LIFE IS A TEST-PART 2

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35-THE GREAT COMMANDMENT
LIFE IS A TEST

   Mt 22:37,38-JESUS SAID UNTO HIM, THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART, AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIND. THIS IS THE FIRST AND GREAT COMMANDMENT.
   Mt 22:39-AND THE SECOND IS LIKE UNTO IT, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF.
   Mt 22:40-ON THESE TWO COMMANDMENTS HANG ALL THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS.
   Mk 12:30-AND THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART, AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIND, AND WITH ALL THY STRENGTH: THIS IS THE FIRST COMMANDMENT.
   Mk 12:31-AND THE SECOND IS LIKE, NAMELY THIS, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF. THERE IS NONE OTHER COMMANDMENT GREATER THAN THESE.
   Mk 12:33-AND TO LOVE HIM WITH ALL THE HEART, AND WITH ALL THE UNDERSTANDING, AND WITH ALL THE SOUL, AND WITH ALL THE STRENGTH, AND TO LOVE HIS NEIGHBOUR AS HIMSELF, IS MORE THAN ALL WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND SACRIFICES.
   Lk 10:27-AND HE ANSWERING SAID, THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART, AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL THY MIND; AND THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF.
   Ex 20:3-THOU SHALT HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME.
   Ex 20:5-THOU SHALT NOT BOW DOWN THYSELF TO THEM, NOR SERVE THEM: FOR I THE LORD THY GOD AM A JEALOUS GOD, VISITING THE INIQUITY OF THE FATHERS UPON THE CHILDREN UNTO THE THIRD AND FOURTH GENERATION OF THEM THAT HATE ME;
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36-THE SUMMARY OF THE GREATEST COMMANDMENTS GOD GAVE US IS THIS
LIFE IS A TEST

   If you follow Jesus, you shall have no other gods before Jesus. Nothing, I repeat, nothing is to come before Jesus in your life. You are to trust in Him completely, at all times, no matter how dark the horizon seems.
   He is to be your Lord and God.
   You are to love Him with all:
   1-your heart,
   2-soul,
   3-mind (or understanding),
   4-and strength
   and—
   5-You are to love your neighbour, your sisters and brothers in Christ, as yourself.

   Love, in God’s eyes, is measured by a person’s obedience to God and to the Scriptures. Do you want proof of this?
   Hear the Word of the Lord

   Jn 14:15-IF YE LOVE ME, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS.
   Jn 14:21-HE THAT HATH MY COMMANDMENTS, AND KEEPETH THEM, HE IT IS THAT LOVETH ME.
   Jn 14:24-HE THAT LOVETH ME NOT KEEPETH NOT MY SAYINGS: AND THE WORD WHICH YE HEAR IS NOT MINE, BUT THE FATHER'S WHICH SENT ME.
   Ref Ex 20:6-God shows mercy to THEM THAT LOVE (Him), AND KEEP (His) COMMANDMENTS.
   Deut 5:10-God shows mercy to THEM THAT LOVE ME AND KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS.
   Jn 14:23-JESUS…SAID,…IF A MAN LOVE ME, HE WILL KEEP MY WORDS.
   If a person says they love God, but does not obey His commandments and words, he is both a liar and deceived.

   The truth of the matter is this. Christ died for your sins because He first loved you, but many refuse to die to self and deny self for Him.
   A person that has followed Jesus for 50 years, but will not put God’s Word and work first over their own work, their own desires, their own comforts, then that person’s faith is small. Their actions do not reflect Jesus and God’s Word as it ought.

   A person that says they love God above all, but puts other things before God’s Word or calling, would not appear to be a truthful person. Which comes first in your life? Is it God, is it His work, is it having a Christ-like attitude, is it bringing forth the fruits of the Spirit, or is it something else? What comes before God and serving Him in your life? Is it the cares of this life, or something you want to do, or your job, or your family, or children, or pleasures, or money, or friends, or some hobby, or the lusts of this world, or the lusts of your flesh? Do you say you love God, but shrink back from serving Him as He called you to do because of your health, or fear, or some other excuse?
   To summarize: Following Christ involves a life of sacrifice. It is a life of surrender. It is a life of giving up your will to do His will. It is a life of forsaking everything now to gain everything later for eternity. It is a life of crucifying self-will, of dying to yourself now, to live forever and ever. Lk 14:26-30-IF ANY MAN COME TO ME, (or we may say, if any man decides to follow Jesus) AND HATE NOT HIS FATHER, AND MOTHER, AND WIFE, AND CHILDREN, AND BRETHREN, AND SISTERS, YEA, AND HIS OWN LIFE ALSO, HE CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE. If any person comes to Jesus and does not crucify their self-will, their desires, their hopes, their worldly future, they cannot be saved—they cannot be a disciple of Jesus. AND WHOSOEVER DOTH NOT BEAR HIS CROSS, AND COME AFTER ME, CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE. A person must be willing to go to the cross as Jesus did. They must be willing to go through what Jesus went through. They must be willing to forsake everything, their father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, friends to follow Jesus. Yes, indeed, they must be willing to forsake the life they are living now and begin living the life that Jesus has laid out for them. They must repent. Repentance does not only include what they believe is sin. Repentance also includes their very life that they are living now. A person is not to go after this world’s gold, but is to go after Jesus and follow Jesus.
   Repentance is putting off the old man, the old ways, the old habits, even everything so they can follow Jesus, learn His ways, and become a person that is fit for Jesus to use to do what He has for them to do. V.28-FOR WHICH OF YOU, INTENDING TO BUILD A TOWER, SITTETH NOT DOWN FIRST, AND COUNTETH THE COST, WHETHER HE HAVE SUFFICIENT TO FINISH IT? There is a cost to follow Jesus. That cost can be summed up in this way—sacrifice all now to gain all later. Sacrifice your family, your friends, your relatives, your job, your lifestyle, your own will, your habits, your own hopes, your own dreams, your desires. Sacrifice your very being, your very self. You need to become a living sacrifice and then follow Jesus-ref Ro 12:1. Your will must yield to His will. As Jesus told us—He came not to do His own will, but to do His Father’s will-ref Jn 5:30; Jn 6:38. A person needs to be steadfast in their heart, having no necessity or no burden of any kind, no hindrances, no obstacles, no weights, no obligations to anyone, except to Jesus and to God’s Word-ref 1 Cor 7:37. A person is to have power over their own will to do that which is right and pleasing in the eyes of God. Nothing of your own doing, repeat, nothing your own doing is to get in your way when it comes to following Jesus, for you are a kind of firstfruits of His creatures-ref Ja 1:18. Because, if you do go back to this world, if you do allow yourself to become involved in the affairs of others—you are in sin. You have forsaken God’s living Word. You cannot serve this world and God. You cannot please yourself and please God.
   Ref Lk 14:29-Lest after you have laid the foundation (which is following Jesus), you are again entangled in the affairs of this world, of this life. How can you then finish the race? Indeed, you will not be able to finish the race God has laid before you—after the foundation is laid, you will not be able to finish “the tower” that God has given you to build. When you allow Satan to lead you astray, to trap you, to get you involved in other things that Jesus did not ordain, then you are like a broken-down race car. Perhaps, you haven’t left the race yet, but others are passing you by. You are no longer following the race that God has laid down for you, but rather you are trying to follow two races. You are trying to follow other things, other desires, other purposes, and you are also trying to follow Jesus. You have become a broken-down race car, a damaged vehicle, a wounded soldier, a crippled servant. There is only one hope to curb this backsliding. There is only one way to become restored. There is only one way to purge yourself from the trap Satan has used against you. It is repentance. It is a clean break. It is admitting to yourself and to God that you have strayed from His way, because you have disobeyed His Word and His desire for your life. It is getting on your knees, crying out to God for forgiveness, and then repenting with a repentance that you do not go back on. There may be something in your life that you liked or loved so much that you have allowed it or them to become a trap that has hindered you from following or serving God as you were called to do. Perhaps you were once a full-time servant of God, but now you are not; and if you continue in the way you are going, destruction for eternity lies ahead. You cannot serve God and other things.
   If you are still in such blindness that you cannot understand how to repent from having strayed from the race that God set before you, then you are in deep trouble. You need to do what Matthew did—he forsook everything immediately to follow Jesus. As Paul did, you must do. As the Apostles did, so you should do. As Jesus did, so you are to do.
   If you cannot admit you have been trapped by Satan’s devices, by his schemes; if you cannot admit you have allowed yourself to become entangled in this world again, then you have little hope. Not to repent, means you can expect to become entangled more and more. It means you can expect to go into more and more spiritual blindness. It means you can expect to eventually leave the race God has set before you, as you have already begun to do. It means you can expect to become so blind that you will forget how you were when you were following Jesus as you once did. It means you will totally and completely believe you are saved, even though you have grieved the Spirit of God and have done contrary to His will. You may become very religious, but without God. However, you can expect to be fully persuaded that you are following God, as the blindness that will be upon you will be so thick, that it will be absolutely impossible for you to examine yourself by God’s Word in truth.
   Thus, it is clearly written, and, thus, it is for those that backslide and do not repent before it is too late. Surely, for all that were trapped by one of Satan’s schemes or devices, God did provide a way out for them if they would walk by faith, but they would not. God did throw them a lifeline, but they saw no need to grab hold and to hang on.    However, for those few that have gone astray and God granted them repentance to escape the trap Satan had them in, it is written: Jn 15:18-IF THE WORLD HATE YOU, YE KNOW THAT IT HATED ME BEFORE IT HATED YOU.
   When a person is in the middle of a fire, storm, or flood—and he knows he needs to repent and knows he is trapped as a result of God showing him the error of his way from His Word—if they are humble and open to His correction and direction, there is hope.
   Paul and others with him were trapped in a sinking broken ship. You also may be trapped, who have allowed Satan to trap you by his schemes. Paul gave those with him what seemed like impossible advice. He and 276 people that were with him took bread, gave thanks to God, and ate. They stopped trusting in the way they were going, as the ship in which they trusted was breaking apart. They began trusting in the Word of God that Paul gave them. They jumped into what seemed to be an even worse situation. They jumped into the raging waves of the sea, some clinging to pieces of the broken ship. Yet despite this, everyone that followed God’s Word was saved. They all got safely to land.
   Each person, hearing or reading this, has the same choice as these did. They admitted they had made a wrong choice, as Paul had warned them in advance of what would happen, but they did not believe him. Now they could see that the situation they were in was hopeless. They now were willing to listen to Paul, wherein before they had not fully believed him.
   The way they had chosen to go, they could now see that it was wrong. How hard it must have been for these to jump into the raging waves of a stormy sea at Paul’s counsel, but they did so by faith. And in doing so, they were all saved.
   You that are trapped by one of Satan’s schemes, can you admit you are trapped? Can you admit you have begun to leave the race that God has set before you and become distracted and entangled in this present world? If you cannot admit this, if you do not have godly sorrow for allowing yourself to become entangled somehow in this world and its affairs, then you will probably not repent as you need to do.
   But if you can see the truth as God sees it, then there is hope. If you cannot see it, your everlasting future may be eternal darkness, although you probably will not understand this until you are at the Judgment.
   If you can understand this, then repent and, if need be, seek your spiritually-minded pastor for additional advice; however, be willing to follow his Godly counsel as the 276 followed Paul’s Godly counsel. They jumped into the raging waves of the sea, wherein they should have drowned; however, they did not drown but were saved, because they obeyed God. Therefore, He saved them. Can you do the same?
   Some people, when hearing God trying to speak to them, have their guard up. They will not let God’s Word affect them and direct what they should do. This hardness is like cement. The longer it sets, the harder it gets.
   Life is a test.

   Faith equals trust. Trust equals faith, but neither has any value without love and being a doer of God’s Word-ref 1 Cor 13:2; Ja 1:22.
   What do you trust in most? Is it your job, your possessions, your stocks or bonds, your savings account, or is it God?
   If a person says they trust in God the most, but in the time of being tested they put their worldly job first and serving God second, they are very deceived. Their understanding of Scripture is not as it ought to be, neither is their faith (or trust) as it ought to be. It is little faith. It is wave faith. But neither can a deceived heart usually admit this.
   Such a person, if Jesus came up to them and said follow me, would not leave their tax collecting job and follow Jesus, because they would not trust in Jesus to provide for their family, their kids, their needs. They would not trust in God to pay their rent and give them food and clothes. They would not trust in God to provide for them, if they got fired. And this is one of the problems. These people sometimes have a spirit of fear—fear that they might lose their job, or fear they might be disciplined by putting the work of God first and their job second; and then fear regarding what would they do after they got fired? As Jesus may say to them, “O YE OF LITTLE FAITH!”-ref Mt 6:30. They are weak in faith-ref 1 Cor 8.    Life is a test. How foolish not to trust in the living God, Who cares for them, as they go forth and forsake the world to follow Jesus, however and wherever He will lead.
   Foolish men sometimes put their trust in man as their source of help. Some look to their preacher or their church to help them. This is not faith in God. It is faith in something other than God. Then they may get upset with their church, if they don’t receive the help they seek. Satan puts accusing thoughts in their mind toward other brethren in Christ, and their heart believes these thoughts. These people may think they have a good understanding of the Scriptures, because Satan puts in their mind that they do, but their actions and fruit testify that they do not.
   Life is a test to see whom you will follow. Many follow Jesus greatly with their mouth, but their attitude and their actions testify that what comes out of their mouth are empty words.
   The Bible tells us all to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith. We are to test ourselves by God’s Word.
   Many have such a deceived heart, they can’t do this. And then, in addition, if they are not humble and childlike to correction, what hope is there that they will ever change? Excuses may be self-justifying when a person is confronted with the truth, but it leads a person to not changing. It leads a person to not believing the truth about themselves and, ultimately, to the lake of fire.

   What is it that enables one person to deny himself daily and follow Jesus, while another makes excuses?
   What is it that enables one person to forsake everything—all their possessions, all their friends, all their relatives, all their responsibilities, their job—and follow Jesus, while another listens to voices in his head which gives him reasons why he cannot do so?
   What is it that enables a sick, hurting person, who needs constant medical attention, to forsake all he has and launch out into the unknown to follow Jesus, while another makes excuses and will not do the same?
   What is it that allows one person to fear God and love God so much that he will obey every command that God gives him, while another will take lightly many of God’s commands?
   What is it that allows one person to strive to enter heaven with all his might as if he is afraid of missing God’s mark-ref Lk 13:24; Ro 15:30; 2 Tim 2:5; yet another person who is clearly lukewarm will not do so, but will make excuses and be confident and think he will go to heaven?
   What is it that when God opens a person’s understanding of the Scriptures, one will lay aside every obstacle and begin to read and study God’s Word many hours a day, while another person will occasionally pick up their Bible and only read a few verses or a few chapters?
   The answer is—a person’s heart. A few people, just a very few, have a good or good and honest heart.
   The person with a good and honest heart sees himself as a wretched person laden with sin who has been forgiven. He loves God very much. Another person that has been forgiven by Jesus, sees himself as not so bad, therefore he loves God only a little-ref Lk 7:47.
   The person with a good and honest heart studies God’s Word as he is called to do. He will lay aside obstacles and all that gets in his way. He will put God first and everything else after, while others will make excuses.
   As a result, a few develop a deep trust (or faith) in God to provide for them, and they also develop a deep love for God. They fear God and do not obey the voices in their head from Satan. As they step forth in faith, God hears their prayers and takes care of them according to His Word.
   However, most people hear voices in their head which cause them to be afraid to take time off from their work to serve the living God. God died for them, but they will not die to themselves for Him. They do not fear God as they ought. They do not trust that God will provide for them, if they forsake everything.
   The bottom line is that they do not have an honest heart as they ought. Now, understand this—a deceitful heart cannot admit it is deceitful. A lying heart cannot not admit it is a lying heart. Their minister can see from their actions and excuses that this is the way they are, but they themselves cannot.
   God can see right through their excuses. If they have a spiritually-minded minister, he also can see right through their excuses.
   Most people have no faith, and the rest have, at best, lukewarm faith, or wavering faith, or little faith, or double-minded faith-ref Ja 1:6-8; Mt 6:30,32.
   Some have faith so weak, they are too fearful to quit their job and trust God to provide. They say they trust God, but what they do, their actions prove otherwise. These may sometimes serve God full-time, but when a difficult situation arises, they shrink back from serving God and get entangled in working in the world or are bogged down with worldly affairs. These people will surely perish, according to God’s Word. For it is clearly written, IF ANY MAN SERVE ME—HIM WILL MY FATHER HONOR-Jn 12:2; and BLESSED IS THAT SERVANT, WHOM HIS LORD WHEN HE COMETH SHALL FIND SO DOING-ref Mt 24:46. It is also written that the JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH (or trust)-ref Heb 10:38,39. A person that will not trust God to provide for them, if they follow Him, is not living by faith. And regarding some one that draws back from serving God, God clearly says in the Word, which shall judge him at the Judgment, MY SOUL SHALL HAVE NO PLEASURE IN HIM-ref Heb 10:39. And in Mal 3:16,-THEY THAT FEARED THE LORD…AND THE LORD HEARKENED…AND A BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE WAS WRITTEN BEFORE HIM FOR THEM THAT FEARED THE LORD AND THAT THOUGHT UPON HIS NAME. And continuing in Mal 3:17,18, God’s Word confirms, I WILL SPARE THEM AS A MAN SPARETH HIS OWN SON THAT SERVETH HIM. Furthermore, the Lord states regarding His return—that He will DISCERN BETWEEN THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED, BETWEEN HIM THAT SERVETH GOD AND HIM THAT SERVETH HIM NOT. Note God’s Word. SERVETH GOD—RIGHTEOUS. SERVETH HIM NOT—WICKED.

   For those that are dull of hearing and have a lying or a deceitful heart—Hear the Word of the Lord.
   Heb 10:39-shows that it is the just, the righteous, that will live by trusting in God to provide. Others will make excuses why they can’t forsake everything.
   Heb 10:39-For those that draw back from serving God, they will perish as He has no pleasure in them. Note, what it did not say. It did not say they stopped serving God completely—they simply drew back from serving God as they once did. These will perish according to God who cannot lie. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.,br>    Ja 1:6-8 tells of those that have faith like a wave. When God calls them to serve Him, these will put their worldly obligations first and try to fit in serving God later. These are driven by the circumstances of life. These are driven with the wind and tossed back and forth. God calls these people double-minded and unstable in all their ways. These shall also perish, because their trust in Him is like a wave. Their feet are not solidly planted on believing in His Word as they ought. Even though God has promised, in Mt 6:30,32 and other Scriptures, that He will take care of them if they serve Him, they will not step out and obey God and trust in Him and forsake everything, as He clearly commands them to.
   God commands these people not to make excuses and to stop saying what shall we eat or drink, or how shall we get clothing?-ref Mt 6:31.
   Fear is one of the reasons people will not obey God. They are afraid they will lose their job, in which they trust. They are fearful of losing their friends or other things. God shows the fearful that hide their talent and make excuses—they shall be cast into the lake of fire. God calls these excuse-makers—that won’t serve Him, but rather trust in other things—wicked, slothful, and unprofitable-ref Mt 25:26-30.
   Of those that are afraid to step out to serve Him because of their situations, God calls them fearful and of little trust-ref Mt 8:26. Those that look at situations, rather than at Jesus, are also called people of little faith-ref Mt 14:31. These people will perish. Some may convince themselves that by serving their worldly occupation, they are serving God. Such people have a lying heart, unless what they are doing is in line with the Scriptures and God’s calling.
   Those that reason among themselves to justify their disobedience, when God’s Word is clear on a subject, are also shown to have little faith-ref Mt 16:8.
   People that trust in their job, or bank account, or stocks and bonds, or in anything other than God, are, at best, people of little faith-ref Lk 12:28-31. Such people will be cast into the lake of fire. These are people of a doubtful mind. They doubt that God will provide for them, if they step out and obey God and serve Him. These doubt that God will take care of them. These are like the grass in the field. They are here today and perish tomorrow. God will, indeed, provide for those that trust in Him. God tells these people of little faith and a doubtful mind—AND SEEK NOT YE WHAT YE SHALL EAT, OR WHAT YE SHALL DRINK, NEITHER BE YE OF DOUBTFUL MIND. BUT RATHER SEEK YE THE KINGDOM OF GOD; AND ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU. FEAR NOT, LITTLE FLOCK; FOR IT IS YOUR FATHER'S GOOD PLEASURE TO GIVE YOU THE KINGDOM. FOR ALL THESE THINGS DO THE NATIONS OF THE WORLD SEEK AFTER: AND YOUR FATHER KNOWETH THAT YE HAVE NEED OF THESE THINGS.

   Do you doubt God will provide for you, if you serve Him? Then you do not trust in Him as you ought. You are in danger. You need to repent.
   You need to purify your heart and soul by obeying God-Ja 4:8; 1 Pe 1:22.
   Did you once serve God full-time, but now you do not? You are in very deep danger. Unless you repent, you can expect to perish. God’s Word is very, very clear on these subjects, and so much so that even a child can understand them. If you believe you will inherit eternal life, yet you do not trust God to keep His Word to you, then you are in spiritual danger.
   When Satan speaks to you in your thoughts, often he will bring to your mind things you heard in your childhood. He will use the wrong thinking you have from your childhood to deceive you regarding God’s pure Word. Satan is a master at putting wrong thinking in your head and disguising it—so you won’t believe that Satan is really the source of these wrong thoughts. If you don’t recognize that it is wrong thinking that you have, then you will disobey God regarding casting it down. Have you ever confessed as sin, the sin of unthankfulness? Have you ever confessed as sin, the sin of not casting down wrong thinking? Know this—that if a person obeys God’s Word—they will inherit eternal life and have an abundant entry.

   God’s Word commands you to do the following. If you will obey this command, it will free you of much of the bondage that Satan may have you in. If you refuse to recognize the wrong thoughts Satan puts in your mind, because your heart wants to agree with them, then you are in spiritual trouble. It is written by God to you—
   2 Cor 10:4,5,7-(FOR THE WEAPONS OF OUR WARFARE ARE NOT CARNAL, BUT MIGHTY THROUGH GOD TO THE PULLING DOWN OF STRONG HOLDS;) CASTING DOWN IMAGINATIONS, AND EVERY HIGH THING THAT EXALTETH ITSELF AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, AND BRINGING INTO CAPTIVITY EVERY THOUGHT TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST. DO YE LOOK ON THINGS AFTER THE OUTWARD APPEARANCE? God is commanding you to stop looking back and stop hearing and focusing on bad thoughts from your past-ref Lk 7:32. God commands YOU to cast down your wrong thinking that is not in harmony with God’s Word. God commands you to take captive any thought you have that is contrary in any way to obeying Christ. In other words, any thought that seeks to turn you from obeying God, cast it down. Take it into captivity and make it obey the Messiah. Submit yourself to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Excuses may allow Satan to take you captive. Obeying God’s Word, such as above, gives you freedom and peace of mind. You may have spiritual peace, if you obey this Scripture. You may have spiritual confusion, if you allow yourself to dwell on what Satan puts in your mind and in your heart, if your heart chooses to believe his lies.
   If a person will not obey the Scriptures, then they are denying the truth and the authority of God’s Word to reign and rule over them. In effect, they are saying that God’s Word does not have authority or does not apply to their individual situation.
   Isa 26:3,4-THOU WILT KEEP HIM IN PERFECT PEACE, WHOSE MIND IS STAYED ON THEE: BECAUSE HE TRUSTETH IN THEE. TRUST YE IN THE LORD FOR EVER: FOR IN THE LORD JEHOVAH IS EVERLASTING STRENGTH.

   Life is a test to see who you will let reign and rule over your life. Will it be God’s Word that will reign over you or not?

   We are in a fight, a great spiritual battle, a war. Our soul is at stake. Where we spend eternity is at stake. God is saying to each of us—Come, follow Me. Trust in Me, no matter how difficult the journey. Follow Me and forsake everything. Forsake everything, even when it seems that you will have no place to live, no place to go, no way to get there, no food to eat, and no clothing to wear. God is saying to each of us—Come, follow Me. Forsake everything, even when it seems those that depend on you will have no way to survive. Put your trust in God and His Word.    This is the problem. Most people’s trust in God is very shallow when it is tested. They say they believe the Bible, but when it comes to actually having to do something God calls them to do and then trusting God to take care of things, they will not do it. They will not trust the words of a Book that was written about 2000 years ago, they just won’t do it. They are full of excuses that contain the words, "What if?" What if this happens? How will I survive? How will others survive that depend on me? The list is almost endless. Life is a test to see to what degree each of us will trust in the living God. Many say they trust in God, but their trust is this—Yes, I trust in God—"but". Yes, I trust in God, but "What if?" The words, "But" and "what if" clearly equal doubt. A person doubts God’s Word. They are afraid to take that step of faith and launch out into the unknown.
   Then there is what we call the comfort zone. Some people are very comfortable where they live. They are comfortable with their daily routine. They like their life the way it is. They don’t want to change. Then Jesus comes into their life and tells them to repent of their sins, allow God to change their attitude, change how they think, change what they do, change their friends, forsake this present world, and put off the way they are and put on the new man and follow Him. The bottom line is that God wants to transform you to think, to act, and to be like Jesus.
   Now, it is true—the more a person has, the more comfortable a person is, the more a person likes this present world or loves something or someone in this present world—the harder it may be for them to surrender all they have, all their desires, and all their plans to follow God and obey Him.
   Most want to go to heaven, but just can’t seem to let go of this world.
   So what do most people do? They compromise. They change a little. They serve God a little. They read their Bible a little. They begin to talk a little about God, but they haven’t really repented with the kind of repentance that God demands. And when God tells them through His Word to surrender all—their job, their friends, even everything, again they compromise. They have a good excuse for every demand that God makes on them. In other words, they will not allow God to totally reign over them, to be their Lord and Master. And with this compromising attitude, they go forth, confident that what they are doing is enough to get them into heaven. They do not believe they will perish. They do not choose to believe the gate to heaven is as narrow as it really is.
   The bottom line is this. They are not willing to make—the total commitment and total surrender to Jesus that God requires.
   And then the Rapture happens, and they are left behind—or they die unexpectedly and find themselves in a place called Hell. It just never occurred to them that this could happen. After all, they believed on Jesus. They trusted on Him for their salvation, but their trust was only lukewarm as evidenced by their wrong thinking and what they actually did. Their trust in God was not enough to surrender all to Him, to deny themselves, and pick up their cross and follow Him daily into the unknown. Maybe they followed Jesus two days a week and followed the world 5 days a week.
   Their trust in Him was not enough to totally become His servant. They loved something, perhaps some sin, perhaps their wife, or husband, or children, or job, or friends, or possessions, or lifestyle, more than they loved God. They had plans, hopes, obligations, which were more important to them than a total uncompromising commitment of love and obedience to Christ. They believed with all their heart that turning over a new leaf and making a few biblical changes in their lifestyle was enough of a commitment to get them into heaven. Now, as they are tormented in hell, as they are weeping and gnashing their teeth, they realize they were wrong, and it is too late. God forbid, it is just too late. Oh, that some hearing or reading this message could have ears, eyes and a heart to understand God’s Word as He meant it to be understood!
   How incredible that God is talking directly to you through His Word, so you will know these things in advance, thus you have absolutely no excuse. Yet will you change? Will you sell-out to Jesus? Will you surrender all to Him, or will you continue on as you have been doing, making what you believe are good excuses that are acceptable to God? This is the kind of repentance that most people do. They keep one foot in this world and hope they will enter heaven.
   After hearing this message, you may say, "Oh, I agree with that. Yes, this is a wonderful message. I think everyone should hear it. Alleluia, Amen, praise God." And then you will go about business as usual, just like you did yesterday and the day before. You will be confident you are all right with God, but you will not totally repent and totally surrender your life to be His possession. Satan has found a stronghold, some excuse for you to use so you will not totally follow Jesus, but will go right on living a life of compromise—yet confident all is O.K.
   And then, some day in the future, perhaps tomorrow, perhaps a few years from now, you will remember, as you are being tormented that God told you these things, but you just didn’t fear God as you ought to have. You just couldn’t trust Him enough to pick up your cross and follow Him totally. You just didn’t love God with your whole being as you should have.
   You have heard the truth. Only a very small percentage of people will probably repent as a result of this message. Will you be one of them?
   Are you one that has shrunk back in serving God, but justify yourself? Have you justified yourself because of your circumstances? Do you really trust, if you forsake all, that God will provide for you and take care of your obligations far better than you can? If you will follow Him, do you trust He will do that? But chances are that you won’t trust God that much. So you will probably keep going in the same direction, doing the same things tomorrow as you did yesterday. What a price you will have to pay for your lack of trust in God, but chances are you won’t see it that way, at this present time, because of a lack of understanding God’s Word, as He meant it to be understood. You probably allow Satan to deceive you by mixing two things. You look at your circumstances, and you look at Jesus at the same time. This is being double-minded. This is being lukewarm. This is doubting faith. This is little faith. Jesus said, "Wherefore didst thou doubt?"-Mt 14:31.
   Satan has great powers of deception. He knows how to make lies sound like truth. He knows how to make lies sound like the right thing to do. Is it of faith?—it may be of God. Is it of sight?—it may not be of God.
   To most people, the truth of God’s Word sounds like lies. Satan has power to know exactly what lying thoughts to put in our mind to make us think that God does not mean exactly what He says. Adam and Eve found out the hard way. Satan has great power to deceive us and make us think that another way, other than God’s way, is the right way.
   God’s way is a very strait gate and a very narrow way. It requires trusting in Him.
   Satan’s way is a broad and crooked gate and a wide way. Most people follow Satan’s ways, but never understand this until the Judgment.
   God tells all of us to trust Him in every situation, even unto death. Satan tells us in our thoughts that there is another, better way. Our heart is being tested, and it will choose which way we follow.
   To follow God is life. To follow any other way is eternal death. You will choose the way you think is best in your situation, but if it is unbiblical, you are in spiritual trouble.
   A very few will trust completely in God and obey Him in all things. Most will choose the lukewarm direction, the wide and crooked gate, the wide way that Satan gives us to follow. To those that follow the lukewarm way—most will never understand until the Judgment that they made the biggest mistake possible. They chose the easiest way, which was the way of death.

