Showing posts with label Jeremiah. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jeremiah. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Instant Liberation in Two Words: “I Quit!” - Purity 824

 Instant Liberation in Two Words: “I Quit!” - Purity 824

Purity 824 08/31/2022  Purity 824 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo a of a the “hump” of a “rainbow in the hollers” comes from a friend who called West Liberty Kentucky home for a spell and shared this photo back on June 3, 2021.  But moss doesn’t grow on a rolling stone and the holler’s appeal didn’t last long and instead of staying put, our friend jettisoned his home in the holler and took to beaches of Florida for a spell and now has set his stakes in a new home in southwest North Carolina!  But that doesn’t mean he is done traveling because I just saw him share scenes from somewhere in Georgia just the other day that may be featured in a future post. 

Well, It’s hump day again, and as we seek to surmount the midpoint of another work week to move on into Labor Day weekend, I think we should all rejoice over the freedom that the Lord gives us to change our situations and the fact that He gives us our self-worth that is not dependent on where we are or what we are doing. Our changing circumstances don’t change who we are in Christ.   

In life we make our best decisions with the information we have at the time.  We may think a home in the hollers, a beach in Florida, or a place somewhere else may satisfy us at the time, only to discover that we want to try something else.  Moving can be an ordeal but I for one can attest to the sheer joy that comes from leaving your past behind and finding peace in a new home.  

Likewise professionally, we can decide to step out and try something new with the hopes of forging a prosperous future only to discover that the deal that seemed too good to be true was too good to be true and that the offers and promises that were made before we committed ourselves quickly changed almost as soon as we did.  

In a teaching on Jesus vs The Culture, Dr. Frank Turek asked if it was ethical for a business to change the conditions of someone’s employment after they were hired after they had committed themselves and turned down other offers. The people gathered for his class unanimously agreed that it was unethical to do that. 

But Turek’s question shows that things like this happen in the world of business, to lure people into filling a job unscrupulous employers will make promises that they have no intention of keeping and will eventually change the rules of the game after they hire someone and figure they now “own them”.   

Unfortunately, many people face this type of treatment and feel that they have no recourse but to stay because they need the money or the benefits or are told that the negative circumstances are only temporary.   

However, the Lord has given us free will and if we walk with Him we can be assured that He will be with us whether we decide to endure in our “raw deal”  or if we choose to utter the two word phrase that leads to instant liberation: I quit!

I think we all know people who have suffered in negative work circumstances at some point in their work histories and we listen to their complaints and laments with compassion but are puzzled at why they continue to stay.  Don’t they know they can quit?

There is no shame in quitting, regardless of reasons, but if we were lied to or if we are being abused or micromanaged, we have the right to set ourselves free.  

Unfortunately, this issue is close to home for me because my wife TammyLyn recently took a chance at a new career only to discover that her employers were dishonest about their expectations of her work hours and the level of authority she would have as the general  manager of their restaurant.

They expected her to turn Hell’s kitchen into heaven but didn’t give her the power to do it as they almost immediately undermined her authority, arbitrarily changed policies, gave preferential treatment to certain employees, allowed a hostile work environment to fester, made insulting abusive personal comments to employees, allowed rank insubordination to go without consequence, and tried to make her personally responsible for each and every aspect of the business, even when she wasn’t there! 

My wife was the general manager for less than a month and last night I fully supported her decision to resign immediately.  

I, of course, sought to support my wife in her new venture by becoming a delivery driver for the restaurant. I figured if she was there that was where I wanted to be.  But she isn’t there anymore, so I quit too!

No matter how bad things get in life we have the option of quitting. He have the option of leaving.  If we have been lied to, or abused, or disrespected and hurt,  the Lord doesn’t necessarily want us to stay in that.  

Christ came to give us life and life more abundantly and if people are making our lives hell on earth we can shake the dust off our feet and leave.  

Frank Turek’s point in asking that question about a business changing the terms of a contract after someone was hired was to ask about the changes in personal relationships: in marriages.  That if someone promises to love, honor and obey someone for life and abuses the promises of the relationship, and the abuse continues or the commitment is betrayed, we can try to work on the problems with counseling but if the other party refuses to repent, we can leave.  Ask me how I know.    

When we decide to follow the Lord with our lives, we make the decision to live in righteousness and the world may not always like that.  People will hate us for it or they may see our Christian character as something they can use for their own purposes.   

While we are to love our enemies and to endure through suffering at times, we are not expected to propagate or allow someone else’s sin to continue unchecked or without consequence.  If you lie to me or are sinning against me, I can forgive you, but it doesn’t mean I have to stay in relationship with you.  

So if that’s you, quit. Walk away.  Forgive them for they know not what they do, but shake the dust off your feet and surrender them to the Lord, as He says you are worthy of love, dignity, and respect, and no matter what the Lord will be with you where ever you go. 

