We intercede for the needs of the poor, the oppressed, and those who are spiritually lost everywhere. We join together with Paul’s prayer in 1 Timothy 2:2-4, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people. Pray for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior who desires all people to be saved and to come to understand His perfect truth.”
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being alert and focused, with an attitude of thanksgiving. At the same time pray for us, too, that God will open a door of opportunity to us for the word, to proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds that I may make it clear [and speak boldly and unfold the mystery] in the way I should. Walk in wisdom toward those that are unlearned, redeeming the time as you make the most of each opportunity. Let your speech at all times be gracious and pleasant, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how to answer every person” Colossians 4:2-6.Here is a video of an original acoustic song I wrote many years ago called, “REFUGE.” This is the title cut of the CD. If you would like a copy, just send me an email. Psalmz103@gmail.com
Billy Holland Ministries provides encouraging and thought-provoking Christian resources for those who love and follow God. As a licensed and ordained minister, teacher, songwriter/psalmist, singer, author, (and the occasional philosopher), my vision and purpose is to relay Biblical truth concerning Jesus Christ and the tangible dynamics of having a personal relationship with Him. Our topics include; Spirituality, hope, faith, grace, convictions, consequences of sin, the devil and human carnality, the gospel and what it means to be born-again, healing, and deliverance, miracles, Biblical truth, the Holy Spirit, repentance, holiness, and sanctification, surrendering our will, inspirational stories, and the victorious Christian life, just to name a few. We discuss God’s blueprint for our lives and what He expects from us, along with our personal accountability to obey His voice. Walking in this miraculous covenant with our Creator is the foundation of our faith and the security of our eternal salvation. First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Feel free to browse our site and use the content however the Lord leads. We invite you to share the messages freely. Send us your prayer request, questions, order our books, music, and resources, we would love to hear from you. If the Lord impresses you to help support this ministry financially, your seed would truly be planted into good ground. We have office, operating, and travel expenses and have recently started a twice-a-week food ministry to the poor where we pick up large amounts of good food from large warehouses with our trucks and trailers and distribute it in our local community to those who need help. Very exciting! It would be an honor to pray for your needs, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Matthew 7:24. Peace and hope, Billy –
I would love for all of you who visit this site to contact me. Please feel free to ask questions and share your thoughts about God’s word and the Christian life. I would also be honored to join together with you in prayer about whatever you are going through. We need each other as brothers and sisters and sometimes we walk through seasons in our lives that are not exactly happy and exciting. These are the times when it is good to have a friend that will listen, pray, and be concerned about your well-being. I know in my life, I often want to share my heart with others but do not have someone that I feel comfortable with. I have a lot of difficult questions about life and it would be a blessing to have a friend who understands. We all need encouragement every now and then. I look forward to meeting you.
In DECEMBER, we had 533 views from online visitors from 31 countries. PRAISE GOD! I am grateful to the Lord Jesus for using me as His messenger and for those of you who visit this site on a regular basis – bless you and please tell others about us. Our friends are from amazing places like Spain, Hong Kong SAR, Serbia, India, Australia, Israel, The United Arab Emirates, Japan, Brazil, Vietnam, Mexico, Kenya, Germany, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Egypt, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Norway, Ireland, Netherlands, and Zimbabwe, to only mention a few. THANK YOU so much for stopping by and if you are a first-time visitor, we encourage you to use any of the content as the Lord leads. We invite you to send your prayer requests, questions, praise reports, or anything that is on your heart. We are meeting people from around the globe and it’s very exciting to make new friends. Whatever you need–Jesus Christ can provide! As the song says, “He is a pain taker, a chain breaker, and a prison-shaking Savior!” JESUS is your healer, your deliverer, your provider, the answer to all your questions, and the solution to all of your problems! He willingly went to the cross and shed His blood because HE LOVES YOU and right this moment, He desires to redeem, restore, and transform whosoever will believe in Him. Contact us as we consider it an honor to connect with you and are available to pray, counsel, send spiritual resources, or help in any way we can. Here is our email again, email@example.com
It was an honor to be invited back to this year’s Gospel Sing at Jessamine Christian Church. There were so many wonderful singers and musicians and it was such a blessed night of worship and fellowship. The event is sponsored by our local radio theatre KCAL where I am a cast member and it raised over $6000.00 for the homeless and displaced school children within our county.
Maybe we should let someone hold our mule – 1/23/23
“Hold my mule” is a figurative expression from the American South that means when a person is leading a mule and they need to go somewhere, or do something very important they will ask someone to hold their mule. Sometimes it meant they were going to enter into a confrontation be it a verbal or physical one. Nonetheless, in church settings where the members were not embarrassed to express their emotions, the phrase also meant they were getting ready to get happy and praise the Lord or spend some time at the altar crying out to God. Do churches still have altars?
When it comes to people expressing their worship, I’ve been in a lot of assemblies over the years and witnessed several worship styles. I was raised in a conservative Baptist church where I sang wonderful hymns and later became a worship pastor for more “lively” groups such as Vineyard, Charismatic, Pentecostal, and Assembly of God churches. I love all styles. I’ve written and recorded several albums of Christian music and wrote a book about worship, but whether we raise our hands or we are more reserved, God knows what we believe in our hearts.
Spiritual music is dear to my heart, and often I feel that God is speaking to me in a song. Powerful emotions well up inside and many times tears will flow as it seems the Lord is embracing me with His love. I will never forget a day back in the 80s, I was driving and listening to the radio when Steve Green began to sing “In God Alone” and I just started weeping. Among many others, I remember another song that is very special in my life and that is, “His blood” by Shirley Caesar. If you’ve never these songs, I highly recommend them.
As a young minister, I used a small segment of “His Blood” as the intro for some of my teaching cassette tapes. You do remember cassettes, don’t you? Anyway, if you are familiar with Shirley Caesar’s music, you know that she gives everything she has when she sings. She was known around the world as the First Lady and the Queen of Gospel which included 17 Dove Awards, 10 Grammy’s, 12 Stellar awards, and forty albums. She would always say, “I’m called to be a preacher first, and a singer second.” When you hear her minister, you will know what she’s talking about.
One of Shirley’s songs is called, “Hold My Mule” where she tells a story about an 86-year-old man named John, who joined an ultra-conservative church where everything was dreadfully sophisticated and solemn. From the moment John began attending, his presence disturbed the reserved and comfortable congregation. He was such a positive and encouraging personality and would come in beaming with joy. As the sermon was being preached he would loudly exclaim amen and praise you Jesus with sincere enthusiasm. Everyone raised their eyebrows in disapproval and when the deacons tried to intervene, they could not contain him. I’m reminded of the passage in Luke 19:40 when Jesus spoke out and said if these people keep silent, the stones will cry out in praise.
One day the deacons when to see John dressed in their finest and driving their big fancy car. They found him around back plowing his field with a mule. He saw them coming and said, “I know why you are here, you want me to stop worshiping my Jesus.” They replied, “John we don’t act like that in our church. There are dignitaries and many wealthy and important people in our midst and they have a reputation to protect. If you don’t stop shouting, dancing, and praising we are going ban you from our church.” With tears in his eyes, John said, “Well, then you’re going to have to put me out because I can’t hold my peace. Let me tell you why. Look at all that beautiful land that you just drove through. God gave me that land. Look at my children. God gave these blessings and they all love Him and have never given us any trouble. Look at me, I’m 86 years old. I’m still able to walk behind this old mule and harvest my crops. So, you don’t want me to show Jesus how much I love Him in your church? Here, hold my mule, because I’m gonna sing and dance and shout and give thanks to God right now!”
Enjoying the comforts of remaining the same
As God continues to move upon the earth, He has never stopped calling His children to be truth seekers, to speak His words, and demonstrate His character. The painful fact is this does not happen automatically. There must be a passion to advance into God and this means the closer we come to Him the more we will become the best version of ourselves.
Most people have never really studied religious history and know very little about why we believe the way we do. The traditions the masses learn about God derive from what they have been told and very few have the desire to research on their own to see if the information is correct. I better stop there before I make too many waves, but one thing we can agree on is that personal transformation is one of the foundational pillars of the Christian faith.
When we watch a baby grow and progress in their learning, we celebrate and rejoice in their development. Likewise, there is no reason to doubt that God feels the same way about our spiritual maturity. Changes within our society and culture are inevitable and it’s easy to look back and remember how life used to be and how technology is always coming up with something new. Remember when we used to go to the movie rental store and used pay phones? When we look in the mirror, we can see that our bodies are slowly changing and unfortunately there is nothing we can do about it. However, there is an area in our lives where change will not happen unless we want it to. We are in control of our spiritual growth.
When we think about God and the spiritual life, it’s relatively easy to construct ideas about the way we believe, and it seems that everyone has private interpretations. We have been given free will to make decisions and we are basically in control of what we think and do. Very few comprehend what it means to surrender their will unto God. We can go to church, sing songs, and even give a few dollars in the offering plate, but no one including God is going to force us to develop an intimate relationship with Him. Christians have been given a new spiritual identity with the capacity to be convicted which is the ability to discern what is right and wrong. However, we can override our guilty conscience by ignoring God, and like a lawyer presenting a case in a courtroom, we can justify our thoughts and actions in the light of intentional self-deception.
There are numerous examples of characters in the Bible who have rebelled against God including His favorite people the Jews, as no human is a robot that He can control. One of the dangers that every child of God faces is compromising with the world’s system which by the way is the easy path and very common among the lukewarm crowd. Only those who have developed an awareness of God’s presence will ever have the faith to stand for His truth. And what is this truth? Well, truth means a lot of different things to many people, but the truth I’m talking about is believing that God is who He says He is. Remember Pilate said to Jesus, “what is truth?” At this hour, this question has never been more urgent. In the preceding verse, Jesus said that He was a king bearing witness to divine truth, and everyone that understands this truth can hear His voice.
I’ve mentioned the comfortable path where we just try to get along with the system without offending anyone, but this is not the way Jesus lived and neither is it the way He wants us to be. The desired path is a commitment to ignore our so-called dignified reputation and declare that obeying Him is our highest priority. When we make this choice, let us be prepared to experience a similar negative reaction that He faced. Taking up our cross and following His demands is not for the faint of heart because it places us on the front line of spiritual warfare. Will we choose the broad or the narrow way? Could it be that our New Year’s resolutions are the result of spiritual conviction? Are we being reminded by the Lord about what He wants us to change? What a perfect time to examine our hearts and dedicate our lives to God more than ever before.
THE WRONG SHALL FAIL, THE RIGHT PREVAIL
Most people have read or at least heard of a man named Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882). He was a literary giant in his own lifetime and is known today in many circles as “The Children’s Poet” and several schools around our nation are named in his honor. You may remember some of His original works which include, Paul Revere’s Ride, The Song Of Hiawatha, and Evangeline, and was the first American to completely translate Dante Alighieri’s Comedy. As one of the fireside writers from New England, he is regarded as the most popular poet of the nineteenth century.
On July 9, 1861, tragedy struck the Longfellow home. His wife, Fanny, was near an open window placing locks of her daughter’s hair in a packet, using hot sealing wax to secure it. It was never known whether a spark from a match or the sealing wax was the cause, but suddenly her dress caught fire and she was engulfed in flames. Henry was sleeping and was suddenly awakened by her screams for help. He ran into the room and immediately tried to smother the flames as best he could, first with a rug and then his own body, but the damage from the burns were very severe. She died the next morning.
Henry Longfellow’s own burns were so extensive on his face and hands that he was unable to attend his own wife’s funeral. The scars on his face made shaving nearly impossible, so he allowed his beard to grow which become associated with his image. The anguish within his soul was beyond what anyone could fathom. His family could see his suffering in his eyes, and they observed his long periods of silence. At times he feared that he would be sent to an asylum on account of his sorrow.
A couple of years later in 1863, there was another crisis when his son Charles Longfellow without telling his family, boarded a train headed for Washington, D.C. to join President Lincoln’s Union army to fight in the Civil War. On the first day of that December, Henry was dining alone at his home when a telegram arrived with the news that Charley had been shot and was being transferred to the Rapidan River. Henry immediately set out to search for his son and arrived by train on December fifth. He was alarmed when informed by the army surgeon that his son’s wound was very serious and that Charles would most likely be paralyzed. Longfellow, as a 57-year-old widowed father of six children, was not only witnessing his country fight a war against itself, but his oldest son had been struck down on the battlefield.
Although he was admired for a gift for communicating the human experience, Longfellow still needed divine peace that only God can give. On that Christmas Day in 1863, he heard the Christmas bells ringing in Cambridge and the singing of “Peace On Earth” but he considered the strife and division going on around him was in direct contradiction to a joyous holiday. He sat down and desperately tried to reflect on the joys of knowing that God is not dead or sleeping and that He is the only one who can heal and give hope to the soul. He was never considered a hymn writer, however, the poem he wrote on that day expresses the agony from the condition of the nation, and was later set to music by Englishman John Calkin. The result is one of our most popular Christmas carols, “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day.”
There is a theme of passion within the poem, eventually leading to an attitude of confidence and trust even in the midst of bleak despair. The Civil War was in full swing and the devastation from the battle of Gettysburg still gripped the nation in a state of trauma. He must have asked himself how can we have peace on Earth and goodwill toward men in this war-torn land, where brother fights against brother and father against son? Yes, the days were dark, but he includes in one of the stanzas, “The wrong shall fail, the right prevail!” Within these words, we sense a man crying out in prayer to God, just like many of us are today, to please stop the hatred and the violence, and fill the hearts of all people with love and unity. This carol reminds us that peace and goodwill shall one day be established when the Prince of Peace shall reign forever.
Why my soul are you so downcast?
Since before the world was made God has known you and loved you. He has never taken His eyes away or ignored you. If you were to write down all the blessings and victories He has given to you, they would prove He has called you, has been guiding you, and has many wonderful things planned for your future. Do you believe this today? Is your life heading in a direction that you are excited about, or are you downcast? At this time of year, it’s common for many people to be filled with a mixture of emotions. Some are dealing with anxiety, while others are walking through a time of sadness and loneliness. Maybe something negative happened this year and you have not recovered from it. Maybe you have experienced a terrible loss and are in agony while trying to appear that everything is alright. Along with 2022 coming to a close, we have the new year just a couple of weeks away and fear of the unknown can be a little stressful.
Has disappointment in the past, caused you to not be as confident or optimistic as you once were? Of course, we all have times in our lives when we are upset and feel that nothing is going right. Don’t worry, you are perfectly normal. Life is a series of ups and downs and no matter how jolly of a personality you may have, there will be seasons when we search deep within ourselves to see if we are being attacked or maybe we need to forgive ourselves. Whatever the case, it’s easy to wallow in our sorrows, but when we turn our attention away from ourselves and focus on loving God and those around us, the dark clouds begin lifting, and the joy and brightness of God’s presence will fill our hearts.
I want to share God’s word with you from Psalm 42:5 and repeated again in verse 11, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” This is a passage from David and if you study his relationship with God, you know he had his share of sorrows, but he also learned how to encourage himself. He wrote this when his son Absalom committed treason but even through something as devastating as this he expresses that hope becomes even more empowered when everything seems hopeless. He examines his own heart and comes to the understanding there are times we will not comprehend why we are going through trials, but we are to obey and glorify God while we are waiting for our answer.
Instead of going to bed and covering our heads, let us look beyond our pity party and focus our eyes on the goodness of the Lord and how much He has done for us. Sometimes we are so absorbed with what we are going through, we forget all the things He has helped us with and saved us from. I had two situations today that could have been tragic, but God intervened in them both. I was driving on the bypass and was getting ready to change lanes when at the last second I saw a car beside me out of the corner of my eye. If I had turned into that car, the outcome would not have been good, to say the least. My wife kept talking and was never aware of the situation as I breathed a sigh of relief. The second situation involved me being on a ladder this afternoon on the front porch. I thought I was on the bottom step but I was actually on the step above and fell onto the concrete and into the storm door. I broke the door and have a few bruises, but miraculously I was not seriously injured.
With two near misses on the same day, I’ve been humbly counting my blessings. I know it’s easy at times to feel sorry for ourselves, but instead of feeling cast down, may we consider where we would be without God’s constant mercy and compassion. Hope is a small word like love and joy, but it contains the power of the human soul to trust God and live every moment as if His promises are going to be fulfilled in our lives. Often we are troubled because we are focused more on what we interpret as a disappointment than on praising God for providing another opportunity to appreciate His goodness.
USING GOD’S FILTER WHEN WE SPEAK
As I’ve prayed for spiritual awareness over the years, the Lord has been patient with my lack of understanding and has graciously allowed me to labor in the area of communication. When having a conversation with someone, listening intently helps to discern what is on their mind, but most importantly it’s even more important to listen to God in order to know how He wants us to respond. For the Christian, there is no higher responsibility than to monitor and examine every thought and word before we release it.
It’s common for most people to express whatever they feel like saying. To the individual it’s the right of their independence, for the rest of us it’s known as not having a speech filter. The unrenewed mind when left to do and say whatever it wants is often referred to as foolish according to the book of Proverbs. For example, the attempt to bring instruction to those who do not think before they speak is the basis of Proverbs 26:4-5, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. Answering him according to his folly, only causes him to increase in deception.” If we choose to argue with someone who is not thinking clearly, we stoop to a lower level and become as foolish as they are. Since unlearned people despise wisdom, they enjoy drawing others into a debate where they use deceit, become angry, and scoff at opposing ideas.
Seldom do we meditate about what we are going to say but we are reminded in James 1:19-20, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for wrath rarely produces the righteousness of God.” The world is filled with differing opinions about everything and it does not take a lot of effort for a heated argument to arise. Being disciplined is difficult because we feel that we should stand up for what we believe. This can be true on the right occasions, however, the most important thing is to obey God. We should speak when He anoints us to give an answer, and if He says to be silent we should recognize this particular situation is not a divine appointment.
Matthew 12:36-37 goes even further by warning us that our speech is being recorded and will be used in our judgment. “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words, you will be condemned.” It’s common for the average person to be neutral when it comes to certain conversations with no intention of exposing their worldviews. If a controversial topic comes to the surface, they may bite on it or they might wait and adjust the conversation accordingly. I’ve heard people say, “it is no one’s business what I believe” and “I never talk about religion or politics.” evidently these individuals are convinced it’s more comfortable to avoid serious discussions than be a part of them. On the other hand, I often encounter those who charge out of the gate with both barrels blazing. Whatever the case, it’s good to have our spiritual antennas up and be sensitive to what is going on and how God is planning to use us.
So, aside from our deeds having an impact on our integrity and respect, it seems our speech actually identifies the type of person we are. Matthew 7:17-20 uses symbolism to describe every person as a tree and what we do and say is the fruit we bear, “Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit, you will recognize them.” It’s true we all make mistakes and constantly need to repent for our failures each hour, yet as believers in God, we must strive to seek His power to improve our communication with one another. Whether it be with our spouse, our children, or at work, is our communication holy, healthy and wholesome? Are we representing Christ in our conversations? Our words reveal our awareness of His presence and this is what the Christian experience is about.
WE HAVE MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR
I’ve always enjoyed Thanksgiving with my family but many times I become distracted from the intended purpose. Between football, conversations, and pumpkin pie, it’s easy to forget how much we have to be thankful for. Unfortunately, many have forgotten or maybe they have never known the history of human suffering that is associated with the Pilgrims. It’s been recorded that the new colony was focused on giving God thanks for His blessings and protection as William Bradford is quoted, “Being thus arrived in a good harbor, and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of Heaven who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof, to again set their feet on the firm and stable earth, their proper element. Thus, out of small beginnings, greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing, and gives being to all things that are; and, as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation; let the glorious name of God have all the praise.” Clearly, the pilgrims of the Plymouth colony worshiped God and appreciated Him for all they had, but today the meaning of Thanksgiving is almost completely lost under an endless avalanche of media hype, sales advertisements, marketing gimmicks, and aggressive commercialism.
Like all Christians, we give thanks to the Lord for loving us and rescuing us from eternal darkness and death. We could never express to our heavenly Father enough how grateful we are that He sent Jesus to redeem and forgive us with His blood. I realize there are hard times and many difficult situations, but we are fortunate to not only have His promises of hope and peace here on earth, but He is also preparing a place for us in heaven. I published a book a couple of years ago called, “A Lifestyle of Worship” and it’s about becoming determined to develop an awareness of God’s presence all the time instead of just when we are in church or need a favor. Brother Lawrence, whose seventeenth-century work, “The Practice of the Presence of God,” details his discipline to become so sensitive to everything going on around him that he might consider all situations as an opportunity to manifest the attributes of Christ.
I realize that most people keep a busy schedule and do not always wake up in the mornings and thank God for all of their blessings. Why is this? Well, we have a tendency to take important things for granted like our good health or even the air we breathe. We become so occupied with trying to make decisions and lean on our own understanding that we forget that God is helping us and always has our best interests in mind. It takes serious dedication to continually concentrate on how worthy He is of our gratitude and praise. “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together” Psalm 34:3.
So, we see that Thanksgiving is about expressing our love to God, and those who desire to know Him personally will discover that our devotion is not based on what He can give us, but just on who He is. Above my fireplace, there’s a log engraved with Matthew 22:37 and 38 and I often ask God to reveal to me the depths of this spiritual truth.“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.”
Every word that has ever been spoken and every book that has been written can only scratch the surface in describing God’s endless generosity and glorious Majesty. Our Thanksgiving holiday is more than a day off from work, a celebration ritual, or a black Friday sale, it’s a state of mind where we can appreciate our daily blessings and our eternal salvation. It’s wonderful to have a roof over our heads, good health, and a long list of His benefits, but we are especially grateful for His infinite grace. It’s my prayer today, that I may never allow myself to become spoiled with His blessings, but to be sincerely grateful for the privilege to know Him, and be willing to demonstrate His great love and compassion to others.
Dr. Holland is a Christian author, outreach minister, and community chaplain. To learn more about the Christian life visit: billyhollandministries.com
JOY AND PEACE ARE A STATE OF MIND
Fear and stress are often blamed for ruining our contentment and happiness, but anxiety and worry are not uncontrollable monsters that force us to be afraid. Actually, depression and panic originate is a negative response from within our own beliefs. In this light, pessimism is a personal decision that will continue to dominate our thinking until a new system of thought processing is installed.
The Bible says in the book of Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the views of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Simply stated, this verse is generally talking about interpreting our views through the lens of God’s Word and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, rather than through the lens of our emotions, past experiences, or the opinions of others. Recognizing our patterns and tendencies to be gloomy can explain why we react in certain ways and help us improve our pessimistic attitudes. Asking God to help us re-wire our minds is the key to learning how to trust Him as changing the way we think will change who we are as we demonstrate a life that honors Him.
The recent decline in our economy is now at the point where many are feeling stressed and worried. My wife and I have noticed our home and auto insurance is climbing along with a significant increase in our utility bills and property taxes. With mortgage interest rates rising, we are seeing home sales slowing down and subsequently real estate prices are falling. We have rumors of shortages, along with the rising cost of food and fuel are alarming and it only makes sense that as the cost of operating a business increases, they must raise prices to maintain a profit. Some are indeed jumping on the price-gouging wagon, but nonetheless, our world is currently not heading in a good direction.
We can look back in history and see there are ups and downs in the stock markets and inflation, but whether enjoying prosperity or experiencing difficulties, it’s wise to remember that God is our source and it’s more secure to place our truth in Him than any earthly government. We are not to ignore what is going on, but the way we live is not based on a political party, it’s standing for truth and doing what is right in God’s eyes. It only makes things worse to blame others or to argue about the condition of our nation. We must realize that it is Satan who manipulates humans and his purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy which includes wreaking havoc on economies, creating division, and causing people to suffer. However, the Lord promises in Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
People talk about going to their “happy place” a seemingly magical location where we can take shelter from whatever is threatening our security. But what is this about? It can mean different things to different people but for those who have a relationship with God, it’s a place in the deepest part of our conscience where we can commune with God and embrace the safety and joy of His presence. It is said that trying times are not the times to stop trying and that we can either give up or get up. Often when people face serious challenges in life, they lose hope rather than persevere in faith. We are reminded in Psalm 91:1, “They who dwell in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
In first Samuel chapter 3, it says that David found strength in the Lord, which means he encouraged himself. He was facing one of the most difficult challenges of his life, and no one was around to encourage him. There will be times when no one is around to counsel or give us a pep talk, and it’s during these seasons that we will need to embrace God’s promises for ourselves. Whether it be an emotional, psychological or spiritual issue, we can either be in control of our thoughts or our assumptions will control us. When we receive God’s wisdom it allows us to see life from His positive perspective which is never associated with fear, depression, or hopelessness.
HOW DO WE RESPOND TO TEMPTATION?
The painful truth about any type of addiction and temptation is there was an introduction and a personal agreement to entertain it. They knew it was wrong but made the conscious decision to accept it and a cognitive desire to continue. I’ve never known anyone who is trying to recover from an addiction to trip and fall face-first into a bag of cocaine and relapse. Do those with a history of substance abuse accidentally run into syringes of heroin or not realize the dangers of taking oxycodone? No. They surrendered their power to resist, bowed down to their new master, and became a slave to the persuasion of darkness.
I’ve never heard of an alcoholic who opened and accidentally consumed hard liquor thinking it was a soft drink. People know exactly what they are consuming. When a person goes into a bar or a liquor store they are definitely aware of why they are there. Individuals do not inadvertently become involved with sin, they willingly choose what they want to do. Whatever the situation and no matter how long it’s been going on, the reason people search for relief is to dull the agony of reality. To become numb to the truth, to drown out the voice of conviction and guilt, to avoid, to run away and hide from God. Some will never face their fears until it is too late and would rather live in emotional and spiritual captivity than allow God to set them free.
The same principle of free will happens when someone becomes extremely obese. Yes, we have compassion just like anyone that is struggling with any type of problem and we cannot imagine the cycle of discouragement they go through every day. We also realize there are individuals who have hormone issues and other health conditions that are not their fault, but there are others that have simply never said no to their cravings. For whatever reasons, food can become a powerful anesthetic that brings temporary relief by exchanging a sense of euphoria for shackles of bondage. A lack of accountability and self-discipline has serious consequences, to say the least. Again, no one has ever forced another person to overeat, they do it because they want to.
I spoke with a woman the other day and she was telling me about taking care of her four grandchildren. The daughter and her husband became addicted to drugs, and they divorced. Not long after this, the daughter brought her children to stay with this woman and her husband and they have not seen her since. This was four years ago. These grandparents have full custody but are struggling to raise these beautiful kids because they are on a limited income. Sadly, there are many parents that have abandoned their little ones, and far too often addiction and incarceration are a part of the equation. It’s a heartbreaking scenario and we wonder how anyone could love some type of desire more than their own children or anything else. It’s actually the same answer that applies to every decision we all make every moment. The free will to choose. When Sinatra sang, “I did it my way” he was making a rebellious declaration for most of the entire human race. It’s the arrogant and aggressive proclamation about not caring what God says about sin, I live by my own rules.
Most of us know of someone that is entangled in some type of habit, craving, fixation, weakness, compulsion, or dependency. These behaviors are the result of how individuals attempt to deal with whatever is seemingly overwhelming them. We realize we humans are vulnerable to urges, but we always have the choice to resist or accept. It’s not how many times we are tempted, it’s how determined we are to stand against it. Every idea, thought, and suggestion will receive one of two reactions, yes, or no. The enemy of our soul has been given the opportunity to persuade us into making destructive decisions, but with God’s strength, we can learn how to control our emotional impulses which is the way God intended. If we refuse to develop the perseverance to break free from our destructive cycles, our carnality will control us and cause even more misery and disappointment. Though we can try to help others become victorious, each person must realize that trusting God is the key that can open their own prison doors. Those who will not help themselves cannot be forced to change.
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THE BEAUTY OF BEING BROKEN BEFORE GOD
Have you ever wondered if God is listening to you? One of His many divine attributes is that He is Omnipresent which means He is everywhere at the same time. His presence constantly permeates the atmosphere whether it be on earth, in heaven, or throughout the universe. This is how He knows everything that happens and every word that is said. He knows every tree that falls in the forest and every thought that has ever been imagined, as well as the motives and intentions of every heart.
I enjoy taking walks so that I can have the privacy to talk to Him. It gives me comfort and peace to know He is there, even though I do not hear Him reply in a literal voice. Like you, I’ve discovered that it’s easy to share with Him, but difficult to hear and comprehend what He is saying. Sometimes I will just stop talking and listen for Him in the quiet. As Psalm 46:10 talks about being still and knowing that He is God, we are encouraged to stop allowing stress to make us afraid, and to learn how to rest in His presence. A key to developing a strong personal relationship with God is to have a holy reverence for who He is and this begins with being broken before Him.
Since Romans 10:17 says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” we know that hearing always precedes obedience. Faith can arise when instructions are revealed, however, if we are without the desire to understand, we are without a vision to accomplish His will. We can obtain libraries of knowledge but the gift from heaven that changes lives is the passion to hear God’s voice. The next step is deciding just how much of our will we are going to surrender. During the Welsh Revival of the early nineteen hundreds, a song that was heard frequently by those who were seeking a closer walk with God was, “Bend me lower, lower, down at the feet of Jesus.” Yes, spiritual awakenings can become a widespread excitement, but the emphasis is on the individual entering into the holy of holies with God on their own. This spiritual metamorphosis happens through a personal conviction of the Holy Spirit who opens the eyes of the conscience and understand what it means to be saved by grace and become a servant to Christ as Lord and King.
The greatest need in Christendom today is not necessarily more religious seminars, programs, or conferences. It is for men and women to be broken before God and to realize their great need to be focused on His constant presence. Once broken we will be empowered with divine supernatural energy, wisdom, and the anointing from heaven will be overwhelmingly evident. The fragrance from Mary’s alabaster box could not be released until it was broken. To accomplish His desires, we will need to allow the Lord to break us so the inner fragrance of His presence can be released. It is then we will have revival in our souls and be able to relay and express His compassion to others.
I heard a story years ago from a minister who said one morning he climbed a mountain and was sitting on a boulder contemplating the majesty of God, when nature revealed a profound message about the Christian life. He noticed something very interesting about the grass with fresh dew on it. The blades that stood tall and extended to the sky had no droplets of refreshing water, but the blades that were bent to the ground had several droplets on them. The bent grass reminds us that seasons of spiritual refreshing often come when we bow before Him in a state of gratitude and humility. It’s the attitude of descending that enables us to experience the reality of His majesty.
Psalm 51 is one of my favorite chapters and verses 16-17 declare, “For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” The life that stands tall and arrogant is not in the spiritual position to bask in the presence of His glorious presence. When the dew drops of heaven fall upon the heart that is calloused and distant, they roll off leaving that soul to remain dry and discontent.
IGNORING GOD DOES NOT LESSEN OUR NEED FOR HIM
By William F. Holland Jr.
Within the Christian faith, we are taught that every person will someday stand before God and have a discussion about how they lived. A few will argue, give excuses, try to justify, and attempt to present their case before the infinite judge and authority of all things. Many will scoff and doubt about not being responsible for the way they live, but for the most part, the majority agrees there is coming a day of judgment. You would think with nearly everyone at least hearing about being held accountable that it would cause individuals to find out more about God and what He requires.
When the scriptures talk about recognizing words and deeds, the association between good and bad trees, and the evidence of fruit, most people are offended at the idea of being judged. They also become easily ruffled when presented with the consideration that nice and sympathetic people are not necessarily sheep of God’s fold. There is such a thing as spiritual discernment and one reason for the Holy Spirit is to give us a deeper insight than just our emotions about situations, certain individuals, and especially ourselves. We are not to be ignorant about what is happening around us, but at the same time, there is no way we can know what is in the heart of another person.
I was asked the other day about what I believe is the difference between a person who is always thinking and talking about the Lord and someone who never mentions Him. Yes, we have religious laws, doctrines, and interpretations of the Bible that are explained by those who are considered experts about what it means to be a follower of Christ, but can Christianity be condensed into a specific lifestyle formula that is identified and measured according to a certain standard? If we are a Christian will everyone know it? Yes! You have heard of those who carry burdens and a common weight of the soul is to plead for those who do not know God. We pray because we love.
When a person is in love with God, they are overflowing with joy, faith, and excitement. A person is drawn, repents when they are convicted with the gospel, surrenders their will, and becomes spiritually born-again. They are redeemed through the blood covenant atonement and are now a new creation that is governed by the Lordship of Christ who leads and controls their life. We can agree the infinite light and life of God within these individuals illuminates and empowers the presence of His mercy, compassion, and love. So, could it be possible for a person who has yielded everything they have and all that they are unto God, to never say a word about knowing Him? Could someone who has taken up their cross, feel embarrassed or ashamed to talk about the Bible, pray for someone in need, or share about what Jesus accomplished on Calvary? Indeed, no! Christians are called to be warriors, not secret agents.
The world is convinced that heaven is the default destination of everyone except for a few hideous individuals here and there. This philosophy is without the spiritual discipline to understand what it means to yield our will. It’s a comfortable worldview that does not want to be told what to do and has the song, “I did it my way” at the top of their playlist. This rebellious attitude is perfectly content to float down the river and hope that everything works out in the end. It will not. God is not asleep.
I’ve said many times that either everyone is going to heaven or hardly anyone is going. What do I mean? If being a nice and decent person is the only requirement, then we have nothing to worry about. If the Bible is true, we need to discover the reverential fear of God. In reality, this default idea is the other way around. Hell has always been the default since man fell in the Garden and is why Christ is the only hope for those who believe. The confusion is about He demands. If we had the desire to search carefully within ourselves, we would find there are certain lines we refuse to cross when offering our lives to God. We seldom consider these hidden reservations as we are afraid to face our guilt and fears associated with our need to change. Denial becomes easier to manage with time and the longer we wait to make things right, the deeper we fall into deception.
Being resilient when facing adversity
By William F. Holland Jr.
I was having a conversation with a good friend the other day, and he was telling me how life is becoming more difficult now that he is in his eighties. When he was young he loved to jog and walk several miles a day, and now he can hardly make it to the kitchen. I’m about twenty years younger, but I can definitely relate to my body and mind going through some changes. I’ve always heard the lack of activity does not do us any favors as it seems the less we do, the less we can do. My mother is 84 and she stays active by going to church, shopping, eating out, and walking around Walmart. It’s good for her to get out of the house and stay moving.
When my father passed away a few years ago, my sisters and I were concerned about how she would handle being on her own. You see, our parents are from the old-school tradition where my mom never worked outside the home. My dad and his dad were in the construction business together and we all had a good life. That is until he was diagnosed with a serious kidney disease and the latter half of his life was spent downsizing, being on dialysis, and getting his affairs in order. He showed mom how to pump gas, manage the checkbook, and pay the bills, so that when he passed, she could survive living alone. There were six children in her family and she is the last living sibling, but my sisters and I are there for her and we make sure she has everything she needs.
Sometimes I will call in the middle of the day to check on her, and she’s just watching reruns of all the old programs I grew up with. For the most part, she’s bored and tries to come up with ways to entertain herself. I’m very proud of her as I realize that many people live alone and they do well, but after living with one person for so long I’m sure it can be very lonely at times. I want to say that whatever you are feeling down about today, God has placed strength and courage within you that you might not realize you have. Discouragement or victory is decided on the battlefield of your mind. In other words, if you see yourself in a dark valley, this is where you believe you are. If you see yourself on the mountain basking in the brilliance of the sun, nothing but your own negativity can convince you otherwise.
When it comes to resilience, it’s inspiring to know that we can endure much more than we can imagine. At one time or another, we will experience some form of adversity, hardship, or life-changing crisis and the majority of us will make it through to the other side. Growing older can be added to the list along with dealing with things like serious health issues, financial problems, and relationship failures just to mention a few. The good news is that problems cannot defeat you. You are only defeated when you stop fighting and praying.
So, how do people deal with serious events that threaten their future? It depends on how desperate they are to trust God and this includes being content and joyful. Being positive or negative are learned behaviors, and having faith in who God is and what He has promised is a constant choice. For example, when we read the book of Proverbs, we see that asking and gaining holy wisdom is an important key to understanding the meaning of life.
It’s true that we react to negative circumstances with a flood of strong emotions and a sense of uncertainty. However, we generally adapt well over time when we learn that resilience is an ongoing process that requires time to seek and comprehend truth. Being resilient does not mean that a person is without anxiety or worries, but it involves learning that we can overcome fears that are trying to bluff us into giving up. Developing resilience is a personal journey where we train our minds to see what we believe instead of only believing what we see. It’s crucial that we know ourselves and even more important to know what God is saying. To have an optimistic view of ourselves and realize what is going on around us, we can examine our hearts, pray, and seek different strategies that can provide peace, healing, and a protective state of mind and spirit.
