Anchor

Making Godly Decisions: Finding the Will of God
By Peter Amsterdam

free-bible-studies-online-anchorWe have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
—Colossians 1:9–10 ESV

One of the traits of humankind, as beings created in the image of God, is free will, which includes both the ability to make decisions and the responsibility for the outcomes of our decisions. Learning to make decisions that will glorify God and fulfill His will for our lives can be very challenging at times, and can test and grow our faith, as we seek His will and wait on Him for answers and guidance.

Accepting Jesus as our Savior and receiving His free gift of salvation is the most important decision we ever face in our lives, as it determines our eternal standing in relationship to God and His kingdom. That all-important decision defines our present and our future, as well as redefines our past by canceling out the charges that “stood against us and condemned us, nailing [them] to the cross.” (Colossians 2:13–14 NIV)

The decision to accept Christ as our Savior is one that only we can make; it is a freewill choice to invite Jesus into our hearts and lives. However, salvation is not the end of the road, and once we’ve given our life to the Lord we are faced with numerous other decisions on a daily basis relating to the nurturing of our faith through studying His Word and living our lives according to His commands and guidance.

Decision-making for Christians is meant to be a relational process, involving ourselves and God, as we bring all our anxieties to Him, knowing that He cares for us. (1 Peter 5:7) He has told us to “come and let us reason together,” (Isaiah 1:18) demonstrating His desire to carry on a conversation with us. He wants to be present and to participate in the conversation as we make decisions, and has promised that His Spirit in us will guide us into all truth. (John 16:13)

Throughout our lives as Christians, we are faced with course-altering decisions that affect our future, whether they relate to what career to pursue, whom to marry, how to raise our children, what country to live in, or how to commit to our faith and participate in God’s work. One of the most important steps for finding God’s will and making good decisions is acknowledging Him and committing our ways to Him. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.” (Proverbs 3:5–6 NKJV; Psalm 37:5 NASB)

Learning to make decisions that will honor God and align with His will and commands is often accompanied by times of soul searching, desperate prayer, and testing. Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish what God’s will is in a situation or what decision will produce the best outcomes. At such times, we can wish that a lightning bolt would light up the sky or that we’d be knocked to the ground like the apostle Paul to give us a precise, infallible sign. And yet, so often, the voice of God is so quiet that if we don’t calm our spirit and open our minds and listen, it can be missed.

The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
—1 Kings 19:11–12 NIV

How do we play our part in the decision-making process, doing everything in our power to make right decisions, to hush our spirits to hear God’s voice, and to determine the best option in decisions that will alter the course of our lives in some way? God’s Word tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5)

He created us in His image, as rational beings, capable of freewill decisions and of choosing to place Him at the center of our lives. This is one of the ways by which we love God with all our minds: by making conscious decisions to love God, to make Him the center of our lives and our desires, and by seeking to glorify Him in all our decisions and ways. As we love God in this way, rationally and decisively with our minds and with the commitment in our hearts to follow wherever He leads, we are positioned to test and discern the will of God, as Paul explained in Romans: “Be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 ESV)

This verse indicates that often we may need to put something to the test to find out through experience whether it is the will of God. The decision before us may not be clear-cut enough to know with absolute certainty that it is the right path. Perhaps we need to decide whether to invest in a business venture, or start a new form of mission work, or place our children in a certain school, or move to a new neighborhood. We have sought the Lord for wisdom and guidance. We have weighed the pros and cons. We have done a thorough analysis of the situation. We have asked counsel of those who are in a position to give sound advice. Yet we may find that we are still not 100 percent sure of the decision, despite a looming deadline. In such cases, you may feel that God is nudging you to take a step forward to make a preliminary decision, while making allowance for the testing and discerning stage, and the ability to alter course if the proposed direction doesn’t prove to be the will of God in your situation.

As you take the step of making a preliminary decision, the Lord will often either confirm it or new factors will emerge that will shed new light on the situation. At each new junction on the road to the final decision, you may need to relook at things and pray further before taking the next step. You may need to make course adjustments, as you discover that the coordinates of your original decision, while pointing you in the right general direction, need to be fine-tuned as you zero in on your final destination. Decision-making is often a process involving many decisions, not just a single decision, and each decision lays the foundation for our next decisions.

Most of us would prefer to receive unambiguous direction from God. Yet it seems that often God wants us to do the work of wholeheartedly seeking His will, investigating, analyzing, assessing, and using every means at our disposal to make wise and godly decisions. As so often proves to be the case, God rarely seems to do things for us that we are capable of doing. I’ve often found that I make the best decisions when I work in conjunction with the Lord through doing the background work of analyzing the possibilities and the options, weighing the pros and cons of each one, while seeking His guidance and thoughts on the matter through prayer and hearing from Him.

Making decisions that bring honor and glory to God is one of the ways that we show God that we love Him with all our hearts, souls, and minds. While most of us struggle with the grave responsibility of making godly decisions, it is also an opportunity to glorify God through our choices. As we place Him at the center of our lives, acknowledging Him in all our ways, committing our lives and times into His hands, we can trust that He will guide us and help us to discern His will and to make wise decisions.

 

 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.

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You Can Have Freedom from Fear!

free-bible-studies-online-you-can-have-freedom-from-fear

David Brandt Berg

Fear is today’s No.1 killer! Believe it or not, fear causes more sickness and more mental illness and more premature deaths than anything else on Earth! Doctors have discovered that heart muscle is actually DESTROYED when people are subject to great fear. Dr. Marilyn Cebelin, writing in the General Practitioner’s newspaper, “Pulse,” says the hormone, adrenalin, literally DESTROYS heart muscles when people are subjected to intense stress and fear.

Canadian medical circles also report that WORRY increases chances of infectious disease, in that it weakens the body’s ability to fight off germs. A recent study of cases of streptococcal infection, according to Dr. Robert Haggerty, revealed that one out of four cases of such infections occurred after prolonged trauma and anxiety. Heart trouble, high blood pressure, arthritis and stomach ulcers are all basically caused by worry, tension, stress and fear!

Jesus said that in the Last Days “men’s hearts would be failing them for FEAR.”–Luke 21:26. Doctors say that there’s more heart failure today than ever in the World’s history because there’s more FEAR. In 1982, heart attacks caused 554,900 deaths in the U.S. alone, while hypertensive diseases caused 31,500 deaths!

People today are afraid! They’re afraid of the future, they’re afraid of what’s going to happen in the World, they’re afraid of each other, they’re afraid of social pressures, afraid of failing in school or work, afraid of being unemployed.–Afraid that they won’t have enough money for their families. They worry about so many things!

MUCH of this type of fear, believe it or not, stems from selfishness, from being overly concerned about one’s self, one’s self preservation, self-image, what the future holds for one’s SELF. The Apostle John wrote, “Perfect LOVE casts OUT fear, for fear has torment.”–1John 4:18. When that “perfect love” that comes from Jesus fills our lives, it crowds out this type of selfish worry and fear, and when our hearts are filled with love for others, then we don’t think and worry about ourselves so much.

There are many different types of worries and fears, and two of the most common concern the past and the future: Regret over the past and fear of the future.

A lesson on how to keep such fears from affecting us can be learned from modern ocean liners: They are constructed so that the captain can press a button and lower steel doors that separate one watertight bulkhead (compartment) from another, so if the hull is pierced in a disaster it can be sealed off and the ship can stay afloat. So it should be in the “ship” of our own lives; we have to learn how to make doors come down and shut out our worries about yesterday with its mistakes and failures, and also lower another door that shuts out our needless fears of the future, so we can live for just this day alone.–Otherwise our worries may cause us to go under!

Jesus said, “Do not worry about tomorrow. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”–Matthew 6:34. But too many people are like a man in the insane asylum whose chief trouble was his fear that he wouldn’t get his next meal. As soon as one meal was finished, he immediately began to worry about the next, and most of his time and strength were spent worrying!–How ridiculous! It just doesn’t make sense to worry about the future. Why open an umbrella when it’s not raining anywhere near you? Besides, have you noticed that it’s the things that never happen that seem to worry us the most? Like the famous writer, Mark Twain, said towards the end of his life, “I’m an old man, and I’ve had many troubles–most of which never happened!”

I read recently about a businessman who drew up what he called a “Worry Chart”, in which he kept a record of his fears. He discovered that 40% of them were about things that, in all probability, would never happen; 30% concerned past decisions that he could not now unmake; 12% dealt with other people’s criticism of him; and 10% were worries about his health. He concluded that there were valid reasons for only 8% of his worries!