So keep walking and talking with God.  When we trust the wrong people or suffer abuse, He will help us to recover and to find a new place where we will be provided for and where we can find our purpose in Him.  



Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Jeremiah 29:12-13 (NKJV)
12  Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
13  And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Today’s verses encourage us to call upon the Lord, to pray, and to seek the Lord with the assurance that He will hear us and we will find Him.  

In life we can learn from our mistakes. When things go south we can really beat ourselves up for the mistakes we make.  But the Lord is with us and the book of Jerimiah is a rough portion of scripture in which the prophet delivers searing messages to the nation of Israel about impending judgement that will come because of their disobedience.  But even in this book of the Bible where there is so much “bad news” ,  the Lord reminds the faithful that even in their struggles that He is still with them and that His strength and guidance can still be found when they call upon Him, pray to Him and seek Him.  

So maybe things have gone wrong.  Things didn’t work out the way we hoped.  

So what do we do now that our dreams have gone up in smoke? 

We do what we always to as followers of Christ.  Just like Jesus, we go to the Father, We pray and we gather strength and wisdom from Him, knowing that He is the one who defines us and He is the one who determines our worth.  No matter what we do or how we may fail or suffer, God has accepted us as His children because of our faith in Jesus and He is with us.  

So call on the Lord, pray to Him, and seek your will for your life. He hears you and He will help you to find Him when you search for Him with all your heart.



As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from Clinton E. Arnold’s “Powers of Darkness”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Clinton Arnold’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.

Reasserting the Pauline Emphasis

I am thus hesitant to use the Pauline references to the “principalities and powers” as the fundamental basis for developing a theology of society. On the one hand, a different foundation to social ethics is needed than that which is provided by those who take a structural interpretation of the powers. On the other hand, I believe it is essential to take the principalities and powers into careful consideration when discussing social evil. Robert Webber is correct when he notes, “A theology of society needs to deal with the problem of the demonic.”

There is no doubt Paul envisioned the work of evil spirits to extend beyond their hostile influence on individuals and the church. In Paul’s letters, however, the emphasis is clearly on their malevolent activity in preventing people from becoming Christians and hindering their growth in Christian virtue. The major issue of concern for Paul, therefore, is not so much the relevance of the powers with regard to social justice, but their implications on salvation history and Christian behavior.

In Paul’s eyes the powers unleash their greatest hostility when they hinder the proclamation of the gospel. They use the flesh and, indeed, the structures of the world to blind people from discovering the truth about God’s redemptive work in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul’s concept of ministry included no injunction for Christians to work toward reforming the social or political order. As E. Earle Ellis explains it, “As a reality of the resurrection age Christian ministry has for Paul an evangelical, Christ-imparting relationship to the community of the dying.” The proclamation of the gospel takes on decisive importance because it has other-worldly, eternal implications. Those who affirm faith in Christ are rescued from the deadly clutches of Satan’s kingdom and delivered from the community of Adam, which is moving toward its death.

This consideration does not mean that Christians are released from any obligation to society at large. Second to Jesus’ command to love God with full devotion is his command to love our neighbors. Paul reiterated this command when he called Christians to love their neighbors (Rom 13:8–10) and to do good to all people (Gal 6:10).

The Influence of the Powers on the World

The question we now ask is specifically how do the powers influence the world system with its manifold structures? I suggest two ways of describing the evil work of the powers on the social order.

First, it is essential to return to Paul’s emphasis on the direct work of the powers in the lives of individuals. According to Paul, spiritual warfare involves direct demonic enticement to individuals to violate God’s standards of holiness and act in ways contrary to his revealed will. Extrapolating from this explicit principle of operation to a larger scale, we must remember that people control governments, corporations, media and various other structures of our existence. If the powers of darkness can gain significant influence over the lives of key people, through them they can create oppressive dictatorships, evil drug rings, exploitative multinational corporations and all kinds of horrific, destructive mechanisms bent on destruction and terror.

The powers are not merely “up there” in the heavens waging war among themselves. They are here, very close to us, trying to influence our affections and our decisions.

Paul’s Jewish predecessors and contemporaries thought in these terms. For example, the first-century A.D. section of a Jewish document, entitled Ascension of Isaiah, reflects on why one of the kings of Judah was able to lead the whole city into apostasy:

And Manasseh abandoned the service of the Lord of his father [Hezekiah], and he served Satan and his angels, and his powers.… And he rejoiced over Jerusalem because of Manasseh, and he strengthened him in causing apostasy, and in the iniquity which was disseminated in Jerusalem. And sorcery and magic, augury and divination, fornication and adultery, and the persecution of the righteous increased through Manasseh. (Ascension of Isaiah 2:2–5)

In this text it is clear that the powers of darkness are viewed as independent agents who worked directly on the leader of a country to create a regime of terror and evil. Many similar references could be cited, but this is adequate to illustrate the simple concept of an evil spirit working through an individual who wields significant civil authority. The same principle could be applied to many different spheres and social/political structures.

