A couple of years ago, while on a Schwinn tricycle, traveling across the United States, I wrote an article called Fifty pounds or less. It was published in a Christian magazine online. It was supposed to be a travel story but ended up being a commentary on Christian living, that is, having few attachments, etc. I was recently in the airport in Spokane, Washington and as I looked at my luggage, I was struck that in two years not much has changed. Nowadays, I could probably stand to lose fifty pounds. Still, I carry only the things that matter, things that are profitable to preaching the Gospel.
A young man asked, once, where my courage came from, I responded that the Bible is true. The Lord’s prayer reminds us an important insight into Christian living, when it says, “let Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven”. I believe that can come in many ways, both physical and spiritual. Moreover, I believe that as we walk in faith we should acquire things as a result of our prayers. Faith is the evidence of things unseen and as we walk toward it should become clearly seen.
 Mt. 6:10
“But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”-John 3:21
The line of thought that a Christian must renounce things, taking vows of poverty etc., in my humble view, are the result of religious devils. Jesus had a treasurer, Judas Iscariot, and enough money to pilfer some without it being noticeable. So, this has never been the reason for such a lifestyle. The bottom line has always been obedience. When my taxi caught on fire in 2012 just after God said, “Sell your cab and follow me”, I began this walk of obedience. I asked God but what will I do for money? The reply was simple, “Do you trust me?” Four words that have resonated in me ever since, along with a five-word answer, Yes, Lord I trust you. Did you ever realize the value of trust?
Relationships are made or broken according to trust. Did you ever consider that the relation-ships you make here on earth are all you will take with you into heaven? I have had the opportunity to meet lots of people as I have travelled over 2500 miles on my trike (not to mention planes, trains and automobiles) as an evangelist and missionary for Christ. Out of all those people very few do I have the pleasure of saying I have an ongoing relationship. Many I pray for occasionally, and some call from time to time, but few are in my life daily, weekly or even monthly. The angels rejoice when a sinner repents, and we scarcely take notice the value in leading someone to Christ. Furthermore, we rarely look at it as the lifetime commitment that it is. Jesus, on the other hand, spent time with His disciples.
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”-Matthew 6:19:22
There are very few people who really get the value of godly relationships. This was how Jesus taught, His disciples were with Him while He preached and when the crowd was gone, He answered their questions. Leading someone to Christ is much more involved than initial repentance. We must be taught as Christ taught His own disciples to observe His commandments. It is my belief these godly relationships are the one treasure we can keep eternally. Consider, how eternally grateful people will be upon realizing the truths of heaven: the joy that will be released on that day is unimaginable! On the other hand, think of how someone will look at you knowing you withheld this from them.
 Mt. 28:20
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.”-I Timothy 4:2
The Bible says we are to look for ways to benefit others. We should be careful of their reputation, and in our conversation looking continually to find something to admonish them for. Of course, we do this according to the truth (doctrine), we never encourage a person in sin. If this truth is applied from the beginning the rest will flow naturally. Perhaps, this could be why ‘reprove, rebuke’ comes first in the sentence. We, having received such grace as we have, are to become ministers of reconciliation. Helping people overcome temptation and worldliness should be our heart, as this is what the true grace of God does. How eternally grateful we will all be for the people who set aside their own agendas in order that we might see our need for Jesus! Those who regardless of the damage to their own reputation, laid it all down so that we might have an example to live by.
 I Co. 10:24  II Co. 5:18  Ti. 2:11-12
“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
Friends be good to one another. Seek peace. It is a war and it should be no surprise when people reject your kindness. Still, we must be certain it wasn’t our own malice which caused the rejection. The pitfall seen all too often is that people have their eye on people they may want to convert and pour all their kindness into them while neglecting and even despising the Saints. Judgment will begin the household of God and so should our kindness and love. Have a wonderful day! Walk about Jesus.
About the Author:
Brother Daniel Rusk is a national evangelist and missionary
currently stationed in Spokane, Washington.
He does the majority of the writing for this website
and has been published in other publications.
You can help support his missionary efforts by supporting this ministry
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Peter Crucified Upside Down!
Simon Barjona, also called Cephas in Syriac, (Petros or Petrus in Greek), was the brother of Andrew. He was a native of Bethsaida in Galilee, and a fisherman by occupation. He lived in Capernaum, with his mother-in-law. His brother Andrew, who was a disciple of John, first brought him to Christ, and shortly afterwards he and his brother were called away from the fishery, to become fishers of men.
