Before I begin this message I would like to make it very clear to all of the immigrants, wherever they may come from originally and whatever `colour` they may be, who are now living in this country and have embraced our culture and our `christian`/ Jewish*(See below) religion (however flawed it is at this present time) and who obey and respect our laws (however flawed and unjust they are at this present time) and who have made the effort to merge in with the indiginous British people, the direction of this message does not, indeed cannot apply to any of you in any way different than it applies to the indiginous people of this country. The scriptures tell us that the `stranger` who has accepted the culture of the people amongst whom he or she now lives is to be considered and treated as one born amongst them. But like most things promised by God, it is conditional, and these conditions relating to promises apply to all the people, not just to the immigrant or to the `stranger`. Let`s have a read of Isaiah 56: 1-8. `Thus says the Lord, keep you judgment and do justice, for My salvation is near to come, and My righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that does this and the son of man that lays hold on it, that keeps the Sabbath from polluting it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil. Neither let the son of the stranger that has joined himself to the Lord, speak saying, the Lord has utterly separated me from His people, neither let the eunoch say, behold I am a dry tree. For thus says the Lord to the eunochs that keep My Sabbaths, and choose the things that please Me, and hold fast by My covenant. Even to them I will give inside My house and inside My walls, a place and a name better than that of sons and of daughters, I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the stranger that join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants, everyone that keeps the Sabbath, from polluting it, and takes hold of My covenant. Even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer, their burned offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon My altar, for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people. The Lord God which gathers the outcasts of Israel says, Yet will I gather others to him (that is to Israel) beside those that are gathered to him.` Now let`s read Isaiah 14: 1. `For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land, and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall join to the house of Jacob.` ( * I have included the Jewish `religion` because of what the scriptures say, let`s have a read of Romans 3: 1-2. `What advantage then has the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much, every way, mainly because that to them, were committed the laws of God.` And now we`ll read Ezekiel 37: 19. `Thus says the Lord God, Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, (the Jews) and make them one stick, and they shall be one in My hand.` now verse 22. ` I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel, and one king shall be king to them all, and they shall no longer be two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more.` now verse 24. `And David, My servant, shall be king over them, and they all shall have one Shepherd, they shall also walk in My judgments, and observe My statutes, and do them.` ) Now although I am writing this message from a British point of view, I know that those reading this who live in, America, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, are having the same things happen in their respective countries and to a similar degree. So, `When is a Nation Not a Nation?` well let`s begin proper with a look at Isaiah 1: 4 and 7. `Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil doers, children that are corrupters, unworkable dream, this time in the shape and form of a headmaster whose main purpose it would seem was to champion the cause of `diversity`. This then basically was his view on the chaotic and potentially dangerous situation ; `multiculturism equals diversity`. Yes it certainly does, and diversity in the shape and form of multiculturism within a nation equals division! Remember the tower of Babel? Let`s remind ourselves as to exactly why the Lord God created so many different languages at that time and at that place, the scripture that we need to read is Genesis 11: 1-9. `And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech.` now to verse 3. `And they said to one another, let`s make bricks and heat them thoroughly, so they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. And they said, let us build a city, and a tower whose top may reach to heaven, and let us make us a name lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the children of men had built. And the Lord said: Behold, the people are one and they all share the same language, and this they begin to do, and now nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do. Come, let us go down and confuse their language, so that they do not understand one another. So the Lord scattered them abroad from there, upon the face of the whole earth, and they ceased to build the city. Therefore the name of it is called, Babel, (meaning confusion) because it was there that the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord scattered them over the whole face of the earth.` Confusion, that is what results simply from many different languages being spoken, so add `multiculturism` to the mix as well and then what should we expect to get? Remember, the Lord did not intend by what He did to simply create diversity! Now we`ll have a look at Joshua 23: 4-7. `Behold I have divided to you by lot, these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from Jordan, with all the nations that I have destroyed, even to the Mediterranean westward, and the Lord your God, He shall expel them from before you, and drive them from out of your sight, and you shall possess their land, as the Lord your God has promised you. Be you therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that you turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left, so that you do not come amongst these nations that remain among you, neither make mention of the names of their gods, nor swear by them or serve them, nor bow yourselves down to them.` and now most importantly to verses 11-13. `Take good heed therefore to yourselves, that you love the Lord your God. Because if you in any way return and cling to the remnant of these nations, even these that are amongst you, and you make marriages with them, and associate with them, and they with you, then know for a certainty, that the Lord your God will no longer drive out any of these nations from before you, but they shall be snares and traps to you, and a whip on your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good land which the Lord your God has given you.` Now I`ll combine that scripture with Hosea 7: 8-9. but before we go there I would just like to mention for those who may not know, that `Ephriam`, mentioned in this next scripture, is in fact modern day Britain and it`s associated `brother` countries ie. Australia, Canada, New Zealand. (For further information on this please contact us using the `contact us` form that you can find using the menu page) so, Hosea 7: 8-9. `Ephriam, he has mixed himself amongst the nations, he is as a cake not turned, strangers have devoured his strength, and he knows it not, yes, grey hairs are here and there upon him, and he does not realise it.` Remember that which we read in Joshua 23: 13, `. . .the Lord God will no longer drive out any of these nations from before you, but they shall be snares and traps to you, and a whip on your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good land. . .` This is a very stark warning for Britain`s already settled and law abiding immigrants and indiginous inhabitants, so let`s consider this, when is a warning no longer any use as a warning? well of course, when it is realised and heeded too late. So is there still time to rectify the current situation? Well, as long as God`s true church is around and giving out this warning then of course there will still be time to for the ruling government and for this country`s clergy to act, put a stop to the rot, but it must start right now because God`s true church is not getting any bigger and those of us who are left within it grow old, and as I write there is no evidence of any young `blood` coming into the church. So, from these simple facts alone, the reader should be able to work out for themselves just how long it may be before the `non-intergrating immigrant` situation becomes irreversible and even intollerable, especially for those who want to practice true Christian worship, because as more and more so-called `christians` begin to leave this country for a more accommodating one it results in the government allowing in more and more non-Christian and even anti-Christian immigrants to keep the population figures `topped up`. It has become a very vicious circle. Another fact to be concerned about is that most of these non-intergrating immigrant families have no intention of exercising any kind of birth control or family planning, five children and more is not uncommon for them and they begin to place an ever increasing burden on an already buckling health service which is stretched to it`s limits by tending to immigrants coming into this country with contageous diseases such as TB and/or AIDS or with their congenital health problems which are then passed on to the next generation who in turn will need treatment and so it goes on. Many reading this will already know what has happened in certain areas of this country such as Bradford in Yorkshire and Burnley in Lancashire and whole districts and electoral wards in London and other major cities. It can start with just one uncompromising and non-intergrating immigrant family in one street, they have no intention whatsoever of of trying to become part of the ways of the country in which they now live, they upset their neighbours by carrying on with their `third world` customs and habits and they are protected by the various `laws` of this country, and then no surprise, the `for sale` signs soon start to appear and then the only people who would want to live next door to these kind of immigrants are, you`ve guessed it, more of the same non-intergrating immigrants. And so it has continued over the years, street by street, neighbourhood by neighbourhood, district by district until whole towns have now become unrecognizeable as being in any way British. Churches have been pulled down and mosques have been erected, complain and you will be branded as `racist`, whatever that`s supposed to mean in this respect, after all, do I have a race, or don`t I? and if I do, who is protecting my race? `Oh, it can`t be that bad`, some will say, well it is, as more and more footholds are gained by these immigrants, first the houses then the shops then the council offices until now, thirty or more years `down the line` from when it first started we have whole towns being run by immigrants who now have within their communities their own `laws` their own religions their own dress code and who resent the very presence of anybody who even looks British. These immigrant communities have a very strong sense of identity because they have brought their history and their way of life with them and they continue to live it, whereas in comparrison the British sense of identity gets weaker and more obscure as the years go by, and no wonder, this `multicultural` society which has been forced upon us has created so much confusion and non-identity in the minds of the younger generations. In fact the word `multicultural` is in a sense a misnomer as it can in no way be applied to the non-intergrating immigrants, for they are very obviously `monocultural` and as time goes by and the government and this country`s clergy remain indifferent to the situation, if anybody were to succeed in doing away with `muticulturism` it would, ironically, be the non-intergrating immigrants themselves, because they will not stand for it if they get powerful enough. In not so many years from now, when only the children born in the late 1960`s and onwards are left alive, how many of them will still be able (or willing) to pick up a bible and claim that IT , is still the book upon which the laws of this once green and pleasant land, are founded? Because even as I write, many of those laws have been abolished or watered down to accommodate and appease the `feelings` of peoples from without our country`s borders so that their customs and their laws may prevail within our country. Make no mistake, what certain countries have not been able to do throughout history by conquering us British in open warfare they are now succeeding in doing by the devious and treacherous means of the so-called European community. This country is in effect selling its` birthright. Is birthright really that important then? Well consider, without it there can be no interest or knowledge of ancestry or feeling of belonging or of achievement, and without these things there can be no togetherness of nation, no common thread that binds everybody together, and if this does not exist then there can be no country worth `fighting` for or any common values worth upholding. In short, its` everyone for themselves and damn the consequences. But British and foreign, power hungry dictators and politicians know this, therefore they will seek to supply a `history` that will seemingly bring the people together under a common theme, but this false sense of togetherness will not last, as it states in the book of Daniel where it tells us about the emergence of the fourth reich, pictorially described as a man`s body. (Remember Adolf Hitler`s reign was the third reich) So let`s read Daniel 2: 40-43. `And the fourth kingdom (reich) shall be as strong as
blood of Jesus Christ? are we guiltless of having ever played any part whatsoever in His murder at the time and so continue to be guiltless of it thus making us somehow completely free of any need for remission of our sins? Does that make sense? Well of course not. We are ALL sinners, every single human being is guilty of sin whether we accept Jesus Christ as our Savoiur or not and as the scriptures tell us in Romans 6: 23. `For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.` Being sinners, we desparately need a Saviour, so let`s think through the question again, did the Jews crucify Jesus Christ? answer, YES, did I, you, and ALL who live and have ever lived and who are yet to live as flesh and blood crucify Jesus Christ? answer, YES, and how is this? because OUR sins necessitated His murder upon the torture stake (cross) and they continue to do so. Now I know that none of us alive today and that many billions who have lived and are now dead were not actually physically present amongst the baying crowds that were being whipped up into a self righteous and vengeful frenzy by the Jewish elders and priests screaming out `crucify Him, crucify Him` and also at the same time calling out for the release of the rebel and murderer Barabas when they could so easily instead have called for the release of Jesus Christ, but think on this, every time that we sin , that sin that we commit puts us spiritually right in amongst and makes us a part of that hostile, baying crowd. Now concerning Barabas, notice the chilling choice that was made between him and Jesus. The `world `as it where, rejected God and elected to choose instead a rebel and a lawless murderer in His place, let`s read John 3: 19-20. `And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, but men loved
The majority of people living on this world who have some sort of religious conviction (whether it be pagan or otherwise) mostly have one thing in common, they believe in the indestructable immortality of the soul. This belief leads them to imagine that they can and will live forever after death, to go on adhering to the principles of the leader of their choice who is usually one of two. Jesus Christ, (good, love, peace, law and order) or Satan. (evil, hatred, lawlessness and self indulgence) They will then (so they believe) continue to live the consequent lifestyle associated with the leader of their choosing.
The following article by using the biblical scriptures sets out to demonstrate to the reader the truth of the matter. Satan can and will be utterly destroyed, and so can a person`s so-called `immortal` soul!
The Lord God Almighty can create and destroy anything that He wants to. In Matthew 10. 28. we can read the following words spoken by Jesus Christ: “Fear not them who kill the body, but who are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him (God) who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell“.
Will it be that it is just Satan`s power that is removed from him or will he be totally destroyed, or will the Lord God decide to just keep him powerless, hanging around in `hell` as an eternally tormented soul suffering undreampt of agonies whilst all the while being watched over by the Lord Jesus and His holy angels for all eternity?
The latter would appear to be the end scenario for Satan, at least according to some of the book of Revelation. Let`s read it. Revelation 14: 9-11. `And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: (Jesus Christ) And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and forever: and they have no rest day nor night. . .` But where is Satan? Let`s read a bit more from Revelation. Revelation 20: 10. `And Satan that deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where also are the beast and the false prophet, and they shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever`. It would appear that all the evil people and beings on this world, including Satan and his demons, are to be burned forever in the same place, the `lake of fire`.
So, how worthy a candidate is Satan for total destruction? Consider, for all of the failings and wicked deeds of people such as king Herod, Judas, etc. who should we suppose was present or had been present to influence each evil deed? (By the way, I am not trying to suggest that people who allow Satan to dominate or influence their lives are going to be treated by the Lord as blameless!)
Let`s read what happened to Judas. John 13: 27. `And after Judas had eaten the sop of bread, Satan entered into him`. So what did Jesus have to say about the man Judas? Well let`s read about it.
Mark 14. 21. `The Son of man indeed goeth as it is written about Him: But woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born`. If Judas is worthy of such utter contempt then how much more worthy of even greater contempt should we suppose that Satan is?
If we turn to the book of Job, we find that Satan is present, and all too willing, to provide Job`s misery and suffering, and indeed would have murdered Job only the Lord forbade it.
Job 1: 7. `And the Lord said unto Satan, Where have you come from? Then Satan answered the Lord and said, From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it`. It is then that the Lord puts Job`s life into Satan`s hands to prove to Satan that Job really is a righteous and an upright man and is not just that way because the Lord had greatly blessed Job`s life up to that point in time.
Job 2: 6-7. `And the Lord said to Satan, Behold, he (Job) is in your hands; but do not kill him. And so Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils from head to foot`.
From the reading of the scriptures we know that Satan does more than just walk up and down on this earth. We can read this in
1Peter 5: 8. `Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary Satan walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour`.
There are many more examples within the biblical scriptures of how Satan is tirelessly and continuously committing evil and enticing and seducing ordinary people to do the same.
Jesus Christ states in this extract from John 8: 44., that which Satan is clearly guilty of . . .`He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie he speaks of his own: (of his own invention) because he is a liar, and the father of the lie.`
Even for all of this detestable evil make-up of which Satan clearly is, he can, and more often than not does, appear to us humans to be the most attractive and alluring being in creation as stated in this next scripture: 2 Corinthians 11: 14. `And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light`.
From the reading of the next verse we find out that this deception is also passed onto his human co-workers: 2 Corinthians 11:15. `Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers are also transformed (appear to be) as ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works`.
We can and should conclude therefore that Satan, for as long as he is allowed to exist, is dangerous and never to be trusted.
As we have read, Satan is the inventer of the lie and a murderer.
We shall now read what the scriptures have to tell us about the fate of all murderes and liars. Revelation 21: 8. But the cowardly, and the unbelieving, and the abominable, and murders, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolators, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: this is the second death.`
So what do you think, does Satan qualify for this death? Of course he does!
One more thing to bear in mind, not only is Satan a murderer and a liar, but he is also diectly responsible for the rest of the abominations mentioned in that last portion of scripture, and a whole lot more besides!!!
We know that Satan is guilty of heinous crimes against The Lord God Almighty and also against the whole of living creation. He has been convicted and is definately worthy of everlasting destruction.
So, how can that which is supposed to be `immortal` ever be destroyed? Can spirit, such as spirit beings, ever be destroyed? Well, the obvious answer would appear to be, no. But we should perhaps get a better understanding of what the word `immortal` really means. `Immortal` merely means that if left alone, that which is an `immortal` living creation, will not die. It is not subject to any disease deadly or otherwise or destruction by any means, except by one! and that is by the direct intervention of Almighty God, Himself!
Question. Should we suppose that that which is spirit can in any way be restrained, confined, or even tied down? Well it can. Could that then possibly happen to the most powerful evil spirit of them all, Satan himself? Surely not, and if so, would it take the Lord God to use all of His power and might to do it, or could any angel, simply by being granted the power to do it, carry it out? Let`s read from Revelation 20: 1-3. `And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit, and a chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, who is the devil, Satan, and he bound him for a thousand years. and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, so that he should not deceive the nations any more until the thousand years were fulfilled: and after that he will be released for a while`.
