IT IS DEFINITELY, NOT MAYBE…


Spiritual Blog - Angels of Light

2 Corinthians 11:14-15 – “…For Satan, himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”  NKJV 

Over the years I have had many conversations, heard much preaching, and listened to many discussions and speculations about the Man of Sin or the Antichrist.  Most of those describe him as a reprehensible and disgusting individual and he is for he is or will be evil to the core.  However, I fear that many miss an important reality regarding the devil and his Antichrist.

The Man of Sin will not come across as evil but good otherwise he would not be embraced by as much of the world as he will be.  He will come across as caring about people, problems, the environment, the world and truly desiring peace and presenting ideas that will awe much of the world.  He will possibly be nice looking and appealing physically, intellectually, politically, socially, economically and even religiously.  He will be disguised as an angel of light as is the devil.  He will be the epitome of a wolf in sheep’s clothing and deception will be his prime weapon.

Paul addresses the problem of false apostles and informs his audience to not be surprised that there are those who are not truly followers of Christ even if they are deceived and believe they are draw crowds and have a following. Why?  Because the devil himself transforms or disguises himself as an angel of light.  It does not say he can he says he does!

Therefore, when anyone deceived or diabolical strays from the biblical truth they participate in the disguise and/or deception.  Paul says, that in the end their works will be judged by God and their exposure will be sure, even if it is not in this life.  Leading others astray carries the heavy weight of judgment and I have always trembled when I preach or lead congregations that I do not present a false doctrine.  I have always pleaded with people to never take what I say as absolute truth but study, examine the scripture and determine if what I say is biblical and if it follows it and if not help me understand and reject it.

I am not surprised that we are seeing prominent ministers and ministries promoting a gospel I believe foreign to the Word of God.  They are calling things God calls abominations acceptable and thousands if not millions of followers are being swayed to follow a false doctrine in the name of compassion, political correctness, and tolerance.  They do not come across as evil and I do not believe that in most of those individuals their motive is evil but is a result of deception.  Sadly, as the Bible describes conditions of the Last Days some if not many will fall into deception and believe the lies of hell.

I have been castigated by well-meaning people who name the name of Christ over my stance on abortion, same-sex marriage, false religions such as Islam and other things.  They tell me that if I were truly a follower of Christ I would embrace differences and realize that God made the homosexual that way (which I do not believe) and that the narrowness of my Christian view that Jesus is the only way to God is not consistent with the Bible’s teaching on love thy neighbor.  I believe they are deceived and the lie of the disguised one, as with Eve in the Garden she saw the good in the tree and in seeking the good disobeyed the commandment of God.  Disguised as an angel of light the devil has for centuries been able to deceive in the name of humaneness, love and tolerance many.  They then become blind leaders of the blind and the ultimate end is both will fall in the ditch.

I love people and want to do good for all mankind whenever possible, but I never want to offer a kind of salvation that is contrary to the path described in the Bible, Jesus Christ!   I want to live in peace with all whenever possible, but I do not want to cast aside my conviction that the true path from darkness to light is through the Work of Christ on the Cross.  The devil is not always easily detectable and often very convincing and presents partial truths in such an eloquent and powerful manner many are deceived.  Do I have all truth?  No, but I have the one that has all truth living in my heart.

May God be with you as you go through this day!

LET THE RIVER FLOW…


Spiritual Blog - River of God

John 7:37-39 – “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.  38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”  39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”  NKJV

 There is more that could be said that I have the time, space or even ability to say so let’s focus on that which is overflowing in my heart today.  Jesus addressed a thirsty crowd and His choice of words for in the ritual and celebration of the feast we have the water pouring ceremony and to a people of an arid region, the often scarcity and preciousness of water was on everyone’s mind.  The people understood that the water pointed to the Messianic Age and the Hebrews longed for the coming Messiah.  Jesus took their quest for the Messiah to drive home a powerful message.  They were observing water poured by the priest and no matter how pronounced we make that flow it is still incredibly limited.  It was symbolic but Jesus cries out something that went beyond any dream they could have short of the Messianic Age’s arrival.

Jesus cried out, “If you want God as a constant in your life and are, as David cried, like the small deer that is panting for God like the deer at the watering places then here is the path to that reality.  If you are thirsty, truly thirsty and consumed with desire for God then here is the means whereby you can climb that pinnacle and have that which you are longing.”  The solution is JESUS!  If we want what He is offering the two things must transpire:  Come to Him in repentance and faith and receive His Lordship and then Drink.  It is one thing to believe something real and another to embrace it so completely in your heart, mind, and life that you become one with it. That is what He is speaking of.  He is identifying thirst that compels one to action.

The promise that Jesus gave was that if they did this then the Living Water of God would, like an artesian well that would be a continual flow and the most natural picture was a river.  This spiritual flow from within the core of the being would be constant, consistent and continual.  The Bible says it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks and Jesus is talking about a heart that is so completely one with Him that only that life can proceed.

Then He explained how this could be and as John tells us, this was a reference to the Holy Spirit who was to be given in the days to come.  That time could not come until Jesus went to the Cross, rose from the dead and ascended to the Throne of Heaven Glorified.  Then the reality of Acts would be introduced in this world to believers.  The Holy Spirit’s indwelling in the heart and life would produce a continuous flow of God’s Living Water.

 I have people tell me they are filled with the Spirit but their lives are in shambles, out of their mouths proceed blessing and cursing and rather than manifesting Christ they manifest carnality.  I cannot believe that is the Holy Spirit for it is inconsistent with the Scripture and most assuredly inconsistent with this passage.  The Holy Spirit is our comforter and teacher, not our confuser!  He takes the deep things of God and communicates them to us and as His name declares He is Holy!  If anything comes from Him but that which is Holy He is no longer Holy and not the Spirit of God.  So, if things are flowing out of your heart or mouth that is not consistent with the Living Waters of God I suggest that you and I find an altar and once again lay our hearts on it asking God to let the river flow in our lives.  I long for the river!

May God be with you as you go through this day!

DON’T BECOME A BROKEN CISTERN…


Spiritual Blog - Cisterns

Jeremiah 2:13 – “For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns — broken cisterns that can hold no water.”  NKJV

The prophet Jeremiah called weeping prophet because of his heartbreak over the condition of his beloved nation declared a strong word from the LORD regarding the State of the Nation.  The word was that the people, God’s people had committed to evils as an explanation for the predicament the nation faced.  They had forsaken God, the fountain of living waters and hewn themselves cisterns that were broken and incapable of holding water.

Some have asked what is virtually the chicken or the egg question as to which of these came first.  I do not for I believe that the natural result of allowing one’s heart to drift away from God is to do what Adam and Eve did in the garden and place self in the place of God.  I see much of this in today’s Christendom with the incredible rise of secularism and the drive to be consolatory to every religious view in existence.

It is one thing to be charitable to everyone and respect their views but to alter the framework of the Gospel to accommodate those opposing views can only produce a condition in which God is not the definitive voice of authority.  I have heard some nationally recognized preachers declare that although people who follow Islam or other religions do not accept Christ they too are accepted by God based on their beliefs.  If that were true then a person that believes that his God (self) deemed it acceptable to live in total debauchery and licentiousness would also get in based on his beliefs.

The fact that Jesus Himself declared that there was only one door through which we could gain access to the Father and that was Him is ignored, diminished or altered.  The fact of the requirement of the Blood of Christ shed for man’s sin is reinterpreted to mean that it is a way, not the way.  The human heart aside from the transforming work of Grace cannot house the Living Waters of God and become broken cisterns that can hold no life-giving water.  In John 7 when Jesus stood on the great day of the feast and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his INNERMOST BEING will flow rivers of living water.”   That river which continually flows only comes from believing in Jesus and a relationship with Him through the Holy Spirit.  It is by grace that we are saved and that through faith.  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  He is not a way, a truth, or a life.

Attempting to be politically correct and modify the Bible to fit the secular and popular mindset of the day does not and cannot produce life it produces broken cisterns that cannot contain the living water.  God called this mentality and activity EVIL.  If we allow our hearts to drift from God and reject His place as Lord of All in our lives the natural and only result is that His place of Lordship and sovereignty will be replaced with something and at the heart of that something is SELF.

God shares His glory with no man and rejects as thieves any philosophy that attempts to enter through any means other than The Door, Jesus Christ.  I see a condition in our world where political correctness and the attempts to demonstrate compassion and Christian charity have resulted in ministers, churches and people call evil good and good evil.  If there is a singular reason that our nation and world is in the state it is in I would suggest it is what Jeremiah declared.  We have forsaken the LORD and His Living Waters and have become cisterns that are broken and cannot house His life-giving flow.  We are trying to put the New Wine into Old Wineskins and the New Wine will destroy the Old Wineskin.

It is time that we return to the LORD with a whole heart and as we return to Him in repentance and faith we will see God move on our behalf and then and only then will we see positive change in our world.

God bless you as you go through this day!

EXPOSING THE DEVIL… (Conclusion)


Spiritual Blog - Exposed

2 Corinthians 2:11 – “…lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”  NKJV

Joshua 9:3-4a – “But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, 4 they worked craftily, and went and pretended to be ambassadors.”  NKJV

We have considered the reality that our victories invite a counter-attack by the forces of hell but we dare not stop there.  Next, I would like us to note that before the full frontal assault of the enemy, the inhabitants of the land in Joshua 9 attempted to deceive Israel into making a pact with them.  Cohabitation with and a Non-Aggression pact, with the devil, is impossible. He is not a covenant keeper and wants your destruction.

The Gibeonites knew that the overall picture was pretty dark for them and decided that rather than risk an attack that would likely end in defeat they would try deception.  They arrived on the scene from Gilgal and pretended to be from a very distant land, a land unknown to Joshua and Israel.  They came with all the visible signs of having been on a long journey. They were skillfully crafty, mentioning nothing of Jericho or Ai but talked about the Wilderness.  They also claimed to honor and respect the God of Israel.

If you can receive it, this exposes the devil’s tactics.  He knows, too well, that a believer who is totally committed to Christ will not be tempted or dissuaded by a frontal attack.  He knows that the child of God who is determined to press on and press into God’s Promise will not be stopped by an all-out assault so what does he do?

  • He suggests possible alliances that seem small and insignificant.
  • He talks to us about a certain area of our lives over which Jesus has given no specific command, a part so small and seemingly insignificant that it really won’t matter.
  • He challenges the need for total consecration in everything, after all, we are all human.
  • He warns us that overdoing it religiously and spiritually will result in being too heavenly minded to be any earthly good and will cause burnout.
  • He cautions us about becoming too narrow suggesting that we need to be more open to differing beliefs.
  • He suggests that there is no reason we should not indulge and even become a bit lazy occasionally for after all even Jesus drew aside to rest and relax. 

The enemy wants to steal our affection and move us away from our first love.  He wants to get us to lower our Christian standards and compromise our convictions even if it is occasional.  He comes and suggests that what the church really needs is a common sense approach and that we are in danger of being too radical in our faith and thereby turning people off.  He is often difficult to detect and he offers help but his objective is to shipwreck your life.  No wonder John warned us in 1 John 4:1 to “…try the spirits, whether they are of God…”

In this account we find Israel, for the first time, seeking to co-mingle with the enemy on Holy Ground.  They were doing what God told them not to do.  They were violating the principle of “coming out from among them and being separate spiritually”.  The Gibeonites crept in!  The found the door of gullibility and walked through.  Sheep, in the natural, are among the dumbest creatures in existence.  In verse 14 we read, “…they did not ask counsel at the mouth of the Lord…”  Big mistake!  Every alliance must be seasoned in prayer.  That is why I refuse to make decisions without first taking them to prayer.  If a deal is so good that I have to decide immediately and not given time to pray I pass.  The Bible tells us, “…there is a way that seems right to man but the ends are the ways of death.”  Gullibility will result in deception and place us in disobedience.

The Bible declares that the devil comes as an “angel of light” and is not always easily detected.  Remember the foolish virgins resembled the wise, the tares resembled the wheat, the voice of the hireling sounds much like the shepherd and the wayward meadow is laid out beside the king’s highway and only a soft shoulder separates them.  Does a small concession and pact matter?  The record gives a clear answer – YES!

Are we to attempt to match the devil in his subtle ways?  NO!  Do not trust your judgment, intellect or perceived spirituality.  Take the matter, every matter to God in prayer and if after prayer you are still in doubt – DON’T!  Be strong enough and brave enough to stand still and wait for the Lord for none that wait on Him are ashamed and that is the only way to outmatch and outmaneuver the devil.

If you have failed it is not over!   All is not lost!  The devil would have you believe so but that is a Lie from the Pit.  Joshua and Israel once realizing their error placed the Gibeonites in a position of menial laborers and subjects.  God took the scheme of the devil and turned it against the deceivers.  Let your mistakes drive you to the altar and allow the Spirit of God to administer forgiveness, healing, deliverance, and restoration.  God wants to warn you, wash you and welcome you!

May God be with you as you go through this day!

EXPOSING THE DEVIL… (Part Two)


Spiritual Blog - Exposed

2 Corinthians 2:11 – “…lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”  NKJV

Joshua 9:3-4a – “But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, 4 they worked craftily, and went and pretended to be ambassadors.”  NKJV

Paul declared in Corinthians that we are not ignorant of the devices of the devil so let’s study to show ourselves approved unto God workmen capable of exposing his tactics and possessing our promise.

First, I would like for us to take note that the victories of Israel brought about a combined, concentrated and concerted attack of enemy forces.  In Joshua 1:9 we find that description and revelation that the tribal warfare that had existed among the Canaanites had been laid aside and they joined forces against Israel.  Their petty squabbles and secondary issues were placed on the back burner as they joined forces against a common foe and they amassed an all-out effort to turn back Israel’s advance.   That helps us understand the Arab saying,  “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

It is important to remember that with every victory as a Christian in your personal life you are sending out an engraved invitation for a full-scale assault by the forces of hell.  Every time you experience blessing you are one step away from another attack from hell.  I do not say that to discourage but to enlighten you.  The devil may be a defeated foe but he has not quit, the fight.  Blessing and battle go hand in hand and instead of allowing fear to grip your heart rejoice!  It should be a joy to know that if we are pressed on every side we are in the heart of the battle and moving in the right direction spiritually.  If you are finding temptation almost more than you can bear then rejoice.  Remember the words of James, “Count it all joy when…”

I said that in a church once and had a person come to me afterward seeking to set me straight and said, “I don’t know what you are talking about, I haven’t been tempted in years!”  If that is you then I suggest that you run to the altar and ask Him to let you see yourself as the devil sees you and as He sees you.  The devil does not concern himself with what is not a threat to him.  Maybe you have matured to the place that you immediately resist temptation and it is almost as though it does not exist for you but if you are moving forward as a threat to the devil he tempts and sees to destroy.

The need for every believer and every church is to lay aside the secondary issues and launch a full-scale attack on the enemy repossessing and possessing that which he has stolen.  Unfortunately, too often, the church world is engaged in tribal warfare and too busy settling petty squabbles and splitting doctrinal hairs to engage the real enemy.  There must be jubilation in hell when the church becomes sectarianism protecting the place while the world plunges into darkness.  May God help us to never forget that nothing short of a full-scale united assault by all the people of God (Church) is needed.  It is time to pull down strongholds and set at liberty those who are bruised.  It is time to possess the promise and move into and onto our Canaan.

We are going to pause again and take this up next time as we look at the devil’s deception tactics.  

May the Lord bless you richly as you go through this day!

EXPOSING THE DEVIL…


Spiritual Blog - Exposed

2 Corinthians 2:11 – “…lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”  NKJV

Joshua 9:3-4a – “But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, 4 they worked craftily, and went and pretended to be ambassadors.”  NKJV

Without doubt God’s greatest desire for us that we be saved!  He has no desire for mankind greater than full salvation and complete deliverance.  He wants us to become what He has already declared us – Overcomers!  Most have realized or will that this Christian walk is not a bed of roses and there are battles to be fought.  Most have realized that a battle won is not a war won nor a battle lost is a war lost.  As long as sin lasts and the devil is loosed from the pit there will be conflict.  As long as we live in these fleshly bodies there will be temptation.  However, it is important to remember no one sin can be regarded paramount nor can any sin be lightly regarded.  Any attempt or temptation to compromise with the devil is to invite certain disaster and court sure destruction.

If we can hold it in our hearts and minds that there will be battles lost and times of retreat we can more readily maintain our hope.  However, I firmly believe that if or when we lose a battle and are forced into a temporary retreat it is imperative that we find out the true cause of the setback. How? Through prayer!  If we come before God in repentance and prayer He will open the curtain and allow us to look beyond the veil and see.  Prayer will give us understanding but it takes more than prayer to regain or reclaim the lost ground.  We do not render the devil totally defeated in a moment of victory for the process of deliverance is gradual and often slow.

The Law or Plan of God given to believers that brings peace, joy, happiness, life, and health is not given for the purpose of our ease but to enable us to walk in full obedience.  We are in a spiritual war and that war pits God’s forces against the devil’s legions.  The secret to winning any war lies in strategy.  If you fail to plan you plan to fail!  Joshua had planned the war against the inhabitants of Canaan carefully.  He had taken his forces and driven a wedge westward from Jericho into the heart of the land dividing the forces of the enemy.  He then quickly turned south and destroyed the forces there before coming back North to finish the job. He had a plan, God’s plan!

We face a problem in today’s world in our failure to apply God’s Divine Strategy to our daily lives.  I have witnessed, too often, believers and churches develop a hold the fort mentality and in so doing offer little or no offensive strategies against the powers of darkness.  So it is legitimate to ask, how often do we apply God’s Divine Strategy to our daily action, or planned war against our souls?  Some live hit or miss and miss more than they hit resulting in being outmaneuvered by the enemy.  Satan is not only a roaring lion he is a subtle serpent and the roar of the lion is far less dangerous than the hiss of the snake spiritually.

Joshua 9 is a classic example of the subtility, trickery, and deception of the devil and exposes the gullibility of man, especially when he becomes overconfident through a few victories.  Thank God our God is Sovereign, Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent.  He overrules our mistakes and failures for His glory.  In this passage and account, we find a revelation of the wiliness of the devil and a lesson worthy of learning in today’s world.  In this account, we can learn things that will help us expose the devil and move into the victory possessing the place of promise in God our Canaan.

Due to time and space, we will pause here and pick up next time and hopefully provide some valuable information and tools to use in our daily lives in defeating the devil daily.  

God bless you as you go through this wonderful day!

TROUBLE OR TROUBLED???


Spiritual Blog - Fear

Psalm 46:1-3 – “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3 though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling.”  NKJV

Each of us has an option or options when we are faced with trouble.  We can, as many, become troubled and allow trouble to flood over us sapping us of our hope and rendering us impotent in its wake.  The other option is to follow the prescription David offers here and experience a revelation that will release the supernatural in our lives and situation.  There is always a choice.

Many if not most of us have experienced times of deep trouble where we were not sure how we would or if we would come through it.  When in the face of imminent danger or threat we can allow the waves of fear to overcome us, or we can look outside our fears looking through the situation to the solution.  It is a choice but one that is rooted in relationship and anchored to experiential confidence.  I can have all the information about a matter that is available and know, logically and rationally what could or should happen but my confidence in the outcome will be stronger after the experience.

David declared, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”  The words ‘present help’ seemed to leap off the page at me when I read this.  Most will affirm that they believe God has promised to be our refuge and that He is our strength, but too frequently we miss the Ppresentness of God.  In the midst of the difficulty, He Is There!  He is in the immediate not the projected.  He is in the immediate not the theoretical.  He IS and because He IS David says, “we will not fear…”  The confidence of God’s promise of a provision of safety and His Omnipotence in the Immediate banishes fear.  Fear and God’s presence are not compatible except for our reverential fear of Him.  Fear that has torment is incompatible with the presence of God.

David described a condition where there are earthquakes either natural, emotional, social, economic, political or spiritual and declares that because of God’s Presence fear is banished.  When he says we Will Not, He is declaring that this is a cooperation between the heart of man and the power of God.  God provides the power and demonstrates His presence and man has to make the choice to embrace God or fear.

The question is always, “Do we trust?”  I suggest that knowing the promise is one thing.   Believing that God is Omnipotent is one thing.  Believing that God is Now in our situation is another.  Just knowing it with our heads does not always equal receiving it in our hearts.  Knowing something theoretically without the experiential may leave one with doubt whereas having both knowledge and experience opens the door and makes it easier to enter into the Present Reality of God’s Presence, Purpose, Promise and Provision.  Therefore, developing a relationship with Him is vital to our forward progress in life spiritually.

Rather than being troubled, I pray that God will help each on to see the trouble simply a condition unworthy of fear because of the Presentness of God.  Look beyond and through the troubles and trials to the solution and in Him rejoice and relax.  He is God and always will be God.

God bless you as you go through your day!