Thursday, December 24, 2015

Need to Know Yesterday

One difficulty with putting pen to parchment, in a manner of speaking, is that words can be taken out of context, misconstrued or completely misunderstood. That is why this work has taken well over two weeks now to complete. Every effort has been made to provide truth, as well as helpful and accurate information.

I would like to thank all those who have worked hard themselves, writing papers, articles and books to point to truth, and sharing the wealth of their knowledge in their own areas of expertise, on the internet and in books/magazines.  

Names, articles/book titles are duly credited, as well as links and/or resources provided so that the reader may access the information or purchase books, in order to read the material in full, if so desired.

Some excerpts that I provide are from short writings, but most come from well-written works that would be most beneficial to anyone who would like to do a more in-depth study, or to discern the credibility of the writers.

The tough grind others have labored in, going the long distance to provide their insight, philosophy and wisdom with others is appreciated, as it has aided me greatly in completing a more thorough article.

In days gone by, it would have meant perhaps months, sitting in a secluded corner of the library with my Bible and a tableful of books, scribbling painstakingly, lengthy notes, many of which would likely be laying beside a wastepaper basket overflowing with crumpled papers.

Nevertheless, what is of greater importance is the desire to bring truth from God’s perfect perspective, not from the perspective of leaning on my own understanding! God’s love for His people is beyond measure (boundless, unfathomable), but many today take that as a green light for carelessness or lackadaisical attitudes.

Some see God’s love as an opportunity to compromise or worse, to continue on sinning, and/or even accepting blatant sin in the churches and Christian circles today, without so much as a blink of the eye. Others see it as no matter what they do (even disobey), they are ‘once saved, always saved’. Forsooth, a critical error!

How great is His love for us?  In Romans 5, we are reminded that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. In Romans 8, Paul asks, who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  He then goes on to mention some of the greatest calamities we can go through, including tribulation, and states that none of these things, nothing can separate us from the love of God.

The apostle John tells us (1Jn 4) that perfect loves casts out fear and mentions the torment of fear. When we are made perfect in God’s love, fear goes (love casts fear out, or in other words, love overpowers fear). John finishes the verse with a truth, which is we love Christ Jesus, because He first loved us.

Even in the days of old, Zephaniah, chapter three, beginning at verse 17 tells us that the Lord our God in the midst of us is mighty. He speaks of how God will save and rejoice; rest and even sing over us. Yes, I could post the scriptures for the sake of convenience (I often have and do, and yes, I will continue to), but I think it is important that we search scripture for ourselves.

That is why I have written the above out in the manner that I did, so that the curiosity of the reader is piqued enough to check out the scriptures for themselves, to make sure that I myself am keeping things in context. 

Dear reader, it is imperative that we come to know the Word of God. How is it that we will read any book that stimulates our interests with great fervor and intrigue, ofttimes to the point of exhaustion?  Since we all have different personalities, passions and intellect, those interests could cover a gamut of topics.

Subjects such as the sciences, mathematics, physics, chemistry, history, archeology, geography, culinary, literary, musical or art forms, self-defense and craft of war (hand-to-hand combat, self-defense), combat sports (sparring and tournament fighting) or game sports, hunting and fishing.

Others are intrigued by studies involving the medical field, psychology, spiritual, mechanics, electricity, romance, suspense or mystery books, spirituality and onward it goes, so vast are the areas of interest. The list is certainly not exhaustive, but my point is understood.
Word of God

We will sit for hours reading something that we are impassioned or curious about, but we have trouble sitting and reading the Bible, which will make us wise. It will teach, guide/instruct us, increase our discernment, and yes, even convict, condemn or encourage us!

And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: [2Tim 3:16]

In the opening part of this paper, I have given you the book and chapter to verify what I have stated above when referring to scriptures, so that you may understand what is being said in its entirety. That is how we keep things in context. Sometimes we have to read an entire book within the Bible, in order to keep things contextual (hermeneutic approach/rule that “scripture interprets scripture”).

Yet, how many times do people quote scripture after scripture when they preach, teach or give a prophetic word, just to give the impression that what they are saying is truth? All of us do, every single one, and that includes the false prophets and the false teachers. However, the Word of God is Spirit and Truth. It is powerful.

