Expounding the More Perfect Way….Jesus Christ and Him Crucified Acts 18:24-28

Devotionals

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F. Swaggart

“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” –II Corinthians 7:10

SOMETIMES, WHEN A famous person dies, we learn from the family bits of their final conversations. A son says of his father, “He had no regrets,” and the world is a little less sad and somewhat relieved to know that nothing would have been changed in the course of that life.

But to say that you lived with no regret also means that you were never sorry about anything—never mourned a loss, suffered a disappointment, or missed an opportunity. How many in the human race can honestly say that? The answer is none. Experts say all of us have things we regret from our decisions around education and career choices to romance, parenting, and finances—usually in that order.

If we allow it, regret can touch every area of our lives. And, if we allow Satan, he will point his accusatory finger toward something behind us until we find ourselves saying, “I should have.” I should have been there when my parent died. I should have had the courage to speak up when I was being abused. I should have stayed in school and applied myself more. I should have risked rejection and told that person how much I loved him. I should have been braver and unafraid of failure.

Notice all of the I’s in that list? That’s because regret is about blaming self, which affects our emotions. We feel sorry for the ways we hurt people. When it’s clear we’ve made a bad decision, we get sad. When it’s realized that the opportunity we just missed will not come our way again, there is disappointment. The Bible calls these sorrows of the world, and they work death.

The bad thing about regret is that it takes us a while to realize it’s been sown. Years pass between the time the seed of regret—the doing or not doing—and its bitter fruit blooms in the heart of the saved and the unsaved.

Every day that we live in this world, we buy and sell with decisions we make, and, in the process, our hearts are revealed.

Esau made a bad decision when he sold his birthright to Jacob for a meal. The Bible says Esau “did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright” (Gen. 25:34).

Bible commentator Matthew Henry said, “Esau ate and drank, pleased his palate, satisfied his appetite, and then carelessly rose up and went his way, without any serious thought, or any regret, about the bad bargain he had made.”

But years later, when Isaac was old and ready to bless, Esau realized the high cost of his mistake: “And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father” (Gen. 27:34).

Esau did receive a blessing, but it was common. Henry notes, “There is nothing in Esau’s blessing which points at Christ, and without that, the fatness of the earth and the plunder of the field will stand in little stead.”

Out of regret, Esau lifted up his voice and wept, but he did not repent. Let’s look at Judas. In the end, he betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ with 30 pieces of silver and a kiss. But in the beginning of the Lord’s ministry, Judas was there, one of the Twelve. He saw the miracles—all manner of sickness and disease healed, demoniacs delivered, the dead raised, and multitudes miraculously fed. Judas, however, valued none of it, demonstrated so clearly in John 12, when Mary anoints the feet of Jesus. As soon as Judas saw the expensive ointment spent on Jesus, he demanded to know why it hadn’t been sold to benefit the poor. “This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein” (Jn. 12:6).

Likewise, Judas went about caring nothing for the Lord—from the anointing of His feet to the kiss of betrayal on His face.

And then, realization. When Judas saw what the religious leaders had done to Jesus, he confessed—to them—that he had sinned, and he threw down their silver on the temple floor. The Bible says Judas “repented himself,” but the Greek word for this phrase, according to Ellicott’s commentary, is “not that commonly used for ‘repentance,’ as involving a change of mind and heart, but is rather ‘regret,’ a simple change of feeling.”

After leaving the Sanhedrin, theologian John Gill points out that Judas went out of the temple, “not to God, nor to the throne of His grace, nor to his Master to ask pardon of Him, but to some secret solitary place, to cherish his grief and black despair.”

Judas sided with the sorrows of the world, and they worked death in him until he hanged himself—some say he strangled himself—but either way, Judas died violently. Luke tells us,“falling headlong, he burst asunder the midst, and all his bowels gushed out” (Acts 1:18). Out of regret, Judas confessed his sin to sinful men, but he did not repent. So what is the difference between regret and repentance?

If we gave them voice, regret would repeat itself again and again: “If only I had it to do over, I would have done it differently. I would have done it right.”

Regret, energized by guilt, is a replay of what was done, or not done, and the pain associated with that decision. As with Esau and Judas, regret may cause us to shed some bitter tears, and maybe even confess to others what we did, but that’s as far as it goes. Regret stops short of repentance.

Repentance, on the other hand, acknowledges from the heart, “I see what I have done and I am so sorry. I realize that I have no way to help myself. I need God and His forgiveness. Only God can help me.”

Repentance is to understand the root cause of our sadness, fear, or disappointment—sin. It’s a spiritual reaction to Holy Spirit conviction and revelation—a reaction that helps turn the human heart toward God and ask Him for His mercy and forgiveness.

It’s been said that few have sinned as David sinned, but fewer still have repented as he repented. David, the boy shepherd and psalmist. Slayer of the lion, the bear, and Goliath. David, the man after God’s own heart. Yet at the time when kings went to battle, David stayed behind. He sinned with Bathsheba, and when he learned that she was carrying his child, David ordered her husband Uriah to be “in the forefront of the hottest battle” ensuring his death and hiding David’s sin. But God saw, and “the thing that David had done displeased the LORD” (II Sam. 11:27).

The prophet Nathan was sent by God to let David know that what he had attempted to hide, the Lord would openly and fully reveal.

Unlike regret, where only the mind and emotions are affected, repentance involves the heart—the spirit of man—which is susceptible to the conviction and revelation of the Holy Spirit.

“And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD.” My husband notes, “David had a true knowledge of God and, therefore, when charged with his sin, his first thought was not the punishment that would surely follow, but the injury done to God.”

All sins boil down to one. The displeasing thing that King David did was to despise the commandment of the Lord to do evil in His sight. David knew this, which is why he would later write Psalm 51, the truest prayer of repentance ever prayed. It begins:
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.”

Regret is behind us, but repentance is before us. “Mock penitents confess their sins and straightway forget them,” Pulpit says. “Real genuine ones find it impossible to forget.”

Out of repentance, David confessed his sin and need for God’s mercy, and he received forgiveness. And then there’s Peter, who denied even knowing the Lord. Before any of us get too judgmental of the great fisherman, we should examine our own hearts and remember that Peter loved the Lord. Peter believed Him. It was Peter who walked on the water to Jesus:

“And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus” (Matthew 14:28-29).

At the close of the Lord’s earthly ministry, in the hours between the Last Supper and the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus told His disciples what was about to happen to Him and how His disciples would be scattered.

“But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all” (Mk. 14:29-31).

The Lord listened, but He knew how Peter would react that night, the same way He knew how Peter, while walking on the water, would suddenly see the wind boisterous, become afraid, and begin to sink.

Just as the Lord had said, when confronted that night, Peter denied Him three times, with oaths and cursings: “I know not the man!” Then, the painful realization: “And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly” (Mat. 26:75).

Like Judas and Esau, Peter also went out and wept bitterly. The difference with Peter was the trigger of emotion. Like David, Peter remembered the word of the Lord. He remembered some of the first words he heard Him say, “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.” There was the revelation he received from God about who Jesus was. Surely Peter heard the echo of his own words, “Thou art the Christ.” He remembered that day on the water, when he cried out, “Lord, save me,” and Jesus immediately stretched forth His hand, caught him, and asked, “Why did you doubt?” And the most painful memory of all, after that third denial, “the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter.”

