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Showing posts with label Revelation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Revelation. Show all posts

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Denial & Living a Lie - Self-Deception Series 24 – Purity 1113

Denial & Living a Lie - Self-Deception Series 24 – Purity 1113

Purity 1113 08/05/2023 Purity 1113 Podcast

Purity 1113 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the light of a sunset sky reflected in hood of my Honda CRV comes to us from yours truly as I captured this scene on the evening of July 28th while driving down the last leg of Wait Rd before coming to my countryside home to celebrate the beginning of my summer vacation.  

Well, It’s Saturday and even though my vacation doesn’t come to an end until August 14th, the first half of it and my family’s time in Erie Pennsylvania will draw to a close by the day’s end.  And while there are some who despair when a road trip or the time at a vacation destination comes to an end, I am not  a member of that tribe.  While I enjoy the rest, relaxation, and fun of going away, I generally don’t have any trouble saying goodbye to “vacation life” when its time is up.  Although I suppose there has been various vacations in my life that I wouldn’t have minded extending, generally the suspended reality of vacation life is seen for the fantasy that it is when its time is up, I eagerly look to get back to where I belong – home – where I live and have my being, if you will.   Home is not only where the heart is – it is also the place where we meet our responsibilities and best represent our true selves.  

While on vacation, we live in a different place, do things that are not typical for us, spend money in ways we would never do so normally, and we may even “take an ego trip” of sorts as we may abandon our normal routines, compromise our values, or decide to let our inhibitions go.  Vacation life is fantasy life and if you didn’t know it, “fantasy” is another word for a lie.  Although some would claim that vacation land is the place where they can finally “be themselves” or can “be free”, an examination of the majority of their lives versus their attitudes and behaviors while on vacation, would expose the truth that their vacation persona may not represent their “best selves” and that their “freedom” looks like bondage to the flesh and circumstantial happiness that is not sustainable.    In short vacation life and some of our “vacation personas” are a lie.  In truth, we don’t live in vacation land, and we don’t often act like us when we go there. So the vague wish to be on vacation for ever could be seen as the wish to continually live a lie. 

 And that brings us to our current series on Self- Deception, where we have decided to investigate some of the ways we deceive ourselves by walking through Step 2, Deception Vs. Truth, of the Steps to Freedom in Christ to see what ways we may have been deceived by “the world” and ourselves and in what ways we have wrongly defended ourselves. 

So we present the first of the  “Ways to Wrongly Defend Yourself”:

1. Denial of Reality (Conscious or Unconscious).

Since the Steps to Freedom in Christ doesn’t provide scripture references for these terms, I have decided to utilize Meier, Minirth, Wichern & Ratcliff’s “Introduction to Psychology & Counseling: Christian Perspectives and Applications: to provide some basic definitions of theses common defense mechanisms. 

 

“Denial is “the ability to deny the existence of something disturbing, such as one’s own anger or sexual feelings” (Lidz 1968, 258). Thoughts, feelings, wishes, or motives are denied access to consciousness. It is the primary defense mechanism of histrionic personalities, who deny their own sinful thoughts, feelings, wishes, or motives even when they become obvious to those around them.

For example, a woman might act seductively but is not consciously aware of doing so because of denial, then becomes angry at the man she is unconsciously seducing for making sexually suggestive responses. If what she was doing was pointed out to her, she would probably deny it vehemently (see also Prov. 14:15; 16:2; James 3:14).

Counselors often refrain from identifying their clients’ obvious problems because of the likelihood they will deny those problems.

 

Counselors should help such clients identify the problems themselves, confirming what clients suggest without fear of denial. Once a client denies a diagnosis, it is very difficult to later admit that a problem actually exists.[1]

 

While I am not a licensed counselor, as of yet, this series on self-deception is intended to help us to discover the lies we have believed or the things we may have denied about ourselves. I like the counselors referencing James 3:14 for denial, which says.

James 3:14 (NKJV)
14  But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.

In a latter passage the authors also suggest that existence of an omnipotent divine being would produce anxiety in an atheist, but they would deny it, of course.

Denial is lying against the truth!  And the good news is that, because it is the truth we are denying, there will be evidence – like emotional upset over the things we are denying – that may help us to see how we have wrongly defended ourselves.   

So think about your life and your interactions.  Have you had someone accuse you of having a problem and immediately denied it and dismissed it?

“You have a ________ problem?  No, I don’t!” 

If you have had an exchange like that, you could be falsely accused or you could be in denial.  

