Seeking GOD

Seeking-GodSeek The LORD and HIS strength;
Seek HIS Face continually.
Psalm 105:4

What does it mean to seek GOD? To fully answer this question, we will start by examining three Hebrew words that were transliterated into the English word “seek”, and all are used in Scriptures instructing us to seek GOD. Two of the Hebrew words are used together in four Old Testament Scriptures, which includes the opening Scripture (Deu 4:29, Psa 24:6, Psa 105:4, 1 Chr 16:11). The third Hebrew word is found in Psalm 63:1; yet all three Hebrew words, have the same or nearly the same meaning, as demonstrated by the following definitions:

  1. Darash (OT:1875). When we are instructed to “Seek The LORD and HIS strength” in first part of Psalm 105:4; the English word “seek” is transliterated from the Hebrew word “darash” (OT:1875); it means to inquire, consult, ask, make a great effort through searching for and pursuing. This occurs when one:
    1. privately seeks GOD in prayer for answers (Gen 25:22-24, 2 Chr 20:3, Psa 119:10)
    2. inquires of GOD through HIS servants (Exd 18:15, 1 Sam 9:9, 1 Kin 22:8)
    3. searches for a relationship with GOD (Isa 55:6-7, Hos 10:12)
    4. pursues restored fellowship with GOD (Jer 29:12-14, Amo 5:4-6)
  2. Baqash (OT:1245). When we are instructed to “Seek HIS Face continually” in the second part of Psalm 105:4; the English word “seek” is transliterated from the Hebrew word “baqash” (OT:1245); it means to search for HIS very presence through:
    1. prayer (2 Sam 21:1, 2 Chr 15:15, Psa 24:6, Dan 9:3)
    2. worship (1 Chr 16:9-11, Psa 27:4, Psa 40:16, Psa 105:3)
    3. HIS WORD (Psa 119:15-16, Amo 8:11-12)
    4. corporate assembly with believers (Zec 8:20-23, Jer 50:4-5, Psa 122:1, Psa 22:22-25)
  3. Shachar (OT:7836). When we thirst for righteousness, or long to be in HIS presence. We will rise early to seek HIM, and we will do this earnestly, painstakingly, and diligently (Psa 63:1, Pro 8:17, Isa 26:9).

Why does GOD instruct us to seek HIM? For many wonderful reasons, the following are just a few. In HIS Presence there is:

  1. joy and gladness in the midst of sorrow and suffering (Psa 4:6-7, Psa 16:11, Psa 21:6)
  2. safety and security in the midst of trouble (Psa 4:8, Psa 27:5, Psa 31:20)
  3. peace in the midst of trial and tribulations (Psa 27:1-3, Jhn 14:27, Jhn 16:33)
  4. quietness and rest in the midst of chaos and turmoil (Isa 30:15, Psa 107:23-32, Psa 23:2, Mat 11:28-30)
  5. steadfastness of hope in the midst of uncertainty (Psa 16:8-9, Psa 62:5-8, Psa 112:7-8, Isa 26:3)
  6. light in the midst of darkness (2 Sam 22:29, Psa 36:9, Mic 7:8, Jhn 8:12)
  7. clarity in the midst of confusion (Psa 73:1-28, Jer 15:15-21)

When YOU said, “Seek MY Face,” my heart said to YOU,
“YOUR Face, O LORD, I shall seek.”
Psalm 27:8

Dragon Speak

Red DragonThen I saw another beast coming up out of the earth
And he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon
Revelation 13:11

Recently I was studying the behavior of ungodly men in these last days. As I examined people who were so sinful, filled with hatred, and hearts so hardened, they are completely controlled by Satan. They have become like beasts or unreasoning animals (2 Pet 2:12). The LORD turned my attention to two men in particular. These two men are recorded in The Book of Revelation, and are specifically identified as beasts (Rev 13:1-18). One of these men, will rule over all the earth (Rev 13:7). The other man will serve as his false prophet (Rev 19:20), causing those who do not know JESUS CHRIST to worship the first beast, who pretends to be CHRIST (Rev 13:12-15). Both of these men will be closely examined in another study “the antichrist and his false prophet”. But in this study, we will consider the description given to us about the false prophet (Rev 13:11), “he has two horns like a lamb, but speaks as a dragon”.

What does this description mean? “He has two horns like a lamb, but speaks as a dragon.” The false prophet having two horns like a lamb, indicates he will appear to be a gentle, kind, meek, humble man. Yet he speaks as a dragon. He will speak deceitful, harsh, evil things. He will speak as Satan. Our Beloved LORD GOD tells us Satan is a dragon. He is the great red dragon, the serpent of old, who is called the devil and Satan (Rev 12:3, Rev 12:7-9, Rev 20:2).

In what manner does Satan speak? He speaks through thoughts; through people; through media (or mass communication such as broadcasting, publishing, and the internet); through entertainment (activity that holds attention/interest by providing pleasure, delight, enjoyment, distraction i.e. television, movies, games, music…). No matter what form it comes in, anything that is contrary to Scripture, and causes you to doubt GOD, HIS WORD, HIS AUTHORITY, or HIS CHARACTER is the voice of Satan. Anything that causes you to think or speak evil of others is the voice of Satan. Anything that causes your eyes, your flesh, or your mind to seek the pleasures of this world for yourself, is the voice of Satan.

What does Satan speak? Let’s start by considering the ultimate purposes of Satan. He comes to steal, to kill, and destroy (Jhn 10:10). He does this through deception, manipulation, temptation, distraction, worry, fear, doubt, discouragement, depression, hopelessness… So whenever he speaks it will be to achieve his ultimate purposes. Satan will:

  • Steal or cunningly take away by:
    • Lying. Intentionally make a false statement, or give a false impression, with the purpose of deceiving (Jhn 8:44, Gen 3:4-2 Cor 11:3, Rev 12:9).
    • Manipulation. To control or take advantage of in a way that is gradual or not easily noticed (Psa 1:1, Gen 13:5-13, Gen 19:1-11-Take note that Lot went from living in tents with his herds and herdsman, to living in a house in Sodom).
    • Enticement. To attract or tempt by offering pleasure or advantage (Pro 1:10, 2 Pet 2:18-19)
    • Flattery. Excessive and insincere praise, given especially to further one’s own interest (Psa 5:9, Psa 12:2, Pro 29:5, Luk 20:20-21, Jud 1:16).
  • Kill or slaughter through:
    • Accusation. To charge with wrongdoing; to declare guilty (Gen 3:4-5, Zec 3:1, Rev 12:10).
    • Blame. The act of assigning responsibility or holding accountable for a fault or wrong (Act 21:18-30).
    • Condemnation. To prove or show the guilt of (Jhn 8:3-11).
    • Discouragement. To dishearten, cause one to lose confidence, enthusiasm or hope (Psa 42:5, Luk 18:1, Gal 6:9).
    • Intimidation. To make timid or fearful through threats or coercion in order to gain an advantage (Pro 29:25, Mat 10:28, Heb 2:14-15).
    • Temptation. To entice, or attempt one to do or acquire something that is attractive even though it is wrong (Mat 4:1-11, 1 Ths 3:5, Jam 1:13-14).
  • Destroy or put out of the way entirely, to put an end to by employing:
    • Blasphemy. Is the deliberate and direct rebellion against GOD. Blasphemy happens when one either willfully disobeys (Num 15:30, Eze 20:27), or speaks in an insultingly, irreverent, contemptuous, or disrespectful manner about our Beloved LORD GOD (Lev 24:11, Dan 11:36, Rev 13:5-6). This sin causes men to doubt the existence or character of our Beloved LORD GOD.
    • Slander. Make false and damaging statements about someone to damage a person’s reputation (Psa 15:3, Isa 32:7, 1 Kin 21:11-20, Act 6:8-14).
    • Backbiting. Malicious talk about someone who is not present (Pro 25:23, Pro 26:20).
    • Gossip. Idle talk, rumor, or reports about the personal or private affairs of others (Rom 1:28-29, 1 Tim 3:11, 1 Tim 5:13).

