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The Faithful

Once I read a comment on a blog from a woman complaining that her church was focusing on faith. “Faith, faith, faith” she ridiculed.

I went to my concordance in the Bible and wrote down the most referred to subjects. A full page of verse references was 3 columns. Here is what I found were the top four words.

Lord – 9 columns

God – 8 columns

Love – 6 columns

Faith – 5 columns

Lord, God, and love are obvious subjects one would find in the Bible but are you surprised to find out Faith is the fourth most used term recorded in the concordance? Obviously, faith is a very important aspect of our walk with Christ. But strangely enough at the second coming of Christ, He will certainly find a lack of faith.

Luke 18:8

“However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

Hebrews 11 is known for its teaching on faith and tells us of the people of God throughout biblical history who lived by faith alone.

Let’s see who is mentioned. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, the parents of Moses, and Moses.

All of these men are wonderful examples of their great faith and all were tested. None of them saw all the fulfillments of what was promised but they looked forward to the heavenly promises. When we realize that the things of this world are just temporary and we wait patiently for our true eternal home we begin to realize how important it is to walk in faith. Faith is storing our treasures in heaven ( Matt 6:20) where they are not seen with today’s lustful eyes.

We are told in Hebrews 11:6 that “without faith it is impossible to please God.” This is one of most important verses in Hebrews.

Lastly, I go to Habakkuk. Once I had my Bible open and someone inquired “What are you reading?” I replied, “Habakkuk,” to which I received a puzzled look in response.

But what do we find! Habakkuk 2:4 says “See, he is puffed up; his desires are not upright – but the righteous, will live by his faith.” This verse is so important it is repeated in Romans, Hebrews and Galatians.

God is not out of reach for those who walk in the faith of the Word of God. We seek God by prayer, and reading His Word. Be content with what you have, because discontent is really a lack of faith. Expect tests and discipline from the Father who loves us. When a parent disciplines it is because of love, and so it is with our Heavenly Father. If we struggle on this path of faith think of others who also struggle and help them. When our faith strengthens we can take our eyes off of ourselves, put them on Jesus, and begin to help others.

 

The use of spiritual energies for healing is dangerous indeed. Anything that conjures up a spirit guide is occult and not divine. The Bible warns spiritual deception will be prevalent during the end-times. Reiki is a psychic phenomena on par with faith healers and occult surgeons who are mediums that contact the spirit word. Scripture tells us that this paranormal contact is off-limits and detestable. Why? The spirits are deceivers.

Deuteromony 18:

“Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, inteprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord…”

Please read this from The Berean Call:

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In a recent article in Reiki News, it was revealed that 15 percent of all US hospitals are now implementing the practice of Reiki. In Reiki, a type of therapeutic touch, it is believed that the ki (chi) energy (a supposed universal energy that flows through all things) can be used to heal people. In the Reiki News article written by Reiki proponent William Lee Rand, Rand expresses a concern about a statement released by US Catholic bishops asking Catholic hospitals not to use Reiki because of its Buddhist roots. Rand tries to show that Reiki is a scientific method that has healing results.

However, as Rand explains his views on Reiki, the discerning reader begins to realize that Reiki is not scientific at all but rather a spiritual approach. Rand admits that “Reiki healing energy directs itself.” He says:

“I was unable to direct it with my mind or will and realized this wasn’t necessary as Reiki had its own form of guidance that was superior to my own. This experience has been verified by other professional Reiki practitioners and forms the basis of one of the important keys to using Reiki: If you want Reiki to provide the best healing experience, it’s necessary for the practitioner to set their own desire, will and ego aside, and allow the Reiki energy to guide itself.”

Author Ray Yungen, who says there are now over one million Reiki channelers in the US alone (a million in Germany also), explains this “energy” behind Reiki further: “One practitioner describes the experience in the following way:

“When doing it, I become a channel through which this force, this juice of the universe, comes pouring from my palms into the body of the person I am touching, sometimes lightly, almost imperceptibly, sometimes in famished sucking drafts. I get it even as I’m giving it. It surrounds the two of us, patient and practitioner” (“Healing Hands” (New Woman Magazine, March, 1986), p. 78).

