Giving Thanks in ALL Things

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1Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

2Corinthians 4:15, “For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.”

2Corinthians 9:10-11, “Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.”

Philippians 4:6, “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 understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Colossians 3:16-17, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

1Timothy 4:4-6, “For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.

Psalm 95:2-3, “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the LORD is the great God, And the great King above all gods.”

Psalm 100:4, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”

Psalm 106:1, “Praise the LORD! Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”

Psalm 107:8-9, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.”

AND ON AND ON WITH SO MANY MORE!!!

As with all things spiritual, the action of giving thanks becomes second nature with practice and it is then that the emotional or feeling of thanks comes to the person giving thanks. Thanksgiving is a day to remember all the blessings that we have been given so freely from the Lord.

In giving thanks in ALL things (even those seemingly not so good) we remember what the Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

So remember; this day is a day to remember ALL those many blessings and the reasons for them, but EVERYDAY should be a day of giving thanks!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND MAY GOD’S BLESSINGS CONTINUE TO ENRICH EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOUR LIVES!!

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Doppelgänger

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*Doppelgänger

In fiction and folklore, a doppelgänger is a look-alike or double of a living person, sometimes portrayed as a paranormal phenomenon, and in some traditions as a harbinger of bad luck. In other traditions and stories, they recognize your ‘double-goer’ as an evil twin.


2 Corinthians 4:

2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

3-4 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.

6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. (Bold emphasis added by me).


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My wife and I were watching one of those popular crime dramas the other day and the title of the episode was the same I am using for this article. Now it was done to instill a bit of humor into a serious subject, but I am using it with the *preferred definition as set down by Microsoft Bing when I did a search of the word.

My Brother in Christ, Russ Hall, (WordPress Blog, Facebook Page) a long-time internet friend and peer whom I met when first involving myself in online “ministry” inspired me with the picture above that he had posted on his Facebook page. It has ceased to surprise me, for a long time now, what avenues the Holy Spirit uses to provide inspiration and direction for a message. As with so many others of my brothers and sisters, we are facing an uncertain future concerning not just politics, but the right to express ourselves religiously.

Lately, when I have written a new article, or have posted a new teaching, it has been rather “sin heavy” as a friend has tried to delicately share with me. What is surprising is that for many, many years, I have NOT concentrated so much on our sin nature, but much, much more on our REDEEMED nature, which you must admit is a lot more positive and acceptable to read and hear.

It’s just that lately, the state of our societies has demonstrated the truth that human nature, in general, just hasn’t changed that much since the time of Adam and Eve, and I believe that the closer we come to the time of Jesus Christ’s return, unapologetic, unredemptive human nature will become more and more prevalent.

This “foundation” I’ve laid out brings me to the point of why I have been “preaching” or teaching so much on the acknowledgement AND identification of sin. I know what you’re thinking; everybody knows right from wrong; everyone knows what sin is via the Ten Commandments. But yet — sin has become more socially acceptable and more prevalent today. Yet, every spiritual Christian KNOWS that it takes more than just knowledge of sin to be redeemed spiritually!

Still, we have churches today that are teaching that sin is relative; the Bible is not literal when it comes to our sinfulness; there are many paths to salvation; as long as there is love and peace, continued sin is not eternally significant, etc., etc. Churches are allowing gays to be in positions of leadership, same-sex marriages are being accepted because after all, love is all that matters, despite the fact that the Bible is clear about what REAL love is and what REAL sin is!

Main supposed “Christian” church denominations today are opening up areas of their churches for Muslim prayer mats pointing toward Mecca AND they are calling for boycotts AGAINST our spiritual brothers, the Nation of Israel, siding with RADICAL Arab factions claiming that Israel’s actions are against humanity! I have said this for years (literally years) now, that what was once right is now wrong, and what was once wrong is now right.

We forget that Jesus Himself stated, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” – Matthew 10:34-39. (Bold emphasis added by me).

Jesus came to show the TRUTH about God’s relationship with man and to show AND provide the path to a relationship back with the Father. But in that, He showed that He is the ONLY path and in showing that truth, that very truth would be a sword, cutting relationships that would stand in the way of loving God Almighty with all that we are!