Pulpit says Peter “rushed from that evil company into the night, a brokenhearted man, that no human eye might witness his anguish, that alone with his conscience and God he might wrestle out repentance. Tradition asserts that all his life long Peter hereafter never could hear a cock crow without falling on his knees and weeping.”

Out of repentance, Peter realized that he was helpless without Christ, and he allowed godly sorrow to work repentance to salvation. And this work takes time.

When Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James, went to the sepulcher to anoint the body of Jesus, they found the stone rolled away, and an angel who said, “Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you” (Mark 16:6-7).

Henry points out, “Peter is particularly named. Tell Peter—it will be most welcome to him, for he is in sorrow for sin. A sight of Christ will be very welcome to a true penitent, and a true penitent is very welcome to a sight of Christ.”

In the book of John, we read of the reunion:
“Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea”(Jn. 21:5-7).

Upon hearing that it was Jesus, Peter jumped without pride or hesitation. He wanted to be the first one to reach the Lord, who was waiting to restore him. Later, Jesus would ask Peter three times, “Do you love Me?” and, in new humility, he answered, “You know that I love you.” Then, in a show of complete confidence in Peter, the Lord tells him, “Feed my sheep.”

Whether you’ve filled your life with regrets or separated yourself from God through sin, the Lord of Glory has one word for you today: Come. “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isa. 1:18).

Come if you’re thirsty or weary. Come if you’re heavy-laden. Look ahead to the shore, like Peter did, and see the risen Lord. He’s waiting for you—the fish are laid on the fire of coals with bread, and He’s saying to you, “Come and dine.”

By John Rosenstern

JSM

When establishing the Illuminati, Adam Weshaupt revealed the long-term goals of his secret society. He wrote: “The true purpose of the Order was to rule the world. To achieve this it was necessary for the Order to destroy all religions, overthrow all governments and abolish private property.”

GOALS

History supplies us the necessary evidence that Weishaupt’s goals were in operation after his death by his faithful followers. In the late 19th century, Henry Edward Manning, archbishop of Westminster, England, wrote that the Communist International was, “The work of secret, political societies, which from 1789 to this day (1886) have been perfecting their formation … is now a power in the midst of the Christian and civilized world, pledged to the destruction of Christianity and the old civilization of Europe.” 

In order to rule the world, one of the long-term goals of the Illuminati was to eliminate Christianity. Weshaupt knew he could not discredit Christianity, so he set out to dismantle the effects of the Christian lifestyle in society by gradually removing its moral constraints. The attack on the economy, family, personal property, nationalism, and education became possible through the strategies of gradualism and revolution. As a philosophy, gradualism is defined as a theory maintaining that two seemingly conflicting notions are not radically opposed, but are related by others partaking in varying degrees of the character of both. Gradualism is the doctrine that social change should be brought about within the framework of existing law. In other words, long-term goals can best be achieved by pursuing incremental steps rather than triggering instability that accompanies abrupt change. Karl Marx argued against gradualism, but called for the working class to violently overthrow the existing social structure. Marx did not believe that the road to socialism would be accessible by following existing laws. Lenin embraced Marx’s ideas and became the winner in the Russian Revolution as the head of the new Russian Communist government.

PROCESS

Weishaupt knew that in order to rule the world: “It is necessary to establish a universal regime and empire over the whole world.” 

How could a New World Order arise? What would be necessary for mankind to adopt and then adapt to the necessary changes Weshaupt and his secret society desired? Judeo Christianity and Islam have shaped a large population of the world he intended to dominate. To reach the mass population of people and address their struggles Weishaupt would initially imbed his mysteries into Freemasonry. The objective was to portray the “old theology” as insufficient and hopeless. Manly P. Hall, a well-known 33rd Degree Mason, wrote in his book, “Lectures on Ancient Philosophy”: “A new day is dawning for Freemasonry, from the insufficiency of theology and the hopelessness of materialism, men are turning to seek the god of philosophy.”

Hall would encourage the faithful followers where and when a new day was coming: “A new light is breaking in the east; a more glorious day is at hand. The rule of the philosophic elect-the dream of the ages-will yet be realized and is not too far distant.”

Has the time that Hall spoke of begun? Modern New Age teacher and author Benjamin Creme wrote this in his book, “The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom”: “The new religion will manifest, for instance, through organizations like Masonry. In Freemasonry is imbedded the core of the secret of the occult mysteries.”

NEW AGE RE-VEILED

The means of communication by Illuminati devotees is through secret codes and symbolism. They are hidden throughout society in plain sight. In the book, “The Spirit of Freemasonry,” it says, “A symbol veils or hides a secret, and is that which veils certain mysterious forces. These energies when released can have a potent effect.”

Satanist Alice Bailey said: “The hour of mysteries has arrived … These ancient mysteries were hidden in numbers, in ritual, in words, and in symbology; these veil the secret.”

In Freemasonry, the extensive symbolism, rituals and secrets are not fully comprehended by initiates and outsiders. The explanations given to appease any curiosity are feigned by the architects to conceal their hidden meanings. The concealed language of Freemasons was once given by a former Sovereign Commander: “The word reveal means to ‘re-veil,’ that is, to give one explanation and yet continue to maintain the mystery of the symbol by not explaining it in full and complete manner.” There are many interconnected organizations that cooperate together to address the ills of mankind. At their meetings they discuss various good works and ways to improve human life on earth. Although they appear as champions of social justice and human rights, they are the ones who control and cause much of the suffering in the world. We are distracted by their talk and isolated outward good works, but blinded to their long-term objective. Their objective is to foster the dawn of a New Age with a New World Order.

COOPERATION 

From its beginning, a variety of people and organizations saw the value of having a One World Order. The Illuminati story begins with an agreement between Amschel Mayor James Rothschild and Adam Weishaupt. Rothschild was said to have gathered 12 influential friends to pool their resources together so they could rule the world. Weishaupt was selected by Rothschild to lead the project. Soon after the plan was set in place, John Robison, a professor at Edinburgh University in Scotland, published a book entitled “Proofs of a Conspiracy” in which he reveals that Weishaupt had attempted to recruit him. Approximately 20 years later, George W. F. Hegel formulates his Hegelian Dialectic. Advocates to the Illuminati storyline believe the Hegelian Dialectic is the process by which Illuminati objectives are met. The process of thesis plus antithesis equals synthesis. In other words, first you incite a crisis. The public outcry to resolve the problem is followed by a predetermined solution that the public would not have initially accepted without the crisis. For example, for Americans to give up their Second Amendment rights, a tragic shooting occurs and the public outcry is the need for more gun control. The goal from the beginning was to have gun control. Justifying the goal first requires public acceptance to occur. Another recent example may be 9/11 and Islam? The list is long and wide of examples that could be used.