   Beware of Satan’s lies telling you that you can choose to follow Jesus fully tomorrow. Many have believed this lie. The more a person resists God’s call to fulfill His purpose right now, the easier it is to continue to resist. Hardness sets in so unexpectedly that a person never realizes they are heading to hell until it is too late, because a type of spiritual blindness sets in. A person never knows, if they will be alive tomorrow. It may be said, every person that died in an accident never expected it was the last day of their life.
   There are problems that arise in a Christian’s life where there seems like no way out. We don’t want to upset our relatives, or our boss at work, or someone that is depending on us, so we choose to do what Satan wants us to do rather than what God would have us do. Often God allows us to be trapped in difficult situations. He does this to see if we will respond according to God’s Word—which usually requires an act of faith and trust in God. It is a test to see if we will respond according to an easy way that will please our relatives, our friends, or our boss at work. Life is a test. If a person is so Bible illiterate or so spiritually blind that they can’t recognize these tests, then they are in serious spiritual trouble. The sad thing is that most don’t recognize these tests. They fall prey to Satan and his devices. They never seem to recognize this fact till they die and wind up in hell, awaiting the final Judgment. And because they did not seek biblical correction or were hardened to receiving biblical correction, their latter end is such that it would have been better had they never been born.
   But even as the deceived hear or read these words, it does most of them no good. The spiritual blindness they are in has dulled their sense, so they cannot correctly discern what is right and what is wrong. Many are called to be saved, but only a few are chosen to inherit eternal life.
   Few comprehend the following Scripture. We are to LIVE BY FAITH or by trusting in God, NOT BY SIGHT, or not by the appearance of things. Our ways of dealing with situations are not usually God’s ways. His ways are higher than our ways. His ways are clearly stated in His Word. Our way is usually whatever looks like the best way—do it. We think that whatever causes people to like us—that is what we ought to do. To be blunt—to follow Jesus will most likely get your boss at work upset with you. To follow Jesus will most likely get your friends upset with you. To follow Jesus will most likely get your relatives upset with you. If that is not the case, then you may not be following Jesus at all. And that is, in fact, the way it is. Many think they are following Jesus, when they are not. Do your actions reflect trust in God above all worldly things? Does your attitude reflect Jesus all the time, part of the time, or very little of the time?
   If God has called you to do something, but there is a conflict with your work, or a conflict with something you want to do—which will you choose to do?
   The real follower of Jesus wouldn’t hesitate to do what God has called him to do. His job will take second place every time, no matter what.
   However, the lukewarm Christian will do the opposite. Their job will come first, and doing what God has called them to do comes second. And to further show how blind some so-called Christians can be, they won’t get on their knees and confess what they did is sin and ask God’s forgiveness for putting their job first and God second. Blind, blind, blind. How blind a person can be, yet think they are doing God’s will.
   God, through His Word, is trying to warn the unbeliever, the deceived Christian, and the lukewarm Christian, even all of us—TIME IS SHORT.
   There is much work for God’s children to do, but the number of people willing to put God first and everything else second are just a few. Those few, those very few, whose love and commitment to Christ is not in word, but in deed and in truth—these shall inherit eternal life. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
   Such are the ways of deceived Christians. They do wrong, and they wipe their mouth and say, "I have done no wrong."
   When a person resists God’s will, they give Satan an open door to attack them. God’s protection does not extend to a rebellious person that makes excuses. Following Satan’s way can seem like the best way, until the Judgment. It is a fearful thing to be out of the will of God and then fall into the hands of the living God.
   The fact is—a person that has claimed to be a Christian for four, five, ten or more years, but still puts their job, worldly obligations, or affairs of this life before what God calls them to do—this is a very deceived Christian. The Bible is so clear on this that even a child can understand it. Such a Christian should feel convicted by the Holy Spirit. They should feel godly sorrow for their actions. They need to come to full repentance and seek God’s mercy, before it is too late. If a person resists serving God as they are called to do, yet feels no conviction for doing wrong—then that person is becoming reprobate. In other words, if a person is so deceived, so sure they are right in what they are doing that even the Holy Spirit through God’s Word can’t convict them they are wrong—then all hope is lost. The fact that they feel no conviction, no godly sorrow, no remorse, for doing what is clearly wrong in God’s Word means that even if one rose from the dead and told them they were wrong, it would do no good. People that reach this kind of spiritual blindness seldom repent, as they can no longer be reached by God’s Word or by any other means. They will usually stay on the course that they are going. Such a person usually grows confident they are doing right and are saved, when, in fact, they have fallen. They do not truly understand how skillful Satan has been at deceiving them. Then, the Rapture comes. They are left behind. Then, they may hate God, because they think He should have "understood their situation" and taken them.
   Woe to those that follow the stranger’s voice, yet think they are doing the right thing. Hell is full of people that thought the same as you. Will you also be there? For most, the answer is yes, unless you repent.

   Ro 1:17-THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.
   Gal 3:11-THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.
   Heb 10:38-NOW THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH: BUT IF ANY MAN DRAW BACK, MY SOUL SHALL HAVE NO PLEASURE IN HIM.
   Carefully note that the Scriptures do not say the just shall have faith. It says the just shall LIVE by FAITH (or live by trust). Few people that claim to be a Christian truly LIVE by faith. Do you? Do you even know what this means? It means that you do not survive by your own means—you survive by surrendering all to Jesus and then putting your trust totally in Him and Him alone. It is a life of denying yourself, depending on Him, picking up your cross, and following Jesus—no matter where He leads you. It is a life of love, but also persecutions, trials, and temptations. It is a life of not making excuses and accusations. If your job or the affairs of this life come first and serving God comes second—you are not following Jesus according to God’s Word. You are following circumstances.
   Christ bought you for a price. He purchased you. He saved you and paid your sin debt in full. He did not save you to follow this world, but to follow Him. You were redeemed with the precious blood of God Himself—the Creator of the universe. You were purchased to serve Him. As it is written: HIM ONLY SHALT THOU SERVE-Mt 4:10. If you follow Jesus, as He followed His Father in heaven, you are to do what He gives you to do. He gave His life, so you would serve Him, not this world.
   And even further. If God has given you a gift of singleness—what does that mean? 1 Cor 7:34,35-THE UNMARRIED WOMAN CARETH FOR THE THINGS OF THE LORD, THAT SHE MAY BE HOLY BOTH IN BODY AND IN SPIRIT:…AND THIS I SPEAK FOR YOUR OWN PROFIT;…THAT YE MAY ATTEND UPON THE LORD WITHOUT DISTRACTION. Did you catch that? Born again women that are single—you are to wait upon the Lord without being distracted.
   Ps 37:9-FOR EVILDOERS SHALL BE CUT OFF: BUT THOSE THAT WAIT UPON THE LORD, THEY SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH.
   This needs repeating. Those that have the gift of singleness are to wait upon the Lord without distraction. They are not to get involved in other people’s affairs. They are to serve God—not now and then, but rather they are to serve God and wait upon Him without any distractions. If a person that has the gift of singleness gets involved in the affairs of others, they are not obeying God according to His Word. They are out of the will of God. The Scripture cannot lie. The problem is that people lie. They lie to themselves and allow their situation to guide them rather than God’s Word.
   Let it be put plainly again. A born again person—that has been given the gift of singleness—has been given this gift to wait upon God without distraction. If they allow themselves to become entangled in other people’s affairs, even relatives—they are not abiding in the will of God. They are in sin.
   The Scriptures covering this situation are very clear. Only a person that has spiritual blindness would disagree with this.
   God kept them single, so they would not be distracted by a husband, or wife, or children, or the affairs of others. When a person has a spouse and children, much of their time is spent being involved with these. But a single person, such as Paul, is free to serve God fully. So is a single born again person, unless they rebel against God’s Word. A person who is married is involved with and can be distracted by their children or spouse. God wants a person with the gift of singleness to be free from these distractions, even as it is written. If a single born again person with this gift will not do this, then they are in fact refusing to let Jesus reign over them. As it is written: Lk 19:27-BUT THOSE…WOULD NOT THAT I SHOULD REIGN OVER THEM, BRING HITHER, AND SLAY THEM BEFORE ME. Are we just trying to frighten you? The Bible says, IT IS A FEARFUL THING TO FALL INTO THE HANDS OF THE LIVING GOD. FEAR GOD AND DEPART FROM EVIL. If you have been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus, then serve Him as it is written and put away the distractions that so easily entangle you, before it is too late. Jesus will return soon, and if you are not found serving Him as you are called to do, your future may be terrifying. Millions of people that were sure they would be raptured will be left behind. Will you be one of them? Don’t be so foolish as to think you will be taken, when you are living in a state of rebellion to God’s Word.
   Life is a test. Your emotions get involved. It can seem very difficult at times.
   Can we imagine how different things might have been if Paul, Peter, John, Matthew, or Mary would have been faced with the exact situation as you are faced with—and they had responded the way you did?
   Let us presume that in some way they were faced with not knowing how they would survive financially. Well, they were faced with this. Did they look first to secular employment to survive rather than God? Did they leave their calling in order to meet their needs? They each forsook all to follow Christ.
   What if they had friends, or family, or relatives that they felt obligated to help? Well, we know for a fact that this was the case for some of them. Did they tell Jesus they didn’t have time to leave everything to follow Him? God forbid. They forsook all—their relatives, their friends, even the world to follow Jesus, just as Jesus had called them to do. How did Mary and Joseph survive? They had wise men that came from the east and gave them gifts, including gold. Gold is another form of money. God provided.
   Oh, people of little understanding—do you not know, do you not understand that it is not those that claim they follow Jesus, that will enter heaven, it is those that are a doer of God’s Word that shall hear the words, “WELL DONE THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT. THOU HAST BEEN FAITHFUL OVER A FEW THINGS. I WILL MAKE THEE RULER OVER MANY THINGS. ENTER THOU INTO THE JOY OF THY LORD”-ref Mt 25 21.
   The foolish man of Matthew chapter 7 did not do God’s Word. The wise man did.
   Those of you hearing or reading this don’t be so foolish as to think you are in God’s will when, in fact, you are not. Do not think—if you once served God full-time and now are not—that you are in the will of God. Clearly, you are not. Do not think—if there have been times that God has clearly called you to do some work for Him, but you let your job, your family, or some other excuse come first and His work come later—that you are in God’s will.
   Life is a test. It can be a difficult test. And only a few, a very few, will follow Jesus as they ought. Which are you?
   Regarding the last church age before the Rapture, so few people will be raptured that none are even mentioned as being taken.
   It is amazing how most people have sold their soul for things that have no eternal value. They sell their souls for a few hundred dollars a month. They sell their souls for a place to live. They sell their souls for a meal or for an electric bill, or for some desire, or for some lust, or for some fame, or fortune. They sell their soul, because of some concern they have regarding someone, or something. They sell their soul for a new set of teeth, or for some eyeglasses, or for the promise of a better life in this world. Who would sell their soul by working so much that they have little quality time in God’s Word? The answer is many people.
   How many people sell their soul by working a job to make a little money, but then they have little time to study God’s Word? They are so biblically illiterate, so spiritually blind, they can’t even discern this most basic spiritual truth. They can’t discern how they are being deceived. Many sell their soul to Satan for something of little importance and never realize what they did, until it is too late.
   Little do people ever realize they sold their soul until it is too late.
   Isa 55:2-WHEREFORE DO YE…LABOUR (or work) FOR THAT WHICH SATISFIETH NOT?
   Jn 6:27-LABOUR NOT FOR THE MEAT (or food) WHICH PERISHETH, BUT FOR THAT MEAT WHICH ENDURETH UNTO EVERLASTING LIFE. (In other words, serve God, not man.)(Work for God, not man.)
   Oh, foolish person. Have you not read that Satan has the power to give you whatever you want or need, if you will just do what he wants—if you will just serve the world a bit more, and serve God a bit less?-ref Lk 4:6.
   Oh, foolish person. Do you not know that Satan has the power to give you whatever you want or need, if you will just read your Bible a bit less?
   It is incredible how some people can read the Bible, and yet they still do the very things that Satan puts in their minds to do, and they cannot discern correctly God’s Will and God’s direction for their life.
   There may be some hearing this message that have allowed themselves to become entangled in this world, yet they wipe their mouth and think they are doing no wrong. God forbid, these lie to themselves and think they are doing right in God’s eyes, when they are not.
   How it grieved Moses that the people of God wouldn’t obey him, even after they had seen God’s miracles work through him.
   How it grieves God that people cannot and will not see things in the light of God’s Word.
   How it grieves their minister that they cannot discern spiritually their left foot from their right foot. They cannot discern right from wrong in the eyes of God, that this life is very short and the next life is eternal, and there is no chance for repentance in the next life. They say they know God is returning soon, but they live as if He will not return for a long time. Well, a person’s time to be tested in this life is drawing to a close. Many that think they will go to heaven are failing the test. Woe to them that have God’s Word and to those few that have a good minister, but ignore his biblical counsel and do not seek after godly correction.
   I would suggest that you get scared—really scared, as something could happen to you unexpectedly, some illness, some accident, something unexpected, and then you will face the fact of hurting the rest of your life, and then hell and the lake of fire for ever and ever.
   I would suggest that you put aside your emotions of fearing how you will survive, your emotions of wanting to help others, and start trusting in God, and repenting—like, right now. If only you could see things from God’s perspective, you would certainly repent immediately.
   Repentance can slowly help clear away the clouds from your wrong thinking, as you study God’s Word.
   Excuses can only increase your spiritual blindness, as you go further and further into being deceived with wrong thinking and a lack of the fear of God.
   Do not think to yourselves that because you go to church and serve God a bit here and a bit there, that you are following God, especially if you have been saved for many years.
   This subject should be finished. If God’s Word has not gotten through to you yet, to bring you to repentance immediately, if you have not come under conviction that you have been doing wrong, then little else can be said. The next step for those that put the things of the world first and the work of God second—is the Judgment, for, indeed, if you have not repented by now, it is doubtful that you will ever repent.
   Serving God a little now and a little later is not following Jesus. It is lukewarm.    There are none so blind than those who will not see.
   There is none so foolish, as those who have locked the door of their heart as God has tried to correct them—but they will not humble themselves, open the door, admit they are wrong, and truthfully repent and trust in Him.
   Some people just won’t walk by faith. They will only walk by sight. These perish. A person can be a very moral person, go to church, and hate the evil around them—but this is not salvation.
   It is written: 1 Tim 6:12-FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH (or trust), LAY HOLD ON ETERNAL LIFE. Faith and fighting go hand in hand. To just lay back and flow with the world is not fighting. To follow circumstances is not following Jesus. We need to resist Satan. To let the affairs of this life overrun us, is not fighting the good fight of faith. We need to struggle against the forces of darkness and our own wrong thinking. It is a battle. It is a test. To work so much, that there is little time to be in God’s Word is spiritual suicide—for faith only comes through God’s Word; and without faith, it is impossible to please God.
   Pv 24:10-IF THOU FAINT IN THE DAY OF ADVERSITY, THY STRENGTH IS SMALL. Pv 24:10-IF YOU FALTER IN TIMES OF TROUBLE, HOW SMALL IS YOUR STRENGTH! (or trust or faith) (NIV).
   When you are at your weakest, then you are strong, because you trust in Jesus the most-ref 2 Cor 12:10.

(The end of the Scripture and commentary on Life is a Test, and regarding Rev 3:10.) Click here to go to top of page.

   The subject Life is a Test continues.

37-EXCUSES AND DISTRACTIONS
LIFE IS A TEST

   Satan is masterful at distracting a person by giving them things to do—things they want to do, which leaves them very little time to serve God and read His Word.
   Satan knows what is in your heart-ref Mk 8:33. Do you love to go bike riding? Expect Satan to use it against you. Do you love to go for walks? Expect Satan to use it against you. Do you love to go by a certain girl’s house? Expect Satan to use it against you. Do you love to just get away from people or things? Expect Satan to use it against you. When the Scriptures tell us to deny ourselves, it means in all ways, lest Satan find a stronghold to use against you. Fear can be a stronghold. Are you afraid to serve God because of…(you fill in the answer)?
   You want to go here or there. You want to work on your model railroad. You want to do some research on the computer. You want to go for a walk. You want to see someone. You want to buy something. You want to…(you fill it in). Then after you get through doing whatever, are you then just too tired to serve God? Or do you serve God, while being very tired? You give your quality time to your own desires, but then you give your leftover time to the Lord. Do you really love God? Indeed, most people’s love for God is in word only. Selfish desires get in their way. Their love for other people or things get in their way.

   You get ready to read your Bible, but then a close friend wants you to go with them.
   You get ready to read your Bible, but you notice the floor needs to be cleaned.
   You get ready to read your Bible, but the phone rings.
   You get ready to read your Bible, but then something breaks down which needs your attention.
   You get ready to read your Bible, but your employer calls and you need to go right to work.
   You get ready to read your Bible, but then a mosquito bites you.
   You get ready to read your Bible, but then here comes a headache.
   You get ready to read your Bible, but then all or a sudden your mind is full of things you have to do, places you have to go, and obligations you have to tend to.
   You get ready to read your Bible, but the unknown happens.
   Life is a test, even in little things. At the Judgment, God will know by your actions just how much you really love Him.
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38-HEART
LIFE IS A TEST

(These are all tests. Will a person’s heart believe lies or the truth?)

   Jere 23:16-HEARKEN NOT UNTO THE WORDS OF THE PROPHETS THAT PROPHESY UNTO YOU: THEY MAKE YOU VAIN: THEY SPEAK A VISION OF THEIR OWN HEART, AND NOT OUT OF THE MOUTH OF THE LORD.
   Jere 23:17-THEY SAY STILL UNTO THEM THAT DESPISE ME, THE LORD HATH SAID, YE SHALL HAVE PEACE; AND THEY SAY UNTO EVERY ONE THAT WALKETH AFTER THE IMAGINATION OF HIS OWN HEART, NO EVIL SHALL COME UPON YOU.
   Jere 23:26-HOW LONG SHALL THIS BE IN THE HEART OF THE PROPHETS THAT PROPHESY LIES? YEA, THEY ARE PROPHETS OF THE DECEIT OF THEIR OWN HEART.
   Ezek 13:17-LIKEWISE, THOU SON OF MAN, SET THY FACE AGAINST THE DAUGHTERS OF THY PEOPLE, WHICH PROPHESY OUT OF THEIR OWN HEART; AND PROPHESY THOU AGAINST THEM.
   Ezek 14:4-THEREFORE SPEAK UNTO THEM, AND SAY UNTO THEM, THUS SAITH THE LORD GOD; EVERY MAN OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL THAT SETTETH UP HIS IDOLS IN HIS HEART.
   Ezek 14:4-THAT I MAY TAKE THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL IN THEIR OWN HEART, BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL ESTRANGED FROM ME THROUGH THEIR IDOLS.
   Ja 1:26-IF ANY MAN AMONG YOU SEEM TO BE RELIGIOUS, AND BRIDLETH NOT HIS TONGUE, BUT DECEIVETH HIS OWN HEART, THIS MAN'S RELIGION IS VAIN.

39-A CHRISTIAN IS CALLED TO OVERCOME ALL THINGS
LIFE IS A TEST

   Test.  Read God’s Word, study, etc.  It’s all a test.
   Let God’s Word change you.  Don’t resist.  It’s all a test.
   Do God’s Word.  It’s all a test.
   Do you love God?  Do you love the brethren?  It’s all a test.
   Will you be obedient in all things?  Its all a test.
   Will you resist being involved in the affairs of this life?  It’s all a test.
   Will you resist sin, even unto blood?  It’s all a test.
   Will you follow Jesus, even if it means going to jail or being tortured and then put to death?  It’s all a test.

   Bitterness against a brother or sister in Christ.  It’s all a test.
   When a son thinks he knows more than his father, he is wrong and is in danger.  It’s all a test.
   You’re not going to like what God gives you to do.  It’s all a test.
   You complain inside of yourself in your thoughts.  It’s all a test.
   You seek to do something other than what God gives you to do or the way God tells you to do it.  It’s all a test.
   You complain about your situation or lack of help.  It’s all a test.
   You’re given a task to do, and you are not faithful, but then think God will give you more.  It’s all a test.
   If your heart is not in line with the mind of Christ, you’re in spiritual trouble.  It’s all a test.
   Satan knows your heart.  He gives you the desires of your heart, so you accept it and perish.  It’s all a test.
   The degree to which a person has accusing thoughts about others and believes them is indicative of how pure a person’s heart is.  It’s all a test.
   Life is a test to see if your repentance from sin is real or mere words.  It’s all a test.
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40-HOW SATAN WORKS AND YOUR REACTION
LIFE IS A TEST

   Many jobs that God gives you, your first reaction or thought may be one of, "I don’t want to—because…"
   Man, by his natural instinct, wants to do his own will. Only when a person develops the mind of Christ, and by reason of use and out of a pure heart, can he immediately discern biblically what is the good and acceptable thing to do in God’s eyes. Few ever reach this state.
   If you have the mind of Christ, if your heart and thoughts are right before God, you should rejoice in all that God gives you to do with no inner murmurings and complainings. 1 Thes 5:16-Rejoice evermore.

   If your heart and mind is in Christ as it ought to be, then you will seek godly counsel as various things arise that you are uncertain of. A person that is in the middle of a fire cannot see how to get out. Emotions can blind a person. A person’s own desires can blind them. A person’s own fears can blind them. But a minister that is spiritually-minded should be able to discern the situation you are in, as their emotions are not involved, but are hopefully submitted to Christ. Click here to go to top of page.

41-MURMURINGS AND COMPLAININGS
LIFE IS A TEST

   Phili 2:14-DO EVERYTHING WITHOUT COMPLAINING OR ARGUING (NIV).
   Phili 2:14-DO ALL THINGS WITHOUT MURMURINGS AND DISPUTINGS.
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42-NOT TO BELIEVE IS FOOLISH.  TO BELIEVE IS WISE
LIFE IS A TEST

   For the person that has chosen through deceit or because of their personal obligations or desires, not to believe in God, and God’s Word as it is written, this is utterly foolish.
   For the person that believes in and trusts in Jesus Christ and in God’s Word, this is wise.

   Consider: if a person believes in Jesus Christ to the saving of his soul—if he is right, then he will have eternal life.
   If he is wrong, then he will merely cease to exist after death.
   If a person does not believe in Jesus Christ as the only way to be saved, then if he is right when he dies he simply ceases to exist.
   However, if he is wrong, then eternity in the lake of fire lies ahead.
   Conclusion: not to believe is foolish, for there is either no future or there is an eternal future of torment. Therefore, to believe as the Bible has said is wise, for there is either no future or there is eternal life, joy and peace.

   In the eyes of the world, there are many types of people. The world looks up to the rich and famous. They look up to those that have influence in high places. However, in the eyes of God, there are only two main classes of people.
   First, there are those that are wise, which have a good, honest, and pure heart. These are those that are called by God to follow Jesus Christ, and they do so faithfully until they are called home to be with Him. These are God’s family.

   Second are those that are not of the family of God. These may be rich, successful, famous, physically good-looking, but they may also be poor with a hateful attitude.
   The Bible speaks much about people that are a fool. There is no distinction in this category regarding being financially poor or rich, young or old, male or female.
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43-WHO IS A FOOL ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE?
Bible verses regarding the word fool
LIFE IS A TEST

   Pv 10:18-He that uttereth a slander is a fool.  (Speech)
   Pv 10:18-He that hideth hatred with lying lips…is a fool.  (Speech)
   Pv 12:15-The way of a fool is right in his own eyes.
   Pv 14:16-The fool rageth and is confident.  (Speech)
   Pv 15:5-A fool despiseth his father's instruction.
   Pv 10:19-When words are many, sin is not absent.  (Speech)  (NIV)
   Pv 18:2-A fool hath no delight in understanding.
   Pv 18:2-A fool hath…delight…that his heart may discover itself.
   Pv 23:9-Speak not in the ears of a fool.
   Pv 23:9-A fool:…he will despise the wisdom of thy words.
   Pv 26:12-There is more hope of a fool than of…a man wise in his own conceit.
   Pv 28:26-He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool.
   Pv 29:11-A fool uttereth all his mind. (Speech)
   Pv 29:20-There is more hope of a fool than of…a man that is hasty in his words.  (Speech)
   Ecc 2:14-The fool walketh in darkness.
   Ecc 10:14-A fool also is full of words.  (Speech)
   Ecc 10:14-A man cannot tell (a fool…full of words) what shall be; and what shall be after him.  (Speech)
   Lk 12:20-21-But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
   Lk 12:20-21-Thou fool…is he that layeth up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.
   Of the 19 items mentioned, 8 have to do with one’s speech.
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44-WHO IS WISE ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE?

Bible verses regarding the word fool
LIFE IS A TEST

   Pv 10:19-HE WHO HOLDS HIS TONGUE IS WISE.  (NIV)
   Pv 12:15-HE THAT HEARKENETH UNTO COUNSEL IS WISE.
   Pv 14:16-A WISE MAN FEARETH, AND DEPARTETH FROM EVIL.
   Pv 15:5-HE THAT REGARDETH REPROOF (or correction) IS PRUDENT.
   Pv 28:26-WHOSO WALKETH WISELY, HE SHALL BE DELIVERED.
   Pv 29:11-A WISE MAN KEEPETH IT (all his mind) IN TILL AFTERWARDS.
   Ecc 2:14-THE WISE MAN'S EYES ARE IN HIS HEAD.

   Life is a Test.
   Chastisement regarding the last part of the latter days of the last days. Tribulation approaching.
   God tells us all in Rev 3:19-AS MANY AS I LOVE, I REBUKE AND CHASTEN: BE ZEALOUS THEREFORE, AND REPENT.
   Unbelievers and lukewarm Christians. (Most people of the world fit into this category).
   Under hard or difficult times, more of these people tend to seek God, as they have no where to turn.
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45-FALLING
LIFE IS A TEST

   Falling-is indicated when a believer begins to return to worldly thinking, regarding various situations they encounter.
   A fallen state is revealed when their thinking is becoming more carnal, not spiritual
   A fallen state is revealed when an accusing attitude begins to come forth.
   A person may dwell on wrong and evil thinking.
   They begin to think about the way things are, instead of keeping their eyes on Jesus.
   They become more self-centered.
   They may begin feeling sorry for themselves.
   They may feel rejected.
   They may become depressed.
   They begin to walk more by sight and less by trusting in God.
   They begin to shrink back from serving God and justify it by their circumstances.
   Their love grows cold.
   They become contentious.
   Their worldly emotions begin to replace trust and love.
   A fallen person sometimes becomes more confident that they are following Jesus, as Satan is now able to get them to examine themselves by their emotions or feelings rather than by God’s Word.
   Satan is able to put his thinking into their hearts and minds, so it begins to override the mind of Christ that was in them.
   The backslider becomes less and less humble.
   He is no longer easily corrected as his thinking is wrong.
   He begins to see things differently, as his thinking is more and more like the world and less and less like Christ.
   The light that was in them begins to dim, as the darkness in them increases.
   As a person backslides, they no longer remember how they were when they were walking with Jesus, as Satan has been allowed to erase that understanding from their heart and mind.
   As they fall, more and more hardness to correction sets in. They become unreachable.
   They have become snared by some scheme of the devil and are not able to recognize it.
   More bitterness sets in.
   Their fellowship increases with worldly people and decreases with spiritual people.
   They stop denying themselves as their worldly emotions take over, as they did before they were saved.
   The fruits of the Spirit disappear, as the fruits of carnality set in more and more.
   Finally, they become reprobate. They can hear God’s Word and yet feel no conviction for wrong doing, for sin.
   They become comfortable and confident that they will be with God. They have little or no doubt about it.
   Very few fallen people ever return from the land of darkness, even though the world’s Christian churches are packed with them and with those that were never saved.
   Why is this? It is because their faith is as a wave, and they usually have never completely put off the old man and put on the new. They are often fence-riders, trying to have one foot in heaven, while keeping the other foot in the world. It is written: Ja 1:8-A DOUBLE MINDED MAN IS UNSTABLE IN ALL HIS WAYS.
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46-UNFORGIVABLE SIN, ETERNAL DEATH, SPIRITUAL SUICIDE GUARANTEED
46B-BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE HOLY GHOST
(9 ITEMS LISTED)
LIFE IS A TEST

   Sin is sin. However, there are some sins that are worse than others. This is revealed in the following verses. Jn 19:11-JESUS ANSWERED, THOU COULDEST HAVE NO POWER AT ALL AGAINST ME, EXCEPT IT WERE GIVEN THEE FROM ABOVE: THEREFORE HE THAT DELIVERED ME UNTO THEE HATH THE GREATER SIN. Some sins are greater than others.
   It is further written: 1 Cor 6:18,19-FLEE FORNICATION. EVERY SIN THAT A MAN DOETH IS WITHOUT THE BODY; BUT HE THAT COMMITTETH FORNICATION SINNETH AGAINST HIS OWN BODY. WHAT? KNOW YE NOT THAT YOUR BODY IS THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY GHOST WHICH IS IN YOU, WHICH YE HAVE OF GOD, AND YE ARE NOT YOUR OWN?

   Some might say that the greatest sin of all is to reject the greatest love of all. God is love. Jesus Christ, Who is come in the flesh, showed the greatest love any person can show for another. He offered Himself as the living sacrifice to pay the penalty for the sins of all that would receive and follow Him as their Lord and Saviour. Jn 15:13-It is written: GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS, THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS.
   If a person spends their life rejecting the forgiveness that Jesus Christ offers for their sin, and then dies in their sin, they have eternal damnation. They will spend eternity in the lake of fire, where there is no escape, for ever and ever. There are no sacraments, no sacrifices, no religion that can save a person. There is nothing a person can do to earn their way into heaven. All have sinned. There is none righteous, no not one. All are under the sentence of eternal death.

   #1-Nevertheless, the Bible does speak of a the greatest sin of all. It is the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Should a person commit this sin, there is no hope. There can be no forgiveness.
   It is written: Mt 12:31,32-WHEREFORE I SAY UNTO YOU, ALL MANNER OF SIN AND BLASPHEMY SHALL BE FORGIVEN UNTO MEN: BUT THE BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE HOLY GHOST SHALL NOT BE FORGIVEN UNTO MEN. AND WHOSOEVER SPEAKETH A WORD AGAINST THE SON OF MAN, IT SHALL BE FORGIVEN HIM: BUT WHOSOEVER SPEAKETH AGAINST THE HOLY GHOST, IT SHALL NOT BE FORGIVEN HIM, NEITHER IN THIS WORLD, NEITHER IN THE WORLD TO COME.
   It is also written in Mk 3:28-30-VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, ALL SINS SHALL BE FORGIVEN UNTO THE SONS OF MEN, AND BLASPHEMIES WHEREWITH SOEVER THEY SHALL BLASPHEME: BUT HE THAT SHALL BLASPHEME AGAINST THE HOLY GHOST HATH NEVER FORGIVENESS, BUT IS IN DANGER OF ETERNAL DAMNATION: BECAUSE THEY SAID, HE HATH AN UNCLEAN SPIRIT.

   This is further confirmed in the following. 1 Jn 5:16,17-…THERE IS A SIN UNTO DEATH: I DO NOT SAY THAT HE SHALL PRAY FOR IT. ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS IS SIN: AND THERE IS A SIN NOT UNTO DEATH.
   What we call the unforgivable sin can be accomplished with your mouth. Note the word speaketh in Mt 12. It is further written in Mt 12:37-FOR BY THY WORDS THOU SHALT BE JUSTIFIED, AND BY THY WORDS THOU SHALT BE CONDEMNED.

   What had caused Jesus to speak on this subject? Mt 12:22-24 tells us that there WAS BROUGHT UNTO (Jesus) ONE POSSESSED WITH A DEVIL, BLIND, AND DUMB: AND HE HEALED HIM, INSOMUCH THAT THE BLIND AND DUMB BOTH SPAKE AND SAW. AND ALL THE PEOPLE WERE AMAZED, AND SAID, IS NOT THIS THE SON OF DAVID? BUT WHEN THE PHARISEES HEARD IT, THEY SAID, THIS FELLOW DOTH NOT CAST OUT DEVILS, BUT BY BEELZEBUB THE PRINCE OF THE DEVILS.
   Jesus replied in v.28- BUT IF I CAST OUT DEVILS BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD, THEN THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS COME UNTO YOU. Jesus then proceeded to say the words listed above about the unforgivable sin.
   What had these emotional unsaved religious leaders said or done to sentence themselves to eternal death? They had attributed the works of the Spirit of God to the devil when they accused Jesus Christ of casting out devils by the prince of the devils. They had blasphemed AGAINST THE HOLY GHOST. They had spoken AGAINST THE HOLY GHOST.

   There is no salvation without the indwelling of the Spirit of God. There is no salvation unless the Father draws him. Indeed, Heb 10:31-IT IS A FEARFUL THING TO FALL INTO THE HANDS OF THE LIVING GOD, and, ultimately, to be cast into the lake of fire. Regarding the lake of fire, it is written: Rev 20:11-15-AND I SAW A GREAT WHITE THRONE, AND HIM THAT SAT ON IT, FROM WHOSE FACE THE EARTH AND THE HEAVEN FLED AWAY; AND THERE WAS FOUND NO PLACE FOR THEM. AND I SAW THE DEAD, SMALL AND GREAT, STAND BEFORE GOD; AND THE BOOKS WERE OPENED: AND ANOTHER BOOK WAS OPENED, WHICH IS THE BOOK OF LIFE: AND THE DEAD WERE JUDGED OUT OF THOSE THINGS WHICH WERE WRITTEN IN THE BOOKS, ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS. AND THE SEA GAVE UP THE DEAD WHICH WERE IN IT; AND DEATH AND HELL DELIVERED UP THE DEAD WHICH WERE IN THEM: AND THEY WERE JUDGED EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS. AND DEATH AND HELL WERE CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE. THIS IS THE SECOND DEATH. AND WHOSOEVER WAS NOT FOUND WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE WAS CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE.