So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth; it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. [Is 55:11]

Even Satan is not timid when it comes to quoting scripture. He tempted Jesus by speaking the Word of God TO the living Word, Jesus come in the flesh. Mat 4:6 is a prime example of Satan quoting scripture to Yeshua. How brazen is that?

Pastors, teachers and prophets (and those who give prophetic words) do quote scripture because it will make what is being said more acceptable, more believable. Yes, but do they just provide scripture for the sake of making it appear righteous?

Do we just accept the scriptures given?  Do we just glaze over them quickly, or do we make notes and go later to search the Bible, to see if the message actually lines up with God’s word? Do we see if the scriptures quoted were taken out of context, or if they even validated the heart of the message?

As believers, we know (or we better learn quickly) that if something does not line up with the Word of God, we should reject it. If the specific words are not in the Bible, is it out of line with God’s doctrine, the gospel of Jesus, or the nature and character of our Lord?

We should not eat the food being offered (whether milk or meat) if we can find nothing like it or near to it, written in the Word of God. It is true that not everything is mentioned verbatim in the Bible. Nevertheless, we are taught that if the doctrine of the gospel is added to or subtracted from, then we should hear an alarm sounding and reject it.

One may be surprised at what people make idols of these days. They may not be bowing down to a statue, but they bow to an image of their own fabrication (a person, place or thing), or worse, an image that is offered at the table of devils.

Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than He? [1Cor 10:21, 22]

Paul is speaking about idols previous to that verse. Be on guard and take heed, particularly if that preacher, teacher, prophet (prophetic voice) is introducing some new revelation, some special message given to them alone from an angel (or two), or they have learned a deeper meaning that only this generation has the privilege of seeing or knowing – hidden from all other generations before us.

There are many churches popping up, with enthusiastic, young pastors/teachers who say that the ‘old-fashioned’ way is too ‘old school’, including the way of Jesus and the apostles.

They insinuate that Jesus and his twelve chosen men were excellent examples who merely pointed the way, especially Jesus/Yeshua who knew that the cultures and ways of people would change as we ‘progressed’ (“evolved”).

They say that Christ was particularly aware that later generations would see the introduction of technology, have phenomenal understanding of ‘hidden treasures and mysteries’, travel globally at incredible speeds, oh and not to mention, the increased knowledge and power that comes with such advancements.  Forget the ancient paths. This is a new generation, a ‘new breed’. Sighhh

Yet, how many times do we read or hear a teaching, or read/hear a prophetic word, and if we hear or see (read) scriptures, we take it for granted that teaching or that prophetic word is of God?  
Take heed! This is how certain denominations and cults were/are started.

This is how false prophets prophesy falsely. This is how doctrines of devils and the spirit of error are introduced.  I will be bringing these two things up again later.

Jeremiah prophesied about these days, yet he did not live to see his prophecy fulfilled. That is one thing about prophecy; the timing of it is God’s alone.

Behold, the days come, says the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which My covenant they broke, although I was an husband unto them, says the LORD:

But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, says the LORD, I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people. 
[Jer 31:31-33]

Note the emboldened words above as I will be showing New Testament scripture that has the same wording (bold) and we shall see how the Holy Spirit connects the two. Let scripture interpret scripture (hermeneutic rule).

For the word of God is living, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 
[Heb 4:12]

In these last of the last days, we must discipline ourselves to learn the Word of God. We must get it down inside us, allowing the Word to be written on our heart. The Word is a discerner, a spiritual sword, part of our armour, the one and most important weapon in our arsenal that God Himself has provided for His people.

Satan is not only out to deceive, but he is out to discourage and make weary the children of obedience. Many (and I do mean multitudes in every nation, every people, every clan and tribe) of God’s people are feeling an onslaught in one way or another. 

Either they have just come through or are going through turbulent matters spiritually. Do not lose heart! I pray that you will shut down all voices that would try to have you lay down your faith and doubt God.

This has been a successful strategy from the Garden of Eden, when the serpent deceived the woman by speaking words of doubt. She laid aside her trust and faith in God, as she yielded to the serpent’s lies, allowed doubt to take root, allowed the temptation to seduce her so overwhelmingly that she disobeyed not only her Creator, but her husband who had authority over her! Double trouble!

Adam disobeyed as well.  Some say it was out of his love for Eve that he allowed himself to be persuaded. If that were so, he did err in that he fell into unbelief (he must not have believed that they would “surely die”), which led him to disobey.