MONEY

Although the various players, and their organizations, cooperated on policy and process, they still lacked the mechanism that could affect people in every area of life on a practical basis. What was the missing ingredient that had to be included to guarantee their success? Money! Rothschild, who sought to control the International banking system, said: “Allow me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who writes the laws.” The central banking system would present the most ambitious means to control the money of the world. Europe, especially England, was already using a centralized banking system. In the U.S., the young nation debated this idea. The debate ended with a split decision. The split decision created the two-party system we now have today. In the United States under President Washington, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton wanted to establish a national bank fashioned after the Bank of England. Acting secretary of state under Washington was Thomas Jefferson. He opposed Hamilton’s idea of a centralized bank for a strong federal government. Jefferson’s group called themselves Democratic Republicans. Hamilton and his group called themselves the Federalists. The Federalists sought to protect the country’s infant industries. The Democratic Republican party drew its followers from planters and small farmers. The Federalists of old are known to us today as Republicans, and the Democratic Republicans as Democrats.

Satan is known as the god of the world system. His workers of iniquity are not easily identified because they appear as angels of light. Only the light of the Gospel can correctly examine their works to see if they are of God. The Illuminati and Secret Societies use a name that speaks of light but is nothing less than darkness. We can expose their evil works with the light of the Gospel:
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. But he that doeth truth cometh the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (John 3:19-21) Paul gives us instruction to avoid and not partake of those who operate in darkness and secrecy:
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for what doth make manifest is light.” (Ephesians 5:11-13)

What is Truth?

John 18

37 Pilate therefore said unto Him, Are You a King then? (This question is not exactly asked in sarcasm or sincerity; quite probably, there is a little of both!) Jesus answered, You say that I am a King (is the same as saying “yes, it is so!”). To this end was I born (addresses the Incarnation, God becoming Man [Isa. 7:14]), and for this cause came I into the world (He is to be King in the hearts of all who believe Him), that I should bear witness unto the Truth (carries in its statement the entirety of the embodiment of the Ways of God). Every one who is of the Truth hears My Voice (only those who sincerely desire Truth will know Christ, i.e., “hear His Voice”).

38 Pilate said unto Him, What is Truth? (Pilate shows himself by his question to be a cynic.) And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and said unto them (is done so in the midst of tumult), I find in Him no fault at all (Pilate knew that Jesus was not guilty of treason against Rome, or any other type of infraction).
~JSM Expositor’s

In this world of information overload and misinformation, it is very hard to find out the Truth! We often associate “Truth” with what we believe to be true as according to our personal views, perceptions and biases. In reality there is but One Truth in which all other truths are based. That “Truth” is a Person, the Man Jesus Christ and His atonement made at Calvary. How you perceive and view Christ will determine have you evaluate and handle facts, evidence, and information presented to you on a daily basis. As a Christian there is only one way to deal with and perceive information and that is through the Power of the Holy Spirit who indwells the saint upon Salvation. Without the Holy Spirit in you and you daily placing your faith in “Truth” as found in Christ and His atonement, you can only evaluate things based upon your mere human perspective/opinions/biases and lust/desires. You see, in every human being is a sin nature, which is a bent towards wrong doing, and unless this nature is crucified and made dormant by evidencing faith in Calvary (Truth), you can only make assumptions and evaluations based upon the sin nature’s bent towards wrong doing or fleshly desires. Only those living for Christ by evidencing the fruit of Christ are able to properly evaluate/discern what is of “Truth” as centered around the Bible which is the story of Jesus Christ and Him Crucified.

The reason why many of us as professed saints or Christians aren’t saying the same things and can’t see things from a biblical perspective as centered around the doctrine of Calvary is because we lost focus of Christ and His atonement. We went from trusting in the Cross of Christ exclusively to being divided in our beliefs by adding to the Message of the Cross. We have not allowed the work of Calvary to nail our desires, our opinions, our biases to His Cross and we have set out to establish our own righteousness.

In the above Scripture, Pilate who was a Roman governor during the trial of Jesus, had Truth right before his eyes but was unable to recognize Him for who He was and what He would accomplish due to his selfish desires ruling his heart. You see Pilate had the power to condemn Christ or set him free but due to the pressure from the Jews and his desire not to offend his superiors, he condemned an innocent Man. How many of us are walking around condemning and speaking against that which God has ordained simply because we can’t recognize Truth?? Once you and I come to know Truth as in the Person of Jesus Christ and His atonement, we will be able to discern the mind of God and that which is according to the Will of God otherwise you will make wrong evaluations of things due to looking from a corrupt point of view.

~Shonette

The Power of Satan- Man Cannot Overcome In His Own Strength

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, [even] our faith. 1 John 5:4

When Lucifer(Satan) was kicked out of heaven he retained his powers. Although he was not created as an evil being, sin within his heart corrupted his true nature(Ezekiel 28:13-18, Isaiah 14:12-15). The bible states that he is the god of this world system (2 Cor. 4:4), but he still has to submit to Jehovah God and get permission to do anything, therefore God is in control. We as humans are no match for Satan he continues to have wisdom and power that is beyond human ability but on a corrupt level. Therefore, as Christians we must submit to Faith in Christ and Cross, this is the only way to defeat satan, remain hidden under the blood of Christ, and when God is ready for the hedges to be lowered you will be prepared for any circumstance(Job 1,2)

Satan may have powers beyond our understanding but he is no match for the Lord. If you read the book of Job you will see that God can take the weak things of the world to confound the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27). This is why Paul states that “When I am weak then am I strong”(2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Strength comes because we, through circumstances become weak and have need of dependence upon the Lord. The flesh (human strength or ability) is really strong, and it takes events in our lives to weaken us, to get us to lean upon the arm of God. Often times, the believer has faith in the wrong object which may include one’s own strength, intellect, ability, or dependence upon other people or things.

The Lord, in order to get our focus or faith in the right object sometimes causes or allows situations to get the believer to turn to Faith in Christ and the Cross. This is where satan was and is defeated!!! Most would think it cruel but this is the Love of God at work, He states that He chasten those whom He loves, and if there is no chastisement then you are not a child of God (Hebrews 12:6-11). Allow the Lord to correct you in the error of your ways and Victory will surely come!!

~ Shonette

By: Frances Swaggart

One of the most important subjects that can be addressed today is the home. The home is of critical importance in the stability of any society. In view of this, we are confronted with an awesome problem in America —the rising statistics of divorce, the increase of non-committal couples living together, and society’s remaking and redefinition of the family unit. This is a serious problem since the strength of the home is the foundation of our nation. As the home goes, so goes the country, and so goes the world.

Today we have a generation of young people who, in many ways, grew up homeless. I don’t mean that they grew up fending for themselves on the streets (although some surely did), but rather those who grew up without parents and grandparents who knew how to create and sustain a godly home life.

As Christians, we need to know how to create such an environment for our children and our grandchildren. That’s why I’ve decided to reprint my husband’s article series, “The Successful Home and Marriage.” Each month I will use this space to share his teachings on topics that will help you to build a strong home, a stable marriage, and children of character who are secure in their relationships with their parents and with the Lord.

SOCIETY’S BASIC INSTITUTION

“And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Gen. 2:18).

“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Heb. 13:4)

“And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mat. 19:4-6).

God created three great institutions: the church, the home, and the state (government). These institutions have survived throughout history. Without them, the world would not have survived. They are not only three great factors in life, but also great restraining forces on the plans Satan has for the world.

If questioned on the subject, many might automatically assume that the church (the body of Christ) is God’s most important institution. Naturally, the state is also extremely important. A nation must have some form of government or there would be anarchy and chaos.

