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How to Hear from God

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The basic rule of hearing from God is that He does not disagree with His own word. For people who never crack a Bible this can be a problem. How do they know if the word matches the scriptures?

Clearly they don’t, which means they can also be fooled. But if you are a Bible reader, here is a group of ways for you to examine.

1. Through signs. My friend Jenny was worrying about a problem when she went to the hospital to visit a friend. The sign in big red letters over the bed read as follows: NOTHING BY MOUTH. AH HA – she saw that the answer to her prayer. Very often it is true; we should just be quiet about something; things will work themselves out without our input.

2. Through events. New Orleans had ample warning about the coming Katrina hurricane but they ignored them. Then we watched in horror as the city was inundated. The TV showed a group of rock musicians, dressed in Gothic and grunge, leaving the city, walking to Minnesota. Kinda a long way! They said with tears in their eyes, that this was a sign to them to go home.

3. Through the jumping scripture syndrome. This is a common way to hear from God. You are reading along in the Bible, really not much engaged, and suddenly a verse jumps out at you – or maybe a part of a verse. Suddenly you have the information and revelation you need. Some people search the Bible looking for a verse to speak to them – probably not good. Just let God speak at His own pace or you may find the devil getting his mouth in there.

4. Through weird difficulty. I had a job interview years ago; it was one of three places to work and I had no particular reason to prefer this job over the others. But the minute I sat down for the interview I felt sure I was going to vomit. For 25 minutes I was barely able to hold my breakfast down. In fact I could not concentrate on the interview. I left when it was over and the very second I left the room, all symptoms stopped. Consequently I never considered that employment. That’s was God’s word to me.

5. Through the words of others. One summer my pastor’s wife and I without discussing this with each other or anyone else sent the identical scripture to a man who as searching for God. To this day I believe he thought we had colluded. It was advice he should have taken but didn’t. Very few things are as clear as that.

Now there is the issue of hearing the wrong voice. If your heart is not right, you may get the wrong message. A friend of mine received a pretty birthday card with a pansy on the cover. He was excited and called to say he was sure this meant he was to marry Pansy. Nearly 20 years have gone by and he is not happy in his marriage. Oh well. He wanted it to be Pansy and found an excuse. I am not sympathetic.

How do you verify a word from God? See number 5 above. When something happens twice, there is your confirmation. If you are insecure about a decision- just wait. God will send another voice.

2 Corinthians 13:1-4 Remember the Scripture that says, “A matter becomes clear after two or three witnesses give evidence”?

Most of God’s decisions are possible in plenty of time. If you feel rushed, you might just be walking into the devil’s trap. The exception to this is during an emergency. If you hear him say STOP, do it without delay. He has sent His angels to warn us.

It is Finished! Jesus’ Last Words

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This famous last saying of Jesus right before He died requires some explanation. The term in Greek daily use indicates a bill had been paid in full. But there the translation falters, because one can always incur a new bill. Not so with God.

When He said it is finished He meant forever. We are wrong to think that life is ahead of us. In actual fact we are walking out the program of God.It is Finished

Compare this to a toy train. If it is going too fast or meets an obstruction, it jumps the track and the little wheels on top of the train keep spinning until we right the train and put it back on the track. That is our lives. We get off track and have to right ourselves, but the train track doesn’t change direction. We have this notion that God is thinking up ways to make us miserable, or to discipline us. Not so. He is only interested in the track.

Now if we make a deliberate rejection of his plans, we jump the track. It may be some time before we get back on the track, but we will, eventually. He does not determine our sins; He merely recognizes them and waits for us to right ourselves.

The track for our life is the “tetelestai” and our obedience puts us on the track – or not as the case may be. We are not living day-to-day. All of life is nothing more than living in His plan.

Illness as God’s Training Tool

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In the 1970s I read a book on healing 3 times. No, I was not sick. The book, Christ the Healer, changed my life because I saw that God allows us to be sick so we can change our thinking about our relationship to Him. Let me explain.

I heard on the radio recently about a woman who was begging for healing. Her daughter told her, “God says it is an allergy, Mom.”

The woman went to the doctor for allergy tests and lo – she was right.

3 things happened here:

1. The daughter received a Word of Knowledge thru the Holy Spirit and one of His gifts as an instruction to both her and her mother. Her faith was bolstered.

2. The mother was required to listen to the witness of another Christian and act upon it.

3. The woman was healed.

It is also possible, I hope, that the doctor received the witness of the woman in his office.

That is how God works. So instead of looking for some reason why God is punishing us, look for His opportunity to teach us and give us a lasting testimony.

The Problem of Projection -No, people don’t think like you

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The scripture which outlines this problem is: Psalm 50:21 You thought that I was altogether like you;

This is called projection – the notion that others have the same motives, desires, theologies, and opinions as you do. And they base their behavior on this.

