Spiders: (Thief series)

  

In the 58th chapter of Isaiah, the prophet speaks God’s heart concerning his people’s spiritual condition.

The prophet points out the nation’s sins.

The Lord never wants to bring judgment on anybody, but if his people will not repent of their sins sometimes he has to. The objective is to get our attention.

Before the Lord does this, he always gives his people a warning. He reveals to them where they have missed it and what they need to do to get it right.  

Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.”

The rest of the chapter deals with the sins that his people have committed. In order to repent or get right with God, we need to know what to repent of. Sometimes we are so self-righteous that we don’t see our sins. God has to point them out to us.  

When things start going wrong in our lives, and our prayers begin to bounce off the ceiling, we then ask God. “What’s going on?” 

More often than not, we have become entangled in something God calls sin! With sin in the way, our prayers will not be received. Some people don’t realize this, but our prayers will go unanswered unless we repent of what it is we are doing that is displeasing to God. 

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

Chapters Isaiah 58,59 point out a whole bunch of things that displease the Lord. Many of which we have been guilty of.

He then uses the spider analogy to give us a clear idea of what our sins do to us. Not only does sin hurt the Lord but our sin hurts us too.

God likens falling into sin like falling into a spider’s web.

Spiders, or the devils are predators. They tempt us to sin. The devil can only tempt us however, in an area of our life not yet surrendered to God. 

In Job 8:13-15 the Lord tells us that the serpent (cockatrice) hatches poisonous eggs and the spider weaves a web for those who forget God. For those who live like hypocrites, and for those who put their trust in the ‘spiders web,’ or in the enemy’s deceptive devices. 

When we leave God out of our lives or even a part of our lives, the serpent comes along and presents to us his ‘grand’ ideas. He gives us worldly wisdom with independent thoughts that, when hatched, become an ensnarment to us! The next thing we know after a while, our house comes crashing down all around us!    

Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider’s web. He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand: he shall hold it fast, but it shall not endure. Job 8:13-15 

 We need to understand the serpent’s methods, so we don’t get trapped in a spider’s web. Although the serpent is the instigator of the entrapment, he uses the spider to do the entrapping. After all, the web must be woven by a spider because spiders, by nature, are the weaver of webs! 

The spider’s objective is to catch prey. Some spiders may sit in their webs, hoping for some poor guy to come along and fall in, but this is not always the case! Some spiders use strategies to catch their prey. After the spider has weaved its web of lies, it then takes a sticky lasso cord to entangle its prey.

Deception has a way of wrapping us all up in entanglement. We become ensnared in our deception.

Trusting in our own strength is like putting our trust in the spider’s web. It is a deceptive entrapment to trust in our own might, intelligence, and prowess, leaving God out of our decisions.

When we become our own god, the serpent can hatch his poisonous eggs in our big fat ego!

After that, the spider comes along and weaves for us a master plan. We got it all figured out! We know how to solve this problem! We got it covered! 

Oh, how many times we fall for that web of deception! Making decisions without consulting the Lord, trying to fix a wrong thing to make it right, building our own empires! There’s that sticky lasso! Getting us all caught up in entanglements concerning the affairs of this life! 

Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered. Proverbs 28: 26

Some spiders will even mimic their prey in order to avoid being detected. They look so much like a nice Christian or a good person. They have a lot of good advice to give. Then before you know it, you’re trapped in the web of deception! Why didn’t I just pray about that person first?  

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. Psalm 32:8 

There are even spiders who will run their prey down! They camouflage so you can’t detect them, then when you see them for who they are they try hunting you down! You can’t get rid of them! Ever have somebody like that in your life? Constant harassment! 

Well, if I had sought the Lord on that friendship, I would not be in this kerfuffle! 

He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. Proverbs 13:20 

Lastly, some spiders are poisonous. If you get bit by one of those, you are in big trouble! How often do we decide to trust a person or situation without consulting the Lord? Then we end up getting bit where it hurts! For me, more times than I can remember! 

Like I told you in a previous blog; sometimes it takes a hammer to fall on my head before I get it. But better late than never.

Now I am learning to listen more closely to the Holy Spirit’s inner promptings. Greenlight, yes! Red light, don’t go there! 

Before the prophet Isaiah tells God’s people why they ended up eating rotten serpent eggs in the spider’s web, he shows them their sin. If you look at those or any other sin for that matter, you will find a common theme: ‘refusal to submit to the Lordship of God (Jesus Christ) and doing our own thing.’ 

That is sin in a nutshell! If we are not submitted to God, we give Satan a place in our lives. Whether it is all of our lives or a part of our lives. 

Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7 

The devil sets traps for his prey. While entrapment may be criminally illegal, the devil doesn’t care about legalities. He knows our weaknesses, what we may be susceptible to. That is why he is called the tempter.

Spiders often build webs in our homes! In our garden or somewhere else on our property. That is why we have to be on the alert. Keeping our eye out for those webs! 

When one is entrapped, they lose control. Stuck in a situation that makes them feel trapped. Deception is a spider’s 🕸 🕷

Sin is a deadly poison! It is a rotten serpant egg! No matter how good it looks, if we ingest it, we could die! At the very least, become sick!

There is a way out, though. God, in his mercy, provided one for us. It is called repentance. Turning back to God. When we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and purify us from all the sin’s unrighteousness!

Jesus Christ is the propitiation for our sin! That means he took our place. Aren’t you glad that he did that? Otherwise, we would be stuck forever in the web of deception, eating rotten serpent eggs!  

If you need to get it right with the Lord today, why not seek him? He said in his word that he will never turn you away! No matter how far you’ve gone from him. He loves you and longs for you to turn to him for his forgiveness and healing. 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

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Do you BELIEVE in Jesus?

What does it mean to believe in Jesus?

When we use the word believe in English we assume it to mean the English definition.

However the New Testament was written in Greek so we must examine the Greek definition of the word believe.

The English definition for believe according to the Offord dictionary is:

To accept something as true. To hold an opinion about something.

There are many people today attending churches of all kinds of denominations who intellectually believe in Jesus Christ.

Some of them even believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. They may even believe that he is their Savior.

But is that the Biblical protocol for salvation?

I would argue that it is not.

According to the Greek definition of believe, it is more than having an intellectual assent to something.

Pistis is the Greek word for believe or faith.

The word means to trust in the reliability of. This trust occurs through intellectual agreement but carries on to assent or adhering to by trusting in. In other words believe or Pistis has two parts.

Understanding the concept of salvation through Jesus Christ BUT also through receiving Jesus Christ as Savior.

Accepting as true is the first part and receiving as true is the second part.

Some preach only the first part and leave out the second.

There is a difference in the words accept and receive. The English word used in the New Testament KJV is to receive Jesus as your Savior.

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe (have faith) on his name. John 1:12

The word accept as a verb means to receive with a consent, with favor, or with approval.

In other words I accept the concept of salvation through Jesus Christ alone as true.

The word receive as a verb means to get, to be given something by some one.

I receive Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.

So as you can see, accepting Jesus Christ as Savior only means to approve of as true. Acknowledging a truth does not mean one has received that truth in a personal way.

I acknowledge the fact that Cheetah’s are the fastest cat on the planet. However, I do not have a Cheetah in my home because I have not received one. (not that I would want one, lol)

Scriptures tell us that it is not enough to believe intellectually in the gospel.

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. James 2:19

Accepting as true is not enough to constitute salvation.

When one accepts as true ALL concepts of salvation including REPENTANCE then salvation can occur.

However that requires receiving Jesus Christ as Savior.

How do we do that? We actually don’t. Remember that salvation is completely an act of God. Our part is to accept as true then it is God’s part to give. Then we receive the gift of salvation.

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. John 3: 8

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. John 17: 1-4

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe (have faith) on his name. John 1:12

Let me try to illustrate this by an analogy.

If I believe that the president of the United States exists and that he is my president does that mean that I know him or her personally?

I may read every book written concerning  the president ever written. I may know every written fact about the president there is to know. I may even go to university and get a degree to make me an expert on the president’s life BUT do I know him in a personal way?

Have I had dinner at the president’s house? Shared personal experiences with the president?

Have I had an intimate relationship with the president?

If not then I do not really know the president. I know ABOUT THE PRESIDENT.

Jesus said in his word that having fellowship with him through the Holy Spirit brings us into a relationship with him.

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. Romans 8:9

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. John 16:13

What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. John 1:3

God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9

To be born of God is to know God intimately. Like a man knows his wife or a child knows their Father. Its a personal know. Not just an intellectual know.

How do you know if you really belong to God and are not just intellectually convinced that Jesus Christ is Savior?

Scriptures tell us that we know we belong to God if we are being led by his Holy Spirit.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Romans 8:14-19

If we are suffering with him. (persecution)

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8:17

If the Holy Spirit bears witness to our spirit.

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. Romans 8:16

To bear witness (Martureo) means to give evidence, a good report, bear testimony.

This is done through the fruits of the Holy Spirit being evident in one’s life.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

A person born of God does not live in sin.

Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 1 John 3:6

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. 1 John 2:15-17

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Matthew 7:16-20

As you can see, scriptures make it clear that those who belong to God bear Holy Spirit fruit in their lives. They do not act like the world or live like the world.

Having intellectual belief in Jesus Christ but living a life contrary to scriptures means one has a religious ideology but not a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

You must be born of God to inherit eternal life.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3

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What Is True Repentance?

For salvation to occur, repentance is required.

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Luke 13: 3

Salvation, yasa in Hebrew means to save, help in distress, rescue, deliver, set free.

This includes salvation from eternal death and anything that a believer needs saving from.

In particular, salvation refers to being saved from sin.

Sin is defined as “transgression of God’s law.”

In other words, violation of the law of God as set out in both the conscience and the Bible.

To be saved from our sins we must repent. In the Greek language, this word is, Metanoeō which means to think differently, reconsider, and feel moral compunction. (That is to feel guilty for doing something wrong)

True Repentance, according to the scriptures has several steps or parts.

For repentance to occur in our life we must recognize our sins.

Romans 7: 7-25 tells us that God’s law shows us our sins. When we see that we have failed to live up to God’s expectations as put forth in our conscience and in the word of God, we need to, first of all, recognize we have sinned against God. If we lie to ourselves, disregard the scriptures, and hide our sins we will not prosper. Also, if we do not listen to God’s word, eventually our sins will find us out. They will be exposed. Sometimes publicly, to others.

People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. Proverbs 28:13

But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out. Numbers 32: 23

Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Luke 12:2

For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Luke 8:17

After we acknowledge our sin then we must confess our sin. That means owning up to our stuff. We can confess to God alone, or sometimes it is good to also confess to a friend we trust or a church leader we trust. This is so we can have prayer support.

Acknowledging our sins means taking accountability. We come to the realization that we messed up. The onus is on us, not the other guy. Even if they had a part in our sin. Our responsibility is to confess for our part in the matter.

In Psalm 32 David acknowledges his sin. That is he saw his sin for what it was. He recognized his failure to live up to God’s law. Then David said that he did not try to hide his sin. He looked at his failure well and called it for what it was. Breaking God’s law. 

Many of us have failed to take a good look at our actions, our thoughts and our motives. We justify our sin. 

“Well, you know they did such and such. They said such and such. I’m in the right. I had just a little slip.” 

Failure to own up to our sins will cause us to reap many consequences. Some of us think we are going through trials because God is proving us or it’s appointed for us to suffer, when in actuality, we have unconfessed sin in our hearts and we are reaping the results of our sins! 

Now I’m not saying there isn’t persecution for the righteous but trials we are going through many times are to deal with our stuff! Our bad attitudes, our justifications for wrong behavior, our slothful diligence in spiritual matters.

Jesus told us that Satan came to him but he couldn’t find anything in him to accuse him. That’s because Jesus had no sin. 

I will no more speak much with you, for the prince of the world comes, and he has nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father commanded me, even so I do. Arise, let us go from here. John 14: 30,31

Peter went through the fire. His heart was exposed. Peter denied Jesus three times. He failed many times in his faith, but he repented and became a mighty man of God! (Matthew 16:22-23)

David Committed adultery, lied, and murdered, but he also repented, and God used him to write the beautiful Psalms. 2 Samuel 11, 12

David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 2 Samuel 12:13

Paul persecuted Christians and even sanctioned their death. (Acts 9)

Just about every Bible character found out through their trial what was in their heart.

Even righteous Job found out he was not so righteous because God challenged him about it. (Job chapter 39)

When our sin is revealed to the light by God then we need to own up to it. 

We must recognize our sin as sin against God’s word, then we must confess our sin.

What does confess actually mean? In Hebrew yâdâh means to bemoan or be sorry for. That is having intense regret. To toss away as bad.  

In Greek confess is homologeō which means to acknowledge, but also to make a promise not to do the wrong behavior again. The word actually means making a covenant agreement.

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/g3670/kjv/tr/0-1/

We agree with God that our sin is wrong. We agree we broke God’s law. We are sorry to the point of changing our behavior. Then we agree in a covenant or promise with God not to continue in that sin.

Some sins, however are so ingrained in us that we need supernatural divine intervention. Addictions are like that, but so are some cultural practices that differ from the word of God. Sometimes it’s our upbringing or training in violation of scriptures or our many years of thinking a certain way. 

Whatever the sin issue is, if we acknowledge that it is against God’s word, if we are sorry, if we want to change then we can work with the Holy Spirit to bring down the strongholds of sin in our life. 

