VIDEO Undercover Angel

Jul 28, 2012

 

Lungsy saengsawong 2 years ago
I love this movie.  It is very inspirational!  ‘You cannot go through life being afraid”.  God has plan for everyone.  He gives us life, knowledge, talent, etc., and sometimes we do not realize what we are good at and did not know how to put them together to work for the best of ourselves and others because we have been distracted.  God always puts puzzles together for us.  Just have faith in him, others, and yourself.

Earnestly Searching

You will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted. Isaiah 62:12

Every Saturday our family lines the edges of the racecourse to cheer on my daughter as she runs with her high school cross-country team. After crossing the finish line, the athletes stream out to rejoin their teammates, coaches, and parents. Crowds engulf the finishers—often more than 300 of them—making it difficult to find one person among so many. We scan the crowd excitedly until we find her, eager to put our arms around the one athlete we came to watch: our much-loved daughter.

After seventy years of captivity in Babylon, God returned the Jews to Jerusalem and Judah. Isaiah describes the delight God has in them, and the work of preparing the highways for their pilgrimage home and the gates to receive them back. God reaffirms His calling of them as His holy people and restores their honor with a new name, “Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted” (Isa. 62:12). He sought them all from the scattered reaches of Babylon to bring them back to Himself.

God seeks His beloved children.

Like the children of Israel, we too are God’s beloved children, earnestly sought after by Him. Though our sin once caused us isolation from Him, Jesus’s sacrifice paves our way back to Him. He searches for each of us intently among all the others, waiting expectantly to fold us into a heartfelt embrace.

Thank You, Lord, for seeking me while I was lost and returning me home to You through Jesus Christ.

God seeks His beloved children.

By Kirsten Holmberg

I Want To Meet You In Heaven

Revelation 21:22 – 22:5
22  I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
23  And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light.
24  The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory.
25  Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there.
26  And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city.
27  Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
1  Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2  It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.
3  No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him.
4  And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads.
5  And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.

 

People don’t think much about Heaven today.

– We’re busy planning our future and making plans to be comfortable here on earth.

 

An article titled, “Are We Ready for Heaven?” Maurice R. Irwin notes only 34% of American people claiming to be Christians attend church at least once a week.

– He says, “We sing, ‘When all my labors and trials are o’er, and I am safe on that beautiful

      shore, just to be near the dear Lord I adore will through the ages be glory for me.’

 

However, unless our attitudes toward the “Dear Lord we adore” and our appreciation of Him change greatly, Heaven may be more of a shock than a glory.”

 

Once in a while we hear the term “Heaven.”

– The TV commercial of the girl eating a sandwich made with Best Foods Mayonnaise take a bite and says, “Heaven!”

    – If you think a blob of mayonnaise is Heaven, you’re clear off base!

 

We used to compare Heaven with a kiss, or a stolen night’s stay with a lover…………….

“I think it’d be heaven to own that car, live in that house, taste that food…….”

– None of these even come close to Heaven!

 

By the way, people say things like, “That cake is to die for!”

– Nothing we eat is to die for, maybe to kill for, but not to die for!

 

  1. Somehow Heaven’s lost its importance.

– 71% of Americans say they believe there’s life beyond the grave.

– Yet people rarely talk about it.

– Our focus is totally on the here and now.

 

My Grandma used to tell me about Heaven and how wonderful it was going to be.

– We have a date to meet at the Eastern Gate.

 

Why don’t Christians, think about Heaven anymore?

– You can bet persecuted Christians under ISIS are thinking about Heaven!

 

  1. There are Reasons for our Interest Declining.

– We’ve gotten way too comfortable here.

“Pie in sky” used to be criticized.

 

We’re hesitant to mention Heaven. We’re afraid someone will jeer about “pie in the sky,” and say we’re trying to “escape from the duty of making a happy world here and are now into dreams of a happy world elsewhere.”

    – But either there’s “pie in the sky” or there isn’t.

– If there isn’t, then Christianity is false, because that doctrine’s woven into its whole fabric.

 

If there is, then this truth must be faced, whether it’s useful at political meetings or not.

– Christians don’t emphasize Heaven anymore.

– We’re into the “Name It Claim It stuff” — God will give you a red Mercedes now!

 

Our society’s been creeping towards paganism.

– They say man’s just like a dog, a cow, or an elephant death is the end — period!

