Monday, December 13, 2010

THIS IS OUR KING!



That's MY KING! Dr. Lockridge says this far better than I ever could! Have a listen, read and be inspired!
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DO YOU KNOW HIM? THAT'S MY KING!



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"My King was born King.

The Bible says He is the seven-way King.

He is the King of the Jews. That’s a racial King!

He is King of Israel. That’s a national King!

*

He’s a King of righteousness.

He’s a King of the ages.

He’s the King of heaven.

He is the King of glory!

He’s the King of kings and Lord of lords.

*



Now that’s my King!


*
Well, I wonder if you know Him. Do you know Him?

Don’t try to mislead me. Do you know my King?

*

David said, “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork.”


No far-seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shoreless supply. No barriers can hinder Him from pouring out His blessing!

*
He’s enduringly strong, He’s entirely sincere,

He’s eternally steadfast. He’s immortally graceful.

He’s imperially powerful. He’s impartially merciful.

*

THAT'S MY KING!

*

He’s God’s Son. He’s a sinner’s Savior.

He’s the centerpiece of civilization.

He stands alone in Himself.

He’s august! He’s unique!

He’s unparalleled! He’s unprecedented!

He’s supreme! He’s preeminent!

*


He’s the loftiest idea in literature!

He’s the highest idea in philosophy!

He’s the fundamental truth in theology!

He’s the cardinal necessity of spiritual religion!

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THAT'S MY KING!!

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He’s the miracle of the ages!

He’s the only one able to supply all of our needs simultaneously!

He supplies strength for the weak!

He’s available for the tempted and the tried!

He sympathizes and He saves!



He guards and He guides!

*

He heals the sick, He cleans the lepers!

He forgives sinners, He discharges debtors,

He delivers captives, He defends the feeble,

He blesses the young, He serves the unfortunate,

He regards the aged, He rewards the diligent,

He beautifies the meek!!

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DO YOU KNOW HIM?



*

Well, my King is the King of knowledge,

He’s the Well-spring of wisdom,

He’s the Doorway of Deliverance,

He’s the Pathway of Peace,

He’s the Roadway of Righteousness,

He’s the Highway of Holiness,

He’s the Gateway of Glory,

He’s the Master of the Mighty,

He’s the Captain of the Conquerors,

He’s the Head of the Heroes,

He’s the Leader of the Legislators,

He’s the Overseer of the Overcomers,

He’s the Governor of governors,

He’s the Prince of princes,

He’s the KING of Kings and the LORD of Lords.

*

*

THAT'S MY KING! YEAH, THAT'S MY KING!!!

*

*

His life is matchless, His goodness is limitless!

His mercy is everlasting His love never changes!

HIS WORD IS ENOUGH!!!

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His grace is sufficient, His reign is righteous!

His yoke is easy and His burden is light!

*


Well. I wish I could describe Him to you!!

*


But He’s indescribable. He’s indescribable!

Yes, He’s incomprehensible!

He’s invincible, He’s irresistible!


I’m trying to tell you, the Heavens cannot contain Him,

let alone a man explain Him!

*

You can’t get Him out of your mind!

You can’t get Him off of your hands!

You can’t outlive Him, and

you can’t live without Him!!


*

Well, The Pharisees couldn’t stand Him,

but they found out THEY COULDN'T STOP HIM!!


Pilate couldn’t find ANY FAULT IN HIM!!


The witnesses [at his trial] couldn’t get their testimonies to agree.

Herod COULDN'T KILL HIM!!


DEATH COULDN'T HANDLE HIM and

THE GRAVE COULDN'T HOLD HIM!!

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THAT'S MY KING!!!! YEAH!!


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He always has been, and He always will be!

I’m talking about He [who] had NO predecessor,

and He [who] has NO successor!!

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There was nobody before Him and there will be nobody after Him.


You can’t impeach Him, and HE's NOT GOING TO RESIGN!!!

*

*

Praise the Lord! THAT'S MY KING!!!!!


THINE is the KINGDOM and the POWER and the GLORY!!!!


Well. All the power belongs to my King!

We around here talk about black power and white power and green power, but it’s GOD'S POWER!!!



Thine is the power. Yeah! And the glory!

*

We try to get prestige and honor and glory to ourselves,

but the glory is all His. Thine is the kingdom

and the power,

and the glory,

forever, and ever, and ever, and ever.

How long is that?


And ever, and ever, and ever, and ever,

and when you get through with all of the forevers, then AMEN!!!”


Dr. S. M. Lockridge, Dallas, Texas, quoted by Max Anders in Jesus, Knowing Our Savior, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publ., 1995), pp. 33-35

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The NEW BORN MESSIAH-KING




A Babe born, wholly Divine;
God and man, intertwined,
Holy Vessel of Love and Grace,
Tenderly held, mother's embrace.
*

Warrior angels guarding true,
Watching close as God's Son grew.
The LORD of hosts in flesh and blood;
Captain of the Armies of God.
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The War Call proclaimed before,
to trodden the serpent's head.
Commenced by the Lamb, Who for,
the glory set, endured the dread,
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ of Calvary's cross,
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ for the sake of the lost.
*

Victory won with nail pierced hands,
and a bloody thorn-crown on Holy brow;
Victory proclaimed at the Son's command,
Granting Life Eternal, both then and now!
*

Author of pure Life, slain by sin:
by gift of grace, thus we enter in,
To the Holy of Holies, high above,
And seal'd with Promise by the Spirit dove.
*
That manger born babe, to rule rightly,
From David's throne upon the Earth.
Soon He returns to reign mightily,
To slay the darkness in deadly dearth:
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ and rule righteously!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ and reign gloriously!
*

Maranatha LORD Jesus Christ!
Hallelujah and Amen!



Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Isaiah 9:6
For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Micah 5:2
But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be Ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Luke 2:11
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Psalm 22:1,6-8, 14, 18, 31
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken Me? why art thou so far from helping Me, and from the words of My roaring.

But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
All they that see Me laugh Me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
He trusted on the LORD that He would deliver him: let Him deliver Him, seeing he delighted in Him.
I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint: My heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of My bowels.
They part My garments among them, and cast lots upon My vesture.

They shall come, and shall declare His righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that He hath done this.


Isaiah 53:3-6, 9-11
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.
Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

And He made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth.

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My Righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities.


Psalm 2:4-9
He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure.
Yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of Zion.
I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto Me, Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee.
Ask of Me, and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession.
Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.


Isa 63:1-4, 6
Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in His apparel, travelling in the greatness of His strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.
Wherefore art Thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?
I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with Me: for I will tread them in Mine anger, and trample them in My fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon My garments, and I will stain all My raiment.
For the day of vengeance is in Mine heart, and the year of My redeemed is come.
And I will tread down the people in Mine anger, and make them drunk in My fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.

Rev 11:15
And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.


Rev 17:14
These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

Rev 19:16
And He hath on his vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

Rev 22:6-7, 13, 20
And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to shew unto His servants the things which must shortly be done.
Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.
He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Another SMOKE SIGNAL: Playing HOLY SPIRIT?...

Playing Holy Spirit or Allowing Him to Work through You?

In our lives as believers we understand that we are one body, and members one of another (Rom 12:5); that there is an interaction and a vitality that operates in and through us, for the mutual edification of us all.

We often have need to encourage, to exhort, even to reprove and rebuke one another, but meekly and with the sole motivation of love (1 Cor 12:25; 2 Tim 4:2; Eph 4:16 and Gal 6:1).

At times, either because the person who endeavors to correct is doing so without the proper motivation or in the wrong manner, is not received; but its also possible that the person being reproved is uncomfortable in giving up their sin or facing their compromise. In their own defense they say, "Stop playing the Holy Ghost!"

However the Holy Spirit operating by the prophets of the Old Testament, or working through the church of Jesus Christ has always sought to lead, instruct, encourage, correct the saints of God, as well as bring back those who have gone wayward.