Of course, as CHRISTIANS we don’t have to fear or worry about ANYTHING, because we know that “ALL things work together for GOOD to them that love the Lord!”–Romans 8:28. The famous evangelist, Dwight L. Moody, used to say, “You can travel FIRST or SECOND class to Heaven! SECOND class is, ‘What time I am AFRAID, I will TRUST.’–Psalm 56:3. And FIRST class is, ‘I will trust, and NOT be afraid.’–Isaiah 12:2. So why not buy a first class ticket?”

That’s one of the greatest of all liberations for a Christian, to be free from fear!–EVERY type of fear: Fear of the unknown, fear of the dark, fear of enemies, fear of failure and fear of death. We have COMPLETE FREEDOM from fear in JESUS! If you trust GOD, then you have FAITH and not fear. You know your Heavenly Father loves you and is going to take care of you and yours–your family, your future, your job, your wife, your children, your EVERYTHING, if you do your best to love, obey and follow Him!

It’s FAITH in Jesus that keeps us from fear. Faith in God is the best cure for fear in the World! “The LORD is my LIGHT and my SALVATION; WHOM shall I FEAR? The LORD is the STRENGTH of my life; of WHOM shall I be AFRAID? God has NOT given us a spirit of FEAR, but of POWER and of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND! For perfect LOVE casts out ALL fear!”–Psalm 27:1; 2Timothy 1:7; 1John 4:18.

Faith and fear cannot totally occupy your mind and heart at the same time.–It’s just impossible! It’s like the natural law of physics that states, “Two bodies cannot occupy the same place at the same time.”–And the same holds true in the spiritual. Faith is the opposite of fear, and when you have faith, you cannot fear!

Turning on the FAITH in your HEART is like turning on the LIGHT in a ROOM! If you go into a room and it’s dark, how do you get RID of the darkness? Do you try to SHOO the darkness out? Do you go in with your fists and FIGHT it? No, when you don’t want darkness in the room you just turn on the light, right? You just let the light in!–And the darkness turns tail and runs! “Chase away the shades of night, by letting in God’s love and light!”

And that’s how you get rid of fear!–By turning on faith! And how do you get faith?–From reading the Word of God in your Bible and Daily Food! The Bible says, “Faith COMES by hearing the WORD of GOD!”–Romans 10:17. Faith comes and grows as you faithfully read and hear God’s Word! It’s the WORD that will strengthen you and give you more faith. So the more you read the WORD, the MORE FAITH you will have and the LESS FEAR you will have!

On the other hand, believe it or not, SOME kinds of fear are healthy! It’s good to fear–or at least have a healthy RESPECT for–fire, electricity, lightning and anything that can cause accidents and do us or others damage and harm. God has placed within us beneficial automatic reactions, protective instincts, that make us react quickly and instinctively to danger!

The most healthy fear of all is to fear GOD! The Bible says, “The fear of God is the BEGINNING of WISDOM.”–Proverbs 9:10. A part of our LOVE for God should be a healthy RESPECT and FEAR of Him, like a child respects his father, especially if he’s been naughty and done wrong and knows that he deserves a spanking! Fearing God is a form of worshipping God. It’s giving Him the reverence and respect that He deserves.

However, in like manner, fearing the DEVIL is another example of the WRONG kind of DESTRUCTIVE fear that tears you down and brings you under stress and spiritual bondage. To fear the Devil and his powers is really worshipping the Devil!–So DON’T do it!–Not for a fraction of a second! “Thou shalt worship the LORD thy God and HIM ONLY shalt thou fear!”–Matthew 4:10. “This,” the wise King Solomon said, “is the whole duty of Man, to fear God”–only God–“and keep His commandments”!–Ecclesiastes 12:13. If you pin your faith in God, and fear God, all other fears will disappear!

Of course, we must recognise that the Enemy, the Devil, does have certain power. In fact, almost the Devil’s total power is in fear. He’ll often say “Boo!”, and say all kinds of terrible things to try to frighten you! But you don’t have to listen to him. Jesus called him, “A LIAR from the beginning.”–John 8:44. The Devil is a liar and is usually bluffing and hardly ever able to accomplish his threats!–Especially to a child of God who is protected by the Lord’s Holy Spirit and Angels!

The Devil reminds me of an ugly little Pekinese dog that I encountered while shopping the other day. For no reason he started barking and yapping at me like crazy. Its owner, an old lady, picked him up and actually said, “Oh, don’t worry! He’s just a little DEVIL!” And that struck me as a good lesson on what the Devil is like!–He makes such a big noise, when actually he’s so little and powerless compared to the LORD!

So you don’t ever have to worry or fear Satan’s power, because God is much bigger than any devil!–Or even Satan himself! The power of the Lord is much, much greater! “GREATER is He that is in YOU (Jesus), than he that is in the WORLD (the Devil).”–1John 4:4. In other words, God is saying, “My power in you is much greater than the Devil’s power in the World’s children!–MUCH greater!” In fact, all the devils of Hell, including Satan himself, are subject to your power, because you have the power of CHRIST! Jesus said, “ALL power is given unto ME in Heaven and in Earth!”–Matthew 28:18. YOU’RE not stronger than the Devil, but JESUS is!-And you have Jesus and His power, and the Devil and his demons have to do what you tell them to when you COMMAND them to do it in Jesus’ name!

If you feel the Devil is attacking you with fears, worries, anxiety etc., you can pray in the Name of Jesus and resist and overcome him!–Jesus said, “Behold, I give you power over all the power of the Enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”-Luke 10:19. This power is YOURS if you believe His Word, claim His promises and pray in the Name of Jesus! In fact, if you are filled with faith and His Holy Spirit, you have the authority to resist the Devil directly, just like Jesus and His early disciples did.

I’ll never forget when I was a kid about 12 years old, delivering newspapers, and I had to go into a certain yard to get to a house in the rear. Suddenly, out from the back yard came this huge Great Dane dog, barking and growling furiously, coming at me full speed, leaping and bounding! I thought, “Oh, no!–I’m a goner! This is IT!” But I knew I didn’t dare turn my back on him to run or he would bite me for sure. Yet, on the other hand, he was too big for me to face, and I was invading HIS territory! He was just too big for me!

I thank God that I remembered to cry out to the Lord, and I did something that I’d never done before, but which I’ve since done to the Devil many times when he’s tried to attack and frighten and scare me!–I suddenly jutted my hand out toward him and I yelled, “I REBUKE YOU IN JESUS’ NAME!”–And, boy, did he put on the brakes! He skidded to a stop and looked absolutely STARTLED!–And turned tail and ran away!

The Devil is just like that dog, a coward!–And if you face him down and RESIST him in Jesus’ name, he’ll run! You don’t get the victory over the Enemy by running FROM him! You get the victory by standing your ground and making HIM run!

Some fears are imaginary, and others, like that big dog, really exist. But whether real or imaginary, you have power over your fears to REBUKE and get RID of them in Jesus’ Name! You have to fight fear and fight the Devil! You have to face your fears, recognise they’re there, decide between the real fears and the unreal ones, the truth and the lie, and then go to the attack to dispel the vaporous fiction of the fairy tale and to drive away the genuine reality of real threat!

Praising the Lord and quoting God’s Word out loud is an excellent way to attack your fears! Memorise faith-building Scriptures like Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd…I will fear no evil.” Put all other thoughts out of your mind and just think about Jesus and His Love and His power. “Thou wilt keep him in PERFECT PEACE whose mind is stayed on Thee.”–Isaiah 26:3.

There are also some fears that you may need HELP in fighting. Some people have deep-rooted fears that are actual phobias.–For instance, some people almost panic when they’re shut up in a closed place. Others fear to go outside. Others fear heights, tunnels, the dark, snakes etc.–If you feel terrified by some extreme fear that you don’t feel strong enough to overcome just between you and the Lord, then it helps greatly to have someone else pray WITH to be delivered from that fear! The Bible says, “ONE can chase a THOUSAND, but TWO can put TEN THOUSAND to flight!”–Deuteronomy 32:30. “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. Often, deep-rooted irrational fears are caused by bad SPIRITS, demons, and–as mentioned before–these spirits of fear can be commanded to depart in the Name of Jesus!-And they HAVE to obey! “SUBMIT yourselves to GOD, RESIST the Devil and he WILL flee from you!”–James 4:7.

So don’t be afraid of the Devil, HE’S afraid of you! “The Devil flees each time he sees the weakest saint upon his knees!” There’s nothing to be afraid of when it comes to the Devil!–He was defeated 2,000 years ago!–When Jesus Christ, the Son of God, won the victory for our souls on the Cross of Calvary!