What is this “juice of the universe?” The answer is an important one, given by a renowned Reiki master [Rand] who explains:

A Reiki attunement is an initiation into a sacred metaphysical order that has been present on earth for thousands of years … By becoming part of this group, you will also be receiving help from the Reiki guides and other spiritual beings who are also working toward these goals” (William Rand, Reiki: The Healing Touch, Southfield, MI: Vision Publications,1991, p. 48).

While this is not widely advertised, Reiki practitioners depend on this “spirit guide” connection as an integral aspect of Reiki. In fact, it is the very foundation and energy behind Reiki. One Reiki master who has enrolled hundreds of other masters spoke of her interaction with the spirit guides:

“For me, the Reiki guides make themselves the most felt while attunements are being passed. They stand behind me and direct the whole process, and I assume they also do this for every Reiki Master. When I pass attunements, I feel their presence strongly and constantly. Sometimes I can see them” (Diane Stein, Essential Reiki (Berkley, CA: Crossing Press, 1995), p. 107).

                Repentance3

Ingrained in my mind is the image of people streaming forward to accept Jesus Christ as Savior on television in the 60’s.  Many of us have seen the huge ministries with the inviting music, the call to come forward, the use of the sinner’s prayer. I do believe that many were saved, I also believe that many more were not.

Consider these excerpts from “Repentance and Soul-winning,” by David Cloud.

Years ago my wife and I had the job of following up on the Phoster Club soul winning visitation at church. The Phoster Club team regularly reported dozens of “salvations,” but when we visited these “saved” people to urge them to come to church and to try to disciple them, most of them wanted nothing to do with the things of God. That is a strange salvation. [1]

For a number of years, I preached in a county jail and it was common for those who came to the Bible studies to claim that they were saved. When we asked them why they thought they were saved, they often pointed to a time when they prayed a sinner’s prayer, walked the aisle of the church, or were baptized. When we ask them if their life changed after they prayed the sinner’s prayer, they usually acknowledged that it did not. They associated salvation with some sort of religious ritual. [2]

 

This is from Living Waters.

We are not doing sinners any favors when we minimize the seriousness of their sin. George Whitefield, a famous preacher once said, “First, then, before you can speak peace to your hearts, you must be made to see, made to feel, made to weep over, made to bewail, your actual transgressions against the Law of God.” It is only when a person sees his sin as wicked and understands the seriousness of offending his Creator, that he can find a place of true repentance and surrender to the Savior.

Within the last 100 years, a new gospel has crept into our churches. It has been designed to not offend you. It has been carefully crafted not to be too “in your face.” It gently suggests that you open your heart to Jesus if your current lifestyle isn’t working for you, and try God “when the time is right for you.” This “seeker centered” and “no offense” approach is no gospel at all; it is “another gospel”. If we continue to define sin as “honest mistakes”, we will continue to fill our churches with “backsliders” and false converts who fail to repent because they don’t see the seriousness of their sin. We will give them a cruel false hope, and make them comfortable aboard the “Jesus loves you” pleasure cruiser, singing songs to the Captain, while they blindly speed toward the iceberg of Eternal Justice.

Source Here

The watered down gospel that is being offered today does not save. If a person is asked if they want to go to heaven or hell, there is an obvious answer. Only a fool would want to spend eternity in hell and so everyone answers…”Why of course I want to go to heaven, so then, yes, I will accept Jesus.”

This is the option people need to be made to understand instead. “Do you want to make plans to structure a temporary heaven here on earth, or will your forsake worldly ways and instead  consider your future in an eternal heavenly kingdom with God?”

The simple quick prayer accepting Jesus Christ as Savior is not always heartfelt with a lifetime commitment of taking up the cross daily. When people say they will follow Jesus, they need to realize that they will have to follow Him to the cross and die to self.

I personally can vouch for the effectiveness of realizing a sinful nature to cause repentance. I already knew and believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a young girl. But I was not committed. My heart had not been circumcised. I had truth but was doing nothing with it. Was I really saved?

