People of The Living God

Romans 10:9-10

 

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March 2013



 

WATCHMEN ON THE WALLS

THE CONSPIRACY

By Alfred King

        The Super Bowl XLVII half-time show performed by Beyonce stirred up consternation among many people, both Christians and non-Christians, regarding the skimpy attire and sleazy gyrations, presented to a “family time” listening audience.  Many conservative parents who desire their little girls and boys grow up to be modest with pure minds, found this concert quite offensive.  But there were others who took issue with a sign which Beyonce supposedly flashed during her performance.  It is claimed that she flashed the Illuminati triangle sign for the world to see.  In an article on News Max, February 4, 2013, Alexandra Ward defined the Illuminati with these words.  “In the past, the Illuminati were rumored to be an elite organization of influential individuals that masterminded events and took control of world affairs through governments and corporations.  Their sign is said to be a pyramid or triangle.”

        There are many Christians today who concern themselves with this and other conspiracy theories that are envisioned, discussed and written about by certain individuals in our society.  They each have various ideas about which clandestine group is manipulating and controlling the governments of the world.  Some say it’s the Illuminati, others the Jesuits, while others are concerned with the Masons, the Builderburgers, the Trilateral Commission or some other group whose existence is a secret society, who they claim are controlling events in the world to bring about their desired end.  Some even feel the great enemy and controller of world events is the Catholic Church.  The degree that each of these groups has played in shaping world events may be debatable, for we understand that there were times throughout history in which some groups did have power to work in various localities for a period of time, therefore having an effect upon history.  There has been concern for several centuries by various individuals relative to the activities of these societies, and especially among some “Christian” groups.  To say that these societies have had no effect upon history is probably foolish, but to concentrate one’s attention on them and to think that any one of them or a combination of them, is the controlling force in shaping world history is to focus on the wrong enemy.  To place one’s focus and concern on any of these groups is to turns his eyes away from the true enemy of mankind; for the real enemy is Satan, and he is also the enemy of God.

        It is Satan who is the god of this world (II Cor. 4:4), and it is he who is working in evil men’s hearts to accomplish his desires.  Satan is the mastermind, working to control nations and governments and he gains that control through those whom he can inspire to do his bidding.  He works in men’s hearts to do evil and in those men who give themselves over to sin.  Satan’s work, according to Jesus, is to steal, kill and destroy (Jn. 10:10).  His primary goal, which he tenaciously and tirelessly labors to accomplish, is to thwart God’s divine plan.  According to scripture, Satan desired to set his throne above the stars of God; he wanted to be god and his goal is the same today - to be god.  So his devious work is against the true God and God’s people.  He works in men’s hearts to attack, destroy and overcome God’s order, His laws and His people and he can gain the most control in these areas if he can control men in government, entertainment and any other area to which man becomes dependent or enslaved.  Evil men in government work under the inspiration of this mastermind to throw God out of our our lives, schools, courts, and they would like it to be obliterated from our vocabulary.  Why?  If Satan can get all men to forget God and reject His word, he can rule the world as he desires, and I assure you it will not be good for man if Satan were to gain complete control.

        In I Peter 5:8, the Apostle Peter wrote, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”  Those over whom he gains control through his deceptive devices become his servants and fall into the ranks of those that oppose God’s way.  Satan gains control in people’s hearts through sin.  In Numbers chapters 22 through 25, we have the account of Balaam, who was hired by Balak, king of the Moabites, to curse Israel.  Balaam attempted three times to curse Israel but God refused to allow him to do so and, instead of cursing Israel, he blessed them.  The account in Numbers 22 through 25 does not tell exactly what council Balaam gave Balak, but Numbers 31:16 informs us that Israel committed idolatry and fornication at the council of Balaam.  This is also confirmed in Revelation 2:14: “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.”  The lesson here is that, just as Balaam had no power to curse Israel, Satan has no power over Christians.  But if he can get Christians to begin to indulge in sin, he gains access to them and is able to bring them into bondage and servitude to him and his plan.  Remember, he walks about seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8), and Christians are not exempt.  Satan presents sin as very appealing, exciting, and as though sin is freedom, which appeals very strongly to the flesh.  Paul wrote to the Romans in chapter six and verse sixteen of his epistle, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey”.  Two more times in this same chapter Paul, writing to those who had come to the knowledge of Christ, declares, ye were the servants of sin (Rom. 6:17,20), and he then goes on to state that they are no longer sin’s servants, for they became servants of God.  In Ephesians 2:2 Paul expounds on the servitude to sin a little more, “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.”  Jesus said that he that is not with me is against me (Mark 12:30); there is no neutral ground.  We either are in God’s camp or in the camp of the enemy.  One places himself in Satan’s camp when he allows sin to rule his life.

        We tend to think at times that those who make the laws of our nation are against Christians, but in all truth, they are against God.  Like Israel of old who, in the days of Samuel, wanted to be like the nations of the world, to have a king that would go before them to battle, who would be one to whom they could look for national pride and one to solve all their problems, so men today want something they can see with their eyes, something physical and materialistic in which they can find pride and security.  Being grieved by Israel’s request, Samuel took the issue before the Lord Who told Samuel that they had not rejected him as their judge but they had rejected God; that God should not rule over them.  So evil men and governments today, in their rejection of God’s moral and ethical standards, are rejecting Him.  Since they are not for God, by default they fall into the camp of those who are against Him; and since they are against Him, they also find themselves under the power and influence of the god of this world.  They will follow his inspiration and will fight against God and God’s people.  If the conspiracy groups mentioned above do have any controlling or influencing authority, it is only because they are being manipulated by the god of this world and are playing the role that he has for them in order to accomplish his will.