 

We use Hospice — Death & Dying movement — wanting to just make the person comfortable and their passing easy — load them up with drugs and pain killers so they won’t know what’s going on.

– There may be some value in helping a person to not suffer so much.

– But you rarely hear of death bed experiences because people are kept too drugged up.

– Leroy said the family gathered around Gwenn and sang and read scripture and prayed

Until the angels ushered her home.

 

We fight the idea of death, but it’ll happen to all of us unless Christ takes us in the Rapture.

Every one of you will die!

– Most of us will go through several phases when we find we’re dying:

 

5 stages of attitudes toward death.

  1. Denial
  2. Anger

3  Bargaining

  1. Depression
  2. 5. “Acceptance” is ultimate goal.

 

Philip Yancey studied small groups of dying people — they never talked about Heaven.

– This would be “denial.”

 

Older images of Heaven have lost their appeal.

– People used to talk about “streets of gold” and “mansions over the hilltop.”

 

Mark Twain’s Huckelberry Finn“All a body would have to do was to go around all day long with a harp and sing, forever and ever.”

– Walt Rice – 300,000 stanzas of “Just as I Am”.

– The old slaves used to sing, “Gonna lay down my burden, down by the riverside…….”

–  They envisioned Heaven as a place to rest for Eternity…………

 

We won’t sit around Heaven on clouds and be bored for Eternity — God will have plenty for us to do.

 

  1. Heaven should offer hope.

– Without it being a Christian is meaningless — 1 Corinthians 15:19 — “And if our hope

     in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.

 

  1. What do we know about Heaven?

– Today when we talk about “Heaven” we’re really talking about Paradise.  It’s temporary.

 

I’ve thought a lot about it lately — Gwenn Raebel, Katy Wagner, Peggy, Tom Kisner

– I don’t know what it’s like because I haven’t been there yet — like my desire for Alaska……….

– But I know it’s real and there are a lot of fine people there.

 

One author said, “As a boy, I thought of Heaven was a city with domes, spires, and beautiful streets, inhabited by angels.

    – When my little brother died, I thought of heaven much as before, but with one inhabitant

      that I knew.

 

Then another died, and then some of my acquaintances — in time I began to think of heaven as containing several people that I knew.

 

Then one of my own children died and I began to think I had treasure in heaven myself.

    – Afterward another went, and yet another.

 

In time I knew so many people in heaven that I no longer thought of it as a city merely with streets of gold but as a place full of inhabitants.

    – Now there are so many loved ones there I sometimes think I know more people in Heaven  

      than I do on earth.”

 

Our spirits will enjoy living with Christ in Paradise, but Paradise isn’t our Eternal Home.

–  We won’t dwell in the New Heaven and the New Earth until after the final Great White

Throne Judgment.

 

Paradise will last until Second Coming of Christ when we’ll move back to earth and Christ will reign for 1000 years.

 

Satan will be chained and thrown into the Bottomless Pit.

– Anti Christ and the False Prophet will be cast alive into the Lake of Fire.

 

When Christ comes back at the 2nd Coming at the end of the Tribulation, He’ll rejuvenate and transform the world.

– God’s going to destroy His original Heaven and earth because it’s tainted with sin.

– Lucifer was in Heaven when he sinned and rebelled against God.

– God won’t allow sin in His New Heaven!

 

Revelation 21:27—“Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”

 

After the Second Coming we’ll have our glorified bodies on the New Earth for 1000 years.

– These bodies will be indestructible — not subject to sickness and death and will make

Heaven so much more enjoyable!

 

There’ll be a remnant of people who survived the Tribulation and will carry on normal lives

getting married and raising families.

 

At the end of the 1000 years, Satan will be loosed for a little while to tempt and destroy whoever he can.

– This will involve those born to the remnant during the Millennium.

 

Christ will finally bring everything to a halt.

– He’ll resurrect the wicked from Hades and conduct The Great White Throne Judgment.

– Those in the 2nd Resurrection (the wicked) will also receive indestructible bodies which will

make Hell so much worse!

– Then the wicked will be cast into Hell and the righteous will be ushered into the new

Heaven.

 

What Will the New Heaven be like?

We’ll already have been changed to be like Jesus given New bodies at the Rapture.

Philippians 3:20-21
20  But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.
21  He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.

 

New personalities (though still recognizable).