   #2-One might ask, "Are there other ways to insure eternal death? Are there other ways to commit the unforgivable sin?"
   It is written: Rev 22:18,19-FOR I TESTIFY UNTO EVERY MAN THAT HEARETH THE WORDS OF THE PROPHECY OF THIS BOOK, IF ANY MAN SHALL ADD UNTO THESE THINGS, GOD SHALL ADD UNTO HIM THE PLAGUES THAT ARE WRITTEN IN THIS BOOK: AND IF ANY MAN SHALL TAKE AWAY FROM THE WORDS OF THE BOOK OF THIS PROPHECY, GOD SHALL TAKE AWAY HIS PART OUT OF THE BOOK OF LIFE, AND OUT OF THE HOLY CITY, AND FROM THE THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THIS BOOK.
   Why does this also appear to be the unforgivable sin?
   The Bible was not written by the will of man, but as a result of the Holy Ghost. It is written in 2 Pe 1:20,21-KNOWING THIS FIRST, THAT NO PROPHECY OF THE SCRIPTURE IS OF ANY PRIVATE INTERPRETATION. FOR THE PROPHECY CAME NOT IN OLD TIME BY THE WILL OF MAN: BUT HOLY MEN OF GOD SPAKE AS THEY WERE MOVED BY THE HOLY GHOST.
   All beware. To add to or take away from THE WORDS OF THE BOOK OF THIS PROPHECY, GOD SHALL TAKE AWAY HIS PART OUT OF THE BOOK OF LIFE.

   #3-One might ask, "Are there other ways to insure eternal death, or are there other ways to commit the unforgivable sin?"
   It is written: Mt 18:6-BUT WHOSO SHALL OFFEND ONE OF THESE LITTLE ONES WHICH BELIEVE IN ME, IT WERE BETTER FOR HIM THAT A MILLSTONE WERE HANGED ABOUT HIS NECK, AND THAT HE WERE DROWNED IN THE DEPTH OF THE SEA.
   Mk 9:42-AND WHOSOEVER SHALL OFFEND ONE OF THESE LITTLE ONES THAT BELIEVE IN ME, IT IS BETTER FOR HIM THAT A MILLSTONE WERE HANGED ABOUT HIS NECK, AND HE WERE CAST INTO THE SEA.
   Lk 17:2-IT WERE BETTER FOR HIM THAT A MILLSTONE WERE HANGED ABOUT HIS NECK, AND HE CAST INTO THE SEA, THAN THAT HE SHOULD OFFEND ONE OF THESE LITTLE ONES.
   The importance of these verses is so great that 3 of the 4 Gospels include them.
   Paul, when in unbelief, offended many. It is written: 1 Tim 1:13-(Paul) WHO WAS BEFORE A BLASPHEMER, AND A PERSECUTOR, AND INJURIOUS: BUT I OBTAINED MERCY, BECAUSE I DID IT IGNORANTLY IN UNBELIEF.
   It may be that these verses are speaking to believers that greatly offend another believer in an attempt to overthrow their faith. However, it also appears to be speaking to certain unbelievers also.
   Beware, lest you commit this sin of offending a born again Christian in this manner to the point that you have no hope.
   Because of the severity of this, it has been included among the unforgivable sins.
   Life is a test.

   #4-One might ask, "Are there even more ways to insure eternal death, or are there more ways to commit the unforgivable sin, or other ways to commit spiritual suicide?" Life is a test.
   Lk 12:47-AND THAT SERVANT,
   WHICH KNEW HIS LORD'S WILL,
   AND PREPARED NOT HIMSELF,
   NEITHER DID ACCORDING TO HIS WILL,
   SHALL BE BEATEN WITH MANY STRIPES.
   BUT HE THAT KNEW NOT, AND DID COMMIT THINGS WORTHY OF STRIPES, SHALL BE BEATEN WITH FEW STRIPES. FOR UNTO WHOMSOEVER MUCH IS GIVEN, OF HIM SHALL BE MUCH REQUIRED: AND TO WHOM MEN HAVE COMMITTED MUCH, OF HIM THEY WILL ASK THE MORE.
   This is speaking specifically to a servant of God, a born again person that knew or understood God’s will. But despite knowing God’s will and despite understanding God’s mercy and love, he did not do the following.
   He did not prepare himself to meet Jesus.
   He also would not do the will of God.
   In other words, despite knowing God, he went and did his own thing. He stopped serving God as God had directed and in the way that God had directed.
   He reminds us of some people in the church of Ephesus. These people had served God. They had labored for God. They had patience, they could not tolerate them which were evil, and they even tested false apostles and found them to be liars. They had endured the heat of the day, had laboured, and did not faint. They also hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans which God also hated. But, then, they left their first love (which is Jesus) and fell.
   They were admonished to remember from where they had fallen, to repent quickly, go back to their first calling or works, or else their candlestick would be removed. They were given only a short time to repent and return to God and His calling.
   Thus, there are many in the world today that might still look like they are believers, but their candle stick has been removed by God. They are destined for hell, because they delayed in repenting. In most cases they do not even know their candlestick was removed. God warned tell them to repent quickly and go back to their original calling or works, but most do not-ref Rev 2:1-6.
    Thus, the servant that knew God’s will and prepared not himself, neither did according to His will is given an eternal promise from God. He shall perish and be beaten with many stripes.
   God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints.

   #5-One might ask, "Are there other ways to insure eternal death, or are there other ways to commit the unforgivable sin?"
   These verses appear to be addressed to those that are alive in the latter days of the end times.
   It is written:
   2 Th 2:7,9-FOR THE SECRET POWER OF LAWLESSNESS IS ALREADY AT WORK; BUT THE ONE WHO NOW HOLDS IT BACK WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO TILL HE IS TAKEN OUT OF THE WAY.
   AND THEN THE LAWLESS ONE (which is the Antichrist) WILL BE REVEALED, WHOM THE LORD JESUS WILL OVERTHROW WITH THE BREATH OF HIS MOUTH AND DESTROY BY THE SPLENDOR OF HIS COMING. THE COMING OF THE LAWLESS ONE (or the Antichrist) WILL BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE WORK OF SATAN DISPLAYED IN ALL KINDS OF COUNTERFEIT MIRACLES, SIGNS AND WONDERS (NIV).
   2 Th 2:10-12-AND WITH ALL DECEIVABLENESS OF UNRIGHTEOUSNESS IN THEM THAT PERISH; BECAUSE THEY RECEIVED NOT THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH, THAT THEY MIGHT BE SAVED. AND FOR THIS CAUSE GOD SHALL SEND THEM STRONG DELUSION, THAT THEY SHOULD BELIEVE A LIE (or believe the Lie (NIV)—which is the Antichrist): THAT THEY ALL MIGHT BE DAMNED WHO BELIEVED NOT THE TRUTH, BUT HAD PLEASURE IN UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.
   The NIV puts it this way: AND IN EVERY SORT OF EVIL THAT DECEIVES THOSE WHO ARE PERISHING. THEY PERISH BECAUSE THEY REFUSED TO LOVE THE TRUTH AND SO BE SAVED. FOR THIS REASON GOD SENDS THEM A POWERFUL DELUSION SO THAT THEY WILL BELIEVE THE LIE AND SO THAT ALL WILL BE CONDEMNED WHO HAVE NOT BELIEVED THE TRUTH BUT HAVE DELIGHTED IN WICKEDNESS.
   These verses, combined with others, appear to be referring to those people that are alive just prior to the coming of the Antichrist and the Tribulation. It appears to be addressing those that refuse to receive God’s Word, because they take pleasure in unrighteousness and have delighted in wickedness. These people will go into the Tribulation. And when the Antichrist comes forth, these people will be sent such a powerful delusion that they shall have no chance of being saved. Thus, they will believe the Antichrist when he comes forth and shall ultimately perish forever.
   There appears to be no forgiveness for these people that will not receive God’s Word now, because they take pleasure in wickedness, unless they repent prior to the Rapture.
   Because there is no hope for these people during the Tribulation, this has been included under the topic of the unforgivable sin.

   #6-One might ask, "Are there other ways to insure eternal death, or are there other ways to commit the unforgivable sin or other ways to commit spiritual suicide?" Life is a test.
   These verses also appear to be addressing those that are alive in the latter days of the end times or those that believe Jesus is soon to return but is delaying His coming.
   Lk 12:45,46-BUT AND IF
   THAT SERVANT
   SAY IN HIS HEART,
   MY LORD DELAYETH HIS COMING;
   AND SHALL BEGIN TO BEAT THE MENSERVANTS AND MAIDENS,
   AND TO EAT AND DRINK,
   AND TO BE DRUNKEN;

   THE LORD OF THAT SERVANT (this is Jesus)
   WILL COME IN A DAY WHEN HE LOOKETH NOT FOR HIM,
   AND AT AN HOUR WHEN HE IS NOT AWARE,
   AND WILL CUT HIM IN SUNDER,
   AND WILL APPOINT HIM HIS PORTION
   WITH THE UNBELIEVERS.

   These promises of God should cause all servants of God that have any spiritual understanding to be very afraid.
   This is addressed to the servants of God.
   It is speaking to those servants that think Jesus Christ is delaying to return.
   It is specifically singling out those servants that shall return to their old ways and begin to physically or verbally abuse their fellow brothers or sisters in Christ.
   It is warning those that return to their old ways of accusing God’s servants and also begin drinking, eating, and getting drunk as they once did, as if Christ or God’s Word meant nothing to them.
   This verse appears to be a warning, in its most basic form—if a person becomes a new man in Christ, but later fall and begin to act according to their old nature and turn against their former brothers and sisters in Christ, these appear to be promised the following.
   1.  They will be spiritually blinded.
   2.  Jesus will indeed return, but these will not be looking for His return and will not be aware of His return.
   3.  Jesus will indeed return, but these will not be aware of when He returns.
   4.  These are guaranteed they shall be cut off.
   5.  These servants are guaranteed they will be a part of the unbelievers.
   6.  These rebellious servants are promised that they will receive the same portion with or as the unbelievers.
   7.  These servants that forsake God and fit the mold as Jesus described, as He is about to return in the latter days of the end times (now, in other words), these people appear to be promised that they will go into the Tribulation, but will be spiritually blinded to the degree that they will not be given any chance to repent.

   #7-One might ask, "Are there other ways to insure eternal death, or are there other ways to commit the unforgivable sin or other ways to commit spiritual suicide?" Life is a test.
   These verses also appear to be addressing those that are alive in the latter days of the end times or those that believe Jesus is soon to return but is delaying His coming.
   The following verses appear to be addressed to a specific servant of God. It is written:
   Mt 24:45-51-WHO THEN IS A FAITHFUL AND WISE SERVANT,
   WHOM HIS LORD
   HATH MADE RULER OVER HIS HOUSEHOLD,
   TO GIVE THEM MEAT IN DUE SEASON?
   BLESSED IS THAT SERVANT, WHOM HIS LORD WHEN HE COMETH SHALL FIND SO DOING. VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, THAT HE SHALL MAKE HIM RULER OVER ALL HIS GOODS.
   BUT AND IF THAT EVIL SERVANT
   SHALL SAY IN HIS HEART,
   MY LORD DELAYETH HIS COMING;
   AND SHALL BEGIN TO SMITE HIS FELLOWSERVANTS,
   AND TO EAT AND DRINK WITH THE DRUNKEN;
   THE LORD OF THAT SERVANT
   SHALL COME IN A DAY WHEN HE LOOKETH NOT FOR HIM,
   AND IN AN HOUR THAT HE IS NOT AWARE OF,
   AND SHALL CUT HIM ASUNDER,
   AND APPOINT HIM HIS PORTION WITH THE HYPOCRITES:
   THERE SHALL BE WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH.

   These promises of God should cause all servants of God that have any spiritual understanding to be very afraid.
   This is addressed to the faithful and wise servants of God.
   It is to a servant that is a ruler over his household.
   It is speaking to servants of God that are overseeing other servants of God and that give them God’s Word. This could denote the head of a family, an elder, a pastor, or some one else in authority.
   But he is called an evil servant.
   It is speaking to those servants that say in their heart that Jesus, their Lord, is delaying to return.
   He returns to his old ways.
   He begins to either physically or verbally smite, accuse, abuse, or speak against his fellow brothers or sisters in Christ.
   He begins to fellowship with and eat and drink with the drunken—with unbelievers.
   God gives His servant these promises.
    This servant of Jesus shall be spiritually blinded.
   Jesus will return, but it will be when this servant does not expect Him to return.
   This servant shall be cut off and will receive his portion or rewards with the hypocrites, the unbelievers.
   His rewards shall be where there shall be crying and gnashing of teeth.

   The last 3 of the total of 7 appear to be addressed to those people that are alive today—the latter days of the end times.
   The end of the subjects of the Unforgivable Sin, Eternal Death, Spiritual Suicide Guaranteed. Life is a test.

   #8-During the upcoming Tribulation, there are yet two more unforgivable sins, and most people on the earth will commit these two sins during the tribulation.
   The first sin is receiving a the (1) mark of the antichrist, (2) or the name of the antichrist (3) or the number of his name—in or on their right hand or in or on their foreheads. The number is 666.
   It is written: Rev 13:16-18-AND HE CAUSETH ALL, BOTH SMALL AND GREAT, RICH AND POOR, FREE AND BOND, TO RECEIVE A MARK IN THEIR RIGHT HAND, OR IN THEIR FOREHEADS:
   AND THAT NO MAN MIGHT BUY OR SELL, SAVE HE THAT HAD THE MARK, OR THE NAME OF THE BEAST, OR THE NUMBER OF HIS NAME.
   HERE IS WISDOM. LET HIM THAT HATH UNDERSTANDING COUNT THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST: FOR IT IS THE NUMBER OF A MAN; AND HIS NUMBER IS SIX HUNDRED THREESCORE AND SIX.

   Rev 14:9-11-AND THE THIRD ANGEL FOLLOWED THEM, SAYING WITH A LOUD VOICE, IF ANY MAN WORSHIP THE BEAST AND HIS IMAGE, AND RECEIVE HIS MARK IN HIS FOREHEAD, OR IN HIS HAND,
   THE SAME SHALL DRINK OF THE WINE OF THE WRATH OF GOD, WHICH IS POURED OUT WITHOUT MIXTURE INTO THE CUP OF HIS INDIGNATION; AND HE SHALL BE TORMENTED WITH FIRE AND BRIMSTONE IN THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY ANGELS, AND IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LAMB:
   AND THE SMOKE OF THEIR TORMENT ASCENDETH UP FOR EVER AND EVER: AND THEY HAVE NO REST DAY NOR NIGHT, WHO WORSHIP THE BEAST AND HIS IMAGE, AND WHOSOEVER RECEIVETH THE MARK OF HIS NAME.

   #9-During the upcoming Tribulation, there are yet two more unforgivable sins, and most people on the earth will commit these two sins.
   The second unforgivable sin is worshipping the antichrist, or worshipping the image of the antichrist.
   It is written: Rev 13:11-15-AND I BEHELD ANOTHER BEAST COMING UP OUT OF THE EARTH; AND HE HAD TWO HORNS LIKE A LAMB, AND HE SPAKE AS A DRAGON.
   AND HE EXERCISETH ALL THE POWER OF THE FIRST BEAST BEFORE HIM, AND CAUSETH THE EARTH AND THEM WHICH DWELL THEREIN TO WORSHIP THE FIRST BEAST, WHOSE DEADLY WOUND WAS HEALED.
   AND HE DOETH GREAT WONDERS, SO THAT HE MAKETH FIRE COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN ON THE EARTH IN THE SIGHT OF MEN,    AND DECEIVETH THEM THAT DWELL ON THE EARTH BY THE MEANS OF THOSE MIRACLES WHICH HE HAD POWER TO DO IN THE SIGHT OF THE BEAST; SAYING TO THEM THAT DWELL ON THE EARTH, THAT THEY SHOULD MAKE AN IMAGE TO THE BEAST, WHICH HAD THE WOUND BY A SWORD, AND DID LIVE.
   AND HE HAD POWER TO GIVE LIFE UNTO THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST, THAT THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST SHOULD BOTH SPEAK, AND CAUSE THAT AS MANY AS WOULD NOT WORSHIP THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST SHOULD BE KILLED.

   Rev 14:9-11-AND THE THIRD ANGEL FOLLOWED THEM, SAYING WITH A LOUD VOICE, IF ANY MAN WORSHIP THE BEAST AND HIS IMAGE, AND RECEIVE HIS MARK IN HIS FOREHEAD, OR IN HIS HAND,
   THE SAME SHALL DRINK OF THE WINE OF THE WRATH OF GOD, WHICH IS POURED OUT WITHOUT MIXTURE INTO THE CUP OF HIS INDIGNATION; AND HE SHALL BE TORMENTED WITH FIRE AND BRIMSTONE IN THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY ANGELS, AND IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LAMB:    AND THE SMOKE OF THEIR TORMENT ASCENDETH UP FOR EVER AND EVER: AND THEY HAVE NO REST DAY NOR NIGHT, WHO WORSHIP THE BEAST AND HIS IMAGE, AND WHOSOEVER RECEIVETH THE MARK OF HIS NAME.

   Rev 19:20-AND THE BEAST WAS TAKEN, AND WITH HIM THE FALSE PROPHET THAT WROUGHT MIRACLES BEFORE HIM, WITH WHICH HE DECEIVED THEM THAT HAD RECEIVED THE MARK OF THE BEAST, AND THEM THAT WORSHIPPED HIS IMAGE. THESE BOTH WERE CAST ALIVE INTO A LAKE OF FIRE BURNING WITH BRIMSTONE.

   Rev 20:4-AND I SAW THRONES, AND THEY SAT UPON THEM, AND JUDGMENT WAS GIVEN UNTO THEM: AND I SAW THE SOULS OF THEM THAT WERE BEHEADED FOR THE WITNESS OF JESUS, AND FOR THE WORD OF GOD, AND WHICH HAD NOT WORSHIPPED THE BEAST, NEITHER HIS IMAGE, NEITHER HAD RECEIVED HIS MARK UPON THEIR FOREHEADS, OR IN THEIR HANDS; AND THEY LIVED AND REIGNED WITH CHRIST A THOUSAND YEARS.

   Life is a Test continues.
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47-YOUR MINISTER MUST GIVE ACCOUNT OF YOU
47B-RULE OVER YOU
LIFE IS A TEST

   It is written in Heb 13:17-OBEY THEM THAT HAVE THE RULE OVER YOU, AND SUBMIT YOURSELVES: FOR THEY WATCH FOR YOUR SOULS, AS THEY THAT MUST GIVE ACCOUNT, THAT THEY MAY DO IT WITH JOY, AND NOT WITH GRIEF: FOR THAT IS UNPROFITABLE FOR YOU.    If you will not let the person God has ordained to watch for your soul, do so, then you have also rejected Jesus reigning over you. You are in a state of rebellion. You have rejected both His Word and His authority.
   Note the different parts of this verse. First, there is a command from God. OBEY THEM THAT HAVE THE RULE OVER YOU.
   Look at the last part of this phrase—THAT HAVE THE RULE OVER YOU. God is telling you that He has commissioned a man to have the spiritual oversight for you. He would be a born-again Christian that is a spiritual leader, a minister, an elder, perhaps a missionary. This is not someone you pick. It is someone God picks. You have no authority to overrule God’s choice. God has chosen this person to help you in your walk with Jesus. Woe unto you, if you will not allow this person to be in authority over you as God has ordained, because God has given this person this charge for your good. He will be given the discernment by God to help you should you fall into Satan’s deception. He will know how to handle the stubborn and rebellious attitude in you. But woe unto you or anyone that will not heed whatever correction God’s anointed gives you, whether he preaches a message or speaks with you directly. Woe unto you, if you despise this person, accuse him falsely, or mistreat him because of the wickedness and wrong thinking in your heart. Woe to that person that thinks they can rule over themselves, that they need no help or supervision from anyone. To such a person, God may let them be confident in their own deceit and the wickedness of their own ways. God may turn them over to Satan to deceive them so that they can expect to dwell in the mud like a pig, yet be confident that they are walking in God’s will.
   The verse tells you to OBEY THEM. This is a word that runs contrary to a person’s very nature. Some people do not like to obey anyone or any authority. However, this is a word that should be in the heart of every born-again, repentant person. The word them is used—which is plural. This may signify the minister and the elders.
   Then the verse tells you to SUBMIT YOURSELVES. Thus, you are under commandment to both obey and submit yourself to the person or people that God has put over you. Naturally, you can expect Satan to put in your heart many accusing thoughts against whatever person God places over you. You can expect Satan to put in your heart a rebellious and stubborn attitude when it comes to obeying this person. It is all a test.
   Then God tells you FOR THEY WATCH FOR YOUR SOULS. The person (or person) God has put over you has a command from God to watch for your soul. If you go astray in some way, this person should try to spiritually lead you back on the right path. But woe to that person that chooses to hide things from those that God put over them. Such a person will often become completely deceived—that they will be on a path straight for hell, but Satan will be allowed to so blind this deceitful person that they are 100% positive they are walking with God and will be in heaven. Satan’s power to deceive is far greater than most understand. No person can break free of Satan’s power to spiritually blind them, except, God, in His mercy, steps in. Do not expect God to step in when a person resists God’s Word and the authority God has ordained him to be under. Do not expect God to step in and remove the spiritual blindness from someone who is wise in his own conceit, confident in himself, and proud. Only the humble, the broken, the meek, and those that fear God should expect Him to act on their behalf. Again, the one God appoints to watch for your soul is not someone you choose. It is someone that God has chosen.
   Next God tells us that THEY THAT MUST GIVE ACCOUNT. The person God puts over you must give account of you. You do not give account of him. In a sense, this person that must give account of you will have to make judgments about you. If he has asked you to do something that is in the will of God, and you make an excuse, this will not be good for you at the Judgment. If this person that God has put over you needs some help in doing God’s ordained work, but you have an excuse as to why you will not help, this will not be good for you.
   The verse continues: THAT THEY MAY DO IT (or give an account) WITH JOY, AND NOT WITH GRIEF: FOR THAT IS UNPROFITABLE FOR YOU. Beware how you respond to those that God has put over you, for if you cause them grief, if you give them a difficult time, if you make accusations against them, if you treat them poorly, if you are secretive around them, this will be unprofitable for you, and you shall surely be judged. And beware, if you hold anything against such a one. Because if you do, it falls against God, and it certainly reveals the wickedness in your own heart. It shows just how effective Satan is at deceiving you. It shows just how deceived and impure your heart really is. Satan knows exactly how to blind you, and twist your thinking, and make you believe you have been wronged in some way. Until you can understand that it is you that is wrong, then the spiritual blindness and veil upon your heart will remain. Woe to you that have evil thoughts against God’s servant that is over you—for your physical body may be in the house of the Lord, but your soul may be in the house of the dead.
   So what sometimes happens? In some way, the fallen Christian blames their pastor for something that happened. They wouldn’t think of blaming God, even though God was leading the pastor, as that would be wrong. So they blame God’s servant, believing he has done them wrong. They become bitter, unforgiving. Whatever happened to them pops up in their mind over and over again. They may say they love their pastor, but inside they are bitter. It is all a test. This sometimes when a person look to someone over them rather than trusting in God. God is trying to get a person to walk in faith, but the person looks to man for help and when they don’t receive their desired response, they are deeply offended. Thus, they are in sin, which opens the door for Satan to attack them. Most people try to put on the new man, but never put off the old man. In other words, most people try to follow the ways of God, while they still follow the ways of the world, the old carnal nature. They try to follow love, but they still have bitterness, an accusing attitude, anger, and feelings of rejection. They may have feelings of anxiety and depression. Such are lukewarm or may be totally deceived and dwell in darkness.

   Most people do not understand God, because God is love. They do not understand the purpose of the many trials, temptations, and things they go through from a biblical prospective. Your faith will not work apart from love. And if the love of Christ is not shed abroad in your heart, then you are spiritually dead, even while you live.

   The person that God has put over you must give an account of you. But let us say that you despise that person. You decide to leave the calling of God and the person that He has put over you.
   You need to understand that you cannot override God, for if you could, you would be God. Let us say, for example, that your minister asked you to do something. However, you never show up. Time after time, you do not show up to help. Therefore, when your minister has to give account, he would testify that you never showed up. Perhaps you leave the church where God has called you to be. This does not change anything. The minister would still have to give account of you, and that account will be that you had forsaken the calling of God, just as Demas forsook Paul, or multitudes forsook Jesus. Indeed, this will be very, very unprofitable for you.
   A person cannot change God’s call on their life, nor can they change who is to watch over them. They can forsake God’s calling and go elsewhere, but they will be judged a stubborn and rebellious person—but the call of God still remains, and the minister that is called of God to watch for a person’s soul remains.
   The works God has prepared for you to do are not the works that you select. These are works that God has prepared for you to do in advance, from before the foundation of the world-ref Eph 2:10, etc. Thus, whatever God has ordained for you to do from the beginning, Satan will fight against it. Satan will do all he can to turn your heart away from the works God has ordained. Satan will try to give you other works to do that may look like they are of God. Satan is the great deceiver and understands how to make you believe that what you are doing is of God, when, in fact, it is a counterfeit work. If your heart is not purified through obeying God’s Word, then you may be easily deceived.
   For those that choose to follow Jesus in their own way, they should understand that their so-called good works for God count for nothing, as while a person is doing them, they are in rebellion to the ministry that God called them to do from before they were ever born.
   Note Mt 7:21-23-NOT EVERY ONE THAT SAITH UNTO ME, LORD, LORD, SHALL ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN; BUT HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN. MANY WILL SAY TO ME IN THAT DAY, LORD, LORD, HAVE WE NOT PROPHESIED IN THY NAME? AND IN THY NAME HAVE CAST OUT DEVILS? AND IN THY NAME DONE MANY WONDERFUL WORKS? Note, these people did many wonderful works in the name of Jesus, but they counted for nothing. They were not the works that God had ordained for them to do. Jesus tells them: AND THEN WILL I PROFESS UNTO THEM, I NEVER KNEW YOU: DEPART FROM ME, YE THAT WORK INIQUITY.
   If God has called you to a certain born again church, don’t forsake it. If God has called you to a certain born again ministry, don’t leave it. And if you are one of the few that understand the difference between a lukewarm ministry and hot ministry by what they teach and do—get behind it, support them in every way you can and love them. But understand, Satan has tricks up his sleeve, so to speak, that you haven’t dreamed of. He knows how to deceive you, and your only hope is staying in God’s Word, humbling yourself, and obeying God’s Word faithfully.

   It is good to fear God and depart from any kind of an accusing, stubborn and rebellious attitude. It is good to tremble at God’s Word and put on a humble attitude filled with love. Life is a test.

   It is written: Ro 13:1-4-LET EVERY SOUL BE SUBJECT UNTO THE HIGHER POWERS. FOR THERE IS NO POWER BUT OF GOD: THE POWERS THAT BE ARE ORDAINED OF GOD. WHOSOEVER THEREFORE RESISTETH THE POWER, RESISTETH THE ORDINANCE OF GOD: AND THEY THAT RESIST SHALL RECEIVE TO THEMSELVES DAMNATION.
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47C-THEY THAT MUST GIVE ACCOUNT
(Continued from 48B)

   What is this saying to each of us. It is clearly, and unmistakably God speaking to each of us to tell us the following. When God has put someone over you by His authority, to rule over you, to teach you, to correct you, and they have the mind of Christ, you are to listen to them, and obey them, for they must give an account of you to God.
   You do not give an account of them. You are not their judge, for indeed you cannot correctly judge yourself. And if you choose to disregard their God given authority, their God given correction, that is unprofitable for you. Indeed, it is so unprofitable for you, that it means you are on the road to eternal damnation, because you have disobeyed God himself, His Word, and those He has set over you. In other words, you are in deep, deep spiritual trouble, and such a person needs to learn to humble themself and to be childlike. Such a person needs to deny himself, his desires, his circumstances, his so called needs, and he needs to pick up his cross and repent, and follow Jesus. He needs to do this quickly, or else his candlestick could be removed. Once a person’s candlestick is removed, the gate of hell is waiting for that person for it is written: 1 Sam 15:23…REBELLION IS AS THE SIN OF WITCHCRAFT, AND STUBBORNNESS IS AS INIQUITY AND IDOLATRY. BECAUSE THOU HAST REJECTED THE WORD OF THE LORD, HE HATH ALSO REJECTED THEE…
   What a tragedy it is, that so many people are called of God, but they just do not have a repentant heart to obey God in all things. They could have had eternity with God, but they refused to obey God, so they wind up in the lake of fire for eternity.

   All should be able to admit that no matter what they are called to go through, it is worth it to enter heaven, but they can admit they themselves are going the wrong way, because the deceit of their own heart, and the blindness that is upon them has deceived them. The proof they are deceived is they will not obey those God has put over them as God’s Word has clearly told them to do. But they are so deceived, they can’t even admit this simple, basic truth. That sir is deception.

   Let it be made, perfectly clear. When you reject the counsel of those God has put over you, you are rejecting God. This is confirmed by many, many Scriptures.
   Heb 13:17-OBEY THEM THAT HAVE THE RULE OVER YOU FOR THEY WATCH FOR YOUR SOUL, AS THEY THAT MUST GIVE ACCOUNT.    1 Sam 15:23-BECAUSE THOU HAST REJECTED THE WORD OF THE LORD, HE HATH ALSO REJECTED THEE.
   Hosea 4:6-MY PEOPLE ARE DESTROYED…BECAUSE THOU HAST REJECTED KNOWLEDGE, I WILL ALSO REJECT THEE,…SEEING THOU HAST FORGOTTEN THE LAW OF THY GOD, (or has forgotten, or misunderstood the word of thy God)
   Mk 7:9-FULL WELL YE REJECT THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD, THAT YE MAY KEEP YOUR OWN TRADITION (or so that you may do those things you want to do). It is easy to follow the ways of the world, and the deceived ways that are in your heart. It is not easy for some to walk by faith and love. Rather they choose to walk according to their circumstances, never understanding till the judgment that they will pay an eternal price for the error of their ways. Life is a test
   Summary. If you reject correction from God’s Word, from those God has put over you; you are without any question, pulling away from God and His will. You are without any doubt, on a road to the eternal lake of fire. And if you are unable to admit this, then you have a very, very dishonest and deceived heart. However, a dishonest heart cannot admit the truth that it is dishonest because the heart is
   Jer 17:9,10-DECEITFUL ABOVE ALL THINGS, AND DESPERATELY WICKED: WHO CAN KNOW IT? I THE LORD SEARCH THE HEART, I TRY (or test) THE REINS.
   Life is a test, and YOU ARE THE OBJECT OF THAT TEST. You will go through all sorts of tests. You will hear God’s Word. You will hear Satan’s word which contradicts God’s Word. You will hear a voice that tells you that you can do what you want, and still go to heaven. But then you will also hear God telling you-
   Gal 5:17-18-FOR THE FLESH LUSTETH AGAINST THE SPIRIT, AND THE SPIRIT AGAINST THE FLESH: AND THESE ARE CONTRARY THE ONE TO THE OTHER: SO THAT YE CANNOT DO THE THINGS THAT YE WOULD. NOTE, YOU CANNOT DO THE THINGS
   BUT IF YE BE LED OF THE SPIRIT, YE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW.
   The NIV puts it this way. Gal 5:16-18-FOR THE SINFUL NATURE DESIRES WHAT IS CONTRARY TO THE SPIRIT
   AND THE SPIRIT WHAT IS CONTRARY TO THE SINFUL NATURE.
   THEY ARE IN CONFLICT WITH EACH OTHER,
   SO THAT YOU DO NOT DO WHAT YOU WANT. That needs to be repeated. You cannot do the things that you wish.
   God’s Word sums it all up into the next few words. The bottom line, if you make it into heaven is this—BUT IF YOU ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT, YOU ARE NOT UNDER LAW. In other words if you continue to follow and obey God’s Word, YOU ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW. But if you rebel, you will pay an eternal price. Suggest you tremble at God’s Word, and fear God.
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48-MORE ON SATAN’S TEMPTATIONS
LIFE IS A TEST
(Excuse us for being repetitive, but this is the time of falling as we approach the coming Tribulation.)

   Each of us need to learn to cope with the pressure cooker. We need to learn to recognize the voice of the devil.
   There is good teaching on this site, by God’s mercy, on both the voice of God and the voice of the devil.
   We have also had great teaching, by God’s mercy, on the pressure cooker.
   Yet, despite this, you still may have problems recognizing the temptations of the devil.
   If God’s Word has failed to correct you, your only hope may be—you being childlike toward correction from those that God has put over you.
   If time proves you are not humble and childlike toward correction from God’s Word, from those He has put over you, you can expect your future to be dark.
   Regretfully, the Laodicean church of today neither corrects people nor is able to be corrected itself. For it is written of them, they don’t know that they are WRETCHED, AND MISERABLE, AND POOR, AND BLIND, AND NAKED-ref Rev 3:17.

