When you become Satan’s bitch

The Bible makes it clear that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12) which means we must “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” (Eph 6:11).  This armor must be put on every day so that we “may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm” (Eph 6:13) because Satan is persistent and wants to tear us down with his fiery darts and won’t take a day off so neither should we. 

Relationships must remain on the alert and “Be sober-minded; be watchful” because “your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet 5:8).  He would love nothing more than to destroy your relationship and more so a Christian relationship/marriage.

I’ve realized one needs to be strong and vigilant in their faith and not allow the mind to become prey of the evil one. Satan waits right at the edge of our consciousness and watches for any sign of weakness. He is prowling at the fence looking for any breaks in the chains.

I’ve seen first hand what Satan can do in an instant to a weak soul, and how he can twist and manipulate your thoughts and make you forgo any feelings that you had for a person whom you claimed to love with every ounce of your being. His goal is to destroy. His goal is to tear apart and ruin a partnership that was created by God.

My advice, don’t allow Satan to make you his bitch. Don’t allow him to tear apart your relationship and don’t allow yourself to be weak in the heart and mind.


the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. – John 10:10

Does God Allow Satan to Attack Believers?

Ephesians reminds us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness in high places. So the answer to this question is: yes. Obviously, struggling or wrestling implies a fight or an attack.

However, there are two things to remind yourself when the enemy attacks.

1. It’s only to a point. Remember the story of Job. Satan asked permission to attack Job and God granted it but he put a limitation on it. Here is what God said,

The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” – Job 1:12

Satan can only attack if God allows it. And even then, it’s only to the limit that God allows. He wants to know how strong your faith is and to see if you are a man/woman of your word.

2. It’s never without a purpose. Consider for a moment 1 Corinthians 2:7-8:

No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

This means that when God allows the enemy to attack it is always for a greater purpose. He is always many steps ahead of the enemy.

Satan thought that the death of Jesus achieved for himself a great victory, but what it really did was seal his defeat. As Paul has declared, had he really known what the end result would be, they would not have crucified Jesus.

Had Satan known that the very blood he was so happy to see spilled would be the very blood that would wash away our sins and cleanse us, he would not have wanted to see it spilled. God allowed Satan to attack to accomplish his purpose. He is always many steps ahead.

I’m thankful that God removed a man from my life who portrayed himself to be godly but in reality is just like Nicodemus …. knowledgeable in the Word of God but clueless when it comes to being controlled by Satan. He fell victim to ignorance and self.

***side note to Casey B : the image was viewed by a priest and it doesn’t resemble what you assumed every Catholic would think it was. A CATHOLIC PRIEST verified it. He clearly said that you fell victim to Satan’s ploy to destroy a relationship. *** God does work in mysterious ways and with the priests validation my heart is at ease.

Tomorrow isn’t promised

Honestly, thirty even ten minutes from now isn’t promised; yet many of us live like it is. I was having a conversation this morning about those who claim to love God but find it difficult to step away from religious sects (New age, word of faith, progressive Christianity) due to loyalty, fear of being judged by family, peers, associates, loss of financial status, and social media standing.

If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me.

John 15:16-21

Just for a minute, think about the moment that you find yourself standing before God. It’s judgment day. You pause briefly, “I thought I had plenty of time, I’m young, I’m not sick.” but the how’s and why’s don’t matter because standing before you in His supreme glory is God. Yet, He’s not as welcoming as you’d hope. You call out His name, but He doesn’t respond. This time you shout out His name, but He still hasn’t acknowledged that you are there. You shout again with all that is in you and say, “It’s me, Lord, it’s me.” He turns His head your way and says, “I don’t know you. Depart from me.”

Your heart breaks. You plead. Tears fall from your face. How can God not know my name? I’m a Christian, I’ve attended church, I’m an honest person, and before you go any further, He stops you.

“Did you put those of the world before me? Did you not put your family, friends, and peers before me? Did you not succumb to the guilt and manipulation of those you surrounded yourself with because you didn’t want to upset, disappoint or be alone? You have read my words time, and time again yet made excuses too why you couldn’t follow them. I’ve said to my children that the road is narrow and if you love me, you’d be obedient, and by your choice’s you have shown me that you truly don’t love me but that of the prince of the world, Satan.”

I recall reading Matthew 7:20-21, Matthew 7:13-14, Luke 14:25-26, and feeling convicted. I thought I was doing right by Him but I wasn’t, and I would be the only one to blame for being cast into the fiery pits of hell. He has every right to turn His back on me if I lead a life of disobedience.

It makes me so sad and angry when I see good people choosing the world over God yet claim that God knows their hearts. Yes, God knows your heart of rebellion, dishonor, and where He truly stands in your life. He knows the many times you shunned and mocked His word. He knows the many times you turned your back on the ones who cared about your salvation. He knows the times that you’ve chosen to stay within the religious fellowship knowing they are being led by the evil one. He knows the many times you portrayed to be a godly person to the world but behind closed doors, you led a life of drunkenness, pervertedness and wickedness.

Don’t you realize that tomorrow isn’t promised? Don’t you realize that claiming that you love and know God isn’t enough because, if you truly love God you would be obedient and follow His commandments. Yes, it’s tough but walking the narrow path isn’t meant to be easy. If you love God, it would pain you to dishonor Him. Lastly, those that judge and speak ill of you for the decisions you make in regards to living your life for Him…… those people are being led by satan. His goal is purely to get you off your path. Be vigilant in your walk towards the Lord.

National day of prayer- My patootie

A national day of prayer is good in theory, but why is it needed? If we are strong in our faith then we don’t need a day that is designated for prayer; we should be praying daily and throughout our day not giving God just ONE day especially, one that is tucked so strategically between a day for drinking (Cinco De Mayo) and spoiling your mother.

The problem that I have with today is that while millions gather to worship, many will not be giving reverence to our Lord Jesus Christ, Our God. Instead, many will be praying to the god of their own making, statues, or beings that are not God. Many will be praying for things they desire rather than meditating on His word and acknowledging His divine grace. As we have seen already celebrities, politicians, and even the President will jump on the platform and deliver a well-versed speech knowing full well their motivation behind their support of a National day of prayer is just for show.

“You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;  you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”

Exodus 20: 3-6

My issue is by giving this invitation to the whole nation we are inviting everyone, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Occultists, New agers, everyone, to join in to pray to God, but as most of us are aware that their god isn’t the one true GOD. Now before you send me messages about how unloving that comment is or how God loves all or how all roads lead to God, I’d like for you to read the verse above again and again, and then I’d like for you to pick up your Bible and read the gospels. The truth lies within those pages so devour it, meditate on it, and give thanks to God for allowing you to understand His messages.

Lastly, all roads do NOT lead to God that type of thinking is universalism. There is but one path leading to God and it’s a very narrow path which requires obedience and then there’s a very wide path that will lead you straight into the hands of the evil one but you will be tricked and manipulated into thinking that this road will lead you straight to God. Remember, if it doesn’t line up with scripture then it’s not of God. Period.

The convicting power of the Holy Spirit.

If, instead, you reject My statutes, and if your soul abhors My ordinances so as not to carry out all My commandments, and so break My covenant,

Leviticus 26:15

Let’s be real for a minute, being told that our actions or behavior is less than par doesn’t feel great; it stings a lot, and more times than not, what is our reaction? We either get defensive, angry or we remove ourselves from the situation entirely. Yet, somewhere within us, we know that there was some truth to what was said. But instead of holding ourselves accountable and admitting our wrongdoing, we do everything in our power to convince ourselves that the person was out of line or just plain wrong. Self-preservation trumps accountability all the time.

It’s easier to remove ourselves from a situation when we are confronted by someone than to face the truth but it’s not so easy to remove ourselves from the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Trust me, I know. I’ve tried.

There were many times that the Holy Spirit would convict me but I wanted no part of it. Like so many non-Christians the guilt we feel is defined as condemnation, we assume God (or someone else) is condemning us of our sin when it is actually us, our heart, and mind which are condemning us. If we’re stuck in this type of self-condemnation, it leads to a lack of confidence in God and we, in turn, want to run and hide from him instead of coming to Him in repentance to receive His love and forgiveness. 

There was a time when I’d scoff at anyone who’d bring up scripture, mention church or even share their testimony of finding the Lord. I found every bit of it to be ridiculous. As far as I was concerned, I had a relationship with “god” and I was on my own journey….even if the path that I was on was leading me further away from Christ. I wanted no part of other peoples opinions and looking back, it was as if something evil was residing within me that despised anything to do with our Lord Jesus Christ. I’d roll my eyes, grab my crystals and continue living my sinful, disobedient life. Satan had me where he wanted me, and that was to be distracted and far away from the truth, yet in the meantime, the Holy Spirit was hard at work, chipping away at my stubborn heart.

