Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Power of Temperance

Temperance is a powerful virtue which is part of the character of every born again child of God. As a Christian we must be temperate in all things. I hope that you will study and believe what the Bible teaches and what the Holy Spirit witnesses to you. You must be temperate in all things.

Acts 1:8
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

What will happen when you receive the Holy Spirit? Your carnal nature will be purged and you will increase in the measure of grace you possess and display described as the fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Temperance is defined as: strong in a thing (masterful), self-controlled (especially in appetite, etc. those things which satisfy the desires of the flesh).

1 Corinthians 9:24-27
24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Consider the words which describe this powerful virtue called temperance.
NT:75 GREEK; agonizomai (ag-o-nid'-zom-ahee); from NT:73; to struggle, literally (to compete for a prize), figuratively (to contend with an adversary), or genitive case (to endeavor to accomplish something. KJV - fight, labor fervently, strive.

Temperance does not come easy. It is a struggle. Without the grace of sanctification, this struggle will be severe. With the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit, this struggle will be much easier.

To be temperate is to put forth the necessary effort to win the prize of eternal life. The prize is worth the struggle. You must remember that you are contending with your adversary the Devil. This word temperance is elsewhere in the KJV translated into the English words fight, labor fervently and strive.

2 Peter 1:1-9
1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

The standard of the Christian life is often described in the New Testament with words which tell us what we must and must not do. These things are not optional. This is the way Christians live. If your life is different than what the Bible describes, you need to examine your own heart and be sure you have not deceived yourself into thinking you are justified and sanctified when you are not the thing you think you are.

1 Corinthians 6:9-13
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.

Paul describes the way of holiness and the way of the wicked. God does not want any of His children to be under the addictive power of any fleshly desire or perverted affections or habits.

Titus 1:7-9
7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

God does not have one standard for the preacher and a lesser standard for the rest of the congregation. God is no respecter of persons. What He does for the preacher, He will also do for you.

Titus 2:1-5
1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

This is the Christian lifestyle. Do you have temperance? Are you striving for the mastery so that you can win the prize of eternal life?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Power of Gentleness

When do we receive the power to be a witness for Jesus Christ at all times, in all places and in all situations and circumstances? Jesus said, “ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” When a justified person is filled with the Holy Spirit that justified person will be able, by the grace of God, to maintain and display the fruit of the Spirit at all times.

Acts 1:8
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

The most common problem with most Christians keeping the victory and living holy at all times, in all places and in all situations and circumstances is this: they are not properly instructed and taught the necessity of the doctrine of sanctification whereby they ask for and receive the indwelling Holy Spirit which gives them the power they need.

Galatians 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

When a new convert has repented of his sins and accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Master, he will receive the measure of grace to live holy. However, he will also experience an inward enmity which opposes the will of God. This enmity is the carnal nature which has been inherited by ever generation since Adam and Eve. The second blessing of a second work of grace will give the believer the grace to produce the fruit of the Spirit in abundance. Justification, sanctification and unity are the three thirds part of the plan of salvation. Justification and sanctification are the two works of grace which will enable the child of God to produce spiritual unity with other members of the family of God.

The characteristic of gentleness is one of those virtues which will be active in the child of God.

1 Thessalonians 2:4-8
4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:
6 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.
7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:
8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.

The word “gentle” means to be mild or kind; to be free from harshness or violence. A gentle person will not intentionally hurt you. They will be careful to consider your condition with respect and honor.

When we are under the care of another person during a time of a serious sickness or illness, we are very grateful for the gentleness of a good nurse. someone who will consider our pain and labor to comfort us. This is also true when we are in some spiritual battle; we need someone to help us and support us as we learn to crucify the flesh and submit to the will of God. The washing of the water by the Word is sometimes hard on the flesh. We need to be patient and gentle with those who are being scrubbed clean by the Holy Spirit.

2 Timothy 2:24-26
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

That gentleness which originates in God and comes to us from God is always without respect of person. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we must be and we will be gentle unto all men. It is easy to be gentle to someone who is gentle with you; but can you be gentle with all men, even your enemies.

James 3:16-18
16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

A consistent and continuing gentle spirit manifested in a gentle character, a gentle attitude and gentle actions are all part of a sure evidence and proof of sanctification. The carnal man will from time to time give vent to harshness and unjust criticism and judgment. The gentle man and woman will endeavor to teach, exhort and build up that holy character and conduct which is consistent with being a disciple of Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit. The carnal man or woman will occasionally become impatient and turn against those who do not believe and understand exactly what they think they understand about holiness and godliness. The carnal man will lack the grace to maintain his compassion and gentleness and instead will become a striker, causing strife and division.