We all know the jealous woman who believes every woman is after her husband. Or worse yet, the men in the church actually believing that single woman are after them. Or, worse even than that, the pastor thinking all the single women are after all the men regardless of station.

This is a function of an overblown ego and has traditionally made the church a hostile place especially for single women and one of the reasons that pastors often go to lengths to marry single women off. It happened to a friend of mine in her later 20s. The pastor kept encouraging her to marry a young man who turned out to be homosexual. She left the church. And you wonder why people are church hopping. And maybe all this is because the men themselves rally are seeking to be pursued by women? Who knows.

Projection also infects nations. The Chinese are convinced that America is plotting to attack them with an armed force and take their land. If you will check on China, you will find that there really isn’t much there to acquire. China has minerals, but no water and fouled air. It is not a place anyone would want to acquire. But that is the mentality of a nation that is predatory and lurking about the South China Sea for lands to subsume. That is why China already snatched Mongolia and Tibet, and why the nation continues to suffer from the theft of land.

Tibet meanwhile has no desire to be part of China or to be anything but Tibet. Russia was also greedy for land, having assumed that grateful China would become part of the Soviet Union, a problem Chairman Mao recognized, Russia being unable for some unknown reason to develop their own properly and even today is nosing around the Middle East looking for territory. Always ambitious for someone else’s turf!

Working in China I learned that the Chinese thought all Americans were rich and white. I put on the blackboard a breakdown of races here – 55% Anglo (a word they prefer) 15% black, 12% Asian, 16% Hispanic, and so on. The number has no doubt changed today.

When I said I wanted to get a tan (the sun did not shine there for 2 straight months) they were horrified. Chinese girls put a product on their face to make them white. They look like ghosts to me. I used some indoor tanning product and they were shocked. I said I wanted to look like an American – but they didn’t understand. Americans are NOT white.

We assume people have the same beliefs. A woman told me a few years back that her son was gay. I said I was sorry. (Yes I am sorry. Gays die many years before straight people, are more often involved in domestic violence, and “divorce” more often than straight men.) Yes, I am sorry. She got huffy and said she was not sorry. I had assumed she knew something about this but I guessed wrong.

A Chinese underground press which I read daily was very happy about Anderson Cooper “coming out” as being gay. I wrote a comment on their blog that CNN was hardly much viewed by the American public, an established fact if one checks the TV numbers which come out daily.

CNN is very popular with English viewers abroad however. The man was irritated – what difference does that make he wanted to know. I replied that the CNN endorsement in foreign lands looked like something it was not; it may appear that American audiences are interested and involved, but not so. The perception of foreigners is that CNN is popular here; they could not have guessed of its dwindling audience. You can check TVbythenumbers online for a URL.

We make assumptions about culture. In the USA when you want someone to follow you, you wave with your hand at them. TOO LATE I learned that this was an obscene gesture in the Philippines. Sigh.

In Japan yellow is the color of death. For many years Isuzu would not paint a car yellow, but I was able to buy one myself when they realized Americans like yellow; it is the color of friendliness.

The list of projections can go on and on. The moral of the story is you assume nothing. Find out where people are and go from there. Many a marriage has crashed when the couple found out they shared little in common but their bedroom.

Prophets speak and others “Judge”

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I Corinthians 14:29 tells us that in meetings prophets speak and other judge. Many modern translations have mistranslated this passage, saying “prophets” are speakers, teachers, preachers, who knows whom?

Anyway, the original Greek says prophets. Here is the Greek version. προφῆται δὲ δύο ἢ τρεῖς λαλείτωσαν, καὶ οἱ ἄλλοι διακρινέτωσαν· The word prophets is in bold.

Perhaps you can tell the Greek letters: P as in pi, like p-r-square, r is the letter that looks like a long p, o is obvious, phi is next – like Phi Beta Kappa or any other common fraternity, a which is the n with a tail on it and finally “ai” which is the Greek plural. I go into such detail because prophets are supposed to be giving the message in church not simply speakers, preachers and teachers. Prophets are a special group provided by God.

Why? Because prophets have been anointed by God and they know the Word of God, which, frankly is what we need to be hearing in churches. But how many churches are preaching tolerance, doctrine, good citizenship, heaven knows what? I am weary of such substitutes for the truth. Man is craving this. Ask the Lord to show you the prophets, for they will advise us according to His word, not to man’s

For starters, a reliable prophet is Kim Clement at KimClement.tv. Check him out. Lance Wallnau is good too.

Does Jesus Know You?

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Sometimes when people learn I’m a retired missionary they get all religious on me. They tell me about their church life, the choir, the prayer group, their Christian jewelry and on and on. I met someone like this in the day room recently, and I smiled but I was not amused. I just let her go on. It was a pleasant religious veneer to an image – nothing more.