The question as to what else can effect the existance of a spirit being now arises.
Was God the Son a spirit being before divesting Himself of His glory and then allowing himself to be born flesh and blood to grow up to become the man that we know of as Jesus Christ? Of course He was. Jesus was/is The WORD, the very God of both the old and the new testament. In the book of John 1: 1-4. we can read; `In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God (the Father) and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.
(the Father) All things were made by Him (the Word, the Son) and without Him there was nothing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men`. Yes, God turned Himself from truly immortal spirit, into truly mortal flesh and blood. So, when the Lord decides it is time to utterly destroy Satan, one way that He could do it would be to turn Satan into a mortal man, flesh and blood. By the reading of this next scripture the afore mentioned scenario is brought very vividly into the realms of distinct possibility.
Isaiah 14: 9-17. `Hell (the grave) from beneath is moved for you (Satan) to meet you at your coming: it stirreth up the dead for you, even all the chief ones of the earth; it has raised up from their thrones (they stand with shock) all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto you, Are you also become as weak as we? are you become the same as us? Your pomp is brought down to the grave and also the sound of your viols. (harps) The worm is spread under you, and worms cover you. How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, (Satan`s previous name) son of the morning! how are you cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you had intended in your heart to ascend into heaven, and to exalt your throne above the stars of God. You also intended to sit upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north, and to ascend above the heights of the clouds so to be as The Most High. But instead, you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see you shall narrowly look upon you, and consider you, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms and made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof, and who opened not the house of his prisoners?
Now let`s read from the book of Ezekiel 28: 1-9. `The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying, Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, (Satan) Thus sayeth the Lord God; Because your heart is lifted up, and you have said, I too am God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet you are a man, and not God, even though you set your heart to be as God: Behold, you are wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from you, with your wisdom and with your understanding you have acquired riches for yourself, you have added gold and silver to your treasures. By your great wisdom and by your trading you have increased your riches, and your heart is lifted up because of your riches. Therefore, thus says the Lord God, Because you have set your heart to be as God, Behold, I will bring strangers upon you, the terrible of the nations, and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom, and they shall defile your brightness. They shall bring you down to the pit, and you shall die the deaths of those who are slain in the midst of the seas. Then, will you still insist upon saying to the person who kills you, I am God? But thou shalt be a man, and not God, in the hands of him that slays you`.
Still not convinced that this scripture refers to Satan? Then
let`s read from a few verses further on:
Ezekiel 28: 12-19. `Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus says the Lord God; You sealest up the sum, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You have been in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald and the carbunkle, and gold. The workmanship of your tabrets and of your pipes was prepared in you the day you were created. You are the annointed cherub that covers, and I have positioned you so: you were upon the holy mountain of God; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. You were perfect in all of your ways from the day that you were created, until iniquity was found in you. By the multitude of your merchandise they have filled the midst of you with violence, and you have sinned: therefore, I will cast you as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy you, O covering cherub from the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness: I will cast you to the ground, I will lay you before kings so that they may see you`. For those who do not know, `covering cherub` was one of Satan`s former titles.
What about the fallen angels, the one third of the angelic host who followed Satan after he rebelled against the Lord God, and have now become demons, will they be destroyed utterly? Well certainly something pretty catastrophic is going to happen to them at the time appointed. They may have a chance to repent, they may have already been given that chance and rejected it, believing the lie that Satan has told them that the Lord is a liar and that they will not die if they follow him (Satan). This is exactly the same lie that Satan told Eve in the garden of Eden in order to entice her to disobey the Lord, as we can read of in Genesis 3: 2-4. `And the woman said to the serpent, (Satan) We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, or you will die. (in time) And the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die`.
And as we know, Eve prefered to believe the word of Satan above that of the Lord`s, and humankind has been suffering the consequences of that act of disobedience ever since.
So, back to the demons. A clue as to what will happen to them can be found in Matthew 8: 29. `And behold, the demons cried out saying, What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? are You come here to torment us before the time?`
The demons obviously know that some dreaded punishment awaits them, but will it be total destruction? Here is another clue. In this next portion of scripture the demons actually use the word `destroy`. Mark 1: 23-24. `And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out saying, Let us alone, what have we to do with You, You Jesus of Nazareth? are you come to destroy us? I know You, who You are, the Holy One of God`.
We know that fire destroys, utterly, and so with that knowledge in mind consider for yourself the words of these next pieces of scripture and also the context and the scenario in which the word `fire` is being used.
Revelation 20: 14. `And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death`. The method of the`second death` is the one that destroys the human soul, the same death also destroys spirit beings.
Ezekiel 28: 18. `You (Satan) have defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your dealings; therefore I will bring forth a fire from the midst of you, it shall devour you, and I will bring you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold you`.
Now we`ll read a scripture that sums up the impossibility of Satan ever being allowed to exist forever alongside a loving God.
2Corinthians 6: 14. `Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness?`
Satan cannot, and therefore will not, have any part with the truth or with light and love. Likewise, the Lord God Almighty will not have any part with lies or darkness or hatred. The difference is, the Lord God is the One who can and will remedy the situation once and for all.
Remember this, the only power that Satan has is the power which the Lord God gave to him when he was known as Lucifer. He has been allowed to use that same power since he became Satan. The Lord can and will revoke that power and take it back when He decides the time has arrived for it to happen!
Now let`s read from the book of Hebrews 2: 14-15.`Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same, so that through His death He would destroy him that had the power of death, that is Satan. And free them who, through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage`.
From the reading of that last portion of scripture we can see the total contempt that the Lord God has for the one power that Satan personally lays claim to, the power of death. The Lord God, as Jesus Christ, flesh and blood, allowed Himself to be murdered, tortured to death. But death was to have no lasting power over Him. After three days and nights in the grave He arose from the dead, just as prophesy predicted that He would.
Satan`s only chance to overcome the Lord had failed, even though that chance (because of prophecy) had been known about well in advance and had been handed to him on a plate!
Satan knows full well that his fate is sealed, and he has known this at least since the creation of Adam and Eve. Nothing that he does or says now will save him, and as a consequence he is acting with a vicious but calculated recklessness. He has nothing to lose. He is now `hell bent` on taking as many souls as he possibly can along with himself to total destruction. This is evident by the way that he has acted in the past, by the way that he is acting now, and by the way that he is predicted to act in the very near future!
Satan will be destroyed and as a consequence death will cease to exist! They are both destined to be destroyed by fire. Further more, Revelation 21: 4. tells us, `And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; because the former things are passed away`.
Just as Almighty God is life and shall live forever, so Satan is death, and shall remain dead . . . forever!!!
IS JESUS A CHRISTIAN? At first, this may appear to be a somewhat stupid or even, to some, a blasphemous question and so I will re-phrase it. Do you suppose that if our Lord and God Creator, Jesus Christ, was to set His foot again upon this earth, right now, in this present day and age, would He, do you suppose be able to and readily identify Himself with any of today`s so-called `christians` and `christian` churches and of the things done by these churches that are being perpetrated in his holy name? Well, I for one do not think so, not a chance really, for instance, would Jesus recognize as being anything at all of His the likes of easter or christmas or the numerous and ever increasing `saints` days that world`s churches love inventing for themselves? Would He recognize as anything of His any of the so-called `holy days` which have been commanded and instituted by the mainstream `christian` churches? Would he recognize as anything of His any of the ceremonies and religious rites practised by these churches in His name? Would He recognize as anything of His the way that these church systems are organized, set up and run being governed as they are in a pyramidal hierarchy from the top down? Would He recognize as anything of His the worship of `holy` relics and carved lumps of wood and stone and moulded plaster `saints` or the sanctity of various large and expensive to run buildings which they call churches? Would He recognize as anything of His the enforced celibate life of thousands of priests? Would He recognize as anything of His the private and segregated religious communities which have cosseted themselves using the money of the poor to build strong protected buildings to keep out the real world and indulge themselves on the sumptuousness within? communities where the people who live within their protective confines only venture forth to extort even more money from their deceived congregations by holding their bogus `christian` ceremonies and rituals and making threats of eternal hell fire and damnation to anybody who dares questions the validity of the things that they do in the great God`s name. Yes, they keep their church congregations in ignorance of the truth by terrorizing them with Satanic lies about how they must pay unquestioning homage to their priests and that money donated to the church will, if given in sufficient quantity, assure them of eternal life and a reserved place in heaven, remember what Jesus had to say about money? I`ll paraphrase from Matthew 22: 19-21., `Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar`s and unto God, that which is God`s`. Does our great God, care anything at all about money? does He use it? does He value it? is not the world and all it`s gold and other precious things in it already His? how then can salvation be bought with money? rather it is the reverse, it is damnation that the love of money will buy for a person and that especially includes all the perverted priests and ministers of this world who daily blaspheme the name of our great God by the lies and the perversions that they so freely indulge themselves in at the expense of their cowering and spiritually lost congregations. Would Jesus recognize as being any of His the theory (and that`s all it is a theory) of evolution, this Satanic lie which, because it has been accepted by so many professing Christians, casts doubt on the very words of God and thus the authenticity of the whole bible especially the old testament wherein lie all of the ancient God given laws which have all so conveniently been misinterpreted or overruled or even dismissed out of hand by the world`s so called `christian` churches? Would Jesus recognize as being any of His all of the sadistic and Satanically inspired behaviour which has so many times been exposed by the world`s media which has and is being perpetrated in some of these `christian` church`s schools and orphanages and other institutions especially those involved in the supposed protection and upbringing of innocent and vulnerable children? Well, as any right thinking and decent true Christian knows, the answer to all of these questions is NO,… NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, Jesus would not recognize any of these things or this behaviour as having anything at all to do with Him, and yet it is all blasphemously being constantly churned out and perpetrated in his name, is it any wonder that the scripture states in Isaiah 52:5. `…and My name continually every day is blasphemed.` Probably the most important question that we should be asking is, would Jesus Christ our God and Creator, recognize as being His, the so-called `sunday` as being His set aside, special, weekly holy day Sabbath? well no, it is an invention of the roman catholic church, you will not find it mentioned anywhere in the bible, by keeping sunday, the people who keep it are deliberately refusing to keep the fourth commandment(see Exodus 20: 8-11.) Sunday, as a holy day of God the Father and God the Son, is an outright LIE. The recognition of and the keeping of the true Sabbath day is SO important that it was made a commandment and the breaking of any of God`s commandments is not something that should be undertaken lightly, if at all. All of the so called `christian` professing religions and their congregations should try and find within the pages of their own bibles any reference at all to the ceremonies and the rites and the `holy` days that they so ardently keep and protect, they should but I`ll save them the trouble, they will not find easter, christmas, hallo`een, or any `saints` days or alms days, the list goes on, but they will find the likes of this…`Bring no more vain oblations, incense is an abomination to Me, your new moons and sabbaths the calling of assemblies I cannot bear with them it is evil, even your solemn meetings. Your new moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates they are a trouble to Me and I am tired of excusing you for them…` read it all in Isaiah 1: 10-20. All of these false feast days and ceremonies are Satanically inspired, and they are playing their part very successfully in bringing this present Babylonian world order system to its` rapid and horrific end, and when that happens, I know whose side I want to be on and in whose grace and favour I want to be in, Jesus Christ`s. God will not allow this present state of affairs to continue for much longer now, He hates all of the lies and deceit that is being churned out in His Glorious Name, remember the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah, what the Lord did to those two evil cities? but for all of their sin, as great as it was, it is as nothing compared to what the world now practices as being `acceptable` and the `norm`,and if this was not bad enough, at least the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah did not go about committing their monstrous sins in the name of God the Father and Jesus Christ, unlike the great `christian` religions of this world do now. Back to Isaiah 1: and now verses 18-20. here we find our God offering the people one last chance to change but if they will not…`if you refuse and rebel you shall be destroyed with the sword, the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.` Only within the last few years or so it was announced that within what was once part of the royal city of king David, Tel Aviv, there are movements afoot to promote it as the `homosexual capital of the world`, how well then do the inspired words of the Lord found in Isaiah 1: 21., apply to this situation, they read…`How is the faithful city become a harlot, it was once full of judgment, righteousness lodged in it, but now murderers`. How, some will ask, can homosexuality be equated with murder? well, in God`s eyes the consequences of ANY sin is death and the scriptures state this quite clearly, Let`s have a look at Romans 6: 23. `For the wages of sin is death…` and we should all realize that anybody who deliberately flouts and disobeys any of God`s laws or that encourages another person to break them by whatsoever means, will be guilty not only of their own fate but also of the murder of the person that they have deliberately led astray. But a born homosexual is a born homosexual, I hear the cry, just as a cripple is born a cripple, yes, this is so,and we are all sinners in one way shape and form in the eyes of our God, but we are expected to recognize and repent of our individual shortcomings and sins as best that we can, continually striving not to let them get the better of us, we are NOT expected by our God to be encouraged to indulge ourselves freely and without due concern in our imperfections and our sexual perversions because if we continue down that path of behaviour and thinking, it will not be long before things such as child molestation and rape become morally acceptable and legal. Our sins have NOT `been nailed to the cross` and done away with as some perverted so called christians and christian churches of this world would have us believe, in Matthew 5: 17-18. we can read these very words of Jesus Christ…`Do not think that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets, for I am come not to destroy but to fulfil, for truly I say to you, until heaven and earth cease to exist, not one letter or punctuation mark will in no way be removed from the law until all the law be fulfilled.` In the book of Jeremiah, chapter 10. verses 1-4 read as follows: `Hear you the word that the Lord speaks to you O house of Israel,thus says the Lord, learn not the way of the heathen , and do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven as the heathens are dismayed by them, for the customs of the people are vain, one of them will cut a tree out of the forest using an axe, then the people proceed to adorn it with silver and gold, they make it steady with fastenings of nails so that it will not fall..` It is clearly stated, `Learn not the way of the heathen..` and yet here, pictured in those few words from Jeremiah, is an event that is practised by every so called `christian` church and its` members every year, even twice a year for some of them, they just can`t get enough of it, does the description of this event, this pagan, heathen ritual that they practice, seem familiar? it should because it is an almost perfect description of the raising and the decorating of a so called `christmas` tree, how many thousands of years ago was this account in Jeremiah written? and we think society has moved on so much, a person would not unreasonably expect that in these times of fast living and super technology, internet highways and the like, they would have at least by now have created a hologram of a `christmas` tree, just switch it on, as and when it was felt to be needed, but silly me, I was forgetting, where would all the ceremony be in merely doing that? where would all the mass, happy, hysteria be? Think, is it any wonder at all that the majority of these large `christian` churches have conveniently, for them, done away with the old testament and its` constant reminders of the vile practices which they perform in the name of God? But all is not lost, some of us can take heart, because we know that there is one VERY important Person in the new testament who did not and still has not, done away with any of God`s laws and if anything has magnified them, let`s look at what Jesus Christ says in Matthew 5: 27-28. `You have heard that it was said by them of old time that you shall not commit adultery, but I say to you that whomsoever looks on a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.` In Romans 3: 31. the apostle Paul also has something to say about the law of God, it reads as this…`Because we have faith, does that then mean that the law does not apply to us? God, forbid, rather we establish the law`. What then should we suppose that the professing `christians` of this world make of these words in Romans, if anything at all? it`s so easy to ignore bits of scripture that are upsetting to a person, so easy to find others that feel the same way and if there are enough people who feel likewise aggrieved well, why not start a church? call it something like `the reformed words of God church` or more accurately, `the words of God, reformed, church` or totally accurately, `the words of God, ignored, church`. So, is the law of the old testament done away with because of the existence of new testament? no, not one bit, whenever Jesus Christ refers to the law, He is of course referring to the whole law of the old testament, remember, the new testament was not even written in Christ`s lifetime. So what then do we find that has and is happening with the world`s `christian` churches, well it would appear that whenever they come across a law that offends them or their congregations, depending of course on the majority of public opinion, just like politicians, they either twist it to suit their own purposes or they ignore it, how convenient for them. Well, the question may reasonably be asked, how is it that these blasphemous and blatant lying omissions and alterations to God`s laws, are so hard for the average church-goer to recognize? It is of course because of Satan`s influence but also because of the fact that generally most `christians` of this world have become lazy, accepting every word of their priests and ministers without double checking it for themselves by consulting their own bibles, how many of them I wonder have even picked up the bible for themselves and read it? and I don`t just mean the odd scripture here and there and that usually read out of context and usually only in the first four gospels of the new testament. They may not realize it but they are leaving their very salvation in the hands of their deceiving priests and ministers when instead they should be working it out for themselves as it states in Philippians 2: 12. `…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.