Unbelief will lead to disobedience and it begins with doubt! (Has God said…?) Do not listen to any voices or yield to any thoughts that bring doubt. If you struggle thusly, fall on your knees and humbly ask God to help you.

He will speak to you in the most unexpected ways, but He will surely reach out to you. We can trust Him. Be patient…waiting is hard for all of us, but wait. Humble yourself before God and he will lift you up in His timing.

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt (lift) you in due time. [1Pet 5:6]

Listen, when we read a book on some subject or story that interests us, how often can we tell people what the whole book or story is about?  All the reasons people have for not reading the Bible is an entirely different topic and I cannot get sidetracked here in the lengthy discussion of it, but there are plenty of reasons that we can come up with for not reading it.

Typically, it is that we do not have enough hours in the day, or it is too difficult to understand, or our mind wanders too much. We have to make time. We must take control over our thoughts. Ask the Father through the Holy Spirit to shield you and “still the waters”, the flow of thoughts that are flooding your mind. Jesus still calms the raging waters.

So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him [Is 59:19]

We must make a wise choice, which is to prioritize and put God first. He knows all that is happening in our lives, but if you put Him first, watch and see how everything will fall into place.

I think if people are honest, they will admit that they have gone through times where God is left waiting in the side wings. I myself have been guilty of this, as things pile up and as schedules become hectic.

It is not that God needs us to spend time with Him, people, but rather, it is that us that need Him. Deep down within our heart, we know that we need to know the Word of God, so we may rightly discern and not be deceived. May God help us all!

However, in a brief statement, might I suggest to pray to the Lord to help you regarding the desire for and the ability to read His Word, and to strengthen you to make time for Him, hopefully quite shortly after awakening?

Feel free to explain to Him why you are having a problem with organizing your time and what struggles you are facing regarding the reading of His Word. If you lack an interest in reading His word, confess that and ask for a keen desire to fill you.

It does not have to be a lengthy, drawn-out prayer, unless you feel the need to speak with Him more, once you do get started in prayer– just let it be sincere and truthful.  He will honour that.  Seek Him, confess all to Him in all humility. He will hear, forgive and heal and help. [see 2Chron 7:14, 15]

In a nutshell though, we need to cleave to God by abiding in Christ Jesus. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can and need to learn scripture, keeping it in context. That is how we will (in part) learn to discern the false teachers, prophets and prophetic words. The Holy Spirit also will help us in discerning.  Indeed, it is a learning process.  We do not just automatically have the ability to discern all things, especially with the craftiness and cunning of Satan and his cohorts.

We will learn to discern and recognize when scripture is taken out of context. We need to know enough of the Bible to discern if the doctrine Jesus taught, or the Holy Scriptures are being misconstrued, twisted, added to or taken away from.

False Prophets – Deceitful Workers
Again, the reason I only gave the book and chapter in the opening paragraphs is precisely so you will search the Word of God for yourself.  (Have you gotten the many hints yet? Ha!)

As I continue in this writing, I will indeed post scriptures (as I have already done), but please, keep what I have just said in mind. That would include lining up what I myself say (or write here) to the Holy Scriptures.

The Lord cares and does not want us deceived, but we cannot afford to be lackadaisical, apathetic (read lukewarm) or unguarded.  Dear readers, if Jesus felt it necessary to warn explicitly that in the last days, false christs and false prophets would arise, and show great signs and wonders, to such an extent that if it were possible even the elect would be deceived, then, we best heed His words!

He even warned us of those who would admit He is Christ (remember the woman with the spirit of divination?), but what they say will not be of Him. See Matthew, chapter 24 to read the warnings of Jesus/Yeshua regarding the last days.

If you wonder why the letters were made bold up above when referring to 1 John 4, it is for several reasons. Please bear with me; read the verses I post. They are crucial to seeing and understanding the heart of this message, which is leading up to false prophecies and the danger of them.

1 John 4: 1-6: Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: 

Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of GodAnd every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God: he that knows God hears us; he that is not of God hears not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

John is not one who sees a demon lurking around every corner, nor is he one who is easily intimidated. His immediate concern is a realistic warning to disciples of Christ to not trust every spirit that says they are of God, but to test them. Why?

“…because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”  Satan has been lying to and deceiving people from the beginning and he continues on. He took the very words of God and cast doubt upon them (making it look like God lied). “You shall not surely die…” (One can almost hear the serpent hiss in his lying mockery.)