John 13:34-35
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

This perfect love which originates with God and comes to us from God, is seen by others as the power of God working in us and causing us to be gentle in spirit and in conduct. If you can not be gentle with others in their weakness and time of need, then the image of Jesus Christ will not be seen by those who are watching you.

Do you have the power of gentleness in your daily conduct and attitude?
Do people know you for your reputation of gentleness?
Do others know that they can trust you to be gentle with them in their trying times of life?
Is the power of the Holy Spirit working continually in your life to be a comforting companion and a gentle friend?
Do you know and are you assured that you have been justified and sanctified to serve the Lord Jesus Christ by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Power of Peace

What is peace? Are you willing to examine your heart and character and know whether or not you are a peacemaker?

Can peace be found separate from God and outside the plan of salvation? The answer is “NO” according to the Word of God.

The SEC definition of this word is: to be (act) peaceful: be at (have, live in) peace, live peaceably.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of peace: a state of tranquility or quiet: freedom from civil disturbance; a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom.

Sin is rebellion against God and His commandments. Where sin exists, there will be strife and division. The carnal nature of men and women will surely be manifested if it is not purged by the experience of the fire of the Holy Ghost baptism.

Mark 9:49-50
49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.
50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

Jesus tells us: “For every one shall be salted with fire."  Have you been salted and preserved by the fire of the Holy Ghost? This is the only way you can continue to live in “peace one with another.” The experience of sanctification is essential to maintain peace and be a peacemaker. Salt is a preserving element and a symbol for the Holy Spirit who is the preserving power in our spiritual relationship with God.

Luke 1:76-79
76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

There is only one power able to “guide our feet into the way of peace.” That power is the divine power of God which comes when we are sanctified and filled with the Holy Spirit. Satan does not want people to be sanctified. It is much more difficult to tempt and overcome a child of God who has the power of the Holy Spirit in their heart and soul.

Acts 1:8
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

The power of the Holy Spirit will enable the child of God to have consistent and continual victory over all sin. He will manifest the fruit of the Spirit; and one of the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit is peace.

Galatians 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Do you have peace in your soul; or are you troubled by doubts and fears? Are you a consistent peace maker? Can you control your tongue and not cause offenses and divisions in the congregation and your home?

Luke 2:10-14
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Jesus came to bring peace on earth and good will toward men. That mission was completed on the day of Pentecost when the 120 disciples, who were assembled together and praying in one accord, received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Their holiness was now sealed and preserved by the Holy Spirit.

Mark 4:37-40
37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

Jesus can speak peace to your soul and life just as easily as He spoke peace to the troubled sea. Why are ye so fearful? Have faith in God. His way is the way of peace and eternal life.

Revelation 1:4-6
4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Grace and peace are inseparable companions. You can not have peace without the grace of salvation. You will not consistently and continually keep peace without the second work of grace which we call sanctification.

2 Peter 3:13-14
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

Many Christians have lost their peace and their salvation because they were not diligent in their obedience to the righteous principles of God. Without the power of the love of God in your heart, you will not have the power of peace in your life.

Hebrews 12:12-15
12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

We are instructed to “follow peace with all men” and not just with those who are nice to us. We must love our enemies and be a peacemaker with those who oppose us. We must endeavor to recover people out of the destruction of their sins and bring them to Jesus. He is the only one who can make them a peacemaker.

Proverbs 3:13-18
13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
16 Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.

The pathway of wisdom is peace. All that have wisdom are peaceful and happy. How are you doing? Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. Carnal people will misuse knowledge and cause strife and division. Carnal ministers will cut off and excommunicate other ministers from their fellowship when there is no just cause and no valid sin charge. The Pharisees were rebuked by Jesus for casting people out of the temple for lack of conformance to their own traditions and rules. The hypocritical Pharisees were not peacemakers.

Psalms 4:8
I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.

Psalms 29:11
The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.

Psalms 119:165
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

Because I have the power of the Holy Spirit in my heart, I have the power of peace in my life. I do not get offended because I love those who hate me and persecute me. I want to help them know the way of peace and the power of peace which comes only from being holy.

Do you know the power of peace in your life?

Monday, May 15, 2017

Divine Protection

Satan would like to make the children of God believe that he can do anything he wants to do, causing you to suffer and be afflicted. The Bible teaches us a different fact concerning what Satan is allowed to do against us. It is very important that we have total victory over the fear of death and the fear of Satan. Remember the words of the Apostle John:
1 John 4:4
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Do you believe that statement? Satan is in the world. He is the master of all worldly people. Is Satan stronger in your life than God? Have you overcome the world?

