Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! It’s been a while since I had the chance to do a series. One of my Christmas presents this year sparked the idea for this one! As you all know I have two great passions when it comes to collecting items, fossils and church history. So along side three new, beautiful, fossils, I was also gifted a piece of church history older than anything else I’ve got so far. Sitting next to another page of Spurgeon’s sermon notes in his own hand writing, for which I squealed like a little piggy, sat a beautifully preserved leaf from a 1577 Geneva Bible! My husband knows how to win Christmas.
The letters are different, the words are different, the spelling is barely legible compared to today’s English, and yet here it sits. The words so many died for, the words worth dying for, just to have the Bible in English was a fight. But fought they did, some were tortured and martyred, so that we could have access to the words we read today. Since then, of course, it’s taken brilliant minds and thousands of man hours tirelessly comparing the tens of thousands of manuscripts from antiquity. We truly are a blessed generation! Hopefully this new series will go a long way in detailing that. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! As promised, I have another book review for you. This one was a joy to read, as the writer has a knack for Biblical truth and turning a phrase. It’s no wonder John MacArthur wrote the forward for God Doesn’t Whisper, published by Kootenai Community Church Publishing in August of this year. Rarely do we see this type of theologically sound rebuke to the popular belief in HVG or hearing the voice of God. In this 281 page book, pastor and author Jim Osman expounds upon his own journey from believing in HVG through the Scriptural reasons he no longer does so. While he explains this disastrous teaching, he boldly calls out those preachers and teachers that promote it.
Coming from the Word of Faith movement I frequently heard it repeated, “God spoke to me, in that still, small voice…” Have you heard it? It’s a phrase that’s repeated so often one might begin to question if the canon ought not be re-opened. But does Gods Word ever tell us that we’ll hear Him speak audibly today? In dreams? Does God whisper? Osman doesn’t pull any punches, this book, from its title to the very last footnote, is a clear refutation of HVG. I love that he doesn’t stray from Scripture, but calls us to view this movement through a Biblical lens. I recommend this book to any age, and if you happen to be a homeschooling parent like I am then this book will be a fantastic primer to teach your preteens, teens, or young adults how to respond when someone says they’ve heard a word from God.
Pastor Osman was also gracious enough to send me several copies of God Doesn’t Whisper which I’ll be giving away on social media. If you’ve liked or commented on this article then you’ve already been entered to win! But if you’d like a few extra chances you can zip over to any of my social media pages and find the posts about this giveaway. If you are too impatient to wait for any giveaway, and when it comes to this book I completely understand, then you can find your own paper copy here and the kindle version here. Of course, if you’ve somehow found yourself with a subscription to Kindle Unlimited like I have, then you’ll already have access to this book. I know it will be edifying and educational. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
These past few months I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned some things about myself through quarantine, recovery from COVID-19, and watching what little news I could tolerate about all societal chaos. I realized more and more that resting is necessary. Spiritually resting in the Lord’s power and Word, of course, mentally resting from the onslaught of opinions and “news”, emotionally resting from the concerns and burdens we just love to bear and physically resting before we sicken ourselves unnecessarily.
As much as I have learned about my own issues with resting, especially spiritually, there is something else I’ve learned, something alarming I’ve noticed. It’s the unrestrained, restless behavior of many of my professing sisters (brothers too). Triggered and tossed about publicly, professing sisters are showcasing one of the reasons why we need to listen to God on verses such as these:
“Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools. Do not say, “Why is it that the former days were better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.” Ecclesiastes 7:9-10
I get it, things are troubling. We long for former days. The stakes seem high now, the question marks are bigger and the lies are more abundant. Pandemics are scary. The world is increasingly hostile towards the ways of God and His people, more hostile towards any solid and wholesome way of life- more hostile towards anything decent. It can make us restless and distracted.
These days, as a Christian, I tend to look at my social media feed with one eye open. It’s tough to read. As I feel my blood boil or angst start to set in, I’m often reminded of this:
“Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:5-7
I also think of these verses:
Philippians 2:14-16: “Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.”