WHAT PROVES THAT YOU LOVE GOD?
By William F. Holland Jr.
Christians are accountable to love and pray for their family, and friends, and against evil everywhere, but unfortunately, many have lost the enthusiasm and the burden to ask for God to set them on fire for His glory. If Christian leadership is afraid to declare war against Satan and evil strongholds and principalities, how can they be inspired or have the faith to become a living sacrifice for God? When there is no difference between the lost world and those who claim to be God’s front-line warriors, society falls into spiritual darkness. The gospel of Jesus Christ is what God uses to prick the conscience of those who are spiritually lost, and His people have the responsibility to not only be messengers but to intercede. Where there is no conviction or reverential fear of God, sin is ignored. When the remnant of Christ becomes distracted with the pleasures of the world, prayer is neglected which allows evil to increase and become bolder. This is exactly why Satan and his demons spend every moment trying to pour water on the fiery passion of those who are called to seek God for His instructions.
Mankind is under attack from the kingdom of darkness and one demon in particular commonly called the spirit of Jezebel, is trying to tear down the strength, honor, and faith of Godly men and women who are called by God to stand and fight on their knees for the Word of God, this nation, and the world. Look around and notice that most men are spiritually weak and filled with fear which is a disgrace to God’s plan for them to be leading the world into His presence. Many women have become so masculine and independent, they have missed their calling that is described in Proverbs 31. It’s obvious that Satan has focused on destroying the family as he knew this would help destroy the world.
It’s obvious this deception is to weaken and destroy those who have been called to lead and be the head of the family home unto the will of Christ. The church laughed at people like Milton Berle and Flip Wilson, but it’s not funny now, as it was all a plan to plant a seed of accepting perversion. Those who are called to take up their cross and follow Jesus are still doing the same thing right now by supporting the television channels of the globalist who are the puppet masters of Satan. Entertainment is filled with debauchery that the cancel culture cheers as being wonderful while the false religious world willingly drinks from the cup of disobedience and keeps begging for more.
The lines between good and evil are being drawn. The system of the world continues to advance toward global control and we know it is not to promote God. Satan’s strategy is to flood the world with temptation with the hope that every person will embrace a sinful lifestyle and become so numb to evil they will believe it’s normal to ignore God. Those who spend time watching and listening to a lying and deceptive media, do not realize or care they are following the voice of darkness. I say this to warn everyone to come out from among this system that is trying to steal the soul. Most people have already given their heart and spirit to Satan and have a strong delusion over their mind that prevents them from knowing right from wrong. The world laughs at such statements as this proves it is true. There is coming a day very soon when all those who resist this system will be faced with fierce persecution and death. Now is the hour to prepare for the choices we may face tomorrow. Examine your soul today and determine which side you are going to stand with.
II Corinthians 6:17 says, “Therefore, come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord; do not touch any unclean thing, and I will welcome you.” The clause come out from among them is a reference found in the Old Testament when God was warning Israel about being influenced by the idols of Egypt. Paul quotes this passage from Isaiah while trying to make the same point in reference to the Corinthian church. Just as the Israelites in exile were to put off any idolatry they may have picked up while living in Egypt, so the Corinthian believers are to lay aside the idolatry and sexual immorality that they were steeped in by virtue of living in Corinth. They must be separate from the sin of the world.
Leading up to this passage, Paul also warns them, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.” We often apply this to a believer marrying an unbeliever, but it has a much wider application. The context of the Corinthian church, it is talking about the dangers of participating in idolatry. What does this mean today? It means being involved with the world’s system. Being absorbed in politics, obeying evil laws, being mesmerized by entertainment, social media, worldly music, the internet, television, believing science over the Bible, associating with the ungodly, and being popular with those who hate God, just to mention a few things. Paul continues with a series of very important questions and the implied answer to all of these is a big NOTHING! “What do righteousness and wickedness have in common?” – “What fellowship can light have with darkness?” – “What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? (Satan) – “What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?” – “What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?” Listen closely and follow HIS voice about everything.
It is the hour to stop drifting down the river of relaxation and comfort, and allow the Holy Spirit to open our spiritual eyes to what is happening at this very moment. Can you not recognize the governments of the world are controlled by Satan? The political world are only play-acting a script because they know people will believe whatever they are told. Satan is the beast, the puppet master who controls world leaders and uses the global media as his false prophet. Do you not understand that antiChrist is coming and will demand every human being to bow their knee to him? Will you have the faith to say no? Those who are ensnared with the world will side against God and actually hate Him, while the ones who love God and embrace His truth will be killed. If you are not standing against the global system now, what makes you believe you will stand against it in the future? Are you prepared to walk away from your spouse, your family, and even your children who might beg you to take the mark of the beast? If any man come to me and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. “If any man come to me and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple” Luke 14:26-27.
I realize this is a hard word and is not popular in this modern age of the Christian assembly. Actually, there are many passages that are avoided such as, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” John 15:18-19. Here is another serious admonition, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” I John 2:15. The point of these statements is for the Holy Spirit to convict and prick the conscience, We are to live in an attitude of reverential fear and with a broken and contrite heart. The concept of meekness and humility is a state of mind that abides in the awareness of God’s presence. Do you know anyone like this? Do you live like this? James 5:16 says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much.” Fervent means intense and desperate which is very rare in today’s environment. Godliness is seen throughout the scriptures and this is exactly what Satan is trying to prevent. What proves that you love God?
People do not approach God because they do not want to live for Him
By William F. Holland Jr.
I have been seeking answers to why people shy away from the subject of miracles and healing from God. I awoke a few days ago and was gathering my thoughts before I got out of bed when I was suddenly given a spiritual revelation that enlightened my mind and allowed me to see another level of comprehension. It’s true that most everyone will not discuss or even consider the reality of God healing them. I have always thought this was strange because He is the one who created every person. He has the power and authority to speak the universe into existence and yet people walk away from the possibility that He can heal a disease. When they are shown in the Bible that Jesus healed every person who believed, they are seldom encouraged or inspired. Even if they hear about someone being healed it does not phase them. When passages throughout the Bible are revealed and explained it seems to make no difference in their enthusiasm. This is what has baffled me for so long. Those who desperately need Jesus to touch them and make them whole would rather focus their attention and trust to strangers who attempt to figure out how to treat them. Why is this? Because approaching God means they will SEE they need to give their lives to Him. How can they fall on their knees and worship and say they love Him, when all they want is a quick fix? Most people have decided they will not approach God at all and this allows them to be more comfortable in their lost condition.
There are very few people in this world that have an intimate personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I’m not talking about saying they believe that God is real or going to a local assembly. I’m referring to an individual who has taken up their cross in total surrender as they follow God dedicated to obeying His Word no matter the cost. This small group of peculiar truth seekers have willingly pulled away from the world and are called to be the remnant and bride of Christ as they abide under the shadow of the Almighty. When we think of the 12 disciples of Christ who walked with Jesus and were students who were constantly being taught by the Master, this is exactly the way these modern disciples live. They listen to His instructions and they do the work of the ministry for His glory. The world sees them as strange and they actually hate them because they hate Jesus. This remnant has been given a transformed spirit, a renewed mind, and a holy conscience to stand for God’s truth and will never compromise which makes them a target for rejection and persecution. I said all of that to paint a clear picture of the difference between a true Christian and the world which includes all who play religious games.
This is what the Lord revealed to me. When the world is confronted with the opportunity to be healed by Jesus, they are immediately filled with guilt and condemnation. Why? Because they know how serious and personal this request is. They know that to approach God for a gift from Him, they would need to be broken and humble, to repent, to love and worship Him the same as bowing down before Him and receiving His eternal salvation. They are intimidated and embarrassed to consider this approach because they realize they have never trusted Him with anything before. Oh sure, they have gone through the motions of listening to prayers, many have attended church services and they have a general knowledge about Jesus dying on a cross, but they do not walk with Him. Either they have never been genuinely born again through the blood of Jesus or baptized in His Spirit, or they have so backslidden their heart is cold and calloused. Whatever the case, you can see that presenting someone the truth about how God wants to heal them causes much anxiety and accountability. In other words, they are thinking how can I approach God for a miracle when I have never given Him the time of day about anything? They are afraid and ashamed because they know that stepping forward toward God will require more than they want to think about. They know deep down inside they would only be seeking the gift instead of the giver and they are ashamed to admit they truly serve the dark side.
I had never really seen the depth of this before. I thought that people would be excited to know that healing and any type of miracle is available through God and that He is waiting for anyone to approach Him and ask Him. I wrote a 500-page book about all the promises and conditions of God to heal those who are suffering and included the requirements and responsibilities of the seeker. I thought that people would realize that God wants us to surrender our will to Him and to boldly walk in His holiness and power. I knew that healing is not something that is given out like candy, but I believe and hope that someone would embrace Christ as Lord and not just for the miracles. I pray for the Holy Spirit to stir people’s hearts and provoke them to believe that God’s Omnipotent and Omniscient authority when combined with fervent faith can change any circumstance, heal any disease, and even raise the dead. Nonetheless, I failed to realize that sharing with someone how they can be healed is the same as evangelizing the gospel about how to be spiritually born-again. It can clear out a room very quickly unless God has created a divine appointment. Those who do not want God run for the door as they are trying to escape the uncomfortable feelings of indifference and disobedience. THIS IS IT! This is why they cringe when they see a book about healing! The masses know they are living a life of rebellion against God and they certainly do not want to approach Him – not just about healing, but for anything! They do not seek healing because they do not want to bow down to Him and worship and serve Him!
A key word here is being “threatened” by the absolute truth of God because it demands that we change our direction and embrace His way of living. This is why people would much rather go the hospital and trust a doctor. In a medical environment, they are safe from someone counseling them about their spiritual life. They are not threatened to have to change the way they live in order to receive medical help. They can leave out everything that is deeply personal, no intimate relationship with God, no obligations, commitments, pledges or promises to become a brand new person of faith. It’s much easier to allow a doctor to practice his medicine instead of trusting the Great Physician to completely heal us. They just want someone to fix their problem so they can go back to the rebellious carnal life they love. People avoid being threatened and are uncomfortable when they meet someone or enter a place that is holy. They immediately realize there is a war between good and evil and they are on the evil side. If they were on God’s side, they would be running toward the holy of holies. The majority of humans are spiritually blind but the conscience is sensitive and can always detect the presence of God.
Another key word is “control.” Lost and lukewarm souls want to have complete control of their lives and make their own decisions according to their emotions. The carnal human nature hates to be told what to do and will fight unto the death to maintain this so-called freedom. This is why dieting is so difficult. Modern ministers and liberal churches have discovered that being strict and preaching convicting messages will drive the average religious person away and the assembly will become very small very fast. The person who plays religious games will not endure sound doctrine because their flesh is stronger and they choose to obey it. When they hear a convicting sermon they run the other way. When they hear a soft gentle song about being in the arms of Jesus and surrendering our all to Him, they are looking for the exits. So, many so-called churches decided to only present encouraging and inspirational devotions that motivate everyone to be who they are and enjoy God’s blessings. No more piercing truth that made people weep and repent. Let’s just have entertaining rock concerts and welcome all sinful lifestyles because we do not want to offend anyone. We want a popular seeker-friendly place where everyone can eat and have a great time, (don’t forget the offering plate because we need to pay for all these salaries). The problem is that when the two-edged sword of God’s truth is removed the Holy Spirit is no longer welcome and God left them to their delusions. He removed His candlestick as these places were now nothing more than a culture club, a den of deception, a house filled with perversion, and a carnal gathering of wolves in sheep’s clothing. Intentional sin in the camp. A sad and heartbreaking example of the blind leading the blind.
I am naive to think that everyone is as interested in spiritual truth. I have worked in the world and I function the best I can, but for the most part, I live in a protective bubble in my cozy home with my wife who shares my views. Throughout my life, I’ve spent many hours each day in my office studying, reading, and writing about God and learning about the Christian life. I pray and seek His wisdom and He gives me His revelations and insights to spiritual mysteries. I enjoy being in His presence and I love Him and worship Him for who He is. I want to give my life to His service and bring Him glory. With being involved in ministry and trying to develop an awareness of God’s presence, I often lose the perspective that only a very few can relate to the subject I am obsessed with. I’m just another beggar pointing to the Bread of Life as I’m grateful for God’s love. I sense the calling of God and I have chosen to surrender my heart to Him. I am not perfect and make mistakes, but I pray for discernment and wisdom to recognize my errors and for a contrite heart to repent when I have sinned.“Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise” Jeremiah 17:14.
I have very few true friends because hardly anyone is excited about spiritual doctrine, the Bible, the ministry, and especially inviting Christ to be their Lord. Very few people even want to understand what this means and this enmity between the spirits is awkward and uncomfortable. You could say that I live a life of isolation which is somewhat lonely, but at the same time, it is the perfect environment to listen to God and write down His messages. I should not be surprised this does not appeal to the world. As long as you are talking about the world and the carnal flesh, you blend in with the crowd and everyone is at ease. However, if you mention how we all need to abandon our sin and take up our cross for God you become the enemy. I’ve written many songs about having an intimate relationship with God where we worship Him and are constantly aware of His presence. I write messages every day about how He demands us to become a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto Him. One thing that has been consistent since the beginning of time is a negative response to God from our depraved human nature. I realize it’s not really a personal rejection against me or anyone who has an awareness of God, but rather it is the rebellion against His divine message. The world hates Jesus and His truth and they will also hate all those who represent His kingdom and speak His words. Until a person embraces the life of Jesus and invites Him to sit on the throne of their heart, they will never comprehend, love, or obey His truth. There has always been a deadly war between good and evil. The darkness hates the light. This is just the way it is and as time moves forward it will only grow worse.
COME OUT OF THE WORLD OR BE BRAINWASHED – PART 2 Published 8/13/22
By William F. Holland Jr.
Only God knows a person’s heart. However, since the way we think is the cause of our actions, this allows everyone to discern what type of person we are. I’ve heard all my life about how we are not to judge others unless we are alright with having people judge us. But, we must admit that if everyone is a type of spiritual tree, whatever fruit we bear is seen by all and whether we like it or not, this is how we will be known and remembered. Our behavior identifies us and if this is judging so be it. I’ve always thought the passage was not against judging, but rather a reminder that we will also be judged so live holy as God is holy. Here is a key point. The closer we are to God, the more noticeable and offensive sin will be to us. If we wink at the sin of others and laugh at their disobedience to God, we have joined ourselves with them and are just as guilty as they are. This is a result of us also living in a lukewarm and carnal lifestyle. The modern church refuses to warn about the dangers of being carnal. The refining fire of God is for EVERY believer in order to purify and sanctify. “I know what you have done; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were either one or the other! But because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I am going to spit you out of my mouth.”
So, let’s say that we are serious about living exactly the way God wants us to live. If we embrace the requirements to take up our cross and become a living sacrifice which means we surrender our will to Him, then we must be prepared to react differently and be treated differently. We are no longer the person we used to be and I can promise that everyone will recognize it. Something to remember as we step forth into this new way of living is that we do not trust our emotions like we used to. When we were carnal, we just said and did whatever came to our mind, but now that our mind has been renewed, our thoughts are transformed and guided by the still small voice of God. We are bought with a price which means we no longer live however we want. This is why we are called to constantly be focused on the Lord so that we can accomplish His perfect will. This sensitivity is the heart of who we are and how we live. Without it, we are no different from the lost and blind world. For example, if we disagree with someone’s sin, let us be sure God is arranging a divine appointment for us to speak to them. If we attempt to bring correction without His leading, it might cause more harm than good. God must soften and convict the conscience of a person BEFORE we approach them. If they reject being confronted and their heart had not been prepared, they will become offended and aggressive against us. The field of the heart must be plowed by the Holy Spirit before the seen of God’s truth can be planted.
So why am I talking about judging? Because we cannot say we are against sin and willingly watch it on the media platforms at the same time. The question we must answer is a very simple yes or no when it comes to the Lord calling for us to abide in the secret place with Him. Are we holy just some of the time? Not only are we to hate sin, but if we walk with God we will be hated, and the stronger we are in our faith and boldness, the more intense the hatred against us will be. Maybe many are just part-time Christians. Listen carefully to the words of Jesus found in John chapter 15, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you that a servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: They hated me without a cause.”
The key for the Christian is to listen to the Holy Spirit’s instructions as every situation is unique. The only way we can have this keen spiritual sensitivity called discernment is to develop a constant awareness of God’s presence. You see, He might have a member of His remnant participate in a debate against someone who embraces evil one day, and the next day He may whisper to be silent and walk away. This is because we are more effective witnesses when we follow His orders. Being able to recognize a divine appointment rather than acting in our emotions has everything to do with being effective. Without God leading and empowering our conversations and actions we will most likely make the situation worse. However, when we move according to His directions, our words will be anointed and empowered as they pierce the mind and convict the heart of the listener.
Truth must become a personal revelation or it only adds to our collection of information. The Christian community is filled with people who know a lot about religious ideas, but how much of it is actually true? Are there 20 different truths for one doctrine? The revelation of divine truth is straight from God and there are no opinions or speculations attached to it. When we wade into the waters of Biblical interpretation, it does not take us long to discover that it’s difficult to find a topic that everyone agrees about. This is because very few have been enlightened by the Holy Spirit to know the absolute truth. When the brain attempts to interpret spiritual truth, it is easy to become confused. The Bible and God’s voice is spiritual truth and must be absorbed by our spirit and then translated into our mind. Remember, Jesus, confronted the most religious and intelligent people on earth, who did not even know God. When someone is teaching God’s Word to a group of people, there may be only one person who receives the enlightenment of spiritual reality. As Christians, we embrace evangelism because we realize that even though everyone will not accept His truth, someone will. A Christian television broadcast may be sent out to millions of possible viewers, but if only one person’s life is changed forever, the will of God was accomplished.
Intentional willful sin causes a calloused heart and opens the door to a mental and spiritual delusion. Many who believe they can live however they want rarely consider the consequences of losing their soul. Satan has come to steal the mind AND the spirit, to kill the body, and destroy families and nations. He is the greatest deceiver the world has ever known and the father of all lies. However, let us also remember that those who continue living in carnality and reject the conviction and pleading from the Holy Spirit to repent, are given a strong delusion by GOD, and this is when they no longer have any desire to turn to Him. “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” II Thessalonians 2:10-12. In this hour, the floodgates of lies and deceptions have been opened greater than ever before as the spiritual blind welcomes in a new world order of evil. Some might say, “how could anyone knowingly support evil?” Bingo! Since the majority believe that good is evil and evil is good, we know that two things are happening here. One: They are so deceived they cannot see they are supporting evil. Two: They have given their soul to Satan and desire to serve and please him. What about this question? What is happening with so-called Christians who vote and support abominations and those who are blatantly evil?
The slogan “to build back better” means there must first be a tearing down of the old before a new creation can be established. The traditional faith in God is being removed to make way for the global control of a world leader who is called the Antichrist and his false prophet. As the older conservative generations pass away, the younger generations who have been groomed with the lies from, a social-political brainwashing through the public education system will eventually lead and control the culture. There was a time when the moral majority demanded that sin be driven back into darkness, but today the roles have been reversed and many Christians are now crawling into the shadows to avoid being censored, harassed, and confronted. Satan’s plan worked! He indoctrinated the masses through his perverted lying media machine and was able to brainwash every person EXCEPT the remnant. So, we realize there is the lost world and the religious blind who will bow their knees to the system. Only those who have Christ sitting as their personal Lord on the throne of their heart will be saved. The line is drawn, the people have decided, the great falling away is happening now.
Fear is a sin and it’s time to make the stand for God and His truth or be drawn into the powerful vacuum that is trying to draw every person on the planet to serve Satan. It is no coincidence that the internet is called the world wide web. There are only two choices, the Lamb or the dragon. Here is a sobering reality; if you refuse to fight for God on the front lines of spiritual warfare against evil, then you are supporting it. There is no more riding the fence or playing both sides. You are either a child of the kingdom of God or you are a servant for the kingdom of darkness and death. I realize Christians are afraid of being called fools and having their integrity ruined, but each person must decide if their pride is more important than their our love for God. Yes, drastic changes will continue to come, and every person who calls themselves a Christian is being confronted NOW by the beast system to choose whom they will serve. How many will speak up for Christ and declare their allegiance to God? If we side with the system, we can live, but our spirit will be lost forever, if we side with God we become a target and may lose our lives, but we will live with God for all eternity. According to statistics, 2.4 billion, or nearly one-third of the people on the planet claim to be Christian. Really? This is a perfect example of how what we call ourselves has nothing to do with who we really are.
Those who call themselves Christian and are not devoted to prayer and obeying God’s voice are not who they think they are. A tare may look like wheat, but this is not a game where those who are close to winning are still counted. Humans love to live in denial and play games, and when it comes to religion, the assemblies are filled with them. Everyone wants something for nothing, but this is not the message in the Bible. Sadly, we are seeing churches openly teaching that however you choose to live is acceptable to God. They invite these carnal impostors into their seminaries to be pastors who lead more people into deception. Holy standards are being tossed out because are determined to no longer be relevant to a progressive society. The Bible is now seen as an ancient document that cannot be used as a trusted guide to live by. So, if the stories are not real and the holy laws are not to be followed, these public gatherings are nothing more than a social club with food and entertainment.
When a person is brainwashed, they are convinced they can play footsy with the world and everything is fine. What they do not want to hear is that religion is a demonic influence and nothing more than a weapon of Satan to lead the masses into hell. When any church turns away from the truth there is no longer a presence of the Holy Spirit to convict and cause repentance. Without people seeing their guilt and being broken over their sins, the identity and mission of that assembly is powerless. It’s time to draw the line and identify the spies who are actually working for the enemy, and it’s time to call out those who are supporting the vile government and demonic global system within the body of Christ. No one can serve Satan and God at the same time and as God’s people pray for discernment, He is revealing the wolves who are wearing sheep’s clothing as they are guilty of idolatry. “But brother, these people are friends and family members.” No matter what a person says they are, anyone who believes in reckless abortion, gay marriage, and the LBGTQ+ movement must not be elevated into spiritual leadership and be told why. There is no place for corrupt politics and social views in the body of Christ as this spirit quenches the anointing for God to manifest Himself to perform miracles. Why are many churches dry and lifeless? Compromise. We are to love every person’s spirit, but this does not mean we congratulate the way they live. Jesus said my sheep hear my voice and they follow me, which means that all true Christians understand that God hates ALL sin and there is no way any true follower could possibly accept, support, agree, endorse, or even tolerate them.
Most modern churches are cherry-picking the scriptures that talk about blessings that people love to hear. Listen to this stern warning found in II Corinthians 6:14-18, about the dangers of allowing the demonic spirits of the world to infiltrate the holy sanctuaries,“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial [ungodliness]? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Therefore, COME OUT from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing and I will receive you. And, I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” This passage has been used to explain why Christian men and men should be careful when they are wanting to wed someone that is not a dedicated follower of Christ. However, many assemblies have welcomed strange spirits and been taken over by these subtle demons. Some pastors feel trapped like they are being held hostage and under the control of those who have influence over the congregation. If they rise and stand against intentional sin, they are told to stop offending the people or leave. They receive salaries that their families depend on and are faced with either serving money or God. It would be better to work a regular job and worship Jesus in homes than to be a part of a false system that God does not approve of. Another huge deception among the masses is to believe a church building is the only place to worship, learn and pray. If He has removed His candlestick from an assembly, why are we still there?
COME OUT OF THE WORLD OR BE BRAINWASHED – PART 1
By William F. Holland Jr.
I remember a time when sin was embarrassing. When people did something wrong they were ashamed and people would say how sad, evil, and disgusting these deeds were. Times have changed to say the least. Since debauchery and perversion has decided to be flamboyant and crawl out from the shadows of shame and be “PROUD” this aggressive arrogance is now unfortunately accepted by the masses. Even those who have traditionally opposed sins like the right to kill a baby, and the gay and transgender lifestyle, has been softened by the relentless bombardment of glamorized sin. It’s sad but true that the average person today has become more like a zombie that does not know right from wrong and does not care as long as they have something to eat, a television, and a cell phone. Once the mind has been subjected to a constant flow of propaganda, the brainwashing takes effect and the seeds of compromise are planted. Beware of Satan’s “spider web” who is trying to deceive you and steal your soul. Why do you think the internet is called the world wide web? I’m reminded of the nursery song, “rock a bye baby” which is soft and gentle and puts little babies to sleep. Stimulation, information, and having fun is the tactic used by Satan in our media to distort our conscience and put everyone into a spiritual coma of deception.
Every person has the responsibility to be the caretaker of their thoughts. The reason why many today who consider themselves a believer in God while also supporting carnality, is because they have chosen to wear a religious title, but ignore the Holy Spirit. Even worse are the ones who know that participating in sinful thoughts and acts are wrong, but they simply love the pleasures and carnal satisfaction it brings – and have no intention to stop. What types of sin am I referring to? I’m not talking about murdering people in cold blood or committing adultery, (even though the Bible clearly says that whoever imagines these things are just as guilty). It’s the more normal or average sins like saying things we should not say, watching nasty movies, gossiping and backbiting, lying, taking things that are not ours, and doing dark things in secret that we would not want anyone to know about. When movies were allowed to broadcast every evil sin under the sun on the big screen and the masses started drinking it’s filth, the mind became numb and calloused to anything that was offensive to God. It was called a “shock factor” and it was used by Satan to desensitize the world. This hardness of the conscience allows a carnal lifestyle to flourish which today is considered a normal everyday life. It’s true the secular world has been living like this since the beginning, but Christians are not supposed to live this way. God’s people living like the lost is NOT acceptable to God. It would be better to throw our TV, computer, and cell phone away than to be controlled by them more than controlled by the Holy Spirit. How can we measure how far we have drifted away from His presence? How much time do we spend with the world compared to our personal time with God?
Many will say, “you are judging and being overly strict about people’s private lives where you have no business meddling.” Of course, this is the defense of the fallen and depraved human nature that is spoiled and only focused on doing whatever it desires. It’s true that God has given free will to every person, but this liberty is to be used by God’s remnant to walk with Him – not live independently away from Him. When governments make sin legal, a Christian who stands against what God hates is seen by the world as being interfering bigots. The secular idea of freedom is considered with never being told what to do or held to a certain standard, but this is not to be confused with spiritual freedom. there are two different types of liberty. The legal system of the world might declare that it is permissible to live a certain way, but what about when God considers it evil. God’s liberty within His abundant life has everything to do with His perfect will that is sanctified and holy. If He declares that something is a sin, it does not matter what the government or anyone else says. As Christians, we are called to stand for God and His is absolute truth. When we do this, we are automatically thrust into the spotlight as an enemy against the Satan system. You see, spiritual warfare is not going around arguing or picking a fight with the world. Christians automatically become a target of carnal people and demons when they speak their convictions and refuse to compromise with whatever is socially acceptable.
Most people at whatever religious level they might be, do not like confrontation especially when it comes to standing against sin and standing for God. However, the disciple’s for Christ who walk with God are not afraid of the devil the same as David was not afraid of Goliath. They understand and accept there will be tribulation and persecution as a result of who they love. Another huge difference between the religious world and God’s remnant is how the religious do not want to be hated by the world and are glad to compromise to prevent opposition and conflict. They believe the best way to manage a seemingly moral and decent appearance is to play both sides. What they fail to accept is this is impossible. When it comes to earning the respect of the world’s system, a person cannot avoid some type of connection with money. When a person is successful, they usually become introduced to prosperity to a certain extent and wealth is directly associated with earthly authority. This always generates popularity and admiration which in turn can fuel arrogance and haughtiness within the one who is a recognized achiever – IF there is not an awareness of God’s presence. This is why the love, and adoration of money is the root of all evil. There is nothing wrong with being wealthy as long as the carnal mind is kept in submission, but this is very rare. It’s very difficult to maintain an attitude of humility and brokenness when everyone is telling you how amazing and brilliant you are. We can see how the growing cycle of pride can become an idol that rules the mind and conscience. This is an example of the brainwashing strategy of Satan to kill, steal, and destroy. If we embrace it we are lost.
Wealth can be given by God for the purpose of accomplishing His will whatever that might be. However, we find an interesting passage found in Matthew chapter 6 that warns us about the dangers of allowing money to control us. When a person does not have a disciplined mind and allows carnality to lead them, this is exactly what Satan can use to bring much destruction. Verse 24, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Finances are not intended to be used foolishly or hoarded with a spirit of selfish control and greediness. We are to be responsible stewards in knowing that God has a specific plan and desires to lead us in how this money is to be used. Wealth can be an amazing blessing to others and enjoyed when a person is walking in the awareness of God and dedicated to being a grateful servant.
Let us go a little deeper into the subject of this spiritual war between what the world wants us to do and how we must resist the temptations to blend in with the crowd. What most people do not comprehend is the spirit of the world is influenced by emotional carnality and demonic persuasions. All humans are vulnerable to obeying these voices which is why the Bible demands that we take up our cross, keep our eyes focused on Jesus, and stay in an attitude of prayer. If we refuse, we are most likely already supporting and serving the dark side. Within our personalities and our secret fantasies, desires, hopes, and dreams, we all want to be loved and respected. We cringe at the thought of someone talking bad about us or any person or group that would try to mock and attack us in front of everyone we know. Nonetheless, this is exactly what will happen if we are determined to give ourselves completely to God. Yes, as we have said, we can compromise and get along with almost everyone, but even this will not prevent others from saying we are a hypocrite and a two-face deceivers. Avoiding confrontation is why most religious people keep their views quiet as they do not want to awaken a sleeping giant. I must tell the truth that this passive attitude is fear and we cannot walk in fear and faith at the same time. If we are afraid to stand for God in this life, we will be terrified to stand before Him at the judgment.
When we take the time to consider the great cost that comes with loving and obeying Christ, most do not have a clue what this means. Why? Because so far, the so-called Christian life has not cost them anything. Of all the things in this life to be concerned about, this should be at the top of our list. If we are not suffering for His sake, something is terribly wrong and the evidence points toward a lukewarm mindset that embraces pleasure and entertainment more than being a living sacrifice for Jesus. Have you ever thought about the scripture where the person talks about how many good deeds they did while God says, “depart from me I never knew you?” What happened? Evidence convicts and they were found guilty of trying to substitute works for a personal relationship with God. How many people do you believe will be shocked to learn that God does not accept just any type of service or sacrifice we decide to give Him? Remember, He did not accept Cain’s fruit and vegetable sacrifice because He always demands a blood offering which is directly associated with the atonement of Christ. If we are not born-again with the blood of Jesus, we are not His child no matter how much we do. God declares that one day He will separate the wheat from the tares at the great harvest judgment. It will be a time when every person will bow before Him and confess that He is Lord. Every deed has a consequence, and this is when hearts will be revealed and sentences will be given.
It’s a reality that if a person is determined to follow Jesus, they must be prepared to be rejected and hated. Why does the world hate the very God who created them? Because they hate living to His divine standard and anyone telling them what to do. It has always been this way and history records the Roman Empire and Catholic persecution of Christians, Mohamed’s slaughter of those who followed Jesus, the martyrs that were recorded by George Foxe, the holocaust, and the list goes on. Here is a quote from Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, “Time has failed to erase the courage and bravery, the terror and torment endured by early Protestant martyrs. Their stories continue to inspire and inform. Their faith has stood, and will forever stand as a beacon to courageous action for the generations to follow.” This is a subject that religion is happy to skip over as they would much rather hear how God wants to give us prosperity shaken down, pressed down, and running over. The masses seek a painless spiritual life that is more like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory than being tortured to death. Speaking of which, if you were asked while being bound to either denounce Christ or be skinned alive, how would you respond? Bartholomew was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and was flayed alive and then beheaded. We have heard all of our lives about how we are to live for Christ, but rarely do we hear about dying for Him. If we refuse to live for Him, why would we die for Him?
Birds of a feather flock together – 7/24/22
By William F. Holland Jr
There is a huge difference between personal transformation and just talking and wishing. We can counsel, advise, pray, and encourage someone, but they are the only ones who can discipline their thoughts, take the initiative and chart a new direction. For example, being an optimistic person does not fall out of the air and happen on its own, but rather it’s a learned behavior similar to developing bad habits such as a negative attitude or a rude personality. We cannot prevent unpleasant things from happening to us, but we decide if they will control us, or we prevent them from controlling us. As we discover what God wants us to be, we are then faced with deciding just how much we will do. Philippians 1:6 declares, “Being confident of this very thing, that he (God) who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” The writer is saying that God considers you His most valuable possession and is filled with anticipation and excitement to see you flourish and thrive according to His plans. However, it will require self-discipline to overcome fear and doubt as He will not force us to obey Him the same as He does not make us love Him.
In the course of our lives, we watch those who have accomplished admirable things while the unseen forces of negativity remind us how we could never do that. You are not good enough or you do not deserve this or that are some of the most common lies that people face when dealing with low self-esteem. The truth is these individuals who are soaring in the clouds have also been hounded by the same dark voices and deceptions, yet became determined to rise above them. Anyone who has advanced in God’s wisdom and obedience has learned to be careful about who they listen to. Sadly, some have become a victim of their environment and must break free from the cycle of dysfunction. Our thoughts control our actions and eagles have no business hanging around in the chicken coop. Birds of a feather flock together and if you are determined to be an eagle, it’s important to spend time with other eagles.
A sound mind is one of the greatest gifts we have been given and it’s our responsibility to guard and protect what it absorbs. The ears and eyes are windows to the soul and as the caretaker of our garden of thoughts, we must be very careful of what type of seeds are planted and allowed to grow.
We are reminded in Proverbs 23 that as a person thinks in their heart, so are they. You see, The farmer was aware of what the eagle was supposed to be, and knew if the eagle believed he was a chicken he would always live like a chicken. A true leader can recognize another leader and it was the zookeeper who understood the eagle’s potential and did everything he could to help him see his destiny. Many of us have been blessed to have someone who discerned our abilities and helped us fly. In turn, after we realize who God has called us to be, it’s our mission to help others that need the encouragement and inspiration to look in the mirror and see themselves the way God sees them. I know people who are confused and are without a specific direction as they say they cannot find their way. We may indeed be adrift, but God knows exactly where we are and where we need to be. If we sincerely seek Him in prayer, Matthew 7:8 promises, “For everyone who asks receives, he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
We are called to be eagles, but our nature tends to be complacent and content to take the easy way. When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane just before He was arrested, He asked His disciples if they would watch and pray with Him. After a while, He went to check on them and they were sound asleep. He is quoted in Matthew 26:41, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” The story of the eagle and chicken is about knowing our identity and as Luke 1:37 declares, “NOTHING is impossible WITH God.”
Read more about the Christian life and Dr. Holland’s book, “Convictions and Considerations – Encouragement For The Soul” at billyhollandministries.com
THE EAGLE WHO BELIEVED HE WAS A CHICKEN 7/17/22
By William F. Holland Jr.
Once there was a young eaglet that accidentally fell from the safety of his nest high on the mountain. Miraculously, he fell into a patch of soft grass and survived. As he stumbled out into the open a farmer saw him and brought him to his farm and placed him inside a chicken coop with all the other chickens. Since the eagle had not yet discovered his true identity, he started watching the other birds and naturally followed their habits and doing what they did. So many people have been wrongly influenced by trying to be like others and for some, it has ruined their lives. He was growing stronger and more beautiful every day, but he had not yet discovered the revelation of who he was and what he was called to be.
One day a man from a zoo came to the farm as he heard about an eagle being raised as a chicken. The farmer explained the bird was no longer an eagle, he was now a chicken because that is all he has ever known. However, the zookeeper knew the bird had the heart and soul of a lofty eagle and was never meant to live on the ground, but to catch its prey and soar into the clouds. He lifted the eagle onto a fence and told him to fly. The eagle glanced down at the comfortable chicken coop, jumped off the fence, and continued doing what chickens do. The man returned the next day realizing the eagle was born for something much greater – he just had to know it! This time he carried the eagle up to the rooftop of the farmhouse and again told him to stretch his wings and fly. The large bird looked at the man, then again down into the chicken coop, and gracefully flew back down to be with his friends.