Not only so, but the Holy Spirit is active in the world as well, pointing them to Jesus, to His grace and love, to His rightful claim as both LORD and CHRIST; He convicts and convinces of sin. He does so through the reading of the Word of God, the Law of the LORD, and He does so also through the body of Christ and its individual members:

JOHN 16:7-11
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Of sin, because they believe not on me;
Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.


The Word also speaks of the Light, which is God Himself and the Revelation of His Word, that dispels darkness and reproves those that love darkness -

JOHN 3:19-20
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

People who are prone to accuse others of 'playing Holy Ghost' or being the 'Gospel Gestapo' are also inclined to use the scriptural admonition to "judge not lest ye be judged".

However if you look at MATTHEW 7 in its entirety, and the first few verses particularly in regards to this point, the admonition is "not to judge" as a warning about how we judge, for it goes on to say:

MATT 7:2
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

If we judge harshly or with undue criticism, then we will be judged accordingly by God. We are not to be hypocritical in our judgment either for in vs. 3-5 it speaks of "beams" and "motes".

And if we are not to judge (Greek word used here is krino, meaning, "to distinguish, to decide judiciously, call into question, decree, to sentence"), then how would we know who "swine" or "dogs" are as opposed to "sheep and lambs" (MATT. 7:6), or "false prophets" from true (MATT. 7:15), or "good fruit" from "bad fruit" (MATT. 7:16-20)?

Having said that, its vitally important to point out that we must not judge people's hearts or their motives, for no one truly knows of these things except for the LORD Himself:

JER 17:10
I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

ROM 14:4
Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

We can never judge the hearts of people or their motivations, however we are to discern people's actions and whether such actions are approved of God by examining the Word, as well as the words they speak, and or teachings they may give.

As for how the Holy Spirit uses the prophets of God, and the Apostles and the body of Christ in general in bringing conviction to a sinful world (and a wayward Israel), such examples are replete throughout the Word.

Examine Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, and the book of Jonah, and you will find that these men of God brought messages which spoke against their sin that so angered people that they (in most cases) slew these messengers of the LORD.

ISAIAH 1:4-6
Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.

Likewise review JEREMIAH 38 who stood against the sinful government of his time, and was threatened with death because of what was seen as 'unpatriotic' yet truthful in its judgment against the transgressions of Israel. As well as this, consider the first three chapters in the book of AMOS!

In the New Testament canon we have the likes of John the Baptist, Peter and Paul who delivered scathing rebukes towards those who were yet in their sins, unrepentant and in need of salvation:

MATT 3:7
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

ACTS 2:22-23
Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:


Bear in mind that Peter himself, along with the other apostles on that day of Pentecost were filled with the Holy Spirit, and thus with such holy unction, proclaimed the truth of the Gospel, and rightly judged the people of their sin in rejecting their Messiah and allowing Him to be crucified.

This preaching brought about the desired effect; the people were convicted of their sin:

ACTS 2:37
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

Such conviction was as a result of Peter's preaching, yet it wasn't Peter doing the convicting, but the Holy Spirit through him that did this work.

Likewise Paul, in dealing with the Gentiles at Mars Hill, confronted them on their ignorance and declared that God requires all men to repent of their sins:

ACTS 17:22, 30-31
Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

And as the church, we likewise shine the light of the LORD and expose the perversion and darkness that is ever-present and growing ever more in this rebellious world:

PHIL 2:15
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

EPH 5:11
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.


Does this mean that we are to go around, putting people under a magnifying glass and become hyper-critical of everything they say and do? Do we attempt to convict and convince people to turn from their own way of thinking and adopt our own?

No, by no means; we are to follow Jesus' example who demonstrated the Grace of God, but not at the expense of hiding the Truth of God and exposing the sin in people's lives so that they would understand their need for salvation.

If we are to judge (discern) others then we must do so righteously, just as our LORD admonished us to . . .

JOHN 7:24

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

Here is an example of righteous judgment:

MATT 23:1-9 (read the entire chapter)

That is to discern after the power of the Holy Spirit of God Who alone is righteous and is Himself the Truth, and discerning by use of the Word of God (see also: 1 COR 12:10; 14:24-25; HEB 4:12; 5:13-14).
Again whether its in the restoration of a brother, the correction of a fellow saint, the proclamation of the Gospel (which requires conviction of sin on the part of the unregenerate), or in any discernment of good versus bad . . .

1 COR 16:14 
Let all your things be done with charity.

May the LORD God grant us the boldness to speak the truth in love; may He empower us to be confrontational in Christ Jesus with meekness and a heart intent on seeking reconciliation and restoration upon those in need who are rebels against God or gone wayward from the Way of Righteousness.
May we guard our own hearts, and be ready and able to receive correction from others as well. May we allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in the body of Christ, and through the body towards the "crooked and perverse" nation we find ourselves in today. Amen.

agape, grace & peace,

brother James J. Fire

Saturday, November 27, 2010

DIVINE vs. DIABOLICAL DIVISIONS

Ever thought about the mathematics of God?
We know that He is good at addition:

ACTS 2:47. . . And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

We also know that He is good at subtraction as well as addition:

JOB 1:21
And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
As well as this, He does well with multiplying:

GEN 17:2
And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.

And of course, He is just as proficient at division:

EXOD 8:23
And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be.

This is not to say that the enemy of the church, Satan, is not good at math either, he knows how to subtract:

LUKE 8:5
A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured (took away) it.

He likewise knows how to add:

MATT 13:38-39
The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

As well as this, by adding just one word to the holy command of God to Adam and Eve, he caused an enormous world of trouble and woe! -

GEN 3:4
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

(Compare this with the actual command of God: GEN 2:17)

And he is prone to use people as agencies to promote his work of division:

TITUS 3:10
A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; The word for heretick in Greek is hairetikos and it can mean to "cause division".

Likewise to be contentious, prone to strife, participating in divisions,

ROM 2:8; 13:13; 1 COR 3:3; PHIL 2:3a; and these verses as well:

1 TIM 6:3-6
If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, [even] the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;

He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

. . . these scriptures clearly reveal that we are not to participate in words, actions, and beliefs, nor are we to promote dogma and doctrines that promote diabolical divisions, or as it says above:

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness,

So there are deeds and doctrines that are "otherwise" to the "wholesome words . . . of our LORD Jesus Christ and to . . . [godly] doctrine" and come from those who are destitute of the Truth.

Can we saints be DIVISIVE for TRUTH? The very notion seems to bother some people, because after all, who wants to be divisive, or who should aspire to be divisive, especially when one considers such verses as mentioned above?! Are all divisions diabolical? Are there some that are actually Divine in origin?

Or are we not to live peaceably with all men? To live a quiet and peaceable life, and to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit (ROM 12:18; 1 TIM 2:2; EPH 4:3)?

Absolutely! Does this mean we are not to be divisive under any circumstances? Let's examine this issue a bit closer.

Look at the words that the LORD Jesus, the Prince of Peace Himself spoke:

MATT 10:34-36 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

What does a sword do, but cut, slice, essentially, it divides. In this instance Jesus states His 'sword' will bring division among those that will follow Him, and those who won't; it will make a distinction between those who pledge a higher allegiance to Him, and those who will refrain from such (consider the continued passage of MATT 10:37-39).

As there were many that were offended at the words that He spoke, and since He is also referred to as the Word of God (JOHN 1:1,14; HEB 4:12; 1 JOHN 5:7) Himself, this 'sword' can justifiably be referred to as the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (EPH 6:17)

Also, in Luke the LORD Jesus, the Prince of Peace says the following:

LUKE 12:51-53
Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.
The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

That's an awful lot of division going on, and its all centered around the Person of Jesus Christ. There are those who will profess faith in Him, and become baptized into Christ, thus a member of the body of Christ, and then there are those who will not profess faith in Him, and not be baptized into, nor become a member of the body of Christ.

