‘when the mind is turned over to an anti-God spirit’

                teenbiblestudy

 

Nearly two thirds of teenagers don’t believe in God, according to a study by Penguin books.

 

The article was posted on Telegraph.co.uk about a study that was conducted consisting of 1,000 teenagers aged 13 to 18 and was managed by Penguin books to mark this week’s publication of controversial novel ‘Killing God’ by Kevin Brooks. Brooks’ book is about a 15-year-old girl who questions the existence of God.

Blurbs from the article-

Teenagers even say family, friends, money, music and even reality television are more important than religion.

Woe unto the mind of one that sets it’s heart upon this world and makes it their god. For all that is in the world is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.

Brooks gives this reason for writing the book…

“Part of the reason that I wrote Killing God was that I wanted to explore the personal attitudes of young people today, especially those with troubled lives, towards organised religion and the traditional concept of God.

If Brooks thinks that these teens have ‘troubled lives’ now, consider the life to come without Christ. But then they don’t believe in life after death…

Only three out of 10 teenagers believe in an afterlife and 41 per cent believe that nothing happens to your body when you die, but one in 10 reckon they come back as an animal or another human being.

If they would hear the ‘rich man’ [Luke 16:19-31] they would be a lot less focused on the body post mortem, but rather give specific diligence to the soul.

A Church of England spokesman said: “Many teenagers aren’t sure what they believe at that stage of their lives, as is clear from the number who said they don’t know whether they believe in God.

Hanne Stinson, chief executive of The British Humanist Association, said: “It confirms that young people – like adults – do not need a religion to have positive values.

The problem with Mr. Stinson’s thought process, is that it only contends with the present. I have found that most people who do not believe in God only give credence to this life… it makes it a little more palatable having not to consider standing before Him one day.

“The ‘golden rule’, which is often claimed by religions as a religious value, is in reality a shared human value – shared by all the major religions and the non-religious and almost every culture – that predates all the major world religions.”

But this one supplants all religious values….

 

Except a man be born again!

 

“When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” Luke 11:20-26 

I doubt very seriously that a society can vividly imagine how wicked a God-less society can be and how gross His judgement can be on the same. If you are interested consider His Revelation… He gives ample details.

malachi

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‘when you’ve tried religion and found it doesn’t work’

prayer

 

While sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with a guy at work some years back, he responded to my invitation to receive Christ that “I have tried religion and it did not work”. For years he had attended church with some regularity but in light of the fact that he was a relatively good person, he had deemed this spiritual exercise one of futility.

For years I have given thought to those who have tried religion and found that excuse wanting. What is a person to do? In the epistle of James, written to the 12 tribes that were scattered abroad, the Spirit give these word of admonishment…

“Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh unto you. Cleanse your hands ye sinners and purify your hearts ye double minded.” James 4:8

These words are given to the believer to exhort us to overcome the worldliness that we find ourselves living in and the lust of the flesh that leads one in that worldly direction.

Now the only man that I have found that feels he has attained such position is  a ‘religious man’, and that through the multitude of his church attendance. This same man feels that if God will just let him know what he must do to get ‘close to God’ that he can something that will enable him to attain that position.

The problem with this thought process, though religiously admirable, it leads one to the very dangerous reality of “drawing near to God with our lips but our heart remaining far from Him.” Consider Isaiah 29:9-13

For one to think that the God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of both heaven and earth dwelleth not in temples made with mans hand, neither is worshipped with men’s hands as though He needed anything seeing He giveth to all life and breath and all things, that God would meet with us in a religious service is the furthest thing from the truth.

So if one can not draw nigh to God by going to church and or being a good person, how does it happen? If one considers the text from the epistle of James, the spirit is contrasting a wisdom that is earthly, sensual and devilish that knows nothing more than envy, confusion and evil works with a wisdom that is first pure, then peaceable, gentle and east to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits without partiality and without hypocrisy. This wisdom is not natural but is from above.

When one contrast these two wisdom’s, we find that this ‘earthly wisdom’ caters to the flesh and wars within us and against the things of God. It is evil fleshly desires that push a man in the direction of the world so that we find ourselves at enmity with God. Many in the church would find themselves in this position with God, if they are honest with themselves. Consider the fruit of that early wisdom, it it characteristic of your life? Rest assured, we are not fooling God.