I picked up a book  about the rapture and prophecy in 2002 on a garage sale shelf. When I was growing up in the church, (I left when I was 16), prophecy was not taught.   When I read that little paperback book and realized that the  prophecy experts were saying that Jesus could come back at any time, I was devastated in my sin and realized my wasted life. I spent hours on the floor naming my sin to God, and asked forgiveness, weeping for the wretched state I was in.

Reading this excerpt from “An Urgent Call to a Serious Faith,” by Dave Hunt cemented and explained my conversion.

Paul reminded the saints at Colossae that victory over sin and self was not possible through willpower and fleshy struggle. True victory could only come through understanding and believing what Christ’s death for their sins and resurrection for their justification really meant. Paul declared that this was the secret of his own complete transformation–and so it must be with them.

But how could Christ’s death and burial and resurrection be as real to them as it was to Paul–so real that their very lives would be totally transformed? Paul explained: They must believe that Christ was coming any moment to take them to heaven, where they would therefore appear with Him in glory. It was the hope of Christ’s immiment return that would make the difference between victory and defeat in the Christian life! [3]

Realizing that you are not ready for the return of Jesus Christ, exposes sin and not being dead to self. Every person is different  and maybe convicted by the Holy Spirit in various ways when hearing the Gospel, but one does need to repent and show regeneration. A changed life indicates a true conversion. A converted life desires obedience to God’s word on a permanent basis. One may then stumble but the saved person will get back up and persevere.

My life changed that day. From that day forward, I had a hunger for the Word of God. I wanted to read the Bible and I wanted to study it. I enrolled in Bible study  classes. I began to exhibit fruit and hate the sin in my life. In fact, I asked God to show me my sin so that I could repent of it. If you ever want a fast answer to prayer….ask God to expose the darkness and sin in your life by His holiness.

God is holy and cannot tolerate sin. The new-age gospel only talks of God’s love and ignores sin and damnation for rejecting the true God of the Bible.

So where do you stand with God? Is your heart receptive to the gospel? Are you producing fruit? If so how much?

Matthew 13:23 “But the one who received the seed that fell on the good soil is the man who hears the word, and understands it. He produces a crop yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty time what was sown.”

OR…will you hear these sad words found in  Matthew 7:22-23 “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers.'”

Excerpt from a great article on Zimbio:

What must I do to be saved? 

Since God has made the way to be saved, it would be good to see how according to his word.

The Jailer of Acts 16 asked “What must I do to be saved”? Paul told him to believe (Real faith requires action James 2:17-25, more than “I believe in one God, as the devils do as well, and are not saved”!) and he did. As we read that he was obedient to Jesus command of water baptism in his name (John 3:5, Luke 24:47, and Mark 16:16). 1Peter 3:21 says that were are saved by it, (Through our faith in action!) and it clears our conscience.

We are saved by grace, hope, and belief along with repentance. (Grace is defined as the relection of God in one’s life.)

Moses faced reflected God’s glory after speaking to the Almighty. And to repent is to fully follow God by forsaking your ways.) see Eph. 2:5, Rom 8:24, John 3:16, and Acts 2:38. His blood justifies us, Rom 5:9-10. Not by works of righteousness we’ve done, but by his mercy he saves us, by the washing and regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost-Tit 3:5. We must confess our belief in him prior to baptism and call upon it it in it, states Romans 10:9-13. And we must take heed to follow the doctrine (Or teachings therein.) of Christ continually, and in doing so we save ourselves and others-Tim 4:16

 [1] pg. 134 

[2] pg. 90

[3] pg. 172

A NEW AMERICAN REVOLUTION?

By David Cloud

Some are calling for a new American revolution, but I would observe that there is a great difference between the last half of the eighteenth century and the first half of the twenty-first. In the 18th century, there existed enough moral character among American citizens to bring about a great, far-reaching revolution based (among other things) on biblical principles, and in hindsight it is obvious that the American revolution was God’s will for that time.

No such moral fiber exists today. In the eighteenth century children learned how to read from the King James Bible and from moralistic texts which urged such qualities as honesty, thrift, and industry. The citizens, whether truly Christian or not and whether godly or not, generally believed in an Almighty God, in divine creation, in moral absolutes, in heaven and hell.

