Category Archives: Bible

The Parable of the Sower!

Based on the writings of David Brandt Berg

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When speaking to the multitudes, Jesus often taught them in PARABLES, simple stories about common events, circumstances and things that His listeners could easily relate to. Most of the people that Jesus addressed were simple folk, and He knew that even the CHILDREN would be interested in His message if He presented it by using such illustrated stories.

The “PARABLE OF THE SOWER” is one of the few parables that is found in three different Gospels: In Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8. This wonderful parable reveals the four different states in which the hearts of men can be classified. As we now read Jesus’ Own words, you could ask yourself which of these four categories describes YOU!…

“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, (1) some fell upon the PATH, and the BIRDS of the air came and ATE it up. (2) And some fell upon STONY GROUND where there was not much soil. It sprang up quickly because the soil was shallow. But when the SUN came up, the plants were SCORCHED, and they WITHERED, because they had NO DEPTH of ROOT. (3) “Other seed fell among THORNS, and the thorns grew up WITH it and CHOKED the plants. (4) But other seed fell upon GOOD GROUND, and it came up, grew, and produced a crop–thirty times, sixty times, or a hundred times what was sown.

“And when He had said these things He cried, ‘He that has ears to HEAR, let him HEAR! Listen to what the parable of the sower means.'”

Now Jesus is going to interpret and explain for us exactly what this parable is all about: “The SEED is the WORD OF GOD. Those along the path, are the ones who HEAR, but then comes the DEVIL and TAKES AWAY THE WORD from their hearts, lest they should BELIEVE and be SAVED.”

When the life-giving seed of the Word of God is sown on this FIRST kind of ground, this kind of heart, what happens? Paths are usually hard and packed earth, and before the seed is able to sink in, Satan comes along and snatches it away before they even understand it, before they can receive it, before they even get saved!

Oh, how the Devil FIGHTS against the Word of God! The Bible tells us that, “FAITH comes by hearing the Word of God” (Romans 10:17), so to try to prevent people from believing in Jesus and getting saved, he’ll do all that he can to keep them from hearing or receiving the Truth of God’s wonderful Word! The Apostle Paul says, “If our Gospel is HID, it is hid to those who are LOST, in whom the GOD OF THIS WORLD (the Devil) has BLINDED the MINDS of those who do not believe, so that the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ cannot shine unto them!” (2Corinthians 4:3,4)

We trust that YOU who are reading this are ALREADY born again, that you have ALREADY received the precious seed of God’s Word and have asked His Son, Jesus, into your hearts. If you have received Jesus, then you don’t need to worry about being this FIRST kind of ground, thank the Lord!

But what about the SECOND kind of ground that Jesus describes? He says, “Some, like seed sown on STONY ground, hear the Word and at first RECEIVE it with JOY. But these have NO ROOT, and for AWHILE believe, but when TROUBLE or PERSECUTION arises because of the Word, they are OFFENDED and quickly fall away!”

This second kind actually receive the Word joyfully and begin to grow, but when a time of TESTING or TRIAL or PERSECUTION for the Word’s sake arises, their enthusiasm wanes, their faith withers and they fade away! This doesn’t mean that they lose their salvation, because once you have received Jesus into your heart, you are His FOREVER. He says, “I am with you ALWAYS, I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you!” (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5) But these kind of Christians simply “have no ROOT”, no DEPTH, they are SHALLOW, and they never really STAND UP and GROW and become FRUITFUL. They just sort of die out spiritually and fall away when a time of testing comes, when the hot sun of persecution or tribulation arises. They’re weak and they can’t take it.

How many Christians are like that! They’re happy to receive Jesus, but they never really study and feed on God’s Word and let His Truth sink deep down in their hearts. They are “easy believers” who gladly accept God’s Gift of salvation; a very convenient fire-escape from Hell and a sort of “life-insurance” for the next life. But when the time comes that they should really STAND UP for their faith and tell OTHERS about Jesus, and be willing to endure reproach, rejection, humiliation, or even downright suffering and persecution for the Gospel, they just wither up and fade away!

Now here is Jesus’ explanation of the THIRD kind of ground: “Others, like the seed sown among THORNS, hear the Word; but the CARES and CONCERNS of THIS life, the DECEITFULNESS of RICHES and the DESIRE for other THINGS enters in and CHOKES out the Word, making them unfruitful.”

Being choked-out by the cares, riches and concerns of this life is probably the greatest pitfall for most Christians in the World today! The wonderful way that God could use them is absolutely smothered and choked-out by the MATERIALISTIC cares of THIS temporal life. They get so busy with so many things besides the Lord and His Word and His Work–the “affairs of this life” (2Timothy 2:4)–and their spiritual growth is severely stunted, their strength is sapped, and the thorns of this World choke out their fruitfulness and render them USELESS to God’s eternal Kingdom!

This is not to say that riches are evil. It is “the LOVE of money” that is the root of all evil. (1Timothy 6:10) It is when we value riches and wealth and material things MORE than the LORD that we begin to be choked and fruitless and deceived by “the deceitfulness of riches”!

Finally, the FOURTH kind of ground that Jesus describes: “They who receive the seed that fell on the GOOD GROUND are they who, in an HONEST and GOOD heart, hear the Word and RETAIN it, and with PATIENCE produce a crop yielding thirty, sixty or an hundred times what was sown!”

Unlike the other unfruitful grounds, this fourth kind of ground receives the Word and KEEPS it, RETAINS it, and PATIENTLY PERSEVERES until it grows and matures and becomes FRUITFUL for God’s glory!

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What is the ground of YOUR heart like? Even though SAVED, a good many Christians become like the SECOND kind of ground, stony, rocky and shallow because of their DISOBEDIENCE to the Lord. Their hearts become “HARDENED through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13), and they never become the strong plants for the Lord that they COULD be, they never grow or mature spiritually or become fruitful. So when the “fiery trials” of temptation arise, their faith withers away because they have no DEPTH, and have never been “ROOTED and ESTABLISHED in the faith” as they should have been! (1Peter 4:12; Colossians 2:6,7)

Or like the THIRD kind of ground, they allow their potential usefulness to God to be CHOKED OUT by the thorny material cares of this life. They never seem to find time–to MAKE time–to prayerfully read and feed from God’s Word, thus they lack the “spirit and life” that His Word would give them. (John 6:63)

How different is the Bible’s description of the man who, like the FOURTH kind of ground, gives the LORD and His WORD FIRST place: “His DELIGHT is in the Word of the Lord, and in His Word he meditates DAY and NIGHT. He shall be like a TREE planted by the rivers of water, which yields its FRUIT in season and whose leaf does NOT wither.-WHATEVER he does shall PROSPER!” (Psalm 1:2,3)

Oh, if we will only realise the ETERNAL IMPORTANCE of yielding to God’s Word and God’s Will–like good, fertile, receptive ground yields to the farmer’s plow, receives the seed he sows and patiently yields a crop–then surely we will DESPISE the thought of allowing our usefulness to God to be choked out by passing material things! And we certainly won’t allow our faith to wither or fade away because of a little opposition, trouble or persecution for the Gospel!

If your desire is to please the Lord and be fruitful and useful for Him, then YIELD your heart to Him TODAY and let Him make you what HE wants you to be! If you faithfully read and draw strength from God’s life-giving WORDS, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you will grow spiritually. And if you obey Jesus’ command to “preach the Gospel” and you tell OTHERS about His Love, then the seed of God’s Word that you sow in THEIR hearts will take root and grow, and you will win OTHERS to Jesus, and thus bear FRUIT, thirty times, sixty times or even one hundred times more than was originally sown in your life! And God Himself will reward you with EVERLASTING saved SOULS and you’ll shine as the stars FOREVER! (Daniel 12:3)

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PRAYER: Dear Lord, we sincerely ask You to please help us to yield to You, to be obedient to You, so we can be the good fruitful kind of ground that You desire! You said, “BLESSED are they who do HUNGER and THIRST after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” So please help us to really HUNGER for YOU and Your life-giving WORD, to read it faithfully and to share it with others so they too can find You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

Overcoming Vices!

Based on the writings of David Brandt Berg

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We all have habits, both good and bad. Anything you do automatically without consciously thinking about it, or without specifically deciding to do it, is a habit. Good habits or practices–such as tidiness, courtesy, good manners etc. are a real blessing. But when the habits you’ve picked up are BAD or DESTRUCTIVE, and you find them hard or almost impossible to change, they are known as VICES.

There’s a true story about a man who owned an eagle, and for many years had chained him to a stake. Over the years, the eagle had walked around and around that stake so much on the end of his chain that he’d worn an actual rut in the ground. Finally, he was getting old and his master felt sorry for him and thought, “These are his last days, so I’m going to set him free!” So he took the metal ring off the eagle’s foot, took him up in his hand and tossed him into the air. But what do you suppose happened? The old eagle had almost totally forgotten how to fly! He flip-flopped right back down to the ground, walked back over to the old rut and started walking around the rut like he had done for years! No chain or birdband held him! Just the habit!

It has been said that “The chains of bad habits are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken!” EXCEPT by the Lord! And “Habit is a cable; you weave a thread of it every day, and at last you cannot break it.” These are very true.

How many times have you tried to quit a bad habit, but found yourself almost powerless to get rid of it or stop doing it, no matter how much you tried to exert will power against it? The fact is that, in one area or another, we are all weak and very human and fallible, and subject to many different problems which can turn into bad habits and vices.

What most people do not realise is that a vice or a bad habit is often MORE than just an ingrained natural reaction. When you have a certain weakness, and you entertain and give in to it for a prolonged period of time, very often evil spirits–demons–are BEHIND these habits, playing them up and trying to keep you addicted to them, especially if they are bad habits which endanger you or your health, or your relationship with others.