However, I am beginning to understand more clearly as time goes by why Jesus said IF it were possible, even the very elect would be deceived. 
One time, a few years back, I was in a Christian online chat room. The man on the mike had quoted the last line in the first verse of the above scriptures.

Then, he went on to say on the mike (about 10 times in a row), “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.”  Each time he spoke it, he copied and pasted the words into text and entered it onto the board in the chat room, as if to drive it home that he was not an antichrist spirit, as he admitted Jesus Christ came in the flesh.

It turns out that not only was he a ‘Sacred-Namer’, but he began to vilify the very name of “Jesus”. His false statements afterwards condemned the name, insisting that the name Jesus was actually “Zeus”, stating that the name had been manipulated in an attempt (coverup) to appease both the pagans and the Christians. He proclaimed that every time a believer called upon the name of Jesus, they were committing idolatry by calling out to a pagan god.

He continued on for awhile, explaining how Constantine had tricked people into using the false name of Jesus. He also said the Jews hid the name of God, and if we just said “God”, we were calling out to Lucifer aka Satan. He said “God” would only answer the prayers of those who knew Him and those who knew Him called Him Yah or Yahweh.  “You are idolatrous pagans if you say God and Jesus!” he yelled. 

Afterwards, He began to speak further heresy by stating that the Holy Spirit was a female, known as Sophia, goddess of wisdom. He used Proverbs 8, opening verses to prove his point. He created Eve because God has no gender; He therefore has both masculine and feminine attributes. What!? 

When people protested in text, calling him an ‘antichrist’, he laughed, and repeated 1 John 1:4. He said according to the Word of God, if he says that “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh”, then he is ‘of God’. When protests and statements about blasphemy were put in text, he closed the room and signed offline.

I cannot pretend that I understand why Solomon called Wisdom a ‘she’, but is it metaphoric? Why is it that God’s people (male and female alike) are called, the “Bride of Christ” or ‘daughter of Zion”?  Why do men call their rides (cars, motorcycles, boats) a ‘she’?  I do not claim to have all the answers.

Many languages contain grammatical gender, such as French, Spanish, Russian, Hindi, Afro-Asiatic languages, several Australian Aboriginal languages, German, Niger-Congo etc. Old English contained grammatical gender, but today’s English does not. The Holy Spirit is the very essence of God Himself, He is not she.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.  [words of Jesus – Jn 14:26]

Indeed, Satan has his ministers of righteousness (false teachers), who can quote scriptures in the same way that Satan did when he was tempting Jesus in the desert wilderness. This is one tiny example of why we need to have the Word of God written on our hearts, so we can discern the false teachers and false prophets.

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. [2 Cor 11:13-15]

All throughout the Word of God, we are warned of deception. Why? It started right from the beginning in the Garden of Eden, when the serpent deceived Eve.

Right now as I write this, my spirit grieves. I see some of God’s own people being deceived, eating the proverbial “forbidden fruit”, completely unaware of its poison. The writing of this paper was inspired by a prophetic word that was sent to me over two weeks ago. Immediately, my peace escaped me and my countenance fell.

Shall the Serpent Beguile You Also?

This paper is leading up to the crux of the writing, which is false prophets or false prophetic voices, giving words laced with sweet-sounding words, but filled with heresy, reeking of the stench of Satan’s lies, being false prophecy (not of God). There is so much mixture in it that it is amazing that it was sent to me instead of being placed in the recycle bin and deleted.

Yet, these type of prophecies are laced with all the proper words that catch multitudes off-guard.  Numerous people are receiving these messages as from God, but I daresay, they are not from Him. That is the heart of the matter that I am leading up to.

Once again, I had thought that I would post a simple warning, but even though I discerned the message (lining it up with scripture), there were things the Lord desired that I learn also, knowing full well that I would share my findings publicly.

I do not have all the answers, nor do I ever want to come across like I think that I do or that I am wiser than the reader. However, I must follow the Lord’s lead. I must obey His Word which instructs the watchmen to warn of any approaching danger that we see and to immediately warn the people. Many may already know, but the concern is for those who do not see any danger.

Countless teachings and ‘prophetic words’ are accepted as truth and as being a message ‘of God’, yet hidden in plain sight, these contain the subliminal message from Satan…”ye shall be as gods” (more on that later).