In my meetings there is no cross, no lace covering, no flowers, no printed hymnbooks, and no open prayer book. These externals may be of value to some but God isn’t looking at them – he looks at our heart.

1 Samuel 16:7
But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

The externals do set a mood; they remind the itchy that they are in God’s house, and perhaps for some, it recalls to their minds a nicer time when they knew God better.  But today, the day of salvation, the day which counts in God’s heart, is the day we should look at.  In fact, the most unhappy people I know are those who look at the past, or can’t extricate themselves from it.

The bottom line is this – and perhaps we have missed it. This woman was trying to demonstrate to me that she knew Jesus. That is not what is expected of her. In fact Jesus said these words.

Matthew 7:22-24  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

(Ye is King James English for you’all.)  What does this mean – we should not be casting out demons? Heavens no.

It means that our life is not in knowing Him but in Him knowing us. If He knows us it is because we have spent time with him not in the externals of religiousness and with its trappings.

Life is getting shorter for all of us. It is true that the closer you are to death the less time you have. Sounds pretty elementary but too often we think we are closer to heaven instead but NOT if we are not known to Him.

If you are, like so many people I know, not far from what my black friend calls “a dirt nap” – then we must be busy letting the Father know us. That takes a lot more effort than serving in the church kitchen.

The Lessons You Should Learn before You Die

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God gives us all by right 70 years, or so says the Bible. We can be cheated out of those years, or cheat ourselves with bad living, or because of a better managed government we might enjoy many more than 70.  Life is a test, not to show God what we are made of. He already knows, but to show us.

Forgiveness first for others and then for ourselves.  For some it is an extremely hard lesson. It’s best to learn this young so we don’t become embittered and contaminate our surroundings.

We must learn to keep our mouths shut and when; and when to open to speak, when to take on a problem and when to let it slide. We can’t fight every battle nor should we fold whenever life gets tough.

We must learn to prepare for the future both physically and mentally, to educate ourselves in the needful, but also in something artistic so we do not become hardened and legalistic.

We must learn the difference between patience and indulgence.  Help yes, enabling no, but where is the line?

We will all have grievous times, loss, poverty, disappointment; we will all enjoy times of largesse.  We must be sure not to think we are entitled to all of this.  We are no more entitled to wickedness than we are to blessings.  They simply come with the territory. If you seek Utopia you will be disappointed.

We have a very difficult lesson which usually comes when we are adults – the searing revelation that we have been lied to – big time – a system shock.  I read a screed from a young Jewish girl about how the priests had lied, had not recognized Jesus as the Messiah.  She was furious.  But truth be told, those Jewish priests were in the dark just as much as she.  We cannot know the ignorance of others.  When we find out we have been deliberately lied to – well that is another matter and we are entitled to be enraged.

We learn to handle death, both of others and our own. Blame never moves the ball forward. In fact, you’ll never be able to enjoy life if you continually blame someone or something else.

You should also learn the self-satisfaction of a job well done. Work in and of itself is not a curse but a blessing especially if you are working for your own benefit or that of someone you care for.  That is why government taxes provided for the poor mean so very little and cost so very much.

You must learn to both give and accept graciously.  Mama was right; say please, thank you, I’m sorry and if you add Ma’m you will be thought to have good manners as well.

We must learn to be wrong, and to accept our failure. Too much energy is spent in self-justification. Learn from your faults and move on.

We are supposed to know all this before we die, lessons learned at random but essential for a balanced, contended life. Your lesson plan is provided by God. Jeremiah 29:11.

 

How I Came Out of a Nervous Breakdown

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Someone told me there was no literature on this and asked me to write about my experiences since my first collapse was when I was 9 years old. When I was 44 it happened again and finally when I was 51. I never received any medical attention or sought any over these years. I just finally saw the pattern of my life and realized “Hey, I’ve been through this before.”

At 4, as an only child living in a house with my grandparents, I showed great musical promise and started lessons. Within a few years I was polished enough to enter a contest. The prize was lessons at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music available only to gifted students. My mother and grandmother decided nothing would do that I must win this, heading me to a music career.

I was lazy and unmotivated as most kids are, but it clearly was their agenda and not mine and like all children I wanted to be obedient or at least keep the peace. For months I was beaten, badgered and forced to practice long hours. It all came to a head in the spring when I had 2 violent, terrifying identical 2 nightmares in a row. A giant huge spider hovered over my bed and threatened to crush me to death. I never told anyone at the time of the dream. I don’t recall anyone much listened to me anyway.

Exhausted but ready, I did win this contest, beating out a 17 year old boy.

But the victory was pyrrhic, not for me, but for my family. I remember thinking, and can recall it today, ‘well, this is their contest, they won it and they can have it.’ I vowed never to take an interest in music or anything else they could ruin. I went to the conservatory but soon left as my teacher saw I was only going through the motions. I did this, of course, to avoid additional beatings.