Don't assume that those who are not members of the body of Christ are irreligious either! There are many who are not genuine Christians, who disdain the truth of being born again, the truth of the cross, the truth of the blood atonement, even disdain the very truth of God's written Word!

And some of these even make the claim of being Christian! Although they much prefer the term 'Christ follower'. Such are the numbers that populate apostate churches and movements in today's world.

JOHN 7:41-43
Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? So there was a division among the people because of him.

More division created because of controversy surrounding Jesus Christ.

What reason is there to be divisive? Why should Christians aspire to separate themselves from others? The LORD does admonish us to keep ourselves separate from the defilements of the world, of course (2 COR 6:17).

Yet how do we balance this out with keeping unity in the Spirit? Quite simply that we are to keep (not create) unity among believers, members of the body of Christ based upon the revealed truth of scripture; this is our foundation and its as we examine, learn and study the scriptures we learn the doctrines of the Word. Any that would oppose the truth, being destitute of the truth, are those we are to identify and to "withdraw from" (1 TIM. 6:6). Yet these are not always easy to identify; some of these ministers are as subtle and devious as their master (2 COR 11:14-15)!

The word "withdraw" is aphistemi in the Greek, meaning, "to instigate a revolt, to desist, sesert, depart from, refrain." Or you could even say, 'separate or divide from'. Consider the following verse:


1 JOHN 4:6
We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

We are to divide from those who are false brethren, that is, those who espouse a different Gospel, or deny the essentials of our 'one faith' as it states in scripture (EPH. 4:5), which refers to the body of truth as written in the scriptures themselves.

Hence, DIVISIVE FOR TRUTH.

The truth of the matter is, our unity in the body is based upon this 'one faith' and 'one baptism (in Christ) and if there are any that bring in "another Gospel" or a 'new truth' or deny the sacred scripture, it is they that are bringing the diabolical brand of division, that would separate believers and disciples from the Word of Truth, and draw them into doctrines of devils and seducing spirits (something that is most prevalent, and growing alarmingly these days!).

From an earlier study in Ephesians I wrote:

EPH 4:3-6 
Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

"There are those that are committed to the Truth of God's Word, yet they are sometimes harsh, and unloving; others are all about love, and non-confrontational, avoiding the challenge of those who even bring in false teachings and heresies at the expense of the Truth.

"There must be a balance between these; and true, godly love will declare the truth, not to harm but to help; those who are intent on the truth, the truth as in JESUS CHRIST, will do so in the Spirit of Him Who is Himself love. Note: In verse five it states that there is " . . . one faith . . . " which speaks of the exclusive nature of God's truth and revelation recorded in scripture.

"Thus for unity, we realize that both love AND truth are required in the life of the believer and in the life of the church (see ZECH. 8:19; 1 PET. 1:22; 1 JOHN 3:18; 2 JOHN 1:1, 3). True unity in the body is established because we are all born of God: One Spirit; and unity is strengthened as the individual members grow in Christ-likeness. This is in answer to the prayer of Jesus our LORD (JOHN 17:11, 22)"


Finally, two other verses to consider:

2 TIM 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

JUDE 1:3
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

There are those who adhere to New Age beliefs, and others endorse Emergent church dogma, and yet for all this, they still claim in some form or another either to be 'Christians' or at least, to follow the 'Christ Spirit' or 'Christ Consciousness'. As previously mentioned, others have a different Gospel, or have extra-biblical beliefs, or deny some, most or all the fundamentals (foundational) doctrines of the Truth.

We are not called to love lies, or deception; we are to expose the works of darkness where ever they may be and reprove them (EPH 5:11); we are not called of God to hate any one, and so we shall not, by any means! We will by God's grace examine whatever teachings and beliefs that are being proclaimed publically, determine whether they are "of the spirit of truth" or "the spirit of error" and side with the Truth of God's Word.

I will be divisive for the sake of the Truth; if there are any that have a problem with that, so be it.

Divisiveness is the only way we can keep the unity of believers and if that statement doesn't make any sense to you, you haven't been paying attention.

Re-read the article (wink and smile)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

TRANSFORMATION to LIGHT - Pt. 2

TRANSFORMATION TO LIGHT - Part Two

By David Fiorenza
The majority following events occured in the time frame of 1983 – 1984

We now pick up where we left off in this testimony. David was experiencing a dramatic increase in paranormal activity in his apartment, and he was bewildered as to what to do about it. Someone at work suggested that he call the Syracuse University Paranormal Department and see if they could help him. Around that same time is when he met this woman named Pat who was "sensitive to the spiritual realm".


She was at a friend’s house when I came over to kill some time that day. She was sitting at the table not saying anything; she just sat and watched me as I talked. I never once mentioned anything that I was going through, but after a while she told me that she knows that I have a problem where I live. I didn’t believe she knew; how could she?

I tested her by asking what color the kitchen was. She said that it was blue . . . over yellow . . . over brown. She nailed it! I asked her about the rug patterns in the parlor. Once again, she nailed it: they were triangular shapes of carpet I got from my work place when they installed new carpet. I placed them in each corner of the room, creating a diamond shape in the middle.

I suppose it might have been possible for her to know the color of the kitchen if she’d been there one time, but how would she know the color I had painted it, or the pattern and color of the carpet I had only recently placed in the parlor?

She told me she was sensitive to the spirit world and she knew that I had a problem in my apartment. She wanted to come over and check the place out. I told her that I contacted S.U. Paranormal Dept. and that I set up an appointment for them to come over and see if they could figure out what was going on. She said she wanted to be there when they arrived.

But then she had another idea; she wanted to come by that night and see if she could gain any intuition about the place. I agreed, and we got into my car and drove off. I decided to test her some more, and so as I drew near to Helen Street, I intentionally drove passed it. Immediately she turned to me and asked what I was doing. I told her that I was bringing her to my place. She said that my place was back there, on Helen Street, you’ve just passed it.
I pretended I passed it by accident, turned around, and headed back. I turned onto my street, and drove passed my house as another test. She turned to me again and insisted on knowing what I thought I was doing. I gave her the same answer as before.
Your house is back there on the corner, now let’s stop playing games here, this is serious business. I guess her psychic abilities were real after all!

When she came into the place, she confirmed that there was definitely a hostile presence in the apartment, a very powerful, hostile presence. But we waited to see what the S.U. team would come up with and if they could help me out in any way.

The group showed up with all of their equipment and all their gadgets. They explained what each of these was and what it did. After they got all their readings they told me that I had a very angry evil spirit in my place. I also noticed that Pat stayed away from these people. They said there was nothing they could do for me, but suggested that I contact a Roman Catholic priest to come over and bless the house, so that’s what I did.

I made an appointment to talk with the senior pastor and went to the church; I attended St. Peter’s Catholic Church on James Street. He told me that they could not help me; I was very surprised at his answer! All I wanted was for him to bless the house, but he refused. So much for the Roman Catholic Church!

I told Pat what the priest said, and she replied that she wasn’t surprised at all. She told me that she could ‘clean’ the apartment (another way of saying that she could cast out this evil spirit). We set a date when she would come over to ‘clean’ my place.

When the day came, because she didn’t drive, I drove over to my friend’s house, where I first met Pat. The daughters of my friend wanted to come with us, so we let them. When we arrived and entered the house, Pat told the girls to stay downstairs and play with the dogs.

Pat and I entered the apartment. We started with the first bedroom to the left of the front door. She went in and placed some holy water she had in the corners of the room. She then put a drop in the middle of the room and then went on to the next room, repeating the ritual for all three bedrooms, the bathroom, the kitchen and then the parlor. Before she did the parlor, she went to the first room again and anointed the door, then made the sign of the cross with the holy water, sealing the room and making it ‘clean’.

She did the same for each room in order. She then went through the whole ritual in the parlor and the front door, sealing it behind us. The girls were at the bottom of the stairs with the dogs. I called Coaster, the dog that would come upstairs and play, but once again he didn’t even put his paw on the bottom step. He just looked up at us, and then growled and both of the dogs ran into the downstairs apartment.
I asked Pat why they did that, and she told me that the spirit was on the landing with us and the dogs sensed that.