John 19:10-11
10 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?
11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

Do you have the faith to stand on this divinely proclaimed truth? Jesus has said, and I believe it is true for us today, that Satan has no power at all against us, except it were given thee from above. Can you trust God to protect you from all the evil dangers which surround you in this world? Has God quit protecting His people from all evil. I am confident in this bold claim that God is able to keep and protect His children from the destruction of evil doers. I do not need a gun to protect myself or my family. If God chooses to allow Satan to send some man or men to destroy you, you do not have nor could you ever have enough protection to overcome all the power of your enemies. There is always someone who is bigger and stronger than you. But, no one or no people is as strong as my God. He can destroy nations. He can and does defend and protect His children. Let us prove this great claim by the Word of God.

1 Corinthians 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Can you believe the statements of Jesus and Paul? Has God changed and now lets Satan do whatever Satan wants to do without any restriction or limitation? NO!!! God has not changed and we can rest assured that God will not allow Satan to tempt us or test us above that we are able to bear. It may not seem evident to you at times, but God still has a hedge about His children. Satan has limited boundaries in which God restricts what Satan is allowed to do. Satan must get permission from God for everything he does. Remember the several recorded events when Jesus encountered men possessed with devils; the devils had to ask Jesus permission to act. Do not doubt the protective hedge which God has around His children.

Mark 12:1
And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.

In this parable we have several symbols which need to be understood. The “certain man” represents Jesus Christ who has gone back to a “far country” to sit at the right hand of His Heavenly Father. The “vineyard” is the church of God. Jesus is the vine and His disciples are the branches. He has provided a “winefat” in His vineyard which is the “threshing floor” or the place of harvesting the grapes where the “wine” of salvation is pressed and given to the “husbandman” Jesus Christ. The “husbandmen” are the ministers of God who tend to the “vineyard.” Now notice this grand expression: He “set an hedge about it.” Praise the Lord, He has put a hedge around His servants. Satan has to obtain permission from Jesus to do any deed concerning the children of God. Satan does not have liberty to penetrate this hedge and harm the servants of God unless God allows Satan a small measure of liberty to test and try the servant of God. This “hedge” is an enclosing barrier which protects the children of God.

Job 1:8-12
8 And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
9 Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
12 And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.

Satan acknowledged that he knew that God was protecting Job. Satan asked God to harm Job. God would not harm one of His children; however, He does allow Satan to tempt and test God's children, knowing that He has already provided the strength and faith to withstand whatever He allows Satan to do. God put limitations (a barrier) around Job even during his great trial of affliction. Satan was not allowed to take Job's life. Can we trust God with our life, eventhough we may have severe physical tests?

Isaiah 5:3-6
3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.
4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?
5 And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:
6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.

The people of Israel were disobedient and rebellious against God; therefore, he took “away the hedge” which has surrounded Israel and protected them against their enemies. Many times God fought the battle for His people Israel without any effort on their part. He did it all by Himself. God did not need the help of any man to defeat the enemies of Israel.

Ezra 8:21-23
21 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.
22 For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.
23 So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us.

Today, people are not at all ashamed to ask doctors and lawyers and government organizations to help and provide safety and medical treatments, instead of fasting and praying for God to meet their needs. There are many pastors who are teaching the doctrine of divine healing. Like Ezra they are telling people that “The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him.” However, they do not fast and pray and wait on the Lord Jesus Christ for their deliverance from all their enemies, afflictions and sickness. Why would a church of God pastor teach divine healing and then go the the world's physicians and submit to surgery and cancer treatments when they should entrust their life and body into the hands of the God who created all things. Is there anything too hard for God? Why do saints of God hold fast to the testimony that they are trusting God for their healing and refuse man's medical treatments until they come down to death's final hours and then submit to going to the hospital and to the doctors for a hoped for cure of their terminal condition? Are preachers and saints afraid to trust God unto the death? If they have a fear of death, why? The sting of death is sin. If they are holy, death should not be a fearful event.

Genesis 35:1-5
1 And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.
2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:
3 And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.
4 And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.
5 And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.

Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel, had the approval of God upon his life and his enemies knew that The One True God was on the side of Jacob and his people. The people in the land of Palestine feared God and the terror of God was upon all the cities.

Isaiah 54:13-17
13 And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
14 In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.
15 Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.
16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.
17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.