The man was now more committed than ever and said he would return the next day and prove the eagle was truly the most stately, powerful, dignified, and majestic raptor in all the world. The farmer shook his head and said, “he is what he believes.” The next morning the man took the eagle to the mountain and climbed as high as he could. With an eight-foot wing span and razor-sharp talons, the eagle perched on his arm and the man pointed high into the sky. He said, “Eagle, you belong to the sky and not to the earth. Stretch your wings and fly.” This time the eagle stared upward into the bright sun, straightened his body, and stretched his wings. He puffed out his chest and you could see the dignity and strength rise within him. His wings moved slowly at first, then with more power and confidence. Suddenly, with a mighty screech, he launched into the open air and began to fly toward the sun. The eagle finally realized who he was and never returned again to an average and ordinary life of mediocrity.
The eagle by nature flies high and independent and does not follow a flock. They are skilled hunters as their vision is clear and being strong and independent, they choose what and when they eat which is why they are classified as birds of prey. On the other hand, the domesticated chicken is a symbol of that which is limited and dependent on others. As a ground dweller that pecks and scratches, they are weak and vulnerable to predators. They are quite content to just eat and sleep and be taken care of. This is not to say that chickens lack the ability to understand and reason, but the analogy points to an attitude of being complacent. Attributes such as intelligence, being emotionally sensitive, talented, and having a charismatic personality is not what keeps a person trapped in the bondage of a poverty or survival mentality, it’s not knowing who they are and refusing to do what it takes to become all they have been called to be. The barriers of low self-esteem and a lack of confidence must be conquered as each individual decides the level of success they want to reach. I use the word decide because the mind must be trained and only the person who desires to be transformed can change the course of their destiny. Thank God for those who recognize our potential and encourage us to fly because they love us.
There is a huge difference between personal transformation and just talking and wishing. We can counsel, advise, pray, and encourage someone, but they are the only ones who can discipline their thoughts, take the initiative and chart a new direction. For example, being an optimistic person does not fall out of the air and happen on its own, but rather it’s a learned behavior similar to developing bad habits such as a negative attitude or a rude personality. We cannot prevent unpleasant things from happening to us, but we decide if they will control us, or we prevent them from controlling us. As we discover what God wants us to be, we are then faced with deciding just how much we will do. Philippians 1:6 declares, “Being confident of this very thing, that he (God) who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” The writer is saying that God considers you His most valuable possession and is filled with anticipation and excitement to see you flourish and thrive according to His plans. However, it will require self-discipline to overcome fear and doubt. He will not force us to obey Him the same as He does not make us love Him.
In the course of our lives, we watch those who have accomplished admirable things while the unseen forces of negativity whispers lies about how we could never do that. You are not good enough or you do not deserve this or that is one of the most common problems that people face when dealing with low self-esteem. The truth is these individuals who are soaring in the clouds have also been hounded by those same dark voices and made the choice to rise above them. Anyone who has advanced in God’s wisdom and obedience has learned to be careful about who they listen to. Many have become a victim of their environment and must break free from the cycle of dysfunction. Our thoughts control our actions and eagles have no business hanging around in the chicken coop. Birds of a feather flock together and if you are determined to be an eagle, it’s important to spend time with other eagles.
A sound mind is one of the greatest miracles we have been given and it’s our responsibility to guard and protect what it absorbs. The ears and eyes are windows to the soul and as the caretaker of our own garden of thoughts, we must be very careful of what type of seeds are planted and allowed to grow.
You see, The farmer was aware of what the eagle was supposed to be, and knew if the eagle believed he was a chicken he would always live like a chicken. We are reminded in Proverbs 23 that says, as a person thinks in their heart, so are they. However, a true leader is able to recognize another leader. It was the zookeeper who understood the eagle’s potential and did everything he could to help him see his destiny. Many of us have been blessed to have someone who discerned our abilities and helped us fly. In turn, when we realize who we are, it’s our calling to help others that need the encouragement and inspiration to look in the mirror and see themselves the way God sees them. I know people who are confused and without a direction as they say they cannot find their way. It’s true that we may be lost, but God knows exactly where we are and where we need to be. If we will sincerely seek God in prayer, He will reveal His plans to us. Matthew 7:8 promises, “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
We are called to be eagles, but our nature tends to be complacent and content to take the easy way. When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane just before He was arrested, He asked His disciples if they would watch and pray with Him. After a while, He went to check on them and they were sound asleep. He is quoted in Matthew 26:41, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” The story of the eagle and chicken is not talking about talent or how hard we work, it’s about knowing our identity. Many people go through the motions like a robot and believe whatever the culture says is right, but never know the path that God has called them to take. Even if a person becomes successful and financially secure, we realize that it’s being a child of God that allows the eagle to do all things through Christ who strengthens them. Thank God for those who recognize our potential and encourage us to fly because they love us. In turn, we are to be aware of those who need us to help them discover their path of spiritual fulfillment. You have favor without measure as Luke 1:37 declares, “For nothing is impossible WITH God.”
Land of the free and home of the brave – 7/4/22
Every summer we look forward to July fourth because it’s filled with fun things to do, like barbecuing, picnics, games, family gatherings, camping, and fireworks. And of course, for many, it’s usually a paid vacation day which is always nice. Along with the excitement and activities, let us also remember and be grateful for those who have served our country so that we can enjoy our freedom. Independence Day is all about the courage of many Americans who fought against Great Britain in the Revolutionary War and with much blood-shed declared the victory and helped establish this great nation. On July fourth, 1776, the Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, declared the sovereignty of the United States of America as they signed the Declaration of Independence which is recognized as our nation’s birthday.
There is a moving account of a young man who was a soldier in this war and in every sense of the word defines the meaning of a true American hero. Nathan Hale of Coventry, Connecticut was born in 1755 and grew up to be a highly educated and handsome young man who had every prospect of a happy and fulfilling life. Those who knew him commented on his love for sports, his kindness and strong Christian convictions. As tension increased about a possible conflict with the British, Nathan like many other enthusiastic young men, joined a local militia and was quickly advanced to the rank of sergeant. When the war officially became a reality, many chapters of the Connecticut militia rushed to Massachusetts to help their neighbors during the Siege of Boston but Hale was unsure whether to join these forces or to wait and see what would unfold. He was a young professional teacher that had a lot to lose especially with not being clear about what was happening. In early July 1775, Nathan received a heartfelt letter from his best friend, Benjamin Tallmadge who had seen the war firsthand and was now relaying about the situation. Tallmadge told Nathan that teaching school was truly noble but at this time it was critical to consider the responsibility of defending this glorious country. The day after receiving this letter, Nathan Hale resigned his teaching position and became dedicated to the call of duty.
When George Washington reorganized the army in January 1776, Nathan received a captain’s commission where he spent six months helping to build fortifications and preparing for the inevitable battle for Manhattan Island. Early in September 1776, Washington formed an elite, green beret-type group of New England Rangers, and Hale was soon invited to command one of the four companies whose mission was forward reconnaissance. Washington desperately needed to know the probable site of the upcoming British invasion and the best way to obtain this pivotal information was to send a spy behind enemy lines. This was extremely dangerous and guess who volunteered?
It is not verified exactly how Hale was captured but we know he was immediately brought for questioning before the British commander, General William Howe. Intelligence information was found on Nathan and since this was not in code or invisible ink, he was irrevocably compromised. Although Howe was moved by the young man’s demeanor and patriotism, it could not be denied that he was out of uniform behind enemy lines. The customs of war were clear and Nathan was sentenced to hang. The next morning, Sunday, September 22, 1776, at 11:00 AM, Nathan Hale was marched north, about a mile up the post road to the Park of Artillery where after giving a spirited speech he was executed. A British military engineer and cartographer named John Montresor witnessed the event and was deeply touched by Nathans’s composure and his last words. As fate would have it, Captain Montresor was ordered to deliver a message from General Howe to Washington under a white flag that very afternoon. Montresor sincerely emphasized that Nathan had impressed everyone with his sense of dignity and courage, quoting Hail’s words while he stood on the gallows: “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” Nathan Hale’s body was left hanging for several days near the site of his execution and later was buried in an unmarked grave. He was 21 years old.
Whose report will we believe? 7/1/22
Whatever we are concerned about today, faith and discernment are key components of our prayers. Without spiritual sensitivity, we do not understand God’s will and faith is what empowers and activates our communication with Him. We believe in miracles because we know that God listens and is the only one who has the authority to restore and provide. If someone is having a health crisis, the Bible declares that He is the Great Physician and our healer. This is exciting truth until doubt and fear sneak in the back door and Satan repeats the same strategy to deceive as he did with Adam and Eve in the garden. His favorite temptation is to plant seeds of uncertainty and confusion in our minds to question whether faith is real or our imagination. In our times of trouble, we are bombarded with speculations and opinions, but we must become unmovable in knowing that the report of the Lord cannot fail.
Josh Christmas once said, “I do not believe what I see, but I see what I believe.” Basically, it means that followers of God are not to place their trust in what others say or how things appear. Since we are filled and guided by God’s Spirit, we place our confidence in Him alone. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen, which means the answers are ready to be manifested but conditional on us knowing His plans and believing with all of our hearts. For example, when a doctor says there is no hope, we must realize this is not the final decision because God is more than able to accomplish His plans. Our daughter and our daughter-in-law were both told by the experts they would never have a child. This was not true, as God always has the final word. Today, our daughter-in-law has an amazing son and our daughter just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. My wife and I prayed about this for years and we know that He is our source for everything. My new book about healing and miracles contains true accounts of God miraculously intervening.
When Lazarus was dead for four days, Jesus told the people to remove him from his tomb and unwrap his grave garments. They said his body was starting to smell and, according to natural thinking, this was disrespectful and even insane. However, they were not understanding the reality of who God is. Christ commanded Lazarus to live again, and he did! Ezekiel describes a valley of dry bones and God asked the prophet if he believed the bones could live. The Lord told Ezekiel to speak to the bones, and the flesh came back upon them and they were restored back to life. The reason these stories are recorded in the Bible is to teach us to not always accept what we see in the natural world as being impossible to change. Christians are to live with an expectation of the supernatural, to walk in the constant awareness of God’s power as they listen and obey His voice.
It’s common for the average person to build their worldviews on what they have been told instead of researching for themselves. Beware of listening and trusting the world’s opinions more than listening to God. If we absorb what the culture tells us, we are vulnerable to being brainwashed to believe what society wants us to embrace. Who do you suppose decides what is broadcast as truth and what is censored as disinformation? Satan is the father of all lies and just so happens to control the airwaves? Our decision to seek God and know what He is saying, or believe the report of this natural realm, is the difference between thinking clearly and falling into a delusion. You see, faith is not limited to only being activated in positive thinking, it also can enforce negative attitudes. If we believe and accept the worst, we are joining forces with dark energy that will make the problem worse. I assume we all know where this dark energy originates. The Bible says that we must not be conformed to the pessimistic way the natural world lives but be transformed by the renewing of our mind in Christ, which means we know He is who He says He is. Every moment we are faced with the choice to absorb the light and life of God, or the deception and hopelessness of a fallen world. What we perceive is our reality.
Turn off the disinformation machine – 6/19/22
By William F. Holland Jr.
It’s painful to write about the subject of a fallen world, especially when I have witnessed this country embrace the path of communism and atheism. The United States has never been perfect, but was clearly founded upon the desire for all men and women to enjoy the freedoms of being able to believe and say what they wanted – but this is no longer a reality. Sadly, as this nation is only around 250 years old, today it would not be recognizable to the original founders. The Christian presence has been strong throughout the years as a basic reverence for God was common and only until about 70 years ago, a spiritual awareness was accepted in the government, legal, and public education system. It’s difficult to imagine how the culture has taken a moral nose dive in my lifetime, as each day there is a new shock factor of debauchery and the evil attempt to control what we believe. You can look around and see the negative results of mind control that are boldly brainwashing the masses. It’s obvious the invention of media technology was disguised as a blessing, but it was actually intended to indoctrinate the listener with propaganda. Before the mainstream media determined what was true, people thought for themselves and listened to God. Today, the masses are herded like cattle and told to embrace and obey what they are told in order to preserve their integrity and good standing within the system. This is where communism and atheism bond together and will continue to dominate until Christ returns.
I speak with conservatives on a regular basis and most of them are decent Christian people who love America and want to live in peace. There are still good people out there who are standing on the front lines fighting for what is right and doing all they can to push back the flood of corruption and deception. Some Bible scholars believe these believers are what is holding back the Antichrist from stepping onto the world’s stage. The Holy Spirit lives and moves within them and allows the world to see the character and nature of Jesus. If there is such a thing as a rapture, I would not want to be left here after the saints are removed. I do not intend to promote discouragement for those who believe in the Bible and its demand for holiness, but it’s obvious the battle is being lost in many areas. Truth seekers ask how could all of these horrible changes happen so fast and who kidnapped our society? Well, we know that Satan has been given a long leash by God to do whatever he wants within God’s plans, and what we are seeing today is the result of careful organizing and designing. The devil’s agenda is to kill, steal, and destroy as much as he can within the timeline he has been given. This demonic onslaught has blinded the eyes and minds of those in authority and they are being used as puppets to carry out his dirty work. It’s true this has been going on since the beginning of time, but now the floodgates of spiritual warfare are open, as we are now very close to the great tribulation.
We look back and realize that while the churches in America in the last 100 years were building their beautiful buildings and trying to raise money to finance ways to bring in more members; they lost sight of what God had called them to do. They became so distracted with trying to become successful corporations and making larger salaries; the government was openly passing evil laws that were ruining the nation. It’s clear the Christians dropped the ball. They refused to get involved and chose to ignore the nation’s downward slide into a cesspool of filth and perversion. In fact, many who professed to be a follower of Christ participated and supported the enemy. If the churches had come together in a spirit of unity and demanded the country to be led in a conservative direction with God being respected and the Bible being used as a standard of morals, we would not be in the mess we are in today. The truth is the churches were filled with liberal, lukewarm thinkers who did not really believe in the Bible and certainly did not want to aggressively stand for it. Pastors were two-faced traitors who were afraid to speak the truth and did not want to offend anyone because it might decrease their popularity. The love of money was and is a carnal infection within the religious world, which by the way is led by a rebellious Pharisee spirit. They refused to contact those in congress and their representatives about important issues because they were too busy grilling a hamburger and watching television.
So just how bad is our current state of affairs in this nation? Allow me to give an example. A staunch liberal group of atheist scientists conducts an experiment and does an official study of 10,000 people who have been fully vaccinated to record the percentage of adverse effects. The results are reported that only 10 people complained of minor side effects and there were no deaths or disabilities, supposedly proving the drug is perfectly safe and leaving no excuses for anyone who would have anything negative to say about it. Of course, this entire program is being led by medical and government officials that completely agree with whatever the World Health Organization declares. The system widely promotes and endorses the study as infallible and uses the mainstream media to report and confirm that everything within this research is absolutely the truth and no one in their right mind would refute or disagree with it. What makes this a dead giveaway of deception is the global dictators who created the virus are the same puppet masters who make the vaccines. It does not take a genius to know this is all about money and controlling the world and sadly with the masses having a blindfold over their minds, most of them never stop to consider how this is another evil government deception and the propaganda is being presented with smoke and mirrors by a media monster who is the voice of the beast.
On the other hand, we have a team of open-minded scientists who are not associated or funded by the government and decide to also launch a valid investigation of 10,000 people who have been fully vaccinated. Some of these highly respected professionals do not embrace the liberal agenda and some are believers in God, which immediately makes them an enemy of the state. They discover in their research that according to verified autopsies, 1200 people had died within 3 days of taking the injection and it was determined by doctors and coroners the vaccine was directly responsible for their death. It was also verified that 3100 people out of the 10,000 had adverse reactions to the vaccine, 1100 had partial disabilities, and 590 filed for total disability. When the findings are reported to the government health officials, they are immediately denied as being inaccurate, labeled as disinformation, and the media is given strict orders by the Center for Disease Control to absolutely refuse to broadcast this data on any type of media outlet. The entire study is brushed under the rug and those involved are mocked and their reputations insulted and discredited. Those who support the findings and attempt to share the information are monitored as conspiracy theorists and accused of being terrorists and dangerous to society. This one-sided cancel culture authority is another obvious sign of a rising communist state that most average people are not even aware of. We have now passed the point of no return.
We’ve just read a hypothetical analogy, but you get the point. This control of what is socially accepted and rejected is the most devastating attack on our freedom of equal rights in the history of our country and has been going on for a long time. If you do a careful study of World War II, you will see the media was used to hide the truth and deceive, which is the mission of Satan. The general public believed every word that was broadcast, and this is what formed their worldviews about everything. The lies had nothing to do with relaying information to the masses, but were a critical part of a political chess game being played by world leaders. Mainstream media is not about investigating truth nor do have an ounce of integrity to which they couldn’t care less. They are simply false information machine used to propel a liberal narrative. Those who are in control of the airwaves are servants to the ones who tell them exactly what to report and what to ignore. The reality is that when something is going on in the world; the masses do not know the facts, but base their opinions on what they have been told. In this light, most everyone on earth does not really have a clue about anything. For example, we now know the Steele Dossier was completely fake and proved a fraud by the Mueller report. And yet, it is still constantly declared to be the absolute truth. Sadly, many will always embrace this hoax. Another page of disinformation includes global warming. Many scientists say the earth has actually been cooling for the last 19 years, but the media would not dare report information that was contrary to the global agenda. If humans were causing the ice caps to melt, why would liberal leaders purchase Ocean front properties and use fossil fuels? It is just another case of do what I say and do not question us.
How many events over the last century have been told with a biased perspective? Are we really that naive and gullible to think that everything the government has told us is true? Seriously? I would venture to say that nothing we have been told is true and this is based on the fact that Satan is the father of all lies and he is the one who controls the airwaves. This insane enforcement and tainted selection of information not only monitor our medicines, health choices, and hospital protocol, but every facet of life including philosophies about human history, science, evolution, social issues, political correctness, religion, sexual deviance, entertainment, public education, and everything we have an opinion about. I recently heard an interview with a Hollywood actor who implied that anyone who disagreed with the world’s agenda to indoctrinate every child with sexual perversion is a dangerous idiot. They went on to rant about how the older generation will soon die off like the dinosaurs and the new world order will be a wonderful way of life where people can do whatever they want with criticism. Satan is no longer lurking in the shadows. The dark agenda to reset our culture is being made clear more every day as the demons of hell have announced they are coming for the children because they will soon be leading the world for Satan. The older folks cannot be influenced by the blatant lies from this system, but the children are drinking the cool-aid and do not have a clear understanding of what is true. Their minds are being molded and they have nothing to compare or measure right and wrong.
Everyone no longer has a first amendment right to speak what we believe, only a few. All the blood that has been shed so that everyone could speak what they believe is the foundation of this nation, and they never dreamed we would be ruled by tyranny. We are now a hard-hearted country of zombies where only a one-sided worldview is accepted. All information is being presented in a certain parameter and this will continue to be more strongly enforced. In China, if a person rails against the government and accuses them of lying, they are taken away and never heard of again. This is where we are heading. The voices of truth will be silenced, and this includes the few Christians who are still standing for God’s ways. Since all social media is now controlled and anyone who has an opposing opinion about the government is immediately censored, does it bother you to know you are being groomed to worship this new system? It seems the majority of average people do not care about being held hostage in a demonic culture as long as they have something to eat and a cellphone. Are you willing to sell your soul so that you can enjoy the pleasures of this world? God is sending a strong delusion over the minds of those who do not love or serve Him, and the love of many are waxing cold. The evil is growing more aggressive and violent and we are rapidly approaching a society where persecution is normal. People are driven by fear and we will soon witness a denial of the truth that we could have never imagined. The remnant of Christ are the only lights of God’s divine love on this planet and they are the targets of Satan. The fear of being martyred for standing with God will cause many to publicly curse Him. Are you prepared to stand with Jesus when you are commanded to bow down to the beast?
Walking in peace when the world is falling apart – 6/12/22
By William F. Holland Jr.
The mind of a child is a fortress of dreams, a happy place where people and places are good and they live happily ever after. When they have love, food, and comfort, they assume that everyone else has it also. Within their own small mind, reality is a personal dimension where thoughts and ideas gradually are shaped and grow into what they believe. Most older people if asked about what the world was like when they were a child, will give us an outline of what they thought it was. However, we know they did not understand except for what was going on right in front of them. They did not realize there were people all around them that were starving, being abused and molested, being killed, suffering from cancer, or dying without Christ. Maybe we all have a secret chamber within our conscience that helps us cope with fear and worry. In this light, we can see that our happy place is very essential to our well-being as it allows us to be safe from the darkness and terrors that try to consume us.
When we hear about having the joy of the Lord in our hearts, I wonder if we really know what it is? The Christian faith includes joy as a vital part of our faith like love and hope, so the concept is that God is filled with joy, and the more of Him we have the more joy we will experience. It’s also associated with the level of our spiritual strength as the biblical definition of joy says that it’s is a feeling of good pleasure and happiness that is dependent on who Jesus is rather than on who we are or what is happening around us. This is where we separate the emotional feelings of happiness from the deeper realities of joy which comes from the Holy Spirit, abiding in God’s presence, and having hope in His truth. One of the most popular passages about joy comes from Nehemiah chapter 8 when the people were commanded to eat and drink as the law was being read and were encouraged to celebrate this holy day as the joy of the Lord was their strength. The same is true with being able to walk in peace even when we are surrounded by stress and anxiety. We just have to take control of our mind and dwell upon the truth of God’s promises instead of our emotions that are manipulated by fear. The Bible says as a man thinks in his heart so is he, so this means we choose our state of being.
In the New Testament, we have a passage in John chapter 15 and verse 11, where Jesus is speaking to His disciples, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” The idea is that when any Christian is reminded of spiritual truth they can rejoice in knowing that God’s words can never fail. This produces a joy that cannot be taken away by how circumstances may appear. Joy is based on a peace that goes beyond the natural realm of what we see and feel, as a spiritual reality of God’s promises. A further distinction between happiness and joy is knowing the difference between a religious sensation and a spiritual conviction. It would take a deeply devoted saint of Christ to be able to see beyond their own personal suffering while receiving comfort from His presence. Is this what the Christians who were thrown to the lions in the coliseums experienced? What about those who were held captive in the concentration death camps? I’ve never really suffered for Christ and admit that I can more easily see the ability to dwell on joy when we are not focused on the bad things that are going on around us. It’s as if joy would be more appreciated if we could somehow escape from an evil and spiritually depraved world. If we could just look out from our windows and see the beautiful forest and the endless Ocean, we could imagine a world where people love God and are happy. But, when we step outside and engage with humanity, we awaken from our slumber and comprehend this realm is filled with hatred, agony, and despair.
Yes, my friends, I would not be an honest messenger if I withheld the fact that our world is sliding downward into moral decay and global tyranny. There have been times of sorrow and discouragement since time began, and our daily recommended allowance for spiritual joy is the same as it always has been. The flood of wickedness can be overwhelming especially if we ignore our need to constantly abide with Him under the shadow of His wings. Let’s get real, we cannot change the world into a place of love, respect, and compassion. We have crossed the line and the age of innocence will not return. Satan focused on the children while the church was sound asleep and now they are controlling our culture with a godless agenda. We now live in a realm of chaos and confusion where governments and legal systems are enforcing a demonic society of hatred and darkness that are now openly declaring war on everything that is good and holy. We have entered into an evil environment comparable to the days of Noah and Sodom. This is a carefully designed plan by the enemy of our souls that is being unleashed from the pits and portals of hell and it cannot be stopped. Are you surprised that I would make such a negative statement? I heard a minister recently prophecy that God was going to remove all the evil people from power and ignite a revival so powerful that even professional sports would cease, and would cause the government to reverence the Lord, and it would all happen in one day. Tent revivals and people being saved and healed to the point where even the secular media would be astounded.
This is a very encouraging thought, but is this what God is saying? We know that bold speeches can generate excitement, but people need to be careful when they say they are relaying God’s message. In the Old Testament, people were stoned for being a false prophet. Of course, I like a positive and inspirational message and in my newspaper column, “Living on Purpose” I try to be uplifting and edifying, but I do not see God eliminating all the evil people so that America can become a Christian nation. He does not force people to love Him. Acts chapter two speaks about the Spirit of the Lord being poured out in the last days upon all flesh, but in the same context it says the sun will be dark and the moon will turn to blood. It’s common to assume this passage is referring to a spiritual movement that will launch a last minute harvest of souls, but was Peter talking about the revival at Pentecost or at the end of the age? A closer look at the New Testament allows us to know that the world continues to grow darker and more evil. There is nothing said about evil being done way with or the world turning to embrace Jesus as their Lord until the millennial reign of Christ. However, we do read about a coming New World Order where the Antichrist will become a global tyrant and will martyr Christians. Second Thessalonians talks about a great falling away and God sending a strong delusion that the masses may believe a lie, not a great revival. Many Christians are crying and begging for a rapture to escape the persecution of a horrific tribulation, but again, does the Bible actually speak of such a thing? We should be more concerned with learning how to live for God than trying to escape our responsibility.
Can we still maintain joy knowing that people all around us are spiritually lost and only one breath away from an eternity of suffering? Can we have joy when we see children being mutilated and transgendered into something they were not created to be? Can we rejoice when we know our government is led by Satan and is doing everything he can to cause the great reset and usher in the system of the beast? Mainstream media is nothing but a propaganda machine for the liberal left and the commercials and advertisements are now promoting lifestyles of debauchery and perversion while the masses drink their fill. Our legal system is guided by a Satanic philosophy that believes good is evil and evil is good. Yet, there is still good news! According to God’s truth, there is a way we can live in His perfect peace that passes all understanding and a joy unspeakable and full of glory. However, there are conditions. We cannot support and compromise with the world system and enjoy walking with God at the same time. We will have to choose to serve and walk with God or Satan and this is where the church does not have the courage to speak the truth. The churches have failed miserably because they try to please everyone instead of pleasing God. The masses will continue playing games and only a tiny remnant will take up their cross and follow Jesus. We pray and wage war against the realm of darkness, but we walk in the perfect love of our Heavenly Father. Abandoning the sins of the world and having a personal relationship of joy with Christ is the only way we can survive what is coming.
The Suppression of the Truth
By Coach Dave Daubenmire
June 9, 2022
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;”
Webster’s defines “hold” as “to refrain; to stop; to restrain; to withhold. hold your laughter. hold your tongue.” Suppress is a synonym of “hold” and it is defined as “To retain without disclosure; to conceal; not to tell or reveal; as, to suppress evidence.”
The Message Bible interprets Romans 1:18 as “But God’s angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth.” So, correct me if I am wrong, but a fair interpretation of the meaning of Romans 1:18 would be that what we are seeing is how ticked off God is with all of the foolishness going on in this country because the TRUTH is being held down, censored, and suppressed.
Notice that it is not the DENIAL of Truth that is the problem, but the SUPPRESSION of the Truth. We are in this mess because the TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, is no longer presented. It is hidden…covered over…incomplete…politicized. Picture trying to hold a fully inflated beach ball under water…it takes a lot of effort to hold that ball under the water because the TRUTH keeps trying to come up for air. The Luciferian Left hates the Truth. They are “of their father the Devil and the works of their father they will do.” They suppress the Truth. That is their job. That is their only pathway to victory. They can’t counter the Truth, or argue it away, the can only suppress and hide it.
Did God really say?
The next verse in Romans says, “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse…” The Luciferian’s hate the Truth because it is obvious. The Truth defends itself. It is clearly seen…therefore, they must suppress the Truth to keep you from seeing the obvious. Truth is ALWAYS obvious…
Every one knows what a woman is. Everyone knows an unborn baby is a living human being. Everyone knows Bruce Jenner is a man. They only way the foolishness continues to persist is because the Luciferian’s suppress (hide) the TRUTH. Does the American Medical Association not know that an unborn baby is alive? Of course, they do, but their POLITICAL position is pro-choice so they pass the buck to the courts and permit the courts to suppress the TRUTH of the humanity of the pre-born.
What do you think shadow banning on the internet is all about? What is the position of the Luciferian media in regards to what happened on Jan 6th? How about the virus being released, vaccines, Ivermectin, and hospital protocols? Are there clear, honest, open discussions about these issues? Or is free dialogue and opposing views being “suppressed?” How about election integrity? All the information that proves there wee cheating? The mutilation of “trans-gendered” (as if there were such a thing) children? Are we having an open dialogue about Ukraine, climate change, medical treatments, education curriculum? Is the media giving us the TRUTH or suppressing the TRUTH?
Remember, only TRUTH can make you free. Truth can be harsh. It can be uncomfortable. It can be frightening, but you can never truly deal with an issue until you have all the information at your disposal. “Just the TRUTH ma’am…nothing but the TRUTH.” The suppression of TRUTH leads to confusion. Confusion leads to false beliefs. False beliefs lead to bad decisions. Bad decisions lead to bad actions. Bad actions lead to bad consequences. Bad consequences are often irreversible. (Can you say penis removal?) Something that is untrue can never make you free. You merely think you are.
God is Truth and is the domain of Christianity. No matter how many times Oprah and her acolytes tell us to “seek our OWN Truth” there is no such thing as individual TRUTH. TRUTH is a person and it is the duty of Christians to defend THE TRUTH in all areas of life. Christians speak and defend TRUTH. Luciferian’s deny and suppress TRUTH. It really is that simple.
The number ONE suppressors of TRUTH in America are the Government/Media complex. But, let us always remember, they could never get away with the lying without the silent submission of Christians. The next greatest suppressors of TRUTH stand in America’s pulpits “turning the TRUTH of God into a lie and worshiping and serving the creature rather than the Creator…” Stop reading for a moment and think of all the lies, half-truths, and politicized Truths permeating America today. Think of the lies being taught in America’s schools. The propaganda being spread by the medical community. The disinformation being belched out of the Justice Department, the Judiciary, the Executive branch, and your elected representatives. Look at the “programming” by our media and “educational” institutions.
The Judgement of God is not coming to America…it is already here. That is the clear meaning of Romans 1. Dietrich Bonhoeffer is credited with saying “not to speak is to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” May I add a few more? Not to act when they are destroying the soul of a child IS TO ACT. Not to act when they are teaching boys that they can be girls IS TO ACT. Not to act when they are suppressing the truth IS TO ACT. Not to act when they are destroying a nation IS TO ACT!
The wrath of God IS being revealed in America today. “Have nothing to do with the unfruitful works of darkness but rather expose them.” Silence isn’t golden it is yellow with FEAR. Show up. Stand up. Speak up. Not to act is to act.
Dave Daubenmire is a veteran 35 year high school football coach who was spurred to action when attacked and sued by the ACLU in the late 1990s for praying with his high school football team. After a two year battle for his 1st amendment rights, the ACLU relented and offered coach an out of court settlement. Challenging the “church of the Status Quo”, Pass The Salt Ministries is calling Christians to wake up and engage the culture. By taking the fight to the enemy, Coach Daubenmire has become a recognizable voice in the media as he is an unashamed, articulate, apologist for the Christian worldview. A popular, high-energy speaker, Coach Daubenmire’s motivational lectures, laced with powerful and relevant Scripture, is challenging Americans all across the country.
Christ Is The Vine We Are The Branches
I was having a discussion with a friend the other day about how it seems that so many people are living in sadness and discouragement when he mentioned something that really made me think. He said that it was impossible to be depressed and walk in the joy of God’s presence at the same time. After our conversation, I continued to ponder this thought and by the way, I do agree with it. I’m not saying that developing an optimistic lifestyle is easy, but being a positive or a negative thinker are both learned behaviors. Since a healthy relationship with the Lord is associated with the level of our spiritual joy, we can know that a lifestyle of encouragement will depend on changing the way we think. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God” Psalm 42:11.
Like the Psalmist, there are times when we allow sadness to lead us down the road of discouragement. I use the word allow because joy and sadness are attitudes of the mind which we choose. How can we live in victory if we are always worried and afraid? I’m still learning that it’s up to me whether I accept the misery of anxiety or become determined to focus on God and find refuge in the safety of His arms. We cannot control what happens to us, but we can decide how we will respond. When I’ve been too busy to pray, study or worship Him, my faith turns to doubt as I begin to lose my confidence that He will take care of my problems and needs. When we drift away from the security of His love and peace, we are vulnerable to the overwhelming feelings of hopelessness and sadness from mistakes and sins we have committed. The dark side will sniff out our failures and attempt to bring guilt and condemnation to remind us of what we could and should have done. The enemy of our soul never takes a vacation and is devoted to condemning and tempting us to be depressed about missed opportunities and wrong decisions.
There are many followers in the kingdom of God that are tired and disappointed and often they do not feel appreciated in their calling, but the Lord sees your labor and His definition of success is not the same as the world. There is nothing more wonderful than to know the mission and will of God and to be walking in it, however, if there is anything that can deter us from following Jesus we will be tested and tempted. “For the Lord God can help me; therefore shall I not be confounded [confused] therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed” Isaiah 50:7. Setting our face like flint is declaring a message of faith that we are dedicated to becoming the person God has called us to be. Flint is a very hard substance and in the season of our trials, the strategy for victorious spiritual combat is to stand strong and not allow doubt or intimidation to influence or persuade us to compromise or surrender.
Our Creator is waiting to give us the stability and perseverance we need to accomplish His plans, but He is also depending on us to become committed in our obedience to Him. His river of contentment is available anytime and beckons for us to wade out into the deeper waters of His presence. We are invited to be saturated in His Spirit and to bask in His glory if this is what we really want. Unfortunately, many are relaxing in their lounge chairs at “poolside” and only stick their toes in the water occasionally when a crisis comes upon them they cannot fix on their own. The best way to maintain a successful Christian life is to pray and study God’s word daily which renews our minds and keeps us sensitive to His thoughts and the demonstration of His character. John chapter 15 explains about how Jesus is the vine and we are His branches, which allows everyone to witness His nature and attributes. There is a difference between talking about what we should be and actually manifesting it. We know we are to believe in Him, but when is the last time you considered that He believes in you?
Read more about the Christian life at billyhollandministries.com
LIGHTING A FIRE UNDER YOUR PASTOR
By Dave Daubenmire May 19th, 2022
This is the most critical moment in the history of the American church. We are doomed to 1000 years of darkness if the Church does not stand up. The curse of abortion is about to be expunged. Churches must arise NOW!
Here is a stern warning to pastors. Write it off if you like. The folks in the pew are greatly dissatisfied. I hear it when I speak in churches and I hear it every time I write a commentary. Churches are hemorrhaging members and, sadly, the leadership wants to blame the sheep. A good coach never blames the players. The sheep are a reflection of the shepherd.
Pastors are coaches. They deal with people. Most successful coaches have a very firm set of fundamentals by which they operate. They are not running a popularity contest; they are leading a team. A good coach will tell you that the best way to get your butt beat is to compromise on what you believe. MANY have emailed me asking, “What should we do, Coach? Our pastor won’t preach the hard truth anymore. It is all the “feel-good” stuff. Weare starving for TRUTH” [See: “Enemies Within: The Church” DVD]
I am often accused of pointing out problems, but rarely offering solutions. Well, you asked for it, so I will tell you what I think. This is risky because the “Church of the Status Quo” and her apostles are sure to attack you. They will accuse you of criticizing the local church and church bashing. But you should love them enough to tell them the Truth.
Paul said it this way, “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” My dad was a great guy, but little things used to drive him crazy. One of the things that used to bug him the most was when he would come home from the factory in the winter and the fire in the fireplace was barely burning. He would grab the poker and turn to one of us, and say,
“How many times do I have to tell you that you can’t lay a big log on top of the fire or you will smother it? A big log will only burn if there is a good base of hot coals burning underneath. You can’t start a fire with a big log.” So here is the analogy. The pastor is the log and those sitting in the pews are the kindling, the little wood that sets the big log on fire. For too long we have tried to convince the big log that he needed to catch on fire. Every time a spark was lit in the pew he would roll over and smother the flame. “Wild fire” is the one thing the big logs hate. The big logs want “natural-gas” fires on which they can control the flame.
“It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.” –Samuel Adams.
Okay, Mr. Kindling-Wood, you have a decision you are going to have to make. Are you sick and tired enough to come out of your comfort zone and begin to set little brush- fires? If you are not willing to take a stand, then you have no reason to complain. It is time to stop waiting on the big log to set the rest of you on fire. As my friend, Pete once said, “Our leaders will never see the light until we turn up the heat.”
Here are a few things to do to change the temperature in your church. (Warning: You will be called all kinds of names by your “brothers in Christ”). They will say that you shouldn’t bring politics into the church… it only brings discord. But you’re not sowing discord. You are asking questions. It is a church BODY, not a monarchy. Pastors deserve your respect, not blind allegiance. So, here are some ideas.