In conclusion, if we listen to the voice of our Beloved LORD GOD (Deu 12:28), not set our eyes on any worthless thing (Psa 101:3, Isa 33:15); examine everything (1 Ths 5:21-22); cast down any speculation, reasoning, argument, or imagination that rises up against the knowledge of GOD (2 Cor 10:5); hold every thought captive (2 Cor 10:5); test every spirit to confirm it is from GOD (1 Jhn 4:1); and resist the devil (Jam 4:7), we will not be led astray by Satan’s voice. Sounds like quite a lot to do, but through faith, seek the help of JESUS. HE is able to make you do all things (Php 4:13) and to stand (Jude 1:24).

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth
But only such a word as is good for edification, according to the need of the moment
So that it will give grace to those who hear
Ephesians 4:29

Men Who Are Beasts

When men are beasts bwBut these, like unreasoning animals
Born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed
Reviling where they have no knowledge
Will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed
2 Peter 2:12

The news locally, regionally, nationally, and globally, is filled with brutal acts of terror, violence, and murder. The highways, roadways, and airways are filled with angry, anxious, ruthless people. Causing many to ask “What is going on? Why is everyone so angry, hateful, and vicious?” Those who ask this question, do not know they are witnessing the fulfillment of GOD’s WORD. Our LORD GOD forewarned us beforehand about the state of men in these last days of the current earth and heavens. HE told us ungodly men will be:
Apostates/Backsliders. Men who once walked with GOD, but turned away from HIM, for various reasons (Mat 24:9-12, 2 Ths 2:1 Tim 4:1, 2 Tim 4:3-4).
Hypocrites/Liars. Men who continue to profess a relationship with GOD, though their lives demonstrate there is not one (Isa 29:13, Mat 23:27-28, 2 Tim 3:5, 1 Jhn 1:6, 1 Jhn 2:3-6).
Mockers/Blasphemers. Wicked men who mock GOD’s WORD (2 Pet 3:3, Jud 1:18) and blaspheme both HIM and HIS NAME (Num 15:30, Rev 13:6, Rev 16:9, 11, 21)
Transgressors/Evildoers. Sinful men who deny GOD, deny HIS WORD, and live for themselves (Psa 14:1, Jer 13:10, Eze 33:30-32, Tit 1:16, Jud 1:4).

Truly the sinfulness of man today, is like that of the men before the Flood (Gen 6:5) and those before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 18:20-21, Gen 19:13). People throughout the earth have become so sinful, with hardened hearts so filled with Satan, that many have become like beasts or unreasoning animals. This statement may sound harsh but it’s truth is supported in Scripture, through the identification of ungodly men both within and without the Church (Tit 1:12, 2 Peter 2:1-22, Rev 13:1-18). And by one of the three definitions of a “beast” cited in the following sources:
Strongs Greek/Hebrew Definitions, the English word “beast” was transliterated from the Greek word “theerion” (NT:2342), and is defined as either a venomous snake, a wild beast (dangerous animal), or an extremely sinful man (Amo 5:19).
Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, confirms that in every case where this Greek word “theerion” (NT:2342) is used, it is speaking of a wild not domesticated beast, a “venomous beast” such as the viper or poisonous snake that attached itself to Paul’s hand (Act 28:3-4). Vine’s further points out that the word “beast” is used in the Apocalypse (Book of Revelation) for two antichristian rulers who are destined to control global affairs with Satanic power in the closing period of the current heavens and earth (Rev 11:7; Rev 13:1-8; Rev 13:11-18; Rev 14:9-11; Rev 17:7-17; Rev 19:19-20).
Oxford English Dictionary defines a “wild beast” as a wild animal that is large, dangerous, and four-footed (I.e. lion or bear). This dictionary also defines “beast” as an inhumanly cruel, violent, or depraved person.
Merriam-Webster’s Synonyms states that a “beast” is a contemptible, mean, evil, or unprincipled person.

In summary, “men who are beasts” are extremely sinful, inhumanly cruel, violent, depraved, contemptible, mean, evil, and unprincipled. Our Beloved LORD GOD also tells us these men are for war and not peace (Psa 120:5-7); they bite and devour each other (Gal 5:15); their only intent is to satisfy themselves (Gal 5:19-21); they are enemies of the cross of CHRIST, whose god is their appetite, whose glory is their shame, who set their minds on earthly things (Php 3:18-19); they are lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of GOD, and they hold to a form of godliness, though they have rejected The Holy SPIRIT, WHO indeed could make them godly (2 Tim 3:1-4); they are like unreasoning animals, who criticize in an insulting manner where they have no knowledge (2 Pet 2:12, Jud 1:10).

We advise you to carefully consider the characteristics of “men who are beasts” and honestly contemplate if any of these qualities describe you. If none of these qualities describe you, then please pray for those who walk in this manner. Pray for their salvation, pray that GOD will deliver them from the power of Satan (Col 1:13-14).

The extremely sinful behavior of men today, give witness to the end of all things is near (Rom 13:11-12). Furthermore those who continually live like “beasts” will perish, and have no place with GOD in HIS Kingdom (Isa 35:8-10, 1 Cor 1:9-10, Gal 5:21).

Sin speaks to the wicked in their hearts
They have no fear of GOD
They think too much of themselves
SO they don’t see their sin and hate it
Their words are wicked lies
They are no longer wise or good
At night they make evil plans
What they do leads to nothing good
They don’t refuse things that are evil
[Psalm 36:1-4 NCV]

The Master Weaver at Work  in my Prayers

Single weaving

For we are HIS workmanship
Created in CHRIST JESUS for good works
Which GOD prepared beforehand
So that we would walk in them
Ephesians 2:10

I know that “GOD is a Master Weaver” WHO formed my inward parts, wove me in my Mother’s womb, and clothed me with skin and flesh (Psa 139:13, Job 10:11). But recently HE revealed to me that HE was still weaving the tapestry of my life together. My Beloved LORD GOD gave me a glimpse of how HE wove several of my prayers together, as HIS SPIRIT and HIS WORD transforms me (Rom 12:2, Eph 4:22-24).

Many years ago after reading Psalm 37:4 (Delight yourself in The LORD, and HE will give you the desires of your heart), I asked our Beloved LORD GOD, “please make the desires of my heart be YOUR desires.” When I read 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (In everything give thanks; for this is GOD’s will for you in CHRIST JESUS), I asked our Precious LORD JESUS, “help me be thankful in my heart for everything in my life, whether good or bad.” After I read Colossians 3:1-2 (Therefore if you have been raised up with CHRIST, keep seeking the things above, where CHRIST is, seated at the right hand of GOD. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth), I asked our Heavenly FATHER, “let what I reflect on, be based on YOUR WORD, and guided by the example JESUS set.”

Every Christian has been called by our Precious LORD JESUS to be devoted to prayer (Col 4:2, Rom 12:12) by praying at all times (Eph 6:18), which means without ceasing (1 Ths 5:17). So I continually speak privately with my LORD, not because I have to, but because I get to. It is such a joy to be in HIS presence, HE brings such peace to my soul. When HE calls me to speak with HIM in the presence of others. I listen intently as they pray, thus allowing me to agree and touch with prayers being asked according to HIS WORD, and to continue to intercede on matters weighing heavily on their hearts.

Whether I pray alone, or with others, I ask that our LORD not only lead me in the manner of prayer that pleases HIM, but also my prayers would be pleasing. A short time ago HE ever so gently gave me a glimpse of how HE masterfully weaves my prayers together through guidance of HIS Holy SPIRIT. As I closed my eyes to pray, a gentle thought came once again into my mind, “enter MY gates with thanksgiving and MY courts with praise” (Psa 100:4). Suddenly I began to reflect on the goodness, mercy, love, faithfulness, patience, and kindness of my LORD. I considered how HE has always been there with me, in my darkest times and in my happiest times. How HE encouraged and strengthened me with HIS WORD, HIS Presence, or sent one of HIS servants by text, phone, or in-person, with an exact message or answered prayer, that only HE knew about. These thoughts cause my heart to fill with gratitude, my mouth to pour forth thanksgiving, my hands to raise in praise, and tears of joy to flow freely down my cheeks.