When the Holy Spirit convicts people of their sin, He represents the righteous judgment of God (Hebrews 4:12). There is no appeal of this verdict. The Holy Spirit not only convicts people of sin, but He also brings them to repentance (Acts 17:30; Luke 13:5). The Holy Spirit brings to light our relationship to God. The convicting power of the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to our sin and opens our hearts to receive His grace (Ephesians 2:8).

Conviction is the opposite of condemnation; conviction focuses on your behavior, while condemnation focuses on your identity. Conviction leads you towards repentance and a stronger relationship with God. Condemnation leads you towards hiding, shame, and a weaker relationship with God. If you feel like God hates you, you are experiencing an unbiblical condemnation. God loves you, and one of the ways he shows that love is by disciplining us (Proverbs 3:12, Hebrews 12:6). Discipline is a corrective action meant to change hurtful behavior. Punishment is a punitive action meant to make you pay for something you did in the past. Conviction is about discipline. Condemnation is about punishment.

“Our worship is sometimes with the Father, then with the Son, and then with the Holy Spirit. Sometimes the believer’s heart is drawn out to consider the Father’s love in choosing, and then the love of the Son in redeeming, and sometimes the love of the Holy Spirit that searches the deep things of God and reveals them to us. We should never be satisfied in our worship until all three Persons lie level in us, and we sit there in the midst of Them while They all manifest Their love to us.”

Puritan Thomas Goodwin

What happens when we refuse to listen to the Holy Spirit’s conviction? Consider David (2 Samuel) after he committed adultery. When conviction came to him, he tried to handle it himself, and nothing good came of that. How many of us have tried to handle or cover up our sin? I know I have more times than I want to admit, and each time I’ve fallen flat on my face. When we try to handle sin on our own, we inevitably begin to hold in feelings of condemnation, and we will ultimately end up sinning more in failed attempts to find joy apart from God. When we ignore God’s conviction and instead turn to ourselves, it is only a matter of time until we sin again.

Romans 8 says the Holy Spirit gives us life; the Holy Spirit enables us to keep the law; He changes our nature and enables us to overcome temptation. All this is the work of the Holy Spirit.

God alone works on the human heart. Our spiritual blindness not only hinders us from seeing God accurately, but it also hinders us from seeing ourselves properly. We think our sinfulness is not that bad and that our goodness is better than it really is.

Without the Spirit of God we can do nothing. We are as ships without wind or chariots without steeds. Like branches without sap, we are withered. Like coals without fire, we are useless. As an offering without the sacrificial flame, we are unaccepted.

Charles Spurgeon

What is Faith

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9

Faith.

What is it to have faith in God? For me, it’s solely believing in His holiness, His word, and that He is in full control of my life because my life is His to do as He wills. I know that whatever obstacles that I am currently facing are in the hands of my Lord Jesus Christ.

I will never waiver in my faith regardless of what I may encounter because I know whatever chaos that comes my way it is only orchestrated by that of the Antichrist and his minions trying to trip me up on my walk with God in hopes that I will doubt His goodness and turn my back and fall back into the arms of darkness and sin.

It won’t happen.

This morning I began listening to John MacArthur’s sermon on Faith which I will share a piece of with it with you right now.


Dr. John MacArthur on Faith: An Addendum on Faith

What is faith? Faith is simply believing what God said because He said it. Faith is not some personal power that causes things to happen. It’s not a power that brings a healing; it’s not a power that solves your personal problems; it’s not some energy that you can sort of pull up and will things into existence or will circumstances to change. It is not a mystical power; it is not a force that causes anything to happen apart from the purposes and will of God. The simple reality of faith is it is believing what God has said. That is what biblical faith is.

The Oxford English Dictionary has more than a full page of meanings on the word faith, and I looked them up just to kind of see where they would go with the word “faith,” and they pretty much defined faith by synonyms: confidence, reliance, trust, allegiance, fidelity, loyalty. But the best thing I found in the Oxford Dictionary was a theological definition of faith; it had that, and this is what the Oxford English Dictionary says about the theological definition of faith, “A conviction practically operative on the character and will.” Boy, what a great definition. It is a conviction trusting in what has been said that operates on the character and will. It has implications in how we behave, how we conduct ourselves. And the Oxford Dictionary goes on to say, “It is opposed to mere intellectual assent.” It is not just believing something and stopping there, it is acting on that belief.

So, we say, then, faith is essentially believing God, believing that what He said is true just because He said it and – as I’ve been telling you – literally acting on it, banking your whole life on it both in time and eternity. It is believing what God has said so that that belief is the dominating reality in your life. That’s pretty simple, but it’s also very profound.

When you sin, that is an act of unbelief because even your sense of self-preservation should cause you not to sin. You know that if you sin as a believer, God is going to chasten. If you live righteously, He’s going to bless. And yet, you sin, and I sin, and in a sense, that’s an act of unbelief that says, “I think I can find greater fulfillment in my sin than from God’s blessing.” Well, that’s ridiculous. The whole of life comes down to faith; that’s why, in the armor of the Christian, the shield that shields you from temptation is the shield of – what? – of faith. It’s absolutely critical; it’s at the heart of everything we do as Christians.

I believe the Bible; I believe every word that has come out of the mouth of God. I believe that. Everything written in Scripture I believe. I desire to conduct my life as an expression of those convictions. I want to behave in my home toward my wife and my children in the way that the Word of God instructs me to behave for their benefit and my blessing. I want to conduct myself in the world toward unbelieving people the way the Bible tells me to. I want to interpret the world around me and all that goes on in that world. I want to view that world and see that world through the grid of biblical revelation so that I trust God’s interpretation of everything.

My whole life is based upon what God has said in Scripture. I have faith in that, and that controls my life. That’s what living by faith means: simply trusting completely in what God has said no matter what. No matter what. It takes the bare word of God at face value and acts simply on it because it is the Word of God and for no other reason. If you tell me God said it, that’s enough.

I’m not looking for signs; I’m not looking for wonders; I’m not looking for miracles; I’m not looking for voices from heaven. I heard a guy on TBN – by the way, TBN does more to twist and pervert Christianity than secular channels, and I saw a guy on there saying, “I don’t want the God of the past; I’m not interested in what God has done in the past. I want a fresh experience of God.” There’s a good way to get the demons activated in your life – if they aren’t already. I don’t want a sign; I don’t want a wonder; I don’t need a revelation; I don’t want a vision – I married one, that’s enough for me. I don’t want any of those things; I’m not looking for God to come down somehow and verify things through some supernatural affirmation. I don’t need any of that; it is enough for me to believe what God has said. And those people looking for signs and wonders and saying, “I don’t want the God of history; I don’t want the God of the past; I want a fresh…” – that’s not faith; that’s doubt looking for proof. We just looked at the chapter. I’m not going to take you through the whole thing, just kind of overview it.

Abel didn’t question God; he heard God’s word regarding sacrifice, and he did what God said, and He died because of it. His – in some ways, his reward for obedience to God, bringing an acceptable sacrifice, was to be murdered by his brother. Everything that you might expect because you act in faith may not happen that way. You could be killed for doing what’s right.

Enoch didn’t question God. Enoch believed what God had said. He separated himself from the world. He walked with God because God wanted him to do that.

Noah didn’t question God. Noah was told to do the most ridiculous thing anybody up to that point had ever been told to do, to build a huge, massive boat, and to spend 120 years doing it, and then collect all the assortment of animals into it because it was going to rain, and there never had been any rain. But he did what God told him to do because God told him to do it. And God didn’t say to him, “Hey, I’ll give you a little shower over here just to show you what it’s like when rain does come.” And while he was spending 120 years building that thing, he was a preacher of righteousness. And while everybody was mocking the stupidity of this boat – all his contemporaries were laughing at him – he believed it would rain. And he did have his faith rewarded. Did he see clouds? No. Did he have signs and wonders? No. God said it would rain; he believed it would rain; it rained.

By faith Abraham, it says in verse 9, believed God, left Ur, his home, spent his life as a nomad. Patricia and I have been reading through the book of Genesis together. It’s really something to try to follow Abraham. He left a settled life to just wander all over the place – a nomad, a wanderer – simply because God told him to go. With no detail, no real picture of the future, yet he never questioned; he believed God.

