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Only the Armor of God is Our Arsenal!

EVERY BORN AGAIN CHILD OF GOD MUST IMPLEMENT THIS IN OUR LIVES EACH AND EVERY DAY! Yes, only the armor of God will win the battle of spiritual warfare that we all face if we are born again by the blood of Jesus Christ. When we become children of God, we not only inherit God’s blessings but God’s enemies as well. The Lord’s foremost enemy is satan, whose purpose is to destroy God’s work – John 8:44 “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.” But, Jesus came to “destroy the works of the devil!” 1 John 3:8 “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”

satan is a fallen angel – Isaiah 14:12-15 “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” As a fallen angel, he is only a created being. He is in no way equal to God, our Creator! While satan is superior in intellect and strength to mankind, he is inferior to God in every way. Believers have the power of the indwelling resurrected Christ over them and protecting them. All we have to do is use the Living Word of God and believe, His power will overcome the enemy – 1 John 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.” (Man do I wear that verse out!)

In addition, believers have been given the whole armor of God “to stand against the wiles of the devil” – Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

Each piece of the armor is to be put on to help believers overcome the temptations and attacks of the evil one!

  1.  Having Girded Your Waist with Truth (Ephesians 6:14): The waist or abdomen area was generally thought to be the seat of emotions. To gird this area with truth is to commit your emotions to believe the truth. Often a person knowingly allows herself to believe a lie because of fear or self-pity. Believers must hold a commitment to truth regardless of the repercussions – John 8:32, 36 “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free…If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
  2.  Having Put on the Breastplate of Righteousness (Ephesians 6:14): “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;” The breast is generally thought of as the place of the soul. The heart must be kept pure and righteous because sin gives a foothold to the enemy. We must confess our sin, and then forgiveness on the basis of the blood of Christ cleanses our hearts – 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
  3. Having Shod Your Feet with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace (Ephesians 6:15): “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;” The proper shoes enable our feet to go from place to place. The believer is to be about her Father’s business, which is to spread the gospel of peace and reconciliation. An unshakable sense of this mission will keep us headed in the right direction – Matthew 28:19, 20 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
  4. Taking the Shield of Faith (Ephesians 6:16): “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” Notice it says ALL the fiery darts of the wicked. The wicked one is “the accuser of our brethren” – Revelation 12:10 “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” He will send his fiery darts to instill doubt, fear, and guilt. Faith acts as an invisible shield that deflects such false accusations – Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” The one thing that helps us keep that faith is memorizing these words from God and using them against that evil accuser. God’s Words are living and they have power from on High that we do not have. Remember how Jesus did that when He was tempted by satan?
  5. Take the Helmet of Salvation (Ephesians 6:17): “And take the helmet of salvation,” A helmet protects the head, that is, our brain and our thoughts (yes, satan can try to attack us and make us doubt by getting into our thoughts. We must come against those thoughts immediately, for we learn to know and discern right away that such thoughts are not from God. And evil MUST flee at the name of Jesus – “the LORD rebuke you satan”, “get thee behind me satan, in the name of JESUS I command you!”). Assurance of Salvation is a mighty defense against doubt and insecurity and the kinds of works that are bred by them – 1 John 5:11-13 “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” What an awesome, assuring promise! Memorize it!
  6. Take the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17): “and the sword of the Spirit,which is the word of God:” The Word of God, the only offensive weapon in this armor, was used by the Lord Jesus against satan as I said above. We find this account in Luke 4:1-13. As I said, the Word of God is living and all powerful as well as effective and instructive (Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17) “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart…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.”
  7. Praying Always (Ephesians 6:18): “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” Prayer opens communication between us and God. In the midst of battle, we as believers MUST keep in CONSTANT communication with our Leader for directions and encouragement. Our prayers for one another are important and effectual – James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

 

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2016 in Call to Action

 

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The Doctrine of Salvation – Part 1

The Doctrine of Salvation is the last in this doctrinal study. Let me make a statement of faith by this study–I believe that Repentance towards God, and Faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work on Calvary, is the only ground for salvation from sin – “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:21) I pray that this study will accomplish God’s perfect will wherever He sends it.

Introduction:

“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that hear him;” (Hebrews 2:3)

Salvation is great! It is the most wonderful gift a person can ever receive from God. This doctrine is a study of that great salvation.