As my thoughts turned toward the morning news, the concerns of daily life, and deadlines that lie before me – another gentle thought leads me to a particular passage in The BIBLE I had been pondering over earlier. I feel led to go to that passage and begin to read, I rejoice, HE gives me understanding of a section I had questioned HIM on, and confirms it with other Scriptures. My mind had stopped dwelling on earthly things, and my focus was turned to JESUS. The comfort of HIS presence, the wisdom of HIS WORDS, amazement that questions about my life, had already been answered in HIS WORD. Peace fills my soul, burdens lifted, as I feel strengthened and refreshed. My SHEPHERD has restored my soul, made me ready to face the day or the circumstances that lie before me, through HIS masterful weaving of answered prayers.

No Part With HIM

JESUS washing the disciple feetPeter said to HIM
“Never shall YOU wash my feet!”
JESUS answered him
If I do not wash you
You have no part with ME
John 13:8


The reading of John 13:3-17 is the perfect prologue for this BIBLE study.

3 JESUS, knowing that The FATHER had given all things into HIS Hands, and that HE had come forth from GOD and was going back to GOD, 4 got up from supper, and laid aside HIS garments; and taking a towel, HE girded HIMSELF. 5 Then HE poured water into the basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which HE was girded. 6 So HE came to Simon Peter. He said to HIM, “LORD, do YOU wash my feet?” 7 JESUS answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.” 8 Peter said to HIM, “Never shall YOU wash my feet!” JESUS answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with ME.” 9 Simon Peter said to HIM, “LORD, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” 10 JESUS said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For HE knew the one who was betraying HIM; for this reason, HE said, “Not all of you are clean.” 12 So when HE had washed their feet, and taken HIS garments and reclined at the table again, HE said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 “You call ME Teacher and LORD; and you are right, for so I am. 14 “If I then, The LORD and The Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 “For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.  16 “Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him.  17 “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

Though these were the final hours before our Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST would be betrayed into the hands of sinners, violently mistreated, and finally crucified on our behalf; HE continued to teach HIS disciples two more lessons before eleven of them would depart with HIM to the garden of Gethsemane. First, our LORD JESUS taught them and us today, that If HE does not wash us, we have no part with HIM (Jhn 13:8). And second, we have all been called to follow HIS example (Jhn 13:15).

What did JESUS mean “If I do not wash you, you have no part with ME”? To fully understand this statement, we must first understand the statement JESUS made in John 13:10, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” HIS disciples who believed in HIM (Jhn 6:67-69, Mat 16:15-17); were cleansed of their sins (Act 10:43, Act 26:18). Judas Iscariot however remained in his sin as pointed out by our Precious LORD JESUS when HE said “but not all of you” for HE knew Judas Iscariot was HIS betrayer (John 13:11). JESUS knew the heart of Judas, and allowed us to see it through his behavior. Judas neither believed in JESUS, nor WHO HE was, as demonstrated by his:
• indignation that costly perfume was used on JESUS (Jhn 12:4-6, Mat 26:7-9)
• willingness to betray JESUS for the price of a slave (Mat 26:14-16, Exd 21:32, Zec 11:12-13)
• having deep remorse for betraying innocent blood (Mat 27:1-6), without acknowledging WHOM’s blood he had betrayed
Also, Judas’s lack of concern for the poor confirmed his hardened heart (Pro 29:7) despite his pretense (Mrk 14:3-10, Luk 22:1-6). He continually stole from the money box (Jhn 12:4-6), even though he dwelt in the presence of our LORD JESUS! Judas’s behavior is highlighted even more when compared to Zacchaeus who turned from stealing as a tax collector, the moment he met our Precious LORD JESUS (Luk 19:1-10).

Even though we were cleansed from sin when we believed in JESUS, as we live in this world, we still need to be washed from sin we periodically fall into. Sin that comes either from our human nature which is prone to sin and oppose GOD (Luk 9:23, Rom 8:13), or sin we succumb to because we live in a fallen world completely permeated by it. Our GOD is faithful, and will wash those sins away when we turn from and confess them (2 Chr 7:14, 1 Jhn 1:7-9). If we choose to remain in any sin, we have no part with HIM. Our GOD is righteous (Deu 32:4, Psa 11:7, 2 Cor 5:21), and HE will have no part in unrighteousness (2 Chr 19:7, 1 Jhn 5:17).

How does one have “no part with JESUS”? They experience no personal relationship with HIM, since there is:
nothing in common with HIM. As sin has nothing in common with righteousness; light has nothing in common with darkness; CHRIST has nothing in common with Satan; a believer has nothing in common with an unbeliever; nor the temple of GOD has anything in common with idols (2 Cor 6:14-18). Habitual sinners, or those who lead a life of sin, have nothing in common with LORD. Our GOD is light and there is no darkness (no sin) in HIM at all. If you walk in sin you cannot walk with HIM (1 Jhn 1:5-7).
no shared interests with HIM. You cannot have it both ways; you cannot fellowship with JESUS and fellowship with demons (1 Cor 10:21, Mat 8:28-29); you cannot be a friend of the world* and a friend of GOD (Jam 4:4); you cannot serve two masters (Luk 16:13).
different beliefs from HIM. You cannot hate discipline and yet listen to GOD (Psa 50:16-21); you cannot live in sin yet be comfortable with holiness (1 Jhn 2:18-19); you cannot believe Satan and yet believe The WORDS of GOD (1 Jhn 4:5-6).

*“world” as used in James 4:4 above, does not mean the physical place men dwell. Instead it means the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of sinful men alienated from GOD; men who are hostile to the cause of CHRIST (John 7:7).

Are there examples of people who have no part with JESUS? Yes, there are several types, those who:
1. are HIS enemies (Rom 8:7-8, Php 3:18-19, 2 Ths 1:8-9)
2. teach GOD’s WORD but do not abide in it (Mat 7:21-23, Rom 2:17-24)
3. hear GOD’s WORD but do not obey it (Eze 33:30-33, Luk 6:46-49)
4. assemble with believers, for social connections only (Luk 13:22-27)
5. believe righteousness can be purchased (Act 8:18-24, 1 Cor 13:3)
6. obey their flesh rather than GOD (Rom 8:5, Gal 5:16-21), satisfying the lusts of their flesh (Eph 5:5, Eph 5:11-13)

We pray, you would carefully study the different types of people above, and take note that many of them believe they have a personal relationship with JESUS. Satan is a deceiver (Rev 12:9), and has deceived many into believing that Church attendance or BIBLE reading makes one right with GOD. Knowing that both trusting in JESUS and obeying GOD’s WORD, brings relationship with HIM (Jhn 14:21, Jhn 14 :23), and righteousness through HIM (Php 3:9).

Why did JESUS wash the disciples feet? HE gave them and us, HIS example to follow (Jhn 13:12-15). A student is not better than their teacher (Jhn 13:16), like HIM we must be willing to, humble ourselves (Jhn 13:14, Php 2:3-4), serve one another (Jhn 13:15-17, Mrk 10:42-45), and love one another (Jhn 13:34-35, Jhn 15:12-13, 1 Jhn 3:14-18)

How does JESUS wash our feet today? When we confess our sins, HE forgives us, and cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 Jhn 1:9).

What is our indicator that we have been cleansed by JESUS? We experience a change in our hearts and minds. We no longer desire the things we did before, we live, think, and act differently. HE sanctifies us by faith in HIM (Act 26:18), purifies us by HIS Blood (Heb 13:12), washed us with both HIS Holy SPIRIT (Eph 5:26, Jhn 7:37-39), and HIS WORD (Jhn 17:17-19, Jhn 15:3).

Are You Still Sleeping

Then HE came to the disciples and said to them
Are you still sleeping and resting?
Behold, the hour is at hand
And The SON of Man is being betrayed
Into the hands of sinners
Get up, let us be going
Behold, the one who betrays ME is at hand
Matthew 26:45-46

Sleeping disciples

During that last week of JESUS life, HIS soul had already begun to be troubled, knowing what HE would soon go through on our behalf (Jhn 12:20-33). Yet HE did not shrink back, as HE continued to teach and prepare HIS disciples for HIS departure.