   By God’s mercy, we will give you His Word.
   Then His Word will be processed by whatever kind of a heart you have.
   The pureness or lack of pureness of your heart’s understanding, through faith and love, will process God’s Word. And what comes out of your heart will determine what you will do.
   As another wonderful sermon, by the mercy of God, had said, "We can know a person’s heart and understanding of God’s Word by what they do."

   Some people have had problems with obeying authority all their life.
   Some people are like the wayward wind. They blow here and there with every wind of doctrine and instruction, or thought, or desire. Then they return and blow away again. Their faith, their understanding is up and down, back and forth. Their love is the same. It is written in Ja 1:6,7-FOR HE THAT WAVERETH IS LIKE A WAVE OF THE SEA DRIVEN WITH THE WIND AND TOSSED.
   FOR LET NOT THAT MAN THINK THAT HE SHALL RECEIVE ANY THING OF THE LORD. It is not God’s will that you should continue to be as a child who is weak in faith and tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine,…and cunning craftiness, whereby they (or Satan and his followers) lie in wait to deceive-ref Eph 4:14.

   Man, by his very nature, is rebellious, as are sheep.
   Man, by his very nature, does not want anyone to rule over him.
   He does not want to submit to authority.
   The eyes of man are never satisfied.
   With this kind of attitude, it is no wonder that Satan is able to deceive the whole world.    Yet God tells us to deny ourself, pick up our cross, and follow Him.
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48B-TEACH ME TO DO THY WILL

   He tells us what our attitude should be. It should be like that of Christ. He tells us to read and study the Gospel and to learn of Him. Then He tells us to conform to Him in what we do and think. This should be our attitude:
   Ps 143:10-TEACH ME TO DO THY WILL; FOR THOU ART MY GOD: THY SPIRIT IS GOOD; LEAD ME INTO THE LAND OF UPRIGHTNESS.
   Ps 40:8-I DELIGHT TO DO THY WILL, O MY GOD: YEA, THY LAW IS WITHIN MY HEART.
   Heb 10:7-THEN SAID I, LO, I COME…TO DO THY WILL, O GOD.
   The Christian is to totally and completely allow Jesus to be their Lord and Master. His Word is our life.
   We no longer belong to ourselves. We are His purchased possession. Our will is to be crucified. Only His will in our life is to matter. Our life is to be one of total dedication to Him, Whom we are to love with all our being. We are to love Him above every thing and every person. Jesus is to be the center of a Christian’s life.
   But, then, there is Satan, whose purpose is to put thoughts in your mind that are not in line with God’s Word. His purpose is to set traps for your soul that you will never recognize or even suspect. Satan is successful at deceiving people beyond nearly all Christian’s comprehension. Life is a test. When your life ends, you will either be following Jesus or you will be following the devil.
   However, when a person’s life ends, many are completely sure they are following Jesus when, in fact, they are not. They are so deceived that even if an angel came or if one rose from the dead came and told them they were on the road to hell, they would not repent or believe it-ref Lk 16:31.
   How much less, therefore, will what is written here convince anyone. For it is written: Jn 12:37-BUT THOUGH HE HAD DONE SO MANY MIRACLES BEFORE THEM, YET THEY BELIEVED NOT ON HIM. Jn 12:39,40-THEREFORE THEY COULD NOT BELIEVE, BECAUSE THAT ESAIAS SAID AGAIN, HE HATH BLINDED THEIR EYES, AND HARDENED THEIR HEART; THAT THEY SHOULD NOT SEE WITH THEIR EYES, NOR UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART, AND BE CONVERTED…
   Nevertheless, life is a test, and perhaps a very few might be awakened spiritually and come to repentance, and then follow Jesus as it is written.

   A person that is not totally sold out to Jesus is, indeed, following Satan. However, most people are so biblically illiterate, they cannot even begin to truthfully comprehend what has just been said, for they themselves are deceived as, indeed, the whole world is-ref Rev 12:9.

   There are stages. A newborn Christian is one that is still very worldly, but is hopefully growing as they study God’s Word and obey it. There are some of little faith, all the way up to great faith. There are those that are still worldly and have need of the milk of God’s Word (basic doctrine), and there are those who are of full age, which need the meat of the Word—perfection.
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48C-LEARNING, BEING TESTED, CORRECTION, AND OBEDIENCE

   The very essence of God’s Word, the very nature of Scripture is centered around the hearer learning, being corrected, and obeying.
   The very essence of going to school or college is centered around learning, being tested, being corrected, and following instructions.
   When a person gets a job, they need to learn how to do that job. They must receive correction when they make mistakes. They may be tested in various ways, and they need to learn to obey the boss and get along with fellow employees.
   If a child will not obey his parents, he may be disciplined. If a person does not obey the rules of the school they may be expelled. If a person will not obey the laws of the land, they may be put in prison.
   Jesus taught and instructed His disciples. His disciples went through many tests, as did Jesus Himself. Jesus corrected His disciples and taught them obedience. If one would take all the teachings of Jesus centered on teaching people, correcting people, and exhorting people to obey God, it would include much of the New Testament.
   It is written: Mt 11:29-TAKE MY YOKE UPON YOU, AND LEARN OF ME; FOR I AM MEEK AND LOWLY IN HEART: AND YE SHALL FIND REST UNTO YOUR SOULS.
   The bottom line is this. A person that will not receive correction with a right attitude and obey the rules of their parents, their school, their job, and the laws of the land, such a person can expect to be disciplined and, ultimately, could be thrown out of school or college. They can expect to be fired from their job and even put in jail.
   It is the same regarding God. A person that will not learn God’s ways and be corrected with a right attitude, such a person can expect not to inherit eternal life. The only alternative to not inheriting eternal life is inheriting eternal damnation. Thus, if you have a problem being corrected and obeying rules—then it seems you will have a very big problem.
   Jesus learned obedience. The disciples learned obedience, and you must learn obedience with a right attitude. A person that is resistant to godly correction—is resistant to God.

   There is one big problem we all experience. When it comes to obeying God, there are two forces at work. There is God saying, Follow Me, and there is Satan trying to get you to obey his rules and desires. Satan has been given immense power to deceive you through wrong thinking. Satan has been given immense power to deceive you by stirring up your emotions. Satan has been given great powers to use the people and things of this world to hinder you and deceive you in ways you might never have thought possible. Satan actually talks to you in your thoughts much of the time, but he convinces you that these thoughts are your thoughts not his. If you were actually living during the Millennium, much of the thoughts you have now would not exist. We may say that 100% of all thinking you have right now, which is in any way contrary to God’s will, would disappear during the millennial reign of Jesus Christ.
   God has given you life.
   He gave you His Son as an example to follow and to pay your penalty of death for all your disobedience.
   He has given you His Word, which we call the Bible.
   He has given those that obey Him, His Spirit to reside within them. His Spirit gives you strength to resist sin and all the forces of darkness. His Spirit also teaches you and can bring to your remembrance the things that be of God. His Spirit gives you understanding of God’s Word. A soft, childlike attitude to correction comes from God, but a resistant, “I don’t want to” attitude comes from Satan.
   Have you never noticed when God wants you to do something or when a brother in Christ asks you to do something, that initially you have a “I don’t want to” attitude, and your emotions get stirred up. Immediately, you begin to make excuses as you are flooded with thoughts that you don’t want to—because you have your own jobs to do or because what you were asked to do will somehow interfere with what you were doing or had planned to do. As it is written: AND THEY ALL WITH ONE CONSENT BEGAN TO MAKE EXCUSE-Lk 14:18.
   Life is a test. The attitude of Satan is far, far different than the attitude of God. Your heart is the dividing line. What is in your heart is reflected by your attitude and by what you do.

   It is written: OBEY THEM THAT HAVE THE RULE OVER YOU FOR THEY WATCH FOR YOUR SOUL-Heb 13:17.

   It is also written: REBELLION IS AS THE SIN OF WITCHCRAFT-1 Sam 15:23. A rebellious person cannot truthfully expect to enter heaven. You either live a life in which you obey God, or you live a life that is in rebellion to God. People that try to do both may be called Lukewarm. They are spit out-ref Rev 3. Most people when the pressure and heat gets turned up, because they follow Jesus—most faint from the heat. They shrink back because of the pressure. They fall away.

   1 Sam 15:23-AND STUBBORNNESS IS AS INIQUITY AND IDOLATRY. BECAUSE THOU HAST REJECTED THE WORD OF THE LORD, HE HATH ALSO REJECTED THEE…Are you stubborn? There is no place found in heaven for the disobedient, the prideful, the self-centered, the unrepented, and the stubborn. A stubborn person cannot truthfully expect to enter the Kingdom of God.

   Mt 18:3-…I SAY UNTO YOU, EXCEPT YE BE CONVERTED, AND BECOME AS LITTLE CHILDREN, YE SHALL NOT ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
   Note, you must repent.
   You must be converted from following Satan to following God.
   You must be converted from lies and deceit to the truth.
   Note the words BECOME AS in Mt 18:3. This is not something that comes naturally. It is something that you must learn as you follow Jesus.
   In like manner, it is written: JESUS LEARNED OBEDIENCE BY THE THINGS WHICH HE SUFFERED. Jesus, even though He is God, had to learn to obey His Father in Heaven. You need to learn to obey God’s Word. The closer you are to God, the more childlike to correction you will become. They go hand in hand, because God’s way is correction.
   2 Tim 3:16-ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD, AND IS PROFITABLE FOR…REPROOF (or rebuking), FOR CORRECTION, FOR INSTRUCTION…
   In the same way, you must learn to obey God and His Word.
   You must learn to endure rebuking and correction as a little child.
   You must learn to receive instruction humbly and meekly.
   Expect to be tempted in many of the same ways that Jesus was tempted. And in these temptations, Jesus set the example for us to follow. He also gave you His Word to tell you what to do. He has ordained faithful men to help you when you begin to go astray from God’s calling. God even determines where you are to live. For it is written:
   Acts 17:25-27-HE…HATH DETERMINED THE TIMES BEFORE APPOINTED, AND THE BOUNDS OF THEIR HABITATION; THAT THEY SHOULD SEEK THE LORD.

   Satan was allowed to tempt Jesus. Satan is allowed to tempt you. When Satan tempts you, he is a master at making you think it is not him that is tempting you. He is able to deceive you into believing you are not being tempted at all. Thus, because you do not recognize the devil’s thoughts in your heart, you easily fall prey to his temptations; for, indeed, Satan deceives the whole world and understands the nature of man. The more worldly and carnal you are, the more Satan understands you, for he understands the things of men.
   So God has provided in His Word a lifeline to help you. This lifeline may be extended to you when you do not recognize Satan temptation to step away from God’s will. This lifeline are those He has put over you in the Lord.
   So the next step is often your minister, who is hopefully the spiritual leader God put over you. He should immediately recognize Satan’s temptation in your heart through God’s Word, and he can correct you with God’s Word.
   Now, if you have a humble, childlike heart to correction, which is inclined toward God and His Word, you will meekly receive that correction. For that correction is from the one God is speaking through with His Word. You are to humble yourself. You are to be childlike. You are to obey the Scriptures, and you are to break Satan’s stronghold over you. If your heart is right toward God and His Word, these should occur.
   And these are the Scriptures you are to obey.
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48D-WRONG THINKING

   Note God speaking to you. 2 Cor 10:1-8-NOW I PAUL MYSELF BESEECH YOU BY THE MEEKNESS AND GENTLENESS OF CHRIST,…BUT BEING ABSENT AM BOLD TOWARD YOU. …SOME,…THINK OF US AS IF WE WALKED ACCORDING TO THE FLESH. In other words, some thought of Paul as though he was not spiritually-minded, as if he was not walking in the Spirit.

   Paul’s reply to this was—FOR THOUGH WE WALK IN THE FLESH, WE DO NOT WAR AFTER THE FLESH: (FOR THE WEAPONS OF OUR WARFARE ARE NOT CARNAL, BUT MIGHTY THROUGH GOD TO THE PULLING DOWN OF STRONG HOLDS;). Indeed, when a person needs correction, it is because Satan has some sort of a stronghold in them, and the one that God has put over them can clearly see the stronghold that Satan has.
   God now tells us, through Paul, exactly what we are to do when we are tempted. God says the person is to:
   cast DOWN IMAGINATIONS,
   AND EVERY HIGH THING
   THAT EXALTETH ITSELF AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD,
AND BRINGING INTO CAPTIVITY
   EVERY THOUGHT
   TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST. Note-BRING INTO CAPTIVITY EVERY THOUGHT—TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST. In other words, you are to bring into captivity every thought you have to the obedience of God’s Word.
   Life is a test. This message should help you.
   The verses continue: AND HAVING IN A READINESS TO REVENGE ALL DISOBEDIENCE,
   WHEN YOUR OBEDIENCE IS FULFILLED. Note the words YOUR OBEDIENCE—IS FULFILLED.
   The Scriptures continue: DO YE LOOK ON THINGS AFTER THE OUTWARD APPEARANCE? This is exactly what a deceived person does when they are tempted, but God commands them not to do this. By looking on the outward appearance of things, they are already giving a place for Satan to tempt them even more. They are disobeying God already.
   They look on the outward appearance not God’s will.
   The deceived person looks at their circumstances not Jesus.
   They trust in what their own deceived thoughts tell them to do, not what Jesus says.
   They walk by sight, not by faith.
   They do not trust that if they obey Jesus, that Jesus will bring them through their problems and temptations.
   They look on their own personal situation, not on Jesus.
   They act as if they don’t even understand God, but their deceived heart tells them that they do.
   These people are very foolish and ignorant of God’s ways and His Word.
   So God tries to correct them, but few can receive God’s correction, because their heart is already turned aside in rebellion to God.
   Thus, they follow what Satan is telling them to do, confident in themselves, and confident that the correction that comes to them through God’s Word and through His servants is not right. Thus, they join the ranks of the many that fall away in this latter day generation. They themselves fulfill the falling away prophecy. But when the person falls, he does not understand he has fallen. How can they understand? For God’s Word tells us that the darkness in them blinds their eyes, and they know not where they are going, and they forget how they were when they were saved. The only hope they can have in understanding they have fallen is this—they must be very childlike and humble. They must believe the words of the one correcting them over their own deceived thoughts and emotions that tell them they have not fallen and also tells them that the correction being given to them is not right. But then, if they were childlike and humble, they should not have fallen in the first place.
   The next verse is for those deceived people that might doubt whether this correction is coming from God.
   God speaks through Paul saying: IF ANY MAN TRUST TO HIMSELF THAT HE IS CHRIST'S (or if any man thinks he is saved), LET HIM OF HIMSELF THINK THIS AGAIN, THAT, AS HE IS CHRIST'S, EVEN SO ARE WE CHRIST'S. In other words, God is telling the people through Paul, that if they doubt whether what he is saying is of God, THINK THIS AGAIN…EVEN SO ARE WE CHRIST’S.
   Then in verse 8, Paul says: FOR THOUGH I SHOULD BOAST SOMEWHAT MORE OF OUR AUTHORITY, WHICH THE LORD HATH GIVEN US
   FOR EDIFICATION, AND NOT FOR YOUR DESTRUCTION,
   I SHOULD NOT BE ASHAMED. In other words, Paul’s authority to correct people, his authority to tell people they are right or wrong, his authority to say if a person is going astray or not is from God. Did you catch that? This Scripture just swept away all your wrong thinking—when you question if God is speaking to you through the person He has put over you. Indeed, this Scripture shows you, if you are being corrected by God’s anointed person over you, you would do well to listen to him and obey him, because he is speaking to you God’s Word by God’s authority, and he does understand because he can hear God speaking to him by the Holy Spirit and the Word. However, you cannot hear God speaking to you correctly in this matter or else you wouldn’t be in need of correction.
   God’s Word has also made it clear in 1 Cor 2:16-FOR WHO HATH KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE MAY INSTRUCT HIM? BUT WE HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST.
   Paul is saying that he has the mind of Christ. He has the authority from God to correct people, to instruct people. He made it clear that this authority was not to lead people to DESTRUCTION, but to lead them in the direction that God had ordained.
   To put it plainly, why do some people still resist God’s correction? It is the hardness in their heart which they will not repent of. God appears to call such people as this fools, many times over. However, the Laodicean church of today can’t correct itself. How then can it correct its own people? To reveal the blindness upon today’s church—many churches today do not even realize this is the last church age, the Laodicean, and they are part of it.
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48E-THE HEART

   Most of the human race chooses what seems right for them now, but is wrong for them eternally. What will your heart choose?
   Only those few humble, obedient servants of God will be welcomed into the Kingdom of God and will hear WELL DONE, GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANTS. THOU HAST BEEN FAITHFUL.
   Every person that is in hell wishes they had the chance to return to this life and undo their rebellion against God’s Word.
   Those of you reading or listening to this message have the chance right now that billions of people in hell wish they had.
   If only you could hear them screaming out to you—“Don’t come here!” Obey God’s Word and the correction God gives you through His spiritually-minded servants.
   If you have not understood this message, the problem is not with the correction or with God’s Word.
   The problem is within you.
   It is your hard and unrepentant heart.
   It is you being stiffnecked.
   It is a heart that does not tremble at God’s Word.
   It is a heart that does not fear God as it ought.
   It is a heart that is not soft and childlike to God’s correction.
   It is a heart that seeks after its own will, more than it seeks after God’s will.
   It is a heart that is not right toward God.
   It is a heart that has rebellion and stubbornness in it.
   It is a heart that will not dwell with God for eternity.
   It is a heart that is fit for hell, unless it repents, humbles itself, begins to fear God and becomes childlike to God’s Word of rebuking, correction, and instruction.
   And those of you hearing or reading this message, what excuse will you have at the Judgment? For God has this day—spoken directly to you—telling you these things, which most people will never hear until it is too late.
   Life is a test.
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48F-OBEY GOD’S COMMANDMENTS

   It would be good when a person comes to a meeting with an elder that he is prepared to humble himself, fear God, and be childlike to correction. It would be good if he is prepared to obey God’s Word.
   It would not be good, if a person comes to a meeting with his heart set on doing his own will.
   Say not to yourself, I cannot do what God’s Word tells me to do. If you do, you are not walking by God’s Word or by faith. Neither are you demonstrating your love for God above your love for yourself.
   It is written: 1 Pe 4:2-THAT HE NO LONGER SHOULD LIVE THE REST OF HIS TIME IN THE FLESH TO THE LUSTS OF MEN, BUT TO THE WILL OF GOD.
   It is written: Mt 22:37-40-THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART, AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIND. THIS IS THE FIRST AND GREAT COMMANDMENT. AND THE SECOND IS LIKE UNTO IT, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF. ON THESE TWO COMMANDMENTS HANG ALL THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS.
   Jn 14:15-IF YE LOVE ME, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS.
   Jn 14:21-HE THAT HATH MY COMMANDMENTS, AND KEEPETH THEM, HE IT IS THAT LOVETH ME: AND HE THAT LOVETH ME SHALL BE LOVED OF MY FATHER, AND I WILL LOVE HIM, AND WILL MANIFEST MYSELF TO HIM.
   Jn 14:24-HE THAT LOVETH ME NOT KEEPETH NOT MY SAYINGS: AND THE WORD WHICH YE HEAR IS NOT MINE, BUT THE FATHER'S WHICH SENT ME.
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48G-LEARN
More on the subject of Learning.

   So how should we be in light of God’s Word?
   Phili 4:11-13-NOT THAT I SPEAK IN RESPECT OF WANT. Paul is telling us that he is not speaking in regard to things he wants. Why would he say this? Because he knows something you may not know. He knows that even before a person asks God, God knows what is in their heart and what their needs are. Paul goes on and says:
   FOR I HAVE LEARNED, IN WHATSOEVER STATE I AM, THEREWITH TO BE CONTENT. Have you learned this, or are you still a baby Christian or perhaps an imitation? Paul says:
   I KNOW BOTH HOW TO BE ABASED,
   AND I KNOW HOW TO ABOUND:
   EVERY WHERE AND IN ALL THINGS
   I AM INSTRUCTED BOTH TO BE FULL AND TO BE HUNGRY,
   BOTH TO ABOUND AND TO SUFFER NEED.
   I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHICH STRENGTHENETH ME.
   You need to learn what Jesus learned. You need to learn what Paul learned. You need to learn what every person that makes it to heaven has to learn. And what you go through is for the purpose of helping you learn these things. So what do most people do? They don’t want to go through certain things to learn what God wants to teach them. So they decide to follow Satan’s way of escaping God trying to teach them. They try to escape the circumstances they find themselves in.
   You need to learn to be obedient to God and obey Him. You need to learn to be content no matter what your situation is, even the death of a cross. You need to learn to be content through all things, both abounding and in suffering need and even hunger. You will not make it to heaven, if you will not learn to be obedient and learn the things Jesus has for you to learn. Life is a test. Your eternal destiny will be either the most wonderful and glorious life you could ever imagine, or the greatest horror and punishment you could ever experience. If you have been called, you are one of the few that has a choice of following Jesus all the way—or shrinking back, as most did that followed Jesus when He was upon the earth. Life is a test.
   Your eternal destiny will be either the most wonderful and glorious life you could ever imagine, or the greatest horror and punishment you could ever experience. If you have been called, you are one of the few that has a choice of following Jesus all the way—or shrinking back, as most did that followed Jesus when He was upon the earth. Life is a test.

   Lastly, if a person is still rebellious, because the pressure cooker inside them is so intense, the Bible tells them to deny themself.
   It tells them to OBEY THEM THAT HAVE THE RULE OVER THEM. Don’t ever come into a meeting with those anointed of God to help you, with your mind already made up, unless that mind is set to follow Jesus no matter that the cost. Have you resisted unto blood striving against sin and Satan’s temptations? Have you resisted Satan’s pressures and deceptions even to the death of a cross?
   It is written: Lk 16:10-HE THAT IS FAITHFUL IN THAT WHICH IS LEAST IS FAITHFUL ALSO IN MUCH: AND HE THAT IS UNJUST IN THE LEAST IS UNJUST ALSO IN MUCH. If you are faithful in the little things of God, you also should be faithful in big things. If you are unjust in the little things of God, you can be expected to also be unjust in the larger things of God.
   Stay away from the lukewarm and the unbelievers. They can and will be used by Satan to tempt you. They may promise you the world, but hidden under their promise is the snare of death.
   Let us not be deceived and forget that Satan has a plan tailored to fit you and your individual shortcomings. It is tailored to take advantage of your pride, your accomplishments, your desire to be somebody, your desire for peace and comfort. Satan’s plan for you is designed to take advantage of your fears, your desires, your hurts, your feelings of rejection. Satan’s schemes are tailored to fit every bad thing that has happened to you from your childhood to the present. Satan knows exactly how to deceive you and to make you just give up. Satan knows how to sift you as wheat. Eve found that out the hard way. So did Adam, Solomon, Demas, and even Peter, plus the billions in hell right now.
   There is no human being that can withstand the onslaught Satan has prepared for them, except by putting on the whole armour of God-ref Eph 6:13. There are many days in a person’s life when they will have to make choices to go either in the direction of God or away from God.
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48H-BIBLICAL ARMOUR TO PROTECT YOURSELF

   Eph 6:13-17-Your armour begins with truth. If you twist and distort God’s Word—your foundation of truth is gone; thus, your armour is gone.
   Next, you need the breastplate of righteousness. Disobeying God is not righteousness. If you do contrary to God’s Word, your breastplate is gone.
   Your feet need to be shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. If you do not prepare yourself with God’s Word and obedience, part of your armour is gone.
   You need the shield of faith, but if you are a wave, not trusting in God in all matters and in all situations, if you are a "what if?" kind of person or if you are a person that has to do things their own way—you do not have the shield of faith. And without the shield of faith, you cannot please God, and you cannot quench the onslaught of arrows that Satan will shoot at you. The person that would say, I just can’t take this pressure anymore, has no shield of faith. The person that does what their circumstances dictate has no shield of faith. This lack of faith is because a person does not trust in God’s Word as it is written, although it is a rare person that can admit this, because with a lack of faith there is also a lack of truthfulness in a person. They go hand in hand. His wrong thinking is stronger in him than his trust in God and in His Word. Such people are often doubleminded. Along with this, faith does not work, if love for God and the brethren is not present. For it is written: FAITH WHICH WORKETH BY LOVE-ref Gal 5:6. We are to live and walk by faith which works by love, not by sight or circumstances.
   Lastly, a person’s armour must include the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
   If all these things are present in you, you should never fall. You are ready for Satan’s onslaught to which all Christians can expect to go through.
   If your faith is not as it ought to be—that is—a faith that enables you to overcome all the obstacles you are called to go through, then there is yet hope. That hope is centered in obeying God’s Word, which purifies your heart. It is a pure heart that God ultimately desires in you, for you are to conform to the image of Christ-ref Ro 8:29.
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48I-SATAN’S TRAPS

As a fish never sees the hook until it grabs the bait,
so nearly all Christians never see Satan’s trap for their soul until they grab Satan’s bait.
The bait is usually something that your heart desires.

   Have you noticed? Do you have ears to hear? Many evangelists on television—do you hear their words?
   How often do you hear them promise you a miracle?
   How often do they say you should be healed?
   How many times do you hear the words “seed faith” relating to finances?
   Expect to hear the word miracle or healed perhaps 200+ times, before you will hear the word repent even once. What a deceived church age we are in. Without repentance, there is no salvation.
   Expect to hear the word miracle or healed perhaps 500+ times, before you will hear the words be baptized by full immersion in water after repentance.

   Just as Jesus understood and defeated Satan’s traps through the Word, you are to do the same.
   It is written: Hosea 4:6-MY PEOPLE ARE DESTROYED FOR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE: BECAUSE THOU HAST REJECTED KNOWLEDGE, I WILL ALSO REJECT THEE,…THOU HAST FORGOTTEN THE LAW OF THY GOD.

   Let the fruit of the Spirit of God and total and complete obedience to God’s Word shine forth. Fear God, tremble at His Word, humble yourself, acknowledge Him in all your ways, and He shall direct thy paths. Satan knows how to set you up and how to get you to separate from where God has called you to be. And then, when Satan gets you where he wants you, the unexpected happens—you are snagged like a fish on a hook. Only a very few ever get off this hook, baited with everything that seemed right. Satan’s hooks are almost always covered with enticing deceptions to lure in the unsuspecting. The devil promises you the world-ref Mt 4:9, but, ultimately, he can only give you death. Have you not read:
   Gen 3:6-AND WHEN THE WOMAN SAW THAT THE TREE WAS
   GOOD FOR FOOD, AND THAT IT WAS
   PLEASANT TO THE EYES, AND A
   TREE TO BE DESIRED
   TO MAKE ONE WISE, SHE TOOK OF THE FRUIT THEREOF, AND DID EAT.
   In other words, Satan is an expert at deceiving us into thinking that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Satan never gives you a hint that underneath the green grass is a trap he has set up for your soul.
   So a person becomes enticed by Satan’s green grass offer, just as Eve did, just as Demas did, just as billions of people have. The naive, unsuspecting Christian is blinded by the offer Satan has put forth in their mind.
   This wonderful offer completely blinds the Christian to the trap that will be sprung sometime after the Christian takes it. The trap is almost never revealed until after the Christian falls for it. Satan does all he can to make his enticing offer agreeable with your heart. When your heart agrees with the deception, then you let your guard down. You think it is your own idea, not Satan’s. It is so amazing how a Christian can understand how Satan works, but when the devil puts some enticing idea into their heart, they totally let their guard down and believe everything will be ok.
   The Christian might say, “How can I know the offer is a trap of the devil?” God’s Word gives multitudes of examples of how Satan works throughout the Scriptures, starting in Genesis and ending in the Revelation. As much as 25% of the entire Bible warns you, either directly or indirectly, of how Satan works and deceives the whole world. The Bible explains many of the traps he sets up—but if you will not spend time reading, studying, and meditating on God’s Word, and if you are not a doer of the Word, how then will you recognize and discern the traps that Satan sets up?
   Eve’s first sin was listening to the devil and trying to argue with him. The devil is far, far, far wiser than any human that has ever lived, except Jesus. Do not try to reason with the devil, but submit yourself to God, put on the whole armour of God, and use God’s Word to defeat him as Jesus did.
   Satan used something that seemed good to kill the woman spiritually, and then he used the woman to do the same to Adam. SHE GAVE ALSO UNTO HER HUSBAND WITH HER; AND HE DID EAT-ref Gen 3:6.
   Such are Satan’s deceptions. These look good at first. These meet your desires, your needs, your most secret yearnings. Satan’s ways appear to be right and good and just. Whatever there is in your life that you have a problem with, Satan knows how to exploit it. He seemingly has the answer for your situation. Then after you partake of his so-called wonderful answer to your situation, you are hooked in a way that you never expected. Remember, the way Satan deceived Eve was through something that looked good, pleasant, and desirable.
   Think of it! God clearly tells a person how to be saved. Through prophecy the Bible can be proven to be the Word of God. How then does so much of the world believe the Bible is not true? The Bible gives us at least 365 prophecies to prove that the Rapture and Tribulation are close at hand. How then does the world not know these things?
   Don’t be a naive Christian. Don’t play the fool when your soul is at stake. Don’t be biblically illiterate in understanding God’s Word. The world is deceived-ref Rev 12. Don’t become one of them.
   Your minister can often see and identify the traps Satan has planned for you, even when you cannot recognize them. Your only hope to inherit eternal life is obey God’s Word and those He has put over you to help you. Do not be so foolish as to forsake the assembling of yourself with other spiritually-minded Christians, especially in these latter days as we see the day of Jesus Christ at hand.

   Is it worth gaining the whole world now, but losing your own soul? Of course not. But, then, don’t expect Satan would ever tell you, you will lose your own soul. He will put in your thoughts that you can have what you want now and have eternal life also. He won’t tell you that after you have disobeyed some little command of God, he has a plan that will kill you spiritually. Satan is a master liar and the most intelligent and skillful deceiver that has ever existed. There are few preachers in this generation that are capable of comprehending much of what Satan does and can do.
   It is amazing. God gave us 66 books in the Bible. In many of them, God shows us how Satan has worked in people’s lives to deceive them. God also tells you how Satan will work in your life. Yet, despite how much you are in God’s Word, when Satan attacks you in your thoughts and emotions, you often cannot recognize it. Thus, you need help from your overseer. So what does Satan do? He tries in every way possible to discredit whatever the person God put over you—may say. Your heart will choose what you believe, and what you choose may decide your eternal destiny.
   If a person resists God’s commandment to obey those that have the rule over you—then there is little hope they will ever see New Jerusalem.
   They can expect to miss the Rapture. They can expect to see the Antichrist coming forth, and be in the Tribulation that follows. Indeed, God even tells us that after the Rapture, there will be those that were not ready. They will stand outside saying, open to us-ref Lk 13:25.
   There is little hope that they will forever be with Jesus, for Jesus does not accept the rebellious and disobedient, who walk after their own thoughts and desires that run contrary to His Word. It is the strong in faith, not the weak in faith that inherit all things. It is not the excuse makers that inherit eternal life.
   Those that place their trust in Jesus the Messiah completely can, indeed, overcome all things. It is the humble, the broken, the repentant, the rejected of this world that love God with all their heart—for He first loved them—that shall inherit all things.
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48J-SPIRITUAL TROUBLE

   Let us presume a person will not receive correction from God’s Word or those God put over them. He is immediately in sin, for the Bible clearly states that a child of God is to have a humble, childlike attitude toward correction from God’s Word. Thus, a person that has hardened his neck to correction is in disobedience to Mt 18:3. He is also in disobedience to obeying those God appointed over him-ref Heb 13:17. He is also in disobedience to living by all of God’s Word-ref Mt 4:4.
   As a result of disobedience, they have given place to the devil to attack them-ref Eph 4:27. Their spiritual blindness now increases, and they are usually unable to recognize it. The blind, fallen Christian is usually positive they are still saved. They are so sure they are saved, they may argue with the Lord Himself regarding being saved-ref Mt 7:22. Once the realization hits them that they are not saved, they may be very angry or bitter toward God. When the Rapture comes, they may be very upset that they were left behind-ref Mt 25:11.
   When a person’s heart is set on the things that be of men, more than the things that be of God, he is in trouble.