        There are some who would question the power Satan has in this age for several reasons.  First they might feel that giving Satan this power is to take away from the sovereignty of God.  Second, some feel that Jesus overcame the power and authority of Satan when He died on the cross destroying all the power of the enemy.  It is clear in scripture that Jesus bound the strong man and plundered his house (Matt. 12:29; Mk. 3:27).  Jesus unabashedly declared that “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matt. 28:18) showing Himself to have complete power over the enemy.  But we see that the Apostle Paul speaks of the “god of this world” in II Cor. 4:4, showing that the sovereign God has given or allowed Satan to have certain power in this world.  In Ephesians six Paul, in listing the various pieces of armor for our warfare against the enemy states, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  These are not human authorities alone (which are flesh and blood) but evil spirits that operate in our world.  Satan has been given a degree of power to work in this world to bring about his desired end.  However, God has declared that the gates of hell will not prevail against His church.  Satan’s only power exists in his ability to entice man to sin.  It is through sin in men’s lives that Satan gains a foothold to any control in this world.  He obtains the ability to work on this globe through men who sin.  If there were no sin, Satan would be completely and absolutely powerless.  While evil men and evil governments will labor under inspiration of hell to destroy God’s church, they will never succeed.  God’s church is inspired by God Himself through the Holy Spirit, and Satan will never overcome this church.  Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords.  The church is His and no power can destroy it.  Isaiah gives this promise in chapter 59 verse 19, “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.”  Revelation 12 declares to the church God’s promise to protect her when the serpent casts out of his mouth a flood to destroy the woman (church).  The woman is taken into the wilderness where she is protected from the serpent.  Christianity will never cease to exist.  It will always be a beacon of light, truth and hope for any who will hear and come to Christ.

        Don’t be overly concerned or focused on all the conspiracy theories that have plagued men’s minds for centuries.  While Satan is the mastermind behind all evil, God will bring His people through victoriously, for Jesus must reign until His enemies be made his footstool (Ps. 110:1; Heb. 1:13, 10:13).  God is using the overcoming church to demonstrate His power, wisdom and glory.  Hebrews 2:8 reads, “Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet.  For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him.  But now we see not yet all things put under him.”  When Jesus was hanging on the cross and cried out “It is finished”, He defeated every enemy and He has made us heirs and joint-heirs with Himself.  In that perfect and complete work on the cross, Jesus bound the devil and gave power to His people to be overcomers.  We don’t yet see all enemies put under our feet but we see Jesus and His perfect, finished work and we are confident that He will see the travail of His soul and be satisfied (Isa. 53:11).  There will be overcomers.  There will be a church which will be glorious and without spot or wrinkle and which will have overcome all of Satan’s devices, and Satan will be made the footstool of Christ.  Jesus must sit at the right hand of God and reign until His enemies are made His footstool.  Don’t be overly concerned or focused on all the conspiracy theories, but focus on walking above sin and being an overcomer.  Jesus is glorified in those who follow Him, and He will be exonerated and glorified ultimately when He returns again.  Come Lord Jesus!

 

 

 

SATAN’S SUITCASE

Randall Walton

                     Satan's suitcase

        Satan has much to offer mankind, as you can see from the accompanying chart.  He has something for everyone, most of it wrapped up in fancy trimmings which helps to disguise its true nature.  While it all appeals to the appetites of the flesh, it is all very expensive, for it costs a person all that he has or is.

        Satan, who is man’s and God’s arch-enemy, is busy peddling his wares with great deception.  As the father of lies, he uses the same gimmicks he foisted off on Eve – “thou shalt not surely die.”  “You will be as God Himself”!  “Your eyes will be opened.”

        A part of satan’s baggage is openly satanic, e.g., satanism, witchcraft, voodooism, and the occultic practices, but the deception is still there.  Those whose lives are involved in such things believe they can attain happiness and satisfaction, but that belief is erroneous, for there is no happiness nor satisfaction apart from God.

        But many other activities are not obviously satanic in origin, and many people become involved in those things believing they are good and ennobling or, at the most, harmless.  For example, who among the adherents of the New Age Movement believes that it is one of the activities inspired of satan?  They are convinced that theirs is a sound and better way to God.  The same reasoning may be applied to many of the other activities which people become involved in.

        One of the signs to watch for in any questionable movement or activity is a rejection of the word of God, the Holy Bible.  This is accomplished by either outright denunciation of the Scriptures as the authentic word of the Lord, or by a skillful twisting and manipulation of what the Scriptures teach.  In either case, the authority and jurisdiction of the Word is questioned, as well as spurned.

        Not only is God’s word attacked by satan, Jesus Himself is scorned, repudiated, belittled, mocked, and rejected.  Jesus is sometimes presented as a “good man,” one of the many means of reaching God, or as a mere prophet who was not accepted by his own people so was set aside by the Almighty in deference to another soon-coming Messiah.

        We need to beware, also, of any organized effort to disclaim the moral concepts of the Scriptures.  There are “churches” today which accept sexual perverts into their membership as well as their ministry.  Any institution which has fallen to such a base and deteriorated condition has no right to call itself a church.  It is clear that satan rules in the government of such ecclesiastical degradation and pollution.

        It is also clear that there exists a great battle for the control of the minds and bodies of the young people of the world.  Great inroads have been made into the behavioral mores of the present generation to the extent that there are no longer any sets of values that are absolutes.  The validity of the Ten Commandments is not only rejected by the non-“Judeo-Christian” circles, but most “Christian” churches veto the Decalogue as well.  Some will accept nine of them, but only if they’re not really enforced.

        One of the greatest mediums for captivating young people is music.  Most of the noise to which they are gravitating nowadays is really not music.  Admittedly, it takes a lot of skill and practice to perform the way modern rock’n rollers, punkers, and rappers do, but there is no point in our calling their performances music.  Its inspiration is demonic to say the least, while its end result is a destruction of every decent human emotion and pathos.  It glorifies raw sex but pulverizes true love; it blesses the uncouth and vulgar, but debases the genteel and cultured.  The very instruments with which they perform are made phallic symbols.

        The performers themselves openly admit that their message is drugs, sex, and rebellion.

        Yes, satan has a lot of expensive gifts in his luggage and he’ll swap any of it in exchange for a man’s soul!

