No Compromise

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I read an article in CBN News and I have to share it with you, as a warning, and for encouragement to finish the race that is laid out before us.

A United Methodist Church pastor has caused controversy after stating that Christians can support the marital union of homosexuals without betraying the word of God.”

All of the alarm bells are going off! Wake up, wake up, wake up!

Choose this day who you will serve (Joshua 25:15). You can not, as Christians, support something that is clearly against Gods Word without betraying the Word of God. It is NOT possible!

Hamilton believes United Methodist churches must come together now and rediscover the faith that unites them. He does, however, believe that individual church parishes should be allowed to determine where they stand on this most sensitive theological issue. So, he helped set up the group “Uniting Methodists” to encourage local churches to claim autonomy over these pastoral matters.” Let us not fool ourselves, as Hamilton is greatly deceived, the autonomy he seeks is a separation from Truth.

Bottom line… you are for God or you are not. There is no middle ground and no compromise. All or Nothing, Hot or Cold, Life or Death, For or Against… 

We are to be a light in the world; not bring the world into the church. It is love to speak truth and  it is love to care for souls; even to the point of death. The world is lost, they are dying and facing eternal death, and we will be held accountable if we withhold truth.

Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I was compelled to write to you [urgently] appealing that you fight strenuously for [the defense of] the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints [the faith that is the sum of Christian belief that was given verbally to believers]. For certain people have crept in unnoticed [just as if they were sneaking in by a side door]. They are ungodly persons whose condemnation was predicted long ago, for they distort the grace of our God into decadence and immoral freedom [viewing it as an opportunity to do whatever they want], and deny and disown our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude 3-4)

Jesus said, “Be careful that no one misleads you [deceiving you and leading you into error] For many will come in My name [misusing it, and appropriating the strength of the name which belongs to Me], saying, ‘I am the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed),’ and they will mislead many.” And He also said, “At that time many will be offended and repelled [by their association with Me] and will fall away [from the One whom they should trust] and will betray one another [handing over believers to their persecutors] and will hate one another. Many false prophets will appear and mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, the love of most people will grow cold.” See Matthew 24)

And the Lord said, “The outcry [of the sin] of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. I will go down now, and see whether they have acted [as vilely and wickedly] as the outcry which has come to Me [indicates]; and if not, I will know.” (See Genesis 18)

I assure you and most solemnly say to you, it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that city [since it rejected the Messiah’s messenger]. (Matthew 10:15)

Stay alert! Stay awake! Do not be deceived!

Be Free & Stay Free

http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/2018/august/megachurch-pastor-claims-christians-can-support-gay-marriage-without-betraying-god

Hosea: Then & Now

Many of the prophesies given to Hosea have been fulfilled.

The removal of Israel as a nation and it’s restoration. The removal of Baal from the lips of Jewish people, a name now forgotten among them, and the grafting in of the Gentiles into faith. 

I am the vinenowatermark

 

Eloquently, Hosea reveals the valley of troubles needed for Israel to become a nation once again. Of course we now know it was the holocaust.

It has taken centuries for these prophecies to become fulfilled.

There were two outstanding reasons for the destruction of ancient Israel.

God separates the people or brethren of Hosea from the Nation itself. The mother or nation had become corrupt through trade with other nations. Through that trade the nation had become dependent.

They saw trade as the means of existence rather than the fruitfulness of the land God had given them. They no longer glorified God but instead found strength through their status in the world and desire for foreign goods.

Secondly, they started to diversify by accepting foreign gods. The names of the Baals, the piercing of the ears and noses which signified who they spiritual served.

In their desire to diversify they had accepted and interchanged the name of Baal with the name of God. They began worshiping Baal and ascribing that name to God.

God said they will no longer call Me by the name of Baal. (Hosea 2:16)

Hosea 2

God had revealed Himself from the days of Abraham, till today,  through many names which revealed His character and nature.

Now Israel gave God a name and He called it idolatry.

The Kingdom of God is progressive. He has unveiled Himself by His actions throughout the existence of man and in the process attributed a name to the actions.

Human progressiveness found in any nation outside the realm of God’s Kingdom leads to an acceptance of sin and a distortion of God’s character or outright denial of His existence. It leads to celebrating the distortion in individual identity. It becomes idolatry in its most vile form, the worship of self.