   The bottom line is that faith works by the kind of love that is shed abroad in our hearts by God. You are to love God above all, love God’s Word even when it corrects you, and also love the brethren.
   A person’s understanding of God’s Word is usually in line with their faith, as it is written: THROUGH FAITH WE UNDERSTAND-ref Heb 11:3.
   As a person plunges more and more in the direction of the bottomless pit, they become more and more spiritually blinded. They have no understanding. They sometimes become more and more religious.
   Most people are so spiritually blind that it never occurs they have forsaken God, neither do they even have a thought that they will perish until they die or miss the Rapture. But, even then, many do not understand. If you are blessed with a spiritually-minded minister—heed his correction. He is watching for your soul.
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48K-OVERCOMING

   It is written:
   1 Jn 4:4-YE ARE OF GOD, LITTLE CHILDREN, AND HAVE OVERCOME THEM: BECAUSE GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN YOU, THAN HE THAT IS IN THE WORLD.
   Phili 4:13-I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHICH STRENGTHENETH ME. If your trust and faith in Jesus and in His Word does not fail, you can, indeed, win the race that is set before you. God’s servants should also be there to help. If you do not forsake God’s calling—you can expect to have God’s servants wrap their arms around you to help you.

   When faced with some problems, the world and carnal Christians try to find solutions. If a neighbour irritates them, they might move. If they don’t like their boss, they change jobs. If they don’t like their wife, they divorce her. If they are being persecuted, they stop what they are doing and try to find something else to do.
   When Satan was allowed to attack Jesus with temptations, over and over, did He run away, or did He face the problems and overcome them?
   Jesus is our example. By His example—we face the situations we are in and overcome through faith.
   When there is a problem, we need to have the mind of Christ and not take matters into our own hands. We need to learn to wait on the Lord, to know what God’s will is by the Word, and how to respond as Jesus would.
   As we walk with Jesus, Satan will be allowed to bring a staggering amount of problems and temptations on us.
   Perhaps, God has called you to a certain church. But you don’t like the church, because they preach too much Scripture. So you leave and find another.
   Perhaps, He has called you to a certain ministry. But you don’t like the ministry He has called you to, because their equipment is old and doesn’t work well. So you leave and try to find another.
   He has called you to live in a certain place. But you don’t like the place because the walls are the wrong color. So you leave to find another place to live.
   He has called you to do a certain job. But you hate to do this particular job, so you leave to find another job.
   Such a person is not operating in faith. He is overcoming nothing. His faith has failed. His mind is not in tune with Jesus. He is like the shifting sand that moves about with the wind. He does not understand God’s Word and what his attitude should be.
   Then he dies and goes to hell. Why? It is written:    Lk 12:47-AND THAT SERVANT, WHICH KNEW HIS LORD'S WILL, AND PREPARED NOT HIMSELF, NEITHER DID ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, SHALL BE BEATEN WITH MANY STRIPES.
   Satan knows how to cause a person to be dissatisfied, no matter where they go or what they do. Perhaps, they are satisfied for a while, then become dissatisfied as time passes.
   God calls you to write a book. You don’t want to. God calls you to work on a computer. You don’t want to. God calls you to work in a yard. You don’t want to. God calls you to help park cars at the church. You don’t want to. God calls you to work alongside another Christian, but you don’t like that person.
   Have you not read:
   Ro 12:1-21-I BESEECH YOU THEREFORE, BRETHREN, BY THE MERCIES OF GOD, THAT YE PRESENT YOUR BODIES A LIVING SACRIFICE, HOLY, ACCEPTABLE UNTO GOD…AND BE NOT CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD: BUT BE YE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND. Your thinking needs to change to be as the mind of Christ. SO WE…ARE ONE BODY IN CHRIST, AND EVERY ONE MEMBERS ONE OF ANOTHER. As a Christian, you are to be FERVENT IN SPIRIT; SERVING THE LORD;…PATIENT IN TRIBULATION; CONTINUING INSTANT IN PRAYER. How do we face persecutions? BLESS THEM WHICH PERSECUTE YOU: BLESS, AND CURSE NOT. RECOMPENSE TO NO MAN EVIL FOR EVIL…IF IT BE POSSIBLE, AS MUCH AS LIETH IN YOU, LIVE PEACEABLY WITH ALL MEN. DEARLY BELOVED, AVENGE NOT YOURSELVES, BUT RATHER GIVE PLACE UNTO WRATH: FOR IT IS WRITTEN, VENGEANCE IS MINE; I WILL REPAY, SAITH THE LORD. THEREFORE IF THINE ENEMY HUNGER, FEED HIM; IF HE THIRST, GIVE HIM DRINK: FOR IN SO DOING THOU SHALT HEAP COALS OF FIRE ON HIS HEAD. BE NOT OVERCOME OF EVIL, BUT OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD.
   Is there something you don’t want to do for Christ? Expect Jesus to call you to do it. Is there someplace you don’t want to live? Expect Jesus to have you live there. Is there some line you won’t cross for Jesus? Expect Jesus to tell you to cross that line and do it with a Christ-like attitude. But understand this—the stubborn and rebellious will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
   Whatever wrong attitudes and thoughts you have, expect Jesus to set up circumstances to cause you to face it head on and overcome it by repentance, denying yourself and faith which works by love. A person that has run from his problems and obligations all his life, must now repent and overcome. When a person runs from a church, ministry, job, a place to live, or something else that is God’s will, he is running from God.
   1 Jn 4:4-YE ARE OF GOD, LITTLE CHILDREN, AND HAVE OVERCOME THEM: BECAUSE GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN YOU, THAN HE THAT IS IN THE WORLD.
   A person that has forsaken the world, but allows himself to become entangled in the world again, is on their way to hell. For it is written: 2 Pe 2:20-22-FOR IF AFTER THEY HAVE ESCAPED THE POLLUTIONS OF THE WORLD THROUGH THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST, THEY ARE AGAIN ENTANGLED THEREIN, AND OVERCOME, THE LATTER END IS WORSE WITH THEM THAN THE BEGINNING. FOR IT HAD BEEN BETTER FOR THEM NOT TO HAVE KNOWN THE WAY OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, THAN, AFTER THEY HAVE KNOWN IT, TO TURN FROM THE HOLY COMMANDMENT DELIVERED UNTO THEM. BUT IT IS HAPPENED UNTO THEM ACCORDING TO THE TRUE PROVERB, THE DOG IS TURNED TO HIS OWN VOMIT AGAIN; AND THE SOW THAT WAS WASHED TO HER WALLOWING IN THE MIRE. A person that turns from God’s will, as outlined in this Scripture, is referred to as a dog returning to his vomit. Could this be you?
   What is overcoming—you? How has Satan tempted you to get out of God’s will? What is there in your life that you have not submitted to God? God’s Word says: 2 Pe 2:19-FOR OF WHOM A MAN IS OVERCOME, OF THE SAME IS HE BROUGHT IN BONDAGE. Whatever line you will not cross, whatever torments you in your thoughts, it is from Satan. You are called to overcome it. If you will not, how can you grow in the Lord? You do not grow in the Lord by running away.
   A person that is not an overcomer is not fit for the Kingdom of heaven. Those that inherit eternal life will overcome all things. For it is written: 1 Jn 5:4-FOR WHATSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD OVERCOMETH THE WORLD: AND THIS IS THE VICTORY THAT OVERCOMETH THE WORLD, EVEN OUR FAITH.

   Regarding all 7 churches in the Revelation, the word OVERCOME is used. Here is just one. Rev 2:7-HE THAT HATH AN EAR, LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH UNTO THE CHURCHES; TO HIM THAT OVERCOMETH WILL I GIVE TO EAT OF THE TREE OF LIFE, WHICH IS IN THE MIDST OF THE PARADISE OF GOD.

   All Christians are called to overcome, even to the point of the death of a cross. If you can’t overcome something small now, don’t deceive yourself—neither will you overcome something huge later on; that is, taking the mark 666. A person refusing to take the mark of the Antichrist can expect to be tortured, day after day, with unimaginable pain, and then ultimately beheaded.

   We all have mountains and strongholds in our life to overcome as we follow Jesus. Some will finish the race that is set before them and overcome all of Satan’s obstacles. Some will fall by the wayside.
   Which will you be?
   Life is a test.
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49-HUSBANDS, WIVES, AND WIDOWS
LIFE IS A TEST

   Why was man created? Why was the woman created?

   Gen 1:1-IN THE BEGINNING GOD CREATED THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH.
   Gen 1:26,27-AND GOD SAID, LET US MAKE MAN IN OUR IMAGE, AFTER OUR LIKENESS: AND LET THEM HAVE DOMINION OVER THE FISH OF THE SEA, AND OVER THE FOWL OF THE AIR, AND OVER THE CATTLE, AND OVER ALL THE EARTH, AND OVER EVERY CREEPING THING THAT CREEPETH UPON THE EARTH. SO GOD CREATED MAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE, IN THE IMAGE OF GOD CREATED HE HIM; MALE AND FEMALE CREATED HE THEM.
   Gen 2:7,8-AND THE LORD GOD FORMED MAN OF THE DUST OF THE GROUND, AND BREATHED INTO HIS NOSTRILS THE BREATH OF LIFE; AND MAN BECAME A LIVING SOUL. AND THE LORD GOD PLANTED A GARDEN EASTWARD IN EDEN; AND THERE HE PUT THE MAN WHOM HE HAD FORMED. Man’s first job was to dress and keep the garden.
   Gen 2:15-17-AND THE LORD GOD TOOK THE MAN, AND PUT HIM INTO THE GARDEN OF EDEN TO DRESS IT AND TO KEEP IT. Man’s first job was to dress the garden and to keep it. He was to serve and obey God in doing this.
   AND THE LORD GOD COMMANDED THE MAN, SAYING, OF EVERY TREE OF THE GARDEN THOU MAYEST FREELY EAT: BUT OF THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, THOU SHALT NOT EAT OF IT: FOR IN THE DAY THAT THOU EATEST THEREOF THOU SHALT SURELY DIE.
   Here was the first command and the first test. God gave man food to eat, but put some restrictions on what food he could eat. Life is a test.
   Man passed this first test before the woman was created.

   Gen 2:18-AND THE LORD GOD SAID, IT IS NOT GOOD THAT THE MAN SHOULD BE ALONE; I WILL MAKE HIM AN HELP MEET FOR HIM (or a helper suitable for him-NIV)

   The initial reasons the woman was created were:
   (1) so that the man would not be alone and
   (2) so that he would have a helper.

   Gen 2:21-24-AND THE LORD GOD CAUSED A DEEP SLEEP TO FALL UPON ADAM, AND HE SLEPT: AND HE TOOK ONE OF HIS RIBS, AND CLOSED UP THE FLESH INSTEAD THEREOF; AND THE RIB, WHICH THE LORD GOD HAD TAKEN FROM MAN, MADE HE A WOMAN, AND BROUGHT HER UNTO THE MAN. AND ADAM SAID,
   THIS IS NOW BONE OF MY BONES,
   AND FLESH OF MY FLESH:
   SHE SHALL BE CALLED WOMAN, BECAUSE SHE WAS TAKEN OUT OF MAN.
   THEREFORE SHALL A MAN LEAVE HIS FATHER AND HIS MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE UNTO HIS WIFE:
   AND THEY SHALL BE ONE FLESH.

   Marriage has been included in this message, as all things, including relationships, can be expected to become more and more difficult, as people become more and more self-centered.
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50-THE WOMAN, THE WIFE
LIFE IS A TEST

   1 Cor 7:32,34-BUT I WOULD HAVE YOU (to be free from concern-NIV). HE THAT IS UNMARRIED CARETH FOR (or is concerned about-NIV) THE THINGS THAT BELONG TO THE LORD, HOW HE MAY PLEASE THE LORD: THERE IS DIFFERENCE ALSO BETWEEN A WIFE AND A VIRGIN. THE UNMARRIED WOMAN CARETH FOR THE THINGS OF THE LORD, THAT SHE MAY BE HOLY BOTH IN BODY AND IN SPIRIT: BUT SHE THAT IS MARRIED CARETH FOR (or is concerned about-NIV) THE THINGS OF THE WORLD, HOW SHE MAY PLEASE HER HUSBAND.
   Some women have the gift of singleness, so that she may wait upon the Lord without distraction.
   One of the biggest tests in life is marriage.

   The very purpose for the woman’s creation was so that the man would not be alone or lonely.
   She was created to be a helper to her husband. Some women are so independent, they spend little time with their husbands. Some have their own agendas. They spend time with relatives, with their children, in their jobs, plus many other endeavors. Some are very independent and self-centered. Some put all sorts of things before their husbands. From housework to you name it, it seems some women have forgotten their purpose. Women that put all sorts of things before their husbands and spend little time with them are acting contrary to the very reason they were created by God.
   Again, it needs to be emphasized why God created the woman. It was so that man would not be alone, and second she was to be his helper.
   With this in mind, the husband leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife. It is written:
   Mt 19:5,6-Jesus said: FOR THIS CAUSE SHALL A MAN LEAVE FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE: AND THEY TWAIN SHALL BE ONE FLESH. WHEREFORE THEY ARE NO MORE TWAIN, BUT ONE FLESH. WHAT THEREFORE GOD HATH JOINED TOGETHER, LET NOT MAN PUT ASUNDER (ref Eph 5:31). Note, the man was not CREATED FOR THE WOMAN, BUT THE WOMAN FOR THE MAN-1 Cor 11:9.
   When the born again woman marries, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, but ONLY IN THE LORD-ref 1 Cor 7:39.
   Note the closeness that is to exist between the woman and the man.
   She is now bone of his bones.
   She is flesh of his flesh.
   The two of them are to be so close that they are to be as one flesh.
   This oneness between the woman and the husband is very foreign in most marriages; yet, it is symbolic to the oneness that is to exist between Christ and the church. This closeness cannot exist, if both are not in the Lord. The woman that disobeys this command of God leaves herself open for Satan to attack her faith and her marriage. A woman that will disobey this command will also disobey other commands. Jesus learned obedience. So must all born again Christians.
   Man was created to serve God and to glorify Him, to deny self, to conform to the image of Christ and to follow Christ. This is a picture of the church (or bride) to Christ. This is also a picture of the woman to the man. But once married, the woman often rebels against the very reason she was created, as she wants to be her own person. She wants her own way, her own career, her own life. She wants freedom to do whatever she wants to do. She has her own hobbies, and her children sometimes become the center of her life. The husband is often no longer the center of her life. Thus, she rebels against the very reason she was created, and, in so doing, she is in rebellion against God. A woman that is this way may not understand the relationship of the church to Christ. She may not understand the mind of Christ or God’s Word.
   As this study continues, consider, this is God’s picture of marriage, but it is also an example of the relationship between Jesus and the church.
   1 Cor 7:34…SHE THAT IS MARRIED CARETH FOR THE THINGS OF THE WORLD, HOW SHE MAY PLEASE HER HUSBAND. Note, the words “she may please her husband” and below “her desire shall be to her husband.” God built this into a woman, but some women rebel against this.
   Gen 3:16-UNTO THE WOMAN HE SAID,…AND THY DESIRE SHALL BE TO THY HUSBAND, AND HE SHALL RULE OVER THEE.
   Eph 5:33-AND THE WIFE SEE THAT SHE REVERENCE (or respect) HER HUSBAND.
   These two commands for the woman are often ignored. The husband is to rule over the wife, and the wife is to respect her husband.
   Eph 5:22-24-WIVES, SUBMIT YOURSELVES UNTO YOUR OWN HUSBANDS, AS UNTO THE LORD. FOR THE HUSBAND IS THE HEAD OF THE WIFE, EVEN AS CHRIST IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH: AND HE IS THE SAVIOUR OF THE BODY. THEREFORE AS THE CHURCH IS SUBJECT UNTO CHRIST, SO LET THE WIVES BE TO THEIR OWN HUSBANDS IN EVERY THING.
   Col 3:18,19-WIVES, SUBMIT YOURSELVES UNTO YOUR OWN HUSBANDS, AS IT IS FIT IN THE LORD.
   1 Tim 3:11-EVEN SO MUST THEIR WIVES BE GRAVE, NOT SLANDERERS, SOBER, FAITHFUL IN ALL THINGS.
   1 Pe 3:1-7-LIKEWISE, YE WIVES, BE IN SUBJECTION TO YOUR OWN HUSBANDS; THAT, IF ANY OBEY NOT THE WORD, THEY ALSO MAY WITHOUT THE WORD BE WON BY THE CONVERSATION OF THE WIVES; WHILE THEY BEHOLD YOUR CHASTE CONVERSATION COUPLED WITH FEAR. WHOSE ADORNING LET IT NOT BE THAT OUTWARD ADORNING OF PLAITING THE HAIR, AND OF WEARING OF GOLD, OR OF PUTTING ON OF APPAREL; BUT LET IT BE THE HIDDEN MAN OF THE HEART, IN THAT WHICH IS NOT CORRUPTIBLE, EVEN THE ORNAMENT OF A MEEK AND QUIET SPIRIT, WHICH IS IN THE SIGHT OF GOD OF GREAT PRICE. Note the words-A MEEK AND QUIET SPIRIT. We are reminded of the words of God which say-THE TONGUE CAN NO MAN TAME-ref Ja 3:8. Some women are very emotional and can become talking machines. They need to repent.
   The verses continue—FOR AFTER THIS MANNER IN THE OLD TIME THE HOLY WOMEN ALSO, WHO TRUSTED IN GOD, ADORNED THEMSELVES, BEING IN SUBJECTION UNTO THEIR OWN HUSBANDS: EVEN AS SARA OBEYED ABRAHAM, CALLING HIM LORD: WHOSE DAUGHTERS YE ARE, AS LONG AS YE DO WELL (or what is right-NIV), AND ARE NOT AFRAID WITH ANY AMAZEMENT (or do not give way to fear-NIV).
   God also gives the woman guidelines about good works. 1 Tim 5:9-15-LET NOT A WIDOW BE TAKEN INTO THE NUMBER UNDER THREESCORE YEARS OLD, HAVING BEEN THE WIFE OF ONE MAN. Note the words-having been the wife of one man. Then the Bible tells us of the good works she should do.
   It is written: WELL REPORTED OF FOR GOOD WORKS. IF SHE HAS BEEN FAITHFUL TO HER HUSBAND (NIV),
   IF SHE HAVE BROUGHT UP CHILDREN,
   IF SHE HAVE LODGED STRANGERS (or shown hospitality),
   IF SHE HAVE WASHED THE SAINTS' FEET,
   IF SHE HAVE RELIEVED THE AFFLICTED (or helped those in trouble),
   IF SHE HAVE DILIGENTLY FOLLOWED EVERY GOOD WORK.

   Note the words in these verses:
   She was created by God for the man, so he would not be alone.
   She was created by God to be her husband’s helper.
   She was created by God, so she may please her husband.
   Her desire is to her husband.
   She is to respect her husband.
   She is to be faithful.
   She is only to have been the wife of one husband, unless her husband has died.
   She is to be in subjection to her husband, even as Sara obeyed Abraham calling him lord.
   She is to submit to her husband AS IT IS FIT IN THE LORD.
   The husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church.
   The woman is to have a meek and quiet spirit.
   The woman is to diligently follow good works, which includes bringing up children, lodging strangers, washing the saint’s feet, and relieving the afflicted.
   God warns women about living for pleasure, casting off their first faith, and turning away to follow Satan. The Scriptures warn the woman about being idle, going about from house to house and being a gossip, and busybody, and speaking things which they ought not, and giving the enemy an opportunity to speak slander. Life is a test.

   Note, that God emphasized wives to be in subjection to their own husbands more than any other subject. At least seven times, God relates to this one subject. God appears to have known something about the woman He created, much more than many women know about themselves. It seems the woman would not easily choose to be under the authority of her husband, even as man does not easily choose to be under the authority of Christ. He also appears to be telling us that a woman that is not in subjection to her own husband is also not in subjection to God.
   For some women, the idea that they are to submit to their husband in all things is unthinkable. Satan knows the things that be of men. He knows exactly how to stir up the woman to be in rebellion to her husband and to be irritable toward him. Satan knows exactly how to stir up the woman, so the law of kindness is no longer present.
   Some women may think that a man is too possessive of his wife. How possessive is Christ of His church? How jealous is Christ for His church? How much does God get angry when His church rebels?
   Some men, however, make a big mistake. They hit their wives over and over with the Scriptures about submitting to them. The submission of the wife is a voluntary thing, just as man’s submission to Christ is. Does God destroy man for not being in submission to Him in everything? If He did, all men would be dead. God is patient with each of us, as, indeed, a husband is to be toward his wife. He is not to be a lord over God’s flock. For it is written: 1 Pe 5:3-NEITHER AS BEING LORDS OVER GOD'S HERITAGE, BUT BEING ENSAMPLES TO THE FLOCK. Nevertheless, if necessary, the husband is to correct his wife, biblically, and if she resists and tries to accuse him back, make excuses, or be irritable toward her husband, she is clearly not in compliance with God’s Word. This does not make a good biblical marriage. A woman that is humble, submissive, and brings forth the fruit of the Spirit of God even under stress—this is the woman that should have a good marriage, if her husband is also like-minded. Life is a test.
   As a woman draws closer to Christ, the submission that God commands of her in all things to her husband should come. As the Scriptures clearly show, an unsubmissive wife to her husband is also an unsubmissive servant to Christ.
   Satan has many time-tested traps to use on the woman to distract her from being the wife God made her to be, just as he does for all born again Christians to distract them from being the servant of Christ as they are called to be. Also, the Scriptures indicate, the woman seems a bit more receptive to Satan’s deceptions than the man does. However, there are many marriages where the wife can be closer to Jesus than the husband, but this does not negate the order of things in a marriage.
   There are also many marriages in which the wife is following Christ, and the man is not. The Scriptures also cover how the wife’s conduct is to be in these cases. This may not be covered in this message.
   This is God’s established order, but by the very nature of things, both men and women rebel against God. Ultimately, only a few will be chosen to inherit eternal life, because only a few are faithful until the end. Life is a test.
   If this message was presented to a woman in the times of Jesus it should have been welcomed. If this message was presented to women of a hundred years ago, it should have been welcomed. But present this message to a woman of this current generation, and many of them will probably argue that the Word of God presented here no longer applies to today or that it is some man’s opinion and does not mean exactly what it says here. The liberated woman of this age will soon find themselves in the Tribulation and then in Hell, if she does not repent. The woman of today enters marriage hoping to find the man of her dreams. Few are looking for a man that is committed to God and obeys the Gospel.

   1 Tim 2:9-15-IN LIKE MANNER ALSO, THAT WOMEN ADORN THEMSELVES IN MODEST APPAREL (or dress modestly), WITH SHAMEFACEDNESS AND SOBRIETY (or with decency and propriety); NOT WITH BROIDED HAIR, OR GOLD, OR PEARLS, OR COSTLY ARRAY (or expensive clothes); BUT (WHICH BECOMETH WOMEN PROFESSING GODLINESS) WITH GOOD WORKS. LET THE WOMAN LEARN IN SILENCE WITH ALL SUBJECTION. BUT I SUFFER NOT A WOMAN TO TEACH, NOR TO USURP AUTHORITY OVER THE MAN, BUT TO BE IN SILENCE. FOR ADAM WAS FIRST FORMED, THEN EVE. AND ADAM WAS NOT DECEIVED, BUT THE WOMAN BEING DECEIVED WAS IN THE TRANSGRESSION. NOTWITHSTANDING SHE SHALL BE SAVED IN CHILDBEARING, IF THEY CONTINUE IN FAITH AND CHARITY (or love) AND HOLINESS WITH SOBRIETY.
   Some women try to dominate their husbands. Such women are acting contrary to God’s order of things.
   The seductive way many women dress and conduct themselves in this latter day generation is completely contrary to God’s Word.
   While the wife is under the authority of her husband, if he would tell her to do something contrary to God’s Word and God’s will—this she cannot obey.
   Adam’s wife tempted Adam to disobey God. Job’s wife tempted him to curse God-ref Job 2:9. Abraham’s wife lied, because she was afraid it appears-ref Gen 18:15. Lot’s wife refused to obey God and became a pillar of salt-Gen 19:26, and Rachel (Jacob’s wife) stole images that were her father’s-ref Gen 31:19. Our society today does not esteem a Christian wife that is humble and easy to correct.
   Mal 2:14-16-…THE WIFE…YET IS SHE THY COMPANION, AND THE WIFE OF THY COVENANT. Note, marriage is a covenant, and the wife is to be a companion to her husband.
   Pv 12:4-A VIRTUOUS WOMAN IS A CROWN TO HER HUSBAND: BUT SHE THAT MAKETH ASHAMED IS AS ROTTENNESS IN HIS BONES.
   Pv 31:10-WHO CAN FIND A VIRTUOUS WOMAN? FOR HER PRICE IS FAR ABOVE RUBIES. Life is a test.
   Pv 31:11-13, 30-THE HEART OF HER HUSBAND DOTH SAFELY TRUST IN HER, SO THAT HE SHALL HAVE NO NEED OF SPOIL. In other words, she should be trust worthy.
   SHE WILL DO HIM GOOD AND NOT EVIL ALL THE DAYS OF HER LIFE.
   SHE…WORKETH WILLINGLY WITH HER HANDS.
SHE CONSIDERETH A FIELD, AND BUYETH IT: WITH THE FRUIT OF HER HANDS SHE PLANTETH A VINEYARD.
   …STRENGTH AND HONOUR ARE HER CLOTHING; AND SHE SHALL REJOICE IN TIME TO COME.
   SHE OPENETH HER MOUTH WITH WISDOM;
   AND IN HER TONGUE IS THE LAW OF KINDNESS.
   SHE LOOKETH WELL TO THE WAYS OF HER HOUSEHOLD,
   AND EATETH NOT THE BREAD OF IDLENESS.
   Pv 31:30…A WOMAN THAT FEARETH THE LORD, SHE SHALL BE PRAISED.
   A wife that is not kind, not loving, not a helper to her husband, is not a wife as God would have her be. Ask her to do something, and she snaps back. She may sometimes get easily irritated when her husband asks anything of her, because she has her own agenda, or she has wrong thinking. Such a wife is acting contrary to why she was created. She should always respond with the law of kindness. Note, it is not a suggestion. It is a law of God. Some wives will obey their husbands, but the attitude of their initial words is not peaceful or kind. She is to be her husband’s companion.
   Note, no where does God tell us that the husband is subject to the wife, that he is to obey his wife. It is the wife that is to be subject to her husband, even as the church is subject to Jesus. He was not made for her. She was made for him.
   1 Cor 11:7-FOR A MAN INDEED OUGHT NOT TO COVER HIS HEAD, FORASMUCH AS HE IS THE IMAGE AND GLORY OF GOD:
   BUT THE WOMAN IS THE GLORY OF THE MAN. The man is not the glory of the woman, but the woman is the glory of the man.

   Consider Joseph and Mary. Mary was very humble, very submissive. Sara was very submissive to Abraham, even calling him, lord.
   Yet many girls today grow up in households where the woman stands toe to toe with her husband, demanding how things are to be, and dominating their husbands. They dominate their husbands with their conversation. Such are not the ways of God. And then their children grow up. They get married, but have great difficulty understanding a biblical marriage. The woman thinks she is the head of the household. She thinks she is to run everything. She thinks God will speak through her just as much as her husband, regarding what the family is to do, and where it should go. Thus, even though she reads the Scriptures, she sometimes has a difficult time humbling herself and taking her place biblically in the marriage as she ought. Thus, there is trouble in the marriage, as there always will be when God’s order of things are not followed. So, what do some men do? They submit to their wives to keep peace in the household, to keep the strife down. But it is not a biblical marriage, and it is not pleasing to God when the man submits to the wife in all things. She is not the head of the household.
   God gives the direction for the household to the husband, not the woman. Mary was never shown to be rebellious against her husband. The direction for the household of Joseph and Mary, including where they were to go, was given to Joseph, not to Mary-ref Mt 2:13. If Mary would have been a rebellious woman and refused to go to Egypt, it could have impacted the history of the world. Again, when Joseph and Mary were to return to Israel, the direction from God was given to Joseph, not to Mary-ref Mt 2:19.
   Yet many women today have difficulty understanding this is God’s order of things, as they are seldom brought up in this kind of an atmosphere anymore.
   So what happens? About 50 to 65% of all marriages fail, including many so-called Christian marriages. Even among those that do not fail, many are not happy and peaceful marriages.

   Modern day men and women have very little understanding of God’s way of marriage. Even in today’s church, many may not understand how a true biblical marriage should be. There are all kinds of marriage counselors, but they are not giving biblical marriage counseling, perhaps, because they fear they would offend someone.
   Regretfully, it is difficult for any Christian marriage, in this modern day generation, to be as God ordained. There are times when the woman may be more in tune with God than the man, which can also complicate things, unless the woman does, indeed, understand and obey God in all things, including her role in the marriage.
   Some wives try to correct their husbands, over and over, regarding spiritual matters or things they don’t like their husbands doing. God is the head of the man, not the woman. Nevertheless, the man needs to carefully consider what God says to him, regarding marriage, further on in this text. Thus, when a wife tries to correct her husband regarding sin, there can be difficulties. It is like an employee telling the head of a company how to do things. It may not go well, as it is not the order of things as laid down by the Scriptures. There are some women that keep reminding their husband of their shortcomings—rubbing it in. This is not good and cannot be pleasing to the Lord. It does little to bring the two closer together. If a woman feels compelled to say something to her husband when he is biblically in sin, it would be best to say it one time, and then let the Lord deal with him. To keep repeating it to the husband is not good.
   Some Christian women make a serious mistake. They involve themselves with soap operas and talk shows on both TV and the radio. They love the various judges on TV, the game shows, and all sorts of other entertainment. They fill their minds all sorts of books, magazines, Internet info, and movies, with a little bit of Bible reading here and there. Then their faith fails in the time of crises. If they are asked to go witnessing for Jesus, they just can’t find the time.
   The worldly things they involve themselves with compete with their walk with God. They study God’s Word, but also study other things. They don’t seem to realize that in feeding their hearts with worldly things, they are compromising their walk with the Lord. Our minds need to be fixed on and filled with Jesus, not on other things that are not part of the calling of God on our lives. Some women can tell you much more about certain characters in TV shows than they can tell you about Christ. Some women, in a manner of speaking, live in front of their TV set or some other kind of screen. Their TV, computer, the Internet, their cell phone, their I-pod, or other devices are a big part of their lives. They send emails, they text people, they tweet—excessive communication that consumes their time. Their heads are full of all sorts of worldly information. This definitely applies to men as well.
   But where is Jesus in their lives? Then their marriage fails, and they wonder, “Why did it fail?” God created woman for a specific purpose. When her purpose becomes self-centered, there can be trouble ahead. The woman’s existence is to be centered on Christ and her husband, not on the cares of this life, the lusts of the flesh, the deceitfulness of riches, or the world’s pleasures, entertainment, and other such things.
   Some women get irritated at the drop of a pin, so to speak. Ask them a question, they get irritated and snap back. Tell them you love them, and they respond coldly. Try to embrace them, and they don’t have time for such nonsense. Seek for sex, and they are too tired.
   They have not the law of kindness or the love of Christ in them. Suggest that they turn off their cell phone, the TV, their I-pod, their computer and begin to study God’s Word, and watch the sparks fly. Husbands that try to correct some wives, find themselves being lambasted with accusations. A humble, kind, and sweet-spirited wife is hard to find. Little by little, the attitude of some wives kill their husband’s love. So to get away from strife with their wife, they find other things in which to occupy themselves away from home. It can be wonderful being around some women, but not so with others.
   Men do not want an unhappy, pouting wife that always complains, feels rejected, gossips and accuses others.
   As previously stated, many of these things apply to husbands as well.