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. Revelations 3:14-18

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Hebrews 4:12-13

When the word of God is quickened (made alive) by the Spirit of God, there is not a heart that can hide behind the lust of the flesh. It is naked and opened unto His eyes my friend.

The wisdom that is from above is quite different and draws one to the place of ones sin and speaks very clearly “you are the man”. It is only then that we submit ourselves to God and His word and resit the devil that we draw nigh unto God. A man that has not been born again, cannot heed the word of God and that by the conviction of God’s Spirit. He can attend church and that on a regular basis, but it is nothing more than religious duty. His lips may sing His praise, but the heart is still in darkness and enmity with God.

It is only when God shines into our dark heart the Light of the glorious gospel that we take on a relationship with the true and living God and that through His Christ. He is not the source of our religious duty, He is our very life, living in us and quickening His mighty word that we will be the salt and light He has called us to be. One that looks into the mirror of God’s word and beholding the glory of the Lord, and thereby are changed into that same glory by that life giving Spirit. It is then my friend that we find, we have not drawn nigh unto Him but in fact that He has drawn nigh unto us.

If you have tried religion my friend and  found it did not work for you, try a relationship with the Living God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Yeshua ha Mashiach

I would love to sit down with that friend that I share at the outset of the post and tell him what I have learned about ‘trying religion’ but I can no longer talk to him as he has crossed from time to eternity.

malachi

‘a spirit of divine wind’

 

kamakazipilot

Banzai charge” (or “banzai attack“) (バンザイ突撃 – Banzai totsugeki) was a name applied during World War II by the Allied forces to human wave-style attacks mounted by infantry forces of the Imperial Japanese Army. These attacks were usually launched as a suicide attack to avoid surrender and perceived dishonor or as a final attempt at maximizing the odds of success in the face of usually numerically superior Allied forces.

Gyokusai (玉砕), literally “shattered jewel” is a Japanese euphemism for suicide attack, or suicide (seppuku) in the face of defeat. It is based on a quote of the 7th century Classical Chinese text Book of Northern Qi, 大丈夫寧可玉砕何能瓦全 “a great man should die as a shattered jewel rather than live as an intact tile.”   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banzai

 

The Kamikaze- 神風, common translation: “divine wind”

The Kamikaze were suicide attacks by military aviators from the Empire of Japan against Allied naval vessels in the closing stages of the Pacific campaign of World War II, designed to destroy as many warships as possible.

Kamikaze pilots would attempt to intentionally crash their aircraft – often laden with explosives, bombs, torpedoes and full fuel tanks – into Allied ships. The aircraft’s normal functions, to deliver torpedoes or bombs or shoot down other aircraft, were put aside, and the planes were converted to what were essentially manned missiles, in a desperate attempt to reap the benefits of greatly increased accuracy and payload over that of normal bombs. The goal of crippling as many Allied capital ships as possible was considered critical enough to warrant the sacrifice of aviators and aircraft. Wikipedia.org/wiki/kamikaze

When one considers the ‘Banzai and Kamikaze’ we learn that the giving of ones life for a particular cause is nothing new and has been a way of showing commitment to a cause for hundreds of years. 

Like the Banzai and Kamikaze we see a similar “wind” a blowing in the homicide bombers of our day, except the attack is not intended against ones military foe but the destruction of innocent life.

  

suicidebomber

The explosive belt usually consists of several cylinders filled with explosive (de facto pipe bombs), or in more sophisticated versions with plates of explosive. The explosive is surrounded by a fragmentation jacket that produces the shrapnel responsible for most of the bomb’s lethality, effectively making the jacket a crude body-worn claymore mine. Once the vest is detonated, the explosion resembles an omni-directional shotgun blast. The most dangerous and the most widely used shrapnel are steel balls 3-7 mm in diameter. Other shrapnel material can be anything of suitable size and hardness, most often nails, screws, nuts, and thick wire. Shrapnel is responsible for about 90% of all casualties caused by this kind of device. Wikipedia.org/wiki/suicidebomber

A suicide bomber is a type of terrorist – specifically, a terrorist who is willing to sacrifice his or her own life in order to kill other people. Those who indorse and promote the action of the suicide bomber often refer to the terrorist as a martyr while those who vehemently oppose such heinous acts against innocent life refer to them as homicide-bombers… due to their felonious nature.