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8.
Before having the “rona” I admit I felt the anxiety of a deadly virus and also the confusion and doubt about whether or not it’s really that deadly. As everyone knows, the news is more confusing than it is clarifying. Although unsure of what to think, we sanitized, wore masks, and prayed they worked. Being we live with my in-laws my teenage daughter took leave from her public job so that she wouldn’t get the virus and bring it home to them. My husband and I stayed home. Our church shut its doors and did sermons online. We were dedicated to trying to keep the virus out of our home.
Then we got it.
How? Who really knows for sure? The important thing is-God is in control, we are ok now, and we are grateful. We did what we could, sensibly, and trusted the Lord through it all. Trusting and resting in the Lord and His will is everything. It’s the calm in the middle of the storm and the sure footing on solid rock.
It’s easy to tell when one is fixated on the world and all that it broadcasts, when the world is influencing them to lose their peace. Emotional rants, desperate pleas, frantic responses, fear-filled warnings, angry emoji’s on repeat, bowing to the world, name-calling, expressing with cuss words, guilt-tripping, focusing on temporary freedoms and comforts, making non-Christian people be either your enemy or a savior depending on their political position or beliefs on wearing masks and isolating.. and then the frequent ALL CAPS.
There is a healthy amount of rest and ease we should seek. We need to chill without becoming complacent or unconcerned. We should call out sin and warn others of false teachings and dangerous movements but we can’t do any good being anxious or fearful, belligerent or insulting in the process. There is far too much emotional manipulation from the world, we don’t need to join that party.
I understand the temptation. For us Christians, there may be times ….
When our comforts are yanked from us or threatened, we cry for their return and preservation.
When the rebellious hearts of this world mock blessings, we get angry.
When the lost of this world step on our flowers, we grumble and point.
When the foolish spew unrelenting mendacities around us, we drown them in truth until they plead for mercy.
When the haters of this world want to revile and slander us, we are offended and we return the favor fiercely.
We may ask, “Why is this happening? Where’s justice? What about our rights? How can we continue on?”
What we should be asking is…what rights or comforts do we need now in order to live for eternity? Is my main focus supposed to be on health and national/personal freedom? Praying for those things is good and acceptable, focusing onand getting our hope from them – that’s a major problem.
My late grandfather used to say, “I only have the right to be thankful.” I’m not sure he was even a believer but I do know his little phrase packs a biblical punch. Do we really have the right to anything else? Think about it. Do we understand who we actually are and what we really deserve? Have you taken a close look at your own sinfulness?
Paul got it. “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24)
Jesus instructed the disciples, “So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’” (Luke 17:10)
Who has convinced you of anything otherwise?
Remember what the Lord said in Matthew 5:38-44? ““You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”
Is that only after you ridicule and slander them first? NO
I’m seeing Christian leaders stoke the fire of emotion, slowly turning the focus away from the Gospel and putting it on political wars, societal and cultural restructuring, making the church more sensitive to the world’s cries, or the rights we “just can’t afford to lose”.
The disciples of Jesus yearned for Him to put an end to the corruption and persecution in their society. They believed He would set things right at that time, politically. Christ said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” He didn’t overturn the governments. He focused rather on saving and bringing souls home to His heavenly kingdom. That’s what He came for.
People surrounded Him constantly to be healed. He in His grace healed several. Yet He didn’t take away all sicknesses or even most of them. It was never really about those things. He kept the focus where the focus must be.
“Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” John 18:36-37.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”” Matthew 28: 19-20.
The more people hear the Gospel, the more people will be saved. When people are saved their hearts are changed and they proclaim the Gospel to others. Hope and joy are found. Peace with God is given. Lifestyles and families are impacted. Love and respect is practiced and seen. Most importantly, the Lord is glorified.
