Breaking Camp

img_5284In every season there is purpose. Sometimes we don’t understand the purpose, or the pain. However, we know that Romans 8:28 states that all things work together for the good of those that love God. Certain situations may never make sense, we may never understand, but we are not told to understand, we are simply told to believe. God will be with you through this, He will be with you after, and He promises to make all things new.

The Israelites had been at the base of the mountain for long enough. God spoke to the people to break camp. He was actually telling the people He was sending them into the land of the ammoniates, their enemies. In the natural that made no sense, but the lord was trying to set them up to be weak in Him, so He could be strong through them. While doing this He would in turn show the surrounding nations how powerful the God of Israel was. He was trying to give them another Red Sea moment and encourage them. He wanted to remind the people how Great the might of their God was. He told them not to be afraid, to courageously go forward; they had a decision to make. They could stay there, choose to go another way (both would be acts of rebellion) or choose to trust Him. That would entail going in unfamiliar territory and taking the land. They were standing at the the place of decision, one of the ways in the natural looked impassable, but nonetheless they had to trust God and go through giants, they were going to ha e to hold their ground and fight for what God had already promised them. Once the victory was achieved the Promise land would be theirs. We know the story, they wavered in their faith and their belief in Gods Sovereignty. Because of this the promise land was lost to that generation. That wasn’t Gods plan, He had a victory waiting for them.

I want encourage you to keep walking, keep trusting, and lean not on your own understanding. God is setting up supernatural deliverances, victories, and provision. Go forward, don’t look back, don’t listen to your feelings, they have the capability to mislead you. Lean on God and what He says. Rebuke doubt and fear. God has already made the provisions.

Submitted by Jessica Fudge

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Leave Behind Your Pain (misfortune), & Put On Your Praise!

img_6162It seems to be an all too familiar narrative in our day to day lives. There is always something that we look to complain, whine, or be upset about. Misfortune in some way, shape, or form will soon come to us all. No one is immune from it and it can takes many different forms.

In the books of the bible, we also see many different forms of pain, misfortune, or difficult circumstances coming against those whose only hope is by clinging onto their faith and praising God.

There are so many different examples in the bible that I am unable to list them all in this one message. However, in this manna we will look at two well known stories from the bible and look at how they did not let their pain –or misfortune- cause them to stop believing, worshipping, and praising God.

The first that we will look at is the story of Joseph, the favored son of Jacob (Israel) in the book of Genesis. As you recall Joseph’s brothers were no doubt very jealous of Joseph. He was not only their father’s favorite son, who he made a coat of many colors for, (Gen. 37:3) but he also was shown favor by God with the gift of dreams. This just made his brothers not only more angry and jealous, but also fear him because of the nature of his dreams that he may rule and reign over them. (Gen 37:5-8)

So in an attempt to be rid of him, they sold him into slavery after a discussion of whether or not to kill him. They first stripped him of his clothes, through him into a pit with no water, and then sold him into slavery for 20 pieces of silver. (Gen. 37:28)

Can you imagine the pain that had to be from Joseph’s point of view? Here Joseph is in the company of his brothers, family, that one would think that you are safest with family members. The thought that kind of betrayal would make most people harbor an anger that most of us could only imagine.

Joseph was then taken by the slavers down into Egypt where he was sold again in to the service of the Captain of the guard of Pharaoh. But it states in the bible that the Lord was with Joseph, in his most dire situation, he saw favor. Joseph was made the overseer of the Captain’s house and all that he had. (Gen 39:4-5)

So even in the midst’s of being betrayed by his own brothers he did not lose his faith, or blame God. He was taken from an unfavorable place and was then elevated in his situation. Joseph then saw more trails and tribulation when the wife of the captain desired and wanted to lay with Joseph. Joseph refused her many advances and even ran away from her in what one could only imagine to be a desperate attempt to escape a bad situation. (Gen 39:7)

He remained virtuous and righteous, and was then punished for something he did not do. The wife lied to her husband and other servants and Joseph was promptly placed in jail for a lie where he would be for over 2 years.(Gen. 39:20)