        Jesus said, “What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Matt. 16:26)

 

 

 

“BELIEVE”; AS TAUGHT AND PRACTICED IN THE SCRIPTURES

Tom Scullin

 

I Jn. 5:10: “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.”

I Jn. 3:23: “And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.”

John 6:29: “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

       The Father has made it crystal clear that no man comes unto him except by Jesus Christ.  When confronted with the question, “Is Jesus the only way to God?” many will equivocate, hedge and try to circumvent the only correct answer by sophistic babble, because they are either ashamed or fear they may offend some other religion; but, if you are a true believer in Christ, there is only one answer: “Yes, Jesus is the one and only way to the Father!”

John 14:6: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

       This is our answer to all the religions that claim to be one of the many other ways to come to God.

       Now the question is: Do that vast throng who claim to be Christian believers really exercise Biblical belief as taught and practiced in the Scriptures?  A Biblical analysis of the terms “BELIEVE” or “BELIEF” as they are used in Scripture is necessary to dispel the false opinions and doctrines concerning the misuse and abuse of these terms.

       The Scriptures with which we started this article assert that belief is the whole of our response to God, that it encompasses the full duty of man.  That TRUST, FAITH and OBEDIENCE are but expressions or manifestations of true BELIEF.

       Biblical belief, the kind that God requires and responds to is much more than head knowledge or mental understanding.  Often this kind of belief goes no farther than the mind.  It does not affect the actions of life, while Biblical belief will always directly affect and alter the course of life.  If the life is not directly altered by what is claimed, then that is a sure sign that it is not the Biblical belief that God requires and accepts.  Obedience is the end product of our faith and belief; therefore, the Scripture uses the terms, belief, faith and obedience synonymously and interchangeably in referring to what God requires of us, because each works in concert with the whole, not independently of the whole.  In other words, neither belief, faith nor obedience is an independent action of itself.  In school we learned that the whole is equal to the sum of its parts.  In the Bible, belief is equal to the sum of trust, faith and obedience; thus, the whole is equal to the sum of its parts: each an indispensable, mandatory and critical part of the belief that God requires.

       In the eyes of God, belief in Him is one full and complete action, because it includes man’s whole response to Him.  The Bible is God’s testimony that this is true.

        Abraham’s life and walk prove this to be true, for his life is God’s microcosm for all to evaluate and judge their belief and faith by, to see if they truly “also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham” (Rom. 4:12).

        One time the Bible says, “Abraham BELIEVED God and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Rom. 4:3).

        Another time that FAITH was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness” (Rom. 4:9).

        Yet another time it says, “Because Abraham OBEYED my voice and KEPT MY COMMANDS (Gen. 26:5).

        Still another time it says, “Was not Abraham our father justified by WORKS (Jas. 2:21).

        Finally it says, BY FAITH Abraham, when called…OBEYED (Heb. 11:8).

        Every one of these accounts speaks with one voice and says the same thing; that is, that Abraham’s belief was the sum of its various parts, that God held his belief to include faith, obedience and works.  By the total of Abraham’s response to God, that is, by his belief and trust in God – which he proved by his faith in God by his total surrender and commitment to Him – which he demonstrated in action by obeying God – He proved himself to be a person of faith.  Thus it is written of him:

James 2:21-23:Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?  (22) Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?  (23) And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.”  Thus, true God-accepted BELIEF is always followed by a commitment of TRUST in the one believed, which produces FAITH to act according to the will of the one believed, which will always express its belief, trust and faith by OBEDIENCE to the one believed.  So, then, trust, faith and obedience are but the sequence of actions of the one true act of BELIEF.

       It is critical that we understand God’s meaning and use of Biblical terms in order to stay true to what He is teaching by them.  It is absolute foolhardiness and certain destruction to give any other meaning to Biblical expressions than what He has given them.

       The term “BELIEVE” is a Biblical term that has been stripped of its God-ordained meaning and has come to mean the exact opposite of its true Biblical intent and usage.  The current religious usage now ascribed to the term “BELIEVE” means that you mentally accept certain facts that place no further obligation of obedience upon you; simply acknowledge the facts.  You need no corresponding works that prove you truly believe what you say you believe.  But, that is ridiculous!  In daily life we fully well know that what we believe we act upon.  Each of us is acting out our belief system, even if that system is one of unbelief.  The Bible says that we will be “judged by the deeds done in the body,” because that is the proof of what we believe and God, devils and men judge us by that one and only standard.  “Even so faith, if it hath not works is dead, being alone” (Jas. 2:17).  “I will show thee my faith by my works” (Jas. 2:1).  It can be no other way.  True Scripture defined and blessed BELIEF has corresponding evidences that prove the thing is truly belief, and the absence of these evidences prove such so-called belief is not Biblical, God-approved and accepted belief, but is at best wishful thinking and at worst, downright UNBELIEF.

       The word of God is the only standard by which to judge whether our belief system measures up to the record that God has given of his Son and is the only basis He accepts for fellowship with Him.

I Jn. 5:10: “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.”

Heb. 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.”

I Jn. 2:4: “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

John 14:21-24: “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”  (22) Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?  (23) Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.  (24) He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.”

       Thus, Biblically defined and validated BELIEF, FAITH and OBEDIENCE are in perfect unity and oneness and speak with one voice of authority the will and intent of God for His people; and without conformity to His will, thus expressed, there can be and will be no relationship with Him!  Hence, we know we believe Him because we obey Him is God’s succinct conclusion of the matter.

I Jn. 2:3-5: “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.  (4) He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  (5) But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.”