On the very night that Judas Iscariot betrayed our Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST, JESUS came to the garden of Gethsemane for a final time of instruction and prayer with HIS disciples. HE spoke to eleven of them (Judas Iscariot had already departed to lead a crowd back to JESUS), giving them information and instructions about the events that would start that very night (Mat 26:30-34). After JESUS spoke with the eleven disciples, HE instructed eight of them to sit down where they were (Mat 26:36, Mrk 14:32). HE then took Peter, James, and John with HIM to the place where HIS agony would be on full display as HE intensely prayed (Mat 26:37, Mrk 14:33). When the four of them arrived at this place, HE instructed them to “keep watch with HIM” (Mat 26:38-40, Mrk 14:33-37). JESUS moved a short distance away from them (Luk 22:41), to pour out HIS heart to our Beloved ABBA FATHER (Heb 5:7, Luk 22:42-43).

Knowing how horrendous HIS physical suffering would be, that HE would barely look human by the time it was over (Isa 52:14), followed by an excruciating death on the cross (Mrk 10:38, Luk 12:50), JESUS was filled with crushing anguish and sorrow so great (Mat 26:38), that HIS sweat would become like drops of blood falling to the ground (Luk 22:44). As JESUS fervently prayed, Peter, James, and John slept. Three times JESUS rose from prayer to find them sleeping. When HE returned the third time, JESUS asked the three disciples, “Are you still sleeping and resting?” HE then commanded that they get up, as HIS betrayer Judas, was leading a crowd of chief priests, elders of Israel, temple guard, and a Roman cohort to HIM (Luk 22:52-53, Jhn 18:3). This crowd would take JESUS into custody for an illegal night trial (Luk 22:54, Jhn 18:12-15). Under the cover of darkness, the participants of this unlawful trial would falsely accuse JESUS (Mat 26:59-65); treat HIM with both contempt and reproach (Luk 22:63-64, Luk 23:11); blindfold HIM (Mrk 14:65); spit in HIS Face (Mat 26:67); pluck out HIS beard (Isa 50:6); and beat HIS body with their fists (Mat 26:67, Mrk 14:65). The next morning, JESUS would be taken to the Romans, where Pilate would question HIM, the Roman soldiers would viciously beat HIM with a whip (Mat 27:26, Jhn 19:1), mock HIM (Jhn 19:2-3), place a crown of sharp thorns on HIS Head, then press it into his scalp by beating it with a staff (Mat 27:30, Mrk 15:19), and finally crucify HIM (Mrk 15:20).

Why did JESUS only bring Peter, James, and John, closest to the place HE fervently prayed? Every fact is confirmed by two or three witnesses (Mat 18:16, Jhn 8:17, 2 Cor 13:1, 1 Tim 5:19). JESUS chose these three to be witness:
       a.  when HE raised Jairus daughter, from the dead (Luk 8:41-56)
       b.  to HIS glory during HIS transfiguration (Mat 17:1-9, 2 Pet 1:16-19)
       c.  to HIS agony in the garden (Luk 22:41-44)
       d.  to many other things concerning HIMSELF (Jhn 20:30, Jhn 21:24-25, 1 Jhn 1:1-4)

What exactly did JESUS mean, when HE instructed Peter, James, and John to “keep watch with HIM?” HIS instruction in Matthew 26:38, was for the disciples to stay awake. And not just stay awake, but to be as alert, sober, and vigilant, as a night watchman. One who guards at night, must be much more diligent than one guarding during the day. During daylight hours, a guard can use their eyesight to easily detect danger. However at night when darkness covers unlit places, guards must rely on all their senses. They must be hyper-vigilant; able to respond in an instant, as JESUS knew the hour and power of darkness was on its way to HIM (Luk 22:53) and to them (Luk 22:31-32, Mrk 14:50, Mat 26:31, Jhn 20:19-21).

Does The BIBLE give a reason for Peter, James, and John failing to “keep watch with JESUS?” Yes, Luke 22:45 tells us the disciples were sleeping from sorrow. According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, the English word “sorrow” in Luke 22:45 was transliterated from the Greek word “lúpees” (3077) and in fact means sorrow, as well as pain, grief, or heaviness. “Lúpees” is used of persons mourning. During that final week of HIS Life, JESUS had been speaking to HIS disciples about HIS departure, they had begun to grieve (Jhn 14:1, Jhn 16:5-6, Jhn 16:22). As Peter, James, and John witnessed their Teacher and LORD in such agony they became exhausted from their grief.

Were the disciples really asleep? Yes. Sleep is a recurring state of mind and body that differs from being awake; sleep decreases one’s ability to respond to internal or external stimuli, such as smell, touch, taste, pain, or sound (Act 20:9). The fact that the three disciples were unaware that JESUS had stopped so fervently praying, and risen from where HE had been kneeling (Luk 22:41, Luk 22:45), confirms they were sleeping. This is further confirmed by the usage of this particular Greek word “katheudō” (NT:2518) in Matthew 26:45, which is used of either physical or spiritual sleep.

What is spiritual sleep? While physical sleep decreases one’s ability to respond to internal or external stimuli, spiritual sleep decreases one’s ability to stand against fear, doubt, disbelief, discouragement, weariness, anger, or temptation (Nah 3:18, Isa 56:10).

How does one know they have fallen asleep spiritually? They have lost their first love or zeal for GOD (Rev 2:4, Rev 3:15-16, Mat 24:12); they are no longer diligent in their Christian walk (Jos 23:11, Jhn 14:15, 2 Pet 1:10, 2 Pet 1:10, 2 Jhn 1:6); they no longer fight against sin (Heb 12:4, 2 Tim 4:7, 1 Tim 6:12); they are indifferent to their salvation (Eph 5:7-17, 1 Ths 5:6).

Why does one fall asleep spiritually? When one continually takes their focus off JESUS and places it on themselves, their troubles, or their earthly lives (Mat 13:20-22), they eventually quit seeking HIS presence. Which causes them to fall asleep spiritually, becoming insensitive, dull in hearing, blinded eyes, and a hardened heart to the things of GOD (Isa 6:9-10, Jer 5:21, Mrk 8:14-21, Heb 5:11-12). To keep this from happening to us, we each must first know that we can’t do this in and of ourselves (Php 4:13), we must constantly submit and draw near to our GOD (Jam 4:7-8), as we prayerfully:
  1. examine ourselves to see if we are still in the faith (Lam 3:40, 2 Cor 13:5, 1 Ths 5:21)
  2. be alert by
       a. keeping careful watch (Luk 21:34, 2 Pet 3:17)
       b. being sharp-eyed (1 Pet 5:8)
       c. remaining awake (1 Ths 5:2-6)
       d. being attentive (Mat 24:42-44)
       e. being observant (Luk 21:28)
       f. unwilling to take risks (Jos 1:8, Jos 22:5)
       g. ready for action (Luk 12:35-40)
  3. be sober or keep control of your faculties and behavior. A sober-minded person is calm and collected in spirit; not influenced by strong emotion (1 Pet 1:13, 1 Pet 4:7) or sin (1 Cor 15:34, 1 Ths 5:8).

Is JESUS calling us today to “keep watch with HIM?” Absolutely! The end of all things is near (1 Pet 4:7), in which the current earth and heavens will be destroyed by fire (2 Pet 3:7, 2 Pet 3:10). And though we do not know what day or hour with certainty, we know the return of our Precious LORD JESUS is imminent (Mrk 13:28-29, Jam 5:8, Rev 22:20). We must stay awake and be ready to meet HIM (Rev 16:15, Ecc 9:8).

