2 Corinthians 4:16
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
Are You Ready? Are You Ready? The bible makes it clear that mankind is influenced by one of two masters. There are those born of flesh who belong to satan and those born of Spirit who belong to Jesus Christ. Those led by the flesh are led by satan, which is the spirit of antichrist. There god is their belly, their own selfish desires and lusts with their glory being their shame, for all their works that give them pleasure, are works of unrighteousness for they suppress the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:12; Philippians 3:19; Romans 1:29; 2:8). These people have the wrath of God poured out on them already, for the works which Jesus did condemned them of their sin already. It will only be revealed at His second coming. We don't look down upon these people as we were born into this and once walked in these ways, but the Lord who is rich in mercy and grace has forgiven us of our sins and cleansed us of our unrighteousness, when we confessed our sins to Him (1 John 1:9; Ephesians 2:1-2). The Day of the Lord is coming, and it is close at hand! God is going to take those who are ready, those who's love for Him has not turned cold, those who have patiently endured the suffering of this life and always looked to Him for strength and continued in love towards everyone. If you've fallen away, the Lord promises that He will come and remove His lampstand (Revelation 2:5). The message is clear - let those with an ear hear.
Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
Jesus is the Mediator of the New Covenant. Christ is the eternal high priest of the New Covenant (New Testament). And Jesus said, I did not come to abolish the Law of Moses or the Prophets, I have come to fulfill them (Matthew 5:17); while adding, These are the very scriptures that testify about Me (John 5:39b). Jesus is the logos, the word of God, which became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:1, 14; 6:51). By the word, the breath of the LORD's mouth, all things were made for Him and through Him, everything in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, thrones or powers, rulers or authorities, and nothing that was made was made apart from Him (Psalm 33:6; John 1:2-5; Colossians 1:16). God made everything so that His glory would shine through people around the world, for to know His glory is to bring it forth (Numbers 14:21; Psalm 57:5; Habakkuk 2:14). An entire cosmic plan was established, throughout the ages, to bring this into being, which included the fall and rise of man through Adam and Jesus, respectfully (1 Corinthians 15:21; Romans 5:12-21).
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.
Ephesians Spiritual Warfare: Defeating the enemy with the victory of faith and knowledge of god
In order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.
Knowledge Really is Power. The more we learn God's holy word, the more His power will transform us into the image of His Son, Christ Jesus, and help us defeat the enemy of our souls. The power is to transform us, yes, we can help change the world, but that begins when we become the likeness of Christ Jesus. We must leave the old former ways to the newness of life in Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 6:4, 8:29; Ephesians 2:11-22; Hebrews 10:20). This will require we don't think too highly of ourselves using a sober judgment (Romans 12:3). As we learn in Ephesians and Corinthians, there is a spiritual battle taking place. If we try to hide or deny it, it doesn't go away. It only defeats us. Living in fear keeps us captive (2 Timothy 2:26), but we don't have to stay defeated because Christ won the victory (1 John 4:18, 5:4; Isaiah 43:1; Psalm 3:8, 18:2), which is why He is so glorious. Jesus already defeated the enemy and has given you the victory (1 Corinthians 15:57; Deuteronomy 20:4; Romans 8:31). Jesus told us all these things so we could have joy and peace (John 16:33). You can joyfully die to yourself and be raised to a new life in Christ, which requires the knowledge of God.
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
The Armor of God. Entering God's rest is a joyful existence, for you're allowing the Spirit to guide you and you're watching Him destroy every lofty thing that rises up against Himself, as you cast all your cares upon Him. But can this be maintained or even achieved? Even my christian brother thinks I live in a fantasy land when I tell him to rise above the worries of this world. He tells me that I don't understand his situation, then he goes on to explain his woes. My heart sinks, because I know this joyful existence in the midst of the storms is true; I know it's even more real than the problems themselves. This joy is something deep down inside you where you know and accept that the Lord works through the struggles to teach and strengthen you in the faith. It's a welcoming of woes as they are the instruments of God, even an enemy attack, to refine you as pure as gold and lead you to the Kingdom of God.
I gave you a land on which you had not labored, and cities which you had not built, and you have lived in them; you are eating of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.
Do You Believe in the Forgiveness of Sins? The complete and utter wiping away without a trace of remembrance? The washing away of sins, after turning them blood red with a sacrificial sprinkling, so they are now as white as snow. The royal robing, of a once broken and defiled clay vessel, with priestly royal embroidered garments. Honored in sacred lines with gold and adorned with chrysolite, emerald, turquoise, sapphire and diamond just to name a few precious gems. The welcoming of your presence into a holy sanctuary of only the most righteous; a place of absolute perfection with manicured lawns, decadent vineyards and glimmering streams of living sanctifying water. This is your inherited estate and you are the royal priest there-within making daily offerings of thanksgiving with songs of praise to your most holy King. Do not be faint of heart or slack of entry; No, come now for the gates have been opened and the Almighty Vine-Dresser is hearkening unto you eagerly awaiting your return unto Him.
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