“And though this World with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us!
We will NOT fear, for God hath willed,
His TRUTH to TRIUMPH through US!

The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble NOT for him!
For lo, his doom is sure,
One little Word shall fell Him!”–JESUS!

You have power over the Devil and all fears through JESUS and His WORD!–Pray and believe and be freed from fear today!–In Jesus’ name! Amen?

 

 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

The Word!

Based on the writings of David Brandt Berg

 

free-bible-studies-online-the-word

 

MEDITATING ON THE WORD!

The Bible is an absolutely inexhaus­tible source of wisdom and knowledge in which you constantly find treasures new and old! (See Matthew 13:52.)

The Word of God will stand a thou­sand readings, and he who has gone over it most frequently is the surest of finding new wonders there.

We must read the Word like men digging for hidden treasures.

What makes the difference is not how many times you have been through the Bible, but how many times and how thoroughly the Bible has been through you.

To do God’s work we must have God’s power. To have God’s power we must know God’s will. To know God’s will we must study God’s Word.

How can you have faith in the Bible unless you know what’s in it?

A thumbprint on the Bible is more important than a footprint on the moon.

The Word… Know it-in your head; Show it-in your life! Sow it-in the World; Stow it-in your heart!

To read the Word without reflecting, is like eating without digesting.

Besides the once-and-for-all cleans­ing of Salvation, you need the daily cleans­ing of the Word from daily sin.

 

TAKING TIME FOR GOD!

Many people struggle through life needlessly, when only a little more time spent with God’s Word would bring the peace, faith and happiness they seek.

Put the Word first and the Lord will always give you time to do the other things.

Whatever keeps me from the Word is my enemy, however harmless it may appear to be.
 

No time for God?
What fools we are… No time for God?
As soon to say no time
To eat. to sleep, to live, to die.
Take tine for God,
Or a poor misshapen thing you’ll be
To step into eternity,
And say, “I had no time for Thee.”

 
The most desirable time to read the Word is as often as possible.

 

THE BIBLE AND ITS CRITICS!

Most people don’t read the Bible, not because they can’t understand it, but because they can understand it, and they don’t like to hear it!

Daniel Webster once said that he believed that “the Bible is to be believed and understood in the plain and obvious meaning of its passages; for I cannot persuade myself that a Book intended for the instruction and conversion of the whole World should cover its true meaning in any such mystery and doubt, so that none but critics and philosophers can discover it.”

Nothing contradicts itself in the Bible! People just think it does because they can’t understand what it means in the first place.

Men do not usually reject the Bible because it contradicts itself, but because it contradicts them.

Don’t criticise the Bible; let the Bible criticise you.

The Bible’s incredibly correct his­torical memory has been validated many times by archaeological discoveries. No discovery has ever contradicted a Bible reference.- Dr. Nelson Blueck, Jewish archaeologist.

I know it’s the Word of God, because I know it works!

Other books have been written for our information; the Bible was given for our transformation!

Bible verses will save you from spiritual reverses.

 

POWER OF THE WORD!

Love is the greatest force in the World, and the Word of God the most powerful Truth on Earth!

The Bread of Life never becomes stale.

The Bible contains the vitamins for a healthy soul.

Thank God for the Word, the Water of Life! That’s why He likened the Word to Water, because it’s so essential for your spiritual life, and you’re not going to last very long without it.

The secret of power and victory and overcoming and fruitfulness and fire and life and warmth and light and leadership, and everything, is the Word!

The word is our weapon against the Enemy and his stronghold on people’s minds and hearts. (See 2Corinthians 10:4,5.)

The Word of God is the most power­ful weapon in the World, greater by far than any nuclear weapon imaginable. It can change hearts and minds, something no nuclear wea­pon has ever done or will ever do.

 

THE SIMPLE TRUTH!

Why waste time on complicated con­fused theories and thoughts of Man, when the Bible is right there, so simple, direct and to the point?

No man is uneducated who knows the Word and no man is wise who is ignorant of its teachings.

William Lyon Phelps (called the most beloved professor in America) of Yale University said, “I thoroughly believe in university education for both men and women, but I believe a knowledge of the Bible with­out a college course is more valuable than a college course without the Bible.”

If you know this Book-the Bible- you can run circles around any man that has graduated from a university or seminary- because you’ve got the Truth!

I’ve never read any worldly man’s writings that weren’t dumber than the Bible! Only the Words of God have lived on! Only the Words of Jesus have accomplished any­thing!

The answers we find in the Word are not quick and easy answers, but they are in fact the only real answers.

If I find something in the Bible that I can’t explain or something happens that I don’t understand, I just wrap it up in a little package of faith and put it on the shelf and wait for the Lord to unwrap it for me and reveal it to me later.

Just like with any other book-you don’t quit reading the Bible just because you can’t understand one little thing. You keep on reading, and there will be something else you can understand.

 

INTERPRETING THE WORD!

If you find a whole lot of Scriptures that say so-and-so, but then you find one little passage that seems to say the opposite, then what are you going to accept?-The preponderance of the Script­ures!-Right?

If one Scripture seem to contradict several others, you must be interpreting it wrong or the translation may be wrong. You’ve got to balance Scripture with Scrip­ture.

The Bible would not be the Book of God if it had not deep places here and there which Man has no ability to fathom.

 

THE BIBLE’S AUTHORITY!

The Bible is not just a history book, it’s a news book! It not only tells you about yesterday, it tells you about tomorrow!

The Bible is the Bureau of Standards by which we measure all truth and all error!

Your ignorance of God’s law is no excuse. If you don’t read the Word, then it’s your own fault, not God’s fault.

If you know the Scriptures, you have the answer for everything!

As we search the Scriptures, we must allow them to search us, to sit in judgement upon our character and conduct.

 

PROMISES AND WEALTH!

Wealth in the Word is wisdom!

The promises of God are the cur­rency of Heaven, and if you’ve got a lot of verses in your heart you’re really rich! You can cash them in at the bank of Heaven and get back answers!

You have to quote the terms of the contract (The Bible) to the Contract Maker (God), and hold Him to it!

With every promise God makes to us there are some conditions that we must ful­fil. God makes promises, but His promises are contracts with conditions!

Learn to put your hand on all spiritual blessings in Christ and say “Mine”.

 

GOD’S WORD FOR TODAY!

The more dearly you begin to love His Word and read and study it, the more mature you will become and the more you’ll find that God can speak to you loudly and clearly and supernaturally and miraculously and ecstatically, right through the reading of His Word!

The minute we begin to listen to the Lord’s recorded written Word, immediately we put ourselves in the position of being willing to listen, so then the Lord begins to speak and give us the living Word!

We must have the Word in every form possible. The Bible was the one to begin with, the already recorded and established Word down through the centuries. It works, which is the greatest proof of its efficacy. Also we need to have His present Word, di­rect answers to prayer, direct revelations, messages, prophecy, tongues, interpretation, information straight from Heaven to know exactly what He wants us to do right now!

The Bible is still the yardstick of measurement, the bureau of standards by which we measure everything else God has ever given us. If it isn’t confirmed and can’t be corroborated by the Bible, if you can’t prove it also by the Bible and if it’s not in accordance with the Bible, you don’t have to believe it! That doesn’t mean every­thing is in the Bible, because we’ve had lots of revelations that you can’t find any­thing about in the Bible. But it means that those revelations will not be contrary to anything in the Bible-that is, anything that is in the Bible which is for today.

In what we’ve taught, you won’t find anything contrary to the basic prin­ciples of the Bible, of faith in God and His Love and His Salvation. There’ll be nothing contrary to the Bible, except that the Lord has used us to fill in a lot more of the picture, a lot more pieces of the puzzle. He gives us a lot of details and clearer things that we never had before.-Not contrary to the Bible but more like a fulfilling or a filling up of the gaps and spaces that were not filled in before.

Our writings are a commentary or an extension or an enlargement or greater detail, but it’s all based on the Bible, and you should know your Bible. It would even help you to believe the Bible better if you knew our writings well, because you’d know that what we write is based on the Bible and is in conformity with the Bible. They don’t contradict or deny it in any way. They only confirm it.

It’s a damnable doctrine of church devils to confine all the truth and revela­tions of God strictly to the Bible! True prophecy won’t teach anything contrary, but it sure can fill in a lot of gaps! The Bible is still going to be the standard of measurement, for that was God’s Message for them. But today we have to tell this generation how to do it under these present circumstances.

Since the Word of God has been so horribly wrested and distorted by the Church all these years, we now have to interpret and explain it, and that’s what our writings are for, besides supplying the general training that people today need.

