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Archive for August, 2008

The Bible gives a lot of warning about the last days deception. But we are not to fear it. First, fear causes torment. Fear paralyzes you from doing what God has called you to do. 

Lets look at what the bible says about deception.

Matt 24:4-5    4 Jesus answered them, Be careful that no one misleads you [deceiving you and leading you into error].

    5 For many will come in (on the strength of) My name [[b]appropriating the name which belongs to Me], saying, I am the Christ (the Messiah), and they will lead many astray.

1 Timothy 4:1 But the Spirit says clearly that in later times some will be turned away from the faith, giving their minds to spirits of deceit, and the teachings of evil spirits,  (BBE NAS RSV)

2 Timothy 3:13 Evil and false men will become worse and worse, using deceit and themselves overcome by deceit.  (BBE)

2 John 1:7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who don’t confess that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the Antichrist.  (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)

Luke 21:8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.  (KJV WBS NIV)

1 Corinthians 15:33 Don’t be deceived! “Evil companionships corrupt good morals.”  (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV)

James 1:16 Don’t be deceived, my beloved brothers.  (WEB WEY ASV NAS RSV NIV)

Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. (NASB ©1995)

Colossians 2:8 See that no one shall be carrying you away as spoil through the philosophy and vain deceit, according to the deliverance of men, according to the rudiments of the world, and not according to Christ, 

There are many, many more scriptures.

We are not to fear!

Psalms 49:5 Why should I fear in the days of evil, when iniquity at my heels surrounds me?  (See NIV) 

In the last days there will be so many things that will try to put us in to bondage. That will try to pull us away from the one true God. We need to be on guard and have wisdom. Part of being not deceived has to do with growing up. God wants us to grow up in Him. As children we can be tossed to and fro, but as we learn God’s word and grow in the knowledge of the truth we will not be deceived. Many people are deceived because they refuse to grow up. They only want the milk of the word and do not want the meat of the word.

1 Corinthians 3:2

I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

Hebrews 5:12

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

We need to grow up then we can teach and help others come to the knowledge of Jesus. 

Lets look at some ways to not be deceived.

1) Look unto Jesus

We must put our faith in what Jesus did for us at Calvary and keep our eyes on Him. When we keep our eyes on Jesus we will see the truth and not be deceived. 

Hebrews 12:2

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jude 1:21

Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Romans 5:1

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

2) Test the spirits

A spirit is behind every teaching. There are many false prophets out there, false teachers, & deceivers. We do not have to fall for everything that comes our way. So many are being deceived because they just except what is out there. 

1 John 4

 1 BELOVED, DO not put faith in every spirit, but prove (test) the spirits to discover whether they proceed from God; for many false prophets have gone forth into the world.

    2 By this you may know (perceive and recognize) the Spirit of God: every spirit which acknowledges and confesses [the fact] that Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [actually] has become man and has come in the flesh is of God [has God for its source];

    3 And every spirit which does not acknowledge and confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh [but would [a]annul, destroy, [b]sever, disunite Him] is not of God [does not proceed from Him]. This [[c]nonconfession] is the [spirit] of the antichrist, [of] which you heard that it was coming, and now it is already in the world.

    4 Little children, you are of God [you belong to Him] and have [already] defeated and overcome them [the agents of the antichrist], because He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world.

3) Be in the Word

We will fall for many things if we do not know what God says about things. People do not know the word and just except what ever their pastor or minister says. But we are to seek God and His word on our own. We are to have a personal relationship with Him.

2 Timothy 2:15

Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.(AMP)

Mark 4:24

And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you–and more [besides] will be given to you who hear.(AMP)

Romans 10:17

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

4) Ask for wisdom

Proverbs 2

 1 MY SON, if you will receive my words and treasure up my commandments within you,

    2 Making your ear attentive to skillful and godly [a]Wisdom and inclining and directing your heart and mind to understanding [applying all your powers to the quest for it];

    3 Yes, if you cry out for insight and raise your voice for understanding,

    4 If you seek [Wisdom] as for silver and search for skillful and godly Wisdom as for hidden treasures,

    5 Then you will understand the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of [our omniscient] God.(A)

    6 For the Lord gives skillful and godly Wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Proverbs 17:24A man of understanding sets skillful and godly Wisdom before his face, but the eyes of a [self-confident] fool are on the ends of the earth.

Proverbs 1:7

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

James 1:5

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

5) Avoid those who teach false doctrine

1 John 4:1

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

2 Peter 2:1

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

Galatians 2:4

And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: (False brethren’s goal is to bring us into bondage)

Mark 13:22

For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

We do not need to fear the last days deception. The bible is clear that it will come. If we place our faith in what Jesus did, we have the help of the Holy Spirit and He will not let us be deceived. We must be in the word and ask God for help at all times. If we do this we will not be deceived, but we will be able to help others see the ways of the false prophets and be saved from sure destruction. So remember there will be a lot of deception in the last days, but you do not need to fear it, YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD!! TRUST GOD ONLY! BE IN HIS WORD! KEEP YOUR SPIRITUAL EYES OPEN TO JESUS ONLY!