The word of God is true and there is nothing like the Bible to tell us if we are living a lie.  Although we may think we are being “true to ourselves” when we do whatever we want, if it goes against God’s word, we are living a lie and if we don’t wake up to the truth of our sin, we will die.  

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NKJV) tells us:
9  Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
10  nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

This was one of those passages in the Bible that woke me up to the mortal danger I was in because of the way I lived and convicted me to repent. And as much as some of the things listed in these verses defined my life before coming to Christ, after I saw that they could jeopardize my part in God’s kingdom, I made the decision to stop living the lie and relied on the Lord’s strength and guidance to lead me away from the darkness I was living in. 

Even though I thought a lot of those behaviors were “my life”, the Lord showed me that I had been deceived and that He never intended for any of us to live like that.   Those things were “unrighteous” – as in not “right” – and the Lord through Jesus Christ made a way for us to see the truth, be forgiven, and to be empowered to “do the right thing” by following Him into righteous living.    

So, look at your life, look at God’s truth and let the Holy Spirit convict you about the how the two don’t match up and let Him guide you into all truth and the new righteous and abundant life that God wants you to live.  

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Affliction, Discipline, Chastisement, & Trials.

Revelation 3:14-22 (NASB)
14  "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:
15  'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.
16  'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.
17  'Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,
18  I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.
19  'Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.
20  'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.
21  'He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
22  'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'"

Today’s verses fall under the tenth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Affliction, Discipline, Chastisement, & Trials

 10. “To the lukewarm church Jesus declares that he rebukes and disciplines those whom He loves.” 

Today’s verses encourage us to realize that some of the suffering we face in life comes from not living according to God’s ways, and that we should be zealous in our repentance because it will draw us deeper into His love and presence.  God’s discipline proves His love for us. While some are left dead in their trespasses and sins, God caused us to see our need of a Savior and gives us the power to transform our when we put our faith in Jesus.   The words of Jesus Himself tell us to repent and to overcome to fully realize His love for us and to dwell in His presence. So let’s heed His word and do what He says by being “on fire” in repentance and seeking His righteousness and presence.  

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As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org 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  The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for $0.99 (https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Spirit-Arthur-Pink-Collection-ebook/dp/B008CM5292/ref=sr_1_3?crid=AHKAQOM39CTN&keywords=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit&qid=1684376225&sprefix=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit+%2Caps%2C96&sr=8-3

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit

18 - The Spirit Indwelling

The Basis for the Spirit’s Indwelling

The basis upon which the Spirit takes up His abode within the believer is twofold: first, on the ground of redemption. This is illustrated most blessedly in the cleansing of the leper—figure of the sinner. “And the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and the priest shall put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot … And of the rest of the oil that is in his hand shall the priest put upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the blood of the trespass offering” (Lev. 14:14, 17). Wondrous type was that: the “oil” (emblem of the Holy Spirit) was placed “upon the blood”—only on the ground of atonement accomplished could the Holy Spirit take up His abode in sinners: this at once sets aside human merits.

There must be moral fitness as well. The Spirit of God will not tabernacle with unbelieving rebels. “After (or “when”) that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13). It is to those who obey the command, “Be ye not unequally yoked together” that God promises, “I will dwell in them” (2 Cor. 6:16). When by repudiating all idols, receiving Christ as Lord, trusting in the merits of His sacrifice, the heart is prepared—the Spirit of God enters to take possession for Christ’s use. When we give up ourselves to the Lord, He accepts the dedication by making our bodies the temples of the Holy Spirit, there to maintain His interests against all the opposition of the Devil.

In considering the Spirit indwelling believers we need to be on our guard against entertaining any conception of this grand fact which is gross and dishonoring to His Person. He does not so indwell as to impart His essential properties or perfections—such as omniscience or omnipotence—it would be blasphemy so to speak. But His saving and sanctifying operations are communicated to us as the sun is said to enter a room, when its bright beams and genial warmth are seen and felt therein. Further, we must not think that the graces and benign influences of the Spirit abide in us in the selfsame manner and measure they did in Christ: no, for God “giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him” (John 3:34)—in Him all fullness dwells.