Rationales abound if one comes against a message or prophetic word that has been well received by, yes, fellow believers, disciples of Jesus.  “How can you say it is not of God? I heard the ‘spirit’ in it! Look at the scriptures they gave.”

If one even dares to speak against these messages and those who are giving them, the people who have gladly and wholeheartedly received such messages may take great offense, but they are in grave danger of being deceived. Not to mention that if and when open rebuke of the said word gets back to the one who prophesied it, there shall be more offense. 

A rebuke is not to wound, but if it hurts (offends), it will heal. When Jesus rebuked Satan who was speaking through Peter, I am sure Peter was offended. He may well have thought, 'Is my Lord saying I am a devil, or that I am possessed?'

No, Peter loved Jesus and did not want to see Him die (Jesus had just prophesied what was going to happen to Him (arrested, beaten, crucified). Satan used Peter's love, feelings and emotions (his weak spot), as an open door to dissuade Jesus from fulfilling the prophecies of old, about His death.

A rebuke may wound (offend), but it warns the person of their error.
Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. [Prov 27:5, 6] (Think Judas!)

It is true that the love of God that resides in true believers is paramount when stepping forward to reveal truth.  Yet, love does not cower or tremble in speaking truth. It takes love, agape love, courage and bravery. It does not hide behind smooth words and flatteries, as do the false ones.

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid themFor they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good (smooth) words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple (innocent, unsuspecting). [Rom 16:17, 18]

Strong’s Concordance defines the word “offenses” as used in the above scripture: Grk - skandolon: scandal, a trap stick, a stumblingblock, a “snare”

The watchman of Ephraim was with my God: but the prophet is a snare of a fowler in all his ways, and hatred in the house of his God. They have deeply corrupted themselves, as in the days of Gibeah: therefore He will remember their iniquity, He will visit their sins. [Hos 9:8, 9]

When the doctrine of Jesus Christ (Yeshua) is added to, or twisted to introduce a new idea, teaching or revelation that the Word of God does not teach, then it is heresy. Taking on the position of one who speaks prophetically is a big responsibility and God holds us to accountability.

How do you think so many cults and false religions began? The subtle serpent has appealed to the appetites of the proud and ambitious, whose heart is set on worldly kingdoms and ideals, more than the kingdom of the King of kings and Lord of lords and His ideals, His standards and principles.

Sword of the Lord
Keep on the full armour of God and keep your sword sharpened. The warrior who enters onto the battlefield with a dull sword seals his own fate. The sword must be sharp (two-edged sword) and worthy of battle.

Howbeit, the warrior must know his weapon and how to wield (use) it properly. He must understand what the weapon is capable of and skilled in the handling of it, thereby having confidence when it is in his hand. 

He must be accomplished and quick in withdrawing the sword and wise enough to know when to place it back in the sheath. The swordsman may carry a great sword (effective, accurate instrument of death) or a short sword, like a dagger or long knife, all capable of defeating the enemy.

In my research, I stumbled across a free bible study guide that explains the sword of the Lord and (spiritual) battle splendidly.  

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. [Heb 4:12]

“The all-powerful sword of the living God is able to cut through every defense our enemy can raise—down to the very division of bone and marrow. When wielded by a servant of God, nothing can withstand its ability to cut straight to the core of a matter and uncover the truth.

As soldiers in God's army, it is our responsibility and duty to use His Word to discern the truth and then follow it. Unlike all other pieces of the armor of God, which are solely defensive, the sword is uniquely suited for both defensive and offensive roles. A solid defense is invaluable, but the sword is the only way we can complete the work we have been given to do.

Notice that Jesus Christ used the Bible to counter Satan's attacks (Mat 4:4, 7, 10). We must also learn to live "by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Mat 4:4).

The Romans relied in part on assailing their enemy from a distance with javelins and darts, but God does not give us that option as Christian soldiers. If we were able to fight our battles from a distance, we would never experience an actual trial.

At first glance, that might not seem like such a bad thing. But when we stop to consider that without trials, there is no growth, and without growth, we will not be able to enter God's Kingdom, we see that trials, however uncomfortable, are essential in our journeys as Christians.

There is no enemy the Word of God, coupled with His Spirit, cannot defeat. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.  (Mat 24:13)

We fight knowing the end of the story. Two of the many powerful and sure promises in God's Word tell us that if we remain dedicated to God and His Word, we will make it to the end, and we will be saved.