Isaac, Jacob, Joseph – mentioned in verses 20, 21, and 22 – against the natural course of human events – their stories are really compelling and fascinating – against the natural course of human events, they accepted God’s word without question, and they all died in faith without the realization of what they had been promised. They never saw the Abrahamic promise fulfilled. Abraham didn’t see it; Isaac didn’t see it; Jacob didn’t see it; and certainly Joseph didn’t see it. They died believing, however, that God would make His promise good.

And then there was Moses who made the right choices, who made the choices of a man who believed in God simply because God told him what to do. It cost him the world. It cost him a position of power in Egypt, but he did it because God commanded him to do it.

So, that’s why those people are all here; they’re all here because they represent what it is to live by faith when you can’t see the outcomes. If Abel had seen the outcome – his own death – it might have been too much for him to bear. If Enoch had seen the outcome of his faithfulness – his exaltation to heaven – it might have made him proud. If Noah had had a preview of what was to come, it might have panicked him. And s it goes. They just took what God said, nothing more, and obeyed God. And that’s why they’re in the hall of fame here, heroes of faith. They lived by believing God’s word. That’s what it’s about. That’s what faith is. It may be difficult; it may seem strange; it may be against human reason; it may bring suffering, persecution, hostility, separation from the world, separation from the family; it might cost you your ambition; it might cost you your goal; it could cost you even your life, but you obey.

So, faith, then, is based upon your attitude toward God. That’s why an unbelieving and perverse generation was so distressing. The reason they were unbelieving was they had a perverted view of God. If you have a twisted view of God, if you don’t think God is able to do what He’s able to do, or God won’t fulfill the pledges and promises He’s made, then you will have doubt engendered.

All of these heroes of faith, as they’re called, had such a lofty, exalted knowledge of God. They knew Him to be the sovereign, loving, almighty, all-wise, covenant-keeping, faithful God. And no matter what He said, and no matter how against the grain of conventional wisdom and human intuition it might have been, they did what He said all obstacles aside.

Now, having looked at that, let’s go back to the beginning of the chapter and get a more explicit definition of faith, a more explicit definition of faith.

Verse 1, “Now faith” – and here’s the definition – “is the assurance” – or as some translations say – “the substance of things hoped for, the conviction” – or the evidence – “of things not seen.” Those are two very important features. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for.

What faith does is it transports God’s promises from the future into the present tense. Again, it takes God at His word. Saving faith, for example, is an act by which a sinner totally commits his life to Jesus Christ because he believes in something that hasn’t happened, that he hasn’t seen, and that is his own exaltation to eternal heaven. I’ve never seen Christ. I’ve never seen heaven. I don’t know what’s beyond the grave. So, faith is the assurance of something hoped for. Why would I hope for that? Why would I go out on that limb? I mean I could live in this world any way I wanted; I could live like everybody else in this world lived, just following all my human desires to the maximum level of fulfillment possible. I could live that way and suck everything out of this fallen world that my humanness would want to get. I could live that way, but I don’t.

In fact, I go through my life, as you as a Christian do, saying no most of the time to those things which reflect natural longings. And you go through your life trying to restrain your fallenness on all fronts. Why do you do that? Why is that important? What are you living that way. Why do you live under such restraint? Why do you want to make life so narrow and so tight? Why are you doing that? Because I believe that it is up to me to be faithful, to persevere in the truth, to live a life of righteousness in order to honor God so that one day I will enter into eternal life and receive from Him a heavenly reward which I’ll enjoy forever and ever. And I’ve never been there, and I’ve never seen it, but I hope for it.

You say, “Well, you better have a pretty good reason to hope for it.”

Oh, I have a great reason to hope for it; God said it. It’s all a matter of believing Him, isn’t it? Folks, you know, when it comes down to the very bottom line, this is why – and you know me well enough to know this, everything is predicated on your view of Scripture. Everything. Absolutely everything. That’s why we battle through the years to maintain the integrity of the Word of God.

Faith, then, is reliance on God’s promises. Now, I want to take you a little step further. This is not natural. This is not natural.

You say, “What do you mean it’s not natural?” You say, “Everybody’s got faith. Everybody has faith; everybody believes in things.”

Well, that’s true. But that’s not what I’m talking about. Every time you turn on a faucet and drink the water, that’s an act of faith. That is. You have no idea what’s going on in your pipes; you have no clue. You don’t even know where that water comes from. You go to a restaurant; you eat whatever they stick in front of you. You don’t know what it is; you don’t know what’s in it. I look a little bit, occasionally, just to be sure.

The other day, Tom and I were having lunch, and I found a big, huge piece of glass in the middle of the salad. So, I’m a little bit careful. That’s the second time for me. The first time I crunched it in my teeth. So – but generally speaking, I eat whatever they give me. I get on an airplane, and I don’t know if anybody’s up there behind that door. I assume somebody’s up there, they’re sober, and they’ve done this before. There’s a certain – this is natural faith. I mean sure.

And we’ve all – most of us have gone under some surgical procedure where they put us to sleep. And some guy cuts us open and fools around in there, and we don’t know the guy or what he’s doing. If you go to the pharmacy, they give you a bottle; you don’t know what’s in that. You pop it as if you did, because somebody put on the label that this is good for you, do this twice a day.

That kind of faith is intrinsic to human nature. And, you know, that is simply based on experience. Your experience is you drink the water and it’s okay. Your experience is you go to the restaurant and it’s okay, particularly if it has an A on it. Right? Somebody’s checking it. But you’ve been there before; you’ve eaten out before. Your experience is that it’s okay.

You get in a rental car, and you don’t expect to get in a rental car, be going 65 miles an hour down a highway somewhere with no brakes. You assume somebody’s in charge of that because you’ve experienced that before. You get on an airplane and your experience is very good. You know, this whole year – I read the other day in the year 2002 nobody died in a commercial air accident. So, there’s a lot of experience that tells you that this is a good thing to do.

You can get in the plane; you can trust the people up there. Somebody’s checking on them. They’re going through flight training, etcetera, etcetera, and it’s a safe place to be. You know that there are certain things that control the medical profession. So, experience tells you what you can trust.

We’re not talking about that when we talk about spiritual faith. We’re talking about trusting without experience. Right? You haven’t been to heaven. You haven’t seen Jesus. You haven’t been to the other side. This is very different; this is believing what you cannot experience simply because God said it. How critical is our faith in God’s revelation?

Now, notice the word “assurance” – hupostasis, substance, essence, content. This is not a contentless faith. This is not wishing. We now have a substantial – I like to use that word – a “substantial” confidence. In fact, this confidence is so substantial that it is a conviction. And a conviction takes it a little bit beyond just the idea of faith.

“Well, I believe.” You could say, you know, “I believe that’s going to happen. I believe that’s going to happen.” We would use belief that way.

But that’s very different than saying, “I am convinced that that’s going to happen.”

Well, faith – the faith that saves, the faith that sanctifies – is a substantial confidence that has become an absolute conviction. Spiritual faith, then, is a God-wrought conviction that the promises and truths of Scripture are true.

The word hupostasis can even mean a foundation or the ground on which something is built. So, the kind of faith we’re talking about here is not wishful thinking. It’s a strong, substantial faith in things we can only hope for. It’s a firm conviction in things we can’t see.

Spiritual faith says the bible is enough evidence. The word “conviction” there is – in the margin – also “evidence.” All the evidence I need is the Word of God. And the more I study the Bible all these many, many years, the more I teach the Bible, the more I know it’s a supernatural book written by God. That’s what faith is. And that’s what’s required of us, to be saved and to live a Christian life that progresses in sanctification.

Now, this faith – and this has been, traditionally, the theological sort of explanation of it – falls into three categories. This kind of faith has three elements. There is an element of knowledge. If I’m going to trust God, I have to know what He said. That’s the intellectual element.

The second one is the assent. They talked about assensus in the Latin. I know it; I assent to it; I affirm it. So, it goes from the intellectual knowledge, to the emotion, and then finally to the will, which is the volitional. I know it to be true, I assent that it is true, and therefore I act on it. That’s essentially what we’re talking about.

Verse 3, “By faith we understand” – that’s the knowledge; first we understand. Then back to verse 1, then we assent to it. We are assured that it is true, and then we totally trust and act on it. It is a conviction. Faith, then, is believing what God has said.

Go down to verse 6 for a minute. “Without faith it’s impossible to please Him.” You cannot please God if you don’t believe Him. If you don’t believe God, you’re calling Him – a what? – a liar. If you have doubts, you’re double-minded and you’re not going to receive anything from Him because He’s not going to reward the person who doubts.

So, he says in verse 6, “He who comes to God must believe that He is.” That’s wonderful. You must believe that God is the God He really is. He’s not the Man upstairs. He’s not the Ground of Being as Paul Tillich called Him. He’s not the Holy Other. He’s not Allah.