The prophecy found in Hosea 1:10 “You shall be called the Sons of the Living God,” will not apply.

God’s progressiveness is found in the revelation of Himself to man and the power of the revelation to bring personal identity to the individual.

In these last days the full revelation of God’s nature and character was revealed in and through Yeshua, or inActs-4-verse-12-image English, Jesus. There is no other name given among men in which they can be saved, or in other words find and walk in created purpose for living.

It should not surprise a christian when they hear the name of Jesus being used as a curse. It only reveals the heart of the person vainly using His name. Disobedience to the first commandment (do not use my name vainly) can only be done by using Jesus Christ.

His name is used daily worldwide both as a blessing and power to change and vainly as a curse. No other name is used in such a way. This gives us both joy and grief. When a believer hears the name of Jesus being used vainly his or her heart is grieved because of the Spirit within them. But it also proves the very nature of Jesus as God. The disobedience of another can actually build our own personal faith.

Jesus was very clear in stating anyone can be forgiven for misuse of His name and that of The Father. We should not make final judgment of a person misusing Jesus name, but our judgment should be of their personal need for salvation.

In closing, Hosea has much to say to our world today. The power of prophetic relevance, the tendency for a nation to be corrupted by its leadership and not by it’s people, progressiveness which is born from the human heart rather than the revealed nature of God brings destruction to personal identity.

There are many gods in this world but only One true God and He is found through and in the name of Jesus Christ the Redeemer and Deliver of all mankind; any other name given as way to God is idolatry.

Be Free & Stay Free

(This post was written, and shared with permission, by my husband, Jim Kessler.)

 

The Tomb is Empty! Death is defeated!

 

 

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Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw the stone [already] removed from the [groove across the entrance of the] tomb.  So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple (John), whom Jesus loved (esteemed), and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him!” 

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So Peter and the other disciple left, and they were going to the tomb.  And the two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and arrived at the tomb first.  Stooping down and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings [neatly] lying there; but he did not go in. 

peter at tomb

Then Simon Peter came up, following him, and went into the tomb and saw the linen wrappings [neatly] lying there and the [burial] face-cloth which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the [other] linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. So the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, went in too; and he saw [the wrappings and the face-cloth] and believed [without any doubt that Jesus had risen from the dead]. For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise from the dead.  Then the disciples went back again to their own homes.

Mary at tomb

 But Mary [who had returned] was standing outside the tomb sobbing; and so, as she wept, she stooped down and looked into the tomb;  and she saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.  

And they said to her, “Woman, why are you crying?” She told them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” 

After saying this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you crying? For whom are you looking?” 

Supposing that He was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you are the one who has carried Him away from here, tell me where you have put Him, and I will take Him away.”  

Jesus said to her, “Mary!” 

She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher).

 Jesus said to her, “Do not hold Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’” 

Mary Magdalene came, reporting to the disciples that she had seen the Lord and that He had said these things to her.

Jesus among His Disciples

 So when it was evening on that same day, the first day of the week, though the disciples were [meeting] behind barred doors for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” After He said this, He showed them His hands and His side. When the disciples saw the Lord, they were filled with great joy. Then Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you [as My representatives].”

 And when He said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive the sins of anyone they are forgiven [because of their faith]; if you retain the sins of anyone, they are retained [and remain unforgiven because of their unbelief].”

But Thomas, one of the twelve [disciples], who was called Didymus (the twin), was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples kept telling him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the marks of the nails, and put my finger into the nail prints, and put my hand into His side, I will never believe.”

Eight days later His disciples were again inside the house, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, though the doors had been barred, and stood among them and said, “Peace to you.”  Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and put out your hand and place it in My side. Do not be unbelieving, but [stop doubting and] believe.”  Thomas answered Him, “My Lord and my God!”  Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, do you now believe? Blessed[happy, spiritually secure, and favored by God] are they who did not see[Me] and yet believed [in Me].”

He is Risen
O death, where is your victoryO death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin [by which it brings death] is the law;  but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory [as conquerors] through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
 There are also many other signs (attesting miracles) that Jesus performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;  but these have been written so that you may believe [with a deep, abiding trust] that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the Son of God; and that by believing [and trusting in and relying on Him] you may have life in His name.