He was diligently instructed by Christ, his Saviour, and quickly became the spokesman of all the apostles. He was, generally, the most frank in asking and answering. He was also the most zealous for Christ, in order to prove to Him his love and fidelity, although at times he clearly was guilty of hasty actions. The Lord, like a father his child, faithfully instructed, and, whenever it was necessary, kindly reproved him.
The Lord loved him in a special manner, and permitted him, together with James and John, to witness His glory on Mount Tabor. He, afterwards, made mention to the chosen scattered strangers, saying, “We were eyewitnesses of his majesty”. He was the boldest in offering to suffer with Christ, but the weakest when the conflict began. The Lord selected him and the two sons of Zebedee, to watch and pray with Him in the garden; but his eyes as well as those of the others were heavy with sleep. This showed that though he was specially loved by Christ, he was nothing more than a weak mortal.
As for his denying Christ we shall not mention anything, as this is not the proper place for it. We purpose to speak only of his faithfulness and steadfastness until death. After the aforesaid denial, the Lord forgave him his sin, and commanded him three times to feed His sheep and lambs; which he subsequently faithfully did to the full extent of his ability.
In one day three thousand souls were converted to the faith, by his preaching. All of whom were baptized, and continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. He confirmed his doctrine through the power of God by signs accompanying the same, according to the promise of Christ, as is evidenced in the case of the lame man, Ananias, Sapphira, Eneas, Tabitha, and others. The calling of the Gentiles was revealed to him in a vision from heaven; but as he was properly an apostle of the Jews, his ministry was most effectual among the circumcision.
Since he was so excellent and worthy a man in his ministry, it pleased the Lord, that he should also be one of His martyrs. The truth of His doctrine was sealed, not only with the mouth, but also with his blood, even with his death. This the Lord showed to him shortly before His departure from this world, saying, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee. When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God.”
This was verified in him, for shortly afterwards he and John, his fellow helper, were-brought before the Jewish council in Jerusalem, and severely threatened, to desist preaching in the name of Jesus; to which they both boldly replied, "Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye". Afterwards, he was again apprehended, together with the other apostles, but by night, miraculously delivered out of prison by an angel. After that, he was not only apprehended, but, together with the other apostles, scourged and commanded, that they should not preach in the name of the Lord Jesus. But they went away from the Council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.
Afterwards King Herod stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And when he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further and apprehended Peter also, and put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. But in the night the angel of the Lord led him out, through the midst of the soldiers, so that he returned to the believers, who rejoiced greatly on account of him.
Finally, according to the testimony of history, the prediction of Christ was fulfilled, and Peter glorified God by his death. While he was at Rome, he was sentenced by the Emperor Nero to death by crucifixion. But, esteeming himself unworthy to be crucified with his head upward, like his Saviour, he requested to be crucified with his head downward. The tyrants were all too willing to heed his request, in order to increase the pain inflicted upon him. This occurred, as is stated, after Peter had preached the Gospel for thirty-seven years, and when he was seventy years old.
 Mt. 4:18; 16:17; Mk. 3:16; Jn. 1: 41-42, 44; Lk. 4:31, 38  Mt. 14:31; 16:16; 18:21; Jn. 6:68; 18:10-11
 Mt. 17:1-3; II Pt. 1:16-17  Mt. 26:33, 36  Jn. 21:15-16; I Pt. 5:1-3  A.A. 2:41-42
 A.A. 3:7; 5:5,10; 9:34, 40  A.A. 10:10-12; Ga. 2:8  Jn. 21:18-19  A.A. 4:19  A.A. 5:19
 A.A. 5:40-42  A.A. 12:1  “Of the Ten Bloody Persecutions…”, The Martyrs’ Mirror, pp. 81-82
Esebius, Church History Vol. II, Ch. 25
This account of Peter is short and not having a lot of details I am fearful to add much commentary. The cruelties of Nero will be detailed in further articles, when you recognize just how cruel he was it may seem that Peter was blessed to be only crucified. There is one thing that made a deep impression, while reading this account. That is humility and a deep consideration of God’s glory. Peter showed humility and a carefulness towards the glory of God, even in his death. The writers of the Martyrs’ Mirror also showed these same characteristics in their retelling of the account. They sought to bring glory to God, highlighting God’s victories. It seems, modern Christianity has all but lost this powerful trait.
The early church had no delusions about avoiding the suffering Jesus promised. Many were converted in prisons and kept their testimony to a gruesome death. Sadly, with the gradual acceptance of Darwinian evolution, (within the church) secular humanism has also been embraced widely among professing Christians. This produces a ‘feel good’ Christianity that is so dangerous to the pure doctrine of Christ. If there is any suffering (at any level) involved in a matter, a minister of this gospel must apologize for God. They don’t want people to be offended, they produce pampered ‘Christians’.