 

 

 

PRAYER: THE NEGLECTED PRIVILEGE

Kenneth Fountain

        The power of prayer is greatly underrated.  It is often used simply as a rote, a “feel-good” measure, or under duress, as a last resort.  True prayer is communion with Almighty God, audience with the King of Glory, opportunity to enter His glorious presence to worship Him, as well as to express our most intimate concerns and needs.  The amazing thing is that there is no waiting list, no appointment needed, no “phone tag” delays, no hierarchy intermediaries – the invitation remains open at all times for His servants to meet with Him privately, in person.  We almost drool with envy when we read the countless times Scripture records powerful, miraculous intervention from God in answer to an individual’s prayers.  We examine that person, and their “prayer technique” to glean some insight as to how and why their request was honored so spectacularly.  Many memorize and recite “The Lord's Prayer” as if they may evoke some miraculous power through Jesus’ marvelous example of prayer.  This prayer was short and simple, but contained some key ingredients of reverence, humility, and sincerity.  As with most of man’s activities, prayer flows from one extreme to the other: some make demands of God as though He is a pawn to be manipulated, and others dramatically beg as though He will be impressed by their fawning and give in to their requests.  We read promises such as, “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19), and “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” (Jn. 14:14) with a measure of skepticism (unbelief).  Possibly we have learned that God is not a slot machine where we may put in our coins, push the button, and out pops our treasure.  We may forget Paul's explanation on prayer in Rom 8:27, “And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”  Paul, in Eph. 5:17, also said, “be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”  When Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, “He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Lk. 22:44).  Notice that Jesus was beseeching the Father to avoid the cross, but the Father’s will and supreme plan required the Son’s sacrifice.  Jesus’ request was not granted, and He humbly surrendered to the Father's purpose for Him.

       There are spiritual laws of righteousness and holiness that God honors, as well as underlying conditions of which we are unaware, which may prevent our receiving what we have in mind.  David said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Ps. 66:18).  The Israelites had a history of losing God’s protection and blessing because they pursued wickedness.  We must understand that sin separates us from God, and prevents Him from working on our behalf.  (This includes the sin of not forgiving others. Mk. 11:25,26)  However, “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy” (Ps. 103:8-14).  His mercy is from everlasting to everlasting, to those that do His commandments (verse 17,18).  He does not condemn (deem unfit for use: doom) us for our failures (Rom. 8:1), but He does convict of sin (Jn. 16:8) that we will seek forgiveness and be reinstated into His holy favor (Rom. 6:12, 23).  James makes it clear that sin is the result of being drawn away by lust (1:13-16), and that we are not to give in, but resist the devil who would encourage evil (4:7).  In Romans 8:35-39, we read a list of things that cannot separate us from God, but if Satan can entice us to sin in some way, our communion with God is disrupted: our prayers are hindered.  In I Cor. 10:13, Paul tells us that God will not permit us to be tempted beyond our ability to resist, and He will provide an escape for us.  However, we are warned against sinning willfully (Heb. 10:26,27), or turning again to the bondage of sin from which we have been delivered (Gal. 4:9).  In Romans 6:1-7, Paul explains that while God’s mercy is extended to us, we are not to abuse His grace by negligently or purposefully walking in sin.  His forgiving grace is for those who are endeavoring to walk pleasing in His sight.  Jesus always did the Father’s will, never sinning, and He said, “Thou hearest Me always” (Jn. 11:42).  In I Jn. 3:21 & 22, we read, “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence (boldness, assurance) toward God.  And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.”  We read in James 5:16, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  The next verses give the example of Elijah’s prayers that caused rain to be withheld from Israel for three and one-half years, until they returned to God.

       Sometimes, prayer is conducted as a ritual, and lacks sincerity and fervency.  To quote a church sign, “Don’t expect a thousand-dollar answer for a ten-cent prayer!”  Immediately following Christ’s sample prayer, He gave a parable showing the importance of persistence (not demanding) in praying (Lk. 11:5-13).  In the chapter on faith (Heb. 11), verse six says we must believe “that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”  Israel was blessed with a great prophet in response to Hannah's earnest prayer (I Sam. 1:10).  Men and women of God who diligently sought after Him are recorded throughout history as having received their requests.

        Faith in God is another critically important area impacting God’s response to prayer.  Jesus said, in Mk. 11:22, Have faith in God.”  In verse twenty-three, He continued by saying, “shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe,” and in verse twenty-four, “when ye pray, believe…and ye shall have them.”  Many times, when Jesus healed people, He told them, “According to your faith, be it unto you” (Mt. 9:29).  James spoke of asking God for wisdom (Jam. 1:5-8), and said, “let him ask in faith, nothing wavering,” or “let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.”  Sometimes answers are delayed (by our reckoning) for various reasons, but we must continue to pray, and not to lose our confidence and trust in His ability and love: this is faith.

        Personal interests (our carnal will) may also interfere with how our prayers are answered.  As is stated in James 4:3, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”  Petitions to God should always include our humble acknowledgment that God's will and purpose far supersedes our own. His way is always the best way, and the right way, and it is always governed by His supreme love for our well-being, and that of others our prayers affect.

The invitation: “Come Boldly”

        In Solomon's temple, the innermost sanctum was called the Most Holy Place, or Holy of Holies.  Here, in this solemn room covered entirely with pure gold, rested the Ark of the Covenant with its mercy seat overshadowed by the covering wings of mighty cherubims.  This ornate piece of gold-overlaid furniture, containing the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments, represented and embraced the glorious presence of Almighty God. Only the high priest of the tribe of Levi, after much self-examination, cleansing and ceremony, was permitted to enter this most holy abode once annually to minister before the Omnipotent, Omniscient Being known as the God of Israel. (Heb. 9:7,8)  This observance was maintained throughout Israel's history until the time of Jesus' death on the cross when the veil of the temple separating the Most Holy Place from the adjoining Holy Place was rent in two from the top to the bottom. (Mt. 27:51)  From that time forward, access has been granted into the very presence of God for any who would come before Him through the precious blood of His holy Son, the crucified Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour and High Priest. (Heb. 6:20, 10:20)  He now regards us as kings and priests, qualified and privileged to enter His presence. (Rev. 1:5,6 & I Pet. 2:9)

        “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest…Jesus the Son of God(who) was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin; let us therefore come boldly (with liberty and assurance) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:14-16)  This wonderful invitation inspires such confidence in His warm reception of even our most minute concerns.  When Jesus came to walk the face of the earth, He adopted the human condition (Phil. 2:5-11) and was tempted in every area as a man so He may fully commiserate with the challenging difficulties man faces in this life, and compassionately empathize with our shortcomings. (Heb. 2:16-18) 