You’ve missed a lot if you don’t know the Bible, because that’s our basic foundation. Our writings are largely a com­mentary or they are an extension, further revelations, further knowledge, more detail on subjects that you can already find in the Bible.

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Joshua 23:14b And ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.

Job 23:12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of His lips; I have esteemed the Words of His mouth more than my necessary food.

Psalm 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.

Psalm 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to Thy Word.

Psalm 119:11 Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.

Psalm 119:18 Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.

Psalm 119:103 How sweet are Thy Words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Psalm 119:106 Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Psalm 119:130 The entrance of Thy Words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

Proverbs 6:20-23 My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother; Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the Word of our God shall stand for ever.

Isaiah 46:10b,11b My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure. I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

Isaiah 55:10,11 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from Heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the Earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Jeremiah 15:16 Thy Words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy Name, 0 Lord God of hosts.

Jeremiah 23:29 Is not My Word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

Matthew 4:4 Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Matthew 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.

Matthew 24:35 Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but My Words shall not pass away.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the Words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

John 14:23,24 Jesus answered and said unto him, if a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him. He that loveth Me not keepeth not My sayings: and the Word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father’s which sent Me.

John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you.

John 17:17 Sanctify them through Thy Truth: Thy Word is Truth.

John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His Name.

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

1Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the World are come.

Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of Salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

Colossians 3:16a Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.

1Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

2Timothy 3:16,17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profit­able for doctrine, for reproof, for correc­tion, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Hebrews 4:12 For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the divid­ing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

James 1:21b,22 Receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

1Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby.

2Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the World through lust.

 

WHAT GREAT MEN HAVE SAID ABOUT THE BIBLE!

SIR ISAAC NEWTON, ENGLISH SCIENTIST who formulated the laws of gravitation & motion, 1642-l727: Newton’s achievements in science are very well known, but it is not so well known that he spent more time study­ing the Bible than studying the stars. “There are more sure proofs of authenticity in the Bible than in any secular history. All my discoveries have been made in answer to prayer. I can take my telescope & look millions of miles into space; but I can go away to my room & in prayer get nearer to God & Heaven than I can when assisted by all the telescopes of Earth!”

IMMANUEL KANT, GERMAN PHILOSOPHER, 1724-1804: “The existence of the Bible as a Book for the people is the greatest benefit which the human race has ever experienced. Every attempt to belittle it is a crime against humanity.”

GEORGE WASHINGTON, 1st USA PRESIDENT, 1732-1799: “It is impossible to rightly govern the World without God & the Bible.”

JOHN ADAMS, 2nd PRESIDENT OF USA, 1735-1826: “The Bible contains more philoso­phy than all the libraries that I have ever seen, & such parts as I cannot reconcile with a little philosophy, I postpone for future investigation.”

PATRICK HENRY, AMERICAN PATRIOT & radical leader, 1736-1799: “The Bible is worth all other books which have ever been printed.”

SIR WILLIAM HERSCHEL, GERMAN-BORN ASTRONOMER, discoverer of the planet Uranus, 1738-1822: “All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more & more strongly the truth contained in the Sacred Scriptures.”

THOMAS JEFFERSON, 3rd PRESIDENT OF USA, 1743-1826: “I have always said that a studious perusal of the Sacred Volume will make you better citizens, better fathers & better husbands.”

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, 6th PRESIDENT OF USA, 1767-1848: “The first & almost only book deserving of universal attention is the Bible. I speak as a man of the World. So great is my veneration for the Bible, that the earlier my children begin to read it, the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens of their country & respectable members of society. I have for many years made it a practice to read through the Bible once every year.”

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE, EMPEROR OF FRANCE for 10 years, conquered large parts of Europe, 1769-1821: “The Bible is no mere book, but a Living Creature, with a power that conquers all that oppose it… Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne & I myself have founded empires, but upon what do these cre­ations of our genius depend?-Upon force! Jesus alone founded His Empire upon Love, & to this very day millions would die for Him. “What happiness the Bible procures for those who believe it! What marvels those admire there who reflect upon it!

SIR WALTER SCOTT, SCOTTISH NOVELIST, POET, 1771-1832:

“Within this ample Volume lies
Humanity’s most precious prize.
Happiest they of human race
To whom their God has given grace
To read, to fear, to hope, to pray,
To lift the latch, to force the way;
But better had they ne’er been born
That read to doubt or read to scorn.”

 
DANIEL WEBSTER, AMERICAN ORATOR, SECRETARY OF STATE for 3 U.S. Presidents, 1782-1852: “If there is anything in my thoughts or style to commend, the credit is due to my parents for instilling in me an early love of the Scriptures. If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering & to prosper, but if we & our posterity neglect its instructions & authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us & bury all our glory in profound obscurity.”

ZACHARY TAYLOR, 12th PRESIDENT OF THE USA, 1784-1850: “It was for the love of the truths of this great & good Book that our fathers abandoned their native shores for the wilderness.”

WILLIAM HENRY SEWARD, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE, 1801-1872: “The whole hope of human progress is suspended on the ever­growing influence of the Bible.”

ROBERT E. LEE, AMERICAN GENERAL, commander of Southern forces in U.S. Civil War, 1807-1870: “In all my perplexities & distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me light & strength.”

ALFRED LORD TENNYSON, ENGLISH POET LAUREATE, 1809-1892: “Bible reading is an education in itself.”

WILLIAM GLADSTONE, PRIME MINISTER OF ENGLAND, 1809-1898: “All that I think, all that I hope, all that I write, all that I live for, is based upon the divinity of Jesus Christ, the central joy of my poor, wayward life. I have known 95 of the world’s greatest men in my time, & of these, 87 were followers of the Bible.”

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, 16th AMERICAN PRESIDENT, 1809-1865: “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to Man. All the good from the Saviour of the World is communicated to us through this Book.”

HORACE GREELEY, PROMINENT AMERICAN NEWSPAPER EDITOR, & publisher, 1811-1872: “It is impossible to enslave mentally or socially a Bible-reading people. The prin­ciples of the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom”

CHARLES DICKENS, ENGLISH NOVELIST, 1812-1870: “The New Testament is the very best Book that was or ever will be known in the World.”

ULYSSES S. BRANT, AMERICAN GENERAL, 18th PRESIDENT OF THE USA, 1882-1885: “To the influence of the Book we are indebted for the progress made in civilisation, & to this we must look as our guide in the fu­ture. The Bible is the anchor of our liber­ties.”

MARK TWAIN, AMERICAN AUTHOR, 1835-1910: “It is hard to make a choice of the most beautiful passage in a Book which is as gemmed with beautiful passages as the Bible.”

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, 26th PRESIDENT OF USA, 1858-1919: “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college edu­cation. Almost every man who has by his lifework added to the sum of human achievement…has based his lifework largely upon the teachings of the Bible.”

WOODROW WILSON, 28th PRESIDENT OF USA, held office during WW1, 1856-1924: “A man has deprived himself of the best there is in the World who has deprived himself of a knowledge of the Bible.”

HERBERT HOOVER, 31st PRESIDENT OF USA, 1874-1964: “There is no other book so various as the Bible, nor one so full of concentrated wisdom. Whether it be of law, business, morals etc., he who seeks for gui­dance may look inside its covers & find il­lumination.”

DOUGLAS MacARTHUR. FIVE-STAR GENERAL IN WW2, 1900-1964: “Believe me, never a night goes by, be I ever so tired, but I read the Word of God before I go to bed.”

 

 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

The Wonder of It All!

David Brandt Berg

free-bible-studies-online-the-wonder-of-it-all

How often do we stop to pause and thank the Lord for how WONDERFUL life is, or can be? We have so MUCH to be THANKFUL for! How much easier even our PROBLEMS would seem if we would stop to count our many BLESSINGS!–Like the beautiful blessings of love, affection and sex that give such meaning and fullness to our lives! Yet often we either take them for granted, or else ignore them, and, in our hurried daily pace, don’t take the time for them! But what would life be like without them?

“In the BEGINNING, God made them MALE and FEMALE”, (Genesis 1:28) and He had very GOOD reasons for doing so! Have you ever thought of what this World would be like without sex and the love of a man for a woman, and women for men? I can’t even imagine such a life, can you? For instance, how would we reproduce ourselves? I guess we would have had to split in two like amoebas or something! Horrors! But God, in His love and wisdom, gave us SEX! Isn’t that wonderful! Even one of the writers of the Bible couldn’t get over how wonderful it was when he exclaimed, “There are three things too wonderful for me to understand”–the last of which was “the way of a man with a maid!” (Proverbs 30:18-19)

I was thumbing through my file of newspaper clippings recently and I came across several amazing articles! The first article was headlined “Four Hugs a Day Shoos the Blues Away!” The article stated that a Dr. Virginia Satir told a gathering of over 4,000 delegates to the American Orthopsychiatric Association that 4 hugs a day will help you survive the blues, but a dozen is better! She went on to say that 4 hugs was actually needed for survival, 8 were good for maintenance and 12 for growth.

