JUSTICE

(You can listen to the podcast audio while you read along, then, pause the audio while you follow the page links.  When you are ready, resume the audio. Please note: I use page links in lieu of footnotes and references for detail, credits and expanded teaching on a subject)

“For I, the LORD, love justice;

I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness, I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them.” – Isaiah 61:8

JUSTICE: noun:

  1. The quality of being just; fairness.
  2. The principle of moral rightness; decency.
  3. Conformity to moral rightness in action or attitude; righteousness.(The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.)

Justice is behavior or treatment that is based on what is right and fair. Just behavior acts according to what is right. Just treatment of another person means to treat them in a manner that is fair. 

How do we determine what is right and fair? Secular scholars have debated this for thousands of years. Does a society or culture decide their own standard? When groups or individuals with different standards are in conflict, how do we know what is just?

The Bible measures right and wrong by God’s standard. God created the world and owns and rules it, (Psalm 89:11), so what He calls just is the definition of justice. He never changes, (Hebrews. 13:8), so the standard He set at the foundation of the world is unchanged and will remain unchangeable.

Scripture is clear that a person’s dignity and worth is not based on their ethnicity or nationality or gender or background or wealth or position or abilities or contribution, (Acts 10:34-35, Leviticus 19:33-34, Galatians 3:28, Romans 3:10-24, James 2:5-9, Ephesians 6:9, Leviticus 19:14, 1 Corinthians 12:4-26). Every person has equal inherent value because we were all created by God and bear His image (Genesis 1:27). People should therefore receive equal treatment, unless they are different in a way that matters in the question at hand. (Crosswalk.org 3/1/2021)

A close ‘first cousin’ of Justice has to be Ethics.

  1. The science of right conduct and character; the science which treats of the nature and grounds of moral obligation and of the rules which ought to determine conduct in accordance with this obligation; the doctrine of man’s duty in respect to himself and the rights of others.
  2. The whole of the moral sciences; natural jurisprudence.
  3. A particular system of principles and rules concerning moral obligations and regard for the rights of others, whether true or false; rules of practice in respect to a single class of human actions and duties: as, social ethics; medical ethics.(The Century Dictionary.)

Then came “Situational Ethics”.  I can remember when I first heard the term “Situational Ethics”, a system of ethics by which acts are judged within their contexts instead of by categorical principles. Situational ethics holds that right and wrong are determined by context and by a desired outcome in any unique situation.

Situational ethics is different from moral relativism in that moral relativism holds that there is no right and wrong whereas situational ethics holds the situation determines right and wrong, i.e., the person decides what is right or wrong, depending on their own situation or circumstance.  Therefore, the standard for ‘right or wrong’ varies from person to person. This is undependable and inevitably creates chaos and conflict.

What ‘situational ethic’ and personal justice boils down to, throughout history, is perspective. In order to keep this simple, let me say that in the context of situational ethics and personal justice, each individual can choose how they view and apply Justice and Ethics. This is how we get so many differing worldviews and conflicting types of government. This is why we have had ‘wars and rumors of wars’ since man has roamed the earth.

Three of the most influential types of worldviews have been the Judeo-Christian ethos, Greek Reason and Logic, and Marxism and the ensuing variants of each.

The Judeo-Christian ethics, emanates from a Divine Source with a system of justice of fixed standards of right and wrong which employ reason and logic, reward and punishment. This view holds that God is supreme and mankind is made in that image; life is precious and must be cultivated for good.

The Greeks embraced reason and logic, but, with a permanent fixed standard of right and wrong base on their system of justice which they believed emanated from a deity, but, justice comes from a person’s ability to use reason and logic.  The Greek held that the individual as important, but served the importance of the state.

Marxism and it’s variants of Leninism, Communism and Socialism, reject any notion of Divinity.  It’s reason and logic has only one conclusion which is the abolition of God or anything that is not according to the philosophy that “the state is supreme”.  Their standards of justice change with situations and circumstances, but always hold that the state and the few elite leaders of the state are supreme.  Violence, deceit, terror, deprivation and death all are legitimate means to maintain control in governing.

The most successful and, arguably, the most enduring are the principles which come from the Judeo-Christian tradition.

I will use this video by Ben Shapiro on Western Civilization and justice, to make this point. Please watch it and think.

Next, is this video link by:  The Bible Project on the subject of Justice:

Whether considering justice in legal terms, institutional justice, social justice, personal justice or Devine justice, the only system of justice which has brought equity, fairness, balance, dependability, trust and peaceful order, has come from the God of the Bible. It is only when mankind perverts and misuses God’s perfect system of justice, do things go bad for everyone – very bad, indeed.

Let’s draw near to “the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob“, and He will draw near to us.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

THINK – Part 2 – Repent and live

THINK!  MINDS & THOUGHTS.

*Think, and the God of peace will be with you.

**Think, and you will have abundant life and peace and prosperity.

***Think, and God will reveal His Truths to you.

****Think, and God will give you understanding in everything.

*****Think, and you will be as you are.

In our last article, we discussed psychology and the soul.  This time, let’s take a brief look at what the Bible says about the mind and thoughts.

*Philippians 4:8, says, Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Verse 9. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

**Romans 8:5 tells us,For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. Verse 6.  For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on and peace.”

***Philippians 3:15 , says, “Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.”

****2 Timothy 2:7  tells us to, “Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.”

*****Proverbs 23:7, says, “… For as a man thinks within himself, so he is.”

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT OR RELEVANT?

First, no person, with a sound mind, can think one thing and do another.  You cannot say “today I pray to have success”, or “today I will pray to have friends”, or “today I will serve God”, then act in a contrary manner and expect to receive what you desire nor to achieve what you claim.

Secondly, and most importantly, Matthew 4:17, says, Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  This is the greatest pronouncement and call to readiness for all Christians:  “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

This is one of the greatest pronouncements and calls to readiness for all Christians:  Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Repent, in the Biblical sense, literally means,

To change one’s mind; – reversing how you think – to change one’s mind for the better” and it comes from two root words which mean, “Hereafter, have this understanding or perception”.

Repenting is the act of changing your mind which means your mindset, your values, and your worldview is changed.  Some would say you then live by new standards.  But it is much greater than just living by new standards.

Again I say, a person of sound mind cannot simultaneously think one thing and do another, repentance results in a complete change of mind and direction of one’s life.

Another way of saying this is, “As a man or woman thinks, so are they”.

This is not a metaphor.  It is not hyperbole.  It is the literal call from God through His Son, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

BOTH A COMMAND AND A PROPHETIC WORD

Interestingly, Jesus, the Son of God, in fact God Himself, said these very words which is recorded in Matthew 4:17.  Remembering, this is both a Command and a prophetic Word from God.

Jesus said this is what we are to do – Repent – in order to become His disciple and to follow Him, and, this is what will happen is we repent.

The disciples echoed and repeated these very words as they continued to do the Works of God, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is now at hand”.

Jesus says for each of us to Repent as an act of our will and that Repentance will allow the Holy Spirit to come into our bodies, our minds and regenerate our spirits.  We will become One with Him.