When I was an Associate Pastor at Calvary Chapel in Arizona, we combated against blatant New Age practices that weren’t just in our community, but had infiltrated several main-stream “Christian” denominations located in our community. With continual fervent prayer AND education identifying and attacking the practices we made big headway AND many brothers and sisters were made aware of the dangers of so many New Age teachings and practices!

This brings me to the inspiration behind Brother Russ Hall’s picture and the title of this article. You have to KNOW first, what the truth is and you have to understand that TRUTH, spiritual TRUTH is NOT relative. Truth is true and it comes from ONE source and one source only, our Heavenly Father, God Almighty in the image and likeness of His Son, the Living Word, Jesus (the Anointed One) Christ! It is written with the pen of men in the Bible, inspired by the Holy Spirit, the written representation of the Living Word! The written Word and the Living Word are in total and perfect agreement and harmony and there is no contradiction, what so ever!

If you choose to discard the Bible, the Truth of God Almighty and His RELATIONSHIP with mankind, His creation, you have nothing to base a life of spiritual liberty or freedom upon, for everything else is deception and lies from the “god of this world.” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

There are two churches operating in this world today. The TRUE Church, the Bride of Christ, and its doppelgänger, the false twin. They look the same and much of the time, they outwardly speak the same, but the difference is beyond the heart, in the spirit; and from the spirit, their works are revealed!

2 Corinthians 11:13-15, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”

My question to you, CHRISTIAN, is this; if the devil and his ministers can look and act like TRUE servants of God’s Word today, than how are YOU going to defend yourself and your loved ones from what is false? If you Bible is “metaphorically” gathering dust today and it is just used for show or some religious talisman, than how will you be able to JUDGE (Matthew 7:15-27) the truth and those speaking it?

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I know when I start speaking of judging (discernment) many of my brothers and sisters start getting nervous and jittery, but I want you to read the following Scripture and then go back when you have time and read the account that this Scripture refers too. Acts 17:10-11, “Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These (Bereans) were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” (Bold and Parenthetical comment added by me).

The Bereans accepted the word with readiness, BUT/AND they searched the Scriptures to make sure what they heard was the truth! They weren’t doing it with the motive of finding fault with Paul and Silas’ teaching, rather they were searching so that they themselves wouldn’t be at fault with accepting a teaching that wasn’t directly from the Lord! They were discerning (judging) the truth to be just that, the truth!

Today we have so many who go to church to let the preacher/teacher do the work of the Bible and so many do not even pick up their Bibles to see if what is being taught is true. This is a sad indictment of the church today, but if you are a person who takes the time to read and study and see what the Word of God does say, you see the truth of what I am saying and as a spirit-led Christian, it has to concern you as well.

The reason we have main-stream churches allowing New Age practices to be a part of their churches as well as the other sins that have permeated the church is because people are relying on their feelings and what a personable teacher tells them rather than explore the Word for themselves. People are looking for happiness in church, happiness which depends on circumstances and feelings, rather than on spiritual joy, something that is deeper and derives from a relationship with the Holy Spirit and NOT based upon circumstances, but rather on truth. Feelings change, the Word of God does not!

What is sad is when instead of living a life based on the Spirit and the Truth of the Living Word of God, people look at world situations and apply their emotions, feelings that change with circumstances rather than the solid foundation of the Word of God. Because of this you hear social terms like tolerance, harmony, unity and compromise. Yet sadly for the deceived, the Word of God teaches exactly opposite and does not endorse conformity to the world. We hear all “well-meaning” church people tell others using worldly wisdom that we have to take care of those in the world.

That is NOT why Jesus came and that is NOT the instruction that Jesus gave the disciples just before He left this world for a season. Jesus came to reestablish a relationship with the Father that was lost due to man’s sinfulness. He came to reiterate the choice that mankind has, but that knowing not all will choose that renewed relationship and thus the outcome of that particular choice! Many, many churches today have become a place of social and political influence, totally neglecting the truth and the spiritual influence we have been called to share with the world!