It is sad that people have been caused to believe that much of God's goodness and blessings for His people have ceased to exist. I firmly believe that if a nation would turn to God with all their heart, repent of their sins and live in obedience to the commandments of God, then God would fully protect them and that “no weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper.” “This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord.”

Exodus14:13-14
13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
14 The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

There is wonderful consequences to trusting God and waiting on the Lord. There is also awful consequences to not trusting God and relying on the help of man. Can you stand still and let the Lord fight for you? Can you hold your peace and let God take care of your enemies?

2 Chronicles 16:7-9
7 And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the Lord thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand.
8 Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet, because thou didst rely on the Lord, he delivered them into thine hand.
9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.

If you exchange violence for violence, then you will continue to have wars.
How can God be glorified by delivering you, if you take matters into your own hands. Are you a peacemaker? Are you depending upon carnal weapons? What would Jesus do? What did Jesus do? They crucified Him and He could have called on 10,000 angels to fight for Him; but instead, He became our example and gave His life for the glory of God and the salvation of our souls.

Psalms 135:5-13
5 For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.
6 Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.
7 He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries.
8 Who smote the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and beast.
9 Who sent tokens and wonders into the midst of thee, O Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his servants.
10 Who smote great nations, and slew mighty kings;
11 Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan:
12 And gave their land for an heritage, an heritage unto Israel his people.
13 Thy name, O Lord, endureth for ever; and thy memorial, O Lord, throughout all generations.

God can still smite nations and destroy world leaders who would kill the saints. Some saints have been delivered from death; some have been delivered through death. Are you willing to let God choose your future? Whether I live or die, I am the Lord's.

1 John 5:4
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

Is your faith in God's ability and power, or is it in man's ability?
Who is protecting you and your loved ones? Are you so foolish as to believe that you are powerful and all knowing enough to protect your family? I challenge you to put your trust in God. He has promised to provide you with His divine protection.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

THE POWER OF PERFECT LOVE

Perfect love is the same as the divine love of God. It is the quality of love which exists in the heart of the sanctified child of God who has been baptized with the purging, purifying fire of the Holy Spirit. Perfect love can only be possessed and manifested in a person's life by the grace of the indwelling Holy Spirit. If a person has been sanctified (filled with the Holy Spirit) he will outwardly display the fruit of the Spirit which is described in the fifth chapter of Galatians.

Galatians 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

The fruit of the Spirit begins with love which is more than just an emotion. It is a compelling conviction. It is a powerful influence. It is the power of God working in the heart of a man to be God-like, Christ-like, holy and incorruptible. This divine love of God is compassion, concern, consideration, comfort and carefulness. This perfect love places value on every person including our enemies. Every soul is of great value to God and Jesus came to deliver and save them from all their sins. Without respect of persons, we must put great value on every soul. Love is greater than any circumstance and will never seek to hurt another person. Love is sacrificial and easily entreated. This perfect love is of no human origin. It comes from God and is the very essence of God. God is love. Are you like God? Are you full of His love?

Matthew 22:35-40
35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Jesus teaches us the importance and value of this perfect love. This “agape” love makes a person like God. Through sanctification of the heart, the spirit of man becomes like God, showing love to every person with no guile, no evil, no malice, no bitterness, no prejudice, no covetousness, no pride, no envy. The carnal nature which is enmity with God is eradicated and only godliness remains.

Mark 12:28-31
28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Every disciple and every apostle of Jesus Christ understood the value of perfect love. The writers of the New Testament were moved upon by the Holy Spirit to set forth a record of the plan of salvation which teaches us the power of perfect love. This perfect love makes the sinner a new creature.  It also purges the carnal nature making the child of God a partaker or God's divine nature.  This experience of full salvation changes the man from being destructive to be edifying. Instead of destroying, we now can build eternal things. Instead of strife, we now can have unity of the spirit and unity of the faith. We have put away the carnal mindedness and put on the robe of righteousness and holiness.

John 13:33-35
33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

The love of God in a person is proof to the world that the power of God is working through the gospel of Jesus Christ to change and deliver a person from all sin. When perfect love is the foundation of our experience, we will not think too highly of ourselves, but will prefer others above our own selves. We will seek the good of others. We will be willing to suffer that others might be relieved.

NT:25 GREEK> agapao (ag-ap-ah'-o); perhaps from agan (much) [or compare OT:5689]; to love (in a social or moral sense): KJV - (be-) love (-ed). Compare NT:5368.
NT:26 GREEK> agape (ag-ah'-pay); from NT:25; love, i.e. affection or benevolence; specially (plural) a love-feast: KJV - (feast of) charity ([-ably]), dear, love.

