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Stirring The Deep


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Swayed & Misled by Posers

Swayed and Misled

by Posers

We are the sum of our beliefs.  Our beliefs are formed from various sources. It’s the work of a child of God to believe in Truth that comes from one source, God and His Word. John 6:29 It’s work because we’ve all grown up with lies. It’s work because we have to unlearn and relearn. It’s work because we are surrounded by an abundance of appealing false philosophies filling our ears that speak to our deepest needs, hungers, and desires. It’s work because truth is only found in God and His Word, which requires the devotion of a steadfast heart set on knowing the Truth. And it’s the work God has given us to do.

Who we listen to are those we allow to influence us and our thoughts, thus our beliefs. Jesus heartedly warned us that in the end there would be many false prophets, posers of ministers of light, and wolves in sheep’s clothing leading people astray. If we heed their words, we will be influenced and we will be headed for the darkness of deception instead towards the light of truth. Most of us underestimate our ability to be influenced. We confidently assume we will be able to discern. It’s a dangerous assumption. What we give ear to, especially on a consistent basis, influences us.

Jesus said these posers would abound in the end. Look around; they are. They look good, kind, and humble. They appear to say the right things. They use God and Jesus’ name.  Our enemy (the collective self-will) isn’t stupid. He knows what we fall for. He knows many of us are too smart to fall for the slick salesman type, though many fall for those as well. The greatest evil is that which is disguised as good. Our enemy’s deception is shrewd.

This week I’ve been learning an interesting lesson …

Those who are walking under the tutelage of these posers are and will suffer greatly for it in their souls. False beliefs and lies torment our soul. These men/women have a power to harm and destroy with their words. When we are listening to them we are feasting with the enemy and thus inviting all sorts of evil into our lives.

It’s nothing new that posers lead people astray. But we often fail to deeply consider the next phase, what happens to people’s souls as they are lead astray? They suffer greatly. They suffer torment in their lives. This connection between souls who are being tormented, and the souls who give their ear to these posers grabbed me by the heart this week. However, those suffering often attribute the torments to something else, because their hope of deliverance comes from these false leaders. The nature of deception is you don’t know that you are deceived, but instead believe you are abiding in the truth.

As this dynamic started to become clearer, my reading for the week took me into Revelation 9. The description of the locusts and the army of horseman in this chapter are men and women. They are given power to torment and destroy those who don’t have the seal of God on their foreheads (a knowledge and trust of the Truth). Their power is in their words. What stood out to me was their description is like that of religious leaders.  Isaiah 9:15, Revelation 9:19

Religious leaders hold a tremendous power over others because they are speaking to our deepest issues where we are most vulnerable; fears, quilt, loneliness, healing, deliverance, death and life. They speak with intent of bringing the answers, freedom and hope we long for. Therefore, they are more influential than most in our lives. Their power and the power we give them are grossly underestimated.

This connection between a soul’s torment and following posers hit hard.  There is so much suffering these days that is coming in all shapes and sizes, could this be one of the reasons for the torment people face? Lies destroy. Lies are growing among those labeled as Christians and it is destroying many.

How do we overcome this deception and falling prey to the enemy of torment? A love for the truth.

2 Thessalonians 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

What does a love for the truth look like in someone’s life?  If you love something, what do you do?  You absorb yourself in it.

With a love for the truth, you abide in the Truth, God’s Word on a regular basis. You don’t search for the answers you want, but whatever the Holy Spirit desires to teach. It isn’t just about you, it’s about truth. You seek God’s ideas and thoughts on His Word, not man’s. Instead of relying on man to teach you his opinions, you seek instruction from the Holy Spirit, who was given to you to teach you all things 1 John 2:27. You seek with a desire to know the truth whatever it is. You ask for your beliefs and thoughts to be renewed in His truth and His ways; for lies and deception to be purged. You are willing to let go of “truths” you’ve held on to. You are willing to go wherever God may instruct and lead you. You have a passion for understanding, wisdom and truth, and how you spend your time reflects it. You embrace it as a life long pursuit.

A love for the truth will save us in the end. Many Christians are going to take and are taking a mighty fall because they are really trusting in another besides God. They are putting their trust in their pastors and their favorite religious leaders, who need them to depend on their words to pay the rent, pay for their child’s school, and to support all the salaries their church has created.