Identifying sin and encouraging one another to spread the good news of the Gospel and the whole Counsel of the Word of God is no longer the priority. Rather, in an effort to gain membership and finances, to gain influence over the local communities is a sign of success in many main-stream churches.

This is why we have so many who claim to be Christians who can look at our political leaders and without remorse or a second thought, could place their approval behind those that have a proven track record of corruption, criminal activity, scandal and disdain for their fellow man. A TRUE Christian could judge (discern) someone who is false by the works and deeds that have gone before and make a spiritual determination. This determination would be based on the truth of the Word of God. But, instead we have those claiming to be Christians saying others are lying about the deceit and corruption and what is important is the policies this person or that person speaks on (feelings and emotions).

We hear so many of these doppelgänger churches speaking of unity and harmony in the world as if this is some thematic premise of the Bible. Yet when it comes to what the Bible says, Paul in Ephesians speaks of unity in the Spirit, unity with brothers and sisters, NOT unity with the world! Ephesians 4:1-3, “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” This Scripture is not talking about loving the world or being in unity with the world in the bond of peace, it is talking and Paul is addressing those in the emerging Church!

walking-in-lightThe Apostle John tells us this fact about the world and reiterates the truth of what Jesus stated when He said He didn’t come to bring peace but a sword. It reiterates the truth that our Redeemer commands us to love Him AND the Father more than ANYTHING the world offers, including people! 1 John 2:15-17, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.“

But don’t be deceived by those telling you that it is the earth itself, the natural world and creation that our Lord is telling you to hate! He is saying the world system, the world organization and the sin that runs the way the world progresses when it comes to seducing mankind. The natural world, the Lord made FOR mankind, for his dominion and for his pleasure!

If someone claims to be a Christian and doesn’t recognize sin for what it truly is and especially when it is blatantly in front of us, then you have to be discerning and ask yourself, if they can’t recognize sin, then how can the Spirit of Christ dwell in them, for the Spirit of Christ frees us from that sin and helps us protect our loved ones, both in our families and churches from the ravages and deception of sin. It is an indication of blinded eyes and a veiled mind as 2 Corinthians 4 states emphatically! We have been commanded by the Word of God to identify the false prophets, the bad fruit which can only come from bad trees, the wolves in sheep’s clothing, the doppelgänger which wishes to deceive and cause to stumble with worldly wisdom rather than the righteousness and foundation of Biblical truth!

We ARE to study the Word of God personally, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” – Philippians 2:12-13. (Bold emphasis added by me). But we are to study the Word of God to protect the many members of the Body of Christ as well. We truly ARE our “brother’s keepers!”

We are entering a time and I believe are there now, when True, Spirit-filled, Gospel oriented Christians will have to make a stand against the charlatans, the phony church, the doppelgänger church, the one that wishes to deceive. We will either stand for Christ Jesus, the True Jesus Christ, or we will stand for the phony that will attempt to deceive many and those that have no foundation based in the WHOLE Word of God!

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Hang in There Little One, it Gets Better!!!

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I am always looking for good clean Church-type humor. This was posted on Facebook and I couldn’t resist! It is one of the funniest things lately!!! En-joy!!!!

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My Prayer for YOU Today!

This is my prayer today for all my family and friends, brothers and sisters and their families and friends! Our hope IS and ALWAYS has been in the Lord! This Psalm is for you from my heart today!
God is Forever faithful to His Promises and Never-ending in His Mercies!

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Please visit Jerusalem Prayer Team Facebook Page at: Jerusalem Prayer Team

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The Word of God, Eternal Life & The Eye of the Needle

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Hebrews 4:12-13, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”

Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Matthew 19:23-26, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”


How many call Jesus, Master? We all acknowledge that Jesus is Master of many things and that many religious leaders of His day called Him Master, many times sarcastically, but even though Jesus was a Master Teacher, He was also a Master of the discussion! His wisdom in teaching in such a way as to draw others in with questions is exemplified throughout the Gospels. You just don’t hear too many teaching on that particular mastery.