        Anytime we choose or need to come into the presence of God, He is always eager for the sweet incense of our prayers in worship, praise, fellowship and inquiry.  GOD is interested in meeting with us – at our convenience.  He is never unavailable, weary, discouraged, in a foul mood, too busy, or uninterested in our concerns.  In His presence is fullness of joy (Ps. 16:11), and we renew our strength at the foot of His throne! (Ps. 27:14, Isa. 40:29-31)  We are encouraged to come before Him with all our cares. (I Pet. 5:7)  He is ready to forgive us our sins when we confess them humbly and sincerely before Him. (I Jn. 1:7-9, II Chron. 7:14, Isa. 55:7-9, Ps. 51:1-2,7-12)  Furthermore, He answers our requests when we present our burdens and needs in faith to Him. (Jer. 29:13, Heb. 13:6, Jam. 1:6, 5:16)  “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” (Mt. 7:7-11)  Also, as Jesus told the distressed father in Mk. 9:23, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”  We must not commit the sin of unbelief (Heb. 3:12) by restricting our acceptance of God's love and His ability to meet our needs. (Mt. 13:58, I Jn. 5:14,15; not our wants, which are often contrary to His will)

        Throughout Scripture, we are encouraged, admonished, and commanded to seek the Lord in prayer. Yet most do not utilize this wonderful privilege and opportunity to commune with God.  He is a loving, compassionate, understanding God who wants us to overcome our human, sinful frailties and fellowship with Him in righteousness and holiness through the efficacious blood of the sacrificed Lamb of God: Jesus Christ, our Intercessor and Mediator before the heavenly Father.  He wants us to live in the more abundant life of spiritual vitality by trusting Him with child-like simplicity. (Jn. 10:10)  The mighty arm of the Lord is moved in our behalf when we call upon Him with humility and trust, in accordance with His will.  The Holy Word is replete with records of God's intervention for man, and He is no respecter of persons (Rom. 2:11), and He changes not (Mal. 3:6).  His Word is true; He is faithful; He is able: He is God, the Sovereign One, the Almighty, and our Friend! (Jn. 15:13,14)  “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near.” (Isa. 55:6)

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION TO THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE

       The following article is written by Jimmy Windham who is presently in a maximum security prison in South Carolina, serving a life sentence.  People of the Living God has never met Brother Jimmy but has been corresponding with him for about a year.  We came in contact with this brother through “The Testimony of Truth” magazine, which he has found to be a strength and encouragement to him for the past couple of years.  Brother Jimmy had a very bad childhood and grew up with a lot of hurts and anger, which he carried into his adulthood.  Although God worked with him several times during his life, he always found himself back into his life of sin.  Brother Jimmy Windham has written a book about his life, and we are trying to help him get it published at present.  We still have a long way to go before it can be printed but Brother Jimmy’s desire is that it will be a help for prisoners to see there is hope, peace and deliverance through salvation in Jesus Christ, even though one’s sins are great.  He also hopes that some young people, who are heading down the same path as he took, will see where they are heading and will turn to Christ for deliverance.

       At the end of Brother Jimmy’s article, he has written a short note about his book, which he asked that we print.  We felt this will help you to get to know him better.  In the following article, you can sense the effect Christ’s love has had on his life.  We pray his article will bless you as you read it.

 

 

 

“THE LOVE OF JEHOVAH” THE GOD AND FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

Jimmy Windham

        My subject today is on the love of God as the scripture tells us in 1st John 4:7-12.  Please read with me verse 7 & 8 from the King James and Amplified versions.  (KJ) “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; for everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” The Amplified Version reads, “Beloved let us love one another, for love (springs) from God; and he who loves (his fellow men) is begotten (born) of God and is coming (progressively) to know and understand God — to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him.  He who does not love has not become acquainted with God — does not or never did know him; for God is love.”

        First, we all say we know love and surely we all know about love and we all love in our own capacity.  We love our families, friends and church members but it’s the love of Jehovah God (The true and living God), the word of God made flesh, which is Jesus our Messiah and Savior, I want to share with you.  Truly, I can’t do His love justice because I’m human, but recently He touched my spirit with a revelation of His love.  Scripture says in Isaiah 55:8,9 (KJ), “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  We who are Christians know in our hearts that we love God, but our love is nothing in comparison to the love of God.  The scripture in John 3:16 begins with: “For God so loved the world”.  Have you ever thought on a loved one at times or searched your heart to feel the love of your children and how deeply you love them?  I have, and as I pondered for a moment on each of my children, siblings, parents and even some of my closest friends, my heart ran over with the love I felt for them.  Then the strangest thing occurred.  Each one would come before me and a voice inside asked me, “Would you die in his or her place?”  I felt the entire emotions of the question as if it was actually happening and from that love, deep in my heart I answered honestly and said, “Yes, I would die in his or her place.”  Surely as parents we all know that we’d die before we’d let even one of our children suffer or die.  I know I would.  The love we have for our family is wonderful, but it isn’t the love I want to share with you today; because God showed me another version of love, His love.  I told Him, “Father, I can’t even begin to comprehend your love.”  Let me explain, please. 

        I have been incarcerated in South Carolina for nearly 29 years.  I’ve walked upright before the Lord as close as I possibly could although I’ve made mistakes and even sinned because of my circumstances, but I never let go and sinned a sin unto death.  I have a repentant heart and before the sun went down I repented to any individual I felt I had wronged and I repented to my God.  I truly believe that not one single person reading this can judge me because we’ve all sinned and come short of His glory.  Without the grace and mercy of a loving God none of us would be justified in His sight.  My circumstances and where I live aren’t yours, nor are yours mine.  In the six years I’ve been in this Institution, there have been six murders, multiple stabbings and violent confrontations every day.  Drugs, alcohol, homosexuality, con games, cursing and stealing are commonplace in here.  But where sin abounds grace doth much more abound.  In the entire time I’ve been incarcerated there has never been one day that I haven’t mentioned the saving grace of Jesus Christ to someone the Lord allowed my path to cross.  It’s His love that has carried me through, and it’s God’s love I’m talking about today.