` Unfortunately, people are only too willing to do exactly what they imagine will be alright in God`s eyes and when things start to go seriously wrong, when tragedy strikes, or loved ones die in terrible and/or unexpected circumstances, more often than not, the first `person` that is blamed is God, and this is so easy and convenient for them to do, shift all of the blame onto our loving God`s shoulders, no need for them to feel any guilt about what has happened, it`s all God`s fault, when the odds are that God doesn`t even know them because they have never made the effort to get know Him. How do I get to know God then? some may ask, well, a good place for them to start, ironically, would be to stop, stop and stand back from their current way of living their lives and falsely worshipping in false `christian` churches and keeping abominable pagan and Satanic `holy` days and festivals because if they do not then they will continue to remain blind to the truth and over the years become less and less able to withstand the onslaught of more and more Satanic lies and entrapments and become more and more reliant on having to run to their priests and ministers who by then will probably have less idea about the truth and what to do when Satan really begins to `turn the screw`, than they themselves. Unfortunately many of the world`s `christian` churches and their respective congregations no longer possess any receptiveness to the truth, for they have been weaned on carnally attractive doctrines of Satanic lies, and when the truth is offered to them they have a tendency to rage against it and the person offering it to them with a Satanic venom, they seem not able to accept reasoned argument and only remain silent until they can no longer contain themselves and then they begin to blurt out a well rehearsed tirade which may or may not have anything to do with the topic currently being discussed. As the years progress, the Satanically weaned and indoctrinated personality can be perceived to not be able to create anything in truth, it can only truly destroy the truth and encourage others to do likewise, it has become everything that is in direct opposition to love and for a true definition of love let`s read what 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8. has to say: `Love suffers long and is kind, love does not envy it does not boast of itself and it is not arrogant, it does not indulge in unseemly behaviour it is not selfish nor is it easily provoked and it imagines no wrong of others, it does not rejoice in iniquity but in the truth, it puts up with all things and doubts not, it hopes all things and endures all things, love never fails unlike prophecies which shall fail and tongues and knowledge which shall pass away`. At this juncture I will mention that I know that some reading this will be thinking..`but haven`t our sins been `nailed to the cross`?` well let`s see what the bible is really saying about this, let`s start by reading it in its` full and proper context, it`s in Colossians 2: 13-14. `And you being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of the flesh has He made alive together with Himself having forgiven you all trespasses, blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us and which was contrary to us and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross.` If we read carefully we can identify exactly what is being said here, in verse 13 it states..`having forgiven you all trespasses..` the word forgiven, it implies the past tense, and so when combined with verse 14, it means that Christ has nailed all of our PAST sins to the cross, just as baptism cleanses us of our PAST sins, it does not mean that we have been given `carte blanche`, the freedom, to commit sins as and when we want without receiving any punishment for committing those sins. As with any newly committed sin, the person who has sinned should go on their knees before God, tell Him of the sin and ask His forgiveness, but beware, this apparent loophole does not give the serial sinner an easy way out, the Lord is not stupid, He may suffer fools to a degree, but in no way will He ever suffer somebody who dares to think that He is a fool. So, although our sins can be forgiven us, we must constantly strive not to sin, Jesus said as much to the woman who was caught in the very act of adultery, we can read of it in John 8: 10-11. …`When Jesus rose to His feet and saw nobody else but the woman, He said to her, Woman, where are your accusers? hasn`t anybody condemned you? She said, Nobody my Lord, and Jesus said, Then neither do I condemn you, go, and do not sin any more.` If we were to think along the lines of the people who insist that no matter what they do, their sins will be covered, `nailed to the cross`, then it must of necessity follow that Jesus Christ came down upon this earth to suffer a slow, agonizing, torture induced death on our behalf, so that sin may freely abound. Is that what He did? No, no He did not, Let`s take a look at Romans 5: 20-21. and 6: 1-2. …`Moreover the law entered that the offence might abound. But where sin entered, grace did much more abound. What then shall we make of this? Shall we continue in our sins so that grace may abound? God forbid, How shall the person who is dead to sin continue practising sin?` For a more detailed account of the apostle Paul`s explanation, it is advisable to read all of chapters 4, 5 and 6, of Romans. Here`s a thought to be going on with, if the whole world was to follow, or rather had been following the ridiculous doctrine of all of our sins having been `nailed to the cross`, there would be very few if any, people left alive by now, the worldwide `free for all` that would have existed would have succeeded in wiping out the human race, exactly what Satan has been trying to do for thousands of years. (And without our all-powerful God`s timely interventions throughout the ages, Satan would have accomplished his murderous mission by now.) Unfortunately, (for the world) this world is now in the `end time`, the Lord God is loosening His protection and allowing the forces of evil to run their course, thus ensuring that end-time prophecies will eventually come true and this, sadly, includes the `falling away` of once true churches of God as outlined in 2 Thessalonians 2: 3. it reads..`Do not let any man deceive you by any means, for that day (the day of the Lord`s vengeance) shall not come except that there is a falling away first(of true church bretheren) and that the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition.` And so it is that now, what is left of the faithful bretheren of these few, true churches of God, are getting older and older, certainly at the time of writing , and there is very little, if any, young blood coming in. Honestly, what do you think, do you think that Jesus Christ recognizes any of the so-called `saints` days or even the `saints` themselves that mankind has created for himself? We should realise that quite apart from the true saints that both God the Father and Jesus Christ God the Son recognize, (which by the way have not got any God ordained days dedicated to them) apart from these true saints and those of us who are yet to be recognized as saints by the Lord, all the other `saints` are quite literally Satanically inspired, created by the mainstream, professing `christian` churches of this world. They have invented for themselves a `saint` for practically every conceivable occasion, they must run into thousands, and if they haven`t yet got a `saint` for saints and they are reading this then I would suppose that they will now be considering that one as well. It could all be dismissed as comical if it were not so serious, and therein lies the danger. Satan is not so stupid as to think that people will believe lies and nothing but lies, he likes to add a sprinkling of the truth here and there, and truth that is used in this way, to add weight to a lie, is in danger in the eyes of the public at large, of becoming a part of that lie when the lie is uncovered. Just look at the state of politics and politicians, prime examples of how to lose public confidence and credibility, and this is exactly what Satan wants these so-called `christian` churches to be doing in direct and bare faced opposition to the very commandments of the one high God. These false Christian churches and their multitudinous and deceived congregations have been removed even more steps further away from the one true God because of their obsession with their idolatrous `saints`, don`t they understand that anything that they allow to come between themselves and God (and this especially applies to their priests and ministers) is, in God`s eyes, a vile and abominable sin? Did Jesus suffer an agonizing death on the torture stake (thus literally and spiritually tearing down the veil that separated the congregation from the holly of hollies so that mankind could have direct access to God the Father without the need of ANY intermediaries) just so that future generations would bow down to trumped-up churchmen and lumps of plaster, stone and wood? Let`s take a look at the words of Matthew 18: 6-7. `But whosoever shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it would be better for them if a millstone were to be hung around their neck and that they were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offences, but it must needs be that offences will occur but woe to them by whom the offence comes.` Is Jesus solely referring to `little children` in these words? or is He, as He so often does in His teachings, alluding to a bigger picture? He is of course referring to the people in general who have come to believe in Him and His ideals but, because of the Satanically motivated teachings and perverted behaviour of others, especially priests and ministers, they have decided to have nothing more to do with what they quite rightly perceive as their perverted doctrines and morals, all of which have been and are being lyingly and blasphemously perpetrated in the name of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. It is obvious to me and to others that these `christian` churches do not have the faith to accept the one true God and to worship Him only, no, they like to `hedge their bets`, just in case, they have had to invent many demi-gods for themselves including the embracing and the worshipping of `saints` and `relics` and idols and demons, yes demons (devils), let`s take a look at 1 Corinthians 10: 19-20. `What am I saying then, that the idol is of any importance? or that which is offered to idols is of any importance? Well I say that the things that the gentiles offer up to idols they offer up to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have anything to do with demons.` Need any more convincing? well let`s have a look at Revelation 9: 20. `And the rest of the men that were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils (demons) and idols of gold and silver and brass and stone and of wood which neither can see nor hear nor walk.` The trouble is that mostly people do not stop and think for themselves, their lazy and oftentimes indifferent attitude and approach to true religion, ie., Christianity, sometimes beggars belief, take for example the person who was making a nice profit, thank you very much, at the roman catholic `shrine` of Knock, in Southern Ireland, what do you suppose that he was selling? well, believe it or not, he was selling SIGNED PHOTOGRAPHS of `saint` Patrick. We can see from such examples that people who are caught up in religious fervour do not stop to think things through for themselves, they leave all of their spiritual salvation in the hands of their false `christian` churches and their false and perverted priests and ministers. So, seeing that they are so free and easy with their very eternal spiritual salvation, I wonder how many are also so free and easy with the earthly life that they have at the moment? I wonder how many, for example, would refuse to join the armed forces citing as the reason..`I`m not having anybody dictating to ME what I should or should not do by giving ME orders, a person`s mind is not their own in the armed forces..` but they cannot see, or they care not, that giving their mind over to their priests and ministers is what they do all the time, but it`s much worse than that, they are placing their very souls into the hands of a Satanically run system, they are in far greater danger of being killed than they ever would be on a battle field, and I dont just mean physically killed. Having given their salvation over to another’s mind or keeping, what they then fail to realize is that that person has in turn given their mind and salvation over to the keeping of another person higher up in the pyramidal hierarchical chain of command, until, at the top, and I mean the VERY top of this command system, is to be found their `high priest`, Satan, the devil. Satan rules supreme over his churches and the people caught up within their Satanic systems and he will not relinquish any of these wretched and deceived people willingly, let`s a look at Romans 16: 17-18. … `Now I beseech you bretheren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the teaching which you have learned, and avoid them, for they are such that do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ but their own bellies, and by the use of good words and fair speeches deceive the minds of the unsuspecting.` So, moving on, what should we suppose that Jesus makes of the festivals celebrated in His name? let`s take the so-called `easter` for example, does He recognize it? oh, I`m sure He does, all of it, and I`m also sure that He recognizes it as being NONE of His, why not? well, let`s start with the first of the observances of this pagan feast, (for that is what it is) the `easter sunrise`. This constitutes a set of devotions whereby the minister or priest encourages his congregation to face towards the east, towards the rising sun and pray, to whom I wonder?, Now is this a Christian, Christ ordained act of worship? No, it is for all intents and purposes sun worship, I`d bet a penny to a pound that any primitive, uneducated human being would recognize it as such. Now as for the `easter bunny` and the `easter eggs` well, they are all pagan fertility symbols, can you see where this is leading? but more importantly, can you see where it has come from? Regarding the ritual of the giving of the `easter eggs`, this thinly veiled fertility ceremony, let`s have a look at something from a reference book which goes by the title of, `The Catholic Encyclopaedia` ….`Easter eggs: The symbolic meaning of a new creation of mankind by Jesus risen from the dead was probably an invention of later times, the custom may have its` origins in paganism for a great many pagan customs celebrating the return of spring gravitated towards easter. The egg is the emblem of the germinating life of early spring. (Now get this next bit) The `easter rabbit` lays the eggs.(????) The `easter rabbit` lays the eggs for which reason they are hidden in a nest in a garden.` Talk about adult fairy tales, but then again, thinking about it, they would have to be `adult`, because I`m sure that an educated child would not have come up with such trite hogwash. The encyclopaedia goes on to state that an `easter fire` is lit upon the mountain tops and that the original pagan practices associated with `easter` were never really abolished but rather they were adapted and absorbed into the roman catholic church under the guise of `christian` festivals. An example of this subterfuge is the way that these sacrificial `easter fires` are explained and re-invented in the encyclopaedia, quote: `The fiery column that guided the Israelites in the wilderness and also to the resurrection of Christ, the new fire on holy saturday is drawn from flint, symbolising the resurrection by the light of the world from the tomb closed by a stone.` Well, there we have it, can you see ANY sense in that? let alone any Christian sense, no, it`s just a load of Satanic `smoke and mirrors`, and this bit that is quoted here is just a snippet, it goes on and on, and the topic of `easter` itself would take more time to write about than I have to give in this one message. Suffice it for now then that I will give you the true derivation of the name `easter`. It comes from the ancient (and still widely practised by the world`s so-called `christian` churches) Babylonian Mystery Religion, yes, from ancient Babylon, Assyria. These peoples worshipped the pagan gods `Ashtorath` and `ishtar`/ `aester`, which is another name for the wife of `Nimrod`. Nimrod is the person who started the Babylonian system and its` corresponding Babylonian Mystery Religion. Among the Babylonians the name `Ashtorath` is pronounced by leaving the final syllable silent and was subsequently translated into the English language as `Ishtar`. The letter `I` was then substituted and given the English long `E` sound and the `H` was dropped and thus it became the current word `easter` and proclaimed a `christian` festival. Would Jesus Christ call this abominable festival of `easter` a Christian festival? and if He did, would He then call Himself a `christian`? well, no, because Jesus Christ knows what true Christianity is and He is not a liar and `He cannot deny Himself` as it states in 2 Timothy 2: 13. As all of the true churches of God know, `easter`, is not the only false `christian` ceremony, perhaps the biggest and the most world-wide celebrated is the blasphemously entitled `christmas`, which as any common dictionary will tell its` reader, is a thinly disguised, pagan Roman festival known as the `saturnalia`. Now, as bad as it is from a true Christian point of view, the celebration of `christmas` has degenerated even more from the time when it was first instigated in so much that it has now almost entirely lost any `christian` significance (as erroneous as that was anyway) at all, and `christmas` is now being celebrated as a pagan festival in its` own right. Inform somebody of the fact that `christmas` is not in fact Jesus Christ`s birthday and they will simply shrug it off, saying that that know that anyway or they`ll say that they don`t believe in Jesus but hey, a party is a party, and `feelgood time is `feelgood` time, no matter what the reason for it. So the `christian` peoples of this world have their `easter` and their `christmas` and their `saints` days and their `sundays` and their hallowe`ens, oh yes, their hallowe`ens, now how can anybody in their right thinking mind attribute anything righteous or Christ-like, to this Satanic abomination? It is nothing more than a completely evil concoction comprising as it does of goblins, trolls, witches, demons, sorcerers, warlocks, decaying and skeletal corpses, zombies, and the blackmail and threat of the American introduced `trick or treat`, a comparatively recent innovation that one, yes, Satan is still working on his projects, keeping them up to date on a regular basis. Death rules supreme in this festival, and we all should know who the `god` of death is. The celebration of this festival is in direct opposition to love and life, all in fact that God the Father and God the Son Jesus Christ, stand for. So where did this detestable festival originate? well, briefly, I will tell you. This night of `hallowe`en long predates Christianity, (but NOT the laws of God) and it is of course completely pagan in origin and it is the pagan belief that this night of `hallowe`en` is the one night of the year when demons and the `living dead` are to be (more or less) openly abroad and accessible upon this earth. History indicates that the main celebrations of `hallowe`en were purely of the `druids`, the pagan priesthood of Ireland and western Europe, and this is further substantiated by the fact that in certain parts of Ireland, hallowe`en is still known as `oidhch Shamhna` or in English, `the vigil of Saman`, Saman being the `lord of the dead` a directly opposed position to our Lord, our true Christian God, Jesus Christ, who has stated quite categorically in the scriptures in Matthew 22: 32. ..`I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, God is not the God of the dead but of the living.` and if we read Luke 20: 38. it states..`For He is not a God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.` But, and no surprise here, this festival of `hallowe`en was also celebrated by the Romans, they held their celebrations in honour of `pomona`, not on Oct.31st. but on Nov.1st. Well, we who keep the correct beginning and ending of the day (sunset to sunset) know that both the 31st. of Oct. and the 1st. of Nov. are more or less at the same time come their respective ending and beginning. As with so many other pagan ceremonies, `hallowe`en` centres around the erroneous belief of the absolute immortality of the human soul. True Christians know that this belief has no biblical or scriptural foundation, in fact the scriptures tell us of just the opposite, let`s have a read of Matthew 10: 28. ..`And fear not them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul, but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell.` So the deceived of this world cling to the erroneous belief that their `loved ones` having died, are now existing in the world of the `living dead` some believe that these `living dead` now survive on in the form of `low` animal life such as insects and so they perform their `hallowe`en` rituals in the hope of somehow appeasing and coaxing the `lord of the dead` (Satan, of course) to allow their departed `loved ones` to achieve a higher status of life form. So, basically, that is what `hallowe`en` is really about, can anybody reading this see anything remotely Christian in any of this? No, of course not, sorry to say but it is demonic in the extreme, and yet it continues to be sanctified and approved of and practised by the world`s mainstream so-called `christian` churches, particularly the roman catholic church and its` mirror sister churches (they usually like to go under the guise of `protestant` or `anglican`) for this festival of `hallowe`en` is one of their most solemnly observed occasions. What then should we suppose that the one true God has to say, if anything, about these false `christian` holy days? Let`s look at what the scriptures tell us in Amos 5: 21-23. ..`I hate, I despise YOUR feast days and I will not accept the burnt incense offered during YOUR appointed assemblies. Even though you offer Me burned offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them, neither will I accept the peace offerings of your fat beasts. Take away from Me the noise of YOUR songs for I do not want to hear the music that you make.` `I hate, I despise YOUR feast days…` and that of course includes the real darling and money spinner of these false churches, `christmas.` As most of us already know, the apostles were first called Christians at a place called Antioch, we can read this in Acts 11: 26. ..`And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And it came to pass that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.` We can suppose rightly that this was not a name given to them directly from God the Father, or by Jesus, even so the apostles did not object to being called Christians and neither did they offer any scriptural reasons not to be known as such, rather I would think, they wore the `badge` with honour. But alas, in our present and ever more materialistic day and age, to be known as a Christian is to be adorned with all of the vile trappings which have become associated with the title, such as all of the detestable , sinful and Satanic Babylonian mystery religion`s anti-Christian ceremonies and brutalities practised by many of its` priests masquerading as ministers of God, let`s have a look at 2 Corinthians 11: 13-15. ..`For such are false apostles deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works.` Ask anybody on the street who is a non Christian or just totally secular, what they think that a person who calls themselves a `christian` really stands for, because these people are the ones who are able to stand back and see all that has been and is being blasphemously done in the name of Christianity, in the name of Jesus Christ and they will tell you that they want none of it, and indeed, what right thinking follower of Jesus Christ, would? But a word of caution, even though the `christian` priests and ministers of this world are responsible for the current shameful state of modern day perceived `christianity`, they are not totally to blame. God does not regard the people as totally innocent in this state of affairs, indeed, He says that the people..`love to have it so..` let`s read it in Jeremiah 5: 30-31. ..`An appalling and horrible thing is committed in the land, the prophets prophesy falsely and the priests bear rule by their laws and My people love to have it so, and what will you do in the end thereof?` and we can marry that scripture up with John 3: 19. `..And this is the judgment, that light is come into the world, but men loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.` And we can marry to this Jeremiah 9: 6. ..`Your living is in the midst of deceit, and through deceit they refuse to know Me, says the Lord.` So, what according to the scriptures, is to be mankind`s reward for putting the trust of their very salvation into the hands of their priests and ministers? Well, we have God`s judgment on this, let`s read Jeremiah 17: 5. ..`Thus says the Lord God, cursed be the man who puts his trust in man and makes flesh his saviour and whose heart departs from the Lord.` And so, to come back to the title of this message, `Is Jesus a `Christian?` or rather a `christian?`, well the answer should now be logically…no. Those of us who try to follow as best as we can the teachings of Jesus Christ are the true Christians and there are not many of us walking this earth at the present time, in fact, I would suppose that we are not considered to be Christians at all by the current mainstream `christian` churches and their adherents or the current world perception of `christianity`. As I mentioned earlier, we know that Jesus `cannot deny Himself`, 2Timothy 2: 12-13. tells us that, but also He cannot (how can I phrase this?) He cannot follow Himself, because He is the one who leads, leads by example, and so by His example we, are to follow Him, and so logically it is the followers of Jesus Christ who are the true Christians, but that aside, Jesus Christ Himself would not take up the banner of a false `christian` identity attached to a multi-billion dollar money spinning organization that is currently running the biggest extortion racket that the world has ever experienced and that is all being abominably and blasphemously perpetrated in His holy name. And so to sum up, Jesus Christ makes His triumphant return to this earth at His second coming, and He may well have this to say to all of the false `christian` churches and their adherents when he does return, let`s look at Matthew 7: 21-23. ..`Not everyone that says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that does the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name? and in Your name have we not cast out demons? and in your name done many wonderful works? And I will profess to them, I never knew you, depart from Me, you workers of evil.` Jesus may even go on to say something like, …You have abused and blasphemed My holy name and dragged it through the mire of lies and deceit but now I have come to reclaim It, for It is of Me and of those that are Mine… Then, I think, bretheren, and only then, will the title of Christian, be once more accorded the honour which it once had when it was first used, and not only by a few this time, but by all who live upon the earth.
Well, are we ready to drink of the cup? will we when the time comes be able to summon up the strength and the faith and the courage and also the love and understanding to even think about `the cup` let alone drink its` contents? So, what is this `cup`? Fair question, for any true Christian it should be the cup that Jesus Christ had to drink of as mentioned in Matthew 20: 22. and He asks…`are you able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of?…` At the moment, a lot of the bretheren of the true Christian churches of this world have been hesitating and holding the cup to their lips for years, they have been meaning to drink but courage has failed them at the last second. They must ask themselves, have they really considered that the day may not be too far away now when they will be required, by God the Father, to drink its` contents no matter what they may be? So, when the time does arrive, will the contents of our cup be sweet in the mouth and eternally bitter in the belly, or bitter in the mouth and forever sweet in the belly? Does God expect us to down the contents of this cup, at the very first thought of us doing so, or should we be calm and considerate in the approach to what, after all, is to be a defining chapter in the book of our lives, but let`s remember, having made the decision to drink then we must not hesitate. Let`s try and get some perspective on the situation, let`s look firstly at Psalm 40: 6. it states…`Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, my ears have You opened, burned offering and sin offering have You not required.` and now let`s have a read of Matthew 10: 16-18. `Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves, be you therefore as wise as serpents but harmless as doves. But beware of men because they will deliver you up to the authorities and they will scourge you in their synagogues and you will be brought before governers and kings for My sake for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.` Does God the Father not only expect us all to drink of the cup that Jesus Christ, His Son, drank of but also to suffer ALL of the same consequences of drinking from that cup? It would appear, from the reading of the scriptures, that Jesus did not insist that any of His disciples would have to drink from `His` cup and thus suffer the exactly the same things as He would suffer, for instance, we have the example of James and John, which I touched on in part as the first scripture in this message so let`s have a further look at it in Matthew 20: 20-23. ` Then came to Him the mother of Zebedee`s children with her sons, worshipping Him and desiring a certain thing of Him. And He said to her, what will you? and she asks of Him, grant that my two sons may sit, the one on Your left hand and the other on Your right in Your kingdom. But Jesus replied, you do not know what you are asking of me, and He said to them, are you able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of and also be baptized with the baptism that I am to be baptized with?` In verse 24. we can continue to read about how displeased the rest of the disciples were with James and John over this but nowhere can we read that they all then started clamouring to drink of this same cup, nor indeed, so it would appear, was this cup ever offered to them, at this time, in their turn. Nevertheless, we true christians do have a cup to partake of, and the ingredients of this cup are to be mostly, of our own making. If we manage to `overcome this world` (not necessarily always succeeding but always trying) if we can turn away from evil, resist temptation, overcome fleshly lusts and the cares and the wants of this material world, then we begin to fill our cup with wholesome and ultimately palatable ingredients which we add to daily, in other words when we finally drink of the cup we will eventually reap that which we Maranatha MinistryMenu
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have sown, mostly good we would hope but we must also as a consequence of the ways of this world, and because we have drunk of the cup, be prepared to fall prey to the bad and unjust and corrupt laws and rulers that exist within the world. Let`s have a look at Isaiah 59: 14-15. `And judgment is turned away backward, and justice stands afar off, for truth is fallen in the street and equity cannot enter. Yes truth fails and he that departs from evil makes himself a prey, and the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice.` We who are true, practising Christians, will need total and absolute faith in these perilous times, these `latter days` in which we now live, faith not only to drink from our particular cup but to keep the contents at a manageable level for ourselves, let`s read Hebrews 10: 38-39. `Now the just shall live by faith, but if any man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them that draw back to destruction, but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.` The Lord does not want us to go so far and achieve so much by filling up our cup with good and worthwhile things only to find that when the `crunch` comes, we fail, we realise too late that we have taken too much upon ourselves by thinking in the past `yes, I`m up for that, and that and that` only for us to eventually drink and then vomit all our cup`s contents out. If we turn to the Lord for help in our most fear- filled and seemingly hopeless moment, He will not forsake us, so we should never forsake Him. Psalm 41: 11. quotes, ` By this I know that you favour me, because my enemy does not triumph over me.` To understand this in context you should read the whole of Psalm 41. There is of course a very real sacrifice expected of us as professing and practising Christians and we must understand that this sacrifice is not just a quick one-off, never to be repeated affair, and that we should be in the process of making our sacrifice and so filling our cup, right now. What is our sacrifice then? Well, the beginning of our sacrifice starts with repentence and then trying to maintain our commitment to that repentence, this, if we do it right, cannot help but bring about a dramatic change in our lives because we find that we are constantly fighting a battle on two `fronts` as it where, not only do we have to resist Satan and his demons, we also have to overcome our own fleshly lusts and desires. It is not easy, no true Christian anywhere at any time has ever said that it was easy. Satan does not rest, and apart from a good night`s sleep, neither should we. Any sacrifices that we make of our own invention will, invariably, not be seen as acceptable to the Lord. The scriptures clearly indicate the sacrifices which are acceptable to the Lord, so let`s have a look at Romans 12: 1-2. `I beseech you therefore bretheren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service, and do not be conformed to this world, but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may show that which is good and acceptable and perfect to the will of God.` And we should also read Isaiah 56: 1-2. and 6-7. `Thus says the Lord, keep you judgment and do justice, for My salvation is near to come and My righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that does this and the son of man that lays hold on it, that keeps the Sabbath day and from polluting it and stays his hand from committing any evil. Also the sons of the stranger that join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants, everyone that keeps the Sabbath day, from profaning it, and takes hold of My covenant.` Yes, the keeping of the Sabbath day is a sacrifice to those Christians who have to insist on not working that day. I can tell you from experience, it is not at all appreciated by employers these days who are only too quick to brand a Sabbath keeper as being `inflexible`. The Lord God no longer requires of us the sacrifice of animals and their spilt blood, no, what He wants from us nowadays is described in Psalm 51: 17. `The sacrifices of God, are a broken spirit and a contrite heart, He will not despise these.` So, no more `easy` sacrifice, now we are expected to work to produce it. No more the one-off burned offering of flesh or fat or grain, which we then turn our backs on and forget about until it`s time for the next offering to be made, no, the sacrifices that we are to make now are to be continuing ones, ones made of our own free will but also made with the knowledge that we make them truly from the heart. Now we should remind ourselves what the scriptures say about the human heart, let`s read Jeremiah 17: 9. `The heart is deceitful above all things and desparately wicked, who can know it?` So, obviously, we need a change of heart, let`s look at Deuteronomy 10: 16. `Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stubborn.` and now to Deuteronomy 30: 6. `And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.` Now this next thing that I write may appear obvious but I`ll write it anyway. Unless the Lord knows you and in turn you know the Lord, how can He possibly `circumcise` your heart? If we make sacrifices because of our faith, then the Lord will not in anyway ignore them, in fact He regards them as a binding agreement between Himself and the person who makes the sacrifice, providing of course that the sacrifice is an acceptable one, let`s have a look at Psalm 50: 5. `Gather My saints together to Me, those that have made an agreement with Me by sacrifice.` So, what if the sacrifice that a person makes is not acceptable to the Lord, is that person then wasting their time? Well, yes, they may think that they do right by the Lord but they may even actually be insulting Him, we can find an example of this behaviour if we look at Malachi 1: 6-8. `A son honours his father and a servant his master, if I then be a Father, where is My honour? and if I be a master, where is My respect? says the Lord of hosts to you O priests that despise My Name. And you say, Wherein have we despised Your Name? You offer polluted bread upon My altar and you say wherein have we polluted You? In that you say the table of the Lord is contemptible. And if you offer the blind for sacrifice is it not evil? and if you offer the lame and the sick, is it not evil? offer it then to your governer, will he be pleased with you or accept your person? says the Lord of hosts.` These people that the Lord speaks of in that last scripture, instead of taking the best of their flock or their produce and offering it to the Lord, were simply obeying the letter of the law, just going through the ritual without giving any due respect to the person that the ritual was supposed to please. They were selecting all the diseased and lame animals that would have died soon anyway and all of the `past its` best` food and stale bread and offering it to God. So we have to be mindful of what we consider a sacrifice. What then is a fitting sacrifice? well, take any one of the ten commandments for example, they are all fittting `sacrifices` for us carnally minded humans to obey but the real sacrifice is to keep ALL ten of them, if we read James 2: 10. it tells us. . .`For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumbles in one point, he is guilty of all.` Being human, the best that most of us can achieve is Maranatha MinistryMenu
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trying to keep all ten of them and then realising that when we haven`t, ask God for forgiveness for that failure. Another example of an unacceptable sacrifice would be that of Cain, Abel`s brother, you can read it for yourself in Genesis 4: 4-5. But as difficult as things may become for us at times, we must never lose heart or think that we are not just good enough, remember, as soon as any one of us realises that we have committed a sin, we should instantly pray to God and ask His forgiveness. Now this can be done anywhere and at any time, for example, if the situation is awkward and in full public view you don`t have to get down on your knees and pray, just be mindful to acknowledge your sin and you can give a proper apology later, in private. We must also be mindful that we cannot overcome sin or be forgiven of it without God`s help and grace, and `speaking` of grace, it is only because of it that we have any direct communication with our God at all and that by it He is willing to listen to and forgive us our sins, let`s take a look at another scripture, 1 Corinthians 15: 10. `But by the grace of God, I am what I am, and His grace that was bestowed upon me was not in vain, in fact I laboured more abundantly than they all and yet it was not me, but the grace of God which was with me.` So, we have a situation, does being `under grace` automatically excuse and forgive us of all sin without any of us having to give it a second thought? well, let`s read what the apostle Paul has to say in Romans 6: 15-16. `What then, shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? God forbid. Don`t you relise that to whom you give yourselves over to be servants to obey, then his servants you are to whom you give yourselves over to obey? whether to be servants of sin which leads to death or to be servants of obedience which leads to righteousness.` Many of us keep on committing the same old personal sins that we have been struggling to overcome for years, we just manage to keep them under control and then one day, whammo, too late, we`ve done it again. But even this backsliding can hold a grain of hope, for if we look back over the years we might just notice how much better we have progressively become at not committing those same old sins as often as we once used to do. Resisting the `sins of the world`, that is to say the sins that everybody else about us so freely indulge in and are seemingly getting away with, is particularly hard for many novice Christians to attain to, especially as many of these sins are condoned by society, the media and most of this world`s governments. The true Christian constantly finds him or herself battling `against the flow`, especially as TRUE Christianity is not even recognized by the world`s so-called `christian` churches. But we can take heart by remembering that our Lord Jesus has made the ultimate sacrifice to enable all of us, good and bad, to be here upon this earth up to and until this present time and we should always remember that His sacrifice came at such a great price to Himself, and that it also carries a price for us to pay as well. He did not lay down His Godly glory and then His life so that unrepented of sin may abound without there still being a price to pay by those who commit such sin. We must, as the scripture tells us, `purge out the old leaven`, (1 Corinthians 5: 7.) which means we must get rid of our old bad ways and habits, and start to look at life with a new heart and mind and then, armed with this new outlook we will find it so much easier to resist and overcome sin. Remember what Jesus said about the new wine, that it has to be put into new wineskins? (Mark 2: 22.) well it`s the same with God`s holy spirit. We have to purge out all the things that are abhorrent and abominable in God`s eyes but still seem desirable to our own, it`s not easy, righteous self sacrifice is never easy, but righteous self sacrifice should be the main ingredient of our `cup`. Remember, God, is, God, and all that that little word could possibly signify and more, so He does NOT have to give reasons for, or explain any of His motives to the likes of us but. . . . He often does, sometimes directly but more often than not just by giving us enough time to realise that His works and concepts, such as the ten commandments are so necessary, even for our very survival. And so we find we have to fill our `cup` with good and wholly acceptable `things,` things that will please our God, our Heavenly Father, and that when the time comes for us to drink of it we will already in part know what `flavour` it will be and that we will be able to swallow all of it without vomitting it back out. When we constantly battle against sin, this battle acts as a reminder to us as to why we are fighting it, and as a consequence we cannot fail to be constantly mindful of God, and this in itself has got to be good for us, a blessing in disguise as it where. Sin certainly dwells within each and every one of us, but we must not let it feed off us, because it is a greedy eater with a bottomless stomach, it must be put on a diet and we must try to starve it to death before it kills us. God, Himself, when He came down upon this earth in the form and shape of Jesus Christ, demonstrated to us how to overcome sin in the flesh. His `hands on` approach could not have been more totally committed to us and our seeming inability to abide by His laws and resist sin. But He showed us that it is possible because He managed to do it and it was NOT easy for Him, He even `sweated blood` because of His efforts and knowing that these efforts would eventually lead Him to a slow agonizing death on the torture stake also known as the `cross`. Let`s read Luke 22: 44. `And being in an agony He prayed the more earnestly, and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground` Before the coming of Jesus Christ, the way for the people to be shown and reminded of their sins was, as we know, by the offering of daily animal sacrifice. We should read all of Hebrews 10, but for now I`ll choose just one verse of it, so, Hebrews 10: 19. `Having therefore, bretheren, confidence to enter into the holiest (the holiest of holies) by the blood of Jesus.