 

We’ll rule with Jesus.

– Kings of world enter New Jerusalem — Revelation 21:24 — The nations will walk in  

     its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory.

 

No bad guys, no mid-night helicopters flying overhead because nothing impure enters city — Revelation 21:27 — Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

       

We’ll be those kings!    Revelation 1:6 — He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

 

Revelation 22:5 — And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.

 

We’ll see loved ones.  (Dead in Christ rise first)

1 Thessalonians 4:16 — For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with    

     a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet

     call of God.  First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves.

 

It’ll be a place of activity.

– No boredom; things to do.

– Heaven’s a vast city, not a park bench for retirees.

 

All harmful things will end — Revelation 21:4 — He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

 

Revelation 22:3No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him.

– End of suffering and death and insecurity. (No cemeteries on the hills of Heaven!)

 

The presence of God will be the focus of Heaven.

 

1) He will rule on throne.   Revelation 22:3 — No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him.

 

2) He will be light of city.  Revelation 22:5 — And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.

 

3) He will be temple — Revelation 21:22 — I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

– City is Holy of holies, contained in temple.

 

God will be source of our eternal life.     Revelation 22:1 — May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people.

 

River is a fountain in Revelation 21:6And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life.

 

River flows from the throne — Revelation 22:1-3
1
 Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2  It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.
3  No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him.

 

River nourishes the tree of life—that same tree that God had to keep Adam and Eve away from after they sinned in Eden!

 

The tree bears fruit which heals the nations.

 

What can I tell you about Heaven really?

– Actually nothing!  It’s so far beyond my comprehensions that I can’t even imagine what it

must be like!

 

1 Corinthians 2:9 — “That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

 

Best of all, we’ll see God’s face.

 

I DON’T WANT TO MISS IT!

 

  1. Most important question about Heaven – are you going there?

 

Here in this world, He bids us come; there in the next, He’ll bid us welcome.

 

YOU’RE WELCOME TO GO TO HEAVEN, BUT each person must make their own commitment.

    – YOU NEED TO CHOOSE IF YOU’LL BE THERE OR NOT!

 

I WANT TO MEET YOU IN HEAVEN!

 

By Bill Woods

A Colony of Heaven

“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:20)

The term “conversation” in this verse is from a Greek word (politeuma) used only this once in the New Testament. It is related to the word for “city” (polis) and has to do with the proper behavior of a good citizen. Consequently, some translations render the word as “citizenship,” stressing the fact that our true home is not in any earthly city but in heaven.

Since we are now stationed here in a foreign land, as it were, one particularly picturesque rendering calls us “a colony of heaven.” We are pioneering settlers, attempting to establish a beachhead for our homeland in a distant, dangerous country. The Lord Jesus prayed to His Father, “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world” (John 17:18). “Go ye into all the world” was His commission, “and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

A similar figure is used in 2 Corinthians 5:20: “We are ambassadors for Christ.” As such, it is vitally important that our “conversation” (i.e., “lifestyle”) be one that honors the heavenly kingdom and our great King.

Then, when our colonizing efforts succeed and new citizens are added to the heavenly kingdom, they can testify with us: “[The Father] hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:12-13).

As citizens, and colonists, and ambassadors from heaven, we are here only temporarily, of course. Our real home is with our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and we are looking for Him to establish His eternal kingdom here on Earth as it is in heaven. HMM

“When I am afraid I will trust in Thee.”

1 Samuel 21:10-15

After David had obtained food from the priests, he fled from the country in fear.

1 Samuel 21:10

It has an evil look for an Israelite to flee to the Philistines. It was sure to bring the man of God into trouble, to associate with the heathen.

1 Samuel 21:11-15

David escaped, but by a very humiliating and unsatisfactory stratagem. When we leave the plain path of faith, there is no telling what shifts we may be put to. How truthful is the Holy Ghost in thus recording the errors of the man after God’s own heart: let us take warning.

In the book of Psalms we find a memorial of David’s peril and deliverance.

Psalm 56

To the chief Musician upon Jonath-elem-rechokim, or the silent dove among strangers Michtara of David, when the Philistines took him in Gath.

Psalm 56:1

Saul was always hunting after his life. David told his grief to his Lord, which was a far better method than running to Achish. His narrow escape had taught him wisdom.

