If you want to know what the Apostate church looks and sounds like then listen to this.
A Given Name
She will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. —Matthew 1:21
Most families have their own family stories. One in our family has to do with how I got my name. Apparently, when my parents were in the early days of their marriage, they disagreed about what to name their first son. Mom wanted a son named after Dad, but Dad wasn’t interested in naming a son “Junior.” After much discussion, they reached a compromise, agreeing that only if a son was born on Dad’s birthday would he be given Dad’s name. Amazingly, I was born on my dad’s birthday. So I was given his name with a “Junior” attached to it.
The naming of children is as old as time. As Joseph wrestled with the news that his fiancée, Mary, was pregnant, the angel brought him insight from the Father about naming the Baby: “She will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). Not only would Jesus be His name, but it would also explain the reason for His coming into the world: To take on Himself the punishment we deserve for our sin. His redemptive purpose behind the manger is wrapped up in the perfectly given Name above all names.
May our heart’s desire be to live in a way that honors His wonderful name!
Thank You, Father, for sending Your Son to rescue us from sin and bring us into relationship with You.
Jesus: His name and His mission are one and the same.
By Bill Crowder
The Concept of Divine Control
…how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! —Matthew 7:11
Jesus is laying down the rules of conduct in this passage for those people who have His Spirit. He urges us to keep our minds filled with the concept of God’s control over everything, which means that a disciple must maintain an attitude of perfect trust and an eagerness to ask and to seek.
Fill your mind with the thought that God is there. And once your mind is truly filled with that thought, when you experience difficulties it will be as easy as breathing for you to remember, “My heavenly Father knows all about this!” This will be no effort at all, but will be a natural thing for you when difficulties and uncertainties arise. Before you formed this concept of divine control so powerfully in your mind, you used to go from person to person seeking help, but now you go to God about it. Jesus is laying down the rules of conduct for those people who have His Spirit, and it works on the following principle: God is my Father, He loves me, and I will never think of anything that He will forget, so why should I worry?
Jesus said there are times when God cannot lift the darkness from you, but you should trust Him. At times God will appear like an unkind friend, but He is not; He will appear like an unnatural father, but He is not; He will appear like an unjust judge, but He is not. Keep the thought that the mind of God is behind all things strong and growing. Not even the smallest detail of life happens unless God’s will is behind it. Therefore, you can rest in perfect confidence in Him. Prayer is not only asking, but is an attitude of the mind which produces the atmosphere in which asking is perfectly natural. “Ask, and it will be given to you…” (Matthew 7:7).
by Oswald Chambers
Seeing Adversity from God’s Viewpoint
When adversity hits you like a ton of bricks, it could easily throw you into a pit of discouragement and despair. Although you may regard difficulties as setbacks, the Lord sees them as times for great advancement. His purpose in allowing them is not to destroy you but to stimulate your spiritual growth. In His great wisdom, the Lord knows how to take an awful situation and use it to transform you into the image of Christ and equip you to carry out His will.
Every adversity that comes into your life is sifted through God’s permissive will. That doesn’t mean the difficulty itself is His perfect will, but He’s allowed the trial to touch you so that He can use it to accomplish His wonderful purposes for your life. Although some of the suffering we see and experience seems senseless or blatantly evil, we must recognize that we have a very limited perspective and cannot always understand what the Lord is doing.
Our heavenly Father sees every aspect of life, but our view is restricted to what is right before us. His plans include not only you but also all of His creation, and they reach from the beginning of time to eternity. Though we’ll never grasp the infinite mind of God, we can know His faithfulness and love.
When you can’t understand God’s ways, focus on His perfect knowledge, wisdom, and power rather than the magnitude of your sorrow. Remember, He sees the entire picture and loves you more than you can imagine. This is a time to walk by faith, as perfect understanding comes only in heaven.
So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Revelation 12:9
New York authorities recently warned people about accepting $100 bills. A group of counterfeiters figured out how to chemically strip the ink off $1 bills, which are then reprinted as $100 bills. Since the paper is genuine, it’s difficult to detect the ruse.
In the Bible, Satan is presented as a counterfeiter who specializes in imitating the Lord. He has false teachers, false doctrines, a false church, and even a false trinity. In Revelation 12 and 13, we have a trio of evil personages who try to mimic the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The anti-Father is Satan, the dragon, the serpent (Revelation 12:7-17). The anti-Christ is a beast from the sea, empowered by the dragon and seeking global worship for himself (Revelation 13:1-9). The anti-Spirit is like a beast from the earth who performs great signs (Revelation 13:11-18).
The false trinity will try to mimic God. They will never compare or measure up to the one true God, but the descriptions about them in these passages are warnings for us to beware the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11).