Not everything is a quick deliverance fix. Some things need action from our decision and will. We then cooperate with Holy Spirit to be delivered entirely. This repentance fruit may take a process of time. It is up to us to make that first step.

Renouncing our sin makes the demonic powers who have had their hand in our sin somewhere know we mean business with God. 

Renounced is apeipomēn in Greek. It means to disown or refuse to have a connection to. 

In other words, stop the sin, disconnect from the sin, or any demonic powers associated with that sin.

Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” John 8: 10,11

Finally, we must bring forth fruits of repentance. This means that if we are genuinely repentant, our lives will begin to reflect it. We will walk in the light of the Lord. Then those old sins will not have a hold on us anymore. 

Bring forth, therefore fruit worthy of repentance. Matthew 3:8

God’s blessings flow into our lives when we genuinely repent of our sins. The darkness will have no more control over us. Obedience to the word of God always brings blessings with it!  

If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out, then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit. Indeed, your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time. You will thus eat your food to the full and live securely in your land. Leviticus 26:3-10

If only you had paid attention to My commandments!
Then your well-being would have been like a river, And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
Isaiah 48:18

He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11:28

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Look to the Lord!

For every need the answer given in the scriptures is, look to the LORD!

Even when Jesus prayed, he looked up to heaven.

Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people. Matthew 14:19

What does it mean to look up to the LORD?

“Look up” in the Hebrew language is tsâphâh which means to peer into the distance, to observe, await, to keep watch.

Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at “look up” in context.

Psalms 5:3 tells us that looking up is connected to prayer.

I will direct my prayer unto thee and look up.

I will watch and observe in prayer what the Lord says to me. I will wait for his direction, I will wait for his word.

Isaiah 8:17 tells us that the prophet says, he will wait and look to the lord for an answer to his prayer.

Isaiah 45:22 says that when we look with respect to the Lord, he brings salvation. God alone can save us from our sin, and save us from all trouble.

Zechariah 12:10 tells us that when the Spirit of grace and supplications are poured out from the Lord, it causes the nation of Israel to look up to the Lord.

We can see a spiritual principle here. Putting this together we find that when God’s mercy is released through the spirit of prayer, it brings revelation knowledge of Jesus Christ.

An important point to remember when praying for Israel but also for the lost of all nations.

The book of John reiterates this. Using the Greek word optanomai.
To look or gaze with awe and wonder.

 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?

He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. John 1:36-40

So we can see that this “looking” phenomenon is more than simply taking a look. It’s looking with respect, awe, and wonder. Like gazing into the eyes of the one you love!

Keeping this in mind let’s examine this “looking up” in the context of prayer.

Hebrews 12:2
Says looking unto Jesus. The Savior pierced for our sins who is the author and finisher of our faith.

Looking with awe and wonder with respect to the Lord, the author of our faith who is also the completer of our faith.

We must look to the Lord for our salvation which encompasses all the things we need to be saved from.

Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. Psalm 105:4
Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34:5
 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. Isaiah 45:22

But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. Micah 7:7

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Remedy For A Broken Heart

In Exodus 6:1-9 we read that the Israelites could not hear God’s word that he wanted to deliver to them because they had a broken spirit.

Many times because we have been hurt or abused by someone emotionally or spiritually our ears become closed to the truth. Even if the truth is right there in the Bible staring us in the face! We will ignore it or simply outright deny it.

There are two ways to go when one has been abused. We can hold on to the grudge and allow a bitter root of judgment to set in or we can forgive and go to the Lord for healing.

Choosing to hold on to unforgiveness, resentment and unbelief can have effects on us physically. It can cause mental illness like depression, arthritis or rottenness of the bones as scriptures call it, as well as all manner of sickness.

By sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. Proverbs 15:13

Below are links confirming the Bible through science.

https://theconversation.com/you-really-can-die-of-a-broken-heart-heres-the-science-57442

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324090

https://marquemedical.com/damaging-effects-of-negativity/

God cannot heal us if we refuse to let go of hate, anger and revenge.

A broken spirit “dries the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

A broken spirit causes shame, confusion, disappointment, depression, withering or pining away.

The Bible gives us a remedy for a broken heart and a crushed spirit.

Psalms 51:17 tells us that the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit.

Broken in the Hebrew is shâbar. It means to be broken in pieces, to burst, break down, bring to the birth, (trauma,) crush, destroy, hurt, quench, tear apart.

Ruach, is the inner spirit person or heart.

The meaning of sacrifice is to “offer up.”