   1 Cor 7:28-BUT AND IF THOU MARRY, THOU HAST NOT SINNED; AND IF A VIRGIN MARRY, SHE HATH NOT SINNED. NEVERTHELESS SUCH SHALL HAVE TROUBLE IN THE FLESH: BUT I SPARE YOU. In a marriage, there are sometimes problems. There is trouble. Much of the trouble stems from each person not fulfilling their God given role in the marriage. If both are in Christ, if both the man and the woman understand their place and obligations in the marriage and what their attitude should be, the trouble in the flesh should be minimal. But, as we have seen from God’s Word, the wife’s role to be subject to her husband, becomes a stumbling block for many women, especially in this latter day generation where women are liberated.
   In addition, sex outside of marriage is rampant. Surveys have shown that 75% of all men cheat at least one time during their marriage, and 50 to 65% of the women do also. Sexually transmitted diseases are common these days, and if a person marries a person that has some of these, it can bring great difficulty into the marriage.
   Let us understand clearly. If a man or woman commits adultery, they are not saved. This is the way it is.
   If a man or woman has sex outside of marriage, they are not saved. This is the way it is.
   If a man or woman practices same sex, they are not saved. This is the way it is.
   No matter how much a person chooses to disagree with this—they will learn when they die that the Scriptures do not lie, as they find themselves in a place called hell.
   People that willingly practice sin have not repented. Without repentance, there is no salvation. As it is written: Lk 13:3-I TELL YOU, NAY: BUT, EXCEPT YE REPENT, YE SHALL ALL LIKEWISE PERISH.

   The husband and wife should do things together, plan things together, and other such matters. There is to be a oneness between them.
   There is no conflict regarding a woman being married to her husband and also being the bride of Christ.
   A born again husband and wife should easily understand from the Scriptures the wife’s obligations to the Lord first, and also to her husband. There is no conflict when both are spiritually-minded and walking in the fruits of the Spirit; but there can be conflict, if both are carnally-minded and walking in the flesh.
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51-DIVORCE OR SEPARATION
LIFE IS A TEST

As time draws closer and closer to the Rapture, marriage is increasingly under attack.
The biblical marriage relationship between a man and a woman is being forgotten.
What lies ahead? Marriages so contrary to God’s Word—it would have been unthinkable 25 years ago.
But, then, God’s Word clearly foretold these things. His Word even foretold when these things would happen.
LET GOD BE TRUE AND EVERY MAN A LIAR-Ro 3:4.

   Ro 7:2-FOR THE WOMAN WHICH HATH AN HUSBAND IS BOUND BY THE LAW TO HER HUSBAND SO LONG AS HE LIVETH; BUT IF THE HUSBAND BE DEAD, SHE IS LOOSED FROM THE LAW OF HER HUSBAND.
   1 Cor 7:10-AND UNTO THE MARRIED I COMMAND, YET NOT I, BUT THE LORD, LET NOT THE WIFE DEPART FROM HER HUSBAND:
   The woman rebels against the man in some way. Perhaps she becomes irritable. She is not kind. The very nature of the woman was to draw closer to her husband, as the church is to draw closer to Jesus. But she does not fulfill her calling. Thus, the very reason she was created is not fulfilled. The man begins to feel rejected, lonely, and empty.    The woman needs to understand that her relationship with her husband is symbolic of the relationship of the church with Christ.
   A wife that cannot be easily corrected by her husband, also cannot be easily corrected by Christ. A wife that will not fulfill the very purpose to which she was created, does not have a good relationship with God, no matter how good her deceived thoughts tell her that she has. I speak this mainly to Christian woman, for the unsaved cannot understand the church’s relationship to Christ.
   The church is the bride of Christ, and a woman is the bride of a man.
   The man has his first obligation to Christ, but also to his wife.
   The woman has her first obligation to Christ, but also to her husband.
   It was the woman that first rebelled against God, not the man. It appears from God’s Word that Adam was first tempted, but did not sin. Then Satan went after Eve, and she was more easily deceived. Then Satan used the woman to tempt her husband and succeeded.
   However, in some cases, it is the husband that tempts the woman.
   The rebellion against God began with Satan. Then it spread to the angels. Then it spread to the woman. Then it spread to the man.
   As Eve rebelled, so women throughout history have rebelled. They rebel against the very reason they were created.
   Likewise, man was created to serve and glorify God, so man rebels against the very reason he was created.    Mal 2:16-FOR THE LORD, THE GOD OF ISRAEL, SAITH THAT HE HATETH PUTTING AWAY: FOR ONE COVERETH VIOLENCE WITH HIS GARMENT, SAITH THE LORD OF HOSTS: THEREFORE TAKE HEED TO YOUR SPIRIT, THAT YE DEAL NOT TREACHEROUSLY. Although God hates divorce, He does allow for it in very specific cases.

   1 Cor 7:10-15-AND UNTO THE MARRIED I COMMAND, YET NOT I, BUT THE LORD, LET NOT THE WIFE DEPART FROM HER HUSBAND: BUT AND IF SHE DEPART, LET HER REMAIN UNMARRIED, OR BE RECONCILED TO HER HUSBAND: AND LET NOT THE HUSBAND PUT AWAY HIS WIFE. BUT TO THE REST SPEAK I, NOT THE LORD: IF ANY BROTHER HATH A WIFE THAT BELIEVETH NOT, AND SHE BE PLEASED TO DWELL WITH HIM, LET HIM NOT PUT HER AWAY. AND THE WOMAN WHICH HATH AN HUSBAND THAT BELIEVETH NOT, AND IF HE BE PLEASED TO DWELL WITH HER, LET HER NOT LEAVE HIM. FOR THE UNBELIEVING HUSBAND IS SANCTIFIED BY THE WIFE, AND THE UNBELIEVING WIFE IS SANCTIFIED BY THE HUSBAND: ELSE WERE YOUR CHILDREN UNCLEAN; BUT NOW ARE THEY HOLY. BUT IF THE UNBELIEVING DEPART, LET HIM DEPART. A BROTHER OR A SISTER IS NOT UNDER BONDAGE IN SUCH CASES: BUT GOD HATH CALLED US TO PEACE.

   Ref Deut 24:1-4 and other Scriptures. A woman that departs from her husband and becomes defiled by another man may not be taken back.
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52-HUSBANDS
LIFE IS A TEST

   Many of the temptations that Satan uses against the wife to distract her and cause her to act contrary to God’s Word also apply to the man, as previously stated in section #50.
   Eph 5:25-HUSBANDS, LOVE YOUR WIVES, EVEN AS CHRIST ALSO LOVED THE CHURCH, AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR IT.
   Eph 5:28-SO OUGHT MEN TO LOVE THEIR WIVES AS THEIR OWN BODIES. HE THAT LOVETH HIS WIFE LOVETH HIMSELF.
   Eph 5:33-NEVERTHELESS LET EVERY ONE OF YOU IN PARTICULAR SO LOVE HIS WIFE EVEN AS HIMSELF.
   Col 3:19-HUSBANDS, LOVE YOUR WIVES, AND BE NOT BITTER AGAINST THEM. Note, the husband is not to be bitter against his wife.

   The command to the husband to love his wife seems to appear more than any other command for men, regarding marriage. Perhaps, because it is easy for a man to exert his authority without showing love or sensitivity. A demanding dictator does not make a good marriage partner. Jesus said in Lk 22:25-27-THE KINGS OF THE GENTILES EXERCISE LORDSHIP OVER THEM…BUT YE SHALL NOT BE SO: BUT HE THAT IS…CHIEF (let him be) AS HE THAT DOTH SERVE…I AM AMONG YOU AS HE THAT SERVETH. Though He was Lord of all, Christ demonstrated the heart of a servant to His bride, the church. In like manner, the husband should do the same for his wife.

   Pv 31:28-HER HUSBAND ALSO, AND HE PRAISETH HER.
   1 Pe 3:7-God commands the husband—LIKEWISE, YE HUSBANDS, DWELL WITH THEM (their wife) ACCORDING TO KNOWLEDGE (or with understanding), GIVING HONOUR UNTO THE WIFE, AS UNTO THE WEAKER VESSEL, AND AS BEING HEIRS TOGETHER OF THE GRACE OF LIFE; THAT YOUR PRAYERS BE NOT HINDERED. A husband that treats his wife harshly, that does not dwell with her according to God’s Word, that does not respect her as being heirs together of the grace of God, his prayers may be hindered. This is a serious warning. Husbands, take careful heed.
   Life is a test.

   1 Cor 7:33-BUT HE THAT IS MARRIED CARETH FOR THE THINGS THAT ARE OF THE WORLD, HOW HE MAY PLEASE HIS WIFE.    Mal 2:14…THE LORD HATH BEEN WITNESS BETWEEN THEE AND THE WIFE OF THY YOUTH, AGAINST WHOM THOU HAST DEALT TREACHEROUSLY: YET IS SHE THY COMPANION, AND THE WIFE OF THY COVENANT. Note, marriage is a covenant. The husband that treats his wife badly, that deals deceitfully and breaks faith with her is not in the will of God. For God hates divorce.
   Mal 2:15-AND DID NOT HE MAKE ONE?…THEREFORE TAKE HEED TO YOUR SPIRIT, AND LET NONE DEAL TREACHEROUSLY AGAINST THE WIFE OF HIS YOUTH.
   1 Cor 7:1-5-NOW CONCERNING THE THINGS WHEREOF YE WROTE UNTO ME: IT IS GOOD FOR A MAN NOT TO TOUCH A WOMAN. NEVERTHELESS, TO AVOID FORNICATION, LET EVERY MAN HAVE HIS OWN WIFE, AND LET EVERY WOMAN HAVE HER OWN HUSBAND. LET THE HUSBAND RENDER UNTO THE WIFE DUE BENEVOLENCE: AND LIKEWISE ALSO THE WIFE UNTO THE HUSBAND. THE WIFE HATH NOT POWER OF HER OWN BODY, BUT THE HUSBAND: AND LIKEWISE ALSO THE HUSBAND HATH NOT POWER OF HIS OWN BODY, BUT THE WIFE. DEFRAUD YE NOT ONE THE OTHER, EXCEPT IT BE WITH CONSENT FOR A TIME, THAT YE MAY GIVE YOURSELVES TO FASTING AND PRAYER; AND COME TOGETHER AGAIN, THAT SATAN TEMPT YOU NOT FOR YOUR INCONTINENCY. Life is a test.

   The husband has an awesome responsibility to his wife. He is first and foremost to be an example of Christ. The standard of love required here is high. He is to love her as Christ loved the church. He is to love her as his own body. He is to protect her, provide for her, care for her, listen to her, be patient with her, praise her, respect her, and cheer her up-ref Deut 24:5.
   When the wife has a need, she should be able to ask her husband. He, being an example of Christ, is to do all he can for her.
   It is good for the husband and the wife to pray together at times.    1 Tim 5:8-BUT IF ANY PROVIDE NOT FOR HIS OWN, AND SPECIALLY FOR THOSE OF HIS OWN HOUSE, HE HATH DENIED THE FAITH, AND IS WORSE THAN AN INFIDEL.

   A born again man, should he marry, is to only marry a born again woman. He is not to be unequally yoked together with an unbeliever, because the oneness between husband and wife that the Bible speaks of cannot exist in this kind of union. The husband is to love his wife, but he is to love God above all.
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53-WIDOWS
LIFE IS A TEST

   The Bible warns widows about departing from Christ. It is written:
   1 Tim 5:3-15-HONOUR WIDOWS THAT ARE WIDOWS INDEED. BUT IF ANY WIDOW HAVE CHILDREN OR NEPHEWS, LET THEM LEARN FIRST TO SHEW PIETY AT HOME, AND TO REQUITE THEIR PARENTS: FOR THAT IS GOOD AND ACCEPTABLE BEFORE GOD. NOW SHE THAT IS A WIDOW INDEED, AND DESOLATE, TRUSTETH IN GOD, AND CONTINUETH IN SUPPLICATIONS AND PRAYERS NIGHT AND DAY. BUT SHE THAT LIVETH IN PLEASURE IS DEAD WHILE SHE LIVETH. AND THESE THINGS GIVE IN CHARGE, THAT THEY MAY BE BLAMELESS. BUT IF ANY PROVIDE NOT FOR HIS OWN, AND SPECIALLY FOR THOSE OF HIS OWN HOUSE, HE HATH DENIED THE FAITH, AND IS WORSE THAN AN INFIDEL. LET NOT A WIDOW BE TAKEN INTO THE NUMBER UNDER THREESCORE YEARS OLD, HAVING BEEN THE WIFE OF ONE MAN, WELL REPORTED OF FOR GOOD WORKS; IF SHE HAVE BROUGHT UP CHILDREN, IF SHE HAVE LODGED STRANGERS, IF SHE HAVE WASHED THE SAINTS' FEET, IF SHE HAVE RELIEVED THE AFFLICTED, IF SHE HAVE DILIGENTLY FOLLOWED EVERY GOOD WORK. BUT THE YOUNGER WIDOWS REFUSE: FOR WHEN THEY HAVE BEGUN TO WAX WANTON AGAINST CHRIST, THEY WILL MARRY; HAVING DAMNATION, BECAUSE THEY HAVE CAST OFF THEIR FIRST FAITH. AND WITHAL THEY LEARN TO BE IDLE, WANDERING ABOUT FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE; AND NOT ONLY IDLE, BUT TATTLERS ALSO AND BUSYBODIES, SPEAKING THINGS WHICH THEY OUGHT NOT. I WILL THEREFORE THAT THE YOUNGER WOMEN MARRY, BEAR CHILDREN, GUIDE THE HOUSE, GIVE NONE OCCASION TO THE ADVERSARY TO SPEAK REPROACHFULLY. FOR SOME ARE ALREADY TURNED ASIDE AFTER SATAN. Life is a test.

   The NIV states: 1 Tim 5:5,6,11-15-The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. BUT THE YOUNGER WIDOWS REFUSE: FOR WHEN THEY HAVE BEGUN TO WAX WANTON AGAINST CHRIST THEY WILL MARRY (or when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry-NIV). HAVING DAMNATION, BECAUSE THEY HAVE CAST OFF THEIR FIRST FAITH (or thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to. So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. Some have, in fact, already turned away to follow Satan). Life is a test. Click here to go to top of page.

54-FOOD AND GLUTTONY: A STRONGHOLD OF SATAN
CAN YOU BE CORRECTED REGARDING FOOD?
LIFE IS A TEST

   Satan used food to deceive Eve. She sold her soul to eat of the forbidden tree, and, then, she was used to deceive Adam, also.
   Esau sold his birthright for food-ref Gen 25:31-45. Afterward, he cried, but found no place for repentance-Gen 27:34; Heb 12:17.
   In some countries of the world, deceivers use food to draw followers away from Jesus. They entice them with food to attend their false churches.
   Food is, indeed, a stronghold that Satan uses in many ways. It is one of Satan’s number one weapons.    Some people will kill for food. Some will eat their children in order to survive.

   Regarding born again children of God, God promises them that He will supply their needs, which includes food.
   It is written: Mt 6:25,26,31-THEREFORE I SAY UNTO YOU, TAKE NO THOUGHT FOR YOUR LIFE, WHAT YE SHALL EAT, OR WHAT YE SHALL DRINK; NOR YET FOR YOUR BODY, WHAT YE SHALL PUT ON. IS NOT THE LIFE MORE THAN MEAT, AND THE BODY THAN RAIMENT? BEHOLD THE FOWLS OF THE AIR: FOR THEY SOW NOT, NEITHER DO THEY REAP, NOR GATHER INTO BARNS; YET YOUR
   HEAVENLY FATHER FEEDETH THEM. ARE YE NOT MUCH BETTER THAN THEY? THEREFORE TAKE NO THOUGHT, SAYING,
   WHAT SHALL WE EAT? OR,
   WHAT SHALL WE DRINK? OR, WHEREWITHAL SHALL WE BE CLOTHED?
   Lk 12:23,24,29,31-THE LIFE IS MORE THAN MEAT, AND THE BODY IS MORE THAN RAIMENT. CONSIDER THE RAVENS: FOR THEY NEITHER SOW NOR REAP; WHICH NEITHER HAVE STOREHOUSE NOR BARN;
   AND GOD FEEDETH THEM: HOW MUCH MORE ARE YE BETTER THAN THE FOWLS? AND
   SEEK NOT YE WHAT YE SHALL EAT, OR WHAT YE SHALL DRINK, NEITHER BE YE OF DOUBTFUL MIND. FOR ALL THESE THINGS DO THE NATIONS OF THE WORLD SEEK AFTER: AND YOUR FATHER KNOWETH THAT YE HAVE NEED OF THESE THINGS. BUT RATHER SEEK YE THE KINGDOM OF GOD; AND
   ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU.
   However, these promises are not to make-believe Christians. These promises are not to those that have no faith or faith like a wave.
   If a person does not trust that God will provide for them, He may not—for those whose faith is like a wave should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
   Ja 1:6-8-BUT LET HIM ASK IN FAITH, NOTHING WAVERING. FOR HE THAT WAVERETH IS LIKE A WAVE OF THE SEA DRIVEN WITH THE WIND AND TOSSED. FOR LET NOT THAT MAN THINK THAT HE SHALL RECEIVE ANY THING OF THE LORD. A DOUBLE MINDED MAN IS UNSTABLE IN ALL HIS WAYS.

   Clearly, the Christian’s mind is not to be centered on food. Their mind is to be centered on Christ.
   Yet, for many Christians, food is a god to them. They crave certain foods, as if they would die without them.
   Others can’t stop eating. They are gluttons. Phili 3:19-WHOSE END IS DESTRUCTION, WHOSE GOD IS THEIR BELLY, AND WHOSE GLORY IS IN THEIR SHAME, WHO MIND EARTHLY THINGS.
   Some will sit down to eat only healthy food. But the amount they eat makes them look like a fat cow. Still others may not have a weight problem, but their world seems to revolve around food, and their mind is occupied more than it should be with how to satisfy their desires. Is food a god to you? BLESSED ART THOU, O LAND, WHEN…THY PRINCES EAT IN DUE SEASON, FOR STRENGTH, AND NOT FOR DRUNKENNESS!-Ecc 10:17.
   And if Jesus would come to your house and begin to clean out your refrigerator—would you get upset with Him, because He would throw out some of the abundance of food your body, heart, and mind craves and desires?
   Ro 16:17,18-The Bible says regarding the unsaved, those which cause DIVISIONS AND OFFENCES CONTRARY TO THE DOCTRINE WHICH YE HAVE LEARNED;…AVOID THEM. FOR THEY…SERVE…THEIR OWN BELLY.
   Jesus said to follow Him. Don’t follow your belly.

   Are you way overweight?
   It is written: 1 Cor 6:19,20-…KNOW YE NOT THAT YOUR BODY IS THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY GHOST WHICH IS IN YOU, WHICH YE HAVE OF GOD, AND YE ARE NOT YOUR OWN? FOR YE ARE BOUGHT WITH A PRICE: THEREFORE GLORIFY GOD IN YOUR BODY, AND IN YOUR SPIRIT, WHICH ARE GOD'S. A body that is way overweight does not glorify God. It certainly does not show that a person is denying himself. Rather, it shows, in some cases, the person is in sin, because they are a glutton. God, in His word puts drunkenness and gluttony together. They are both sin. A person needs to repent of these.
   It is written: Deut 21:20-AND THEY SHALL SAY UNTO THE ELDERS OF HIS CITY, THIS OUR SON IS STUBBORN AND REBELLIOUS, HE WILL NOT OBEY OUR VOICE; HE IS A GLUTTON, AND A DRUNKARD.
   Pv 23:21-FOR THE DRUNKARD AND THE GLUTTON SHALL COME TO POVERTY. A person that says they are a Christian, but are, in a manner of speaking, as big as a house, this is not a good witness for Jesus.
   Unfortunately, the first thing a person judges about another person is their appearance. Although the Bible gives us little information about the appearance of Jesus and His apostles, judging from the Scriptures none of them were gluttons. With all the walking they did and the way they lived, it is unlikely any of them were fat. Regarding the appearance of Jesus, the Bible does say, HE HATH NO FORM NOR COMELINESS; AND WHEN WE SHALL SEE HIM, THERE IS NO BEAUTY THAT WE SHOULD DESIRE HIM-Isa 53:2.
   A person that is extremely overweight are often not in good health, for they have given a place for Satan to attack them. But, of course, most overweight Christians would never want to admit this is true. They would never want to admit that Satan has a stronghold in them—in their belly and in their wrong thinking. Even if a person has a physical problem, in that whatever they eat seems to turn to fat, if they would eat according to God’s rules, they should lose weight. It takes so many calories to keep so many pounds on.
   A person that lacks discipline when it comes to eating, usually lacks discipline when it comes to obeying God’s Word. Many might disagree with the following statement, but (with some exceptions) people that are very overweight are also not strong in faith. They compromise with their eating to fulfill the lusts of their flesh, and they also compromise God’s Word in other areas of their life. They usually lack self-discipline. They usually lack denying themselves, picking up their cross, and following Jesus. Satan has a stronghold in their life, but they lie to themselves about this. And when their minister tries to correct them, watch the sparks fly. They might reply, “It’s none of your business what I eat.” Their love for their minister flies out the window when food is mentioned. Some might have more excuses for their bad eating habits, than they have fingers and toes.
   Some may even make statements such as, "I’ll die before I give up certain foods." Indeed, they may die—for they refuse to admit they have a problem or are in sin, and they also refuse to overcome their problem according to God’s Word.
   These are a few of Satan’s strongholds he has in people’s lives: drugs, cigarettes, sex, pleasures, money, and food. When it comes to these and others, it seems the eyes of man are never satisfied.

   Pv 23:1-6-WHEN THOU SITTEST TO EAT WITH A RULER, CONSIDER DILIGENTLY WHAT IS BEFORE THEE:
   AND PUT A KNIFE TO THY THROAT, IF THOU BE A MAN GIVEN TO APPETITE.
   BE NOT DESIROUS OF HIS DAINTIES: FOR THEY ARE DECEITFUL MEAT. LABOUR NOT TO BE RICH: CEASE FROM THINE OWN WISDOM. WILT THOU SET THINE EYES UPON THAT WHICH IS NOT? FOR RICHES CERTAINLY MAKE THEMSELVES WINGS; THEY FLY AWAY AS AN EAGLE TOWARD HEAVEN.
   EAT THOU NOT THE BREAD OF HIM THAT HATH AN EVIL EYE,
   NEITHER DESIRE THOU HIS DAINTY MEATS.
   Note these words: PUT A KNIFE TO THY THROAT, IF THOU BE A MAN GIVEN TO APPETITE.

   Phili 4:5-LET YOUR MODERATION BE KNOWN UNTO ALL MEN. THE LORD IS AT HAND.
   How can a born again Christian’s moderation and self-denial be known to all men, if they look like a blimp? Their Christian witness can certainly be compromised.
   Life is a test. You are to have no other gods before Jesus. Is food, the desire for food, the craving for food more important to you than you will admit? Do you lie to yourself and say it isn’t so?
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55-WHAT LIES AHEAD IN THESE LATTER DAYS?
LIFE IS A TEST

THE ANSWER IS FALLING AWAY.
THE ANSWER IS SATAN CAN MULTIPLY AND MAGNIFY THINGS IN YOUR HEART AND THOUGHTS.
UNTIL THEY MAY OVERWHELM YOU.

KNOTS IN YOUR STOMACH CAN GROW TO GIGANTIC PROPORTIONS.
EMOTIONS CAN FLARE OUT OF CONTROL.

OVERWHELMED BY THOUGHTS AND EMOTIONS THAT TELL YOU,
YOU HAVE TO GO SOMEWHERE OR DO SOMETHING, BUT IT IS NOT GOD’S WILL.

WILL WIVES FEAR GOD AND BE IN SUBJECTION TO THEIR HUSBANDS?
WILL HUSBANDS LOVE THEIR WIVES?
WILL THEY BOTH BECOME SELF-CENTERED?

FROM REJECTION TO PRIDE,
FROM HATE TO HURTS,
FROM ANGER TO SELF-CENTERED DESIRES,
FROM BITTERNESS TO UNFORGIVENESS,
FROM MISUNDERSTANDING THINGS TO NOT HEARING THINGS,
FROM FEAR TO REFUSING CORRECTION,
FROM TURNING AWAY FROM THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT TO THE FRUIT OF THIS WORLD,
THESE MAY BEGIN TO DOMINATE YOU,
WILL YOU FEAR GOD, OR WILL YOU CHOOSE TO FEAR MEN AND CIRCUMSTANCES?
True born again Christians make up only a very small percentage of the world’s population.
Life is a test to the very end.
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56-WHAT LIES AHEAD IN THESE LATTER DAYS? INTRODUCTION

   Each person hearing or reading the following would do well to carefully consider what is about to be said. If you are a born again Christian, you can expect that some of the following will happen to you in the days or years that lie ahead before the Rapture. Job was tested. Peter was tested and sifted. Paul was tested. Every apostle was tested. Jesus was tested, and He learned obedience by the things which He suffered-ref Heb 5:8.
   You also need to be on your guard when your testing comes.
   Beware, lest you become resistant to correction from both God’s Word and from those over you in the Lord. If you are resistant to correction from those God puts over you, you are also resistant to His Word correcting you.

   What appears to be ahead may be frightening for some. The Laodicean church age, in which we are now in, is the worst of the 7 church ages. It is even worse than Sardis, which had a few people that had not defiled their garments. However, in the Laodicean church age, the word few is not even mentioned regarding Christians that are ready to meet Jesus.
   As the Rapture and Tribulation draw closer, the world can be expected to become more and more anti-Christian. The day before the Rapture (the end of the church age) there will be lukewarm Christians, but very few true, born again Christians left. At the time that Jesus is about to return for His church, which is soon, expect the world to be at its worst since Jesus was on this earth about 2000 years ago. One can expect there will be laws used to put born again Christians in jail and laws to try and silence those that bring forth God’s Word to speak out against sin. Expect all sorts of sin and evil in the world to increase. Expect laws to be made that will protect and encourage some sins that God hates. God made it extremely clear in His Word that as the days of Lot and also the days of Sodom and Gomorrah were, so shall it be as the return of Jesus approaches. Violence throughout the earth will also increase. Expect those declared righteous in the eyes of holy God to be declared evil in the eyes of a sinful world.
   The Scriptures clearly show that nearly all that claim to be a Christian in the latter days will actually be spiritually blind.
   Regarding those that are this way, if they are also deceitful and hide what they do from their minister, they are prime candidates for Satan to deceive and spiritually blind them to such a degree that they will never suspect they are destined for hell. Satan wants people to be in this condition, as they become clay in his hands to use them as he will.
   These will be confident that they will be raptured, but will actually be left behind.
   Of these—some will not even believe the Rapture is about to happen. Woe to those that believe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence—from where God has called them to be.
   Woe to them that choose a lukewarm minister over one of the very few that are hot for Jesus and have not been rounded up and jailed for speaking the truth.

   For those that are alive when the Rapture comes, God describes the Christian church and the people as being this way!- ref Rev 3:14-22.
   They will believe in something other than THE BEGINNING OF THE CREATION OF GOD. We now know that this prophecy is fulfilled, as most people believe in the lie of evolution.
   Most people will not believe that Jesus or the Bible is THE FAITHFUL AND TRUE WITNESS.
   Those that profess they are a Christian will not be COLD OR HOT, but would be LUKEWARM. Such will perish. They will be SPIT OUT by God.
   The Christian church of the latter days will be the worst church since Jesus came to this earth in human form. The church will be INCREASED WITH GOODS.
   But they will be spiritually WRETCHED, AND MISERABLE, AND POOR, AND BLIND, AND NAKED—
   and worst of all, they will be totally ignorant of their spiritual condition. The will not know how wretched they really are in the eyes of God.
   God’s correction to the people and the church of the latter days, before the Rapture, is they need to BE ZEALOUS…AND REPENT, and get saved, because they are spiritually naked. They are unsaved. God tells them to ANOINT THINE EYES WITH EYESALVE, THAT THOU MAYEST SEE. God wants to correct them, but it appears they despise correction. It appears they will not be childlike and humble, so they can be corrected.
   God is knocking on the door of people’s hearts. If any will open the door, God will come in. Nevertheless, many Scriptures indicate that very few, indeed, will open the door of their heart to be corrected, to overcome all things as Jesus overcame, and thus repent.
   HE THAT HATH AN EAR, LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH UNTO THE CHURCHES.

   God’s Word tells us what to expect.
   2 Tim 3:1-8-THIS KNOW ALSO, THAT IN THE LAST DAYS PERILOUS (or terrible) TIMES SHALL COME.
   FOR MEN SHALL BE LOVERS OF THEIR OWN SELVES,
   COVETOUS (or lovers of money)
   BOASTERS,
   PROUD,
   BLASPHEMERS,
   DISOBEDIENT TO PARENTS,
   UNTHANKFUL (or ungrateful)
   UNHOLY,
   WITHOUT NATURAL AFFECTION,
   TRUCEBREAKERS (or unforgiving),
   FALSE ACCUSERS (or slanderous),
   INCONTINENT (or without self-control),
   FIERCE (or brutal),
   DESPISERS OF THOSE THAT ARE GOOD,
   TRAITORS,
   HEADY (or rash)
   HIGHMINDED (or conceited)
   LOVERS OF PLEASURES MORE THAN LOVERS OF GOD;
   HAVING A FORM OF GODLINESS, BUT DENYING THE POWER THEREOF:
   FROM SUCH TURN AWAY (or have nothing to do with them)
   FOR OF THIS SORT ARE THEY WHICH CREEP INTO HOUSES, AND LEAD CAPTIVE SILLY WOMEN LADEN WITH SINS, LED AWAY WITH DIVERS LUSTS (or are swayed by all kinds of evil desires),
   EVER LEARNING, AND NEVER ABLE TO COME TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH.
   NOW AS JANNES AND JAMBRES WITHSTOOD MOSES, SO DO THESE ALSO RESIST (or oppose) THE TRUTH:
   MEN OF CORRUPT (or depraved) MINDS,
   REPROBATE CONCERNING THE FAITH. (As far as the faith is concerned, are rejected).

   2 Tim 4:3,4-FOR THE TIME WILL COME (which is now) WHEN MEN WILL NOT PUT UP WITH SOUND DOCTRINE.
   INSTEAD, TO SUIT THEIR OWN DESIRES, THEY WILL GATHER AROUND THEM A GREAT NUMBER OF TEACHERS TO SAY WHAT THEIR ITCHING EARS WANT TO HEAR.
   THEY WILL TURN THEIR EARS AWAY FROM THE TRUTH AND TURN ASIDE TO MYTHS.
   BUT WATCH THOU IN ALL THINGS, ENDURE AFFLICTIONS, DO THE WORK OF AN EVANGELIST, MAKE FULL PROOF OF THY MINISTRY.

   2 Tim 3:12-14-YEA, AND ALL THAT WILL LIVE GODLY IN CHRIST JESUS SHALL SUFFER PERSECUTION.
   BUT EVIL MEN AND SEDUCERS SHALL WAX WORSE AND WORSE, DECEIVING, AND BEING DECEIVED.
   BUT CONTINUE THOU IN THE THINGS WHICH THOU HAST LEARNED AND HAST BEEN ASSURED OF, KNOWING OF WHOM THOU HAST LEARNED THEM;

   2 Tim 3:16,17-ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD, AND IS PROFITABLE FOR DOCTRINE, FOR REPROOF (or rebuke), FOR CORRECTION, FOR INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS: THAT THE MAN OF GOD MAY BE PERFECT, THROUGHLY FURNISHED UNTO ALL GOOD WORKS.

   The Scriptures tell us that as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be-ref Mt 24:37.
   They knew not that the flood was coming, just as the world will not know the Rapture is about to take place.
   As the days of Sodom and Gomorrah were, so shall also the days ahead be.
   As the days of Lot were, so shall the days ahead be. Lk 17:28-30-LIKEWISE ALSO AS IT WAS IN THE DAYS OF LOT; THEY DID EAT, THEY DRANK, THEY BOUGHT, THEY SOLD, THEY PLANTED, THEY BUILDED; BUT THE SAME DAY THAT LOT WENT OUT OF SODOM IT RAINED FIRE AND BRIMSTONE FROM HEAVEN, AND DESTROYED THEM ALL. EVEN THUS SHALL IT BE IN THE DAY WHEN THE SON OF MAN IS REVEALED.
   How were those days?
   2 Pe 2:7-…LOT, VEXED WITH THE FILTHY CONVERSATION OF THE WICKED:
   Gen 6:11-…THE EARTH WAS FILLED WITH VIOLENCE.
   All flesh had corrupted God’s way. Gen 6:12-AND GOD LOOKED UPON THE EARTH, AND, BEHOLD, IT WAS CORRUPT; FOR ALL FLESH HAD CORRUPTED HIS WAY UPON THE EARTH.
   Men with men and women with women was common then-ref Gen 19:4,5. Of those that practiced this lifestyle, many were very hostile and violent, not people of peace. Thus, the Bible indicates when this sort of lifestyle becomes commonplace, it is a strong indication that the Rapture is on the doorstep.
   Life is a test. As the last days of the church age are upon us, all those that profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour will be tested over and over. Many may be thrown into jail. Some churches can expect to be closed. Many lying allegations can be expected to come forth against those that follow Jesus. Many that follow Jesus can expect to have their reputations ruined, as the sons of Belial come forth to accuse. And, indeed, many that follow Jesus will fall from their own steadfastness, because—except there come a falling away first, the Antichrist will not be revealed-ref 2 Thes 2:3.    The immediate future for the followers of Jesus in this world may be difficult, but he that stands firm unto the end shall soon be with Jesus forever and ever.