We read the Word and we are reminded we are to be unlike the world, to show the love of Christ, to die to self, to focus on Him and His promises and commands and that we are owed nothing from the Lord. We have been given such blessing beyond measure, all undeserved.
So why are many of my professing sisters having toddler fits all over social media as if they deserve blessing; as if they have rights to have what they want? Why are they making many lost people look more held-together then they are? Is it because, maybe, this world is where their hope really lies? Is it because church leaders are leading them on to think such nonsense is the work of the Lord? Do they understand what the Lord really wants?
If the Lord chooses not to answer our prayers or give us worldly comforts and freedoms, are we good with that? Can you rest in His wisdom? Can you look at the bigger eternal picture?
Sisters, let’s move on with the Gospel. This world has no hope without the Gospel. The work and the Word of the Lord change the hearts of people, not us, and definitely not our fits or anxiety.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2.
“If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? Romans 8:31b-33a
No one wants or should desire persecution or for freedom to end, yet to focus on those things as if Christ can’t be glorified or served in persecuted and oppressive situations is foolishness. Look at the world in Biblical times, when persecution, disease and death were daily sorrows. The Church still grew. God was glorified more and the people still found something to rejoice about. Can we still have joy in serving the Lord today?
And what do we do differently if every comfort in this world goes away? Nothing.
Love God. Share the Word. Pray. Love others more than yourself, even your enemies.
As a mother of five, when my little children threw fits, became hysterical, refused to listen, screamed to have something, or became grumpy and snarky….discipline or a nap were in order. They needed to think about what they were actually doing. They needed to rest and collect themselves before they found themselves in more trouble.
My Christian sisters, be an adult, a mature adult. Grow in Christ and realize when you need to rest in His ways more and concern yourself with what concerns Him, not what you think concerns Him. Study the Word to know. Be thankful and have joy in your salvation. Don’t grumble over the sins of others, share the Gospel instead. Remember, the lost can’t have rest as we can. They need salvation. That should be more than enough to motivate us with the Gospel.
““THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THIS GENERATION
AND SAID, ‘THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART,
AND THEY DID NOT KNOW MY WAYS’;
AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH,
‘THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.’” (Hebrews 3:10-11)
If you can’t rest in the sovereignty of God, get a grip, be salt and light in a dark world and pick your battles wisely, then get off of social media, stop watching the world, surround yourself with more sound fellowship and teaching, and please get on your knees and in the Word.
And maybe take a nap? Just not too long. There is much work to be done for the Lord.
Above is an article written by Gina Cook, Gina and Tami write Through the Narrow here at Tulips & Honey Hub. They’ll be posting articles every other Tuesday. Both are published authors, you can find Tami’s book here, and Gina’s book here. We’re blessed to have them apart of our team, and pray their writing will be as edifying to you as it is to us. – Lauren Hereford
Christians have been lied to about the devil and Hell.
We have been told over and over that Hell is Satan’s dwelling place. He lives there and just comes around to bother us sometimes or sends his demons to mess with us. It has been suggested that the devil spends time with those that are in Hell tormenting them and allowing demons to torment them as well.
The link below is from the movie “War Room”, and we see where the wife (played by Priscilla Shirer) decides she’s had enough of the devil and goes after him. She becomes mad enough about the devil messing things up in her life that she gives the devil a firm scolding and yells at him for a good while.
She starts out with her explaining to him, “I don’t know where you are, devil, but I know you can hear me.” Well, the devil is not omnipresent and he cannot be everywhere at once as God can. I don’t know about you but to me, that seems like a frightening thought to think about, out of all the places on earth the devil chooses to be to cause destruction, he chooses you and your house to do it. Yikes!