This lays the basis for the most solemn appeal and powerful exhortation. Is my body a temple of the Holy Spirit? then how devoted should it be to God and His service! Am I indwelt by the Spirit of Christ? then how I ought to lend my ear to His softest whisper, my will to His gentlest sway, my heart to His sacred influence. In disregarding His voice, in not yielding to His promptings, He is grieved, Christ is dishonored, and we are the losers. The greatest blessing we possess is the indwelling Spirit: let us seek grace to conduct ourselves accordingly.[2]

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

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

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

For those who require the assistance of a Deeper Walk International Prayer Minister to experience healing or your freedom in Christ, I highly recommend Christy Edge’s Life on the Edge Freedom Prayer Ministry. You can schedule a session by going to : https://cedge216.wixsite.com/life-on-the-edge     

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



[1] Paul D. Meier M.D. et al., Introduction to Psychology and Counseling: Christian Perspectives and Applications, Second Edition. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1991), 238.

[2] Arthur Walkington Pink, The Holy Spirit (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, n.d.).

 

Saturday, April 29, 2023

I Can’t Talk About My Faith – Lies of the Enemy #18– Purity 1030

 

I Can’t Talk About My Faith – Lies of the Enemy #18– Purity 1030

Purity 1030 04/28/2023 Purity 1030 Podcast

Purity 1030 on YouTube: 

YouTube turned us sideways... again.... 


Good morning,

Today’s photo a blazing sun and blue skies over Waite Rd comes from yours truly as I captured this scene last week on the walk back to my countryside home in Easton while out walking my canine, friend Harley.  I know this is a familiar scene but it’s a good one and I share it because I am rejoicing over being there again for the weekend and to illustrate the point that its okay to continually go back to the familiar things in our lives that give us joy and peace.  

Well it is Saturday, and while we have to be careful not to make idols, form addictions, and be discerning in what it is we get our “peace and joy” from, the practice of appreciation can increase our capacity for joy and in turn increase our emotional resilience.  The word of God tells us to think about things that are true, noble, pure, lovely, virtuous and good for a reason and the practice of appreciating the simple and pure things in our lives helps us to grow in the spirit. 

But I just don’t dwell on sunny days, blues skies, and country roads. Those things are good and pure but whenever we take pleasure in the created things of this word we should also remember and thank, the Creator – God.  

While that particular stretch of Waite Rd is near and dear to my heart, when I walk it I often give credit where credit is due by thanking the Lord for it, the other things in my life, and my relationship with Him.   

The best “true, noble, pure, lovely, virtuous, and good” Person to meditate on – God is not a thing – is the Lord and I know that thinking about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and my life with Him is the well spring from which I can continually go to find meaning, purpose, peace, and joy. 

And I don’t only enjoy thinking about God, I like talking about Him too, which brings us to our current series, The Lies of the Enemy, which is an examination of some of the common lies, sometimes sneakily whispered into our minds as “first person” statements, that the enemy tells us to cause us to doubt our faith, lose our peace, cause division, or influence us to not follow the Lord with the way we live our lives.  

Today’s big lie is:

Lie #18: I can’t talk about my faith.  

This lie of the enemy encourages us to keep silent about the most important topic of life – our relationship with the Lord.

It has often been said that “you can’t talk about “religion”, in public or at polite social gatherings, by various people throughout the ages as general advice to “keep the peace” and so this lie that you can’t talk about your faith has been widespread throughout the ages.  Even though our current culture supposedly tries to stress  “inclusion”, “tolerance” and “diversity”, political correctness would actually prefer that we remain silent on matters of faith, particularly that of the Christian faith, because the things that Jesus Christ said caused people to choose sides, to not tolerate evil, and to put their faith exclusively in Him alone.   Christ’s claim to be the ONLY way to God doesn’t allow for a “polite peace” because He was fighting the world, the flesh, and the devil to save people’s souls.  

Although conversations about the Christian faith could make people uncomfortable, that’s really the point. Jesus came to wake people up to the spiritual realities of life because the idea that “everyone is fine believing whatever they want to believe” isn’t true.  What we believe in and who we put our faith in matters. Our faith as Christians just doesn’t give us a framework to navigate through life with, it gives us a relationship with the Creator of all things who has shown us the way to live with Him forever – through faith in Jesus Christ.  

So not only should we be talking about our faith because of the personal peace it brings us, we should be talking about our faith in Jesus because it is the “good news” that saved us from destruction and could save others from a dire eternal destiny. 

We have to resist the devil and the societal forces that wish to silence our Christian witness. We may face persecution and rejection for sharing our faith ,but Christ was willing to die to share the truth and as Christians we should be faithful to the call of the Great Commission, to go and make disciples in all nations, to teach and to do all the things that Christ commanded us.   