According to God’s Word, there are definitely demons who play up certain sins and vices and try to destroy us through them. Such as demons of gluttony, demons of alcohol and drugs and cigarettes, demons of gambling, demons of sexual perversions, of homosexuality etc. These are some of the most OBVIOUS vices, but what many people do not realise is that things like hatred, guilt, bitterness, worry, pride, jealousy, self-righteousness, fear, lying and deception are also bad habits and vices, and the spiritual powers that bind people to them can be just as strong and destructive as the addiction that drives someone to compulsive gambling, drugs or alcohol abuse!

There are demons that will try to harm and destroy you in almost every phase of your life if you let them. This is especially true if you have a TENDENCY or a BESETTING SIN along some line, say, for example, a strong inclination to be jealous or to critically judge others. Or if you have a WEAKNESS towards alcohol or anything else. The Enemy can play on that and tempt you with it constantly.

ALCOHOLISM is a vice that has plagued mankind for millenniums, and though drinking wine in moderation was very common in Bible times, the Bible has much to say against the constant ABUSE of and OVER-indulgence in wine and other alcohol. (See Proverbs 20:1; 21:17; 23:29-35; 31:4, Ephesians 5:18; Titus 2:3) The Lord can not only set you free from the spirit behind alcoholism, but He can also give you the will power to continue to resist it once He’s delivered you.

We all know, of course, that the nicotine and tar in TOBACCO is very bad for our health and has been proven to be a major cause of cancer! Even most smokers recognise that smoking is a vice and a bad habit, but the point is, how can they STOP? As it can have such a grip and be so addicting! The solution to stopping is to desperately pray for the Lord to free you from the physical dependence on the nicotine, and to rebuke any bad spirits which could possibly be aggravating and adding to the addiction. Ask the LORD to DELIVER you, and He WILL!

DRUGS are also very addicting and very harmful. This includes not only the illegal drugs, but also the “legal” prescribed drugs that millions of people buy across the pharmacy counter. Many are addicting, and whatever “benefits” they give–whether escape from reality or relief from pain–almost all of them have bad side-effects, are harmful and expensive! But the good news is that the Lord has DELIVERED untold thousands of people from drug addiction of all kinds! MIRACULOUSLY! And often without any withdrawal symptoms!

GAMBLING is a vice as addicting as alcoholism or drugs, and is clearly a case of deceptive evil spirits compelling someone to gamble their hard-earned savings away at a toss of the dice, the turn or a wheel, the speed of a horse or a chance good hand of cards. The principle behind gambling is that you can make easy money without labour, just the opposite of the values of diligence, hard work and thrift that the Bible teaches. Also, the dependence on “luck” is nothing more than wishing for the blessing of the Devil, as the word “LUCK” comes from his name, “LUCifer”. It’s bad enough that some people are foolish enough to take RISKS or CHANCES in gambling, but those who are actually “good” at it or “lucky” are even MORE in need of deliverance!

HOMOSEXUALITY–or Sodomy, as it is known in the Bible–has been more fully covered in another article in this site, “The Doom of the Sodomites”. Please read this story and its “Food for Thought” if you have a problem with homosexuality.

Many Christians who self-righteously condemn others who are caught up in the obvious vices of alcoholism, drugs or sexual perversion think nothing of over-eating and obesity. Yet GLUTTONY, or COMPULSIVE EATING are often spiritually induced vices as well, and a compulsive bad habit that takes real prayer and determination to overcome. Gluttonly is often as strong and as bad a habit as drug addiction or alcoholism, and God’s Word gives ample warning against it. (See Proverbs 23:2,20-21; 1Peter 4:3.)

Speaking of SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS and a condemning CRITICAL SPIRIT, these are definitely very serious spiritual problems and vices also. If you find yourself constantly judging and critical, looking down on others, thinking you are better than they are, then you should definitely seek for deliverance from the negative, divisive spirits which cause you to be that way.

Self-righteousness is very closely related to PRIDE, and stems directly from it. And though we all have the besetting sin of pride and a love and concern for ourselves, the Enemy of our soul can often play on that natural human weakness and blow it up into the worst of all problems! Pride is the root of ALL sin, and was the cause of SATAN’S downfall. (Isaiah 14:12-15) The Lord HATES pride! (Proverbs 6:16-17)

Two other common vices that countless millions of people are afflicted with are HATRED and BITTERNESS. Like other sins of the mind and of the heart, these are definitely weaknesses brought on by evil spirits. For what the Bible has to say about bitterness, read Ephesians 4:31; Colossians 3:19; Hebrews 12:15; James 3:14-15. For hatred, read Proverbs 10:12; 15:17; 26:26; Galatians 5:19-21. Not only are these bad habits detrimental and even dangerous to others, but medical science has proven that they cause all kinds of psychosomatic illnesses to the one who is bitter or hateful by releasing actual poisons into the bloodstream.

FEAR and WORRY are related negative emotions which cause no end of bad effects to the one who is plagued by them. Being deeply fearful or constantly worrying are usually more than just ingrained habits or the result of some bad childhood experience. Fear especially is a terrible bondage, and the Bible clearly states that “GOD has NOT given us the spirit of fear, but of POWER, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind!” (2Timothy 1:7) (See also Proverbs 29:25; Luke 21:26; 2Timothy 1:7; Hebrews 2:15; 1John 4:18)

GUILT or a feeling of condemnation is also definitely spiritual, and brought on by the Devil, whom the Bible calls “the Accuser of the Saints”. (Revelation 12:10) People usually suffer from guilt because they are either disobedient and “have a certain fearful expectation of judgement” (Hebrews 10:27), or because “their conscience is weak” and therefore susceptible to the lies of the Enemy. (1Corinthians 8:7; Titus 1:15) The solution to breaking such an oppressive habit is to study the truth of GOD’S WORD to know what is WRONG and what is RIGHT, and then to OBEY and do the RIGHT THING! (Hebrews 10:22; John 15:3)

Some people have a compulsive bad habit of LYING or of practicing DECEPTION. The Bible makes it clear that this is also a serious vice. For Bible verses on lying, see Psalm 119:163; Proverbs 6:16-17; 10:18; 12:22, 13:5; 26:28; Ephesians 4:25. For deceitfulness, see Proverbs 12:5,17; 14:8,25; 26:24. There are many more bad habits and vices which we could list, but these are just a few examples of some of the most common ones. But remember, ANY bad or negative habit you have that hurts yourself or others is a VICE, and it is very possible that the Enemy of your soul is behind it, using it to try to defeat or hinder you.

It’s interesting also that a VICE is a workman’s TOOL that GRIPS something so it cannot move!

If you’re a Christian, evil spirits cannot permanently possess you, but they can try to put thoughts in your head to motivate you to do things which you shouldn’t. They try to INFLUENCE your mind and your spirit, and try to get you to yield to them. And if they can get you to yield to their influence or to decide to do their will, they get control and can almost bind you into vices or bad habits. If you get into a bad habit and do it continually, you can wind up in total defeat to where you’re obeying and listening to the Devil instead of the Lord.

Even born-again Christians who love the Lord are sometimes subject to evil spirits. Not permanently possessed, but OPPRESSED or under their influence. A Christian is the LORD’S property and possessed by the LORD and HIS Spirit. But of course, if you have some besetting sin, some dark corner of your life or bad habit that you’re not willing to yield to the Lord, the Enemy can bother you and plague you on that point. He can use that thing to weaken you or to cause defeat in that particular area of your life. This is why God’s Word says, “Neither give PLACE to the Devil!” (Ephesians 4:27) The Scripture calls them “BESETTING SINS” because they are SPIRITS that ATTACK you, “WEIGHTS” you must “lay aside”. (Hebrews 12:1)

When you “give place” to the Enemy in your life, it’s like having an evil boarder in your house: He’s not in control of the house, but he annoys you and causes you trouble and all kinds of damage. You tell him to leave several times but he won’t leave, so finally by the authority and the law–in this case the authority of the WORD and the Name of JESUS–you literally THROW him out! Otherwise he just won’t leave!

It’s sad that many Christians go so long without getting complete DELIVERANCE from deep-seated vices and bad habits! They just sort of harbour them and allow them to hang around without really getting RID of them. They don’t recognise that their problems are SPIRITUAL as well as physical, so they don’t take SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY over these spirits and REBUKE them and get RID of them.

You have to first of all be willing to RECOGNISE that there is a SPIRITUAL FORCE binding you into that vice, and you have to want to be FREE of it enough that you are not only willing to CONFESS it to the LORD and cry out to HIM for help, but you have to be willing to confess to OTHERS that you need help and prayer to overcome your weakness and bad habit. Because some vices have such a strong grip on people–even Christians–that they’re almost powerless to overcome them on their own.

If you have a real serious problem and you cannot seem to get deliverance through private prayer or trying to resist some vice on your own, then you need to contact other Spirit-filled Christians whom you know and trust and let them know you have a serious problem and ask for their united prayer! Never be ashamed to ask for help or prayer when you need it.

Remember, God’s Word says: “ONE can chase a THOUSAND, but TWO can put TEN THOUSAND to flight” (Deuteronomy 32:30), and it helps greatly to have someone else pray with you when you feel oppressed or distressed or attacked by the Enemy. “Where TWO or THREE are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them.” And, “If any TWO of you shall AGREE on Earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in Heaven.”(Matthew 18:19-20)

“If there is any SICK among you (SPIRITUALLY as well as physically), let him CALL for the ELDERS of the church and let them pray over him, and the prayer of faith shall save the sick. And if they have committed any sins, they shall be forgiven them. CONFESS your FAULTS one to another, and PRAY one for another, that ye may be HEALED.” (James 5:14-16) When you pray, quote and remind the Lord of the Promises that He has made in His Word. When you remind God of His Word, it shows you have faith in it. He has promised to keep His Word, so remind Him of it, cling to His Promises, memorise and quote them continually, and never doubt for a moment that God is going to answer–and He WILL! He HAS to! If you sincerely WANT deliverance and PRAY for a real victory over any bad habits, the LORD will help you! Jesus never fails! He always answers when we call upon Him with a WHOLE HEART.