Our fleshly desires begin to fade, and our new desires emanate from the Holy Spirit of God.  It is not us producing Spiritual Fruit, it is from The Holy Spirit, and it should pour out of us, liberally.

We begin to desire the Things of God.  We are made new, and we can now walk with certainty, with purpose and power in our New Life.

MANIFESTATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Once we Repent, our new desires move us to a new way of living, new actions, which are the direct manifestation of the Holy Spirit.

Repentance means it is no longer you, or I who lives, but it is Christ, literally, living in us.

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me”

If you are living in the sin of doubt or fear,  “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

If you are living under the oppression of poverty, sickness, lack or want, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Rise up.  Proclaim the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness, help all who are ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; heal them all.  Matthew 4:24

Go and tell others this exceedingly Good News, and let us all, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Let’s stop thinking as the world thinks and see things from a heavenly perspective (Colossians 3:2), let’s have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5), and begin to really live!

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

Previous article:  “THINK – Part 1 -Psychology in the Bible? – The Soul”

Next article: “THINK – Part 3 – Where are you Going?”

THINK – Part 1 – PSYCHOLOGY IN THE BIBLE?

 

 

Matthew 22:37 says, “And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’

 Also found in Deuteronomy 6:5  says, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

 These words are both a command and a prophecy from God, to the Israelites, then, and to us, now, so we can “live in the land which God has promised”.

The ‘land’ promised to the Jewish people is described in Joshua 1:1-9 and is actual real estate.  It is a foreshadowing of the eternal “Land” of the Kingdom of God.  (see metaphors such as found in Matthew 13:44, “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”

Matthew 22:37 and Deuteronomy 6:5 tell us how we are to “love the Lord our God”.  These verses describe the entire person:  mind, body and soul.  We are to love God with our entire being and all of our essence in order to obtain His promises.

Let’s focus on the soul.

SOUL:  From the Greek, “psuché”, meaning, breath, the soul (the phonetic spelling is psoo-khay’).  It is defined as the vital breath or breath of life, (b) the human soul, (c) the soul as the seat of affections and will, (d) the self, (e) a human person, an individual, the mind, will and emotions..

‘Psuche’, (the soul), is the root of the English words “psyche,” “psychology”; the soul (psyche); a person’s distinct identity (unique person-hood), i.e. individual personality.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT OR RELEVANT?

It is to make the point that the Bible speaks volumes about human psychology and is the leading and foremost authority on the matter. Scientists and psychologist are just catching up with the Bible on these matters, but, they still have a way to go. Most psychologists view the Bible as largely mythical or anthropomorphic, and they read it through the biased and ofttimes arrogant lens of scientism.

The main point is, however, is that Matthew 22:37 and Deuteronomy 6:5 tell us HOW we are to “love the Lord our God”.  These verses describe the entire person:  mind, body and soul.  We are to love God with our entire being and all of our essence in order to obtain His promises.

Deuteronomy 28:28,  “Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.

Verse 2.  All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God:

Verse 3.  “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.

Verse 4.  “Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock.

Verse 5.  “Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.

Verse 6.  “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

Verse 7. “The Lord shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways.

Verse 8.  The Lord will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God gives you.

Verse 9.  The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, as He swore to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways.

Verse 10.  So all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will be afraid of you.

Verse 11.  The Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the offspring of your body and in the [l]offspring of your beast and in the produce of your ground, in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you.

Verse 12.  The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.

Verse 13.  The Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you only will be above, and you will not be underneath, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I charge you today, to observe them carefully,

Verse 14.  And do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

Finally, and to be sure, all the promises of God are already ours through the finished redemptive work of Jesus.  But, just like the Israelites wandering in the desert of forty years, though God provided them manna to eat and sandals to wear, the children of God still had to pick up the manna and put on the sandals which would never wear out.

The promises of God are here, but, we must appropriate them by believing and obeying God and taking the promises as our own.  Let’s live the Kingdom, now!

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

(Next Article:  “THINK – The Mind and Thoughts”)

WAS JESUS EVER MOODY? – The Fig Tree

Jesus turning over tables in the temple.

“Jesus in the Temple with the money changers.”

I had an Uncle (a much loved, Southern Baptist Pastor and Preacher) who frequently said, “Jesus loves you and so do I”.

I also had a good friend (An independent Baptist Pastor and Preacher) who loved to say, “Remember to be kind and gentle, like Jesus”.

I recently thought of these two men, who had an influence on my life, but, I wondered if these two defining statements are compatible.

What do you think?

Here are some Bible verses which are the words spoken by Jesus or about Jesus. I would like to know what you think, so let’s play a game. OK?

1. Assign ONE WORD to describe Jesus’ apparent mood from the highlighted words in each section of verses.

2. Describe the reason for Jesus’ remarks or actions.

3. Answer the question, “Was Jesus being ‘kind and gentle'” and “Was Jesus being loving?”

(I will do the first one as an example. You may have a different idea or opinion, so use your own ideas.)

I. Mark 11:12-26   “On the next day, when they had left Bethany, He (Jesus) became hungry. Seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if perhaps He would find anything on it; and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples were listening.

Verse 20.  “When evening came, they would go out of the city. As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. Being reminded, Peter said to Him, “Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.”

And Jesus answered, saying to them, “Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. Therefore, I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”

Jesus’ mood? ______________________

Jesus’ reason?: _____________________

Jesus found the tree as ‘useless’ and “cursed” it. Was He teaching His disciples, by this act, not to spend their time on things (people?) who were decidedly and purposefully ‘useless’ in the Kingdom.

Was Jesus mood was pragmatic?

He was dealing with this matter based on a practical spiritual application rather than theoretical considerations. He is teaching His disciples how to “do His Works, and greater works”. He was not driven by moods, but by the opportunity to Speak the Words of Truth and to teach the Truth which transcends this natural world, so His disciples could walk in the Spirit and in power.

He also told His disciples, in other scriptures, that if they ever lost their usefulness or ‘saltiness’ they would be good for nothing except to cast out and trod under the foot of men’. Matthew 5:8.

Paul also teaches that God takes no pleasure in those who shrink back, in the sense of being cowardly. Hebrews 10:39 Jesus actions were brave, bold and direct Truth.

Jesus’ acts were always bold. He was not worried about recrimination for destroying the unfruitful tree and teaching it to his disciples. Revelation 21:8 teaches us that “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (This is the bold truth.)

In conclusion, Jesus’ teaching is about faith, the demonstration of faith and the obstacles to faith and to overcoming this world.

It is a Spiritual law that “Unforgiveness” will negate your faith. So when the Bible tells us “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions” it is really saying that you have chosen to abrogate God’s forgiveness toward you and to negate the authority Jesus have given you.

It is our choice, not His.

To wit:

FAITH Mark 11:23 “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.

DEMONSTRATION OF FAITHVerse 24.  “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.

ABROGATION OF FAITHVerse 25.  “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. Verse 26.  “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”

Was Jesus “moody”?