John 20

Secure in Father’s House

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I do not live in Mayberry or Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, but I still like my neighborhood. I have only lived here for a short while, but I have gotten to know some of the neighbors and people and businesses close by.  As an extrovert I tend to say hello, good morning, or good evening to nearly everyone I come in contact with.

stick girl and dogBecause I have a little dog who loves to be walked I get the opportunity to be out and about the neighborhood several times a day. My little buddy is a people person and he loves to meet new people, too. Actually, I think he just enjoys all the extra attention, In fact, because of him I have made new friends with other women who walk their dogs.  Dog people are friendly people… just sayin’

Everyone knows JJ (that’s my lil’ buddy’s name). Most of the people I meet are friendly and harmless. Some are lonely and just need to talk to someone. For some reason a little dog helps to break barriers and people are more inclined to open up and tell you all about themselves. I like people, so I will smile and listen and try to leave them with an encouraging word.

But then there are people who are not good people. I am sure I do not have to draw a word picture for you to understand what I am saying. We have to use wisdom and practice boundaries for our own safety. Sometimes it is best to just cross the street and walk in the opposite direction.

I grew up in a big city, but I now live in a smaller city. Being a city dweller I am well aware of precautions and safety measures we have to take. For example, while it may be fine to say “good morning” to a neighbor, it is not wise to bring a stranger into your home.  While I do not live in fear and paranoia, I do lock my doors. If someone knocks on my door I will not just open the door without first knowing who it is. There are some people that I do know and I still would not just open my door or invite them in.

I may share the same zip code as my neighbors, but I do not share the same address.

When my children were small I was even more careful. I took great care to be sure they were safe. I allowed no one into my home who could harm them, be a bad influence on them, or steal from us. As a parent it was my responsibility to be sure my children were safe. And I am just a mere woman. No matter how good of a parent I am, God is a greater Father.  Which brings me to the point of this post…

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If you try to enter a home uninvited… you are a trespasser.

If you do not know the owner of the home… you are a stranger.

If you mean harm against the family in the home… you are a criminal.

If the Judge finds you guilty and throws you in prison… He is just.

There is a half truth circulating that is meant to deceive and to kill you. We all know what a half truth is… it is a lie.  This is how the deceiver tricks you. He tells you a half truth and because you do not know the full truth you will believe it, because it sounds familiar.

Does this sound familiar to you?

“God is love, we are all His children and He would never send anyone to hell. If you believe in God you will go to heaven. It doesn’t matter how you live, He understands.”

This is a very dangerous deception!

Here is the truth…

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Yes! God loves you. He loves all of us, saint and sinner.  If you believe in God then good, even Satan believes in God, but Satan isn’t going to heaven. Satan was thrown down from heaven and a place called hell was created just for him and his followers.

And it does matter how you live! If it didn’t matter then He would not have told us to repent. Of course He understands, that is why He died on the cross for us. Just as He gave His life for us so we may live, we must give our life so we can be born again and live for Him. It is through rebirth we become heirs with Jesus and we are adopted into His family as sons and daughters. His death and resurrection has reconciled us back to the Father and now all that He has is ours. We share in the inheritance of eternal life.

It is only through faith in Jesus Christ we are saved. It is not by being a really good person. There are many “good” people and old grandmothers going to hell. Not because God doesn’t love them or because He is unfair. But because they have chosen to deny Jesus and refuse the free gift of salvation. They are guilty and the penalty for their guilt (sin) is death (hell) and this is a just judgement.

There are many people in prison right now, maybe even on death row, and ex-cons, drop-outs, wash-ups, thieves, unwed mothers, you know… people who would clear a sidewalk; who will be accepted into heaven.  Don’t believe me? Remember the thief on the cross?

No matter how much you think you know… you better know Jesus.

I don’t write this to condemn anyone. Rather, I hope this challenges you to pause and ask yourself, do I know Him? Does He know me?

We all have our struggles. Trust me… no, don’t take my word for it, take His word for it.

 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation]. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me[following Me as My disciple], for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (renewal, blessed quiet) for your souls.  For My yoke is easy [to bear] and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

No matter where you are, you do not have to stay there. You want peace of mind? Then know you can’t save yourself, no one else can save you either, only He can. No matter how far you have fallen, you can still come home to Jesus.

He is a place of refuge for those who call on Him. He is a good Father and He is preparing a place for you and He will come back and collect His children.

Home with Him is a safe place to be. You have no need to fear. Just as a good father here on earth will not let anything in the home to cause his children harm, you better believe God is even greater!