“ALL power is given unto Me in Heaven and in Earth,” Jesus said (Matthew 28:18), and we have JESUS, so we have HIS power, so even the evil spirits and demons are subject unto us! (Matthew 10:1; Luke 9:1; 10:17-19, Acts 8:7). If there are demonic powers behind your bad habits, you can rebuke them in the name of Jesus, and they HAVE to DEPART!

To overcome a vice or bad habit, you first or all have to get delivered of the spiritual power that is behind the bad habit. Before you’re delivered, the binding spirit may pretty much have control, but after you are DELIVERED, it will be within your power to RESIST its re-entry!

But even after prayer and spiritual deliverance, it sometimes takes awhile to completely break free from the HABIT. Although you are delivered of the SPIRIT, you still have the ingrained HABIT, and the spirit may keep trying to come back to tempt you for awhile and play up on your weakness or tendencies along that line. Especially if a certain weakness or vice has been a big problem or habit for many years. It makes you much more SUSCEPTIBLE to attacks along that line. So for some time after prayer you may still have some battles with it. But don’t give up! It’s a real battle to overcome a strong bad habit you’ve had for years, but you need to resist even thinking about doing those things again. Rebuke the very THOUGHT of temptation, quote Scriptures and praise the Lord continually!

It’s not YOUR fault that you get TEMPTED. Nobody can keep temptation from coming, but you don’t have to YIELD to temptation! “You can’t keep birds from flying over your head, but you can CERTAINLY keep them from building a NEST in your hair!” Attack and hit the Devil back every time he tries his tactics on you! The Devil can only win if you SURRENDER! He can NEVER win as long as you keep FIGHTING. “RESIST the Devil and he will FLEE from you!” (James 4:7). As long as you keep resisting, he’ll keep fleeing. But if you stop resisting, he uses his lies and temptations and persuasion to win. When JESUS WAS TEMPTED by the Devil, He fought him with SCRIPTURES! (Luke 4:1-13). So quote the Word of God and rebuke the Enemy!

Some changes are instantaneous, overnight, and others take awhile. You can’t get over some habits in one day necessarily, because the Enemy doesn’t very willingly surrender territory which he has controlled so long. When people have had weaknesses and had channels open to the Enemy before, he tries to get back in if he can. But if you keep praying and asking the Lord to protect and deliver and give you the complete victory, and you claim and quote His Word, He WILL! “Whom the Son shall set free is FREE INDEED!” (John 8:36).

One of your best protections is to KEEP BUSY for God and others, doing what you know you SHOULD, as well as filling your mind and heart with positive, encouraging, strengthening and faith-building thoughts from His Word, remembering, memorising and continually quoting to yourself and even to the Enemy when he attacks you. And “pray without ceasing!” (1Thessalonians 5:17). As the poem says: “The Devil flees when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees!”

“Ye are of GOD, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is HE (JESUS) that is IN YOU, than HE (THE DEVIL) that is in the WORLD.” (1John 4:4). The power of the Lord is far greater, and is able to break all the chains that may bind you!

WHATEVER your bad habit is, JESUS can set you FREE! Are YOU free? Or do you need HELP? “ASK and ye SHALL RECEIVE!” Amen?

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The following is a sample of a prayer for deliverance that you might find helpful, as it offers you an example, not only of how to call out to the Lord for His help to overcome vices, but also how to CLAIM and QUOTE Scriptures as you rebuke the Enemy:

(PRAY:) “Lord Jesus, I call out to YOU now with my whole heart and ask You, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, to FREE me from the terrible grip that this vice has on my life! YOU said in Your WORD, Jesus, ‘Greater is He that is in me (YOU in my heart, Lord!) than he that is in the World (the Devil)!’ So I KNOW that YOU are GREATER than the Enemy and CAN overcome this vice! You said, ‘ALL power is given unto Me in Heaven and on Earth’ and that `if ye shall ask ANYTHING in My Name, I WILL DO it’! So I ask You right now, Jesus, to BREAK every hold the Enemy has in my life and DESTROY the power of this bad habit! I REBUKE the Devil and ALL of his influence, right NOW, in Jesus’ name!

“Your Word says, ‘Give NO place to the Enemy’, and I don’t want ANYTHING that’s not of YOU, Jesus! Your disciples said, ‘Even the evil spirits are SUBJECT unto us!’, so I CLAIM that promise, I claim that SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY over the power of the Enemy–right NOW! And I REBUKE the Devil in the Name of JESUS CHRIST! I claim Your Promise, Lord: `RESIST the Devil and he will FLEE from you!’ I RESIST you, Satan, in the Name of JESUS CHRIST! I BIND and REBUKE any hold you might have on my life, any power you might have over me, in the Name of JESUS!

“JESUS, You PROMISED that “When ye shall call unto Me with a WHOLE HEART, I WILL answer thee!’ And Jesus, I AM crying out with ALL my heart for You to deliver me! And I EXPECT you to do it! You promised, ‘Whatsoever ye shall bind on Earth SHALL be BOUND in Heaven, and whatsoever ye shall loose on Earth, shall be loosed in Heaven’, so I BIND the power of the Enemy in YOUR NAME and I loose the grip he has on me and I ask You to cast him far away from me, NEVER to return! In JESUS’ name! I count it DONE, Lord! Thank You, Jesus! Thank You for setting me FREE! Help me now to take a stand of faith against the Enemy’s devices! Please give me the spiritual power to do what I can to resist temptation, and STAY free from the ingrained habits, Lord! In the Name of Jesus Christ! AMEN!”

 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

New Beginnings!

Compiled from the writings of David Brandt Berg

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Of all the changes and important events that have happened to you this past year or before, the most significant and wonderful one is that you have had an entirely NEW BEGINNING in life: You have personally met JESUS, and the power of His Spirit of Love has begun to change your entire way of thinking and your whole outlook on life!

The moment that you asked Jesus to come into your heart, God’s Holy Spirit began to miraculously transform your life! And whether it seemed like such a major change at the time or not, asking Jesus into your heart was a very real and important SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE! God’s Word calls it spiritual REBIRTH–being “born of the Spirit”, or “BORN AGAIN”! (John 3:3-8)

With some people, the change in their lives is so drastic, so sudden, that you can SEE what an absolute MIRACLE has happened to them! Their whole life, nature, mind and heart is immediately transformed and is changed radically for the better! Perhaps for you, however, the change that took place in your life when you received Jesus may not have seemed quite that dramatic or emotional and may not have seemed to have had such a powerful IMMEDIATE effect. At least not on the surface. But you have gone through a miraculous spiritual rebirth just the same! Besides, the FULL transformation that His Spirit brings about in our lives is usually GRADUAL! But if you CONTINUE to yield your life, your mind and your will to Him, your spiritual growth as a Christian will be SURE and STEADY! Receiving the truth of God’s Word, like Jesus explained in “the Parable of the Sower”, is like receiving a tiny SEED, and it takes TIME for that seed of truth in your heart to grow into a full, mature Christian life! (Mark 4:14,20,28)

It’s not often that a seed just IMMEDIATELY springs up out of the ground; it often seems to be just buried there, lying dormant, with nothing springing up above the surface. But if you could see what was happening below the surface, the miracles and wonders of God’s Creation would become apparent! Finally, when the new sprout pushes up through the soil, it becomes evident to EVERYONE that a new life HAS begun to grow! At FIRST you may even wonder if the seed is going to sprout at all! But just give it TIME, and it WILL! As Jesus said, “The seed which was received into good ground symbolises people who, in an honest and good heart, having HEARD the Word, KEEP it, and bring forth fruit (good deeds and changes in their lives) with PATIENCE.” (Luke 8:15) So just because you don’t become a full-grown, mature, strong Christian overnight, don’t worry! Just have a little PATIENCE! You’re still going to have problems and make mistakes, as we all do, but NOW at least you know WHO to look to for HELP! Remember, no one is perfect. Not even the great Apostle Paul counted himself to have become some kind of a sinless saint. He said, “I do NOT consider myself to have attained (already been made perfect), but this one thing I DO, forgetting those things which are BEHIND, I reach FORWARD to the goals which are BEFORE me.” (Philippians 3:13,14) Like the Apostle Paul, neither you nor I are perfect Christians, but all the Lord asks is that we FOLLOW HIM as best we can and keep trying to go FORWARD and make progress. “This one thing” we can do!

You may wonder sometimes, “Have I really changed?” The answer is YES! Not only did you change when you first received Jesus, but as you daily read His Word and do what you know He wants you to do, you will CONTINUE to change! Your values have probably ALREADY begun to change, you are SWEETER, HAPPIER, you have more PEACE, and you probably even SLEEP better at night! All this is the work of His Spirit! And all you need to do is to let Him CONTINUE to work in your life, to change and remake you! It doesn’t all happen in one day, but it DOES happen!

God’s Word compares His saved children to a TREE (Psalm 1:1-3), and like any healthy tree, it takes TIME to grow strong and sturdy Christian roots. And because they are UNSEEN, it may not look at first like you are growing much. But the deeper and stronger your ROOTS are imbedded in the rich soil of GOD’S WORD, the greater and more fruitful a tree they will later be able to support! So if you think you’re not growing much, don’t worry! Just keep rooted and grounded and nourished in His Word, and you WILL grow and bring forth the fruit that God intends you to!

If you have the ROOTS of your faith planted firmly in the Word of God, you won’t wither or be blown over by the winds of lies and doubts of the Enemy. Nor will your faith be uprooted if and when deep disappointments come. Colossians 2:6-7 says, “The same way that you have RECEIVED Christ Jesus the Lord, so LIVE in Him, ROOTED and GROWING in Him, ESTABLISHED in the faith, as you have been taught.”

Just as a tree draws the nutrients and the very life that it needs from the soil, so the Christian must draw HIS life and HIS SPIRITUAL strength that he desperately needs from the Word of God. The only way you can grow strong and bear fruit, so that everyone will SEE and KNOW that you are a GOOD tree, is if you sink the roots of your life down deep into the Truth of God’s Word and draw your spiritual nourishment from it by prayerfully reading and absorbing it EVERY DAY! “If you CONTINUE in MY WORD, you shall know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH shall make you FREE!” (John 8:31,32)

Then you will begin to bear all the “fruits of His Spirit”: Love, joy, peace, kindness and faith! (See Galatians 5:22-23) And even more wonderful than this, as OTHERS see the change in YOUR life, they will want to know the secret of your happiness too! And you can tell them how to know Jesus just as you have come to know Him!