When we offer up to the Lord our broken heart he will bring healing. The first stage of healing is to see if there is any part we may have played in the offense or abuse. If we provoked our situation in any way we need to repent and stop the behavior.

Then we must forgive. To forgive is to let go of the offense. Don’t hold anything against that person. If we take matters into our own hands by revenge, like slandering, cursing, or putting our hand to the person, we will only add more trouble to our grief. The Lord asks us to forgive others so he can forgive us.

We need to allow the Lord to revenge or bring correction into the situation instead of playing God by taking matters into our own hands.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 5:32

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. Matthew 11:25

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14

The next stage to healing is to draw near to the Lord. As we draw near to Jesus, he will draw near to us.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8-10, 

The Lord draws near to the one with a broken heart and a contrite or crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
The Lord does not despise them or look down on them.

After the Lord Jesus ministers his grace, healing, deliverance to us as he sees fit because we are all different, then it is time to build up the walls around our heart.

Proverbs 15:13 tells us that without control over our spirit, that is without being able to influence or manage our heart, it is like a city with no walls. The heart is not protected from danger.

How is this building up walls around our heart done? By renewing our mind with God’s word. Whatever scriptures are needed to counter act those negative thoughts and emotion we can apply them to our lives.

We do this by praying the word of God into our heart, meditating on the word, (thinking on those scriptures) and by praying for those who have hurt us! When we know deep in our heart the truth, then the truth will set us free indeed!

Give your broken heart to God! He is the healer!

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Grace Through Faith

 The Bible tells us that we are saved by grace THROUGH faith.

Grace (charis) is defined as the divine influence upon the heart. A benefit of favor.

Paul uses the Greek word charis to define God’s favor bestowed by his Son Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

Paul is preaching to ancient Greeks who were idol worshippers.

Characteristics in ancient Greece were often personalized as gods in Greek culture.

In ancient Greek mythology, Charis is a representation of several Greek goddesses known as the Charities whose characters are charm, beauty, goodwill, human creativity and fertility.

Paul was pointing out to the Gentiles (non-Jews) that the benevolence of God acquired for our salvation through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ.

According to the scriptures, grace or unmerited favor extended by God must be accompanied by Faith for salvation to occur.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8,9

Some people preach that God’s grace saves in and of itself. This is not true.

While God’s grace poured out by his divine love is extended to all, it is not realized by any until grace is received by faith.

What is faith? In ancient Greek mythology, Pistis or Faith was the personification or god of good faith, trust, and reliability.

It is the same in our common law. Faith, or “good faith,” is honest and sincere intention.

Many believe faith simply means belief. Again this is not true. To intellectually believe something to be true does not mean one receives that truth for themselves.

I may believe that red peppers have a very high amount of vitamin C and are good for me, but I may not want to eat them because I don’t like them or because I am not in the mood for them, or I’m indecisive about other aspects concerning them. I may get heartburn if I eat them.

Believing something to be true does not mean adhering to that something personally.

Pistis in Greek is faith that sincerely believes and trusts in something, leading to conversion or changing from one particular thing into another. 

According to the ancient Greeks, Pistis was faith or belief which came about by persuasion.

To be fully persuaded is induced by evidence or proof which is given.

And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. Romans 4:21

Blind belief is not Biblical faith. God has given much evidence for his existence and the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Examples of this are;

Jesus rising from the dead was seen by many witnesses.

Witness testimony of the disciples.

The power of the Holy Spirit confirms the word through signs following.

Jesus was mentioned by Jewish and Roman historians in their historical texts.

The testimonial of Christians throughout history.

The history of the Bible.

Nature itself.

We can see an example of faith in action in the Old Testament.

Abraham heard God’s voice telling him to follow him.

Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. Genesis 12:1-4

Abraham heard God’s voice speaking to him. What Abraham did not know was where he was going. Abraham trusted God because he was a friend of God. You don’t become someone’s friend without a bonafide relationship.

According to the Bible, faith comes by hearing God’s word or voice. (Rhema)

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by God’s word (Rhema). Romans 10:17

Evidence of faith is built by having a relationship with God.

This relationship requires obedience to his voice.

Abraham believed in God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.

For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Romans 4:3-5

Believing or Faith (pistis) in God requires trust. This trust is developed by having a relationship.

Paul used the word Pistis to describe trust in God for his grace.

How is grace through faith received? The Bible tells us it is by repentance or metatoia.

Metatoia in ancient Greek meant changing one’s mind about something or someone. Metatoia was depicted by the ancient Greeks as a sorrowful goddess filled with regret for having failed or missed the moment.