The next time you hear someone preach salvation without repentance… run from them!

Your best life is not now, your choices do matter, you matter,

If you are truly His then your character will become like His, the fruit of His Spirit in you will be evident. The things you used to do will no longer be appealing to you, because quite simply…. you are dead to the old you and alive in Christ.  With God this is possible.

Listen! We are all HIs creation, but we are not all His children. Many are called, but few are chosen.

If you want to know peace, then you better know Jesus.

Call on Him now while He may still be found.

If you have any questions, or if you want to follow Jesus and just don’t know what the next step is, then contact me or leave a comment and I will be happy to introduce you to Him.

Be Free & Stay Free

 

 

 

The Most Unusual Place: a short story

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Her reflection in the mirror showed a tired woman. Her skin was blotchy, pale and discolored with dark circles under her eyes; dull brown hair replaced a once thick and glowing crown. She looked at herself as if looking at a stranger. There was barely any resemblance to the woman she was in her youth. She pulled the wiry strings of hair into a single braid, splashed water onto her face and paused for a moment to savor the coolness of her hands on her brow.

“What are you doing, woman?” She cringed at the gruff sound of Ben’s voice. “Quit looking at yourself and come back to bed.”

“I have to go to the well and get some water.” She couldn’t look at him when she answered.

“It is too early for that!” He reached over and grabbed her by the arm and pulled her back into bed. “Satisfy me first, woman.”

“Ben, I need to go before the other women get there, or I will have to wait until this afternoon when the heat will be unbearable.”

“You talk too much!” He gruffed. “Always talking when you should be listening.”

Ignoring her protest, he forced her legs apart to lay on her. She closed her eyes against his stale breath as he used her body. She hated this act because she despised him. She let her body go limp and her mind go numb. He was not deterred by her lack of participation. She remained still until he finished and rolled off her.

“Laying with you is like laying with a dead fish!” He pushed her out of bed. “Make me something to eat and then go get me some water.”

Her eyes stung with the tears she refused to let fall. The wretch in her stomach made her want to vomit. The feel of her own skin was more than she could bare. She felt used up like garbage wrapped in dying flesh.

Her life was not suppose to be like this. She was the oldest of three daughters. Even though sons were the pride, her parents loved her and her sisters. Her childhood was filled listening to stories by her father. Sitting on his lap and tugging at his beard, singing, “Tell me another story, Poppa.” He would laugh and say, “OK,Galilah, one more before you sleep.”

Her childhood came to an end when her father fell ill and was buried beside his brothers. Her mother, doing what she thought best, married her off to Lameck. “He will be able to provide for you,” her mother cried on her wedding day. “I cannot feed four bellies.”

At fourteen, she was the sacrificial bride to a man old enough to be her father. True, Lameck was able to provide for her, but what the marriage was supposed to provide for him was a son, yet she could not conceive. He lost his patience with her after a year and took another wife. When the second wife conceived Galilah was forced out of the house and given to another man.

After five marriages, tossed aside by four and widowed by one, she did what she had to do to provide for herself. Shamefully she shared her bed with men passing through. Prostituting herself kept just enough bread in her belly and a shelter over her head. This is how she met Ben; he came and didn’t leave. With Ben, she released one shame to pick up another.

She held the memories of her first fourteen years close to her heart. She would not be robbed of her identity. She may not be who she could have been for the years have taken their toll, but she always believed there was a greater purpose for her.

It was too late to go to the well now, the other women would be there. She hated their idle chatter and their judgmental attitude. Sometimes she envied them, sometimes she pitied them, but mostly she despised them. Given a choice she would have never chosen the life that was handed to her, but she did learn something with each abuse; she learned to listen. The men would talk and disregard her as an ignorant woman, but she listened and she learned.

When the sun was high in the sky, Galilah picked up the water jar and began her walk to the well. The heat was almost unbearable as sweat trickled down her brow. Although her face was shaded by her veil and her robe shielded her from the sun it did not offer much reprieve from the heat.

She could see a solitary figure sitting by the well. As she approached, she pulled the veil closer to her face, squinting into the sun to identify who it may be. It was a man, sitting peacefully, he was alone. Perhaps he was a foreigner passing through?