Well, she sounded like she must know what she’s talking about, so I enthusiastically tried hugging my wife more!–With wonderful results! At the moment I’m beyond surviving and hopefully by the end of the day I’ll be growing. I wonder what comes after 12 though? I guess she didn’t expect anyone to reach that level!

What a nice way to show affection one to another: With a hug or a kiss! Even the dear Apostle Paul admonished Christians to “greet each other with a holy kiss.” (2Corinthians 13:12) But sad to say, so many nations have been indoctrinated with the traditional “Judeo-Christian standard of morality” which is very straight-laced, stand-offish and cold in its ultra-rigid religious interpretations and guidelines to human relationships. How sad that entire CULTURES have misinterpreted the Scriptures and try to freeze all of society into a cold, unloving FORM with their rigid rules!

Rules, which, as it turns out, are not even Scriptural! And, as modern scientists have proven, such overly-puritanical codes of conduct are not even GOOD for people, psychologically, physically, and certainly not emotionally! How many hundreds of thousands of marriages fall apart every year simply because of a lack of showing affection and genuine displays of emotion?!

Remember, true Christianity is not just a mental, intellectual faith! It is supposed to change your HEART, and anything that moves your HEART logically has to move your EMOTIONS as well! Therefore, being LOVING, AFFECTIONATE and free enough to give HUGS and KISSES is an integral PART of obeying the Lord’s admonition to love others!

I found another fascinating article the other day, and it was about KISSING. According to a study done in Italy, a doctor found that “kissing stimulates the heart, which then gives more oxygen to the body’s cells, keeping the cells young and vibrant!”

It just goes to show that the natural desires that God placed in us to show LOVE and AFFECTION are actually BENEFICIAL and NEEDED for a healthy life! Not only are they morally RIGHT, but they are very NECESSARY parts of His plan for living!

Science has ALSO been discovering more and more how wonderful and beneficial SEX is! Now, we all knew it was wonderful anyway, but scientists are discovering more and more that sex–God’s wonderful design for showing love and having babies–doesn’t just FEEL good and leave you with that warm and satisfied feeling of complete unity with the one you love, but it has amazing MEDICAL and PSYCHOLOGICAL benefits as well!

For example, consider THIS fact: It has been discovered that an active sex life actually PREVENTS breast cancer in women because it helps maintain the right hormone balance! Researchers claim that it may prevent up to 65% of possible cases!

There is also evidence that sex can CURE arthritis, insomnia, ulcers, heart disease and hypertension! Think of all the ills we could avoid if we would just have more free and FREQUENT INTIMATE sexual relations with those whom we love!–As God Himself surely intended us to have!–SEX even helps cure a HANGOVER!

To quote Dr. Earl Marsh, Medical director of the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, “If people would get more sensually involved with those they care for, they would have less illness, would sleep better and there would be fewer of them in hospitals or in an early grave! HUGGING, TOUCHING, KISSING, anything like that would do! We have found that SEX is one of the most efficient treatments in RELIEVING TENSION which is the ROOT CAUSE of so many ailments. Once the tension is gone, then the intimacy of sex continues to cure and remove all the symptoms. Sex, even just intimate bodily contact, works to bring relief to the whole body!”

And that’s not all! Dr. Thomas Hackett, Chief of Psychiatry at Massachusetts’ General Hospital in Boston, says, “Sex is one of nature’s finest tonics! It is not only POSSIBLE after a HEART ATTACK, but seems to HELP with RECOVERY! People who RETURN to a sexual life almost invariably have a better prognosis in terms of returning to work and socialising after heart attacks. It is a DAMAGING MYTH that once you have a heart attack that you are ‘over the hill’ and there’s no sense in even talking about sex because you can’t have it any more.” Dr. Hackett is a co-author of a Heart Association booklet on sex and heart disease.

So what do you know!–All these years I’ve been engaged in HEART THERAPY!–Ha! It does my heart good just to READ all this!

According to another report entitled “Sexuality in Later Life”, issued by the National Institute for the Aging, regular sexual activity after a heart attack can help to PREVENT a SECOND attack! Dr. Marsh, whom I quoted earlier, says that “the trouble with our culture today is that those over 50 have been conditioned to think sex is taboo as a person gets older. But as people get older they often get into a tense mental state because of things like loneliness and anxiety about the future. That’s when hugging, kissing or touching could bring new meaning to their lives!”

And to quote yet another source, Jessie Potter, of Chicago’s National Institute for Human Relationships, says that, “Studies in European Hospitals have shown that even a BACK RUB has made patients feel so much better, that hospitals could eliminate the need for pain-killers and other medicines, particularly sleeping pills. SEX is ALSO one of our healthiest natural resources, but too many people leave it untapped.”

It just goes to show that God knew what He was doing when “He created them MALE and FEMALE and BLESSED them and said, ‘Be FRUITFUL and MULTIPLY (reproduce)!'” (Genesis 1:27-28). Knowing how vital love and sex are for the procreation of the human race, He made it so we’d not only DESIRE it, in fact, barely be able to resist it–but He ALSO made it so that we needed to have LOVE, SEX and AFFECTION for our own PSYCHOLOGICAL well-being and PHYSICAL HEALTH!

One doctor recently wrote that “Only 15 MINUTES a day of VIGOROUS EXERCISE that leaves you GASPING for breath will keep you HEALTHY!–Sounds like SEX to ME!

So here’s to love and sex, a never-ending source of WONDER!–And it’s obvious that God INTENDED it to be that way! As David said in Psalm 139:14, “I will PRAISE You, for I am FEARFULLY (awesomely) and WONDERFULLY made; Your works are MARVELLOUS, and my soul knows that right well!”

God CREATED men and women to not only need HIM and HIS Love, but to need LOVE and beautifully unifying, intimate SEXUAL contact with each other! We were MADE to be emotional, warm, loving and affectionate, and to NOT be that way is to not be NATURAL!

As Ecclesiastes 9:9 says, “live JOYFULLY with your wife whom you love all the days of your life!”–And ENJOY love, affection and sex as even a CURE-ALL for many diseases, afflictions, tensions & troubles!–It’s GOOD for you!–TRY it!–You’ll LOVE it!–And THANK GOD for it!

 

 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

The Windows of Heaven!

A dramatisation of Malachi 1:6-14; 3:6-12; Nehemiah 10:35-39; 12:44-47; 13:4-13

Based on the writings of David Brandt Berg

free-bible-studies-online-the-windows-of-heaven

The sky was dark and gloomy, and turbulent clouds rolled over the dry Judean hills as a man came striding down a rough slope through the tall dry grass, leading a heavily-laden donkey behind him. With him was a young lad with a basket in his hand. The man was thin, almost gaunt, and he clutched his rough mantle tightly around himself to keep out the wind. As they came around a giant boulder, ahead of them in the darkened valley was a small village. At its edge was a collection of farmhouses huddled together.

In a few moments they arrived at the door of a humble little mud house. A couple of dry trees, their bare branches rattling in the wind, stood in the yard. From inside the house came the sound of voices. Tying his donkey, the man lifted the heavy baskets off its back. Entering the small dwelling, he found a crowd of people dressed in tattered clothing and a young Levite was reading to them from a worn old scroll.

Looking up from his reading, he greeted them: “Malachi! Little Johanan! What a nice surprise! And what is this you have?”

Setting the basket down, Malachi greeted him and answered, “Grain, fruit, dried figs, a side of lamb!–And there’s more outside.”

“But you already brought your TITHE a few weeks ago!” the Levite responded.

“Yes! And this is a FREEWILL offering above that!” Malachi smiled. We had it to spare and thought you might need it.”

“NEED it?! My good man!–You are an answer to our PRAYERS!” he exclaimed as he and his young wife went to help bring in the rest of the produce. “Why, you are one of the few families who are faithful to give!”

Outside the house, he whispered gravely to Malachi, “These days, most people give very few freewill gifts!–Let alone faithfully give one-tenth of their goods in a tithe. When the poor, the widows, the orphans and the strangers come to me, I offer them what few crumbs I can, but it’s very little. But I can still read to them from God’s Word, so they come for that.”