By a miracle of God’s Spirit, your life has had a wonderful NEW BEGINNING! So as you continue to grow in Him in this coming year, we pray you will bear MUCH FRUIT! Not only in personal happiness and joy and faith, but also that you will learn to share the Lord’s love with others around you, helping THEM to find His Love and His Salvation, and a NEW BEGINNING in life like YOU have found!

 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

The Most Amazing Book!

Compiled from the writings of David Brandt Berg

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Whether you accept & believe in its teachings or not, it cannot be denied that the Bible is the most remarkable, amazing & absolutely UNIQUE book that has ever been written! Of course, many people today sort of pooh-pooh & dismiss it because they cannot help but associate the Bible with the largely do-nothing Christianity that they have seen, and they figure, “If THAT’S the kind of religion the Bible teaches, then no thanks! It’s not for me!”

But if you realise that the religion of LOVE that Jesus TAUGHT, and the religious TRADITIONS that many Christians today PRACTICE have little or nothing to do with each other, then you can approach the Bible with out prejudice. If you have an OPEN mind & are sincerely SEARCHING for the TRUTH, you can sweep away all of man’s false preconceived interpretations & you can delve down to the beautiful FOUNDATION of the Bible & see the true plan & how things are SUPPOSED to be! You will then discover that the Bible is NOT merely some kind of religious rulebook, but that it is the most wonderful, supernatural, miraculous, amazing, marvellous Book in the whole World! Which has the answers to EVERYTHING! WHERE we came from, HOW we got here, WHY we’re here, how to SURVIVE & be HAPPY while here, & how to love & have happiness FOREVER!

But before deciding whether or not to accept & believe in this amazing Book, consider the following seven facts that set it aside as a truly UNIQUE Volume:

  1. The Bible is unique in its CONTINUITY. It was written over a 1,500 YEAR time-span by over 40 authors from every walk of life, including kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, shepherds, soldiers, poets, statesmen, scholars, etc.! Nevertheless, from beginning to end, its authors spoke on hundreds of controversial subjects with harmony & continuity, outlining one unfolding story: God’s LOVE for man!
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  3. The Bible has been READ BY MORE PEOPLE than ANY other book! It has out-sold every book that has ever been written & it STILL sells more copies every year than any other book in the World! But of course in the best-sellers lists they don’t dare acknowledge that, that in spite of all man’s writings and foolishness and fiction and ridiculous interpretations of history and reality, the BIBLE still out-sells them all! Another unique & related fact is that the Bible was the FIRST major book ever to be printed, on Gutenberg’s press.
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  5. The Bible has been TRANSLATED & PUBLISHED IN MORE LANGUAGES than ANY other book in existence! As far back as 1966 the WHOLE Bible had appeared in 240 languages & dialects, & one or more of its books appeared in 739 additional ones! (Update: “As of September 2016 the full Bible has been translated into 636 languages, the New Testament alone into 1442 languages and Bible portions or stories into 1145 other languages. Thus at least some portion of the Bible has been translated into 3,223 languages”. –Wikipedia)
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  7. The Bible, compared with all other ancient writings, has MORE MANUSCRIPT EVIDENCE than any TEN pieces of classical literature COMBINED! Although originally written on perishable materials, having to be recopied by hand for thousands of years before the invention of the printing press, it’s style, correctness & accuracy has been preserved as no other book in all History! The Jews had special classes of scholars within their culture whose sole duty was to preserve & transmit the books of the Bible with PERFECT accuracy, counting the very consonants, vowels, syllables & words per manuscript as a means of double-checking. Literally THOUSANDS of ancient manuscripts in the original languages have been unearthed which PROVE, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the Scriptures have come down through the ages to us just as they were originally written!
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  9. The Bible has WITHSTOOD VICIOUS ATTACKS by its enemies as no other book. Many have tried to burn it, destroy it & outlaw it, from the days of the Roman emperors to some present-day anti-Christ countries. Its very existence today & the fact that its teachings & Truths have been preserved despite the countless campaigns & tirades against it is in itself MIRACULOUS!
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  11. Discovery after discovery by MODERN ARCHAEOLOGISTS have CONFIRMED & PROVEN the Bible’s absolute accuracy & have proven it to be a source of HISTORY. Archaeologists following Old Testament references have rediscovered whole nations & resurrected entire peoples that the sceptics & critics once said were non-existent or imaginary. In fact, it can be stated categorically that NOT ONE archaeological discovery has EVER contradicted or cast doubt on a Biblical reference–all have CONFIRMED its accuracy!
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  13. The Bible is the ONLY volume ever produced which contains a large amount of PROPHECIES accurately predicting the future of individual nations, peoples, cities, & the coming of One Who was to be the Messiah! Although the ancient world had many different devices for determining the future, NOWHERE in all of Greek & Latin literature can there be found ANY real specific prophecy of a great Historic event to come in the distant future. But the BIBLE is FULL of countless, detailed, specific prophecies, all of which have been miraculously FULFILLED & come true–except, of course, the final ENDTIME prophecies which are either to be fulfilled in the near future or are coming to pass right NOW!

What an AMAZING & REMARKABLE Book! Yet so many people today, who consider them selves so smart & so knowledgeable, ignore the Bible completely! Time & time again we talk to people who’ve been through years of college & university & have read hundreds & hundreds of books–huge tomes & volumes of textbooks, religious books, philosophical books & ALL kinds of books–yet have never even cracked open the Bible, the most fascinating Book in the World! In which you can find almost ANYTHING: Drama, love, hate, peace, war, romance, poetry, prophecy, history, mystery, etc., etc.!

Just think about it: Words of wisdom from THOUSANDS of years ago, from the days before Moses! It’s such an IMPORTANT Book & one of the OLDEST Books in the World, yet a lot of “educated” people don’t even bother to read it! They waste time on all of their complicated & confused theories while neglecting the very Words of Life!

If you were going on a long journey & didn’t already know the way, you would bring along a MAP, wouldn’t you? Well, you ARE on a long journey, & the One Who knows the way has instructed some of His men to draw a detailed map so you won’t get lost & so you can make it safely to your final destination! To say you don’t have time to read God’s Map, the Bible, is like saying, “Well, I’m in such a HURRY to get there I don’t have TIME to look at the MAP!” But if you’ll just take the Bible & simply read it, believe it & follow it, you will be on the right road & wind up at the right place!

And that is actually the GREATEST proof that the Bible really is the miraculous, supernatural Word of God Himself–it WORKS! So why not TRY it! It’s the greatest, most enduring, wisest, most truthful Book in the whole World that you can really TRUST! I’m sure that you will find it an absolutely inexhaustible source of wisdom & knowledge, out of which you will constantly find “treasures new & old”! Beautiful! (Matthew 13:52)

Of course the MOST wonderful thing about the Bible is that, through its Words, we can get to know its AUTHOR! For the Bible is GOD’S GREAT LOVE LETTER to us! Its Life-giving Words make it the GREATEST Book in the World, with the only Author in the World that can guarantee life & love & happiness & Heaven forever through simply reading it & believing in its main Character, the One Who loved us so much that He gave His Own Life to save us JESUS CHRIST, the Son of God!

So take the Bible & sincerely pray, “OPEN Thou mine eyes, that I may behold WONDEROUS things out of Thy Word!” (Psalms 119:18) But don’t get bogged down in the “begats” & genealogies of Genesis, nor the Jewish History & ancient past of much of the Old Testament that is over & done with! Read the NEW TESTAMENT & the wonderful Words of JESUS in the GOSPELS–not as fairy tales of the PAST, but as GOD’S WORD for YOU TODAY & see how inspiring, uplifting, feeding & encouraging the Truth of the Word of God can be! In the beautiful GOSPEL OF JOHN particularly, you will find the spiritual depths of the Love of God & His Salvation for you!

Have YOU received God’s Love through JESUS? Have YOU tasted the wonderful, soul-satisfying waters of His wonderful Word? If not, receive Jesus into your heart personally by simply ASKING Him to come into your life, to forgive you of all your sins & give you His Love & peace & free gift of eternal life! Then you can not only READ His Word with understanding, but you’ll have the LOVE & the STRENGTH to OBEY it & to SHARE His Truth & Love with OTHERS who need them too!

 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

The Millennium!

Compiled from the writings of David Brandt Berg

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When you pray the Lord’s Prayer, have you ever really thought about the part, “Thy KINGDOM COME, Thy WILL be DONE on EARTH as it is in HEAVEN”? (Luke 11:2). We who know and love the Lord ALREADY have Heaven in our HEARTS, thank God, but is there really much Heaven on Earth today? No! There is mostly confusion and selfishness and unhappiness and war and fighting and Hell on every hand!

But one day soon, the Lord is going to wipe away all of today’s Hell on Earth and He’s going to set up His Own Kingdom of peace and goodness and fairness and mercy and love! Then His Kingdom won’t only be in our HEARTS, it will be all AROUND us! God’s Kingdom really IS going to come in ALL of its power and glory, right here on EARTH! And THEN it’s at last going to be “on EARTH as it is in HEAVEN”!