There are three kinds of homicide—Bouvier.

  1. 1] justifiable, as when the killing is performed in the exercise of a right or performance of a duty;
  2. 2] excusable, as when done, although not as duty or right, yet without culpable or criminal intent;
  3. 3] felonious, or involving what the law terms malice; the latter may be either manslaughter or murder.

For many it is hard to lay hold to this degree of commitment… that one would willingly lay down his life for the cause. For the Banzai or the Kamikaze it is this line of thinking that results in the individual dying as a shattered jewel instead of succumbing to dishonor, defeat and disgrace. For the radical Muslim and Hindu it is fueled by different reasons… it is blatant opposition to The Christ, Yeshua ha Mashiach. They can not attack Him so their anger and aggression is meeted out against His body…the true church… ‘a divine wind of destruction’.

For our Lord predicted that this wind would blow and warned His disciples not to be surprised when they felt its breeze….

“These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.  And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them.”

“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.  And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake:”

Yet there is  another spirit of commitment where the individual in not the instrument of destruction but the recipient of such. It is this spirit of commitment that is found in the believer of Christ…. not to be confused with the member of a church. There are many in America that are members of churches and may even be faithful in their attendance, but do not possess such commitment. This type of commitment can only be fueled by a Divine Spirit and that the Spirit of God… except a man be born again.

 

orisapersecution

Since the first of this year, there has been a vehement spirit of  persecution that is waxing stronger against the body of Christ throughout all of India, but the center of the hot-bead is in the Orissa area.

The persecution is being wrought at the hands of radical Hindus that are forcing Christians to become Hindu or die. Numbers as high as 50,000 are homeless with 30,000 that have sought refuge in the forest to escape death. Churches and homes of Christians have been destroyed and all of this simply for professing the name of Christ.

Does it seem strange to any of the readers that this viscous opposition is being perpetrated by ‘religion’? It should not as it were the religious leaders of our Lord’s day that sought Him out in the Garden of Gethsemane.

This ‘religious wind of opposition’ that is blowing across India can be  likened to that perpetrated by the radical Muslim homicide bomber of our day, for it is this same malicious and heinous attack not only against the innocent, but operates under the guise of religion. It really does not matter if it is at the hand of radical Islam or the Hindu, the killing of the Christian is “divine” in its nature.

This fact that this vehement wind is raging against The Christ and His body is a testimony to the day in which we we are living, and is a testimony that the greatest enemy of our Lord is still religion.

For the believer that has found him or herself in the crucible of persecution by this divine wind can also take strength in the fact, “that  the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.”

As this wind blows harder it will be imperative that the the believer wax stronger. Words that shall encourage us in this stead…

“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

malachi

‘having ears but unable to hear and eyes but cannot see’

“Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy and shut their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and convert and be healed.” Isaiah 6:10

BleatingSheep

Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt. And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.  And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? 1Samuel 15:3;7-9;14

The above text is taken from the scripture [1 Samuel 15] where God  sent Samuel to King Saul and God instructed Saul to “go and smite Amalek and utterly destroy all that they have.”

The extracted verses reveal that Saul and the people did kill all the people and destroyed everything that was vile and refuse but King Saul and the people took King Agag alive and spared the ‘best of the sheep, of the oxen, fatlings and the lambs’.

When Samuel confronted King Saul about this measure of disobedience, Saul told Samuel that the people kept the best of the sheep and cattle to offer a sacrifice unto the Lord in Gilgal.

Now the folk may have been well intended in their desire to offer a sacrifice unto the Lord but their actions were evidence that they were disobedient to the Word of God. God does not have great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices when His children are living in disobedience. To obey God is better than the fat of rams and the voice of praise and worship.

What we see here is a subtle yet deceptive power that keeps the child of God oblivious to blatant disobedience to God and His word while all along thinking that their fellowship with God is fine. But consider the scripture…

“God is light and in Him is no darkness at all, and if we say we have fellowship with Him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth.”

Now contrast the spiritual alertness of Samuel when he came to Gilgal. The first thing that Samuel heard was the sound of disobedience….