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There was nothing particularly handsome about the man as he sat and patiently waited for her to approach. She made brief eye contact with him; his eyes were warm and reflected the sun. There was something about his eyes which made her feel as though He was looking into the depth of her, not in a judgmental or seductive way, but as if He knew her. She quickly looked down.

She did not feel threatened by his presence, but her experience had taught her hostility and disdain for men. Yet, in the few brief moments of assessing him she could sense he was not like other men.

“Give Me a drink.” He broke the silence. His request was not a demand, but matter-of-factly spoken.

“How is it that you ask me for water?” She said, pausing at the well. “Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.”

“If you knew the gift of God, and who says to you, ‘give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.” He answered.

She looked around Him with some exaggeration and saw that He had no jar with Him. “You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep.” She motioned to the well. “Where then do You get that living water?”

He remained seated, He did not flinch at her words. She felt the need to keep talking, divert His attention. She sensed there was greater meaning behind what He said, but she did not want to appear ignorant. She straightened her back with feigned dignity.

“Are you greater than our father, Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”

“Whoever drinks of this well will thirst again,” He gave a gesture to the well. “But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give will never thirst. The water I give will become a fountain of water, springing up into everlasting life.”

“Well then, Sir, give me this water that I may not thirst or come here to draw.” She wanted the water He spoke of, especially if it meant she would never have to come to this well in her shame again. Her thirst went deeper than this well and even if she were able to drink this well dry it would not be enough.

“Go, call your husband and come here.” He answered.

She felt a sting from His request and in the answer she would have to give. She didn’t have a husband. No man wanted her. No one that cared for her, covered her, or protected her.

“I have no husband.” She felt no need to lie. She allowed the truth to fall from her lips. What would He say to this? Would He mock her, too? Would the conversation cease here? Would He regard her unworthy for the water He spoke of? She braced herself for His response, expecting it to be the same as everyone else.

He smiled at her. He knew her confession and He felt her shame, but He looked past it and He saw her. She was His appointment. She was worthy. His heart broke for her and He saw what had been done against her. He saw her strength and her weakness, her hurt and her healing; He was moved with compassion for her.

“You have spoke the truth,” He said. “You have no husband. You have had five husbands and the man you are with now is not your husband.”

She looked at Him. How could He know this unless God revealed it? He must be a prophet. She fought the apprehension stirring in her. A respectful man would walk away from her and not want to be seen talking to her. She did not want Him to leave. She sensed there was more to Him than met the eye. Perhaps if she changed the subject?

“Our fathers worshipped on this mountain.” She said. Perhaps her intellect would shift the attention from her sin and the shame she felt. “You Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”

“Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.” He spoke with confident authority. “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship him.” Pausing, the man stood, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

She felt her heart quicken within her and her spirit lept. She was captivated. She listened to his words, watched his mouth speak and although He spoke as a man of authority she did not feel condemnation.

“I know the Messiah is coming.” She said. “When He comes, He will teach us all things.”

He looked her in the eye. “I who speak to you am He.”

Could this be? Yes, she could feel that He spoke the truth. She could feel the washing of His words come over her, like a welcomed shower. Just being in His presence lifted burdens from her shoulders. She began to realize she felt lighter, the sky was bluer, the air was clearer. She felt a calm she had not felt before. She also felt something rise in her she had not sensed since she was a child; hope.

Is this the Messiah that she heard about? Is this the man who they have waited for? Has he come? He didn’t look like she expected, but she had never experienced such compassion and kindness. She had never witnessed authority wrapped in gentleness. She believed Him. In just a few moments of conversation, in just a few moments in His presence she was changed. The hopelessness she felt, the shame; was gone.

Other men appeared at the well. They stood a few feet back and watched. She could see their curiosity of why He, the Messiah, would be talking to her. But, it did not seem to bother the man. He did not try to hide His talking with her. He just looked at her with a warmth of understanding and smiling eyes.

“Rabbi,” one of the men interrupted. “We have brought food to eat.”

She could not contain herself. She left the water jar, turned and hurried back to the city; she had to tell others. For the first time she felt clean; forgiven.

The men were gathered at the city. “Come!” She urged. “Come see a man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?!”

The men noticed there was something different about her, her countenance had changed and it gave cause for them to listen. “Is this the same woman?” They questioned. “She looks different.”

The men followed her back to the well. The man was sitting with His disciples.

“That’s Him!” Galilah said, picking up her pace to sit with Him.

“Come, join us.” The man welcomed them.