In the twentieth century we have witnessed the extensive repression and exploitation that corrupt rulers can wield over millions of people. Mention the names of Adolf Hitler, Nicolae Ceausescu, Idi Amin, Manuel Noriega and Saddam Hussein, and one easily sees images of untold atrocities. Certainly, Satan and his forces make people of such power the objects of particular attack because of their political authority. Could it be more than coincidental that reports of these leaders’ involvement in the occult so often surface after they have fallen from power? Certainly, Satan has only to exploit the desires of their depraved natures to bring about his destructive aims. More direct Satanic influence, however, can sometimes be observed.

Second, I suggest that Paul’s concepts of “world” (kosmos) and “this age” (aiōn) correspond most closely with what many modern interpreters describe as structural evil. Paul described unredeemed humanity as trapped in a pattern of transgression and sin against God because “the age (aiōn) of this world (kosmos)” so heavily influences them (Eph 2:2). Becoming a Christian involves being crucified to the world (Gal 6:14) and being rescued from the present evil age (Gal 1:4). When Paul spoke of “the world” in a moral sense, he was thinking of the totality of people, social systems, values and traditions in terms of its opposition to God and his redemptive purposes. The structures of our existence, to a large extent, represent the composite result of human ideas, affections and activity. Both people and their ideas can have an evil bent. Yet they are also capable of redemption and purification. In his insightful book on social ethics Stephen Mott draws the correct distinction between the powers and the world. He notes, “The kosmos, a more pervasive theme in the New Testament than the powers, represents the social structuring of evil without necessitating recourse to the symbolism of supernatural personages.”28 He draws attention to the fact that the principle of sin has a serious impact on our social order: “If sin is as pervasive as we say that it is, … then it will affect not only our personal motivations, decisions, and acts, but also our social life. It will powerfully influence our customs, traditions, thinking, and institutions. It will pervert our kosmos.”

Not only does sin have a degenerative effect on the social order, but so also do the powers of darkness. The powers exert their influence to corrupt the various social orders of the world as a further means of drawing humanity away from God. Working through people, the powers can pollute a society’s traditions and values. They can influence authors, television producers, political thinkers and analysts, pastors, university professors, composers, artists, screenplay writers, economic policy makers, architects of defense strategies and journalists. Through a unified networking influence, it is not difficult to imagine how the powers can influence the direction of an entire culture. In one decade something may be considered morally outrageous and in the next morally acceptable through a changed public opinion.

The powers themselves, however, are not the structures. Although the powers do their best to influence the structures, evil still resides in the structures only insofar as the people involved are evil. Just as a glove has no ability on its own to carry out a task, ideologies, economic systems and the like have no power apart from the people who subscribe to them and enforce them. A tradition ceases to be a tradition when people no longer pass it on.

It is with good reason that Paul calls Satan “the god of this age (aiōn)” who “has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel” (2 Cor 4:4). We could legitimately say “Satan is the god of many of the structures that order our existence.” Through coordinating the activity of his innumerable powers of darkness, Satan attempts to permeate every aspect of life in his indefatigable attempts to oppose God and his kingdom. The work of the evil one moves far beyond the simple notion of tempting an individual to sin. Satan appears to have a well-organized strategy. He aims strongly at the people with power and influence. The moral lapse of one pastor can send one church reeling. Inciting the moral lapse of numerous prominent ministers devastates Christians all over the country and makes society perceive the fragrant aroma of the gospel as a stench to be avoided.

The powers do indeed influence society and its institutions. We must be careful not to assume, however, that the demonic has polluted all institutions, social structures, traditions and philosophies. As Stephen Mott points out, there is a battle for the control of God’s creation. Institutions are integral to human life. “Institutions function both to enslave and to liberate human existence. The powers are always present along with enslavement and death in small or large degree; but their real existence is behind the scenes in a system of hostile values vying for control of the life of the world.”

According to Paul, God calls Christians to be rescuing agents. The evil-infected institutions of this present age have trapped people, who are blinded from seeing Christ’s redeeming love. Since the institutions of this world (kosmos) and the structures of the present age (aiōn) are destined to perish, our highest priority is to help people find ultimate freedom from the deadly constraints and terror of the present age and experience the untold blessings of the age to come, and to be liberated from the world and its hellish prince and be inundated with the love, joy and peace of God’s kingdom.

By no means is this an encouragement for Christians to escape completely from the present world and withdraw from involvement in the social order and the structures of our existence. Jesus called us to be salt and light, to show the same loving compassion for our neighbors that led him to lay down his life for the lost. God demands that Christians engage in social action based on their love for humanity, their call to be salt and light, and their responsibility to be careful stewards of the creation.