But because he can only be in one place in time how does she know she is talking to him and that he hears her? Her assumption makes her believe that he is there and can hear her and yet she goes about scolding him as if she’s an authority to him and he might just be standing in shock that she’s on to him now. She says, “You have played with my mind and had your way long enough. No more. You are done. Jesus is the Lord of this house and that means there is no place for you here anymore.” thinking it’s something he wouldn’t know unless she announces it and now that she has he can’t play those games anymore and has to leave. She seems to think that Christians stand in some devil proof zone and they are promised no more demonic attacks or problems. The problems aren’t the same after salvation, but they are still going to come. The devil still tempts and causes deception in the lives of both the lost and saved; this is why we need to stand on the Word of God. We do not become free from the devil’s lies and destruction the minute we are saved. In fact, we can expect it just as much as a Christian, just as Job was targeted by the devil.
She then appears to chase him out of her house as she storms outside. She continues to remind him that he can’t have her marriage, daughter, or husband. We learn quickly, “when reading the Word” that marriage was designed by God and God does have set rules for the husband and set rules for the wife. God gives clear instructions on how we are to be in a marriage and the devil seeks to divide the husband and wife and destroy the marriage. Christian marriages are not off-limits to the devil.
The devil can cause trouble with anyone, and anything the devil does is always known by God. God can choose to allowed or not allowed the devil to play with people but it’s always for His own glory and purpose. At the same time we see it is God that can provide the protection and keep the devil at bay if He sees fit, just as it was done for Job in Job 1:10~ “Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land”.
In the movie the lady character tells the devil he is done (although, in reality, the devil will never be done or stop till our Lord throws him into the lake of fire) and she storms back into the house only to come back out a few seconds later to talk more to the devil. Here was where I’m like, “Serious, she’s gonna keep talking to him.” She comes back out and says, “And another thing…” like the devil is still standing outside all wide-eyed and in shock. Just so you all know, the devil couldn’t care less what you have to say or that you’re mad at him.
She ends up telling the devil to “Go back to Hell where he belongs”. The problem with that is the devil didn’t come from Hell as if it was his personal apartment where he lives and besides, it contradicts the Word of God.
That’s a very unbiblical teaching and a most ridiculous belief about the devil and Hell that there is. As I’ve mentioned the devil does not live in Hell or control it how he wishes. Instead, the devil is going to be the one tormented in Hell, not in charge of it, because it is God that is in charge of Hell.
What we learn from Scriptures is that God created Hell and it’s only God that has the AUTHORITY to put Satan in Hell, not us. In Matthew 25:41 and 2 Peter 2:4, God says that Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels. It’s God that cast demons into Hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment.
Scriptures also, say that the demons cry out in fear of the Lord and do not want Him to torment them. Matthew 8:29~ And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?”
Luke 12:5~But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!
Matthew 10:28 says, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Proverbs 14:27~ The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.
That tells me that we should fear God because He is the Authority overall.
But common sense says that even if it’s true that Christians can command and send the devil to Hell then who is letting him out or how is he getting out? If people all over the world are practicing this and they believe they are sending the devil “back” to Hell then he is being sent there over and over by different people all the time. Not to mention that most people will say, “In Jesus’ name.” So does this mean saying “in the name of Jesus” isn’t strong enough to keep the devil in Hell?
It says in 1 Peter 5:8 “the devil prowls around seeking someone to devour”. In Job 1:7 it tells us when God asked where the devil was and he told God he was going to and fro on the earth and walking up and down on it. This devil isn’t in Hell seeking to devour people; he’s on earth seeking to devour people.
Another thing that should be obvious is we should never address the devil ever! Why do people insist on talking to the devil when things go wrong? Because they were taught to do that. It’s not biblical and so very dangerous.
Addressing Satan is the worst thing you can do and yelling at him does nothing.
But ask yourself, “Why in the world would I want to address the enemy of God anyway or any demon for that matter?” That’s just giving the devil what he wants, YOUR attention!! Your attention is off of God and on him and now he is robbing you of your time spent with God. Think about it, something goes wrong and we start talking to the devil about how mad we are or how hurt we are and how he is not going to have control anymore. Does this make sense? Your time could be spent praying to God and asking Him for help but instead, it’s spent yelling at the devil.