With all deference to the importance of the church and state, the home is the most important of God’s three institutions. It was the home that God created first in the garden of Eden, at the same time He created Adam and Eve. The home is the first institution on which God placed His divine seal of approval. It is the oldest institution in society—and it is also the basic and most important element in society. It has been said, and correctly, “as the home goes, so goes the world.”

IT IS SO BEAUTIFUL

Someone said that the three sweetest words in the English language are mother, home, and heaven. We should point out that mother and heaven are centered about the middle word, which is home. No one thinks about mother without thinking about home, and the home should be the picture and reminder of heaven. The home should be peaceful: it should be so good, so beautiful, that it can be thought of as a little bit of heaven right here on earth. The father should be a representative of God—and the mother representative of God’s grace and love.

Children ought to love their home so much that, every time they think of it, there will be a pleasant memory to comfort them. The home certainly should be a reminder of heaven, because whenever someone thinks of heaven, they tend to think about the loved ones they expect to meet again, “over there.” What a common thread in everyone’s Christian’s life. A mother, an aunt, a sister, a brother, a son or daughter—whoever it may be—when they depart to be with the Lord, they are missed and saddened hearts long after them. What a comfort it is to know that there will be a reunion in heaven’s glory someday. So the home is really rooted deeply in the heart’s tenderest thoughts, and in memories and aspirations of a better land where loved ones must no longer be saddened by suffering through loss and separation.

PEOPLE ARE PLACED IN FAMILIES

Psalm 68:6 tells us, “God setteth the solitary in families.” This may seem like a strange passage of Scripture. It means, really, that one of the greatest blessings God gives the human race is the home and the family. It is one of the most tender, blessed, memorable, and enjoyable arrangements that God offers to His children.

The design God has for the home sounds wonderful and idealistic. Everything God creates is good, and everything is meant to be a blessing. When God ordained the home, He ordained it to be a bit of heaven on earth. When He is truly head of the home, it functions according to His principles. It can thus be, in fact, a bit of heaven on earth.

BAD SITUATIONS EXIST

Even though God ordained the home—and even though His desire is for it to be a preview of heaven—there are many homes in a state of disruption and disarray, torn to pieces by strife. The home can be the best thing this side of heaven—or the worst thing this side of hell. Since it is ordained by God and the basic element in our society, Satan naturally does everything he can to destroy it. Approximately 40 percent of the homes in the United States are broken by divorce—and this is also true of many other countries. The enemy is doing everything possible to destroy the foundation and fiber of society, beginning with the home, and especially the institution of marriage itself.
HOME INVOLVES MARRIAGE

You cannot have a home without marriage. Marriage is, of necessity, involved in the establishing of a home. Satan has done everything he can to get people to ignore marriage and to just live together. Living together without marriage, of course, constitutes adultery. Some state that the marriage vow and the marriage certificate are nothing more than a formality and a piece of paper. That is an absurd and foolish statement. A $20 bill is just a piece of paper; the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, and other priceless documents are just pieces of paper. The good and important institutions we have and depend on are, almost without exception, formalized by pieces of paper.

The marriage vow and certificate involve a commitment made, and this is the basic element in the development of a home. You can’t really have home without a marriage. Four or five young women living together do not make a home. Several young men sharing an apartment do not make a home. It takes marriage to make a home. Even when one of the mates in a marriage has gone on to be with the Lord, the memory of that home, and what it meant, still binds and cements together those left behind. It definitely takes a marriage to make a home.

The institution of marriage and the home is not something to be taken lightly. It was ordained by God. He made this clear and very obvious in His Word. He said in Genesis 2:18 that it is not good for man to be alone. He went on to say He would make a help meet (suitable) for him.

HOW GOD DID IT

It is recorded in Genesis 2:21-25:

“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

God created woman and brought her to Adam. It was God who taught them the meaning of marriage. When they were brought together, it was no doubt the original example of love at first sight. They were the first couple wedded, as God gave the command to “be fruitful and multiply, replenish the earth and subdue it.”

God made man and woman for each other. It can truthfully be said that God Himself performed the first marriage ceremony, right there in the garden. Marriage is a holy and beautiful institution—a condition ordained and approved by God. It is the first and oldest institution in human society. God ordained this for man’s good and happiness, and simultaneously it is done for God’s own glory.

In New Testament times, Jesus Himself added His blessing to marriage by endorsing the Genesis account of the creation of man and woman for each other. He said:

“But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mk. 10:6-9) So our Lord personally confirmed and endorsed marriage as a holy and divine institution. It is significant that Jesus was born into this world within the framework of a home and family. God could have sent His Son into this world in some miraculous way, into a situation devoid of association with the normal family structure. But God chose the home as the instrument through which to introduce the blessed Redeemer to the world.

While our Lord was not conceived in the natural way of procreation (and did not have a human father), Jesus was born into a home. Mary and Joseph were engaged, betrothed to be married. Jesus was born of the virgin Mary before she and Joseph became one in marriage—as is clearly stated in the Word of God. But God instructed Joseph, before Jesus was born, to take Mary as his wife, and to care for her. It thus turned out that Jesus not only had a mother, but Joseph was also present to serve as a father figure during Jesus’ early life—although he was, in truth, his foster father.

JESUS HONORED HIS PARENTS

Luke tells us about our Lord Jesus when was just 12 years old, going to Jerusalem with His parents. Jesus honored His home, and made it a holy institution. He chose to be born into humble circumstances and He honored His parents.

I believe Jesus was raised in a humble home so He could relate to the average person living in the average home. Jesus’ home was one in which the relationship of Joseph and Mary honored and glorified God.

Mary and Joseph loved one another tenderly and together cared for the baby Jesus, God’s own Son. So Jesus had a home, and while not much is said about the first 30 years of His life, there is enough revealed to know that He lived as we do, in a home. Jesus’ early life, therefore, glorified home and marriage. Marriage is often referred to as holy matrimony and certainly it is a divine institution. According to the Bible, matrimony is to be holy. This divine institution of matrimony came long before any other social institution, such as human governments.

The church, of course, is extremely important. As people began to multiply and increase, they began to worship. This can be seen in the biblical account of the history of the Jewish nation. As a separated people, they were given forms of worship by God. One can look back to Mount Sinai and see some of the instructions given for their worship.

The church is made up of believers. It is the body of Christ. It is immensely important and has a rich history. But neither the church nor human government—though divinely ordained—are as old or as sacred as the institution of marriage. This was instituted by God in the garden of Eden, and its importance has not diminished over the 6,000 years of history since its institution.

Watchfulness

The second condition that will result in the Christian’s worthiness to be included in the Rapture is that of watchfulness. The Apostle Paul said:

“Let us WATCH” (I Thess. 5:6).

There are four words used in the New Testament for “watch” that are used in relation to Christ’s return. Incidentally, these four words are used also in Passages dealing with moral and ethical conduct.

Two of these words—gregoreo and agrupneo—mean “to be on the alert, to be wide awake spiritually. The force of these words is to point up the urgency of the situation.

If we do not set an eternal vigilance on the Return of Christ, we are in danger of missing out. The Apostle Peter’s thinking went along the same lines as the Apostle Paul’s when he warned:

“Be sober, be VIGILANT [gregoreo]; because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour” (I Pet. 5:8).