Was Jesus always “Kind and Gentle”?

Was He showing love for others?

How does this Truth apply to our ‘moods’? To our speech, conduct and Kingdom effectiveness?

The ministry of ‘changing the world for Jesus’ isn’t over yet. So, let’s Walk Out our Faith in power and in Truth.

Your Friend and Brother

Mike Young

WAS JESUS EVER MOODY? – The Temple

passover.jpg

JESUS, THE LAMB of GOD

Was Jesus “moody”?

John 2:13-17  “The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. And He (Jesus) made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables;   and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.”  His disciples remembered that it was written, “ZEAL FOR YOUR HOUSE WILL CONSUME ME.”

Jesus’ mood?:                                               

Jesus’ reason?:                                             

First, let’s recognize that “Passover” Jewish holiday, which commemorates the liberation of the Israelite (The Jews) by God from slavery in Ancient Egypt and their freedom as a nation under the leadership of Moses.

It commemorates the Exodus as described in the Hebrew Bible, in which the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt.

The New Testament states that the resurrection of Jesus, established Jesus as the powerful Son of God and is cited as proof that God will righteously judge the world. For those who trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection, “death is swallowed up in victory.” Any person who chooses to follow Jesus receives “a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”.

Through faith in the working of God those who follow Jesus are spiritually resurrected with him so that they may walk in a new way of life and receive eternal salvation.

Easter is linked to Passover and the Exodus from Egypt recorded in the Old Testament through the Last Supper, sufferings, and crucifixion of Jesus that preceded the resurrection.

So, Jesus, the Passover Lamb of the New Covenant with God, comes to Jerusalem for the Passover and found those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables, in the Temple.

NOTE: Jesus took the time to stop and braid some cords into a scourge. This shows that Jesus was very deliberate with His intentions.

Was His purpose just to drive the money changers and those selling oxen, sheep and doves out of the Temple?

We read in scriptures

John 2:18-22  “The Jews then said to Him, “What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?”  Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”  The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”  But He was speaking of the temple of His body.  So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.”

Jesus’ mood? Serious.

Was Jesus Angry?

NOTE: There is not one word, nor is there one tense of any word, nor is there any root of any word, in all of these New Testament verses that indicates a mood or disposition of human anger in Jesus.

The Bible shows Jesus is Resolute. Decisive. Aggressive and Zealous.

And, therein lies the clue: “ZEAL FOR YOUR HOUSE WILL CONSUME ME.” Zeal in the language used in the Bible means “excitement of mind, ardor, fervor of spirit” and comes from a root Greek word, “zeo” which means “to boil with heat, be hot”. It can be used as a metaphor for “boiling anger for what is good”.

What we are witnessing is also called “Righteous Indignation”.

Read 2 Corinthians 7:11 “For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything, you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter.”

An “indignation” that produces “zeal” and avenging of wrong, yet found to be innocent in the matter. Righteous Indignation.

Jesus expressed righteous anger over the sins of the people (Mark 3:1–5; Matthew 21:12–13; Luke 19:41–44). But His anger was directed at sinful behaviors and unmistakable injustice. (this sentence comes from Righteous Indignation and Anger – Got Questions .com?)

James also gives us good instruction when it comes to righteous indignation: “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19–20).

Jesus reason and purpose is to teach Spiritual Truth about

  • FAITH,
  • The DEMONSTRATION of our FAITH
  • The dangers of the ABROGATION of our FAITH (that is, that which negates our faith)
  • Impediments of Access to God
  • Righteous Indignation / anger.
  • Jesus calls every believer to ministry.
  • The Holy Spirit equips every believer for ministry.
  • Jesus sends every believer to the mission fields
  • Jesus calls every believer to serve His Body.

No exceptions. Jesus instructs us to either pick up our cross and follow Him into the mission fields, or go back to where you came from.

  • Let’s FOLLOW Him.
  • Let’s DO as Jesus has done.
  • Let’s KNOW these things
  • FAITH in God
  • The DEMONSTRATION OF our FAITH
  • The ABROGATION (Impediments) TO our FAITH
  • THE COST OF UN-FORGIVENESS
  • THE COST OF DISOBEDIENCE
  • THE COST OF UNRIGHTEOUS ANGER

Now I ask you, was Jesus being “Kind and Gentle”?

Was He showing love for others?

How about You? Does your life and walk demonstrate these Truths? Do you apply them to your speech, conduct and Kingdom effectiveness?

Let’s all master these things as we follow Jesus.

Let’s all Walk in the Holy Spirit and nothing will be impossible to those of us who believe (Mark 9:23)

Please, pray for me. I know that by writing these things I will be held accountable. Let’s pray for one another as we Follow Jesus.

Your Friend and Brother

Mike Young

KEEPING IT SIMPLE

(Please note, links are used in place of footnotes for references and citations.  Please review each link in order to get the full teaching on these matters.  Also, you can pause the Audio podcast to follow a link and resume the audio when ready.)

John 21:25 tells us that,   “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.”

There are millions and millions of books, articles, commentaries and opinions describing and defining “What is a Christian”, and, how a Christian should think, behave and what they should do.  It can be a bit daunting and confusing, but, it need not be.

The Bible, if read in context of itself and read at face-value (except for the obvious metaphors, idioms and similes) the Truth clearly emerges.

Here is an example of KEEPING IT SIMPLE when asking…

1. What is a Christian?

2. How does a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, think?

3. How does a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, behave?

4. What is a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, to do?

Here are some, out of numerous scripture verses, that may help answer this important, but basic, questions – all without opinions.

1. WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN?

Acts 11:21-26 ” And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord.  The news about them reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas off to Antioch. Then, when he arrived and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with a resolute heart to remain true to the Lord; for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And considerable numbers were brought to the Lord. And he left for Tarsus to look for Saul;  and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they [ac]met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.”

John 13:34  “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Acts 1:8  “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

John 15:5  “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.”

 

 2. HOW DOES A CHRISTIAN, A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST, THINK?

Philippians 2: “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death [h]on a cross.

 Philippians 2:1  “Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any [a]affection and compassion, make my joy complete [b]by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;  do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

 

3. HOW DOES A CHRISTIAN, A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST, BEHAVE?

 John 5:19  “Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever [e]the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.

 John 5:30  “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

John 12:49-50  For I did not speak [s]on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.”

 

4. WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN, A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST, TO DO?

 John14:10  “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you, I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. 12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

 MY CONFESSION

(memorize and repeat as your confession, and be strengthened)

 Think.

 Philippians 2: “I will have the attitude in me which is also in Christ Jesus, Who, although existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:1  “Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, I will make His joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose as Jesus. I will do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind I will regard others as more important than myself; I will not merely look out for my own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

 Behave.

 John 5:19  “Therefore as a follower of Jesus, is say, “As the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing, I will do the same; for whatever the Father does, these things the I will also do, in like manner.

 John 5:30  “I can do nothing on my own initiative. As I hear the Holy Spirit, I judge; and my judgment will be just, because I do not seek my own will, but the will of God through the One He sent, that is Jesus.