I emotionally divorced my family at that time. I remember standing in the middle of the living room when I was 15 thinking, I am going to have to raise myself. Of course I was not doing all that great a job at it, but I knew I was little more than an actor in someone else’s drama. BUT, I did learn some work standards. I married as quickly as possible and left home.

Now we jump to when I was 44. I had been working night and day, trying to save my marriage, and completely unaware of what was happening. My husband’s business was in a state of disrepair, he eventually had to close it, and he was living almost entirely off my inheritance and alcohol. I received not a dime of this – nor from his earnings for 9 years. I guess that lesson of sticking to the bitter end I had learned as an elementary student.

I was doing everything in my power to keep the family in tact, and so the money was not important. At least not until I had this epiphany, “He married me for my money and when it was gone so was he.”

Things came to a head in November of 1982 when he got dead drunk and tried to seduce an acquaintance at a party. The poor woman was terrified. I realized this 26-year marriage was over.

I went into some sort of mental state where I just “did” what I knew to do. God showed me the giant black spider was my baby grand piano on which I had practiced so many hours. And here I was, back in this situation again. Every bit of energy and hope had drained away. This is the point where people ask me, what did you do to change things.

First I did not go to a doctor. I avoided them at all costs. I believed as a child that adults were not my friends and not on my side. I never really got over this.

But my daughter was getting married and I needed to sew a dress. It was quite a complicated pattern with a difficult lined collar. The more I worked on this (and mind you I have no real talent in sewing) the more I got some of my personality back. The wedding was a success but that marked the end of my marriage for good. When people ask “Can this marriage be saved?” I can guarantee you the question comes way too late for the couple.

The same thing happened again in 1989 when I was overworked to the point of exhaustion, and life piled in on me again. But this time I saw the pattern and just sat down in a rocking chair on my porch and looked at the Blue Ridge skyline. I ended up losing my home, but as a close buddy said, “You never lost your sense of humor.”

I’ve concluded, and you may have another idea, that satisfying work is the cure here. I was physically pressured beyond my limits. Apparently I have unlimited mental endurance, but not physical. I have learned to stop cold now when I feel my body failing under me.

I was the cause of my problems. I made 3 false assumptions. (1) that if I worked hard and pleased my parents I would be rewarded (2) if I worked hard I could save a marriage and (3) if I worked hard I could save my home.

I hope this helps someone else pull out of a breakdown. Don’t hit the bottle or the drugs. Sit in a chair and think about who and what you are. Whatever it is, it may not be what you thought. Then go on, take a better path, and rejoice in the end.

Preparing the Body for Burial as a Memorial

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It was a beautiful fall day in 1970 when we learned that Little Tate was coming to dinner.  He could hardly be called little anymore.  He was the son of Tate and Brown, our aunt and uncle, a freshman at East Carolina University, full of himself, full of life and promise.  His parents had waited to marry until after WW 2 so he was the prized child of old age, a success in high school, untouched by the drug culture, HIV, constant sex-immersion – all the ills of  decades to come.

He was coming to dinner!  I marshaled my younger kids – get out the long table, the white tablecloth with the lace covering, the $125 water goblets from my grandmother, the best china and all the best serving dishes.  Being from small families my husband and I had few relatives for meals.  This was a treat.

It was truly a day when nothing went wrong.  Little Tate was full of the hope only an 18 year old could have as he prepared for a radio and TV career, personable, friendly, easy to like.  My children enjoyed him as though he were an older brother. When the sun started to set he headed back to school.

We had no reason to believe this would be the last time we saw him alive, but he got on the back of a motorcycle without a helmet (it was not against the law then) and before October was finished he was dead.  It was a terrible blow.  Our aunt and uncle never really got over it but we had something – we had the celebration of preparing for his burial.

The story of the woman wiping Jesus’ feet with her hair with a costly perfume which represented about one year’s wages is something Jesus said “would be remembered forever.”  Isn’t it interesting that we speak of this without really knowing what it means?  It is a memorial of a special life prior to death, not a morbid sad time filled with the regrets of loss and hopes dashed.  It was the costly elaborate celebration of a life well lived.

Jesus, like Little Tate, died before his expected time, a child of promise, loved and loving, a special person with a future.  It was our unique privilege and blessing that we could say goodbye in this spectacular way.  And like the woman at Jesus’ feet, completely unaware of what we were doing or how soon his death would occur.

When I told of this blessing to my friend from Grandfather Mountain she said, “Oh, I had a day like that with an old woman.  We spent an afternoon looking for one button to replace on her winter coat.”  And then the woman died rather unexpectedly.

How many of us have rued the day we neglected to call someone or write, or send a note – thinking of you – only to learn later they had gone without our hearing a single word.  One Christian artist sings, “No Regrets” – If we celebrate another’s life before they go, we should have no regrets.