Psalm 56:2, 3

Those who trust in God when they are afraid, will soon learn to trust and not be afraid. To trust when there is no cause for fear is but the name of faith; but to be reliant upon God in real danger is the faith of God’s elect.

Psalm 56:4

Faith, though it may grow dim in a believer, burns up again. See how strong David’s trust in God became.

Psalm 56:5-11

He had been afraid, and therefore he redoubles his resolution to trust in the Lord for the future. Good men see their faults and avoid them.

Psalm 56:12

He had probably made a solemn vow in the time of his peril, and now he owns it. We ought to be true to all the resolves which we have made before the Lord. His Spirit will kelp us in this.

Psalm 56:13

He saw that he had fallen, and this led him to seek for upholding grace. Let us now confess our own failings, and beseech the Lord to deliver our feet from falling in the future.

 

God counts the sorrows of his saints,

Their groans affect his ears;

Thou hast a book for my complaints,

A bottle for my tears.

 

When to thy throne I raise my cry,

The wicked fear and flee:

So swift is prayer to reach the sky;

So near is God to me.

 

In thee, most holy, just and true,

I have reposed my trust;

Nor will I fear what man can do,

The offspring of the dust.

 

Who Were the Nicolaitans, And What Was Their Doctrine and Deeds?

Revelation 2:6

Have you ever wondered who the “Nicolaitans” were, mentioned in the book of Revelation? Whoever they were, Jesus loathed their doctrine and hated their deeds. Let’s delve into this subject today to see if we can ascertain the identity of this group. What was their damnable doctrine? What deeds were they committing that elicited such a strong reaction from Jesus?

Let’s begin in Revelation 2:6, where Jesus told the church of Ephesus, “But this thou hast [in your favor], that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.”

Jesus was proud of the church of Ephesus for their “hatred” of the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which He also “hated.” The word “hate” is a strong word, so let’s see exactly what it means. It comes from the Greek word miseo, which means to hate, to abhor, or to find utterly repulsive. It describes a person who has a deep-seated animosity, who is antagonistic to something he finds to be completely objectionable. He not only loathes that object, but rejects it entirely. This is not just a case of dislike; it is a case of actual hatred.

The thing Jesus hated about them was their “deeds.” The word “deeds” is the Greek word erga, which means works. However, this word is so all-encompassing that it pictures all the deeds and behavior of the Nicolaitans—including their actions, beliefs, conduct, and everything else connected to them.

The name “Nicolaitans” is derived from the Greek word nikolaos, a compound of the words nikos and laos. The word nikos is the Greek word that means to conquer or to subdue. The word laos is the Greek word for the people. It is also where we get the word laity. When these two words are compounded into one, they form the name Nicolas, which literally means one who conquers and subdues the people. It seems to suggest that the Nicolaitans were somehow conquering and subduing the people.

Ireneus and Hippolytus, two leaders in the Early Church who recorded many of the events that occurred in the earliest recorded days of Church history, said the Nicolaitans were the spiritual descendants of Nicolas of Antioch, who had been ordained as a deacon in Acts 6:5. That verse says, “And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch.”

We know quite a lot of information about some of these men who were chosen to be the first deacons, whereas little is known of others. For instance, we know that the chief criteria for their selection was that they were men “… of honest report, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom…” (v. 3). Once they had been chosen, they were presented by the people to the apostles, who laid hands on them, installing and officially ordaining them into the deaconate.

Stephen

Like the other men, Stephen was of good report, filled with the Holy Spirit and wisdom. However, Acts 6:5 makes a remark about Stephen that is unique only to him. It says that he was “… a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost….” This stronger level of faith may have been a contributing factor to the development recorded in Acts 6:8: “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.”

Stephen was a God-called evangelist, and he was later privileged to be the first martyr in the history of the Church—killed at the order of Saul of Tarsus, who later became known as the apostle Paul (see Acts 7:58-8:1). The deaconate ministry was vital proving ground to prepare Stephen for the fivefold office of the evangelist. The name Stephen is from the Greek word Stephanos, and it means crown. This is worth noting, for he was the first to receive a martyr’s crown.

Philip

Philip was ordained with the other six original deacons. However, Acts 21:8 informs us that Philip later stepped in the ministry of the evangelist. He had four daughters who prophesied (v. 9). Just as the deaconate was training and proving ground for Stephen to step into the office of the evangelist, it was also Philip’s school of ministry to prepare him for evangelistic ministry. The name Philip means lover of horses. This name often symbolized a person who ran with swiftness, as does a horse—a fitting name for a New Testament evangelist who ran swiftly to carry the Gospel message.

Prochorus

Very little is known about this member of the original deaconate. His name, Prochorus, is a compound of the Greek words pro and chorus. The word pro means before or in front of as with the position of a leader. The word “chorus” is the old Greek word for the dance and is where we get the word choreography. There is a strong implication that this was a nickname, given to this man because he had been the foremost leader of dance in some school, theater, or musical performance. There is no substantiation for this idea, but his name seems to give credence to the possibility.

Nicanor

This unknown brother was found to be of good report, filled with the Holy Spirit and wisdom. Other than this, nothing is known of him. He is never mentioned again in the New Testament after Acts chapter 6. His name, Nicanor, means conqueror.

Timon

Like Nicanor mentioned above, Timon was known to be of good report, filled with the Holy Spirit and wisdom. Nothing more is known of him outside of Acts chapter 6. His name means honorable or of great value.

Parmenas

We know nothing more of Parmenas other than what is mentioned here in Acts chapter 6. His name is a compound of the words para and meno—the word para meaning alongside and meno meaning to remain or to abide. Compounded together, his name came to mean one who sticks alongside and conveyed the idea of one who is devoted, loyal, and faithful.

Nicolas

Acts 6:5 tells us that this Nicolas was “a proselyte of Antioch.” The fact that he was a proselyte tells us that he was not born a Jew but had converted from paganism to Judaism. Then he experienced a second conversion, this time turning from Judaism to Christianity. From this information, we know these facts about Nicolas of Antioch:

  • He came from paganism and had deep pagan roots, very much unlike the other six deacons who came from a pure Hebrew line. Nicolas’ pagan background meant that he had previously been immersed in the activities of the occult.
  • He was not afraid of taking an opposing position, evidenced by his ability to change religions twice. Converting to Judaism would have estranged him from his pagan family and friends. It would seem to indicate that he was not impressed or concerned about the opinions of other people.
  • He was a free thinker and very open to embracing new ideas and concepts. Judaism was very different from the pagan and occult world in which he had been raised. For him to shift from paganism to Judaism reveals that he was very liberal in his thinking, for most pagans were offended by Judaism. He was obviously not afraid to entertain or embrace new ways of thinking.
  • When he converted to Christ, it was at least the second time he had converted from one religion to another. We don’t know if, or how many times, he shifted from one form of paganism to another before he became a Jewish proselyte. His ability to easily change religious “hats” implies that he was not afraid to switch direction in midstream and go a totally different direction.

According to the writings of the Early Church leaders, Nicolas taught a doctrine of compromise, implying that total separation between Christianity and the practice of occult paganism was not essential. From Early Church records, it seems apparent that this Nicolas of Antioch was so immersed in occultism, Judaism, and Christianity that he had a stomach for all of it. He had no problem intermingling these belief systems in various concoctions and saw no reason why believers couldn’t continue to fellowship with those still immersed in the black magic of the Roman empire and its countless mystery cults.

Occultism was a major force that warred against the Early Church. In Ephesus, the primary pagan religion was the worship of Diana (Artemis). There were many other forms of idolatry in Ephesus, but this was the primary object of occult worship in that city. In the city of Pergamos, there were numerous dark and sinister forms of occultism, causing Pergamos to be one of the most wicked cities in the history of the ancient world. In both of these cities, believers were lambasted and persecuted fiercely by adherents of pagan religions, forced to contend with paganism on a level far beyond all other cities.

It was very hard for believers to live separately from all the activities of paganism because paganism and its religions were the center of life in these cities. Slipping in and out of paganism would have been very easy for young or weak believers to do since most of their families and friends were still pagans. A converted Gentile would have found it very difficult to stay away from all pagan influence.

It is significant that the “deeds” and “doctrines” of the Nicolaitans are only mentioned in connection with the churches in these two occultic and pagan cities. It seems that the “doctrine” of the Nicolaitans was that it was all right to have one foot in both worlds and that one needn’t be so strict about separation from the world in order to be a Christian. This, in fact, was the “doctrine” of the Nicolaitans that Jesus “hated.” It led to a weak version of Christianity that was without power and without conviction—a defeated, worldly type of Christianity.