Stop calling your elected officials and start calling your pastor. Every time you see something that your local church should be concerned about, call your pastor and ask him a very simple question: “Pastor, what is our church going to do about it?” His response will tell you a lot about him. Do it privately at first, as the Scriptures teach.
Don’t let him “wiggle off of the hook.” Follow up in a day or two and see if he has progressed in his plan to oppose evil. Let him know that you have shared your concern with others in the congregation and that they are waiting to hear his response as well.
Tell him you have decided to go to the school board (as an example of an issue that you might have brought to him) and ask him if he will go with you.
Continue to email and hard copy him on information germane to the topic. Be persistent. Don’t let him say later that “he didn’t know.”
After a hard sermon, make sure that you let him know that you appreciate what he had to say. Then ask this, “Pastor, what can I do to help you fight this in our community?” (Be careful, he may start quaking, but let him know you are serious.)
Note: You are creating a sense of accountability here. Demand that he walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Let him know you are expecting his leadership, as are others.
If he rarely preaches a hard sermon ask, “Pastor, I haven’t heard a sermon on the sins of abortion, homosexuality, and pornography recently, but do you have one planned?” Let him know it is important to you and continue to bring it up. Write notes to him. He will hate it.
Ask him who he is voting for in the next election and why. If he is voting for a pro-abort, or homo-sympathizer point it out to him. If he says he doesn’t think he should share his personal political beliefs, please ask him why. Ask him if his personal beliefs are different from those he preaches. It is important to know what he believes.
Get your hands on videos and books and begin to educate YOURSELF on what is going on. Be like the Bereans who checked things out for themselves. Forward good stuff to him. CC the elder board.
Start a fellowship in your home with like-minded folks. Ask the leadership to support it. You would think they would encourage the assembling together of the saints but usually, that means only where they can have you in a controlled environment. Leading a Bible Study will stretch you and make you more equipped to share your faith with others. This is a good thing. But, be warned that the pastor may try to turn it into a controlled “small group” that is more about building horizontal relationships among each other rather than a vertical relationship with God.
Withhold your financial support if he refuses to preach against sin. He may say something like, “We preach the LOVE of Jesus.” Tell your pastor that you are going to give your money to a ministry that is preaching “the whole-counsel of God.” Follow the Biblical edict to “sow into good soil.” Many culturally active ministries could use the help.
If he doesn’t encourage his flock to carry Bibles to church, please ask him why. It may be that he wants to use several versions (possibly up on a screen) that can cause confusion. Ask him if he would hire a carpenter who came to work without a hammer.
Offer to start a “community watch-dog” ministry in the church to keep an eye on issues affecting Christians. Ask for his endorsement.
Offer to start a co-op for home educators and ask if the church would support you. If your pastor doesn’t want to “offend the government school teachers” in his flock, then that is a red flag.
Ask him if Christians should vote for local school levies and why? Begin to share information about the dangers of public schools.
Be prepared to leave your church. The answers that you get may not satisfy you. For the sake of your soul and the souls of your family find a church that is walking in the Truth.
It is time to turn up the heat. Those big logs will never burn until the kindling starts to glow red. Jesus warned us: “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.” Accountability is a two-way street. Stop complaining about the lukewarm preaching. Put up or shut up. Light a fire and watch it spread. The big log will either catch your fire or roll on down the road! Snap, crackle, and pop. [See: “Enemies Within: The Church” DVD] Our window of opportunity is now. We can never win with lukewarm leadership. Lukewarm Leaders can never stand up to evil crooked politicians. America needs the pulpits to blaze. It is our only hope.
© 2022 Dave Daubenmire – All Rights Reserved
E-Mail Dave Daubenmire: firstname.lastname@example.org
Man shall not live by bread alone 5/14/22
One of the popular topics that readers contact me about are concerns associated with food shortages and higher costs. I realize that no one has a crystal ball to see into the future, but we have plenty of websites that are encouraging everyone to stockpile food and water. The prepping movement has been warning the public for years to prepare for such a crisis and of course, many have created profitable businesses by selling everything a person would need if something like this were to happen. I’m sure many of you are like us that have friends and family members who have food and water reserves and my wife and I believe it’s wise to have some extra provisions in case of an emergency.
The prices of food and fuel are rising, and many families are feeling even more financial stress. I’m involved with a weekly food distribution ministry in my hometown where we receive food from area grocery stores and a local co-op 3-times a week, then we give it out to homeless shelters, the elderly, and those in need. Our team has a burden to make sure that everyone in our community can at least have something good to eat. It’s one thing to tell someone to be blessed and something else to activate our faith and make sure they have the provisions they need. Jesus said in Matthew 25 that when you give to the needy, you have given to Him.
We know that political wars and sanctions can disrupt food chains, as weather, plant diseases, fuel and fertilizer costs, and pestilences can also contribute to shortages. By the way, I’ve often wondered why governments pay farmers not to grow their crops. We read in Matthew 24:6 about the scarcity of food, “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.” And Revelation chapter 6 talks about a quart of wheat costing a day’s wage and implies there will be a time when war and famine will give way to inflation due to supply and demand. For those who love God, we know we can trust Him in the difficult times and that He hears our prayers and will provide for our needs. Paul related in Philippians chapter 4 about maintaining contentment and being at peace with God in times of need or prosperity.
There is an amazing story found in I Kings chapter 17 where God intervened for the prophet Elijah and miraculously provided food and water. The Lord commanded ravens to bring him meat and bread twice each day and also supplied him with fresh water from a brook called Cherith. When fear surrounds us and life feels uncertain, it’s easy to doubt that our Creator is really with us, but the same God who is with us during good times is the same God who is with us during times of uncertainty. This example should encourage us to know that He is always watching over us and desires to take care of us like we take care of our own children.
In closing, may we remember that famines and food shortages are not only about empty shelves at our local market, but there is also a spiritual famine happening today with God’s word and it will only become worse. Most people are not really interested in having their conscience being convicted of sin, but believe there is no such thing as a universal standard of divine truth. Even many religious individuals would rather listen to inspirational messages that compromise and justify living however they want. Things that are socially accepted today would have been an outrage in the Christian world just 50 years ago. Instead of God’s followers taking a stand and defending His foundational realities, the majority now makes excuses and negotiates to make everyone happy. II Timothy chapter 4 warned us this would happen, and it has. John 6:33-35 Jesus says, “For the bread of God is he which comes down from heaven, and gives life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger, and he that believes on me shall never thirst.” And in Matthew 4:4, “But he answered, it is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Walking a Mile in Someone Else’s shoes – 5/8/22
It’s easy to mock and be critical, and unfortunately, our human nature loves to judge unfairly and display negative thoughts about others. If we could only remember that many people are going through some type of painful trial which usually explains why they seem peculiar. I often counsel those who are struggling with personal problems and it changes our perspective when we know the bigger picture. As Christians, we are called to be a light that represents God’s nature and this includes forbearance, understanding, and compassion. This is so that everyone can see Christ and hopefully will inspire them to learn more about who He is. When we act ugly and rude, we are actually turning others away from the message of grace and love that we proclaim is what the lost world desperately needs. Whether you’ve noticed it or not, those around us are carefully observing us which is having a direct impact on what they think about God and who we are. Every day we have opportunities to do what Jesus would do.
If we knew what is going on behind the scenes in the lives of those all around us, it would allow us to realize they do not deserve our harsh speculations and criticisms. Everyone has problems, some just just hide it better than others. I published a book a few years ago called “A lifestyle of worship – Living in the Awareness of God’s Presence” that focuses on developing spiritual sensitivity and how this discernment can drastically change the way we think and see life especially in our relationships with others. I’m convinced we will not grow in our concern for those around us until we can see them the way God sees them. When I’m focused on His presence and trying to do His will, I am more humble and understanding. However, when I’m distant from Him and allow arrogance to rise up, I gravitate toward being indifferent and cold-hearted. Rick Warren is quoted, “God’s mercy to us is the motivation for showing mercy to others. Remember, you will never be asked to forgive someone else more than God has forgiven you.”
I recently learned about an 8-year-old boy that experienced a horrifying tragedy. His mother had agreed to take care of a friend’s dog for a few days. The dog did not have a history of aggression and she did not sense any danger to bring it into her home. One day the little boy was out in the yard with the dog and suddenly out of nowhere the animal violently attacked him. The mother heard the cries and ran to stop the attack, but not before the dog had bit off the boy’s ears and caused very serious wounds to his head and face. It was believed that if the mother had not arrived when she did, the dog would have killed him. I watched an interview with the little fellow after the wounds had healed and he had such a gentle and kind personality. Those few seconds changed his life forever.
He’s a smart and witty child and is surprisingly upbeat in spite of the devastating damage that he deals with on a daily basis. Where his ears had been are now just small holes on the sides of his head. The muscles in his face are permanently damaged and twisted which causes him to talk out of the side of his mouth. His eye socket was reconstructed and he is fortunate they were able to save his sight. As I listened in amazement at his courage at such a young age I was deeply moved and felt a tear running down my cheek. What a traumatic ordeal this innocent young man has gone through. He went on to say that he begged his mom to let him return to school and how the other kids will gather around him and stare at him like he is a circus attraction. He overhears them saying he’s scary looking and all that. I know kids are cruel and remember when I was growing up I watched bullies torture other children they considered were strange or whatever. I think about what this child has gone through and not only having to live with the outward consequences, but also the emotional agony from the insults and rejection. I Peter 3:8 reminds us to be sympathetic, to love one another, to be compassionate and humble, and this helps us to consider what it would be like to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.
Read more about the Christian life and Dr. Holland’s new book about miracles at billyhollandministries.com
THE PASSION OF CHRIST IS GOD’S AMAZING GRACE – 4/14/22
April is the month of new beginnings when trees begin to sprout their leaves and flowers emerge from the ground to express their beauty. This is also the time when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. God’s infinite love for us is the foundation of the Christian faith for without Jesus being raised to conquer death, hell, and the grave, He would have been just another courageous martyr. You see, His perfect blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat and was the only payment that was holy and powerful enough to redeem, transform, and purchase the spirits of those who will believe. John 19:30 declares the Son of God cried from the cross, “It is finished” which guaranteed the covenant authority of God’s word is true and the spiritual reality that eternal salvation is now available for all who hear the gospel, are convicted to repent, and choose to embrace Him by faith. This is why the gospel is called the good news and truly it is the ultimate promise of hope and peace the world needs to hear.
Christians experience the life-changing miracle of God so loving the world that He sent His Son to save us from our sins. He desires to restore us back into the personal fellowship that was lost when Adam and Eve disobeyed Him in the Garden. The greatest love story ever told is recorded in the Bible and many of you have memorized the message found in Matthew 28:5-6 when the angels appeared to the women at the empty tomb. “The angel said to the women, Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here, for He is risen as He said! Come, see the place where they placed His body.” It’s difficult to comprehend just how paramount these words are. It’s critical within our commission to relay this truth, to emphasize the glorious significance of what His sacrifice and resurrection accomplished, what it guarantees for those who believe, and how we can obtain and have a blessed assurance of these glorious promises today.
The Lord has given most of us a good life filled with blessings, but I’m sure you have noticed that no matter how much “stuff” we accumulate, it does not bring spiritual contentment or joy. Material possessions, money, friends, and loved ones can make us happy to a certain extent, but nothing on earth can satisfy or take the place of our personal relationship with God. When we talk about hope, this usually means we are wondering if something is going to turn out the way we want, but there is a spiritual hope empowered by faith where we can definitely know our prayers will be answered without having to worry or be afraid. Romans 15:13 reminds us, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” You see, those who trust and know God, have been born again into an eternal inheritance that can never change or fail.
Be encouraged today in knowing that when Christ accomplished His mission on the cross and rose from the dead, those who are partakers with Him are preserved by the greatest power and authority in heaven and earth. He is the creator of all things, and is the Alpha and Omega. We do not place our confidence in this earthly realm, but we can completely trust the one who knows everything, created everything, and controls everything. Humans try to build the perfect life without God, but only Christ is truly perfect. He is holy and blameless, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent, and exalted to the highest place with a name that is above every name. It’s good news to know that as God’s child, we have a crown of glory with our name on it as our future home is reserved for us in heaven forever. Like Abraham, we are looking forward to that city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. Let us rejoice and be eternally grateful to Christ for becoming the bridge of light, hope, and truth between this realm and the life to come. Rejoice today that He is risen! Luke 18:33 declares, “And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.” Praise Him forever!
4/9/22 ARE WE STAYING OR GOING? Part 2
I’ve been trying to find a separation point in the coming tribulation between Satan’s domination and God’s wrath during the popular seven-year period commonly called the great tribulation. For those who study the end times, researching the 70 seventy weeks of Daniel is considered a timeline of future events, and of course, many weave passages such as the book of revelation and Matthew chapter 24 into the overall equation. This is difficult as we know there is a world of different opinions about these timelines and it’s very difficult to comprehend. For example, is the book of Revelation in chronological order, or is it a jigsaw puzzle? This one question alone can present many possibilities (and confusion). Personally, I have not felt led to spend time with future events over the years as I am more of a general Bible teacher and focus on human behavior and daily Christian living. I have read the Word and much speculation about eschatology, but have not felt confident teaching it. However, I do believe it is important to seek God for wisdom and discernment so that we might know what is happening around us and be aware of the signs that can help us understand spiritual prophecy.
Matthew chapter 24 is an amazing gathering of information that Christ has given to those who are interested in the rapture, tribulation, and His second coming. He mentions the days of Noah and how He would come (whether a rapture or His glorious appearing) at a time when people are not thinking about it and neither are ready to meet Him. In verse 43 He says, “But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore, you must be ready because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” I teach that a true disciple of Christ can have His mind, hear God’s voice and be given a correct interpretation of His scriptures when they fervently pray and ask Him. This particular chapter is a warning for God’s children to not only research His Word but to be ALERT and aware of the URGENCY to walk in His Spirit and maintain a spiritual sensitivity to everything that is happening around us. We are told to watch so this means He wants us to know.
First of all, I want to establish that I do believe that God’s people will NOT suffer His wrath. Lot and his family being removed from Sodom is a perfect example of how the Lord does NOT destroy His own children. He may punish and discipline His elect with whatever His sovereign judgments may require, but this is different. We read about sins that are punishable by death and we have seen many people die for the sins they have committed, but this is God’s perfect justice and only he has the right to make these decisions. However, when we talk about having to stand for God and suffering persecution and even death during the rule of anti-Christ, I see nothing that would prevent any Christian from having to go through a time of choosing whom they will love and serve. Since the first half of the tribulation period is a time of hardship and a test of faith, this is why I have a difficult time understanding the remnant being removed from deciding if they love God or themselves. This escape teaching gives today’s Christian a breath of relief, but is this really the way it is going to happen?
Many believe the anti-Christ is standing at the edge of the stage at the moment, waiting for his curtain call to step out into the spotlight and be the savior of the world. I agree. According to the majority of scholars, when he is recognized by the remnant as a son of perdition (which means eternal damnation and utter destruction), this will be the official beginning of the tribulation. There have been other dictators in history that have been influenced by demon spirits, but this ultimate Satanic representative has not appeared yet, or at least not to the point where we know without a shadow of a doubt it is him. I spoke to a Bible teacher the other day and he is convinced the anti-Christ will come from America and is watching the next president (whoever it might be) very closely. Many believe the anti-Christ will appear to be religious, have strong leadership, a powerful orator, and the ability to persuade those who are NOT walking in spiritual discernment and are without a renewed mind. This includes most of the world. The masses will rejoice and support this person who seemingly has all the answers, wonderful ideas, the ability to bring world peace, and even manifest miraculous demonstrations.
One of the numerous views is the first three and a half years are directed by Satan as God has given him authority to do so, (similar to how God gave him the opportunity to inflict devastation upon Job). We notice in this account that Job did suffer greatly but survived and was blessed by God for holding onto his faith in the face of horrible persecution. Is this a type and shadow of the tribulation and how the Christians will need to stand strong instead of cursing God and dying like Job’s wife wanted him to do? Wherever the seal, trumpet, or bowl indicates the ferocious wrath of God being poured out upon the earth, I believe this is where God’s remnant will be removed. What we need to remember is that after the Christians are taken, the Holy Spirit remains on the earth and the Word of God is being taught. The two witnesses train the 144,000 evangelists and the gospel message will be preached to the masses. Many people will be saved throughout this entire span of time all the way up to Armageddon, but most of them will be killed for standing for God’s truth. For those who heard the gospel but refused, is this a punishment for not reaching out to God while they had the chance? Or will the delusion from the Lord prevent all who rejected the gospel from being saved because they refused to submit to the conviction of the Holy Spirit during the days of grace?
Some agree these tribulation saints will be protected (Noah and the Ark) but why wouldn’t you and I also be protected if there were no pre-trib rapture? All of God’s people throughout time have had the choice to stand for Him or compromise and I’ve often thought the mark of the beast would be the ultimate opportunity to either save the body and lose the spirit, or save the spirit and lose the body. If every saint in the world will be removed before the anti-Christ is revealed, and we all agree that he is ready to be revealed, this view believes a pre-trib rapture could take place any second. This would mean there is no event that needs to happen before the saints disappear. It also means they will never know who he is, nor will they be subject to the mark. And yet, there is so much fear about not being able to buy and sell and being killed for our allegiance to Christ. If a person believes in pre-trib, they have nothing to worry about. The mid-tribulation view is a time of terrible hardship and persecution, but God’s people have always suffered this as Foxes Book of Martyrs describes.
A third idea is a post-tribulation view which connects the rapture with the second coming as ONE event. This view believes the saints will be raptured when Christ gloriously appears in the clouds and the trumpets sound. The phrase the time of Jacob’s trouble comes from Jeremiah 30:7, which says, “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” If you believe that all saints will go through the entire tribulation, you must also believe that either God is going to protect His people or remove them. Whichever view a person embraces, it’s critical to be as close to God as you possibly can. The evil spirit of Babylon has always been trying to destroy God’s saints and the end times we know will be worse than ever. The government and social media are controlled by Satan and he is trying to lure as many people as he can into hell. This is not the hour to relax and wait to be rescued. There is much work to do as the fields are white with harvest. The pre-tribulation view in my opinion has caused the Christians to eat and drink and make merry as their seats have been reserved for the next flight out of here. This is a deceptive, selfish, and lukewarm attitude that has caused much damage. The reason why our government and legal system are now flooded with Satanic control is because the saints went to sleep and opened the door for demons to establish principalities and powers and to rule in high places. Religious compromise is corruption and the wages of sin is death. Today is the day for the remnant to pray without ceasing, ask for sensitivity to hear His His voice, study the scriptures and seek Him for the correct interpretation, and be obedient to what He is saying. Meditate on these things.
We realize the rapture doctrine is one of the most controversial topics within our faith and currently; I stand with the saints staying and enduring whatever Satan has planned but either removed or protected when God’s wrath is poured out. In other words, at this time in my spiritual understanding, I believe the saints will go through the period where they are demanded to take the mark and this will reveal the wheat from the tares. Again, we can agree there will be Christians on the earth during all of this because people will be saved until the second coming. At His second (or third) coming, we read how the saints who are alive are taken up before the battle of Armageddon? These two raptures or resurrections make it more difficult to understand the differences between all the passages that talk about the rapture and the second coming. Again, some believe these passages refer to the same event.
Lastly, as far as the 70 weeks, there are so many opinions about this timeline. Some begin as far back as the covenant promise with the rainbow all the way forward to when Satan is cast into the lake of fire. I read recently about how the book of revelation is divided into two separate explanations as chapters 2-11 and 12-22 are an explanation of the same events but with different perspectives. I’m not saying this is true, but one thing is for sure, it’s truly difficult to have clarity as the Bible cannot be read like just another book. It is a living revelation that is quickened into the spirits of those who have an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying. Divine truth is hidden for us, not from us. We must seek or we will never find and must be enlightened through spiritual eyes and a renewed mind. Treasure is buried, not scattered on top of the ground. Let us invest our time wisely and pray that our eyes of understanding will be opened with greater discernment and wisdom. God’s message to us this hour is to embrace Matthew 7:7.
Here is another one of my original songs, “THE CALL”
Our brand new book is finally here!
Receiving Our Healing –
Going to War on our Knees
Our Lord Jesus is Yahweh Rapha the God that heals! Jesus stated in Matthew 8:3, “I am willing, be healed” and this divine statement emphatically declares that healing and miracles are the will of God for us today! In this powerful resource, Billy provides Biblical evidence which reveals how the blood atonement of Christ along with our faith and obedience work together to manifest the abundant life Christ promises in John 10:10. Being spiritually unprepared for adversity is the leading reason individuals become overwhelmed with fear and confusion and are often defeated. However, when we accept our covenant responsibility, God’s vision within our mind and soul releases His authority and activates His power. If we do not have the spiritual understanding to fight a battle against a headache, how will we ever win the war against a life-threatening situation? God moves within His holy Word which is His will and this includes a demand for His anointed disciples to be accountable and skilled in the reality of spiritual warfare. “And when Jesus called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease” Matthew 10:1. We indeed receive what we believe but faith is more than knowledge. The only way we can know the power of His resurrection is to abide in blood-covenant with Him. Within these pages, we will learn about surrendering our will, total salvation, divine realities of blood covenant, conditions and laws of faith, the power of decrees, spiritual authority, seed-time and harvest, knowing God’s general and specific will, our atonement and reconciliation, the difference between hoping to be healed and speaking directly to destructive forces in Jesus Name, and so much more. Christ has already paid the price for everything we need and is now waiting to release His miracles for His glory! As God’s royal priesthood, our victories are demonstrated by pleading His Blood, declaring His Name, and standing on His Truth! Every person through their words will choose life or death. I pray you embrace God’s highest blessings.
Here is an excerpt from the Introduction:
Since the ministry of Jesus reveals that our faith plays a distinct part in receiving from Him, we cannot overemphasize how important it is to believe not only for our needs but also to follow Him forever. Whatever Jesus shares with an individual after they receive their miracle, once again reveals the depth of His desire to bond with someone within a personal relationship. Our sincere love and dedication to Him whether we are healed or not is the meaning and purpose of our existence. It’s a fact that spiritual warfare is real, and we have several enemies to deal with; however, hopefully, we can agree to believe the full gospel and know that our greatest gift is mercy, which allows us to build a spiritual bond with Christ. Listen carefully and allow this passage found in Mark 6:56 to be saturated within your conscience: “And wherever he [Jesus] went, into villages, towns or countryside, they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.” Included with faith is the requirement of standing our ground when the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, and if we choose to ignore God’s warnings, we will face the consequences. Healing is indeed many times a matter of life and death; however, we are not only wrestling with natural causes and circumstances but also with the destructive oppression and principalities that are constantly trying to defeat us.
If we assume there is no need to engage with the enemy, or we are paralyzed with doubt and fear, the devil will take full advantage of our lack of spiritual knowledge, which makes us vulnerable to his devices. This is why it says in Ephesians 6:10, “Finally my brethren be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.” It then goes on to explain the complete armor of God, which can protect us. So, does this mean that we must have spiritual knowledge and wisdom along with faith to receive our healing? In other words, is what we are hoping for depending on what we know or what we have failed to learn? Yes, I believe it can be. If we do not ask Jesus to heal us or even believe that He can, I do not see it happening. When Christ walked the Earth, we know people cried out to Him and wanted to be healed. We can also include the practical side of our responsibility to refrain from the many temptations that are bad for our health. To say our responses and choices do not impact whether or not we will receive the answers to our prayers goes against the spiritual principles of His divine order. Just as God’s Sword has two edges, the gospel of His blood covenant is a two-sided agreement of faithful commitment between God and His children, the same as in holy marriage. Yes, there are consequences to our decisions good and bad and basically, this means that God’s sovereignty has a plan for everything but is also waiting for our cooperation. Our accountability includes dedicating our lives completely to His service, and as Jesus gave His life for us, we are to surrender our hearts and minds to Him. “I Surrender All” is not just a beautiful hymn, but it’s one of the most powerful confessions in this life. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). When we embrace our responsibility to dwell within His covenant and willingly give ourselves completely into His hands, we are filled with His peace that passes all understanding.
So how do we know the difference between when God wants to heal us and when He is saying that His grace is sufficient? This understanding can only be given to us personally through the amazing invitation, opportunity, and blessing of knowing His still small voice. As another old hymn reminds us, “What a friend we have in Jesus, what a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.” Our mail from Heaven is addressed to us and we are the only ones who can know our destiny. We are grateful for the Holy Spirit that has been sent to help guide and comfort us and we love His presence but let us remember that He wants to help us get into the position to receive God’s instructions and to carry them out. In the places of uncertainty that we will all face at one time or another, we can always turn inward and rest in the safety and security that comes from knowing and trusting our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Fasting and praying can produce the light of discernment and are reserved for those who are willing to do whatever it takes to find and demonstrate His truth.
Though I believe that we can know the mysteries of God and are offered many benefits of His covenant, allow me to be clear: This collection of thoughts is not trying to advertise or promote God as some type of cosmic vending machine where we put in a quarter, and He gives us a favor. You will see as we dig deeper into God’s truth, that purity and holiness play a role in how we approach our heavenly Father. The reverential fear of God is a component that many people have never comprehended, and they are confused about how miracles are distributed. I have seen people curse and live like heathens and then turn around and ask everyone please to pray for their needs. The idea of miracles is not for an intentional sinner to keep sinning. We notice in John 5, that Jesus had just healed a man and the Jewish leaders saw the man and asked him why he was carrying his bed around. The man said the One who had healed him told him to take up his bed and walk, and then He had slipped away into the crowd. In verse 14, we discover a very interesting statement: “Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” We need healing to help us work for God, not to enable us to continue in our wickedness. This book is also not another version of the “name it and claim it” theology that declares that we can instantly demand whatever we want without regard to our spiritual relationship with Him. With so many people suffering and searching for peace, we desire to offer a resource of spiritual encouragement that can bring hope and inspiration to the mind and soul. The reality of the power within the precious blood of Christ provides the meaning of this life and the life to come. God’s sovereign authority through the suffering and resurrection of Jesus His Son enables us to become like Christ, which is God’s perfect will. Christ is sending out His invitation of mercy for all who are hurting and in need of eternal hope and joy: “Come unto me. All ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30).
My prayer is that you will find edification within these pages that will be a light unto your path and a lamp unto your feet. Our Lord Jesus wants us to follow Him without worry and fear and to trust that He is in control. Our existence is not an accident or the result of a random chance but rather our life is a deliberate act of intensive planning and divine order. God has known and called us before the foundation of the world and considers you one of His priceless possessions. The Almighty is not going to design and create us in His image and then abandon us as the Bible promises in Philippians 1:6, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” In Exodus 14:13–14, we are encouraged when Moses spoke to the people and assured them, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Yes, we are accountable and there are certain conditions, and when we obey, we can rest in the palm of His hand, as His peace covers us like a soft and warm blanket. To the children of Israel, it was the mighty Egyptians who were holding them in bondage, to David it was an intimidating giant that was trying to kill him, and with you and I, it might be a test result that has paralyzed us with fear. Whatever we are facing today, we, like all the others who have gone before us, choose to shout from the housetops, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
The meaning and purpose of life are to know and love God, and our existence is an opportunity to experience an exciting adventure with the Holy Spirit as our guide. The key to being filled with His contentment is to hold tightly to His hand, and when our path becomes steep and treacherous, we must be willing to believe He is who He says He is and to know without a shadow of a doubt that He will help us and keep us safe as we continue climbing higher with Him. When you come to a resting place, embrace the moment, and be refreshed in the glory and beauty of His presence. Brother Lawrence is quoted as saying, “How can we pray to Him without being with Him? How can we be with Him without thinking of Him often? We must know before we can love. In order to know God, we must often think of Him; and when we come to love Him, we shall also think of Him often, for our heart will be with our treasure.” Enjoy the moment, breathe deeply, and ask Him to give you an attitude of gratitude. May we be confident that our ultimate destination is to reign with the Lord forever. Let us accept the call to respond to His voice; to love Him with all our heart, mind, and strength; and to be filled with His love. Whatever storms we may go through or mountains we may face, Jesus is our Lord. We honor and trust Him, and in faith, we will press forward in His name one step at a time. Miracles are living manifestations of His mercy and will require perseverance on our part. God is always at work whether we can see it or even notice it. We must be vigilant in the sense of focusing on His voice and also listening to our bodies at the same time. Watching our diet, exercising, fasting, and repenting are excellent ways to help take care of ourselves while also cooperating and getting into a position to receive our miracle. There is much that I do not know, but I am confident that if we are children of God, we will be healed. He promised. If not in this temporary life, we will be healed with a brand-new body in the resurrection and will continue to live in perfect health in God’s presence for all eternity. “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: FOR I AM THE LORD THAT HEALETH THEE” (Exodus 15:26). May we receive encouragement from the words of this beautiful Hymn, “God Moves in a Mysterious Way” written by William Cowper in 1773.
“God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform.
He plants his footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines of never-failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs and works His sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take, the clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break, in blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence, He hides a smiling face.
His purpose will ripen fast, unfolding every hour,
The bud may have a bitter taste, but sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err, and scan His work in vain:
God is His own interpreter, and He will make it plain.”
This book is available on Amazon, but I have purchased some extra copies and would be glad to mail you a signed copy. It is a large book at 7×10 and 503 pages. Two years of research have gone into this important resource and I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to relay this message. Many people need a miracle and I know this will encourage and strengthen the faith of those who are desperately seeking God’s covenant truth. Contact me at email@example.com and I will give you the details. Please include your mailing address. If you know of anyone who is in need of a healing miracle, please let me know.
Another resource that was created for those who desire to soak in God’s Word, is this 80-minute narration CD of over 100 Bible passages of hope, healing, peace, and faith. “KEEPER OF MY SOUL” Is filled with God’s promises and set to beautiful background music that is soothing while generating strength and confidence. It also includes original worship music by Billy Holland. Those who are seeking a touch from God can just relax and close their eyes as their spirit becomes saturated with the dynamic life-changing power of God’s absolute truth. For those who order the book, Billy will include a free copy of this CD.
In this dream, I was on a 250-mile hike through an untouched wilderness that was mostly forest. I was in search of answers and thought if I could get away from all distractions, I could maybe hear God speaking to me. I was seeking His truth, and was desperate to know about things like; His return, the tribulation, our purpose, Heaven, and the requirements of salvation, just to name a few.
I do not know what country this forest was in. I carried a large backpack with a tent, sleeping bag, food, water, etc..and a pistol for protection. The plan was to travel 100 miles North into this uninhabited wilderness, turn 50 miles to the West, and then return. I had no time frame. This was a dense area with a few small mountains and the occasional stream. In my dream, it was clear that no humans lived here only an abundance of wildlife.
I would walk during the day, pray, and sometimes cry asking God to please speak to me to which I mostly only heard birds and the wind blowing through the tops of the trees. In the evenings I would build a campfire and see what I could find to eat and read my Bible from a small battery lamp. I brought some food but was always on the lookout for berries and I would try fishing when there was a chance.
After about a month into my journey, one day I smelled smoke and was very concerned that maybe there was a forest fire and I was heading into it. As I kept pushing forward, I noticed a clearing up ahead and when I stepped into the sunlight, I thought I was hallucinating. There was a small house and the smoke I smelled was coming from the chimney. I just stood there staring in disbelief.
The house had a front porch, gray siding, and a dark green metal roof. A tall black iron fence was about 10 feet from the dwelling and completely surrounded it like a fortress. There was a pile of split wood in the yard along with some other things like plastic sleds, a chain saw, an ax, and other such tools. I snapped out of my trance when I watched a man step from the porch and open the iron gate. He said hello and asked what I wanted to which I spoke up and replied I was just hiking through the forest and meant no harm.
He told me not to move and started walking toward me. He pointed toward the ground and said, “see this wire? Be careful and step over it.” When my eyes adjusted, I could barely see a thin wire that was obviously some type of warning system. I stepped over it and he invited me in. When I came to the iron gate, I noticed there were spikes sticking up on the ground all around the front of the iron fence. I thought it would be very painful if anyone were to try to climb the fence. We went inside but I do not remember introducing myself or him telling me his name. I know it sounds strange, but I also do not remember what he looked like.
His presence was warm and comforting, like a grandfather, and it’s hard to explain but I felt secure even though I had just met him. He gave me a glass of cold water and shared what he had been eating with me. As he placed a plate in front of me, he asked why I was walking alone in such a remote wilderness and I told him my story about seeking God and His truth. Somehow I knew he was smiling. He served me fresh fruit, cornbread, and fish fillets from an iron skillet. He blessed the food and prayed that I would find what I was seeking.
I remember asking where in the world did the fruit come from, and I cannot remember the exact details but it had something to do with him calling in supplies and a package being dropped every so often. I know this sounds vague but only certain parts of the dream are clear. I asked if he hunted animals for food and he said he did not but he did fish in a creek that was down over the hill. He said he loved animals and all creation and believed they were too beautiful to kill. I asked how he was able to haul wood without machinery or even a horse. He explained there were plenty of dead and fallen trees around and he just pulls his plastic sled into the forest, cuts the trees, and pulls them back to his house. He said this keeps him in shape. It was obvious he lived a very simple life and the dropped shipments provided him basic things like fuel, coffee, sugar, clothing, and whatever he needed.
After we ate and had some coffee, I started asking him questions about the Christian life and the Bible and he was very wise. I do not remember knowing why I thought he had the answers, but I trusted him. I had a notebook and started writing down his responses and was amazed at how much he knew. He talked about backstories that I had never heard before as if he had been there. Time passed very quickly and it became very late. He said I should get some sleep if I planned to resume my journey in the morning. He led me to a small guest room with a bed, a small chest, and a window. There was a washstand with a bowl of water and a towel. Very simple and cozy, just the necessities.
When I rested my head on the pillow, a sensation of peace came over me like I had never felt before. I went into a deep sleep that seemed more like a coma. I rested soundly as it was if my spirit was floating in a state of tranquility. I woke up the next morning refreshed and he served me some coffee and a bowl of oatmeal and fruit which tasted amazing. I told him I really appreciated his hospitality, I had a wonderful night’s sleep and was very grateful for all the things he shared with me about God and the Christian life. He led me through the gate and again pointed out where the trip-wire was. As I headed out I turned and waved goodbye.
The dream continued as I kept walking north. After several weeks of strenuous travel, I had a change of plans and decided to turn around and head back to the man at the house to ask more questions and maybe stay with him again before heading back home. I was really looking forward to seeing him, but when I came back to where he was, I was shaken to my core. There was the clearing, but everything else was gone. Where the house once stood, there was now just a field of grass and small cedar bushes. Standing completely still, all I could hear was an eery echo of a crow cawing in the distance. I knew this was exactly the right location but was I losing my mind?
I walked around the perimeter of the field and I noticed something posted to a tree. I walked over and saw that it was a plastic envelope that had my name on it. The four corners were tacked and I pulled it off tearing the corners. I opened it and there was a letter. It said; “Dear child, the few who willingly sacrifice this life for me, I will welcome them to live with me in Heaven forever. However, those who ignore me in this life will not be given this invitation. They have decided eternal life was worth trading in exchange for their earthly independence.” This is where the dream ended. I wish I could remember more of the letter as I’m sure there was more. I’m now praying for a deeper understanding.
I am the truth seeker in this dream. Every day I pray for wisdom, discernment, an awareness of His presence, sensitivity to hear His voice, and a correct interpretation of His Word. I realize that geographic location does not matter when it comes to searching for the Almighty and His truth. We search for God within our mind, conscience, and spirit, and this passionate determination requires complete concentration and dedication. This is why Satan is trying to lure us away from Yahweh with addicting distractions. It is the hour to awaken and turn away from the world and our carnality! You must prepare today to refuse the coming mark of the beast and be ready to say NO when the system requires you and me to bow down and worship the system. This is actually happening now. God does appear and speak through His servants and His nature. He is everywhere, we just need to pay attention. We will never walk in His Spirit until we are totally sold out to Him. Constant perseverance, praying without ceasing, being focused and dedicated to submitting our will in order to follow and obey His. All of Him – none of me. “And you shall seek me, and find me, when you search for me with all of your heart” Jeremiah 29:13.