To Christ the devil was one of the most real persons. He recognized his person, felt and acknowledged his power, abhorred his character, and warred against his person and kingdom. E. M. Bounds
Recommended Reading: Ephesians 6:10-13
“O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith.” (1 Timothy 6:20-21)
Paul exhorted his disciple, Timothy, and by implication exhorts us to “keep” (literally, to guard or preserve) that which was placed in his trust. The context implies that the entire teaching of Paul is in mind, as well as Timothy’s position of ministry.
Not only was he to preserve truth, he actively was to “avoid” error. Systems of thought were available which masqueraded as “science” (literally “knowledge”). These systems were not merely neutral, but were in opposition to the truth.
There can be no doubt that godless humanism (particularly as it finds its false scientific justification in evolution and uniformitarianism) has been responsible for the loss of faith in many professing Christians. Much of what is called “science” in universities today could better be described as “profane and vain babblings.”
But today’s students are not alone in their error. Back in the 1800s, when uniformitarianism, and later evolution, were first being championed by only a small minority of scientists, theologians led the way to their broad acceptance. Rushing to embrace Charles Lyell’s principle of uniformity and the concept of an old earth while still holding on to a charade of biblical authority, theologians proposed the tranquil flood and local flood concepts. Likewise, theologians proposed theistic evolution, the day-age, and gap theories to accommodate evolution, and their theological grandchildren enjoy the majority voice at most evangelical seminaries today.
It is time that Christian laity as well as those standing in our pulpits today regain “that which is committed to [their] trust,” and avoid “science falsely so called.” JDM
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall
be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. —John 4:14
We do have many professing Christians in our day who are not joyful, but they spend time trying to work it up. Now, brethren, I say that when we give God His place in the Church, when we recognize Christ as Lord high and lifted up, when we give the Holy Spirit His place, there will be joy that doesn’t have to be worked up. It will be a joy that springs like a fountain. Jesus said that it should be a fountain, an artesian well, that springs up from within. That’s one characteristic of a Spirit-filled congregation. They will be a joyful people, and it will be easy to distinguish them from the children of the world.
I wonder what the apostle Paul would say if he came down right now and looked us over in our congregations. What if he walked up and down the aisles of our churches, then went to a theater and looked them over, then on to a hockey game, on to the crowds at the shopping center and into the crowded streets? Then when he came back and looked us over again, I wonder if he would see very much difference?
Father, I need that artesian well of joy today. The burdens and busyness of leader ship sometimes really sap my strength and kill the joy. Help me— and our whole congregation—to demonstrate that real Spirit-inspired joy this week. Amen.
For I delivered unto you first of all that which also I received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:3
Lack of balance in the Christian life is often the direct consequence of overemphasis on certain favorite texts, with a corresponding underemphasis on other related ones. For it is not denial only that makes a truth void; failure to emphasize it will in the long run be equally damaging.
One example of this is the teaching that crops up now and again having to do with confession of sin. It goes like this: Christ died for our sins, not only for all we have committed but for all we may yet commit for the remainder of our lives. When we accept Christ we receive the benefit of everything He did for us in His dying and rising again. In Christ all our current sins are forgiven beforehand. It is therefore unnecessary for us to confess our sins. In Christ they are already forgiven, we are told.
Now, this is completely wrong, and it is all the more wrong because it is half right.
It is written that Christ died for our sins, and again it is written that “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins” (1 John 1:9). These two texts are written of the same company of persons, namely Christians. We dare not compel the first text to invalidate the second. Both are true and one completes the other. The meaning of the two is that since Christ died for our sins if we confess our sins they will be forgiven. To teach otherwise is to attempt to fly on one wing!
Who would not fear thee, O King of nations?… there is none like unto thee. JEREMIAH 10:7
I do not think I could ever worship a God who was suddenly caught off guard, unaware of circumstances in His world around me!
I could never offer myself to a God that actually needed me, brethren. If He needed me, I could not respect Him, and if I could not respect Him, I could not worship Him!
Some of our missionary appeals are getting close to that same error: that we should engage in missionary work because God needs us so badly!
The fact is that God is riding above this world and the clouds are the dust of His feet and if you do not follow Him, you will lose all and God will lose nothing. He will still be glorified in His saints and admired of all those who fear Him. To bring ourselves into a place where God will be eternally pleased with us should be the first responsible act of every man!
All of these considerations are based upon the character and worthiness of God. Not a man or woman anywhere should ever try to come to God as a gesture of pity because poor God needs you!
Heavenly Father, I am grateful that although You really don’t “need” me, You have gifted me in unique ways to be useful in Your kingdom work.