Let us turn to the Gospel of Mark to illustrate the use of these two most significant words of warning to the Christians concerning watchfulness.

“But of that day and that hour knows no man, no, not the Angels which are in Heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

“TAKE YOU HEED, WATCH AND PRAY: FOR YOU KNOW NOT WHEN THE TIME IS.

“For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, Who left His House, and gave authority to His Servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to WATCH.

“WATCH you therefore: for you know not when the Master of the house comes, at evening, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:

“LEST COMING SUDDENLY HE FIND YOU SLEEPING.

“And what I say unto you I say unto all, WATCH” (Mk. 13:32-37).

This Parable illustrates the necessity of watchfulness. The word “watch” is used in this Parable four times. Let us look at each use of this word “watch.”

In Verse 33 Jesus said:

“Take you heed, WATCH.”

The word here means “to chase sleep, to be sleepless,” and expresses not mere wakefulness but a watchfulness of those who are intent upon doing anything.

In Verse 34 He commanded the porter to watch. The word here is sometimes translated “vigilant alertness,” not as the same word in Verse 33.

Verse 35 begins with “watch” and again the urgency of watching is emphasized.

“You know not when the Master of the house comes”

… so be watching. Again, the warning in Verse 36:

“Lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping.”

In Verse 37 the last use of the word is capitalized emphasizing the force of the word—the urgency of the hour.

“For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, Who left His House” (Vs. 34)

… and does not say when He will return. But He said, considering the urgency of it:

“What I say unto you I say unto all, WATCH.”

When a person is going on a long-sought-after vacation, he usually spends a restless, uncomfortable night in anticipation of the upcoming departure. For the true Christian it is hard to rest comfortably in the world when he is anticipating something so much better.

We have often seen the picture of the restless, sleepless mother and father, looking down the trail waiting for the long-lost prodigal to return.

The helmsman of a ship fights back sleep to maintain his bearing, knowing that the mightiest wave will slide under the heel if the prow of the ship meets it head-on. Our Captain says, “Take heed, be watchful,” just as a sea captain says, “Mind your helm.

Notice again in the Parable that the Son of Man …

“commanded the porter to WATCH” (Vs. 34).

Here, as in Verse 35, the Apostles are compared to doorkeepers (porters); as the captain of the guard made his rounds at night through the Temple, the guards were to rise and salute him. Any guard found asleep on duty was beaten or his garments set on fire.

It is self-evident that under that severe penalty not many guards would drowse off to sleep. This use of the word was mentioned again by Jesus as He spoke to the Apostle John:

“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he who WATCHES, and KEEPS HIS GARMENTS, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame” (Rev 16:15).

What a warning! What an incentive to alertness!

One lexicon says that the word gregoreo comes from a root word meaning “collecting our faculties. In the light of the soon Return of the Lord Jesus Christ, we should be “collecting our faculties,” lest we lose our garments and “walk naked” and ashamed.

The Christian who drowses away at his Christianity is imperiling his Salvation. All too many Christians count on God to keep them alert. They feel it is God’s duty to warn them as each new wave approaches. Unfortunately, it is not the duty of the captain of the ship to stand the wheel watch; it is the person at the helm who must maintain constant vigilance if he is to see the voyage to a successful conclusion. The helmsman who falls asleep and endangers the ship is eligible for grave and disciplinary action. Christians who fail to maintain their vigilance can expect no better. There are consequences for our every action. Spiritual consequences are no less real than worldly ones.

This is the reason the Apostle Paul said:

“I die daily” (I Cor. 15:31).

The great Apostle of Christ brought his body …

“into subjection”

… every waking day …

“lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (I Cor. 9:27).

And if such a magnificent man of God found it necessary to remain ever vigilant (lest he fall by the wayside), who are we to become overconfident?

Yet Christians are becoming smug. Christian attention is wandering. Clergy and laity are becoming immersed in this world. It is a new day in which we live. The old Scriptures no longer count. Practices that would have been denounced a short time ago are accepted now. Everyone is doing it. It is a new day.…

But is it?

King Solomon wrote:

“There is no new thing under the sun” (Eccl. 1:9).

Satan knows there is nothing new under the sun. The modern morals and the new permissiveness are nothing new to him. He has promoted the same things in Greece, in Rome, in Sodom and Gomorrah, and in Babylon.

“Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it has been already of old time, which was before us” (Eccl. 1:10).

The new morality is new to us only because we were not alive in ancient days to see the old morality. And if we fall for the new morality now, the same consequences that befell Greece, Rome, Sodom and Gomorrah, and Babylon will befall our civilization.

Satan is breaking through the doors of our once moral and Spiritual Strongholds. Today he is bombarding our mind through pornographic movies which come right into our living rooms, billboards, magazines, indecent dress, public scenes that once would have caused people to blush. Many Christians sit through these movies, laugh at the openly obscene jokes, and then wonder why their relationship with God is not what it used to be.

These Christians have been lulled to sleep. They have been put under a hypnotic trance by Satan because they have not watched. They do not WATCH what they see, where they go, and what they say—and all of this despite the fact that the Holy Spirit has enjoined them to WATCH. Not to watch and pray is to prove oneself unworthy to be included in the Rapture.

SLEEPLESSNESS

Sometime after the rise of Adolf Hitler to power in Germany, many Germans perceived the real intent of Hitler that was hidden behind his rhetoric to put a Volkswagen in every German carport. After organizing a door-to-door campaign to warn the German people of what lay ahead, they were met by a complacent, self-satisfied public that slammed the door on them for disturbing their peace.

It is with this in mind that we study the Apostle Paul’s warning to the Thessalonians that professing Christians, who are asleep spiritually, are living in danger of missing the Rapture.

The Greek word that the Apostle Paul used for “sleep” (I Thess. 5:6) is the Greek word katheudo, and means “to repose oneself in sleep. The same Greek word is used in Matthew 25:5 to describe the faithless, careless, indifferent virgins.

However, context determines the Biblical meaning that the Holy Spirit intends. In I Thessalonians 5:6, therefore, katheudo is used metaphorically as “carnal insensibility to Divine things involving conformity to the world. The Apostle Paul contrasted spiritual sleep (Vs. 6) with the natural sleep that comes at night and with the drunkenness that dulls a person’s senses (Vs. 7).

Another Greek word for “sleep” may be mentioned here that carries the same connotation as katheudo, but with a little different slant. This word is found in Romans 13:11.

“And that, knowing the time, and now it is high time to AWAKE out of SLEEP: for now is our Salvation nearer than when we believed.

“The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

“Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

“But put you on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:11-14).

The Greek word for “sleep” that we are exhorted to “awake out of” is hypnou, from the root word hypnos. It is the same word from which our word “hypnosis” is derived. “Hypnosis” is a “state that resembles sleep, but is induced by a person whose suggestions are readily accepted by the subject.”

Think of that! What better definition could we have of Spiritual Sleep than that of listening to the voice of the Devil (induced by a person) who suggests that we turn our eyes from the Lord and toward those things that direct our attention to the world?

Paul’s warning in the light of the imminent Return of the Lord Jesus Christ is to awake us out of our Spiritual Conformity to the world and to “put on Christ”; that is, our sole interest in life must be the same as that of our Lord to enter into His Views, His Thinking, and to imitate Him in all things. Why? Because, as the Apostle Peter said:

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour” (I Pet. 5:8).