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The bible has a lot to say about things we should do and not do. The way we should be and not be. How we should act and not act. How we should respond and not respond. 

Don’t do & Don’t Be:

Fear not

Be not dismayed

Dread not

Be not afraid

Let not your mind & heart faint

Do not tremble

Be not terrified

Be not a coward

Be not depressed

Be not dismayed

Be not broken in spirit

Be not timid

Panic not

Be not grieved

Be not offended

Sorrow not

 

Then Do & Be:

Be strong

Be courageous

Be firm

Stand Still

Trust Him

Arise

Go

Be of good cheer

Seek God

Inquirer of the Lord

Cry out to God

Pray

Rest

Go forward

Be joyful

Take your position

And much, much more.

I have good news and bad news. The bad news is you can not do any of this! NONE!

The good news is The Holy Spirit was given so you can do all things with His help. He is our helper. 

John 14:26 Amp.

But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.

We must place our faith in what Jesus did at the cross and that gives the latitude to the Holy Spirit to help us. He will cause us to do, be, and have all that God wants for us to have. Be all that you can be, Only if you place your faith in what Jesus did for you and with the Help of the Holy Spirit. 

Romans 8:4

So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit].

Romans 8:5

For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit.

Romans 8:6

Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever].

Romans 8:13

For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever.

Romans 8:26

So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groaning too deep for utterance.

Romans 15:13

May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope.

Galatians 5:16

But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).

2 Timothy 1:14

Guard and keep [with the greatest care] the precious and excellently adapted [Truth] which has been entrusted [to you], by the [help of the] Holy Spirit Who makes His home in us.

I know that this is a lot of scriptures, but there are many more. We must let the Holy Spirit help us. God sent his Son and Jesus sent the Holy Spirit. We are not set up to fail. We are in a position to succeed. But a lot of times we are our worse enemy. We stop ourselves because of our past mistakes or sins. We must trust that what Jesus did was enough and the with the help of the Holy Spirit we can make it. God made provision for us, even when we did not deserve it. So do not look at the past or look to self, but trust that when Jesus said: “IT IS FINISHED”, He meant it. And trust Jesus when He said He would send the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit to be our helper. We can make it in life. We do not have to be defeated. Just Him today. Today is the day of salvation. Today His mercies are new. They are new every morning. We can start today. So trust and obey!

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What if the standard that you live by is off just a little from God’s standard?

What if you changed just a little from where you used to be? you used to not watch certain movies, but now they are OK. You used to not go places, but now it is OK. You used to not talk a certain way, but now it is OK. 

The world’s standard has changed so much, how much have we changed with it? 

You used to study 1 hr a day, now it is a half hr or sometimes not at all. Look back in the old days and how they used to live. We are so far from that today. 

What happens to a plane that is off course even just a little? No matter what, it would be more & more off course each day. (of course unless it got back on track) But if it didn’t then over years it would be so far off that it would not go where it started off to go.

What if that has happened to the christian world? We are so far from the standard of the old timers, that we can not recognize the church from the world.

Where is the line? Why are we so close to it? THe bible says “Be ye holy for I am holy. Where are we? How are we comparing weather we are holy or not? WIth others? With Self?

Where are we? How far off course are we? What if what we are doing & being is even a little off??

Matt 7:13-14  Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it.

    But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.

Narrow: to crowd, afflict, throng, suffer tribulation, trouble, (a rut, or worn track-path)

Wow, we run from tribulation & suffering, but that is where the narrow gate is. 

We are so far off that vs 21-23 will be what happens to most people who think they are on track.

21 Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven.

    22 Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name?

    23 And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].

What if what we were when we first got saved is the narrow gate? I have heard people say, “when I first got saved I went to church 3-5 days a week”, I read & prayed all day, “I couldn’t tell enough people about Jesus.” But somehow over time we allow our time to be stolen form us. Our time with God gets less & less. Tell someone about Jesus, well that is the preachers job.

We let circumstances change us. 

Rev. 2:1-29; 3:1-22

1st church = good works, good labor, patience, but off just a little: left their first love.

Which of the 7 churches are we like? What if we are off just a little. 

1 Jn. 2:28-29 – will we shrink at His coming?

28 And now, little children, abide (live, remain permanently) in Him, so that when He is made visible, we may have and enjoy perfect confidence (boldness, assurance) and not be ashamed and shrink from Him at His coming.

    29 If you know (perceive and are sure) that He [Christ] is [absolutely] righteous [conforming to the Father’s will in purpose, thought, and action], you may also know (be sure) that everyone who does righteously [and is therefore in like manner conformed to the divine will] is born (begotten) of Him [God].

Will we shrink at His coming because we are off just a little?

Gal. 1:6 

6 I am surprised and astonished that you are so quickly turning renegade and deserting Him Who invited and called you by the grace (unmerited favor) of Christ (the Messiah) [and that you are transferring your allegiance] to a different [even an opposition] gospel.

Galatians 1:6 (King James Version)

 6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

How far removed are we???