 John 12:49  “For I will not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Jesus has given me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Jesus has told me.”

 Do.

 John14:10  “I believe that Jesus is in the Father, and the Father is in Him, and He is in me.  The words that I say to you, I will not speak on my own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works through me. Believe it when Jesus says that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him, and He is in me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Jesus, the works that He does, He will also do through me; and greater works than these I will do; because Jesus has gone to the Father. Whatever you ask in Jesus name, that will He do, so that the Father may be glorified.  If you ask Jesus anything in His name, He will do it.

Let’s pray for one another and hold one another up, until that day – may God find us faultless when He comes.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

More valuable resources at these links:

Knowing and Doing the Will of God.  Do you ever wonder about “The Will of God for your life” or for your life’s circumstances?  It is recognizing and continually doing God’s Will in the course of my life that determines the outcome of His Will for my life

Experiencing God’s Will.  Have you heard this ‘funny definition’ of Insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results.”  I guess it is sort of funny, but because it bears so much practical truth, it’s really not that funny, especially if you are struggling with an issue. Sometimes it seems, the harder we try, the worse it gets. We might have success for a while, but then we slip back into the same old patterns. We try to lose weight, or we try to stop a habit, over and over and over, we keep using the same old methods, and nothing changes, permanently.   The Bible says to “…be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

What We Believe.  Our saving faith in Christ Jesus and our Biblical Christian World View determine how we approach all ares of life. We express our Christian World View through politics, theology, art, sociology, philosophy, ethics, anthropology, the humanities, science, history, law and government. But, in the end, this music video (creed and confession) captures the essence of what we believe.

 

SAVING FAITH and the Demoniac

 

(Please note, links are used in place of footnotes for references and citations.  Please review each link in order to get the full teaching on these matters.  Also, you can pause the Audio podcast to follow a link and resume the audio when ready.)

THE DEMONIAC

Matthew 17:14-20  says, “When Jesus, Peter, James and John his brother came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, falling on his knees before Him and saying,  “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water.  I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him.

” And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.”  And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once.

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?”  And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”

This important event gives us a visual of what Spiritual Warfare can look like.

First, this man describes his son as “lunatic” which translates from the Greek word, “seléniazomai”, to be moonstruck; lunatic, to be epileptic (epilepsy being supposed to return and increase with the increase of the moon).  We find out a few verses later, when Jesus heals him, that his symptoms are because this boy has been possessed by a demon.

The disciples had tried to heal the son, but, were unable to drive the demon out of the boy because of ‘the littleness of their faith’.

It is obvious that Jesus is displeased with his disciples, to say the least.  He chastises them, saying, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you?”

Note that the word “unbelieving”, translates as, incredulous, without Christian faith; not to be trusted, perfidious; heathen), and the word (“perverted” translates as to distort, misinterpret, corrupt).  A harsh indictment, indeed.

It is both interesting and frightening that although Jesus uses the word “generation”, it is apparent that His angst is directed primarily at His disciples.  It is also interesting that Jesus, knowing His time is short on earth and that He will soon face a humiliating and excruciating death, says “how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you?”, as if to say He would rather be gone than to have to deal with this incredible absence of faith and earthbound, twisted and corrupt understanding of God and His ways.

Jesus concludes His remarks with, “for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” The phrase “for truly I say to you” (‘say’, from the Greek word ‘lego’) is emphatic.  Jesus was not calmly teaching His disciples as much as He was reproving them and admonishing them to embrace faith in Him, do the impossible and “move some mountains”.

This is not just a story for us to read, to muse over or get excited about.  It was, and is, a message from Jesus to His disciples, both then and now.

His words were spoken prophetically and emphatically (and, in the aorist tense), which means that this is a command and an action which has no regard for the past, present or future, it is an ongoing action; i.e., it was true yesterday, it is true today, and it will always be true!  This means that these words were not just for the disciples or for the people of that generation, His words were for all people of all time.

These Words are for you and for me:  “Have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this or any mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”

This is how we – you and I – will engage the enemy, Satan and his demons and beasts – with faith the size of a mustard seed.

You and I will silence the ignorance of foolish men, we will pull down strongholds of darkness, we will destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.  We will be ready to punish every disobedience.

We will put armies of the darkness to flight and will destroy the devil’s works of sickness, disease, fear, doubt, calamity, poverty, loneliness.  This is how we cast out demons, vanquish evil from our land and cause the devil and his legions to flee.

He has given us – you and me, as His disciples – authority

  • Over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and
  • To heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness
  • To Heal the sick,
  • To raise the dead,
  • To cleanse the lepers,
  • To cast out demons.

“And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’  Freely you received, freely give. (Matthew 10)

As important as the foregoing message is to us, let’s be mindful that it is not the “MAIN THING”.  The primary message for us is,

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Jesus Christ was crucified, died, and was buried; He descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

Everything else follows the primacy and the Name of Jesus.

Dear brothers and sisters and friends, let’s please enter into His service and be about doing what He has called, commanded and commissioned us to do.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

What we Believe

The Last Reformation – The Gospel

(Our location can be found on the Last Reformation map is in Estero, Florida)

FORGIVENESS and RECONCILIATION

If you ever find yourself in these circumstances, this may be one of the most important messages anyone could hear, Christian or not, if you will only take it to heart and apply these life giving principals.

Pastor Chris Voorhees is the congregational life pastor at Covenant Church, Naples, Florida.  For brevity and to get to an important part of this message, “The Forgiveness of Sins”.  You can set the video to start at the 35:00 minute mark.  Listen to at least the 40:03 mark. (Or, listen to the entire message).

Forgiveness is not the same thing as reconciliation“,  is the article from Steve Cornell, founding and senior pastor of Millersville Bible Church, Millersville Pennsylvania, explains the important differences.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

Lord, I pray you help us all see your Truth and embrace it, so we may live life securely and with an abundance of your Peace.

“Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.  3 John 1:2

THIS IS THE WORK OF GOD

This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”  

John 6:29

It is interesting that Jesus commands His disciples (Christians) to do the works that He has done and even greater works than these.  We are to continue in His mission, using His methods and His ways. (John 14:12, Matthew 10:1).

  • This is how we fight this Spiritual war.
  • This is how we overcome by the word of our testimony and by the Blood of the Lamb.
  • This is how we endure to the end.

Most of those chasing around after Jesus, during His earthly ministry, misunderstood what He was saying about His Works, and not much has changed to this day.

For example, a large crowd that had stayed on the far shore, saw that the disciples had taken the only boat, and they realized Jesus had not gone with them.  Several boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the Lord had blessed the bread and the people had eaten. So, when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him.  They found him on the other side of the lake and asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

“Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.  “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”

“Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”   John 6

It can be a bit confusing, but, take heart.  Jesus told us that He has prepared His Works ahead of time so that we, His disciples, would walk in them.  And, He promised us that He will be with us, in His authority, giving us direction and even giving us the words we should use.  (Matthew 28:16-19, Luke 21:15, Luke 12:12)

He prepared the good Works; we just ‘walk in them’.