Christians still live in the present evil age—in fact, they live in two ages. The kingdom of God and the blessings of the age to come have broken into the present age in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Spirit and the gifts, the grace of God and the power of the age to come are bestowed on us through relationship with the Lord Jesus. We are called to carry on the redemptive mission that Christ called us to and that Paul modelled for us by his own life and ministry. We are called to demonstrate Christ’s love.[1]

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

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My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Clinton E. Arnold, Powers of Darkness: Principalities & Powers in Paul’s Letters (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 1992), 201–205.


Monday, December 27, 2021

Legislating Immortality – Fearful New World – Purity 612

Legislating Immortality – Fearful New World  – Purity 612

Purity 612 12/27/2021  Purity 612 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of the sun blazing through an ice covered forest comes to us from yours truly as I took a canine friend for a walk down Waite Road in Easton NY yesterday afternoon and had the presence of mind to bring my phone to capture some scenes along the way on what was a sunny and pleasant Boxing Day.

It's Monday again. So it’s back to life and back to reality for most of us as the Christmas holiday is over and it’s time to make the donuts again as we return to work today.  For many of us that will mean having to secure our face coverings as we will be subtly forced to comply with mask mandates that are designed to stop the spread of the flu and common cold… I mean the deadly viruses Covid-19, and its hosts of variants. I know there was a Delta variant that the news tried to terrify us with a few months ago and now we apparently on Omnicron. 

Assuming Covid 19 was Alpha, I guess Beta, and Gamma must have been pretty lame and likewise Epsilon, Zeta, Eta, Theta, Iota, Kappa, Mu, Nu and Xi  must have been relatively harmless as they didn’t make the news.  To be honest, I don’t watch the news so they could have.  I would apologize for my ignorance in regards to current events but there doesn’t seem to be a very large concern with the truth in general so I choose to not subscribe to a media stream that may knowingly or unknowingly be propagating a fraud or a false narrative.   

The idea of mandatory vaccines that don’t prevent the disease they are designed to prevent and the wearing of masks that likewise will not prevent the spread of the same disease shows us that we are not content with the truth as we are with feeding the culture of fear as the objects of concern shift to a new supposed menace every few weeks to keep the measures of control in place and to keep a steady stream of income into the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies and the industries that profit on keeping the pandemic alive. 

With the abandonment of Afghanistan the war on global terrorism was lost or is over, instead those in charge are declaring a war on disease as cold and flu season has begun and the response is to reinstitute mask mandates and to demand that a round of “vaccine booster” shots be given.  

New Hampshire’s state motto is “live free or die” and I think I choose that option rather than to get a “booster” of a shot with questionable ingredients and limited effectiveness.  And as for the masks, unless you are in a Hazmat suit we are all vulnerable to  the spread of diseases. 

So I will take every opportunity to gain permission to remove my mask, as the vast majority of us – either don’t believe the hype, feel secure with our own immunity systems, or know that there is a sovereign God who chooses when each one of us will be called into eternity in spite our personal efforts to stay alive at all costs.  

The inconsistencies of our attitudes regarding society’s concerns over the sanctity of life and compassion highlight the madness of our age and the heights of hypocrisy that would have even the most carnal of sinners in a Christian house of prayer balk and point a retaliatory finger of accusation towards all the hypocrites outside of the church.

The lifestyles and attitudes that are perverse and contribute to the spread STD’s, the continuation of addiction, and encourage the termination of life in the womb as well as the elderly are “deemed” an expression of our liberty and are beyond reproach.  But the decision to refuse medical treatments and forced codes of dress, because that’s all it is, are villainized as ignorant, uncompassionate, and dangerous. 

The powers that be have stirred the pot of fear and enough of the populace is scarred enough to agree with just about anything to avoid death, or chastisement.    

I fear the opinion of God more men and I know my life is secured in Christ so I don’t fear death.  My assurance is as absolute as you can get. I know God has purposes for us that go beyond eternity and I know that God will be faithful to those who put their faith in His Son.

We don’t know when we are going to die but those who put their faith in Jesus don’t have to worry about a disease or some other sudden calamity that will usher us into eternity.  The grim reaper isn’t so grim for the Christian.  We have the assurance of everlasting life. 

When Covid-19 dropped in 2020 and the uncertainty and fear was at its zenith, essential workers had to make the decision to stay at home with the masses or to just go on and live. In the early days, there was no PPE to be found and as we know, the vast majority of it is less than 100% effective, proving that the proliferation of a “hope so” faith, that something was better than nothing, would be the soup du jour for all of 2020. And that dish of “hope so faith” that was more superstition than science is still being served up and forced fed to us in 2021.  Essential workers were, and still are at risk and vast majority of them lived and still live.  