I dropped off the two girls and drove over to Pat’s place. She told me to come in because she wanted me to meet her Aunt. She would come to Pat periodically to visit her. She failed to mention that her Aunt had died eight years ago!

There was a small nightlight on in the kitchen, but no lights on in the parlor. Pat told me that her Aunt was talking about me and she was coming over tonight to discuss my situation. Pat had a cat, and this cat was going from one window to another window in a very agitated manner; it was clawing at the windows like there was someone . . . or some thing outside.

As I was sitting there in the semi-dark parlor I heard a scream or a howl-like noise outside. The cat was growling and clawing at the back window. This was a scream like I’ve never heard before: ‘not human’ is the only way to explain this sound. Not human, not animal. Pat told me that this was the spirit she removed from my apartment. It was outside and it wanted me, badly. Yet it couldn’t enter her house because she was protected and wherever she was and whoever was with her was protected as well. I think she said that it was her Aunt that protected her.

I had no idea what that meant; she told me that her Aunt was on her way, and she said that I would let her know when her Aunt would arrive! I wasn’t sure what she meant by that either, but after a few minutes I thought I saw a glow of light begin to appear at the other end of the room. The glow got a little brighter but there was no human shape to it. It appeared to be about seven feet tall. It floated passed me and over to Pat. I then informed her that her Aunt had shown up. I admit, I was afraid and I didn’t dare turn around.

As I sat there, I heard Pat talking, but nothing else, no other voice at all. I was hearing half of a conversation: Pat would talk, her Aunt would reply, but only Pat could hear her. After about five minutes Pat said that her Aunt liked me and that she would protect me from harm. This light moved to the back of my chair as Pat informed me that her Aunt was leaving then, but that I had nothing to worry about because she would keep me safe from harm. When she, this Light that was Pat’s Aunt left, she floated directly across and through my legs and straight through the wall! I didn’t feel anything when she passed through me. I just sat there for a while and Pat and I talked. Eventually I told her I had to go to work.

I worked the third shift at Syracuse Airport and there was this guy there that didn’t like me and would do anything possible to get me into trouble. Because of the day I had, I was really tired and after I punched in, I went downstairs to the main lobby and sat down for a while. I guess I fell asleep for a few minutes, but just as I opened my eyes, I noticed that this guy was walking towards me, pushing a trash cart. I thought he’d snitch on me and get me into trouble but he only walked passed me as though I wasn’t even there!

The only thing I could figure is that he was blocked somehow from seeing me. I know that this sounds like science fiction or something, but this really happened. After work I went home and everything was quiet and peaceful for a while. I had a chance to talk with my landlord about some of the things that he experienced and he told me some weird stories:

One time, while he was in the basement at night, finishing his laundry, he turned around and was walking towards the stairway when the basement light went out. He said that he stopped, didn’t move an inch. He just stood absolutely still in the darkness, but once the light came back on, he discovered that he was totally turned around, facing the other direction, facing the back of the house! He went upstairs afterwards and didn’t go down to the basement for quite a while.

When we were in the apartment, having some beers, his stove would regularly turn on by itself. He’d get up, get a couple more beers, turn off the stove, and come back and sit down. In moments the stove would light back up. He never thought too much about it until I started having the problems that I was experiencing.

Time passed by, but I can’t say how much time went by before things began happening again. I’d usually go out on Saturday night but this particular night I decided to stay home. Coaster the dog was lying on the floor in front of me while I was sitting on the sofa watching television. Every few minutes he would turn around to look at me and I wondered why he was doing that. Also, if I had to go to the bathroom, he would follow me, and just sit there waiting, and then he would follow me back to the sofa and lay down again . . . almost like he was protecting me. After about a half an hour he got up and went to my bedroom and jumped onto my bed. He kept turning around, looking up into the corner of the ceiling, and began breathing very fast.
I got on the bed and tried to calm him down but he kept breathing fast. He jumped off the bed and rain downstairs and didn’t see him the rest of the night.
I turned on the bedroom light, but after looking around, saw nothing unusual. I turned off the TV in the parlor and then went to bed.

I remember tossing and turning that night. When I woke up Sunday morning, I felt pain in my chest; no, not in my chest so much, but on it. I looked and my chest was all scratched up; very thin scratches, somewhat raised and scabbed over. I also had a scratch across the left side of my face, a huge bruise on my left arm, and four scratches straight down my back, starting from the neck and on down to my tailbone, also welted up and scabbed over! Now I was beginning to feel fear!

Everybody, including my family thought I was crazy when I would tell them what was happening in my apartment, but after seeing the scratches and the black and blue mark in my arm (tennis ball sized), they began to believe me. My Mom told me to get out of that place! However, even though I was feeling fearful, I went back the next day after work.


Sunday night at Syracuse Airport, I was talking to one of the police officers while working and she was telling me about a dream she had Saturday night. She saw two white (ghostly) objects hovering over my bed. One was holding me and the other was trying to kill me. Then I showed her my scratches and she almost passed out. She pled with me to get out of that house; she feared for my life.

But I went back for one more day, and felt very, very uneasy while I was there. I left that place, and everything I owned after Monday. I never went back. Instead I moved into my parent’s house for a time (about two weeks), when I heard that there was a small Psychic Fair going on. I decided to go and see if any one could shed some light on what was happening to me. Before I left the house, I prepared myself – I didn’t want to think about anything that happened to me; just about things like fishing, and hunting, anything but the truth of my situation.

When I entered the Psychic Fair, I remember saying hello to a blond haired woman sitting at a table by the door. She said hello in return, and I went inside.

I walked around for about fifteen minutes or so, watched people read tea leaves and tarot cards, hold hands, and other paranormal things, but no one approached me, it seemed nobody felt like anything was wrong. So, I decided to leave. As I was going, disappointed because no one could help me, the lady I had said hello to on the way in, stopped me and said something that troubled and perplexed me:


"Listen, I don’t know you, and you don’t know me, but you have to get close to God, and you have to get close to God, NOW!"


The way she emphasized the word ‘NOW’ impressed me. I thanked her and left, thinking ‘Wow, what does she mean by that? Get close to God, what is that supposed to mean?’ I was puzzled. I went home and told my Mom and my sister what she said, and they also were mystified as to what that meant after all.

My sister then told me about a Retreat at St. Paul’s Church in Binghamton, N.Y. which is about seventy five to eighty miles south of Syracuse. She called to see if they could fit me in, and they said that some times people cancel at the last minute. Tell him (me) to just go and see what happens when I get there. So, that’s what I did; I sort of broke some speed limits driving down there. I remember coming up over this hill and seeing a cop in the median with his radar gun on the dashboard. The speed limit was 55, but I was doing 75. I thought for sure I was going to get a ticket, but a miracle happened. The cop never turned his head! It’s like he never saw me! I flew passed him and kept going.

I arrived at the church; there was just one opening left. I checked in and found my room and then headed for the meeting room. There were two elderly ladies there, one was sewing and the other was reading her Bible. They asked me what was it that brought me there, so I gave them the short version of my life, to date.


They looked at each other. Then they stood up and came over to me, laid hands on me and began to pray in a language I’d never heard before. It wasn’t Polish, or Italian, or anything I could identify. I just sat there and let them pray.

I remember starting to feel warm, starting at the top of my head where her hand was, and slowly overtaking my entire body. I passed out without knowing it, and when I awoke, I opened my eyes and they were back in their chairs, sewing and reading once more. I wondered if what happened was real. I felt so unbelievably comfortable and at peace. I started to get up and couldn’t move my legs. They told me to just sit there and let the Holy Spirit work in me. What did she say? What does that mean?