Many churches are teaching to do your own good works, in your own ways as if to say, “those were things they did THEN. But, these are the things we do NOW.

But, NO!  Man’s ways are failing.  They are failing to engage the enemy .  Our enemies are evil, fear, doubt, hatred, vengeance, lust, poverty, war, disease, sickness and more.

Here are Jesus’ methods and ways, and here is exactly what He has told us to do:

And, Jesus said, And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.  

Here is our methods and ways, just as Jesus has told us:

  • Believe on the One whom He has sent.
  • Jesus will give us the words to speak.  
  • The Bible is the Sword of God.  
  • Jesus has fulfilled the law on our behalf.  
  • We are made to be His witnesses.  
  • When we lift Jesus, people are drawn to Him. Jesus will heal the sick; raise the dead; cleanse the lepers; cast out demons.

Each of us must develop and have our personal plan and intention of making disciples, following Jesus’ model, in His Name.  I pray you will work on yours today!

Again, let’s please remember, it is God Who does these Works through His disciples. We do not accomplish these Works on our own.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

PS: Do these “Works” of Jesus sound like the 2021 postmodern Church?  It would seem that, many claiming His Name, are so far off His Message, His Methods and His Means, that one has to wonder what He will have to say upon His return?

(Will it be, “‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’;  or, will it be “Well done, good and faithful servant. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’”)

Imagine with me, if you will, that the world could witness these works being performed on a global scale. Don’t you think it would change how the world thinks and behaves?  It’s our job now, to be obedient and available for Him to do His Works through us, remembering, it is not us who does the Works; it is God Who does them.

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson 17

  • Ask, Seek, Knock

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  8  “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (Matthew 7:7–8).

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?  This teaching is, essentially, about prayer.  Jesus is not teaching just how to pray, but, He is commanding His Disciples to pray effectively.

Jesus is teaching about the critical importance or prayer.

He is telling us how we get results!  In contemporary terms (metaphorically), Jesus is saying that prayer, is a search and rescue mission!

At first look, it may seem like praying is making a simple request and presto, like calling a genie from a bottle, we have our answer. Or, glancing about and easily finding that which you are hunting.  Or,  tapping on a door and the gates of prosperity swing wide open to you.

Reading the rest of the verses in context of the Biblical teaching on prayer, we see the seriousness urgency of the matter.

Verse 9.  “Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone?

Verse 10.  “Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he?

Verse 11.  “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

The Greek word for “Ask” in these verses, “aiteó”, literally means to beg, to call for, to crave, to deeply desire, to require.  It is in the “imperative mood” which expresses a command to the hearer to perform a certain action by the order and authority of the one commanding.  Thus, the word Jesus uses, “Ask”, is not at all an “invitation,” but an absolute command requiring full obedience on the part of all hearers.

It is the same for the Greek word for “Seek”, (zéteó), which means, to seek in order to find out by thinking, meditating, reasoning, to inquire into; to aim at, strive after, to require, to crave, to demand something from someone.  This, too, is in the “imperative”.

To “knock”, (krouó), is also in the imperative and carries the idea of “unfailing”.  This is saying that it is not enough to ask and seek, but you must not fail to knock.

God tells us we must pray fervently to have effectual prayers.

In other words, you must use all resources at your disposal, praying fervently, seeking intensely, knocking persistently, with the purpose of obtaining the thing you seek, keeping in mind that God tells us that His Word will achieve the very thing it is purposed to achieve.

Most importantly, Jesus reminds us that He can only do what He sees the Father already doing, and we, AS HIS DISCIPLES, can be no greater than our Teacher.  It is God, Who accomplishes His Will through His servants, as we pray.

“THE EFFECTIVE PRAYERS OF THE RIGHTEOUS CAN ACCOMPLISH MUCH” James 5:16

 Now, it is your turn:

HOW CAN YOU DO THIS?  _____________________________

HOW CAN YOU TEACH  THIS? __________________________

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

ARE THE PROMISES OF GOD FOR YOU?

– FOR CHRIST FOLLOWERS ONLY –

THE PROMISES AND THE ‘ORACLES‘ OF

GOD’S BLESSINGS & PROSPERITY

“Biblical Prosperity” may not be what you thought.  Keep your understanding and practice of the Word of God in context of the entire Bible.

How to start:

  1.  Know and follow Jesus as His disciple.  This is the hard one.  So many people believe they are Christians because they followed some “Plan of Salvation” prayer.
  • But, Matthew 3:16  says “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

 And, verse John 3:21 tells us that “He who practices the truth comes to the Light (Jesus), so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

One way to be sure about this is by checking on your prayer life, your attitude toward others and your humility before God.

Another test is, do you exercise Spiritual disciplines, or do you do what seems right or feels right to you?  If you only do what ‘feels right’ you are on the wrong basis.  (Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”)

Until you are truly a follower and a disciple of Jesus, what is written here will NOT work.

  1.  Know and understand the CONTEXT of what Jesus represents and taught.

(a)  Jesus came into the world to save people from perishing.

(b)  Jesus became ‘sin’ on our behalf and took the punishment of sin for us.

(c)  Everything that Jesus said or taught was from a Spiritual (Heavenly) Perspective. We must have that same mindset before we “claim” any promise of God.

James 4:3 tells us that “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.“

And, Philippians 2:5 tells us to “Have the same attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.”

In other words, the material world emanates from the Spiritual realm and is controlled by the Spiritual realm.  We come from the Spiritual realm and will return to that realm, whether it is with God in Heaven or you perish into outer darkness and into Hell.  Jesus teaches this and until you understand this and adopt it as your basis for learning, you will never receive His Blessings and you will miss the Prosperity Jesus is offering.

  1.  Abide in Him and put His Word in you.  Dwell, Meditate, Speak and Act.

John 15:7  says, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

Matthew 21:21  tells us that “Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen. 22“And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

Sound easy?  Think again and read what Jesus says about His Teachings.

  1.  You must be born of water and The Spirit in order “to see and hear” (i.e., to understand and to do).  As an example:

Matthew 13:1  tells about, “That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea.

Verse 2.  And large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach.

Verse 3.  And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow;

 Verse 4.  and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up.

 Verse 5.  “Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil.

Verse 6.  “But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

 Verse 7.  “Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out.

 Verse 8.  “And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.

Verse 9.  “He who has ears, let him hear.”

Verse 10.  And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

HERE IS THE ORACLE OF GOD, found in Verses 11 and 12.  “Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.

“For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.

 Verse 13.  “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

HERE IS THE ORACLE OF GOD, found in Verses 14 and 15.  “In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, ‘YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE;

FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.’

 Verse 16.  “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.

 Verse 17.  “For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

 Verse 18.  “Hear then the parable of the sower.

Verse 19.  “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.

 Verse 20.  “The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;

 Verse 21.  “yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.