But a new season for the flu is upon us and we now supposedly can track every new variant of disease and will demand that people keep their “hope so faith” alive, creating new fear evangelists that push a new “booster gospel” as the original vaccines weren’t the scientific messiah that we were hoping for.  

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t want anyone to get sick and die.  Life is precious and we should take measures to protect it and let it thrive by making good choices.  

But regardless of boosters, your disinfectants, and your governmental pressures to comply, death will not be stopped.

Death is God’s means for taking people into eternity.  No one dies early according the God’s timetable.  Regardless of what the coroner puts down as the cause of death, the ultimate truth is that God reclaimed the life that he created and the only hope for our lives is to make peace with the God who made us.  

We can’t prevent physical death. But we can experience a thriving life of peace, love, and joy will on earth and prevent spiritual death by putting our faith in Jesus Christ.  

I would love to put laws in effect to make Christianity the state religion and have everyone pledge allegiance and their souls to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  But God doesn’t want forced love and obedience.  He invites us all to choose life and life everlasting through faith in Jesus Christ but that is an invitation that we all must individually choose to accept and reject.

You can’t legislate immortality. But I can “hope so” that more people will seek the Lord and find life everlasting in Jesus and have the assurance of a “know so” faith in the One sent to save us.      

So as we go towards the end of this year, I encourage us to be compassionate with one another and obey the mandates, when necessary.

As much as our freedom is being restricted we still have the freedom to speak and instead of proliferating the “hope so” gospel of masks and vaccines, let’s remind people of the “know so” faith and assurance of life everlasting that comes through the gospel of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God.   

If we are living separated from God, we really should expect his protection.

The harsh lesson of life that the world teaches us is that we will all die one day and nothing will prevent that. 

But God tells us of life beyond this world, and His word repeatedly tells us that He is sovereign and that we are to not fear. 

So fight power of fear and take responsibility for the life you have.  Putting your trust in man and science is a “hope so” faith that offers nothing but a steady stream of fear and panic. 

Putting your faith in Jesus Christ gives you the assurance of eternal life and the fruit of the Spirit of love, joy, peace, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, patience, and self-control . 

So as you head out for work today put on the protection that will save you: faith in Jesus Christ. This world needs to know that God is real and cares about us. This world needs the hope of the light that outshines the darkness and the fear. This world needs Jesus and it needs someone to deliver the message of His truth.  

So keep walking and talking with God. Walk in the Spirit of peace and love and assure those who are afraid that there is safety in Christ alone.  

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Jeremiah 31:35 (NLT2)
35  It is the LORD who provides the sun to light the day and the moon and stars to light the night, and who stirs the sea into roaring waves. His name is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, and this is what he says:

Today’s verse is as provided by “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men” as an answer for the contemplation for “When you wish you could see Jesus at work in the world today”.

The idea from the authors of The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men is that “Jesus’ work in the world today is evidenced by the continuous miracle of God’s creation.  God provides the sun to light the day and the moon and stars to light the night every day, and He also is the one who stirs the seas. 

In my short stint as teacher in jail ministry, I developed a quick apologetic for the existence of God in which I presented the three evidence for God as:

1.    God’s creation – Existence itself points to the God who made all things.

2.    Our Consciences – God wrote His law upon our hearts – we all know when we have done wrong

3.    Transformed Lives – Some people who have made Jesus their Lord and Savior were one way before coming to Christ and afterwards were set free of the former lives that were defined by sin.  Their changed lives are evidence of His power and His reality. 

So the evidence for God is all around us.  And the really great news about that is we as Christians are a part of that evidence and we get to present ourselves to the unbelieving world to prove that God is real and active in this world.  

Yes, we can point to the rising sun each day as proof that God is at work in the world today but if we are growing in our relationship with God, we can also point to ourselves and reflect on the work that He has done and is continuing to do in us.

So open your eyes to see the goodness of God and Him actively working but also know that your contemplation of Him and the things of God are evidence that He is already working in you.

As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 


Today we continue to share from Dr. Neil Anderson’s . “Restored: Experience Life with Jesus”. Today, we begin sharing from Chapter 1.    


As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Neil Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work.



We have learned from history that most people haven’t learned much from history. Those who don’t learn are doomed to repeat the same failures over and over again. Those who have learned the truth from their forefathers know that history is His-story of unfolding grace and love for all humanity. In order to understand what His plan is for you, we need to start at the beginning of human history.


“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,”5 are the first words in the Bible. God is a Spirit and is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His wisdom, power and holiness. He existed when the physical world was just an idea. There was a beginning in time when He  created all physical matter and all living creatures. Then God created Adam in His image, and together with Eve they were to rule over the birds of the sky, the beasts of the field, and the fish of the sea.6 They had dominion over the rest of creation and were to be fruitful in order to multiply and fill the earth. They were physically alive, which means their souls were in union with their bodies. They were spiritually alive; therefore their souls were in union with God. Because they were created in the image of God, they could think, feel, and make choices, unlike all the other creatures that are physically alive, which function by divine instinct.