In early Christian literature (See Tertillian) metanoia is expressed as a change in one’s thinking that leads to a fundamental change in behavior or way of living. This change is a key ingredient for receiving salvation.

Jesus made it very clear in scripture that there is no salvation without repentance. That is wanting in your heart to forsake sin and turn to Jesus Christ.  

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Luke 13:3

In conclusion, God’s grace is extended through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ; the Savior is received by faith, which is trusting in God through obedience to the truth.

Since you have purified your souls by obedience to the truth so that you have a genuine love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from a pure heart. 1Peter 1:22

This faith is realized by repentance or turning away from one’s own ways to walk in obedience to the voice of God through his eternal word. 

But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. 1 Peter 1 :22

When this is done, God, through his grace by faith, imputes or accredits to the recipient his righteousness.

That is, the convert is now in perfect standing with God. 

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True Worshipers



 In John 4:19-20, the Samaritan women said to Jesus, (after he told her information about her life) “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.”

In response Jesus says to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 

Samaria was a part of Israel that many Jews avoided. They would go around, taking a longer journey when going to Jerusalem from Galilee, rather than go through Samaria  

The Samaritans were Israelites from northern Israel who historically were part of the Assyrian captivity. (2 Kings 17:24-29) They had intermarried with settlers from other nations who occupied northern Israel.

The Samaritans were not thought of as Israelites by the Judeans, but rather as “people of the Mesopotamian city of Kutha/כותה‎’, which refers in itself to a certain reception of the passage 2 Kings 17.24, Josephus’ Antiquities.

While holding to many Jewish beliefs and customs which included looking for the Messiah, the Samaritans believed that because they had come to live on Mount Gerizim they were called (because of Moses), to protect it as a sacred mountain.

The Samaritans also held different theological and political beliefs than the Judaeans in the south of Israel. While the Samaritans worshipped YHWH they had competing temples. Mt. Gerizim was the Samaritan sanctuary while the Judeans worshipped in the temple built by King Solomon in Jerusalem.

They also had different religious texts. The Samaritans had 5 books of the Torah in their Samaritan Pentateuch with a Samaritan twist, including the Mount Gerizim doctrine. The Samaritans rejected much of the Hebrew Masoretic text consisting of 24 books.

The Samaritan women at the well was told by Jesus that the Samaritans did not know what they worshiped but the Judeans knew what they worshipped. This was due to the fact that the Samaritans had little knowledge of God because they rejected much of the Hebrew text.

Also many Samaritans mixed Hellenistic ideology into their culture. (The idea of reasoning, science, moral ethics based on human standards.)

After the conquest by Alexander the Great in 332 BC, the Samaritans, like all other people groups in the region, came under the influence of Greek culture. The Samaritans in time developed their own form of Hellenism.

Fragments of Samaritan literature in Greek, as well as a number of Greco-Samaritan inscriptions ( In Palestine and the diaspora) testify to this. The Ancient Samaritans and Greek Culture Pieter W. van der Horst Faculty of Theology, Utrecht University (Emeritus), 3512 JE Utrecht, The Netherlands

The Hebrew text confirms the temple of Jerusalem as the place where YHWY was to be worshipped. That is why Jesus said, “we know what we worship.”  

“The Lord said to him: ‘I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.” 1 Kings 9:2-4

The Samaritans rejected the Judean authority of scriptures and their oral law.

Jesus made it clear to the Samaritan woman that the hour would come when neither on Mount Gerizim nor in Jerusalem would the Father be worshiped. For two reasons. Both temples would eventually be destroyed but also after Jesus’ death and resurrection those who were true worshippers of YHWY would now worship Him in spirit and in truth.

No longer would those two temples be necessary anymore because after Jesus’ death and resurrection the temple veil in Jerusalem was ripped in two, giving direct access to God for his worshippers. Jesus would now be the high priest and intercessor of his people.

Jesus told the Samaritan women that God is a Spirit and requires his worshipers to worship him from a spiritual perspective. Not from a religious perspective based on a physical temple.

YHWY no longer lives in a temple made by hands. Those who are born of God by his Holy Spirit are God’s temple. He resides in the born again spirit of his elect, chosen from the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:4

 Jesus said, “You must be born again to enter the kingdom of God.” John 3:3


Jesus continues in John 3, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So, it is with everyone born of the Spirit”

To be born again is to be born of God, born of his Holy Spirit. (Regenerated into a new spiritual person.) Mark 1:15;  Acts 2:38

How can one become born again in order to become a child of God and enter his kingdom?

Consider the following scriptures.