 Verse 22.  “And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

HERE IS THE ORACLE OF GOD, found in Verse 23.  “And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”

  1.   Blessings and Prosperity must begin on the ‘inside’ (the Spiritual Realm) in order to manifest in the natural world.  3 John 3:2 “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.”
  2. Every good material gift (blessing) comes from, emanates from, originates as, a Spiritual Blessing.  Even then, the material gift fades, but the Spiritual Gift remains.  It is never the other way around.  PUT YOUR FOCUS, YOUR MIND, ALWAYS ON THE SPIRITUAL, on the things above.
  3. Matthew 6:19  tells us, Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
  • Verses 20 and 21.  “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
  • Verse 22“The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23“But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
  • Verse 24. “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

 III.  Blessings & Prosperity of the Soul are Eternal, material blessings fade

  1.  Another way to see that the ‘material world’ is fading is found in Romans 8, which tells us that the mind set on the flesh, is DEATH.  But, the mind set on The Spirit of God, is life and peace (Spiritual Blessings and Prosperity).

Romans 8:5 tells us, that, “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but

  • those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
  • Verse 6For the mind set on the flesh is death,
  • but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,7because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so,

 BIBLICAL PROSPERITY

Now that we have established that

  1. You must be born again to experience the blessing and prosperity from God
  2. The Blessings and Prosperity from God are of a Spiritual Nature
  3. The natural blessings which manifest or flow from the Spiritual (life) are temporary and fade (death)
  4. Spiritual Blessings and Gifts are Eternal
  5. You cannot serve both God and wealth
  6. You must stay focused on things Above, that is, on the Spiritual (GOD)

HERE ARE THE BLESSINGS OF SPIRITUAL PROSPERITY

  1.  ETERNAL LIFE: John3:14 says,As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; Verse 15. so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.

John 3:16 tells us that, God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. Verse 17. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. Verse 18. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

  1.  ABUNDANT LIFE: John10:9 says,“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
  2.  PROSPERITY AND GOOD HEALTH: 3 John 3:2 says, Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.”
  3. MANIFEST BLESSINGS:
  4. OBEY GOD:  Deuteronomy28:1 says, “Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the LORD your God, being   careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, The LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.
  5. IRRESISTIBLE BLESSINGS:  verse 2. All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God:
  6. OMNIPRESENT BLESSINGS:  verse 3. “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.
  7. GENERATIONAL BLESSINGS: verse 4.  “Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock.
  8. NATURAL BLESSING:  verse5. “Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
  9. CONTINUAL BLESSINGS:  verse6. “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
  10. PROTECTIVE BLESSINGS:  verse 7“The LORD shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways.
  11. OMNISCIENT BLESSINGS:  verse 8 “The LORD will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God gives you.
  12. HOLY BLESSINGS:  verse 9“The LORD will establish you as a holy peopleto Himself, as He swore to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways. verse 10. “So all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will be afraid of you.
  13. ABUNDANT BLESSINGS:  verse 11“The LORD will make you abound in prosperity, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your beast and in the produce of your ground, in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you.
  14. ESTABLISHED BLESSINGS:  verse 12“The LORD will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.
  15. BLESSINGS OF AUTHORITY: verse 13.  “The LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you only will be above, and you will not be underneath, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I charge you today, to observe them carefully,

“Do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.”  Deuteronomy28:14

(NOTE:  “The RIGHT and The LEFT” in these verses, from the Hebrew language translates as:

When you have a need or are praying for a blessing, do not turn to the “RIGHT” hand of personal effort or in your own strength

 Nor to the “LEFT” hand of wrapping yourself up in the cares of this world so as to make your request in your own image (imagination)

As Joshua 1:7  says “Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.

Repeating them or simply ‘claiming’ them will do little.  Do not decide in your own mind what the answer will look like ahead of time.

You must believe God at His Word.  Meditate on the Word, pray His Words fervently to Him, believe it will happen and give thanks!   Wait upon the Lord, He is faithful complete the thing He has begun.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

A DOUBLE PORTION

Gratitude.jpg

INSTEAD OF SHAME, YOU WILL HAVE A DOUBLE PORTION

Have you ever received a gift you didn’t expect, which exceeded what you could imagine?

How did you, or how would you react?

There are some people who would reject such a gift. They might say, “Oh, you shouldn’t have, and I can’t accept that.”

I have tried something as simple as to buy dinner for friends, and some of them say that exact thing, “Oh, I can’t let you do that!”

Maybe they are embarrassed or don’t want to feel obligated?

Listen to this and tell me what you think about this Gift:

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
Because the LORD has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;

I have read commentary after commentary on Isaiah 61. Each tells everything you would want to know. EXCEPT ONE THING.

I read that Isaiah is saying that God is at work in the historical events of the day to bring restoration and vindication of the people of God. As God’s people are renewed and restored, they would again assume their role as witness to God in the world (55:3-5).

Chuck Swindoll says, “the book of Isaiah provides us with the most comprehensive prophetic picture of Jesus Christ in the entire Old Testament. It includes the full scope of His life: the announcement of His coming (Isaiah 40:3–5), His virgin birth (7:14), His proclamation of the good news (61:1), His sacrificial death (52:13–53:12), and His return to claim His own (60:2–3)”

THIS ONE THING

These commentaries tell everything, EXCEPT THIS ONE THING: What does it mean to me, and should I apply it to my life, today?

Should I try to apply Isaiah 61 to my life?

Here are some of the scriptures that we are to apply to our lives – daily…

THIS WE ARE TO DO.

Jesus said, in Matthew 4, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

We are to do this as Jesus does.

THIS, WE ARE TO DO.

Jesus said, in Matthew 16:24 “Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”

We are to do this as Jesus does.

THIS WE ARE TO DO.

Jesus said, in Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Verse 20.  teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

We are to do this as Jesus does.

THIS WE ARE TO DO.

Philippians 2:5 says, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus”.

We are to do this as Jesus does.

BUT, ARE WE ARE TO DO THIS, TOO?

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
Because the LORD has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;

If this is a PROPHETIC WORD from God…THIS WE ARE TO DO.

Verse 2. To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,

Verse 3 . To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.

Verse 4. Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins,
They will raise up the former devastations;
And they will repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.

GOD WILL DO THIS and GOD HAS DONE THIS

(Dear friends, repeat and think about the words in the ‘blue lettering’ as your confession, and read what God has done)

Isaiah 61:5 says, Strangers will stand and pasture your flocks,

(and strangers will stand and pasture my flocks)

And foreigners will be your farmers and your vinedressers.

(And foreigners will be my farmers and your vinedressers)

Verse 6But you will be called the priests of the LORD;

(But I will be called a priest of the LORD;)

You will be spoken of as ministers of our God.

(I will be spoken of as a minister of our God.)

You will eat the wealth of nations,

(I will eat the wealth of nations)

And in their riches you will boast.

(And in their riches I boast.)

Verse 7Instead of your shame, you will have a double portion,

(Instead of your shame, I have a double portion,)

And instead of humiliation, they will shout for joy over their portion.

(And instead of humiliation, I shout for joy over my portion.)