Malachi pounded the wall and turned away, shaking his head. “And you’re doing such a GOOD job, Eleazar! It’s not right that the people don’t give to you as they should when you’ve dedicated your life to serving the Lord and helping others! I mean, are we the Lord’s people or are we not? If people truly love Him, why do they not give to His servants as they’ve been told to?”

“Papa,” little Johanan asked, “is EVERYONE supposed to tithe like WE do?”

“Yes, they are!” his father answered. “The Lord richly blesses His people, gives them rich harvests and protects them all year round, and He has requested that we, in return, give Him a mere one-tenth of all the increase that He has blessed us with.

“The Lord commanded: ‘Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase that your fields produce.–A tithe of everything from the land BELONGS to the LORD; it is HOLY to the LORD.” (Deuteronomy 14:22; Leviticus 27:3O)

“If it’s GOD’S, then why do we give it to the LEVITES?” the little lad asked.

“That’s HOW we give it to GOD,” Malachi answered, smiling at Eleazar. “Because the Levites are SERVING GOD full-time, every day. So the Lord said, ‘I give to the Levites all the tithes that the Israelites present to the Lord, in return for the WORK they do while SERVING Me!’ (Numbers 18:21,24) The Lord also said, ‘Be careful not to neglect the Levites as long as you live in the land.’ (Deuteronomy 12:19)–But look at dear Eleazar. He’s skinny as a rail. He barely has enough for himself and his wife, let alone to give to others!”

“Really … we manage to …” Eleazar began to protest humbly.

“Nonsense!” Malachi replied. “How can you keep on serving the LORD if the Lord’s PEOPLE don’t help you by giving as they should? We OWE it to you! As He said in His Word, ‘It is your WAGES for your WORK!'” (Numbers 18:21)–And you shouldn’t be too shy to ask for your WAGES, should you?”

Eleazar looked intently at Malachi and said, “What a fire and devotion you have for the Lord! One would almost think that you were…well…a PROPHET!”

Malachi laughed, “I’m just a man trying to do good. But tell me, I’m going down to the Temple at Jerusalem. Is there anything I can do for you or get for you there?”

“Why yes, you can!” Eleazar answered. “Would you take my tithe there with you?”

“Certainly! By all means.”

They carried the last of the produce inside his house and his wife sorted through it, setting aside one-tenth of everything they had just been given, careful to make sure that they gave the BEST of everything. They then put it in a small basket on the donkey’s back, and Malachi and his son continued down the hills toward Jerusalem.

“Papa, why did they tithe the gift we gave them?” Johanan asked. “They have so little, and yet they tithe even that. Why?”

“Because even the servants of God who serve Him fulltime are required to tithe,” (Numbers 18:25-29) Malachi answered. “So because Eleazar and his wife love the Lord, they faithfully obey and tithe to Him!”

Within a couple of hours they’d arrived in Jerusalem and made their way through the narrow streets to the Temple. Accompanied by his son, Malachi carried the small basket to the storage rooms of the Temple and gave it to the steward; then he walked through the Temple toward the inner court. An aged man with a long white beard met him there.

“My lord, Ezra!” Malachi said reverently. He pulled out a bag of coins from his belt and quietly said, “I have saved up the money as I promised, and here it is: To be dedicated to support the servants of the Lord who work on making COPIES of His WORD.”

“Thank you. May God bless you!” the old man replied. “If only MORE of the Lord’s people gave generously as you do! But I’m afraid to say that no copies of the Lord’s Word can be made now. Gifts and tithes have been so few that we just can’t support the Lord’s servants who are needed for this Work. Most of our best copiers have gone.”

“GONE? Where have they gone to?”

“Most have gone to work on farms to support themselves and have enough to eat,” the old man replied. (Nehemiah 13:1O)

Exasperated, Malachi questioned, “But when Nehemiah was here as Governor of Judah, didn’t the people PROMISE that they would faithfully tithe and give gifts to support the Lord’s Work and His servants?”

Ezra answered, “Not only that, but they signed a written statement that they would not neglect to help the Lord’s Work. But in the years since Nehemiah has been gone, the people have forgotten their promises. In fact, the storerooms are practically EMPTY.” (Nehemiah 9:38; 10:28-29,35-39)

In a tired voice, the ancient Patriarch sighed, “And now, if you will excuse me, I am very weary.” As Ezra retired to his chamber, Malachi strode sadly towards the outer courts of the Temple, his son at his side.

“How can we reproduce the Word of God if people do not support the Lord’s workers?” he asked his tiny son.

Thinking a minute, little Johanan said, “Maybe you should REMIND people to give.”

“Maybe I should!” Malachi replied.

Coming to the outer courts where people were milling about, Malachi saw one of the rich nobles of Jerusalem bringing in his tithe. Nehemiah looked at the produce and knew it could be nowhere near one-tenth of his increase. Looking closer, he could barely believe what he saw. The fruit was the worst of the harvest: Bug-eaten and small.

He saw others leading in cattle and rams to be sacrificed. To his shock he saw that most of the animals being brought in were either BLIND or CRIPPLED or DISEASED! Instead of offering the BEST of their herds and produce to the Lord in thankfulness for His blessing, people were trying to get by by giving Him their offscouring and refuse.

Malachi stood there, tears welling up in his eyes. Then suddenly the Spirit of the Lord fell upon him and he leapt up on the Temple steps and cried out, “Thus saith the Lord: ‘When you bring injured, crippled or diseased animals and offer them to Me, should I accept them? Try offering them to your Governor! Would HE be pleased with you? Would HE accept it?” (Malachi 1:8)

Turning towards the rich nobleman, Malachi continued, “The Lord commanded His people, ‘Bring ALL your tithes so that the Levites, the fatherless and the widows may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may BLESS YOU in all the work of your hands.” (Deuteronomy 14:28-29) (See also 1Corinthians 16:2.)

“How CAN I tithe?” a fat merchant complained. “I ALREADY have to pay TAXES to the government! The ‘King’s tax’ takes up the money I WOULD have given to the Lord!”

“One-tenth of your increase BELONGS to GOD!” Malachi shouted. “You owe it to the King OF Kings, and must pay it even BEFORE the ‘King’s tax’! If you would pay God’s tithe FIRST, He would bless you and see to it that you have enough for your tax AND plenty left over for yourself!”

A farmer protested, “How can I give? The locusts and other pests have eaten the produce of my land and fruit trees! There’s barely enough to feed my family! How could I spare to give one-tenth of it to God?”

“Don’t you see?” Malachi demanded, “your LACK of giving is what BROUGHT these problems upon you in the first place! God would BLESS you and prevent the pests from devouring your crops if you would honour Him and pay Him His tithe!” (Malachi 3:11)

Many of the people were visibly moved at these words, but others were still grumbling among themselves. How easy it would be for them to receive God’s blessing, yet by selfishly WITHHOLDING and NOT paying God his 1O%, they were not only missing God’s blessing, but they were robbing Him as well!

Tears streaming down his face, Malachi prophesied, “Thus saith the Lord, ‘Will a man rob GOD?–Yet you DO rob Me!'”

“Rob God!?” a devout noblewoman retorted, “how do we rob God?” (Malachi 3:8)

“In TITHES and OFFERINGS!” the Lord’s answer rang out above the crowd. “Do you wonder why your land is under a curse, why you are not as blessed as you could be? It is because you are ROBBING Me. Bring the WHOLE tithe into the storeroom, that there may be FOOD in My house!” (Malachi 3:9-1O)

Then, raising his hands upward to the heavens to where beautiful rays of golden sunlight were streaming down through a break in the dark clouds, Malachi prophesied, “‘TEST me in this:’, says the Lord. ‘TEST Me! Give your tithes and gifts and see if I will not THROW OPEN the windows of Heaven and POUR out so MANY BLESSINGS upon you that you will not have room enough to contain them!” (Malachi 3:1O)

It was a beautiful promise!–And several of the people in the crowd were moved to tears and resolved to begin tithing.