Personally, I think the best way to share our faith is to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, to live out our faith and to make a regular habit of encouraging others to follow the Lord, not just with the words we speak but by the living example of how we live our lives.  

The purpose of this blog is to encourage people to seek the Lord and His ways for our lives.   I seek to lovingly testify to how the world and the enemy have lied to us and that the answers and solutions that secular society has for us will ultimately fail because no matter what utopian – or dystopian – plans man can come up with to help us  to “get along” – the existential questions of how made us, why we are here, and where we are going are never addressed or answered in light of ultimate reality – the reality of God and His kingdom that has been revealed to us by Jesus. 

Faith isn’t a matter of opinion or separated from certain aspects of our lives.  Our relationship with God is the only thing of value because it is the thing that will determine our eternal destiny.  

So let me encourage you to not believe the lie that you can’t talk about your faith, and instead demonstrate your faith by the way you live and to tell people about what the Lord has done for you since you put your faith in Jesus.     

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple apologetic will provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

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

This morning’s meditation verse :

Revelation 3:5 (NLT2)
5  All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine.

Today’s verse points to the future and the destiny of those who put their faith in Christ and who are not soiled with evil.  

While I don’t really wear white – at all – here on earth, I will be happy to be clothed in white, if that’s the dress code, when I enter into God’s eternal kingdom when I go to heaven or when Christ returns to rule and reign here on earth. 

Today’s verse talks about our eternal destiny as Christians – our names are written in the Book of Life and Jesus will declare to God the Father, and His angel’s – Hey guys, Michael, Gabriele… – that we are His.       

While we can really appreciate the benefits of our lives as Christians now, this ultimate reality should positively amaze us and fill us with an awesome sense of joy and wonder.   Some day this will happen to us. We will see this scene. We will be “clothed in white” and stand before the Father and His angels to be declared those who will live for ever, as those who belong to Christ.  That’s good news.  So enjoy your relationship with God and share your faith because it’s the truth and your words could be used by God to bring others to experience this future “magic moment” too.

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As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we begin sharing from  “Satan, Demons & Satanism: A Sinister Reality” By June Hunt.

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.  This resource is available online for $7.99 (https://june-hunt.myshopify.com/collections/keys-for-living/products/keys-for-living-on-satan-demons-satanism_ ).

Satan, Demons & Satanism

A Sinister Reality

by June Hunt

Have you ever wondered, Why is there so much evil? Bewildered people all over the world watch the news wondering why evil is so prevalent. Many never realize that Satan is the source of evil—a sinister force who has influenced people to be evil from the beginning of time. His sly strategy is to distort the truth of God and to lead the whole world astray.

“That ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan … leads the whole world astray.”

(Revelation 12:9)

I.    Definitions

A.  Who Is Satan?

Do you remember in your early school years when you were assigned to a competitive team in sports? The obvious objective was to defeat your opponent. The team you played hard to defeat was viewed as “the adversary.” In later years, sport strategies became more sophisticated, and coaches began to make serious studies of the adversaries, including watching films of their opponents. Today you have an adversary. But this is no game—it is real. You need to know your adversary, Satan—the enemy of your soul. His one determined objective is to defeat you and to destroy God’s plan for you.

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

(1 Peter 5:8)

     Satan is the supreme adversary of God and the leader of the spiritual forces of evil.

     The English word satan is derived from the Hebrew noun satan, which means “adversary” or “opponent.” The Hebrew verb satan means “to attack or accuse.”

     Satan is an angelic being created by God and possessing:

   A mind “Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning.…” (2 Corinthians 11:3)

   A will “The devil … has taken them captive to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:26)

   Emotions “Then the dragon was enraged at the woman.…” (Revelation 12:17)

Q “If God is so good, why did He create Satan?”

He didn’t. God created “Lucifer, son of the dawn”—an angelic being who, because of rebellion against God, was cast out of heaven. Only after he sinned did he become “Satan,” which literally means adversary. Only then did he become the adversary of God and of all that is good.

“How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12)

Scriptural Names of Your Adversary

     Accuser

“The accuser of our brothers, who accuses them [believers] before our God day and night, has been hurled down.” (Revelation 12:10)

     Angel of LightLucifer means “lightbearer.”

“For Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14)

     DestroyerAbaddon and Apollyon mean “destroyer.”

“They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon.” (Revelation 9:11)

     Devil … In Greek, diabolos means “slanderer” and is used 37 times in the New Testament.