Joseph still did not lose his faith or favor in the Lord after yet another terrible thing befell him. But the Lord was still with Joseph, and he was shown favor by the keeper of the prison. He went from favored son, to slave, to overseer of a household, to prisoner, and now the prison keeper’s assistant. He never once stopped believing or lost his faith in God, or let his situation (surroundings) cause him to stumble and fall. Joseph in his faith was still receiving the gifts of the Lord by being able to interpret dreams. He proved himself in prison to two fellow prisoners and then to Pharaoh himself. (Gen. 41:25)

Joseph is then rewarded again with Pharaoh promoting him to 2nd in all the land only lower than Pharaoh himself.
Even after everything Joseph had been through; hated by his brothers, put into a pit, sold into slavery, and being put into prison. He never faltered with his belief and praise of God. And when it could have been so easy too at that. And yet he saw time and time again being restored and even elevated in every situation. It’s far too easy in today’s society/world to look to lay blame at or on someone, or complain about why this and that is going on. We must always understand what it is that we are facing on a daily basis.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” – Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)

The devil is a liar. He looks to steal, kill, destroy any and everything and everyone that he can. (John 10:10) We must remember that sometimes the very things that seem like they will destroy or ruin you can be used by God to put you into a position and place that is beyond your own understanding. Do you think that Joseph could have understood that had it not been for him being sold into slavery and placed in prison over a lie, that he would have not been able to provide his family with food when the 7 years of famine came upon the land?

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)

Another story to consider is Job. Job had everything possible going well and great for him. He had everything anyone could possibly want at that time. 7 son, 3 daughters, he had a great wealth of possessions, great household, it was even said in scripture Job1:3 (KJV) “so that this man was the greatest of all men of the east.”

Job seemed to have everything going for him, this must have truly angered Satan. As it is written in Job 1:8-11, the Lord used Job as an example to Satan, “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?”

Satan then tried to state that the only reason that this was so, was because the Lord had blessed and protected all that Job had. Stop or remove your protection and he will surely curse you the devil claims. The devil thought that he “got one over on the Lord” by trying to goat him into allowing this righteous man to suffer to try and prove a point. But the devil could not see what God was doing, he is not a creator and so he cannot see down the road how and what the Lord was planning to do for Job. Satan then proceeds to destroy and kill all that Job has and owns, he even then attacks Job physically. And what and how does Job do? Job drops everything and worshipped the Lord. How amazing! In the face of losing it all, that he instead of asking “why me God?” or being angry with or blaming God, he worshipped him.

Job 1:20-22 (KJV) Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down up the ground, and worshipped. And said, Naked came I out of mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

“But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.” Job 2:10 (KJV)

After everything Job went through, all that he lost, all those that died, all he suffered, and everything he endured he could not see nor understand what God was doing. We as a people tend to look more to the here and now of right in front of us. We cannot see all the things that the Lord see’s, knows, understands, and all that is planned. Did Job become discouraged? Yes, but that was due partly to the people he had who were speaking things in his ears.

We have to watch who and what we allow to speak not only things to us, but over us as well. They attempted to try and convince him of the fault of all that had befallen him, was a fault to do with him. In all this Job began to question God and that’s when the Lord comes to Job in the form of a whirlwind. God was putting Job “back in his place” so to speak. If Job had only known what all God would do and restore to him and more! God rewards Job for his faith from all his ordeals and even elevates him to where he ends up with double and far better off than when it all began. The bible records, he had 7 sons and 3 daughters again, in fact in all the land where there no women as beautiful as his daughters.

There is a power and peace that can be found when there is nothing else that you can do other than to just stop and pray. When you feel like there is so much coming against you that you don’t even know what direction is up, down, left, or right and you have no idea what or where to go and do next there is only one thing left to do. Stop, pray, give thanks, and worship to God.

Stop. Stop worrying about the things of this world and the perceptions that so much of us in today’s society worry about. Do I have this? Do I have that? Do I have the right look? Do I have the right clothes, vehicle, shoes, etc? You fill in the blank.
Pray. Pray to God for Him to come to you in your time of need. Pray to God for wisdom, for knowledge, for understanding, for peace, for comfort, for a connection to Him so that you may feel Him and know Him better. So that you may hear his voice and communicate with Him like we have a friend that we are speaking with face to face.

Give thanks. Thank the Lord for everything that He has given you in your life. Thank him for the times that God was there with you even when you didn’t know it. Thank Him for his grace, His mercy, His love, His son’s sacrifice, for His gifts, for everything in your life.

Worship. Worship the Lord so that you may be able to remove yourself from whatever trouble is going on in your life at that moment and connect with Him. Lift up your voice of praise and worship to Him that even in the moment of great trail, tribulation, or heartache that we know that He is Lord of all. And in Him we place our trust, faith, and understanding. For His is greater than any of us can fathom.

Submitted by Cole Peers

The Promise Comes By Faith

girl-dancing-rain“Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.” (Gal 4:28)

This is quite possibly one of my favorite passages in the Bible. As God’s covenant with Abraham was fulfilled by his faith -which God credited as righteousness -so are we saved by faith through grace. With the principals of holiness in the law (old covenant) now written on the hearts of believers (new covenant).

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matt 5:17-18)

“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal 3:24-29)

So what does that mean for Christian’s today? It means that we are able to come boldly before the throne of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That the same God who loved and nurtured the generations of Abraham, will in turn accept us. Such is His promise because we are heirs and joint-heirs with Jesus. And this is accomplished through grace and by faith.

Scripture teaches that even a small amount of faith can do great things. Faith as great as Abraham’s can move mountains. And it did, for God often refers to the nation of Israel as a mountain.

“Thus saith the Lord; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the Lord of hosts the holy mountain.” (Zechariah 8:3)

In Genesis, Noah’s ark, the embodiment of the promise God made for salvation from the flood (built through great faith, for until the time that the floods came, no one had ever seen rain!) came to rest a top a mountain.

God leaves nothing to chance.
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. (Isaiah 2:2)

There are other biblical references to mountains as well. In the book of Jeremiah, the Lord calls Babylon a destroying mountain.

“Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the Lord, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain.” (Jeremiah 51:25)

Jesus spoke to his disciples on more than one occasion about the faith needed to move mountains. Not because it was impossible, but because it was possible and even required!

The book of Matthew records a child under demonic possession being brought for deliverance, but the disciples fail in their attempt to heal him. The parent of the child comes to Jesus boldly declaring the failure. Jesus then rebukes them all in not so gentle terms.

“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (Matt. 17:15-21)

KJV uses the word structure “Because of your unbelief…” which is softer framing of the words used in other manuscripts saying…”Because of your little faith…”.
Lack of faith? Measure of faith? Faith the size of a mustard seed? How then, can faith be measured?

Most certainly the disciples had some measure of faith, for they had made a diligent effort to heal the child, however unsuccessful. I think any person of faith who has attempted to perform a miracle of any kind in Jesus’s name understands the frustration of this moment. We do receive a clue to the problem when Jesus addresses the man who comes to Him to report the failure of his disciples. (Matt 17:15-16)

In this passage, Jesus calls the assembly faithless, and perverse. By faithless, Jesus meant unbelief or too little faith. So that having too little faith can have the same effect as unbelief.

By perverse, He means showing a desire to remain obstinate. The multitude that followed Him during His miracle working missions failed to comprehend He was more than a prophet. That He was THE PROMISE. That the kingdom of heaven was present among them. And only for a short time. (Matt.17:17)

Because Jesus addresses, not just the disciples alone in this matter, but the generation as a whole, we can see how that applies to the assembly as well. Those present had come to see a man work miracles, but lacked the faith to accept that the kingdom of God was at hand and nothing was impossible for them that believed.

When the disciples ask Him why they were not able to cast the demon out, Jesus makes a brief explanation that this kind [of evil] can only be cast out by prayer and fasting. (Matt 17:21)

In short, Jesus’s rebuke was out of His frustration with their little faith and deliberate stubbornness to accept that all power in heaven and earth was being prepared to be given them.

If you believed that the Son of God was walking beside you in the streets to redeem the lost and cast out devils, would you not prepare for that great task? The disciples had not. And Jesus knew His time remaining on this earth to teach them was running short.

Abraham had the correct measure of faith. For when God told him of His promise with him, Abraham went straightway to carry out his part of the covenant. Even though he knew His promise would be with his generations, he wasted no time in preparing the way for that promise. He took action that very day. (Gen. 17:23-27)

After this failed attempt by the disciples to exorcise the child, Jesus comes to a barren fig tree. Because he hungered and found the tree barren, he spoke unto it that it should wither away. To contrast the matter of faith Jesus had just spoke to them concerning the child, Jesus then tells them also, “Have faith in God…

“Truly I tell you that if anyone says to this mountain Be lifted up and thrown into the sea, and has no doubt in his heart but believes that it will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you HAVE received it, and it will be yours…” (Mark 11:23)

Abraham believed the covenant would be received and acted as though he had already received it. The prophets of old had done more with less. Here God was walking among them, and they failed to muster the faith needed to relieve a child of his affliction. Faith isn’t abstract. For even the devils believe in God. (James 2:19) But Jesus does expect us to have faith like Abraham had faith. Faith that can move mountains. Faith that is obedient and not obstinate. Faith that is measurable (even the size of a mustard seed). For faith is the result of an absolute alignment of one’s heart, mind and soul with the word of God. He wants us to put our faith in the truth he has revealed. In the righteousness of his covenants.
What Jesus wanted them -and us- to know, is how to use faith to move mountains. How take ground from the enemy and how to uproot strongholds.
Mountain moving faith-measurable faith -is faith rooted in God’s promises.

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17

Submitted by Christy Peers

Joshua and the Bride of Christ

img_5852An examination into the warfare of God

Since the dawn of mankind, we have all been active participants in an age old battle. From the origin of sin to the Battle of Armageddon, a war rages all because Satan desires a foothold in heaven. As Paul illustrates in Ephesians 6: 12, we are in a battle against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

John of Patmos quotes a voice in heaven as saying:

1Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. (Rev. 12:12)

In this life we have a very real enemy, and he has an army of his own.  And so the attacks come, whether big or small, nation against nation, man against man, spirit against spirit. And yet, to even begin to understand this war, we must first understand our enemy and the battlefield we find ourselves in.

Even in the days of Jesus’s earthly ministry, there were those who sought access to the kingdom by force. Jesus made an interesting observation when he said, (Matthew 11:12) “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.”

Sadly, we see this same “force” at work within the church today. There are those who seek to force the Holy Spirit to conform to their own desires. This force, Jesus witnessed as violent, causes damage to the kingdom. It is a weakness in the wall of an otherwise fortified city.
Still, for so many, taking is easier than obeying. And therein lies the first battlefield. The front lines of this violent war…the heart.

Know whom you serve

In Genesis 12 God promises Abraham he will make a great nation from him and that his decedents will claim the land of Canaan. God tells him he will be a blessing, and that in him shall all families of the earth be blessed. But why did God promise him his generations would dwell in Canaan, of all places?

Because God had plans to establish a foothold of his own. And Abraham was faithful to the extent that God credited it to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:22). Such was Abraham’s faithfulness that everywhere he traveled throughout the land, he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. Effectually, petitioning God to come dwell among them, even in pagan lands.
Through Abraham’s faithfulness (righteousness), God was advancing His camp, and preparing a way, that thru him, all families of the earth would be blessed.
Abraham was claiming his promise. And his claiming was in obedience to God’s voice.

Verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven…. Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:8-20)

By contrast, the Canaanites are described in the Bible as a wicked, idolatrous, and fierce people. Descendants from Ham, the cursed son of Noah. The Israelite spies whom Moses sent into Canaan reported what they described as the descendants of Anak (Numbers 13:28, 33) – giants, whom by comparison, the Israelite’s saw themselves as grasshoppers. The Israelites were so afraid of these large inhabitants that they refused to claim the land God had promised them. In the end, only two, Caleb and Joshua were bold enough to enter. With the exception of Joshua and Caleb, that entire generation of Israelites was denied entry into Canaan, because of their lack of faith.Obedience is required.

In due season, Joshua –descendant from Abraham – was commissioned by God to fulfil the promise God had made. Joshua, understanding his commission, declares, (Joshua 24:14-15) “…Choose you this day whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Understanding whom you serve is critical. But it starts with a choice. Joshua acted in faith on God’s promise and entered enemy lands.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (John 10:27-28).

Do not be afraid. No man has the power to remove you from the hand of God.

Know your commission

Loosely defined, a commissioned officer is a commanding officer in a unit. It is a ranked soldier who understands his authority. Jesus remarked on the eagerness of men to snatch and carry off the riches of heaven’s blessings like spoil from a conquered city. (Matthew 11:12) It grieved him that there were (and still are) those who would seek to take the kingdom for selfish gain. He even compares them to children who sit in marketplaces calling for attention to their games.

There is no power in this type of action. It foolishly misses the purpose of giving mankind access to the kingdom. Jesus clearly defines the commission of his followers (Matthew 28: 18-20) when he says, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

The church received its commission upon the death and resurrection of Christ. Just as Joshua received his commission upon the death of Moses. (Joshua 1:1-18) The LORD commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous, and to not be afraid, neither dismayed, but that the LORD God would be with him wherever he would go. (Joshua 1:9)

Both commissions were given with the promise that they will not have to fight alone, and both commissions give a directive to take ground from the enemy.
Why then are some acting like children playing games in the marketplace, while the enemy is waging war on God’s people?
There is no authority in attempting to force God’s hand to your own benefit. Know whom you serve. If you are not obedient to your commission, you are in the enemy’s camp.

Know your battlefield

Before Joshua was able to take the walled city of Jericho, the LORD spoke to him, directing his every move. After the miraculous drying up of the Jordan River so that they crossed over into the Promised Land, the LORD instructed Joshua to remove twelve stones from the river, out of the place where the priest had stood with the ark, and take them to their campsite. (Joshua 4:1-5) Joshua did so, calling twelve men, one out of every tribe. Joshua explained the meaning of the twelve stones was so that all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that you might fear the LORD your God for ever. (Joshua 4:24)

By comparison, the bride of Christ is described as a walled city with gates and foundation stones. (Rev 21: 9-27) Specifically, twelve gates representative of the twelve tribes, with an angel stationed at each gate. Additionally there are twelve foundation stones, representing each of the twelve tribes, and twelve walls, with the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. But John of Patmos notes, that in the new city, there was not an ark or temple within, for the LORD God and the lamb are the temple of it.

Needless to say, at the time, of Joshua, the ark of the testimony served as the seat of God among his people. Joshua’s obedience in something as small as pulling stones from a river set the stage for a sweeping victory. Still, Joshua waited on the LORD to take Jericho.

And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, what saith my Lord unto his servant? And the captain of the Lord’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so. (Joshua 5:13-15)

Only through Joshua’s obedience and decision to serve the LORD whole heartedly was God able to remove the reproach of Egypt from them and make pagan land holy. Joshua may have had to face some faith shaking situations along the way to taking Jericho, but the LORD was with him. Every step of the way.
In preparation to taking the walled city, the LORD commanded him to take his men of war, and march the city once a day for six days. (Joshua 6:1-4) But that also, the ark was to be brought as well, with seven priest bearing seven trumpets before the ark, they were to blow each day and on the seventh day, they were to compass the city seven times, and the priests should blow their trumpets, and the people were to shout with a great shout. (Joshua 6:5)

In Revelation, John is shown a prophetic vision of a coming battle, in which seven angels stand before God and they are given seven trumpets. He then sees, a golden alter before the throne, in which an angel mixes incense with the prayers of the saints, the smoke from which ascended up before God.

And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. (Rev 8:2,6)

Remember Jesus’ words in Matthew about binding and loosing? What is done on earth, is done in heaven. Certainly the battle described in Revelation is a future conflict, and the battle at Jericho is, for us, in the past. But the Commanders of the armies on the battlefield have never changed. There is a purpose in all things God ordains.

He is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Heb. 13: 8) If you want victory, know whom you serve.

Know that victory is the Lord’s

And it came to pass on the seventh day that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times. 16 And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the Lord hath given you the city. (Joshua 6:16)

Joshua declared victory in boldness of faith before the walls ever came down.
20 So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. (Joshua 6:20)

Likewise in the final battle as described in the book Revelation, the trumpets sound, and voices are heard in heaven proclaiming victory.

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever… And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail (Revelation 11:15, 19-20)

In both battles, victory is proclaimed before the battle begins. Claiming is more than believing. It is faith in action.
In comparing the two battles, a lot of parallels can be made. But the most significant are the understanding that prayer reaches the throne room of God and has the power to bring heaven to earth, faith is acting in obedience. Aligning your heart with God’s word, knowing his voice, accepting that the battle is inevitable for the present time, learning to lean not on your own understanding, and when to take your sword and declare victory in Jesus’s name, are all necessary combat skills.
Battles aren’t won in our time, they are won in God’s time. He is a God of peace, but he is also a Commander of heavenly host. And you have been called to battle.

Know whom you serve.
Know your commission.
Know the battlefield.
Know that victory is the Lord’s.

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 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. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. (John 1:1-4)

The spirit of antichrist is already at work in the church. Many who claim to be men and woman of God are opening gates that are allowing the enemy in. Yes, you have been called to battle, but you have also been given all you need to succeed. Start using your commission and take ground from the enemy.

The Bride is preparing for her wedding day. Will the devil not know what is to come?

“There is only one place the devil has a right to be and that’s under your feet.” – R.W. Shambach

Submittes by Christy Peers

Live Like You Believe

18a2“The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved. Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting. The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves. The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea. Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever.”‭ – Psalms 93:1-5‬

The Church is more to blame for the condition of the world, than the world is to blame for the condition of the Church!!!
If “GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN ME, THAN he that is in the world”, than why don’t we live like it??!

We have allowed the “spirit of error”, unbelief, and the sin-filled world to infiltrate the churches, thereby relinquishing our GOD given authority against it! Today, I’m provoked!! Today, I say, “ENOUGH!!!” Today, I choose to take up the authority and power of GOD within me and do something about it! It’s HIGH TIME that the Church fixes their gaze on their HOLY GOD, and begin to live like HE IS IN US!

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men‭‭;” – 1 Timothy‬ ‭2:1‬‬

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”‭‭ – Titus‬ ‭2:11-15‬‬

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;”‭‭ – 1 Timothy‬ ‭4:1-2‬‬

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:”‭‭ – 2 Timothy‬ ‭1:7-10‬‬

We have not received a spirit of fear, but we have received a SPIRIT of POWER, LOVE, and of a SOUND MIND! HE is the HOLY SPIRIT OF TRUTH! HE IS THE POWER BACKING UP THE WORD OF TRUTH, THE WHOLE COUNCIL OF GOD!
So, receive the WORD, believe the WORD, and live the WORD in the POWER AND OPERATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WITHIN US! Then we will be transformed into the HOLY BODY we are called to be, operating in unity by the HOLY COMMANDS coming from JESUS CHRIST, who is the HEAD of the Church unto those who seek His face, hear His voice, and are led by His Spirit. Then will OUR HOLY GOD WILL BE GLORIFIED AGAIN, AND MANIFEST HIS GLORY!

“Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.‭” – Ephesians 1:15-23‬

Submitted by Heather Wright

Only Those Clothed In Wedding Garments Will Enter In

bride-of-christ_n“And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.” – Matthew‬ ‭22:11-14‬ ‭

Scripturally the Wedding garment always represents RIGHTEOUSNESS (Revelations 19:8). We cannot expect to approach GOD OUR KING without being properly clothed!

“I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”‭ – Revelation 3:18-22‬

Today, after reading this, I was amazed at how similar the “Marriage dinner” parable was to this, then I thought how the Pharisees would’ve known that also.

“The word of the Lord which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the Lord. I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumblingblocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the Lord. I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims with the priests; And them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; and them that worship and that swear by the Lord, and that swear by Malcham; And them that are turned back from the Lord; and those that have not sought the Lord, nor enquired for him. Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God: for the day of the Lord is at hand: for the Lord hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests. And it shall come to pass in the day of the Lord’s sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king’s children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel. In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord, that there shall be the noise of a cry from the fish gate, and an howling from the second, and a great crashing from the hills. Howl, ye inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the merchant people are cut down; all they that bear silver are cut off. And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil. Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation: they shall also build houses, but not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof. The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.”‭ – Zephaniah 1:1-18‬

“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”‭ – Hebrews 3:1-19‬

Submitted by Heather Wright

God Is Calling! Is Answering Your Priority?

6c1d9eb3a55ab0e218dee7bec82dad76“And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.”‭‭ – Matthew‬ ‭22:1-14‬‬

In the moment I read this, GOD began to cause me to examine my own heart and see that there were many times before that I had not put HIM first in priority and had allowed my attentions to be strayed to other things, even if those things were just in my mind. These things that occupy our hearts and mind (be they physical or just desires) actually hurt GOD and if not quickly repented of, move HIM to anger.

You see GOD is a jealous GOD! His great love for us causes great jealousy of us. HE WANTS A PEOPLE WHO ONLY WANT HIM! Is HE not worthy of that? Ask yourself, throughout your day where are the majority of your thoughts? Are they on the physical or on the Spiritual? Are we captured by HIS LOVE AND RETURN OUR LOVE TO HIM, or have we allowed the things of the world to draw away our hearts and minds?

If we are honest with ourselves at some time, we have all been there. Examine, what captures your mind? What consumes your thoughts, desires, time, and tasks?

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.”‭‭ – 1 John‬ ‭2:15-18‬‬

Submitted by Heather Wright

FAITH As A Grain Of Mustard Seed

Plant in hands“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.‭‭” – Matthew‬ ‭17:20-23‬‬

Faith AS a grain of mustard seed…” Really pondering on this. What is this kind of faith?

REVELATION: This is the fully surrendered life. That which places no value on itself, but lays down to be planted (buried if you will); and not only the crucified life, but the buried (dead and gone). Place that flesh out of sight! Let it be destroyed!

“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.”‭‭ – Romans‬ ‭6:4-7‬‬

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”‭‭ – Galatians‬ ‭2:20‬‬

“And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.”‭‭ – John‬ ‭12:23-26‬‬

Choosing to die like this is not at all an easy thing to do, nor was it for Christ; but what we can be assured of is that it will all be worth it, when we enter into eternal life with JESUS CHRIST!

“Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.”‭‭ – John‬ ‭12:27-33‬‬

“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”‭‭ – Ephesians‬ ‭3:16-21‬‬

There were many Biblical examples of people who had this kind of faith in GOD.
Here are some:

Esther:
“Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.”‭‭ – Esther‬ ‭4:16‬‬

Saul who became the Apostle Paul:
“And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.”‭‭ – Acts‬ ‭9:8-18‬‬

“And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”‭‭ – Romans‬ ‭8:10-18‬‬

As followers of Christ Jesus we not only celebrate the victory of His death, burial, and resurrection, but are made partakers of it through suffering in this life. This is why Paul could say, “I die daily”, and spoke of the hope of the resurrection to come.