Gal 5:7 Galatians 5:7 (King James Version)

  7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

Who has hindered you???

Heb. 3:13-14 Hebrews 3:13-14 (Amplified Bible)

13 But instead warn (admonish, urge, and encourage) one another every day, as long as it is called Today, that none of you may be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [by the fraudulence, the stratagem, the trickery which the delusive glamor of his sin may play on him].

    14 For we have become fellows with Christ (the Messiah) and share in all He has for us, if only we hold our first newborn confidence and original assured expectation [in virtue of which we are believers] firm and unshaken to the end.

1) We need to hold on to our newborn state: trust & confidence in him.

Lamentations 3:40-41 (Amplified Bible)

40 Let us test and examine our ways, and let us return to the Lord!

    41 Let us lift up our hearts and our hands [and then with them mount up in prayer] to God in heaven: 

2) Examine our ways.

Hosea 10:12 (Amplified Bible)

12 Sow for yourselves according to righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God); reap according to mercy and loving-kindness. Break up your uncultivated ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, to inquire for and of Him, and to require His favor, till He comes and teaches you righteousness and rains His righteous gift of salvation upon you.

3) Don’t be hasty to leave the presence of God. (stay in His presence)

4) Break up your uncultivated ground

5) Seek God.

Today is the day of salvation, now is the expectable time. Seek Him today while He can still be found. Examine yourselves, if you are off a little, get back on track today. Don’t wait until it is to late.

2 Corinthians 13:5

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?

ARE YOU IN THE FAITH???

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This is a phrase that people say all the time, myself included. In fact I have said this many times. If things don’t work as they should have, I just say “I did my Best” without even thinking about it. But the Lord has been dealing with me about this. 

OUR BEST IS TAINTED!

Because of the fall, our best is tainted and is not good enough. That is another phrase we say, “Oh that is good enough”.

We either look at others to compare our actions or we compare ourselves with ourselves. 

Eph. 5:1 THEREFORE BE imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father].

Be followers, be imitators of God, not each other. Our standard of comparison, as to how we compare our life and action is Christ. People are in a rut of being average because they compare themselves among themselves. 

“I did my Best”, But did you do God’s Best??

Many teachings today has to do with Self improvement. Faith in self. God does not want us to improve on self. He wants to be conformed into the image of Christ, not others or our old self. 

1 Pet. 1:13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Prepare your mind for action. In order for you to walk in the vision & be all that God wants you to be, you are going to have to make some tuff decisions about your life. You are going to have to decide to raise the standard in your life. With Jesus as your standard. 

1 Pet. 1:13-16

13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,

 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;

 16 because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”

The standard and measurement must be Jesus!!

1 Cor. 10:12-13

12 Not that we [have the audacity to] venture to class or [even to] compare ourselves with some who exalt and furnish testimonials for themselves! However, when they measure themselves with themselves and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding and behave unwisely.

    13 We, on the other hand, will not boast beyond our legitimate province and proper limit, but will keep within the limits [of our commission which] God has allotted us as our measuring line and which reaches and includes even you.

We are behaving unwisely and without understanding when we compare ourselves with others. We must rise above, we must stop comparing ourselves with others. Even stop comparing ourselves with ourselves. “Well I am better than what I used to be”.  That is good, but that doesn’t matter and should not be our standard to live by. We are not to look at self. 

Sometimes we settle for the way things are because we think we have no choice. We need to get a vision beyond ourselves. 

We let what others have said about us hold us back. We let our past experiences hold us back. We must let the Spirit of God led us!! (Rom. 8)

We must do things God’s way. Our Best is not good enough. 

People say “Good is the enemy of Best”.  But I say, “Our Best is the enemy of God’s good”. 

We try to do good works, but they are not God’s good works. We look to self to perform those works. This produces pride in our lives. Which causes us to say “I did my Best”.

Eph. 2:9-10 (AMP.)

9 Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]

    10 For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].

I like what this says about works. We are to do those good works which God predestined (prepared ahead of time), that we should walk in them (living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live).

We live so far below what God has for us, because we look to our best. Don’t look at the best of other either. There is a gap from where we are and where we could be. We limit our vision of what God can do through us when we look to self. We are limited in what we can do.

You must fully cooperate with the Holy Spirit & in the effort that He wants to do in our hearts & lives while at the same time recognizing that only the Holy Spirit can perform the work. If we look to Jesus and what He did for us, that gives the Holy Spirit latitude to work in us and change us. 

We will do more than our best when we totally trust in Him. Then we can touch this world. Our lives will truly be changed, when we realize our best is not God’s best. He has so much more for us than we can ask or think of. 

Please don’t let condemnation come on you because you try and do your best. We must reach beyond ourselves. We must not limit ourselves to what we can do, that limits what God wants to do in us and through us. Trust God to take you beyond self. Again, today there is so much out there about self and how we can improve it. Well that is a good try from Satan to keep us average and below God’s Best. So look to Jesus and what He did for you and let the Holy Spirit work in your live so you can go beyond your Best and go into God’s best for you!!!

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