Time no longer existed as they listened to Him speak and teach as no one they have ever heard. Thirsty for more, they urged him to stay with them. He stayed for two days and many more believed because of His own word. He spoke and taught with great authority and compassion.

Through it all, Galilah sat at His feet, listening, bathing in His words, and her soul was dry no more. The shame and fear she carried for so many years fell to the ground. Her regrets were replaced with thankfulness, for she knew her redemption had come.
When it was time for Him to leave the city, Galilah wept.

“Do not weep, beloved.” He said comforting her. “I am not leaving you, you will see Me again. I am always with you. Do you believe?”

“Yes, I believe.” She looked into His eyes. “I believe.”

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After He and His disciples left the city and were no longer in sight, the people turned to the woman and for the first time they saw her differently. Could it be that she has changed? Or perhaps they have changed? Or maybe it was both? One thing is certain, Salvation came to the most unusual place.

“Now we believe.” They said to her. “Not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”

 

 

The Fall: A Short Story

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His tactics are stealth and he is sly and shrewd. His jealousy withered away his majestic stature; but his mastery of deception lent him the ability to take on any form.  He speaks into the dreams of the unsuspecting and the minds of the weak. He prays on the souls of the mortal; pushing them ahead, only to set them back. It does not matter the age, the race, the sex, the political party, the wealth – or lack of. What matters to him is winning. Sure, he knows it will be his ultimate defeat, but that does not deter him from collecting trophies.

This is a battle that has been waged long before man walked the earth, before the water and earth separated and the mountains peaked. This war between the created and the Creator has been personal long before mans first name was spoken aloud.

I should have been the chosen one! I am better, stronger, and certainly more beautiful than the rest! I am the bright morning star!” He consoles himself into the blackness of hate and pride. “Pity, no one else recognizes my talents.”

Sure… he is not God, but he wants to be like him; maybe even better. But then God had to go and create this thing… this man;  in His own image no less. The smell of man makes him want to vomit. The very sight and sound of man infuriates him.

Man so innocent, walking around in his own personal garden, as if he owned the place, as if this creation was made just for him.

If he could have his way he would gut him right there. With just one blow he would wipe him away. But man is protected. He has to think of a more subtle way to eradicate him. A blow to man would be a blow to God and this is what he hungers for; to show them all what a mistake it was to throw him down from heaven.

He stands back, hidden in the shadow as he watches man and God walk in the garden deviland talking as if they are friends. He sneers each time he hears them laugh as curses hiss under his breath. As close as man is with God it is going to be nearly impossible for him to get close enough to strike his blow. At least there is only one he has to contend with and the day will come. Just the thought of striking a blow to Gods heart fed his lascivious delusion.

As his hatred grew, his beauty began to wane, and the luster of his precious stones began to dim. He retreats back into the only shadow in the garden, his own. Wrapping his wings around his body to stay the smell and sound of the man; detest wafting around him like a putrid vapor, he watches and waits.

But, wait! What’s this? His ears perk to the sound of something unfamiliar and soft. A gift! God gave the man a gift. Rage boiled inside of him like a volcanic churning. It was an insult to injury.

How could God be so enraptured with these two creatures? Why, compared to him they were small!

Of course God is blessing them! Of course God says they are good! He created them.

Yea, yea, yea, go and multiply and subdue the earth.” He mocks in his own imitation of Gods voice.

He did have to admit the man and woman did have a beauty; perfectly formed. They flowed naturally with each other and with God; the three walking as one.

Three! There can be no more three!” He snarled. “The trinity must be crushed!”

How dare God give this man complete rule over the garden! After all, wasn’t it he that led worship before His throne?

It was me!” He mumbled under his breath. “I was the Cherub that worshipped before His throne. He didn’t even appreciate me. Even with all my beauty and the symphonies of my worship… I am Lucifer! I was the highest in rank! I was even greater than Michael and Gabriel.

Then a smile crosses his lips; he can barely contain himself when he sees his in. Yes!  God created another. Ha! He will have to strike fast.

At first, the thought of any seed coming from the two sickened him. But, then another thought flashes into his mind; he can use the woman to be the downfall to man and then God will not walk with him anymore. Yes! Let God throw man from the garden as easily as He threw him down.