He is the God who is God. He is the great I Am. He is the God who is also the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the Father of Lord Jesus Christ. He is the God of Scripture and no other God. It’s not enough to believe that God is the God of some pagan imagination.

We’ve been talking about the people today, in this wider Mercy Movement, who are saying that as long as pagans believe in some God, even though they don’t have the right name, God will accept them. That is not true. If you’re going to come to God, you must believe that He is who He is. You must believe that He is who He is, and He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the God of the covenant; the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And then you must believe that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. This sets Him apart from every other deity. If you look at the pantheon of gods in the world, they are not rewarders.

Erwin Lutzer was speaking on the uniqueness of Christ this week at the college, and I thought it was interesting. He said that he attended the World Congress on Religions, a bizarre event in Chicago, with 5,000 people from all the religions of the world – all but the true religion. And he said he decided to go through the exhibit area where all these religions had their little booth, to see if he could find a savior, a god who was a rewarder of those who seek him, a god whose desire was to give not take, a god who was a savior.

So, he said he went to the Bahá’í. And he said – “You know,” he said, “I’m a sinner, and I really need a savior. Does your religion have a savior?”

“No, we don’t have a savior.”

“Okay.”

Then he said he went to Buddhism and asked, “I’m a terrible sinner. I’m looking for a Savior. Do you have a savior?”

“Well, no; we contemplate things.”

Then he went to Islam. “I’m a terrible sinner. Do you have a savior?”

“No, we don’t have a savior.”

He said there was only one Savior. None of them had a Savior. None of them had a god who’s a rewarder of the one who seeks him. So, if you’re going to come to God, you have to come to the God who is God and the God who is by nature a Savior. A God who is a Reconciler, 2 Corinthians. A God who’s a Savior of all men, especially those who believe. Our God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

So, when you talk about faith, essentially you’re talking about believing the Bible completely in its revelation of God, the true and living God, and the only God, and that He is a rewarder or, if you will, a Savior, a rescuer. Because the reward is salvation, isn’t it? Eternal life. And this is an act of faith.

Faith, then, is taking God at His word. It is not wishful. If is confident. It is a conviction. It is based on understanding, assurance, and leads to conduct. And we believe the God of the Bible to be the only true God.

There’s a second question that could be posed in this chapter, and I would briefly pose it to you. We’ve seen what faith is. Let’s ask the question what does faith do? How does it act? And we’ll go right back through it again.

First of all, in verse 4, faith worships God the way God said he wanted to be worshiped. Verse 5, in the case of Enoch, faith walks with God. In verse 7 – Noah – faith works with God. Abraham – faith obeys God. With Sarah, faith overcomes barrenness and overpowers the fear of death. Faith enables people to persevere unto death.

Verse 13, “All these died in faith.” All the people that he’s just named – Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah – they all died with their faith unrealized. I mean they never saw what they believed in.

Faith trusts God – verse 17 and following – with the dearest possessions. And what was the dearest possession that Abraham ever had? What was it – or who was it? Isaac. But he was willing to pick up a knife and stab him if God told him to because he believed that God would raise him from the dead. Faith trusts God with the dearest possession. Faith believes God for the future as Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph did. Faith turns from earthly things to heavenly things as Moses did, “choosing rather” – verse 25 – “to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.” Boy, that’s an important element of faith.

Faith reaches out for what is heavenly. It sets its affections on things above and not on the things on the Earth. And the reason is – verse 27, so important – “By faith he left Egypt” – Moses did – “not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is invisible.” That’s so great. He could see the One who is invisible. That’s really faith. Literally, in his heart, he was so confident that God as God, that he saw with the eye of faith the one who could not be seen.

Faith activates the power of God so that His work comes through the servant, verse 28. He kept the Passover, the sprinkling of blood, and then was there, leading the people through the Red Sea and seeing the drowning of the Egyptians. And later on, the people of God, of course, saw the walls of Jericho fall down. Faith, then, receives the power of God.

Faith possesses immense courage. Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah – verse 32 – David, Samuel, the prophets conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions – pretty amazing – quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put armies to flight. Possesses immense courage.

Saving faith overcomes death. Saving faith endures torture, outlasts chains and prisons, withstands temptation, suffers martyrdom, survives hardship. We see that in verses 35 and following. “Women received their dead back by resurrection; others were tortured. Some were receiving mockings and scourgings, and chains and imprisonment. They were stoned. They were sawn in half” – that’s what happened to Isaiah – “they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, goatskins, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.”

Why did they do that? Why did they do that? Because they were obedient to God. They were doing what God told them to do in faith. Faith is sacrificial. Faith limits itself to whatever God has promised and said.

And verse 39 is so wonderful, “All these, having gained approval through their faith, didn’t receive what was promised.” So, they all died, in a sense, without the realization. This is how wonderful their faith is, how great it was. And that faith, of course, was matched by the faithfulness of God. Verse 39 is the key: they gained approval through their faith. They gained approval through their faith. They’re the heroes. They didn’t know what we know.

Verse 40, then says, “But God had provided something better for us” – something better for us. “Everything they hoped for we’ve seen. What was in the future for them is in the past for us. We know about the Messiah coming, being virgin born, living a sinless life, dying a substitutionary death, rising from the dead. We know that. We have the whole New Testament to build our lives on. But they were not made perfect apart from those great New Testament realities concerning Christ.

So, here are the heroes of the faith. They believed God; they died – all of them – never seeing the fulfillment of the hope of their hearts. But it was a conviction strong enough, substantial enough, grounded enough that they literally gave their lives rather than recant or turn from these assurances and convictions.

How strongly do you believe? Enough to give your life? Give your possessions? How strongly do you believe in the Word of God? Enough to obey faithfully? To trust that what God has said is really true?

That takes us into the twelfth chapter, a good place to just close. Verse 1, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses…” We have a great cloud of witnesses of what? The benefits, the blessings of living a life by faith. And all those witnesses are just given to us in chapter 11. That’s the great cloud of witnesses. They surround us. What do they testify to? The benefits of the life of faith. Because God was faithful to every one of them in every circumstance.

“Let us, then, lay aside every encumbrance, the sin which so easily entangles us. Let us run with endurance the race” – and what is the race? It’s the faith race. Stay in the faith race. And at the time we’re running – “we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.” Jesus lived by faith, complete trust in the Father. He is the model. He trusted the purposes of God to bring Him joy. “And so for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

You have all of the heroes of chapter 11, and you have the greatest of all, Jesus Christ, who took upon Himself the form of a man, came into the world, lived humbly, lived in total submission to the Father all the way to death, even the death on the cross, because He believed the promise of God the Father that at the other side of the cross there would be for Him eternal joy. And so, He also lived and died in perfect faith. He is therefore the author and perfecter of faith.

The word “author” is archēgos. It literally means the pioneer, the front runner, the greatest example, the leader of faith. He is the greatest example of faith, and He is the perfecter of faith who lived in complete submission to God through the most horrific experience – sin bearing and death – because He believed that on the other side God had joy for Him. That was His act of faith. And it came to pass that God did, and it’s indicated when He sat Him down on the right hand of His throne.

No wonder it grieves the Lord Jesus to say to people, “You perverted and unbelieving generation.” How sad. How sad. If there were a hero of faith chapter being written today, would your name be in it somewhere?

“Truly, truly I say to you” – Jesus said in John 5:24 – “he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and doesn’t come into judgment, but is passed out of death into life.”

If you hear the word of scripture and believe it, you’ll be saved. You’ll enter into life, and once you enter by faith, you live by faith. Let us not be like those disciples to whom the Lord had to say, “You’re very little different than those who don’t believe because they have a warped view of My promises, My Word.”

Father, we thank You this morning for the lives of these people. If there were no other reason to read the Old Testament, this would be enough to see the sustained stories of these people who never saw what they hoped for, who never saw what they were assured of, who never saw what they were convinced of, but who gave their lives for what they hoped for, what they hadn’t seen, because You told them it was true.

You have told us that heaven is a reality, and that Jesus is the only Savior, and the way of sanctification is by obedience and obedience alone to the truth of Your Word. Help us to believe that savingly and sanctifyingly, for the honor of Christ, amen.

You’re a Calvinist

“The longer I live the clearer does it appear that John Calvin’s system [of theology] is the nearest to perfection”

Charles Spurgeon

“But, you’re a Calvinist.” the tone of derision was palpable but it was obvious that the person who was speaking lacked the proper knowledge of Reformed Theology aka. Calvinism, how it tied into my Christian life, and why I’ve chosen this direction when it comes to my faith rather than going back to my Catholic roots.