Mark 14:7-9 New King James Version (NKJV)7 For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. 8 She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. 9 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

Worry is Cancer in the Mind

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Worry is the opposite of prayer. Prayer is turning over to God things He can deal with, things in fact He should deal with.  In this case Kelly is worried about her mother dying?  Who handles death – God or Kelly?

Obviously Kelly can’t control life and death issues.  And she can have little control over health issues for another person as well. As a matter of fact, most worry involves something we cannot control. Like worry about Iraq, or the stock market, or, in Florida, about another hurricane.  Worry is always wasted mental activity.

Prayer is not easy because it requires us to learn how to turn over all the issues to God.  Most of us secretly think we could do a better job of running things than He can.   Since we can’t act, we worry instead.  Worry is INACTION – but prayer is ACTION.  We do what we can – prepare – and let God handle the rest.

I am going to include a group of scriptures about giving God the authority over issues.  Maybe that will help her get her eyes off her inability to control and on to God’s ability – and desire – to control.  And it gives Kelly something concrete to act upon.

SCRIPTURES:

Psalm 77:2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord:

John14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep [him] in perfect peace, [whose] mind [is] stayed [on thee]: because he trusteth in thee.

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things. 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

If you want to be a change agent in someone’s life consider this. https://cfdreamcenter.org/

How the Word of God Exposed a Thief

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Nearly 30 years ago I started working as a cashier at Shoney’s.  I’ve had this kind of work 5 times and every single time some employee has set me up to be accused as a thief.  But this was my first job as cashier so I was not prepared for what happened.

The manager, a hard-driving, hard-smoking, hard-drinking woman who had lived in or near the streets was in no mood to tolerate the missing $135.  She dragged us all into the dining room and said she wanted the money back in the drawer before 9 pm that night.  She would be happy to speak to any of us about this if we wanted to see her privately.

After that shift I went to her and said I wanted a private conference.  We met in a booth.  I told her I was a Christian and I took the Bible very seriously.  Oh no! You could see the disgust all over her face. Now here was some religion nut, she was thinking.  I told her I didn’t know the names of the employees having just started but that I did know the Bible.

All the time she was puffing disgustedly on her cigarette.  I told her that if she would read Psalm 50 she would learn that a thief, to God, is in the same category as an adulterer.  Here is the passage to which I was referring.

Psalm 50:18 -When you saw a thief, you consented[a] with him, And have been a partaker with adulterers.

I said to her – if you find the adulterer you will find the money.  A strange look came over her face and we parted.  A few days later I returned for my regular shift and to my surprise someone said the missing money had been returned.  I knew then the manager knew who the adulterer was and had herself identified the crook.

But it was a big lesson to me of how God can step in.  Three things happened – I was freed of the possibility of being thought a thief, the thief was exposed, and the hard-drinking, hard-smoking manager learned a lesson about God.

God knows everything and everyone.  Not one of our sins is hidden from his face.  We don’t get away with a thing no matter how far we are from him.

And I learned too – that the Bible would and could be my defense in any situation.

What is the Anointing?

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And why is it so important.  Preachers refer to the anointing as though we all knew what it is when most of us don’t.   If you ever have felt the anointing or been influenced by it, you know it, but that does not help the uninitiated.  The anointing is when the Holy Spirit and the Word of God agree for the purpose of bringing  power to God’s people.

Let’s see the passage which tells us this. 1st John 5:5-7

This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth:[b] the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.”

There are different results when it is not present. When you are bored stiff in church, your mind wanders, you can’t remember what was said even after you leave the building. That is an indication that if the anointing was there you missed it. That is usually when the congregation is hearing the Word alone, without the spirit.

Legalism kills the anointing

Legalism, I think of sermons that rail against drinking, kill the anointing. Warning people about the dangers of drink is fine, but God is a problem solver; He spends more time telling you what good can come from a god-focused life, and a whole lot less about your sins.  And besides, you know what they are already.

Then there is the Spirit alone. That is when there is a lot of entertainment, great singing, maybe even banners and dancing, great talent, but you are not changed – just moved. Again, a failure of the Spirit and the Word to agree.

Or there is my friend Sharon. When the anointing falls, she starts crying and laughing at the same time. Then I start laughing because she is laughing and she says, “What is wrong with me” and I answer, “That is the anointing of the Holy Spirit.”

Prayer

It happened recently when we had a short prayer. The woman whose sister was being prayed for was unmoved – but the two of us were. My conclusion, the person listening to our prayer does not know either the Word or the Spirit. That is, nothing has happened in her life to connect her to heaven. She may be a faithful church member (I don’t know) but nothing moved her spirit that day. On the other hand, the prayer WAS anointed so perhaps the woman in the hospital with cancer was moved, changed, and helped by God, and no matter – after all she was the one we were praying for, not her sister sitting right there.