God tells us in James 4:7-8 to “submit to God and resist the devil“.
We all need to be in prayer for all things but when we are addressing Satan then you have stopped your prayer and turned your back on God to talk with Satan. This movie teaches people they can address Satan and that’s wrong.
In the part of the movie where the wife (played by Priscilla Shirer) losses her cool and starts getting upset and yells at the devil and it appears that she is chasing him outside, I want to know, how does she know she got him outside? How does she know that her yelling did anything? But the worst part is that anyone would be talking to God one day and then the next start talking to Satan? Seems to me that would be an insult to God. Think about that, we pray to our Lord for many things. We go to God for help, to praise Him, to thank Him but one day you feel you are being spiritually attacked so instead of going to God (who has the power to help you and protect you) we start talking to the devil instead like we are his parent and he’s in trouble. Why? He doesn’t care what we think. He isn’t going to all the sudden become remorseful and sad because we yelled at him. The devil isn’t going to be afraid of you and apologize for upsetting you. He is getting exactly what he wants, your attention off of God, and getting you all stressed and angry. We shouldn’t address the devil at all, ever. We only need to address God.
Satan is very active and he does prowl around and he will until the 1000 year reign of Christ where an angel (the warrior archangel Michael) binds him and he will be thrown into the bottomless pit as said in Revelation 20:1–3~ “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, which is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him so that he might not deceive the nations any longer until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be released for a little while.”
The word archangel means “angel of the highest rank.” Michael binds the devil, not a human. The archangel Michael has spiritual combat with the devil during the millennial reign of Christ. The Bible also speaks of Michael protecting people as well, in Daniel 12:1 so if we are so tough that we think we can bind Satan and kick him out of our house on our own, why would God need angels protecting us, ministering to us and guiding us?
That we humans are weaker than angels and below them in power and knowledge. (2 Peter 2:11, Jude 1:9) so there is no way we can take on Satan and his demons and there is no way he stands in fear of us. That’s just pride-fullness.
Binding Satan is not within our power. Scriptures say in Acts 19:13-16~ “Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.”
This from Got Questions:
“Jesus had earlier given His apostles specific authority over demons (Mark 3:15). Paul, as an apostle, had received that authority as well (see 2 Corinthians 12:12).”
“..Demons recognize valid authority, and they fear God (see James 2:19). It’s important to note that the authority over demons belongs only to Jesus (see Luke 8:28, 31) and to those to whom Jesus gave it. The demon in Acts 19 says that it knows Jesus and Paul (one of Jesus’ chosen apostles). It refused to recognize any other authority in Ephesus. The demon’s question “who are you?” is chilling in its implications to the seven sons of Sceva and their total lack of authority.”
This is what God wants us to do instead in Eph 6: 10-18~ Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. …13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you maybe able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand firm.
James 4:7-8 says “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”
That being said, there was one part in the move I agree with and that was when the old woman named Miss Clara says to the wife, “Do your fighting in prayer.” That’s exactly what we need to do. Not address the devil but address God in prayer. Not yell at the devil but run to God in prayer. Not send the devil back to Hell but bring God into it and let God fight the battle. We can’t!
Turning away from God to speak to the devil just because you feel you are strong enough and more powerful than the devil is unbiblical. Just because someone told you that you could do that because you are a Christian is a lie. God is the only one that can fight the devil and protect you. Just stay with God and don’t waste your time talking to the devil.
We all need to stop talking to him, stop yelling at him, stop commanding him to go back to Hell, and don’t give him any more of your time.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” Genesis 1:27, 31 ESV “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”” Genesis 2:16-17 ESV “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.” Genesis 3:6-7 ESV “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.” Isaiah 53:5-7, 10 ESV “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23 ESV “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” Romans 5:6-9 ESV “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 ESV “And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” Mark 8:34-35 ESV “and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”” Mark 1:15 ESV “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John 17:3 ESV
The above was written by my brother-in-Christ and friend Troy Paylorfrom Christ Marked. You can hear his testimony here,and as always beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
I want to start by making very clear here that I am in no way intending on heaping condemnation onto my brothers and sisters in Christ. I mean only to edify the body and help explain a possible reason for the lack of prayer and study within the church.