In a way, I find it entertaining when I look back at past conversations because I was never met with this much angst when I was deep into paganism. You’d think that if those who claim to have solid roots in their faith that they would have stood their ground and condemned me for the things that I believed in but that was never the case, yet those people now have no problem sharing their disapproval with my choice of placing God above the Prince of darkness aka. Satan.

What drew me to Reformed Theology (Theology – the study of God) is that it takes the Bible to be the literal Word of God, and they emphasize the sovereignty of God in the world’s affairs, especially the salvation of sinners. Salvation is all of God, and those who are saved are grateful recipients of divine grace. So, what’s so wrong with that? They are of the truth and the truth is God’s word and any denial or question of His word will be brought against you on the day of judgment.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:1

I’ve mentioned many times that I searched and longed for truth and when I found the truth within the Bible I hungered to know more. I wanted to read books by solid theologians and listen to those that also craved to share God’s truth but I was fearful of reading or listening to the wrong people. I was thankful that God placed a very solid Godly man in my path a month and a half into my walk with the Lord, one who had consumed the works of Spurgeon, Calvin, Edwards, Wesley, and MacArthur. Many would like to say that he was the reason why I became a “Calvinist” but in all honesty, if I wasn’t interested in God’s truth or had a willingness or desire to learn God’s word and all that I was after was the “experience” rather than that of God than he (at the time) being my friend would have given me guidance…but he knew what I didn’t want and he advised me of what to look out for but in the end it was the grace of the Holy Spirit that directed me onto the path of truth. I will always be thankful for Casey’s guidance, he never told me what to do or what not to do but he pointed me in the direction of truth and saw me through the process of finding a solid Church.

The more I studied the bible alongside him, the more books I consumed, and the endless hours of listening to sermons from Paul Washer and Dr. John MacArthur I knew I didn’t need the extras. I simply needed God and His truth.

“I’d just thought you’d go back to being Catholic?” This is a question that I’ve been asked more than a few times but it comes down to what the word says. In many instances those that question me have no firm knowledge of Catholicism, it’s just based on hearsay or what they remember being taught as a child. Instead, I began to research the teachings of the Catholic church and lined it up with what God says to be true.

There are things about the Catholic church that don’t sit with me well, one being the Eucharist Transubstantiation. As a child and uneducated adult I thought when the priest prayed over the eucharist and declared that the bread and wine were the body and blood of Jesus that the Priest was just recreating the last supper. That’s not the case, Roman Catholic teaching states the eucharist, the bread and the cup are transformed into the literal body and blood of Christ and that they sacrifice Jesus at every service so in turn they are actually consuming the actual flesh and blood of Jesus Christ.

Catholic Mass crucifies Jesus over and over again, however, the Bible states that Jesus gave himself for a once and for all sacrifice (Heb. 10:101214) and at the institution of the Meal, Jesus was not dead yet. Therefore, if the words are taken literally this would have been a form of cannibalism. It would be cannibalism each and every time the Meal is partaken by Catholics.

I’m sorry but the thought of re-sacrificing Jesus Christ is horribly wrong. He sacrificed Himself once for our sins why the need to repeat such an event plus, it’s not biblical it was created by man.

  • The false Catholic doctrine of Transubstantiation was not declared a Roman Catholic Article of Faith until 1215 A.D., by the Fourth Lateran Council! This is almost 1200 years AFTER the Lord’s church was established. I wonder why, if they believed and practiced this doctrine, all of the “infallible” popes (who claim to speak ex cathedra) during the time period before 1200 A.D. didn’t declare Transubstantiation an Article of Faith?
  • The Catholic false doctrine of Transubstantiation violates the commands of divine Scripture found in Acts 15:6-30. The Gentile disciples were commanded to “abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication and from things strangled, and from blood.” (Acts 15:20,29) So, according to this false doctrine, Jesus commanded what His inspired apostles forbade, thus pitting scripture against scripture.
  • Finally, this false doctrine is in the “another gospel” category. Of the Galatians, the apostle Paul wrote, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Gal. 1:6-9) Nowhere in Scripture do we find the words/phrases, “Transubstantiation,” “Holy Eucharist,” or “Real Presence.” Therefore, this false doctrine is not from Heaven, but of men (Matthew 21:23-27)! When this doctrine is tried and tested against scripture, it fails the test. He who teaches this false doctrine, “hath not God” and is “accursed” (2 John 9; Galatians 6:9)! And, “he that biddeth him [them] God speed is partaker of his [their] evil deeds.” (2 John 10,11)

 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.  Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror

James 1: 21-23

“But Catholicism is the largest sect of Christianity.” Yes, it might be but what happens when people or institutions get too big? They fall victim to their ego and in a sense, claim to be bigger than God which is just the workings of the antichrist. I’ve spoken with a very devout Roman Catholic and she even believes that the Vatican has been infiltrated by Satan but this isn’t just her opinion, it’s the opinion of many highly educated Roman Catholics.

Another troubling aspect is the worship of Mary and the saints. Many Catholics would state that they don’t worship Mary but give reverence to her but in reality, they worship Mary more than they do Jesus Christ and that in and of itself is idolatry which God finds to be an abomination.

Dr. John MacArthur did a series on the Exposing the idolatry of Mary and I’d like to share a piece of it with you :

Scripture says nothing about her life.  It says nothing about her later years.  It says nothing about her death.  It says nothing about her burial.  Although there are reams of Catholic volumes that talk about the life of Mary, the experiences of Mary, the miracles of Mary, the death of Mary, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.  All fabrications, all lies, all either the invention of men or the invention of demons.  The Bible gives no description of her character at all, no description of her physical appearance at all.  There is no biblical example of anybody praying to her, honoring her, venerating her.  When she appears with believers, she’s just one among many.  And I think it’s got to be shocking to Roman Catholics who read the Bible for the first time.  And most don’t ever read it, but for those who do, how surprising it is that so little is said about Mary, when in the system so much is said about her.  So much.  There are, and I went through one list today, hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands of websites on Mary, taking you down every imaginable trail into the fantasy of Mary worship. 

One other footnote along this line of comparing the Catholic view of Mary with the Bible: Mary is mentioned more times in the Quran than in the Bible.  That’s an oddity, isn’t it?  But then, of course, we would understand that Satan, who authored the Quran, would want to make more of Mary than ought to be made of her.  That’s consistent.  Interestingly enough, the Muslims revere Mary. 

Some of you will remember, and probably don’t want to admit it, Bishop Fulton Sheen.  Anybody remember him?  Long time ago, it was on television.  He was a very polished, refined, articulate Catholic priest who would speak on television in the early years.  I remember seeing him as a very young child.  Well, this is 50 years ago Sheen was on television.  And Bishop Sheen predicted, he predicted that Islam would be converted to Roman Catholicism.  He said, quote, “Because of a summoning of the Muslims to a veneration of the mother of God.”  Rome is making a lot of overtures to the Muslims.  The Pope has made them; Pope John Paul was forever trying to bring together the Muslims, and the common element is their reverence for Mary.  Mary for the Muslims is actually called the true Sayyida, the true lady.  And maybe in the end, when there is one great massive world religion, it will be goddess worship that pulls it all together.

Well, we’ve talked about the blaspheming; we’ve talked about the comparing.  A final third point, the warning.  And I can take a few minutes or all night on this one.  But, because you’re so kind, I’ll keep it very brief.  Scripture has very much to say about worshiping a false god, right?  This is the warning, the condemnation of all who worship a false god, of all who advocate the worship of a false god is all over the Scripture.  And it actually starts back, as you know, in the Old Testament.  And probably the best place to start is at the clearest articulation of the Law of God in the Ten Commandments, Exodus 20, “Then God spoke all these words saying, ‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.  You shall have no other gods before Me.  You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth, beneath or in the water under the earth.  You shall not worship them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God.”

I just the other day went to visit somebody at St. Joseph’s Hospital.  I parked my car in Burbank, I walk up toward the hospital and there is a huge idol greeting me.  And who is it?  Well, it’s supposed to be the image of Mary.  I walk in the building, and there’s another idol.  I get in the elevator, I get off the floor, there is another idol.  Once in a while, I see an image of Jesus, but He’s always limp and dead on a cross.  In Deuteronomy and chapter 5, “I am the Lord your God.”  It’s a reiteration, Deuteronomy, the second law, the repetition of the original law of Exodus.  “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.  You shall have no other gods before Me.  You shall not make for yourself an idol or any likeness of what is in heaven above, or on the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth, you shall not worship them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God.”  Chapter 6 verse 13, “You shall fear only the Lord your God.  You shall worship Him and swear by His name.  You shall not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who surround you, for the Lord your God in the midst of you is a jealous God, otherwise the anger of the Lord your God will be kindled against you and He will wipe you off the face of the earth.  You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.”  Don’t test God’s patience with idol worship.