Our beliefs are everything. It’s a love for the truth that will save us in these days. No one can pursue the truth for us, it’s a personal endeavor.

Verses of Encouragement for those who Trust God– Psalm 91:4, 7, 9-10 Psalm 28:7, 119:114, Proverbs 30:5, Ephesians 6:16


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Truth: The Soul Armor

Truth is our Soul Armor

 

The other day, as I fell into bliss thinking about God and all He has done and is doing in my life, a jolt brought me back to the fullness of reality – there is a battle going on.

After talking with an acquaintance who is an unbeliever, God reminded me of the realness of the evil at work and the spiritual battle taking place, in lives like hers; one that I need to always be aware of, ready for, and engaged in – not in la-la land.

The spiritual warfare is strong. It can seem overwhelming when you look at all the evil in this world (blatant evil and evil disguised as good), but He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world. 1 John 4:4

As God’s children, we need to realize this power we’ve been given and use it. When we are prepared and fighting, we are more powerful than we know in the methods of spiritual warfare like speaking truth, acting in love (true love), praise, prayer, and fasting. Jesus Christ has given us the power to trample the enemy (the self-will; individually and collectively). He has given us ALL power over the enemy Luke 10:19. We need to use what we’ve been given. How do you use it? Know the truth, know your enemy, and know the power that works in and through you and act on it.

Battling in the Mind

I’ve been learning to fight the spiritual battle that occurs in our minds. The enemy feeds us lies whether through the messages of society, others, religion, and so on. It’s a brilliant strategy on his part, because if we believe those lies we act on them, then WE destroy ourselves. However, if we know the truth, those lies have no power. As I saw on the back of car – Truth, Soul Armor – how true that is!

In our spiritual walks, we come to a point were we “get it”. You can see this in Apostle Paul’s writing. There is a deep knowing of the truth, that gives him an incredible power in his life and over the enemy. Though we are always learning, we come to a point of knowing that the battling in our minds gets easier in a sense, thus us stronger. It reminds me of Neo in the movie the Matrix (movie I recommend full of interesting symbolism). As he understood that the enemies he saw were actually computer code he could alter, he battled effortlessly. His understanding of the truth was his power to defeat the enemy.

Getting to that point of discerning the truth from the lies is a process. We start blinded to the lies and therefore live by them. As we abide in God’s truth, the lies start to become unveiled. As truth takes ownership in our souls, we are equipped to fight the lies we’ve lived by for so long. At first, it’s difficult because they are so “engrained”. Yet, over time as we continue abiding, our clarity and understanding expands and discerning truth becomes easier. Like Neo, the truth gives us power to defeat our enemies. The moment a lie crosses the pathways of our mind, we recognize it for what it is and disregard it. We block every attack with ease and thus victory. 1 John 5:4 Truth, Soul Armor.

What the Holy Spirit reminded me the other day was once people take in the lies; they are opening up to much more.

Battling Spiritual Forces

Without truth, we invite all sorts of evil into our lives. Many, even those named Christians who lack a love for the truth, and are falling into the hands of the enemy. (M’kayla’s Korner) 2 Thessalonians 2:10. And at that point, what are they opening up their spirits to?

Ephesians 6:12 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.

In the movie, when Neo first learned the truth, the true state of world he lived, the extent of deception, and the real evil that existed – it was hard for him to believe it. It seemed unreal. But it didn’t change the fact that it was very real. This world has done a good job of making the presence of evil non-existence or comical. More and more the happenings of life are explained disconnected from the spiritual, the real spiritual, another clever tactic of the enemy. If we don’t know or recognize our enemy, it doesn’t change whether we are being impacted by it, and it completely affects our ability to “fight” it. Suppose you were in a physical fight. Your opponent was obliterating you, yet you refused to believe he was the reason for your pain. You felt the sting of the blows and the wounds on your body, but you didn’t believe he was attacking you. You intellectually explained it as something else. By not admitting the truth, how could you ever win? You couldn’t. You have to know your enemy in order to defeat him. You have to know how he works. 2 Corin 2:11

It was a good reminder last week of the battle that is raging around us, the realness of it and how we’ve been given the power to defeat it. Realize the power you have in Christ over ALL power of the enemy. Don’t let the distractions of this world distract you from the battle we are in, the battle God is calling His people to fight.