I also want to clarify that this is not going to make sense to those who are not believers but are instead Christians in name only. I know this for certain because I never understood this the entire decade I was pretending to be a Christian. I was perfectly happy being spoon fed the word and even happier to take your word for it. This is the reason why false teachers are so successful, we can see them on every “Christian” channel preaching a different gospel, a different Jesus, and a different god. A more common term for this would be heresy, there are more notable speakers teaching heresy, or even worse, blasphemy, then there are teachers proclaiming the true gospel.
I began my Christian faith wondering how we got to the place where famous preachers could announce loudly that Christ wasn’t the only way to Heaven and still manage to have any credibility. I think I can say assuredly it’s because of a lack of prayer and study within the body of true believers.
Let’s start with prayer. Before I was saved prayer was something I did out of obligation, it was done with a general sense of annoyance. The first few months after I got saved that changed, slowly at first, and then like a snowball falling, collectively the idea of what prayer began to drive me to my knees. The annoyance then became the need to do anything else besides study and prayer. What changed?
Before being saved I was perfectly happy to listen to TV evangelists twisting scripture to fit their worldly desires. I also enjoyed anything that was new information, as one enjoys the discovery channel. It didn’t have to be accurate, and I certainly wasn’t going to crack open my dust collecting Bible to check. Once I was saved the Word of God became the primary source, and great men expounding on it needed to be consistently vetted. More so than that, the Word became spiritual food. I felt a hunger for it I had never felt before, the desire to immerse myself in the Bible and to understand what I was reading was overwhelming.
This change led me to a greater understanding of both prayers, and study. What is prayer for the believer? It is one of the greatest gifts God has given us.
We are granted the tremendous honor of coming before the throne of God with our thanksgiving, supplication, and requests. This is the very God who had saved me from the chains of sin, a pointless life, and from eternal damnation. I get to come before Him, He hears me. Never once have I ever deserved the honor of coming before the King of Kings!
What brought me to this conclusion? Understanding what the Word is. John teaches us that in the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, the Word was God. That Word became flesh…when we pick up Gods Word we need to recognize that on every page we are seeing Holy Spirit inspired Words. The majesty of this is too great for me to understand, however, what I do see is the tremendous blessing we have been given to have the Word.
Can you imagine what it must have been like to have been an Apostle before the cross? The Holy Spirit hadn’t come, Christ hadn’t risen, all they have was the OT to go on. They were waiting for the Kingdom to come! They thought Christ was about to bring it down. What do you mean you’re going to die? What about the Kingdom? All the way up until Jesus Christ, Messiah, Lord, Savior, ascended the disciples were asking about the Kingdom. It wasn’t until the Holy Spirit came that they finally understood the OT. We have the benefit of reading that very revelation they were given.
Can you imagine also what it must be like to live in a country where this Word is illegal? How precious every page must be to believers, and every second they can spend reading it. It is easy to take for granted the amazing blessing some of us have to freely read the Word. I even have the Septuagint on my phone, along with every type of translation. How blessed is this generation? As blessed as we are ignorant of said blessing.
So, what do you do if you’re one of the many believers who does not understand the Word, and find very little joy in reading it? Or perhaps even less joy in praying? First, let’s remember that there are those out there particularly gifted in these areas, we should not compare ourselves to one another. Our comparison should always be Christ. Secondly, let us remember that we need to be growing in grace and knowledge. If you want to enjoy these things but the desires of the world are overpowering you bring it before the throne in prayer. Ask to thirst for God’s Word, ask God to help you love Him with your whole heart, mind, soul, and strength. We can do nothing apart from Him.
