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Jan 30, 2012

The battle belongs to the LORD

The battle belongs to the LORD, and we have to surrender, so He can make use of us in this battle. We are soldiers in the army of the LORD, and it is HIS battle, something which we should never forget. We get our orders from Him, according to His will, not ours. We are not to disregard His ideas about how to behave, for example, because we think we have to fight. We accept things if they do not turn out as we thought they would, and let go and let Him do the rest, no matter if we understand what is going on or not. HE is setting our aims, and driving and guiding us to reach them if we let Him. We should always listen to His will... His will is ALWAYS in harmony with His Word, the Bible. I hope I made some sense...

Jan 29, 2012


If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4 KJV)

Jan 28, 2012

Rick Warren's Heresy

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4 KJV)

Rick Warren's book "The Purpose Driven Life" is deceiving many people, leading many onto an unbiblical path. Since he has been one of the leading evangelicals of our times and since the issues are of high importance for the believer's understanding of the Gospel, it is not just a minor matter and needs to be addressed. The promising of church growth to those who follow his ideas has led many to leave the right way. Would God really care about church growth in which Warren seems to see the "purpose" in believers? Or would He rather care about the sound doctrine that is preached at the churches? How much do people count in Heaven who have never repented of their sins, or never given a confession of who their Savior is?

"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." (2 Timothy 4:2 KJV)

Those words were written by the Apostle Paul to tell Timothy how to teach the church. The right doctrine was important then and is today. Not to Rick Warren, however. He does not care about doctrine.

 “God won’t ask about your religious background or doctrinal views. The only thing that will matter is, did you accept what Jesus did for you and did you learn to love and trust him?” (Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life, pg. 34).

If it was true that God did not care, evangelizing people would be nonsense, and Jesus's death would have been in vain, too. Again and again we are warned to stick with the right doctrine in the New Testament. Jesus Himself warned us:

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." (Matthew 7:15 KJV)

Jesus is not the only way to the Father for Rick Warren while John 14:6 and John 3:16-18 clearly say that there is just one way. But Warren preaches that there are a lot of Christian believers among the Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus etc. The need to believe in Jesus Christ and a confession is unimportant for Warren.

It is not so much what he says; it is more what he leaves out. He seems to ignore sin and that we are sinners called to repentance, that we are washed in the blood of the Lamb, and that the wrath of God will hit those who have not become clean of sin through Jesus blood.

Warren said in 2007 that the Bible “talks more about unity of the church than it does about either heaven or hell”, which is not true. The Bible says a lot about Heaven and hell, and also warns of false prophets and teachers in the church and what to do with them, which is avoid them.

Rick Warren preaches a gospel of works, not of grace. He preaches it is not enough to believe but takes "love". He says life on earth is a test, so God can check out how responsible we are, and Warren also claims we need to make the most of our gifts, like money, intelligence, etc. But the Bible says we are saved through faith alone in grace alone. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkg2-ycSpEk)

Rick Warren has no problem to quote people from the New Age scene and partners with the Emergent Church movement that practices New Age and Eastern mysticism. Warren is a friend of meditations like the “contemplative prayer”, the “breath prayer,” and yoga.

Rick Warren distanced himself from the same-sex issue (with regard to marriage). He is "politically correct" - but not Biblically. He is a hypocrite who wants to please man. In 2004 he said that gay marriages would not be negotiable, but later he pointed out that he has never been an anti-gay activist. He advised his church (many thousands of members) to vote for proposition 8, however. There is a transcription of Warren's stand on gay marriage in a video: http://thenewamerican.com/culture/family/982.

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

John MacArthur on Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven Life"

The Real Roots Of The Emergent Church Documentary by Elliott Nesch - Please listen carefully...

Jan 25, 2012

Once saved, always saved?