Jesus knew how to set up His lessons with comments, parables, analogies and stories that caused those listening to want to ask questions. It wasn’t always the Jewish religious leaders and lawyers trying to trip Him up, for many times, it was just the average citizen wanting to hear what this “new” teacher had to say! Which of course, because of Jesus’ authoritative style of teaching, would lead to questions.

The problem that so many of us have today is that when we just READ the Bible we don’t always develop any questions for ourselves and when we don’t do anything to understand its setting or whether some of the stories are historical, analogous or parables, it can and does lead to misunderstandings and many times the very MEANINGS that Jesus was trying to convey end up getting lost in the details!

01word-bible-copyRemember, the Bible is the LIVING Word of God. It isn’t just the letter, the literal translation of the words, but the Spirit behind the words that cause it to live! (2 Corinthians 3:5-6). It is meant to stir up our minds and hearts and should cause us to have questions, to want to get answers from the Master! Because of those who do not make the attempt to understand this, we have teachings that become “religious fads,” based on one or two Scripture verses, many times taken out of context, we have teachings that are not backed up by the Word of God as a whole or taken literally when in fact they were meant as an analogy or as a parable to make a point.

One of the most misunderstood chapters in the New Testament is one I have taught on many times concerning judging; Matthew Chapter 7. Basically because Jesus is discussing judging in the form of sentencing or condemning to eternity and discerning right and wrong character as well as introspection, judging ourselves within. When this chapter though, is taken as a whole and you look at the different points that Jesus IS trying to make, the lesson He is TRYING to teach, you look at the behavior of the righteous in a whole different light.

On one hand you can see His warning against condemning another to a sentence of eternal punishment when in fact we are ALL condemned to an eternity of damnation by our sinfulness. Therefore, how is one person who is condemned able to be above another by pointing out another’s condemnation? Only from our Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ is judgment going to be meted out.

Jesus is trying to show that our Heavenly Father is a loving, giving and merciful Father and One that any of His children can approach openly. BUT, He also shows us what constitutes being a child of His. This is where a type of judging, or in other words, discerning what is true and what is false is important in becoming a child of our Heavenly Father.

Jesus is telling and showing us that our actions can demonstrate to others what is truly in our heart. It is a path that is narrow, one that leads forward in a straight-forward manner and, not everyone is on that path. Rather, the majority of people will take the more commonly traveled path, the path where everyone else is going in a certain direction, but their actions will show a “discerning” person what path that is. We are to be on a path that leads through Him and His Words, not the path that appears the most pleasing and easy because the “flow” is going in that direction.

As I have taught before, it is not always what a person says that they believe, but rather what a person does to backup what they say that translates into the right actions. Luke 6:43-45 are some parallel verses to Matthew chapter 7, “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

“From the abundance of a person’s heart the mouth speaks,” is a common Scripture that I have used and it doesn’t take long to listen to a person to know what it is that they truly love or what is a priority in their lives. But, what is in that person’s heart, also translates to what they do and this is what Jesus is trying to get across. It isn’t ALWAYS what a person says that makes them a child of God Almighty, for it is also actions, and this is what Jesus will ultimately have to judge a person on; is their heart in the right place, motivating them to deeds of righteousness or to deeds and acts of lawlessness?

The point though comes down to looking within ourselves. Does our heart motivate US to righteousness or are we playing a game TRYING to hide our true selves from everyone around us? As the Scriptures tell us in Luke 8:17, “For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light.” We can try to hide from others who we truly are, but from our Heavenly Father, through Christ, it is impossible!

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Jesus finishes Matthew 7 with words of faith. FAITH? Where’s the faith in His admonitions in verses 24 through 27? You follow My words or you don’t; if you don’t you will experience a fall, and destruction! Yet, just as you will find in the writings of the Apostle James a confirmation of what constitutes faith, you will find confirmation of Jesus’ summation in Matthew 7 as words of faith; James 2:14-26, “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe–and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

It is not just what you say; it is not just what you say you believe, it is also how you put those beliefs into action. Jesus is reiterating that, when He states that if you act upon His words, then you are acting wisely, acting in FAITH, believing that what He says is true, and so on, leading to wise action!