But BEFORE Jesus’ wonderful Kingdom is set up on Earth, there are some other things that have to happen: First, the evil ANTICHRIST World leader and his kingdom of the DEVIL will come to power, and the last part of his reign will be a time of trouble called the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21), when the Antichrist and his forces will be fighting against God’s children. But we will keep preaching the Gospel and doing mighty miracles to protect ourselves from him and his evil, Christ-hating Red forces! (Revelation 13:7; 11:3-5)

Then Jesus will return “in the clouds of Heaven, with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30), to RESURRECT and RAPTURE all of His children, and we will all join Him for the wonderful Wedding Supper of the Lamb in Heaven, while the wicked anti-Christ people back on Earth will be suffering the awesome WRATH OF GOD! (Revelation 19:7-9; 16:all)

They will finally gather together under their Devil-possessed Antichrist leader to try to crush all their opponents–entire religions and nations who have refused to worship the Antichrist or receive his Mark of the Beast! (Read about his wars against his opponents in Daniel 11:21-44.) Just as the Antichrist’s armies think they’re about to win, WE will come riding down out of Heaven on flying Heavenly horses to RESCUE those resisting the Antichrist! We will return to Earth to win the biggest war that ever happened: THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON! (Revelation 16:14,16; 17:14; 19:11-15). In this gigantic BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON, the forces of GOD will win a glorious victory over the forces of the DEVIL and his Antichrist Devil-man and his whole wicked kingdom! Not a single one of the Mark-of-the-Beast-branded members of the Antichrist’s kingdom will survive into the following Kingdom of Christ on Earth! (Revelation 19: 19-21). It is THEN, after this big battle, that we, the saints of God, along with our King, Jesus Christ, will take over this World and set up the Kingdom of God on Earth, to RULE it and RUN it the way it SHOULD have been run if Man had obeyed God! (Revelation 5:10; 20:4).

This amazing period of God’s Kingdom on Earth is called the “MILLENNIUM”, which is an old Latin word meaning 1,000 YEARS. Which is exactly how long this period will last–for 1,000 years! The Bible says that all those who were resurrected and raised to meet Jesus at His Second Coming will be very blessed during the Millennium, because “they shall be PRIESTS of God and of Christ, and shall REIGN with Him a THOUSAND YEARS!” (Revelation 20:5-7)

During the entire 1,000 years of the Millennium, the DEVIL will be chained up as a PRISONER and held in God’s prison, the bottomless pit! For a thousand years he will no longer be able to bother us and no longer be able to lead the other fallen angels and evil spirits across the Earth to bother Mankind! (See Revelation 20:1-3)

JESUS Himself is then going to rule the Earth in Person, and we will help and rule and reign WITH Him! He will reign from shore to shore, and we, His children, will no longer be the poor, persecuted few as we are today! We, together with the resurrected Christians of ALL ages, will then number in the MILLIONS and the BILLIONS, and we are going to RULE with Jesus over the remaining good people. These people, even though they weren’t saved, resisted the Antichrist and refused his Mark, therefore God mercifully allowed them to live through the Antichrist reign, and even survive the following period of the Wrath of God and the Battle of Armageddon! They are the “blessed” whom the Bible speaks of in Daniel 12:12 who live on into the Millennium.

All the evil Gospel-rejecting people who received the Mark of the Beast will have been slain in the Battle of Armageddon, but MILLIONS of people will live on into the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus Christ where they will have their chance to hear and know the Truth under the loving rule and reign of Jesus Himself and us, His resurrected followers! MULTITUDES will turn to Jesus in those days!

Under the mighty and powerful rule and reign of Christ and God’s children, there will be no wars and the World will be ruled fairly and well with true fairness, freedom, peace, plenty and happiness for ALL! The Bible says, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more!” (Isaiah 2:4)

Just think, there will be NO more WAR! No more weapons of the wicked or horrible fighting or bombing or killing like there is in Man’s World today! In that day, when JESUS is King and WE are His law enforcers, they will remake their weapons of war into tools of peace! Praise The Lord!

During the Millennium, all of US, God’s saved children, will have new, powerful, supernatural RESURRECTED BODIES! But the REST of the World–those who were blessed enough to live through God’s judgements on the World and the Battle of Armageddon into the Millennium–are going to still be in their old NATURAL bodies. So life is sort of going to go on as usual in a lot of ways for THEM! A lot of them will live almost like they are living NOW: They’ll still have to grow food and make clothes and live in a normal natural World, the SAME World they’re living in NOW! Only all the BIG cities, industrialisation and pollution will be destroyed! Everyone will live much more naturally and close to the land, as God INTENDED Man to live!

One big difference is that the CURSE which came upon Man and on the Earth because of Man’s sins will be partly LIFTED, so that a lot of things will be a whole lot better, thank the Lord! The Earth will be almost like it was during the days of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden BEFORE they sinned and God had to curse things to punish them. (See Genesis 2:8-15; 3:17-19.)

We who love Jesus now will be like SUPERMEN then, like Angels of God, with new miraculous bodies that will NEVER get hurt, weary, weak or sick! But even the normal EARTHLY people that we will be ruling over, who will still be in their natural fleshly bodies, will have much less disease and sickness. It says that anyone who dies at 100 YEARS OLD will be thought of as just a CHILD! (See Isaiah 65:20). People will again live to be hundreds and hundreds of years old, just like they did before the Flood! Some people back then lived to be nearly a thousand years of age! (Genesis 5:27).

The Bible says that not only Man, but ALL of Creation will be made free from most of the Curse and EVERYTHING will be much better than today! (Romans 8:19-21). It even says that “the wolf shall lie down with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the baby goat; and the calf and the young lion will lie together also; and a little child shall lead them! And the cow and the bear shall feed together; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat grass like the ox. The nursing child shall play on the hole of the poisonous snake, and the toddler shall put his hand on the viper’s den!” (Isaiah 11:6-8). You never hear about a wolf lying down with a lamb today, do you? Unless the lamb is INSIDE the wolf! Or a leopard lying down with a little baby goat? They usually lie down with the goat inside of them too! And what about the calf and the lion together? Usually the lion is tearing them apart and eating them! Neither have you heard about a LITTLE CHILD leading them all! The day is coming when there will be PEACE between Man and the animals and you’ll be able to call them by name and they’ll come playfully running to you like your PETS, like a dog or a cat does now!

All the animals will eat only plants and vegetables and fruit, and they won’t hurt each other or us! Isn’t that beautiful? And Man won’t eat them for meat either! “For NOTHING shall HURT nor DESTROY in all My Holy Kingdom!” (Isaiah 11:9)

And do you know how the normal Earthly people will TRAVEL during the Millennium? On horses, camels, donkeys, wagons, sailing ships and things like that! Because all that will be left is what GOD has created and given Man to use, GOD’S creations and Man’s GOOD inventions, which were good enough for the World for almost six thousand years before they ever heard of anything else!

Just think! There won’t be any more stinking cars or trucks belching out smoke and fumes and killing people, or any big smokey stinky factories! They’re not going to have any more evil machines and motors that destroy things with all their smoke and oil and pollution and evil weapons! The World is going to go back to animal transportation and carriages and wagons! They’ll sure be THANKFUL for the animals THEN! For moving large and heavy loads of materials, food etc. they’ll even use SAILING SHIPS, powered by God’s Own good clean winds and breezes!

WHY do you think the Lord is going to have this 1,000-year rule of His Kingdom on Earth over normal, natural men? Well, it will give a CHANCE to be saved to all those who survive and live into the Millennium who never really got to hear the Gospel or know the Lord during THIS life. Especially lots of CHILDREN and YOUNG PEOPLE who never had a chance, and also lots of NATIVES in the deepest jungles and hard-to-reach places and “closed countries” who never heard. It will give them all a chance to hear and see and know the Lord! During the Millennium, EVERYONE will be reached with the Good News of Salvation! “For the Earth shall be FILLED with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea!” (Habakkuk 2:14). How do the waters cover the seas? COMPLETELY!

It will be much EASIER for people to believe and receive Jesus during the Millennium, because they will be able to actually SEE Him and His mighty power and have PROOF that He is real! Instead of just believing in the Lord and accepting Him by FAITH as we do today, they will then be given the chance to believe by actually being able to SEE the Kingdom of God and Christ on Earth and His Saints in power and ruling the World! But, like “Doubting Thomas” in the Bible, they will probably not be BLESSED as much WE who are NOW believing and receiving and obeying by FAITH alone, WITHOUT seeing! (See John 20:29.)

The Millennium will most likely be the time when God gives a FIRST chance to a lot of people who DIDN’T HAVE a chance before, because the CHURCH failed or maybe even WE failed to give them all the Gospel! EVERYONE on Earth will SEE the Lord’s glorious power and Kingdom, and EVERYONE will believe THEN! The Bible says, “No longer shall every man teach his neighbour and his brother, saying, `Know the Lord’, for they shall ALL know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them.” (Jeremiah 31:34)

We won’t have to say “know the Lord” then! Because EVERYBODY will be able to SEE Him and they’ll ALL know Him! But they won’t know Him as well as WE do, because we ALREADY know Him in THIS life and are learning to love Him and live with Him and serve Him NOW. So it will undoubtedly be part of OUR job to TEACH them and TRAIN them in the ways of the Lord!

Even though there won’t be any unbelievers then, there will still be some UNRECEIVERS, sad to say! Even though they will SEE the power of God and the people of God and the Kingdom of God and the Son of God personally ruling the Earth, there will still be some WICKED people who WON’T like it, who will refuse to submit to our loving rule!

Can you imagine? All men on Earth will have the chance, under Jesus Christ Himself in person, to learn to do good, and will have every advantage under our loving Heavenly administration, yet some will still wilfully, defiantly REBEL. Isaiah 26:10 says, “Let FAVOUR be shown to the WICKED, YET will he NOT learn righteousness; in the Land of Uprightness (the Millennial Kingdom of Christ on Earth), will he keep on behaving UNJUSTLY, and REFUSE to behold the majesty of the Lord!”

In fact, at the END of the Millennium, God is going to TEST all of the Earthly people to see who has really RECEIVED Him and who has REJECTED Him. He will let the Devil out of prison for just a short while, and all of the REBELS will follow the DEVIL again and try to fight against all of the GOOD Earthly people who have received JESUS and His Kingdom! But the Lord will be so ANGRY with them that He will just get RID of them once and for all and burn up them and the whole surface of the Earth in a flood of fire called “THE BATTLE OF GOG AND MAGOG”! (Revelation 20:7-9; 2Peter 3:7,10)

All of the people who received Jesus will be spared, and God will then reform the melted surface of Earth by creating a NEW Earth, which you can read all about in our “HERE’S HEAVEN” article! (Revelation 21:1; 2Peter 3:12,13). So another purpose for the Millennium is to serve as a time of SIFTING, to sift the good from the bad, so when it comes time for the final “Great White Throne Judgement” at the end of the Millennium, they will have clearly made their choice and be either worthy of Heaven or Hell. (See our article, “Heaven, Hell and In-between”.)