No sooner had the Children of God come out of Egyptian bondage than they became disenchanted and disillusioned and began to turn back to the beggarly elements of the world. The Christian experience is similar. When people are first Saved and begin their Christian walk, they are usually on a mountaintop high. For a time they continue bouncing from mountaintop to mountaintop, or, as King Solomon described it …

“leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills” (Song of Sol. 2:8).

But sooner or later the season wears on. The petals fall in the rose garden until the thorns begin to show. The cherry bowl begins to display more pits than cherries.…

Unfortunately, most Christians believe their Christian gardens will never become invaded by weeds. They are taught by overzealous teachers and misguided preachers that a Christian’s walk should never come down from the mountaintops, but it always does. Why? Because it is only during these periods that we are able to stand back, evaluate our Christian Growth, and recognize the areas where we need more work.

Faith that has never been tested is a Faith that can never be quite certain. That is the reason that our reactions during these periods of “valley” Christianity determine the outcome of our Christian walk. Every moon walk has its reentry, and every spiritual high has its return to Earth. A solid enduring relationship with God is something to be arrived at only with hard work, sweat, and tears.

Too many Christians become indifferent with the passage of time. Living for Christ, in Christ, and like Christ becomes a bore. Attending church can become an inconvenience. If we fail to work at it and fail continually to renew our commitment and review our Blessings, it is possible for us to fall by the wayside.

It is always more fun to talk about the Blessings and the highs and the glory and the grandeur. But a farm would soon fall into disrepair and ruin if the chores were not done every day. If the cows were not milked twice a day, they would soon stop giving milk. If they were not fed daily and their stalls cleaned, they would soon sicken and die.

Chores keep the world turning. And if we neglect our Spiritual Chores, our eternal farm is going to wreck and ruin. We should spend more time on the chores of our Spiritual Walk rather than spending so much time lifting our eyes to the glories above.

We like to gather a crowd on a hill and point out the absolute beauty of the well-tended farm spread out below us. But, unfortunately, we do not give equal time to the cultivation that produced those tended fields.

A Christian has to make a conscious decision to walk in the Ways of God. Our human, carnal nature is such that we crave constant stimulation. We are easily drawn off into the world. But excitement and stimulation can come from the enemy. A Christian who wishes to be truly “in Christ”to be an overcomer—must decide first whether he is willing to dedicate himself to this and every waking moment of his life.

We must constantly decide we are going to do these things necessary to grow as Christians—things that require energy and effort. Jesus said:

“He who is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much” (Lk. 16:10).

These daily chores are the basis of the Christian life. Let us never lose sight of one fact: we do not do these things to earn Salvation or to win favor with God. No one earns anything from God. Everything we have from God comes to us by Grace. We are the ones who need the maturity that is the outgrowth of a daily consistent Christian walk. God can get along with or without our “works”; we cannot.

Just as a dedicated farmer does not fall asleep as he rushes from one chore to another, the Christian who spends each day exercising his Spiritual Gifts is neither blind nor prey to Satan’s devices. The problem comes when the Christian decides to take a break. He becomes bored, takes a few days off to refresh himself with an excursion into the world. Then, he becomes vulnerable to Satan’s serene song and soon falls prey to his hypnotic lures.

How many times have you been present among gatherings of “Christians,” where you mentioned revival, and no one perked up? You tried to get a conversation going about some Bible Passage, and then someone brought up the Super Bowl or the latest movie. What happened? Everyone was suddenly interested. These are Christians who are asleep in Christ and awake to the things of the world.

What elicits responses in your own heart? What excites you? What gets you out of your chair and heading for some activity?

The true answer may come as a shock to you. It is almost as though the world has taken a spiritual sedative. We are asleep at the wheel. Church services are a bore. Living for God has become a bore. God’s Word just is not as exciting as it used to be.

Or is it? Are we the ones who are out of step? A great percentage of the Christian segment of the world’s population has been lulled to sleep by Satan’s hypnotic lures. We believe when the Holy Spirit gave the words to the Apostle Paul, He was putting them there for Christians in this day as well.

Wake up, Christian world! Sleeping Christians are not going to have an alarm clock just before the Rapture.

~J. Swaggart

Karl Marx (May 5, 1818 through March 14, 1883) was a German philosopher, sociologist, economic historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. He was heavily critical of the socio-economic form of society and taught that Capitalism must be destroyed. Marx tried to make Capitalism the cause of all society’s ills, but history has proven this notion wrong time and time again. Marx s theories about society, economics, and politics, collectively known as Marxism, hold that all societies progress through the dialectic of class struggle. Dialectic is a dialogue or method for resolving conflict between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject. To Marx, this dialectic occurred between two main classes, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. The proletariat is the labor or working class, the people who earn their livelihood by selling their labor power and being paid a wage or salary for their labor time. The bourgeoisie are those who earn their income not from labor as much as from the surplus value they appropriate from the workers who create wealth. And, according to Marx, the income of the Capitalists is based on their exploitation of the workers (the proletariat). He thought that this conflict could not be abolished without replacing the system of Capitalism itself. You see, for Marx, democracy under Capitalism is actually a bourgeois dictatorship.

The Common Man?

Now, at first glance, his theory makes Marx appear to be a man concerned for the “common man” and a friend to all, but let s dig a little deeper, first into Marx s psyche (and real beliefs), and secondly into the negative effects the system of Socialism always has on a country. Keep in mind that, in order to change things, you must create a crisis, a reason for needing change. Marx used our human compassions for the poor to bring about his own political power, which was a power that would deny religious freedom in the end. The poor were not his cause but his vehicle to produce revolution. Marx often quoted the phrase, “Religion is the opium of the people.” We Believers may concur with this statement in general, agreeing that yes, true Christianity is NOT a religion, but when Marx said it, he was referring to all religions, including true Christianity. You have to keep in mind that his Marxist system, which was designed similarly to Communism, would be used to oppress true Christianity as is evident in the testimony of Brother Richard Wurmbrand, a Believer who spent eight years in a Communist prison for preaching the Gospel and ideas contrary to Communist doctrine. Remember, Socialism is something that sounds good on the surface but, in reality, is not. Its practical application does not hold up to its naive ideals. Yes, some employers and business owners take advantage of Capitalism and exploit their workers, but we cannot forget that Capitalism has a very important aspect. It allows for freedom! If we allow for the loss of any freedom, eventually we will lose all freedoms, even religious freedom! Carefully read this quote by Marx: “The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of man is a requisite for their real happiness. The call to abandon their illusions about their conditions is a call to abandon a condition which requires illusion. . . . “ (“Was Karl Marx a Satanist?” by Richard Wurmbrand, Diane Brooks Pub. Co., 1976, p.6.) If we do not allow the opportunity for Americans (or people of any country) to make as much money as they desire, we eliminate the opportunity for all to make their desired amounts of income. God will take care of those who abuse the privilege. “Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth” (James 5:4).

Without God!