The pampered “Christian” is antinomian at heart; grace is often spoken of, while sin is diminished. At a glance, the writing above might be misconstrued to have said this same thing. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Peter was made painfully aware of his sins and repented deeply from them. He wept bitterly. Not only did he weep, but when next he was tempted to deny Christ he overcame, though his life was apparently at stake. This is not what takes place in the life of the modern pampered ‘Christian’. The ministers of this new gospel are fearful to name people’s sins. They shrug their shoulders and say, ‘who am I to judge?’ This is backwards from the Gospel and therefore it is antichrist.
 Lk. 22:62  A.A. 5
“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
Here we have a glimpse of what will come surrounding the final days. The everlasting gospel is preached to “them that dwell the earth, and to every nation”. They make the distinction very clear: fear God, give Him glory. In direct contrast, the modern ‘pampered’ gospel fears man and seeks his glory. All worship is directed toward mankind. The crux of the teaching in the modern church is that man is made sinful, therefore, victimhood is implied regardless of whether it is spoken. The modern minister works from this and quickly descends, dragging many to hell.
Rather than covering Peter’s sin (as the writers of Martyrs’ Mirror did) the ‘pampered’ Christian ministers highlight it. They make statements like, “well you’re a sinner, but you’re no different than Peter, who denied Christ.” There was a poster going around on social media, at one time, naming the sin of Noah, David, Peter and Paul among others. It said God used them, implying that he can use us in the same way. This is true, in a sense, but needs clarification. Nothing was mentioned in the poster of repentance. To only look at the sin of these men is not only a misrepresentation of their character, but also of the character of God. This must be done to portray man as a victim. Peter made no such claims.
Look at one of his first interactions with Jesus (Luke 6). When Jesus miraculously filled the nets of the fishermen, it was Peter who fell at His feet saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Oh Lord.” If Jesus was one of the modern-day ministers, He would have patted Peter on the back and said don’t worry it is not your fault. The text is silent on Jesus ministry to Peter but by verse 11, it says, “they forsook all and followed him”. Whatever Jesus said to Peter, it left him confident that he was cleansed from his past sins and, therefore, he was able to follow Jesus with a clean conscience.
This is a sign of godly sorrow and true repentance. To labor on the sin (which in all the cases mentioned was few in comparison to the obedience these same men displayed) is nothing more than an attempt to glorify the creature over the creator. This is what evolutionary humanism does. This was the goal of Satan from the beginning, to sit in the seat of the Most High.
Remember what the writers of the Martyrs’ Mirror said: “We purpose to speak only of his faithfulness and steadfastness until death”. This was the pattern of the early Christians, and it should be understood, that the nature of Christianity has never changed. There are those who display virtue who have no true relationship with the Father. That said, in order to have a relationship with the Father one must have virtue.
“But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.”-James 2:20-23
The early church was careful to remember this balance. We are not saved by what we do, but what we do is governed by our faith. They never looked at the Gospel from the standpoint of a salesperson. They understood it as a natural result of considering our own souls’ eternal destination. This humbling fact will bring clarity in thought and can change a life: once to die and then judgment. It is heaven or hell that is being decided by the actions or inaction of our short lives here on earth.
The modern attempts at preaching the gospel fall short even in this. Modern ministers rarely mention hell or heaven for that matter. They instead try to make vain promises of what God will do for you here on earth. They may speak often of healing, or financial blessings, but seldom do they make a person consider heaven or hell. If one has not considered first heaven and hell; then, they cannot truly know the love of God and the life abundant promised. Consider when Jesus rebuked the people who had been miraculously fed, many of his disciples left unable to consider the hard sayings. But when He turned to the twelve, it was Peter who said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life”. Rather than making people feel better about themselves, this is the result we should be striving for: evidence that the person you are ministering to has had an experience with the true and living God!
When we drudge up the sins of another saint (especially one that is long dead), we dishonor the forgiveness of God. God says He remembers it no more and if we are conforming to His image, we will do likewise. What message are you portraying to the person you are trying to win? Will they not see that if you won’t let another’s person’s sins be forgotten, you won’t forget theirs either? Mudslinging the saints is a wicked practice and so many in the modern church are guilty of it. It is time we get back to giving honor to whom honor is due. Peter’s godliness and virtue far surpassed his sins. Jesus wants to forgive us for our sins and much more than that if we would take heed of His grace.
 Lk. 5:8  Is. 14:12-15  Jn. 6:26-27  Jn. 6:66  Jn. 6:53-54  Jn. 6:68
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
I am only a brother...
Can I tell you about my elder brother Jesus?