Adam and Eve were safe, secure, and significant. They had a sense of belonging to God and to each other. They were naked and unashamed because they had nothing to hide and therefore no need to cover up. Adam and Eve were welcomed to eat from the Tree of Life and live forever by remaining in union with God.

Prior to the creation of humanity, a magnificent angel named Lucifer  rebelled against the Creator God and fell from heaven, taking a third of the angels with him. Lucifer means light bearer, but he no longer reflected the glory of God. He became Satan, or the devil, and ruled over his brood of fallen angels, known in the Bible as demons. Jealous for the significant position Adam and Eve were given, Satan tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. She in turn persuaded Adam to do so, and together they sinned by rebelling against God.


The consequences were immediate. Adam and Eve died spiritually. Sin had separated them from God. Their souls were no longer in union with their Heavenly Father. They remained physically alive, but physical death would be a consequence of their sin as well.

Adam and Eve were left to make a name for themselves and to find their purpose and meaning in life independent of their Heavenly Father. They had to rely on their own strength and resources because the life of God was no longer within them. They were like cars without gas and struggled to find purpose and meaning in life in their natural state, which is still true to this day for those who don’t have a relationship with God.

Every car has a battery that provides a spark of life, so the natural person tries to find their purpose in the beauty of the car, or the comfort of the seats, or the sound of the stereo, or the lights, or the noise of the horn, but that is not what the car was created for. The purpose of automobiles is to supply transportation. Without gas they may look, sound, smell, and feel good, but they cannot fulfill their purpose for which they were created, and neither can we unless we have the life of Christ within us.

As a consequence of the fall, every natural descendant of Adam and Eve is born physically alive, but spiritually dead.7 In addition, the whole world was affected by their rebellion, and all creation is groaning and looking forward to a day of redemption.8 That day is coming because God immediately cursed the devil and promised that a descendent of Eve would bring forth a Savior that would crush the head of Satan.9

God’s plan was to first show all humanity their need for a Savior. He revealed our need by instituting a sacrificial system to show us that somebody had to pay the penalty for our sins, and through Moses God gave us a moral law to govern our behavior. However, no animal sacrifice could give us spiritual life, and nobody could live according to the law. So He sent prophets encouraging His people to live righteously according to the laws of God. These prophets also revealed God’s word to us and recorded the history of God’s redemptive plan. There are 39 books in the Old Testament that record the history of creation and the fall of Adam and Eve. They reveal humanity’s futile attempts to find purpose and meaning in life and live independently of God.

God called Abraham out of the Land of Ur, which is the land of present day Iraq, and into the promised land of Israel. With Abraham, God made an unconditional covenant, promising that through him and his descendants all the nations of the earth would be blessed. The Messiah would come from one of His descendants. Through the prophet Moses, God made a conditional covenant of law, promising to bless those who kept it, but none could. For centuries God’s chosen people tried unsuccessfully to live under the law, which proved to be a taskmaster that was intended by God to lead us to Christ,10 the promised Messiah.


When it looked like there was no hope for humanity, and when the time was just right, God sent Jesus His Son. Jesus was supernaturally born of the Virgin Mary and, like Adam, was born both physically and spiritually alive. Jesus is the pre-existent Word of God who became flesh and dwelt amongst us. Jesus is co-equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and together they make up the One true God. While on this earth Jesus remained fully God, but He was also fully human. No person can become God, but God can and did manifest Himself in human form. Jesus came for three primary reasons.

First, He came to give us an example to follow in His steps. Jesus showed us how a spiritually alive person could live a righteous life. He did so by demonstrating a life totally dependent upon His Heavenly Father.11 All temptation is an attempt to get us to live our lives independently of God. Jesus was tempted in all ways, but unlike Adam, He never sinned. His sinless perfection was what made Jesus the only possible sacrifice for our sins. No other animal or human sacrifice could accomplish that.

Sin had separated all humanity from God, and the wages of sin is death.12 So Jesus went to the cross to die for our sins in order that we may be forgiven. According to the Old Testament Law, there is no forgiveness without the shedding of blood.13  In dying and shedding His blood, Jesus removed the enmity that existed between God and all humanity. “He [God the Father] made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God.”14 However, knowing that our sins are forgiven is not enough.