URGENT WORD FROM THE LORD – 3/23/22
“I the Lord God of heaven and earth would say unto my remnant, I have heard your cries and prayers. I know the hearts and minds of every person and I know my children are begging me to expose the evil and bring swift justice and judgment upon the wicked. The stench of depravity and blasphemy against me fills my nostrils however, I want to remind you that Satanic deception and bondage did not happen overnight and the evil which now surpasses even Noah’s time and the debauchery of Sodom and Gomorrah has grown deep roots in every facet of the land. As the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, I see thy works and have weighed these assemblies in the balance and declare this day that you have fallen short in your responsibility to be a watchman on the wall. You turned your eyes away from me and focused on pleasure instead of following my voice. Your slumber caused the land to be filled with lukewarmness and you laugh at the evil that you call entertainment. You professed to be the body of Yahshua but have not considered the desires for me to uncover and punish also applies to you. The assemblies which gather and call themselves the body of Yahshua are also guilty of being dishonest and hypocritical and I am preparing to expose ALL who have been living as an impostor. You have left your first love and now I am shining my light of truth into your lives and the darkness will have nowhere to hide. You have refused to learn discipline. You have become rebellious toward the thoughts of sacrifice and have ignored my call to surrender your will. You have wrongly called me Lord because you failed to obey my word and now I will expose your wickedness saith, God.
I called my people at the birthing of this nation to allow me to lead and guide this government and to create and enforce a legal system according to my divine truth. But instead of standing strong against Satan, intentional sin, and following my instructions to rebuke, reprove, and cast out demons, you turned your heart away from my warnings and compromised with the world and the pleasures of the flesh and believed that everything would be alright. You did not lead the government into my holy truth and it became a cesspool of filth. Now you are controlled by it. You refused to boldly confront sin and were not strong enough to fight against your own carnality. You became weak when you paid others to preach and pray for you and do the work of the ministry that I called you to do. You replaced taking up your cross and becoming a living sacrifice with a seeker-friendly social club of politics and entertainment and now I am removing my candlestick from all of these assemblies and sadly the people do not even recognize it. Why? Because they do not know me. These organized gatherings did not want my presence; they turned their ears away from my prophets and chose to create and embrace a distorted gospel that made them feel good. You were foolish to underestimate your adversary and decided that interceding without ceasing was too uncomfortable, extreme, unnecessary, and fanatical. Your assemblies became haughty and filled with delusion and deception. You allowed your will to control you instead of surrendering your will to me. I called you to holiness and sanctification and to walk in the power and authority of my word, name, and the blood of Yahshua, but instead you justified your apathy and taught others that I was lenient and did not care about sanctification and transformation. Instead of calling my house a den of thieves, you said let us reason together and be happy. There are always consequences for not obeying me and my ecclesia is no exception.
You learned how to negotiate with religion and enjoyed playing games with a carnal and wicked system. Your motives and intentions were based on carnality because you loved your sin more than having a personal relationship with me. You went to sleep at the wheel and allowed Satan to choose the direction of the country and gave the kingdom of darkness control of the government and legal system and this is the reason you now live in a political and social environment of filth, hatred, and corruption. Instead of being filled with my Spirit and using my authority to advance and overcome the perversion and abominations of rebellion, you hid behind the walls of buildings and your social media. While you focused on prosperity, the demon-possessed world demanded their right to serve Satan and took control of everything including your freedom to speak. And now that you are stirring from your slumber, you want me to immediately uproot all the evil and restore your land and return America as a nation under my name? Do you actually believe that I am going to rip the evil from the hearts of those who hate me? Do you think I am going to purge the world of every evil person so that you can live in peace? Did I not say that I love the world and gave my only son so that whosoever would believe in me would be saved and have eternal life? I do not force myself on anyone. You call yourselves, “Christian conservative patriots” and are now begging me to prosecute and court marshal all the evil people within your government and restore the republic and the gold system that was lost, stop the abortions and overturn Roe vs. Wade, reverse same-sex marriage, stop the homosexual agenda, restore the freedom of speech, restructure the public education system into a Christian curriculum, enforce spiritual views of morality based on my Word and make America a Christian Nation. And you want me to do it immediately? I say unto you this day, instead of you waiting on me to cleanse the nation of sin and make it holy, I am waiting on you to put on the whole armor of God and take the initiative to step out on the battlefield and engage my authority against your enemy on the front line of spiritual warfare. Your life is not about living in peace and prosperity, it is about being obedient to me. If you want the devil and his followers to be taken out of power, you must go to war on your knees and use my authority to cast them out. Pray and ask me if I am calling you to get involved with politics. Did I not promise that your warfare was spiritual instead of carnal and that you have the responsibility to pull down demonic strongholds and principalities in my name? The key to pleasing me is to do what I say to do. I did not call my people to purify the world, but to be led by my Spirit. My ecclesia needs to repent for disobeying me and must begin this hour to fast, pray, and listen to my voice, have my mind and wisdom, and see life with spiritual eyes instead of opinions and speculations.
I ask you this hour, where have I promised that I will rid the earth of evil before the return of my Son? Where in my Word have I declared that in the last days I will turn the world upside down and cause the earth to flourish as a paradise of peace and love? Did I not say that wickedness would increase, false prophets would mislead and deceive, and the love of many would wax cold before the glorious second coming of Yahshua? I promised that I would pour out my spirit on my sons and daughters, but this is not the same as removing immorality and darkness from the planet. Beware of false prophets and those who speak from their fleshly emotions for personal gain. Do you actually believe there is going to be a holy government that loves me as the masses sing praises to me and worship me? I said the world hates me and if you truly love me it will also hate you! Yes, there will be a millennial reign in the future where Christ is the King of kings, but you are now heading into a time of intense tribulation and I’ve given Satan the liberty to carry out his agenda to steal, kill, and destroy. Wake up! Wake up saith the Lord of Host! Study my Word closely and notice there is not a pre-tribulation catching away of the remnant. Do not be deceived, study to show yourselves approved. While the end of the age is coming to a close, I am calling for My people to pull away from the world, spend quiet time with me, and walk in the awareness of my presence. I’m calling you to lead revivals and introduce many souls to me in this last hour harvest, and to move with the Holy Spirit, but this does not mean I am going to destroy the wicked, remove the darkness, and bind Satan and his demons so that you can enjoy yourselves. You are going to face fierce resistance and persecution which is why you must constantly dwell in the secret place of the Most High. In fact, the closer you live in my presence and the more involved you are for my kingdom, the more likely you will face persecution, hatred, rejection, mockery, imprisonment, and even death. I can protect you and you can overcome sin by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony, but I will not promise that you will never be a martyr for my glory.
You must understand your life is hidden with Christ and that to die for my sake is gain. This is why I call those who are fearless and who fight on the front line my holy remnant and the bride of Yahshua. My wise virgins have their lamps filled with oil and their wedding garments are clean and white and have no wrinkles. Do you not comprehend you are standing at the end of the age? My sheep and wheat are faithful and are but a tiny portion of the masses who claim to love me but who have no intention of doing my will. Have I not said, the religious spirits praise me with their lips but their hearts are far from me? I say unto you this hour, all earthly governments and kingdoms are corrupt and always will be because they are puppets controlled by Satan. The entire world has a depraved nature and chooses each moment whom they will serve. Do not waste your time worrying about the darkness, but be more concerned and burdened with allowing your light to shine in a realm of confusion and violence. I am greater in you than he that is in the world. To do my work is why I have called you.
Do not spend all of your time trying to fix what cannot be repaired. I have already promised that broad is the way that leads to destruction. Pray and develop your discernment so that you can know what is of me and what is false information. I am the way, the truth, and the life, ask me for wisdom and sensitivity and I will give it to you. Do not allow your mind and heart to be distracted with visions of comfort and financial gain and fantasies of the world loving and respecting you. Have you forgotten your public education system does not even allow prayer and my Bible because they do not believe I am the creator of all things? You are being controlled by a system of the beast and this will only be destroyed when I tell Yahshua to come and remove the remnant and destroy the world. Do you not understand you are in a war unto death and that all who do not love me are my enemies? Do you realize those in your family who are not sold out for me are fighting against my kingdom which includes you? Pray that you will not be brainwashed and mesmerized by the flood of lies which spews from the false prophet of media. It is your responsibility to protect your conscience from the airwaves. Your citizenship is in heaven and your faith and hope is in ME alone. Focus on listening to my voice and doing my will so that your name will be found in my book of life. Allow me to fill you with My Spirit and above all things, DO WHAT I SAY. Concentrate and meditate on taking up your cross and following me, loving me with all of your heart, praying without ceasing, and walking holy before me as this is the meaning and purpose of your life says the Lord of Host this day.”
You may pass this word to others as the Lord leads.
TELLING OUR WORRIES AND FEARS HOW BIG GOD IS – 3/22/22
I was reminded today of the verse in Psalm 30 and the last part of verse five that say’s, “Weeping may last through the night but joy comes in the morning.” The analogy is implying there will be sadness during hard times but perseverance will be rewarded when the conflict is over. David, who is referred to in Acts 13:22 as a “man after God’s own heart” kept his eyes on the Lord. When times were difficult, he cried out to Him in frustration; and when God was faithful, he lifted his voice in praise. The darkness has come to divide, conquer, steal, destroy, harm families, and tear down nations, but let us remember the devil must flee when you resist him in the name of Jesus Christ.
Many of you are worried about what is coming. Stand firm in your prayers, ask for discernment, and stay focused on God and His truth. The enemy has many disguises. Release the agape love within you as a strong defense against deception, as Christ in you is the hope of glory. Make sure your house is built on the rock. Now is not the time to become relaxed and distracted but rather to become more intense and passionate to draw near to God and to accomplish His mission. Keep a journal of your visions along with your prayers, as maintaining a reverential fear of the Lord gives us confidence that He will protect and provide for us.
Let us be encouraged today by proclaiming that God is the highest authority. Think about that for a moment. Try to fathom that everything we see He imagined and created. If we hold a marble in the palm of our hand and pretend it is the earth, and compare it with the size of the Sun, which is one of the billions of small stars, our sun could hold over one million marbles. If we lay a quarter on the ground and pretend it is the sun, and make a comparison in size to the other billions of larger-sized stars, we would need to measure a circle with a circumference of 20 feet. Can you imagine what Heaven will be like? With trillions of stars and millions of galaxies, our human mind cannot comprehend the majestic authority and unlimited power of the one who spoke everything into existence. Step outside tonight and look up into the sky, He has demonstrated and proven that His ability truly has no limit. Here is a thought even more overwhelming, He loves you and desires to save you and help you.
Allow me to say dear friends, if you believe your problems are too big or your enemy is too powerful for the Lord to take care of, then your concept of God is much too small. He is El-Shaddai, the God that is more than enough to take care of anything you would ever need. The only thing the devil ever created is fear and anxiety, but thank God we have a greater reality which is our spiritual understanding that He is the Alpha and Omega who desires to fill us with His hope and peace. May it be a personal revelation to stop telling God how big your problems are and to start telling your problems how big God is.
“Heavenly Father, we pray for our brothers and sisters and ask that you put your arms around them. Many of them are tired and weary from trying to stand against the darkness of this world. Please give them an extra measure of faith with their shield as they continue praying against principalities and the ruler’s of evil. Give them peace as they rest in your presence and wipe away their tears and encourage them with the joy of your truth. You provided redemption and desire to set us free. Give us wisdom and discernment to know how to prepare for what is coming. Bless them with good health and multiply their prosperity that they may be able to have the resources they need. As they surrender their will to you, fill them with your nature and character. Empower and anoint them with your Holy Spirit as they fulfill their destiny and accomplish your will. Give them an understanding of Agape love, as it is our highest calling. We ask these things for your honor and glory, in your holy name, amen.”
WHO IS REALLY THE CAPTAIN OF YOUR VESSEL? 3/19/22
Many are familiar with Psalm 23 and I want to look at a specific portion of this incredible passage. First of all I want us to read verse two. “He makes me to lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside still waters.” I realize we have all been given free will, but do you notice here that our Creator provides a way for us to walk in the peace and abundance of His Spirit? This can only happen for those who have invited Christ to sit on the throne of their heart and rule as Lord. These are the remnant who are the genuine bride that places their relationship with Him as their highest priority.
The casual religious person will not take up their cross because they love the world more than they love Yahshua which means Yah’s salvation. This is the difference between goats that hate to follow and sheep that have an internal nature to follow. Another point I want us to observe is verse three. “He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.” Why does the writer declare about the Lord restoring his soul? The soul is the seat of the emotions and directly associated with the mind and will. Why would the soul need to be restored? The Lord was trying to explain there is a battle between our flesh and His Spirit and in order to stay on track with the King of kings, our soul must always be submitted to the Holy Spirit. He will lead and restore, but our submission to His desires is an intentional act of our will. The covenant that is offered through the blood atonement of Christ does not allow the mind to lead and make decisions independently from Yahweh, neither does it force us to follow His voice, but rather we are restored and empowered by yielding the seat of our soul willingly to His Lordship.
Some might ask, “how often would my soul need to renewed?” Without being legalistic, our soul needs to be renewed constantly. Generally speaking, every moment we are receiving information that needs to be filtered through the Holy Spirit or we risk being deceived. This is how we discern what is right and wrong and divine wisdom helps to keep us on the straight and narrow. Knowledge is only information until it has been quickened into spiritual revelation which is imparted and engraved on the tables of our hearts. When it comes to the many different types of deceptive snare traps, our soul can very easily become distracted and fall back into our old habits of mental reasoning and logical thinking.
It’s true the Almighty did give us the potential to have a powerful and sound mind, but we must be aware of the dangers of seeing our surroundings with an emotional perception instead of a spiritual revelation. The ability to discern does not come automatically and only comes with much prayer as the Bible promises those who knock that it shall be opened. The ones who are desperate to have spiritual sensitivity will learn what it takes to walk in the awareness of Yahweh’s presence. Adam and Eve fell in the Garden because they removed their concentration away from Elohim and followed the feelings and judgments within their souls. They fell and humanity has been falling since that day.
We can say for the carnal person (whether they consider themselves a Christian or not), the soul is the captain of their vessel, however, this is not the way Yahweh intended for Adam and Eve or any of His children today. Many who claim to be righteous live in denial about who is really in control. This hypocrisy can harden the heart over time and cause a strong delusion that disables the ability to be convicted by truth. The old saying about someone being “set in their own ways” is a very sad state of existance and leads to death in this life and the one to come. The mercy and grace of conviction is something we should recognize and be eternally grateful as one of the most wonderful gifts from Heaven. It is Yahweh intervening into our life and trying to get our attention because He loves us and has our best interest in mind. This sensitivity is how we are able to listen and walk on the narrow path of His will instead of drifting into the wide gate and broad way of destruction. Without this spiritual sensitivity we are blind and deaf and will drift aimlessly on the sea of fear and confusion.
We can call ourselves anything we want, but Romans 6:16 declares that we are servants to whom we obey. If we follow our own thoughts and always do what we want, Yahshua is not our Lord. The masses do not recognize the difference between a religious facade and a personal relationship and this is the most dangerous spiritual deception in the history of the world. Everything we need to receive eternal life with God has been provided except the sacrifice of our will which is our part of the covenant. Redemption is offered and can be received but it is not free as it will cost us everything just like it cost Yahshua everything. Humans are always looking for something for nothing and have misunderstood the concept of salvation. Covenant is based on both parties being loyal to one another and until we give Him our heart, there is no salvation.
This war for the control of the mind is addressed in the Bible from cover to cover, but it’s only the remnant who lives and moves within the awareness of His presence. Satan works day and night to convince all humans to live according to their opinions and how they feel and this sounds wonderful to the old default carnal nature. However, we cannot walk in His Spirit if we have no desire to obey what He is saying. Throughout the holy scriptures, the history of the world, and all around us today, we see individuals who made the intentional decision to be led by their soul instead of their spiritual destiny and the result is great loss. Whether the masses who work hard to avoid Yahweh will admit it or not, trusting the soulish realm instead of His divine truth leads individuals into gross error and in many cases even into the depths of eternal hell.
BIBLE COMPARISON CHART 3/20/22
This comparison chart helps us visualize the differences between various Bible translations. Though not every Bible is listed here, all translations will land somewhere on the spectrum from “Word-for-Word” thru “Thought-for-Thought” and all the way to Paraphrase. The left side is the more literal translations called formal equivalence, and the right side is referred to the paraphrase and is fully into the dynamic equivalence realm. The best translations of the Bible are mostly well-known, but there are also a few that are not. Scholars regard a word-for-word translation as the most accurate method that also leaves the least room for error. Thought-by-thought and Paraphrase are much easier to read, but they have been criticized because these attempts to translate can spill over into trying to interpret what the scriptures are saying. For example, scholars have noted how King James influenced the scribes as they translated in order to support his personal views. Almost all scholars agree that the New American Standard Bible (NASB) gets the crown for being the most accurate English Bible translation.
Each approach has its strengths and weaknesses. Bible scholars have to study the original languages for a long period of time in order to develop a high proficiency in the original language. These same scholars must be top experts in the target language as well. Anyone who has learned a foreign language knows there are certain idioms in each language. These idioms do not always translate accurately from a source language to the target language, so translators must be very careful to make sure the meaning is accurately transmitted. And for the most part, the translators do a very good job of it. We can tell, because after hundreds of years of Bible translating, all the major translations are in agreement about the major meanings they are conveying in English. Before we close, I want to reveal a list of five translations that most scholars advise us to avoid. The Living Bible, The Message Bible, The New World Bible, The Passion Translation, and The Mirror Bible. I encourage everyone to do your own personal research of Bible translations and see for yourself which one the Holy Spirit leads you to trust.
THE TIME TO PREPARE FOR CHRIST IS NOW! 3/12/22
You would have to be living in a cave to not see the world is changing daily and not for the better. Many hideous things are being planned behind closed doors and as the Bible has prophesied, we know that terrible events are coming and will happen just as the Lord has promised. I pray that you have s desire to be close with the Lord today. There are many things that cause us to worry, but this is the opposite of faith. We cannot be filled with fear and faith at the same time, we must choose to believe in God’s promises or what those around us are saying. I’ve seen many people through the years refusing to care about developing a personal relationship with Christ, and then when something bad happens, they do not have a clue what to do. A crisis is like an ambush that attacks without warning and uses the element of surprise to overcome those who were not prepared. They cannot understand why this is happening and start crying out for everyone to please pray and make it go away. They have not invested the effort to build faith and when they need it the most they do not have any. This is another way that Satan lures people into his spider web and then he can steal, kill, and destroy them because they were not prepared to fight with faith. The hour to start building our trust and wisdom of who God is and a line of direct communication with Him is NOW! Focusing will involve being dedicated and determined to spend quiet time alone with Him and this means that we MUST turn away from the powers of carnal persuasion. When we are on our deathbed, it is too late to generate a comprehension of God’s revelations.
As followers of Jesus, He transforms us into a new creation. We have a brand new spirit and have been called to work diligently to allow the Holy Spirit to reform our conscience and renew our minds. Our spiritual identity is immediate but our spiritual maturity does not happen automatically. Our new way of living is established by learned behaviors that are dependent and conditional upon our free will. If we dedicate our full attention to Him, we will develop into what He has called us to be, however if ignore God’s convictions to be consumed with Him, we will not be able to know His thoughts and there is a chance of falling completely away from Him. If we continue to refuse to heed His corrections and discipline, He is sovereign to judge and do what He needs to do. There is also a strong possibility we were never truly born again at all. There is a huge difference between what we feel, and the way things really are. The remnant is the small group of genuine believers in the midst of a huge world of religious attitudes which are deceived. The remnant is called to develop a strong awareness of God and to follow His voice in every decision. They guard what they see and hear and keep their hearts pure and holy as this is the only way to know what He is saying. We notice in Luke chapter 11:21-23, “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” Those who play religious games do not guard their soul and are always vulnerable to being overcome by the enemy. They are easy victims as they are not filled with the spiritual authority of faith and truth which God graciously equips for those who love Him.
We know that Satan is doing everything he can to keep the divine truths about salvation a secret, but isn’t he also trying to distract everyone from knowing what it means to live the Christian life? In the tenth chapter of John, we read where he has come to steal, kill, and destroy, which includes no rules or boundaries when it comes to him causing human suffering. The devil and his demons work around the clock to make sure everyone is watching television, playing video games, and being snared in the deceptive spiderweb of social media. Why? This is all a carefully planned strategy to distract us from praying and studying God’s Word. When the Lord said that His people were destroyed from a lack of knowledge, He was talking about those who claim to follow His voice and yet neglect the divine revelations of His truth. I know people who have attended Christian assemblies all their lives and have never read or studied the Bible. They only believe what they have been told and have no idea why they support the personal views they stand for. Can you see how easy it would be to be deceived? No matter if we go to an assembly or not while yielding to the temptations of the world every minute of the day, we are not going to walk in God’s presence or be able to hear His voice. Can you not discern how these powerful persuasions of carnality tempt, confuse, hinder, distort, and influence humans to love and be addicted to drama, to enjoy worldly pleasure, and entice the heart with lust, envy, greed, and jealousy. Why? To keep every person focused on everything except what God is saying. Are you guarding your heart today and protecting it from being contaminated and corrupted by Satanic influences? Do you sense the danger of being manipulated like a puppet by the kingdom of darkness? If not, you are already held firm in this diabolical snare trap of denial.
I am surprised at how little the average Christian knows about God and the Bible. We hear the term Bible scholar, and this is impressive, but we fail to realize that God wants each of His children to be one. Where did the idea that a Bible interpreter was a special gift and calling only reserved for a few? God said for the remnant to study and show themselves approved, rightly dividing the word of truth and this means each child of God. The idea of only a few people making the sacrifice of energy, determination, to learn spiritual truth, while the other 99 percent of the people lay around is abnormal and dangerous. This concept came from the ancient priest who spoke Latin, but the followers did not. The people had to trust what was being said and they did not even understand a word that was spoken. Nonetheless, the baskets were passed and the ministry was financially supported much like it is today. The point is that each member of the body of Christ is a “full-time” minister with a responsibility to teach God’s Word, have a burden for the lost, live holy above reproach, be sensitive to divine appointments, and be subject to persecution. We can look around and see that most who call themselves Christians are asleep and have no intention of being what God desires for them to be. This attitude of thinking one is saved while living like the world is one of the most devastating deceptions in the history of Christianity. The pre-tribulation rapture escape doctrine is another reason for global spiritual lukewarmness since 1830, but we will discuss more about this at another time.
I want us to imagine how much deeper we could go with the Lord Jesus if we started eliminating the diversions of the world and turned our focus upon Christ. Of all the people I know, there are only two people who have turned away from television and social media because they recognize the purpose is mind control. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as a person thinks in their heart, so are they: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.” What we notice in this verse is a person who is saying one thing with their mouth, but their heart is in a completely different place. The thoughts and inclinations of the heart shape the reality of who you are. They shape your thinking which will ultimately shape your actions. That’s why what you think about matters because it is forming the basis of who you will become. Here is the problem. Who you are on the inside and what you say and appear to be on the outside, may not always be the same thing. The Pharisees, for example, were very good at presenting themselves as very pious, devout, religious people, yet Jesus called them hypocrites and vipers. This word hypocrite in the Greek means actor. The Pharisees were playing a role on the outside that didn’t reflect who they really were. Remember, Jesus said they were like whitewashed tombs, but on the inside, they were like dead men’s bones. If you need to know who a person really is, you can’t always determine that by the things they say or the way they act, you have to look at the root of who they are, and that root is the heart. The true intentions of the conscience flow out of their heart. It is the core of the soul and a reflection of the spirit. Jesus said you will know a tree by its fruit which is simply a reflection of the root it’s connected to. You will never get an orange from an apple tree root. The core of who you are is confirmed by the thoughts or roots of your heart. That’s why what is on the inside is so much more important than what is on the outside. You can mask the outside to others, and play hide and seek with God, but ultimately, what’s in your heart will be what He will judge.
Let us be reminded that this is not the day or time to relax and use the world’s entertainment as an intentional distraction from the fears and worries of what is going on around us. Instead of searching for things that are fun and that make us comfortable, we should be searching for God’s perfect will and His personal instructions for us. If we would invest the same amount of time in seeking His voice that we do with seeking the voices of the world, we would walk in the power and wisdom of His Spirit instead of cowering in confusion and anxiety. Do not go to sleep thinking that you will be caught up and escape having to stand for God and His truth. God’s remnant have the whole armor of God and are on the battlefield of spiritual warfare accomplishing the miracles that Christ is calling for. Come out from under the bed and join your brothers and sisters in this last day stand against evil. Today is the hour to prepare to engage against the darkness and possibly lose everything you have – even your life for His sake. If you are not for God – you are against Him. “Arise, shine for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” Isaiah 60:1-3.
In closing, I want to say that above all things that are going on in the world and all the things that you believe are important, there is nothing more important than making sure your wedding gown is without spot or wrinkle. Remember the ten virgins where five had their lamps filled with oil and the other five were trying to find oil at the last minute. The five who had their lamps filled were prepared to meet their Lord and they are called wise. Are you being wise today or are you falling prey to the kingdom of darkness that is trying to corrupt your heart and steal your soul? Pray for personal awakening and pray for wisdom, discernment, sensitivity, and an awareness of God’s presence. If you will sincerely ask for God to open the eyes of your heart. He has promised to provide for those who knock, ask, and seek. However, do not plead for this unless you are willing to take up your cross and surrender your will to Him. Unless you agree to come out of the world and stop believing that you can live however you want and that God does not care, you will continue living on the wide and broad way of destruction. Millions are going into eternity every day and hell is expanding. Today is not the time to eat, drink, and be merry without being brokenhearted for a blind and lost world. If you spend more time with television and social media than you do praying and seeking God’s face, you have already made it known to whom you pledge your allegiance. If you have truly decided to follow Jesus, your life will need a complete overall and this will include some drastic changes that will be very difficult. Prepare to suffer persecution and to be mocked, but walking in God’s presence means more than everything in the world. Do you have the faith to stand in the days of tribulation, are you ready to meet Him today?
Waiting in the wings
By Jan Markell – March 1, 2022
Gog is stirring and evil is rising. The bear has always been wicked but now it is as though Mr. Putin is possessed. He is showing aggression not seen in decades. Observers say he has transformed recently into ultimate evil and with the images playing out in front of us, that is obvious. Nuclear forces are now alerted in Russia. Talk about perilous times (II Timothy). Israel is on alert because we know Vladimir Putin will not stop with Ukraine. Much more territory is in his sights, and he longs for the spoil (wealth) stored up in Israel (Ezekiel 38-39).
Society became fear-based two years ago with the pandemic, which opened the door for government overreach. More and more, the world longs for a leader, a Mr. Fix-It. Right now, such a person is not prominent. He may be obscure at this time, but he is waiting in the wings.
The Church will never know who the Antichrist is and the leader of the Russian invasion is not the Antichrist. But Vladimir Putin is “Gog-esque.” His ultimate goal could be “the mountains of Israel” (Ezekiel 38:8). Thanks to this blundering invasion, more than ever, he needs the natural resources and other “wealth” of Israel.
The conflict in Ukraine is an end-time turning point. It is much more than “wars and rumors of wars” predicted in the Bible for the end-of-days. It is further destabilizing a world that is already groaning, fearful and weary.
It is impossible to keep up with the signs of the times. But the world lacks a strong, forceful leader. You cannot point to a capital in the world today that reflects leadership. And that’s when tyrants rise. One wonders if it is 1942 or 2022. Watching refugees on the run, having left possessions, people and even pets behind, tears at the heart. One day they had a normal, prosperous life and the next, they were being hunted.
HEALING TESTIMONY – 2/27/22
I want to share a praise report of God healing someone I know personally. We hear about sickness and disease and the endless cries of why, but rarely do we learn about miracles when God intervenes and touches a person with His creative and restoring authority. In the New Testament, there are true accounts of Jesus asking what He can do for those who were suffering, and when they told Him their request, He said, “I will.” As Christians, we pray because we believe God is listening and that He will answer our petitions according to His perfect plans. His written word is His general will, and He also has a specific will where He speaks directly to us. This is where we need to advance in our spiritual discernment and sensitivity. For example, God says that He will bless a couple when they are married, but there is not a chapter and verse saying Sally will marry Joe. With every decision in life, The Almighty is trying to get our attention as He desires to lead us into divine appointments we commonly call, “walking in His Spirit.” Can you imagine how much more meaningful our life would be if we could develop a constant awareness of His presence?
I help manage a food distribution ministry that receives groceries from large markets and we give it away to those who could use a blessing. We have a team of ten individuals that work in this community outreach three times each week. One of the members, Wanda Humes is a very sweet Christian lady that unfortunately was the victim of a rear-end collision two years ago. The cervical vertebrae in her neck were damaged and the muscles and tendons have been pulling her chin down to her chest since the accident. This has caused her head to point directly to the ground without being able to lift it. Any attempt to raise her head was excruciating and so she has been walking around with not being able to see people when she talks to them. People are constantly criticizing her for not looking at them when they are talking to her. I have felt compassion for her and occasionally I will gather the team around her to pray that God would heal her.
On Friday afternoon February 25, 2022, the trailer had just been unloaded and we were loading our vehicles to give the food away when suddenly I felt compelled to gather the two team members that were still there and to pray for Wanda. I laid hands on her along with Louise Gauthier and Norman Cline and started asking Jesus to touch her neck. I said I believe that God can straighten bones, muscles, and tendons, and He is our provider and healer. I was pleading the blood of Jesus over her while these two witnesses were agreeing and together we sealed this request in the Name of Jesus. We left and went separate ways with the food. Fifteen minutes later I received a call. Louise and Wanda had pulled over on the side of the road shouting praise God into the phone, saying that Wanda’s neck suddenly straightened up for the first time in 2 years! She could raise her head and see the sky like it was before the accident! We came back together about an hour later and were rejoicing when we saw her neck had been completely healed by the love and mercy of Christ.
We do not always understand why God heals some and does not heal others or about His perfect timing, but as I explain in my last book about miracles, there are so many factors involved. It’s not easy to discern the plans of God without fervently seeking His face and even then He is not obligated to share His reasons in every situation. We know that God spoke the universe into existence with His voice, yet many fail to believe He can speak to their sickness and remove it. The Bible says in Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Be encouraged, He can heal anyone of anything. There is nothing special about me, I’m just a person like you trying to live for Him as I continue learning how to love Him and those around me. I humbly relay this testimony to you and declare that in this particular case, it was God’s will to manifest His power on this day at this moment for His glory.
TAKING A PERSONAL INVENTORY OF OUR HEART 2/26/22
We have known people in the workplace that openly betrayed the very Savior they claimed they were following. These people publicly took God’s name in vain and yet at the same time professed to be faithful Christians, involved church members, strong family leaders and trusted confidants. So, what is it that makes someone a hypocrite? It is not a lack of holy knowledge, but rather the absence of mental discipline. Transforming the mind was never intended to be an option in the Christian life but a Heavenly demand if we have any intention of becoming a reflection of His image. Unfortunately, no one is exempt from the disease of having a carnal mind and it cannot be hidden as the scripture in Luke 12:3 declares, “Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear.” It’s true we all slip up and make mistakes and its also a fact that whatever the circumstance, it’s discouraging to know that some people are not what they seem to be. This unfortunately applies to friends, members of our assembly, co-workers, and even our family members. To stay encouraged, we must learn to keep our focus on Christ and live in a constant awareness of His presence.
It’s normal to listen and receive information from different sources, but these influences must be filtered through the Holy Spirit to prevent us from absorbing error and being deceived. Even those who teach Biblical doctrines and insights sadly many times play the same game of persuading to control just like everything else that has developed from the idea of commerce. For example, when individuals had a plan to sell snake oil proclaiming that it would heal sickness and disease, word traveled fast among the greedy thieves that it was a dependable moneymaker. Those who sold it were passionate, charismatic, and articulate orators while the naive ones who drank it were convinced under the power of emotional perception that it was true. Thus, the world of marketing and advertisement for medicine was born which paved the way for a world-changing acceptance of magical drugs created by global conglomerate pharmaceutical companies. Pay attention to the avalanche of commercials on television and magazines that are constantly telling us how we need these medicines. Are we being slowly turned into someone we were never intended to be? Many doctors participate in prescribing these experimental trial drugs so they can share in the riches with one of the most lucrative industries in the world. It is all in the name of the mighty dollar and they are not worried about the damage they could cause. How are these medications affecting our brains, hormones, our organs, our personalities? In another area, what are genetically modified foods doing to our bodies?
We must ask if these chemicals are actually helping or is much of it a placebo effect? Do you believe in such a thing as the power of persuasion and do you believe it would be impossible for people to take a sugar pill and swear they feel much better? The placebo effect is when a person’s physical or mental health appears to improve after taking a placebo or fake treatment. Placebo is Latin for “I will please” and refers to a treatment that appears real, but is designed to have no therapeutic benefit. The idea was intended for experimental studies where half the group is given a drug and the other half is given a sugar pill but the participants are not told which one they received.
The same pattern evolved with man-centered religious ceremonies and worship rituals; aggressive and deceptive personalities learned that the weak, and uneducated masses were emotionally vulnerable to fear, sadness and excitement. These leaders of men discovered that a person’s admiration, loyalty and money could be controlled through the spoken word. The parable Jesus describes in Mark chapter 4, verses 30-32 compares the Kingdom of God with a mustard seed that grows into a large tree where the fowls of the air live. “And he said, whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what comparison shall we compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: But when it is sown, it grows up, and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadows of it.” While often interpreted as being a happy or normal prediction of the growth of the Christian church on earth, some scholars believe this parable and the parable of the leaven, which immediately follows it, are related and is trying to warn us about an imitation gospel. A picture of the abnormal growth and response to a deception that becomes controlled with demonic activity as denoted by the presence of birds. These fowls may be seen as an undesirable thief, since they would eat any new seed that is sown and this carnal atmosphere could represent false teachers manipulating those who would rather have religion than relationship, thus preventing the masses from advancing in true spirituality.
Many who are involved with the ideas of religion are more focused with prosperity, psychology of self-improvement, and dominion theology and have unknowingly missed the heart of Christianity which is living in the awareness of God. By emphasizing the priority of church membership and beautiful buildings and drawing larger numbers, instead of having a personal relationship with Jesus, many have somehow missed God somewhere along the way. Another familiar religious group is the “seeker movement.” Critics claim that it is providing a, “don’t worry be happy” type of spiritual security where most of the content is chocolate cake and ice cream. With non-threatening messages, and easy-going music, the absence of commitment or accountability is popular and the religious wolves will declare whatever it takes to herd these followers into supporting this agenda. When people can gather in a local assembly and feel comfortable, coming and going without feeling the anointing or conviction of the Holy Spirit, something is wrong. The truth cuts like a knife as incorporating wisdom revelation into our mind and behavior is God’s plan for our personal growth. To go down the list of what is being taught and practiced in many modern assemblies, it’s almost identical to the failures and hypocrisy found in the churches mentioned in the book of Revelation, chapters 3 and 4. Megachurches are leading the way as they provide a safe place for people to hide without dealing with their sins. While the larger numbers are seen by the world as religious success, the private battle cry of board meetings behind closed doors is focused on the one question, “did we make budget?”
I personally continue to be drawn to the small independent house church model because of the agape love and sincere humility it can manifest. No salaries, no building programs or debt, no competition with the group down the street, no strife, clicks or politics, no professional entertainment or performances or having a focus to grow into a larger ministry to prove success. These are opportunities to have humility where no one is trying to be famous but everyone is recognized as a minister of the gospel. No more compromising sermons that tickle our flesh or music without the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and no more fleshly agendas or ideas, just simply waiting on God’s presence and devoting time and resources to the poor and needy. Whatever happened to these kinds of assemblies and when will we see them again? We will see them when the remnant becomes filled with the Holy Spirit and thirsty for God. We must open our eyes and see that we cannot be dictated and ruled by fear. Most pastors are afraid to speak the truth because they believe many of the members will leave and take their checkbooks with them. When teaching God’s truth must be approved and depends on what the members want to hear, that assembly is in trouble.
“Do not misinterpret God’s patience for His leniency. Just because He is not chastising us at the moment does not mean He is ignoring our misbehavior and will not hold us accountable”
THE WALK OF ENCOURAGEMENT 2/22/22
I was having a discussion with a friend the other day about how it seems that so many people are living in sadness and discouragement when he mentioned something that really made me think. He said that it was impossible to be depressed and walk in the joy of God’s presence at the same time. After our conversation, I continued to ponder this statement and by the way, I do agree with it. I’m not saying that developing an optimistic lifestyle is easy by any stretch of the imagination, but I definitely believe it’s possible.