“For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”‭‭ – Colossians‬ ‭3:3‬‬

Submitted by Heather Wright

Soldier-Like Faith

img_5282“Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum. And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this: For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue. Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.‭‭” – Luke‬ ‭7:1-10‬‬

Taking a close look at this story: a centurion’s servant was sick and ready to die. The centurion loved his servant and when he heard of Jesus…

• (He was told Who JESUS was) Today, we have the privilege of hearing JESUS Himself! Knowing JESUS ourselves! But this man only heard about Him.

The centurion sent the elders to JESUS beseeching Him to come and heal his servant. The elders come beseeching Jesus and saying that this centurion was worthy of his request saying, “he built us a Synagogue and loves our nation”. (Sounds similar to the things you hear from many preachers today: He’s a tither, He built our church!)

JESUS goes with them, but before HE gets there, the centurion sent his friends to meet JESUS with a message:
Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.”

These things moved JESUS:
1. He was moved by love.
2. He was humble.
3. He understood authority.
4. He recognized Jesus’s authority and submitted himself unto it.

This next verse has caught my attention the most where it says: JESUS marveled at him. Then turns to the crowd following Him and says, “I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.”

Today the church (as a whole it seems) is more moved and motivated by things than by love for people and love for God. It’s sad to say but we have drifted so far away from BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY that it has become repulsive to a HOLY GOD! As the world looks on at the church and sees the carnality of selfishness and pride, I believe GOD is looking for anyone who will TRULY BELIEVE HIM!

Today I’m humbled, today I’m seeking to be moved with compassion enough to come to JESUS humbly asking for others to be made whole, and to listen to HIS VOICE, understand HIS AUTHORITY, and SUBMIT TO HIM knowing that HE WILL DO WHAT HE SAYS HE WILL DO, AND WHEN HE GIVES COMMAND ALL CREATION MUST OBEY!

“Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.‭‭” – 2 Timothy‬ ‭2:1-4‬‬

Submitted by Heather Wright

Turn Away From Sin Before It’s Too Late

image“The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal? When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal? Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” – ‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭18:20-32‬

From the Old Testament, unto the New Testament, the way that GOD judges sin remains the same. Remember he said:

“For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?” – ‭‭Malachi‬ ‭3:6-7‬

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” – ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:8‬

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” – ‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭3:9-18‬

It is the mercy of the LORD GOD that causes Him to wait, with long suffering not wanting anyone to perish, but desiring all to repent.  However, the day is yet coming when He shall return just as He promised He would!

And Jesus himself said after telling us the parable of the unjust judge…

“And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” – Luke‬ ‭18:7-8‬

Many see GOD as their Creator, and well said for so HE is. Some see Him as Father, yet how many remember that HE is also our JUST JUDGE? How many will DO according to ALL HE COMMANDS because HE is right?! When HE returns will HE find faith? Will HE find any who will take heed to His Word because they truly trust: what He says He will do?

If speaking of these things at all makes you uncomfortable and nervous then come to the mercy seat of the cross of Jesus Christ while you still have breath,  REPENT TODAY, AND TRUST HIM FOR SALVATION. Lay down your pride, lay down your sins, lay down and die with Christ, crucifying the old selfish sin nature, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that now while you live you can live unto GOD in the power of His resurrection and righteousness of Jesus Christ… and then when HE returns you will find peace in knowing that by trusting in JESUS who is the way of Salvation, and following in His steps of obedience to the Father, you will live with HIM forever!

Salvation is a free gift of GOD, but receiving it comes by way of TOTAL COMMITMENT! Choosing Christ = turning away from sin abandoning it! Whole choosing sin = turning away from GOD and abandoning HIM. So choose you this day! Today! Who will you serve?

Grace is the work and power of GOD provided in JESUS CHRIST! Faith on the other hand is our part, we must choose to trust HIM, and if truly we do, we will love and obey HIM because we do.

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” – Romans‬ ‭6:1-16‬

“But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” – Romans‬ ‭6:17-23‬

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” – ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:1-10‬

“For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.” – Titus‬ ‭3:3-8‬

Submitted by Heather Wright