She said, Just relax and let Him do His work, and anyways you won’t be able to move your legs, and they can’t hold you up right now. I thought she might just be loony, so I tried to stand up. She was right. I sat there for a little while and then finally I could get up. I told them that I was off to bed, and that I would need to set my alarm and rest up for tomorrow.


They said, We don’t need alarm clocks around here because the Holy Spirit will wake us up when He wants us up! I looked at them both like they were crazy!

I set my alarm for 6:30 a.m. I woke up at 6:25. I just sat there looking at that clock. I was so wide awake and alert that it felt like I had slept for a week! It was all just a little weird.

The program was set up to bring things out that we kept hidden, not letting any one know how and why we feel like we do. I was quiet for most of the day, and didn’t share much. The counselors got together during break times and prayed for me. I was not letting anybody in. For thirty eight years I existed in two worlds: one real, the other imaginary. I was scared to let people know who I really was. The leaders thought it was not working for me. I was retreating to my safe place where nobody could hurt me or know me.

In my world, no one could hurt me or laugh at me, or control me. In my world I was safe and nobody was going to change that!
Later on in the evening it was time for chapel. In the chapel there were no chairs or pews, just big throw pillows and bean bag chairs all over the place. The teacher came in and began to teach while I was in the corner. He began to teach about Jesus. He taught about a Jesus that I never knew existed. He taught about love and forgiveness.


Jesus loved me! ME! Jesus would forgive me for every evil, dirty, shameful, disgusting thing that I did. At that Retreat, I heard about a Jesus Who was real, alive, compassionate and forgiving.
The more I listened, the more I realized that he was talking directly to me. To me, about me.

I began to cry. I couldn’t stop.
He asked if anybody wanted to be forgiven, wanted to know Jesus personally, to finally know the real Jesus as my own Savior and Friend. Nobody went forward. I was hesitating, but it felt like something was saying, Get up! Move! Do this! Answer the call!


So I stood up and went over there – knelt down – said some words and within seconds I became saved by His blood!Finally, after all that stuff I went through, after calling on God in that bar, I was finally free. I was at peace! And after everyone went to sleep, I went to the basement where they had sofas and a place to hang out. I didn’t even turn on the light. I sat in the dark in perfect peace!
I was transformed again, but now as a believer of Jesus Christ!


"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusted in Thee." Isaiah 26:3.

AMEN.


And so ends this testimony, but this story is far from over; David is still a believer in the LORD Jesus Christ today after years of walking with Him; I myself am a witness to this and readily attest to the fact that David has been a tremendous encouragement to me, a stalwart and faithful brother and friend, and one who is valiant and bold on behalf of the Truth of God's Word and of the LORD Jesus Christ.

What’s David up to These Days? Find out here!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFyTlT_Z11w

TRANSFORMATION to LIGHT - Pt. 1

The following is the testimony of a dear friend and brother that I've had the blessing and honor of knowing for about a quarter of a century! This is a tremendous privilege to have it posted here on this blog, and I pray that it will reach many people, particularly those who come from broken homes, those who are among the lonely of this world, and those who are trapped in the cold darkness of this world with no apparent way out, and without any hope of escape. For those who have delved into the demonic, witnessed the reality of the spiritual darkness of this world, and yearn for the means of deliverence, you need to read this! There is hope in the Person and the Power and the Name of Jesus Christ, the LORD!

TRANSFORMATION TO LIGHT - Part One

By David Fiorenza
The majority following events occured in the time frame of 1983 – 1984

My Life before I called out to God in Lyncourt Grill in Syracuse, N.Y.

As a child I was very weak and fearful. I really had no friends; I grew up alone. I did have an older brother, but it wasn’t until I was older that I realized he was ashamed of me. My mother was a saint; my father, a hard man to get close to. I could never confide in him or have a close father and son relationship with him. I did however have a sister that I got along well with, but still, I guess I was pretty much on my own.

Because from an early childhood I had no friends, I made up my own in my mind. I would retreat to my room and there my imagination kicked in and I became a person who was in control of every aspect of my existence. I was strong and could accomplish anything. I was the winner of all the races; all the fights. My imagination at times became increasingly more real to me.
Sometimes in the middle of a family get together I would go off into my own world and escape the lonely feelings I would have. I guess having the imagination that I had was the reason why my life wasn’t always as life really is.

When things weren’t going well in the real world, I would retreat to my own.

I was not a strong person, nor was I much of a man. Drinking gave me courage and made me bold. I wore many masks and learned how to hide behind each mask that I had.
Like I said, in my world I could accomplish anything; when I tried things in real life, I failed miserably.

My relationships with women were also failures. My outlook on life was perverse and this path of perversion led me down deeper and deeper. Little by little, my mind became transformed to a way of thinking and doing things that wasn’t right or ‘the norm’ so to speak.

I delighted in thoughts of hurting people (mostly women): becoming masters over them. I would hear about a woman who was kidnapped and held as a slave and wished it was me that did it. The more that I searched out ‘those’ magazines and paperback books on such material, the more I came to realize that that is the way I wanted to live my life; always in control of everything and everybody.

I have done things in my life that I will never tell any one.

Now, why am I telling these secrets that I have kept hidden for so many years? Why now? you might ask.

I believe there may be people in this world who are going through the same things I did – maybe even worse; maybe even things worse than I did; more perverse and evil than even I can imagine!

I have contemplated suicide. I had gotten to a point in my life where I thought there was no hope for me. I thought that not even God would forgive me. Now at that time, did I really believe in a real God? I went to church, received communion, confessed my sins all my life, but did I believe that there was a real God who could love me, and forgive me?

I didn’t think that God was real. Just some marble guy up on a cross, always looking down on me. Just like everyone else did, all my life.

This brings me to where I went every night, after work, to shoot some pool and to get drunk. Was I always perverted and evil? No! I had my times when everyone around me thought me to be a normal, happy person like everybody else, but it was just a mask.
Eventually I was drinking more and more: at work, while driving, while at home, etc. I was beginning to mix my drugs together. Demerol and alcohol (Demerol is a derivative of heroin; I was given a prescription for a sickness I had). It could have killed me, but I didn’t care if I died. No loss!

I was becoming used to the Demerol so my doctor cut off my supply. I began to experiment with cocaine, speed and marijuana at the same time, and wash it all down with some scotch whiskey. My life was spiraling downward, but to what? I didn’t care, not even if I died.

Now we come to that fateful night in Lyncourt Grill:

I was drunk, as usual; but something was different about this night. I began to have thoughts about my existence and my way of life; as I was thinking on these things, I was staring past the whiskey bottles to the mirrors behind the bar.

I then called out – quietly to God. I said to Him that I didn’t really know if He was real or not, but to prove Himself if He was. I wanted Him to prove Himself to me; I wanted to know if there was more to life than sex, drugs and the miserable existence that I called life!

Little did I know at that time, that God would prove Himself to me, but in a way that really surprised me!

I can’t remember how much time elapsed between that night and my first experience with the paranormal. I know that I was renting a cottage on a river just outside of Brewerton, New York. I was in this house located in a small town on Oneida Lake when I heard a loud scream outside my bedroom window. Grabbing my flashlight I ran outside to check and see if there were any kids near the house, fooling around. Because that scream was directly outside the window, I shined my flashlight on the damp ground just below it. There were no footprints; it perplexed me that there was no evidence at all that any one had been there!

I didn’t stay at Oneida Lake, not because of that mysterious scream, but because (not having a four-wheel drive) the driveway there was difficult to get in and out of during the harsh winter months.

So I moved to Grant Village, near Shop City, where the paranormal activity only escalated, but I don’t remember anything happening until that Spring or Summer when I let a friend of mine move in, temporarily. She was a young girl I met at the apartments in Mattydale, N.Y. She used to do drugs there and at only fifteen to sixteen years of age, and then she would sit out back of my building and crash from the effects of the drugs. I felt sorry for her and became her friend.