He knows it is not going to be easy, but he will wait.  He will watch for the perfect moment and then he will strike the fatal blow with such precision they will not even know what hit them until it is too late. He waits, watches, and studies the man and woman. He makes note of every instruction God gives to man.

Foolish God!” He laughs. “Does He really believe man will follow orders? Even so, He should have told the woman too, instead of trusting man.

The realization of the free will God gave to man and woman burned within his stomach. The darkness of his heart crept to his mouth, releasing the stench of pride and hatred through his up-curved lips. This is almost too perfect. Why didn’t God protect man better? Surely He has to know his enemy is in the garden with an axe to grind. If He really wanted to protect them He wouldn’t have given them the choice; to obey or not to obey, to love and trust, or rebel.

His disdain for man was matched only by the delight he relished in the thought of getting woman alone. He knows he can’t touch them until they are disobedient because God wants obedience. But, if he could entice a third of the angels to follow him, then surely he can entrap this woman. He only needs to get her alone; temptation always wins in isolation.

“Rebellion works for me.” He laughs. “His creation will worship me and I will be the god of this world!”

At last, opportunity presented itself; woman strayed from man and was alone in the garden. Veiled in deceptive brightness, Lucifer showed himself to the woman as a serpent. Woman did not know fear, she has never tasted it, making it that much easier for him to approach her.

Can it really be true that God has said ‘you shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” Lucifer said in his most matter of fact and innocent sounding voice. His pride fluffed with his own cleverness; casting a little doubt can go a long way.

We may eat fruit from the trees of the garden, except the fruit from the tree which is in the middle of the garden.” The woman answered. “God said, ‘You shall not eat from it nor touch it, otherwise you will die’.”

Ha! This is almost too easy. Lucifer knows exactly what God told man. This little embellishment from the woman to not touch it, is his in.

You certainly will not die!” Lucifer feigned surprise. “For God knows that on the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like Him and you will know the difference between good and evil. Die? You don’t really believe that you will die, do you? I mean, after all, do you think God would kill you?”

The woman looked at Lucifer and then looked at the tree.  It was delightful to look at and the fruit does look good, after all.  He touched her slightly and waited for desire to give birth. He must keep her captivated with the beauty of the tree and not let her become distracted. It was almost too easy.  Man silently watched the woman; his presence hardly noticeable.

You will be wise, just like God.” He whispered, nudging her, tapping the tree with his finger. “See, I touched it and I didn’t dieJust take a little bite, it won’t hurt anything.”

The woman tenderly plucked the fruit, holding it in her hand she turned it side to side. It did look delicious. “Maybe God didn’t really mean we would die if we ate this.” She reasoned. “I will just take a little taste.

Yesss, taste it.” Lucifer urged, glancing around to be sure God was not there. ”Just a little bite won’t hurt.

Adam And Eve002

The woman held it to her mouth and slowly bit. Lucifer could see the juice from the fruit touch her skin. He licked his own lips, the taste of his victory sweet in his mouth.

See, that’s not so bad, is it?” Lucifer chided.

She handed the fruit to the man.

Taste it.” She coerced. “The serpent is right, I didn’t die.

The Bible

The man took the fruit, looked at the woman and serpent, then held it to his lips and bit.

See! I told you you wouldn’t die!” Lucifer laughed.

Instantly shame covered them as they became aware of their nakedness. They hurried to tear leaves from the fig tree and covered themselves up.

Amused, Lucifer took a few steps back to watch, as man and woman were trying to cover themselves. This turned out better than he planned. He was going to have a front row seat to watch God’s heart break. Yes, goodbye man and woman, now they are going to see a different side of God. Let them feel His wrath as He turns against them!

Adam? Where are you?” They could hear God call.

A new feeling began to take hold of man and it caused him to tremble; fear and shame. The man and woman tried to hide, but it was of no use.

Over here, over here, Lucifer wanted to laugh. Your man and woman are over here. His satisfaction swelled knowing what just happened and what is to come.

Bring your angels, God! Tear them to pieces!”  Lucifer thought, but dared not say out loud.

I heard you walking through the garden.” Adam answered, his voice shaking. “I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid myself.

Who told you you were naked?” God said. “Have you eaten from the tree which I commanded you not to eat?”

It was the woman you gave me.” The man answered, slightly stepping away from the woman. “She gave me the fruit from the tree and I ate it.”

Lucifer withdrew behind a tree, he was not going to run, he would face God and glory in His fallen creation; but he would do it from a distance, of course.