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House of Bondage

House of Bondage

 

The Word is perfectly intricate, like a huge puzzle that as we put it together, by the guidance of the Spirit, it teaches, reveals, and explains the things of God. One verse links to another through the words and symbolism. It’s complex and perfect. I’m coming across some intriguing similarities between what I see happening among God’s people and what happened in the exodus out of Egypt. Here I’ll dive into some of them.

Exodus out of Egypt, House of Bondage

Egypt was once a place of refuge for God’s people. Under Joseph’s leadership, who is symbolic of Christ in various ways, God’s people were protected and provided for while a famine consumed the land. Through Joseph’s provision, Egypt had plenty of bread. During the Israelites stay, they grew in strength and in numbers. But as time passed, new rulers came into reign. Instead of helping the Israelites to prosper, they were hard task masters and put them under bondage. The Israelites were their workers to carry out their will. They were a large and free workforce for building the Egyptian empire. Egypt became spiritually know as the house of bondage. Exodus 13:14 The Israelites cried out to God because of the bondage, and in time God sent Moses. Moses not only delivered them but also ushered in a new covenant between God and His people.

Moses asked Pharaoh to let God’s people go so they could serve God in the wilderness. Exodus 7:16 Pharaoh resisted as his heart was hardened. Moses performed signs and wonders and Pharaoh’s magicians copied them trying to destroy the credibility of Moses. When Pharaoh continued to resist, God sent a barrage of plagues upon Egypt. The last plague was the angel of death passing through the land and killing all of the first born. God’s people were saved from the plague by eating unleavened bread and by putting the blood of a lamb on their doorposts. Exodus 12:15, Exodus 12:7 When the angel of death passed through the land, the cries of the Egyptians filled the air and Pharaoh finally let them go. The Israelites left the house of bondage following the voice of their shepherd, Moses, into the wilderness where it was just them and God. God instructed, taught, lead, protected, and provided. Joshua 24:14, 17

The journey through the wilderness for the Israelites served the purpose of learning about God, His ways and learning to trust and follow Him alone. God became their God. When they got scared, they cried out and God provided. But when God wasn’t providing as they desired, they wanted to go back to Egypt. They would be in bondage but at least they would be comfortable. But Moses encouraged them and God continue to show them His mercy. And for those who endured and trusted God at His Word, they entered into the Promise land.

Exodus out of the Corrupted Church System, House of Bondage

The Church System (CS), as a whole, was once a place of refuge for God’s people. For a time, God’s people grew in strength and in numbers, as the true bread, the Word, was plentiful. But as time passed and brought different leaders, new agendas came into play. They started to rule over God’s people and the true bread started to disappear. The leaders became task masters putting church goers in bondage to carry out their will. In many situations it wasn’t done maliciously or intentionally, but came about because of a lack of focus on the pure Word. It was about “good” works, programs, increasing numbers, and entertainment all in the name of God. All the while the CS grew strong and powerful, and mega churches became the new beastly goal. Cultivating true intimacy and discipleship with God in His Word was set aside for “greater” efforts. In time, some of God’s people cried out to God. And God responded by calling them out of bondage by Jesus, The Word, to meet with Him one-on-one in the wilderness to be taught, feed, protected and provided by Him. Ezekiel 34:22-27.

God is calling His people, the true Church, to Him in truth and spirit to His Word. Saints are gathering together in spirit to His Word as God is revealing Himself in powerful ways through His Word. Joe in Montana, Lucy in Nebraska, and John in Kentucky are leaving the CS that has become corrupted, clinging to God’s Word and seeking like-minded believers. I see this growing movement throughout the blogs I read. God is calling His true Church together in an incredible and unexpected way. They are coming together in the wilderness, out of Egypt, the house of bondage. Some are gathering in homes or small fellowships where God is truly the head and where the Word of God is at the center – not programs, church empires, or pastor’s salaries.

Judgment is coming upon the Church System, and perhaps is already upon it, as it did upon Egypt. In Revelation, we see the spiritual connection between Egypt and Jerusalem. Revelation 11:8 Sodom is also included to give us another hint of what the future holds. In the Bible, Jerusalem often symbolizes God’s people. This great city is called the Great Harlot in Revelation. Revelation 17:18 Throughout the Bible, God’s straying people are often referred to as harlots. It says she will be judged for her actions against God with plagues. Revelation 18:8. Interestingly, the plagues of Egypt and in Revelation have many similarities – and the language connects the two together to lead us to seek a deeper understanding. Ezekiel 6:11, 18:30, 24:21, Revelation 18:2-4

Just as Pharaoh resisted the call, so do many leaders in the churches and are leading many astray as people are mistakenly trusting in their counsel. Ezekiel 34:10 As Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, so are the hearts of many so they can’t hear or see the truth. Like the magicians, many false prophets are filling the churches to mislead people from the truth. Darkness is overtaking their understanding for a lack of love for the truth. They are working out of their own counsel and not God’s. As a result, they are being given over to a strong delusion. 2 Thessalonians 2:10-11 But those who attune to God’s voice will be protected by Him. Those who truly have the blood of the lamb, reflected in a relationship with Christ (Matthew 7:22-23), and have been eating of the unleavened bread (pure word of God not infiltrated with the lies of men) will be sensitive to His call and be protected. Revelation 18:4. They know their Shepherd’s voice from abiding in His Word. They will follow Him into the wilderness (outside the church system) as the people followed Moses to be led by God and taught, provided and protected by Him. And God will provide in every way by His mighty hand.

Coming into the wilderness isn’t easy. To hear the call to follow the Shepherd is sometimes filled with doubts and fears. And some are tempted to return back to the CS for comfort and ease as they rationalize the bondage. But being with God, taught by Him, provided and protected by Him is a glorious experience. John 6:44-45 It isn’t one to fear but to embrace. And for those who do, they will not only be abiding with God because in the wilderness is where He is at, but they will see His mighty hand perform all things for them. Lamentations 2:7 I believe this journey leads into the promise land if we trust, follow and endure until the end.

Interesting isn’t it? The parallel?

These are challenging days. Our protection is having a love for the truth. John 8:31-32 We are to abide in the pure Word of God and trust the Spirit to teach us, who was given to us for this purpose. 1 John 2:27. It’s critical to have a foundation of truth in our lives built up by the Spirit so we can test other’s interpretations. 1 John 4:1 If you put the Word of God above all else, then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free and keep you free. Psalm 17:4, 2 Timothy 4:3

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The Mark – About Our Minds, Not a Chip

“The Mark”

About Our Minds, Not a Chip

 

When we look to the entire Word of God and not just one verse, the mark of the beast appears to be the one who has left their imprint or mark on our beliefs.

Corinthians 1:21-22 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, 22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

I was meditating on the above verses. What is sealing? How does it relate to the mark? This is what I’ve been exploring . . .

It seems receiving a mark is being sealed and sealing is related to our beliefs. First, the mark can be for good or evil.

Good:
Revelation 7:3 saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.

Ezekiel 9:3-4 Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side; 4 and the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”

Evil:
Revelation 13:16-17 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

How we are marked depends on what/who we trust in. Our faith is either built on man’s ways or God’s. If we trust in Jesus Christ, if He is Lord of our lives and our only hope for salvation and sanctification then we are sealed in Him. Along with the illustration of having the seal of a king, I was thinking that being sealed is also like sealing up a jar of preserves (I know, but stay with me), the freshness is maintained so it isn’t ruined. When we are sealed in the truth we are preserved in Christ and can’t be corrupted. We are shut in, preserved and maintained by our faith alone. Sealing or having His mark means God’s truth is written on our minds (foreheads) and hearts. It is the truth we live by, therefore what we trust.

The guarantee that we have been sealed is the Holy Spirit abiding within us. When we have His Spirit, our desires become His desires. We long to know and follow His will and that desire testifies that we are His. 1 John 3:24

If we receive the mark of the beast, name or number, then we are sealed for corruption in its truth. The beast’s number is 666, the number of man. Rev. 13:18 Those bearing this mark are simply those who trust in man’s ways.

Ezekiel 9:6 Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the temple.

Those in His sanctuary bearing His name, yet having a foundation of trust in the religious systems and religious men don’t have the mark of God and as the next verses tell will enter into judgment for following man’s wisdom instead of God’s. Ezekiel 9

This life is all about what we believe, what and who we truly trust in. That faith is the foundation of the Christian walk, not works or anything else. Without faith in God we have nothing. He is our first love, our source of truth, and our life, we either live by His truth or this worlds. Whichever truth we trust is the one we are marked with.

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Left Standing – Ashamed or Glorified?

Left Standing …

Ashamed or Glorified?

When the purity of God’s truth invades our souls it exposes our true beliefs.

After spending a couple years of consistent time one-one-one with God in His Word, I had a life/spirit changing awareness about myself. I realized most of what I believed about Christianity was based on other’s words. Therefore the source of my trust was in others not God, which meant my confidence was in them. Up to that point I assumed I trusted God, but when prompted to take a closer look by God’s Spirit searching in my soul I found a different reality.

As I examined where my truth came from, who and where I went to hear and know truth, it was all centered around others and their words. True their words were supposedly based on God’s truth, but it was still their interpretations and opinions about God’s Word. Along with the multitude of warnings in the Bible about not trusting in others, but God, at that moment I set out to seek God and His truth from Him. Over the years, God has been an incredible and faithful Teacher about Himself. It seems I talk a lot about trust in my blogs, but who we really trust is the core of our faith. It affects everything.

I’ve been reading through Jeremiah and Revelations, some heavy books to say the least, yet amazingly rich. The verses below jumped off the page reminding of this awakening I had some time ago about my belief system, and reminding me to daily examine my beliefs in light of His truth because other’s philosophies can easily creep in unnoticed. 2 Corinthians 10:5

Jeremiah 48:13b “As the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel (house of God), their confidence.”

Jeremiah 48:7 “For because you have trusted in your works and your treasures, You also shall be taken. And Chemosh shall go forth into captivity, His priests and his princes together.”

Verses like these are what compelled me to a paradigm shift in my beliefs – seeking truth directly from God. If we take time to pause, these verses prod each one of us into a deep self-examination, Who do you trust REALLY?

Who do you trust for spiritual protection? Church, or God Psalm 18:30

Who is your shepherd? Church, or God. Ezekiel 34:23

Where/Who do you go to be fed (spiritual nourishment)? Church or God 1 John 2:27

Where do you learn about God? Church or God Jeremiah 31:33

Where do you learn about truth? Church or God 2 Peter 3:16-18

Who do you trust for the surety of your salvation? Church or God Hebrews 7:22, Proverbs 11:15

If we chose the first option – our trust and confidence is in the wrong place.

Many of us need to take an honest look at our spiritual lives – is the source of trust the church and others or God? And if it is the church (Bethel or House of God), then one day, as Jeremiah says, we will experience great shame for that trust, because we should have been trusting God. If it is God then we will stand with Him glorifying Him with our lives.

We all trust ourselves, the wisdom of the world and others in areas where we should be trusting God, but the question is – are we seeking God and spending time with Him so that our trust will be in Him alone? One reason for the multitude of denominations is that people are really following a multitude of different teachers and not the Teacher – one area of great misplaced trust. Matthew 23:10, 2 Timothy 4:3 A teacher’s role is to teach us to learn of God from God. I see very few actually giving this type of instruction. Most of them are spoon feeding us what they call truth, but it is their point of view from where they are on their spiritual journey. It may or may not be truth, and according to the vast warnings in God’s Word most aren’t teaching truth. Fellowship is great for sharing insights but the source of our truth, our Teacher is to be God.

God is to be the source of our trust. When He is it means we go to Him directly, to the Bible which is His words, to Him in prayer, to Him in stillness to hear His voice. He calls us to come to Him one-on-one with the Spirit as our mediator not man. Jesus came not to bring another religion but a relationship – an intimate personal relationship with our Father where we commune with Him one-on-one. So many have neglected cultivating this intimacy and will fall for it. Most have lost or never had a love for the truth, and will be lead astray. 2 Thessalonians 2:10 If you love the truth – you want to dwell in it daily, seek out its mysteries, live by it, and dedicate time to abiding in it.

Don’t give your life, your beliefs over to another. Don’t be one of those who stands ashamed at the end because you looked to others when God was calling you to Him and waiting to open up His magnificent kingdom to you. Listen to others this week – listen to yourself – where are you getting your truth – are you saying he said, she said or God said?

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