But, this is only part of the point that I am trying to make. Being able to take the WHOLE counsel of the Word of God is what allows us to grow into a whole person, more complete in Christ Jesus Himself, more able to effectively claim to be His disciples, His followers, no longer JUST servants, but friends, (John 15:15) truly Christian in not just what we say, but in what we do!

One of the discussions that Jesus had, led to the questions of eternal life, some of the same discussion that He had in Matthew 7, but here is where the details sometimes overshadow the point that Jesus is making in this modern age with our modern translations.

A big controversy exists today concerning the phrase “a camel passing through the eye of a needle” and what is its historical basis and what is its true meaning and yet there is so much research in the academic world trying to prove that the eye of the needle was a door within a gateway, or that Jesus was talking about the word camel being mistranslated from the word rope or cable, etc., etc.

The truth of the matter is that Jesus was trying to make a point that what may be impossible with mankind, whether it be a cable or rope passing through the literal eye of a sewing needle OR a camel going through a man-size door in a gate, it is NOT impossible with God when it concerns His ability to save man! Some readers get hung up on the rich man and his ability to be saved and others get hung up on whether Jesus was talking about a doorway or an actual needle!

There are things in history that can be shown that either ANALOGY can be historical and/or accurate, and either analogy works to prove the point that Jesus was making, but the fact that gets lost at times is the point that Christ Jesus was trying to make! Matthew 19:26, “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

I love Bible history and I have a fondness for all science including archeology, but when it comes to the Word of God and its application to my life, that history gives me a setting and something in which to bring that Word alive! The history itself though, does NOT detract from the analogy or the point that Jesus was making. Those listening to His discussion didn’t question the details of the analogy or parable and neither should we. YET, many, many of my brothers and sisters stumble over NON-LITERAL points in the Word of God. They stumble over the letter, forgetting it IS the spirit of the Word that gives that Word, life!

One instance of this and the circumstance that made me realize just how serious this has become has been on my mind recently for some reason; it was when one of my “pastors” in Arizona began teaching from behind the pulpit that we only have to forgive a person 490 times and many times we don’t have to forgive if they don’t ASK for forgiveness!!! I’m being serious about this! This is no exaggeration to try and make a point; these types of things are being taught in supposedly fundamental “Christian” churches.

He used the incident in Matthew 18 when Peter thought he was being generous in forgiveness where it is recorded, “Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” – Matthew 18:21-22.

Jesus wasn’t being literal, but Peter was for he was referencing a discussion Jesus had with them, found in Luke 17:3-4, “Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”

This “pastor” I was associated with used the circumstance in Luke 17 to justify NOT forgiving unless a person comes asking, which goes against countless other Scriptures found in the Bible! But He also used Matthew 18 to justify the number of times necessary to forgive, after that, forgiveness is not necessarily given; in other words, you can justify withholding forgiveness!!!

The truth of the matter is that in either case, Jesus is attempting to make the point that forgiveness should be given freely, without restraint, without condition and whenever necessary and in remembrance of our Father’s forgiveness. Don’t forget, when Jesus used the example of prayer in Matthew 6, often termed “The Lord’s Prayer,” he concluded the example by explaining the part on forgiveness given by stating this, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” – Matthew 6:14.

In Peter’s time, seven times seventy, the need to forgive that many times was probably beyond comprehension! Not necessarily the sum, but the necessity, and so Jesus was not being literal, but in essence stating, “forgive as often as necessary!”

Another common NON-LITERAL point that has caused so much division in the Church is again from our beloved Apostle Peter, found in 2 Peter 3:8, “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

There are many Christians today who take this ONE Scripture and base doctrines, especially those associated with Creation on this one Scripture! Yet, as evidenced in the whole 3rd chapter of 2nd Peter, we see Peter is stating that time doesn’t matter to God. His analogy was meant to make those of his time realize time is nothing to the God of Creation, to a Heavenly Father who will keep and fulfill His promises to mankind in His own timing!! This analogy was never meant to provide a foundation for doctrine and yet in this modern age, churches and peoples are divided by it!!