“What meaneth the bleating of the sheep in mine ears and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?”

…. gives new meaning to the phrase, “he who hath ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit saith.”

 

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:-11

This portion of Peter’s second epistle tells us that God has made divine power available to the believer that enables us to live a godly life through the knowledge of Christ. Accompanying this divine power are  precious promises that will equip us to escape the corruption that is in the world through lust and live victorious in Christ.

This is not accomplished over night and not in and of the divine power itself, it must be built upon, line upon line precept upon precept…

“adding to faith, virtue; to virtue knowledge; to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; to patience godliness; to godliness brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness.”

Now the believer must be diligent in this endeavor. This transformation that God wants to work in us cuts against the flesh when we allow the Spirit of God and the Word of God to build these attributes in our life.

Rest assured it is not about religion or the work of the flesh, for the flesh cannot comprehend this… it is enmity against God. But as Christ does this work in us and these attributes abound in us they shall keep us from being barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

But when we lack these things we are blind and cannot see afar off and have forgotten that we were purged from our old sins. This leaves us in a vulnerable condition. If we are not careful, we will spare the ‘best of the sheep, of the oxen, fatlings and the lambs’, and will not be able to hear the bleating of the sheep and the lowing of the oxen.

My friend if you sin has separated you from God, there is hope. If we confess our sin, He is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Try His word and see it is true.

malachi

‘the futility of trying to kill God’

This is the special Easter edition of Time Magazine released on April 8th, 1966. The magazine put German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s statement on the cover in the form of a question:

“Is God Dead?”

 

“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”

German Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche- 1844-1900

The meaning of the phrase ‘God is dead’ is often misunderstood, and the “death” to which Nietzsche refers is often misconstrued to be a physical death….

The death of God is a way of saying that humans are no longer able to believe in any such cosmic order since they themselves no longer recognize it. The death of God will lead, Nietzsche says, not only to the rejection of a belief of cosmic or physical order but also to a rejection of absolute values themselves — to the rejection of belief in an objective and universal moral law, binding upon all individuals. In this manner, the loss of an absolute basis for morality leads to nihilism. This nihilism is what Nietzsche worked to find a solution for by re-evaluating the foundations of human values. This meant, to Nietzsche, looking for foundations that went deeper than Christian values. He would find a basis in the “will to power” that he described as “the essence of reality”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_is_dead

The words of Nietzsche have truly proven to be prophetic across America some 100 years after his writing while echoing the fact that there is none righteous, no not one and that there is none that understands, none that seeks after God. In spiritual essence, man basically desires to be his own god……..

The Word of God teaches us that man is spiritually bankrupt therefore  immersed in moral corruption and debauchery. The things that we see that are coming to light all across the world bear out the truth of God’s Word….

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

What we are seeing in these later days is a spirit that is so vehemently opposed to God and His word, that every ounce of spiritual might is being directed toward the suppression of God’s word so that the flesh can bask in its sinful desires. As the proverb states….

“Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefor the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.”  Proverbs 8:11

In order for this progression (which is in fact a digression – apostasy from God) to come to fruition, Light must be supplanted with darkness, good subdued by evil which results in a society that has become more wretched with each passing day. The only way for darkness to prevail is for light to be removed and that by divine intervention… God is light and in Him is no darkness at all and He commands light to shine out of darkness…. God is releasing the world to do the lust of it’s god.

In Gary DeMar’s article ‘Who Killed Jesus and Why it Matters’ makes the following statement.

The secularists have been successful in keeping Jesus and the message of the cross sequestered in the church sanctuary. They have driven Jesus from the school classroom, from government buildings, courtrooms, and public discourse. The gospel can be preached in the Christian ghetto but not in the public square where it is an “offense” (1 Pet. 2:8) and might disturb people who hold different religious opinions.

http://www.covenantnews.com/blog/archives/054991.html
Who Killed Jesus & Why it Matters
By Gary DeMar

To fully understand what is happening, one must consider the question posed by Mr. DeMar… “Who Killed Jesus and Why it Matters?”