I do know that I am saved, and that nothing can ever separate me from the love of God. But there were people who lost their trust in God again, like Demas who loved the world more than God. Judas Ischariot - but he was an exception, since he was prophecied to be the "son of perdition" and a part of God's plan to rescue mankind. The letters to the seven churches in Minor Asia in Revelation 2-3 speak volumes about it, too. Jesus also said that many were called but few chosen, and that not everyone who calls Him Lord will enter Heaven, and He warned of the broad way, too.

I believe people can backslide... It all depends on the soil on which the seed has fallen... and if they had a real break through and were born of God and became a new creation or not.

Compare with the article...
Digging Deeper into Matthew 13:19-23 - *The Parable of the Sower*
http://www.growing-deeper.net/2012/01/digging-deeper-into-matthew-1319-23.html

Can a Handy Dictionary Define Spiritual Terms?

There are people who ask their handy dictionaries about Biblical definitions. I have my doubts that a handy dictionary might define Biblical terms better than the Bible. We need to make up our minds which of the two is suitable for setting up Christian standards. I wonder if people also pray before asking their handy dictionary for a Biblical definition, too. A handy dictionary (nor any other) is usually not suitable to help us discern Spiritual things. It takes a Spiritual source like God's Word. 

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (1 Corinthians 2:12-13 KJV)

Psalm 36:9 - In Thy Light We See Light...


I took this picture on my way to visit my son this week... Someone asked me if our town was this beautiful to take pictures of it... "YES, definitely. God's world IS beautiful, no matter where you are, and even on rainy winter days... But you need eyes to see..." There is hope wherever you are. 

"For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light." (Psalms 36:9 KJV) 

Jan 20, 2012

Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

All the false Christian doctrine comes from the view that Christians need a special something to understand God's Word. Anyone can claim "The Lord has revealed to me...", and this is a dangerous thing... and it can only lead to falling away from the right doctrine. If it is not in accordance with the Bible, Christians do well to reject it *vehemently*. It is the old trick of satan, and has been since the Creation of the world:

"Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman,

Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die" (Genesis 3:1-4 KJV)

I have nothing against asking God for His Wisdom and also pray before my Bible reading, but if the Bible is not fundamental to our faith, infallible and authoritative, our faith is vain, and as good or bad as any other religion, something man-made. Christianity is MUCH MORE than that, and what many people experience as the "Holy Spirit" is nothing more but New Age stuff. They try anything to get a deeper understanding, and fall away from God more and more... Giving God a real chance is when we start listening carefully to His Words as in the Scriptures and live accordingly and submit to His will. Of course God does not only speak through the Bible... but never against it. The Gospel was written so kids can understand it. We do not need people who come along, asking, "Yea, hath God said, ..."

Jan 19, 2012

Emergent Church or The New Apostolic Reformation.a New Reformation?

Emergent Church or The New Apostolic Reformation.a New Reformation?

Which Bible Version?

God can definitely reach out and speak through any Bible version... Though I usually quote from the KJV, because I think it is the most powerful version, I became a believer while I was reading a simplified version of the Bible in my mother language German. I guess I needed that one at that time.

God can add what is lacking... or make us blind for those things which we do not need so much. If we read the Bible in context, some things catch our attention while others do not. And sometimes I just have the longing to clear something up, and then I search in other versions, or try to find out what the original says. I often pray that God opens my eyes and that He may speak His words into my heart. What I do not understand is when believers ask Jesus to come to them... because He is there around us anytime anyway. I do not need a ceremony to call Him to turn up. I wonder what He thinks when He sees the people telling Him to do this and to do that, as if they raise Him from the dead again... and all while He is standing right next to them already... oh well, they are trying to get closer, that is true, so this is not really too bad. But many do not have the connection to Him to know how close He actually is already, and forget who He is: God, and God is Divine and Holy. This is how I should treat Him - with all respect that we owe God.

Jan 18, 2012

Paul Washer Sermon Jam Power & Worship

Hebrews 6: Let Us Go On Unto Perfection

"Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." Hebrews 6:1-6 KJV

And this is what we should do after leaving the principles of Christ as mature Christians...

"And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises." Hebrews 6:11-12 KJV

"Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." Hebrews 6:17-20 KJV

How great is that? We are heirs... if we keep the faith.