Remember, one of the attributes of our Heavenly Father is Omniscience! All Knowledge, ALL SCIENCE! He is the Creator of the laws that govern the universe, that govern CREATION itself and man is only recently exploring the “tip of the iceberg,” as it were when it comes to understanding what governs our universe! With every new scientific discovery, despite the “arrogance” of some (I say some) scientists, I am only more in awe of my Heavenly Father’s Majesty and Glory!!! On the contrary, it doesn’t lesson my faith, but rather increases my faith, for I refuse to put my Sovereign, God, The Almighty in a box! He is truly bigger than my mind or any mind can comprehend!

Our Bible is rich and full and living and dynamic and no matter how many times you read it through and no matter how many times you study various and all chapters and books, you will NEVER be able to get your fill of it, for there is always something more to glean or learn from it! BUT, you don’t enter into the Word of God with a “hit and miss” attitude.

The key to Who our Heavenly Father is, the key to how He wants His children to be and how to relate to Him is all found within the pages of this GREAT and LIVING Word! It is the “doorway” to eternal life and a relationship with our Heavenly Father through our Redeemer, Christ Jesus! It shows us the possibility of the impossible! No matter how many times I have read it, no matter how many times I see others teach on familiar and non-familiar verses, I ALWAYS gain something more with which to wake up and approach each new day!!

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The Word of God is a “narrow and straight-forward” path yet also deep and complex when it needs to be to help guide us to where it is pointing! I challenge you; the next time you decide to read “through” it, do so with thought and prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal His goals to your heart and spirit and I guarantee, you will never look at it the same way again!

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More Than Just Sowing And Reaping

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Great post from a long-time brother and Pastor. Check out his site for more inspiration and edification.

Pastorht's Blog

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More Than Just Sowing And Reaping

LUKE 6:38 “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

This verse reveals one of God’s cardinal laws that will work in the spiritual realm, as well as the physical world. Just as we “give” seed into the ground to receive back multiple seeds, so it is with everything we give. Whether it’s money, possessions, an emotion such as love or hate, prayers, or our time, we will reap a harvest of whatever we give. We reap exactly what we sow and proportional to the same measure that we give, Galatians 6:7-8.

“He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully”, 2 Corinthians 9:6…

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Just the Right Amount of Sting

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1 Timothy 2:(1), “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, (2) for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. (3) For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, (4) who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (5) For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, (6) who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, (7) for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle–I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying–a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”

John 4:23-24, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”


I want to take just a bit of your time to explain some things to you, the reader of some of my posts and articles. This was actually inspired by my (ex) brother-in-law, who I still consider very much a brother, in the Lord and otherwise! You see, I wrote a post on my personal Facebook account about a liberal article that had been reblogged by a sister in the Lord. For those of you unfamiliar with reblogging, it is literally just reposting a blog written by someone else, a tool that WordPress (and I’m sure other blog sites) use to make it easy to share like thoughts.

This liberal article ignited, shall I say, some “righteous anger” in me as I look at so much of the lies being passed by the liberal media world as the world’s way and thus the enemy of our soul’s way of ensnaring and trapping not just those “blinded by the god of this world,” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4), but “if possible the very elect itself.” (Matthew 24:24).

My brother made a comment in reply that the article had just the “right amount of sting” as those who claim to be in the spiritual Church and who call themselves Christian need to stop playing games because of the times that we are living. I have been thinking and praying about that phrase, “just the right amount of sting” and I don’t criticize my brother for making it. BUT – as for my motive for writing the post, it wasn’t to HURT another, though I knew that it would at the least, STING.

I stated in a recent article on my blog, in the article “Whence Comes Division?” that we have taken that older saying, “the truth will set us free,” and replaced it with the “the truth hurts,” thereby condemning those who want to speak the truth for the fear of hurting others with that truth making it “politically” wrong in this pervasive societal climate we live in! You don’t dare state that sin or sinfulness is wrong, for it will destroy someone’s delicate sensibilities!