When I let her move in, she had two kids in foster care and she needed a place to stay for a while, and I was able to help her.
It was the week end and she was getting ready to go out and party. As she was talking, I was sitting on the sofa and there was a rolled up piece of paper on the coffee table: no windows were open, the fan was off at the time, but this paper slid across the table and stopped before falling off the edge!

I stared in unbelief at what happened, but she was just talking away at me; I didn’t hear a word she said. She noticed this and asked if I was listening to her, but I only asked her if she saw what just happened. She didn’t.
I moved the paper back to where it was and told her to watch it. In only a few seconds it slid across the table a second time, just like before!

She started to get ready to leave a bit faster. Though I was going to stay home that night and relax after a hard week of working, I suddenly decided I would go out too!

Later on in the early morning hours of the next day, about 2 a.m. I came home; she rolled in about 3 a.m. The next day I was called to the office where they had received complaints from my neighbors of a very loud, wild party taking place . . . in my apartment the night before!

Confused by this, I explained to supervisors of the apartment complex that I had been out all night last night, and so was my guest. We were not at home (apparently, the powers that be decided to have a little fun at my place)!

Thinking about this, I asked the supervisors if anything strange ever happened in the complex before; reluctantly she told me of a story involving a married couple and their little girl:

The wife finished taking a shower one day and then went to the bedroom to dress. She was looking in the mirror when she saw an old woman standing in the middle of her bedroom, dressed in clothes dating back to approximately 16th to 17th century. The old woman smiled at her, then turned and walked through the wall and disappeared.

Shaken by the shock of this sight, she nevertheless kept the experience to herself, but a few days later, the husband was in the bedroom and saw the same old woman standing there and just like before, she smiled, turned and walked through the wall!

The couple remained mute, not knowing that they both had seen the same apparition.

After a few more days, while at the breakfast table, their little girl asked her parents who the nice old lady was that tucked her into bed last night. The couple looked up at each other and recognized that they both knew what their daughter was talking about.

They grabbed a few things, left the apartment and never came back for their property!

After the party mystery, I began to hear knocking sounds. My apartment was on the second floor, and there were no trees, no stairs; there was no way for anyone to knock on my parlor windows. Even so, I heard knocks, always three knocks at those windows, and sometimes at the door too. I don’t remember anything else happening at that apartment complex.

From there I moved to a house apartment on Helen Street and the ‘weirdness’ escalated. The first event happened as I lay on the sofa in the living room. I knew that I was awake; I wasn’t dreaming, but I felt pressure on my arms which were folded across my chest. My arms were being pushed by an unseen force. I couldn’t see or hear anything, but this force continued to press my arms into my chest. I tried to separate them, but whatever was pressing me, held them together. The pressure increased until I thought I was going to be split in half. I’d never experienced anything like this ever before and I felt terrified, like I was going to die. Yet just as quickly as it started, it stopped; the entire event only lasted maybe thirty seconds but it felt much longer! I remember jumping off the sofa and told this ‘force’ he could have the sofa; I would take the bedroom!

My landlord lived downstairs. He had two black Labrador retrievers that adopted me when I moved in. The younger one, named Coaster, was about nine months old. He would come upstairs to play with me. He had this 4x4 block of wood that was his chew toy. This was a big dog!

I would throw this ‘chew toy’ into my bedroom from the parlor and he would go after it, chew on it for a few moments, then drop it, I then picked it up and threw it back into my bedroom. One time I threw his toy into the bedroom and he ran after it, but he stopped dead at the doorway. He wouldn’t go into that bedroom. Slowly he backed away from the doorway, growled and the fur on his neck stood up. He turned and looked at me, and in the next moment dashed out of the apartment as fast as he could. He didn’t return for an entire week.

I believe he sensed something evil in my room and even as he fled, he left his favorite chew toy behind. All during that next week I would see him in the 1st level hallway and sometimes at the bottom of the stairs, just staring up at me, but he never even set his paw on the stairs. I did, however, return his favorite chew toy to him.
After the week was over, he came back upstairs to be with me

My landlord had mentioned to me one day that the light in the back part of the basement was always on when he went downstairs to do his laundry. He asked to please make sure to turn the light off when I was finished with my laundry, but I told him I always made sure I turned the lights off.

The funny thing is, whenever he or I went into the basement, the dogs only went as far as the doorway and no further. We could not coax them to enter there, no matter how hard we tried.

The things that were happening more frequently now might be dismissed as figments of my imagination. Granted, my imagination was very active at this time, but now other people were involved – the young woman at Grant Village saw and heard things and now my landlord on Helen Street and his dogs were sensing that something was not right in the house where we lived.

This was definitely not my imagination. Yet the question I should have been asking was, Why is this happening, and why now, why to me? At the time of these events though, I didn’t ask those questions. I just continued to live my life, like I normally would: I was working, drinking, partying, slowly slipping lower and lower into the darkness of my thought patterns. I remember buying a pair of handcuffs from a cop where I worked. Just in case I met somebody who thought like I did. My bedroom became my ‘dungeon to be’. I rigged my bed with handcuffs and ropes just in case I found a willing woman.

I found a magazine at work about the torture of women with detailed instructions on how to perform the tasks, along with pictures of women who were subjected to these things. The thing is, what struck me the most about this magazine were the pictures. The expressions of these women were expressions of pure joy, and I knew that this is what I wanted to do. This book was my ‘bible’.

More things were happening now. There were times when as I walked through my apartment I would pass through these cold spots. Even days when temperatures soared, yet these cold shafts, like pillars, were present in a hot, muggy apartment. One minute I’d be walking through hot, humid air, and the next second, cold; then once passed, back into the hot, humid air. What were these cold spots?

There was a cross on the wall in my bedroom and one day as I was just hanging out, I heard something in my room. I went in there and the cross was hanging upside down. That was weird. I turned it back right side up, and left the room.
I was going to the store in a little while, so I left a piece of paper and a pen on the coffee table and said to the ‘empty’ room, “I’m going to the store soon, do you want anything? Write down what you want!”
I returned to my bedroom only to discover that the crucifix was completely gone, I found it lying on the floor, behind the bed.

For a brief time, a mutual friend stayed in the apartment with me, but nothing ever happened while he was there.

After he left, the young woman that stayed with me before needed a temporary place to live, so I let her move in, only this time she had her kids with her. A boy around two years old, and a younger sister, maybe one year old. Yet all the while they stayed with me, only one thing ever happened.

Her two year old son liked my Polaroid camera and one night just before going to bed I put my camera on top of the TV just out of her son’s reach. The next morning as I was walking through the Living room I saw her son with a picture in his hand. It came from my camera. He kept saying ‘man’ over and over again. I checked the front door to see if it was locked and it was. I then checked her bedroom to see if a man was in there, but there wasn’t. I took the picture from the little boy and what I saw startled me:

I saw a negative image of a man, sitting on the arm of the sofa in my Living room. His arms were folded and he was looking towards the camera. Everything in the picture appeared normal except the image of the man, which was the opposite (negative) image of the background.

A few days later I took the picture to a photo lab to have it analyzed. They said it could be one of two things: either it was a chemical reaction or a genuine negative image of a man sitting on the arm of the sofa. I showed that picture to every person I knew. Some of them thought I was crazy, others saw in that picture the same thing I saw.

An incident in which this girl that was staying with me, and I got into a sharp disagreement, and so I asked her to leave. It was after she left that the paranormal activities began again.

Back in the ‘80’s cable television came equipped with wired remote control boxes that connected to the television which itself was connected to a cable that brought in the signal – probably why they called it ‘cable TV’? Rectangular in shape, and smaller in size than a small shoe box, with station buttons across the top, I kept it within reach on the coffee table.
There were times when that box began to rattle and shake from side to side. I yelled at the invisible force or ghost or whatever this thing was, and said that I paid for the cable and that I would watch what I wanted. I felt no fear, though maybe I should have.