The believer is to put on the “helmet of salvation” as part of his armor against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:17). The helmet protects the head (mind) from doubts. Very few believers ever amount to anything until they understand so great salvation and the security that we have in it.

Salvation means “to deliver and salvage.” Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; (2 Corinthians 1:10).

The “finished work” means that Jesus Christ bore our sins in His body on the tree – 1 Peter 2:24 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” Jesus died for our sins, paying the penalty – Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” He was buried and rose again, physically, from the grave 3 days and 3 nights later – 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”

Jesus said, “It is finished” before dying on the cross (John 19:30). He was the final physical sacrifice that was ever needed to satisfy the wrath and anger of a Holy God against sinners. Jesus satisfied the just demands of a Holy God that sin be paid for by the death and the blood of a perfect sacrifice. God is satisfied forever – thus Jesus is the Author and the Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

Never again does a sacrifice for sin need to be given, for God considers the believer in Jesus Christ to be “perfected forever” by the work of Christ, on Calvary’s cross, once for all. Hebrews 10:10-14 “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2014 in God's Love, God's Truth

 

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The Doctrine of Man – Part 9

VII. The Human Conscience

The Good Samaritan

The human conscience is simply defined as “what the mind allows or disallows.”

The problem with that is obvious. The mind then becomes our god if we let our conscience be our guide. It is a doctrine of the devil to “let your conscience be your guide.” The Lord God Almighty and His written Word are to be our guide. Our conscience can be an aid or an enemy to obedience. Our conscience may allow what God does not allow, or it may disallow what God expects of us.

For example: Our conscience may not bother us if we walk around with half or most of our skin uncovered during the hot summertime. Our mind allows it. But God’s Word says, Leviticus 18:6-7 “None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD. The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.” …and so on. In the New Testament we are instructed in 1 Timothy 2: 9 “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;” It was said of the nation of Israel once in 2 Chronicles 28:19 “For the LORD brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel; for he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the LORD.” Peter was convicted in his spirit and got right by the presence of Christ one day in John 21:7 “Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.” The Demoniac, when delivered from the devils that were in him by the power of God, was described as “sitting, and clothed and in his right mind,” (Mark 5:15). When our mind allows some things that God condemns, then there is something wrong with our conscience. Conscience should never replace Christ on the throne of our hearts.

The opposite is also true: Our conscience may disallow what God expects of us. God expects us to be soul-winners, prayer warriors, tithers, Church servers, charity givers, “assembling of ourselves together” (Hebrews 10:25), etc. A person may say, “I have no conviction about that, I have no burden about that.” Because their conscience is not pricked about their sin of omission, their conscience has taken the place of Christ as their shepherd.

Now the word “conscience” is only found in the New Testament. It is translated from only one Greek word: suneidesis. It is the moral consciousness, or lack thereof, of a man. It is what that particular person’s mind allows or disallows. As God begins to control a person’s mind, the conscience obviously will change and become an ally to our Christian walk rather than an enemy. This is the way God changes us. Romans 12:2 says “And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed (Greek metamorphosis) BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” We need to have a “conscience toward God.” (1 Peter 2:19)

A. The Bible identifies 10 types of consciences in this world:

1. A convicted conscience – John 8:9 (These men were pricked in their conscience for judging another when they, themselves, were guilty.)

2. A good conscience that bears witness/testimony – Romans 2:15, 9:1; 2 Corinthians 1:12

3. A conscience void of offence – Acts 24:16 (A good testimony before God and man.)

4. A weak conscience – 1 Corinthians 8:10-12 (This is the person who is young in the Lord and gets offended easily by the actions of others, or is emboldened by the wrong actions of believers they are watching and end up doing worse things.)

5. A defiled conscience – 1 Corinthians 8:7; Titus 1:15 (The person with a weak conscience eventually defiles their conscience, letting the actions of other believers and the world dictate their convictions, rather than the word of God guiding them.)

6. A good conscience – 1 Timothy 1:5, 9; Hebrews 13:18; 1 Peter 3:16, 21 (This is the conscience most mentioned, and our aim. To live in a way so that no one can honestly accuse us of wrong, and God sees our actions as right.)