There is no doubt in this statement. God's promises are as sure as the one He told Isaiah: "Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it" (Isaiah 46:11). So take up your sword. The battle is ours.”

That is the end of the excerpts. Pretty cool, hey? Source: freebiblestudyguides

A great number of God’s true prophets of old were killed by Jezebel. Isaiah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah, John the Baptist, to name a few, were also slain by those offended by their words.  Why were the Pharisees so zealous to crucify the Messiah? Why were all the apostles, except John, slaughtered? 

They made a stand (they chose wisely) and spoke truth boldly. They wielded the ‘sword of the Lord’ (Word of God) and would not back down from speaking the truth. Neither can we back down. If we know of a danger, it is our responsibility to warn others.

We must sharpen our sword; know how to use it properly and effectively at the proper times, against all enemies of the cross, both defensively and offensively. This includes using it against false teachers, false prophets and false apostles. Our King is still the Lord of the battle and it is He who commands us.

Do you want the blood of anyone on your hands, as watchmen, as servants of God, as co-labourers with God?  My wisdom is foolishness to God, but God is all-wise.

For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. [1 Cor 3:9]

When I say unto the wicked, You shall surely die; and you give him not warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at your hand. [Ezek 3:8]

Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. [1Cor 1:25]

It Began in the Garden of Eden
Indeed, I am making every effort to drive home the fact that deception, cunning and craftiness began in the Garden of Eden and have only increased. Atheists and agnostics are quick to point out how long ago many religions/cultures speak of a great deluge, but give different names than Noah and his family members.

They will mention how many religions had messiahs (they do not say "false" messiahs, but they were), born of a virgin (Krishna, born of Devaki – India; Horus, born of Isis – Egypt; Buddha, born of Maya – Lumbini, Nepal [India]; Plato, born of Perictione – Athens, Greece) and the list goes on.  Do we hear of any of these ‘false christs’ being resurrected?  No.

This is why I repeatedly mention that Satan, who appeared as a serpent in the Garden of Eden, began his lies and deception there. However, God prophesied to the serpent, speaking of ‘one’ (a seed from the woman), who would bruise the head of the serpent, and [the serpent] would bruise his heel.

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and you shall bruise his heel. [Gen 3:15]

To bruise the head of a serpent is to strike a crushing blow; one of defeat. However, for a serpent to bruise the heel is to do damage, but not permanently.  God foretold of the coming Messiah. Women do not have seed; the man does, so this may have been speaking of the virgin birth.

Satan thought he had defeated Jesus the Christ when he was crucified, but when Christ was resurrected on the third day after his burial, Satan was defeated. Jesus took the keys of hell and death from him – indeed, he struck the serpent’s head.

Once God told Satan about his plan of salvation that day in the Garden of Eden, there is no doubt in my mind at all that Satan set out to deceive the world by beginning ‘religions’, complete with false christs. If God had a plan of salvation for mankind, Satan would stop at nothing to sabotage it.

However, just as Pharaoh’s magicians could not duplicate or stop God’s judgments against Egypt, such as the plagues of frogs and locusts or the hailstones and fire, neither could Satan raise the dead back to life again.

That is why Krishna, Buddha and all the false christs remain in their graves to this day. Satan has great wrath right now and is doing all he can to stop Christians in their tracks, determined to see them give up their faith and deny Jesus/Yeshua.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. [Heb 11:6]

Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin

Even whilst the apostles were teaching and spreading the gospel of Christ Jesus, false teachers, false prophets and apostles arose and mingled in with the brethren. Jesus (Yeshua) Himself painstakingly, but boldly warned of what to look out for in the last days.

Some people want to silence the messengers, saying, “Don’t judge, walk in love. Never mind about all this stuff going on. Just stick to like-minded people and let God work the other stuff out. Ignore it. Don’t try and do the job of the Holy Spirit.” 

“Why can’t we all just get along? We are not all going to agree, so why make a big deal of it?  We are told to love one another. Love the sinner, hate the sin”…and on and on it goes. 
It sounds right, so loving, so non-judgmental and most amicable. Compromise! Hogwash! Let us not ruffle any feathers. Let us not offend anyone with truth! Let us not snatch them out of the fowler’s snare! Let God do it.

