“If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
The Spirit spoke expressly, and friends we are in those ‘latter times’. It is amazing when we look at history with the guiding of the Holy Ghost, we can see just how it came to pass. Men’s consciences have been seared with hot irons and the persecution of the martyrs of old and the abuse of the professing church are contributing factors of this searing. When the ones presenting themselves as the church are persecuting believers it breeds confusion. At the same time if we are students of Scripture we should not be surprised, it seems God uses this confusion to prove our faith.
 I Ti. 4:1
“These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
Jesus told us it would be this way and all His apostles have affirmed it. Still, many are taken in by religious acts, feigned piety, pomp and circumstance. All of these are like the leaven of the Pharisees of old to be avoided. Jesus warned His disciples to beware and the warning stands even more so today. The true body of Christ may be small, in comparison to its imitators, but it is mighty. It is not in the wind, not in the shaking of the earth, not in the fire, but in the still small voice.
The Catholic/Protestant religious systems have killed so many while claiming the name of Jesus that there has become an almost inherent shame when dealing with matters of religious doctrine. After centuries of ‘holy’ wars people distance themselves from ‘religion’. They seek instead to be non-judgmental speaking of a relationship with God. Yet, how do you have any good relationship with Jesus and know nothing of Him?
 Mt. 16:6; Mk. 8:12; Lk.12:1  I Ki. 19:11-12
This important definition was copied from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary—Doctrine, noun [Latin, to teach.]
Doctrine matters, otherwise, we have no basis to truly know God. God never changes, so our experience with God cannot contradict His holy Word. Men, on the other hand, change with the wind. If our experience with God is governed only by our feelings, intellect or instinct for survival, then we will serve a god of our own imaginations. Every man is right in his own eyes, but God ponders the hearts of men. Satan is seeking worship for himself; he loves to try to sift the Saints as wheat. We must let the trials prove our converted hearts, persecution purifies our walk with Christ, it strengthens and clarifies the borders of the kingdom of God in opposition to the kingdom of mere men.
It has been said, if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything. This is being proven before our very eyes in this wicked perverse generation. Most of the professing church says we cannot judge, therefore allowing all manner of evil to thrive. The church described in the Martyr’s Mirror stood for something. It is amazing to read that Thessalonica, the church that Paul praised for its faith in action, turning from their idols unto the true and living God remained unchanged by Roman or Greek influence up until the sixteenth century. Timothy was told to ‘refuse profane and old wives’ tales’, this message must have carried to the believers of this city. They understood their doctrine and refused to be swayed by the philosophy of men and the changing of times and seasons. They, instead, looked to matters of godliness and holiness; a simplicity, taking of God at His Word.
 Pr. 21:2  Lk. 22:31  I Th. 1:9
 Martyrs Mirror, Severe Persecution in The East, About A. D. 718 (p.228-229), Summary of Baptism in the Sixteenth Century (p. 364)
“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”-II Ti. 4:16
The word doctrine is used 12 times within the 4 Gospels and 4 times in the book of Acts. Paul referred to doctrine 23 times in his letters and the Apostle John warned us not to say godspeed to those who “abideth not the doctrine of Christ”. What is the doctrine of Christ?
 II Jn. 1:9-10
“Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
Many scholars make this answer much more complicated than it need be, as it is written, God uses foolish things to confound the wise. It is a simple matter of taking Jesus words to heart. In modern teaching it is often said of the sermon on the mount (for example) that Jesus was showing us we could not keep the law as we cannot keep covetousness, lust murder and adultery from our heart. Is this true? Does not the same Scripture tell us to renew our mind? Did not God promise us a new heart as a part of the new covenant? Are we not warned to guard our heart with due diligence?
If a person studies the Bible accepting the idea that there may be contradictions, then that person will find no end of contradiction. It is for this reason it seems foolish to those who are perishing. The obvious problem with this is that the doctrine of Christ reflects the Heavenly Father: there is no contradiction in Him, no shadow of turning. If there is no contradiction in Him, then there is no contradiction in His Word, it is plain and simple.
The Greeks of the day were used to overlooking contradictions. A brief study of the Greek pantheon makes this clear. The gods were said to do vulgar, profane things, even ungodly things. The wives’ tales were simply stories used to teach children moral lessons and continuity of theme or reality were not necessarily important. The idea being taught was the focus, not reality. The Bible, on the other hand, proclaims its own truth repetitively, the exact phrase “thus saith the Lord” shows up 413 times in the King James Bible. The consistent teaching of Greek mythology is a sort of helpless fate, whereas the Bible gives us choices and places the responsibility for the choices we make, rightfully, upon us. It is for this reason doctrine is so important: We will stand and give an account for every idle word on judgment day! Are we really prepared for that day, when we are waffling under pressure on what we believe here on earth? What will happen then if we don’t take God’s Word seriously?
The Martyrs died for the details. They could have said, “well it is not that serious, I suppose we can just agree to disagree,” but they didn’t. They were killed for their opposition of infant baptism, which denies the rationality of our faith, implying that people baptized before they can even remember it will somehow be saved by the baptism. Jesus told Peter the church was built on a conscious confession, of course the Catholics use this verse to claim the church was built on him. By the eighth century the catechisms were full of superstition, many of which, were in direct conflict with the Word of God itself. The Bible believing Saints of that time were careful to stand against this demonic doctrine.
They used letters sent strategically, laced with the Word of God and fervent prayer. We will look at one Saint who wrote a whole book, only to have it burned by order of the pope. They used every form of persuasion they could conceive of, but they never returned evil for evil. The constant in all these testimonies are lives devoted to godliness. This speaks volumes above any wisdom or innovation we could develop. It is a theme repeated in the Martyr’s Mirror and it should be our desire as well, the persecuted Saints put on the spiritual armor and battled to their last breath. If we can truly get hold of the Gospel message we will do likewise, we are not fighting for victory, we are fighting to declare victory! We proclaim the good news: Jesus died on the cross that men could live free from the bondage of sin and the weight of shame.
Walkabout Jesus! Hallelujah!!!
 I Co. 1:27 Mt. 16:18 Ep. 6:10-18
“So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:”
Please re-read this verse—and once more. Now, have you ever heard any ministers saying this today? It would be a surprise if you have. If you live anywhere in western society it is very rare (though things are rapidly changing) to face real persecution. It is often taught in the western churches that God will rapture the church from any tribulation. Is this a legitimate hope? Is there any Biblical reference to support this teaching?
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”-John 16:33
Quite the opposite! Furthermore, if God ‘raptured’ the western church what would He say to the church in the east? What of those steadfast saints, who have faced so much persecution and tribulation? God is no respecter of persons and as we (in the west) become more like Sodom and Gomorrah it seems more reasonable to expect destruction. There is comfort in the truth, as this is the only place the spirit within a person will allow true rest.
Paul did not try to convince the church at Thessalonica of any reprieve from the persecution, rather he sought to help them to see its usefulness. As we suffer in the flesh, we cease from sin. This holiness we are called to, as saints, begins with an inward change, is quickly seen outwardly. Those who cleave to God in such a manner become a reproach to a rebellious generation demanding acceptance, rather than pardon. Still, the truth is, those “that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy”.
 I Pt. 4:1  Jonah 2:8
Paul surely had not forgotten his own experiences. This was why he was able to witness to the people edifying their faith despite the circumstances. God delivered him from “them all” and since God is no respecter of persons, as he was delivered, they would be also. The main thing that he wanted to build on was their resolve to hate “even the garment spotted by the flesh”.
 Jude 23
Paul gives the reason they are suffering—"a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God”. The word ‘manifest’ is defined as plain, open, clearly visible to the eye or obvious to the understanding; apparent; not obscure or difficult to be seen or understood. The word token is defined as “a sign; something intended to represent or indicate another thing or an event. Thus the rainbow is a token of God’s covenant with Noah. The blood of the paschal lamb, sprinkled on the doors of the Hebrews, was a token to the destroying angel of God’s will that he should pass by those houses”.
So, a manifest token is a sign which makes clear the judgment of God to come. “Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord”, dear Saint, did you ever realize that you will have a part in that great and terrible day?
 Webster’s Dictionary 1828 Webster’s Dictionary 1828 Gn. 9:12; Ex:12:13 Rm. 12:19
”Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;”-I Th. 1:6
When that day comes, we will fight alongside of Jesus and we will be completely just to do so. We will have been set free from the bounds of this fallen world, just as we have now been delivered from the bonds of sin by the precious blood of Jesus. We will have the righteous banner of Elohim; this is described in Psalm 149 as well as this letter to the Thessalonians. What a wonderful day that will be!
”For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.
Paul exhorted the saints at Thessalonica to “rest with us”. He reminded them that it is a “righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation”. It does not yet appear what we shall be, but when he appears, we shall be like Him. What a precious promise this is! What hope we ought to have, a longing for Him to return!
 I Jn. 3:2
“In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”-II Th. 1:8-9
This is a deep insight into the nature of God and a roster of the events of judgment day. It seems through consistent Bible study that we (Saints) will be fighting along the side of Jesus. Do you think you will be able to fight against people who have rebelled against God by their lifetime of committing the same sins as you compromise the Gospel for? No, you must “Come out from among them”. Any compromise will lead to an inability to stand on that great and terrible day!
The world wants you to make the deal. Don’t tell about them their sin and they won’t tell of yours. In doing so, you become those who judge themselves by themselves, this is not wise. This is the ‘Christianity’ modernity offers and it is a culture of death. Do you suppose Jesus will allow an army of hypocrites to serve in His Royal army? God forbid!
 II Co. 6:17  II Co. 10:12
Are you worthy of His calling? To be sure, you cannot do it on our own merit. Have you been washed by the blood? If so, see to your walk, if you have been “…purged of your former sins”, be sure that you do not return to them “like a dog returning to its vomit”. What God has cleansed, let no man call unclean. This is the reproach of Christ that we should suffer as we live blameless and above reproach by the power of the Holy Ghost. Those who understand will be glad to bear their cross.
II Pt. 1:9  II Pt.2:22  Acts 11:9
“That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”-II Th.1:12
The Gospel of the Bible produces obedience to God. The grace of God produces godliness, or holiness. So, this was what Paul spoke to those being persecuted in Thessalonica, and you would do well to hear his words. When we begin to live the Gospel, we can count on persecution. We know that through this tribulation God gets glory. This will cause us to take our rightful place, which is waiting patiently at the foot of the cross. We will then begin our mission of pointing the way to others. The love of God is herein fulfilled, as we who once were unconcerned by the will of God become obedient even to death. We will love God with all our heart mind and strength. In our earnest pleadings and stern warnings, we are truly loving our neighbors as ourselves. As unprofitable servants we hope to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Hallelujah, Saint! Proclaim the victory in the high times, in the sadness, and in the tribulation for Jesus has truly overcome the world!
 Ph. 2:8
Today, let us look at the conversion of Basilides, who lived in A.D. 204. There were three women executed, Rhais, Marcella and her daughter Potamiena. The women were tortured then burned slowly “by degrees” alive. One would shudder to imagine such a death, Basilides one of the executors was converted following something Potamiena had said during her conversion.
“Eusebius writes, "Being among his companions, and an oath being demanded of him on some special matter, he said, that he dared not swear at all, because he was a Christian, and did openly confess it before them. When they heard this, they thought at first, that he was joking; but when he persistently asserted it, and showed that he was in earnest, he was seized and cast into prison. When some of the brethren came to visit him and inquired how it happened that he had become changed so suddenly, he fully satisfied them in regard to the matter. Having heard this, they gave him the sign of the Lord, that is (as A. Mellinus explains it), he was baptized in the name of Christ. The following day he was beheaded for the confession of the Lord. Compare the preceding accounts concerning the disciples of Origen, with Eusebius, lib. 6, cap. 5, fol. 107, cot. 1, 2. Also, A, Mellinus, lst book, fol. 58, Col. 1, 2. Also, P. J, Twisck, Chron., 3d book, for the year 204, fol. 55; Col. 2, above. Also, Introduction M. Sp., fol. 39; Col. 1. (p. 129)”
This is someone who had counted the cost. He knew firsthand what it meant to profess faith in Christ. We don’t know how many Christians he himself had killed; it would only take one to get the point across. Christianity was a death sentence in A.D.204, and not only death awaited but terrible torture before dying. Still, Basilides forsook his sins and became ready for the kingdom of God. Like Moses, he decided to “...to suffer affliction with the people of God, [rather] than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;” (He. 11:25).
Perhaps he was struck by the admonishment of Jesus, who said (Mk. 8:36), “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” We don’t know what was said but the question is exemplified in this courageous act of Basilides. His fellow soldiers thought he must be joking. This must have weighed on their hearts to see him stand and not back down even to the point of death.
His fellow Christians came “to visit him” when they were convinced of the genuineness of his conversion, they baptized him. These men of God took seriously the admonitions in the Scripture to test every spirit, to lay hands on no man suddenly. This must be done sternly, soberly and thoroughly, as eternity is too grave a matter to be wrong.
People today won’t come to Christ because they realize they must give up their sinful lifestyles. This is not a good example of counting the cost. These people have not considered their sinful pleasures last only so long. Consider this truth, written plainly in the Revelation of John:
“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.”-Rv. 22:11
In other words, if you die a drunkard, you will be a drunkard still. Drunkards do not enter heaven, therefore, in hell you will continue with your desire for drunkenness, yet there will be no relief for that desire. You may be in hell with all your worldly lovers, but you will no longer be fornicating with them. Count the cost!
Whatever thrill you may find in this earth is pursuing it worth an eternity in hell?
What does it profit a man? What can a man give in exchange for his soul?
“For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money.”-Is. 52:3
He delivered that promise on the cross of cavalry. The lamb of God has come to take away the sins of the world and woe unto anyone who would deny that precious gift! For what? Basilides was a wise man and we would do well to remember his sacrifice and example.
He was quickly baptized just before he was killed. One of the women mentioned above, was yet to be baptized when she was killed. There was some discussion of whether she would be saved until it was decided she was baptized by fire. Do you see the reverence they placed on the doctrine of salvation in the early days of Christianity? Do you see the fear of God? We would do well follow the example of the early church.
In this brief exhortation I will attempt to persuade you to the usefulness of God’s Moral Government in converting souls to His mighty kingdom. It is my hope to show you through a brief overview of John chapter 8 that this was the method which Jesus used over and over in His own soul winning ministry. This did not start with Jesus’ earthly ministry, rather, its roots trace all the way back to the patriarchs in the book of Genesis.
“Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?” -John 8:1-5
“And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.”-Lk.2:47
This was where the Pharisees came against Him the most; since they could not dispute His miracles, they sought to find flaw in His teaching. They brought this woman caught in adultery in hopes of snaring Him in His words. If He agreed to her stoning some of the people may have thought He was cruel. Yet, if He stood against the fulfillment of the prescribed punishment according to law, He would appear lawless. It is amazing that the religious hypocrites even today seek to use these verses in the same manner, which we will address shortly. The trap was set, if they could discredit Jesus it would be the people who would throw Him out of the temple and their troubles would be over. Still, Jesus went on writing on the ground as if unvexed by their apparent trap.
“So, when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”-John 8:7
Students threw rocks at us at Campbellsville, a Christian College
Here is where we see the moral government of God. Only one who is holy (that is set apart from the whole thing) and blameless has an ability or right to judge. Among this crowd, their hearts were pricked as it says:
“And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.”-Jn. 8:9
From the eldest to the youngest each one thought of their own sin and dropped the stones. Jesus appealed to their conscience, remember the law was written on the hearts of men. This is an important tool in evangelism, Jesus didn’t stop with the Pharisees. Imagine the mind of the woman caught in the very act, her own death very near and rightfully so, according to the law, she must have been trembling in fear. Jesus, to prove both mercy and truth, turned the light on her, saying, “Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?”
This must have been a long silence as the woman must have been troubled to speak. She must have been humbled before Him as she said, “No man, Lord.” In order that mercy and truth should meet, Jesus spoke very authoritatively, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
Go and sin no more. Do you see how this appeal also calls on the conscience of a man to do what he already knows is right? To be sure, with God there is no respect of persons. He does not force His will on people who do not relish it, rather, the scriptures say God takes no pleasure in him who shrinks back. Will God forgive those who return stubbornly to their transgressions? No, Peter explained this clearly in his second epistle.
 Ps. 85:10-11  Jn. 8:10  Jn. 8:11  Rm. 7:12-16  Hb. 10:38
“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:”-II Pt. 2:9
Those who believe they can go on in their sin as if to make light of the sufferings of Christ, Peter also spoke of as those who despise the moral government of God. This is the way Paul persuaded the Ephesians to examine their faith, appealing to their conscience, warning clearly, “..have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus.”
 II Pt. 2:10; Romans 13:1 Ep. 4:17-20
To see the history of this method let us look to the Patriarchs of the Christian faith. When Abraham was in Egypt, he thought the land to be absent of the fear of God. He lied calling Sarah his sister, thinking to protect himself. The Pharaoh being plagued by God came to perceive the lie and charged Abraham, saying, “What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.”
Isaac had a similar experience in Gerar, in which he told the same lie. This time Abimelech perceived the lie asking a similar question. Both Abraham and Isaac were proven wrong in their assumption that these men had no conscience, and, in both situations, God used this conscience to protect and even prosper Abraham and Isaac. Consider Jacob: oppressed by his Father-in-law, Laban, he would have been sent away empty handed except God had come to Laban in a dream. Jacob reproved Laban reminding him of God’s moral government which he called the fear of Isaac.
 Gn. 12:18-19  Gn. 26:9-11  Gn. 31:38-44
“Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight.” -Gn. 31:42
It was for this reason Paul, in the letter to the Romans, wrote:
“For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
Joseph apparently learned this lesson, for it was by this very fear he refused Potiphar’s wife causing himself to suffer prison for the report of the Lord. Moses, perhaps, understood the principle of God being the Most High Governor, even over the Pharaoh who was his grandfather by adoption. Was it for this cause he “refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter”? Could this have been the reason he chose “rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season?” He esteemed “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt.”
Nehemiah, when hearing the complaints of oppression by his people made it clear his intention to stand with his people, taking none of Artaxerxes bread. This chapter speaks of the laws of jubilee when the slaves would be returned to their possessions, their lands and homes, their debts being cleared. Under the Gentiles which ruled over them they had no such hope. Sadly, even when Israel was a sovereign nation these laws were not enforced in their fulness causing them to be no different than wicked Belshazzar: “weighed in the scales... found wanting.” Nehemiah, himself was a pious man and a good ruler using all he had to do right before his people. He was a man fully persuaded by the moral governance of God.
 Gn. 39:7-12  Hb. 11:24  Hb. 11:25  Hb.11:26  Ne. 5  Dn. 5:27
“But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God.”-Ne. 5:15
The philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli said, “People should either be caressed or crushed. If you do them minor damage they will get their revenge; but if you cripple them there is nothing they can do. If you need to injure someone, do it in such a way that you do not have to fear their vengeance.” To the worldly, this is wisdom, but it is quite contrary to kingdom of God. God’s governance employs the conscience by planting a desire to be cleansed from the burden of our wrongs. It is in brokenness and deep contrition we come to God. When this change is fulfilled flattery becomes just as repulsive as oppression.
It was in this vein of thought that Peter preached on the day of Pentecost pronouncing judgment upon the people who stood idle when Jesus was killed. A charge they understood clearly as valid, it was this charge that pierced their hearts causing them to cry out, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
It is also through this same Gospel, that we are relieved of our desire for revenge. It was when Stephen beheld Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father in all His glory, causing him to forgive those who were stoning him, saying, “lay not this sin to their charge.”
All these wonderful things and more are brought about by the moral government of God. In John chapter eight, Jesus continued to appeal to this concept saying, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” The Pharisees thought they had Him remembering in the previous chapter how Jesus had said, “He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory.” Still anyone paying attention knew what Jesus was referring to and Jesus shut down this objection with very little effort. He spoke of the moral government of God as the truth, calling his disciples to come to the truth that they might be made free. He placed the burden on the objectors saying boldly, “Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?”
This is the same thing they do today. They bring up the woman caught in adultery assuming it means you cannot call out sin. This was never the point of the passage. The truth which was taught in John 8 was not that they couldn’t call out sin but, that those who were guilty of the same had no right to condemn the woman to death. Jesus did have that right and He chose to pardon, on the condition that she go and sin no more. As believers it is our delight to pardon but we have no right to change the conditions.
 “The Prince” Niccolo Machiavelli  Ps. 51:17  Acts 2:37  Acts 7:60  Jn. 8:12  Jn. 7:18
 Jn. 8:30-36  Jn. 8:45-47
“And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?”-Rm. 2:3
The idea being imparted here is not that we should flee from judgment as the Pharisees did, rather we should judge with righteous judgment. If we find ourselves in a similar sin, we should take the time to repent of our sins, that we may be washed by the blood of Jesus. To turn back from judgment would be to shirk our responsibility to love God and our neighbor as ourselves.
 Mt. 7:5; 5:23-24; Ep. 5:26
If we rightly divide the Scripture which has been laid before us, we should come to a place of holiness. The saint is one who has separated themselves from their former sinful heart, one who is sent like the woman caught in adultery to go and sin no more. In doing so, we become like Job, who was perfect and upright before God, “one that feared God, and eschewed evil. Having done this crucial work, we ought to be able to silence the scoffer by asking them to name our sin. At the same time, we can appeal to the truthfulness of our statements, taking the focus off us and shining light on the coming day of judgment.
 Job 1:1
“My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me
This is the nature of preaching, proclaiming the Gospel. Reasoning with a sinful generation, a generation wherein many are hardened in their sin. We have no responsibility in the conversion of souls, our only charge is to make clear the judgment by which God will be the final judge. Everyone has a decision to make, we need only be sure we help them make an informed decision. The Gospel is only good news to those who wisely surrender to the will of God; to the rest it is terrible news and we should expect backlash. Still, we are constrained by the mercies of God by which we live to warn the wicked about the day of judgment!
“Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
These verses are examples of those who reject the moral governing of God, they seek instead to be rulers of their own heart. Often, these are the people who appear the most religious. They quench and grieve the Holy Spirit, not unlike the Pharisees which killed Stephen. They are those that upon reproof only harden their hearts. The Bible cries a loud woe unto these hypocrites, these followers of vain philosophy.
 Acts 7:51-53
“Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.
It is time to get to work. We must, as was told the woman caught in adultery, go and sin no more. If we would embrace the moral governing of God; He has promised to lead us into everlasting life. There are no failings in God if only we would yield to Him, we would be like Him.
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
It all started so innocently, or so it seemed, a few snickers from the adults who were watching. They seemed to want me to look at the magazine on the coffee table. It had Madonna or Vanna White or somebody on the cover. The very first sentiment of one of the adults was embarrassment that the magazine was left out in the open. There was an offer to put it away, then I distinctly heard, No, let’s see if he looks at it. Now it had become a challenge! The moral my young mind gathered from the interaction was if I didn’t look at the magazine displayed on top of the coffee table; I would never be a man. Men like to look at naked women, they can’t control themselves. The magazine was promising a look at a naked celebrity and if I were ‘normal’ I would take it up on its offer.
The magazine, of course, was Playboy and I would like to say this was the first time I saw one, but it wasn’t. The fact is, I knew where my dad kept his collection. Other men that I looked up to had similar collections so what other lesson was I to learn? I would like to say the pattern stopped with something as mild as Playboy, but it didn’t. I knew where the movies were too. This was coming of age believing that ‘real’ men had sex with lots of different women. There was no pattern of commitment taught, nothing taught of the sacred nature of sexuality, no trust was taught. My parents soon divorced and looking back I should not have been surprised. This was the lesson taught when it came to relationships, sex and desire, gratify yourself and when you have had your fill move on.
Ted Bundy claimed that this wicked cycle is what led him to his crimes. In his final confession he cited an FBI study which stated that violent criminals, serial killers had this common thread: addiction to pornography. While, thankfully, I have never been tempted to do any violence to anyone, I certainly can see the disconnect present that it would take to perform such heinous crimes. When you lust after a photograph or video the woman becomes less than human. If this is what you are taught, even if the teaching is subliminal, it is no surprise that narcissism is the result. People become objects for your personal pleasure. This is what pornography clearly teaches, whether people take it to the degree that Bundy did or not.
In ten years of Christianity this has been one of the biggest strongholds God has helped me to overcome. It started by recognizing it as evil. The magazines were burned along with all video— that was the easy part. The battle that ensued was realizing that it is much deeper than some magazines. Sex sells, advertisers know this, so this spirit is all around us, so, then goes the TV in hopes of living pure. Still, you cannot remove yourself from the world you live in.
“I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.”- I Corinthians 5:9-10
Burning the magazines didn’t solve it. The understanding that pornography is related closely with sex trafficking only brought added shame to my plight. This only increased the sorrow I felt when upon allowing lust to creep in from some image on a bill board or a woman dressed immodestly in public, I would fall to lustful fantasy. The thought was always the same if you don’t look people may think you are not a real man. The wages of sin is death, this vicious cycle was killing the possibility of any real, substantive relationship. Oh, how I longed for the gift of God, life eternal, a life free of this bondage!
What a horrible knowledge knowing that I was worthy of hell and if I died that is where I would likely go. Though I had left the physical act of fornication behind in my search for Jesus, I was still clinging to the character of a fornicator which I had been taught to be from such an early age. Jesus taught clearly to lust in your heart is enough to make you deserve hell, but how can I kill this old man?
, These verses haunted my life, could it be coming so far in this transformation God so clearly had begun, would I turn back? God forbid! It was here I cried out, here is where I found my deliverance. The things I had thought made manliness were illusions, they were lies. The man of God is described as noble, a warrior of righteousness, this is the answer to that old man the one who must be crucified. The key was right here: the virtue which was lacking was honor, nobility or, to speak Biblically, righteousness. This was the virtue I had learned to squash for so long in my pursuit of sexual desire and status among my peers.
“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
Flee youthful lusts, had I been taught this from the beginning—to think of the work God might have accomplished in this life! Greater works than these as Jesus said, if only I had realized it was possible to overcome. I have heard many times that the devil works double time in order to corrupt people who have a calling on their life. Once he has succeeded at any level, he never ceases to remind you of your transgression. Who will you listen to? God or the devil?
There is no time for languish, deliverance lies securely in the Word of God. Many are looking for some emotional experience where they ‘feel’ delivered, this may never come. A wicked generation seeketh a sign and no sign shall be given, except the sign of Jonah. Some things will go only when you make a clear decision to repent, that is renounce your former conversation. The old man will live on, if you let him! Crucify him today, you must learn to hate the garment spotted by the world.
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,”-II Corinthians 6:17
This is a battle to the death. We will either overcome, put that old man to death or we will find ourselves dead in our sins in an eternal hell. There is no in between, pornography is that serious! This is an opportunity to find true deliverance; this is true salvation! Jesus said, if you believe in Him you would do the same works as Him. He came to set the captives free, but how can you do the same works as Him, if you are still captivated with the sin of this world?
“Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.”-I Corinthians 6:18
Are you a child of God? Then you will bear this testimony, having died to the flesh you will live as one resurrected from the dead. This is the strength by which dead men preach. Many call us proud or brash, but, if it is the truth which sets us free, then it is only reasonable that we settle for nothing less. Lies are vain and unreasonable and should rightfully make men of God angry. As Jonah said, “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy (Jonah 2:8).” Still, we are but unprofitable servants, having only done our duty in contending for such a great living faith, a faith that has indeed set us free. It is only reasonable service.
They say we are intolerant when we draw clear lines against abhorrent sins, the sins that this current society seeks to accept. Yet, knowing the truth (the wages of sin is death) how could we do any less and still claim to love our neighbors as ourselves?
It is time for men of God to rise up! Society will make an outcast of all who accept this call, but God is faithful. Though hand join in hand the wicked will not go unpunished. We should always remember this, though we face public mocking and persecution, it is a worthy cause. In a society where people give themselves to be oversexualized and objectified it may be your strong stance against this evil which gives someone the hope they need to be delivered.
There is true freedom at the cross. Let us no longer be a stumbling block for others in their pursuit of that freedom, rather let us be ministers of reconciliation, even as we have been reconciled. We have the precious gift of the Holy Ghost and in this we can proclaim liberty! We can overcome by the blood of the lamb and by the word of our testimony! Hallelujah!
A lot is spoken today of kindness, but do we as Christians truly know what kindness is? Often, it is misunderstood, it is exchanged for niceties, flattery etc. If I had a nickel for every time I have been told that it is unkind to preach about sin. Somehow, people in this era think it unkind to warn of the effects of sin. They say you are not drawing them with lovingkindness. How did David define kindness?
“Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.”-Psalm 141:5
David thought, wisely, that correction was kindness. He understood the eternal nature of our mistakes when his own son died because of his sin, he recognized wisely that he would go to where his son was, not the other way around. David used this motivation to make his life right before God (I Ki. 15:5). Today, we have been fed the ‘love of God’ to such a degree, people cannot conceive the simple fact that hell is a reality. Let us, in this short article, look at the nature of hell and God’s reasons for designing it. Perhaps, this might give you understanding as to why it is so important to warn others of sin. I would also like in a short exhortation to give some of the earthly dangers of sin. The ultimate purpose of this article is to show why persecution (though it goes against the grain of our emotional makeup) is a worthy thing to endure as a Christian.
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”-I Peter 4:12-13
The wages of sin is death— sin destroys things on so many levels. If we only could understand the emotion of God, this would not need explaining. Sadly, it is for this reason that it is my personal belief that most people are lacking the Holy Ghost. According to the Gospel of John, the Comforter comes to convict the world of sin, righteousness & judgment. Sin is the first order of business. Sin is hateful to God. There is no reconciliation without repentance. There has been so much written on this subject that it seems pointless writing as it begs the question, why have the previous written material not brought conviction?
The week before last, I was at the Capitol in Texas with several Christians standing for a bill that would abolish abortion. I had a firsthand glimpse of the application of this verse. The majority of abortions in America are from unwanted pregnancies, even further most of them come from unwed mothers. We have become so calloused to this that these facts are diminished or go completely unpresented. This grievous sin, the murder of a child made in God’s image, is overlooked in order to show ‘mercy’ on the mother, when in truth the mother is only one of at least three people involved. Illegitimate pregnancy is not the beginning of sin, rather it is the result of a string of sin. This cycle defines the term ‘iniquity’, which is adding sin upon sin (Isaiah 31).
When the man was attracted to the woman the right thing for him to do would have been to use the opportunity to hold those thoughts captive to Christ. He could have restrained his sexual impulse and allowed his desire to drive him to the cross for strength. This would have brought him closer to Christ as redeemer, it also would have resulted in a care for the woman’s eternal soul. In doing so, he might have found a wife, which is a good thing (Pr. 18:22). Instead, the father of the illegitimate proves he cannot keep from sin and therefore is unfit to be anyone’s husband.
“Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:”-I Peter 2:14
The woman in this situation is an unstable soul, the right action of true love would have been to comfort her and bring stability to her soul. Instead, this ‘father’ sought to fulfil the adulterous fantasies of his heart. He begins to tell lies, make promises he doesn’t intend to keep and on and on the list of sin grows. This is the nature of iniquity. Sadly, not only does this man cheat the woman of true love, in doing these things he also robs himself the opportunity of sweet communion with Christ. He may be (in some sense) the biggest loser in this situation. He is certainly the one held most responsible to the crime which results. In no way does this discharge the woman of her guilt, it is simply consistent with Scripture to say that the man has greater responsibility as women are the weaker vessel.
It was God’s intention in placing the desire for sex in a man that he would be ‘fruitful and multiply’ (Gn. 1:28). God had a plan for how to go about this task, leave father and mother and cleave to his wife (Gn.2:24; Mt.19:5). God’s design involved the love of a family, a group of people knit together in love for one another. Each part of this family has its own distinctive roles working together in harmony to produce more families. Sexual immorality is a very serious matter. It goes against the very root of this structure and so rots the core of any family.
Look at this one issue (abortion) just to have a case study. It began with one sin, which compiled into many sins (iniquity). Had it been cut off at the beginning nothing would have come of it, but now there is an innocent baby being sacrificed. Remember what James said:
“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”-James 1:13-15
Do you see how we are without excuse? Not only are we not tempted of God, God did everything to succor our victory over it (Heb. 2:18). How wicked is a man beholding the truth of the cross, who decides to give in to his own lust? Having the power to overcome temptation by the power of the Holy Ghost (I Co. 10:13), how selfish is a man who chooses to sin. Then when the sin costs him an unwanted charge, he defers the payment required (death) to his own unborn child. Not only is he rejecting his own child, but he is ultimately rejecting the blood of Christ. It was for this reason Christ died, to deliver mankind from the bondage of sin. How despicable a man who would reject all this for a few moments pleasure!
Having looked very closely at the pattern through our short study, now let us zoom out and look at the damage caused by this iniquity. Let us consider all the destruction that sprung from one sin. It caused a rift between God and the man. It caused distrust between the man and the woman, a distrust which often leaves bitter root in women and wreaks havoc on future relationships. It caused both the man and the woman to be guilty of murder. The effects of this guilt will be constantly felt throughout their lives. Only God knows the intent He had in giving them a baby, so the world at large missed out on whatever benefit it would have brought to the world. Of one thing we can be sure, God does nothing arbitrarily and no one was born without a purpose. Do you begin to see the seriousness of sin?
Every sin does likewise, even the ones you believe harm no one. Can you imagine the circumstances that arise as we go on in our sin? What damage does it do to our eternal souls? What about the souls of our neighbors? Can you imagine the damage sin causes to our world at large? If you follow this reasoning you must understand the need for hell. If God allowed people who cannot cease from sin to enter heaven than those same people would destroy heaven.
What is hell?
Hell, according to Jesus, is a place of torment. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. It is said, commonly, that it is the absence of the presence of God, however according to the Scripture the wicked are punished with fire and brimstone in the presence of the Lamb and His holy angels (Rv. 14:12). In hell, the worm dies not, so you have no hope of dying there; the smoke of your torment goes up into the heavens forever and ever. This was described in detail so that we might consider our ways. Jesus said repeatedly if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better to go to heaven maimed, than to enter hell with your whole body. With all these warnings, all this descriptive language still hell expands itself every day, as people refuse to take heed.
This is the reason we should warn of its dangers; this was a major part of Jesus’ preaching. First, as we have briefly concluded, sin causes unfathomable damage here in this world. It doesn’t just hurt the person who did it, it hurts everybody. It is right to proclaim the Gospel, that we can be free from sin! When one does this, they will be ostracized and rejected. Still, as Jesus who hung on the cross, He said, as they hated me, they will hate you also. This is our reasonable service, this is us taking our cross, we, as Christians, are to bear the reproach of the Gospel. All that live godly will suffer persecution. When you have a godly life before men it speaks loudly that Jesus is truly able to change lives. The wicked man is convicted and the only way he sees to stop that conviction is by getting you away from him. So, in this, we should never be surprised at the lengths a convicted sinner will got to stop your testimony.
That said, remember what David said it is kindness. Jesus said those I love I chastise, and rebuke; therefore, be zealous and repent. Consider the truth: your steadfast suffering may be the only thing which final pricks a sinner’s hard heart, allowing them to finally come to the light of Jesus Christ. If this is what it takes is it not worth it? Did not Christ suffer for you in like manner? Did He not bear the weight of the world’s sin? How much is a soul worth to you? Have you been shown great mercy? Should you not then have great mercy?
In the scenario we have been speaking of, this mercy is shown by standing at the abortion mill or the state legislature. Though it is unpopular with people and most people will hate you for doing so. Still, you are doing what is best for the people in question (and the world for that matter) in proclaiming the truth: they can end the cycle by turning to Jesus in repentance. People often become violent towards those who are standing against them and their desire to sin. Jesus calls us blessed who are persecuted for His name’s sake. He instructed us to “rejoice and be exceeding glad” (Mt. 5:11-12). The same precepts which apply in this scenario apply in all matters of sin.
We have the wonderful gift of the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, and what a blessing it is to be reminded when we may otherwise be overwhelmed! We turn from sin towards righteousness and no longer need to fear judgment. The work of God is fulfilled in those who believe Him. What a fellowship we have with the blessed Father through our Comforter the Holy Ghost! What an amazing price Jesus paid so that all this was made so! He is on the right hand of the Father as I write making intercession for us as saints of the Most High God!
“Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.”-Hb. 2:17-18
This word “succor” according to Webster’s 1828 means to run to or run to support; hence to help or relieve when in difficulty, want or distress; to assist and deliver from suffering. Therefore, it is truly better to suffer as a Christian, as in doing so, you have the God of all comfort on your side. In the precious gift of the Holy Ghost you have been given a reminder of the truth and the liberty it brings. You also have the keys to minister to anyone in any situation victory over sin and death! There is victory in His presence, victory in Jesus to which we should, regardless of whatever persecution we face, be able to shout HALLELUJAH! Glory be to God in the highest!
It was on the to do list to write this article in the summer of last year. At the same time, there were several projects going and this one kept getting pushed back. Today, is the day to get this done, in hopes to inspire you today. Stand up for Jesus!
This article was originally to be centered on Elder Robert Sturges. If you remember in June of last year, this man was under fire for his church reader board which read “LGBTQ is a Hate Crime Against God Repent”. Brother David Sain did an interview with him in his home in Auburn, Indiana. As many news sources scooped this story there became no pressing concern to write and there were many things going on. So, then it was the story of the Mennonite, Philip Zodhiates, that came to our attention and the thought began to grow to combine these articles. Then Drag Queen Story Hour hit the scope and the idea was sealed. So, the point is this is something that has been brewing a long while.
“But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;
The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.” -Luke 12:45-46
Scripture is clear we are to stand for justice. There are those among us, Christians (however well meaning), who say well prophesy will come to pass. Yes, it will but that gives no leeway to stand idle in the face of outright evil. It was attributed to Edmund Burke to have said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil was that good men should do nothing.” Regardless of prophesy should we not be found standing for justice? What did Jesus say?
“Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.”-Luke 12:43-44
Doing what? Quoting scripture? Boasting of blessings? Are worthy rulers those who know what is right or those who lead others to do what is right?
I praise God for the Christian men I know, who are on the battle field for the Lord. These men are not merely speaking philosophically, but they are leading others as an example as the scripture clearly tells us to do. They are men of character, they are men of integrity. Since the Obergefell case, just less than four years ago, the aftermath has been horrendous. God is seeking men and women to stand for Him.
Robert Sturges was the leader of “Knowing Jesus Fellowship”. When he did something as simple as a reader board sign, he had no idea the persecution he would face. He was hounded with death threats day and night. A licensed realtor (as he is an unpaid minister of the Gospel), he had to change his phone numbers and contact info, causing him to lose much business. His wife is an RN, and thankfully, no backlash has fell on her workplace. Still, the sodomites tried to get Robert fired from his job, they threatened the lives of his children. They had spent all their savings to rent the building where they were meeting: because of pressure put on the landlord, they were evicted with no compensation.
Thankfully, two former homosexuals (a man and a woman) heard this story in the news and decided to stand with them. When they may have caved to pressure this emboldened them to stand firm. The hypocrisy is that one of the members of the fellowship is coming out of a lifestyle of sodomy, he has been set free! This should make people happy, but it only enrages them more. Despite persecution these Christian soldiers push on and God is glorified!
Next up, in the downward spiral is the case of Philip Zodhiates. Mennonite Pastor, Kenneth Miller, was sentenced to over two years, sentenced in in 2013. Timothy Miller (no relation) was also imprisoned for aiding a woman and her child who were escaping an abusive same sex relationship. The court ruled in favor of the sodomite for parental visitation rights, though she had no biological relationship to the child. Vermont had a civil union law in place at the time. Philip was sentenced this year to 3 years for driving the maternal mother and her to child to the border of Canada. The sodomite woman, Janet Jenkins, sought to use the RICO act against the Mennonites involved in this escape. The RICO case was dismissed; however, Philip is in prison now for “International Parental Kidnapping”
These were Mennonite, Plain People, they are not attention seekers they were not looking for trouble. Still, this trouble found them and they, as any real Christian would, stood against evil. Philp was quoted (in an article in Life Site News) saying,
“In 2009, newspaper reports were that Lisa’s child was being sexually abused,” said Zodhiates. “When people are suffering abuse, poverty, or injustice, and I am asked to help, I do so. Thus my natural instinct was to help her and her daughter become free of the abuse. Helping others is always a primary motivation for me, especially so when children are involved.”
This was covered up by the LGBTQ movement to save face in the turbulent times leading up to the Obergefell decision. It was established in this same article that “very considerable evidence” of sexual abuse of the child in question was buried to suit their political agenda. Philip is serving his sentence today; his children are missing their father, because he chose to do what was right in the eyes of the Lord. That said, those children can rejoice to have a godly role model. Philip has put his faith in action and that is what is desperately needed in these last and evil days. Children need to see that their life is valuable and worth fighting for, which leads us to our next story.
Drag Queen Story Hour: 2018 was a year full of these events across the nation. The idea that our public libraries would be used for such wickedness would have been unthinkable, just fifty years ago. This event consists of gender confused creatures renting library space to promote their lifestyle to children of all ages. This has gone on without much resistance. Sadly, there is a sister in the Lord in Florida who went to the town council to shut this down and she was silenced in the meeting. So, rather, than protecting children, town councils are siding with the sodomites.
It used to be said that what consenting adults do behind closed doors is none of our business. These are no longer only consenting adults in question, nor are they doing these things behind closed doors, rather parading them in the streets. In light of all this, it should not be surprising that there are now drag shows in which all ages welcome all over America. In November, Good Morning America aired an episode featuring “Desmond is Amazing”, an eleven-year-old child convinced by his parents that it is okay to dress as a girl. There have been pictures exposing some of the abuse this child has suffered inside adult sodomite night clubs. Still, we remain silent, I hear often that Christians are waiting for the rapture. Do you really think you will make it, sitting idly and silent, while these things take place all around you?
“It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.”-Luke 17:2
The next story I would like to cover briefly is that of Pastor Justin Hoke. He posted on his reader board “Bruce Jenner is still a man. Homosexuality is still sin. The culture may change. The Bible does not.” This sign caused such a stir in a small town in Northern California that the Pastor now has been asked to leave. Before you loosely criticize the elders in the Presbytery: remember the first story. The LBGTQ movement fights dirty; you don’t know what those elders were threatened with and how. That said, what a story it would be had they overcome and stood firm on the Gospel. Ultimately, the Pastor is doing just that. He is quoted in the Sacramento Bee saying, “The Lord has taken care of my needs. Please pray that God would open more doors for me to preach the gospel, that is all I want or need.”
The last story I would like to touch on is that of Jack Philips. Jack was originally sued because he refused to bake a cake for a sodomite couple who were to be married. He took his case all the way to the Supreme Court and won. Still, the LGBTQ community had their sights on him. A transgender man approached him asking him to bake a cake for his “transition” party. Again, he refused and again he was sued. Jack is now suing the state of Colorado for religious discrimination. This is a Christian who refuse to lie down! He has made his case well, he has been consistent, he has refused to bake several cakes including requests from satan worshippers. This is the way of insanity forcing businesses to act against their own deeply held moral beliefs.
“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”-Proverbs 14:12
It is time to stand up for Jesus! This new year resolve to live holy. This year it is time to stand up for the sake of righteousness. There is a war going on here and your religious dodges will be shown for what they are on judgment day. There is work that needs to be done; stand up in your area. I would like to encourage you to research your area; see when these events are taking place. It is also wise to consider some things before you go. Learn to hate what God hates, as well as loving what God loves. The main reason to go and speak up at these drag queen events is to protect the children. These children are being bombarded with perverse information. We need them to see that Jesus is real and that he cares for them. He seeks to protect them from this great evil. If you win an adult to Christ in the process, then praise God! These people are victimizing children and the Bible is clear, in Deuteronomy 13 among other places, it says have no pity upon them. You will not win a sodomite with anything less than uncompromising truthful love.
“Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads. As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.”-Ezekiel 3:8-9
You can make a difference, but you must be strong and courageous! God is with you always! Stand up for the truth, if you stand you will always win. All that live godly will be persecuted, but, at the same time, the truth will set you free. Go to your town hall meetings stand against these wicked events in your town. Please pray for the pastors named in this article. Write letters to your congress letting them know where you stand on these issues, put pressure on them to release Philip Zodhiates. Paul was our example, he used law for his advantage, and for this reason God gave us laws. There is nothing unBiblical about this, so long as our hope remains steadfast in Christ.
It takes no prophet to see that if left unchecked: evil will prosper. At the same time the things God said will come to pass regardless. The question is how will He find you when He returns? Will He find you doing? There are issues of morality that I have not covered here (abortion, fornication, drug addiction) perhaps God would use you in these areas. The bottom line is a true servant is willing to used however God sees fit, this is reasonable service. If you have been reconciled then God, in His word, has promised you a ministry of reconciliation. This is the year to begin, make 2019 a year for holiness. Have a Holy New Year!
Philip Zodhiates can be reached by mail at the following address:
Philip Zodhiates 18649-084
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 6001
Ashland, KY 41105
you may contribute to his cause at:
Please feel free to print and promote this article let us inspire our fellow Christians into action.
And They Repented Not…
When I first began on the streets witnessing to people there was something I noticed about them: left to their own devices, they are all religious. Atheists love to discuss the reasons for their atheism the same as every other form of religion I have ever encountered. It seemed I would have lots of religious discussions and never really get to that next level (so to speak); the place where a person becomes convicted of their own sin. As soon as the conversation took that turn it was always time to go here or go there. After that, the person would never want to speak of ‘religion’ again.
I saw that a lot of people who professed loosely the Christian religion would love to talk of prophesy. They would speak of earthquakes or some recent event in the news and finish the sentence with something like ‘the good book said it would happen’. I noticed a pattern in the people who liked to speak this way. Once I was taking a person store to store in my taxi, they made this statement then went on in the liquor store. I was young in my faith and I didn’t say anything, still I was puzzled why someone who knew these things in the Bible were coming to pass would waste their time in the liquor store. If they believed what they said, why wouldn’t they run to church?
(They Repented Not)
I spent 2 years driving people around and I observed this character so many times. I began to know before they told me what they would say. I began to understand this was their religion. They spoke about prophecy, tipped their hat to God and went about their sinful lives business as usual, they repented not.
“And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.”-Revelation 16:9
I found the answer to the question which had brewed so long in me one day as I read this passage in Revelation. The people I had observed are the same type of people that will fulfill this prophecy. They have the wrong type of fear for the Lord. They fear Him in a cowering kind of way, at the same time, they take for granted their own place in His plan. They like to look at prophecy and say, “Yes, man is wicked and deserves the judgment.” Yet they are always looking at others instead of themselves. This is the reason they will talk of general prophecy but flee if it gets personal. They think the end of the world is coming for others’ evil and not their own.
“For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”-II Corinthians 10:12
They like to talk about how bad the world is getting because this takes the light off them. Most people’s religion is vain. Apparently, they believe if they can find somebody eviler than them, this will justify their own evil deeds. It never seems to occur to them that God is in no way obliged to spare anyone. It is arrogance to believe that the world or heaven, for that matter, cannot go on without you in it.
Notice these kings who took part in her crimes stood “afar off”. They won’t suffer themselves to be touched by her punishment. Still, far as they stand from Jezebel in her torment, those kings will also have their part in the lake of fire. These people are good people (according to their own understandings). The merchants wailing because no one would buy the goods of Babylon anymore. In other words, they bought things, they didn’t steal them. This is what the natural man always says, I am good person I don’t steal anything or kill anybody. Still, God is calling for holy people that are set apart from this world. Having no eyes to see the difference they go on in blasphemy.
“Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.”-Revelation 2:20-21
Here is the problem: sin.
Notice in this world today when sin is mentioned the excuses soon follow. No one owns their sin instead they seek to make themselves victims. Victims are not responsible for their sin they can’t help it. They never seem to follow this flawed logic to its end. For God to be consistent this must end in universal salvation, which the Bible clearly teaches against on all accounts.
Evangelist it is our job to destroy these excuses. If the person wants to talk of the end of the world let them know they will face judgment day alone and will be responsible for their sin only and not the sin of another. The reason the people spoken of in Revelation “repented not” was because they didn’t think their sin was so bad. They rail at God expecting Him to make an exception for them. To this person the Gospel revolves around them, it is our responsibility as watchmen to make it clear that it doesn’t.
When they disregard you saint, remember Noah! Consider him building the ark before a wicked nation. When they despise you saint, remember Jeremiah! Consider how the people returned to him when they saw his word come to pass only to deny him all over again. When they mock you saint, remember Ezekiel! Consider how he made his face like a flint; both his speaking and his silence a testimony against the rebellious house of Israel!
Whether they repent or not is not the measure of your success. Your success lies in your faithfulness to the message.
Repent and believe the Gospel!
“And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.” -Psalm 119:45
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” -First Amendment to the United States Constitution
What would the founding fathers think of the nation they have birthed? They asserted this freedom as an inalienable right endowed by God, the freedom of expression. Still, most of the founding fathers espoused at least the basic tenets of Christianity and could likely have had no idea just where that thought would take us in a mere two hundred years. The concept of free speech has been used especially in the last century to defend the right to publish increasingly obscene and violent materials. On the other hand, religious speech is often censored citing political correctness i.e. hate speech.
Freedom is a concept which comes from the very origin of life according to the Bible. Adam and Eve were granted freedom in the garden of Eden. However, this freedom was not limitless, there was one tree which they were not allowed to eat from. It was in this, Adam failed in his responsibility to protect his wife. He did not seek the precepts of God in deciding to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In Christianity, freedom has always been coupled with responsibility.
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”-John 8:31-32
Notice Jesus said it is in learning of Him that brings freedom. It is not in the learning of some natural right or philosophical inheritance, that we are made free but in the following of Christ. Who the son sets free, is free indeed (v.36). This is, perhaps, often overlooked: this may be the reason we find ourselves as Christians fighting seemingly contrary battles or fighting alongside unlikely allies.
Should Christians defend others’ ‘right’ to do evil? God forbid.
This is the problem when using an argument strictly from the constitution rather than the Bible. When we use a free speech defense we must realize the same defenses are being made for sinful practices like pornography or violent video games. We are warned repeatedly in the New Testament to not allow our liberty to become a stumbling-block for others (Ga. 5:1,13; I Co. 6:12;8:9; II Co. 3:17; I Pt. 2:16). If we do not make a distinction in this argument we become guilty of doing just that.
“And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:” -Galatians 2:4
The defense of pornography and violent video games has become a battle ground where even the most liberal of our society find themselves at odds with each other. The problem they have found themselves in is this: in removing God from the argument, they have removed the standard of morality by which they may clearly judge. The court has had many rounds deciding what is in fact obscene and the envelope will inevitably be pushed towards depravity barring intervention from God or His people.
The Greek word which pornography stems from is a word for writing about prostitutes. The Bible view would confirm this clearly as any sexual activity outside of the boundaries of marriage is considered whoredom or fornication. While the liberal view rejects these definitions, they are stuck in a dilemma with no clear definition of terms. With the recent rise in awareness of the evils of sex trafficking; the connection between traffickers and pornography are increasingly apparent. In the ultra-liberal publication, The Huffington Post, a blog was published in March of 2015 bringing up the correlation of trafficking and pornography, “Want to Stop Sex Trafficking? Look to America’s Porn Addiction”. The article speaks of the fact that pornography will groom men to become willing to use prostitutes as well as the use of prostitutes in the making of pornographic material. They are stuck with no answer for to keep their free speech, they believe they must tolerate this nonsense. We as Christians should never want our pleas for free speech to imitate these who defend such grievous acts.
Another area where the free speech argument is being used wrongfully is in the defense of homosexuality. “Pride” parades have sprung up in every major city in America, these are a source of increasing debauchery. Beginning in 1970, these parades and the culture which surrounds them has (as was spoken above) pushed the envelope of sexual immorality. It is moving even now to normalize even the vilest forms of perversity such as; pedophilia and the enabling of transgender children. Again, because the standard of God has been removed there is no end to the discussion as to what is right and wrong.
How then should Christians argue and stand for their rights without aligning themselves with such contrary forces? Well by no other means then standing on the Word of God. It is time to force society to see the truth of God’s word.
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” -Romans 13:1-4
These verses are often abused to make Christians feel compelled to obey ungodly authority. However, a right reading and understanding shows this to be a notice to those in authority as well as its subjects. When preachers speak against pornography, violent video games, homosexuality it is not for an evil intent. Rather it is with the best good (for both society and individuals) in mind that we warn people of the evil of their ways. Therefore, when officers of the law declare some speech off limits or hate speech, they do so against the precept of the law-giver (there is no power but of God). This defense may not stand up in the court of men, but when we as Christians do this we are appealing to a higher court and we are serving notice of God’s ultimate authority.
Paul warned us that in the last days men would be lovers of evil rather than good and we can see this clearly taking place. In a nation which boasts of itself of freedom the rights of the just are being suppressed while the rights of the wicked are defended continually. This year on the Fourth of July two preachers were arrested while those around them called their preaching hate speech. This is a powerful visualization of the hypocrisy of our wicked nation. Edgar and Dianne Orea were arrested for doing good, preaching against those who love evil. The officers involved in this arrest will stand before a holy judge one day and will give account for their misuse of the authority granted them.
It may be that we, like the Oreas and many others have shown by example, must suffer arrest. We may, as preachers, face allegations even jail time, let us do so with dignity. Let our defense not be so much rooted in natural rights of free speech, as it is in our right to express our religious convictions. This is an important distinction to make: to keep us from being lumped in with the other causes already mentioned.
We preach the Gospel out of love for those who hear us. We warn sinners of the coming judgment out of an earnest belief in what God’s word clearly says. This right didn’t come from the U.S. Constitution, but from God Himself. If we use the free speech argument, as is our right, let it be a secondary argument. Let it first be known that we are above all appealing to men for the sake of the common good. God has given us this charge and we should be sure to point all the credit to Him. To God be the glory, come what may, let us keep on preaching the Gospel in season and out of season, with power and all authority. When we are accused let the world look upon our good works as a testimony against them, reminding them of their own duty, “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil”.
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Fear Of God
To define this let's look at the scriptures. There are more than 150 verses which have the words fear, God or Lord within them. Out of those 150, at least 80 of them are dealing with the concept of fear of God or fear of the Lord. Aside from a few, which deal with the fear His anointing puts upon the people around a holy people, the rest are reassurances from God saying do not fear. This is an apparent contradiction to the scoffer, but a hidden truth to those who fear God.
The first mention found was in the account of Abraham. Abraham in the land of Abimelech, viewed the land and surmised there was no fear of God in that place (Genesis 20:11). This meant the people were likely to do anything, he was in fear for his life. He lied about Sarah being his wife, claiming her to be his sister. A land where there is no fear of God is wicked land. Much evil is avoided when people have a sense that a power greater than them is watching over their deeds. This brings accountability. When you realize God sees everything you do, a person with this revelation will seek to change their life. It was by the fear of God Paul appealed to the Jews at Antioch who subsequently rejected him, which made way for the Gentiles to embrace his message (Acts 13). The fear of God is universally available while only the wise take heed.
“Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.”-Proverbs 3:7
The second mention found in scripture was the oath of Jacob. God was named the fear of Isaac (Genesis 31:53). Isaac survived the altar with a deep knowledge of the depths God is willing to go to test the faith of His people. He also surely recognized that it was not God's will for him to perish. What a powerful lesson each of us could learn.
It was fear of God which caused even the pharaoh’s servants to be spared when they took heed to Moses' warning and hid their cattle from the hail (Exodus 9:20-21). Those who did not lost their servants and their cattle. So fear of God can protect your belongings. God can put an air of dread around you that people will be afraid to do anything to you (Deuteronomy 2:25). This is an extension of the fear of God given providentially for His people.
All of these are reasons to seek God with fear and trembling. The heathen fears God and keeps his distance unbelieving of the fact that the Lord IS a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. The true seeker pushes forward through the clouds and darkness. Looking to find the throne of grace, he is ready to forsake all, in hopes of a much better reward. This fear causes a man to fine tune his vision while examining his own heart. The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord searching the inward parts of the belly. It is by this fear and trembling a person learns to hate every false way.
Fear of God was a requirement of the judges of old (Exodus 18:21, I Samuel 23:3) just as much as it is a requirement of men of God today. Without this basic truth a person will compromise with the world. The temptations are much to strong to face without the power of God. If we can take heed of this truth, this truth will indeed set us free. It will build character within us, we become a fortress sealed by the Holy Ghost. We will lead a life of overcoming temptations, we will depart from sin.
“And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.” -Exodus 20:20
Consider this contrast:
“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”- II Thessalonians 2:10
Fear of God is coupled with the love of truth, as God is truth. If anyone is off balance in this area that is a man who will fall. Many today stress the verses that portray God beckoning us to come without fear, still according to scriptures that is only half the story. God only deems us worthy of that beckoning when we are walking in the right manner of reverence and godly fear (Hebrews 12:28).
The truth is written in His commandments, (Deuteronomy 6) as Jesus said, if you love me keep my commandments. This is how we cleave to Him; as Jesus did in his time here on earth, He sent the Comforter to remind us of the of truth, that we might do likewise. Never let it be said that we have done what was right in our own eyes, but let our report be as of Job. Let us be upright, fearing God, eschewing evil.
“When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD thy God.”
“The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.”
“Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.”
“I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.”
“Though a sinner do evil a hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:'
This is the eternal Gospel:
“Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”
In every aspect of life God is watching you are naked and open to him with which we have to do. When you sleep, when you rise, when you work, when you play, is He pleased with what He sees? When you pray are you sincere in your forgiveness? do you seek a pure heart?
In your worship are you actively seeking God's communion? or are you lost in a lullaby?
The answers to these questions will determine your end, heaven or hell is at stake.
Choose wisely, fear God.
“Then had the churches rest throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.”
[*Editor's note: an error was found and this has been revised. The first sentence of the third paragraph originally said "the report of Isaac" it was actually the oath of Jacob.]
I am only a brother...
Can I tell you about my elder brother Jesus?