In his youth, Karl Marx professed to be a Christian. His father, a lawyer, was relatively prosperous and came from a Jewish background, and his mother was a Dutch Jew from a prosperous business family. His maternal grandfather was a Jewish Rabbi. Prior to Karl s birth, his father converted from Judaism to the Protestant Christian denomination of Lutheranism. This is believed to be because he was barred from the practice of law due to being Jewish. http://www.notablebiographies.com/Ma-Mo/Marx-Karl.html. So, the conversion could have been more for business reasons rather than actual spiritual ones. Nevertheless, Marx s first written work was called “The Union of the Faithful”, so there is evidence Marx adhered to Christian beliefs early on. However, for reasons unknown, he started to become very anti-religious! A new Marx began to emerge. He began to display a terrible hatred toward God. What exactly produced this hatred, no one seems to know. He wrote the following line in his poem, “Invocation of One in Despair”: “I shall build my throne high overhead.” In another poem he wrote, “Then I will be able to walk triumphantly, like a God, through the ruins of their kingdom. Every word of mine is fire and action, my breast is equal to that of the Creator.” In his poem, “The Pale Maiden”, he wrote, “Thus Heaven I ve forfeited, I know it full well. My soul, once true to God, is chosen for Hell.” Clearly, this man was very tormented. He went from blasphemous claims of considering himself equal to God to acknowledging he was going to a Devil s Hell.

The Dance Of Death

In reading Marx s poems, one quickly discovers not only that he hated God, but actually the gods of any religion. In a little known drama he composed, “Oulanem”, you see a very dark side of Karl developing Devil worship and the Black Mass. During a Black Mass, the Bible is burned and an orgy follows. In a poem called “The Player” he pens these words, “The hellish vapors rise and fill the brain, till I go mad and my heart is utterly changed. See this sword? The prince of darkness sold it to me. For me beats the time and gives the signs. Ever more boldly I play the dance of death.” Now, in the higher initiations of a Satanist s cult, an “enchanted” sword, which ensures success, is sold to the candidate. He pays for it by signing a covenant, a blood-oath. Yes, blood taken from his wrists, and he agrees that his soul will belong to Satan after death! In “The 18th Brumaire” (pg. 119), Marx quotes this, “Everything in existence is worth being destroyed.” These were the words of Mephistopheles in “Faust,” and Marx loved these words. Stalin actually acted on these words and destroyed even his own family. In “Faust,” the spirit that denies everything is called Satan. In his poem, “Human Pride,” Marx admits his aim is not to improve the world, reform, or revolutionize it, but simply to ruin it and to enjoy it being ruined. He wrote, “With disdain I will throw my gauntlet full in the face of the world, and see the collapse of this pygmy giant whose fall will not stifle my ardor. Then will I wander godlike and victorious through the ruins of the world, and, giving my words an active force, I will feel equal to the Creator.” You see, in further, deeper study of Karl Marx, I found a man that had a deep hatred for God and for man as well. It was his desire to draw all of humanity into the abyss and to follow them laughing. And really, there is every evidence that Karl Marx was actually a Satanist. He is even buried in Highgate Cemetery in London. Highgate Cemetery is Britain s center of Satanism. Mysterious rites are held and celebrated at this tomb.

The Communist Manifesto

In college Marx became involved with a group of radical thinkers known as the “Young Hegelians,” who gathered around Ludwig Feuerbach and Bruno Bauer. The Young Hegelians were critical of G.W.F. Hegel s metaphysical assumptions, but still adopted his dialectic method, in order to criticize established society, politics, and religion. Marx befriended Bauer, and the two scandalized their class in Bonn by getting drunk, laughing in church, and galloping through the streets on donkeys. It was in Paris, on August 28, 1844, that Marx met German Socialist, Friedrich Engels, and these two began a friendship that would last a lifetime. On February 21, 1848, Marx and Engels s most famous work was published, which came to be known as, “The Communist Manifesto.” Marx and Engels both came from privileged families and both held a grudge against all religions. “Running left-wing movements has always been the prerogative of spoiled rich kids. . . . The phoniness of the claim to be a movement of the working class was blatant from the beginning. When Engels was elected as a delegate to the Communist League in 1847, in his own words, a working man was proposed for appearances sake, but those who proposed him voted for me. “ (Thomas Sowell, 1993 book, “Is Reality Optional”. Hoover Institution, p. 81.) Marx also met Moses Hess, a man who played a most important role in his life, the man who led him to embrace the Socialist ideal. No, Karl Marx did not love mankind. He was not prompted by concern for the poverty of his fellowman. He did not love them, but rather referred to them as nuts, asses, and rascals. He even described them using obscenities. No, Marx s chief aim in life was the destruction of religion and to send mankind to Hell. Marxists always appealed to the basest passions of men, such as stirring up envy toward the rich and encouraging violence. Marxists will exploit things such as racial differences or the so-called generation gap. They encourage an abolition of all morals, making everything permissible.

Occult Satanism

Socialist and Communist movements are, in reality, front organizations for occult Satanism. Karl Marx (and his satanic Marxism) is not a model for countries to follow, and any country that does follow this socialistic path will wind up broke with its people living in poverty, which is Satan s desire, to destroy God s Creation! The doctrine of Socialism is seething with contradictions. Its theories are at constant odds with its practices. Indeed, no precise distinct Socialism even exists. Instead, there is only a vague, rosy notion of something noble and good, of equality, of communal ownership, and of justice. It is believed that the advent of these things will bring instant utopia and a social order beyond reproach. Yet, in any country that practices Socialism or Communism, you will not find any semblance of anything pertaining to a glorious future for its citizens. Look at China, Russia, and Europe. Look at the bloody experiments at the time of the Reformation utopias of European thinkers, the intrigues of Marx and Engels, the radical Communist measures of the Lenin period, or the heavy-handed methods of Stalin! So, why is Socialism being pushed down the throats of the American people today when it has always been a failure in any country of the world? It s plain and easy for anyone to see that Socialism seeks to reduce human personality to its most primitive levels and to extinguish the highest and most God-like aspects of human individuality. Actually, Socialism has already proven to be a failed experiment here in the United States of America. The Pilgrims, the 104 people who arrived at Plymouth Rock on December 21, 1620, were organized under a charter which imposed a seven year period of joint ownership. Thus, the day they arrived in the new world, all clothing, houses, land, crops, and cash were jointly owned. So, no matter how hard a man might have worked, he had little hope of personal gain for his effort.

The Pilgrims

Thus, the Pilgrims started life in the New World with a system of common ownership forced on them by Plymouth Colony investors. That quasi-socialist arrangement proved to be disastrous. It had to be scrapped for one that gave these first Americans the right to keep the fruits of their labor and incentive to produce more. The communal arrangement also ill-fitted the Pilgrims for the demands of life on the edge of a “cruel” wilderness. The Pilgrims buried forty-four people within the first three months, and a total of fifty died within the first year. The ground proved to be unyielding, so Pilgrims gathered a “small harvest” and celebrated their first Thanksgiving with the Indians in the autumn of 1621. Another small harvest followed in 1622. Such a meager return came in part because the Pilgrims were unskilled at farming and because of the sandy New England soil. However, it was the lack of any promise or return for their labors that caused even these God-fearing and devout settlers to fail to fully work the land. It also led to a social order at odds with the dictates of human nature, so there were dissensions and insubordination in unthrift and famine.