Nicolas’ deep roots in paganism may have produced in him a tolerance for occultism and paganism. Growing up in this perverted spiritual environment may have caused him to view these belief systems as not so damaging or dangerous. This wrong perception would have resulted in a very liberal viewpoint that encouraged people to stay connected to the world. This is what numerous Bible scholars believe about the Nicolaitans.

This kind of teaching would result in nothing but total defeat for its followers. When believers allow sin and compromise to be in their lives, it drains away the power in the work of the Cross and the power of the Spirit that is resident in a believer’s life. This is the reason the name Nicolas is so vital to this discussion. The evil fruit of Nicolas’ “doctrine” encouraged worldly participation, leading people to indulge in sin and a lowered godly standard. In this way he literally conquered the people.

God wants to make sure we understand the doctrine the Nicolaitans taught, so Balaam’s actions are given as an example of their doctrine and actions. Revelation 2:14, 15 says, “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.”

When Balaam could not successfully cure the people of God, he used another method to destroy them. He seduced them into unbridled, sensual living by dangling the prostitutes of Moab before the men of Israel. Numbers 25:1-3 tells us, “And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they [the daughters of Moab] called the people [the men of Israel] unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people [the men of Israel] did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor….”

Just as the men of Israel compromised themselves with the world and false religions, now the “doctrine” of the Nicolaitans was encouraging compromise. As you are well aware, compromise with the world always results in a weakened and powerless form of Christianity. This was the reason Jesus “hated” the “doctrine” and the “deeds” of the Nicolaitans.

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, after what I’ve read today, I don’t want to allow any spirit of compromise in my life! I now understand that the doctrine of the Nicolaitans is compromise with the world. Lord, I don’t want to live with one foot in the church and another foot in the world. I want to break free completely from the world and its influence so I can give myself completely to Your cause! I want to be holy, to live in a way that pleases You, and to experience Your power in my life. Today I am renewing my commitment to You all over again! I turn from the world, and I am running to You!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that I am free from the world! I do not walk in compromise! I am determined to live a committed and holy life before the Lord. As a result of my firm determination to walk with God, I have power over sin, power over Satan, and power when I pray. God’s Word promises that if I draw near to Him, He will draw near to me. I am drawing nearer and nearer to God every day, so I am confident that His Presence in my life is getting stronger tool

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Can you think of any area of your life where you have allowed yourself to be compromised by the world? If so, has that compromise hindered the power of God from operating in your life?
  2. Do you know any other believers who thought they could live with one foot in the church and another foot in the world—but in the end, the world ensnared them and they backslid into a life of sin?
  3. If you know someone who is on the verge of backsliding, what do you think the Lord would have you do to help bring that person back to where he or she ought to be?

 

When Less Is More

An automobile ad depicts a family holding hands, blissfully skipping through the park toward their newly acquired $75,000 car. Fostering family values of peace and solidarity, the advertisement infers that by obtaining the car, everything in the family is now at a near perfect state.

 

Yet, we live in a society where people are ripping their lives apart to get that car… and the appropriate house to match.

 

The Scriptures challenge material acquisition, when it is at the expense of peace and truth:

 

Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great wealth with turmoil.” (Proverbs 15:16)

 

Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.” (Proverbs 17:1)

 

Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.” (Proverbs 16:8) (Also Psalm 37:16; Proverbs 15:17; Ecclesiastes 4:6)

 

Proverbs 23:4, puts the issue into the right perspective in cautioning us:

 

Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.

 

God assures us of His provision — and more, if we will but make the pursuit of Him our supreme goal:

 

Walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.” (Deuteronomy 5:33)

 

Yesterday, a businessman friend of mine wrote a note of appreciation to me after several of us had discussed the importance of carving out quantity and quality time with our children:

 

“Thank you for the rich session we had. I had a wonderful time with [my daughter] this morning. We had breakfast and talked for nearly an hour. All the money in the world would not be able to buy what I experienced… ”

 

By the way, are we under the illusion that we can get quality time with our kids without quantity time?

 

QUESTION: In your family and personal life, is there a pattern of love, righteousness, and peace? Or turmoil, strife, and a sense of chasing after the wind? How would your spouse and kids answer that question of you and the family? If their response is in the negative, perhaps you need to reassess your focus and priorities.

 

 

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