` We can understand from that one verse that the blood of animals was no longer required, no longer acceptable as a sacrifice capable of the remission of sin, the once and ONLY ONCE, offered blood of Jesus Christ was accepted, is still accepted and always will be accepted as the gateway for all of us to enter into the holy of holies and ask in person, before the throne of grace, forgiveness of our sins, and just like the animal scarifices of old, it MUST be done on a daily basis. If then we have begun to `manage` our sins by continually engaging them in battle are we now perfect or at least close to being perfect in the eyes of God? Well, no, there is a scripture that informs us that even if we were to suffer for the word of God as no man had ever suffered before, but we lacked this one important attribute then it would all be in vain. We can find this information in all of 1 Corinthians 13. but for now I`ll just quote 1 Corinthians 13: 1-3. `Though I speak with the languages of men and of angels but I do not have love then I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains, if I do not possess love then I am nothing. And if I give all that I have to the poor and even give my body to be burned but I do not have love, it will profit me nothing.` An example of this love and the forgiveness available to us if we possess it can be found in Luke 7: 47. where Jesus speaks to the woman caught in the very act of committing adultery, `Wherefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, because she loved much, but to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.` And so at this point I`ll ask the question that Pontius Pilate asked of Jesus, `What is love?` We`ll find the answer to that question in 1Corinthians 13: 4-8. `Love suffers long and is kind, it does not envy and neither does it boast of itself, love is not arrogant nor does it behave unseemly, it is not selfish or easily provoked and it does not unfairly think evil of others. Love does not rejoice in evil but does rejoice in the truth. Love bears all things and believes all things, it hopes all things and endures all things. Love never fails, but whether there be prophecies, they can fail, whether there be languages, they shall cease, whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.` Some people, myself included have pondered on the lines `believes all things`, well, we are not innocent children, we have to discern between good and evil, lies and truth. What I think that Paul is saying here is that we should not be too quick to brand somebody as a liar or a dreamer just because what they say may seem outrageous to us or offend our sensibilities or even because we never did like that person, no, if we are uncertain in any way that if what has been said may be right or wrong then we should take what is being said `on board` and then go and later prove it to be right or wrong. If we take a look at 1 Thesolonians 5: 21. it tells us. . .`Prove all things, hold fast that which is good.` As Jesus instructs us, and I shall quote it again from Matthew 10; 16. we should be . . .` as wise as serpants and harmless as doves.` So, what should we suppose that is to become of love, in these latter days, these terrible and vile times in which we now find ourselves? These times in which the people of our modern society are very rarely dragged off and physically tortured to `make` them `believe` in things that they know are wrong and contrary to that which they hold dear and know to be true but instead are indoctrinated daily with poisonous anti-Christ teachings through such instruments as the state school system and its` curriculum, false `christian` preachings from false `christian` churches and the media of this world such as television, the internet and Holywood movies, the latter just loving to invent and `re-invent` history and then deceitfully portray it as fact. Well, Jesus Christ relates what is to happen to love for many in these latter days, for He states quite clearly in Matthew 24: 11-12. `And many false prophets shall rise and shall deceive many, and because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall become cold.` Bearing these prophetic words of Jesus in mind, what then should we suppose will see many a true Christian through these times, these times when we may well find ourselves totally isolated and alone with no family, no friends, and no bretheren left to offer spiritual comfort or support ? It should of course be our love for the Lord Jesus Christ and our heavenly Father and in turn Their love for us because nobody can ever separate us from this love as the scriptures tell us in Romans 8: 38-39. `For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.` Wow, so how can we possibly love God as much as He loves us? The best way to start is by following the instructions in John 14: 15. `If you love Me, keep My commandments.` We must also love all that Jesus and God the Father represent, otherwise how can we say that we know them? and if we do not really know them, then how can we love that which we do not know? We must also love amongst other things, loyalty, righteousness, justice, truth, our fellow bretheren and yes, those who persecute us because true love is not developed from a position of ignorance, rather it is developed from a position of knowledgable understanding, and that most importantly includes the understanding of the weaknesses of ourselves and thus of our fellow men, their and our human failings and their and our inability to totally overcome sin. Knowing these things does not mean that we can forgive them ALL their sins outright, ONLY God can do this, but we can and should forgive them the sins that they have committed against us as individuals because if we do not, then neither will God forgives us our sins, and I`m not talking `lip service` forgiveness here, our forgiveness HAS to be from our hearts, Jesus Christ informs us of this in the so-called `Lord`s prayer` when He states in Luke 11: 4. `And forgive us our sins for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us. . .` So, what form should forgiveness take? should we forgive EVERYONE? that sins against us, even somebody who`s murdered a loved one? Well, yes, BUT, and a big BUT here, that murderer should NOT go `unpunished`, God`s instructions for the `punishment` of a murderer is death, it`s as simple as that, forgive them and then take them out of the equation of life on this earth as it is at this moment in time, forever. You can be sure that that murderer will NEVER kill again, this is the Lord`s way of protecting the rest of society from such vile crimes and of course it also serves as a warning and as a detterent. You may have noticed that I put the words `unpunished` and `punished` in inverted commas, this is because we only really `deal` with people who commit crimes against God`s laws, it is of course God Himself who will ultimately meter out any punishment or reward to each and everyone of us. Let me further underline how important it is to put to death all murderers, if say, I, was to forgive a murderer for killing a loved one of mine and then I where to convince the authorities that he should live because I had forgiven him, and then that person later goes and say, murders a child, do you think that I would be held blameless by that child`s family? do you think that I too should also be held responsible for that child`s murder? What about the commandment `Thou shalt not kill`? I can almost hear some screaming at me, well what about it? there is NO SUCH commandment, the commandment properly translated is, `Thou shalt NOT MURDER`. And so, after years of struggling to keep God`s laws and of trying to be righteous in his sight, we have our `cup` and its` contents before us, but are we still `thirsty` enough to drink? Let`s for arguements sake assume that we are, but doubts and reservations have arisen and even some fear, we start to wonder what exactly are the contents of my `cup` and how has my behaviour over the years influenced the make-up of the ingredients? We must ask ourselves, is now the right time to be worried about such things? We have come to the point of having to drink so should we not now have built up enough trust in God to down the contents in one quick swallow? or will we try and figure out if there is anything within that cup that we just do not want to experience? Let`s have a look again at Hebrews 10: 38. `Now the just shall live by faith, but if any man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in him.` Life, and the cup that they drink of for many of the wicked of this world is sweet in their mouths but, come the day of their judgment, it will turn very bitter indeed in their bellies. Let`s read Psalm 11: 6. `Upon the wicked He shall rain snares, fire and brimstone and an horrible tempest, this shall be the portion of their cup.` Likewise but contrary, the cup that we might be obliged to drink of at this present time may well be very bitter in our mouths, but later, sweet in our bellies. The cup that Jesus had to drink of was very bitter indeed, He new this and yet He did not when the time came, hesitate to drink its` contents because He new that the bitterness would soon turn to sweetness in his belly, the sweetness of good triumphing over evil of life triumphing over death. In Psalm 16: 5. we can read this. . .`The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup, You maintain my lot.` and we can combine that verse with Psalm 116: 13. `I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.` Question, could, as stated in that last scripture, the cup be called `the cup of salvation` if we did not have a Saviour who had already, as it where, partaken of its` contents? I think that David was able to write that psalm because Jesus, in agreement with His heavenly Father, had already, in spoken word, partaken of that cup. It was all already planned, and executed in all but physical deed. There is therefore a cup for each and every living person to drink of, and it will, for the true Christian, have to be the same cup that Jesus drank of, to ensure that individuals salvation. Certainly the cup that Jesus drank of is, for the partaker, the best spiritually to drink of, but it can also be the most bitter in the mouth. The apostles James and John both drank of this bitterest of cups and also we may assume, because of the trials and tribulations that they suffered, Paul and Peter. We know of the apostles Paul`s sufferings during the years of his work as a minister of Jesus Christ because of his extensive epistles and other scriptures that describe his struggles and perils encounted in this life and we know that most likely Peter suffered a similar death to Jesus, because if we read John 21: 18-19. it tells us. . .`Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young you girded yourself and walked where you would, but when you are old, you shall stretch forth your hands and another will gird you, and carry you where you do not want to go. This spoke Jesus, signifying by what death Peter should honour God. And after Jesus had spoken these words, He said to Peter, follow Me.` If we read a bit further on, we find that John, `the disciple whom Jesus loved` did, in all probability, die of natural causes. Knowing this, should we then assume that the disciple John never partook of the same cup as Jesus had partaken of? Well, no, just because we may all drink of the same cup as Jesus Christ drank of it does not automatically follow that ALL drinkers of that cup are going to suffer a grim and agonizing death although we will certainly encounter many obstacles to overcome and troubles to bear which will provide for us the bitterness. Peter, having just been informed of his own method of death, then (not surprisingly) looks towards John, and asked Jesus what kind of death he (John) would experience, and Jesus`s reply? it`s in John 21: 22. `If I wanted that man to live until My second coming, what concern would it be of yours? you, follow Me` So, many of us I suppose WILL drink of the same cup as Jesus drank of but in the hope that we will be spared the misery of a slow and agonizing death, and there is hope, hope for us all, for as the Lord states in Exodus 33:19. `. . .and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.` It would appear, as I mentioned earlier in this message, that at this present time the lawless and the wicked are drinking from a cup the contents of which are very sweet in their mouths indeed, very pleasant, very agreeable to them, but if only they knew of the terrible bitterness that they will experience when the contents of their cup turn very sour in their bellies. Let`s have a look at Psalm 75: 8. `For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red, it is full of mixture, and He pours out of the same, but the dregs thereof,all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.` It would appear that the wicked, as it where, drink greedily and carelessly from their cup downing the sweet part of it and then suddenly they encounter a rush of foul tasting and very bittter dregs. At this point we should read all of Psalm 73. but I`ll leave that for you to do later, for now I`ll just quote verses 3-5. and then skip to verses 17-19. `For I was envious at the foolish when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no bands in their death, but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men, neither are they plagued like other men. Until I went into the sanctuary of God, then I understood their end. Surely You did set them in slipery places, You cast them down into destruction. How quickly are they brought to desolation, in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors.` If we now turn to the book of Isaiah, we can find an `end time message` for every true Christian, we`ll find it firstly in Isaiah 51: 1. `Listen to Me, you that follow after righteousness, you that seek the Lord, look to the Rock from where you are hewn, and to the hole of the pit from where you are dug.` and now verses 7-8. `Listen to Me you that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is My law, do not fear the reproach of men, neither be afraid of their revilings. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool, but My righteousness shall be forever, and My salvation from generation to generation.` and now verses 12-13. `I am He that comforts you, who are you that you should be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass, and forgets the Lord your maker, that has stretched forth the heavens and has laid the foundations of the earth, and have feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?` There is a lot of anger and fury in this `cup`, but if we keep our faith and stand our ground there is every chance that this cup will not pass to us to drink of as we can read on in verses 22-23. `Thus says your Lord, the Lord and your God, that pleads the cause of His people, Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of My fury, you shall never drink of it again. But I will put it into the hands of those that afflict you, which have said to your soul, Bow down, that we may go over; and you have laid your body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.` Let`s now link that last scripture with Jeremiah 25: 15-17. `For thus says the Lord God of Israel to me, Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations to whom I send you, to drink it. And they shall drink, and they shall stagger, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them. Then I took the cup at the Lord`s hand, and made all the nations to drink, to whom the Lord had sent me.` The scriptures indicate to us quite clearly what cup we, as true Christians, should want to be drinking from, let`s take a look at 1 Corinthians 10: 21. `You cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and of the cup of devils, you cannot be partakers of the Lord`s table, and of the table of devils.` So, bearing this scripture in mind, if we have chosen to drink of `the cup of the Lord`, we must be very aware of the responsibility that goes along with the drinking of its` contents, and we can read of this in 1 Corinthians 11: 25-32. but for this message I will quote firstly verse 25. `After the same manner also He took the cup, when He
you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul.` And now Matthew 26: 28. `For this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.` Maybe, just maybe, now, instead of blood flowing through the `veins` of His, fleshly body, ( a physical body which can be chosen to be `used` or not) our God, our Creator, Jesus Christ, now has pure, powerful, indestructable, living `spirit`. So, as we know, in normal physical life, blood, as the scriptures have informed us, is `the life`, so then would we be wrong to conclude that in the next life, (our life as spirit beings), that the blood for our `fleshly bodies` is superseded by `spirit` which now flows through us and sustains us? As stated earlier, we know that Jesus Christ, is the `Word`, but no longer existing as flesh and blood, for He, Himself, stated in Luke 22: 37. `. . . for the things concerning Me, have an end.` meaning that the things concerning His, flesh and blood life, on this earth, had an end, an end which was fulfilled by His, crucifiction and resulting death on the torture cross-piece. Having lived as a human upon this earth, and now having a better understanding of human weaknesses and to be able to better empathise with them, our Lord God, Creator, Jesus Christ, has provided the way for each and every one of us to get in contact with Him, on a one to one basis, through personal prayer, instead of having to go through a priest. He, now knows what we are experiencing, because He, has experienced it and worse, Himself. Let`s read Hebrews 2: 9-10. `But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour, so that He, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man. Because it became Him, for whom are all things, and by Whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.` Now, having gone away somewhat from the `storyline` of this article, I`ll now return to the main theme. Our God, our Creator, wants us, His, children, to get to know Him. We view Him, from our position of creation which is as Psalm 8: 5. tells us is,a little lower than the angels. . .` It would appear that our God, wants us to work at getting to know Him, so that in doing so our knowledge of Him, becomes indelibly `etched` upon our very being. Of course He, could easily demonstrate His, awesome power and might to us as He, has done in the past to earlier generations, but this is already documented for us in the scriptures, and it is up to us to believe it or not, and anyway, can we really get to know somebody just by watching a `performance` or by simply believing that it once took place? No. As mentioned earlier, the main purpose of our existance as weak, flesh and blood beings, is to build Godly, character. So how do we go about doing this, building a character for ourselves that is, for the most part, on the way to becoming wholly acceptable to the Lord God? How can we become, at the time of our death, composed of `the right stuff `, to have built this character that will be crucial to our very salvation? Well, this is not such a difficult question to answer, but on the other hand, it is not such an easy undertaking for a person to perform, continually, and faithfully. First, we must get to know our God, before He, can get to know us. We must introduce ourselves to Him, and not expect Him, to constantly come looking for us. He, will `call` any number of us, but we must be able to recognize His, `voice` when He, does so, for how else can we be expected to respond to it? We must seek Him, then He, will be faithful and will call us and then we will be able to recognize His, `voice`. For many of us who are `called`, we may not respond right away, we acknowledge that `something` has happened but we are not quite sure what, and we put whatever `it` is to the `back of our minds`, but `it` does not go away, `it` nags and worries and `it` will not be brushed aside or ignored, until `it` is accorded recognition and is given the due attention `it` requires. Such is the Lord`s, dedication to those whom He, calls, but being `called` is only the beginning of a long, exciting, journey, a journey which many fail to complete, mainly because they lose or deliberately
Before we begin proper, let`s get one thing clear in everybody`s minds. Spirit beings, (the Lord God excepted) including angels, and demons, cannot reproduce whatsoever, they have no capability to do so. (Which is another reason why Satan despises us all so much, he is consumed by frustration, jealousy and hatred!)