Second, Jesus came not only to die on the cross for  our sins, but also to be resurrected in order that we may  have new eternal, i.e. spiritual, life in Christ. That means  our souls are again in union with God. What Adam and `Eve lost in the fall was life, and what Jesus came to give  us was life.15 “Jesus is the bread of life.”16 He is “the way, the truth and the life.”17 He is the only path back to God. “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.18 “Jesus is the truth and if you know the truth, the truth will set you free.”19 Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live [spiritually] even if he dies [physically], and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die [spiritually]. 20


---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------


Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

Email me at to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.


Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Forget Sides! – What We Need is Some Solidarity! - Purity 577

 Forget Sides! – What We Need is Some Solidarity! - Purity 577

Purity 577 11/16/2021   Purity 577 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of a tranquil beach at the Majestic Elegance Costa Mujeres Resort comes to us from a friend’s late October vacation that made them feel “thankful and blessed to have had the opportunity to unwind and relax…”. 

While it is only the second day of the work week and most of us will not have the opportunity to unwind and relax, all of us can still feel thankful and blessed when we remember who we are in Christ and how God has provided for us all the days of our lives.  

Okay, I have a confession to make. As peaceful as this tropical scene may be I am using it with a somewhat confrontational attitude this morning.  

I have a friend on FB who enjoys winter sports and took delight in announcing that somehow it was “official” that the first snow of the season was falling in Albany NY last night. 

Personally, I was filled with doubt and annoyance at seeing their post and actually checked the forecast this morning to see what they were talking about.  Granted, I didn’t look hard or exhaustively but I didn’t see anything about snow, and I am happy to report that the black top of my driveway is untouched by any snow. Not only that but the weekly weather indicates that Thursday is forecasted to have an unseasonably warm 61 degree high in two days.  

I myself do not enjoy winter sports and am quite content with winters that deliver a minimum of snow.  Beyond my lack of love for snow, I might be particularly sensitive to announcement of its arrival because I just purchased a new snow blower, and it is yet to be delivered.  

My friend’s report beyond Pollyanna-ish in its unmerited hopes of the changing seasons should teach us a few things:

1.    Don’t believe everything you read via social media, or the media in general.

2.    Don’t let other people’s reports, attitudes, or actions affect your peace.

In this era of misinformation and skepticism, as Christians we should, as always, focus on the Truth.  Our friend’s, and the media’s, reports are influenced by the story they want to tell but may not accurately portray a full picture of reality and may indicate far reaching affects that may not necessarily have the impact they state on one’s personal experience. 

My friend likes snow. So the first report of flurries that they hear of is broadcasted on their social media as if we will be in a winter wonderland in no time. And based upon your perspective, we will be, eventually. But we will not be experiencing that today, and especially not on Thursday apparently.  

So what does my friend’s report of the “official” snow fall last night have to do with my experience today in terms of travel or in any other aspect of my life?  Nothing. Although, it could actually prove helpful if I was so opposed to snow that I was living in some deep state of denial and convinced myself that snow would not becoming to my area at all this winter.  My friend’s report could cause me to prepare for the reality of the eventuality of snow.    So thanks, friend.  Just so you know, I got 3 new snow shovels, enough rock salt to last me for 5 winters, and a brand new snowblower with EFI technology, whatever that is, is being delivered Thursday.  

So, okay while I have no evidence of my friend’s report being true, let’s assume it did “officially” snow in Albany last night. They were “only reporting the facts”  and while I could assume they are taking delight by announcing it to those of us who don’t like snow, that is not necessarily the truth.  That’s a projection.  

Instead of rubbing it in the faces of those who hate snow, they could have been just intending to share the “good news” of flurries to their snow loving buddies.  

We should not take offense at their report. They didn’t say, at least this time, “HA, HA, snow is falling in Albany, deal with its losers!” That message, although could be behind the motivation of their “announcement”, it  actually in the content of what they said.  

So, it is my responsibility, to not take offense at their report, just like it is now their responsibility to not take offense at my displaying a tropical scene this morning where their beloved winter sports don’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell of coming to pass. 

Which brings us to our second item learned: not to let other’s words, attitudes, or actions take your peace.   

Other people will think, say, and do things, intentionally or quite unintentionally, that will challenge and annoy us.   But God tells us to love them anyway.   

In our weekly Bible study, we recently came across the section in Joshua where Joshua and the Israelites are preparing for battle when the Commander of the Lord’s armies shows up! Joshua knowing this Commander is from the Lord (and actually is said by scholars to be an Old Testament appearance of Christ) asks Him “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” 

To which the Commander, aka Jesus, says: “No!”

Christ explains that  it is “as Commander of the army of the LORD”  that He has come. Jesus isn’t there to choose sides. He has come to do the will of the Lord.  

Thus in the war between those who like snow and those who hate it. the Lord isn’t choosing sides. He loves my snow loving friend, and He loves me too. 

He loves those who have made Him the Lord and Savior of their lives and He loves  those who haven’t yet, and who never will.   