DeMar’s article considers the following liability:

  • All of the human race for “all have sinned an comes short of God’s glory, but while we were yet sinners, Christ died for our sins”.
  • The Jewish leaders when they said “His blood be on us and on our children” and reaffirmed by Christ own admission “therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.”
  • Roman government as Pilate derided Christ with the question “knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee and have power to release thee?”

It sure sounds like it was in the power of Pilate, to kill God or release Him, yet Christ answered him… “Thou has no power at all against me except it was given from heaven…”

The student of the scriptures can not forget the words of our Lord to His disciple when He spoke concerning His life and death…

“Therefore doth my Father love me because I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down and take it again, this   commandment have I received of my Father.” John 10:17-18

So what we can see from the events that transpired at our Lord’s crucifixion, it appears that the key players of humanity were involved in ‘killing God’ but from the Divine perspective, God offered His life, willingly. No man took it, He laid it down.

With this, I differ somewhat with Mr. DeMar’s point that the “secularist” are  winning the battle against the gospel. I look at it from the perspective that the  church is loosing it! All power rest in the church, but she has become powerless, lukewarm and worldly, desiring to become like the world, that she might attract the world. Please consider this article by Pastor Bob Martin with Challenge Ministries. [The Slipping, Shifting, Side-stepping Church] This may be the reason we are seeing the demise of Christianity in America, which would only lead some to think that ‘God is Dead’. He is not dead… He is alive and man cannot kill Him.

This most recent Newsweek article…

 The End of Christian America 

… published 43 years after the Time’s article… Is God Dead?

The percentage of self-identified Christians has fallen 10 points in the past two decades. How that statistic explains who we are now—and what, as a nation, we are about to become. Newsweek.com

image

 

The Newsweek article closes with this statement…

Many conservative Christians believe they have lost the battles over issues such as abortion, school prayer and even same-sex marriage, and that the country has now entered a post-Christian phase. Christopher Hitchens —a friend and possibly the most charming provocateur you will ever meet—wrote a hugely popular atheist tract a few years ago, “God Is Not Great.” As an observant (if deeply flawed) Episcopalian, I disagree with many of Hitchens’s arguments—I do not think it is productive to dismiss religious belief as superstitious and wrong—but he is a man of rigorous intellectual honesty who, on a recent journey to Texas, reported hearing evangelical mutterings about the advent of a “post-Christian” America.

If one looks at it from a religious perspective, one might be deceived in to thinking that ‘God is Dead’. Foolish thinking not only is the fruit of one that does not believe in God… “the fool hath said in his heart, there is no God”, but often accompanies a shallow religious thought process.

For a foolish society that is thinking that they can ‘kill God’, let us consider what He told the religious leaders of His day that tried to stump Him concerning the resurrection…

“And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.” Luke 20:34-38

He is the True & Living God, The God of Life, not death and they that trust Him though they were dead, yet shall they live and those that are alive and trust Him shall never die… believest thou this?

malachi

‘the world loves it’s own’

South Korean protesters rally in support of Ling and Lee.

“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.Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.”  John 15:18-21Anyone that keeps up with world news is aware of the two journalist that worked for Al Gore’s independent media network Current TV, that were held captive in North Korea under the suspicion of espionage.

Euna Lee and Laura Ling were found guilty by North Korea’s highest court for “committing hostilities against the Korean nation and illegal entry” and were sentenced to twelve years of hard labor.

usjournalistnorthkorea

We are seeing a consensus of a world outcry against such treatment of the two innocent young ladies. Even the Obama administration is publicly considering putting North Korea back on its terrorist list, and is also weighing intercepting sea and air shipments from the country that may contain weapons or nuclear technology. Even our Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has demanded that the government release the two women.

Now before I get bombarded with emails from malachi’s readers lambasting me for manifesting a insensitive spirit let me say that my heart goes out, not only to Euna Lee and Laura Ling but their families that will live in concern and fear for their well being everyday that they are held captive.

For decades North Korea  has been the leading aggressor against  human rights in the world. The price of a bullet carries more value  by the ruthless dictator, Kim Jong Il than the innocent life that it will snuff out. The North Korean government allows the populace to literally starve to death in darkness, while Kim Jong Il and his cronies live in the pinnacle of wealth and luxury.