Jesus Christ indicates to this inability for spirit beings to reproduce in Matthew 22: 30.`For in the resurrection they (the resurrected humans) neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are the same as the angels of God in heaven`.
So much for the idea that Satan and/or his demons (or any other spirit being for that matter) have in times past sired offspring by having sex with human females!
As mere human beings, has anybody reading this ever wondered, where do we, mere flesh and blood, stand in comparison to even the very least of the angels?
If we look at the first portion of scripture for this article (the words of which were spoken by very God Himself, when in the shape and form of Jesus Christ) we will find a part of the answer.
Matthew 11: 11. `Truly I say to you, Amongst them that are born of women (obviously Himself excepted) there has not risen anybody greater than John the baptist: notwithstanding, he that is least in the kingdom of heaven, is greater than he`.
Now some may argue the point that not all angels where by that time (nor are they now) allowed unfettered entry into the kingdom of heaven, the Satan led rebellion having made one third of them unwelcome, and so maybe those words spoken by Jesus in that first portion of scripture refer only to those angels who have retained a specific power through integrity and righteousness and who still remain faithful to the Lord. But even so, is this specific `power through righteousness` as it where, entirely the case as far as power or being `powerful` is concerned?
The word `greater` as used by Jesus in that last scripture specifically means greater in righteousness rather than greater in power, but even so, because of what they are, it goes without saying that all angels, good or evil, are naturally greater in power (or rather more powerful) than human beings.
Faithfulness and integrity aside, we humans are (in a very specific way, and only for the time-being) a `lesser` form of created being than an angel or a spirit being, and there is a Psalm that tells us of this fact.
Psalm 8: 4-5. `What is man, that You are mindful of him? and the sons of man, so that You pay attention to him? For You have created him a little lower than the angels, and have crowned him with glory and honour`.
Now I find that the question arises; In what way have we been created lower than the angels? Well, it would appear from `reading between the lines` of this next scripture that their are two main points of difference, the first being that we are not `immortal` and the second being that a certain amount of power, or rather authority, has been denied us, however, we are far from being worthless, so far in fact that God Himself sacrificed His own life in the flesh so that we may have the chance of eventually becoming like Him and then to be lovingly welcomed as a member of His family and have authority over all angels! (That last fact, when made known to Satan, must really have `upset` him!!!)
Let`s read from Hebrews 2: 9-10. `But we see Jesus who was made (altered from His position as God, one of the Two Elohim) a little lower than the angels so that He could experience the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; so that He by the grace of God (the Father) should experience death on behalf of every man. For it suited His purpose, for Whom are all things, and by Whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, in order to make the Captain of their salvation perfect by way of His sufferings`.
It appears from the various but limited accounts to be found within the pages of the bible that the created beings (that is those made known to mankind) who dwell in the angelic realm fall into four main categories:
1. There are those who are in constant attendance at the Lord God`s throne and who are also His personal servants.
2. Those who are also in the Lord`s personal service but are general messengers and go-betweens, liasing between the heavenly realms and the goings-on on earth.
3. Those who make up the angelic fighting force, the heavenly army.
4. The angels who rebelled against the Lord, and elected of their own free will to follow the arch demon Satan, and have now themselves become demons.
As we progress through this article we will encounter examples of each of the above categories from various biblical scriptures. We will begin with some of the angels in attendance at the Lord`s throne.
Isaiah 6: 1-2. `In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord, sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he did fly`.
Now, before moving on to the next angelic category let`s stay with this portion of Isaiah and read a bit more. Isaiah 6: 5. `Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.`
And so after speaking these words what should we suppose happened next, does Isaiah get banished from the presence of the Lord, thrown out by one of His attending angels? We`ll read on. Isaiah 6: 6-7. `Then flew one of the seraphims to me, having a burning coal in his hand which he had taken with tongs from off the altar. And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this has touched your lips; and your guilt is taken away, and your sin purged`.
After this has happened the Lord Himself speaks. Isaiah 6: 8. `Also I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send, and whom shall go for Us? then said I, Here I am, send me`.
Should we suppose that the actions that one of the seraphim performed as mentioned in verses 6 and 7 were commanded of him at that precise time by the Lord? Alternatively did the seraphim automatically know that which needed to be done and so he performed it without having to be told, thus demonstrating a freedom of will, albeit it a trained and educated one?
Let`s now look at an example of which is perhaps the best known angelic category, the general messengers and earthly go-betweens, the beings that most people consider to be and recognize as, angels. Genesis 16: 6-7. `But Abram said to Sarai, Behold, your maid is under your control, do to her as it pleases you. And so when Sarai dealt harshly with her, she fled from her face. And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur`.
Note the words `found her` mentioned in that last portion of scripture, they would suggest that Hagar`s disappearance from her normal abode had been brought to the Lord`s attention (presuming that He did not already know) and that as a consequence an angel, on his own, had been sent to find her and communicate a messsage to her from the Lord. But are angels always entrusted to do things alone? Remember, the messenger angels are just that, messengers, they do not make decisions of their own device and choosing on the Lord`s behalf and then act upon them!
Moving a bit further on, we`ll read from Genesis 18: 1-2. `And the Lord appeared to Abram in the plains of Mamre; and he sat in the tent doorway in the heat of the day. And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them he ran from the tent doorway to meet them, and he bowed himself toward the ground`. In this scripture we learn that the Lord Himself has come down upon the earth accompanied by two of His angels. But why, why is He bothering to join in the work of the `go-between` angels? Well it is because He has heard of the endemic, sensual, murderous and generally evil goings on that are constantly taking place in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and He wants to verify that which He has heard from the mouths of His angels before He sanctions drastic actions against these two cities. Let`s read on. Genesis 18: 20-21. `And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous, I will go down now and see (for Myself) whether they have done all according to the report of it which has come to Me; and if it is not so then I will know`. It is clear from what the Lord has said in that last portion of scripture that He does not rely nor act soley upon the words of His angels when it comes to life and death decisions. He does not entrust them to know His will in every given situation, and He certainly has not given them any authority to try and `second guess` it!
Angels do not only communicate with humans face to face but also in what can best be described as `dreams`, as we can read of in Genesis 31: 11. `And the angel of God spoke to me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I replied, Here am I`. At this point I think that it would be advantageous to draw your attention to a couple of warnings about `dreams` and also angels, first we`ll read about dreams from Jeremiah 23: 25-28. `I (the Lord) have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in My name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy lies? Yes, for they are prophets of the deceit that comes from their own heart; They mean to cause My people to forget My name by way of their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, just as their fathers have forgotten My name in favour of Ba`al. The prophet that has a dream, then let him call it a dream, but he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? (in comparison) Says the Lord`. We can learn from that last portion of scripture that some (if not most of) the prophets of the time were deliberately putting divine interpretation and meaning (which just simply was not there) into (common to all men) dreaming. But what of angelically inspired `dreams` or `visions`, are they also to be dismissed as commonplace dreaming? Well, if the dreamer insists that they are as sure as they can be of their spiritual origin, then these `dreams`or `visions` should certainly be treated with suspicion and caution, bear in mind, not all angels are of the Lord`s `household`, one third are now demons, and any `dream` or `vision` that they give to a person will only be for evil intent whether it be a lie or true, or as is more often the case, it will be a mixture of truth and lies! Remember, Satan and his demons enjoy mixing their lies with the Lord`s truth, it makes it a lot harder for the hearer/receiver to differentiate between the two.
Now we`ll read some advice about angels, or rather the `spirit` that these angels can seduce an individual to accept and adopt, 1 John 4: 1-3. `Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are come from the Lord: because many false prophets are operating in the world. This is how to recognize the spirit of the Lord; Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of the Lord. And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of the Lord: this then is the spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it would come, and it is even now already at work in the world`.
Any true angel of the Lord is usually uncompromising in his mission as far as his dealings with mankind or an individual is concerned, that is unless a certain amount of discression has been allowed him by the Lord. Generally, an angel of the Lord will not vacillate, waver or debate with an individual or individuals when about to do that which he has been ordered (by the Lord) to do. A person cannot plead or argue their case to an angel who has been given specific instructions to carry out to the letter, and we can read of one such incidence in Exodus 23: 20-21. `Behold, I send an angel before you, to keep you in the way, and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, do not provoke him, for he will not pardon your transgressions: for My name is in him`. Wow, best not try and engage an angel like that in friendly banter!
An angel of the Lord will not of their own free will interfere with humankind or an individual, (exactly the opposite to the agenda which the demonic angels of Satan execute) they will however perform `hands on` tasks (sometimes with life-changing consequences) when ordered to do so. One memorable (and in part amusing) example can be found in this next scripture.
Numbers 21:23. `And Ba`laam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Mo`ab. And God`s anger was aroused because he went: and the angel of the Lord went and stood in his way, opposing him. Now he was riding upon his ass and his two servants were with him. And the ass saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, his sword drawn in his hand, and so the ass turned aside, out of the way, and went into a field, and so Ba`laam struck the ass in order to turn her back onto the way`. Ba`laam cannot see the sword-bearing angel, the Lord has `blinded` him in that respect, but his ass can see him and it just wants to avoid this angel at all costs and so refuses to get back onto the way (the road) so, in his mounting frustration and anger, Ba`laam strikes the ass twice more, the last time with a heavy staff, and so then the Lord performs this miracle, verse 28: `And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass , and it said to Ba`laam, What have I done to you in order to cause you to strike me these three times? Ba`laam goes on to have a debate with his ass and eventually the Lord opens his eyes and he sees the angel with his sword raised ready to strike and kill him, the angel then says to him, verses 32-33. `Wherefore have you struck your ass three times? behold, I went out to oppose you, because your way is perverse before me: The ass saw me and turned from me these three times: unless it had turned from me, surely I would have slain you, but saved it alive`. (The angel appears to be speaking as if he was the Lord Himself, but he is in fact speaking on the Lord`s behalf.) Ba`laam then confesses his sin and continues his journey having corrected himself before the Lord.
Even though the Lord often entrusts His angels to unquestioningly do His bidding, He keeps a very close eye on what is actually being perpetrated by them in His name, and in certain situations He does not leave them alone to carry out certain tasks to the utmost, even if they have been given instructions to do so. With life or death situations were many people are involved, the Lord God does not allow His angels to be left entirely to their own devices. Apart from Sodom and Gomorrah another good example of this sort of situation is to be found in 2 Samuel 24: 16. `And when the angel stretched out his hand over Jerusalem in order to destroy it (completely) the Lord relented from the destruction, and said to the angel who was destroying the people, It is enough, now restrain your hand. . . `
Just as the angels and other spirit being are expected to carry out the Lord`s commands and instructions to the letter, so are we, providing of course that we have made as absolutely sure as we possibly can that what we do IS in fact the Lord`s will!)
Let`s have an example of this from 1 Kings 13: 7-9. `And the king said to the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward. And the man of God said to the king, If you will give me half of your house, I will not go with you, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place. For so it was commanded me by the word of the Lord, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that you came`. So far so good for the man of God (a prophet), but on reading further we find out that he is deceived by an older prophet who, by his lies, convinces the man of God that it is safe to defy the Lord`s original instructions because they have now been replaced by newer ones. Verses 18-19. `He (the older prophet) said to him, I am a prophet, the same as you are; and an angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord, saying, Bring him back with you into your house, so that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied to him. So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water`.
Just as this event has happened, the older prophet prophesies to the man of God and foretells of his soon coming destruction for disobeying the Lord`s original command. We`ll pick up the story again in verses 23-24. `And it came to pass, after he (the man of God) had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he (the older prophet) saddled for him the ass, that is, for the prophet whom he had brought back. And when the man of God was on his way, he was met by a lion, which slew him: and his carcass was cast in the road, and the ass stood by it, and also the lion`.
From the reading of that portion of scripture we can understand that angels, whether `good` or evil, can deceive us. It depends to what extent we, as individuals, are being `tested` by the Lord.
Some helpful advice for us regarding such an event (should it ever occur) can be found in the new testament book of 1 John 4: 1-3. (some of which we have already read) `Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine whether they are of the Lord: because many false prophets are at large in the world. Hereby shall you know the spirit of the Lord: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of the Lord. And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of the Lord: this is the spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now it is already in the world`.
It may come as a surprise or even as a shock to some to discover that angels in the service of the Lord can, and do, lie! One of the best examples that I can find in the scriptures regarding this fact is in 1 Kings 22: 19-22. `And he said, Hear you therefore the words of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all of the host of heaven standing by Him on His right hand and on His left. And the Lord said, Who shall persuade Ahab, so that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? And one spoke in this manner and another spoke in that manner. And then there came forth a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will persuade him. And the Lord said to him, How? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all of his prophets. And the Lord said, You shall persuade him, and also prevail: go forth, and do so`.
Test the spirits indeed!!
We know that angels are spirit beings, we know that seraphim and cherubim are spirit beings (albeit of a totally different creation amongst who knows how many other types the Lord has created?) but from what the scriptures tell us I think that it is relatively safe to deduce that only angels can take on solid human form which has something covering it very akin to our human flesh. (but no blood!) Do angels get hungry? I do not know, but I do know that they can eat and enjoy eating the same food as we humans, and we can find this out in Genesis 18: 1-2, and 7-8. `And the Lord appeared to Abram by the oaks of Mamre: and Abram sat by the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and lo, three men (the Lord and two of His angels) stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself towards the ground. And Abram ran to the herd, and brought a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man who hurried to prepare it for eating. And Abram took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under a tree, and they did eat`. So, not only do we have the angels tucking into food and drink, but the Lord God also!
Further on in the book of Genesis, we can find Abram`s nephew, Lot, also entertaining and feeding angels, in fact, he feeds the two angels who have come to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, let`s read Genesis 19: 3. `And Lot urged them (the two angels) greatly; and so they followed him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat`.
In the true Church of God there should be no hierarchy of power, obviously Jesus Christ is the head and the One to whom we are all ultimately answerable, but ministers, should be just that, those who `minister`, they are servants to the flock.
Nobody in the Lord`s true church should consider themselves to be above anybody else, but contrary to that there is a heirarchy within the `angelic realm`, and we can read of an example of this in Daniel 10: 13. `The prince of Persia (one of Satan`s chief demons) withstood me for twenty one days, but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, (angels of the Lord God) came to help me. . .` But, just as in the Lord`s true church, God the Father and Jesus Christ have rule over all spirit beings, and this includes Satan and his demons. (but for the time being they are being left to run their own, doomed course)
We can ascertain from that last scripture that the Lord has given varying amounts of authority and actual power to each individual spirit being and that in general they are left to deal with each other as circumstances dictate. However, were human beings are concerned, the Lord God Himself (having given them their orders in the first place) is always more than ready to intervene and `lend a helping hand`.
What do angels and/or spirit beings look like? Are they for instance, all golden haired and do they all fly around on huge feathery wings whilst being clothed in brilliant white, flowing garments? Do they strum on harps and blow trumpets all day long whilst flitting amongst the fluffy white clouds and twinkling day-stars of some dreamy `heaven`?