It was about then that I started going to the library to find out who built the house, who lived in it since then, and if anybody ever died in it. At least that would begin to explain the weird things that were happening. I found out that someone actually did die in that house, many, many years ago. So I finally understood that that’s who this spirit was. But why was she (the person who died was a woman) angry, and why pick on me?

Someone at work suggested that I call the Syracuse University Paranormal Department and see if they could help me. Around that same time is when I met Pat.


~~ Here is where we will end part One; part Two will immediately follow and conclude this testimony. ~~

Monday, November 8, 2010

EPHESIANS: Form & Function in Christ

This particular study in Ephesians will be a somewhat short one, consisting of only fifteen verses. The reason for this is because I want to treat vs. 10 through 18 in a different study on The TRUTH Under FIRE (www.thetruthunderfire.com) regarding the popular topic (among some fellowships) of spiritual warfare.

So this study will extend from vs. 1-9, and then pick up at vs. 19 to the end (vs.24).

Remember that chapter divisions are not inspired (nor are verse numbers, these are constructed for convenience in referring to passages and are quite useful for this purpose!) and as is often the case, the divisions are not warranted as the same subject matter is dealt with before and after the division.

Such is the case here; previously in chapter five the marriage relationship is dealt with, but even more so, the relationship between the LORD and us, His own bride (of which every human marriage is a model, or it should be if the partners desire a prosperous, fruitful and blessed marriage).

Chapter 6 opens up with parental relationships with their children, and vice versa:

Eph 6:1-3
Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth
.

As odd as it may seem, that a bachelor such as myself should expound on marital and family relationships, while I am unable to teach from experience, and this exempts me from very much elaboration, I can expound on the truth of the scriptures on how such things ought to be conducted.

Children are to obey parents for the sake of harmony and cohesion as intended by God in creating the family. They are to learn respect for authority and it begins in the home. These little ones must be trained in obedience and realize that there is blessing in doing so, and repercussions for not doing so. In this manner they learn such things as responsibility, an order in authority, the benefits in working together as a unit, and that distinct roles are designated for each family member.
The very fact that a man and a woman consists of a unified pair in marriage and that God instituted such as being male and female in a healthy, productive, useful and blessed heterosexual relationship is challenged in the world now. In today's politically correct environment, this institution has not only been challenged but overturned in much of the world, and such rebellion against this Divinely imparted institution is encroaching here in America.
As early as the 60's generation in which drug use, 'free sex' and rebellion against parents was seen as the norm, but these are the sledge hammers that are destroying the very foundation stones of a society that was once blessed by God. God has promised to bless obedient children who will hear and follow the leading of their parents.


Today we hear so much about the Rights of the Child by the UN, but what would seem like a global concern for the well being and protection of children is actually an attempt (one that is succeeding by the way) to divorce children from parental authority; see - Crossroads ministry article:

http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/009/1-family.htm (Attn. Parents: be sure to read parts 2 and 3 as well!).

God never intended that children would be directly subjected to a governmental authority, but by means of allocated strata, the first being of course, the parents who have the final say in the child's life and are held accountable to God in raising that child in a manner pleasing to Him, not the State government per se, or the Federal government, and certainly not a global government that would consider parents as mere caregivers, having no say in the child's life whatsoever.

Yet in obeying their parents, children would likewise learn respect for a teacher's authority, and that of a policeman's, and a commanding officer, and a governor, and a President, etc.

Without this cognitive infrastructure for respecting authority, and just laws our society would fall into a chaotic shambles having no structure or order whatsoever. Judging the way our society looks, it seems most of our children already lack this integrally important infrastructure!


As it may become increasingly discouraging for children to obey parents who are seen as 'unfair' or 'harsh', the LORD desires to encourage them, that this is the first commandment with a PROMISE of blessing!


Eph 6:4
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

There are a lot of key words in this verse that would prove useful in examination, words like "provoke" and "wrath", "nurture" and "admonition".

'Provoke' in this passage (and in Romans 10:19) is parogizo in the Greek, and can mean "to enrage, to arouse to wrath".

'Wrath' is the very same Greek word (as above), and used repetitiously as a means of emphasis.

'Nurture' in the Greek is, paideia, meaning "tutorage, education, training", by impl. "disciplinary correction; chastening"; denotes "the training of a child."

'Admonition' is nouthesia, or "calling attention to, a mild rebuke or warning, literally it means "to put in mind, as in the purpose of the scriptures (1 Cor. 10:11) and that which is administered by the LORD (Eph. 6:4) and that which is to be administered for the correction of one who creates trouble in the church (Titus 3:10). Noutheisa is the training by word whether of encouragement or if necessary by reproof or remonstrance; stresses trainnig by act."


Fathers are thus to patiently instruct, gently tutor, but likewise to administer reproofs and rebukes when necessary, but only as necessary.

I've often heard it said, never discipline your child when you're angry. Send the child to their room, allow yourself some time to cool down and reacquire some objectivity, and after prayer for guidance and wisdom, enter into counseling with the child, administering the proper level of discipline.


As I am not a father myself, my absence of experience must bow to those men who are fathers, and they have learned much as fathers relating to their children, and how our heavenly Father relates to us as His children. A vast wealth of wisdom and knowledge can be acquired from fatherhood as it relates to the Fatherhood of God.


Here, as well as the marriage relationship, how we deal with children is to reflect how our heavenly Father deals with us. Of course this same admonition applies to our mothers as well, but for the most part, the emphasis is on fathers, as mothers are more naturally patient, kind, and tender hearted towards their children.

On another note, we observe parents who are absent from much of the child's life and activities, and as a poor substitute they throw money and materials at them, seeking their fulfillment by these means. Children learn nothing of loving, nurturing family values, but how to value worldly possessions instead. We can shake our heads in disapproval at such conduct between a father and his child, but then I consider the church:
How many churches seek for 'blessings and gifts' and virtually demand them by their 'faith' while at the same time, know nothing of fellowship and communion with our heavenly Abba?
The church to a large degree has learned more about and coveted worldly possessions than about loving, nurturing values in the family of God! This is not to say we ought not to seek blessing and gifts from our Abba, Who is enormously generous with these, but to seek the GIVER far more, than the gifts; THIS is the GREATER BLESSING!

The following text is quite extensive and as it deals with the master/servant or in our case the employer/employee relationship, there is much we ought to glean and abide by in these verses, particularly in our society where industry, and integrity are at an all time low:


Eph 6:5-8
Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free
.



Everything that we do in life can be consecrated to the LORD, used as a means of worship and can bring glory to His Name. Such is the case with our employment, be that as an employee in a company, or being self employed or working in the home (specifically, I speak to the stay-at-home Moms).



In any job that we take on, we must have the mind set that its as though the LORD Jesus Himself has come to us and asked us to lay brick and build that wall on the construction site; to mix dough and bake goods at the bakery; to be diligent and dutiful in the tasks involved at the pharmacy or the office, or in the class room, or in tending the needs of children. I endeavor to do this myself at my place of employment and at my hiring meeting (17 yrs ago) I told the interviewer straightforwardly,



"Tucson Airport Authority will be signing my pay checks, my supervisor will be directing my assignments, but in reality, I don't work for the Authority or for my boss. I work for the LORD and as He is ever present, and ever watchful of all my actions, and knowing that He is prepared to render eternal reward for faithful service, this is my motivation and great encouragement in doing my very best in maintaining the sort of diligence that requires 60 minutes of work for every hour paid."



We received bonuses this year at work, an unheard of benefit in today's economy; I was told that I and one other had the highest amount in our entire department! GLORY to GOD for His work in my life!



I am astounded at the goodness and generosity of the LORD! Not only does He provide us with jobs, not only does He grant us able bodies and minds to perform them, not only does He provide payment in remunerations, but He even grants rewards in heaven for such faithful service!!



What about those who work in the home? Mom's particularly? This indeed is a blessed office, and one that is sorely needed in today's world, especially in our nation! You godly, Christian Mom's that are with your precious children all day are instrumental in showing and ministering God's love to these lambs. Fathers, though you work an 8 hr. shift, you are even more responsible as the head of the house to minister in this way.



