the year were we must take a stand against those who tempt us. Some of the things we can give up on our own but as for other things we must be vigilant and outspoken without the others thinking we are condemning and judging them. God gives us the way to helping others by opening their eyes to their sin by showing love and compassion through the Holy Spirit. We cannot let our convictions be compromised. I know many who are leading lives in sin, they know my thoughts and do not boast in their sinful ways. Some have given up their sinfulness and turned to God while others cannot escape it. By showering others with God’s Love and the guidance of the Holy Spirit we are able to protect ourselves from falling into their sin.

Rob, Servant of God

The Importance of Being Humble

Jesus had a way of making the humble feel what would normally be unattainable joy. He also had a way of humbling the proud to their material ruin and those who understood received Spiritual joy. There is something very good about not having everything the world offers. Satan offered Jesus the world but He refused. During this temptation Jesus taught Satan that he was nothing compared to the Father.

 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”But he answered, “It is written,

“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
    but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the templeand said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’

and

“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
    lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
    and him only shall you serve.’”

Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him. Matthew 4:1-11

Jesus knows the Scripture because He is the Scripture. When He took human form, He was sent to correct the proud and manmade traditions and end the sacrifices that God despised. The humbling of the Israelites was not just done in the New Testament era but the Old. Look how God humbled them in the desert.  

Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the LORD promised on oath to your ancestors. Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Deuteronomy 8:1-3

Do those words sound familiar? God was with them wherever they went even when He was silent. They bore the Tabernacle and all things put inside it carrying the Triune God wherever they went. They were humbled constantly in His presence keeping them from being proud of themselves since they recognized all things were God’s not theirs. This is a big part of humility.

This year let us return to the humility of it all by helping those in need, volunteering even when it is inconvenient, give of ourselves as Jesus and His Apostles did. Let’s show the world the true meaning of being a Christian. Are you ready? January 1st is right around the bend.

Rob, Servant of God

God’s Love is Eternal

Nine times out of ten when we think about love we concentrate too much on the love in the physical form as we know it because that is what we can see and feel. This type of love is able to be corrupted and become temptations which turn into sins when left unchecked. It happens to all of us during some point in our lives. But there is a love that is simple but at the same time goes way beyond our understanding. It is the Love that Our Creator Father, God, has for us. It is God’s Love for us that literally holds us together. Even when are disobedient, His Love for us is never failing. The Bible from cover to cover talks about His Great Love but here we will look atcertain aspects that conclude why He sent His Son.

  God’s love is steadfast and unchanging

 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations. Deuteronomy 7:9

How precious is your unfailing love, O God!  Psalm 36:7

 You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.  Psalm 86:5

But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.  Psalm86:15

Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures foreverPsalm 136:26

 God’s Love is eternal. Thereis no substitute for His Love as everything He does is because of His Love forus. God does not fall out of Love for His creation because He is our Father wholoves us no matter what. Because of God’s Grace, those who accept His Lovewithout question will receive it without end. 

 God’s love comforts us

 The LORD your God isin your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:2

He is our refuge and our strength, the fortress which protects us and provides shelter from the evilone. He is the Shepherd who watches over us and provides for us. Even in our darkest moments, God is there to lift us up. His Word is sweet music to our ears and hearts that guides us and gives us the strength we need.

God’s love is revealed to us through Jesus Christ

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in himshould not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy maybe full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down hislife for his friends. John 15:9-13

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud…it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians13:4-8

God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.  Galatians 2:20

Jesus shows us what it means to truly Love one another. God’s Love is a sacrificial love which goes beyondall boundaries. The mystery of God’s Love is personified in Christ. Looking at John 15 above, Jesus tells them what He is about to have to do. Our sacrificial love does not always mean literally dying for someone but it does mean that we give up things that fill our hearts with something other than the people we call friends and family. It also means that we put others first before ourselves. When Jesus was put on the cross, all our faults, all our sins were placed upon Him so that He could sacrifice Himself and take our punishment so that we would not have to.  

God’s love is poured into us through the Holy Spirit

Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.  Romans 5:2-5

God is forever with us in our hearts. His Spirit gives us the means to survive in this world through the confidence that the Holy Spirit will guide and protect us from all things that affect our spiritual well-being. We suffer in the world because we are no longer of the world but have found our place in the arms of God.

God’s love compels us to love one another

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.  1 John 3:1

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.  1 John 4:7-8

In this thel ove of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.   1 John 4:9-11

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved.  Ephesians2:4-5

  Our Father has shown us how to love in a deeper way than any human physical love can manifest. He gave to us a part of Himself through the birth, life, death, and ascension of His Son.He then left us with a Helper. This Helper, the Holy Spirit, actually connects us with each other as we see the Father’s work in others who have Jesus in their lives as Lord and Savior. WE are all Brothers and Sisters in the Spirit so our love truly does know no bounds.