Benny Hinn

On Benny Hinn’s program people walk up to him and a few feet away they fall over. That is the anointing. It happened when Jesus was in the garden and soldiers came to get him.

John 18:6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.

Jonathan Edward’s preaching in the 18th century was so powerful people would start crying and wailing over their sins, rushing up to the altar rail as he spoke. That was the anointing. I read his greatest sermon and not a tear. It happened only when this man was speaking and the anointing was on his words.

Billy Graham

When Billy Graham started preaching in the 1950s in England the newspapers over there objected to the playing of “Just As I Am” as he waited for people to come out of the stands and make a public declaration of Christ. The journalists said it is sentimental and annoying. So Graham stopped the song; after a few days the papers begged, “Bring back the music, we can’t stand the silence.” And the people came down anyway, music or no music. That was the anointing.

Music

The anointing can happen when you hear a piece of music for see something that stops you cold.  In WalMart at Christmas time I stopped as I heard an angelic voice over the sound system, determined to know the name of both song and singer.  The singer is the anointed one, not necessarily the song.  I bought the CD!

Have you ever been in a group when someone came into the room and the entire atmosphere changed – immediately? That is the anointing. Musicians said that happened when Leonard Bernstein entered the concert hall.

Beauty

It can also happen when you see a beautiful sight.  You stop the car and get a picture. Rainbow Mountain in China pictured above is called the most beautiful place in the world. (Most of the photos were off limits to the bloggers.)

It makes sense that God would put beauty like this in a nation that is officially atheistic.  The Bible says that we can know God exists by seeing his works of creation. (Acts 15:18) The Chinese are cut off from the natural knowledge of God so perhaps this relates for them.

The devil can anoint too.  When you stop cold for something evil, or even something you think might be good, a person perhaps and you think – that is the man (or woman) for me.  My good friend was so excited about a woman named Iris.  He had a dream about Irises.  Fifteen years after they married he was grousing to me about how unhappy he was in his marriage. It was his desire for a wife that drew him into that marriage, which he mistook for the word of God. The Bible says we are drawn away by our own lusts. (James 1:14)

A Demonic Anointing

One friend of mine was excited when she heard about reincarnation.  She immediately thought how much sense that made.  But that was a demonic anointing.  When you understand the true nature of the crucifixion all knowledge of reincarnation makes no  sense.  (It is also an impossible physiological situation too because it indicates bipolarity.)

Music, concerts, drama, magic shows, television, mobs and mob violence can all come under a demonic anointing as well.  Parents will say, “My daughter fell under his spell.” and that describes it. So many marches and protests are obvious hate-fests.  Reporters have asked, “What is this march all about?” and the marchers cannot actually tell you what they are there for.

Some believers come away from a stirring sermon or miracle service all praising the evangelist.  And yes God did something there but it is God who needs the praise, not man.  An anointing can deceive both the public and the person who shares that anointing.  He can believe he is much better than he really is. God continues to anoint people because they are getting his work done in the world.

Someday you will be reading the Bible and a scripture jumps out of the page to you. Ah ha, you think, that is God speaking to me personally. That is the anointing.

Why Michal had no more children, and today’s Church

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King Saul’s daughter Michal (2 Samuel) had her eye on David as he was coming up in the ranks so the king gave her to David as his wife. She saved him on occasion and served him well but later on she made a tragic mistake.

Women in the Bible symbolize The Church

Before we can understand this passage, we must remember that women in the Bible are a symbol of The Church, or more specifically, the people of God. In every respect she was a good and honorable example of the Church as the submitted promoter of her husband, the Lord.

Here is the passage that shows her downfall. David has just rescued the Ark of the Covenant (called here a Chest), the most essential physical piece of property owned by the Jews and a symbol of their authority in God. It is a joyous day.

2 Samuel 6:12-16 …..David went and brought up the Chest of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David, celebrating extravagantly all the way, with frequent sacrifices of choice bulls. David, ceremonially dressed in priest’s linen, danced with great abandon before God. The whole country was with him as he accompanied the Chest of God with shouts and trumpet blasts. But as the Chest of God came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, happened to be looking out a window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before God, her heart filled with scorn.
later.
20-22 David returned home to bless his family. Michal, Saul’s daughter, came out to greet him: “How wonderfully the king has distinguished himself today—exposing himself to the eyes of the servants’ maids like some burlesque street dancer!” {Michal is being sarcastic here.} David replied to Michal, “In God’s presence I’ll dance all I want! He chose me over your father and the rest of our family and made me prince over God’s people, over Israel. Oh yes, I’ll dance to God’s glory—more recklessly even than this. And as far as I’m concerned…I’ll gladly look like a fool…but among these maids you’re so worried about, I’ll be honored no end.” 23 Michal, Saul’s daughter, was barren the rest of her life.