Yet the quality time that mothers spend with their kids has a profound effect on their growth, development and their world view. If we are going to have a REVOLUTION of FIRE in this nation, its going to start with the sparks ignited through the ministry of our godly mothers and their knowledge of the Word, investing such in their children!



What about those who are legitimately in need of disability services, and can't provide in the way of employment, or retired folk and, or the shut-ins that are unable to interact with society? What can these do? MUCH!!


There is a work that I believe will render the GREATEST rewards in heaven, a work that I think is closest to the heart of God, and that is intercessory prayer! Such folk as these have an invaluable resource in abundance that the rest of us don't: time! With such time on their hands, these supposed 'useless eaters' of our society,these elderly saints, can dwell within the courts of heaven in their prayer closests and petition and interceed for the church, unsaved loved ones, and a lost world that dwells in darkness!



A lonely widow in New Jersey lived across the street from a high school; God put a burden on her heart to pray for those kids, and that He would not only save them, but send them as missionaries around the world and declare the glorious gospel!


A few years later, God's Spirit moved upon those students, and many of them were saved. Not long after, upon entering college a few of these, led by a young man named George, loaded up a van and drove down to Mexico preaching the Gospel. This work began to grow and in a couple more years, this small team became a small army that flew to England and Spain to continue the work.



Their leader's name is George Verwer, the International Director and Founder of Operation Mobilization (see the link to O.M. on the side bar of this blog under LINKS to LIVE By - Missions HIMpossible 3).


All of this because of one lonely widow committed to prayer! This reminds me of Anna the prophetess in the Gospel account of (Luke 2:36).

What we render to God in our labors is important, not in the job itself, but out of a loving heart that longs to serve faithfully to the LORD who granted that job, whether you're called to push papers or a broom!


I'm told there is a story in the Talmud (Or is it the Mishna?) of two angels that reported before the Throne of God to receive assignments; one was to go to a certain city and there rule over it as its king; the other was to go to that same city and sweep the dust in the streets. Both angels left the throne rejoicing, not because of the tasks themselves, but for the opportunity to serve their LORD faithfully and gratefully!



If you have an intolerable boss, or maybe careless co-workers who slouch off and get away with it, you might have cause to get discouraged (like I do at times!) but if we stay focused that whatever any one else may do, we will remain faithful and diligent in our service to the LORD, our real boss! we will persevere!



Now let us skip ahead to vs. 19 and conclude this study of chapter six (remember, I will be doing a seperate study on the armor of God later on and have this posted on TTUF!):


Eph 6:19
And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,



Paul was elaborating on the subject of prayer in vs. 18 and so here he is soliciting prayer from our Ephesian brothers, for inspiration and boldness in preaching the Gospel (interesting side note: Paul seems to be the only epistle writer that solicits prayer.). Imagine someone like Paul, asking for boldness? Perhaps that's why we so often see him storming into cities, into the very heart of darkness and trouble, and fearlessly preaching Christ Jesus, because there was the foundation of prayer laid first!



Any work we do, be it mundane or messianic (that is, preaching the Gospel of the Messiah) should be bathed in prayer, and we likewise need to seek leading by the LORD as we pray.



Again, I call attention to this word "mystery" which means something hidden that is now being revealed, like a monumental statue being unveiled at a park somewhere. Paul stated that if the gospel is hid, its hidden from the lost (2 Cor 4:3-4) who are blinded by Satan. So not only is the gospel hidden from the lost who are blinded by the enemy, but it can't even be revealed except by the Holy Spirit!


Thus our prayer in bringing the gospel to those lost in this world, in the depravity of their sinful state (of which we ALL had our part) needs to be two-fold: first in binding the influence of the enemy in seeking to hold them back from knowing Jesus (Mat 12:29) and in the power of God's Spirit in illuminating the hearts and minds of the lost, bringing understanding to them by the only means possible - the Divine will and power of God! (see
John 6:63, Eph 1:18, Eph 2:4-5).


Eph 6:20
For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.



Paul just finished his exposition on spiritual warfare, and has exhorted Timothy elsewhere to fight a good warfare as a soldier of Christ (2 Tim 2:3, 1 Tim 1:18) and yet here he describes himself as am ambassador, hardly an office given to martial proclivities! Ambassadors are all about peaceful negotiations and obtaining amicable, peaceable situations between either warring or potentially warring nations.



This contradiction is easily understood when one considers that we are to conduct ourselves as ambassadors to the world or even fallen saints and seek restoration for them and a reconciling on their part to God:


2 Cor 5:20
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God
.



The warfare we conduct is not against sinful humanity but for sinful humanity and against Satan that holds these precious souls for whom Christ Jesus died; that his enslavement over them would be broken and that these may know salvation and liberty in the LORD!



Unfortunately the Crusades of the Holy Mother Church at Rome instituted a legacy of carnage and brutality that many attribute to Christianity in general; however what that church did was to take scripture intended to encourage the saints in SPIRITUAL warfare and use them in terms of PHYSICAL warfare; not against Satan and his principalities and powers, but against our fellow man, even those that Christ Jesus commanded us to LOVE, namely, our ENEMIES!



The disciples of Jesus Christ are not to bear a sword, dripping with the blood of slain humanity, but to bear the Sword of the Spirit, dripping with the blood of the LAMB and proclaming the Gospel even at the expense of our own lives!



Eph 6:21-22
But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:

Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.



Paul was ever attentive in his ministering to the saints, to keep them apprised of his own ministry, and to lend aid to them where ever and how ever he could. He often employed and delegated others in the work, and this is a vital lesson for any one in ministry. We are not 'Lone Ranger' Christians, or at least we ought not to be!


As members of the body of Christ, we have need of one another, just as members of our own bodies need each other, even the smallest, seemingly most unimportant members. Suppose you were to have the pinkie toe on your feet surgically removed - do you think this would hamper your walk? You bet it would, even such a tiny member as this, that you hardly pay any mind at all to!


Tychicus is someone you may never think of in the same terms as Paul or Peter or John, or Luke, Timothy or Apollos, but the LORD God regards him as a child of the KING, in the holy and high office of a saint!


We all have our parts to play, and as Chuck Missler is oft saying, "Any of you who are not out there exercising your spiritual gifts are defrauding the rest of us."



If you're starting a Bible study, or a prayer group, or about to commit to a ministry at your local fellowship, make sure this is the leading of the LORD by seeking confirmation in His Word which is THE Lamp unto our feet, and THE Light unto our path!


Once its ascertained that this is indeed "...the way, walk ye in it" then seek out spiritually mature and strong-in-faith saints to begin interceeding for you before you even commence in the work!


Eph 6:23-24
Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.



Peace and love in their most genuine form is something that the world lacks deplorably. Certainly there may be instances of peace in the tranquility of a camp ground deep in some forested mountains at night; there is love between a husband and wife, parents and children - but all of these are transitory and cannot fulfill us in the purpose for which we were created.

We were created by God and FOR GOD, in a living, breathing, vital relationship with the LORD as our Maker as well as our Father. No other relationship will bring satisfaction, fulfillment and rest!



These are the things that "the brethren" are blessed with "from God the Father and the LORD Jesus Christ, and to those who sincerely love God, to these is granted the grace of God in abundance.



Peace with God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and salvation through Him will bring about the peace of God when He takes up residence in a regenerated heart, alive with the Holy Spirit of promise!



Rom 5:1
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:


Phil 4:7
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.


Col 3:15
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.



And for those of us that abide and walk in the grace of God, for us we receive a never ending supply of peace FROM God...


Rom 1:7
To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.



Examine how replete the scriptures are concerning the saints and the peace "FROM GOD" that we are to receive continually by using a concordance (either in book form or online), and may the peace from GOD the FATHER and the LORD JESUS CHRIST be with you all!