7. A pure conscience – 1 Timothy 3:9 (There is no substitute for purity in all our being.)

8. A seared conscience – 1 Timothy 4:2 (How sad it is when a person gets past feeling in certain areas of their life. This happens to the lost and the saved. Some saved people cannot seem to be changed by preaching, singing, example, God’s discipline, or anything. Their conscience has been seared. Let us pray for the healing of our conscience until we come to the place where everything that troubles God also troubles us.)

9. A purged conscience – Hebrews 9:14 (Thank God that our conscience can be purged from thinking that our dead works please God, to truly serving God in the Holy Spirit.)

10. An evil conscience – Hebrews 10:22 (A conscience that allows us to think or do bad things.)

B. Our conscience need to serve:

1. God first – Acts 23:1, “And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.” 1 Peter 2:19, “For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.” 1 Peter 3:21b, “…the answer of a good conscience toward God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:” We must care that our words and deeds are right toward God.

2. Others second

a. Being subject to government – Romans 13:5 “Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.”

b. Being subject to the scrutiny of the lost – Acts 24:16 “And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men.”

c. Being subject to the scrutiny of the saved – 2 Corinthians 5:11, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.” 1 Corinthians 8:7-13, “Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.”

3. Ourselves last – Romans 9:1 “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,” Our conscience, when right, works with the Holy Ghost as a partner to make us be what He wants us to be, and to do what He wants us to do.

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2014 in God's Truth

 

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God’s Angels – Part 3

III. The Responsibilities of God’s Righteous Angels

A. In the Past They Have:

1. Appeared in dreams – Matthew 1:20-24 “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:”

2. Given laws and revelations – Acts 7:53 “Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.”

B. In the Future They Will:

golden-city-of-heaven1. Guard the gates of the New Jerusalem (our final home) – Revelation 21:12 “And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:” Also compare Genesis 3:24 “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”

2. They will help regather Israel – Matthew 24:31 “And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

3. They will help separate the good from the ad – Matthew 13:24-30 “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” Matthew 13:36-41 “Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;”

Jesus Christ, angels and apostle. Church of th...4. They will accompany Christ to earth – Matthew 16:27 “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” Matthew 25:31 “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:”  2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.”

5. They will bind satan and guard his abyss – Revelation 20:1-3 “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” Revelation 9:1 “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.”

C. Presently They:

1. Wage war in actual combat – Revelation 12:7-9 “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Daniel 10:20 “Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.”

2. They help to execute judgement – Genesis 19; Matthew 13:41-42; Acts 12:23 “And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.”

3. They minister to the saints – Hebrews 1:14 “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” See also Acts 10 and Matthew 4:11.

4. They help rule nations – Daniel 10:13-21 “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days. And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb. And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength. For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me. Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me. Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come. But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.” Also Daniel 12:1.

18th century rendition of a guardian angel.5. They help individuals – Matthew 18:10 “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” Psalm 34:7 “The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” Also Hebrews 1:14

6. They praise and worship God – Luke 2:13 “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,” Psalm 103:20 and 148:2 “Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word;” “Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts.” Revelation 5:11-13 “And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”

7. They strengthen in trials – Matthew 4:11 “Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.” Luke 22:43 “And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.” Psalm 34:7 “The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.”

8. They help direct sinners to Gospel witnesses – Acts 10:3-48 “He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do. And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually; And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa. On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven. Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate, And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there. While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them. Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come? And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee. Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him. And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and he had called together his kinsmen and near friends. And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man. And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together. And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me? And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee. Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.”

9. They help direct Gospel workers to sinners – Acts 8:26-40 “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.”

10. They minister before God – Revelation 8:2 “And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.” Revelation 14:15-19 “And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.”

11. They protect the saints – Psalm 34:7; Acts 12:7-10 “And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.”

12. They witness confessions – Luke 15:8-10 “Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” See also 1 Timothy 5:21.

Angel of the Death13. They help transport the deceased to the presence of God – Matthew 13:30 “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” Luke 16:22 “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;” Matthew 13:36-43; Matthew 24:31; Also Mark 13:27 “And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.”

14. They help impart God’s will – Acts 5:19-20 “But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.” Acts 10:1-6 “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.”

15. They help bring answers to prayer – Daniel 9:21-23 “Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.” Also Daniel 10:12-13.