We need to share this love.God’s Love goes far beyond the physical attributes. It carries us through our suffering and gives us the strength we need to make it through the day. It is what keeps us and protect us. God’s Grace is found in His Love that saves us. When Jesus was born, love re-entered the world and changed it. Share it because He first Loved us.

Blessings,

Rob, Servant of God 

It’s the Little Things

Brothers and Sisters, I am excited, elated, but honestly feeling very blessed to have two little ones staying with us for a bit. Little did I know how much these two would affect my heart. They are grandchildren of one of our board members and are just adorable. She is single and did not know what to do so I said come live with us. The oldest is a 6 year old girl and the young man is 4 and they have had a rough life so far. But that is another story.

When they came to us they had no set schedule, did not pray before bed, and were a bit rambunctious (what child isn’t) but after just a few weeks there has been an amazing transformation. They are used to a set schedule, we all sit either at a table or in the living room to read and they have developed manners and a sense of responsibility (the 6 year old helps make her school lunch). But here is the best thing, after a few nights of telling them we have to pray before bed, they come over to me, sit on my lap and tell me it is time to pray.

My wife and I are sharing the responsibility of taking care of them and each night there is something new or different but special nonetheless. Tonight after their baths we had story time. I volunteered to help the 6 year old read through her story and next thing I know I have two little ones on my lap. After she finished reading, I read a story to the little guy. Let me tell you, I am not ready to be a grandparent but I am so glad to have these two little ones here with us while the parents get things straight. 

Children are our future. How we raise them dictates a good portion on how they will be when they grow. I am a firm believer in Proverbs 22:6. This is now solidified thanks to our (recently) 20 year old Katie who you can see singing on this site and now these little ones to whom we have introduced Christ and watching them both grow in a desire to know Him more.

Caring for these little angels is certainly a matter of the heart.

God Is Great.

We Are Suffering A Moral Deficiency

Moral Deficiency

GOD does NOT tolerate the foolish. The foolish are those who are morally deficient and are prone to do what is considered evil in the eyes of God. Now do not confuse this type of person with a simple/naive person (easily controlled/deceived). That is, a person who is need of moral guidance, and could be persuaded to do evil things. So how do we tell the difference?

                                                   CHARACTERISTICS OF A FOOL

  1. No moral absolute

The definition of a moral absolute is: Having a moral absolute is the ethical belief that there are absolute standards against which moral questions can be judged, and that certain actions are right or wrong, regardless of the context of the act. So the lack of means that they do not care to understand the difference between what is right or wrong. These individuals will act immorally and think they are doing things that are acceptable.

  1. Total disregard to authority

A fool does not believe that anyone has authority over their actions and will what those with a moral compass consider as wrong. These individuals do not care nor recognize consequences for their actions.

  1. Total disregard to others

These individuals do not care if their actions hurt or help others and only have concern for themselves

  1. Arrogant

These individuals have and/or show a high or excessively high opinion of oneself or one’s importance. Basically those who feel they are superior to others whose opinions do not matter.

  1. Proud

This person feels deep pleasure or satisfaction as a result of one’s own achievements, qualities, or possessions or those of someone with whom one is closely associated

  1. Lack of self-control

This person acts on impulses and is prone to follow through with temptations all the time. Acts without fearing consequence. Conducting oneself in a manner that does not conform to what is considered right ethically and morally. 

God’s response to these types of people is:

Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech: “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? Repent at my rebuke!
Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings. But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you— when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. “Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me, since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord. Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

Proverbs 1:20-33

Then we have people in the last decade who have been deceived into believing right is wrong and wrong is right. Mostly regarding biological mistreatments of gender. Have you seen pictures of what this has created? Most are youth who follow mainstream society and the popular people and believe that their ways are correct while not seeing the double standards that are placed right in front of them and come out of their mouths. They believe they are making positive changes when they are really destroying the very fabric of their own lives and taking many good people with them.

We have witnessed recently folks with a very poor moral compass and those who are the “victims” speaking out. Yes those who believe they did was considered normal behavior in a certain industry are lacking a moral compass and are being punished. Yet some of the victims who spoke out and try to parade themselves around asking for pity are those who would return to being victims for popularity purposes (i.e. Hollywood “casting couches” submitting themselves to others lusts to get a job). They go back to it because that is the only thing they know.

Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” (NKJV) 

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (ESV)

Don’t be fooled. “Bad company ruins good character.” (CJB)

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” (NIV)

“Bad company ruins good manners.” (The Message)

1 Corinthians 15:33

Can it be said any clearer?

This is a world-wide epidemic.  