Then God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?”

Is that sorrow Lucifer heard in His voice? He expected anger, lightening, or maybe some good ol’ fashion smiting; but sorrow? This is not fair, he pouted, I am far superior than these bones and flesh!

It was him!” The woman pointed at Lucifer. “The serpent tricked me.”

Immediately, Lucifer regretted wanting the front row seat. There is no sorrow in Gods voice towards him. Lucifer knew the smiting is going to strike him hard. He coward back and lowered his head, maybe if he took a submissive stance God will go easy on him. Yet, even with the fear, Lucifer could hardly contain the satisfaction of striking the first blow.

Because you have done this,” God said to the serpent, Lucifer, with lightening in His eyes. “You are cursed more than all the cattle and animals of the field. On your belly you shall go and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between your seed and her Seed. He shall fatally bruise your head and you shall only bruise His heel.”

What seed? How dare God not strike the man and woman down! Why do they get another chance? No, this is not how it is suppose to go!

Then to the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth. In pain you will give birth to your children and your desire and longing will be for your husband and he will rule over you and be responsible for you.”

Then to the man He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree which I commanded you to not eat; the ground is now a curse because of you. In sorrow and toil you shall eat the fruit of it all the days of your life.  Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you’ You shall eat the plants of the field by the sweat of your face. You will eat bread until you return to the ground, for from it you were taken, for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Then God made clothes of animal skins for the man and woman and sent them away from the garden. God drove man out from the garden and then stationed a cherubim with a sword with a flashing blade which turned round and round in every direction to protect and guard the entrance to the tree of life.

Guard the entrance and do not let them return.” God said to the cherubim. “He must not eat from the tree of life as well, and live in this fallen sinful condition forever.

God knew from the beginning and He already set in motion the redemption of man. And Lucifer? Well, Lucifer will feel the fatal blow.

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Be Free & Stay Free

 

Are You Saved? Really?

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The pastor at a church I visited yesterday gave a really good message. I will paraphrase because this is a truth we must not ignore.

There are so many who think they are saved, or “Christian,” merely because they said a prayer, or because they attend church. This is a great deception.

I fear because there has been a loss of fear and reverence for the Truth of Gods Word. I cringe because it as though we trample on His blood when we lessen the price He paid for our salvation.

To some, the message of the cross is nothing more than a cheap trinket to be worn on a necklace or a dirty bumper sticker on the back of a car.

First, to the church, I will say… Stop it! Quit raising false converts for the glory of the numbers you receive at alter calls! Preach TRUTH! Quit fearing man and fear God!

To those who think they can say a quick flippant prayer and think “all is well” and you can continue living the life you want without consequence, I say to you…you have no idea what you claim to be saved from!

True repentance leads to a change of heart. You are no longer comfortable living in sin. You will respond to the conviction you feel in your spirit when the Holy Spirit tells you to turn back, stop, don’t do that!

There is a false gospel being preached and it says God loves everyone and He will send no one to hell. This is a half truth. Yes, He loves everyone, if He didn’t He wouldn’t have came down in the flesh and die on our behalf. And yes, He does not send people to hell. But, people are going to hell if they do not repent and receive Jesus as the ONLY way to the Father! Why? Because they choose to.

Jesus said, if you love Me you will keep My commandments.

If you [really] love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments. John 15:15

I wrote a post not too long ago asking, “Does He know you”?

Look, even Satan knows God. He believes in Jesus.

 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day [when I judge them], ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and driven out demons in Your name, and done many miracles in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them publicly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me [you are banished from My presence], you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].’ Matthew 7:21-23

Sanctification is a process. But it is a process you must participate in. His grace is sufficient when you struggle, when you are weak, when you fall. His grace helps you back up and puts you back on the path that leads to Him.

This is not a game. Your soul is not worth gambling.

Repent! Get out of the mud and come home! He is calling you!

Quit playing games! If you are not living right, be honest, you know! He created you with a conscience.

There is no greater joy than knowing your name is written in the Book of Life. There is no greater peace than what Jesus gives you. There is NO substitute. No addiction, no relationship, no drink or drug, can compare to what He has for you.

Please, please, please, if this is you, get right while there is still time. Hell is real and Heaven is Glorious!

You were created for so much more than where you are now.

He loves you!

Be Free & Stay Free