On the other hand, twenty-first century children learn to read in a context of atheistic evolution and moral relativity, in a public school system in which the Bible has been renounced. God’s people need to understand the times. America today is not “one nation under God” in any sense of the term and it cannot be brought back to God through politics or demonstrations or alternative media or tax revolts or stockpiling weapons.

The only hope for America is genuine spiritual revival in the churches, and that is what God’s people need to focus on. The end of the age is fast approaching. We need to look up. We need to be found faithful in fulfilling Christ’s Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) rather than having become sidetracked to some extra-biblical objective. We need to imitate the early Christians who “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10). There is a saying, “When the outlook is bleak, try the uplook!”

michael Jackson

 

MICHAEL JACKSON’S LEGACY

July 3, 2009

source: http://www.wayoflife.org

Michael Jackson, the “King of Pop,” died last week of a probable drug-induced heart attack at age 50. Like Elvis Presley and many other rock gods, Jackson was addicted to a variety of drugs and his narcissism would not allow him to submit to any authority outside of himself. Jackson’s influence was great. His music videos helped vault MTV into popularity in the early 1980s.

His 1982 hit “Thriller” is either the first or second best-selling U.S. album of all time. His quirky and often filthy dance moves helped spawn hop-hop and have been imitated endlessly in contemporary dance. Choreographer Kenny Ortega called him “the world’s greatest performer.” Guinness World Records dubbed him “the most successful entertainer of all time.” The incredible fascination with Jackson’s life and death is indicative of the moral downfall of Western culture.

Major websites such as Facebook, MySpace, Google, and Twitter, slowed following the announcement of his death because of the dramatic increase in traffic. USA Today, America’s largest daily newspaper, dedicated nearly the entire front page to the pop icon’s death. Major news media outlets ran 24-hour coverage on every aspect of the man’s life and death. Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble and other major distributers sold out of Jackson music CDs and videos within an hour of the announcement of his passing.

In an attempt to explain this, Bill Carr, vice president for music and video at Amazon, said, “They love him, he’s a legend, and they’re anxious to make sure they have his music in their collections.” Jackson is an icon of the rock & roll culture, and his legacy was to carry modern society to a new level of debauchery and vanity. He was self-centered, lacked self-control, had no moral boundaries, was enslaved to fashion, and consumed with appearance. He squandered a fortune. Though he sold 750 million albums, he reportedly died with a debt of $400 million, because he lived so far beyond his means. Jackson’s life further normalized weirdness and perversion in modern society.

As Jane Fonda said in an interview with CNN about Jackson’s life, “Who are we to judge?”

The rebellion against God and His Word grows apace, but it will come to a shocking end (Psalm 2). The ranch that the King of Pop purchased in the 1980s was called Neverland; and that was not only the place where Michael Jackson lived, it is also the place where the modern pop culture dwells.

 end of article

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teach god

Michael Jackson will teach God how to moonwalk? 

How utterly demeaning to the God of the Universe, the Holy One, the Creator, Our Saviour who does not tolerate sin, who asks us who follow Him, to separate ourselves from the world.

This man says that Michael Jackson rocked his world, but here is what the Bible says about the world.

1 John 2:15

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the  love of the Father is not in him.”

Here is an excerpt from Slaughter of the Sheep:

Christian mothers allowed their children to indulge in the preoccupation of pop culture, and most defended it by saying, “It’s just entertainment.” But, hasn’t the church been entertained enough? Hasn’t America’s Christian youth been desensitized enough by entertainment that is neither spiritual nor Scriptural? Exposing youth to the ungodliness of pop culture distracts them from the Scriptural precepts of living a Godly life. Jesus told us to learn of Him and walk in His ways, but when our churches use worldly concepts instead of Christly ones to reach the youth and the unchurched, is it any wonder the church looks nothing like Christ Jesus, but looks like the world instead?  You look like what you mold yourself after; those molded after Christ look like Christ, and those molded after the world look like the world.  The ending result is that our churches are producing worldly youth, not Godly ones.

Full article here:

http://slaughteringthesheep.wordpress.com/2009/07/07/michael-jackson-will-it-ever-end/

and now a  revealing video about Michael Jackson’s spiritual life.

 

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