        I mentioned prison because after I felt the love I have for my family, God showed me His love and He reveals it to me through prisoners and that is what I share with you now.  When David, our last son was born, we knew he would be the last because my wife couldn’t have any more children.  One day when my wife, Sue, was six months pregnant, she came to me with a look of fear on her face.  She told me that David hadn’t moved or kicked in over two weeks.  I instantly prayed for him.  Shortly afterwards, she told me he had kicked again, so we praised the Lord for that.  Three months later, David was born.  After three days in the hospital the doctor released Sue and as she was packing up her things, she noticed something was wrong with David.  I ran to the nurse’s station and asked the head nurse on duty what was wrong with our baby.  She responded by saying the doctor would have to discuss this with me.  I told her that we were not going to leave the hospital until we found out what the problem was so she called doctor from off another floor.  The doctor said, “Mr. Windham, it appears that your child has a malignant tumor but I can’t even discuss operating until he’s three months old.”  I replied to him, “Sir, you’ll never cut my child because I know the Lord Jesus.”  We left and at the first opportunity, I took David to our church.  The Pastor held him in his arms as the congregation stretched their hands towards David and prayed.  I already knew the God I served would heal him and had already touched him because I believed and had prayed.  But to honor the Word, I called the elders of the church to pray over him.  He’s never been cut on to this day, for God healed him.

        I loved all my children the same but David was a special, innocent, precious little baby.  He had an innocent spirit and loved being alive.  I mentioned all that about David because David was the one the Lord showed me and then He presented another scenario in order to reveal to me the love He possesses for His children, a love I can’t comprehend.  He said, “Imagine an inmate who is so violent until he’s been put on death row for his serious crimes.  The inmate is supposed to die a terrible death in the electric chair the next day.”  I could imagine such an inmate because I’m around some in here who even have gotten off death row so I could see him.  He asked me, “Would you take your innocent little son, David, and let him die in the place of that inmate?”  I instantly, with no hesitation, said, “No! I could not.”  That type of love isn’t in me.  I can’t even comprehend a love that deep.  He took me further with another picture and a scripture.  The scripture states in Romans 5:7-8, “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  We all had a death penalty on us because we were all born in sin but God Jehovah sent his only innocent Son to pay the debts of all our sins while we were still in our sins.  Let me show you the picture I saw.  Can you imagine a father who had only one innocent, precious son who put that son in that electric chair for that ungodly, evil, violent, inmate and let him die so the inmate could live?  Can you comprehend that love?  I doubt if any of you can.  I know I can’t.

        Now also imagine this father gave his son for two condemned inmates like I saw when the Lord showed this to me.  That father walked up to the first inmate’s cell to talk with him. That inmate told him, “Mister, you’re a fool. I don’t care anything about you or your son, so you just go away and leave me alone to live the way I want to live!  Can you imagine the pain the father would feel?  Well, just imagine him leaving that cell and walking up to the other inmate’s cell who was also saved from death and that inmate fell on his knees, took the father’s hand and kissed it, then he looked up and said, “Sir, thank you for letting your son die in my place and for letting me live.  What can I do to repay you? The father tells him, “Son, there’s nothing you can do, you’re free now to live.”  So the inmate tells that father, “Sir, I want to become your son. I want to know all about your son who died so I can become like him.  Will you let me be your son?”  The Father tells him, “Yes, I’ll accept you just as you are and you can be my son.  The inmate is set free from his prison to go live his life, but instead he goes home with the old man.  For a long time he lived there.  He read letter upon letter that the man’s son had written and letter upon letter that other people wrote about the man’s son so he could be like the man’s son and remind that father that his son didn’t die in vain.  Although he made many mistakes and failed the old man but he wouldn’t give up and he’d ask the father to forgive him.  Many times when he didn’t compare to the old man’s son, the old man would feel bitter towards him and maybe even wish he’d never let his innocent child die for this man.  But then he’d think of the free gift of his son’s life for the man who wasn’t his son and he’d look beyond this man’s failures and see his son’s character being created in this man and he’d give him more time to become more like his son.  Before long he began to love this man just as though he were his own son.  Well, God’s love is so far above our love and this is just a small scenario to help you see what I felt and saw about the love Jehovah has for us.  While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us and we, through faith, accepted the love and gift of God’s Son and the Spirit of God’s Son came into our hearts.  Scripture tells us, “Beloved now are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be (God’s Grace) but we know when he shall appear we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is.”  If we continue to study about the Father’s Son we’ll be like him. 

        Can you also imagine someone who also was set free by that father’s son’s death, going to the ex-inmate and telling him, “That father, who gave his son for you, doesn’t love you and he’s going to put you to death because you’re not perfect in your ways yet?”  How silly!  If God, who loved us so much while we were yet in our sins, sent His Son, His only begotten Son to die in my place and in your place, then there’s nobody nor anything that can separate you from that love.  God is love!  God is also perfect.  We’re not perfect but according to I John 3:2 it reads, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (KJV)  We will live forever in the kingdom of the true chosen Seed of David, Who is King of Kings and Lord of all Lords, our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.  God is perfect in every way and He knows all things, He’s the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.  Jesus is the author and the finisher of our faith. 

        A man of God I know wrote two scriptures in his last newsletter and I’d like to add them to what I’m saying.  Isaiah 49:14-16, & Malachi 3:16: “But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.  Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?  Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.  Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.”  God Jehovah will never forget even one of His children.  We have a covenant with God Almighty that is sealed with the blood of Jesus.