The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel. Mark 1:15

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. John 3:36

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.” John 5:1        

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Life Everlasting

God told Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or they would die. That is they would experience physical death (which eventually they did) as well as spiritual death, separation from God or YHWY.

Death or maveth‘  in the Hebrew is the giving up of the spirit from the body. For the Christian death means to be absent from the body and present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:8 )

For the unsaved death is to be separated from God, cast into torments or hell which is a holding place for lost spirits. (Luke 16:19-31)

The “second death” is the everlasting perdition of the wicked in the lake of fire. (Revelations 2:11, Revelations 21:8)

Why would partaking of the tree of the “knowledge” of good and evil cause death?

According to Gnosticism (mystery Babylon ideology) da‛ath (Hebrew for knowledge) is the gateway to having “knowledge” or having mystery understanding of spiritual realities.

This concept of “knowledge” is known in all mystery Babylon religions. By that I mean all religious systems outside the gospel of Jesus Christ. These systems have one thing in common. Belief or “knowledge” that is contrary to the gospel.

In other words, this partaking of the knowledge of Satan’s religion causes both physical and spiritual death to occur. 

It is interesting to note, that the word for good, or the knowledge of mystery Babylon “good” is the word ţôb in Hebrew which means to prosper, be wealthy, having everything associated with temporal earthly pleasure.

Satan offers worldly pleasures to those who partake of his kingdom. He even tried to bribe the Lord with worldly gain. (Matthew 4:9)

Jesus on the other hand offers life abundantly. The same life YHWY offered to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.

Scriptures tell us that whoever has the Son has life but whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life but the wrath of God abides on him. (1 John 5:12)

This abundant life which Jesus wants to give is not the same as what Satan has to offer. It is not worldly pleasure and sensual gratification.

God’s life is chay in the Hebrew language. To be alive, renewed, revived, spiritual life in YHWY. Eternal life.

Jesus says he is THE LIFE.

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. John 11:25

This is the purpose that Jesus came to earth as God incarnate. To give life.

Jesus is the tree of life. He is the life offered to mankind.

Whoever partakes of Jesus Christ by being born again or revived with renewed life has eternal life. Life forever and always.

No death can keep the born again child of God in the grave. 

The thief or Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy. Satan offers worldly pleasures that in the end cause spiritual death.

Jesus offers life or eternal chay with him. Everlasting life. Life that never ends.

This abundant life that Jesus gives flows from the Kingdom of God. It is not of this world. It is not material temporal earthly pleasures. (John 18:36)

God’s life flows from his Son. It is a life expressed from a heavenly point of view. A life operating in God’s realm or through God’s Holy Spirit.

 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:25

The tree of knowledge is not just an evil or dark and sinister knowledge but a knowledge of earthy sensual wisdom which gratifies the carnal nature. Satan’s “good” is really a death trap for all who partake of it.

God’s life is in his Son. It is eternal life. Life with YHWY forever.

He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 1 John 5:12

Do you want to have God’s life? Eternal life that flows from his kingdom?

Jesus is the tree of life. Come to him Jesus Christ and be saved.

Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.​

2 Timothy 1:9

Father God is Waiting For Your Return!

In Luke chapter 15 Jesus is ministering to people with backgrounds contrary to the social norm of the society in which he lived. The religious people were upset about it. They could not understand why Jesus would spend his time speaking to outcasts.

Jesus explains through three different parables how important a lost soul is to God. He likens the lost person to sheep having gone astray from the fold.

In shepherding societies the animals tended are very important. They represent a family’s whole livelihood.

Shepherds bond to their animals. They are very protective against predators. In fact when a shepherd is successful in defending his herd they are highly esteemed by the village. It takes great courage to defend the fold against a predator. Sometimes at the cost of the shepherd’s life.

A valiant shepherd will gain prestige among his people by being a faithful and brave shepherd.

The people of Jesus’ day understood shepherding concepts. To find a lost sheep was a very rewarding experience.

Pastoral societies value their animals so much that they will defend them with their very lives.

When Jesus likened sinners to lost sheep this placed a value upon them that the religious people did not share.

The next story that Jesus tells reveals again his love for sinners. This is the story of a woman who had ten pieces of silver but lost one of them.

The woman lights a candle in order to search clearly. Then she sweeps the house diligently, looking for the lost silver coin.

Silver was a currency commonly used in Jesus’ day. It was an international currency. A silver coin could be a day’s wages to some people back then and because silver was extracted using human labor, that made it even more valuable. To lose a day’s wages was to experience a grave hardship.

Jesus reveals to the religious people of his day that a lost soul was like a lost silver coin. In God’s kingdom, a lost soul being found and restored to Father God has such value that it causes all heaven to rejoice.