The 18th chapter of Deuteronomy verse 9, “When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations.  There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.”  The worship of Mary is an ill-conceived effort to call up a dead woman.  It’s also a partner with mediums, spiritists, spell casters, sorcerers, witches, diviners and all the rest.  Verse 12, “For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord, and because of these detestable things the Lord your God will drive them out before you.  You shall be blameless before the Lord your God.”  It strikes you.  It should strike you so obvious: there is not one single place in the Bible where it ever suggests we are to worship Mary, and everywhere it is clearly stated we worship God and Him alone.  So very obvious.

Look at Psalm 106, and this is very much the same, but I want to give you some Scriptures you can use if you talk to folks about this.  Psalm 106 verse 28, “They joined themselves also to Baal-Peor,” this is the Baal of a place called Peor.  “They worshiped Baal, and they ate sacrifices offered to the dead.”  Again, this idea that somehow dead people can be worshiped, and can be petitioned.  Isaiah, chapter 45, and if you want more of this, just look up idolatry in the topical index in the back of the Study Bible and you’ll find many passages.  But in Isaiah 45, I want you to get this, verse 20; this really describes the idolatry of Mary: “Gather yourselves,” Isaiah 45:20.  “Gather yourselves and come, draw near together, you fugitives of the nations, they have no knowledge who carry about their wooden idol,” sometimes you see Roman Catholics in parades with a wooden Mary, “who carry about their wooden idol and pray to a god who cannot save.  Declare and set forth your case.  Indeed, let them consult together.  Who has announced this from of old, who has long since declared it?  Is it not I the Lord and there is no other God besides Me, a righteous God and a Savior.  He is not a reluctant savior.  He is a righteous God and Savior.  There is none except Me.”  And here’s the call, verse 22, “Turn to Me and be saved all the ends of the earth for I am God and there is no other.”  And one would ask the question, how in the world was somebody supposed to get saved before Mary if she is the Mediatrix of all graces?  “I am God and there is no other.”

Jeremiah chapter 2, verse 9, and this will be the last one we’ll use in the Old Testament.  Jeremiah 2:9, “Therefore I will yet contend with you, declares the Lord.  I have an argument with you, He says.”  Down in verse 11, “Has a nation changed gods?”  Have you changed gods?  That’s what Roman Catholicism has done, changed gods.  “Have you changed gods when they were not gods?”  Have you substituted a non-god for God?  “But My people have changed their glory,” God being their glory, “for that which doesn’t profit.  Be appalled, O heavens, at this, and shudder, be very desolate, declares the Lord, for My people have committed two evils.  They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.”  You abandoned God who alone is the fountain of living waters for goddess, a broken cistern that offers absolutely nothing.  Nothing.  This is consistent with the New Testament.  The New Testament calls for the same complete and total devotion to God.  Matthew 4:9, Satan tempting Jesus says, “I’ll give You everything You can see if You fall down and worship Me.”  Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan, for it is written.  You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.”  That, from the lips of the Lord Jesus Himself.

Romans 1.  Just a few more and we’ll be finished.  Romans 1, verse 22.  Here’s a description of humanity.  “Professing to be wise they became fools.  Professing to be wise they became fools and how did their foolishness manifest itself?  They exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man, or woman.”  That’s exactly what Romanism has done.  And so, God gave them over.  And this is a divine judgment that falls on that.  “God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them, for they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the,” what?  “The creature, a woman, rather than the Creator who is blessed forever.  Amen.  And for this reason, God gave them over to degrading passions for their women, exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, in the same way the men also abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”  Could pedophilia, and homosexuality, and immorality that runs rampant in the Catholic system be part of the judgment of God on those who have abandoned the true God for the worship of a human being?

In 1 Corinthians, chapter 5, verse 11, “Actually I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother.”  Now, this gets real personal, folks.  “Not to associate with any so-called brother if he should be an immoral person or covetous, or,” what?  “An idolater.”  People going around today saying, “O our Catholic brothers and our Catholic sisters.”  I wish that were true.  You can’t associate with them in an affirming, accepting fellowship if they worship idols.  Chapter 10 tells us why, 1 Corinthians 10:14, “Therefore my beloved, flee from idolatry.”  Idolatry is seductive, poisonous; it’s toxic.  You can’t stay around it.  Verse 16, “Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ?  Is not the bread we break a sharing in the body of Christ?”  He’s saying, you know, we come together around Christ, we come together to celebrate Christ in His sacrifice and in His death.  You can’t do that, and then go worship idols.  You can’t do that.  Verse 20, “The things the Gentile sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God.  And I don’t want you to become a sharer in demons.”  Idolatry is demon-designed demon worship.  “You can’t drink the cup of the Lord,” verse 21, “and the cup of demons.”  You can’t partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.  You can’t worship Mary and worship God, or you will, verse 22, certainly provoke the Lord to jealousy.

Second Corinthians 6 verse 15, “What harmony has Christ with Satan,” Belial is a term for Satan.  “What harmony has Christ with Satan?  What has a believer in common with an unbeliever?  What agreement has the temple of God with idols?  We are the temple of the living God.”  You have nothing to do with that.  Roman Catholicism has nothing to do with true Christianity, the true church.  It is something completely different; it belongs to the kingdom of darkness.

Finally, in Ephesians 5 verse 5, “For this you know with certainty, no immoral or impure person or covetous man who is an idolater has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and God.”  If you worship a false God, you have no part in the Kingdom of Christ and the Kingdom of God.  No part.  And you see, beloved, that is why the Bible says, 1 John 5:21: “Guard yourselves from idols, flee idolatry,” as we just read.  You can’t worship a false god and the true God at the same time. 

But we worship the true and living God.  I want to close with a glimpse of heaven.  Revelation 4, you remember this, Revelation 4:8, “Every being in heaven is saying, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty who was and who is and is to come.’“ And they’re all in verse 11 saying, “Worthy art Thou, our Lord, and our God, to receive glory and honor and power for Thou didst create all things and because of Thy will they existed and were created.”  In chapter 5 verse 9, “And they sang a new song, ‘Worthy art Thou,’“ speaking of Christ, “‘To take the book and break its seals, for Thou was slain and did purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and Thou hast made them to be a Kingdom and priest to our God and they will reign upon the earth.’“ In verse 12, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”  And verse 13, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever, and all the beings of heaven said Amen.  And they all fell down and worshiped.”  Do you see Mary in there anywhere?  What a bizarre deception. 

Lord, bless these precious people and encourage them, because they’ve been given the knowledge of the truth by Your grace.  And help us, Lord, to lead many out of this horrible darkness.

I will continue to thank the Lord every day for the fact that He opened my eyes, ears and heart to Him. I am thankful that the Holy Spirit continues to lead me to truths when I question the validity of what someone says instead of taking it for face value…..like many people so often do. In the end, I am a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and a believer of His word.

Christian mysticism? What!

 For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.

1 Corinthians 14:33

I knew that there were a multitude of Christian denominations, I also knew that some instilled practices that are very similar to that of the new age but were fluffed up and defined as directed by God. Here’s the thing, a snake is still a snake no matter if you dress it up in a nice polka dotted dress or not. As I’ve quoted many times the angels of darkness will appear as angels of light to deceive and sadly, it seems as though this is the case.

I find it incredibly irresponsible of the Elders within the church who claim to know the word of God yet find ways to incorporate occult practices within their teaching, lulling people with a sense of security and passing it off as a divine practice. Let me just say this, there is nothing divine or holy with what these wolves are teaching. I don’t care who you are, what your rank is within the church or how long that you’ve been a Christian you do not need to go in search of that spiritual ecstasy, you don’t need the experience, the chills, the tears, what you need is God and His word. That’s it. You don’t need to quack like a duck, flop around on the floor, place an imaginary tab on your tongue and howl at the ceiling in order to feel closer to God or receive the Holy Spirit because that my friends is the workings of the antichrist and you have been fooled by the great deceiver.

A couple nights ago Casey and I began to read Reckless Faith by Dr. John MacArthur. We paused briefly at a section titled, Mysticism: Irrationality Gone to Seed. We knew that what we were about to read would resonate within us because we both spent twenty years deep in our own type of mystical practices, his being word of faith and the Charismatic movement and me, the occult. MacArthur described mysticism as:

the idea that a spiritual reality is found by looking inward. Mysticism is perfectly suited for religious existentialism; indeed, it is its inevitable consequence. The mystic disdains rational understanding and seeks truth instead through the feelings, the imaginations, personal visions, inner voices, private illumination, or other purely subjective means. Objective truth becomes practically superfluous.