It DOES however raise my spiritual anger for anyone seeking and attempting to walk in the truth of the Word of God, and with so much going on in the world today being needless and senseless, yet, while senseless, it is necessary for the prophetic Word of God to be accomplished in the end times. This however does NOT make the needless suffering, lies and blatant corruption right and we SHOULD be interceding in prayer, but not just in prayer for those blinded, but in exhorting the truth also. Whether they accept the Word of Truth or not is not within our power, but a matter of their own choosing, the same choice Almighty God gives all of us, freely!

We must remember, and I am constantly reminding myself, that our Heavenly Father asks us to do a job, a calling and He and He alone equips us to accomplish that in obedience and yet, IT IS THE HOLY SPIRIT’S JOB TO ACCOMPLISH THE RESULTS! The Holy Spirit has and IS the power and He is the One who searches hearts, molds and transforms them!

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This leads me to the Scriptures I posted above at the start of this article. In 1 Timothy it was the Apostle Paul writing to his student and spiritual son Timothy giving him solid spiritual advice on HOW to wage warfare and especially on behalf of those who already consider themselves to be a part of the Church of Christ Jesus! This is why the Epistles of Timothy and even the short Epistle of Titus are considered Pastoral Epistles or Letters. They were written with the express purpose of helping to guide the leaders, in this particular case, Timothy and Titus in the governing and leadership of their local church.

Before I go into the aforementioned Scriptures above, let me lay out this foundation found in the previous verses from the ones mentioned above as found in the first chapter of 1 Timothy. Paul is stating this, “This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them (the prophecies) you may wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected (faith and a good conscience), concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan (shunned and marked as ones belonging to the enemy) that they may learn not to blaspheme (in the hope of learning and returning to the fold and avoiding final destruction).” – 1 Timothy 1:18-20, (emphasis added is mine).

Now if there was any reason to feel “stung” by an Elder or Leader of the Church, it would have not been just these two people, but those to who had the letter read too as a lesson! Serving the Lord is a LIFESTYLE choice and not some temporary fad or social club type of activity. It is no less true today as it was back then, but because of “political correctness,” (the new term, but very old censorship) it has not been followed or practiced in our “church world” or religious circles today. The reason for this has been obvious to me for decades, but I won’t get into now for that is a very definite controversial subject I may explore later!

The fact does remain, the truth CAN and often does hurt or sting, but the truth was never meant to destroy! It was meant for each of us to grasp personally and contemplate its ramifications in our own lives! The truth DOES AND WILL set us free if we take it to heart as an act of Love from our Heavenly Father and apply it to our individual lives.

We forget and pass off our inheritance as if it is such a small thing, but read what the writer of Hebrews reminded each of us, “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.”

“You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.” – Hebrews 12:3-8.

This brings me to the verses from 1 Timothy chapter 2; after the Apostle shares with Timothy of the warfare that is real and in his midst, Paul exhorts his spiritual son to remember to give supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanks for ALL men, not just those who belong to the Church, but ALL mankind and then Paul goes on to explain those prayers should extend to those in positions of leadership and authority over us all; those who reign in higher civil and political office.

It says to pray, intercede, give supplication AND thanks! But here is where people forget to acknowledge the Spirit of the whole Word of God and get stuck on just the letter; it does not say we have to agree with wrong-doing and corruption, with lies and deceit! God Almighty, in so many other areas of Scripture they do not tell us to enable those negative qualities found in those in leadership, but we are to pray for their souls, for their spiritual eyes to be opened AND for spiritual wisdom! Why give thanks for them as the Word clearly says, then?

We give thanks for our leaders as the Prophet Daniel stated, “Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.” – Daniel 2:20-21.

The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans13:1, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.”

We give thanks for our leaders and those in authority NOT because of the lies and deceit, corruption and evil they do, but because our God in Heaven, set them up to fulfill HIS purpose, HIS will so that we might be inheritors of His Kingdom!! The same God who allows these leaders reign is the one who inspired the Apostle to write, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28.