First of all (and I’ve written about this in the past, but will give a reminder), “love the sinner, hate the sin” is not scriptural. That expression was popularized by people quoting Mohandas Gandhi (aka Mahatma Gandhi) who supposedly was inspired by Augustine’s words.
There have been several “preachers” that have helped propel that expression (love the sinner, hate the sin) into Christendom, but did grossly err on more than one count. They have taken a snippet of what Gandhi said (likened to taking scripture out of context) to promote acceptance of sinners, such as homosexuals, fornicators et al.

I cannot get into that in-depth here, but remember when Paul spoke about the fornicator (adulterer) that the church in Corinth had accepted, who was committing adultery (fornicating) with his father’s wife?  Paul did not say ‘love him, but hate what he is doing’.

He told them they were “puffed up” and have not “rather mourned” about it. He admonished them that if the brother was fornicating to cast the “wicked” person out of the assembly, further rebuking them for trying to save his spirit when he was condemned.  He called the believers “unleavened bread”, but the sinner he called “leaven”.  Read 1 Corinthians 5:1-13.

Back to Gandhi – the snippet made popular, (love the sinner, hate the sin) most often misquoted from the original, came from the following statement:
Hate the sin and not the sinner" is a precept which, though easy enough to understand, is rarely practiced, and that is why the poison of hatred spreads in the world.” 

(I will be referring back to this quote of Gandhi’s a little further along, adding more of the passage he wrote at the same time.) Gandhi’s statement, which was made in his 1929 biography, had quotation marks around the key phrase because Gandhi himself was referring to a statement he said Augustine had made.  

Now frankly, a few years ago in one of my articles, I “quoted a quote” that was supposed to be Augustine’s, having taken it verbatim from someone else who quoted Augustine and we were all wrong!

It is a perfect example of how things can be misconstrued, misquoted and grossly erroneous. I myself had obviously not taken enough time to do more digging on the subject.  Please allow me to quickly show you what I mean. It will prove my point (in all humility, at my own admittance of error) that cross-checking is crucial.

I will first give the ‘quote’ from Augustine, which is taken from his letter to a monastery, Opera Omnia, Vol II.Col. 962, Letter 211. I shall then provide a link to the source where the letter had been translated from Latin.

First the quote (which I used erroneously a few years back in an article): The phrase, Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitorum’ (Please, don’t ask me to say that quickly) is supposedly translated as: “With love for mankind and hatred of sins”.  Someone else had commented that the translation is rough and actually says, ‘with love of persons...’ not ‘mankind’.  (Political correctness? I cannot personally say.)

There is an online transcript of the translation of the 211 letter (423 A.D.). I read over the letter three times and could not find the above quote, which many sites assure readers that the Augustine’s statement that Gandhi quoted is in said letter.  

Perhaps I just have tired eyes, but I shall post the link. If anyone has time and can “see” the above quote of Augustine’s within the letter, please let me know and point out to me where it is.  Augustine – Opera Omnia, Letter 211- A.D. 423

Please also keep in mind that Augustine of Hippo was a North African bishop of Hippo Regius, (Numidia or modern-day Annaba, Algeria), considered one of the “Church Fathers” in western Christianity (Doctor in the Catholic Church), as well as a philosopher.

It is well-known that Augustine was strongly influenced by Manichaeism (a major religion founded by the Iranian prophet Mani of the Sasanian Empire, the last empire before the rise of Islam), and later influenced by Neoplatonism.

Plato always referred to God as “the One” and the Neoplatonist “ideas influenced the minds of Jewish Kabbalists – also Islamic and Sufi thinkers, al Farabi and Avicenna. Therefore, Augustine had a mixture of beliefs, although he was known as a Catholic. The links provided can broaden the horizon of understanding, if you like.

Satan has indeed been actively deceiving the world ever since the Garden of Eden. 

 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time. [Rev 12:9; 12]

I will admit that I was surprised to see the quote apparently came about when Augustine referred to Paul’s rebuke to the brethren in Corinth, regarding a fornicator in the assembly, as that was the very scripture I had chosen.  (See 1Corinthians 5:1-8 above and in the translation of Augustine’s letter)  

In ending this portion about what “man” has said about loving the sinner and hating the sin; the Word of God has much to say about sinners and God’s anger toward them.  There are plenty of scriptures, but for starters: Eph 5:6; Rom 1:18; Col 3:6; Rev 22:15. I know, people do not want to hear it, but it is truth.