I was shocked to undercover the full scope of Christian mysticism and how it has infiltrated the Christian community many of whom are blind to the fact that much of what is being taught by pastors fall right in line with what Kundalini instructors, yogis, gurus, witches and warlocks teach those in the new age community.

“Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.'”

Matthew 7: 15

Casey mentioned at that time he was searching for the experience that one assumes is brought on by God or the Holy Spirit. As I stared at him while he took a trip down memory lane my heart broke, here is a man who spent his whole life devoted to God’s word but fell victim to the deception of the antichrist through Elders within the church that promised a Godly experience. It’s so important to remember that anything claiming to be a Christian experience must line up with the truth of the Bible. God will not contradict Himself. He is not the author of confusion.

Christian and Mysticism should never be combined. Never. A very popular universalist (and creator of the enneagram), Spiritual Director and author Father Richard Rohr had this to say about Christian Mysticism, “Until someone has had some level of mystical inner spiritual experience, there is no point in asking them to follow in any life changing way the ethical ideals of Jesus or the mystery of Christian doctrines like the Holy Spirit, the Trinity, Salvation, or Incarnation. We simply don’t have the power to really understand or follow any of Jesus’ ideals such as loving others, forgiving enemies, nonviolence or the humble use of power except in and through a mystical union with God.” Rohr goes on to say that “mysticism teaches us how to find God, and a mystic is someone who has been recognized as doing this particularly well.”

How could anyone say that without having a true mystical encounter of any kind that the relevance of Jesus, the Holy Spirit or the Trinity is moot. Let me just say that he better find salvation through Jesus (the real Jesus NOT the cosmic Christ that he believes in) real fast because choices do have consequences, like living eternity in a sea of hell fire. Before I continue, I just want to say that just because a man has a title of Father doesn’t mean he is accepted within his religious community because in the case of “Father” Richard Rohr those in the Catholic community recognize him as a heretic.

But often men, deceived by the Evil One, have become vain in their reasonings and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator. Or some there are who, living and dying in this world without God, are exposed to final despair. 

I watched a video of a man “preaching” on the power of God and then asked his congregants to grab their (imaginary) tabs and place it on the person’s tongue sitting next to them. Then in a matter of minutes the pastor howled and made inhuman sounds as these imaginary tabs dissolved on their tongue. It was if they all thought that they were consuming some spiritual ecstasy and now they were riding the wave into a dimension that would bring them closer to God. While I sat and watched the strange behavior of an elder I couldn’t begin to comprehend how someone would think this was in scripture.

The Charismatic movement, with its emphasis on dreams and visions, feelings and experiences, and new revelation, is one form of Christian mysticism. Their practices are so similar to what I used to do daily while I was in the new age yet like I said earlier they change the wording around and fluff it up to make it seem more God based when it truly is just god based.

  • Personal Prophesying which is taught in the church is just really fortune telling without the tarot cards, crystal ball or pendulum.
  • Paranormal praying is just casting spells. The new approach to prayer in modern churches is little more than casting spells and using voodoo tricks. Paranormal powers are available to any soul that will sell out to the deception that works in the adamic nature. We are spiritual creatures and there are powers in each of us that can be used for evil or surrendered to God depending on our heart. Demon spirits are going throughout the earth seeking whom they may devour. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (I Peter 5:8). While our Father manifests Himself in our human spirit, Satan and demons manifest themselves in our soul. Satan loves to use soulical praying to hinder the true church of Jesus Christ. The majority of believers have no understanding of this form of Satan’s attack and, consequently, have very little defense.
  • Contemplative prayer seems to focus on having a mystical experience with God. Mysticism, however, is purely subjective, and does not rely upon truth or fact. Contemplative prayer is no different than the meditative exercises used in Eastern religions and new age practices. Opening up one’s mind while in any meditative state leaves you wide open for demons to enter and pose as the Holy spirit or anything connected to the heavens. Channeling is huge within the new age community and sadly, I see this taking place within the Christian/Catholic community but of course many believe that just because they repeat a sacred word over and over again that it shields them from that of anything evil. Again, it’s similar to Kundalini practices where we are taught to repeat certain words or phrases while quietly opening up one’s mind in hopes to receive a message from a being not of this world.
  • Supernatural Healing resembles much like that of Holy fire reiki which I spent a few years submerged in. I thought that I was chosen by God to be a Reiki Master and given all the signs and direction that my so called spirit guides led me to be I never questioned that this was anything but divinely directed. Yes, I’ve seen the power of the practice of supernatural healing but as much as I want to still believe that it was of God, it wasn’t. Nothing of what I did was biblical. If those who I treated were truly healed then they wouldn’t have the need to return but they all did. They wanted more of the supernatural experience which has the ability to hook you and that’s what Satan wants.

I am just truly thankful that the Holy Spirit has kept me from falling into the clutches of these wolves that reside within the church. I thank God for placing people in my path who are dedicated in His word, who believe in the doctrine and stand by the truth of scripture.

Lastly, your salvation is nothing to take lightly. If when at church something doesn’t feel right or what the pastor preaches leaves you questioning its validity go to the bible and see if it lines up with scripture. God’s word is all we need. We don’t need the extras. God’s word should be sufficient but if you need all the extras then maybe you need to reflect and pray on the why.

Jesus is the ONLY way.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:6

There was a time when I believed that I didn’t need Jesus to get to heaven. I held onto the idea that scripture was wrong, that man manipulated the pages to fit their purpose and all that I needed to do was find that magic formula to catapult me into a higher state of being. My ignorance of His truth kept me from seeing that Jesus was the only way to salvation, plus how could he be the only way when there are so many gods and deities being presented among us?

Growing up in a Catholic home the focus wasn’t on Jesus it was on Mary, the Virgin Mother. We prayed the rosary for her sake, we knelt at her statue and prayed to her, she was our gateway to the Father and our devotion to the Virgin Mary (from what I was told) would get us to heaven. But, that is not so it’s not in scripture, yet the Roman Catholic church twisted the words of Jesus and put in place a prayer (based on verse 27) that all Catholics are very familiar with… the Hail Mary.

27 And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!” 28 But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!

Luke 11:27-28

My question is why and for what purpose did the Roman Catholic church solely focus on one verse (v27) and disregard Jesus’s command to hear and keep the word of God? They built the foundation of praise, worship, and prayer over one verse. It was that of MAN who made that into being, it is MAN who threw out scripture just to mislead you from the truth of His word.

I’ve heard from many within the Catholic community say that they believe in Jesus but that they feel more comfortable praying to Mary because they feel as though they have a better relationship with the Virgin Mother than God. But, that’s no different from what I would do when I was part of the new age and praying to a deity, ascended master or god/goddess. I was praying to an idol just like those that pray and honor Mary and the saints within the Catholic church. Yet, telling a Roman Catholic that they are praying to idols when they say a prayer to anyone other than God will get you in to serious hot water with their typical rebuttal that she is the mediator to Jesus.

The only one who can be the mediator to God is Jesus, no one else. Dr. John MacArthur had a similar thought on the subject :

“One of the other tragic things about praying to the saints and to Mary is that it strikes a blow against the gracious character of God and Christ. The idea is that God is very tough and wrathful. He’s somewhat transcendent rather than imminent. You don’t really want to go directly to God, which flies in the face of what Scripture says. Scripture teaches that God is compassionate and marked by loving-kindness. He shows mercy to thousands, is tender-hearted, and weeps through the eyes of Jeremiah. The same would be true of Christ. The idea is that you don’t want to go directly to God because He’s preoccupied, somewhat indifferent, and transcendent. You also don’t really want to go to Jesus because He can be pretty tough as well. However, Jesus can’t resist His mother, and God can’t resist Jesus, so that’s the chain. You go to Mary because Mary can soften up Jesus and then Jesus can take it to the Father. That whole idea is an assault on the saving nature of God, who is by nature a Savior and full of compassion and mercy toward sinners. He can be pled with directly, and this layering assumes that God is less than gracious, merciful, kind, compassionate, and sympathetic to the sinner. It is a blow against His nature and the nature of Christ as well.”

When MacArthur spoke about the chain of command it hit home and I bet it hits home for many of you as well. We are taught that Mary is to intercede on our behalf and bring our request to her son because he will do what His mother asks on our behalf. A very popular Catholic podcaster quoted Revelation 12:17 to back up the claim that scripture says that Jesus gave us his Blessed Mother as our great spiritual mother, a heavenly advocate who intercedes for us. But, when I opened my bible to Revelation 12:17 it didn’t say anything of the sort, “17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

I decided to take this a bit further and look at several different commentaries to see maybe the elders within the Roman Catholic diocese saw something that I didn’t regarding this verse.