Therefore, they will possess a double portion in their land,

(Therefore I possess a double portion in my land,)

Everlasting joy will be theirs.

(Everlasting joy is mine.)

Let’s all say

BLESS THE LORD, O MY SOUL. BLESS HIS HOLY NAME. YOU HAVE CROWNED MY HEAD WITH LOVING KINDNESS AND COMPASSION.

May it be as The Word of God says.

Now, let’s go and BE BLESSED – just as you have BLESSED THE LORD.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

SHOULD YOU RUN & HIDE?

Should we, as Christians, ever ‘run and hide’?  If so, WHEN?

Jesus warns of such a time.  Jesus tells us, in Matthew 24:15, “Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), verse 16. Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. Verse 17. “Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. Verse 18. “Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. Verse 19. “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! Verse 20. “But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath.

First, you should know that Jesus is speaking to His Jewish disciples who lived in and around Judea. They knew about the past destruction of the Temple and the significance of the events surrounding the Abomination of Desolation in 149 BC and the necessity to “run and hide”.

Also, Jesus is speaking of a ‘coming desolation’ which must be understood in the context of the verses which come before and after this statement.

Jesus begins by describing a past event in Matthew 24, verse 15, through verse 20, with an eye to the future.  He is recounting the urgency for escape from the destruction of the first Jewish Temple and the slaughter of thousands of Jews, in 425 BC, comparing it to a similar event which will occur at some future date.

It would be easy to speculate, as many have, that the ‘future date’ was during the destruction of the 2nd Temple in AD 70. The problem with that, is found within the warning Jesus gives in verses 21 through 31.

Jesus speaks of a a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will”.

He goes on to say, that, Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. A tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. “And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

Obviously, nothing on that scale has ever occurred. Jesus is speaking of an event which is yet to come and will occur after the destruction of the second Jewish Temple in AD 70.

Although we do not know the exact date or time, we can know the “season” and we are told to be prepared for what is coming, and we are told what to do when certain events occur. (Matthew chapter 24)

It is urgent that we are ready for what is coming, because Jesus tells us that the SON OF MAN (is) COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. “And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

Unfortunately, most Christians are not to be bothered with “getting ready”.  One has to wonder, do they not believe such fantastic things could happen or is it that they just cannot be inconvenienced?

Others, perhaps, just don’t understand what it means ‘to get ready’.  They have been taught, or conditioned to think, that ‘getting ready’ is walking an aisle in a church and repeating a ‘sinner’s prayer’ is all that is necessary to ‘be ready’.

Some think getting ready means to “Go Off Grid” or becoming a “Survivalist” or a ‘Prepper’.

Please watch this short video excerpt, “Going Beyond Off the Grid for one possible explanation why many Christians are not “Ready” for what is coming:

I would suggest “The Grid” is just another name for the “This World System”.  So, “Going Beyond Off the Grid” does not just mean moving to remote locations and disappearing from view or becoming a “Survivalist” or a ‘Prepper’.  Instead, as Jesus has said, although we, as Christians, are in this world, we are not of this World System.

DO YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE?  DO YOU CARE?

Jesus warns against indifference and ignorance on these matters.     He tells us, in Matthew 24:36, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. Verse 37. “For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. Verse 38. “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, Verse 39. and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Verse 40. “Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Verse 41. “Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.

Verse 42. “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. Verse 43. “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. Verse 44. “For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.”

Verse 45. “Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Verse 46. “Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. Verse 47. “Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. Verses 48 and 49. “But if that evil slave says in his heart, ‘My master is not coming for a long time,’ and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards; Verses 50 and 51. the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

(Read Matthew chapter 24 and Matthew chapter 25).

Until the time comes, as spoken about in Matthew 24:15-20, we are to busy ourselves as disciple makers.  But, even that does not excuse us from having contingency plans, “to be ready”, beyond these days.

BEING READY – WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

 Stay Alert –

Matthew 24:32 says, “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; Verse 33. So, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.” 

   Matthew 24:42 says, “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. Verse 43. “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.”

 Remain Vigilant –

 Verse 45. “Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Verse 46. “Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. Verse 47. “Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. Verses 48 and 49. “But if that evil slave says in his heart, ‘My master is not coming for a long time,’. and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards; Verse 50 and 51. the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Stay Ready –

Matthew 25:1 says “Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Verse 2. “Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. Verse 3. “For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, Verse 4. But the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps.

Remain Faithful –

Matthew 25:14 says, For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. Verse 15. “To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. Verse 26. “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. Verse 27. ‘Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. Verse 28. ‘Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’

This is a difficult question and an elusive answer.  But, what do you think?  Is living a life of ease and luxury, wrong?  Or, does it simply and gradually replace following Jesus?

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

(Please leave a comment about what you think)

The Rapture Revealed 2020 

PS:  Click here for Additional Reading and footnotes

JUST LIVE WITH IT

Galatians 5:16I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (17)For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”

(25 )If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

WHAT DOES IT SAY?

Walk in the Spirit” translated literally says, “I walk, in an ethical sense: I conduct my life, live according to the Spirit of God; to make the best use of my opportunities” so that I am not consumed or pursuing lustful or selfish, self-centered matters.”

It is vitally important to take notice and understand what it means that the Spirit and the flesh are ‘contrary’ to one another.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

To “walk” in the Bible is often a metaphor for practical daily living. The Christian life is a journey, and we are to “walk” it, that is, we are to make consistent forward progress. The biblical norm for all believers is that they walk in the Spirit: “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit”.

The statement that “the Spirit and the flesh are ‘contrary’ to one another”, besides meaning they counteract or repel one another, it literally says the Spirit pushes down on or through the flesh, “so that you cannot do the things you want to do”.

This carries the idea of being double-minded, and, James (1:7)warns that a person “ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, (8)while being double-minded, as they are unstable in all their ways.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?

Again, it is vitally important to take notice that the Spirit and the flesh are ‘contrary’ to one another. In other words, they counter act or repel one another “so that you cannot do the things you want to do”. Unless you correct this state of affairs, you are inert and basically, ‘good for nothing but to be trod under foot of man’, as Jesus puts it.

Secondly, and here is where it gets tricky, we are basically back to the principal of “Binding and Loosing”, and this is KEY!  (words in parentheses are my notes; words in brackets are footnotes at the bottom of this page)

Matthew 18:18Truly I say to you, whatever you [r] bind on earth (*the flesh)[s] shall have been bound in heaven (*the Spirit); and whatever you [t] loose on earth (*the flesh) [u] shall have been loosed in (*the Spirit) heaven.

(19) “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth (*the flesh) about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them [v] by My Father who is in heaven (*the Spirit). 20 For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” 

BINDING AND LOOSING – A SERIOUS MATTER. The Bible says that whatever we bind on earth is bound in heaven; in other words, once a matter is bound in heaven, then it will be manifest on earth. It is a covenant with God and is a serious matter. God is saying that if you are going to enter into a covenant agreement with Him as His disciple, the standards of such a covenant are “high as the heavens are from the earth”, and the discipline necessary is impossibly strict, in the flesh, and can only be done by way of the Spirit of God, and the commitment is for life.

