The Woman of Revelation 12. If there was an illustrative story in the bible to sum up the events of history, that would be the vision in Revelation 12. You have a celestial woman in childbirth with the dragon, Satan, seeking to devour the child, Jesus; but He is caught up into heaven so the dragon can't hurt Him. The dragon tries to attack the woman but God protects her, using the earth to swallow the water the dragon spews at her and the wilderness to hide her. The dragon is furious that he can't harm her either, so he goes to make war against her other children, the ones who keep the testimony of Jesus Christ. The age old question is, who is this woman? There are three primary schools of thought; she is said to be Mary, the Church or Israel. Is she any, or none of them? We are going to investigate if she is Mary.
And they have conquered Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
The Woman and the Red Dragon. John was granted access to see into the spiritual world, and he witnessed a Dragon, Satan, waiting and watching in the heavens for a woman, groaning in pain, as she was about to give birth to her Son, Jesus, for he wanted to devour him, but the Son was caught up into heaven, and the woman escaped into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God to hid from Satan, so he furiously went after her other children, the ones who keep the testimony of Jesus Christ. While the dragon stood in front of her waiting and watching for her to give birth, he caught 1/3 of the stars, in his tail, and flung them to earth (Revelation 12:1-6, 17). These stars are angels, who did not keep their original places of authority, instead they left their positions to follow Satan (Jude 1:6).
Who is in control, if Satan is the Ruler of this world, while Jesus is the king of kings and lord of lords?
Satan has been a liar since the beginning. He is a defeated foe, who only has a short time remaining, but he has many followers for he is the ruler of this world. He has deceived millions by blinding their eyes to the truth.
The Devil's Schemes. The bible teaches us that the devil has everyone under his control, and it doesn't appear as if he is getting much resistance, for man doesn't want to give glory and honor to God anyways; man wants to satisfy his own desires of the flesh. How does Satan control the world? He is the voice which goes against God, and our conscious, to tell us that God's words are not completely valid or true, so they need some modifications; since they're just not accurate or applicable, so they need to be revised to go along with the times. It sounds right to the world, because a man's ways seems right to him, but God evaluates the motives (Proverbs 14:12; 16:2; 21:2).
He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains.
A Warning to the Wise. Beware of the devil because he is still working his schemes of deception against you, the believer, to trick you into following his practices and teachings, without even knowing it. He wants you happily going through life, without evaluating the philosophies and beliefs that you hold. He wants you to naively believe that everything is good, and there is no need for analysis. He is working his lies using the elemental forces of this world to promise you spiritual healing and comfort; and these are nothing more than doctrines of demons designed to steer you away from glorify God. He is crafty and comes in the form of a friend, with a helpful suggestion, for something you already desired. Believers are to depart from anything ungodly, whether it's people, places, things, practices or beliefs. We are to be in the world, not of it. The gospel has sounded the trumpet, BEWARE! Walk as children of Light for a great price was paid, the blood of the lamb, to redeem you.
The Dangers of Mediation and Yoga in the New Age Movement. The new age movement is a collection of many philosophical, spiritual and religious beliefs and practices with hidden mystic occult pagan teachings, which is essentially repackaged satanism. Within this movement you find yoga, mediation, reiki (spiritual healing), crystals, spiritualism and the catchall, theosophy. They all share a core belief, or teaching, which is mankind has an innate goodness, which is hindered or dormant, and through their prescribed practices of clearing your thoughts, you can reach that goodness; with the intention of connecting with the universe. Through their prescribed barrier removal techniques, we can connect our inner goodness with the universal life force energy, because they are two of one; they are to be the same thing. Their techniques bring us into 'oneness' with nature, resulting in harmony, peace, relaxation, positivism, enlightenment, clarity, concentration and joy. They teach the life force energy is actually divine energy, it is God; and because we are the same, we are also divine. Their practices help you connect with your Highest Self, which is why you're able to achieve blessings, healings, wisdom, salvation and even divinity. The simplest way to explain the teaching is to say, 'We are God, as the universe is God, but we just don't know it yet.'
The righteous should choose his friends carefully,
For the way of the wicked leads them astray.
Spiritual Discernment. The bible teaches us to be spiritually discerning and always awake watching for the hour is near, and the enemy is busy trying to make us captives to his slavery again. We learn that the way of peace and rest, for our soul, is found on the path following Jesus. Thus says the LORD, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.' (Jeremiah 6:16). The devil portrays himself as light, but he only comes to deceive and lead us astray.
'I will make known my holy name among my people Israel. I will no longer let my holy name be profaned, and the nations will know that I the Lord am the Holy One in Israel. It is coming! It will surely take place,' declares the Sovereign Lord. 'This is the day I have spoken of.'
The Lord Will Rescue His People, All His People, As Promised. The Lord is not slack in promises of rescuing people from the error of their own ways, as they've attempted to exult themselves to His level. He gave Adam the opportunity to follow God's ways or go his own way, and we know what happened. Once Adam chose his own way, it set the great wheels of God into motion to redeem Him and mankind, because all mankind would fall into depravity, disobedience, and would need a way of escape from their brokenness and sinful ways back to the peace, life and joy of the Lord. We were made to wear the glory of God, and apart from it, there is only darkness for God is the light of the world and the light of mankind (John 8:12). Following our own ways is to deny God, which profanes His name (Proverbs 30:9). When we exalt ourselves, in a futile attempt to be equal with God; we follow after Satan, for this is the error to his ways. There will be a day of Lord where He will vindicate His holy name.
Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
God is Watching. The bible is clear that God is actively involved in His creation, working to bring things to their desired end. His eyes are always looking over the earth for those who do good, and seek to honor Him and He is seeking to hear their cry for help. But for the unrighteous, He has prepared a place for them in the eternal lake of fire; His face is against them, and it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God. (Psalm 34:15-16; Hebrews 10:31). We must examine ourselves, in the same light, the Father uses to search our hearts; He is looking at our motives. Are they motives of unrighteousness, dead works? For our own gain or pleasure, and just looking good outwardly? Or are they motives to glorify His holy name, solely, good works? It would do us well, to truly look at our intentions and repent of any sinful, boastful, lustful or wayward actions on our part. All of our misrepresentations and false justifications with our breathy explanations of innocence in our vein attempts to hide our guilt; it's all filth and rubbish for He sees it all, He is watching. Always looking, and it will not stand before the holiness of His throne or the judgment seat of God. We can try to bury it and cover it up with explanations of how it wasn't that bad, for it's just a matter of misunderstanding, an improper choice of words, or an unaware glace of the eyes, but God can't be mocked, nor can His people who have been trained in righteousness.
The word of the Lord stands true, and we can trust everything He does.
Those Predictable Triggers Which Take Our Peace. Do you have people who will steal your joy, and bring strife into your life? They predictably will do the very things that bring agitation to your soul; stirring within you the feelings of unrest, anxiety or bitterness. This is the point were knowledge has power and we have to lay hold of it. The more we understand that the Lord upholds the universe in His hands and by the power of His Might, the more we can manage these moments and our feelings: for we will know and understand that He allows these trials in our lives, to strengthen our relationship with Him, by work everything together for our good and His glory. We will see His glory shine in the dark and difficult times of our lives. We must look to Him and that means turning our gaze from our problems, and letting the mediation of the Lord always be upon our lips. When we know the Lord hasn't abandoned His creation, and that He is working everything for His purpose, we can draw strength from Him.
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Follow the Lord and All Your Ways will be Right. If we come to know the Lord, and begin to follow Him, then we will have joy and peace. Once we become believers and gain knowledge of God through the reading of His word, then we can be lead by the Holy Spirit. God can begin to speak to you in His still small voice, for you will know Him. You can hear the Spirit of truth speaking to you, convicting you of sin and of righteousness. When we disobey God, we will feel convicted of our sin, we won't have peace in our spirit. It's an unsettling feeling and when you replay the events which caused this conviction, you'll begin to try to justify your actions to make the feeling subside. When we obey God, the Spirit convicts us of our righteousness, and we have peace. We know we've followed God, because our hearts are settled. Instead of seeking to cover our actions or repeat the event over and over again, now we only mediate upon the glory of God and His divine ways, for we can see Him working through us to bring us out of that difficult situation. We will know He loves us and is protecting us, so we will reflect on His goodness and mercies. We will have peace with God and our fellow brothers and sisters.
But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning,
your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
Flowers of the Field. One of the most beautiful and peaceful sights to behold is a field of flowers blowing in the wind on a sunny day. They seem to not have a worry in the world; and while looking upon them, you don't either, even if, it's just for a moment. We are much like them, here today and gone tomorrow with only a flash of glory while we're here. Should we spend our days worrying about the next rainfall or sunny day, or what the weeds next to us are doing? No. No, we shouldn't; for there is a master gardener who is tending to us, and our every need, not to mention He is tending to everything - everywhere too. Anyways, we should continue to reflect the beauty of who we are; made by the creator for His divine purpose; vessels of honor to bear His image, and shine His glory. Above all, we don't want to miss the opportunity, for time is fleeting. Instead we should trust upon the Lord and His timeless provision and His eternal excellency.
But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: 'The Lord knows those who are His,' and, 'Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.'
God's Graciousness Saved Mankind From His Own Depravity. The story of creation speaks to the love of Christ Jesus for me. His life is part of the plan for mine, which is His grace. But by the grace of God am I saved, saved from what, my own ways which lead me to destruction and death; always captive to the devil's wicked schemes, for he wanted his own glory, so he used lies to try to kill, steal and destroy every trace of good which God has done. In my disobedience, I was bound to all of that, rebelliously seeking my own path; as we all did. And God who is rich in mercy and grace, looked away from our treachery; instead He was tender, loving and merciful to us. He said, My Spirit will not strive against man, forever. (Genesis 6:3). Jesus became the acceptable sin offering so I could spend eternity with God; it was always His plan, nothing I did could have stopped His will. Praise God that mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 2:13).
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
God Has a Plan for Us. We were created by Him, for His purpose; He made a way for us to be back in fellowship with Himself and others. He gave a promise, through Abraham, to be our God and for us to be His people. A relationship of Him leading and us following, and obeying the truth of His word. He would even live in our hearts, speak to us and guide us into all truth. First He had to correct the wrongs of mankind, which was accomplished through the giving and fulfilling of the law. He is the light of man, and He wants to shine through us in this dark world. We are like unleavened bread, for He will raise us up on the last day (John 6:44).
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