This current life is quickly drawing to a close. For some death has already brought this life to an end, for others, they do not know when the end will come, but it will. So please, learn a lesson from the backstory of the current brutal war in Ukraine. For five months our current President, Joe Biden, continually warned the President of Ukraine and its people, that Russia was planning an invasion. And those warnings became more frequent and urgent as the invasion grew closer. But up to the day before the invasion began, those warnings were ignored, even mocked. Because the leader of Ukraine and his people, did not believe it would happen. Thousands of Ukrainians have died, and millions have been displaced from their homes during Russia’s current brutal, bloody invasion. Today is April 12, 2022, the invasion is in its forty-eighth day, and the Ukrainian people are still dying and being displaced.

Our Beloved LORD GOD for thousands of years has continually been warning us of the things which would occur upon this earth. Many of them have happened, but the most severe things are quickly coming upon us, are you still sleeping?

Do this, knowing the time
That it is already the hour
For you to awaken from sleep
For now, salvation is nearer to us
Then when we believed
The night is almost gone
And the day is near
Therefore, let us lay aside the deeds of darkness
And put on the Armor of Light
Let us behave properly as in the day
Not in carousing and drunkenness
Not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality
Not in strife and jealousy
And make no provision for the flesh
In regard to its lusts
Romans 13:11-14

GOD Walks Among Us

GOD walks among usOr what agreement has the temple of GOD with idols?
For we are the temple of The Living GOD; just as GOD said,
2 Corinthians 6:16

My Precious LORD JESUS has been simultaneously speaking to my heart, concerning unfolding events, as the time of HIS return hastens toward its goal; while giving me understanding of the visions contained within the Book of Revelation. Recently, as I was pondering the timing of some events in GOD’s WORD, HE led me to the following passages in Revelation:

As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in MY right hand
And the seven golden lampstands
The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches
And the seven lampstands are the seven churches
Revelation 1:20

To the angel of the church in Ephesus write
The One WHO holds the seven stars in HIS right hand
The One WHO walks among the seven golden lampstands
Says this
Revelation 2:1

As I sat and reflected on these two passages, I asked my Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST questions. This message, reflects my questions and HIS answers. HIS message is something that we must all consider carefully and live accordingly. How would you live your life, knowing GOD our FATHER and our LORD JESUS CHRIST is truly very present?

What is meant by, “The One WHO walks among the seven golden lampstands?” In Revelation 1:20, JESUS tells us that the seven lampstands are seven churches. HE self-identifies in Revelation 1:12-18. And putting those two truths together, it is HE WHO walks among HIS churches.

Are these actual churches, or are they us, the temple in which HE dwells? In this particular passage of Scripture, it is the congregations or public assemblies of HIS people. According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon (Abridged), the English word church as used in Revelation 1:20 has been transliterated from the Greek word “ekkleesia” (NT:1577), and it means a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place; an assembly of Christians gathered for worship. Those who are indeed the temple in which HE dwells (1 Cor 3:16), are called together in one place (Heb 10:25), so that corporately HIS body would be:

  • edified (spiritual growth promoted), exhorted (encouraged); given clear explanation and understanding of The WORD, through the public reading of The Scriptures (1 Tim 4:13, 1 Cor 14:26, Neh 8:8)
  • strengthened by coming into HIS presence, remembering WHO HE is, and all that HE has done through testimony, praise, and worship (Psa 35:18, Psa 40:9-10, Psa 100:1-5, Eph 5:19-20, Col 3:16)
  • healed, receive consolation (be comforted), and experience relief from suffering through prayer (Mat 18:19-20, Jam 5:13-18)
  • equipped for the work of service, or be trained to serve in building up the body of CHRIST (Eph 4:11-13)

Whether attending church online, or in-person, aren’t you still assembling together? During prayer, are your thoughts captivated by the prayer being offered? During praise and worship, is your heart is surrendered to GOD? During the message, is your mind focused, carefully listening to the words being spoken? At the end of the gathering do you support one another by continuing to discuss our GOD, our LORD, and HIS WORD through fellowship and breaking of bread? If you are not doing these things, whether in-person or online, you are not receiving the blessings nor the benefits that have been ordained for assembling together. This is a good opportunity to examine your heart. If the commandment to not forsake your own assembling together with other believers (Heb 10:25), is a burden (1 Jhn 5:3) and not a joy (Psa 95:1-6, Psa 122:1); are you in relationship or practicing religion?

Does GOD also walk among each one of HIS people? Absolutely! HE is a GOD WHO is near and not far away (Jer 23:23, Psa 46:1, Psa 119:151, Psa 145:18). From the very beginning HE remains the same (Psa 102:24-27, Heb 13:8). Just as HE walked in the garden of Eden with Adam and Eve (Gen 2:8, Gen 3:8-10); appeared to Abraham on several occasions (Gen 12:7, Gen 17:1-3, Gen 18:1); met and spoke directly to Moses (Exd 34:5-6, Num 12:6-8, Deu 34:10); stood near the boy Samuel calling his name (1 Sam 3:1-10); walked among and through the camps of Israel (Lev 26:11-12, Deu 23:12-14); and met with HIS disciples after HIS crucifixion and resurrection (Luk 24:13-42, Jhn 20:19-20). Today HE lives within us (Jhn 14:23, Rom 8:9) and walks among us (2 Cor 6:16). And throughout eternity HE will walk among HIS people (Rev 21:1-3).

The LORD your GOD is in your midst
A Victorious Warrior
HE will exult over you with joy
HE will be quiet in HIS love
HE will rejoice over you with shouts of joy
Zephaniah 3:17

The Mark

666 mark designAnd he causes all, the small and the great
And the rich and the poor
And the free men and the slaves
To be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead
And he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell
Except the one who has the mark
Either the name of the beast or the number of his name
Here is wisdom
Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast
For the number is that of a man
And his number is six hundred and sixty-six
Revelation 13:16-18

Many worldwide have either read about, or heard of the opening Scripture passages (Rev 13:16-18). And there have been many who have erroneously speculated, and then taught what they believe “the mark” to be. Without understanding, they have distorted GOD’s WORD, The BIBLE (2 Pet 3:16); caused many to be disturbed (Gal 1:7); misleading them (Mat 24:11), and causing their focus to be wrongly turned away from our Precious LORD JESUS (Heb 12:1-2).

Where should one’s focus be concerning the mark? It should be on why a person will take the mark, their spiritual condition, understanding the purpose of the mark, what the mark is and is not, the consequences of taking the mark, and the spiritual condition of the person who will refuse the mark.

Why would someone take the mark? Those taking the mark lack knowledge of the true and living GOD. They rejected this knowledge, by dismissing, declining, or refusing to know HIM, HIS SON JESUS CHRIST, and HIS WORD as spoken of by the prophet Hosea:

MY people are destroyed for lack of knowledge
Because you have rejected knowledge
I also will reject you from being MY priest
Since you have forgotten The LAW of your GOD
I also will forget your children
Hosea 4:6

How does lack of knowledge lead to destruction? Lack of true knowledge leads to destruction. True knowledge, only comes through knowing GOD, WHO knows all things (Pro 15:3, Heb 4:13, Jhn 16:30, 1 Jhn 3:20). Our Beloved LORD GOD is intimate with us (Pro 3:32), discloses things to us (2 Chr 20:13-18, Jhn 16:13-15), forewarns us (Mrk 13:23, Act 20:22-23, 1 Ths 3:3-4), and keeps us safe (Psa 121:7-8, Pro 1:33, Jhn 10:27-30). When a person rejects GOD, and relies on self (Pro 3:5), it was always lead to destruction (Pro 16:25).

In what way does one reject knowledge by rejecting GOD? As previously mentioned, by dismissing, declining, or refusing to recognize the sovereignty of GOD, the sacrifice of JESUS, or the truth of HIS WORD, the BIBLE. And since they:

  1. refuse to know GOD’s WORD, they will never come to know and understand neither HIM nor HIS SON JESUS (Jer 9:24, Exd 33:13, Psa 103:7, 1 Jhn 2:3-6).
  2. refuse to trust HIM, they will never experience HIS goodness (Heb 11:6, Psa 34:8, Psa 119:103, Heb 6:5, 1 Pet 2:3)
  3. will only listen, but not obey the WORD of GOD, they will never experience the truth of HIS WORD (Luk 6:46-49, Jam 1:22-25). And they will never grow to spiritual maturity (Heb 5:11-14).