It was not long afterwards that Nehemiah, the Governor of Judah, returned. Discovering how the Lord’s Work had suffered in his absence, he set the example by tithing himself, then publicly urged the people to do so also and give to help support the servants of the Lord! Then ALL the people of Judah began giving their tithes faithfully once again, and continued to do so all the days of Nehemiah. (Nehemiah 13:6-12; 12:47)

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

(1) God has always BLESSED people for GIVING to Him and His Work. This is God’s fundamental law of economics: If you put HIM FIRST, then He blesses you for it. Jesus promised, “GIVE and it shall be GIVEN YOU!” (Luke 6:38) That’s the way God is: He loves to outgive you, and He’ll never let you outgive Him! The more you give, the more HE’LL give BACK! “Honour the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits of all your income. THEN your storehouses will be filled with PLENTY, and your vats will OVERFLOW with new wine!” (Proverbs 3:9,1O)

God may not always reward you in mere dollars and cents; it may be in protection, His saving you from accidents, misfortunes or serious illnesses that would have cost you a hundred times more than whatever you have given! But in whatever way it comes, He WILL reward you!

(2) God’s message through Malachi challenged the people to put HIS PROMISE to the TEST! The Lord said, “PROVE ME now (by tithing 1O% of your income) and see if I will not open up the windows of Heaven and pour out such a BLESSING that there will not be room enough to contain it!” (Malachi 3:1O)

It takes FAITH to give, because at first all you see is what you’re sacrificing.–It looks like it is going to hurt and that you’re losing, but when you do give, acting in simple faith, appreciation and thankfulness for all the Lord has already given you, then the Lord blesses you even MORE! When it comes to God and His Work, it’s good business to give to the LORD. It’s a sure investment earning the highest possible rate of INTEREST and DIVIDENDS of anything you can invest in.

(3) Like the Levites of old, we too are actively SERVING GOD FULL-TIME, and without the financial help of our friends and supporters, we would simply not be able to continue our Ministry. Even Jesus Himself had supporters who gave to help Him and His work. (Luke 8:1-3) There were people from all walks of life who, although they weren’t active full-time disciples travelling with Him in His Mission, helped by contributing whatever they could to supply Him and His disciples’ physical needs so that their vital spiritual ministry could carry on.

(4) The Apostle Paul explained, “The Levites which work in the Temple get their food FROM the Temple. In the same way, those who PREACH the Gospel should receive their living FROM the Gospel. If we have SOWN SPIRITUAL seed among you, it is only natural that we should REAP a MATERIAL harvest from you.” (1Corinthians 9:7-14)

(5) Every one of our dear friends who faithfully supports our work plays a vital role in reaching the World for Jesus! Every gift they send to help further our Worldwide missionary effort is a PART of their lives which goes out to the mission field! It is the hard-earned product of their blood, sweat and tears shed for the Lord and His Work, resulting in literally millions of souls saved–lives changed by the Love and power of God!

Would YOU like for God to open His windows of blessing on YOUR life, and to discover the joys of investing in His Work? If so, contact us today! We’d be happy to explain how, by giving on a regular basis or tithing each month, you can become a partner in the GREATEST work on Earth!–And reap ETERNAL dividends in Heaven by helping other lonely souls to find Salvation in Jesus!

 

 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

Anchor

Never Ever Quit!

By Peter Amsterdam

free-bible-studies-online-anchorLife is hard sometimes.

When you’ve worked as hard as you possibly could and yet you failed to make the grade, your dreams remain out of reach, and you feel you just can’t do it anymore, you can feel like giving up.

All of us have probably felt that way at some time or another. Maybe you’ve been in that situation recently. In fact, maybe you feel that way right now.

When you’re getting pounded and slammed again and again, how do you get through it?

I know how. You do too.

You keep going!

No matter what, you just keep going! As Winston Churchill said: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Okay, that might be oversimplifying a complex issue, but really, in order to accomplish anything significant, you have to keep fighting day after day, no matter what roadblocks you run into. In the face of disappointment or even failure, that’s the time to try again, work harder, study more, and pray desperately.

All great accomplishments take a lot of work and time; they don’t come easily. When progress is slow and our plans or dreams are not coming together as quickly as we’d hoped, it’s easy to wonder if something is wrong. More often, however, I believe that when we hit a brick wall we’re simply going through the normal paces required for progress and success. It’s not that we have to give more or sacrifice more than most others. No, that’s just the road to accomplishment.

If we embark on a new adventure and expect quick results, if that doesn’t happen, or more likely when that doesn’t happen, we can become disappointed and even disillusioned. And even worse, we can be tempted to quit. If we can realize that God’s path for us isn’t likely to be an easy road, then we’ll face the challenges with enthusiasm, and we won’t be caught off guard or derailed when working toward our goals is much more confusing, taxing, and time-consuming than we anticipated.

God works with each of us differently. We are each on our own personal paths that can lead us to both beautiful vistas and dark valleys at different stages of our journey.

Tony Snow explained the challenges of life as follows:

God relishes surprise. We want lives of simple, predictable ease—smooth, even trails as far as the eye can see—but God likes to go off-road. He places us in predicaments that seem to defy our endurance and comprehension—and yet don’t. By His love and grace, we persevere. The challenges that make our stomachs churn invariably strengthen our faith and grant measures of wisdom and joy we would not experience otherwise.

Tony Snow, age 51 and father of three, declared those inspiring words when he was in the midst of fighting cancer.

There are many different approaches to facing setbacks and disappointments. I don’t think there’s one perfect formula for overcoming difficulties. There’s no set list of “must do’s” if you’re looking to muster up courage and strength to endure fear, stress, heartache, frustration, or any of the other challenges that accompany the dry spells in our lives. Some things that can help us get through the worst of times are praying and asking others to pray with or for us; seeking the advice of a trusted friend or mentor; taking some time away from the situation to think, regain perspective, and get a better overall understanding of what our options are; hearing from the Lord; reading the Word and inspirational or comforting writings; or having a heart-to-heart talk with a loved one.

I often find inspiration from true stories about people who have accomplished great things in the face of hardship or handicap. Sports provide some great examples along these lines because they’re such public examples and there’s a clear means of measuring their accomplishments. For example:

During a Monday night football game between the Chicago Bears and the New York Giants, one of the announcers observed that Walter Payton, the Bears’ running back, had accumulated over nine miles in career rushing yardage. The other announcer remarked, “Yeah, and that’s with somebody knocking him down every 4.6 yards!” Walter Payton, the most successful running back ever, knows that everyone—even the very best—gets knocked down. The key to success is to get up and run again just as hard.

Sometimes great athletes have overcome tremendous odds. This adds to their amazing stories of courage and perseverance, such as the story of Wilma Rudolph.

[She] didn’t get much of a head start in life. A bout with polio left her left leg crooked and her foot twisted inward so she had to wear leg braces. After seven years of painful therapy, she could walk without her braces. At age 12 Wilma tried out for a girls’ basketball team, but didn’t make it. Determined, she practiced with a girlfriend and two boys every day. The next year she made the team. When a college track coach saw her during a game, he talked her into letting him train her as a runner. By age 14 she had outrun the fastest sprinters in the U.S. In 1956 Wilma made the U.S. Olympic team, but showed poorly. That bitter disappointment motivated her to work harder for the 1960 Olympics in Rome—and there Wilma Rudolph won three gold medals, the most a woman had ever won.

Sports isn’t the only arena that requires vision and persistence. You can find great examples in all walks of life, including business. Here’s a fairly well-known story.

Automobile genius Henry Ford once came up with a revolutionary plan for a new kind of engine which we know today as the V-8. Ford was eager to get his great new idea into production. He had some men draw up the plans, and presented them to the engineers. As the engineers studied the drawings, one by one they came to the same conclusion. Their visionary boss just didn’t know much about the fundamental principles of engineering. He’d have to be told gently—his dream was impossible.

Ford said, “Produce it anyway.” They replied, “But it’s impossible.” “Go ahead,” Ford commanded, “and stay on the job until you succeed, no matter how much time is required.”

For six months they struggled with drawing after drawing, design after design. Nothing. Another six months. Nothing. At the end of the year Ford checked with his engineers and they once again told him that what he wanted was impossible. Ford told them to keep going. They did. And they discovered how to build a V-8 engine.

I think we can minimize a lot of the frustration or confusion we might encounter if we adopt the attitude that reaching our goals will take time, there’s no way around that. And it’s a sure thing there will be setbacks, but if we persist through them, eventually we’ll find success.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2–4 ESV)

Let’s remember, too, that setbacks are not indicative of God’s displeasure or that you’re missing the mark or out of His will in some way; they’re simply the natural course of life and part of the journey to any accomplishment. So it helps to not catastrophize when we run into problems or delays, because thinking negatively about our challenges dampens our faith and the positive action that’s required to push through the difficulty. Instead of lamenting how hard our lives are or how terribly everything is going, it’s more effective to fill our minds with God’s faith-building Word, encouraging stories of overcoming, and empowering thoughts and positive statements.