Many of the people during the Millennium will still be so stubborn and slow to change that they’re STILL going to disobey, even with the Devil gone, and the Bible says that we will have to rule over them with a ROD of IRON! (Revelation 2:27; 19:15). It’s going to be a FORCED rule, a strong iron rule over the rebellious and disobedient. It will HAVE to be, or else MANY people would NEVER obey!

Thank the Lord, we’ll have great SUPERNATURAL powers which will make our job of ruling them easier, powers like you’ve seen in some science fiction movies! We’ll be able to just LOOK at them or THINK or point our finger at them and they will be frozen, pushed back and stopped from doing evil or completely destroyed! And they won’t be able to touch us or do a thing to hurt us!

We will be like the ANGELS of God: Able to appear or disappear whenever we want, fly from one place to another as fast as we can think it, or have such a rod of God’s power that, if we need to, we can smite God’s enemies and rebels with the lightning of God! So there’ll be very little crime or evil, no more riots and no more war! Just total peace under the government of the Lord, in which you and I will be His SUPERMEN with SUPER-POWERS!

The Kingdom of Jesus Christ in the Millennium will be a PERFECT Kingdom, a PERFECT government, with anointed rulers YOU! YOU’RE going to run it! The Lord said that He would make you a ruler over many cities! You can rule a CITY or a whole COUNTRY or a whole CONTINENT, whatever you are able to handle, depending on the TRAINING you’ve ALREADY had and depending on your FAITHFULNESS and your OBEDIENCE to the Lord while HERE and NOW!

Jesus said that “He that was faithful with very LITTLE, will be faithful also with very MUCH.” (Luke 16:10). He even said, “Because you have been faithful in a very LITTLE, I will make you ruler over TEN CITIES!” (Luke 19:17,19). We’re going to rule real, down-to-Earth, Worldly cities, countries, nations and continents, and teach and train real, physical, down-to-Earth people just like you and I are now! It’s all going to be very REAL, and it’s all going to actually HAPPEN!

But it seems like the Lord has so FEW Christians today who really give all their lives to Him, forsaking all to Jesus, really loving Him and only wanting to do what HE wants, that He will probably have a hard time finding enough people to fill all the jobs that will need to be done! Thank God He will be able to use a lot of those faithful ones who have gone on BEFORE, all the millions of dedicated Christians from past ages who will be there with us, as well as good people of the Earth.

There are going to be all kinds of grades and classes and levels of Christians! I’m sure the great Prophets and Apostles and heroes of the Bible and of History, who were so faithful to the Lord in their lives on Earth, will be trusted with a lot of big jobs in the NEXT life! And just where each of US is going to be and just how much each of us will be trusted with will depend a lot upon how FAITHFUL we are to Him and the job He’s given each of us to do HERE and NOW!

Right now WE are in TRAINING for the days when we will rule the Earth! But before we can do that, we must first learn to rule OURSELVES! So God is now having us train and practice for what is going to be the real thing, and how well we do NOW is going to have a lot to do with how well we will do in the FUTURE.

So remember, everything you’re being TAUGHT NOW and DOING NOW and the DECISIONS you’re making NOW and the LESSONS you’re learning NOW are all a part of your SCHOOLING and your TRAINING HERE AND NOW so you can be greatly used by the Lord THERE AND THEN! If not, a lot of what we’re doing now would be a big waste of time, except for what little we get done HERE, which isn’t very much compared to what we will do THEN! So let’s really try to LEARN our lessons TODAY and learn to be faithful and obedient servants of the Lord NOW so He can TRUST and BLESS us with a place of blessing and usefulness to Him and others TOMORROW, in the beautiful Kingdom of God on Earth during the Millennium! When YOU and I will RULE and REIGN with our King of kings, JESUS!

Are YOU preparing NOW to RULE with Him when He comes?

 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

Man’s Illegal Laws!

Against the Laws of God!

Inspired by the writings of David Brandt Berg

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From time to time you may hear or read about Christian witnesses or missionaries who are accused of “breaking the law” or of doing something “illegal”. Or you may hear that a Christian group has been expelled from some country and wonder “what they did wrong”. The fact is, they may have done NOTHING wrong, other than obey the law of GOD! For sad to say, in today’s modern World, a good MANY of MAN’S laws are in DIRECT CONFLICT with the laws of GOD!

It might surprise you to know that there are not just a FEW isolated examples of Man’s laws which contradict the laws of God, but modern Man has now drifted so far away from God and His Truth that almost the entire materialistic, Godless, humanist FOUNDATION of society itself–moral, political, religious and judicial–is in absolute REBELLION against God and His commandments! Such illegal laws of Man make criminals out of even the righteous and the innocent by making decrees that it is impossible for men to keep, or laws which the righteous, in all good conscience toward God, CANNOT abide by!

The Bible speaks of rulers “who frame MISCHIEF by a LAW”, who “gather together against the soul of the RIGHTEOUS, and CONDEMN the INNOCENT.” (Psalm 94:20-21). Although Romans 13:1-7 tells us to “OBEY the powers that be” and submit to legal ordinances, when MAN’S unjust laws CONTRADICT the laws of GOD, the Bible tells us: “We ought to obey GOD rather than MEN!” (Acts 5:29).

There are certain laws which Christians can NOT keep. For example, Jesus commanded His followers to “go into ALL the World and preach the Gospel to EVERY creature…and teach ALL nations.” (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:19). Now that is a DIRECT COMMANDMENT by Jesus Christ, the Son of God! And, in the eyes of GOD, any law of Man which FORBIDS us to witness and to win souls is ILLEGAL and does NOT need to be obeyed.

Many nations in the World today have laws against witnessing or ‘proselytising’. So why should we be shocked when we hear about missionaries who are deported from such nations for “breaking the law”? Christians are NOT morally obliged to keep laws which contradict the laws of God and the direct commandments of Jesus Christ!

In many countries, it is illegal to have a gathering of a group of people other than just your personal family. But the Bible tells Christians, “Do NOT FORSAKE the ASSEMBLING of yourselves TOGETHER!” (Hebrews 10:25). In other words, don’t stop doing it! Many Christians down through history and even today have been forced to break this law by meeting in secret.

The Bible exhorts believers to “greet one another with an holy kiss” (1Corinthians 16:20; 1Thessalonians 5:26; 1Peter 5:14), yet in some countries you can be arrested for kissing someone in public or on the street!

Heathen and Communist nations have laws against reading the Bible or having prayer in public schools, but did you know that God, the Bible, prayer and witnessing are ALSO BANNED and OUTLAWED on the schools and campuses of so-called “Christian” AMERICA! This is clearly a wilful rejection of the laws of God! On many of the same campuses and universities where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is illegal, accredited courses in the OCCULT, Hinduism and WITCHCRAFT are available to interested students!

Furthermore, in “Christian” America, it is now ILLEGAL to celebrate CHRISTMAS, the birth of Christ, in public schools, or even to have a nativity scene on any public property! Even the giving of religious CHRISTMAS CARDS to classmates is against the law!

The cardinal religious law of almost every church denomination today is, “Thou shalt go to CHURCH on SUNDAY!” Most churches say this is a Law of God because one of the Ten Commandments to the Jews was “Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy.” (Exodus 20:8). But as any Bible student knows, Sunday is not even the Biblical “Sabbath”–SATURDAY is! And Jesus NEVER said to build church buildings or form huge hierarchical organisations called “denominations”! He NEVER said “go to church on Sunday” either! NOT ONCE!

The foundation principle of most churches is that their building or cathedral is the very “HOUSE OF GOD” itself, and is sacred and holy. But the Scriptures clearly point out, “The Most High God does NOT dwell in buildings made with hands!” (Acts 7:48; Isaiah 66:1-2; 1Kings 8:27). The TRUE temple of God is the HEARTS of those who love Him. (1Corinthians 3:16-17; 2Corinthians 6:16; Revelation 3:20).

The Catholic Church has made a LAW that its PRIESTS cannot MARRY, but must remain CELIBATE. The Bible clearly says that “forbidding to marry” is a false teaching and even a “doctrine of devils”! (1Timothy 4:1-3; Genesis 2:18; 1Corinthians 7:9). The priests in the Old Testament–even those who entered into the HOLIEST OF HOLIES in the Temple–were allowed to marry. Even PETER, whom Catholics consider to be the first POPE, was MARRIED! (Matthew 8:14; 1Corinthians 9:5). As it now stands, the Church’s teaching on celibacy has driven many priests into God-cursed sodomy, or homosexuality!

The early Christians gave monetary gifts to the Apostles who then either invested it in preaching the Gospel, or gave it to the poor. (Acts 4:34-35; 2:45). Jesus had explicitly commanded his followers to “NOT lay up for themselves treasures on EARTH” (Matthew 6:20), but most of today’s churches have done just that! In most churches, only 3% of all offerings go to missionaries preaching the Gospel; most of the rest goes to building bigger and more luxurious church buildings! Or maintaining, repairing and “improving” the ones they’ve already got! “That which is HIGHLY esteemed among MEN is ABOMINATION in the sight of GOD!” (Luke 16:15). The Catholic church has BILLIONS of dollars invested in cathedrals, properties, art treasures, antiques, businesses etc., while millions of good Catholics live in absolute squalor and pitiful poverty!

In many nations, you’re not allowed to walk down the street without money in your pocket! It’s called VAGRANCY. Yet JESUS sent HIS disciples out with no money to preach the Gospel, telling them to depend on the charity of others. (Matthew 10:9-11; Mark 6:8-10).