Since a healthy relationship with the Lord is measured according to the level of our spiritual joy, a lifestyle of encouragement will have everything to do with changing the way we think. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God” (Psalm 42:11). Like the Psalmist, there are times when we allow sadness to lead us down the road of discouragement. I use the word allow because joy and sadness are attitudes of the mind which we choose. How can we live in victory if we are always planning for defeat? I’m still learning that it’s up to me whether I accept the misery of fear and worry or become determined to focus on God and find refuge under the shadow His presence. We cannot control what happens to us, but we can decide how we will respond.
When I’ve been too busy to pray, study or worship the Lord, my faith turns to doubt as I begin to lose my confidence that He will take care of my problems and needs. When we drift away from the security of His love and peace, we are vulnerable to the overwhelming feelings of hopelessness and discouragement from mistakes and sins we have committed. The dark side will sniff out our failures and attempt to bring guilt and condemnation to remind us of what we could and should have done. The enemy of our soul never takes a vacation and is devoted to tempt us to be depressed for the missed opportunities we have blown and wrong decisions we have made. I know there are many faithful workers in the kingdom of God that are tired and disappointed and often they do not feel appreciated in their calling, but the Lord sees your labor and His definition of success is not the same as the world.
There is nothing more wonderful than to know the call and will of God and to be walking in it, but I must include if there is anything that can deter us from following Jesus – it will definitely try. “For the Lord God can help me; therefore shall I not be confounded [confused] therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed” Isaiah 50:7. Setting our face like flint is declaring a message to the world that we are dedicated to becoming who God has called us to be. Flint is a very hard substance and in the time of our trials, the strategy for positive spiritual combat is to stand strong and not allow doubt or fear to influence or persuade us to surrender.
The Lord Jesus is longing to give us the stability and perseverance we need to accomplish His plans, but He is also depending on us to become committed in our faith. God’s river of joy is available anytime and is calling for us to wade out into the deeper waters of His presence. We are invited to be saturated in His Spirit and bask in His glory if this is what we really want. Unfortunately, many are relaxing in their lounge chairs at “poolside” and only stick their toes in the water occasionally when the stress and anxiety brings discomfort or when a crisis comes upon them. The best way to maintain a positive attitude is to pray and study God’s word daily which renews our mind and keeps us sensitive to His thoughts and demonstrating His character. If Jesus is our vine and we are the branches, His nature and attributes are flowing within us. He wants to give you His strength and hope today and His peace and encouragement for your way. We know we are to believe in Him, but when is the last time you considered that He believes in you?
Wheat and the Tares – 2/26/22
Today, we are seeing a clear dividing line between those who are in bondage with demon spirits and those who are breaking free from the enticements of the world system. The ones who play religious games are exposed because the eyes of their heart have not been opened. The remnant of God is advancing in their discernment and wisdom and can now more easily recognize deception and demonic activity.The window of grace is open now for all those who desire to be wise virgins. Developing an awareness of God’s presence can be obtained but it will require much devotion and determination to spend time with Him. We can be as close to God as we want, the question is how close do we desire to be? 2 Timothy 3:1-9, “But understand this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, savage, opposed to what is good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, loving pleasure rather than loving God. They will maintain the outward appearance of religion but will have repudiated its power. So avoid people like these. For some of these insinuate themselves into households and captivate weak women who are overwhelmed with sins and led along by various passions. Such women are always seeking instruction, yet never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. And just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these people—who have warped minds and are disqualified in the faith—also oppose the truth. But they will not go much further, for their foolishness will be obvious to everyone, just like it was with Jannes and Jambres.
Outwardly these people seem religious. They make a profession of Christianity, but their actions speak louder than their words. By their ungodly behavior, they show that they are living a lie. There is no evidence of the power of God in their lives. While there might have been reformation, there never was regeneration. Weymouth translates: “They will keep up a make-believe of piety and yet exclude its power.” Likewise Moffatt: “Though they keep up a form of religion, they will have nothing to do with it as a force.” Phillips puts it: “They will maintain a façade of ‘religion’ but their conduct will deny its validity.” They want to be religious and to have their sins at the same time as described in Revelation 3:14-19, “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.” It is the fearful portrayal of an apostate Christendom, an ancient religious spirit of paganism masquerading under the name of modern Christianity. Pray for spiritual sensitivity to know the wheat from the tares.
BECOMING WHO GOD CALLED US TO BE
The key to being a good soldier is being obedient. No one especially God wants a soldier that becomes awol or that is rebellious and always wants to do things their way. Every effective military has strict discipline for a purpose and this is for making sure the soldier is focused on what the leadership is saying. One reason for going through boot camp is to learn certain skills while training the soldier to build strength so they are in excellent physical condition. Going into battle is very strenuous and demands for each team member to be strong and confident. But even more importantly than building physical endurance, their minds must be educated, transformed, and renewed to follow orders and to be ready to respond without fear under the most terrifying and difficult situations. To have someone’s attention, the person must trust and respect the one who is in command. These physical, mental, and spiritual components are crucial to being victorious. As you can see, the concept of awareness and discernment cannot be over-emphasized in our relationship with God our Lord and King.
In the summer of 2021, I began asking God to help me develop a deeper level of awareness of His presence along with more wisdom and discernment. I wrote down a few statements to confess in my prayers including during the day whenever it would cross my mind. I added a few things here and there and it came together like a jig-saw puzzle and it is becoming a revelation to my life. Information is only a gathering of knowledge until it becomes quickened as divine truth and wisdom to our mind and conscience. Many people know a lot of facts, but until truth energizes and activates conviction within our heart, it will not change our destiny. I have also asked God to help me recognize errors so that I might know the correct interpretation of His Word. I am consistently requesting to have more spiritual sensitivity for His voice so that I can comprehend what He is saying. It has taken a while but I am noticing a positive change within me. I am slowly drifting away from being mesmerized by the chaos of the world and things that were once important are no longer that way. However, this is an attitude that must be constantly maintained. We can fall away from God in moments if we choose to embrace the temptation to sin. Many are snared in the dangerous deception that there is no need for a persistent attitude of repentance. They do not realize or care that lukewarmness brings a false sense of security by blinding the conscience. For years I have been a truth seeker and have pleaded with God to open my spiritual eyes to His truth, and I believe Him when He promised, “All those who seek will find.”
Like a fire that begins with some tinder and smaller sticks, then larger branches are added before finally placing a log in the flames, our prayers are tempered with patience and persistence. We may not see immediate results from our petitions because God is sometimes waiting to see if we are truly serious. It is the repetition of our faith that generates His authority to move in His perfect time. As the woman in Matthew chapter 15 approached Jesus and would not take no for an answer, we should always remember that persistent prayer is the demonstration of faith in God who, while at times may delay His answers, yet will always act justly with respect to His people. Although it seemed that Jesus was ignoring her and not willing to answer her request for healing, He knew what she wanted and obviously was testing her so that we could understand this teaching moment. She was relentless and was not going to give up and as a testimony to all of us, her persistence eventually paid off and so will ours. Even Christ was amazed at her tenacious faith and granted her miracle, even though He told her earlier in the conversation that it was not time yet for Gentiles to receive the blessings of the Kingdom of God. In this light, she was able to single-handedly usher in a new dispensation of the Kingdom of God earlier than anticipated. She received what she needed because she would not let any obstacle stand in her way! Are we that determined? How long are we willing to stand for our miracle?
I am a believer in positive confessions and speaking forth God’s Word as much as we can. The Bible says in First Thessalonians 5:17 to pray without ceasing as this is no doubt trying to teach us the importance of being focused on God and the power of constantly declaring the decrees of His will. I will relay some of the specific declarations the Holy Spirit has revealed to me. You can use the list as it is, add to it, or make your own, but the point is the same. The important message here is to memorize these requests and brand them into your heart as a passionate and fervent desire. Yes, every Christian should have a prayer journal where you can keep up with individuals and situations who need intercession, and out of establishing a more detailed communication with God, you will naturally have a deeper relationship with Him. However, we are also to release personal decrees and desires into the atmosphere when we are working, driving, or wherever we are and to believe that God is listening. When God created everything in seven days, He did not use a hammer and nails. He SPOKE everything into existence and still does. Since He lives inside of every Christian and has promised in Isaiah 57:19 to create the fruit of our lips, we must understand He wants to SPEAK through us. If this is not a reason to believe that our words have creative power nothing will. If we speak God’s general and specific will in faith, we know He is going to honor our petitions. Remember Mark 11:23, “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”
When we depend on God doing all the work while we watch TV, we are not working together nor are we activating faith. This is another dangerous assumption that God is not closely paying attention to what we think or how we live. When we are only thinking about our problems and desires, we do not have the time or concern about what others are going through, but when we choose to make the investment as a dedicated prayer warrior, we will sense His Spirit revealing more about what He wants us to do. When we agree to accept a burden for the lost, pray for the sick, and those with serious problems and needs, we agree to remove our eyes from our flesh and place them on the pain of others. This includes sacrificing the pleasures and control of our selfishness and pride. This will only happen when we plead for a deeper love for God and others. This is a higher lifestyle of spirituality and responsibility that only a few people (the remnant) are interested in. The religious masses usually decide they are not willing to become this extremely involved. They might agree that’s too bad or admit isn’t that awful, and then never think of it again. This is not the compassion and love of God nor the heart of the good Samaritan. When we hear an ambulance, we should immediately pray for the one who is in a crisis. When we hear of someone suffering we should include them in our prayer journal. Let’s take this a step further. Do you believe God has a plan for everyone and He longs to intervene in everyone’s lives? Do you believe He is waiting for you to pray for others so that you can add more faith and power to their requests? In this light, when we choose not to pray, it is obvious we do not care what God wants nor do we care whether other people receive a miracle or not. It shows we have no love for God or others which are the two greatest commandments ever given. First Corinthians chapter thirteen proclaims that without love we have nothing and are nothing.
“Lord, I ask for an awareness of your presence. I know this is the only way to walk in your Spirit. If I am aware that you are constantly with me, I will walk in the reverential fear of you and I will not sin. Fearing your majesty is the beginning of wisdom and I plead with you to fill me with your wisdom and discernment. I am thirsty for you as the deer pants for the water. As Solomon was given a choice to name anything in the world he wanted, he asked for wisdom and discernment because he wanted to be a good leader and to always answer everyone with your perfect truth. You gave it to him and I believe you will also give this to me as you are not a respecter of persons and I receive this in your holy name! Of all the things in this world, I ask to know, speak, and live according to your wisdom. Jesus, I long to demonstrate your character and nature. Give me agape love so that when the world sees me they see you. I desire for my life to be none of me and all of you. I make the holy vow to live in blood covenant with you and I honor your gift of salvation. Give me the correct interpretation of your scriptures that I might show myself approved and teach your word with accuracy. Father, make my heart so sensitive that I may always hear your still small voice. How can I obey you if I cannot hear what you are saying? How can I respond to divine appointments if I cannot understand your directions? Give me a burden for the lost and that I might pray without ceasing. Come and sit on the throne of my heart as the King and Lord of my life. I worship you in Spirit and truth. Give me a passion to be holy and may every sin make me nauseous. I receive your power and authority to do your works for your glory. I am willing to walk through the refiner’s fire and be made pure as gold. Break me, melt me, mold me, use me. I am preparing my wedding gown that it might be without spots or wrinkles. I cast down my carnal flesh and speak to my old nature to die once and for all in the name of Jesus. Open the eyes of my heart, and allow me to see everything the way you see, and give me the mind of Christ. Whatever it takes, I will stay focused on you and I will surrender my all to you. I lay down my will. All to thee I surrender in order to become who you have called me to be.”
LEARNING TO GIVE OUR BURDENS TO THE LORD 1/26/22
I had lunch with a middle-aged couple the other day and they were sharing about a crisis situation they are struggling with. The stress has been building for quite some time and the heavy burden of trying to deal with this is taking a toll. They are both believers, but at the same time they admit there is much to learn when it comes to spiritual warfare and getting into position to listen and trust God with their lives. We all have a difficult time with many aspects of the Christian life, but admitting we are vulnerable and weak in our times of adversity is a positive step in the right direction. Many times it’s our pride that leads us into even more difficulty when we become convinced we can handle our own problems. When we approach our circumstances through our emotions, it usually does not end up well, but when we humbly follow God’s instructions we can trust that His wisdom knows exactly what to do. It’s true, the Lord can make all things work together for the good, but we must cooperate with His plans. II Corinthians 12:9-10 says, “And he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Most of us have heard the old saying, “Let go and let God” but this is not easy. There might be times when we need to take the bull by the horns, but surrendering is associated with trust and this is an area where we humans often hesitate. Remember when your dad would hold out his arms and tell you to jump? This is the same idea that we are trying to learn about our spiritual relationship with God and if we cannot trust Him, we cannot please Him. Our nature has a stubborn and independent determination as we are not naturally wired to yield our control to anyone even God Himself. This is why the Bible speaks about our mind being renewed as learning to submit and obey is a learned behavior. This is especially the case when it comes to turning loose of our problems because we would much rather spend our time and energy trying to defeat them with worry and anxiety. The frustrating reality is that most of our misfortunes are simply too difficult for us to handle. We might as well face it, we cannot solve, repair, heal, restore, or resolve our serious obstacles, but God can. “But Jesus beheld them and said unto them, with men this is impossible: but with God all things are possible” Matthew 19:26. When we finally realize we are unable to fix what is broken, we then have the choice to give our problems over to God and believe that He will step into the need and create a miracle. This is great news! Charles Swindoll is quoted as saying, “We must cease striving and trust God to provide what He thinks is best and in whatever time He chooses to make it available. But this kind of trusting doesn’t come naturally. It’s a spiritual crisis of the will in which we must choose to exercise faith.”
I realize it’s difficult to understand, but Jesus offers a very different perspective about suffering. While we are asking how God could possibly create anything good from our difficult situation, we usually forget that He knows everything and is waiting to use our circumstances to manifest His glory. Even though we may experience a thunderstorm occasionally, let us be reminded that eventually they stop and the sun comes out. Our life was not intended to be a continual valley of shadows or for us to carry our worries and heavy burdens. Matthew 11:28 declares, “Come unto me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Today as you continue to face your giants and it seems there is no hope for victory, consider transferring this burden over to Jesus and allow Him the opportunity to intervene and reveal His authority. Linda Shepherd is quoted as saying, “If you are caught up in situations beyond your control, the solution is not figuring out how God can save you; it’s trusting that He will.”
Let us examine our hearts and make sure we are truly born-again. Many who believe they are saved are not. Jesus is coming – please do not be left behind.
Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done
God’s general will is His Word and knowing the divine wisdom of His knowledge reveals who He is and what He demands from us. You see, no matter what we have been taught, abandoning our will to God is not an option for those who seek to be an overcomer for His glory. I sense a burden this week to talk about the danger of living however we want instead of obeying what God is saying. Jesus is quoted in Luke 22:42, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.” Many fail to understand the Bible is not just a dialogue between real people who lived many years ago, but it is also a living revelation meant to speak to the heart of the listener today. The topic of the human will being surrendered to God is the foundation of the Christian life and yet there has never been a more unpopular subject. It’s not a secret that most people want all that God has, but rarely consider what God demands from us.
Though rarely mentioned, our carnal nature is so deceptive and rebellious that it’s common for people to believe that God is not paying attention to what we say or do. The few who become serious and take the time to fast and pray for discernment will discover the sobering truth that our depravity defends disobedience with denial. Our emotions couldn’t care less if we are spiritually wandering out in left field wearing a blindfold as long as our will can remain in control of our decisions. Adam and Eve chose to live according to their ideas despite God’s warnings and sadly this rebellious attitude is alive and well today and can only be harnessed through continuous spiritual warfare.
Many pray that God will have mercy on them, but invest little effort to be transformed by the renewing of their mind. We want Him to help us and deliver us from our problems, but we are not willing to lay down our will so that we can embrace His. We desire to live independently while proclaiming to be a Christian but do not comprehend we cannot manage both successfully. In Matthew 6:24 Jesus plainly said, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” A master is anything that enslaves us and when it comes to worldly worship, and He uses money here as an example of anything that we love more than God. Christ in Luke 6:24 relays a sobering statement about those who refuse to listen to His voice or live by His demands and yet still call Him their Lord. I passed someone on the side of the road yesterday holding a sign that said, “Jesus wants to be your Savior and your Lord.”
Each child of God has been called to do many things and has a unique role to play in His Kingdom. Our gifts, talents, anointing, and personalities are all different and He desires to use each one to accomplish His perfect plan. With those who are born again, life has been drastically changed because we are now building from a brand new spiritual blueprint. The plans and desires that we had in our old life may not look anything like what God has chosen for us to do now. The Christian’s call has certain responsibilities and for the rest of our days it is up to us to discover what they mean and how to accomplish them. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of God which means we must operate in His strength and attitude for His plans to be successful. Those who attempt to compromise by combining their will with God’s will or to allow denial to lead them into a seemingly innocent rebellion will discover that no matter how excited or diligent they are to execute their goals, things never seem to pan out. Even if they forcefully push them through until they are exhausted from their labors, they are left empty and extremely dissatisfied. Why? Because they have yet to learn that God does not accept or bless our sacrificial offerings if they are given on our terms. Until we remove ourselves from our throne of control, we have not truly yielded our will to Him.
Recently, I was honored to sing at our annual fundraiser gospel concert for homeless children in our community. In this original song called, “Somebody Was Praying” Mike Carr of the Moron Brothers (A Christian comedy duo) is seen here playing some incredible blues harmonica with me. It was a wonderful evening that gave all glory to God and raised over $5000.00 for those who desperately need help.
It’s getting colder at night and we’ve been turning on the gas logs in the mornings. Since Teddy was a puppy he’s been stretching out in front of the fire and snoring.
MAKING THE EFFORT TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT
In Luke 10:30-37, a certain lawyer approaches Jesus with a spiritual question: “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” How fitting that a legal expert would ask Jesus about a subject he was trained to understand. Jesus points this man and the rest of us to the law of heaven, “Whoever loves God with all their heart, soul, strength, and mind, and whoever loves their neighbor as themselves will have eternal life.” This arrogant attorney was only pretending to make sure he understood clearly whom he is obligated to love, and continued another attempt to justify his prejudice. “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus responds to this second query with the story of the Good Samaritan.
The Good Samaritan was obviously a sensitive and caring person who at significant cost to himself, stopped to help a wounded stranger that had been beaten and robbed and was being ignored by everyone passing by. Making his rescue attempt even more remarkable is the fact that he was a Samaritan and the man who was hurt was his Jewish neighbor. You see, traditionally Jews and Samaritans despised each other. It’s true the Samaritan is the hero of the story and a model of Biblical compassion, but his actions should not be seen as extraordinary. This is the standard attitude of Christian love that God expects or more accurately He demands from all of His followers as a normal lifestyle. Some of the villains in this true account are surprisingly the religious leaders who turned their heads and their hearts away and acted as if they did not see the crisis. It’s easy to heap scorn on such callous disregard, but there is also a good chance we may have fared no better. These respected figures within the community might have felt pity for the victim and may have even said a silent prayer for him as they passed by, however, refusing to become involved was sadly based on racial bigotry and political correctness.
We have also driven past those who hold signs begging for help which leaves us with countless opinions. We’ve heard stories about those who are professional scammers and how they play on people’s emotions. There are always reasons and excuses why we do not pick up hitchhikers or help those who sleep under bridges and mostly it’s because we would rather not be involved. We know it’s critical to use our spiritual discernment, but should we try to help everyone? We can imagine what the people in our story were thinking for example, “I’m not comfortable or trained to treat wounds, and I’m afraid he might have a disease.” “What if he dies, I will be blamed.” Maybe they justified their decision with the idea they should not be expected to be responsible for everyone else’s problems. Others might have been suspicious this person was a criminal and deserved what happened and this was his punishment. Or maybe they were just really busy that day or were late for a lunch date or an important meeting. Whatever reasons these individuals deemed it either too costly or insignificant, Jesus condemns them. To love their neighbor at that moment required stopping what they were focused on and deciding to do what was right.
Jesus continues to teach these spiritual principles as He declares in Matthew chapter 25, that whatever we refuse to do for others, we are also ignoring to consider Him. This includes our love. So, how crucial is it to be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit and be ready to serve? The people in this Matthew passage are sent into eternal damnation because they failed to care for the needy. Remember the rich man and Lazarus. Romans chapter 12 speaks directly to believers about the practical and often painful ministry of being a living sacrifice. This means we should be prepared to act when a divine appointment presents itself as having a higher level of spiritual discernment is why we talk so much about walking in the awareness of God’s presence. Being sympathetic is not enough as James says in 2:15-16, “If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, go in peace, be warmed and filled, without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?” How is feeling sorry for someone helping anything? Until our minds are renewed to resist our carnal selfish nature, we will never be like Jesus.
THE LAST HOUR TRANSITION
There is a tsunami of information that is being released in this hour and it has come to a point where it’s very difficult to know who is telling the truth. In fact, without spiritual discernment it’s impossible to detect deception and sadly very few Christians have developed this crucial aspect of their commission. Most people within the Christian faith have discovered the general mainstream news is controlled by a highly controlled hierarchy that picks and chooses what is told and what is to be kept silent. The idea that media outlets can relay whatever stories they desire is not true. When we follow the trail of who it is that determines what goes out on the airwaves, we understand the news is not as much a resource to inform the masses of what is really going on, but rather the best way on earth to channel biased propaganda. There is a small group in the world that has always exercised power over the planet and have given their heart and soul over to the evil powers of Satan. This is the type of historical realities that are seldom found in the standard education curriculum. These secret orders spend much effort and money to remain hidden in the background much like the puppeteers hide behind the curtains as they control their puppets. The devil allows those who agree to serve him the impression they are ruling the world, in exchange for being used to accomplish his agenda which is the steal, kill, and destroy.
Those who do not believe the world is manipulated are like the sheep who puts their complete trust in the shepherd and are content as long as they can enjoy a normal existence. Sheep are happy as long as they have green grass and fresh water. They are simple-minded and do not care about politics or evil plans to dominate and brainwash the masses all the while they are being led to the slaughter. These are the very ones who agree with everything the media says and believes the government has their best interest in mind and everyone who disagrees is a conspiracy terrorist. This attitude is a result of mind control and has turned out exactly as the system of the beast has planned. The idea is to flood the brains of the masses with lies and cause them to pledge allegiance to the New World Order while persecuting the ones who really know what is going on. For those who reject this truth, they have already crossed over to the other side to the promised land of deception. Their delusion is so infected that only God Himself could open their eyes. It’s true the Lord did intervene in the life of Saul whose name was changed to Paul, but everyone who is captured by a strong delusion does not have a guarantee that God will also give them this manifestation of aggressive mercy. The Bible mentions about the conscience of those who reject the truth will experience a searing as with a hot iron. In other words, their rebellion has cause such hatred for divine truth, they cannot sense the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Since this is the only way to be spiritually enlightened, they will continue to grow more cold and calloused.
We can argue and deny all we want and declare that the fact finding websites are telling the truth, but the reality is that they are also controlled by the wicked puppeteers. Since Satan is the prince and power of the airwaves, why would anyone in their right mind believe that he would allow any type of fact checking site to tell the truth? Demons guard every outlet where words are used for communication and until a person accepts this fact, they are vulnerable to being misled. The idea of drinking the cool-aid would be comical if were not so dangerous. As everyone knows, the last few years has revealed a dead giveaway pertaining to how everyone who tries to relay information that is contrary to what the politically correct culture says is censored and banned from social media. Again, do your own research and follow the path to who manages these socially acceptable cesspools of lies and you will find the Luciferian connection. Where is the world headed? It is not Biblical to teach that evil will be destroyed and this media stronghold will be exposed and eradicated. It’s true that God is moving and still saving those who are willing to dedicate their lives to Him, but this will not change the direction of the world. We know the evil Antichrist is coming, the mark of the beast, severe persecution for the saints, tribulation, and the battle of Armageddon. These are written in stone and do not allow anyone to persuade you that prayers or revivals can change this. I receive no pleasure or joy to proclaim the world does not grow brighter but will continue sliding deeper into the darkness of abomination. We realize this is not the prosperity, “feel good” gospel, but knowing the truth is what can help us become sincerely prepared for the future.
For the truth seeker, it’s not difficult to comprehend how as the Bible says that fear will come upon the earth and many people will have heart failure from anxiety, stress, depression, and dread. We are experiencing it now. Doctor’s offices are filled with people needing more sedatives, anxiety, and anti-depression meds than ever before and this is not including rampant drug addictions and alcoholism. Individuals are doing everything they can to escape the doom and gloom of what is on the horizon and it will only get worse without people falling on their knees in repentance and asking Jesus to save them. We are hearing about a coming outpouring of God’s Spirit and I pray that it will manifest, but the gospel has always been preached and God’s invitation for salvation has always been offered. There are not any new concepts or formulas for being redeemed by the blood of Jesus and most everyone has already heard the gospel of Jesus who loved us and came to be crucified and rose from the dead to save us. The problem is not a lack of knowing about a Savior but a refusal to accept Christ as Lord. What I believe is happening in this hour is a transition into a higher spiritual understanding for those who are being developed as overcomers and a stronger rebellion in those who are blind. In other words, the division between God’s faithful remnant and His enemies are growing more distinct and obvious. We will see this war between good and evil become more pronounced and the aggressive violence will continue. The last election and the virus revealed an ugly side to human nature and has allowed us to observe a tiny glimpse of how people can become hostile as they support their views. If people will fight in Walmart over a toy at Christmas, what will they do in a famine or when the mark of the beast is mandated?
It’s clear that our concepts of church was not the plan that God intended. The idea of developing programs to make it easy and comfortable for the Christian was a religious agenda that helped the clergy earn a living and justify the followers from their responsibilities. However, the fear of offending people with what the life of the disciple actually called for, prevented the spiritual growth and development of the believer. Instead of teaching the people how to walk in God’s covenant and how to be a soldier to engage in spiritual warfare, they presented a sugar-coated attitude of compromise. How could this be? It was because the leadership was afraid of losing money. Many pastors are involved with politics and are led by Satan to refrain from teaching spiritual reality. There are no more games for the ones who are serious about God. We stand in a crossroad of decision to take up our cross and follow Jesus or give up our faith and blend in with the crowd. God is saying, “Are you going to conform to the world or be transformed by the renewing of your mind?” We are servants to whom we obey and it is the hour that each person is choosing whom they will serve. We cannot serve God and the devil at the same time! We are either a born again Christian or we are a puppet of Satan.
GOD HAS A WONDERFUL PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE
If we do not learn from our trials, then our distress has been a missed opportunity. Crisis situations are occasions to put our faith and patience to work and may we always remember that we cannot be defeated as God is for us and is constantly working on our behalf. There are times when we will suffer trauma, discouragement, or even persecution, and no doubt it will be uncomfortable but we must eventually get back up and dust ourselves off and get back into the race. God has always known all the fine details about you and has every intention to use you now more than ever before! He is trying to get your attention that he might polish you and challenge you to be a strong and effective instrument to accomplish His purposes. When the blacksmith is working on his vision, he does not toss it in the corner and forget about it. He has invested much effort because he intends to use his creation for a specific purpose.
This is not a time to throw in the towel, but to be inspired and encouraged by God’s infinite mercy and grace. Unforgiveness and bitterness can make us vulnerable and powerless to spiritual attacks. The Bible says in Mark 3:27, “No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.” You and I represent the strong man that occasionally lets down our guard and whenever we become discouraged, our feelings can help bind and hold us captive to the enemy that desires to control our lives. Whenever we allow a circumstance to dominate our emotions, we have lost the ability to manage the direction of our life. Remember, Jesus has already conquered the kingdom of darkness, so there is no need to fear what has already been defeated. We are to pray for spiritual discernment so that we can recognize when deception is trying to distract us. God wants to heal our emotional wounds and this can begin when we demonstrate forgiveness, sincerely let go of resentment, and continue moving forward in faith and obedience.
To remain offended is to be plagued with the ongoing torture of emotional and spiritual infection. The Greek word for stumbling block is skandalon and is often used to describe a snare trap where bait is attached to entice the victim to be held captive. This term is used for anything that causes resentment to arise which can hold us captive. It’s easy to fall for the temptation to be offended and this unforgiveness prevents us from living in the joy, peace, and contentment of God’s presence. The deeper the pain the more valuable the lesson and as you learn from your trials, allow them to build your character and wisdom so you can teach and help others from your experiences. If we have sinned, then it is time to ask God to forgive us and be restored. We do not need to live in the agony of anger and rebellion any longer.
It’s not popular, but occasionally we go through severe trials that are a chastisement from the Lord. This is a blessing for those who are truly His children to know that God loves us so much He will intervene and bring discipline if we refuse to listen to His instructions. We are reminded in Proverbs 3:11, “My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of His correction.” As soon as we repent with sincere sorrow and humility, He is gracious to cleanse and restore the joy of our salvation. To God, you are a masterpiece! Pray for the awareness of His presence as you watch carefully for His unseen hand and listen intently for His still small voice. Some may ask, how can the God of all things have time to care about circumstances that have hurt me? Does He understand how I feel and have a solution for helping me overcome these afflictions? Absolutely my dear one, this is why He promised in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you, says the Lord, plans for peace and well-being and not for ruin, but to give you a future and a hope.” He is all things to all people as His merciful and endless love is the greatest authority in the universe.
“Dear Lord, please give us wisdom to know what is true and the courage to stand for it, amen”
WHO ARE THE OVERCOMERS?
Who are the overcomers for Jesus? These are the remnant followers who will stand boldly in God’s kingdom and are learning how to STAND FIRM against everything that opposes His truth for His glory. These are the warriors that are advancing from being a spectator into the revelation wisdom of becoming a participator. This small band of believers will NOT be governed by fear from an evil government. They will respect Godly leaders but will never bow their knees to those who worship and serve Satan. God’s children listen and obey God’s voice even it cost them their lives. For many, persecution and tribulation will come upon them but they will stand strong in their faith with the one who is worthy to receive all glory and adoration. Today is the day to prepare our hearts to stand even it cost us everything. This level of faith will not be established instantly but must be developed over time. The martyrs did not bow their knees and we must also be willing to resist the demands of the evil system. Do NOT compromise in order to have money or food, but be unmovable in your trust that God will provide. Refuse every influence and persuasion to join with Satan just to survive in this world. It’s time to stop wading in the shallows and it’s time to dive into the depths of what God has planned for us. Without having a desire to battle against our fallen condition and the devil who has come to steal, kill, and destroy, we are vulnerable to being overwhelmed and defeated. The enemy knows that if he can discourage us, he has paralyzed our love, peace, faith, and joy which are key elements of our spiritual life. Since Adam and Eve, God has provided an opportunity for all to accept an eternal covenant relationship with the Lord or to reject Him. In the end, there will only be those who say yes to God’s invitation and those who say no and thereby choose to eternally separate themselves from Him. Good and evil – there is no in-between. We can become dedicated to listen and following God’s thoughts or continue being entangled in the confusing world of carnal emotions – the choice is ours. “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life that both thou and thy seed may live” Deuteronomy 30:19.
God is no longer tolerating churches that embrace and support LGTBQ, abortion, perversion, paganism, political and cultural correctness, and a godless one world government system. He is removing His candlestick and is writing Ichabod over the doors. He has warned and been patient but He is now demonstrating what He has promised. “But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; Therefore He turned Himself to become their enemy, He fought against them” (Isaiah 63:10). The battle lines are drawn as He is executing His judgment as the perfect judge and His promises can never fail. “Thus saith the Lord this hour, take heed all those who are sitting in these places of blasphemy, remove yourselves from the midst of these evil spirits of religion. If there is not a place in your area that is calling on God’s refining fire to cleanse and create clean hearts, then go into your prayer closet and concentrate on me in your own dwelling. Remove everything around you that is filled with filth saith God, as you cannot walk in my light if you are constantly absorbing the darkness of the world. I will not bring the blessing of my presence where there is sin in the camp. Remove the leaven before it effects the whole lump. If the television is offending my Spirit, take it away! If the internet and social media is pulling you away from me, get rid of it! If you are spending more time on your phone than in prayer and Bible study, you are already caught in a snare trap. The deceived will say, “but this is how I stay connected with others and I can help them.” Do you trust in the power of technology more than me? Do you not believe that I can arrange divine appointments without the help of worldly devices? The truth is that you are using technology as a distraction to keep from listening to my voice. You are hiding behind the pleasures of the world in order to prevent you from knowing what I am demanding from you.
You have given your heart and soul to your own carnal nature and have refused to examine your conscience and surrender your will to me. If you continue in this rebellion, I will blot out your name from the book of life. At your funeral, there may be flowery words spoken on your behalf but they will not reveal the true reality of your life or your eternal destination. You are not promised another moment of grace for you do not know how many heartbeats I have allowed you to have in this life. I am demanding for you to repent and turn to me today or I will send a strong delusion over your mind which will prevent you from seeing your need to be saved. Your rebellion against me will cause your conscience to be seared as with a hot iron and you will no longer be able to sense the conviction of my Holy Spirit. Am I not the only sovereign God who has the power to give life and to take it away? Fall on your knees as you are standing on holy ground. Do you dare tempt Almighty God the maker of all things? Many are an enemy against me and yet they want everyone to believe they are a good person and worthy of respect and honor? They are filled with deception as those who wear a mask and play games as they pretend to be someone they are not. I know who is my remnant children and those who are religious impostors. I say this day, come out from among them, turn away from the corrupt world, abandon the lies and apostasy of this age before it consumes your mind and your spirit and leads you to hell. Heed this warning from the Lord of Host this day saith God.”
CHOOSING TO BE AWARE OF GOD
The Bible refers to a joy that is unspeakable and full of glory but what does this mean? I believe one answer would be the contentment of the conscience for those who know God and have decided to live in the awareness of His presence. How can we do this? We can train our minds to think about God the same as we learn and become skilled to do anything else. Repetition and commitment are the building blocks of being proficient and in the Christian faith, self-discipline is the path to spiritual transformation. It’s important to awaken each day with prayers of thanksgiving for having the opportunity to communicate with the one who loves us and created us. We can approach Him boldly in faith, asking and seeking His wisdom and understanding.
Entering into a deeper relationship with Him requires as the Bible mentions in I Thessalonians 5:17 to pray without ceasing. The previous verse encourages us to rejoice always as our human nature finds these demands to be somewhat unrealistic. However, the Lord is saying relationship has everything to do with staying focused on Him. Every moment can plead for spiritual sensitivity as we realize the moment we take our eyes away from the prize, we begin to fall away and become lukewarm. This sense of urgency is a vital component for the mind to be renewed and conformed to the mind of Christ. Many have not taken the opportunity to ask for His divine appointments and His discernment that we might know His thoughts as we comprehend the critical importance of developing a higher level of spiritual sensitivity. Without this passionate craving to be close to God, we will be unable to walk in His Spirit. We must become one with Him for Him to move through us. Without this revelation, our hope for an intimate relationship with Him will not exist. Constantly reminding ourselves to concentrate on Christ is the path which leads to the secret place of the Most High. Within our free will, we must demonstrate a fierce and fervent determination and relentless perseverance to absorb and be possessed by Him. “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that is at work in us” (Ephesians 3:16-20).
We realize this message is not for the casual religious person. It is for those who pant after God like the deer that pants for water. “As the deer pants after the water brooks, so pants my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirst for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” Psalm 42:1-2. This is the way of holiness for those who have a passion to be purified by the refiner’s fire. Those who have decided to take up their cross no matter what pain and rejection it will bring are the ones who are nauseated with their sin and have turned away from the temptations and love for the world. They have chosen the path of the overcomer and have become a member of a radical and extreme remnant. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2).
So if spiritual joy is available, then why does it seem that very few have it? Because only a small number of individuals compared to the population of world history have allowed Jesus Christ to be their shepherd. Those who refuse to surrender the control of their decisions cannot enter into the deeper chambers of spiritual intimacy which is the foundation of our covenant relationship with Him. You see, whoever sits on the throne of our heart is the Lord our conscience. May the Lord continue to give you His wisdom and understanding.
A DEEPER INVESTIGATION INTO SALVATION
I have been involved with ministry most of my adult life and I can testify there are many levels of spiritual depth. I believe that until the shadow of God comes over a person and draws them into His holy of Holies, they will never enter and experience the revelation of who He is. This begins with a realization of our desperate need to know Him. If we do not pray fervently for His wisdom, knowledge, spiritual sensitivity, discernment and passion, we will remain in the deception of religion. As we cry out to Him in sincerity, it is by God’s grace that He gives His servants this conviction of the Holy Spirit which haunts and compels them to come closer. We have been promised that if we will seek Him, we will find Him. He does not appreciate nor is He impressed with a half-hearted interest in His glory. A lukewarm attitude about the blood of Jesus and the covenant vows of salvation will not be accepted. It is a tragic deception to think that God will honor any type of sacrifice we want to offer. We know that Cain’s offering was rejected and is clearly an example of the rebellious carnal nature that tries to substitute and exchange relationship for religion. This was the beginning of the false church and the false gospel that has misled the world and is still leading many souls into ruin.