So we give thanks for God’s will being accomplished and this lines up with all Scripture and why things transpire in the way they do. Paul goes on to tell Timothy to pray and give thanks that “we may lead a quiet and peaceable life.” How, when there is so much wrong? Paul states, “in all godliness and reverence!” But here is the thing so many overlook; in Romans 12:18, Paul also states, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”

I have heard so many quote this Scripture to justify never speaking out against the corruption and lies told by those who should know better and they speed or gloss over the part that says, “if it is possible!” There are times when, as the Scriptures continue, “as much as depends on you,” you cannot live without confrontation.

Paul explains this to Timothy and thus to all who would follow in the calling of Timothy and yes even Paul himself, “for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle–I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying–a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.” – 1 Timothy 2:7.

truth-set-freeIf you have been called to teach, preach or exhort the Word of God, you CANNOT ignore the TRUTH of His Word and you do not have the choice to water it down, to compromise its integrity or to twist it to say what you might want it to say! Your calling, your obligation is to tell the truth as the Holy Spirit reveals it to you and be obedient to Him! You can ONLY be obedient, you have no control how it is received or applied once it leaves your spirit and lips! The actual work and results were never yours to insure, they were ALWAYS the Holy Spirit’s, it was just our calling to speak the truth and do it with a heart and spirit motive of the same unconditional love for all that our Lord Jesus gave when He hung on the cross and then when He rose to be at the Right Hand of our Heavenly Father as our Intercessor and Advocate!!

Can you follow YOUR calling with that kind of motive; putting aside your concerns for feelings so that the truth can be told and blind eyes (spiritually) can be opened? It takes integrity and courage and being fallible, we won’t always succeed, but if we determine in our hearts and spirits that we are going to be obedient to the Spirit’s calling and move forward with that goal in mind, then a TRUE spiritual revival will be coming our way and not just some “circus show style” revival that won’t take root where it counts. For me personally, I want to see Christ Jesus coming through the clouds, mighty, glorious and victorious and just before that, I would love to see a great multitude of my fellow men and women bow their hearts and spirits and surrender to our Great and Mighty Redeemer!!!

THAT will be worth all the hurts and stings! That will be a day to remember, a day to Glorify our Heavenly Father and to Exalt Him for His Wisdom and Love!!!!

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Recreate your mind…

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Wonderful advice and beautiful Inspiration! Please visit the original site to leave comments! God bless!!

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God: gave us a charge….

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

As humans we can have really bad attitudes about habits we practice as we have adopted them as babes growing up; it’s not necessary that we take ownership of these behaviors, yet because of continuous practice it seems to be a part of who we are in personality.

But it is possible to do without these attachments without feeling as if we aren’t complete; it takes a conscious effort and the partnering of the Spirit of God to yank them off in totality.

If you get tired enough of the drain on your personality  and the truly beautiful individual you were meant to be, then consider doing a renewing of…

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To His Strength – Ephesians 6:10

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Wonderful Inspiration AND insight and I LOVE inspirational poetry!

The Bottom of a Bottle

To His Strength – Ephesians 6:10

It’s to the Lord
That I hold
When struggle
Comes upon me
To His strength
I place this trust
And by the might
Of His hand
I pray I am delivered
If my faith
Remains strong
My faith in He
Then I know
I will never be overcome

Ephesians 6:10 Ephesians 6:10

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What Type Of Man Are You?

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My 52 Sundays

One type of Christian man trusts that what Jesus teaches is true . . . but only on an intellectual level. This man appreciates a good sermon, but then goes away and lives out the moments of his life in ways that make it indistinguishable from the lives of those who do not trust Jesus at all. This type of man doesn’t trust Jesus with his life, and so lives “like a shrub in the desert” (Jeremiah 17:6). There is another type of man, though, one who chooses to trust the truth of Jesus deeply, authentically, and practically. This type of man lives the moments of his life in ways that are markedly different than they’d be otherwise . . . because of his trust.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out…

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