Matthew 5:43-46
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

If you only love those who love you, what thanks or reward do you deserve. It is easy to love those who love you. Can you love those who hate you and despitefully use you. This is the perfect love of God. You may pretend that you have this perfect love. You may tell others that you have this perfect love. But unless you can consistently and continually and outwardly display this tender affection, you are not what you think you are.

1 John 4:16-21
16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
19 We love him, because he first loved us.
20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

1 Corinthians 8:3
But if any man love God, the same is known of him.


1 John 5:1-3
1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

John 14:15-17
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

John 14:21
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Do you keep the commandments of Jesus Christ? If you are not keeping His commandments by doing them, you are not a Christian. If you love Jesus, you will believe, trust and obey all His words.

Perfect love is the greatest power, above all other powers. No force is as powerful as the perfect love of God coming down from heaven and abiding in the heart and soul of the child of God.

Have you been made perfect in love?  Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?

Sunday, May 7, 2017

THE DESTRUCTION OF SIN

Have you ever noticed what poor health sinners experience? Sinners look older than their years. They have a higher incident rate of diseases and sicknesses than the children of God. Alcohol destroys the liver, the stomach and brain. Nicotine in tobacco destroys the lungs and throat, etc. and is a common cause of various cancers. Fornication and sexual immorality often result in Aids, Syphilis, Gonorrhea and other viral sexually transmitted infections.

Proverbs 13:15
Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.

The way of transgressors is hard on the body and mind and destructive to the soul and spirit of those who are the servants of sin.

Proverbs 15:9-10
9 The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the Lord: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.
10 Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die.

The Word of God tells us that God is angry with the wicked every day. There are terrible consequences to living a wicked life. The sinner will not go unpunished. Be not deceived, God will not be mocked; whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap. If you sow the seeds of sin, you will reap destruction.

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

The whole world lies in wickedness. Sinners are far more numerous than Saints. The real fact is that most people are going to hell because of their disobedience and rejection of the God who created them. Religious sinners, social sinners, “good-ole-boy” sinners are all on their way to destruction in an eternal hell.

Romans 3:11-18
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
17 And the way of peace have they not known:
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Who are these that are “none that doeth good, no, not one?” Is that statement directed at the whole world, both Christian and Sinner? Does this judgment against men apply to those who have been justified and sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ? Surely the answer is No!!! These statement are directed at the fool and to those who have rejected God and gone away backwards into wickedness.

Psalms 53:1-4
1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.
2 God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.
3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
4 Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread: they have not called upon God.

This passage explains and teaches us that the category of people to whom these words are referring are “the children of men” and the “fool” and the “workers of iniquity.” This passage is not referring to the children of God or to those who have been faithful servants of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 3:17-19
17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

Are you an enemy of the cross of Christ? Do you despise the crucified life which God has called us to live in this world? Are you willing to suffer the persecution and rejection of family and friends for the glory of being a child of God and a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ?

2 Peter 2:1-3
1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

Think about Adam's disobedience concerning the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. What was the consequence for his sin?
Think about Cain for his envy and murder of his brother Abel. He became an outcast and a vagabond, separated from God.
Think about Sampson, who because of his lust and disobedience lost his strength and eye sight and was imprisoned to labor as a slave.
Then there was King Saul who died in war because of his disobedience.
Also King David whose child died because of his sin concerning Bathsheba and Uriah.
And there was Nabal in 1 Samuel 25 the husband of Abigail whom the Lord slew for his arrogance.
How about the prophet Eli and his sons who died under the curse of their sins.
Don't forget Judas Iscariot who committed suicide for his betrayal of Jesus Christ.
And King Nebuchadnezzar, whose sound mind God took away and made him like an animal for his pride and for exalting himself as if He was God.

Isaiah 63:8-10
8 For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour.
9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
10 But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.

Woe to that person with whom God becomes their enemy. Remember God destroyed the very same people whom He had led out of Egyptian bondage, because they rebelled and worshiped false gods.

Jeremiah 21:4-6
4 Thus saith the Lord God of Israel; Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, wherewith ye fight against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans, which besiege you without the walls, and I will assemble them into the midst of this city.
5 And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath.
6 And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast: they shall die of a great pestilence.

Disobedience and rebellion against God will cause God to fight against you and destroy you in your sins. Not only will Satan, the Destroyer, utterly destroy you, so also will God whom you have refused and rejected.

Romans 6:20-23
20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

If you are still committing willful sin, then you are still spiritually dead in your sins and trespasses. You are living under the curse of sin which is spiritual death. You do not have eternal life, being separated from God by your iniquities.