16. They are present in the Church – 1 Corinthians 11:1-10 “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 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. For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.” Revelation 2: 1, 8, 12, 18 and 3:1, 7, 14 – “Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; – And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; – And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; – And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; – And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. – And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; –  And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;”

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo - The Heavenly and E...Related articles

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2013 in Eschatology

 

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The Doctrine of Demons

The next part of our study is on demons; there is actually a doctrine of demons that we need to be aware of. We know that satan was once an angel, but he chose to challenge God’s authority and wanted to be like God. Because of his rebellion he and his minions were cast out of Heaven and became what we know as demons. It is important for us to understand who they are and the havoc that they wreak on this earth, and that we must call on God’s power and protection from them.

The devil’s fallen angelsDemonology. The word “devils’ is found 55 times in the Bible, 4 times in the Old Testament and 51 times in the New Testament. The New Testament word in the Greek is “daimon” from which we get the word demon. However, the word demon is not found in the Bible. “Devils” and “demons” are the same in today’s English vernacular, but “devils” is the Bible word.

From our previous study on satan, we learned that the devils have a ruler over them, beelzebub, the prince of the devils, satan. And they followed satan in rebellion against God – one third of the angels followed him in his revolt. They are fallen angels now known as devils.

English: Man being attacked by demons and devils

Devil in Chains

The Devils Exist in Two Groups: I. Those that are Imprisoned in Chains in Darkness until the Judgment Day – 2 Peter 2:4 “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” Jude 6 “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” These devils are probably the angels referred to in 1 Corinthians 6:3 “Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?” Why some of the devils are chained and others are obviously free is not known. We should just be thankful for this truth and that it is not any worse than it is. Devils are angels that sinned and left their first habitation whether free or bound.

II. Those that are Free and go About doing Demonic Work:

A. These will also end up in hell for that is why hell was prepared originally – Matthew 25:41 “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” As we learned in earlier studies, hell was not created for man, but for satan and his minions.

B. They know that their time is coming – Matthew 8:29 “And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” They also know that their time is very short, therefore, as God’s children we must persevere and be diligent in sharing the Good News of Jesus’ Salvation for mankind.

C. They know that they shall be tormented in hell – Matthew 8:29, Revelation 20:10 “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” It is their mission to take as many humans with them as possible to this place of eternal torment, because we are God’s beloved. Many are choosing to be deceived into believing that it will be an eternal party. God’s Word says it will be eternal torment, and God does not lie.

D. They know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God – Matthew 8:29, Mark 1:24 – “Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.” Is it not very ironic that people choose to believe satan’s lies and reject Jesus as God’s Son? Even the devils know Him as God’s Son. See also Mark 3:11, Luke 4:41, Acts 19:15.

E. They are unwillingly subject to Jesus Christ – Mark 1:34 “And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.” Matthew 8:30-32 “And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.” They did not want to be cast into the “pit.” There are many more examples in God’s Word of Jesus casting out devils. This proves that when they attack us, we can call on the name of Jesus Christ to rebuke them, and they must flee.

1. Amazingly, even the unsaved can cast out devils by the name of Jesus Christ – Matthew 7:22-23 “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? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

2. Those who are not part of our fellowship can cast out devils by the name of Jesus Christ – Mark 9:38-40 “And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part.” See also Luke 9:49-50.

3. Those in our fellowship can cast out devils in the name of Jesus Christ – Matthew 10:8 – “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” See also Matthew 17:19-21, Mark 9:28-29. We must pray and fast for such miracles of deliverance.

4. The Spirit of God can cast out devils – Matthew 12:28 “But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.” This, I believe, is God’s main method today – through the power of the Gospel and the Word of God. Salvation delivers one from the kingdom of darkness.

5. Jesus himself cast out devils – Mark 1:39 “And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.” It is Jesus and the power of His name that wins against these demonic forces. It is a supernatural and spiritual warfare.

F. They believe in God and tremble at the thought of Him – James 2:19 “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” Here again, very ironic indeed that some people call themselves atheists, while even those who they let deceive them know that God is real.

G. They love to control, indwell and possess bodies:

1. Humans, the phrase “possessed with devils” or “possessed of a devil” occurs 11 times in the Gospels – for example, Matthew 9:32 “As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil.”