A related law in many countries is that it’s illegal to beg. Yet begging is a time-honoured Scriptural practice, and the Bible commands believers to give to beggars and the needy. (Deuteronomy 15:11; Matthew 5:42).

Influential women’s lobby groups have had many laws passed in recent years giving women equal rights with–and often MORE rights than–men. But the whole concept of the `WOMEN’S LIB’ movement is unnatural and unscriptural. In the Old Testament, wives were clearly expected to submit to their husbands, and this Godly principle did not change in the New Testament. (1Corinthians 11:3,8-9; Ephesians 5:22-24,33; Colossians 3:18; 1Peter 3:1,5-6).

Old and New Testament societies were PATRIARCHAL societies, with the father in charge of the home and family. Yet in country after country today, it is the WOMEN–who by legal laws and actual practice–run the home, the children, family finances etc. For example, if a man and wife separate or divorce, the Courts in most Western countries give the woman the home, the car, custody of all the children etc. Contrary to the laws of God!

ABORTION is totally anti-God! In Old Testament times, the heathen had their own form of “birth control”, and threw their unwanted babies into the furnace in the belly of their devil-god, Molech, “causing their children to pass through the fire”. This practice was absolutely and unequivocally FORBIDDEN and ABHORRED by GOD throughout the Bible! (Deuteronomy 18:10). (See also 2Kings 17:17; 2Chronicles 28:3) God’s Word is diametrically opposed to “the shedding of innocent blood”! (2Kings 24:4; Ezekiel 16:36,38; 23:45). A perfect description of today’s societies’ attitude toward abortion is found in Jeremiah 2:34-35, which says: “In thy SKIRTS is found the BLOOD of the souls of the POOR INNOCENTS, yet you say, `I am INNOCENT. I have not sinned!'” But no matter how “legal” Man’s laws make abortion, or how much a supposedly “enlightened, progressive and modern” society promotes it, it’s still devilish infanticide, baby-murder, and a diabolical violation of God’s laws!

BIRTH CONTROL of ANY kind was considered unnatural and forbidden in Bible times. In Genesis 38:7-10, Onan didn’t want to get his brother’s widow pregnant, lest he have to share his inheritance with her children, so he deliberately, selfishly withdrew from her at the point of orgasm. And the Lord SLEW him for it! THAT is “ONANISM”, NOT masturbation, which is NOT forbidden in the Bible. God is opposed to any form of birth control whatsoever, even the so-called “natural” methods.

In some countries, they have ENFORCED sterilisation and family planning, and only a certain number of children are allowed. But the Bible says, “Children are an HERITAGE from the LORD, and the fruit of the womb is His REWARD. Happy is the man that hath his quiver FULL of them!” (Psalm 127:3-5).

In many countries it’s ILLEGAL to get married if the girl is under 16 and the boy under 18, and in some very conservative nations, the girl has to be up in her 20’s before she is legally allowed to marry without parental permission! This is totally contrary to Scriptural practices! In Bible times–and in fact, in MOST of the World up until even MODERN times–legal age for marriage for women was 13 or 14 years old.

What Western laws and culture call “unlawful” BIGAMY and POLYGAMY, or the practice of having more than one wife, was very COMMON in Bible times and perfectly LEGAL under the Mosaic Law. Many great Bible heroes such as Abraham, Moses, Gideon, David etc. were blessed with more than one wife. (Genesis 16:1-4; 29:16-30; Judges 8:29-31; 1Samuel 1:1-2; 2Samuel 3:3-5; 12:8; 1Chronicles 4:5; 14:3; 2Chronicles 11:18-21; 24:2-3). The only warning was not to “multiply wives”, or take TOO many (Deuteronomy 17:17), such as King Solomon who had 700 wives (1Kings 11:3-4)!

Although Western laws strictly forbid SIMULTANEOUS polygamy, or having more than one wife at the SAME TIME, these same lawmakers are very tolerant towards SEQUENTIAL polygamy, or having as many wives as you want, as long as you only have them ONE AT A TIME, and DIVORCE each one before you marry the NEXT one. This is strictly in defiance of God’s laws regarding multiple marriage, where, if you took a new wife, you were NOT allowed to divorce or neglect the FIRST one! (Exodus 21:10; Deuteronomy 21:15-16).

Even having MISTRESSES and CONCUBINES was perfectly legal in the Old Testament. (Genesis 16:1-4; 30:1-4;9-10; Judges 8:31; 2Samuel 5:13; 15:16; 19:5; 1Chronicles 1:32; 2:46-48). This practice was not ruled out in the New Testament, yet the self-righteous, overly-prudish moralists of Western society made it illegal anyway.

SODOMY, or HOMOSEXUALITY between men, is an abomination to God, and utterly and unequivocally forbidden in the Bible! (See Genesis 9:20-25; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26-28; 1Corinthians 6:9). In many countries today, however, the laws of Man have now made it LEGAL and even PROMOTE it in the media! So as usual, God’s laws are in DIRECT CONFLICT with Man’s unrighteous laws!

TRANSVESTISM, where men dress and act effeminate like women, is also forbidden in the Scriptures. (Deuteronomy 22:5; 1Corinthians 6:9). And this obviously also includes the anti-nature sex-change operations which modern Man has made legal.

In the U.S. they can take your baby away from you at any little provocation. If you run into a hospital to have a baby at the last minute, they can call you an “unfit mother” and have your baby taken away. Such self-righteous legalists probably would have taken baby Jesus away from Joseph and Mary by a court order and had Him put in an orphanage because she gave birth to Him in a stable! (Luke 2:4-7).

In many Western countries, it is against the law to have a baby naturally at home, even with an experienced midwife present. They insist that you HAVE to have childbirth in a hospital! In the Bible, natural childbirth at home was the RULE, and even midwives were not required. (Exodus 1:19).

In some Western so-called CHRISTIAN countries, you can get arrested for praying for the sick, because they call it “practicing medicine without a license”. They would literally have thrown Jesus Himself in jail for healing the sick!

In the U.S., especially California, if someone is sick, it’s against the law NOT to call a doctor! If they die and you DIDN’T call a doctor, they can put you in jail for manslaughter! It’s happened many times!

In some countries it is illegal to trust the Lord to take care of you and protect you (Psalm 118:8), and you are, by law, REQUIRED to have certain insurance policies.

2Thessalonians 3:10 says, “He that shall not work shall not eat”, yet in many industrialised nations around the World, millions of people simply REFUSE to work and LEGALLY live off of WELFARE and the DOLE!

The Bible has many warnings against extortion, yet most of the modern banking system, with its legal, exorbitantly high interest rates, is totally disobedient to this commandment. (Exodus 22:25; Leviticus 25:35-37; Nehemiah 5:10-11).

The Lord made several commandments about having just labour laws and wages (Deuteronomy 24:14; Proverbs 22:22), yet today, there are a MULTITUDE of crooked laws which, for all practical purposes, legalise financial slavery of poor labourers. (James 5:1-4).

The rich industrialised so-called Christian countries waste and throw millions of tons of food away, even paying their farmers NOT to grow crops or to DESTROY them–to selfishly, artificially keep their own prices and standard of living high while millions of people in poor nations starve! (See Ezekiel 16:49.)

The Bible says, “Honour your father and mother” (Exodus 20:12; Leviticus 19:3; Deuteronomy 27:16), and “Children, obey your parents.” (Ephesians 6:1; Colossians 3:20). Punishment for disobedient, rebellious children was severe. (Deuteronomy 21:18-21; Exodus 21:15,17; Leviticus 20:9). Yet in some modern countries, it is against the law to even SPANK or DISCIPLINE a rebellious child! Something the Bible COMMANDS parents to do! (Proverbs 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14).

The Bible says to “honour the old men” and “despise not your parents when they are old”. (Leviticus 19:32; Proverbs 23:22). Children were expected to love, respect and care for their elderly parents. Only in today’s selfish society do children send their parents off to “Old Folks’ Homes” or “Rest Homes” in defiance of God’s laws! (Mark 7:9-13).

In some places, it only takes one person to commit someone to a mental hospital. The Bible says that no legal action can be taken against someone unless it’s confirmed by two or three witnesses. (Deuteronomy 19:15).

There could hardly be ANYTHING more natural, Godly or Scriptural than a mother breast-feeding her baby. Yet in many countries it would cause a public scandal for a mother to nurse her baby in public! And in some countries she could even get ARRESTED for “indecent exposure”!

In the Bible, communal family living was the rule–even in the New Testament (Acts 2:44-45)–yet in most modern countries, city building codes regulate how many people can live in one house, how many bedrooms and toilets you are required by law to have for so many people etc., making Godly communal living illegal.

The Bible explicitly specified that human dung and waste was to be buried in the GROUND (Deuteronomy 23:13), yet modern Man, on a vast and horrifying scale, has been irresponsibly pumping and dumping his waste and sewage directly into streams, rivers and oceans, so that Worldwide they are now FOULED and POLLUTED with sewage!

There are so many other laws of Man which are in direct defiance of Godly laws and principles that it would be impossible to list them all here; but briefly, here are a few more:

Man’s use of chemicals and plastics which POLLUTE AND DEFILE the environment. (Jeremiah 2:7; Isaiah 24:5)

Leviticus 17:10-14 forbids Man to DRINK BLOOD, yet blood sausages etc. are considered a popular delicacy in most of the World today, and blood transfusions are rampant!

TAMPERING WITH NATURE by splitting the atom and releasing Nuclear power.

The NUCLEAR ARSENALS of the Superpowers which can destroy the entire World! (Matthew 24:22)

Some nations spending most of their national budget on WEAPONS and the military while their people starve!

The entire wasteful SPACE PROGRAM upon which billions are wasted while the poor starve! (Obadiah 1:4)

INDUSTRIALISATION, UNNATURAL CITY LIFE, forsaking a normal agricultural economy, dangerously tall buildings and skyscrapers, which God is against! (Genesis 11:4-8).

MANDATORY VOTING LAWS of some nations which make it illegal NOT to vote.