   Remember, we are all to pray for the leaders of our country, no matter what government is in power and no matter who the leader may be.
   As one studies God’s prophecies, unless he is spiritually blind, he should be able to see that the Rapture is on the doorstep. Are you ready?

   You can expect that Satan will do everything possible to bring circumstances that will cause you to want to leave God’s calling. Expect Satan to set up every possible scheme to cause your faith to shrink more and more. Expect pressures, temptations, and difficulties of all sorts to be magnified, perhaps as never before in your life. Expect wrong thoughts to bombard you as never before.
   Expect that Satan will cause you to misinterpret things that were said and things that happened. If you have never had these problems, expect them to begin happening. If you have had problems in this area before, expect them to be greatly magnified and multiplied. Then, because you think you understand, but are mistaken, expect Satan to use it to stir up your emotions and, ultimately, cause you to fall.
   Every evil thing in your heart, from rejection, to hurts, to anger, to covetousness, everything in your heart that is contrary to the love of God—expect it to be multiplied and magnified. Satan knows exactly how to deceive you, then put wrong thoughts in your heart, which your heart agrees with, and then he gets a stronghold. Finally, before you even know what is happening, you have fallen, and no longer remember what manner of person you once were in Christ Jesus.
   As we are nearing the end of the church age, have you, as a Christian, noticed that you may be becoming more easily irritated? You get up in the morning, and you are irritated. Someone may say something nice to you, and you become irritated. All sorts of thoughts are filling your head that irritate you. Someone asks you to do something, and you become irritated. You are riding a bike or driving a car and little things upset you. Indeed, Satan is alive and well. Expect irritations to be magnified and multiplied in you, as we draw closer and closer to the return of Jesus for His church. God commands you to put on the breastplate of love. For it is written-1 Thes 5:8-BUT LET US, WHO ARE OF THE DAY, BE SOBER, PUTTING ON THE BREASTPLATE OF FAITH AND LOVE; AND FOR AN HELMET, THE HOPE OF SALVATION.
   Further, it is written: 1 Pe 4:8,9-AND ABOVE ALL THINGS HAVE FERVENT CHARITY (or love) AMONG YOURSELVES: FOR CHARITY (or love) SHALL COVER THE MULTITUDE OF SINS. USE HOSPITALITY ONE TO ANOTHER WITHOUT GRUDGING. Use hospitality without becoming irritated. Esteem others above yourself, not yourself above others.

   You can expect to grow hard to correction, as your love decreases—and some may even falsely accuse the one that tries to help them, because of the misunderstanding and deceit in their heart. Every impure thing in your heart, expect it to exalt itself. Do you remember some hurts and rejections and others things that occurred in your childhood? Expect them to now become strongholds in your life, which Satan will try to use to cause you to become more and more ungodly.
   Remember, whatever is contrary to the love of God, expect Satan to use it against you.
   Satan can be expected to try and stir up inside you thoughts against your wife, and the wife can expect to have thoughts against her husband. Both can expect to have thoughts against their children, and the children to have thoughts against their parents. Indeed, during the Tribulation, everyone can be expected to betray everyone. Fear will reign, and the love of many shall wax cold, very cold. Hate will abound, especially against born again Christians and the Jews.
   Ultimately, the Antichrist will come, but even before then, it is written: 1 Jn 2:18-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. We are currently in the latter days of the last time. As birth pangs of a woman, evil shall increase, and good shall be suppressed.
   It is going to become more and more difficult for those that follow Jesus. The Word of God has foretold how things will be. You have been forewarned. Be on your guard. Let the love of God reign, not evil thinking and discord. If you are fortunate enough to have a spiritually-minded elder, listen to him. Beware of evil thoughts and accusations you may have against your minister or an elder. Pray for him. If he gets out of line, God will deal with him. Don’t you try to usurp authority over the one God has put over you, for this could be most unprofitable for you.
   The bottom line is this. Satan will do everything possible to cause you to become one of the many that will fall away from your faith in Jesus Christ and from God’s calling on your life. Expect a spiritual blindness to come upon you like you have never experienced. Expect your desire for correction and love for the brethren to be tested to its limit.
   You may even become so ungodly that when you are corrected, you skillfully turn it around and accuse the elder or preacher over you of things that come into your mind. You thereby took the pressure off yourself—by trying to put your preacher on the defensive. Just imagine, Jesus correcting His disciples, and they turn it around and accuse Him of things, because of twisted thoughts in their mind. Satan is very cunning, and people with unrepentant, impure hearts listen to him and do not recognize their own evil ways.
   Expect Satan will try to take you to the very edge of your emotional stability, to try and sift you as wheat, tempt you like Job, and multiply every weakness you have. Anger, envy, jealousy, covetousness, worldly desires, rejection and a host of others may suddenly flare up.

   The Bible refers to Satan as the Accuser, and he is a master at causing your ungodly heart to jump to conclusions and accuse others falsely. Your worldly, angry, and accusing nature jumps into action, and you sin with the words of your mouth far worse than the one you are angry with. The Accuser is a master at causing you to misunderstand things and yet be positive you are right. Then, you accuse others of being wrong.
   You should cast down every thought you have that exalts itself against the Scriptures.
   Cast down all thoughts that agitate your emotions and thinking to provoke you to act contrary to God’s Word.
   Follow after love, the fruit of the Spirit, faith, God’s Word and those things that are in line with God’s Word.
   If your mind conjures up accusations against people, then you should multiply your unconditional forgiveness, less you be found to have strayed from God’s way.

   Also expect Satan to begin to make you not feel welcomed by certain people. You may become less and less content with your living conditions or some other things. So this should be your attitude when this happens. Phili 4:11-I HAVE LEARNED, IN WHATSOEVER STATE I AM, THEREWITH TO BE CONTENT. Note the first three words—I HAVE LEARNED. In these times that Satan may be magnifying things in your heart and thoughts, you need to learn to be content with whatever situation you are in and just trust in God, lest Satan gain an advantage over you. The verses continue:
   Phili 4:12-I KNOW BOTH HOW TO BE ABASED, AND I KNOW HOW TO ABOUND: EVERY WHERE AND IN ALL THINGS I AM INSTRUCTED BOTH TO BE FULL AND TO BE HUNGRY, BOTH TO ABOUND AND TO SUFFER NEED. Is this your attitude?

   So what lies ahead as we draw nearer to the Rapture and Tribulation?

   As birth pangs of a woman in labor, persecutions can be expected to pick up against true born again Christians, churches and ministries throughout the world that have born again people and teach a hot message, not a lukewarm or dead message.
   Expect many places to become more and more like a police state and dictatorship, instituting laws for security reasons that cause personal freedoms to disappear little by little. Institutions can be expected to use fear tactics and new laws to their advantage against those that oppose their policies. False accusations and false witnesses against the righteous should be more and more common, even as it happened to Jesus. In those countries where religious freedom still exists, expect it to erode away little by little. This is all setting the stage, preparing the world for the Antichrist, who will come on the scene soon, when he shall confirm the covenant with many (Israel and others)-ref Dan 9:27. Day one of the Tribulation is this event. Life is a test.
   The following is what Y O U can expect, as a born again Christian in the days ahead.

   What Lies Ahead
   Life is a test to see what you will do and say, because what you do and say will testify as to:
   1-whether you are unsaved, or
   2-whether you say you are a Christian, but really aren’t, or
   3-whether you are one of the very few that is in truth—a love-filled, born-again Christian that obeys the Gospel, denies yourself, serves God, and follows Jesus despite the onslaught of Satan’s deceptions, temptations, persecutions, and the unexpected.

   In prosperous times, more people tend to turn from God, as they don’t feel they need Him.
   Under heavy temptations and persecutions, many turn from God, but some will draw closer to God.
   So what lies ahead?
   It will not be easier to follow Jesus tomorrow than it is today.
   The forecast of the times ahead in God’s Word is an increase in perilous times.
   Violence will increase.
   Persecutions against true Christians will increase.
   All sorts of sin will increase.
   Bible teaching will become more and more watered-down. It will be more and more lukewarm.
   Accurate preaching on these subjects and others will be taught less and less. Preaching on sin; hell; the lake of fire; all the judgments; repentance; water baptism by full immersion in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost—only after repentance (app 104 verses); the prophecies of Daniel; the book of the Revelation; Bible prophecy; the soon return of Jesus Christ; the Creation; sound doctrines; obedience; loving God as evidenced by obeying His commands; serving God; deny yourself and pick up your cross and follow Him; fearing God; tremble at God’s Word; holiness; and perfection. How much does your church preach on these even now?
   Because people will spend less and less time in the Bible; because of sin; because people’s hearts will be hardened—all sorts of religious teaching and deception that is contrary to the Bible will be accepted as truth.
   People will turn away from the straight gate and narrow way as taught in God’s Word. They will turn to the lukewarm, wide gate, and broad way teaching, which seems right and feels right to man, but leads to eternal damnation.
   Both carnal people and born again people will fall away from the truth of God’s Word and be turned to every form of religious deception imaginable. What kind of teaching will come forth from the pulpits? Pleasant, non-convicting teaching, psychological teaching, philosophical teaching, self-help teaching, cult teachings, “feel good” teaching, tolerance teaching toward all forms of immorality, and hateful teaching against true born again Christians and Israel will increase.
   Teaching that pleases a person’s worldly, carnal nature and itching ears will become more and more popular.
   A whole new breed of religious teachers will come forth and replace the teachers that once preached—repentance, obedience, surrender, deny self, and pick up your cross and follow Jesus. The teaching of denying oneself and forsaking all will all but disappear.
   The type of teaching Jesus Christ and the Apostles did should become harder and harder to find.
   The few that teach as Jesus did should find themselves being persecuted more and more.
   The temptations and pressures for the few born again Bible teachers to compromise their Bible-based teaching should increase.
   Religious deception will increase. God’s Word warns us to TAKE HEED THAT NO MAN DECEIVE YOU-Mt 24:4.
   Many false christs and false prophets will come forth, and many will be deceived as a result-ref Mt 24:5.
   The so-called Christian teachers that teach a positive self-esteem, “feel good about yourself” message—should draw larger and larger crowds and, in some cases, will prosper financially. Remember, some of the best comedians are not in Hollywood, but are in the pulpits, even though the Bible tells us that THE THOUGHT OF FOOLISHNESS IS SIN-Pv 24:9. How much more so is it sin to preach using foolishness and jokes to get a laugh and increase one’s popularity?
   As birth pangs of a woman, people’s love will grow cold. Hatred will abound because sin will be increased. Neighbour shall be against neighbour. Tribe will be against tribe. Various groups will be against other groups. Religious factions will oppress other religions and even within themselves there will be conflicts. Nation shall rise against nation. Kingdom shall rise against kingdom. The Jew and the born again Christian shall be hated-ref Mt 24, Mk 13, and Lk 21.
   Violence will increase. Senseless murders and destruction of property shall increase. Bombings in various places will increase. People will kill others and think they are serving God by doing so-ref Jn 16:2.
   Laws to hinder and discredit born again Christians should increase.
   Laws to protect certain sinful lifestyles should increase.
   Spiritual blindness should become more and more intense. As a result, when the translation of God’s people takes place, there will be very few taken, not the huge numbers that some would have you believe.
   As people fall away, their thoughts and heart will tell them that they are saved and have not fallen. As a person falls away, they sometimes become more and more religious, even though their fruits testify they are not following Christ. They are often so sure they are still following Jesus that even the suggestion to them that they will perish, according to God’s Word, will draw no conviction at all, or it may trigger a violent response. There will be no place found in their heart to consider their ways. They will not have a single thought that they will perish.
   However, just before the Translation (or Rapture) takes place, some that left God will realize the Rapture is about to happen, and they are not ready. These will try to return to God, but it will be too late.

   Beware. In these latter days of the last days, Satan will unleash his fury in a last attempt to cause people to fall from their own steadfastness in Jesus. This will increase as birth pangs of a woman as the day for the Translation approaches.
   Beware of the following. I said, beware of the following. Take note, lest you become deceived or are already deceived.
   Every little thing that you have not repented of can be expected to increase or be magnified.
   Expect many things you have repented of to reemerge as strongholds of Satan in your life.
   Have you had a problem with rejection? Expect this stronghold of Satan to grow like a tare or weed.
   Have you had a problem with being corrected? Expect this stronghold of Satan to grow like a tare or weed.
   Are you a fiercely independent person? Woe to you! Satan has a stronghold in your life that you probably can’t recognize.
   Have you had a problem with feeling inferior? Expect this stronghold of Satan to be magnified.

   Do you have an obsession? Do you feel you must accumulate more and more things? This sometimes comes from insecure feelings from your past. Do you find you have an increasing need for more and more space to store stuff that you seldom use and never seem to get rid of? This stuff becomes a type of a security blanket for "what ifs?". It is far easier to lay up stuff than it is to “sell that thou hast” and trust in Jesus-ref Mt 19:21, Lk 12:33.
   These are sometimes victims of “what if?” thoughts that come from the devil. Satan has gotten a stronghold in some area that they have not repented of and often do not recognize. They have a never ending, inner need to accumulate more and more stuff. This can be a great distraction-in following the Lord wholeheartedly and in accomplishing the work God has called them to do.
   Are you a procrastinator? Do you put off till tomorrow what God has called you to do today?
   Are you unorganized? Do you leave stuff laying around here and there?
   Do you have a problem keeping things clean and neat?
   Do you practice good personal hygiene?
   Do you have a problem with putting things away where they belong?
   Is your car a trash dump?
   Is your bedroom a mess?
   Are you an example of Christ in these areas? Are you following your bad habits from the past, your selfish desires, or Jesus? You are judged, not just by what you say, but by what you do. The Bible teaches to esteem others better than yourself and to treat others as you would have them treat you. Are you being considerate of others when you habitually do not pick up after yourself? If all followed this example, would the home be fit to dwell in? Are you in a position of authority in the church and people look to you for guidance, yet you set a very bad example in these areas? Do you accuse others of leaving stuff lying around and losing things, but do the same?
   What Jesus do you follow? There is much Scripture dealing with cleanliness and order.

   The word organized does not appear in the Bible, however—the words "in order" does appear approximately 30 times. "Set things in order" means the same thing as "organize things." Get your priorities in order and in line with the Word of God. Don’t waste your time doing meaningless tasks you think are for God, when God has clearly called you to do things of greater importance. Satan is a master at directing our attention away from accomplishing those things of eternal importance that God has ordained. Satan knows how to use your emotions and desires to mislead you.
   Beware of Satan’s strongholds.

   Phili 4:5-LET YOUR MODERATION BE KNOWN UNTO ALL MEN. THE LORD IS AT HAND.
   Phili 4:6-9-DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING….AND THE PEACE OF GOD, WHICH TRANSCENDS ALL UNDERSTANDING, WILL GUARD YOUR HEARTS AND YOUR MINDS IN CHRIST JESUS. FINALLY, BROTHERS, WHATEVER IS TRUE, WHATEVER IS NOBLE, WHATEVER IS RIGHT, WHATEVER IS PURE, WHATEVER IS LOVELY, WHATEVER IS ADMIRABLE. IF ANYTHING IS EXCELLENT OR PRAISEWORTHY-THINK ABOUT SUCH THINGS. WHATEVER YOU HAVE LEARNED OR RECEIVED OR HEARD FROM ME, OR SEEN IN ME-PUT IT INTO PRACTICE. AND THE GOD OF PEACE WILL BE WITH YOU-NIV.

   God’s Word warns us about being attached to anything of this world. We are not to love this world or the things of this world. We are to love God and the brethren.
   Whatever weakness you have in your walk with Jesus, whatever thoughts you have that run contrary to God’s Word, whatever hurts or thoughts from the past that reoccur, expect Satan to exploit these into strongholds that he will use to bring you down.
   Even this very message, which is meant to help you, Satan may use to make you angry because you are being corrected. Is your heart soft or calloused?

   If your love for the brethren and those God has put over you in the Lord does not increase, then surely expect it to decrease. Learn to be satisfied with nothing more than dwelling in the center of God’s will and following Jesus.

   Again, it needs to be said. As the translation of God’s children draws near, every ungodly desire or need, emotion, thought, or habit can be expected to be magnified. Are you angry inside? Are you short-fused? Do you quickly jump to conclusions—often wrong ones? Are you often sure you are right, but then find out you are wrong? Do you instinctively accuse others when you lose something? Are you quick to misinterpret things? Are you extra sensitive to how people treat you or look at you, or what people say to you, or what they ask of you? Beware of Satan’s strongholds. Whatever weaknesses you have in your walk with Jesus, expect them to become strongholds of Satan in his last big effort to cause you to fall. Whatever has haunted you from the past, expect it to become a stronghold of Satan to use against you. Did you have a problem with your father, or mother, or a brother, or a sister? Did you grow up with strife in your family? Did you have a family member die when growing up? Did you grow up with no father or mother?

   What worldly aspirations do you still hang on to? Do you have fears from your past? Are there some things that easily trigger anger in you? Are there things from your past that can trigger an ungodly response from you? If you have truly repented of all things and do not look back, but are full of faith and love, then you should overcome all these strongholds of Satan. Examine yourself. For sure—Satan is examining you, for he understands the things that be of men, and he knows exactly how to attack you in your weakest area, especially in these latter days.
   The revival that is being preached by some is contrary to how the Bible says it would be—as the days of Noah, and Lot were. It is actually a deception that covers the truth—that falling away is what is actually happening.
   As the Rapture approaches, Satan’s power to harden you against correction from God’s Word can be expected to increase many fold.

   What worldly aspirations do you still hang on to? Do you have fears from your past? Are there some things that easily trigger anger in you? Are there things from your past that can trigger an ungodly response from you? If you have truly repented of all things and do not look back, but are full of faith and love, then you should overcome all these strongholds of Satan. Examine yourself. For sure—Satan is examining you, for he understands the things that be of men, and he knows exactly how to attack you in your weakest area, especially in these latter days.
   The revival that is being preached by some is contrary to how the Bible says it would be—as the days of Noah, and Lot were. It is actually a deception that covers the truth—that falling away is what is actually happening.
   As the Rapture approaches, Satan’s power to harden you against correction from God’s Word can be expected to increase many fold.

   Satan’s power can cause you to become short-fused and easily offended as never before. Expect irritations and offenses to be magnified in your mind, provoking your emotions. Things that normally never offended or bothered you will now begin to make you angry. Someone may just look at you kindly, but you will become offended. Someone may try to help you, but you have a wrong thought and become offended. Someone may ask you to help them, but you become greatly irritated as you are not abiding in Christ’s love as you ought. If you have a deep abiding love for the Word, for Jesus, nothing should offend you. Many go to church on Sunday, and lift up their hands to the Lord, or sing unto the Lord, and say, Amen!, but when they leave the church, they are not Christ-like.
   When the Scriptures tell you to deny yourself, this means in all things and in all ways. This refers not only to the physical realm of comfort and desires, but also your thoughts and attitude. If you are short-fused, easily irritated, easily offended, easily angry, become bitter when corrected, and insist on having your own way, then Satan has a stronghold in your life that you need to repent of.

   Do you have strong feelings that compel you to want to do certain things or strong feelings that seem to overwhelm you at times? Do you want to go here and there? Are you restless or discontent when you cannot do so? If so, Satan may have a stronghold in your life that he can use to cause you to fall. Life is a test.
   Beware of feelings of rejection being magnified, causing you to lash out in an ungodly way toward fellow Christians.
   Beware of any bitterness that may spring up in you against any brother in Christ. Beware of any bitterness that develops inside you, because of things that happen to you or things not going the way you want them to. Expect these feelings of bitterness and uptightness to increase.

   The following is an abomination to the Lord. It is written: Rev 12:9,10-AND..SATAN, WHICH DECEIVETH THE WHOLE WORLD:…THE ACCUSER OF OUR BRETHREN IS CAST DOWN, WHICH ACCUSED THEM BEFORE OUR GOD DAY AND NIGHT. Satan is the Accuser. The unsaved and carnal Christians follow his example of accusing the brethren of many things. If you have an accusing attitude, expect the devil to put all sorts of accusing thoughts in your heart and mind that you believe are true, so that you begin to accuse the brethren falsely. If you believe someone has wronged you, obey the Gospel and go to them. Bitterness in your heart can destroy you spiritually. Expect your accusing attitude to be magnified in the days to come, as Satan knows exactly how to fill your heart with accusations against others. It is a very wicked thing, if you accuse the brethren to others behind their back without them being present to defend themselves. This is also gossip. In essence, when you do such wickedness, you become the accuser, the prosecutor, the judge, and you do not allow the person you are accusing to be present and give their side of the story. This makes you far worse than the person you are accusing. When you accuse the brethren, you are also accusing Jesus, for what you do to another born again Christian is also against Jesus. For it is written: Mt 25:40-VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, INASMUCH AS YE HAVE DONE IT UNTO ONE OF THE LEAST OF THESE MY BRETHREN, YE HAVE DONE IT UNTO ME. People that do such things can quickly fall into deep spiritual blindness. For it is written: Pv 6:16-19-THESE SIX THINGS DOTH THE LORD HATE: YEA, SEVEN ARE AN ABOMINATION UNTO HIM:…A LYING TONGUE,…AN HEART THAT DEVISETH WICKED IMAGINATIONS,…A FALSE WITNESS THAT SPEAKETH LIES, AND HE THAT SOWETH DISCORD AMONG BRETHREN. Four of these are sometimes involved when a person accuses a born again Christian. Never accuse a brother in Christ of anything to anyone, but rather go to them and settle the matter biblically. Otherwise, just keep your mouth shut. By accusing the brethren, you are also judging them. All accusers need to leave the judging to Jesus. They should examine themselves, not other brethren.

   Is there something you desire to have? Are you dissatisfied with your present situation? Do you feel a deep inner need, almost an impulsive drive for more companionship from someone or something? A Christlike attitude and Christlike thinking is this—Lord, let Thy will be done, not mine. Is your will, His will?
   Expect Satan to exploit and MAGNIFY everything that is not God’s will to cause you to go astray. When you feel this ever increasing compulsion, this uptightness to do something or go somewhere—Beware! Satan is a master at getting a stronghold in your life and, even more so, as the falling away intensifies. For it is written: LET NO MAN DECEIVE YOU BY ANY MEANS: FOR THAT DAY SHALL NOT COME, EXCEPT THERE COME A FALLING AWAY FIRST, AND THAT MAN OF SIN BE REVEALED, THE SON OF PERDITION-2 Thes 2:3.

   It is far easier to serve God, than it is to change your attitude to be like that of Christ. It is far easier to have a mind that is worldly, than it is to have the mind of Christ in this adulterous and wicked generation.
   It is far easier to trust in yourself, than to trust in God. It is far easier for some to do their own will, than to do God’s will. It is far easier to trust in the things that you can see, than it is to trust in those things you cannot see. It is far easier to walk by sight and your feelings, than it is to walk by faith; however, these easy ways lead to eternal death.
   It needs to be repeated. Satan can be expected to magnify in you—every “unrepented of” ungodly emotion, every “unrepented of” ungodly desire, every “unrepented of” ungodly feeling, every ungodly, “unrepented of” insecurity, rejection, anger, and need. Wrong thoughts need to be cast down. For it is written: 2 Cor 10:5-CASTING DOWN IMAGINATIONS, AND EVERY HIGH THING THAT EXALTETH ITSELF AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, AND BRINGING INTO CAPTIVITY EVERY THOUGHT TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST. To disobey this is sin, and to sin is to open a door for Satan to attack you.
   If you allow any thought, any imagination, any high thing that is contrary to God’s Word to go unchecked and do not bring it into captivity to the obedience of Christ, then Satan has or should get a stronghold in you. This stronghold, over time, can first blind you spiritually and then kill you spiritually, as it has done to many that once followed Jesus: but when their end came, they did not die in faith.

   Satan is trying to get a stronghold in your life to bring you down before the Rapture. Expect Satan to magnify in you everything that is not pure, just, and holy. Satan is a master at deceiving you into thinking that you have no need of repentance in your weakest areas. Satan is a master at camouflaging those things in your life that need repentance, those things in your life that you need to overcome.
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57-MAGNIFICATION AND MULTIPLICATION
LIFE IS A TEST

   Magnification is the message of these latter days. Expect every thought and action that is wrong, unjust, evil, and wicked to be magnified and multiplied.
   Everything in your life that is not totally and completely submitted to God can be expected to be magnified to the point that it overcomes you as that day approaches. Indeed, as evil increases leading up to the Rapture and into the Tribulation, so should all impure, unjust, unbiblical, and unholy thoughts and desires in you be magnified and multiplied.
   Expect that you will become more and more dissatisfied with any situation you find yourself in. Expect the blame game and accusing thoughts to increase inside of you.
   If you have any form of covetousness in your heart, expect it to be magnified. Expect evil things in your heart to roar loudly, as your possessiveness of certain things becomes magnified. Expect your heart to become covetous over money, which your heart does not want to let go of.
   Expect complaining to increase. A brother or sister in Christ asks you to do something for them, but your heart does not want to do it. They see the look on your face, that you are unhappy they even asked you to do something. You may be given a difficult task to do, so you immediately complain about it, because your heart is not overcoming as it ought to. Most that complain don’t see it as complaining. They label their complaining with another name, so it doesn’t appear to be sinful. Did you ever consider that complaining over these things shows you have a lack of faith that God will enable you to do a certain task you have been given to do? Whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Complaining can often include all sorts of excuses to cover things you do not want to do. Stop complaining and just trust God. Learn to be satisfied in whatever situation you are in—whether you are being demoted or exalted.
   Beware of covetousness, greed, complaining, accusing others, and beware of just having a poor attitude.
   Stop esteeming yourself first and all others after. Phili 2:3-LET EACH ESTEEM OTHER BETTER THAN THEMSELVES.
   Stop esteeming what you do as more important than what others in the Lord are doing. Quit getting easily irritated when you are asked to leave your comfort zone. As the end approaches, expect all evil to be magnified.
   Again, when you are asked to do something by a brother, sister, or minister in Christ, do you immediately get irritated, because you have thoughts that what you are doing is more important? Do you immediately snap back negatively, because it clashes with what you want to do? Do you wish the person would have never asked you to help, because it might cause you some problems? Is your attitude like that of Christ or like that of the devil?
   As the end draws closer, expect your thoughts, your emotions, and everything in you that is evil to be magnified. You can expect to hear things that are said incorrectly, and then when you are corrected you get mad or upset. You may be positive someone said something, and so you get mad—but you were wrong, they never said anything at all. Every wife can probably testify that she told her husband something, and he got it completely wrong. Every husband can probably testify that he told his wife something, and she got it completely wrong. So then arguments happen. Both sides stand their ground. Satan can be expected to magnify these misunderstandings more and more.
   Expect, if you work in a church, there will be times when your minister or an elder will tell you something, and you misunderstand or forget. It can be the other way also. Satan knows how to make mountains out of mole hills. He knows how to get you agitated and upset very easily. We all make mistakes. We all forget. We all misunderstand things. But what should our attitude be when this happens? An attitude of love, compassion, humility, and meekness should prevail, not an attitude of strife. How many times did Christ have to correct His apostles? Many. How many times did His apostles get things wrong? Many. Expect, as the end draws closer, your emotions to be magnified more and more. You may get more and more easily irritated. Wrong thinking and wrong ideas may engulf you more and more. Beware, God has warned us of many of these things beforehand in His Word.

   Watch out, as Satan can be expected to magnify something in your heart so that it becomes so important to you, you may finally begin putting it before God’s work or calling. It might be housework, it might be love for a pet, person, child, or possession. Satan may magnify in your heart some obligation, a certain job, or a certain task. Satan may use your love for something against you, because you have allowed it to be equal to or above the amount that you love God.
   Satan may use your loves, your fears, your feelings of rejection, or hurts against you. Satan knows exactly how to magnify these emotions in your heart to such a level that you may begin to believe these are truly more important than God Himself or more important than serving God.
   God tells you personally to deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow Him. Few people do this. Many rationalize these words into saying something that is not biblical.
   Perhaps, Satan has put in your heart not to tithe, give offerings, or give to the poor. Now, you are in a church that teaches on these things. So Satan puts in your evil heart that all they want is your money, so you leave the calling of God. If you understood the Bible as you should with a pure heart, you should recognize the workings of Satan to tempt you, to lead you astray.
   Perhaps, you are afraid to serve God, as it might interfere with what someone wants you to do, or your job, or some sport you participate in, or some movie or TV program you want to watch. Perhaps serving God might interfere with your desire to be on the computer surfing the net, or some video games you want to play, or some school program or exercise program you are involved in.
   Perhaps serving God—as He has called you to do—may cause you some discomfort, as you have neck problems, or back problems, or knee, or leg, or arm problems. Can you expect God to ask you to serve Him, when it might hurt you physically? Absolutely. It is a test of your love for Him. Consider how Paul’s body must have hurt after all those beatings and imprisonments. Consider Joni, who is confined to a wheelchair and can barely move or even dress herself.
   Are you addicted to studying a certain subject, and it consumes your time? Is the stock market your obsession?
   Does the “what if” syndrome have a place in your life, so you walk in fear wondering, “What if this happens or that happens?” Thus, your trust in God is like a wave? Scripture tells us that a doubleminded person is unstable in all their ways-ref Ja 1:8. Do you try to serve two masters? One master is God, but the other master is something or someone else? Have you not read—HIM ONLY SHALT THOU SERVE-Mt 4:10? Life is a test.

   Are you addicted to porn or some other sin? Are you addicted to sex outside of marriage or some other sin? Are you addicted to smoking, alcohol, or drugs? Are you addicted to wanting to be noticed? Are you addicted to wanting to be liked by other people? Are you so much into talking about yourself and what you do that other people can’t get in a word, because you are so much into yourself that you can’t even recognize this stronghold that Satan has in your life? Are you a person that is like a machine that can’t stop talking?
   What is in your heart that is causing you to go astray? Is it the very accusing nature that is in your heart? Are you an expert at finding fault with people, including God’s children? Remember, fear, love, rejection, pride are all things Satan knows how to use against you. Are you a person that likes their independence? There is little hope for you, unless you repent, for when the Bible tells you to follow Jesus, it means exactly what it says. You must deny self and give up your independence, your own hopes, and desires. As it is written: Gal 5:17-For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: SO THAT YE CANNOT DO THE THINGS THAT YE WOULD. It is not those that say Jesus is their Saviour that are saved, but it is those that ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD, THEY ARE THE SONS OF GOD-Ro 8:14.
   What kind of addiction or stronghold does Satan have in you that hinders you serving God in some way? Satan is a master at finding some inner need, some inner desire you have, and then deceiving you with it, so that you begin to justify your actions to fulfill this desire or need, by saying it is being used for God. This deception or blindness has happened, because you do not want to repent. As the church age closes and the Rapture approaches, expect every unrepented thing in your life to be magnified more and more and more, until it consumes you, and then you fall away, never realizing that you have become spiritually blind.
   Is Sunday a day unto the Lord for you, or is it a day like all other days?
   And do you fast (no food and only water) during the week? Do you do a longer fast, perhaps 7 days at least once a year, coupled with Bible reading and prayer? This can greatly increase your resistance to Satan in many ways.

   What do you love or what do you fear that is hindering you from following Jesus, His way?
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58-ATTITUDE, THE OLD MAN, HELL, AND SATAN’S ENORMOUS POWER TO DECEIVE
LIFE IS A TEST

   Consider the following. Lk 9:52-56-AND (Jesus) SENT MESSENGERS BEFORE HIS FACE: AND THEY…ENTERED INTO A VILLAGE OF THE SAMARITANS, TO MAKE READY FOR HIM. AND THEY DID NOT RECEIVE HIM, BECAUSE HIS FACE WAS AS THOUGH HE WOULD GO TO JERUSALEM. AND WHEN HIS DISCIPLES JAMES AND JOHN SAW THIS, THEY SAID, LORD, WILT THOU THAT WE COMMAND FIRE TO COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN, AND CONSUME THEM, EVEN AS ELIAS DID? BUT HE TURNED, AND REBUKED THEM, AND SAID, YE KNOW NOT WHAT MANNER OF SPIRIT YE ARE OF. FOR THE SON OF MAN IS NOT COME TO DESTROY MEN'S LIVES, BUT TO SAVE THEM. AND THEY WENT TO ANOTHER VILLAGE.