Revelation 12:17

And the dragon was wroth with the woman
The devil was very angry with the church, because he could not destroy her by the Arian persecution he had raised; and because he could not carry her away with the flood, either of errors and heresies, or of the barbarous nations; and because he could not, by any means, come at her, and indeed did not well know where she was, a place being prepared for her of God in the wilderness, where she was taken care of: wherefore he took another method as follows,

and went to make war with the remnant of her seed;
which refers to the war the beast, to whom he gave his power, seat, and authority, is said to make with the saints; and which was entered into and carried on by his instigation, of which there is an account in the following chapter: the persons with whom he went to make war are described as “her seed”; the seed of the church, her spiritual offspring, the sons and daughters she brought forth to Christ; between which seed, and Satan and his seed, there always was an enmity: and these are “the remnant” of her seed, a few persons scattered up and down, a remnant according to the election of grace; who were not in bodies, or in church states, regularly formed, as heretofore, but in private families, and some here, and some there; and who were called out to bear a testimony for Christ in corrupt times: and these are further described as such

who keep the commandments of God:
and not the traditions of men: nor are the commands of the moral law of God so much designed, though it is true that these were kept by the seed of the church; but rather the ordinances of the Gospel, the commands of God our Saviour, such as baptism and the Lord’s supper; which were kept by these faithful ones, as they had been delivered, when they began now to be sadly corrupted by the antichristian party:

and have the testimony of Jesus Christ;
the Gospel, which is a testimony concerning him; (See Gill on Revelation 1:2). This they had in their hearts, a spiritual knowledge and saving experience of it; and this they had in their hands, they made a profession of it, they held it forth, and held it fast; all which was the reason of Satan’s enmity against them, and war with them.

So, as you can see there is no mention of the Virgin Mary or word of her being a mediator. It speaks as the church being the woman in this verse.

—The two most common views take the woman as a symbol for either Israel or the church. That the woman represents the church has been a common view in the history of the church. of the woman is that she represents the church, since her offspring are attacked by the power of the beast. Phillip J. Long

This is why one needs to dig deep into scripture and not take the word of a Priest, Pope, Deacon, or Pastor at face value because there are many false prophets within the religious community that will gladly lead you astray.

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

1 Timothy 2:5

Lukewarm Christianity

If you abide in My word, then you are truly My disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

John 8:31-32

If you abide in My word, then you are truly my disciple. In simpler terms, if you comply, obey, mind God’s word then you are His true disciple. There is no wiggle room, it’s plain and simple you either are a true disciple or you’re not. You are either saved or you’re not. You are either walking the narrow path or you’re not. You are either living for Him or of the world aka. Satan.

I first heard the term lukewarm Christian when I was a little girl, my mother used to refer to my father as one because he’d only attend church service during the holidays, and as I got older I had no issues with labeling myself as one. As far as I was concerned I had all the necessary (Catholic) sacraments under my belt and if I prayed a simple prayer, acknowledged God once in a while, did a good deed, and didn’t break all the commandments then I was in good standing and headed to heaven.

I have a feeling many of you reading this can relate, yet some of you won’t admit to being a lukewarm Christian because you feel that you are right with God given your hypocritical lifestyle, and what I mean by that is that many people are fine giving God their leftovers, putting Him last instead of making Him their priority. Yet still claim that they truly are a disciple of God. I understand that many of you have a very busy schedule, and all that you want to do when you get home is kick your shoes off, lay on the couch, and zone out while consuming some mindless shows on television or video games. You deserve that time right? You worked hard all day so you deserve to relax for an hour or two focused solely on a screen ignoring your spouse, your children……and well, God. It’s just you and the television for hours.

Every Christian is either a missionary or an impostor.
– C.H. Spurgeon

Let me ask this question, why are you willing to put that much time into an inanimate object rather than God? Why are you willing to put your television shows, video games, friends, and habits before the one who gave you this life? Imagine if you will if when you die and standing before you is our Lord but instead of Him welcoming you into The kingdom you hear Him say, “I never knew you; depart from me, you worker of lawlessness.’

For me, one of the most hard-hitting verses is found in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Do you think God will give you a pass even after putting Him last all your life regardless of how busy you were or saying a prayer now and then, going to church on Sunday, living by the deception of the enneagram, or other occult practices? God is not some willy nilly god, He is a just God.

I give Him my life to do as He wills, for He is my Lord and Savior. Nothing will take priority over Him. Not my love, my children, my grandchildren, my earthy possessions, my job – nothing. I have spent too many years placing Him on the back burner to put anything before Him again. I’m thankful that He woke me up before it was too late. I pray for my family and friends, who still think that God is just a loving God who will overlook their sins and judge them solely on the good deeds they did while they were alive or give them credit based on having the intention of being a good Christian/Catholic. I wish they would find themselves submerged in His word every day, reflecting and meditating on His word.

The Word of God is our answer, corrector, encourager, truth, it is our everything. The Word is where the relationship is found. You cannot love Jesus and treat the Word as unimportant. If you go for a walk, take your Bible. If a show you are watching makes you think of something, go to the Scripture. Let your life revolve around Scripture because Scripture is our source of life.

Casey D. Bell – How’s Your Relationship?

When the Lord trumps psychobabble.

There was a time when my bookshelf held the workings of Brene Brown, Gabrielle Bernstein, Eckart Tolle, Paulo Coelho, Louise Hay, Dr. Wayne Dyer, and Deepak Chopra. I hung on their words and incorporated their self-help, new thought teaching into my everyday life. Their way of so called self-help techniques was nothing more than tearing down one’s self, manipulating one’s mind, and reconstructing a person’s brokenness with their tools for a better life, which never truly worked.

When one is lost and battling with whatever internal demons that are wreaking havoc inside of them of course it’s easy to find solace in their “How to live a better life” or “How to move on from brokenness” psychobabble. I know that I did. “Hurt people hurt people” was my mantra in 2019-2020, it was my way of defining my hurt, anger and frustration and it was my go to when someone released their hurt onto me. But as I sit back and reflect on a time when I relied solely on the words of those authors above as well as podcast/internet psychologists I can see how twisted their words were but they were just doing their job which was to keep us hanging on to their placebo-like magic phrases and rebranding our hurt into a disorder. Today these influencers have made our sin and perverse way of living acceptable in today’s culture. The sin and guilt we carry are now the fault of someone else and in turn, we are the victim which allows us to continue to maneuver blindly through life blaming others for our toxic, unruly behavior.

being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;

Ephesians 4:18

When the Lord shines the light on your sins and the pain of everyone you hurt floods through your veins, while you weep at the feet of our Savior repenting of all your wrongdoing and you begin to hold yourself responsible for each and every sin and perverse act that you dealt before Him that’s when the Holy Spirit will fill you with His glory, love and full understanding of His graciousness and you feel convicted of your sins. That is something our Lord has over any and all self-proclaimed self-help guru.

But with the Freudian view of man we don’t need salvation, we need healing. We don’t need to be transformed into the likeness of Christ, we need fulfillment. The self-affirming language of psychology has changed the way we talk about sin, the gospel, and the life of the believer. With a few choice words, we’ve turned the life-transforming truth of the gospel into nothing more than a motivational speech. – by Jeremiah Johnson

I see so clearly that the promises on how to live your best life now was just a way to keep us stuck on our very own hamster wheel going no where instead of focusing on how we are to save ourselves from God’s judgment and either living our life eternally in the presence of God or spending our life in the presence of the Prince of darkness. Dr. John MacArthur wrote:

“It has been sad to see so many Christians seek counsel from Christian psychotherapists who fumble around with theories developed by Sigmund Freud, Carl Rogers and B. F. Skinner. Psychology and talk therapy are so bankrupt that many are abandoning them to embrace biological psychiatry. Psychotropic medicine is the new savior. Problems that were once blamed on dysfunctional families and Id/Superego conflict are now charged to chemical imbalances and disorders. Yesterday’s psychology and today’s psychiatry share the same fatal errors — they reject the total depravity of man due to sin; they treat the symptoms instead of the heart; and they aim for change that is not true sanctification.”

It is so imperative now more than ever to fill your soul with the Word of God and the teachings of solid Theologians and sound Preachers who care more about your salvation than coddling your feelings with fluffy mantras and convincing you that regardless of your sinful and perverse wrongdoings God still loves you.

The LORD will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

Isaiah 58:11