2. Animals, 2000 swine – Mark 5:13 “And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.”

H. They some times inflict an individual in large companies:

1. Legion – Mark 5:2-13 “And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.”

2. Mary out of whom the Lord cast out 7 devils – Mark 16:9 “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.”

I. There are unclean spirits mentioned 20 times in the New Testament, example Revelation 16:13-14 “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” Those who dabble or get caught up in things like seances or ouija boards must be aware that they are dealing with unclean spirits.

J. They can work miracles – Revelation 16:14 “For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” Be very cautious about believing that all miracles are of God! If we truly know Jesus as our Saviour and keep our eyes on Him, we will not be deceived.

K. They teach false doctrines through false prophets as seducing spirits – 1 Timothy 4:1 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” To seduce means to deceive, cause to rove, to be an imposter – 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” Also verses 13-15 “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” A good example of this is how it is so easy for anyone to become an ordained minister via the internet today. There are many calling themselves pastors, but deceiving people with lies such as, “It is okay to be homosexual; God made you that way.” They will stand before God and answer for their evil deceptions.

L. They are some times sacrificed to – Leviticus 17:7 “And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone a whoring. This shall be a statute for ever unto them throughout their generations.” Deuteronomy 32:17 “They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.” Psalms 106:37 “Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils.” 1 Corinthians 10:20 “But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.” Be aware also that this still happens in our world today, because satan is harder at work today than ever before, as he knows his time is very short.

M. They are some times worshipped by man – Revelation 9:20 “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk.”

If you have not done so, please turn to Jesus now! He died that NONE should perish with satan. He patiently waits with open arms but for a short time now. Do not wait until it is too late!

d jesus bleeding heart

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2012 in Eschatology

 

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Becoming a Godly Woman Part 2

English: Portrait of Rebecca Greenleaf Webster...

English: Portrait of Rebecca Greenleaf Webster, wife of lexicographer Noah Webster, by the American artist Jared Bradley Flagg, oil on canvas. 84.7 cm. x 72.7 cm. Image courtesy of the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Titus 2:3 “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;”

My last entry focused on what it means to be Godly with behaviour that becomes holiness. Today’s topic is false accusers. The Greek word for false accuser is diabolos (dee-ab’-ol-os). It means devil or slanderer. Nowadays we call them gossipers. I think we can all agree that gossiping is not Godly behaviour; it is quite the opposite and very harmful.

Gossipers are known for starting or spreading malicious rumors, and/or divulging personal information that someone has trusted them with. Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary defines a gossiper as: “One who runs from house to house, tattling and telling news; an idle tattler.”

Are they always women? No, men have been known to do it too, but I would say that women are the weaker vessels in this area. Are they always older women? No, but older women are to set an example for the younger, inexperienced women. Have I ever gossiped about someone? Yes, I shamefully admit that I have. One thing though – the Holy Spirit has convicted me very quickly, helping me to make things right when I have joined in on gossiping. I was also taught, growing up, not to say anything behind a person’s back that I would not be willing to say to that person’s face.

Have I been hurt by others’ gossip? Most definitely, and God lays it on my heart to remember those times when I feel tempted to prattle on about someone else. I pray daily (and sometimes constantly) that God will guide and control my tongue along with my thoughts and actions. Left to my own devices, I cannot overcome any temptation.

I have seen precious souls leave God’s house because of one person’s thoughtless scuttlebutt. Some have found a new church home, but some were so devastated by such hurtful actions that they left the church never to return. Also, sadly, lifelong friendships have ended because of an uncontrolled tongue.

Our speech comes from one of two sources – Satan or God:

Words that are motivated by Satan are full of bitter jealousy, selfish ambition, earthly concerns and desires, nonspiritual thoughts and ideas, disorder, and evil.

In Contrast:

Words that are motivated by God are full of purity, peace, consideration for others, submission, mercy, sincerity, impartiality, and goodness.

If we are sincerely seeking to know God more each day, we are in His word, listening to His direction in our prayer time, busy about God’s work, and caring for our families. That leaves no time to focus on what may or may not be happening in other peoples’ private lives. The old saying, “idle minds are the devil’s workshop,” is appropriate here.

Luke 6:45 “A good man (or woman) out of the good treasure of his (or her) heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man (or woman) out of the evil treasure of his (or her) heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his (or her) mouth speaketh.” Additions in ( ) are mine.

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2011 in Godly Women

 

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