   It is not enough to be in the Word of God. You have a need to get rid of the old man that still remains in you and then let God change you to be conformed to be more like Him.

   There are billions of people currently in hell, awaiting the Great White Throne Judgment. Every person that was alive at the time of the flood (except Noah and his family) are there. None believed Noah—that there would be a flood. The whole world perished. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah are there. They did not believe that their cities would be destroyed. Nabal is there. The rich man in Luke is there. Judas, who forsook Jesus, is there. Demas, who forsook Paul, is there. Many very religious people are there, such as the Pharisees, scribes, lawyers, Herodians, and Sadducees. The chief priests, elders and soldiers that knew Jesus had risen from the dead are there-ref Mt 28:11-15. Many Philistines and members of all sorts of cults, including Buddhists and Moslems, who did not repent and surrender to Christ are there-ref Jn 14:6. Millions of people that did not believe in a literal hell are now there. Those that will not serve God are there-ref Mal 3:18. All that draw back from their faith in God are there-ref Heb 10:38,39. Those that will not fear God are there-ref Ro 3:18, Acts 13:26 and others.
   It should be safe to say of the billions of people currently there—not even one of them believed that they would ever be in such a place of torment. If Satan can successfully blind 100% of the people that go to hell from understanding they would be in such a place, he can also blind you. The chance that you would ever realize that you will be in such a place is unlikely, for if you would then you surely would have repented when corrected. Think of what has just been said. Satan is successful at blinding 100% of the people that go to hell. There is no power on earth that can begin to compare with the power Satan has been given to blind people spiritually. As it is written: SATAN WHICH DECEIVETH THE WHOLE WORLD-ref Rev 12:9. There is a veil upon those that are spiritually blind, even when the Scriptures are read, the veil is upon their heart. However, when a person will turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away-ref 2 Cor 3:14-16. Only God’s power can take away that blindness.
   Expect, that from the day a person comes to Christ, Satan begins to put his plan to work to deceive that person. It may take Satan only a few days or weeks to deceive some. While it may take Satan 30 years to slowly deceive others. He never gives up. He is relentless in his efforts to deceive you and to cause you to depart from God’s calling.
   As a person reads and obeys God’s Word, he should grow spiritually. But every act of disobedience can have the opposite effect. A person can grown in faith, but also shrink back in their faith. Have you purified your heart? Are you following after holiness? Do you fight a good fight of faith with your mouth, but not in deed and in truth?
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59-PERFECTION
LIFE IS A TEST

   Do you seek to be PERFECT as God has called you to be? For it is written:    2 Cor 13:9-Paul said: …WE WISH, EVEN YOUR PERFECTION.
   Gen 17:1-AND WHEN ABRAM WAS NINETY YEARS OLD AND NINE, THE LORD APPEARED TO ABRAM, AND SAID UNTO HIM, I AM THE ALMIGHTY GOD; WALK BEFORE ME, AND BE THOU PERFECT.
   1 King 8:54,61-AND IT WAS SO, THAT WHEN SOLOMON HAD MADE AN END OF PRAYING ALL THIS PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION UNTO THE LORD, HE AROSE FROM BEFORE THE ALTAR OF THE LORD, FROM KNEELING ON HIS KNEES WITH HIS HANDS SPREAD UP TO HEAVEN. Then Solomon said to the people-LET YOUR HEART THEREFORE BE PERFECT WITH THE LORD OUR GOD, TO WALK IN HIS STATUTES, AND TO KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, AS AT THIS DAY.

   Mt 5:48-Jesus said: BE YE THEREFORE PERFECT, EVEN AS YOUR FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN IS PERFECT. The doctrine of perfection is for the following:
   Heb 6:1-THEREFORE LEAVING THE PRINCIPLES OF THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST, LET US GO ON UNTO PERFECTION; NOT LAYING AGAIN THE FOUNDATION OF REPENTANCE FROM DEAD WORKS, AND OF FAITH TOWARD GOD...
   Heb 5:14-BUT STRONG MEAT BELONGETH TO THEM THAT ARE OF FULL AGE, EVEN THOSE WHO BY REASON OF USE HAVE THEIR SENSES EXERCISED TO DISCERN BOTH GOOD AND EVIL.
   God wants you to be perfect before Him.

   If you are one of the few people in this world that has a spiritually-minded minister of Jesus Christ over you, and he tells you that you are going astray—listen to him and repent. The blindness on those that are to perish is so deep that when they are corrected every fiber (so to speak) in their body, every emotion, every thought they have is screaming to them that their minister is wrong. All kinds of wrong reasons (from Satan) are in their thoughts, which convince them that their minister is mistaken.

   But those few, those very few throughout history that have been childlike and listened to their spiritual-minded minister and believed him (over all the voices in their head and their emotions flaring up) are eternally grateful that they did listen and repent, so that they did not perish. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
   Try, if you can, to understand just how effective Satan can spiritually blind you to the truth.

   Beware, for if you follow an unsaved preacher, priest, rabbi, you are doomed. For it is written: IF THE BLIND LEAD THE BLIND, BOTH WILL FALL INTO THE DITCH-Mt 15:14. If you become born again, you must leave any church that has an unsaved minister

   God must increase in your life. You must decrease.
   From this moment on, you can never say that God, through His Word, has not warned you in advance of these things.
   Beware, lest you become part of the great falling away from God. Satan’s power to deceive you can be expected to increase and be magnified as birth pangs of a woman. Beware when your emotions flare up, and you hear a wrong voice.

   You should know it is the voice of the devil, as it does not bring forth the fruit of the Spirit of God.
   Ps 119:165-GREAT PEACE HAVE THEY WHICH LOVE THY LAW: AND NOTHING SHALL OFFEND THEM.
   Life is a gift from God. Life is a test, but very few people ever understand this. Do you?

   Following are many verses from the Bible containing the word perfect. Most relate to this subject of perfection.

   Gen 6:9-THESE ARE THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH: NOAH WAS A JUST MAN AND PERFECT IN HIS GENERATIONS, AND NOAH WALKED WITH GOD.

   2 Sam 22:31-AS FOR GOD, HIS WAY IS PERFECT; THE WORD OF THE LORD IS TRIED: HE IS A BUCKLER TO ALL THEM THAT TRUST IN HIM.

   2 Sam 22:33-GOD IS MY STRENGTH AND POWER: AND HE MAKETH MY WAY PERFECT.

   1 King 15:14-BUT THE HIGH PLACES WERE NOT REMOVED: NEVERTHELESS ASA'S HEART WAS PERFECT WITH THE LORD ALL HIS DAYS.

   2 Ki 20:1-3-IN THOSE DAYS WAS HEZEKIAH SICK UNTO DEATH. AND THE PROPHET ISAIAH THE SON OF AMOZ CAME TO HIM, AND SAID UNTO HIM, THUS SAITH THE LORD, SET THINE HOUSE IN ORDER; FOR THOU SHALT DIE, AND NOT LIVE. THEN HE TURNED HIS FACE TO THE WALL, AND PRAYED UNTO THE LORD, SAYING, I BESEECH THEE, O LORD, REMEMBER NOW HOW I HAVE WALKED BEFORE THEE IN TRUTH AND WITH A PERFECT HEART, AND HAVE DONE THAT WHICH IS GOOD IN THY SIGHT. AND HEZEKIAH WEPT SORE.

   1 Chr 28:9-AND THOU, SOLOMON MY SON, KNOW THOU THE GOD OF THY FATHER, AND SERVE HIM WITH A PERFECT HEART AND WITH A WILLING MIND: FOR THE LORD SEARCHETH ALL HEARTS, AND UNDERSTANDETH ALL THE IMAGINATIONS OF THE THOUGHTS: IF THOU SEEK HIM, HE WILL BE FOUND OF THEE; BUT IF THOU FORSAKE HIM, HE WILL CAST THEE OFF FOR EVER.

   1 Chr 29:9-THEN THE PEOPLE REJOICED, FOR THAT THEY OFFERED WILLINGLY, BECAUSE WITH PERFECT HEART THEY OFFERED WILLINGLY TO THE LORD: AND DAVID THE KING ALSO REJOICED WITH GREAT JOY.

   1 Chr 29:19-AND GIVE UNTO SOLOMON MY SON A PERFECT HEART, TO KEEP THY COMMANDMENTS, THY TESTIMONIES, AND THY STATUTES, AND TO DO ALL THESE THINGS, AND TO BUILD THE PALACE, FOR THE WHICH I HAVE MADE PROVISION.

   2 Chr 15:17-BUT THE HIGH PLACES WERE NOT TAKEN AWAY OUT OF ISRAEL: NEVERTHELESS THE HEART OF ASA WAS PERFECT ALL HIS DAYS.

   2 Chr 16:9-FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD RUN TO AND FRO THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH, TO SHEW HIMSELF STRONG IN THE BEHALF OF THEM WHOSE HEART IS PERFECT TOWARD HIM. HEREIN THOU HAST DONE FOOLISHLY: THEREFORE FROM HENCEFORTH THOU SHALT HAVE WARS.

   2 Chr 19:9-AND HE CHARGED THEM, SAYING, THUS SHALL YE DO IN THE FEAR OF THE LORD, FAITHFULLY, AND WITH A PERFECT HEART.

   Job 1:1-THERE WAS A MAN IN THE LAND OF UZ, WHOSE NAME WAS JOB; AND THAT MAN WAS PERFECT AND UPRIGHT, AND ONE THAT FEARED GOD, AND ESCHEWED EVIL.

   Job 1:8-AND THE LORD SAID UNTO SATAN, HAST THOU CONSIDERED MY SERVANT JOB, THAT THERE IS NONE LIKE HIM IN THE EARTH, A PERFECT AND AN UPRIGHT MAN, ONE THAT FEARETH GOD, AND ESCHEWETH EVIL?

   Job 2:3-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? AND STILL HE HOLDETH FAST HIS INTEGRITY, ALTHOUGH THOU MOVEDST ME AGAINST HIM, TO DESTROY HIM WITHOUT CAUSE.

   Job 9:20-IF I JUSTIFY MYSELF, MINE OWN MOUTH SHALL CONDEMN ME: IF I SAY, I AM PERFECT, IT SHALL ALSO PROVE ME PERVERSE. God called Job perfect, yet Job did not consider himself perfect.

   Ps 18:30-AS FOR GOD, HIS WAY IS PERFECT: THE WORD OF THE LORD IS TRIED: HE IS A BUCKLER TO ALL THOSE THAT TRUST IN HIM.

   Ps 18:32-IT IS GOD THAT GIRDETH ME WITH STRENGTH, AND MAKETH MY WAY PERFECT.

   Ps 19:7-THE LAW OF THE LORD IS PERFECT, CONVERTING THE SOUL: THE TESTIMONY OF THE LORD IS SURE, MAKING WISE THE SIMPLE.

   Ps 37:37-MARK THE PERFECT MAN, AND BEHOLD THE UPRIGHT: FOR THE END OF THAT MAN IS PEACE.

   Ps 101:2-I WILL BEHAVE MYSELF WISELY IN A PERFECT WAY. O WHEN WILT THOU COME UNTO ME? I WILL WALK WITHIN MY HOUSE WITH A PERFECT HEART.

   Ps 101:6-MINE EYES SHALL BE UPON THE FAITHFUL OF THE LAND, THAT THEY MAY DWELL WITH ME: HE THAT WALKETH IN A PERFECT WAY, HE SHALL SERVE ME.

   Pv 2:21-FOR THE UPRIGHT SHALL DWELL IN THE LAND, AND THE PERFECT SHALL REMAIN IN IT.

   Pv 11:5-THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE PERFECT SHALL DIRECT HIS WAY: BUT THE WICKED SHALL FALL BY HIS OWN WICKEDNESS.

   Isa 26:3-THOU WILT KEEP HIM IN PERFECT PEACE, WHOSE MIND IS STAYED ON THEE: BECAUSE HE TRUSTETH IN THEE.

   Isa 38:3-AND SAID, REMEMBER NOW, O LORD, I BESEECH THEE, HOW I HAVE WALKED BEFORE THEE IN TRUTH AND WITH A PERFECT HEART, AND HAVE DONE THAT WHICH IS GOOD IN THY SIGHT. AND HEZEKIAH WEPT SORE.

   Mt 5:48-BE YE THEREFORE PERFECT, EVEN AS YOUR FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN IS PERFECT.

Mt 19:21-JESUS SAID UNTO HIM, IF THOU WILT BE PERFECT, GO AND SELL THAT THOU HAST, AND GIVE TO THE POOR, AND THOU SHALT HAVE TREASURE IN HEAVEN: AND COME AND FOLLOW ME.

   Lk 6:40-THE DISCIPLE IS NOT ABOVE HIS MASTER: BUT EVERY ONE THAT IS PERFECT SHALL BE AS HIS MASTER.

   Jn 17:22-23-AND THE GLORY WHICH THOU GAVEST ME I HAVE GIVEN THEM; THAT THEY MAY BE ONE, EVEN AS WE ARE ONE: I IN THEM, AND THOU IN ME, THAT THEY MAY BE MADE PERFECT IN ONE; AND THAT THE WORLD MAY KNOW THAT THOU HAST SENT ME, AND HAST LOVED THEM, AS THOU HAST LOVED ME.

   Ro 12:2-AND BE NOT CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD: BUT BE YE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, THAT YE MAY PROVE WHAT IS THAT GOOD, AND ACCEPTABLE, AND PERFECT, WILL OF GOD.

   1 Cor 13:10-BUT WHEN THAT WHICH IS PERFECT IS COME, THEN THAT WHICH IS IN PART SHALL BE DONE AWAY.

   2 Cor 12:9-AND HE SAID UNTO ME, MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR THEE: FOR MY STRENGTH IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS. MOST GLADLY THEREFORE WILL I RATHER GLORY IN MY INFIRMITIES, THAT THE POWER OF CHRIST MAY REST UPON ME.

   2 Cor 13:11-FINALLY, BRETHREN, FAREWELL. BE PERFECT, BE OF GOOD COMFORT, BE OF ONE MIND, LIVE IN PEACE; AND THE GOD OF LOVE AND PEACE SHALL BE WITH YOU.

   Eph 4:11-13-AND HE GAVE SOME, APOSTLES; AND SOME, PROPHETS; AND SOME, EVANGELISTS; AND SOME, PASTORS AND TEACHERS; FOR THE PERFECTING OF THE SAINTS, FOR THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY, FOR THE EDIFYING OF THE BODY OF CHRIST: TILL WE ALL COME IN THE UNITY OF THE FAITH, AND OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE SON OF GOD, UNTO A PERFECT MAN, UNTO THE MEASURE OF THE STATURE OF THE FULNESS OF CHRIST.

   Phili 3:14-15-I PRESS TOWARD THE MARK FOR THE PRIZE OF THE HIGH CALLING OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS. LET US THEREFORE, AS MANY AS BE PERFECT, BE THUS MINDED: AND IF IN ANY THING YE BE OTHERWISE MINDED, GOD SHALL REVEAL EVEN THIS UNTO YOU.

   Col 1:28-WHOM WE PREACH, WARNING EVERY MAN, AND TEACHING EVERY MAN IN ALL WISDOM; THAT WE MAY PRESENT EVERY MAN PERFECT IN CHRIST JESUS.

   Col 4:12-EPAPHRAS, WHO IS ONE OF YOU, A SERVANT OF CHRIST, SALUTETH YOU, ALWAYS LABOURING FERVENTLY FOR YOU IN PRAYERS, THAT YE MAY STAND PERFECT AND COMPLETE IN ALL THE WILL OF GOD.

   1 Thes 3:9-10-FOR WHAT THANKS CAN WE RENDER TO GOD AGAIN FOR YOU, FOR ALL THE JOY WHEREWITH WE JOY FOR YOUR SAKES BEFORE OUR GOD; NIGHT AND DAY PRAYING EXCEEDINGLY THAT WE MIGHT SEE YOUR FACE, AND MIGHT PERFECT THAT WHICH IS LACKING IN YOUR FAITH?

   2 Tim 3:16,17-ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD, AND IS PROFITABLE FOR DOCTRINE, FOR REPROOF, FOR CORRECTION, FOR INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS: THAT THE MAN OF GOD MAY BE PERFECT, THROUGHLY FURNISHED UNTO ALL GOOD WORKS.

   Heb 2:9-10-BUT WE SEE JESUS, WHO WAS MADE A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS FOR THE SUFFERING OF DEATH, CROWNED WITH GLORY AND HONOUR; THAT HE BY THE GRACE OF GOD SHOULD TASTE DEATH FOR EVERY MAN. FOR IT BECAME HIM, FOR WHOM ARE ALL THINGS, AND BY WHOM ARE ALL THINGS, IN BRINGING MANY SONS UNTO GLORY, TO MAKE THE CAPTAIN OF THEIR SALVATION PERFECT THROUGH SUFFERINGS.

   Heb 5:9-AND BEING MADE PERFECT, HE BECAME THE AUTHOR OF ETERNAL SALVATION UNTO ALL THEM THAT OBEY HIM.

   Heb 12:23-TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND CHURCH OF THE FIRSTBORN, WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN HEAVEN, AND TO GOD THE JUDGE OF ALL, AND TO THE SPIRITS OF JUST MEN MADE PERFECT.

   Heb 13:20,21-NOW THE GOD OF PEACE, THAT BROUGHT AGAIN FROM THE DEAD OUR LORD JESUS, THAT GREAT SHEPHERD OF THE SHEEP, THROUGH THE BLOOD OF THE EVERLASTING COVENANT, MAKE YOU PERFECT IN EVERY GOOD WORK TO DO HIS WILL, WORKING IN YOU THAT WHICH IS WELLPLEASING IN HIS SIGHT, THROUGH JESUS CHRIST; TO WHOM BE GLORY FOR EVER AND EVER. AMEN.

   Ja 1:4-BUT LET PATIENCE HAVE HER PERFECT WORK, THAT YE MAY BE PERFECT AND ENTIRE, WANTING NOTHING.

   Ja 1:25-BUT WHOSO LOOKETH INTO THE PERFECT LAW OF LIBERTY, AND CONTINUETH THEREIN, HE BEING NOT A FORGETFUL HEARER, BUT A DOER OF THE WORK, THIS MAN SHALL BE BLESSED IN HIS DEED.

   Ja 2:22-SEEST THOU HOW FAITH WROUGHT WITH HIS WORKS, AND BY WORKS WAS FAITH MADE PERFECT?

   Ja 3:2-FOR IN MANY THINGS WE OFFEND ALL. IF ANY MAN OFFEND NOT IN WORD, THE SAME IS A PERFECT MAN, AND ABLE ALSO TO BRIDLE THE WHOLE BODY.

   1 Pe 5:10-BUT THE GOD OF ALL GRACE, WHO HATH CALLED US UNTO HIS ETERNAL GLORY BY CHRIST JESUS, AFTER THAT YE HAVE SUFFERED A WHILE, MAKE YOU PERFECT, STABLISH, STRENGTHEN, SETTLE YOU.

   1 Jn 4:16,17-AND WE HAVE KNOWN AND BELIEVED THE LOVE THAT GOD HATH TO US. GOD IS LOVE; AND HE THAT DWELLETH IN LOVE DWELLETH IN GOD, AND GOD IN HIM. HEREIN IS OUR LOVE MADE PERFECT, THAT WE MAY HAVE BOLDNESS IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT: BECAUSE AS HE IS, SO ARE WE IN THIS WORLD.
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60-LIFE IS A TEST. SOME FINAL THINGS THAT NEED TO BE STATED

   The closer you are to Jesus, the more humble and childlike you should be to receiving correction from God’s Word and from those over you in the Lord that watch for your soul.
   When a person asks Jesus to save them, they, in return, are to give control of their life to Jesus. Their life is to be one of obeying God’s Word, as He opens their understanding. Life is a test.

   Once you come to Jesus, the more you fill yourself with God’s Word and the less you fill yourself with the things of this world—the more you should grow in Jesus, in faith, and in love.
   But those that spend only a few minutes a day in God’s Word, but spend 15 hours a day filling themselves with the things of this world—how can they grow?
   Do you spend more time eating this world’s food or devouring God’s Word? Little of God’s Word—little faith. Hours a day in God’s Word—should bring great faith. It is faith which works by love that enables us to overcome this world, our emotions, and wrong thinking.
   How can you have perfect peace in the midst of a storm, when you spend little time in God’s Word preparing for the storm?
   How can you recognize Satan’s voice in your head, when you can’t even recognize God’s voice speaking to you in His Word?
   How can you keep from being deceived, when you know little about God and the Bible—because you choose to spend much of your time doing other things? One thing is needful, that is—being in God’s Word-ref Lk 10:42.

   If you have surrendered your life to Jesus—don’t become stiff-necked and independent and try to take it back. That can be spiritual suicide. Life is a test.
   Remember, getting out of God’s will often begins with a thought. It might be a thought from some circumstance, which slowly develops into rebellion against God or God’s calling in some way.
   Perhaps this thought is something you want.
   Perhaps it is something you don’t like.
   Perhaps it is because of pressure, fear, or some need you have.
   Perhaps it is because you lack patience.
   Perhaps it is restlessness. You just have to get away. So instead of seeking the Lord, you create something to do to fulfill this desire.
   Satan has more thoughts he can put in your head that your heart will agree with, than you can begin to comprehend.
   Satan has more ways to get your eyes on your own problems and the world’s problems than you can imagine.
   The deceiver has more ways to get you interested in the things of this life and this world, than you can comprehend.
   Do you like to read books? Satan has lots of books for you on any subject you can imagine. These take time away from God’s Word, however. Oh, how Satan can make you think some book other than the Bible will help you.
   Satan knows how to get you involved in some worldly cause or activity, or other people’s affairs. In doing so, he gets your mind off Jesus and on something else.
   What do all these have in common? Television, the radio, newspapers, musical devices, computers, the Internet, cell phones, texting, tweeting, video games, checking on sports, checking on the news, projects, some activity to try and make the world better? What they have in common is to hinder your time in the Bible. You have to make a choice. Life is a test. You sell out to Jesus now, or you don’t. If Jesus (which includes His Word) is not your Lord, your Master, your God, then you deceive yourself, if you think you will be with Him when you die. Life is a test.

   From this moment on, you can’t say you didn’t know.

   It is written: Lk 16:10-HE THAT IS FAITHFUL IN THAT WHICH IS LEAST IS FAITHFUL ALSO IN MUCH: AND HE THAT IS UNJUST IN THE LEAST IS UNJUST ALSO IN MUCH. If you are faithful in the little things of God, you should also be faithful in the bigger things. If you are unjust in the little things of God, you can be expected to also be unjust in the larger things of God.    Do you give your quality or best time to serving yourself and things you want to do, but use your leftover time, the time when you are tired, for serving God?
   What area of your life is not yet submitted to God? Life is a test.

   If a person resists the commandment to obey them that have the rule over you, then there may be little hope they will ever see New Jerusalem. They can expect to miss the Rapture, but see the Antichrist coming forth, and the Tribulation that follows. There is little hope that they will forever be with Jesus, for Jesus does not accept the rebellious and disobedient, who walk after their own thoughts and desires, which run contrary to His Word.
   It is the strong in faith, not the weak in faith, that inherits all things. It is not the excuse makers that inherit eternal life. It is those whose trust in Jesus is so strong, they can, indeed, overcome all things. For it is written:
   1 Jn 4:4-YE ARE OF GOD, LITTLE CHILDREN, AND HAVE OVERCOME THEM: BECAUSE GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN YOU, THAN HE THAT IS IN THE WORLD.
   Phili 4:13-I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHICH STRENGTHENETH ME. If your trust and faith in Jesus and in His Word does not fail, you can, indeed, win the race that is set before you. God’s servants should also be there to help. If you do not forsake God’s calling, God’s servants may wrap their arms around you—to help you.
   Regarding these latter days of the last days, it is written:
   Heb 12:25-29. SEE THAT YE REFUSE NOT HIM THAT SPEAKETH. FOR IF THEY ESCAPED NOT WHO REFUSED HIM THAT SPAKE ON EARTH, MUCH MORE SHALL NOT WE ESCAPE, IF WE TURN AWAY FROM HIM THAT SPEAKETH FROM HEAVEN: WHOSE VOICE THEN SHOOK THE EARTH: BUT NOW HE HATH PROMISED, SAYING,
   YET ONCE MORE I SHAKE NOT THE EARTH ONLY, BUT ALSO HEAVEN.
   AND THIS WORD, YET ONCE MORE, SIGNIFIETH THE REMOVING OF THOSE THINGS THAT ARE SHAKEN, AS OF THINGS THAT ARE MADE, THAT THOSE THINGS WHICH CANNOT BE SHAKEN MAY REMAIN.
   WHEREFORE WE RECEIVING A KINGDOM WHICH CANNOT BE MOVED, LET US HAVE GRACE, WHEREBY WE MAY SERVE GOD ACCEPTABLY WITH REVERENCE AND GODLY FEAR: FOR OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE.
   All that can be shaken shall be shaken. Job 38:13-…THAT THE WICKED MIGHT BE SHAKEN OUT OF (the ends of the earth).

   We all have mountains and strongholds in our life to overcome as we follow Jesus. Some will finish the race that is set before them and overcome all of Satan’s obstacles. Some will fall by the wayside.
   Which will you be?
   Life is a test.
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61-COMMANDS OF GOD FOR THE LATTER DAYS
LIFE IS A TEST

   Rev 3:18-21-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.

   Jn 8:43-47-WHY DO YE NOT UNDERSTAND MY SPEECH?
   EVEN BECAUSE YE CANNOT HEAR MY WORD.
   YE ARE OF YOUR FATHER THE DEVIL, AND THE LUSTS OF YOUR FATHER YE WILL DO.
   HE WAS A MURDERER FROM THE BEGINNING, AND ABODE NOT IN THE TRUTH, BECAUSE THERE IS NO TRUTH IN HIM.
   WHEN HE SPEAKETH A LIE, HE SPEAKETH OF HIS OWN: FOR HE IS A LIAR, AND THE FATHER OF IT.
   AND BECAUSE I TELL YOU THE TRUTH, YE BELIEVE ME NOT.
   ...AND IF I SAY THE TRUTH, WHY DO YE NOT BELIEVE ME?
   HE THAT IS OF GOD HEARETH GOD'S WORDS: YE THEREFORE HEAR THEM NOT, BECAUSE YE ARE NOT OF GOD.

Num 15:39-SEEK NOT AFTER YOUR OWN HEART AND YOUR OWN EYES, AFTER WHICH YE USE TO GO A WHORING. Be ye perfect.

THE FOOL HAS SAID IN HIS HEART, “I DO NOT WANT CORRECTION OR ADVICE, AND I DO NOT INTEND TO CHANGE.”

   People do not want their false beliefs proven wrong. How about you?
   Study is but a word. Millions of people study God’s Word but it does not change them. Do you study God’s Word just to study—or do you do it so you can examine yourself and change daily?
   Many people do not recognize their “own sins and ungodly attitudes.” They do not recognize their anger and bitterness toward others, also their pride and judgmental or sharp attitudes toward others.
   They do not recognize their unChrist-like attitude and behavior.
   Someone asks you to help them, but your attitude is not one of love. Your attitude is one of “selfishness.”    Someone suggests you do something a certain way, but before the last word is out of their mouth you want to argue with them. You don’t stop and consider if the Lord may be speaking through them.
   Someone wants to speak with you—something edifying in God’s Word, but you are a talking machine that is so much into yourself you don’t recognize they want to speak to you. Have you ever noticed people that talk a lot, usually talk about themselves, not about Jesus. They are not slow to speak.
   Some take great pleasure in talking, but not in listening. Many talk to get attention, but, in doing so, they actually drive some people away.
   Someone corrects you from God’s Word, but your response to them is to throw an accusation back at them.
   How can they understand holiness and perfection that originate from faith and understanding, which works by love?
   How often do they say, “Oh, wretched man that I am!”
   Many read God’s Word a lot, but there is little change regarding their sin and their ungodly attitude. Where is the desire to conform to Christ? Therefore, their Bible study is in-vain.
   How has your attitude changed to be more like Christ in the last 12 months?
   Has your attitude actually regressed so you are now less like Christ?
   Do you resist God’s command that tells you not to fellowship with unbelievers? Many disobey God’s Word on this subject, because of some worldly, inner emotion or need they have not repented of.
   Are you more critical in judging others than you are in judging yourself?
   If you were asked what areas of your life are not conformed to Jesus—could you identify the same areas as Jesus will at the Judgment?
   Did you know that the way you are at the time you are raptured or die, may be how you will be for eternity?-ref Rev 22:11.
   What stronghold does Satan have in you, because of your lack of repentance in certain areas? Do you really have a Christ-like attitude? And if not, why won’t you repent and conform to the way Jesus wants you to be?
   Phil 2:3-5,7,8-DO NOTHING OUT OF SELFISH AMBITION OR VAIN CONCEIT, BUT IN HUMILITY (OF MIND) CONSIDER OTHERS BETTER THAN YOURSELVES.
   EACH OF YOU SHOULD LOOK NOT ONLY TO YOUR OWN INTERESTS, BUT ALSO TO THE INTERESTS OF OTHERS.
   YOUR ATTITUDE (OR MIND) SHOULD BE THE SAME AS THAT OF CHRIST JESUS:
   (Jesus) MADE HIMSELF NOTHING (OR NO REPUTATION), TAKING THE VERY NATURE OF A SERVANT, BEING MADE IN HUMAN LIKENESS.
   AND BEING FOUND IN APPEARANCE AS A MAN, HE HUMBLED HIMSELF AND BECAME OBEDIENT TO DEATH—EVEN DEATH ON A CROSS!-NIV
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You were born to be tested. You were born to learn obedience and to conform to the image of Christ.
Yet, most of you reading this, if you are honest would have to admit—you are no more like Christ this year than you were last year.

You were born to be tested. From the time of your birth, to the time your life ends—it is all a test.

God is real. Satan is real. There is an unseen spiritual realm; perhaps, it can be understood as another dimension.
In your thoughts and in your heart, you can hear the devil, who is also called Satan.
Will you choose to believe and do what Satan tells you to do, or will you choose to believe and do what God tells you to do?

LIFE IS A TEST THAT REVEALS—EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU.
LIFE IS A TEST THAT REVEALS TO WHAT DEGREE—YOU BELIEVE AND UNDERSTAND GOD’S WORD.
LIFE IS A TEST THAT REVEALS—WHAT SORT OF ATTITUDE YOU HAVE IN MANY SITUATIONS.
LIFE IS A TEST THAT REVEALS—TO WHAT DEGREE YOU WILL DO AND OBEY GOD’S WORD.
LIFE IS A TEST THAT DETERMINES—WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY.
LIFE IS A TEST THAT DETERMINES—WHAT ETERNAL REWARDS YOU WILL RECEIVE FOR ETERNITY.
LIFE IS A TEST THAT REVEALS—IF YOU LOVE GOD AND HOW MUCH YOU LOVE GOD.
LIFE IS A TEST, BUT TIME IS RUNNING OUT. THE RAPTURE IS NOT FAR AWAY—BUT MOST PEOPLE (WHICH MAY INCLUDE YOU) ARE NOT READY.
LIFE IS A TEST—THAT MOST PEOPLE FAIL.

LIFE IS ALL A TEST—WHY DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND?

Ecc 12:13,14-LET US HEAR THE CONCLUSION OF THE WHOLE MATTER: FEAR GOD, AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS:
FOR THIS IS THE WHOLE DUTY OF MAN.
FOR GOD SHALL BRING EVERY WORK INTO JUDGMENT, WITH EVERY SECRET THING, WHETHER IT BE GOOD, OR WHETHER IT BE EVIL.

Rev 3:22-HE THAT HATH AN EAR, LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH UNTO THE CHURCHES.


The end of the subject: Life is a Test.
Also see the message called—The Pressure Cooker
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