I tell you, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous people who don’t need repentance. Luke 15:7

In order to hit home his point Jesus gives to the religious people a third story. The number 3 according to Biblical application is the number of completion. In the Hebrew language, the number 3 is shelos which means harmony, new life, and completeness.

His next story ties everything together. Not only does Jesus love the individual lost sinner but Jesus reveals in this last story his love for all lost sinners of every nation.

Jesus talks about a man who had 2 sons. The elder son was the heir to his father’s estate and the younger while having no legitimate inheritance was provided for by means of the Father’s kindness.

The younger son not only represents a rebellious sinner wanting his own way instead of staying in his Father’s house but also represents the Gentiles who the Lord sees as being lost, in need of his salvation. Jesus called them his sheep of another fold.

And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they shall hear My voice; and they shall become one flock with one shepherd. John 10:16

Eating with sinners was a repulsive thing to the religious people of Jesus’ day. Not only because they were participating in unlawful activities but because many of these outcasts were working for the Roman empire (Gentiles) and were considered by the religious people to be unclean by association.

Jesus’ parable insulted the Pharisees’ concept of righteousness. To have contact with Gentiles was a taboo thing in their law. To add insult to injury the religious people were told by Jesus that the elder son whom they knew represented the heir or Abrahamic covenant was not the only one loved by God.

The younger son represented the Gentile nations. He was loved so much that after his return the Father rejoiced by putting on a celebration. 

The prodigal story is really a twofold story about God’s love for individual sinners but also his desire to restore the Gentiles to Father God.

The far country represents nations in lands far away who lived lifestyles that the elder son would find offensive. That is why Jesus refers to the prodigal son as living among swine or those who are unclean.

Jesus made known to those religious elders that love for the sinner was extended by God to the Gentile nations. This is why they were so angry. To offer the Gentiles an inheritance in God’s kingdom was to oust the religious people from their prestigious position. The religious leaders did not like that one bit.

To give a Gentile swine a robe was to give him a place of distinction along with the elder son or heir.
Only a man of honor was given a robe. A common man wore only simple clothing.

A ring was also a sign of honor or prestige. Servants or slaves never wore a ring. Neither did a common man.

The fact that the Father gave the prodigal swine dweller a robe and a ring meant that he was valued by the Father.

Then the 3rd thing the Father did in completion of his celebration was to kill the fatted calf. This was another indication that Jesus was referring to the Gentile nations. A calf represents idolatry. The repentant idolater was being received by Father God. Also, to feast on a fatted calf was a delicacy in Jesus’ day. In effect, Jesus was saying that God would celebrate the return of the one who was once a sinner idol worshiper.

The religious people were totally insulted by these parables that Jesus told. Jesus referred to them as being angry like the elder son because God loves prodigal sinners and desires them to repent and become a part of his family.

Are you a prodigal far away from the Father’s house? Are you tired of your wayward life? Feeling desperate in your famine? Jesus wants you to come to him and be saved. He wants to restore you to Father God today!

Father God loves you so much that he is searching for you. Shining his light on your heart. Revealing to you your need for his love.

If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:18 

The religious people were totally insulted by these parables that Jesus told. Jesus referred to them as being angry like the elder son because God loves prodigal sinners and desires them to repent and become a part of his family.

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Departing From The Faith

What does it mean to depart from the faith?
To ‘depart’ in the Greek is aphistēmi which means to revolt against, remove from, desert, depart or draw away from.

You can’t depart or leave something unless you once were in something. Now its debatable whether the one who departs was once really saved or not but they had some understanding. They were enlightened. Scriptures tell us that if one has been enlightened and tasted of heavenly things and falls away it is impossible for them to repent.

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. Hebrews 6:4,6

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. 1 Timothy 4:1

This “departing” is departing from the faith or pistis. That is the conviction of reliance upon Jesus Christ for salvation. Instead those who depart give heed to demonic doctrines which do not rely on Jesus Christ for salvation.

Some departing doctrines are obvious to most Christians but others are very subtle. That devil is a wily one.

The main theme to look for is if the teacher or preacher, prophet or apostle, pastor or evangelist moves away from trusting in Jesus Christ for salvation. Even a teeny weeny bit.

There is no specific day of the week, no ritual or rite, no performance, no other way, no other man made book, no self help principle, no personal preference, no successful endeavor, no  jot or tittle, no other name, no addition, no subtraction. NOTHING.

There is nothing that can give you salvation with eternal life but complete trust and reliance on Jesus Christ alone for salvation.

It is written.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9,10