        Jesus told us that He’d never leave us or forsake us, that He’d be with us always even to the end of ages.  God and His Word cannot lie, so don’t listen to anyone who tries to separate you from God’s love.  If you fall, don’t wait for your Father to start chastising you to get up, because those He loves He chastens.  I used to hate to spank my sons but the love I had for them to shape them into the fine men they are today outweighed the lashes I gave them.  God knows how to correct us in love, but just because He’s chastising you in your fall or failures, doesn’t mean that He doesn’t love you or has doomed you to eternal death.  If we who are human, love our children to our death and God’s love is so unconditional and perfect that He gave His only Son to die for us, then how shall His grace and mercy run out?  It can’t!  His mercy endureth forever!  He has cast all of our sins away from us as far as the east is from the west.  That’s an endless circle and even though we fail Him, He won’t ever fail us.  His love is unconditional.  We can’t earn it, work for it, buy it, steal it, or beg for it.  God is Love and His love is free.  His grace is free, and His mercy is free.  Believe His word that He wrote to you in John 3:16 but remember this also; Jehovah God didn’t let Jesus die for your sins and mine in vain, nor did He send Jesus into the world to condemn us.  (Religion does enough of that.)  In John 3:17 He says He sent Jesus to save you.  So His love is unconditional and so is the salvation and eternal life He will give you for accepting His Son’s death and life as your own.  It’s God’s gift to you and His grace.  Reading from the amplified Bible in Ephesians the second chapter, starting at the fourth verse, it says, “But God!  So rich is He in mercy!  Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which he loved us, (5) Even when we were dead (slain) by (our own) shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ. — He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which he quickened Him.  [For] it is by grace — His favor and mercy which you did not deserve — that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).  (6) And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together — giving us joint seating with him — in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus, the Messiah, the Anointed One.  (7) He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His unmerited favor) in kindness and goodness of heart towards us in Christ Jesus.”  Dear friend, can’t you see what a loving, precious, kind, good and merciful God Jehovah is?  God is love and there’s only one way to come to God.  There’s only one sacrifice that saved any of us from the death penalty, and there’s only one way to live so we can by faith live unto God.  All three of those statements are in and through Jesus Christ our Lord.  If you, dear saint and follower of Jesus Christ, are a little older and mature in Christ’s knowledge than some around you and you see them making mistakes or falling captive to the enemy, why don’t you see that it’s God’s mercy and grace that saved you and not your works and go restore your fallen brother?  The enemy (Satan) once stood before God’s throne and accused the brethren and you don’t want to follows him by accusing your brother.  God’s love is a love that will leave the ninety nine sheep and go find the one sheep that was lost.  His love and mercy is unconditional, thank God, or none of us would ever be conformed to the image of His Son, but thank God, He promised we will be.  Read Romans the eighth chapter; it tells of God’s unconditional love.  Soon God will restore all things and then there will be the manifestation of the sons of God.

        In closing this that I’ve felt led of the Lord to write, I pray whoever reads this can get a glimpse of God’s love as I see it.

 

                                                                God Bless you all,

                                                                A Prisoner of Jesus Christ

       My name is Jimmy Windham and I have written two articles, which were printed in “The Testimony of Truth” magazine.  Since I came to prison, I have been converted, saved and Spirit filled.  I have written a book of my life, which I feel is powerful and straightforward, for it tells of my depraved life in a home of cruelty, abuse and sin.  My childhood greatly affected my life, causing me to become extremely angry and violent.  This anger eventually caused me to kill a man while I was under the influence of drugs.  My book includes fights with other men as evil as I.  But in spite of my beginning, God in mercy reached down in the county jail to save me when I had slashes on both of my wrists.  While trying to end my life I called out to God for mercy.  God moved on the hearts of two Holy Ghost filled men of God to go to that jail and pray with me.  God miraculously saved me and filled me with the Holy Spirit.  I have now been in prison for 28 years, serving a life sentence; but I stand strong in faith, trusting in God alone to keep me.  In my book, I have written of many miracles God brought to men I have stood by until they were converted, some even being serial killers and others delivered from death row.  I feel my book will be a powerful witness to young people who are troubled and need advice from someone who has been there and for men in prison and who need Christ.  My prayer and hope is that my testimony, coming from one who knows the enemy first hand, will help others find salvation in Jesus Christ; for I am one who God had great mercy upon.  Please, pray for me, for I live in a maximum security prison and I have at times been threatened with violence because of my stand for the Savior.

 

 

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Dear Editor,

        Your response to L.C. Page 31 of the recent issue of the “Testimony of Truth” was very informative and correct to this reader, however, I disagree with what you said about the scripture found in Matt. 5:19: “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the Kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

        You stated they would not be in the Kingdom of God.  Jesus said they would be the least in the Kingdom.  Least in the Greek means “very small”.  To me, I see that they are still in the kingdom, just ranked very low.

        Another question, explain why Jesus called them one of these least commandments, I look at the commandments even more magnified?  Are there degrees of commandments also??

        Please explain.

        Thank you,  M.A.

 

Dear M.A.

        As always we appreciate our readers who respond to the articles contained in the Testimony of Truth and we want to explain anything that is confusing or misunderstood. We know when people respond with questions, they are reading the articles, thinking about what is written and are examining their position in regard to God’s word.  They are like the Bereans, who daily searched the word to see if what was being taught by Paul was true (Acts 17:11).