How does one forget GOD’s Law? There are at least two ways, first, by failing to remember HIM (Deu 32:16-18, Psa 106:21, Jer 2:32), HIS NAME (Jer 23:27, Job 21:14-15), and all the things HE has done for you (Psa 78:11-20, Isa 5:12-13, Heb 3:7-12). Second, by not taking HIS WORD to heart. When one does not consider GOD’s WORD as significant or important to them (Jer 6:10, Jer 36:4-32, Luk 7:30), they fail to remember it, by ceasing to think of or consider it (Psa 50:17, Neh 9:26, 1 Kin 14:9, Heb 12:3-11). And they will not yield to the prompting of HIS Holy SPRIT (Jer 6:16-17, Eph 4:30, 1 Ths 5:19).

Who is GOD’s priest mentioned in Hosea 4:6? It is everyone whom our Precious LORD JESUS has redeemed with HIS blood (1 Pet 1:18-21), purchased for GOD, sealed and anointed by HIS Holy SPIRIT, made the people of GOD, and appointed to royal priesthood (1 Pet 2:9, Rev 5:9-10, Eph 1:13, 2 Cor 1:21, 1 Jhn 2:20, 1 Jhn 2:27).

How is one without knowledge convinced to take the mark? Deception. The false prophet will come looking like a lamb or one belonging to GOD, though he speaks like Satan (Rev 13:11, Jhn 8:44, Rev 12:9). He will perform the miracle of Elijah and Elisha (Rev 11:13-14, 1 Kin 18:37-39, 2 Kin 1:1-14). Many will be deceived by his appearance and his miracles, but when you know Truth, you cannot be deceived (Jhn 14:6, Mrk 13:22-23, Jhn 10:3-5, Jhn 18:37, 1 Jhn 2:20-21, 1 Jhn 4:1-6). Only those who know their GOD and SAVIOR will not be deceived (Jer 9:24, Jer 31:34, Dan 11:32, Jhn 10:14).

Who will take the mark? Those who do not know JESUS (Jhn 16:2-3), and those who only profess to know HIM (Tit 1:16). Each one of us must carefully consider our brother the apostle Peter. He emotionally loved JESUS, and declared he would die with JESUS rather than deny HIM (Mat 26:31-35). But in the hour of facing death, he denied knowing JESUS (Luk 22:54-62). If you are confident you would never take the mark, because you regularly attend prayer meetings, group BIBLE studies, and even Church, we ask you to honestly do the following self-assessment:

  1. Do you love yourself most? As an example, do you place your will above GOD’s? (2 Tim 3:2); does your interests often take priority over CHRIST’s interests? (Php 2:21); do you seek your own welfare above others? (1 Cor 10:24).
  2. Is what men think of you, more important than what our invisible GOD knows? (Mat 6:1-6, Gal 1:10, 1 Ths 2:4-6)
  3. Do you truly believe that GOD exists, HE is Good, and will to respond to those who sincerely seek HIM? (Deu 1:30-33, Psa 78:22, Psa 136:1, Mat 19:17, Heb 11:6)?
  4. When it’s just you, do you seek GOD’s presence? (Zep 3:2, 2 Chr 12:14, Psa 10:4), because HIS nearness means so much to you? (Psa 73:28, 1 Chr 16:11, Psa 27:8)
  5. Do you truly believe in the truthfulness, and faithfulness of GOD’s entire WORD? (Psa 106:24, Jhn 6:64, Jhn 8:45-46, Heb 4:2)

If you answered “yes” to the first two questions, or “no” to the last three questions, you will take the mark. You will always protect what you love most. If you are not willing to live for GOD now, you will not be willing to die for HIM later. If you are not willing to put your trust completely in HIM now, you will not know that HE is indeed trustworthy later.

What is the purpose of the mark? The purpose of the mark is simply to identify those who belong to the beast, the wicked global leader, also known as the antichrist (Rev 13:16). Those who take his mark, have chosen to worship him as their God & Savior (Rev 13:15), and accept temporary security (Rev 13:17), because they fear those who can kill only the body (Mat 10:28, Heb 10:31).

What is the mark? In Revelation 13:16-18, the English word “mark” is transliterated from the Greek word “charagma” (NT:5480) and it refers to something that is engraved, stamped, or etched. It is a physical mark that is either a brand (stamped on through a burning process) or a tattoo (engraved or etched on through the insertion of ink into the skin). This physical, visible mark will be used in conjunction with RFID able to regulate day-to-day activity including buying, selling, etc. (Rev 13:17).

The mark doesn’t go under the skin? No, the mark is not placed under the skin, nor is it placed within the human body. The English word for “on” used in Revelation 13:16 is transliterated from the Greek word “epi” (1909) which literally means on or upon. It is not “hupo” (5259) which means under. Which means it is not microchips that have willingly been injected into the body between the thumb and forefinger. Nor is it microchips that have been secretly injected into the body through vaccinations. Nor is it RFID. It should be noted that in December 2019, engineers at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) developed a “quantum dot tattoo” a microneedle patch that delivers a specialized dye, vaccine, and storage of medical information. The dye is invisible to the naked eye, but can be seen with use of a specially adapted technology. It was developed for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to be able to easily track who had or had not been vaccinated among the world’s poorest most vulnerable people. Could this well-meaning technology someday be used to apply “the mark” as an invisible tattoo on the skin?

What is RFID? According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, RFID (radio frequency identification), technology uses radio waves to identify people, pets, objects, etc.; via a tag or wireless device. It has been commercially available in one form or another since the 1970s (the last 51 years). RFID is on credit or debit cards, driver licenses, car keys, employee id, medical history billing, highway toll tags, security access cards, pet chips, etc. There is no personal information stored on the RFID tag or wireless device. It only contains a number, allowing that number to point to secure databases which store personal information. Finally, RFID uses vicinity or proximity technology; it can be scanned more than 30 feet away (such as passing through an airport), or just a few inches (running your card through a card reader at the market). It should also be noted, in September 2015, all the member states of the UN (United Nations) adopted the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. As part of this agreement all these member states agreed to provide “legal identity” for every person on the face of the earth by 2030. The mandate to legally identify every person, would be carried out through the UN based ID2020 program. On May 2016, a nongovernmental organization known as ID2020, held an inaugural summit at the UN Headquarters to create an alliance of domestic and global governments, worldwide institutions, nonprofit organizations, philanthropies, businesses, banks, and medical organizations. This alliance would set a technical standard for identifying  1.1 billion vulnerable people globally. So that this vulnerable population would gain access to basic services -education, healthcare, voting, opening a bank account – and other fundamental human rights; each one of them would be uniquely identified through “authenticated digital identity.” In reality the 1.1 billion vulnerable is the test group, for solving issues that will come up with Identifying the world’s remaining 6.8 billion population (as of May 2021).

What are the consequences of taking the mark? We cannot overemphasize how dire the consequences are, for those who take the mark. The consequences are severe, irrevocable, and eternal. Those who turn to worshipping the antichrist instead of GOD, because they prefer to be secure in wickedness than suffer affliction (Job 36:21), they will experience:

  • the wrath of GOD (Rev 14:9)
  • the judgments of GOD (Rev 16:2)
  • the second death, which is:
    • an eternal place of suffering for Satan, antichrist, false prophet, death, hades, the ungodly (Mat 25:41, Mat 8:28-29, Rev 19:20, Rev 20:10, Rev 20:14-15, Rev 21:8)
    • a place where the fire is not quenched, and the worm does not die (Mrk 9:43-49)
    • a place of eternal torment with fire and brimstone (Rev 14:10)
    • a place of no rest day and night (Rev 14:11)

Who is the person who will refuse the mark? The person who know their GOD (Jer 9:24, Psa 20:7, Dan 11:32), who know JESUS their Shepherd (Jhn 10:2-5), and through obedience have come to fully know and understand GOD’s WORD (Psa 111:10). They will not be deceived by the antichrist or the false prophet. They are those who:

  • love GOD with their entire being, not just emotional, but unconditional (Mat 12:29-31)
  • love GOD most (Job 23:12, Luk 14:26, Php 3:8)
  • trust GOD no matter the circumstances (Gen 37:1-36, Gen 39:1-23, Gen 50:15-21, Psa 105:17-18, 1 Sam chptrs 16-31)
  • do not trust in themselves (Jos 9:3-15, Isa 11:3)
  • do not love their own life, even when faced with death (Rev 12:11)
  • keep the commandments of GOD, and their faith in JESUS at all times (Rev 14:12, Rom 8:35-39, 1 Cor 4:9-13)

Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice
If anyone worships the beast and his image
And receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand
He also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God
Which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger
And he will be tormented with fire and brimstone
In the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb
And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever
They have no rest day and night
Those who worship the beast and his image
And whoever receives the mark of his name
Revelation 14:9-11


rustic color of man wearing cross and holding BIBLEMy soul, wait in silence for GOD only
For my hope is from HIM
HE only is my rock and my salvation
My stronghold
I shall not be shaken
Psalm 62:5-6

Recently I was meditating on self-control (one of the nine attributes of the fruit of The SPIRIT, Gal 5:22-23). I asked our Beloved LORD GOD how was HIS self-control manifested? HE answered “silence” As I meditated on HIS answer, HE reminded me through HIS WORD, that HE is gracious, compassionate, and merciful (Exd 34:6-7, Psa 86:15, Psa 145:8-9, Jam 5:11). HE does not desire for anyone to perish (Eze 18:30-32).

Being merciful, HE does not quickly carry out the sentence against sin (Ecc 8:11), patiently waiting in silence (Psa 50:21), giving the ungodly time and opportunity to turn from their sin (Rom 2:4, 2 Pet 3:9, Rev 2:21).

I then wondered about the other times HE is silent. HE then explained through Scripture, HE is inherently gentle, humble, and quiet (1 Kin 19:11-13, Isa 42:2, Mat 11:29). Not only does silence reflect HIS self-control and patience (Isa 42:14, Isa 57:11), but HIS love and instruction (Zep 3:17, Isa 30:21, Psa 119:105). Which causes my soul to rest in HIM, like a weaned child rests upon their mother (Psa 131:2).

I then inquired, how is HIS self-control reflected in the life of a Christian? In the same manner, through silence. This silence only comes through completely trusting GOD (Jer 17:7-8, Isa 26:4, Psa 56:3-11, Psa 40:4), and living your life in union with CHRIST JESUS (Jhn 15:1-8, Jhn 14:23). When our Beloved LORD GOD is present, HE strengthens our soul, quiets our mind, speaks peace to our heart, holds our tongues, teaching us when to speak and when to remain silent.

When HE strengthens our soul, our will is strengthened, enabling us to stand firm against the schemes of the devil (Eph 6:11, 1 Tim 6:7-10, Eph 4:14, Mat 4:1-11). When HE quiets our mind, our thoughts are quieted, and fixed on HIM (Isa 26:3, Col 3:2-3, Php 4:8, 2 Cor 10:5). When HE speaks peace to our heart, our emotions are not affected by circumstances, as we silently wait for HIM (Exd 14:14, Psa 37:7, Lam 3:26, Jhn 14:27). When HE teaches us to hold our tongues, we do not sin with our mouth (Psa 141:3, Psa 39:1, Pro 21:23, Pro 13:3, Jam 1:26, Jam 3:2).

My soul waits in silence for GOD only
From HIM is my salvation
HE only is my rock and my salvation
My stronghold
I shall not be greatly shaken
Psalm 62:1-2

Arrested Development

Arrested developmentBut realize this
That in the last days difficult times will come
For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money
Boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents
Ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable
Malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good
Treacherous, reckless, conceited
Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God
Holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power
Avoid such men as these
For among them are those who enter into households and captivate
Weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses
Always learning
And never able to come to the knowledge of the truth
Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses
So these men also oppose the truth
Men of depraved mind
Rejected in regard to the faith
But they will not make further progress
For their folly will be obvious to all
Just as Jannes’s and Jambres’s folly was also
2 Timothy 3:1-9

When I asked our Beloved LORD GOD for confirmation that we are truly in “the great apostasy,” HE provided a detail confirmation by taking me through Scripture, local and global headlines, which included published denominational and church activity. This confirmation is documented in the study “The Apostasy” that examines the actions of apostates (those who fallen away or abandoned obedience to GOD’s commandments and faith in JESUS). In this current study “Arrested Development” our Beloved LORD GOD continues HIS confirmation. In this study we will be considering the spiritual state of apostates  through the opening Scriptures (2 Tim 3:1-9).

How do you know those described in 2 Timothy 3:1-9, are apostates? This is confirmed in 2 Timothy 3:5, with five words “avoid such men as these.” Especially when compared to 1 Corinthians 5:9-13, the men Christians have been called to avoid or not associate with, are those “so called” believers in the body of CHRIST. The believers are identified as “so called” because they are not obedient to GOD’s WORD and do not have faith in our LORD JESUS. The following Scriptures also confirm these are believers who became unbelievers, by turning back to sin and away from Truth (Isa 30:9-11, Rom 1:21-32, 2 Ths 2:10-12, 1 Tim 4:1-5, 2 Tim 4:1-5).

Why is this study titled “Arrested development”? It identifies the “spiritual state” of those who have turned away from Truth. Arrested development is a state in which progress has stopped at some point in development. It can happen physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, or spiritually. When it occurs physically, there is literally a condition wherein bodily development has stopped. Mental and emotional “arrested development” happens when a person’s capacities becomes impaired. Social “arrested development” occurs in children of all ages when the lack of godly parents, or a healthy environment leave them unable to fully develop certain desired behaviors and skills. And finally, the state we will be looking at in this study is “spiritual arrested development.” This state occurs when neither godly qualities (2 Pet 1:5-9), nor the fruit of The SPIRIT (Gal 5:22-23) is increasing in one’s life.

What is the state of one who is “arrested development” in spirit? When we examine 2 Timothy 3:1-9, we see three types of apostates. In 2 Timothy 3:1-5, we first see a reprobate (Psa 15:4). This is a person who is shameless in their sin (Jer 8:12); they continually grieve our GOD (Gen 6:6, Isa 63:10, Eze 6:9, Eph 4:30) by their depravity, prayerlessness, and love of self, rather than lovers of GOD or others. Their self-love is evident in their boasting, arrogance, reviling (criticizing or attacking others in an insulting manner), disobedience to parents, ingratitude, and many other traits listed in the first five verses of 2 Timothy chapter 3. We next see false teachers (2 Tim 3:6a, 2 Tim 3:8-9), whose corrupt minds and counterfeit faith, cause them to oppose truth in order to rob others (2 Pet 2:1-3, 1 Tim 6:5, Jud 1:16) through deception (2 Cor 11:13-15). Lastly, we see those who trust solely in themselves. They decide for themselves what is right and wrong (Pro 14:12, Pro 16:25, Pro 30:12), and seek out others who support their beliefs (Jer 5:30-31, 2 Tim 4:3). These people are moved by their feelings (desires, emotions, impulses, wants), they are more concerned about how something makes them feel rather than actual truth. They believe repentance is outmoded, they are basically good, and GOD is too loving to judge or punish anyone. Sadly, all these individuals became believers through our Beloved LORD GOD, and then they turned (Jer 2:21, Isa 5:2). And upon turning they stopped growing in righteousness. Godly qualities and the fruit of The SPIRIT cease to increase in their lives, leaving them in a spiritual state of arrested development.      

Which godly qualities should be increasing in every growing Christian? It has been said “A picture is worth a thousand words” which means that a single image, can be more effective than many verbal descriptions. So we will address the question by looking at a visual diagram and message that our Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST gave to Pastor Jinnie Wong as she meditated on 2 Peter 1:5-8.

diagram of 2 Peter 158Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,  and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our LORD JESUS CHRIST (2 Peter 1:5-8). While reflecting on the image, also take the instruction in 2 Peter 1:9 to heart “For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.”