Anyone that has studied the Bible knows the complete message when understood in its full context is very difficult. Religion wants to pick out all easy and comforting passages because it’s much easier to keep people’s interest when presenting God offering Heaven and blessings. The early church realized that if they taught Christianity was a life of agony and sacrifice that not very many people would be interested. They had to come up with an idea that would be more appealing and encouraging. Serving a slice of bread does not cause a lot of excitement but if you dip it in chocolate, it changes everything. As some churches refused to compromise and remained faithful to serving God’s Word, they saw that people left them and went down the street where the bread was sweet and had no sorrow to it. Eventually the false churches did not even need to serve bread at all and just provided comfort and entertainment. This impostor spirit can always draw large crowds and is mostly what we see today that poses as representing God. This is an ancient deception and has never had the Holy Spirit, gifts, prayer, holiness, sanctification, or manifestations and demonstrations of God’s power and authority. The candlestick is removed from these places and Ichabod is written over the doors. Those who are in these types of assemblies are warned to leave immediately and pray for forgiveness.
Along with being blinded by spirits of darkness, the true reason why we cannot see or understand the spiritual realm is because we lack wisdom and discernment. The reality of constant awareness is rarely taught and yet is one of the most important revelations within covenant salvation. Not only has this caused many to perish from a lack of understanding God’s truth and not having a vision of His will, but how can anyone who proclaims to be born again not have a spiritual perception of what is going on all around them? I have prayed and meditated much about why we are not more sensitive than we are. A few individuals have developed a higher level of awareness and I know this is God’s will for all of His children. This is not given except through much seeking, praying and fasting. We can be close to God as we want and the only thing that is preventing us from walking in His Spirit is our refusal to surrender our will. I recently was speaking to a man that has been an acquaintance for many years. Four days later he was found dead. God knew he was going to die, but I did not sense this danger. Why? Because I was not walking in the awareness of God. My spiritual antenna was not up, and I was not dialed into the Holy Spirit’s channel. I was concentrating on what I needed to do instead of listening for the Lord’s divine appointment. If I had heard God relaying to me about this tragedy, I’m sure He would have wanted me to witness to him and warn him to make sure that all is well with his soul. Maybe it could have a made a difference in his eternal destination or maybe God knew he would not listen. Whatever the case, I have thought how most of us are failing to be used in His kingdom because our mind has not been renewed. Do you believe God wants us to live in this level of spiritual discernment? Do we have a desire to be a living sacrifice? Knowing about God does not mean we know God.
When someone dies suddenly, it concerns me to see those who knew them to not be disturbed or convicted of their own sins and the possibility that they could also die at any moment. You would think a fear would come over everyone and they would see their own need to repent and turn their lives over to God. Instead, I have seen Christians continue to curse and be perverted the very next day. This is a sign of a calloused heart that has grown so cold and hard, that nothing can penetrate or break it. Ezekiel 36 gives us a glimpse of what God wants to do in the life of a believer. Verses 25-27 declares, “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” If someone has truly received a new heart and a new spirit, doesn’t that mean they are NOT the same person? God said He removes the heart of stone and literally moves into the conscience and GUIDES the person to obey and follow His will. So, what happened? Do we have the free will to return to the mud just like a freshly bathed hog? Or was there a true spiritual transformation at all?
We realize that only those who study God’s Word have a comprehension of what it actually says. God is perfect and does everything with a divine order. And yet, the concept today within the illusion of religion is that He is lenient, grades on the curve, negotiates, compromises, overlooks most things, and makes deals. This is a lie and if it were true, it makes the Bible a fantasy novel. God must be dogmatic and strict to His truth or He is no better than a human politician. The demand for accountability is why the average religious person does not read it. Many will choose to read a selected Bible devotion verse that makes them feel good and is void of guilt and responsibility but will stay away from the commands and warnings. This is the path of least resistance but it is not the path of God. There is a terrible misunderstanding of what it means to be saved and this has been accomplished through Satan using false teachers. If the truth is being told there would not be a church on every corner. I’m very alarmed about this as many believe and assume they are going to Heaven, but they have never been born again. You see, there is a true gospel, and a modified gospel. The true gospel does not appeal to our fleshly carnal nature and wants nothing to do with being refined in God’s refining fires. This is why a modified gospel was created in order to promote church attendance and increase finances that are used to pay people to serve the Lord and His people. This generic alteration is widely accepted among those who enjoy the comforts and securities it presents. This has always been a clever plan by Satan who acts as the pied piper as he hypnotizes and brainwashes those who refuse to embrace God’s truth. It is for this reason God sends a strong delusion over their hearts which seals their doom.
When we discuss the meaning of salvation, we must comprehend that grace was never intended to be an opportunity to live according to our desires according to our will. And yet when we look around at those who claim to be Christians, this is exactly what we see. Yes, there is a liberty for the individual, but it is the opportunity to be transformed into a new creation. It is the opportunity to allow the fires of God to melt everything that is not of Him and to leave only the pure gold of His love and truth. The church has turned everything around backward until it sounds like God is serving us. Heaven is for those who endure until the end not for someone who raises their hand and never walks with Him. Most religious people believe the sinner’s prayer is the means to an end, but it only opens the door to begin proving our love for God. To think that eternal life is handed out like candy without accountability is a fantasy. Works is how we prove our faith and enables grace to be activated in those who have taken the covenant vow of matrimony. Without blood covenant vows of dedication being exchanged there has been no real born again miracle of regeneration and redemption. As men have distorted God’s mercy, it is commonly taught that we “accept” Jesus being crucified and resurrected and this gives us eternal life no matter how we live. This is false along with the idea is that Christ suffered so that we do not need to. This is also not true. In fact, as Christ suffered so shall we and the closer we are to Him the more we will be hated and persecuted.
The true plan of God for His remnant cannot escape rejection from the world. As we carry our cross which keeps our nature crucified, we will reject the world and the world will hate us for it. Being an overcomer for Christ is a lifestyle of pain as we carry the burden of suffering which includes being disrespected and mocked, attacks on our integrity, living in isolation, refusing to be conformed to the world’s system, friends and family turning against us. So why aren’t those we know who say are they are saved experiencing this? Why are Christians not falling on their faces and filled with sorrow from the burden of knowing that many around us are going to hell? But brother, we are to be happy! On the contrary, Jesus was a man of sorrows and the closer we are to Him the more we will be transformed into His nature and character. There is nothing happy about billions of people burning in hell forever.
PLEDGING ALLEGIENCE TO GOD’S KINGDOM
I listen to preachers, teachers, prophets, medical professionals, and politicians each week. It’s quite a challenge to put all the pieces of life together into something that resembles some type of spiritual direction that makes sense. Like many of you, I pray for spiritual discernment as I seek to be led by God in His wisdom and understanding. When God wants to know if He can give us something, let us always remember to ask Him for more wisdom and discernment. Some ministers today are saying that a huge revival is coming and I certainly hope it is. I have not heard the Lord tell me this, however, many believe this is going to happen as the Bible does say in Joel 2:28 and again in Acts 2:17, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of my Spirit on ALL flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.” This does sound like a spiritual awakening and a harvest of souls from His grace and mercy, but the question is what time period this is prophesying about. Many scholars believe the Joel passage was referring to the warnings to repent or face the consequences of God’s judgments and the same situation again in the days of the early church. It is commonly accepted the original writers when mentioning the “last days” were not referring to the end of the age as they believed they were already living in the last days. Staying within the context is very critical as we interpret scripture. In my studies and research, I am convinced the dispensation we are now living in, will grow darker and more evil instead of being filled with repentance, love, and the reverential fear of God.
Satan has come on very strong in the last couple of years and it seems that everything has changed – even the church. People are changing, their minds and hearts are more calloused and less trusting. Love is waxing cold. The average religious person today has the attitude that Christianity is doing well and there are no problems, but how can they say this? Are they not sensitive enough to know that the evil spirits of religion are wearing sheep’s clothing? Deception has grown to the point that people have become desensitized and are not even aware of it. This has come as a result of being exposed to sin. The “tell a vision” along with social media has removed the child-like innocence and humility and while slowly feeding the carnal human nature with darkness and depravity. Like the frog who sits in the water as the temperature slowly rises, the habits and attributes of the flesh can fill the mind and heart with lust and laziness. As a man thinks so is he, and the problem is that the mind cannot drink in the filth of the world and walk in God’s presence at the same time. Following the flesh is the evidence of a strong delusion and the conscience being seared as with a hot iron. We can understand the lost doing this, but we are also seeing spiritual blindness within the general population of the church. An organized assembly of lukewarm backsliders is NOT what God had in mind.
The modern idea of revival is calling a preacher to hold services for a few days to excite and make us feel good. This is not genuine revival unless there is widespread repentance and people are being transformed and dedicating their lives to Jesus in a brand new commitment to Him. If there is no fervent praying and fasting or a reverential fear of God’s holiness, it is nothing more than just another emotional program. For the most part, I believe the churches have exchanged obedience to God’s demand of sanctification for the ideas that we can live however we want and it’s no big deal. I am convinced that only a very few people are taking up their cross and are trying to pull away from the temptations and darkness of the world. We need to remember that a revival meeting has very little to do with a holy lifestyle. People go to church meetings all the time and are the biggest sinners in town. We have plenty of good speakers but what we are lacking is a constant awareness of God’s presence. Many have become calloused to the Holy Spirit’s conviction and are not demonstrating the knowledge that they know.
When we read the Bible and try to imagine what it was like for the early church, it’s truly difficult to comprehend. Our structures are beautiful cozy buildings, our preaching is systematic and technical, we have tremendous organization, professional training, higher education, and yet we are missing the most important ingredient – the anointing and presence of God’s Spirit. In fact, we are so different from the early church I am concerned that we now have a different religion. The world has changed and unfortunately; the church has changed with it. We are no longer focused on the spiritual but are controlled by the culture. We must see the difference between the organized assembly and the bride of Christ. Most of what is presented as the church is NOT the true church whom Jesus gave His life for. Just as pagan idol worship has been in the world for thousands of years, we see the spirits of religion today on nearly every corner. The people go in for numerous reasons and then they live a lifestyle that is no different than those who are spiritually blind and lost. And we wonder why these places are spiritually cold and dry. We hear a lot about conservative right-wing patriots who love God and country, but are these individuals really walking in the fullness of the Holy Spirit? It’s going to take more than flying a flag and singing God bless America to endure in the tribulation. If anyone is putting their faith in a political party or an individual to save the country, they are already deceived. Turn away from the world, pledge allegiance to His kingdom, get alone with God, and stay under the shadow of His wings.
We hear about how we need to get back to the book of Acts, but does anyone talk about what it would take to experience it? People may want to see the miracles, but does anyone actually want to live as the original disciples lived? Who is prepared to pay the price of holiness, rejection, hatred, isolation, and persecution? Very few to say the least. This is exactly why the manifestations of God’s power were traded for entertainment and the comforts of encouraging stories. The churches are only as spiritual as their members and with widespread lukewarmness and deception; the Lord removed His candlestick and turned them over to a strong delusion. Today we see that people do not know the difference as their conscience has been seared as with a hot iron. They do not have the fire of the Holy Ghost because they do not want it! Revival is one thing but reformation is quite another. You can shout and dance in a revival but be killed when standing for reformation. Revival excites our emotions but reformation brings permanent transformation. Martin Luther refused to renounce his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 which resulted in his ex-communication by the Pope and was condemned as a criminal by the Roman Emperor. His writings were burned and anyone caught with his teachings was also considered a heretic and arrested. He hid from the authorities to escape being burned at the stake.
I’m not sure if there will be another reformation movement. People are just too worldly and most will never agree to yield and submit their will to God. Unless there is a sincere desire to become a living sacrifice for His glory, there is no understanding of genuine salvation. Being religious desires the blessings without having to change who we are. Most churches today are more worried about church attendance and passing the offering plates than they are about how the people think and live. It’s not about the large numbers, it’s all about someone who desires to give their life to Jesus. Of course, people would rather go to church than take up their cross and follow Jesus. Spoiler alert – these are not the same things. It would be better to have one person agreeing to enter into a blood covenant vow with Jesus than for 10,000 people to call themselves a Christian and never live for Him. You see, when we are born again, the old nature has died and our new nature has risen as baptism symbolizes. The problem is that when many people raise their hand to be saved, there is no change. Something is wrong.
How many want a personal reformation? Reformed means to be changed. Here are some other related words to being reformed, alteration, amend, correction, realignment, reconstruction, overhaul, rehabilitate, rectify, and rearrange. We can see this has everything to do with being made new and taking a 180 turn in the opposite direction. Many who believe they are saved have never been born again. There is nothing more dangerous than being deceived by our emotional feelings. How can we know the difference? If you never have a burden for the lost who are dying and going to hell and have never shared your faith with someone, there is something wrong. If you never have a desire to be alone and pray, or if you do not have a hunger and thirst for God’s Word, this is not normal for a true Christian. If you have never heard His voice or been aware of His presence, this is not the lifestyle of a follower of Christ. If you can intentionally sin and not feel any remorse or guilt whatsoever, you are either backslidden very far away from God or you do not personally know Him at all. The reason why the Word of God does not convict or change these types of people is because the wine of God’s truth is being poured into an old wineskin. There must be a new wineskin. In spiritual terms, the individual must become a new creation in Christ to receive His Spirit. True redemption is turning away from the carnal nature of the flesh and running into the name and presence of the Lord. It is surrendering our control and giving complete control to God in everything we say and do. Until a person understands the holy vow of the blood covenant with Jesus, they will not comprehend what it means to be saved. What will bring someone to take this pledge of responsibility and dedication to the Almighty? When the convicting desire to change becomes stronger than the temptation to remain the same.
ARE YOU PREPARED TO GIVE AN ANSWER?
I had been seeking the Lord for a few days and meditating about the tabernacle of Moses. I have studied this before and have seen the correlation of these stations with the true Christian life. There is a divine order in God’s ways and I encourage you to study the procession to the holy of holies and ask God to give you the revelation of how this pertains to your personal relationship with Him. Without understanding the path to God, we will not walk in His Spirit or accomplish His will. I recently had a vision as the Lord brought me into a large place where it was just Him and me. It was white all around like the inside of a cloud and I could see nothing in the distance above or below. I also could not see God but I knew He was there. I could sense His presence. He spoke, and it sounded like nothing I had ever heard. I cannot describe it in human words. It was like the Ocean and thunder mixed together. He said, “What do you want?” I was dumbfounded and embarrassed that I could not think. My mind was reeling as I said nothing. I was filled with a reverential fear of Him and fell before Him. I came out of the vision and this troubled me for many days. I have now thought of a reply, but I want to ask you how you would respond if the Lord were to ask you this question. I remember when God presented this question to Solomon, and he replied that he wanted wisdom and discernment so that he could lead people in the ways of God. This was a very good answer and the Lord not only gave him wisdom but since he did not ask for riches, God also made him one of the wealthiest people on earth. I too want wisdom and spiritual sensitivity as I know we are heading into the end of the age and the tribulations are becoming more aggressive against Christians. The remnant are being called to walk in a higher spiritual level in order to be victorious for His glory. We must be prepared to stand or we will compromise and fail Him. Today is the day to choose to walk in His direction and listen to His voice or we will be swept away in the flood of lies and deception.
The spiritual atmosphere is changing and everyone is standing in a crossroad to go all the way with God or follow the world’s system. Satan is unleashing fear and panic and only those who live in the strong tower of God’s name will endure until the end. Faith will overcome fear but building faith takes a lot of determination, discipline, and perseverance. I want to be a servant of God and to dwell every moment in His presence. I want to be filled with agape love for Him and everyone in the world. I want to have a burden for the lost and a burning passion to fast and pray without ceasing. I want to pull completely away from the world’s system and the carnality of my flesh. My cry is for God to create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. I ask for the revelation of His wisdom so that I might understand who He is and who I am in Him. I need a higher vision of faith and I appreciate the revelation of knowing that resting in God is the ultimate proof of trusting Him. Yes, we are battling in constant spiritual warfare, but there is no greater demonstration of faith than the peace and joy than when we rest in Him. He is honored when we trust Him completely and nothing reveals this more than when we can walk in this level of confidence. The Sabbath was not just for our bodies but is also for the development of our faith, hope, and love. I want to be His messenger until He returns and to be a vessel of honor for His glory. I am constantly asking God to give me an ear to hear what His Spirit is saying and to allow me to relay His message. I pray that He will use me to reach as many people as possible and that many seekers will receive His truth and draw closer to Him. I desire to be filled with His Spirit that I might demonstrate the attributes of God’s character and nature. I encourage you to take some time this week and write down how you would respond to God when He calls you and wants to know what you desire from Him.
GOD HAS NOT GIVEN US A SPIRIT OF FEAR
Soon after Jesus had resurrected, we find a beautiful passage found in John chapter 20 that is a wonderful example of how much God loves us and wants to encourage us. The friends and family of Christ were gathered together after his horrific crucifixion and were still grieving over his death when all of a sudden, he appears in their midst! Even though they remembered how he had promised to return I’m sure they were still awestruck. Jesus stretches out His hands and reveals his previous wounds, and of course, they are overjoyed to see him again. He spoke peace and breathed on them and before he left; he filled them with the Holy Spirit. Thomas was not there that night and later when he returned verse 25 says, “The other disciples, therefore, said to him, we have seen the Lord, but Thomas replied, unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
Eight days later the group came together again and once again Jesus miraculously appeared except this time Thomas was present. Christ looked at Thomas and told him to reach out and touch the scars, and he did. Jesus said, “Be not faithless, but believing,” as Thomas replied, “My Lord and my God.” When we are discouraged and struggling to believe, we can know that God will always make the extra effort to prove how much he loves us and wants us to trust him. He is encouraging us today to know that his presence is all around us. You see, Thomas represents everyone when it comes to doubt as believing without seeing is truly difficult. This is where faith becomes essential within our understanding that just because we cannot see God, it does not mean he is not there. In verse 29 we read, “Jesus said unto him, Thomas because you have seen me, you believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
Faith is having an optimistic attitude even when it seems the situation is hopeless. If our lives were filled with happiness with no problems at all, we would not sense the urgency to pray in faith. Those who read the Bible are well aware of what is coming in the future and the time to build faith is now. Walls of faith are built one brick at a time, which means if we do not develop faith every day we cannot instantly generate faith when tragedy comes. We know that global principalities and evil strongholds will become more aggressive as the return of Christ draws near. This is because Satan has been given temporary permission by God to be a puppet master for the leaders of the world. I Peter 5:8 warns, “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” We should not be shocked to witness wars, violence, hatred, division, and oppressive governments but we are reminded in God’s word 365 times to “fear not.” It’s clear the virus has caused widespread panic and I believe we are facing one of the most aggressive attacks from Satan that I have seen in my lifetime. “Pray without ceasing” I Thessalonians 5:17.
Anxiety and stress can negatively affect our spiritual joy, our conscience and our physical bodies as we cannot allow our emotions to distract us from our relationship with Christ. Walking with Jesus allows us to live in his peace even in the midst of the storm. Spiritual confidence is activated when the determination to trust God becomes stronger than the temptation to be afraid. We cannot live in faith and fear at the same time. If we choose to feed our faith, our fears will starve. Thomas Aquinas is quoted as saying, “To the one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To those without faith, no explanation is possible.” Whatever trial we are going through today, we have the opportunity to fill our hearts with God’s promises or be drowned in a sea of confusion and doubt. Our natural senses desire to control us, but faith is spiritual and declares that we will hope and trust in the Lord no matter the circumstances. Remember, God did not give us a spirit of fear. “I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all of my fears” Psalm 34:4.
A Cappella rendition of “I Stand In Awe Of You”
AN ENCOURAGING WORD
THERE IS NO REASON TO BE AFRAID, ANXIOUS, OR DEPRESSED. WHEN YOU SINCERELY ASK GOD TO FORGIVE YOU OF YOUR SINS, HE WILL RESTORE YOU BACK INTO THE GLORY AND SAFETY OF HIS PRESENCE. IT IS SATAN WHO CONDEMNS AND BRINGS FEAR AND WORRY, BUT YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE AUTHORITY AND CONFIDENCE TO KNOW THIS IS ONLY A DECEPTION TO REMOVE YOUR TRUST AWAY FROM JESUS. WE CANNOT HAVE FAITH AND DOUBT AT THE SAME TIME. YOU CAN LAUGH AT THE DEVIL TODAY AND BE FILLED WITH GOD’S JOY WHICH IS UNSPEAKABLE AND FULL OF GLORY – WHY? BECAUSE YOU KNOW THAT GOD IS IN TOTAL CONTROL AND THE DEVIL WILL LOSE HIS BATTLE TO BE KING AS IT HAS BEEN PROMISED BY GOD THAT THE PRINCE OF DARKNESS WILL SPEND AN ETERNITY IN THE TORMENTS OF A BURNING HELL. GOD IS ALWAYS VICTORIOUS AND THE DEVIL IS ALWAYS A LOSER. CHRISTIAN, LIFT UP YOUR HEART, STAND STRONG ON THE TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD AND KNOW THAT YOU ARE VICTORIOUS IN CHRIST! JESUS WAS CRUCIFIED AND ROSE AGAIN SO YOU COULD BE THE LIGHT HOLDER FOR HIS GLORIOUS LIGHT. STEP FORWARD IN FAITH AND SPEAK HIS WORD AND BECOME WHAT HE DIED FOR YOU TO BE. REVELATION 12:11 SAYS, “THEY OVERCAME” THE DEVIL AND THEIR FLESH AND THIS MIGHT BE TALKING ABOUT YOU!
God is the KEY to our HOPE
Here is a video of an original song called, “Whoever will”
An audio recording of a message from the “Alabamian” newspaper in Jackson Alabama. “Jesus the name above all others.”
WHAT IS GOD SAYING IN THIS HOUR?
I HEAR THE SOUND OF OUR ENEMIES FALLING AT OUR FEET
This is a song I wrote and recorded in 1984 called, “I HEAR THE SOUND.”
DEMONSTRATING LOVE IN THE MIDST OF WAR
I Corinthians 13:2
“You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy, but I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” Matthew 5:43-45.
We are truly living in a perilous time and yet it’s very encouraging to see many of God’s people drawing closer to Him than ever before. The increase in prayer and Bible reading is creating an atmosphere of revival as the reverential fear of The Almighty is being rekindled in those who love and trust Him. As the Lord pours out His Spirit in these last hours, His saints are preparing their wedding gowns and are turning away from the darkness that is trying to fill them with doubt and despair. These last day overcomers are embracing the awareness of the presence of Christ and are moving closer toward the holy of holies. Let us not allow the strife and evil that is all around us distract us from our mission to be holy as He is holy. Yes, the political evils and the darkness of humanism will be with until the end of the world, but dear saint do not allow this to enslave you with anger and frustration. We pray and stand for God’s truth, but we also must not become so distracted that we lose our peace and joy. Our mission is not to change the direction of the world, but to yield our will so that we can become like Jesus.
Each day we maneuver our way through the daily grind while trying to maintain our sanity at the same time. However, let us be reminded that if we are going to allow ourselves to be an information sponge, we should be careful how we interpret what we absorb. I’m not saying the culture does not have serious problems, but we should also not burn down the forest as a way to get rid of the poison ivy. Everyone is not corrupt and the next generation are not all brainwashed with humanism. This is not the hour to give up and go sit on top of a mountain. No matter what is deemed politically correct, as Christians we still have a spiritual mission to accomplish as our hands fit the hammer and shovel today just as they always did. There is a tremendous difference between spectators that do a lot of talking and participators that spend their time and energy trying to make a positive difference. There have always been corrupt and despicable people but be encouraged, the darkness of sin will never overcome the eternal light of God’s compassion and mercy. Self-discipline is associated with the decision-making process within our mind as changing the way we think which transforms who we are. Let us examine our convictions carefully and be willing to accept and follow God’s truth. Hope and joy are never lost for those who know and trust the Lord.
In the midst of all that is happening in our world and the serious division, I was reminded by the Lord this morning that we are to love everyone – yes, even those we disagree with and this includes the ones who hate and persecute us. We often forget these individuals are blinded by Satan and held captive by him. We are to pray that God will open their eyes so they can see HIS truth.
“If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing” I Corinthians 13:2.
As Christians we cannot be so focused on the natural world that we forget about our spiritual responsibility to be what God has called to be. This political and spiritual war has drawn many of God’s children into an attitude of resentment and bitterness. As we know, unforgiveness is like a poison that can fill the heart with hatred and lukewarmness. If we fall for this temptation, we are the one who ends up dangling from a tree upside down because we have stepped into the devil’s snare trap. We will never pray for anyone until we become determined to love them. We cannot afford to allow sin to creep into our lives and hold us in this miserable bondage. It causes us to ineffective for the Lord and shuts down our anointing and our discernment along with draining us of our peace and joy.
Here is a link that will lead you to a message I wrote called, “Returning to our first love.” It includes an audio feature that will read the article to you.
I am reminded when Jesus was hanging on the cross where He said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Obviously the ones who killed Him were a group of people who were spiritually deceived and were wrong, but Christ still loved them. Actually, He was talking to us as we were all there that day shouting, “Crucify Him!” All of our righteousness is as filthy rags. It is only by His mercy and grace that He found us and transformed us into a new creation. When we observe our world today, we should have the same attitude as Jesus loves the person but hates the rebellion and darkness that is preventing them from seeing God’s light. A high percentage of souls according to Matthew 7:13-14 is being led astray by Satan and are in bondage to his lies. It is the eternal and absolute truth of God that is the only power which can set anyone free. They lost are infected with carnality and wickedness and the vaccine is the cleansing and healing blood of Jesus. As disciples of Christ we have been called to release the gospel into all the world so that whosoever believes in Jesus should not perish but have everlasting life. This burden has everything to do with love and prayer.
Allow me to say, that whoever sits in any place of authority, it shall not prevent us from fulfilling our destiny to live for God. It is the Almighty God who sits on His eternal throne in heaven that we are to stay focused on. Christians in this nation have prayed that God would stop the plans of the wicked and we are still standing in faith that He will. However, if He chooses to allow the world to proceed toward the rapture, tribulation, and the AntiChrist, then we must accept His decision and keep pressing forward in the power and glory of His name. God has an agenda and a timeline and His decisions will be based on His perfect and sovereign will. I’m not saying for us to stop interceding and praying for justice and revival, but the Lord is the one who opens His window of grace and it is He who says enough is enough. He is the Creator of the world and His truth will prevail and He is the only judge who will decide the fate of nations and kingdoms. The Bible says the world will continue to grow darker and more possessed by Satan until the Father tells Jesus to return and destroy the entire planet and all who oppose the King of glory! Just as Noah was mocked for many years while the people watched the construction of the Ark, so has God been very patient and long-suffering to those who hate Him. When the door was closed and the raindrops began to fall it was too late. His day of wrath and vengeance is surely coming and now is the hour that we must tell everyone that Jesus loves them and how He died to save them before it is too late. The Ark of God’s eternal salvation beckons all to come in today.
God’s Word reminds us that whatever the conflict or situation, we do not oppose flesh and blood but spiritual principalities and demonic strongholds. This means we must love the individual and pray for them because we realize they are being controlled by deceptive persuasions. The world is blind and lost without Jesus, which is why we are to pray that God will open their eyes so they can see HIS truth! The spiritual war between good and evil is all around us, and instead or arguing, Jesus is calling His people to channel their energy into compassionate intercession. The Lord is saying for all of His people to repent for our dark attitudes and angry imaginations of vengeance and pray for everyone’s eyes to be opened to the truth which can save their souls. We should wish no harm to anyone as we resist the temptation to hate others or we will become the same as those we consider the enemy. Satan wants all of us to hate one another, but the true Christian shall be known for their love and forgiveness. Much of the world is held in the bondage of deception and sadly many people are actually excited about the coming judgment and destruction. God is not excited about destroying those who are incarcerated to sin, but rather wants everyone to to accept His offer of salvation. II Peter 3:9 states, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
Jesus died on the cross so that all who believe could be saved and this is how we should pray and hope that everyone even our enemies will find the Savior. God is trying to get their attention and we should intercede that all people will be set free. We must be sensitive and to ask God to convict us if we are being led by our carnality intead of our spiritual discernment. I must not rejoice in seeing anyone suffer because of their rebellion to the truth. I must not be happy to see anyone go to an eternal hell of suffering and darkness. Yes, sin and evil will be punished by God, but we should be very humble as we realize that if it was not for the mercy and grace of God, we would also be blind, arrogant, and rebellious. God is the perfect judge and He will establish justice and execute revenge in His time and His way. Trust Him and be confident that He has everything in control and that everything is allowed by His infinite power and authority.
No one is getting away with anything, and that includes us. Let us take time today to examine our hearts and conscience to see if there be any thoughts or emotions within us that is not pure and holy. If we want to be surrounded by God’s presence and to walk in His obedience and glory, we should constantly be making sure that all is well with our soul. “Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit” Psalm 51:9-12.
“Father God, in your holy name which is above all other names, we approach you with boldness and confidence this day. You have invited us into the holy of holies and to dwell in your presence forever. We love you and give ourselves to you as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable which is our reasonable service. We are grateful for all that you have done for us and are doing this moment. Our heart’s desire is to know you and to walk in your presence with joy, love, and discernment. Thank you for opening our eyes and allowing us to see your absolute and eternal truth. We repent of our sins and ask you to create in us a clean heart and renew a right spirit within us. We cast down the apathy and deception of religion and embrace your command to take up our cross and follow you. We resist the temptation to be spiritually lukewarm and are willing to do whatever it takes to dwell in your presence. Give us the strength and determination to surrender our will to you so that we might be able to accomplish your will. Stir within us your holy conviction and rekindle our passion and enthusiasm to fulfill and accomplish our destiny. Bring your refining fire into our lives and melt away all the carnality and dross of sin. Cause us to be red hot in our obedience to you and to be relentless in our desire to please you. Help us to empty our heart of everything that is not of you and then come and fill us with your Holy Spirit. As we seek you with all of our heart, give us the revelation of your Word and ears to hear what your Spirit has to say. May our lives be a reflection of your nature and character so that all who see us will be able to see you. Give us the mind of Christ and the courage to fight on our knees and to never give up in our quest to accomplish all that you have called us to do. You are the center of everything we desire. Please help us to become who Jesus died for us to be. We love you with all of our heart, mind, and strength, and worship you in spirit and truth now and forever. Amen.”
I am a faith columnist for the South Alabamian newspaper and here is a recent article titled, “The Essence of Self-Discipline.” This link also provides an audio feature where the column can be listened to.
“We will never resist the devil until we are willing to resist our own carnality.”
William F. Holland Jr.
This is one of my recent newspaper articles called, “Living in fear is the opposite of faith.” I write for the Lagrande Observer in Oregon and I appreciate them using my work. Click on the link below and it will give you the option of listening to the column being read. Amazing technology!
BRAND NEW MUSIC VIDEO
MY OWN WORST ENEMY
The name of our YouTube channel is, “Billyhollandministries” and we welcome you to watch our recent videos. When you subscribe, it will notify you whenever we release a brand new one. Please share freely with everyone you believe would appreciate an encouraging word.
GOD HEARS THE CRIES OF THE UNBORN
Here is a song the Lord gave me back in the 1980s called, “SAVE THE CHILDREN.” This is a subject that is dear to my heart because I believe that every unborn child is a human being. There are situations and exceptions where the mother’s life is in danger or some other medical circumstance, but there is no excuse to kill a human being and throw them in the garbage simply because they are NOT wanted. Praise God, the Lord’s mercy endures forever and there is forgiveness for those who have made this tragic mistake. Of course He will forgive us of anything we have done if we will only sincerely ask Him. However, once our eyes are opened to God’s truth there remains no excuse to justify or support this evil spirit of death. If a woman does not want the child, the humane decision would be to have the baby and give it to someone who desperately wants it. Proverbs 6:16-19 says, “There are six things the Lord hates; yea, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” We know God loves the children and yet somehow people believe that killing them is alright.
The lack of responsibility and integrity from an adult is not the unborn child’s fault, and yet they are the ones who suffer and are put to death. If someone were to place a litter of newborn puppies in a bag and throw them in a river, there would be mass outrage, and yet we have protesters in the streets demanding the right to kill a child. If someone would grab a butcher knife and stab someone in the heart, it would be called first degree murder. Why is the intentional killing of an unborn child NOT recognized as murder? The argument that the unborn is not alive or is not a person cannot be used any longer. God has called His people to speak the truth and those who are willing to compromise and even vote to support this issue are just as guilty as those who are tearing the children’s arms and legs off as they cry out in agony. Many will respond, “I’m not saying it’s right, but every woman has the right to choose what happens in their own body and no one should have the authority to tell other people what to do.” It’s true we have been given free will to do what WE want to do, but NO ONE has been given the right to kill another person unless the mother’s life is in danger. Just because humans make laws which allow women to kill their children, does not mean that God approves. Are we going to agree this is her business and we should not speak out and try to stop her from murdering an innocent child? God’s truth cannot be silenced. God help us.
FREE NARRATION CD OFFER
Below is the FREE narration CD that I am offering to anyone who would like to have a copy. 80 minutes of over 100 encouraging Bible passages and includes 5 original worship songs, prayers, and positive confessions! This is a great way to absorb God’s Word as you walk, exercise, driving in the car, before you go to sleep, or in your quiet meditation time. It contains beautiful background music from the well-known composer, Peder Helland from Norway. God’s Word is our vital spiritual nourishment and there is nothing more powerful or needed in our daily life. Just send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and don’t forget to include your address.
SPECIAL MESSAGE FOR THIS HOUR
KNOWING GOD’S EXPECTATION FOR OUR LIVES
How many times will it need to be declared that we can have as much of God as we want? And how many tears will we shed from the sadness of knowing that most people only want enough to get by? How often we find ourselves being so overwhelmed with problems, worries, and stress that we are just too exhausted to invest time with the Lord, and its sad but common that many of us are guilty of basing our attitude toward Him according to what type of mood we are in. In Jeremiah 33:3, the Lord invites us to seek His face regardless of our emotional state. “Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show you great and mighty things which you have never known.” It’s worth considering that not having a passion to communicate with God could be the reason why many people are anxious and fearful about their present and their future.
The battle between following how we feel and obeying what God is saying is not to be taken lightly. To choose which side we will accept has everything to do with our destiny and the joy we experience in the journey. When our mind and conscience agree that we can steer our ship according to our own compass, we have failed to comprehend the true meaning and purpose of our lives. Our creator brought everyone into His world and offers them an opportunity to be redeemed and spiritually transformed in order that they might live with Him forever. “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil” John 3:18-19. Those who would rather be the manager of their personal affairs and not accept this invitation of salvation will not only suffer loss in this life but possibly the next one as well.
Maybe some of you today are discouraged and frustrated for whatever reason and we know that being in the wilderness is a challenging and difficult place to be. Sometimes it feels like we have been dealt a terrible hand of cards and within the sadness we are not sure what to do or have anyone we can talk to about it. I have listened to others share about their bitterness and pain from life’s disappointments that can become so heavy in our soul that it’s difficult to envision ever having hope and joy again. Allow me to say, these attacks on our heart and mind can be defeated when we give them to Jesus and allow Him to be our Lord. Aside from the mocking and relentless accusations from the devil, or the painful consequences of our decisions, we have been designed to meditate about our discouragement and suffer through our grief in order to learn from our experiences and advance in our wisdom and grow stronger in our spiritual maturity. We are given the choice to learn how to overcome or keep going around in circles. “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you” James 1:19-20.
Within our human nature, we are vulnerable to physical and emotional affliction and there is nothing wrong or sinful with going through these experiences. We are not robots that cannot feel rejection and we are not immune to the despair of loneliness or the agony of being betrayed. Many of us have walked through severe trials and tribulations, yet let us not forget that Christ in His infinite wisdom and His own personal sufferings can relate to everything we have endured. James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” Be encouraged today and know that God has always loved you and is waiting to reveal your destiny. We are a work in progress and our life is to be a continual classroom dedicated to learning who God is and who we are in Him.