        Addressing the question about Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:19; it is clear that Jesus, in referring to those who break the least of the commandments and then teach others to do the same, He is not speaking of them highly.  It appears that Jesus is not happy with these of whom He is speaking and He does not say they will be in the kingdom but He says, “they shall be called the least” in His kingdom.  If we take His words to mean everyone who breaks any command and teaches or tells others it’s okay to break that command, will be in the kingdom but will just be the least among the saved, we have practically every Christian as “the least”, because we all have broken His commands at times and even taught others that it was okay.  This was not done knowingly but in ignorance.  In other words, none of us have arrived to perfection where no command is ever broken.  No one knows all truth so we sometimes teach error, not willingly or consciously but ignorantly.  The blood of Jesus covers these sins because we are not held accountable for things we do not see or understand.  A new believer will break laws of God that he has yet to understand and he may even tell others that it’s okay to do this or that but that sin is covered by the blood of Christ until he begins to see his error.  Once he understands truth, then he is obligated to walk in it.  The lesson of this verse is that the one of whom Jesus refers is he who refuses to walk in known truth and then teaches other believers that they don’t have to walk in that truth.  He who will knowingly be disobedient and will ease his conscience by getting others to follow his example is a disgrace to Christianity and an abomination to God.  These individuals are the very worst of sinners for they not only disregard God’s law themselves but encourage others to partake of their sin.  I place these people in the class Jesus mentioned in Matthew 23:15. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”

        We can take the Sabbath command as an example.  When a believer has not had the Sabbath truth revealed to him and he breaks it and teaches others that another day is appropriate for observance, they are wrong but they may still have a genuine walk with God.  We might ask why God doesn’t show them but God deals with us in various ways and He knows what is best for each of His children.  I know quite a few Sunday keepers who, I am confident, love the Lord as much as I.  I certainly cannot throw stones because I can’t say I have all truth and I certainly want the blood of Jesus to cover my errors.  Not all Sunday keepers are going to hell.

        Regarding the question of what a “least” commandment is, I will explain it as I understand it.  Jesus did magnify the law and made it honorable.  He exalted the law in His Sermon on the Mount when He said, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matt 5:27-28)  This scripture is probably the easiest to use in order to clarify this point.  Some people have said, “Since lusting after a woman is adultery and I find it difficult to not lust, then I might as well go out and commit the actual act.”  But which sin is worse?  Lust or the act?  Both are sin but lust is a sin that exists in the heart only whereas adultery is a sin that has an outward expression, involving not one person but two.  Both sins can be forgiven but adultery cannot be undone or reversed.  A sin that exists in one’s heart is dangerous, especially if not dealt with because it leaves the individual very vulnerable when temptation arises.  In other words if a person allows lust to run free and unchecked in his heart and then the opportunity for that lust to bring forth the overt act, lust will conceive and bring forth sin (James 1:15).  The greater sin is that it involves more persons than just oneself and it is also an act that can never be undone.  The damage and scar remain.

        Another example is hatred which Jesus equates with murder.  While hatred is sin, as long as it is retained in the heart, it can be addressed with no external consequences but once that hatred brings the person to the place where he kills, he has now committed a sinful act which cannot be reversed.  This is a greater sin.  I hope this explanation is a help and not something that just adds more questions to the question at hand.

        In I John 5:16-17, John refers to a sin that is unto death and a sin that is not unto death, showing that there are degrees of sin and not all sins are equal.  The blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is a sin that cannot be forgiven, which indicates that this is probably the greatest sin of all under the New Covenant.  May God bless as you study His word and give you a greater understanding of His wonderful truths.

                                                                                                                                                        The Editor

 

 

 

WHAT GOD DO YOU SERVE?

Harry Miller

        It is a natural for man to want to SEE the object of his devotion.  Privation, sacrifice, untold suffering, and even the laying down of life, have often been the prices paid in man’s devotion to his SEEN gods.  Voluntary sacrifices and suffering for a cause are commendable only when that cause is in service to God.  Many Christians have lost their lives making an open stand for their Lord.  This is commendable.  There is no greater single act of devotion.  On the other hand, many people have laid down their lives at the feet of the goddess of pride, as they strained their minds and hearts to excel before their fellowmen.  They too suffered privation for a cause, but their cause was not for the true God.  They worshipped “the SEEN God.”

        Every man worships SOMETHING.  It is just as natural for man to worship as it is for him to breathe.  You, my friend, worship something.  What is that something?  What is YOUR god?  The great majority of idolaters worship UNNAMED gods.  Children, home, family, business, the club, a fraternity, or even a church – any of these can be gods to man.  Heart devotion to any THING above the love for the Creator is idolatry.

        No idolater believes that he worships ONLY the THING to which he bows down.  Even the heathen tell us that the wooden idol is but a symbol of the spirit of the god.  THINGS are but symbols which deceive many people, today.

        The church has been accredited as being the custodian of souls, the very essence of unfailing stability, the only Rock of Ages.  This is a great delusion.  Selfishness, pride, and egotistical hypocrites abound in many of the modern churches.  Too many institutions have become GOD to their members.

        Shall things SEEN take the place of His SPIRIT?  Beware of such idolatry.

 

 

 

PASSOVER 2013

        People of the Living God will be observing Passover this year on April 24th at sundown.  Passover Sabbath will be on the 25th, and we will observe the following week as the Passover week, ending with a Sabbath on May 1st.

        We calculate this by determining when the first new moon occurs after the vernal equinox and then by counting fourteen days from the first new moon.  The vernal equinox falls this year on March 20th and the first new moon after the vernal equinox is April 10th.  Counting from April 10th forward fourteen days brings us to April 24th.  The Passover is to begin on the fourteenth day at even, which is the beginning of the fifteenth day and is to be observed for seven days.  The Passover Sabbath then will be on the fifteenth day, which is April 25th.

        There are many Christians who start the fourteen day count from the new moon closest to the vernal equinox instead of the one afterward.  We find some problems with this position because they use the barley harvest as reason for establishing the beginning of the year.  God set the sun, moon and stars to determine our years, months and days and not the time of the barley harvest (Gen. 1:14: And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:).  God set the time for the beginning of the year, so we wait for the vernal equinox first and then go to the first new moon to find the beginning of the year.  To attempt to adjust the year’s beginning to a harvest, which is entirely unpredictable, is erroneous.  We must wait for the old year to end before we begin a new one.  When we see the vernal equinox, we know the old year has ended.

        Observing the Passover too early also creates problems for the Feast of Pentecost, for this was the time for offering first fruits.  The first fruits need time to ripen, making time a very important factor in regard to the Feast of Pentecost.  More time is better to be sure certain crops have ripened.  These are just a couple of reason why People of the Living God take the first new moon after the vernal equinox to determine the time for Passover.  We hope this helps those who question or wonder about our position in this matter.

                                                       

                                                        Editor