MANDATORY DRAFT LAWS many nations have (James 4:1), whereas God’s Word gave MANY reasons to be excused from military duty. (Deuteronomy 20:5-8).

MANDATORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE, where it is illegal to drop out of classes that teach the anti-Christ theory of Evolution! (2Timothy 4:3,4; 1Corinthians 10:21; Col.2:8)

Many nations today have gotten rid of the death penalty for serious crimes and instead pamper the criminals all their lives in prison cells. The MOSAIC LAW clearly instituted the DEATH penalty for serious crimes and did not allow imprisonment! (Exodus 21:12-17,29 etc.)

NUDITY is against the law in most places, whereas God CREATED Man and Woman to be naked and not ashamed of their bodies. (Genesis 2:25)

THE ABUSING OF MAN’S BODY, “the temple of the Holy Spirit”, through legal drugs and strong alcoholic drinks. (1Cor.3:16-17)

Many nations have either a total or partial ban on ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, even though it was perfectly common and legal throughout the entire Bible. Even Jesus MADE wine on one occasion. (John 2:1-11)

The list of Man’s illegal laws and practices could go on and on: “Face lifts”, working on night shifts instead of daylight hours, modern devilish Rock music, tatoos, African female circumcision, processed formulas instead of breast feeding, artificial prolonging of life, unnatural medicines, vaccinations, test-tube babies, artificial insemination etc. etc. etc.!

There are so many of Man’s perverted laws that GOD HIMSELF constantly breaks, that rebellious, foolish, anti-God Man would surely issue an immediate warrant for His arrest, have Him extradited from His throne in Heaven, and put Him behind bars for several hundred million years if he could! But who REALLY are the criminals and law-breakers? GOD and His holy CHILDREN? Or those who MAKE illegal laws! What do YOU think?

 

 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

The Lover of All Lovers!

Compiled from the writings of David Brandt Berg

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He came to Earth as a tiny, weak and helpless baby, born to a simple, humble young girl who miraculously conceived the Child, having never slept with any man! In fact, the news of her pregnancy was so shocking that when the man to whom she was engaged to be married learned about it, he promptly decided to break the engagement and call off the wedding. Until a powerful Heavenly Being intervened and instructed him to stay with her and rear and protect this very special Child that she was carrying.

Although ordained and predestined to be a KING, in fact the King OF kings, He was not born in a palace with famous and glorious members of the court in attendance and the honour and praise of the System. Instead, He was born on the dirty floor of a barn amidst the cattle and the donkeys, wrapped in rags and laid to rest in the animal’s feed-trough.

And though His birth brought no great fanfare or recognition from the institutions and governments of Men, that night on a nearby hillside, a motley crew of poor shepherds were awestruck as a brilliant, almost blinding light burst upon them from the starry sky and an host of Angels filled the night with their Heavenly declaration and song: “Glory to God in the highest! Peace on Earth to men of good will! For unto you this day is born a SAVIOUR, Christ the Lord!”

Far away in the East, another herald appeared in the Heavens, a bright STAR that caught the attention of certain wise men, who interpreted its meaning and followed it, crossing thousands of miles of desert, as it led them to the exact location of the young Child in that little town of Bethlehem, where they honoured Him with their precious gifts.

His earthly father was a carpenter, a humble hewer of wood with whom He lived and laboured, conforming to our human ways of life, custom, language and living that He might understand and love us better and communicate with us on the lowly level of our own limited human understanding! He learned to LOVE Mankind. He saw their suffering and had great compassion on them, longing to not only heal their sick and broken bodies, but also to save their immortal spirits!

When the time came and He began his life’s work, He went about everywhere doing good. Helping people, loving children, healing heartaches, strengthening tired bodies, saving whom He could. He not PREACHED His message, but He LIVED it amongst us. He not only ministered to their spiritual needs, but He spent a great deal of time ministering to their physical and material needs, miraculously healing them when they were sick, feeding them when they were hungry and sharing His life and His Love!

He was so simple and His religion was so simple that He said you must become as a little CHILD to receive it! He didn’t preach Temple worship, He didn’t preach going to synagogue nor going to church, He didn’t preach any complicated ceremonies or difficult rules. All he did was preach LOVE and show Love, as He strove to lead God’s children into the True Kingdom of God, whose only laws are to “love the Lord with all thy heart” and “love thy neighbour as thyself”.

He had very little to do with the high-fallutin’, rich-robed, churchy scribes, pharisees and hypocrites–the religious leaders of that day–except when they insisted on annoying Him with their critical questions. Then He would sock it to them, publicly exposing them as the “blind leaders of the blind” that they were, even telling them that they were like white-washed SEPULCHRES, which indeed appear beautiful, clean and holy on the OUTSIDE, but WITHIN are full of rottenness, corruption and stinking dead men’s bones!

He was not a mere religious reformer, He was a REVOLUTIONARY! He refused to compromise with the false religious system, but rather worked totally OUTSIDE of it, reaching and sharing His Love with the poor and common folk who had long ago abandoned and been abandoned by organised religion. He never went into any bar with whip in hand, breaking up the bottles and throwing out the bartender. Nor did He ever enter any brothel, beating up the poor girls, overturning their beds and throwing the men out the window. But He DID make a whip, go into their big beautiful religious Temple, overturn the tables, spill out the money and drive the money-mad money-changers out of the church, condemning them for turning what was supposed to be a house of prayer into a den of thieves!

He made Himself of no reputation, and was a companion of drunks and prostitutes, publicans and sinners, the outcasts and downtrodden of society. He even told them that they would enter the Kingdom of Heaven before the so-called “good” people, the self-righteous and religious leaders who rejected Him and His simple Message of Love. The power of His Love and of His appeal was so great and gave such great faith to the sincere truth-seekers that they didn’t hesitate to drop everything they had and forsake all immediately to become His full-time followers!

Once, while crossing a lake in a small boat with His disciples, when a great storm arose and the boat was in danger of sinking, He commanded the winds and the waves to cease and immediately there was a great calm! His disciples, astonished by such a demonstration of miraculous power, exclaimed to one another, “What manner of man IS this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!”

Throughout His ministry He gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, cleansed lepers and raised the dead! In fact, so marvellous were His works that they prompted a leading member of the religious establishment that most bitterly opposed and resented Him to exclaim, “We KNOW that You are come from God! For no man could do these miracles that You do unless GOD were with Him!”

As His Message of Love spread and His followers multiplied, the established religion and its jealous leaders realised what a THREAT this formerly unknown carpenter had become to them! His simple doctrine of Love was LIBERATING the people from the control of the hypocritical High Priests, the big-shot religionists, and was therefore destroying their entire religious system, their religious authority, their power and control and hold on people.

These powerful religious enemies finally had Him arrested and brought to trial on false charges of sedition and subversion. And although the governor found Him innocent, he was pressured and persuaded by these religionists to execute Him. Just prior to His arrest, He had said, “They couldn’t even TOUCH Me without My Father’s permission! If I would but raise My little finger, He would send legions of angels to rescue Me!” But instead, He CHOSE to die to save you and me! Nobody TOOK His life from Him, He LAID it down, He GAVE His life of His Own free will and accord.

But even His death did not satisfy His jealous enemies! To ensure that His followers couldn’t steal His body and claim He’d come back to life, they placed a huge stone over the door of His tomb and posted a group of Roman soldiers there to guard it. A scheme that proved futile, as these same guards became witnesses to the greatest miracle of all! Three days after His lifeless body was laid to rest in that cold tomb, He ROSE from the dead, the Victor over all death and hell forever!

Death itself could not stop His work nor His Words! He rose to lead His tiny band of followers to ultimate victory to overthrow the Roman Empire with Love and the power of the Gospel! And the Love of God simply rolled right on over His jealous enemies like a giant tidal wave to cover the whole Earth! And they were left far behind as dead and dry as He said they’d be!

Since that miraculous day nearly 2,000 years ago, this same man, Jesus Christ, has done more to change history and the course of civilisation and the condition of Man than any other leader, group, government or Empire before Him or since! He has saved BILLIONS from the death of a hopeless, Christless tomb and has given Eternal Life and the Love of God to all who call upon His Name. This man, Jesus Christ, is not merely a philosopher or teacher or rabbi or guru, or even a prophet. He is THE Son of God! God, the Great Creator, is a SPIRIT and is all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere and in everything far beyond our limited human comprehension! So He sent JESUS, in the form of a MAN, to show us what He Himself is like and to bring us to Himself. And although many great teachers have spoken and taught ABOUT Love and ABOUT God, He IS Love and He IS God! The only One Who died for the sins of the World and rose from the dead! So He’s in a class all by Himself, because He’s the only SAVIOUR! He said, “I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE! No man cometh unto the Father but by ME!”

How can YOU find out and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ really IS the Son of God, the way to Salvation? The answer is simple: TRY Him! Simply humble yourself and sincerely ask Him to reveal Himself to you! Ask Him to come into your heart, forgive you of all your sins and fill your life with His Love, peace and joy!

He’s REAL and He loves YOU! So much so that He DIED in YOUR place and suffered for YOUR sins so that YOU wouldn’t have to if you’ll just RECEIVE Him and His free Gift of Eternal Life! But He can’t save you unless you WANT Him to! His Love is all-powerful, but He won’t FORCE His way into your life. He KNOCKS at the door of your heart. He doesn’t kick it in or break it down. He stands there gently, meekly, in loving patience, waiting for YOU to open up and ask Him in.

Will YOU receive Him? If so, He will be the most precious One in your life! Your closest Friend and Companion Who will be with you ALWAYS! For He alone is the Lover of ALL lovers, Who CAME for love and LIVED in love and DIED for love that WE might LIVE and LOVE FOREVER!

You can personally receive Jesus into your own heart right now by sincerely praying this simple prayer: “Dear Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I believe You died for me. I believe You’re the Son of God, & I now ask You to come into my life. I open the door & I invite You into my heart. Jesus, please come in & help me to confess You before others that they may find You too. In Jesus’ name I ask, amen.”

 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International