Finally, friends, be good Bereans. Paul called the Bereans more noble then the Thessalonican’s because they accepted the Word while searching the scriptures to see if it was true. We need to take every thought into captivity, which means we cannot continue to accept what the TV evangelists, or even our own pastors, preach without checking its accuracy against the Word of God. Not partial scriptures, but the whole counsel of the Word.
I hope this helps you all grow in prayer and study, friends, to show yourself approved.
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”Philippians 1:3-11 ESV
As I look at this passage and known I’ve went through this same passage twice and every time that I come back to it, there seems to be more treasure in it than I found before, speaking of the exhaustive word of God and all the blessedness of His word. While this is true my message is to the church, mainly the Providence Baptist Church where I’m so glad to be a part of, but doesn’t exclude others from this. For I can as with Paul more clearly now that ever before get a deeper understanding of his words. Although my imprisonment isn’t in a jail, yet I can’t be at my church with the members there who with me share in a commonality that unites us all that we are blood bought sinners of Christ Jesus. Christ died in our place and rose again and church what great news that is, that our Savior who born of a virgin lived a sinless life, died in our place and rose the third day. Oh like Paul, how I long to see you and miss you all with the affection of Christ Jesus, though mine isn’t perfect I’m without brothers and sisters in Christ, though we shouldn’t let this stop us, in fact we shall advance. More than ever during this time we should be spreading the gospel of Christ Jesus, for we worship the Risen one who is seated at the right hand of the Father.
How I do long to see you all, yet I pray for you all too, that you may seek the word of God and be in communion with Him, so that you may continue grow in knowledge and discernment so that you may approve what is excellent and honor and glorify God in all you do. Continue in being sanctified by the power of the Holy Spirit for soon we shall all be together again, and at that point rejoice, but even now we shall rejoice, what a wonderful time more than ever to draw closer to our Savior. Dig deeper into the word, for the Bible is living, active, and sharp, pruning the fruits in us that are of the flesh and water and nurturing the fruits of the Spirit and in all may you all seek Christ Jesus and Him crucified. To God be the Glory, Forever and ever, amen. “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:11-14 ESV.
The above was written by my brother-in-Christ and friend Troy Paylorfrom Christ Marked. You can hear his testimony here, and as always beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
When we ultimately tell people all they have to do is make a decision for Christ or accept them into their hearts, what we are really doing is forgetting how monumental 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”2 Corinthians 5:17. That is why Christ says repent and believe, it means forsake the old man which is sinful and throw your life upon Christ, because ultimately man is so sinful that he needs to turn, but can’t do so without the Divine power of God. When the old passes away, when you throw away clothes you can’t fit anymore or that are too big, you don’t pick them back up later on. If they are in the trash you get rid of them, so the same goes with the old man. Christ calls all to repent and believe, because unless man sees the emptiness of his work to glorify himself, he will never know why he must forsake his self effort to repent and believe in Christ.
The wages of sin is death, but the glorious truth is that eternal life is in Christ Jesus, but man must forsake himself and believe in Christ, for isn’t this the attitude and action of the man in Matthew 13:44? “”The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Matthew 13:44 ESV. He sells all and forsakes all for Christ and getting to know Him. Paul says the same, “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—”Philippians 3:7-9 ESV. So as I shall say, man shall not even enter the gates of Heaven, without the righteousness of Christ, and that dear friend is by repentance and believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. As our cry before conversion is “Free me from this body of death that Holds me Hell-bound!! Dear God have mercy upon me, for I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ!!