Unfortunately, the majority of the so-called `christian` people of this world believe some or all of that to be the case. But this is a dangerous and ignorant vision to believe in, and those who do believe in it in whole or in part, tread a very unsure path. Why? Because some of the Lord God`s most trusted and valued angels/spirit beings will, to all deceived `christians`, look in shape and form to be what they believe demons are supposed to look like, but worse, many demons will appear to them in shape and form to look like what they suppose all angels to look like, thus leaving themselves wide open for easy deception and possible damnation `further down the line`.
Let`s have a look at some descriptions of some of the angels in the Lord`s service. Ezekiel 1: 5-7. `Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf`s foot: and they sparkled like the colour of polished brass`. verse 10. `As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle`. Well, nothing `handsome and golden-haired` about these angels, and they are far too `outrageous` to be included into the acceptable appearance category for angels of the mainstream `christian` churches of this world. But these are in fact angels `good` enough serve in the very presence of the Lord God`s throne.
Now, what about the `other side of the coin` as it where. What about a handsome, golden-haired angel glowing with light who appears to somebody, should he automatically be trusted and treated with all due respect? Ill let this next scripture answer that question.
2 Corinthians 11: 13-15. `For such are false prophets, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers are also transformed as being the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works`.
The angels in the service of the Lord God can be very unassuming in their attitude and appearance, so much so in fact that we are told to be aware that they might be in our company perchance that we don`t even realize that they are. Let`s read from Hebrews 13: 2. `Do not be forgetful to welcome strangers: because by doing so some have been unaware that they have welcomed angels`. Bearing in mind that last piece of scripture, we must be spiritually aware and advanced enough to be able to judge between the angels in the service of the Lord God from those who are in the service of Satan, the demons!! (Again, see 1 John 4: 1-3.)
So far in this article we have not encountered any example of the Lord having an angelic army, but I think that this next scripture gives us something to consider as regards the possibility of there being one.
Matthew 26: 51-53. `And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. But Jesus said to him, Put your sword in its` place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?`
As we are well aware of by now, the angelic realm consists not only of the angels and spirit beings who have remained loyal to the Lord God but also of those who followed and supported Satan in his rebellion against the Lord.
One third of the created spirit beings (including the God created Lucifer who became Satan) have turned against the Lord and His loyal angels as we can read of in Revelation 12: 3-4. `And there appeared another sign in heaven; and behold, a great red dragon, (Satan) having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail (his entourage/following) drew (consisted of) the third part of the stars (the angels) of heaven, and did cast them to the earth. . .`
These rebellious and lawless angels now known as demons, are very real, and they pose a particular threat not only to those people who refuse to acknowledge their existence, but also to those who do, but think that they can be protected by their priest or by simply being a member of their `christian` church. They cannot! Only a very on-going intimate relationship based on faith (achieved through sincere, daily prayer) with the Lord can totally protect an individual from successful demonic attack.
Make no mistake, every living human is liable to demonic attack sustained or otherwise, but only those with the Lord`s protection will be able to fend it off successfully and continually.
Let`s read Ephesians 6: 12-13. `For we do not battle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. This then being the case, take for yourselves and put on the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand`.
One of Satan`s greatest desires is for the whole world to come to believe that he and his demons simply do not exist and that they are in fact nothing more than fairy-tale inventions dreamt up a long, long time ago to frighten and threaten unruly children and ignorant peasants.
It is a lie which is still being perpetrated in modern day society coming as it does in the shape and form of book content, media and the movie makers who, instead of portraying demons for what they really are, evil spirit beings, now portray them all as being `aliens` or `monsters` from `parallel worlds` or far distant galaxies, all of which can eventually be overcome and/or neutralised by man`s own ingenuity or his fabricated weaponry.
We should take nothing for granted and neither should we automatically believe that which any authority tells us, as being the truth. The scriptures tell us as much.
For example, 1 Thessalonians 5: 21-22. `Prove all things; keep a firm hold on that which is good. Abstain from all that appears to be evil`. (Which includes breaking any of the ten commandments)
There is a common belief amongst many `christians` that we have each been appointed a `guardian angel`, that is to say an angel specifically appointed to look after each individual`s well-being and who will do their utmost to always intervene and protect whenever sin or danger threatens.
Is this then entirely the case? I do not think so, because if it where so, where then would be the sin and the faults that would otherwise have been attributed to the individual? Where then would be the point of living a human life with all of its` inherent dangers removed? Where then would be the lessons to be learned that human life has to teach those willing to accept and learn them? But most importantly, what would be the point of our Lord God`s suffering and death in the shape and form of Jesus Christ, if we had no faults or sins to be forgiven of ? Let`s read 1 John 1: 10. `If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him (Jesus Christ) a liar, and His word is not in us`.
Although the great majority of (if not all) angels have had or still have free moral agency whether to follow the Lord God or Satan, those who obey the Lord and who are in His service, surely know the limit of their allowed involvement in our human lives. They are under instruction from the Lord and it would appear that they have to report back to Him and explain their actions regarding their observations of, and dealings with, humankind, on a regular basis.
Even the devil, Satan, has to obey the Lord and report back to Him when summoned to do so!!
We can read of this in Job 1: 6-7. `Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. And the Lord said to Satan, Where come you? Then Satan answered the Lord and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.` and also in Job 2: 1. Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord`.
From the reading of that last scripture we can ascertain that Satan had been ordered or rather made to appear before the Lord, because we know that he is not the sort of character who would willingly interrupt his own self-important business to pay a courtesy visit to anybody.
For the true Christian who remains in daily contact with the Lord because of and through daily prayer, if anything needs to be done for that individual by way of divine intervention, big or small, then an angel can be summoned to act on the Lord God`s behalf, although in times past, as we can read of in the scriptures, the Lord has often performed divine actions by His own hand.
There is a psalm, the meaning of which applied not only to Jesus Christ in the flesh when it was written, but also still applies to the true Christian today, it is Psalm 91: 9-11. `Because you have made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most high, your habitation, there shall no evil befall (get the better of) you, neither shall any plague come near your dwelling. For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways`.
An angel acting on the Lord`s behalf will follow His instructions to the letter, there is no arguing with him that will persuade him to do anything other than that which he has been sent to do, and so if you do not obey exactly anything that he tells you to do, your life may be in very real danger as we can again read of in Exodus 23: 20-23. `Behold, I send an angel before you, to keep you in the way, and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, do not provoke him, because he will not pardon your wrong-doings, for My Name is in him. But if you shall indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and an adversary to your adversaries`.
Satanic angels, or rather, demons, can and will commit exactly whatever evil act they know or think that they can get away with committing, (for the time being anyway) and given the opportunity they will influence or perform evil acts on any individual continually! They, as with all spirit beings, do not need rest in order to operate, and so they do not, and as a consequence, the physical and mental suffering for a victim of Satanic attack can be very noticable and unrelenting, but, having said all of that, they cannot touch one hair of the head of a true believer and follower of our Lord Jesus Christ without His direct permission.
In this next scripture that fact is demonstrated when we read that even Satan had to find out just how far he was to be allowed to go in his tormenting of Job, Job 1: 9-12. `Then Satan answered the Lord and said, Does Job respect God because of nothing? You have made a barrier around him, and around his household, and around all that he has on every side. You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions are increased in the land. But put forth Your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse You to Your face. And so the Lord said to Satan, Behold, all that he has is in (I will put in) your power; only upon himself you will not lay your hand. So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord`.
However, the very real and mostly non noticable danger for all of humankind is the extremely subtle, mostly attractive, gradual and almost gentle demonic persuasion that pervades and influences every aspect of this our present world and of the way that it operates, especially through that which is taught by its` schools, its` academia in general and its` false, `god` based religions whether they be so-called `christian` or otherwise. We
So, why does God allow any person to suffer? Is it because He realises that for many people, it is the only time that they will ever give Him a second thought, and it is only then that that person will be drawn closer to Him, when all else has failed? Well, that maybe so in some cases, but that notion is probably cold comfort to those who are really suffering with a serious, permanent illness or disability and it is suggestive and presumptuous of the idea that they have disregarded any or all other attempts by the Lord to get their attention, when in fact just the opposite may have been the case. We all suffer, mentally, physically, spiritually, and yes, some suffer and endure more than others, but let`s try and be objective about our own and other`s suffering rather than be subjective or over moralistic or finger-pointingly self righteous by associating a person
s suffering with it being a form of divine punishment . Let`s remember what Jesus Christ had to say about the things that happen to people, we can find it in Luke 13: 1-5. `There were present at that season some that told Him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said to them, Do you think that these Galilaeans were sinners who sinned more than all other Galilaeans because they suffered such things? I tell you, no, but except that you repent, you shall all likewise perish. And what about those eighteen who perished when the tower in Siloam fell and slew them, do you think that they were sinners whose sins were worse than all other sinners that lived in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish.` We should have an empathy toward each other`s suffering, and unless we have suffered ourselves then this is not possible. Of course anybody can have sympathy for another person`s predicament, but more often than not this lacks depth of understanding and cannot provide real hope of an acceptable outcome. It is an inescapable fact that when the misery of grief, or pain and /or illness fills our everyday lives, that for most of us, it will dominate and suppress all normal drive and thinking and even love, instead, in their place may come self-pity, bitterness, anger and hatred. And these self destructive feelings, when not directed inwards toward the sufferer themselves, are often directed outwards toward fellow men and family but more often than not they are directed toward the only One who can ever really heal and help any of us, they are directed (however inadvertently) towards the Lord God. With suffering usually comes the (for humans) unanswerable question of `why me?` which, more often than not, is then followed by the feeling of being `hard done by` and of unfairness and this in turn begins to generate an overall hatred of life itself and then by extension, a hatred of the very Creator of life. (Although in atheists this hatred can be transferred to the `sufferer`s` parents as they are perceived as the `creators`) Sometimes (and by no means always) there can be an inherent feeling of guilt and of being punished for whatever wrong that a suffering person might have committed, either recently or somewhere in their past, and the easiest way for a lot of people to deal with this guilty feeling is `guilt transfer`, and as always, the easiest `person` to blame is the Lord God. Now I`m not trying to suggest for one minute that any true Christian will start to blame the Lord, the moment that tragedy in any way shape or form strikes them, but the tendency for the everyday `Christian` is to firstly go to their doctor for help and then when that does not achieve the desired result, they will then think to pay a visit to their minister or priest and see what they can `do` for them either through `second hand` prayer or some sort of man-made `religious` ceremony, and when none of this achieves the desired result it`s time (and for many, the first time) to turn to the Lord and question Him, and His motives. Many people who suffer begin to hate God, because they think that He has cast them aside and abandoned them in favour of the wicked who never seem to suffer much in this life at all, let`s have a read of Psalm 73: 3-9. `For I was envious of the foolish when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no bands in their death; but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men, neither are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride surrounds them as a chain, violence covers them as a garment. Their eyes stand out with fatness, they have more than their heart could wish for. They are corrupt and speak wickedly about oppression, they speak loftily. They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walks through the earth.` and now we`ll read verses 14-19. `For all the day long have I been stricken, and punished every morning. If I say, I will speak thus, behold, I should offend against the generation of Your children. When I thought to know this, behold it was too oppressive for me, until I went into the sanctuary of God, and then I understood their final destiny. Surely, You did set them in slippery places, You cast them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors.` With perhaps the majority of `God fearing` people, there sometimes arises in the background of their belief, the nagging question of, `I know that the Lord God, can heal me, but instead, He appears to be adding to my daily sufferings, how much more of this do I need to endure and for how long?` I think that we have all `been there` and that we should expect throughout our Christian lives to `be there` whenever and wherever it happens. It is how we deal with any given situation, including suffering, that helps build our character, that is to say the person who we will eventually in this life, turn out to be. I think that from time to time we all question God`s motives, we are after all just feeble flesh and blood beings, and suffering, especially pain, either constant or regularly occurring, will in time, weaken the spirit. So, what can be done? who or what should we turn to? Are there any biblical examples of how we should react to tragedy, pain and even wavering faith and to the ultimately `soul destroying` (but understandable) attitude of ` I thought that I knew you Lord, and that You knew me, but now I`m beginning to think that I don`t know You at all, or that I canever get to know You.` We should all remember however, that the Lord God, if He knows us, looks upon us as His children, and as we know, any good parent will not allow a child to suffer needlessly. Hebrews 12: 5-8. `And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to children, My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked by Him. For whom the Lord loves, He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. If you endure chastening then God deals with you as with sons, for what son is he whom the father chastens not? But if you do not receive chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then you are counted as bastards and not sons.` So let`s now look to the scriptures for an example or two of people who have suffered many things and in varying degrees of hardship, misery and pain. We`ll start with the book of Job, which we can `take on board` as an example of the fact that a person does not have to be an out and out evil sinner in this present life in order to suffer. Job 1: 1. `There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job, and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and shunned evil.` And we can know that it is the Lord who is stating that Job, is `perfect`, because in verse 8. the scripture states `And the Lord said to Satan, Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and upright man. . .` On continuing to read this scripture, we can find that Satan disputes and challenges this statement of the Lord`s, saying that Job is, and only ever will be perfect up to a certain point, take him beyond that point, give him a hard time, make him suffer and then, as Satan tells the Lord, he (Job) will curse You to Your very face. So the Lord, takes up Satan`s challenge, and poor old Job`s tremendous misery, heartbreak and suffering, begins. Now let us consider, can we assume that the Lord knew Job`s character and ability even better than Job knew it himself , and that this being the case, the Lord would also know that He was `backing a sure winner` when He let Satan `loose` on Job? After all, the Lord created Job, and I think that in the book of Job, the Lord is not only demonstrating to Satan, but also to all who are witnessing this event and who will continue to read of it until the end time, that He (the Lord) knows exactly who and what He has created and what they are capable of. (but do not always do!) I can recall the words of Albert Einstein when asked what he thought about the probability of all creation just being a matter of chance, his reply? “God, does not play dice!” By allowing Job to suffer, God knew that although Job was `perfect` in His eyes, he may have been lacking a bit in the `personality department`, and that the suffering, although awful to endure at the time, would eventually create in Job a more `rounded` and experienced character. Bear in mind also this scripture, Hebrews 2: 9-10. `But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels to experience the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He, by the grace of God, should experience death for the sake of every man. For it became Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Captain of their salvation (Jesus Christ) perfect (mature) through sufferings.` Within the scriptures we can read of another being who was createdperfect, let`s read Ezekiel 28: 14-15. `You are the annointed cherub that covers, and I have established you so: you were on the holy mountain of God, you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, until iniquity was found in you.` Yes, the most evil, lying murderer that is, Satan, was created perfect! Can we perhaps presume to think that by inflicting misery and suffering on another created being who was also perfect in the Lord`s eyes (Job) that he, Satan, could `prove a point` by turning Job against the Lord? Well, how cheated and `peeved` Satan must have felt when all of his efforts to turn Job, (mere weak flesh and blood), against the Lord God Almighty, failed! Flesh and blood Job had succeeded were powerful spirit being Satan had failed once again! Let`s consider, maybe if Job had not been allowed to suffer at the hands of Satan, he would not have remained perfect in the Lord`s sight, and this could be yet one more example of how the Lord God, does not waste any opportunity or the chance to create an opportunity to better a person`s (beloved of the Lord) character. Lucifer was created perfect, and we all know, I think, what happened to him. He let his vanity and pride and his arrogance allow him to suppose that he was better and ultimately more powerful than his Creator, Almighty God, but he was to find out the hard way that he was not, even losing his original name to be replaced by a new one, that of Satan. Suppose that the Lord suspected that the same thing could happen to Job, after all, Job`s sin was, as we find out when reading his story, self righteousness, just a step away from being arrogant and proud. Job suffered terribly at the hands of Satan, losing all of his children and the possibility of him having any grandchildren. He lost almost all of his possessions acquired over many years and finally his health and the respect of his friends who as most of us know, turned out to be very poor comforters to him indeed! Even his wife was repulsed by his body which was covered in vile, suppurating boils, and his foul, stinking breath was probably bad enough to make a person want to vomit. So what did poor old Job have left? Well, he had his integrity and he had the Lord, although eventually Job even complained bitterly against Him. Job must have felt that he was totally isolated against anything worth living for or for that matter, even dying for, because if the Lord God was cruel to him in life, what would He be like to him in death? But the Lord was with Job, He had not abandoned him to his fate. So now let`s turn to what I consider to be very encouraging words about our great God`s, way of doing things, let`s read 1 Corinthians 10: 13. `There has no trial taken you but that which is common to all men; but God is faithful, He will not allow you to be tested above that which you are able to bear, but will with the trial make for you a way to escape it, so that you will be able to bear it.` I now find another question has arisen concerning Job`s suffering, we know that his suffering had to have an end, but did Job think that he would have to suffer until he got well or did he expect to suffer until death (whenever that would occur) relieved him of his pain and misery? And if this was the case, then I suspect that Job would have given up totally the rest of his suffering existence into the hands of Almighty God. Therefore another question arises, did utter despair of any `earthly` salvation from his misery, make Job`s faith in the Lord God, complete? Let`s go back to the beginning of Job`s suffering, a suffering which, it must be said, he did not do in silence, we`ll start with Job 3: 1. `After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed his day.` A common enough thing to hear in our present time is somebody bemoaning their lot by saying, `Oh, how I wish that I had never been born`, well Job, said it first. Let`s read Job 6:2. `Oh that my grief were thoroughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together.` In this part of the scripture we find that Job is talking to his friends but really, I suspect, he is also crying out by way of advantage, to the Lord, telling Him just how bad and hard to bear this whole thing has become for him. Job is saying that nobody who has ever lived could ever have suffered so much and for so long as he is having to suffer. When Job spoke these words he had already been suffering for months, we can know this by the reading of Job 7: 3. `So, am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me` Months without any let- up of easing of pain, months without a restful night`s sleep and of living with the grief of having lost all of his children and the close affection of his wife. All this and also the `burden` of his friends who have no understanding of his condition and therefore no words of comfort for him as we can find out when Job answers them in Job 8: 2. `How long will you speak these things? and how long will the words of your mouth be like a strong wind?` It seems like Job`s friends are more self righteous than Job ever was! Even though the self pity welling up inside of Job is battling to get out, he continues steadfastly to try to keep on the `right side` of God, fighting down the urge to tell God, that he just doesn`t deserve any of this unfair and uncalled for treatment and therefore why is he suffering it? Let`s read Job 9: 32-35. `For He is not a man as I am, so that I should answer Him, and we should come together in a court of judgment. Neither is there any mediator between us, that may lay his hand upon us both. Let him take His rod away from me, and let not His fear terrify me. Then I would speak and not fear Him, but it is not that way with me.` Just to pick up on a point here, when Job states, `Neither is there any mediator between us. . .` should we assume that the Lord listened to, or rather even prompted Job to utter these words as a precursor or harbinger of that which is written in Isaiah 59: 16. `And He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor (mediator) . . ` ? Now, for all of his sufferings, Job, stubbornly refuses to accept that he is anything less than perfect towards God, we can read of this in Job 12: 3-4. `But I have understanding as well as you, (meaning his friends) I am not inferior to you, who is there who doesn`t know this? I am as one who is mocked by his neighbour, who calls upon God, and He answers him; the just, upright man is laughed to scorn.` And Job goes on to re-iterate these sentiments in Job 13: 1-3. `Look, my eye has seen all this, my ear has heard and understood it. What you know, I also know, I am not inferior to you. Surely I would speak with the Almighty, and I desire to reason with God.` Notwithstanding this, Job has had enough of suffering and he is ready to `throw in the towel`. Job 17: 1. `My spirit is corrupt, my days are extinct, the grave is ready for me.` Further on in the book of Job, in chapter 19, a kind of insanity brought on I would suppose by despair, overcomes Job, and in his eyes the Lord God has now become a bully, even an enemy, let`s read of it in Job19: 6-19. `Know now that God has overthrown me, and has encircled me with His net. Behold, I cry out of wrongdoing, but I am not heard, I cry aloud, but there is no justice. He has walled up my way so that I cannot pass, and He has set darkness in my paths. He has stripped me of my glory and has taken the crown from my head. He has destroyed me on every side, and I am gone; and my hope He has removed like a tree. He has also kindled His wrath against me, and He counts me as one of His enemies. His troops come together and raise up their way against me, and encamp round about my habitation. He has put my bretheren far from me, and my aquaintances are estranged from me. My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me. They that dwell in my house and my maids, consider me a stranger, I am an alien in their sight. I called my servant and he ignored me, I entreated him with my mouth. My breath is offensive to my wife, though I entreated for the children`s sake of my own body. Yes, young children despised me, I arose and they spoke against me. All my closest friends abhorred me, and they whom I loved are turned against me.` In verses 25 -26, we can read of how Job`s emotions swing back towards the love of his God, his Creator, Job 19: 25-26. `For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that He shall stand in the latter days upon the earth. And though after my skin, worms will destroy my body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.` The reader can almost feel for themselves the battle that is raging inside Job. His carnal flesh cries out against a `cruel and merciless God`, whilst his spirit keeps bringing him back to the reality that, when all the screaming and raging is finished, when all the accusing and finger pointing is over, when the smooth easiness of death is finally recognized as an unacceptable way of escape. . .then only God is left. But then, unrelenting, in a see-saw battle, the carnal flesh comes to the fore and cries out once again, let`s read Job 23: 3-7. `Oh that I knew where I might find Him, then I might even come to His seat! I would set in order my cause before Him, and fill my mouth with arguments. I would know the words with which He would answer me, and understand that which He would say to me. Will He plead against me with His great power? No, but He would put strength in me. There the righteous might dispute with Him; so should I be delivered for ever from my Judge.` And so throughout the book of Job, the see-sawing continues, and the reader of this scripture might like to note that by the time they are nearing the end of the book, they might also find themselves see-sawing between siding with Job, against God, (as it were) or siding with Job`s friends who appear to represent God`s feelings concerning the whole matter. However, the final arbiter and judge and wrong righter in the whole matter is the Lord, Himself. Job 38: 1-3. `Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up your loins like a man, for I will demand of you, and answer you Me.` By the reading of this scripture in Job, it would seem that Job`s friends have been right in their condemnation of him, approaching him as one accursed of God, and therefore deserving of no understanding or real comfort, but this notion is wrong. Let`s read further on and find out exactly what the Lord thinks of Job`s friend`s words towards him and of their attitude, Job 42: 7-8. `And it was so, that after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite; My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me the thing that is right, as my servant Job has. Therefore take to you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burned offering, and My servant Job shall pray for you, for him I will accept, less I deal with you after your folly, in that you have not spoken of Me the thing which is right, like My servant Job.` And so when all is said and done, what did Job stand to gain from this whole terrible experience of personal suffering and loss, what did he learn that otherwise would have eluded him? Well, who better to tell us than Job himself. I think that he sums it all up in Job 40: 3-4. `Then Job answered the Lord and said, Behold, I am vile, and what can I answer You? I will lay my hand upon my mouth.` Humility. From the reading of the life of Job before tragedy struck him and his household, humility appears to have been lacking within him. He was just too self righteous. Before his suffering I don`t think that Job could ever admitted to himself, let alone say it out loud, that compared to almighty God, he, Job, was `vile` . Job goes on to verbally underline his previous thoughts about himself in Job 42: 1-6. `Then Job answered the Lord and said, I know that You can do every thing, and that no thought can be withheld from You. Who is he that hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore I have uttered that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, things of which I knew not. Hear, I beseech You, and I will speak, I will demand of You, and declare You to me. I have heard of You be the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. Wherefore I loath myself, and I repent in dust and ashes.` Now, Job has humbled himself before God, because he has finally realised just exactly what he is compared to his God and Creator. Job now feels more complete as a person as he has now come to know the Lord God more intimately than he could ever had hoped to, had his life continued along the smooth and easy path that it had been on. I think that it would be right to come to the conclusion that had it not been for the Lord`s intervention in Job`s life, then Job would have carried on in his own self righteous and spiritually incomplete ways, never coming to the realisation that he was, deep down, at fault in the eyes of the Lord. Myself and possibly millions of other people have been or are in the `same boat` as Job, although the great majority of us will not be as perfect in the Lord`s eyes as Job was, and we shall all have to `suffer` in ways that will be beneficial to our own individual needs as regards our final acceptability before our God. Zehariah 13: 9. `And I will bring the third part through the fire, and I will refine them as silver is refined, and I will try them as gold is tried.They shall call on My Name, and I will hear them. I will say, It is My people, and they shall say, The Lord is my God.` The temptation for Job to take the easy way out of his sufferings must have been very great, even his own wife told him to take this way out when she uttered the words in Job 2: 9. `Then said his wife to him, Do you still retain your integrity? curse God, and die.` Yes, the Lord tested Job to his very limit, but instead of cursing the Lord, Job humbled himself before Him. Job knew in his heart, that all things are in the hands of the Lord, and that if any of us freely and in faith give ourselves into His hands, then ultimately, He will not forsake or disappoint us. Job`s faith in the Lord`s judgment and healing did not go unrewarded as we can read of in Job 42: 12-13. `So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning, for he had fourteen thousand sheep and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. He also had seven sons and three daughters.` Well, briefly, that was the story about the sufferings of one man, Job. Now there are the obvious sufferings of our God, Creator, Jesus Christ, and let`s just think about these for a moment, because I think that the majority of professing `Christians` do not relate to them as they should. For many think that Jesus `only` suffered for six hours or so on the `cross`, (He suffered every day of his ministry, the culmination of which was torture and death on the cross) and some even dare to presume, to think, that because He was (and is) the Son of God the Father, that the Father did not allow Him to experience any sort of pain or discomfort during His agonizing torture unto death! Well, not so, not so, that is a lie, and as we should realise, all such lies are perpetrated by Satan and espoused by those whose futile intentions are to try to undermine and play down the success and triumph over the agony, suffering and death that Jesus Christ accomplished, sufferings which our Lord Jesus volunteered to undergo so that our miserable sinful lives might ultimately have at least a chance of redemption from the wages of our sins which is death. Hebrews 9: 22-26. `And almost all things are by the law, purged with blood. And without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin. It was therefore necessary that the pattern of things in the heavens should be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places that have been made with hands, which are but representations of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. Not that He should offer Himself up as a sacrifice often, just as the high priest enters into the holy place every year with the blood of animals. For if that be the case then He would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the ages; but now once, in the end of the ages, He came to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. ` Although there is no account of Jesus ever having been sick or ill or of having any disability, we know that in the flesh He suffered, perhaps daily, let`s read Isaiah 53: 3-4. `He is despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and we hid as it were, our faces from Him, He was despised and we had no respect for Him. Surely, He has borne our griefs and carried our pains, yet we looked upon Him as stricken, as one smitten of God and afflicted.` I can honestly say, that I would rather suffer the colds and sneezes and the `knocks` of everyday life and grow old with all it`s associated infirmities than live a healthy, short life which would then be terminated in it`s prime by an agonizing, slow death on an occupying Roman army`s (the equivalent these days would be the Nazis!) torture cross-piece. Jesus Christ, before He actually became Jesus Christ, when He was God in heaven, knew that once He had made the decision and then commit to become flesh and blood and be the final atonement, the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, that there would be no turning back! It was either succeed or fail. He knew that God the Father would not in any way be swayed to `take away the cup` from which His only begotten Son had chosen to drink. God the Son as Jesus the man knew this, but even so, when the time drew near for Him to face the excruciating agony of being slowly tortured to death, He desperately wanted that `cup` taken from Him. But, although He pleaded with His heavenly Father for the `cup` to be removed, the Father did not allow it to be. So, did Jesus then start to revile His heavenly Father and try to somehow blame Him for the predicament in which He found Himself ? No. If we look in the book of Luke, we can read a scripture that tells of the Lord Jesus` pleading with his heavenly Father, it`s in Luke 22: 42-44. `Saying, Father if You be willing, remove this cup from Me, nevertheless, not My will but Thy will be done. And there appeared an angel from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in an agony He began to pray the more earnestly, and His sweat was as it were, great drops of blood falling down to the ground.` And if we turn to the book of Hebrews we can read this, Hebrews 5: 7-8. `Who in the days of His (Jesus) flesh had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared. Even though He were a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things that He suffered.` Jesus did not feel `hard done by` because of His Father`s decision to remain steadfast in the plan that they had both agreed on, who knows how many years beforehand. That is a true measure of the Man that was Jesus Christ! Yes, even very God Himself in the shape and form of the Man, Jesus Christ, was denied an alternative of having to suffer whilst down upon this earth, and it was not because God the Father is heartless and cruel, just the opposite in fact, let`s read John 3: 16. `For God (the Father) so loved the world ( the people) that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have (access to) everlasting life.` Our heavenly Father knew that the suffering experienced by His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, would establish and make Him a perfect high priest for humankind. He could now empathise with us and truly contradict anybody who would be mindful to say that He is God, and therefore can have nothing in common with the temptations and the sufferings of ordinary, human flesh and blood, let`s read Hebrews 2: 17-18. `Wherefore in all things it was best for Him to be made like His bretheren so that He may be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, (the Father) in order to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered being tempted (tested), He is able to help them that are tempted.` This one off, never to be repeated time of suffering and tempting was such an important event for God the Son to have to undergo on our behalf, that even though He was (is) God, He could not ignore it and He did not refuse to undergo it. Although we all, in our own lives, have muttered and complained about this and that, we have all suffered to one degree or another and experienced grief and pain and loss, we should take comfort in the knowledge that our very Creator has suffered likewise, and in the vast majority of cases to a far greater extent.(And also God the father, He had to let His beloved Son undergo an horrific experience and resist the temptation of any `interference`) We`ll have another look at Psalm 73, we can read the whole of it at our leisure but at the moment let`s read Psalm 73: 3. and 12-14. and 26-28. `For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. Behold, these are the ungodly who prosper in the world, they increase in riches. Truly I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. For all the day long I have been stricken, and punished every morning. My flesh and my heart fails, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. For lo, they that are far from You shall perish. You have destroyed all them who have been unfaithful to You. But it is good for me to draw near to God, I have put my trust in the Lord God, so that I may declare (by my example) all of Your works.` So we who hold fast to the Lord and who try to keep His commandments, can take comfort from the fact that our sometimes or permanent (in this life only) weak and sorry physical condition is, when compared to the oftentimes carefree and `healthy` lives of the wicked, all going to be worthwhile. For we have the promise that our suffering is to lead to an eternal, loving, peaceful and constructive future life, whereas the suffering that the wicked have yet to endure will only lead to their destruction. This life of testing that we undergo is ultimately beneficial not only for the future time but also for now. If we reflect on years gone by, we should be able to understand just how much more of a `rounded` person we have become over the passage of time and how, because of our own often times difficult life experiences, we are now much more able to relate to other`s troubles and predicaments. Let`s face it, most of us are going to suffer in this life so why not suffer for being `good`? 1 Peter 3: 17. `For it is better, if by the will of God, that you suffer for well doing rather than for evil doing.` We true Christians can, if we have to, bear our suffering in the knowledge that our rewards are going to be unimaginable! We should also take on board and understand that the Lord God is allowing us through and because of our various trials and tribulations, to create something that is totally unique to each and every one of us and this something is character . Character is something that we have to create for ourselves, it makes us the individuals that we are, and I should think that we all know just how obnoxious a spoilt brat of a child can be who has known nothing but the fine and safe and secure things in life, and who has been given everything that his or her heart desired, and just how useless and defenseless they are when things start to go wrong and `pear shaped`. Let`s have a read of Romans 5: 3-4. `And not only so, but we glory in troubles also, knowing that trouble works within us patience. And patience, experience, and experience, hope.` And now Romans 8: 18-26. `For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us. For the anxious longing of the creature waits for the revelation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to futility, not willingly, but by reason of Him who has subjected the same in hope. Because the creature itself shall also be delivered from the bondage of corruption (the decay of death) into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the spirit, even we ourselves groan inside ourselves, waiting for the adoption , that is, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope, but hope that is experienced is not hope, for what a man has already experienced why should he still hope for it? But if we hope for that which we have not yet experienced, then we patiently wait for it. Likewise the spirit also helps us to bear our infirmities; for we do not know how to pray for that which we should pray for, so the spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be spoken. And He (Jesus Christ) that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the spirit, because He makes intercession for the saints, according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose.` And so there it is, we suffer but we have the knowledge that our suffering is part of the creation process and we have the hope that what is created within us will ultimately be acceptable to our Lord, our God. And when we have hope, we never despair or give in!
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