Briefly, Michal showed open, public contempt for David who was glorifying and praising God. We have that in the church today – people who reject the praise and worship due to the Lord. The Bible does not suggest that we worship in song and dance, but that God expects this from us. To reject this puts us out of the stream of God’s intimacy. Michal was not divorced, i.e. no longer saved, she was simply put aside.

Scorn for the truth of God

For almost 50 years now there have been groups that said speaking in tongues and other spiritual gifts were from the devil – in other words, they are showing the same contempt for the Holy Spirit as Michal did of David. Thankfully that sort of thing is less common than it was in the 70s and 80s. But please note what happens to churches like that – they are barren, childless, joyless, put aside. Eventually they either close or become bastions of slander against God’s people.

https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article157638719.html

It says Michal has no children after that. Today we see this worked out in the lives of Spirit-denying churches – they have no new members, or at least very few. They are no longer child-bearing.

Let this being a warning to you – rejecting the Holy Spirit and the gifts, even though it is controversial, could lead you and your congregation into a downward spiral where eventually you must close your church’s doors. No children is the same as no fruit. God does not need the Word of God without the Spirit – together they produce fruit.

The Holy Spirit is Lord of the Church

If your church is going nowhere you can start praying that the Holy Spirit and the gifts will come in and when they do, so will more of the Lord. Otherwise, like David, He may just not show up again.

https://wouldyouconsider.net/2014/07/11/the-subtle-world-of-christian-legalism/

Atheist, Anti-theist, Agnostic, AntiChrist

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Once upon a time every basic education included Latin and Greek. I had that- it’s called a classical education and it helps to know what words mean. The meaning of these four words is important for two reasons – 1st – Jesus is the Word of God, so all the words of faith and religion need to be understood accurately.

2nd, our life of faith can get messed up enough without also losing track of what words mean. Our knowledge of Him is clarified when we know words clearly. Word study is one of the main ways to study the Bible.

In Greek and also Latin the prefix “a” means a “lack of” or “absence of.” To be an atheist then is to believe that God does not exist at all. From the standpoint of logic this position is indefensible because one cannot prove a negative. We have a court system for people who are accused. If they can prove they were nowhere near the scene of the crime then they will be freed. That is as close to proving a negative as you’ll ever get.  As Maria’s sang in the Sound of Music “Nothing comes from nothing, Nothing ever could” leaving the atheist without an First Cause – but I digress.

A true atheist will not Boo God as many noisy delegates did at the 2012 Democratic Convention in Charlotte NC. You don’t Boo someone you don’t think exists. {In all fairness, they really were booing the convention chairman who overrode their negative voice vote – but never mind – God sees and remembers as He said to Ishmael’s mother in the desert. Genesis 21}

But most people are not atheists. These are anti-theists, that is they are actively against God. Those people do Boo. Anti-theism got its big push in the 60s with Madelyn O’Hare kicking God out of the school curriculum and will end who-knows where. This is the group that believes if you don’t talk about something then it can be ignored; these are the same people who say “I don’t have cancer, I don’t have cancer” but they die anyway. Denial solves nothing. The Bible says, “they didn’t want God in their minds.”

28 And because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a worthless mind to do what is morally wrong.
Romans 1:28-32 (PHILLIPS)

I love the Philips translation because he nails sin so well…or try this version.

28-32 Moreover, since they considered themselves too high and mighty to acknowledge God, he allowed them to become the slaves of their degenerate minds, and to perform unmentionable deeds.

Well, fine but do other people have to be mindless too? Not really. Someday America will open up free speech again and we can say what we will about God anywhere – including in schools. Meanwhile we can see that the Bible acknowledges this kind of deliberate ignorance as an act of the will, not just inattention to the truth, and its origin is pride.

The agnostic is someone who has unanswered questions about the person and work of God. If they cracked a Bible they would learn, I suppose, but even then the skeptic is always among us. Agnostic comes from two Greek words, “a” without and “gnosis” the foundation word for know, knowledge, ignorant, etc. These no-believers are still alive and possibly can be reached.

The final classification is the word anti-Christ. In this case the word “anti” does not mean “against” but rather “instead of” – it is a substitution. While Satan is against Christ his greatest goal is to be instead of Christ, to be worshiped and to take the place as the ruler of the world. If you look at the world today, would you really like to be ruler? Probably not.

But never mind. We know the devil is nuts so his goals are crazy too. The Anti-Christ, when he comes, and many people think those days are very soon, will not have horns and a pointy tail, but be very attractive. Men have always wanted a messiah because life is hard and a messiah offers a way out – quick and easy. But we already have a Messiah and His way out is spelled out. It’s through Him.

P.S. Rogers and Hammerstein, both Jews, wrote the Sound of Music and were theists.