The above was written by my brother-in-Christ and friend Troy Paylor from Christ Marked. You can hear his testimony here, and as always beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
Our brother-in-Christ, Patrick Studebaker from Cave to the Cross Apologetics, joined us for a cross over episode! We talk about discernment, warning about false teachers, and responding to criticism. We detailed the difference between slander, and discernment, and walk through Scriptural definitions of heresy and blasphemy. It was such a blessing to have our brother explain righteous judgement Biblically, as well. We all hope that you’ll be edified by this episode, and encouraged if you’ve ever been rebuked for sharing truth. Below is a time stamped outline, that we hope will be helpful for anyone who wants to skip through the episode to certain points. Don’t miss the blooper reel, waiting as ever, at the end like a cherry on top! You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as Podbean, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, and in video form on Youtube. We also now have a Patreon page, which you can find here https://www.patreon.com/Tulipshoneyhub. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
Intro – Cross over with A Cave to the Cross Apologetics: Patrick Studebaker
Slander (etymologically a doublet of “scandal,” from OFr. esclandre, Latin scandalum, “stumblingblock”) is an accusation maliciously uttered, with the purpose or effect of damaging the reputation of another.
As a rule it is a false charge (compare Matthew 5:11); but it may be a truth circulated insidiously and with a hostile purpose (e.g. Daniel 3:8, “brought accusation against,” where Septuagint has diaballo, “slander”; Luke 16:1, the same Greek word).
Warnings, condemnations and complaints in reference to this sin are very frequent, both in the Old Testament and New Testament. Mischievous “tale-bearing” or “whispering” is condemned (Leviticus 19:16; Ezekiel 22:9).
Elsewhere, however, in the New Testament it has a different meaning attached to it. Paul ranks “heresies” with crimes and seditions ( Galatians 5:20 ).
This word also denotes divisions or schisms in the church ( 1 Corinthians 11:19 ). In Titus 3:10 a “heretical person” is one who follows his own self-willed “questions,” and who is to be avoided.
Heresies thus came to signify self-chosen doctrines not emanating from God ( 2 Peter 2:1 ).
Blasphemy TS 01:05:00
The Old Testament At least five different Hebrew verbs are translated “blaspheme” in English translations.
Translators choose “blaspheme” when, for instance, the verbs “curse” (qalal [l;l’q]), “revile” (gadap [@;d”G]), or “despise” (herep) are used with God as the object.
No special verb is reserved for cursing or insults directed at God.
However, to curse or insult God is an especially grave sin. It can be done by word or by deed. There is little distinction between the sinner who deliberately abuses the name of the Lord ( Le 24:10-16 ), and the one who deliberately flouts his commandments ( Nu 15:30-31 ).
For both, the death penalty is prescribed.
Similarly, the prayer of the Levites in Nehemiah 9 calls “awful blasphemies” all that Israelites did when they made the golden calf (9:18).
David’s flagrant sin with Bathsheba may be called a blasphemy ( 2 Sa 12:14 ), but a more likely translation is that David has “made the enemies of the Lord show utter contempt” (NIV).
Instead of testifying by lifestyle to the character of the Lord, David’s action confirms the blasphemous belief of the nations that the Lord is no different from any other national god.
Today, dear ones, we had the joy of interviewing a sweet sister-in-Christ and beloved friend, Rikki LeGrand. Ms. LeGrand was raised Catholic, but after a period of deep depression she found herself deceived by the Word of Faith movement. God graciously saved her, and she was kind enough to detail how He led her out of that deception. It never ceases to amaze me how patient our God is with us! It took a couple years, but eventually Rikki was able to walk away from the WoF deception altogether.
It is our hope and prayer that this conversation will be helpful to any that are coming out of the WoF movement. We’ve felt the confusion, and the frustration that can come from realizing you’ve been deceived by family or friends, or people you trusted. Below is a time stamped outline, that we hope will be helpful for anyone who wants to skip through the interview to certain points. You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as Podbean, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, and in video form (eventually) on Youtube. We also now have a Patreon page, which you can find here https://www.patreon.com/Tulipshoneyhub. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
Intro- Shoutouts: TimeStamp 00:01:35
THANK YOU to our wonderful HumbleBees
Shout to Gio @diedonceborntwice
THANK YOU TO Raza Reforma and their church—New Life Baptist Church
Uploaded their Wednesday bible study on the attributes of God
Connect with Sandi and Edward
Mention Family Adoption story *My friends Jason and Yesenia