Sometimes I set goals, but then whatever I’m working toward ends up taking so much longer than I planned or expected. Often things don’t happen according to our timetable; but maybe God has a different timetable, in accordance with His overarching plan. If we have faith and determination, then we won’t just quit and make excuses when something doesn’t work out as we had hoped. That would be a cop-out, and that’s not going to bring about the end goal of our living the lives we’re hoping for. As Helen Keller reportedly said: “A bend in the road is not the end of the road… Unless you fail to make the turn.”

Life can’t always be balanced. Sometimes you’ll find that you’re doing double or triple time; there’s work, the children, studying, managing the house, caring for a sick or disabled loved one or child, and on and on it goes. Those really tough times are what a friend of mine calls “the kill years.” That’s when you’re way busier than you want to be, you’re getting very little sleep and exercise, you have almost no free time, and you’re absolutely exhausted. And on top of that, you often don’t see the progress or success you had hoped for.

Yep, those are the “kill years.” It’s hard. And yet you just have to push through. You just have to keep going.

Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength.
―Theodore Roosevelt

Whether you’re studying, starting a business, pursuing a new career, learning a new skill, or whatever you’re busy doing, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll face challenges—a lot of challenges! And this certainly applies to those who are pioneering or building a mission work. Often it takes a long time before you see fruit, and you might face difficulties or opposition along the way. Sometimes we hear or read about men or women who accomplished great things for the Lord, and we might conclude that they found success and favor easily. But we are likely not seeing the full story. Take this example from the diary of the great evangelist and founder of the Methodist Church, John Wesley:

Sunday, A.M., May 5 Preached in St. Anne’s. Was asked not to come back anymore.

Sunday, P.M., May 5 Preached in St. John’s. Deacons said “Get out and stay out.”

Sunday, A.M., May 12 Preached in St. Jude’s. Can’t go back there, either.

Sunday, A.M., May 19 Preached in St. Somebody Else’s. Deacons called special meeting and said I couldn’t return.

Sunday, P.M., May 19 Preached on street. Kicked off street.

Sunday, A.M., May 26 Preached in meadow. Chased out of meadow as bull was turned loose during service.

Sunday, A.M., June 2 Preached out at the edge of town. Kicked off the highway.

Sunday, P.M., June 2 Afternoon, preached in a pasture. Ten thousand people came out to hear me.

There are many true stories, like this one, that illustrate the magic that happens when you refuse to surrender in the face of difficulty. Each of those stories is a testimony to the power of perseverance.

The takeaway for our lives is this: When we don’t quit, anything is possible.

“Don’t ever give up. Don’t ever give in. Don’t ever stop trying. Don’t ever sell out. And if you find yourself succumbing to one of the above for a brief moment, pick yourself up, brush yourself off, whisper a prayer, and start where you left off. But never, ever, ever give up.”

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 ESV)

 

 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.

Why Evolution!

“The FOOL hath said in his heart,’There is no God’!” (Psalm 14:1)

By David Brandt Berg

free-bible-studies-online-why-evolution

It’s so ridiculous for Man to NOT believe in GOD!–Because Man can’t help but believe in God if he just looks at CREATION! If you’re not an absolute FOOL, if you have a reasoning mind at all, all you have to do is LOOK at the Creation to know SOMEBODY had to design it, PLAN it & FIGURE it out, because it’s all so beautiful, so orderly, & works so perfectly!

If you haven’t got enough sense to know that there is a GOD, just look at His CREATION! Just look at the sea, the sky, the clouds, the mountains, the valleys, the trees, the flowers, everything! They’re all virtually shouting, “There IS a God! Look what He MADE! Look what a beautiful World He made for you to live in!”

The greatest PROOF of the existence of GOD is His CREATION! And that’s why EVOLUTION is so DAMNABLE & Devil-inspired, because it tries to explain away Creation by saying that it just happened by ACCIDENT & that God had nothing to do with it, that it somehow just threw ITSELF together!

The Bible says that, “The INVISIBLE things of God from the Creation of the World are clearly SEEN, being understood by the things that are MADE.” (Romans 1:20). The existence of our invisible God is proven by His visible Creation!–It’s “clearly seen” through the beautiful World He made. That’s why the Scripture says that only “the FOOL hath said in his heart ‘There is no God’!” (Psalm 14:1). Only an absolute fool, an idiot, would actually believe in his heart that there is no God! Most people who CLAIM not to believe in Him really DO believe, but they’re in REBELLION against Him!

THAT’S why the World wants to reject Creation & say it’s all just a meaningless chaotic Evolution!–Because if the World & its inhabitants ARE God’s Creation, then they are HIS property.–And if they are HIS property, then HE’S the BOSS & they DON’T WANT God to be Boss! Therefore the Scripture says, “they do not LIKE to retain God in their knowledge.” (Romans 1:28).

“Because, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, but became VAIN in their IMAGINATIONS, & their foolish heart was DARKENED. Although they claimed to be wise, they became FOOLS!” They got so smart they thought they could do without God, so they became what?–Absolute FOOLS, who “changed the glory of the immortal God into an image like to that of corruptible MAN, & BIRDS, & four-footed BEASTS, & REPTILES! Who changed the truth of God into a LIE, & worshipped the CREATURE more than the Creator!” (Romans 1:21-25).

So WHY did the Devil & Man COOK up this ridiculous, idiotic scheme of evolution? To try to get rid of God & the knowledge of God, “as they did NOT like to retain God in their education!” (Romans 1:28). And since they threw God & Creation & the Bible out, they HAD to cook up something new! They didn’t want the TRUTH, so they figured out a BIG LIE! EVIL EVOLUTION!

Dr. Robert A. Millikan, the great atomic physicist who pioneered the splitting of the atom, said, “If you’d say that a watch just put ITSELF together, invented itself, you’d be crazy! And just as there had to be a WATCHMAKER behind the synchronised perfection & order of every WATCH, so there had to be a CREATOR behind the synchronised PERFECTION of the Universe!”

There is NO PROOF for evolution! It has to be BELIEVED, therefore it’s a RELIGION! Even the founding father of this false faith, CHARLES DARWIN himself, confessed that “the BELIEF (note the emphasis on belief) in Evolution must at present be grounded entirely on general considerations. When we descend to details, we can prove that NO one species has changed, NOR can we prove that the supposed changes are BENEFICIAL, which is the GROUNDWORK of the THEORY.” Ha!

The very first verse of the first chapter of the first book of the RIGHT Book says, “In the beginning, GOD created the Heavens & the Earth!” (Genesis 1:1). Now either you believe that, what GOD’S Book says, or you’re going to have to believe what some LIAR says instead!

“And GOD created Man in His Own image, He created him in the image of God; He created them male & female.” (Genesis 1:27). And God formed Man out of what?–Previous forms?–Apes?–Beasts? “And God formed Man of the DUST of the GROUND, & breathed into his nostrils the BREATH of LIFE; & Man became a living soul!” (Genesis 2:7). This is the TRUTH of GOD’S Word!

CREATION is the basic FOUNDATION of the entire Bible! If you DON’T believe THIS, you won’t believe ANYTHING! Because when you doubt ONE word of the Bible, you’ll soon doubt the WHOLE thing! Jesus said, “Had you believed MOSES, you would have believed ME! But if you believe not HIS writings, how shall you believe MY Words?” (John 5:46,47). Now, what’s the FIRST of Moses’ writings, upon which all of his writings are based?–GENESIS! All about Creation!

If they had believed GENESIS, all about Creation, then they would have accepted JESUS CHRIST as their Saviour! So what did the Devil do to try to prevent people from believing in Jesus? He tried to destroy their belief in the writings of Moses, & in the book of GENESIS in particular, the story of the glorious Creation! And how did the Devil do that? By what big lie?

EVOLUTION! That was his greatest lie & most diabolically clever piece of teaching! EVOLUTION! As ridiculous & idiotic as anything you could possibly study, because it has NO foundation in FACT whatsoever; there’s NO evidence for it; no discovery has been made to prove it! It’s just a bunch of GARBAGE & ROT!

But even garbage doesn’t stink as bad as the lies of Evolution, of which the Bible warns, “BEWARE of the LIES of SCIENCE FALSELY SO-CALLED! For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They shall turn AWAY their ears from the TRUTH, & shall be turned unto FABLES!” (1Timothy 6:20; 2Timothy 4:3,4). This time has COME & these days are HERE, & their ears HAVE turned from the truth & are turned to fables! Like EVOLUTION! Don’t let the Devil & his Evolutionists fool you! Stand up for JESUS and His TRUTH TODAY! God bless you!

 

 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International