Although the violent actions of the North Korean government perpetrated against these innocent journalist is nothing new, the outcry of the entire world against such injustice is new. It seems the world is standing in unity demanding this injustice be mad right. Where has the cry been for Christians in North Korea that have been accustomed to such injustice for decades?

North Korean Christians aren’t simply killed for their faith in Christ. They’re pulverized with steamrollers, used to test biological weapons, shipped off to death camps or shot in front of children, while newborn babies are killed by having their brains pithed with forceps in front of their mothers. Crimes against humanity reminiscent of Auschwitz and Treblinka, to which the world declared, “Never Again!” more than 60 years ago, are being perpetrated today against the North Korean Christians. North Korean Christians.comWhere is the outcry of the world for the Christians that are being handed down similar persecutions in China, Africa, India, South America? I can only liken it to the outcry against the millions of innocent babies that have been brutally murdered at the hand of the abortionist in America, and that ordained by a government that is propagating the same atrocities against innocent life as Kim Jong Il and his government.For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Romans 13:3-4When the government is corrupt and no longer a minister of God to those who do good, it will be a terror to ‘good works’….
Pray for those that are in bondage as though you were in the same. One day we may be and we will desire that they will pray for us!

malachi

‘partial obedience is disobedience’

antichristspirit

“The golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters is not intellect, but obedience.” – Oswald Chambers

In the fifteenth chapter of 1 Samuel, God sent Samuel to King Saul and gave him instructions as to what he was to do concerning the children of Amalek.

“Now go and smite Amalek and utterly destroy all that they have and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” 1 Samuel 15:3

Now I can probably assure you that not one of the readers can understand what God had commissioned Samuel to instruct Saul to do here, myself included. This is a hard saying who can understand it?

I have no trouble reasoning in my own mind, that it would have made  sense to kill the valiant men, the men of war, but the women? the infant and suckling? Not even the ox, the sheep the camel or the ass got a bye. Everything with a beat in its heart and breath in its lung was to die.

We must admit that there are times when the word of God is not palatable to the flesh…. it cuts across the grain of human intellect. One can only surmise that…

“His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways”.

 

I have found in my witness that when an individual stumbles at the word of God, the only out, is to reason in their mind that God must not be real and if He is, His word is not to be taken literally. It seems to be the way we justify not “hearkening to the voice of the Lord.”

Case in point is Satan. When an individual discounts the validity of God’s word they look for any way out and often use this excuse….

“If God is good why would He create evil…. Satan?”

One might do well to consider… “The Lord hath made all things for Himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” Proverbs 16:4

If you are considering the word of the Lord today my friend, you might well take heed to the exhortation of Oswald Chambers….

“Beware of reasoning about God’s Word – obey It.”

So what did Saul do with the word of God?

He gathered a formidable army and smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur. He destroyed all the people with the edge of sword but took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive and the people took of the best of the sheep and of the oxen, and of the fatlings and the lambs.

Now I think we can all agree that no one in his/her right mind would not hearken unto the voice of the Lord, without the fear of severe repercussion; just ask Jonah! So what could have possibly happened?

Pride must have reared its ugly head in the heart of King Saul for Samuel said to him… “when thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou made the head of the tribes of Israel”.

God knew what a fleshly king would do for the people when they would say “set a king over us like as all the nations that are about us”. That is why God instructed the king to do the following…..

“Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites.

And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes,

That his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel.” Deuteronomy 17:18-20

It appears King Saul had gotten to big for his britches, so to speak. Pride keeps us from being obedient to the word of God, and we must remember, it goeth before the fall. King Saul fell and fell hard.

It applies to leaders at any level, whether they be in the secular or the spiritual realm. A leader must guard against the same spirit of pride. It will destroy and individual, a people and a nation.

Now the people who took of the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fatlings and the lambs had some culpability here. Consider what Samuel told the people after the Lord had set Saul over Israel…

“Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired! and, behold, the LORD hath set a king over you. If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God: But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers.” 1 Samuel 12:13-15

It was in the power of the people to regulate the king, but they did not do so. In fact they relished in his disobedience and took the best of the beast supposing to offer them as a sacrifice to the Lord at Gilgal. While the king was raping and pillaging the word of God the church went right on basking in their religion.

“Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold to obey is better than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of the ram. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.”

Oh what a word for America and the church in America.

malachi