When you make a “causal statement” such as, found in James 4:13, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” (14) Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. For you are just a vapor that appears for a little while, and then vanishes away. (15 ) Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that”, you are, in essence, making a VOW.

(Notice I said C-A-U-S-A-L, not casual. A statement of intent to do or create something)

When you make a statement with your mouth, it is as if you are making a vow before the Lord. (A spoken word, made “by the living voice” is translated as “Rhḗma”, from Strong’s concordance #4483, /rhéō, “to speak”) – a spoken word, made “by the living voice”.  See John 15:7).

This is an important point.  It is important enough that Matthew 12:36 warns usthat for every idle (careless, useless, lazy, barren) word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. (37) For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” So, Matthew 5:37 instructs us But make sure your statement is, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil origin.”

Now, back to making a CAUSAL statement of a VOWAn idle word, by definition from the Bible, is a word that is careless, lazy, and useless. It comes to nothing except ridicule and humiliation and as the Bible states, by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.

BINDING a word, to make it “useful, active and productive”, YOU MUST WALK IT OUT (i.e., “do it”) in the flesh (on earth) by way of the Spirit of God.

WHAT WILL YOU DO?

Finally, I will attempt to draw a word-picture as an illustration of this profound Truth.

SCENARIO 1.

Assume you are standing on earth, praying or speaking (vowing) a Rhḗma word. God hears your words or ‘vows’ or prayer from heaven and answers you, opening the way for its accomplishment.

But supposing you fail to act on God’s answer to that word, it remains idle, useless and barren, the result of a careless, lazy word; and by this you will be justified, or you will be condemned!

Can you see the importance of every word that proceed out of your mouth?

SCENARIO 2.

Assume you are standing on earth, praying or speaking (vowing) a Rhḗma word. God hears your words or ‘vows’ or prayer from heaven and answers you, opening the way for its accomplishment.

Assuming you act on God’s answer and you and you “WALK IT OUT” (i.e., ‘you do it’) and it is accomplished. The result of a carefully spoken word; and by this you will be justified!

Ephesians 2:10  ‘For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

Now, when you read or hear that “All things are possible for him who believes” perhaps you will believe! Matthew 21:22And whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive it all.”

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

PS: For anyone who immediately begins to pick these verses apart with a “Yeah, But” excuse, I am truly sorry for you.

This is the plain Truth. JUST LIVE WITH IT!

[r] 18 I.e., forbid
[s] 18 Gr fut. pft. pass. tense
[t] 18 I.e., permit
[u] 18 Gr fut. pft. pass. tense
[v] 19 Lit from

https://www.gotquestions.org/Spirit-walk.html

REALITY CHECK

Is the TRIBULATION of the current social and political unrest, chaos and uncertainty getting to you? Having trouble getting things done? It could be a problem with your ability to focus, or it could be an early warning sign of a deeper problem.

IMPORTANT NOTE: DO NOT BE DECEIVED. All things which you can see and touch on this earth, originate and are emanating from the “Unseen world” of the Heavens. This includes this Time of TRIBULATION we are currently experiencing.

2 Corinthians 4:18 “while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the certainty of things hoped for, a proof of things not seen. 2For by it the people of old gained approval.

3 By faith we understand that the world has been created by the Word of God so that what is seen has not been made out of things that are visible.

1 Timothy 1:17Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. “

Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, being understood by what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”

Colossians 1:15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation: 16 for by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or rulers, or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.”

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being.”

A GREAT DELUSION

There is both A Great Delusion and A Great Deception at work.

2 Thessalonians 2:9 That is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not accept the love of the truth so as to be saved.”

11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.”

Do not trust your natural mind or your natural abilities to struggle against the things of this age, that is, things of this increasing time of the TRIBULATION.

THE BATTLE WITHIN AND WITHOUT

Galatians 5:17 tells us that the desires of our “Flesh” (i.e., or mind, will and emotions – our psyche, or our ‘soulfulness’) work against the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of God, Who dwells within us works against our natural mind, our will and emotions; the Bible tells us that our “Flesh” and the Spirit of God, which would dwell in you as a Christian, are in opposition to one another, and this unseen conflict keeps you from doing whatever you want. Galatians 5:17

So, ask yourself, “Do I constantly struggle with or am I prone to participate in”

      • sexual immorality, carousing, impurity, indecent behavior, whether it is physically or a constant mental obsession
      • idolatry, obsession with luck, witchcraft, horoscopes, charms
      • hostility, strife, outbursts of anger, dissensions, factions
      • jealousy, selfish ambition, envy,
      • drunkenness, excessive drinking or drug use

and things like these? The Bible forewarns us of this. I am taking notice for myself, and I am telling you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (inherit: Will not take part in, will not inhabit, will not have any right to)

The Bible goes on to teach that if you are “led by the Spirit of God”, you are not under “the Law”, that is external controls and condemnation for past actions.

You see, the manifestation or “the fruit” of the Spirit of God, when He is actually dwelling in a person, is manifest through an attitude and a behavior which demonstrates

      • love,
      • joy,
      • peace,
      • patience,
      • kindness,
      • goodness,
      • faithfulness,
      • gentleness,
      • self-control;

Again, the Bible teaches that these manifest actions are the results of the Spirit of God dwelling in and controlling your “Flesh” (your mind, your will, your emotions, i.e., your psyche) and effectively abrogate any and all effects of “the Law”, that is the external controls and condemnation for past actions.

You see, and odd as it may sound, those who actually belong to Christ Jesus “are crucifying and continue to crucify the passions and desires of their Flesh”.  (This takes the hard work of prayer and seeking and appropriating the freedom Christ has given us.)

This crucifixion’ results in what the Bible calls FREEDOM.  Free to think and act and to submit ourselves to the decisive and effective power of God which would emanate from Him through our lives.

So – How do these things I have discussed, connect?  What do they have to do with one another?

 1.  What we see (the visible things) come from what we cannot see (the invisible things).

 2.  The Great Deceit and the Great Delusion

 3.  Evidence which reveal whether you are “Controlled in the Spirit of God” or you are “Controlled by the Flesh”.

The visible political and social war of Conservative ideals which are based on the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible VERSUS the reemergence of Marxism/Communism and a One World Government, is the product of a Spiritual War that has been raging since the beginning of time.

This war is being waged by the great dragon, Satan, by means of deceit and lies and God has sent a great delusion upon those who do not believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Whether you are part of the problem and are being deceived or whether you are part of the solution of God’s Plan can be determined by your attitude and behavior – no matter what you say, what you do speak the truth.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

(PS:  This was hard to write, because I am convicted of these things.  Please, pray for me and I will pray for you)

2 Corinthians 10:3 “The weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses

4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

5 We are destroying arguments and all arrogance raised against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

6 and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.

7 Do you look on things on the outward appearance? If anyone is confident in himself that he is Christ’s, have him consider this again within himself, that just as he is Christ’s, so too are we.”