“The devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Revelation 20:10)

     Dragon … Also means “the great dragon.”

“There was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” (Revelation 12:7–9)

     Enemy

“The enemy who sows them [the weeds or the sons of the evil one] is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.” (Matthew 13:39)

     Evil One

“Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” (Ephesians 6:16)

     Father of Lies

“For there is no truth in him [the devil]. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)

     God of This Age

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)

     Morning Star or LuciferLucifer means “lightbearer” or “shining one.”

“How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12)

     Murderer

“He was a murderer from the beginning.” (John 8:44)

     Prince of This World

“The prince of this world will be driven out.” (John 12:31)

     Ruler of the Kingdom of the Air … or Prince of the Power of the Air

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.” (Ephesians 2:1–2)

     Satan … A Hebrew word which means “adversary”—his most common name, used 53 times in the Bible.

“Jesus said to him, ‘Away from me, Satan!’ ” (Matthew 4:10)

     Serpent … Sometimes called the “ancient serpent”

“He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:2)

     Tempter

“The tempter came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’ ” (Matthew 4:3)[1]

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

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

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

 



[1] June Hunt, Biblical Counseling Keys on Satan, Demons & Satanism: A Sinister Reality (Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart, 2008), 1–3.


Sunday, February 12, 2023

Bible Study with the Cincotti's - Except by Revelation - 02/12/2023

Today's Bible Study, Authored by Arthur Cincotti. 02/12/2023

Listen to our Bible Study Discussion at: Except By Revelation Podcast

Or watch the Video Zoom Session of our Study on YouTube: 





Except by Revelation


“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”’   Mat. 16:17

         It’s impossible to figure out God with our feeble, fallen intellect. The shark contrast demonstrated in the New Testament is that, while religious leaders were debating how to figure out God, and pretty convinced that they had, Jesus was revealing Himself to simple folks. Obviously, the religious types got it so wrong that they actually crucified the Lord of Glory.

I Co. 2:14 states this with clarity for us, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

I used to share the gospel with a client of mine who was a retired college professor. His response to me was that he taught the Bible in university, as if to say, “what could you possibly have to tell me.”

Derek Prince, in Rules of Engagement says, “Ever since, (the fall)   the attainment of knowledge has been one main goal of          humanity. Over the last two or three centuries this has      expressed itself in an ever-increasing emphasis on    science...This explosion of science has not, however, solved          humanity’s most basic problems: injustice, cruelty, war,       poverty, disease.”

This is where our intellect has taken us and no less so in the sphere of religion. Man is perhaps more confused now than ever concerning the character and ways of God.

Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “’for My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”’

Isn’t that just common sense? Heb. 7:7 NLT says, “And without question, the person who has the power to give a blessing is greater than the one who is blessed.”

So what about us??? Can we figure God out? After all, we have His word, and His Spirit dwelling within us.

Well, we should be very careful and circumspect about that. Look at the religious landscape today, just within Christianity. Paul said to the church in Corinth, “For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?”  I Co. 3:3

If you look at the narrative from our opening verse (Mat. 16:17) Peter is praised by Jesus for hearing from the Father, but in just a few verses Jesus will say to the same Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Mat. 16:23

Should we not be humble, and willing to repent, in considering the times and ways in which we may not have “rightly divided the word of truth”?

We genuinely believe that the Bible is inerrant, and the complete revelation of God to man, but it is not the exhaustive revelation of God. Deut. 29:29 says, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. And Jesus Christ is, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, Jn. 1:14

the image of the invisible God” Col. 1:15

         This does not give license to people like Joseph Smith, the prophet Mohamed, or Sun Myung Moon, who claim to have revelation, to deserve any consideration by the born again child of God. The Bible is the cannon, and is not subject to interpretation or alteration.

How should we rightly divide the word of truth?

1) Know it! Study it. Meditate upon it. Pray over it.

2) Consider the whole council of God; Genesis to Maps.

         Don’t cherry pick verses and build a doctrine around them.

3) Pray, asking God for wisdom and discernment concerning         passages and doctrines that are confusing. Js.1:5

4) Consider the answers that you come up with. Are they self-gratifying or glorifying to God?

Remember this; that in spite of Peter’s lapse in Mat. 16. God was still able to execute His divine purpose in his life and in His over arching plan.

Revelation comes sovereignly from God to unveil His purpose in space and time. What we do with it could be considered the free will of man...but that is questionable too. 


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My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship