The two Angels beckoned unto the Disciples while looking up on the mountain where Jesus ascended before their eyes. "Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
This is just a tip of the iceberg. I hope what The Apostle Peter and Paul said of his imminent return gives another insights of his earthly returns.Brethren Christ comes.Keep looking up for the trumpet is at hand.Be at alert.

Jesus Ascension

Jesus Ascension
He is coming Again.Be prepared.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

"God Has Spoken''

"God Has Spoken of His Enemy"
"Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and
showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their
splendor. 'All this I will give You,' he said, 'if you
will bow down and worship me.' Jesus said to him, 'Away
from Me, Satan! For it is written, 'Worship the Lord
your God, and serve Him only'" (Matthew 4:8-10).
In the same passage where Jesus speaks of worshipping God alone, we see a great spiritual struggle. There is a person who wants to have the worship that belongs to God. He is called "Satan," which means "ENEMY." What sort of enemy is this? How does he work? And why does the all-powerful God even let such an enemy continue fighting against Him?

The Father of Lies
Though the Bible speaks often of this enemy, it does not say much about how he began. Since God created all things, Satan must also have been made by God. However, the Bible clearly shows that God is good (Mark 10:18). All that God makes is good (Genesis 1:31; James 1:17). Therefore, it would seem that Satan, like any other creation, had a good beginning. If so, he turned from good to bad, from truth to lies. Jesus said,
"The devil...was a murderer from the beginning, not
holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him.
When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he
is a liar and the father of lies" (John 8:44).
The description "father of lies" suggests that Satan was the first to lie. He did not "hold" to the truth. Satan tries to make himself look like an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). But he is the leader of the angels who rebelled against God (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6). They are part of his "kingdom" (Matthew 12:26). Satan's rebellion can be clearly seen when he tries to take God's place, seeking worship that belongs to God alone (Matthew 4:9).

War in Heaven...Woe to the Earth!
Satan, of course, cannot get God to make a mistake. "God," according to Scripture, "cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone" (James 1:13). It has always been fully in God's power to destroy Satan at any time. Indeed, the complete defeat of Satan has been foretold in passages like Revelation 20:10. But God has ALLOWED Satan to continue to rebel for a while.
Why does God allow this struggle? The reasons are not all clearly revealed. However, God has revealed that the struggle is very serious.
An example of this can be found in Revelation 12, which describes "war in heaven." God's angels, led by the angel Michael, fought against Satan and his angels. God's angels were much stronger. They threw their enemies out of heaven. Then the struggle
continued on the earth.
"The great dragon was hurled down -- that ancient serpent
called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.
He was hurled down to the earth, and his angels with him...
But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has
gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows
that his time is short" (Revelation 12:9,12).
"Woe" means "trouble." This is a warning to us that the earth has become the battleground.

A Struggle that Calls for Choices
Yet man does not have to be a victim, trapped and crushed between theses two powerful armies of angels. For God has made us "in the image of God" (Genesis 1:27; James 3:9). Each of us has a SPIRIT or SOUL which lives beyond the death of the body
(Matthew 10:28). We can also make real CHOICES about which side we serve. Joshua told his people that they had to make a choice between the true God and the false gods.
"Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve"
(Joshua 24:15).
Much later, Jesus said,
"If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out
whether My teaching comes from God..." (John 7:17).
Mary was one person who chose the good(Luke 10:42). Pressure called "temptation") to do wrong is a necessary part of this world (Matthew 18:7). But 1 Corinthians 10:13 shows that the follower of God does not have to give in to temptation. These Scriptures show that people must make a CHOICE between God and Satan, good and evil.
It is true that God commands us to worship Him. he demands our full love. But he does not force this love from us. Notice how the book of Deuteronomy, which commanded love for God (6:5), also makes it part of a choice (for our good):
"I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.
Now choose life, so that you and your children may live
and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to His
voice, and hold fast to Him" (Deuteronomy 30:19-20).
God is not interested in pretended love or in forced love from us. He could have made a machine for such kinds of "love." Instead He made people with spirits and hearts that can love Him freely and willingly. Jesus said that God actually "SEEKS" such "true worshipers," who "will worship the Father in spirit and truth" (John 4:23-24).

A Struggle Over Worship
When we compare Matthew 4 with John 4, we understand that the struggle is about _worship_. God - because He is the true God - deserves and rightfully seeks true worshipers (John 4:23-24). The enemy, Satan, seeks to take that worship away from God. Satan wants such worship for himself (Matthew 4:8-10).
The Old Testament story of Job is about worship; the devil could not accept the fact that Job was a TRUE worshiper of God. The word devil means "accuser." Satan again earned that name. He accused Job of false, selfish reasons for worshipping God. Satan also accused God of protecting Job from any hard tests.
Because the struggle is a serious one, with real choices, God allowed Satan to test Job (Job 1:12; 2:6). However, God stayed in control, always limiting Satan's power to do harm. Satan took away Job's wealth and family. Yet still Job fell to the ground in worship, saying, "may the name of the LORD be praised" (Job 1:20-21). Even pain could not change Job's mind. Nothing could force him away from the choice to do right. Nothing could stop him from worshipping the true God.

Satan Attacks the Word of God
Since Satan is not permitted to _force_ us into wrong worship, he tries to FOOL us into it. He tries to deceive and mislead us. He knows that God is truly honored and loved when we obey God, for obedience treats God as the King He is.
Satan first attacks the word of God. Notice how he lied to the first people. The snake told Eve that God was _mistaken_ in saying that death would come to those eating the wrong fruit (Genesis 3:4). He also used Eve's natural desires. The fruit
looked "good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom" (Genesis 3:6).
Eve, and then Adam, followed Satan into disobedience. As God had warned, their sin brought death into the good world, and with it much suffering (Genesis 2:17; 3:16-19). "Death" for sin means more than the end of the body's life. It means the end of the human spirit's closeness and life with God. Thus Romans 5:12 says,
"Sin entered the world through one man, and death through
sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all
Why did death spread to all people? "...because all sinned"! Clearly, Satan's lies have done terrible damage to all of us. As Revelation 12:9 says, he "leads the whole world astray." Among his many tools are leaders who claim to speak for truth or for God, but who mislead the people.
"Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test
the spirits
to see whether they are from God, because
many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1).
Though God has spoken very clearly, these false teachers turn people away from God's word. Some try to stop the people from learning God's word for themselves. Others pretend to teach it, but they "distort" or twist its meaning (2 Peter 3:16). They
do this so that they can follow "what their itching ears want to hear" (2 Timothy 4:3-4). (This reminds us of the importance of testing every teaching by what the Bible actually says.)
Why would anyone teach things that are against God's word? Some may do it selfishly - for money and power. Others may be holding onto the respected "tradition" of their people. Whatever the reason may be, most do not fully realize the harm they are doing. As Proverbs 21:2 says, "All a man's ways seem right to him."
Satan can so blind us that we think we are right, when we are quite wrong. Jesus warned His apostles of just how far Satan would go.
"A time is coming when anyone who kills you will think
he is offering a service to God" (John 16:2).
This shows how completely Satan deceives, and how fierce the fight is.
The Good News of Jesus Christ
What hope does man have against such a clever enemy? Our fleshly eyes cannot even SEE the devil and his armies.
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,
but against the rulers, against the authorities,
against the powers of this dark world and against
the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms"
(Ephesians 6:12).
Satan and his angels are powerful spirits. The truth of the matter is that, even with our power of choice, we would have no hope if God did not help us. In this same Scripture, Paul says that the way to win the fight is to "be strong in the Lord and
in His mighty power" (Ephesians 6:10). In the same passage where the apostle John warned about false prophets, he went on to assure followers of Jesus.
"The One who is in you is greater than the one who is in
the world" (1 John 4:4).
Satan cannot defeat God. If God's Spirit is IN US, using His great strength FOR US, then Satan cannot defeat us either! That is why Jesus Christ came.
"The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy
the devil's work" (1 John 3:8).
Jesus sent his apostles as special messengers to tell this Good News. As He sent the apostle Paul, Jesus said to him,
"I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn
them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan
to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and
a place among those that are sanctified by faith in Me
(Acts 26:17-18).

Our world has become the scene of a great spiritual war between God and Satan. Because man is made in God's image, he may choose whom he will worship and serve. Satan uses lies, deception, and our own desires. Through these he gets us to
choose his own evil way -- rebellion against God. However, God's power is far greater than Satan's. Through Christ God has made the way for us to join Him in victory over this enemy.

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