Why does decreasing fruit of The SPRIIT indicate spiritual arrested development? Though there are nine attributes (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control), the word “fruit” is singular, indicating that all nine attributes should simultaneously operate in the life of a Christian abiding in CHRIST JESUS (Gal 5:22-25). The “fruit” bears witness that the life of CHRIST is simply being lived out in that Christian. If the presence of JESUS is increasing in your life, so are HIS attributes (Jhn 3:30, Jhn 15:4). If those attributes are dissipating in who you are, you have stopped growing in our Beloved LORD GOD.

How would you know you have stopped growing in JESUS? By following our LORD’s instructions in 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!” Do this by examining Galatians 5:19-21 and Galatians 5:22-25, and then ask yourself “what is routinely operating in my life, the deeds of the flesh, or the fruit of The Holy SPIRIT?” If you are still living for yourself, and walking in disobedience to GOD’s WORD, you will recognize one or more of the deeds of the flesh in yourself. If the person you once were has died, and your new life is now hidden in CHRIST in GOD (Col 3:3), not just you, but others will notice the change in you. And as the presence of CHRIST increases in your life, so will HIS attributes.

In what way can I know if The Holy SPIRIT is residing within me? By examining the state of your soul, the state of your heart, and how you conduct yourself:

Is your soul filled with love, joy, and peace? GOD is love, if there is no love, GOD is not present (1 Jhn 4:7-8). In the presence of GOD is fullness of joy, if there is no joy, you are not abiding in GOD’s presence (Psa 16:11, Psa 21:6, Psa 43:4). The peace of CHRIST defies human understanding, and is very present, even in the most adverse circumstances. This peace occurs only when we are in CHRIST (Jhn 16:33), where our soul is quiet and composed (Psa 131:2, Psa 62:1-2). If there is no peace, you are not dwelling in CHRIST (Psa 123:2, Isa 26:3, Jhn 14:27, Php 4:7).
Is your heart full of patience, kindness, and goodness? When you have the heart of GOD, it is reflected in how you treat others (Rom 2:4, 2 Pet 3:9, Col 3:12-14). If the patience of GOD is in your heart, you will not be easily moved or angered in the midst of delays, troubles, or suffering (Exd 34:6-7, Psa 40;1, Lam 3:25-26). When wrongfully treated, you will not entertain thoughts of retaliation (1 Pet 2:23, Pro 20:22, 1 Ths 5:15, 1 Pet 3:9). If the kindness of GOD is in your heart, you are tender-hearted, caring, and helpful towards everyone and everything (Php 2:3-5, Rom 12:13-16, Rom 15:1-3). A person with a heart of kindness is truly concerned for the well-being of another, they are helpful toward everyone not expecting anything in return. If the goodness of GOD is in your heart, you walk uprightly (Psa 34:14, Psa 125:4) and you reach out to do good to others whether it is deserved or not (Luk 6:35-36, Gal 6:9-10).
Are you a faithful, gentle, self-controlled person? If your life is truly united to our Beloved LORD GOD (Jhn 17:21-23, Rom 8:9-11, 1 Cor 6:17, Gal 2:20), it will be revealed in your conduct or behavior (1 Jhn 3:9-11). Our GOD is faithful (Deu 7:9, 1 Cor 1:9, 2 Tim 2:13), and when HE dwells within us, we too are faithful. Which means we are, trustworthy (Num 12:6-8, Neh 9:7-8, Psa 101:6-7, Dan 6:4); truthful (Psa 5:6, Pro 12:17, Jhn 1:47, 1 Pet 2:21-22), reliable, consistently keep our word, even if it hurts (Psa 15:1-5, Psa 24:3-4, Jdg 11:35). Our GOD is gentle (1 Kin 19:11-13, Mat 11:29), and because HE lives within us, we too will be known as gentle or humble people (Php 4:5, Num 12:3, 2 Tim 2:24-26, 1 Pet 3:4, 1 Pet 3:15). Our GOD is not only holy (Lev 19:2, 1 Pet 1:14-16), and cannot be tempted by evil (Jam 1:13), but HE continually exercises restraint. We daily see HIS self-control. Our Beloved GOD does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor pays us back in full for our wrongs committed (Psa 103:10, Ezr 9:13). HE is slow to anger, holding it back, giving men and opportunity to turn away from sin (Rom 2:4, Psa 78:38, Psa 103:8-9, Isa 48:9). HE restrains HIMSELF and silently waits until HIS appointed time to punish the wicked (Psa 50:17-21, Ecc 8:11, Isa 42:14, Isa 57:11). When The SPIRIT of our LORD inhabits our soul (Rom 8:9, Jhn 14:23), HIS love holds our emotions, thoughts, and behavior in the face of temptations (2 Cor 5:14, Jud 1:24-25), giving us the strength to keep the impulses of the flesh in control (Php 4:13). HIS SPIRIT gives us both the faith and the ability, to silently wait on HIM no matter the circumstance (Exd 14:14, Psa 62:5, Lam 3:25-26, Jam 1:19).

What causes one to stop growing spiritually? There are many reasons, we will look at five:

1. Lack of faith, they do not have complete trust and confidence in GOD or HIS WORD (Deu 1:32, Psa 78:22, Zep 3:2). Those who lack faith in GOD, are those who do not believe that HE truly exists, nor do they believe that HE is good. So they do not believe that HE cares for them, nor cares enough to respond to the prayers of those who seek HIM (Heb 11:6, Psa 6:9).
2. Trust is in themselves rather than GOD (Jer 7:24, Jer 17:5-9), leaning to their own understanding (Pro 3:5, Pro 3:7, Pro 28:26, Isa 5:21). Human reasoning will always clash with Faith. The mind of man is not the mind of GOD (Isa 55:8-9, 1 Cor 1:27-29); the mind of man looks from the human perspective as it can only grasp the seen aspect of every situation (Mat 16:5-12, 1 Cor 2:14); the mind of man is hostile to the things of GOD (Job 21:14-15, Rom 8:7).
3. Forget GOD by forgetting HIS WORD (Deu 8:11, Job 8:13). Those who forget GOD are those who forsake HIM (Deu 32:15, Jer 2:13, Jer 12:2); they do not seek HIM (Psa 10:4, Jer 2:31); they fail to pray, worship, or study HIS WORD (Isa 43:22, Rom 1:25, Isa 5:24).
4. Forget the blessings of GOD (Deu 1:26-33, Psa 103:1-2). Those who forget the blessings of GOD, are those who are not grateful or thankful for HIS kindness, provisions, or mercy, and continue to doubt HIM (Psa 78:11-22). When the blessing is out of sight, GOD is out of their mind (Deu 4:9-10, Jgs 8:34).
5. Walk in continual disobedience (Psa 78:10, Jer 22:21, Tit 1:16). Those who walk in continual disobedience, are those who live focused on satisfying self (Mrk 8:34-37, Rom 8:5-8, 1 Jhn 2:15-17). They never read GOD’s WORD. And though they attend public sermons, they hear, repeatedly hear, but seldom meditate on what they hear. As a result, they quickly forget what they hear, unable to reduce it to practice, so they derive little profit from GOD’s spoken WORD.

How does one keep growing spiritually? By GOD alone, WHO causes spiritual growth (1 Cor 3:6-7). This growth comes as we cling to HIM (Deu 13:4, Psa 119:31, Rev 14:12), and obey HIS WORD (Jhn 14:23, Jhn 15:1-10, 1 Jhn 3:24).

Is there hope for one in “arrested development” spiritually? Most definitely, there is nothing impossible with GOD (Luk 1:37), for it is HE WHO gives both death and life (1 Sam 2:6). The person who has stopped growing spiritually must choose to humble themselves, confess their sins (1 Jhn 1:9), and turn back to GOD (2 Chr 7:14).

Abide in ME, and I in you
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself
Unless it abides in the vine
So neither can you unless you abide in ME
I am the vine, you are the branches
He who abides in ME and I in him, he bears much fruit
For apart from ME you can do nothing
If anyone does not abide in ME
He is thrown away as a branch and dries up
And they gather them
And cast them into the fire and they are burned
John 15:4-6