Why Soldier Suicide – Culture Clash

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As thousands of soldiers waited in New York City in 1943 for the troop transports for Europe they saw the rousingly popular musical Oklahoma! and got one last taste of American life, often to die on D Day the following June.

Those soldiers knew what they were dying for –“wind sweeping down the plain,” for carnivals, and romances and grandma’s apple pies at the state fair. They were dying so a nation enduring two theaters of war would survive, for little churches which preach God and country and faithfulness. They expected to come home – many did not. They had hope in their future and confidence that their service would preserve their homeland. They expected the girl they left behind to be there for them. And so did she.

That soldier no longer exists – but he still goes off to war, and he comes back – and kills himself? Why?

The answer is almost too easy. It is not simply because the family farm has been sold, the state fair is mostly auto shows, the church has been preaching diversity and his parents are divorced. That is bad enough in itself. But the man himself, just a boy really, has no roots in real America. His moral judgment has been tarnished by a wanton and indifferent culture, by teachers who praise marginal students, by gutless courses, and paper mache theologies. The man with roots in the real America is not there any more.

But he goes to Afghanistan and finds a culture that is supremely confident in itself… a male enemy and his religion that not only have open contempt for law and order, but also women and family, an “alpha” male society based on the scruffiest principles of overblown ego and violence. He has a new male model for himself. He is in awe of men who can kill a woman at will, or lock little girls in a school and then burn it down. Violence in the home is common, even applauded. This is power! In the clash of Muslim-American culture, he is co-opted and returns a totally different person.

The sweet little thing he married leaving two children to rear has been running her own show for a year or more. Her authoritarian ways, her final decisions, her paying the bills, discipline, repairing the car – what happened to his male headship – out the window! The romance of being an alpha Muslim male which he picked up in the violence drenched desert takes over. Bang – the kids are dead, or his wife, or in final frustration, he copies the Muslim model of worship of suicide. He is a trained killer, after all, and he kills himself hardly realizing that suicide is a public confession of failure. Like Hitler. He is a now one-more-sacrifice to a foreign god.

In the 1980s a revealing PSTD study of Vietnam Veterans and female rape victims showed their trauma and symptoms to be identical. The study put the two groups together in a successful therapy. The main trauma was betrayal- the woman betrayed by a trusted male and the soldier betrayed by a slothful government. Today’s soldier has no more trust in an appeasement-government than the soldier of the 60s. It is friendly political fire to disarm the soldier in the presence of live ammo and committed foreign foes.

The battered wife in Dayton, Ohio has a better chance of survival in a half-way house with her kids protected by agencies and police than guys in Fallujah once did. No one had their back! But if he takes on the coloring, the morals, the standards of the death-obsessed Muslim, he has a new identity and possibly survival. He regains a sense of self, however false and unworkable.

Attempting to correct this after he returns is a mammoth job when it could be more easily addressed before he ever goes. Despite the sincere efforts of the armed forces bureaucracy to bring “readjustment’” the results are minimal because the effort is at the end, not the beginning of the deterioration process. They must learn that their Western God is not dead – He’s not even sleeping.

This is not complicated. Train the warriors in American values, constitution and morals before they face the enemy as victims, not later. If young soldiers do not know who they are to begin with how can they be restored to a place that never was.

Solders need a moral foundation based on clear-cut historical reality so the man who fights in 2012 is as well prepared to face his enemies as the man of 1944.

Perhaps with a new President who values and encourages the armed forces things will change and soldier will again take pride in what they are doing and why.

{PTSD – post-traumatic stress disorder.}

Integrity – Definition

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This is a word not often used in today’s speech. We prefer words such as honesty, truthfulness, reliability, or consistency. Perhaps we need to know more about this word.

Consider the submarine. After construction in the shipyard it is taken on a shake-down cruise. If the specifications require that it be submerged to 15,000 feet then the sub goes to that depth. That is the depth I found in the Internet. It could be much lower of course.

On that voyage inspectors examine every single bolt, joint, area, pipe, piece of equipment, floor, ceiling, and porthole at every level. Their question is – can the submarine withstand the intense pressure of a depth so far down? Any failure, even the tiniest, is noted, and when the vessel returns to dock corrections are made.

The managers have examined its “integrity”.

So with God. He puts us into pressurized situations to examine our integrity. How well will we do under pressure? What is weak and cannot stand? Where are the strongest points?

Remember that to be strong in one area is fine, but under the pressure of three miles down, it is only the weak areas that imperils the ship. And they imperil the whole ship not just those parts.

Perhaps you were wondering about this scripture. James 1:2-3 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

Your integrity is what this is all about. You may not feel especially joyous about this, but God has His vision for you. God does not test you to find out whether you can take the pressure; the est is to show you what you can take. So the writer tells us to count all these tests as joy.  We can celebrate when we pass a very difficult test.

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