Here is an oringinal song called, “Where are you?”
Here is a video trailer for my book, “A LIFESTYLE OF WORSHIP – Living in the awareness of God’s presence.” You can order it on Amazon and any bookstore, or I would be glad to send you a signed copy. Just contact me at email@example.com and include your address.
Book – 367 pages
“A LIFESTYLE OF WORSHIP – Living in the awareness of God’s presence”
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me put it into practice, and the God of peace will be with you. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him (Christ) who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:7,8,9,12,13).
THE WORLD IS BEING SHAKEN, BUT GOD IS A VERY PRESENT HELP IN TIMES OF TROUBLE
“On the back of Satan’s neck is a nail-scarred footprint” C. S. Lewis
Our nation has suffered much stress, and tribulation this year and we still have an election ahead of us. As if the pandemic was not enough, we are now seeing an insurrection of hatred and violence that is beyond belief. There are recent prophetic visions and dreams lately from those who are walking with God, and these declarations are filled with the world becoming more violent and much destruction. I would imagine that most of you watch the news and to be honest, I probably absorb a little too much. Some evenings, my mind is so hyped-up and distressed with worry that I end up turning and tossing in my sleep. Thank God I can ask Him to forgive me and to please flood my mind and heart with His peace. The Holy Spirit has been given to help guide us and also to bring assurance and contentment, in fact, one of His titles is the comforter. Calling on God in times of crisis whatever the situation may be, is such a blessing for our soul. Psalm 46:1 is a beautiful promise that we can embrace as a secure pillar within our spiritual foundation. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” How encouraging it is to know, that we can rest in His endless love and hope when we choose to live in the glory of His presence.
Each week I look to the Lord to provide inspirational and positive thoughts within my writing and I believe we need this now more than ever. I’ve often thought that no one really needs other people repeating how the nation and the world is in such a hopeless condition. We already know there are a lot of bad people on this planet. However, it’s always encouraging and refreshing good news to hear that Jesus gave His life so that all those who would believe in Him could be spiritually saved for all eternity. If we really want to help make the world a better place, we can use our energy to pray, and we can also become determined to demonstrate the nature and character of Christ in our daily walk. As light drives away the darkness, love drives out hate. We hear so many conversations about the fear of anarchy and the failure of government that my head hurts. The answer is Jesus! Short and simple. It does not really matter what anyone thinks except God. He is the only one I want to listen to because He is perfect truth and the exemplary solution for everything. If every person would fall on their face and repent and cry out to Him and obey His voice, we would have genuine love and peace. Now sir please tell me, why do you always have to bring religion into it? I’m not talking about religion, I’m talking about a personal relationship with the Alpha and Omega the Creator of all things.
Whatever we might face from this time forward, the word I sense today is urgency. What do you mean? We should have an urgent agenda to make sure that all is well with our soul. We only have a certain amount of days to accomplish what God has designed and called us to do. When this life is finished, we will be held accountable for what we knew, our love and our obedience unto God. Is there coming a great spiritual awakening in the world? I do not know, however there certainly can be an outpouring of God’s Spirit within the hearts of those who want to be filled with God. We can be as close to God as we desire, and only our rebellion and carnality is keeping us from Him. Let us continue meditating on His Word as we ask Him to shield our heart from sin and renew our mind into His thoughts. The truth is that we cannot remove evil from the world, but we can learn how to be holy in our own heart. Prayers are powerful, but we cannot transform those who are filled with hatred nor change the terrible mess we are in. However, God can! So what happened to the world? In short, humans refused to love and obey God. Unfortunately, Satan has influenced many people to embrace evil – and it has worked like a charm. Yes, God can change and deliver anyone but they must surrender their will and invite Him to make them into a brand new creation. God does not force anyone to follow or love Him. If there were ever a time to develop a daily lifestyle of prayer, it is now.
Repentance and holiness is the way to walk in God’s wisdom, peace, and joy. Consider Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.” Be careful, our environment is emotionally charged, and it’s easy to be drawn into the chaos. May we listen intently to the Holy Spirit and follow His guidance, remembering to examine our thoughts and be cautious with our words. James chapter three declares how the tongue can be evil and filled with deadly poison. Sadly, we are seeing this all around us. So many dangerous assumptions and empty opinions. “Help us O God.”
“It is simply absurd to say you believe, or even want to believe in Him, if you do not do anything He tells you.” – George Macdonald
Here is a song I wrote years ago called, “GET ALONE WITH ME” and I believe this is what the Lord is saying in this last hour. Can you hear Him calling you to come away with Him? Will you make time for Him?
Here is a song the Lord gave me in the mid-eighties called, “A PRICE TO PAY.” I am not an entertainer, a musician nor a songwriter in the normal sense of the word. I was given a few songs, and I have wondered if maybe they were just for me personally as a message and warning from the Lord? I’ve always wanted to share these musical messages with others, but the response has been distant and strange to say the least. Some individuals weep when they hear them and become quiet. These are not meant to amuse, but to contemplate and consider within the conscience. They are given to examine, to pause, think deeply, repent, and bring healing and awareness within the soul. I sense the presence of the Holy Spirit and Him drawing me and awakening me, and I’m grateful for His love and mercy.
“The Lord knows all about your troubles before they even come to you; He anticipates them by His tender foresight. Before Satan can draw the bow, the preserver of men will put His beloved beyond the reach of the arrow. Before the weapon is forged in the furnace, and prepared on the anvil, He knows how to provide us with armor of proof which shall blunt the edge of the sword and break the point of the spear” C.H. Spurgeon.
It is not the lofty sails that move the ship; it is the unseen wind.
Of all the things we can say and do, the word of the Lord is to focus all of our energy and concentration on Jesus. Today is the day and now is the time to make sure we are ready to meet Jesus! This is a song called, “I give my heart to you.”
Convictions and Considerations is now available with Amazon, Barnes and Noble and many other bookstores around the world and also as an e-book. I believe this is an important resource of strength, hope, and edification to the body of Christ in a day and age where there is so much spiritual darkness and negativity.
SPECIAL OFFER – for a limited time, I can send you a signed copy AND I will include the 80-minute narrated CD, “KEEPER OF MY SOUL” for a love offering of just $25.00 and this INCLUDES SHIPPING. I am not in the ministry to make money and I’m sure that most everyone realizes that quality products are expensive, and to be honest this price only covers my cost. I just want to share these resources and bless those who love and appreciate God’s Word. This important spiritual resource is just under 400 pages, and would be a wonderful gift for all who enjoy reading encouraging and inspirational stories about everyday life with a positive Christian perspective. If you would like to place an order, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and include your address.
Here is what some are saying about CONVICTIONS AND CONSIDERATIONS:
“If there is one eternal theme for Reverend Holland’s writings, it is love, and it shines through in great abundance in “Convictions And Considerations” making the book a joy to read whatever your spiritual inclination. Billy writes in blockbuster style, keeping us fascinated with a new story or observation with each turn of the page, and effortlessly conveying his understanding of God’s Word in an easy-to-read style that deftly and almost surreptitiously uplifts his readers with a joyous appreciation of the practical link between earthly humanity and heavenly grace. It is a true privilege to publish his “Living On Purpose” column each Sunday, and this book takes the exceptional quality of that work to yet new heights.” Ian White, Editor/Publisher, Clear Leader News, Galveston, Texas.
“In Convictions and Considerations, Dr. Holland seamlessly intersperses guidelines for living a responsible Christian life, illustrative quotations to validate his arguments, and personal anecdotes and lyrics that add a real-life perspective to his greater points. The result is an engaging, eclectic book that allows readers to determine ways to evaluate their individual spiritual paths.” Daniel Aken, M.LIS., Reference Librarian, Clark County Public Library, Winchester, Kentucky.
“I highly recommend this book to both believers and unbelievers alike. It’s a reservoir of edification and inspiration for the believer to draw closer to God and a lighthouse of conviction for the unbeliever to see their need to be born again. Within these pages, Dr. Holland helps us identify, pursue, and accomplish our divine mission. William is sincerely concerned about the enormous challenges we will face as followers of Jesus Christ, but reassures us that we can be victorious by developing a greater sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.” Lucas Ngwa, Pastor of Salvation Ministry Church, Bamenda, Cameroon.
“Convictions and considerations” keeps me on the edge of my seat! It’s filled with riveting stories and spiritual truth that convicts me to evaluate and examine my relationship with God. Dr. Holland explains about renewing our mind and the power of words, and how this relates to fulfilling our destiny. I love the story about Kate and Calvin and the powerful insights about how depression and rejection are destructive weapons used against us to steal our faith and contentment. He writes, “It’s never too late for a fresh new start! There will never be a time when darkness or hopelessness can overcome the brilliant light of God’s love and grace.” Gaye Bencini, Editor/Publisher, Hickman County Times, Clinton, Kentucky.
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:11-13). Jesus Christ will forgive you of your sins, give you a brand new name, and love you forever as one of His dear children. Call upon Him this moment and ask Him to redeem your spirit and transform your conscience. Simply ask Him to open your eyes, renew your mind, and to fill you with His Holy Spirit. Today is the day of salvation and now is the appointed time. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith and the purpose and meaning of our life. Praise and worship His name forever! We hope you will visit us often as we update several areas of this site each week! Feel free to browse the site and use the content however the Lord leads. Thank you for your prayers and we hope and pray you will receive a spiritual blessing.
“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it” George Orwell
“A person once gave this description of a sermon he had heard: Big wind – Much lightning – Loud thunder – but no rain…”
Our site features original music, information about what we believe, our volunteer outreaches along with much of my writing ministry. We invite you to look around, read the articles, listen to the music, and you are welcome to copy them, give them away, and use them however the Lord leads. I write a weekly newspaper column that is presented in many publications around the country and I also provide another weekly article about the Christian life that you read by clicking on the “WEEKLY BLOG” tab at the top.
The Lord gives me music and you can listen here to an original song called, “My hidden room.”
Here is another song called, “Refuge.”
I would be interested in knowing your thoughts or questions you might have about God, the holy scriptures, your worldviews, or anything on this site. I would also love to hear about your ministry and develop a friendship with you. You are welcome to stay current with my newspaper columns which are posted every Monday on this site. Click on the above menu, “LIVING ON PURPOSE” as each post is titled and dated. Also, If you would like to have a free copy of the narrated scripture CD, “KEEPER OF MY SOUL” just email me at email@example.com (Don’t forget to include your mailing address).
“In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.” Martin Luther King
“Go out into the world in peace, have courage in the faith of God, love and serve the Lord, speak the truth, be positive and think on what is good and lovely, return no one evil for evil, strengthen the fainthearted, encourage the weak and help the suffering, honor and respect God’s creation. May the mercy and grace of the Almighty surround you and may you be filled with contentment and rivers of joy. Our heavenly Father is the meaning and purpose of life, and I pray that you will live in His presence forever.”
“Before we can embrace the cross as the only way to save us, we must humbly acknowledge that we were the reason Jesus had to go there.”
“Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him” Proverbs 30:5.
DESIGNED FOR OFFENSE
“THE KING IS COMING” and we are convinced that it will not be much longer until He does. So far, 2020 has been a year of great concern and stress. If you are a believer, you know the Bible declares there will be perilous times in the last days. The signs are all around us and every word of prophecy will be fulfilled exactly as God has spoken. We believe that Jesus is coming soon according to the seven thousand-year time span theological view. According to Biblical calculations, we are at the end of the 6000 years since Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden which according to genealogy records began 4000 years before the birth of Christ. Most Christians also believe there will be a 1000 year Millennial reign where Christ will rule after He returns to the earth in great power and glory. I will also mention that many believe there will be a rapture and 7 years of tribulation included in the future, so we can hopefully agree this dispensation is soon coming to a close. I believe this is the eleventh year of writing these weekly messages and we hope that you will continue walking with us on this journey as brothers and sisters in the faith.
(By the way, I am not an advocate of young earth creationism. The amount of time within the act of God creating the heavens and the earth, along with the time Adam and Eve lived in the Garden, and what was going on outside of the Garden could have been millions of years. We read in the Bible that when Adam and Eve began to live in the world on their own, there were already established cities and obviously many generations of people living and thriving. In this unknown amount of time, we can consider the possibility of dinosaurs and all the other issues which have always conflicted with the young earth idea. The Bible does not clearly explain the details of what happened between the creation and the fall, and God also does not operate on a basis of time as we do. I simply believe that what went on before the fall will not be known unless the Lord chooses to explain it after we are in heaven and not worth arguing about).
The saints of God were never created for just defense. A sports team can never win unless they learn the balance of guarding and scoring – and that is accomplished with the development of an organized offense. We have the shield of faith to defend but we also have the sword of God’s Word to speak and trust with His authority. Mathew chapter 11 verse 12 say’s, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence and the violent take it by force.” Jesus was saying that God’s kingdom will require courage, unwavering faith, determination and endurance because of the growing opposition to the kingdom message and those who preach it. John’s ministry had ushered in the kingdom of heaven and it was crucially important to set the record straight about what the saints should expect. Jesus was very serious about spiritual warfare in Mathew chapter ten and was tired of beating around the bush trying to explain the world’s reaction. In verses 34 through 39, we find him saying some disturbing things about our relationships and our dreams of a “happy” ministry lifestyle.
Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that takes not his cross, and follows after me, is not worthy of me. He that finds his life shall lose it: and he that loses his life for my sake shall find it.” Jesus is not trying to be mean or scare anyone. He is not trying to make a terrorist out of an ordinary person or be cruel for the purpose of stirring up evil, but He is trying to be blunt and explain where the rubber meets the road and plead with the saints about a “life or death” reality. Does He want us to be a fanatic? Yes! Being an extreme fanatic for Jesus would be the ultimate goal, but most everyone is ashamed of Him. We are just too embarrassed. Why? Because we do not want people to think we are crazy and we really think quite highly of our reputation. The Lord is trying to reveal the sobering truth about the dynamic power of His Word and the dramatic impact it will have on everyone we meet – IF we are brave enough to do what He says to do. Are you ready to sign up for this? Allow me to warn you, the life lived IN Christ will always provoke a reaction from everyone good or bad. It can cause hatred, anger, and division because the cross is an offense to the carnal mind and enmity to the flesh and is in direct opposition to the devil’s lies and plans. Jesus was not going to paint pretty pictures of sunsets or tell cozy stories about how everyone would embrace us and rejoice with our message because He knows the TRUE Christian life is filled with deadly resistance. He knew His disciples would experience the same treatment as He had and how the pure gospel would be an opposition to everyone who is not a devoted follower of His cause. He knew that our new transformed spirits would clash with evil spirits and how His kingdom of light would be an “in your face insult” that will stir the religious sleepwalkers into becoming a fierce enemy. Yes God’s convicting “two-edged” truth can bring beautiful freedom but it also brings a bloody war! So why was Jesus emphasizing that truth brings division and hatred? It has everything to do with God never compromising or failing. His truth must be pure and holy or it loses its authority to rule and judge. His truth is perfect – He is Omniscient and He cannot be the Lord of anyone who loves the world more than Him.
I was talking to a person the other day about losing weight and they made a comment that made me think. They said the reason they have not been successful is that they just do not have a high level of passion and self-control that dieting requires. They are are not serious about exercise and they really do not care about how much chocolate cake they eat. I appreciate the honesty and we all struggle with self-discipline, but I believe this is also why most people do not have Christ as the Lord of their life. Yes, they believe that God is real, but so does the devil and all the demons. Most everyone believes the Bible is true, but so does Satan. When it comes to the priorities of our love, how many will someday stand before God and confess the reason they did not accomplish their mission was because they did not care. If we are not focused or even interested in God – I can promise we will not read the Bible, pray, or even think about Him. Of course, the exception is when we have a problem that we desperately need Him to solve. There are many who believe God is real and consider themselves religious, but God is not impressed in the least. Why? Because they are NOT serious about Him. If our connection to God is only calling upon Him when we need something, we have missed the point entirely. It’s dangerous when Christians try to hold God’s hand while holding on to their sin with the other hand. Why? We CANNOT serve God and the devil. It’s called “lukewarm” or “middle of the road” living and no matter how you and I try to remodel it or paint it, there is no way to fool The Almighty. Matthew 6:24 says,
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” There will never be any type of compromise or special deals with those who try to play games. Let us remember that when the world loves us, we can guarantee – something’s terribly wrong with our soul. We have so many excuses and justifications to stay in a spiritually powerless lifestyle but when God says, “Stand for My truth and fight the good fight of faith” it was not presented as an option – it’s a demand. The world hates Jesus and if we truly love Him they will hate us also. “And you will be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endures to the end will be saved” Mathew 10:22.
The message is always the same. Reach out to Christ – pray – study His truth – develop faith – walk with Him in holiness – follow and obey His voice – live in peace and victory! If we do not choose to walk in His Spirit, we will automatically remain in the old default system of mediocrity and we will not be effective in His kingdom. In fact, we actually become His enemy! If we are carnal – we are not in Christ – if we are filled with sin and satisfied – we are defeated! Threaten the enemy of your soul instead of allowing him to lead you! Declare to your flesh and the devil that every time you are attacked, that you will instantly pray to God and cry out for His help. Then instead of the devil being on offense against you, you have just turned the tables and put the devil on the run! He will begin to see that trying to hurt you is hurting him much worse. James 4:4-8 says, “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
Face the devil and tell him to get out of your life forever – NOW! If he comes back – do it again! How many times will I need to rebuke the devil? How much spiritual victory do you want? We were never promised by God that after we are saved we would have an easy life. It’s actually the opposite. When we are born again, we become God’s warriors against sin. Our victory is then based on our faith in Jesus BLOOD and the spiritual authority of the Father over all the powers of darkness. The Almighty never designed us to fight in our own strength but has equipped us with every piece of spiritual armor that is found in the fifth chapter of Ephesians. However, this armor is useless until we put it on and march onto the battlefield. Who wants to serve? Who will fight on the front-lines? Our needs do not move God to act on our behalf, but rather our FAITH moves God and activates HIS power and this is the miracle that will manifest from our confessions and causes our prayers to change circumstances. Until we choose to become a participant, we will remain an observer. Jesus did not die for us to be a spectator, He died so that we can be an overcomer for HIM! It is HIS inspiration that creates the fruit of our lips and generates the SUPER-NATURAL power in the name of Jesus! Let us not cower in fear to Satan who is already defeated! This is now 2020 and King Jesus is coming soon! Let us start the New Year with making a decision that we will draw nearer to God than we ever have been before. Let us pray every day and confess God’s Word over our lives and the lives of our family and friends. Let us be known as a true Christian who walks what we talk and may we carry God’s two-edged sword and not be afraid to engage in spiritual warfare. “I pursue my enemies and overtake them; I will not back down until they are destroyed” Psalm 18:37.
“Grief never ends…but it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith…it is a price of love.”
SEND A GREAT REVIVAL IN MY SOUL
Do you believe the Spirit of God is being poured out today on His Son’s and Daughters? Do you see any evidence of a powerful revival coming? Do you sense the Lord stirring you to turn away from the things you desire and draw closer to Him? If we are not careful, we will become so numb from the pleasures of this world, that being lukewarm will become a normal way of living. Do we really want God’s fire to purge us from our sins? Do we really want to sacrifice the way we live and deny our flesh from all the things we love?
Sure, there are times when I feel like not writing anymore. However, if everyone were to stop writing, serving and teaching God’s truth, discouragement and defeat would run rampant. Sometimes it seems that no one is listening, but then I notice there are people visiting from all over the planet and this is actually very encouraging. In fact, I appreciate you being here right now. Of course, the enemy wants to stop God’s Word and is fighting hard to silence God’s messengers. Sadly, many become tired of the gospel and are leaving the church and abandoning their faith. Older saints are weary and backslidden because they did not maintain their personal relationship with Jesus. Some are being distracted by pleasures that seem more important or more desirable than spending time in God’s presence. Others are falling away from the self-discipline of sanctification and growing more distant from their spiritual responsibility to live holy. Some are saying the Bible is filled with errors and faith does not really work. Some are declaring that God is not politically correct, and they are embarrassed to support and believe it anymore. Allow me to say that all of this was prophesied to happen and it should come as no surprise to those who study the scriptures. The falling away and the love of many waxing cold is a spiritual reality that we should have known was going to happen in these last days. The important truth to write on the tables of our hearts is that even if everyone we know turns away from God – we will never let go of His hand.
I write because God has called me to be one of His messengers. His grace is sufficient as it is my honor to serve Him and with gratitude and humility, I offer myself to be used as a small candle for His glory in a world of darkness, anger, and deception. As the representatives of His Kingdom, we must stay strong – we must endure to the end. I encourage you to examine your conscience and see if there is anything that is separating you from the Lord. This is the hour of grace and the time for the bride to prepare her gown for the coming of the groom. Let us shout from the housetops that Jesus is coming and today is the day to repent and receive His endless love and salvation. Right where you are, you can ask God to forgive you and He will cleanse your heart and deliver you from whatever is holding you captive in the bondage of misery. Revival begins with an overwhelming awareness and conviction of sin. Spiritual renewal is a heavy burden to repent followed by an unrelenting passion to live in obedience to everything God is demanding. This can only happen when an individual agrees to surrender their will to God with complete honesty, sincerity, and humility. Let us sing this old hymn together, “Send a great revival to my soul, send a great revival to my soul, may the Holy Spirit come and take control…and send a great revival to my soul.”
There are so many people in the world today who are stepping forward to voice their opinion about what they believe. Are God’s people not allowed to do the same? I realize that much of our faith needs to be demonstrated by how we live, but isn’t there also a time to testify and preach God’s message of hope and salvation? Is it not our responsibility to relay the gospel to a lost and dying world? Have we as Christians not been commissioned to teach God’s life-changing promises so that minds and souls can be delivered from sin and deception? When we read the true accounts of the martyrs who have given their lives for the sake of Jesus, we must consider that we are not excused from the same accountability and commitment. Let us pray that we will be found worthy to stand faithful in that day if called upon. The Christian life is a holy vow and a blood covenant that includes a devotion to not only surrender our will and live for God but to be prepared to face persecution unto death. Following Christ has very little to do with prosperity and blessings but rather has everything to do with prayer, holiness, love, faith, integrity, courage, sacrificial giving, renewing of the mind, and self-discipline. Yes, God’s people are the light holders and vessels of honor in this realm of darkness and have been commissioned to evangelize the world. Followers of Christ have the ultimate responsibility to speak God’s Word everywhere and to every person, they meet.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them that love His appearing” (II Timothy 4:7-8).
WHAT WILL KEEP US FROM CHRIST?
I recently had the opportunity to watch season one of, “The Chosen.” It’s a multi-episode series about the life of Jesus and uses interesting backstories which brings the scriptures we all love and cherish into a deeper understanding. By the way, it’s a free app and for those of you who have some technical savvy, you can cast it to your television without charge. Through donations from many believers, the series is available free for anyone to watch around the world. This presentation of the gospel is done with excellent quality and the acting is amazing. Anyway, there are several scenes that touched my heart deeply, but one in particular that I have been thinking about was a scene which involved Jesus and a man named Nicodemus. If you remember in the Bible, Nicodemus was a pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin who was a highly respected teacher of the Jewish religious law. He knew that a Messiah was coming to be the king of the Jews, but he never dreamed that Jesus would arrive as an ordinary person or that he would actually have the honor to know Him.
Jesus began His ministry when He was around thirty-years-old, and we know that His wisdom to relay God’s word and His miracles were causing quite a stir. The Romans and the Sanhedrin were strongly against a rogue preacher turning the hearts of the people toward what they considered a blasphemous cult. However, in the book of John, we are introduced to Nicodemus who was keeping a close watch on this prophet called Jesus of Nazareth. Nicodemus was observing these miracles with his own eyes and he knew in his heart that only someone who had been sent from heaven could do these things. Eventually, he arranges a secret meeting with Jesus at night, and begins to question Him about God’s law. In chapter three, we notice the renowned and highly esteemed Nicodemus, humbly addresses Jesus as rabbi which means “scholar.” They begin to talk and Nicodemus admits that he believes Jesus is truly the promised redeemer as there is no other explanation. Christ responds by telling him, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus replies, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” Jesus explains that a person who wants to follow God must be born twice. Once in the natural and once in the spiritual. Nicodemus was astounded and truly in awe with what Jesus was saying. Jesus went on to talk about how Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness and how soon the Son of man will be lifted up on the cross as the Savior. Jesus was telling Nicodemus that no matter how much he knew or what good he did on the outside, he needed changing on the inside. That can only happen through a supernatural act of God when His Holy Spirit convicts us of wrongdoing and transforms us into a new creation. In verse 16, Jesus speaks one of the most popular promises in the Bible. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
They end their meeting with Jesus inviting Nicodemus to follow Him. He tells him where to meet the next day and Nicodemus actually shows up, but he is hiding around the corner of a building listening intently. Jesus looks around and quietly whispers, “you were so close.” You see, Nicodemus had a loving wife, children, grandchildren, and many earthly possessions along with a reputation of being one of the most esteemed religious leaders in all the land. Unfortunately, he chooses to not step forward and join the other disciples. Instead, we see him weeping bitterly because of his pride and the lack of courage to stand for God’s truth. I cried when I watched this because I know he represents most all of us. How many have wanted to abandon their lives, but were not willing to forsake everything and follow Jesus? God says in Ezekiel 36:26, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you.” Being born again means that we have a new identity and a new purpose for living. We no longer live for ourselves but for Him. Matthew 10:32-39, Matthew 19:27-30.
God’s idea is for all of His children to be a minister and to serve Him and the world as a lifestyle of love. The world is a cruel and harsh environment and the Christian remnant followers are facing a developing hostility. However, even in times of severe persecution, we will embrace the example of Christ and remember his commands to be led by his Spirit and not our human nature. Humility allows his servants to walk through the storms and stand strong in adversity because they are seeing the bigger picture of life and how this journey is not based on their feelings. When we remove our vision away from spiritual love, we blindfold our own heart with emotional deception. “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:9-10). “Lord, help me to become more discerning of the needs of others. Allow me to have compassion for those who are seeking your wisdom and understanding. Give me a burden and a passion to live a “lifestyle of worship” before the world that someone might be inspired to know you. I ask for a greater spiritual sensitivity as that I can hear your voice and with your grace, I pray that you will be able to use me in your divine appointments. Remind me when I begin to drift away from being dependent on your anointing. Convict my heart when carnal pride tries to deceive me. I desperately need your wisdom. Help me to stay focused on you, to stay on my knees and trust you in everything. I love you, Jesus. Amen.”
“And they overcame him [the devil] by the blood of the Lamb [Jesus] and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto death” (Revelation 12:11).
The blood of Jesus empowers His saints with the authority of His Name! It is the only power that can forgive us of our sin and save us from eternal death. Our testimony is a declaration of faith that understands who God is, who we are IN Christ and that NOTHING can stop us from accomplishing His will! The Kingdom of God is advancing – because it CANNOT be stopped! Praise Him forever! There is NOTHING that can keep us from being filled with the Holy Spirit except our own free will. Let it be shouted from the housetops that we can have all of God that we want. The problem has always been that most people only want an amount of God that not interfere with the way they choose to live. The war of evil and good is between the human will and the will of God. Remember, we will never resist the devil if we are not willing to resist our flesh!
God’s nature is love, and nothing can conquer love. This is not just a catchphrase but is crucially important to remember when we are walking through difficult places that are filled with discouragements and disappointments. For the remnant disciple, one of the greatest lessons to learn and stay aware of after we have been knocked to the ground is the determination and courage to get up and dust ourselves off and keep going. The enemy has spent the last 6000 years trying to distract men and women away from God’s will, but the joy of the Lord is a fountain of strength that cannot be quenched! All the darkness in existence cannot overcome one tiny lit candle, and all the hate in the universe cannot outweigh one act of genuine compassion! Love IS the authority of God and will never fail and when we learn how to encourage our own hearts, we can take another step into the maturity process of being an overcomer for Christ.
Remember the story found in I Samuel chapter 30 about David and his army when they returned home to Ziklag and found the city had been burned and all of their families had been taken captive by the Amalekites. Verse 4 says, “Then David and all the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept until they had no more power to weep.” But notice in the last part of verse 6, “but David encouraged [strengthened] himself in the Lord his God.” The ones that are involved with ministering God’s Kingdom will not always feel like standing strong or being electrified with an overflowing current of excitement and enthusiasm. There will be seasons of frustration and fatigue where it seems that nothing is happening and things are coming unraveled. But these are the times when we need to have a private consultation in front of the mirror and lay down God’s law to our own will! We have the CHOICE to believe the truth or embrace a deception.
It’s true, there are times when we are sad and frustrated and we all will have problems and situations that we must deal with in this life, but thank God that He is always there as a safe haven to give us encouragement and support that can help us through our times of sorrow. Yes, the battle is very difficult and we must be sensitive to the spirits of depression or oppressive, critical, and judgmental attitudes that are like a contagious virus that can infect others with hopelessness and drain the atmosphere of expectation. In I John chapter 1, verse 4 we see that joy is like a liquid in a container that can be filled or it can run low, so it is necessary to constantly monitor our joy and protect it from being drained. “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” If the general of an army told the soldiers, they did not have a chance to win the battle, it would exhaust their strength and crush their faith before they even started. So how do we stay filled with joy? It would definitely contribute to our joy tank if we would deliberately spend more time in His presence. Nothing can take the place of simply thinking about Him and sharing our concerns and feelings with Him.
I believe we can agree that the spiritual strength of the individual is based on the fullness of joy within the heart. Without a strong personal relationship with God, there is limited joy, and with low joy, there is a mediocre interest in walking with Him. So, we can say the stronger our relationship with Him, the more full our joy will be and the more He can and will be seen within us. As believers in the full gospel, we must realize that God’s idea of a normal Christian life is for us to be fearless warriors that daily walk in the realm of signs and wonders. The Creator of the universe lives inside of us! Why should we NOT be doing what Jesus did? God’s Word reveals how the last days are going to unfold and how religious spirits will continue to distort the true reality of “normal” into an imposter normal. Nonetheless, no matter how deceptive or hypocritical the religious system becomes, Jesus will accomplish His perfect agenda with those who love Him! When Jesus calls you to let go of the boat and walk on the water, there is NOTHING that can prevent your victory as long as you stay focused on His presence! Amen!
Even Satan does not care if we accept Christ as long as we keep Him to ourselves, because when we live as undercover agents for Jesus, we are NOT a threat to the dark domain. However, when we allow our flame to receive more oxygen from the Holy Spirit and it turns into a raging blaze, the devil realizes that we can be used to help recruit thousands of soldiers for the Lord’s army, tear down principalities and strongholds, inspire the lost, and do mighty miracles and wonders in Jesus Name! It’s worth the moment to consider the question; will you allow the enemy to stop you from being an overcomer? We are living in the last moments of grace, but it is also a time to become strong in our faith and personal intimacy with the Lord. Overcomers are strong leaders that have Special Forces training to PRAY and OBEY in all circumstances! Prepare now to step forward when the world is turned upside-down. Allow Jesus Christ to fill you with the wisdom of His Word today, or you will not have the anointing or faith to boldly stand as a leader in the days ahead.
If we are going to be provided for like Elijah at the brook and the woman with the measure of oil, we must learn how to not only be an encouragement to others but to encourage our own hearts. If we cannot believe God to heal our sore toe today, what makes us think we will be able to believe Him for a loaf of bread in the day of famine? There is no reason to be stressed or worried about what man will do because we have been promised that direction and encouragement will be given to those who are devoted to God. “The Lord is near unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear Him: He also will hear their cry and will save them” (Psalm 18-19). The word of the Lord today is that He is trying to get our attention. He is doing everything He can to open the eyes of our hearts so that we can learn how to live for Him. What will it take for us to become serious about our relationship with God? What will it take to pull us away from our flesh and the pleasures of this world and convict us to humbly fall on our face to God?
Our mind is like a garden, and we are the gardener. We can plant whatever we want and will harvest whatever we have sown! Our new spirit and renewed mind are ready to listen to King Jesus as He inspires us to confess out loud His never-failing truth over ourselves, our families and our situations. This is only accomplished when we develop a serious awareness of our thought life and how powerful our confessions can be. You see, the old nature is associated with the old way of thinking but when our minds have been renewed in Christ, this is intended to give us better leverage when trying to wrestle our will into its rightful place (which is submission to Jesus). The reason why people do not want to pray is that they realize God is going to ask them to surrender their will and become a living sacrifice for His glory.
People want all the blessings in this life but do not want to live for God in order to enjoy them. A covenant is an agreement between two parties and humans desire to be the receiver without being the giver. The idea is that God gives everything to us and likewise we are to give everything back to Him which includes our will. Our good works will mean nothing until we have yielded and submitted our nature to God’s perfect plan. We can demand and command all we want, but until this structure of order has been established, the spiritual process of covenant salvation will not function properly. We can take the safe path of least resistance where we just hold our shields, play defense, and do enough to get by, or we can face our fears of being uncomfortable, take a stand of faith, pick up our swords, and go on the offense. Righteousness and redemption are not about religion – it’s about loving and worshiping God with ALL of our heart and this includes praying, listening, and obeying His voice in all things.
Faith and joy are not confined to a geographic location, a mood, or an emotion – it is activated when the determination to believe God becomes stronger than the temptation to doubt Him! We have a CHOICE to praise God because we love Him and trust Him! The Lord knows that if we can maintain our faith, that in the name of Jesus we can speak to the mountains in our life, and in God’s power and authority they will be removed! “And ALL things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Matthew 21:22). Hopelessness is a condition of the default system that occurs when people only trust their own decisions. Human intellect and logic, impressive education, great wealth, or political power cannot save souls or bring true peace. Only God can change a mind and transform a life.
A character trait of a spiritual overcomer for Christ is to carry burdens, but they also learn to leave those burdens at the foot of the cross because they are very heavy and can hinder our liberty to live in joy. May we remember that as servants of the Most-High, ministers and leaders feel the same pain and heartaches that everyone does, and there is no condemnation for being sad and discouraged. It’s not an option but crucial that we all learn how to encourage ourselves and realize the source of our strength. Overcomers learn that qualities like fortitude, perseverance, determination, and integrity are formed and activated in times of great difficulty. God created and owns the heavens and earth and everyone must bow down to His power and authority. “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed” (II Corinthians 4:8-9).
“Father, I desperately need You to fill me with Your holy PASSION. Make me hungry and thirsty for Your presence, and help me to develop an awareness of Your voice within my heart. If I do not have Your FIRE, I will remain a fading ember and be satisfied to stay in the comfort zone of my old nature. If I do not have Your love working in my conscience, I am nothing but a tinkling cymbal and will not be of any use to You. Break me and melt me so that I can be molded into Your image. Do a strong work in my heart that will literally CHANGE the way I think and who I am. I’m weak and self-centered Lord; please give me compassion and a burden for the lost, the needy and those who are hurting. Awaken me and breathe life into me that I may experience the depths of your presence. Change my heart and transform my mind. Give me visions and dreams and allow me to see the angels and experience your presence in a way I have never imagined. Come sit on the throne of my heart and be my Lord. I give myself to you completely. Purify me and make me holy in your precious name of Jesus Christ I pray, amen.”
“Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ hath left us a commandment which concerns all Christians alike, that we should render the duties of humanity, or (as the scriptures call them) the works of mercy, to such as are afflicted and under calamity; that we should visit the sick, endeavor to set free the prisoners, and perform other like acts of kindness to our neighbor, whereby the evils of this present time may in some measure be lightened.” Martin Luther (1483-1546), German monk, theologian.
A familiar theme within Christianity involves taking up our cross, but what does this mean? In Luke chapter 9 and verse 23 we read, “And he [Jesus] said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” First allow us to see that Christ mentions that following Him as the Lord of our life requires choosing to love Him with all of our heart, mind, and soul. This is the personal covenant relationship with our Savior who redeems us with His blood and transforms our identity by His grace. There is a huge difference between believing in God and becoming a remnant disciple. Secondly, Jesus emphasizes that denying our flesh is not an option but rather is mandatory. This has everything to do with submitting our will to God and dedicating our life entirely to listening and obeying His voice. Lastly, we believe that He carried His own cross and was crucified on it for our sake, but He also demands that we take up our own cross and become a living sacrifice unto the honor and glory of His Name. These spiritual overcomers will fight the good fight of faith and are devoted to developing the discipline and self-control required to “deny” the sins of the flesh. Carnality must be conquered and the mind must be renewed through the Holy Spirit in order to walk in God’s spiritual authority. This is not religious legalism, it’s called Christianity.
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