There are Christians that live outside the principles found in Scripture. These individuals proclaim Christ but do not act the way they know they should. In fact they continue to live their lives the way they did before submitting to Christ.

For those who want to continue in live in foolishness and then face the consequences of the choice of living in foolishness, I like to give you this Word of Wisdom: Never Complain About What You Permit.

In other words, if you truly believe that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, follow His earthly teachings and God’s Laws and statutes. Here is a hint, Jesus did not abolish the laws but fulfilled them. The only things we are no longer bound to, are the sacrificial laws and the fact that we are not to carry out the punishments unless appointed by God. 

It has gotten to the point where even large church organizations have fallen into the trap of the Devil and even though they are correct in bringing all sinners into the church, they are wrong when they say to the sexually immoral and confused, thieves, murderers, etc., we accept you and you can continue living this lifestyle. Jesus tells us to accept all people but He specifically says, to them “Go and sin no more.” If we accept their sinful ways without caring and helping them work through their sin, then we are just as guilty (yes Scripture tells us this).

There is a stark difference between Christ-based individuals and those who go to church act like a Christian then go home and continue their sinful lives. There is NO double standard.  
My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason; like Sheol let us swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; we shall find all precious goods, we shall fill our houses with plunder; throw in your lot among us; we will all have one purse”— my son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths, for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood. For in vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird, but these men lie in wait for their own blood; they set an ambush for their own lives. Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors.     Proverbs 1:10-19    

For your ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all your paths. The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast. For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly. Proverbs 5:21-23

Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. Matthew 7:6
Brothers and Sisters, we are living in a very rough age where we are considered to be wrong by many. Christians do have an edge and we do have representation that is actually doing good and a return to good morals is on the horizon. This does not mean we are winning the spiritual war but we are regaining the upper hand in the battle against Satan.

Do not let this slow victory relax but keep moving forward in correcting those who are against God. We know the final outcome and we know that there will be a time when it is the darkest. This is our tribulation, we will succeed.  

The Day Christ Was Revealed to The Gentiles

Three Kings Day

The Christian celebration of Three Kings Day has taken a back seat in some modern societies as just another day but is it? No it isn’t. Yes in real time it did not happen this close to the birth, but since we only have a year to celebrate 33 years in the human life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, everything is condensed to fit.

So why is this day so important to the Christian year? The day that the Magi saw Christ is the because it signifies the revelation (revealing) of God to mankind in human form. It is the first time the “Gentiles” celebrated Jesus as Lord and Savior. The Magi had an Epiphany, “a sudden realization about the nature or meaning of something” recognizing that this is no ordinary child as they experienced a joy and hope that was truly beyond their understanding. Remember, they went to a palace first, thinking that the star was leading them to a prince born in a palace but the star kept moving for them and they began to wonder if the child was of more significance than just another prince.

Now Epiphany means “manifestation”, often of divine power but this time is actually given a more distinct term because Jesus is the manifestation of God, the term is “Theophany”. Now I know a lot of people do not want to get all philosophical and theological it terms and meanings and I kind of get scared of those myself sometimes (especially when I have an epiphany on what those words are defined as), so let’s talk in ways that all understand.

The Magi saw the child. The Holy Spirit awoke in them revealed who He was and who He would become. This was first of many true revealing of God in the flesh to a non-Hebrew. I would have loved to have been there to see the look on their faces when they came to understand that this humble child sleeping in a hay filled food trough would be the one who would rule over all the earth. Think about it. Can you even fathom the thinking of these men and their entourage when the Holy Spirit was awoken inside them and they worshiped Him.

Christ revealed, that is what this day is all about. Everybody in Jesus presence except the Pharisees, the Sadducees, those in power, and the people that were blinded by the Adversary would have a type of revealing about whom He is. Christ is revealed to us through those who speak of Him and when the Holy Spirit awakens in side of us. Do you remember when you woke up to His presence? Do you remember feeling the comfort and joy in understanding the truth about who He is? When is the last time you shared it to awaken the Spirit within someone else? Don’t you think it’s time to do that?

Today we celebrate the enunciation to the world of Christ’s birth through the revealing to the Three Wise Men, Three Kings, Magi, whatever you call them. In Germany, watch out for children who go door to door looking for Him (it is a tradition over there). The community gets together and feasts on this day as He is found and revealed as Emmanuel, “God With Us”.

Is He with you? Would you like to have Him walk with you, talk with you? All you have to do is believe, have faith, and trust that He is the way to eternal life. Repent of your sins and recognize you cannot save yourself. Let Him into your heart and awaken the Spirit to guide you and help you through life.

God Loves you, we love you, there is a big family, the church, the Body of Christ that welcomes you.

God Bless