Jan 17, 2012

Proverbs 26:4-5 Answer not a fool according to his folly

Some people say, the Bible is full of contradictions. I have found a nice example for that. Let us have a look at Proverbs 26:4-5 (KJV):

"Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
"Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit."

It looks like a contradiction... But have a closer look, please... What shall we do? Answer a fool according to his folly - or not?

Hint: God loves you! :-)

Jan 12, 2012

Laying Down Our Life for a Brother or Sister

"I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father." (John 10:14-18 KJV)

Yes, Jesus laid down his life for me. He did not only lay his life down for me but for the whole mankind, for anyone. I was walking through the streets, passing a lot of strangers… Was I really prepared to die for them? Sure, as long as it was just by saying… But what if it became real? I thought of the number of people whom I love dearly, and I thought all right, if necessary, I would die for them. But I felt ashamed when I noticed that I would not be prepared for someone passing by if I had had to make a choice that very moment. How much had the apostle Peter fallen when he heard that Jesus was to die! How easy is it for our lips to say we would be prepared to lay down our life for a brother… But Jesus knew that not even Peter, the rock onto whom He wanted to build His church, was prepared to die for Him, but He did not leave him alone and  foretold him what would happen, which really came to pass later...

"Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice." (John 13:37-38 KJV)

What a fall of this great man! And how deep would my own fall be? Or did I really think I could do better than the Apostle? How arrogant! As if dying was so easy… But Jesus spoke plain text about it and gave us a commandment…

"This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:12-13 KJV)

So this is the greatest love a human being can have, which is to die for his friends. Love in perfection according to Jesus standards for us. We can now see how great God's love was for us when He died on the cross to pay for our sins, and when I say our sins, I mean any big or small sin that has ever been or will ever be committed, and he paid the price for each of them. He did not just die for me but for us all, for his friends and for his enemies. He did not die one death but billions of them… one death for any of us.

"Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." (1 John 3:16 KJV)

Yes, we ought to… May He save us all from it if possible, however. May the Lord strengthen us all for that if it is needed. May He humble us enough to save us from lip confessions.

When I think about that now: would it not be a wonderful way to leave this earth by dying for one of our Beloved? I mean, we do not have to die for the whole world… not even for our own sins…
But wait… if we lay down our life for our Brother, it does not really matter, because now that Jesus paid for our tickets into Heaven, we do not even have to die at all… We will just walk over there, and leave a useless body behind us… to get a better one, an incorruptible one. All we have to do is to love and to follow Jesus… until the end, even into death.

"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 15:51-58 KJV)


Jan 5, 2012

Election, Foreknowledge and Free Will

Election, Foreknowledge and Free Will

by Vera Six on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 10:27pm

I do believe large parts of Dr. Martin Luther's teaching are correct, but even he stumbled and fell heavily in the end when he condemned the Jews and others, something that had an evil effect that had its climax in the Holocaust. Luther knew the Bible very well, but set himself higher than the Apostle Paul, something that is never rather intelligent. Paul spoke clearly about the Jews and their election in Romans 11 where Paul even warned the "Heathen Christians" of arrogance. How people can reject and ignore that the twelve tribes of Israel are a part of God's plan of salvation is not really understandable. Those who ignore this fact (cf. Revelation 7:1-8) have to twist large parts of the Scriptures to convince themselves of this lie, while the Bible is rather easy to understand for those who accept what the first Christians wrote down under the authorship of God.

But I did come to the same results as Luther when he claimed that the Bible alone is the base of the Christian faith and not tradition (sola scriptura), that Christ alone (not the church) has the authority over believers (solus Christus), that salvation of man is by the grace of God alone, not by good works (sola gratia) and that the justification of man is through faith alone, not through good works (sola fide).

I do believe large parts of Calvinism are correct, but I think Calvin never dared looking beyond the rim of the pudding bowl, just like Columbus when he wanted to find a faster way to India and did not know that the earth was a bit bigger than he had thought… He was right, and wrong at the same time. Calvin, like Columbus, probably just did not dare going beyond the limits of what was thought to be reality, and if he had, he might not have ended up a tyrant and persecuted people who believed differently. God said, "Thou shall not kill", so Calvin was very much in controversy with God's Word and His will on this. Calvin puffed himself up and rejected God's Word, that is why I have to reject Calvin, for there is a free will for anyone to trust God or not, and this freedom must be granted to anyone, no matter if I like his views or not. We may never kill others for their different views, or persecute them! Calvin had ignored God's plan of salvation and the free will of man, and that was where he stumbled, and which was the reason for all the evil that followed.

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I do believe in the election of the Saints… but also in the free will of man, which seems to be contradictory. The Christian Church is often compared to the Bride of Christ, and Revelation describes the Wedding of the Lamb "And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb." (Revelation 19:9 KJV). It is a custom that the bridegroom elects his bride, but she has the free will to reject his proposal. If she rejects, this usually ends in separation. This image describes my view on election and free will rather well.

Have a look into Paradise with me, too… God, Adam, Eve, the serpent, the fall, the banning… There were some things that Adam and Eve could not decide on by their free will.  There were borders and fences that God had arranged – for their protection. There was a law, too, and they could rebel against it, but they could not abolish it. They had a free will to rebel against God or not. We all know they chose to be rebels and that this had consequences that are still reaching into this third millenium.

God chose the prophets and also Israel and the descendants of Jacob as the nation of His special focus and care:

"For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, ..." (Isaiah 45:4 KJV)

"But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.  Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.  Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." (Isaiah 41:8-10 KJV)

He could have chosen any other people, but did not. Election does not depend on own works. It is done by God alone… God can elect people arbitrarily, and He does elect arbitrarily. He elected and called the prophets, and the Israelites.

God chose Israel, and Israel chose to rebel against God, again and again and again. Israel is rejecting God today, but more and more Jews have come to Christ meanwhile and have accepted Yeshua (Jesus) as their Messiah. God chose all the people of Israel, but not all accept Him, neither Jesus nor the Father. So there is space for free will even for the elect.

The only one who chooses us is God, but we have a free will and can rebel against Him.
When Jesus died and was resurrected, He opened the gate for all mankind and put them all on the list of the Elect:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." (John 3:16-17)

We are all elected, but there is a choice to believe in Him or not, to put our trust back into God and surrender our will to His. If we do not, we will be condemned, as the next verses say:

"He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:17-18 KJV)

We often like to forget one thing… God is not limited with regard to anything, not even to time. He is beyond that. Time is a feature of His creation, but He is not a part of that, since He was not created but "is" (He said He was "I am").

"And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you." (Exodus 3:13-14 KJV)

God is Almighty… He can see His Creation with its past, present and future one at the same "glance". This is known as "foreknowledge". He knows the ending even before the world was created. Of course He has His own plans with this world, and of course we cannot decide about what this ending will be. But we can decide about who our Master is: is it God, or is it the devil. We cannot serve two Masters. We do have a free will, but we cannot go beyond the borders God has given us, or change God's plans. The Apostle Peter's letter makes it clear, too:

"Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied." (1 Peter 1:2 KJV)

Jesus was clear on the issue that there is an election of the Saints, too:

"And except that the Lord … but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath ..." (Mark 13:20 KJV)

So we cannot reject the idea that there are the elect.

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Conclusion

Election and free will of man is not a contradiction but go hand in hand. It is not either or, it is actually both. Also, God can and does elect some for special tasks (like Israel or the prophets – just think of Jeremiah or Jonah), but Jesus opened the doors of Heaven for us all! We are all elected, but our free will can hinder us to accept God's proposal. God could force us, but He usually does not.

I am neither a Lutheran nor a Calvinist – I am a Christian! Many Christians were deceived and led a wrong demonic path and thought they knew better than what is in God's Word. God's Word is holy. God is the author of the Bible, and He is able to create a book like that which contains the truth about His will and His plans. If we cannot believe this, what would our faith be worth? Should we listen to voices that speak to us, and then accept any of them as God's without testing the spirits? How can we test them if not by checking them against God's Word?

A doctrine that cannot be found in the context of God's Word has to be rejected, and we also have to reject teachers that have scratched parts of it and made up their own Gospel.  

God Bless You!

Vera
Foto by Vera Six


Jan 2, 2012

Digging Deeper into Matthew 13:19-23 - *The Parable of the Sower*

Matthew 13:18-23 KJV Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. (19) When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. (20) But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; (21) Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. (22) He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. (23) But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

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It is interesting... I can see there are three groups of believers who hear the word, but it does not bring any fruit...

"When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side." (Matthew 13:19 KJV)

A person of the "first group* hears the word of the coming kingdom of God, but he does not understand it, because he did not take it seriously enough. The seed, which is the word, is planted in his heart, but he received the word on "way side" where many other things were going on, so he probably could not concentrate on going into it any deeper to understand it. This person did not take enough time for his Bible studies.

So all of us believers, not just a few who like it, should take Bible studies very seriously, because if there is no fruit in our lives, it might happen to us as is written in Matthew 3:10 (KJV):

"And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire."

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But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. (Matthew 13:20-21 KJV)

A person of the *second group* hears the word of the coming kingdom of God, but it cannot get any roots in his heart, because the person has no roots in himself, no hold, lacking discipline and self control. He reminds me of all the people who are very euphorical in the beginning when they convert, but are drawn back into their old life very soon, because they find out that being a Christian always means being mocked, discriminated against, persecuted or even be killed. Who would like that?

They are your best friend until there is trouble ahead… Boy, can they run!

But Jesus warned us to overcome and hold on till the end, and also said the following:

"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also." (John 15:18-20 KJV)

Jesus cannot make any use of cowards…

"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Revelation 21:8 KJV)

So let us bear what is to come, knowing God knows about it and will bless us for keeping the faith and confessing it.

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"He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful." (Matthew 13:22 KJV)

A person of the *third group* hears the word of the coming kingdom of God, but the circumstances are not good enough so the seed could grow and bring fruit. It is the world that is too loud around him, and there is all the trouble that is tearing his faith down like it is so often done by satan who tries to discourage us all the time.

I have often wondered why it seems that Christians are usually even more troubled by circumstances than the rest of the world, and if they should not be free from trouble if they belong to God. The opposite seems to be the case. Satan wants to prevent us from bearing fruit, so he tries to deceive us by all means and offers us an easier and wealthier life, as he tempted Jesus in the desert:

"Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." (Matthew 4:8-10 KJV)

Let us make up our minds! Because…

"No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (Luke 16:13 KJV)

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"But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty." (Matthew 13:23 KJV)

If you want to be in this *fourth* group of believers who bring a lot of fruit, please make sure that you take the word of God seriously and that you understand it. Take enough time for that.

Also, hold on to the word even if you are mocked, discriminated against, persecuted or threatened. The world will hate us, and if the world loves you, you should seriously ask yourself what is wrong with you. Do not fear persecution. God knows about it and is on your side.

Do not be discouraged if satan is tempting you. It is a part of our faith. It is not because God does not love you – do not ever think that. I have found out that the best way to overcome this is by prayer. Ask God to comfort you, and to strengthen you and your faith and to get you out of the trouble, or, even better, ask others to pray this for you.

One more thing…

Help others to take their faith seriously. Take enough time to teach them if you are a teacher. Listen to their problems that faith brings along.

If you see other believers who are fearful, try to help them overcome their fear, even of persecution or death. Be a good example to them. Do not lie to them and tell them being a Christian is Heaven on earth already. It is Heaven on earth for sure, but there is still the earth under our feet, and its ruler is still satan until he is bound.

Think of what Christians are to do, namely carry the burden for one another, so try to help others who are facing trouble and hardship in their lives, and do not let them carry their burdens alone.

God Bless You all!

The Beauty of the Psalms

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