Private Enterprise

In March of 1623, Governor Bradford allowed each man to plant corn for his own household and to trust themselves for that. So, every family was assigned a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number. This proved to be very successful. It made all hands very industrious, so that much more corn was planted than would have been by any other means anyone had devised. Suddenly, these heretofore mediocre farmers made their own Capitalist “great leap forward.” Whereas 26 acres of corn, barley, and peas were planted in 1621, they planted nearly 60 acres the next year and, in 1623, they planted 184 acres. Governor Bradford reported that, instead of famine, God gave them plenty, and things changed. And they gave thanks to God. Under the new system of private enterprise, the Pilgrims grew in prosperity and were soon able to buy out the interest of their investors and obtain clear titles to their land. Governor Bradford wrote this, “The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato s and other ancients applauded by some of later times; that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.”

Private enterprise is “God-given” and what this Nation was founded on. Socialism, Marxism, and Communism were all founded in Satanism. Private industry is what America was established on, and it has resulted in the greatest nation ever produced on the face of the Earth.

 

~J. Swaggart

WHILE JESUS WALKED ON the earth in preparation for His death and resurrection to redeem mankind, he brought a reformation. His teachings brought Israel back to the Word of God. He exposed errors taught by the religious leaders of Israel.

From Genesis to Malachi, the scarlet cord of redemption pointed toward our Lord’s vicarious death for the penalty of our sin. During Jesus’ time in Israel, religious tradition had plagued the covenant people, causing them to move their faith from the promise of redemption given by God toward burdensome works fashioned by tradition. The interpretation of the law by religious leaders through tradition left the laymen without spiritual freedom or liberty. The yoke of man’s laws gained supremacy over God’s righteous laws.

CONDITIONS FOR REFORMATION

The reformation that took place in the 15th century beheld similar conditions as was evidenced at the time of Christ with Israel. The seeds of dissatisfaction held by reformers, who initially sought to change the religious system from within the Roman Catholic Church (RCC), were later met by protestors who chose to leave the RCC and declare their spiritual independence from the pope. The questions of the hour ranged from, “How is a person saved?” to “Where does religious authority lie?” Martin Luther’s reply to these questions defined his opposition to the institutionalized Roman Catholic system of works. He would herald, “Not by works but by faith alone.” He declared that spiritual authority is not in the Roman Catholic institution but in the Word of God found in the Bible. Luther’s predecessors, John Wycliffe, John Huss, and Girolarmo Savonarola, to name a few, saw the behavioral corruption within the Roman Catholic Church leadership. The reformers began to question the authority and dominion of the Roman Catholic Church. These men were raised up in the teachings of the RCC and served as monks and priests. In fact, some of John Wycliffe’s inspiration came from one of his college professors at Oxford, one Richard FitzRalph, who argued, “Why should the state of grace be required only of temporal rulers? Do churchmen have the right to rule when they live in moral sin?”

During the Reformation era, the immoral complacency of popes and religious leaders became intolerable to reformers. They desired to see a demonstration of righteous living instead of the hypocrisy displayed by popes who had adulterous affairs and sought earthly wealth and personal aggrandizement. The heightened malcontentedness of the reformers culminated in Martin Luther nailing his 95 thesis to the door of the Castle church in Wittneberg, Germany, on October 31, 1517. Indulgences had been sold by the Roman Catholic Church for over 200 years preceding Luther’s denouncement of Tetzel’s sale of indulgences. However, now in Luther’s time, indulgences were for the sake of raising funds for the rebuilding of St. Peters church in Rome. In order to get these funds, the people were promised remission for sins they had not yet committed, and their relatives were assured release from purgatory. Tetzel summed up his doctrine in this fashion: “The moment the money rattles into the box, the soul for whom it was given escapes from purgatory.” The idea that the Church could assume the authority to sell salvation became unacceptable to Luther and the reformers.

TODAY

The Message of the Cross is the reformation message to the modern church fraught with error. It is the balm that soothes the pain from the damages caused by the abuses of false teachers. The hopes of many believers have crashed into the rocks of despair near the shores of desperation. The modern day indulgences are the promissory notes of so-called preachers who promise prosperity and wealth in this world – but only if one gives to their ministry. Failure to give to these false prophets leaves the unfaithful believers with the fear of temporal punishment – they will live in material and spiritual poverty in this world. Guilt is used by these purveyors of unrighteousness as the means to deceive and imprison its followers. If they can only have more faith, they will be rewarded. Meanwhile, the object of their faith leaves little desire for spiritual things – for they seek after worldly wealth.

Along with the Word of Faith’s misplaced definition of faith comes the Purpose Driven Life model. Its indulgence is the promise of global peace by transforming the modern church into becoming the lowest denominator in finding common ground with anyone who desires to work toward social justice. The crown of compromise is given for the tolerant – the tolerant who champion those who are intolerant! Love is defined by a feeling of well-doing, but in the end, the blind are leading the blind, and they all will fall in the ditch.

The Cross is the light that exposes error but is also the beacon that illuminates the way back to God. The Cross is the only meeting place where man can meet God. Likewise, it is the only place that man can meet man. The Message of the Cross is the reformation message for today. It shows us how we are justified, but it also tells the believer how to live. The stalwart scripture of the early reformation was, “The just shall live by faith” (Heb. 10:38). Today, we can also say, “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith” (Col. 2:6).

~John Rosenstern

i beseech you therefore, Brethren, by the Mercies of God, that you present your bodies a Living Sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, Will of God (Rom. 12:1–2).

The first evidence of real Christian life is consecration to God and transformation from the world. This is not an outside mechanical action, but an inward perpetual renewing of the mind, a seeking for, the doing of, the Will of God.

In this consecration, the Holy Spirit through Paul demands of the Believer that we “present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.” Then he tells us that this is our “reasonable service.”

How is this to be done?

Whenever the word “sacrifice” is mentioned in the Bible, as it refers to the Lord, always, and without exception, it goes back to the Cross. The only way that one can present one’s physical body as a “living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,” which, incidentally, is the only thing acceptable to God, is, as we have repeatedly stated, by the Believer placing his Faith exclusively in Christ and His Finished Work. The Holy Spirit will then do that which is necessary in the heart and life of such a Believer, which will make the Believer what he ought to be.

If anything else is presented to God, and I speak of any manner or way other than the Cross, it is totally unacceptable to God.

So then they who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:8).

When the Believer attempts to function outside of the Cross, the situation becomes impossible. Sin and failure are the constant results, no matter how hard one may try otherwise. However, when the Believer places his Faith exclusively in Christ and His Finished Work, i.e., “the Cross,” the Holy Spirit then does for us what we cannot do for ourselves, and the situation then becomes easy. In other words, that which the Lord requires becomes a “reasonable service.”

That’s what Jesus was talking about when He said, “Come unto Me, all ye who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take My yoke upon you (the “yoke” of the “Cross” [Lk. 9:23]), and learn of Me (learn of His Sacrifice [Rom. 6:3–5]); for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls (the soul can find rest only in the Cross).

For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (what He requires of us is very little, just to have Faith in Him, and His Sacrificial Atoning Work [Mat. 11:28–30]).

Then, and only then, can such a Believer present his physical body as “a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.” He will then find that what God demands is a “reasonable service.”

~JSM

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