The Lamb Without Spot or Blemish
Yes, Jesus Christ bore our sin upon the cross and God made Him to be sin, which means Christ represented sin, our sins, upon the cross. I will expound momentarily.

Side note*  This is included here due to false teachings about Jesus and sin. 
In 2 Corinthians 5:20, 21 –

Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For He has made Him (Jesus/Yeshua) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

For the sake of time (and to get to the heart of this article), I am including some excerpts from “The Cripple Gate” website, with the link below. Also, if you would like to read a very brief, accurate explanation of the difference between apostasy and heresy, click this link to the “imspeakingtruth website.

This side note is not going down the proverbial rabbit hole.  Rather, it is complementary, in that this article will focus on the heretical prophecies being released, the danger of it and why Christians are accepting the prophecies as “of God”.

This side note is briefly exposing only one of the many teachings of false teachers Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland, who teach that Jesus “took on the nature of Satan” on the cross. This is a blatant lie.

Excerpts from Cripple Gate: (Emphasis is mine – BP)

Hear this! He who is the nature of God became the nature of Satan when he became sin!” (Benny Hinn, Trinity Broadcasting Network, December 1, 1990) Hinn on TBN

“You don’t know what happened at the cross. Why do you think Moses, upon instruction of God, raised the serpent upon that pole instead of a lamb? That used to bug me.  I said, ‘Why in the world would you want to put a snake up there; the sign of Satan? Why didn’t you put a lamb on that pole?’ And the Lord said, ‘Because it was a sign of Satan that was hanging on the cross.’”  
(Kenneth Copeland, “What Happened from the Cross to the Throne,” 1990, audiotape #02-0017, side 2)

“How did Jesus then on the cross say, ‘My God’? Because God was not His Father any more. He took upon Himself the nature of Satan.” (Kenneth Copeland, “Believer’s Voice of Victory,” Trinity Broadcasting Network, April 21, 1991)   Hat tip to: The Cripple Gate

Let me make this perfectly clear.  Jesus the Christ (Yeshua Ha’Mashiach) did not take on the nature of Satan, as these two apostates insist upon.  Christ Jesus is known as the Lamb of God, the perfect offering for the sins of mankind (yours, mine). It is the Holy Spirit that convicts people; salvation is free. We confess our sins with godly sorrow and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ.

There are plenty of scriptures that explain about salvation (how to be saved), but one can ‘begin’ with Acts 2:38, Ephesians 2:8, 9 and Luke 24:47.

And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye and believe the gospel. [Mk 1:15 – spoken by Jesus]

Just as in the days of the Old Covenant, when a bull, ram, lamb, goat or turtledoves (pigeons/pidgeons) were offered up by the Levitical priests as a “sin offering”, Jesus/Yeshua became the new covenant.

He “became the sin” offering for us. Hence, without sin, He became sin (offering) for us – the perfect “Lamb” of God, without spot or blemish (no sin).

The prophet Isaiah prophesied thusly:  Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief: when you shall make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.

Remember Genesis 3, when God foretold the serpent (Satan) that one would come from the seed of the woman and that he (Satan) bruise His heel, but He would bruise [the serpent’s] head. Isaiah prophesied using the very words ‘bruise’ and ‘His seed’.  God foretold of His plan for salvation in the Garden of Eden.

He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He has poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.  [Is 53:10-12]

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. [Heb 4:15]

In Jeremiah 31, it speaks about the heart being deceitful above all things. People use that verse to say that even Christians cannot trust their heart. Yet, the Bible teaches us that when we are regenerated (born again), the Lord said He would put a new heart and a new spirit within us.

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. [Ezek 36:26]

Also, in Romans 2:29 Paul speaks of circumcision of the heart. It is a process, but I digress. There is far too much to say on these things than to try and explain it in one or two sentences. There are many good books and articles that have been written by good teachers that are available if one would like to study further on it, with plenty of scripture (in context) provided.

Are you beginning to see the importance of knowing scripture, in order to help you discern the difference between the spirit of truth and the spirit of error? We have to be willing to take the time to get to know the Bible, especially in these extremely dark days of rampant deception (which is becoming exponentially worse).

Do you sense the heightened presence of the Antichrist spirit and the stench of evil?  Nevertheless, let us continue.

for His glory

Part TWO will be added toward evening this day. It will cover deception amongst believers, agape love, witchcraft and divination. 

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