He commands us to love one another regardless of our differences.  So we should not let those who oppose us or annoy us change the way we live and stop us from representing God’s kingdom and sharing God’s love and righteousness.    

And let’s be clear here too. Although God loves all of us, He sent Christ to earth so that we would be saved through faith in Him.  

So just like in the events in Joshua, although God loves all people, Christ is here to do the will of the Lord and those who align themselves with God by placing their faith in Jesus will stand for all eternity and those who don’t will suffer the Lord’s wrath. 

So forget about sides!! What we need here is solidarity.  And the only thing we can stand on that is solid in this world is The Rock: The living Word of God: Jesus Christ.  

So align yourself with the Lord by following the Commander of the Lord’s armies, Jesus Christ, by making Him the Lord and Savior of your life every day. 

The power to overcome our sin, to maintain our peace, and to love the unlovable are only possible when we place our faith in Christ, receive the Holy Spirit,  and choose to live according to God’s will and ways for our lives.    So keep walking and talking with God, and do it in all seasons, whether it snows or not.  


Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verse is :

Jeremiah 15:16 (NLT2)
16  When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God of Heaven’s Armies.


Today’s verse reminds us of the importance of the word of God and how our faith draws us to take delight in the truth that comes from Him.  

The Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, aka Jesus, is the living Word of God so when we place our faith in Christ, we receive the Holy Spirit and the ability to understand and take delight in the word of God like never before because we have the indwelling presence of the Lord in us that will lead us into all truth.  

When we sincerely approach the word of God to know God more and to apply His wisdom to our lives, The Holy Spirit will reveal to us things in scripture that we never understood or He will make certain passages of scripture suddenly meaningful to us.  

Reading the word of God and seeking to know God and to do His will through it, is a foundational aspect of our relationship with God. Reading the Bible shows God we are seeking Him and when we seek Him , by golly, we will find Him.   

When you discover this dynamic aspect of our relationship with God, your appetite for the word of God will increase and you will “devour” scripture and find joy in it as you realize that your study is a spiritual practice and direct communication with God. 

So be like Jerimiah, devour scripture and find the joy that the Lord has waiting for you in the pages of the Bible and in your heart as you take delight in the fact that you are God’s beloved child and that you are talking with Him, and He is talking to you.  


As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 


Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s “Evil and Suffering… Why? Is God Fair?


As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work.


II. Characteristics

No book of the Bible is more closely identified with suffering than the book of Job. This righteous man, Job, for whom the book is named, experienced one heartbreaking loss after another that left him with heartrending despair. Such pain and suffering—even in just one area of our lives—can leave us struggling with unanswered questions... even to the point of questioning God. Behind a profound loss usually lies a series of questions all beginning with, "Why?" Job bitterly cried out ...

"Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul?" (Job 3:20)

A. Do You Feel That God Is Unjust?

Although Job had been an exemplary man—God called him "blameless"—in a short amount of time his entire life has collapsed. Feeling flabbergasted over his losses... feeling fiercely racked with pain... feeling falsely accused by friends... feeling completely forsaken by God... Job considered death far more desirable than life ...

"Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?" (Job 3:11)

Like Job, Have You Experienced...?

Disappearance of your possessions.... Job's belongings were stolen. (Job 1:14, 15, 17)

Dissolution of your partnership.... Job's workers were suddenly killed. (Job 1:14-17)

Destruction of your property.... Job's property was totally destroyed. (Job 1:16)

Death of your loved one(s).... Job's children tragically died. (Job 1:18-19)

Dissipation of your finances.... Job's wealth was instantly lost. (Job 1:21)

Deterioration of your body.... Job's body was severely afflicted. (Job 2:7)

Distancing by your mate.... Job's wife deserted him emotionally. (Job 2:9)

Despairing of your life.... Job's hope no longer existed. (Job 3:1-26)

Disappointment of your dreams.... Job's future seemed doomed. (Job 7:7)

Damage to your reputation.... Job's friends maligned him. (Job 12:4)


Question: "What did I do to deserve this suffering?"

Answer: Your suffering may be a result of consequences for which you are not directly responsible. Recognize that in a sinful world, both good and evil people will suffer.

  • The Bible says, "He [God]... sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous" (Matthew 5:45).
    —But as a Christian, you have a promise from God that your suffering here on earth will one day come to an end.
  • After experiencing the good and evil in this world, you will find yourself in either heaven (eternally in the presence of a holy God and with no suffering) or in hell (eternally apart from God and with eternal suffering).
    —Do not become bitter from the pain. Instead, put your faith in God, know that He cares, and wait patiently for His help.

God is present. Nothing will happen that He won't equip you to handle ...

"I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry." (Psalm 40:1)

Biblical Counseling Keys: Evil and Suffering... Why?: Why God? Why?.

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------


Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts ( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

Email me at to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.


Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship