Good and Bad Angels….

Recently as we were doing our morning devotions we came across a great description of angels. As I thought about how our world portrays them today it struck me how much different real angels truly are. If you think about how our world pictures them you have images of fluffy little creatures that can be our pets or as cute little figurines on display in our living rooms and many other descriptions not found when you study actual angels in the one book that holds truth, the Bible. For you see our world thinks the truths of God are foolishness. We must see everything around us both visible and invisible as God sees them to truly understand.

I Cor 2:14 “But the natural man (unsaved) does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

Our study Bible provided the following examples of Angels. For more on angels do some studying by looking up the word angel in your Bible and where and how it is used in scripture. Notice the reactions most of the time when angels appeared. People were afraid of them because of their powerful structure and presence. The following are only a few of the verses found on angels.

Angels

  • There are both good and bad angels;
    • Rev 12:7
    • Because bad angels are allied with satan they have considerably less power and authority than good angels.
  • God sent angels to help certain people so they could understand the significance of what was happening to them.
    • Mat 2:13, Luke 1:11,26 Luke 2:9
  • Angels are spiritual beings created by God who help carry out His work on earth. They bring God’s messages to people;
    • Luke 1:26, Gen 19:1
  • They protect God’s people;
    • Daniel 6:22
  • Offer encouragement;
    • Gen 16:7
  • Give guidance;
    • Numbers 22:32, Exodus 14:19
  • Carry out punishment;
    • 2 Sam 24:16, Rev 7:1
  • Patrol the earth;
    • Zech 1:9-14
  • Fight the forces of evil;
    • 2 Kings 6:16-18, Rev 20:1,2
  • Eventually the main role of angels will be to offer continuous praise to God;
    • Rev 7:11,12

Remember these are but a few passages in scripture describing angelic beings and their purpose in the lives of mankind. The most important thing to remember is that we must weigh all earthly teachings with God’s word as our source of authority. If you feel God has provided an angel that has ministered to you remember to give the praise to the One who sent the helper!

 John 8:32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Bitterness and Jealousy Destroy…

Heb 12:15 “Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God;

lest any root of bitterness, springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.”
************************
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man
was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help
drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only
window.
The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked
for hours on end.  They spoke of their wives and families, their homes,
their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had
been on vacation. And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the
window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his
room-mate all the things he could see outside the window.
The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where
his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color
of the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.
Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model
boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color of
the rainbow.  Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of
the city skyline could be seen in the distance.
As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man
on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the
picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a
parade passing by.  Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he
could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed
it with descriptive words.
Then unexpectedly, a sinister thought entered his mind. Why should the
other man alone experience all the pleasures of seeing everything while
he himself never got to see anything? It didn’t seem fair.  At first
thought the man felt ashamed. But as the days passed and he missed
seeing more sights, his envy eroded into resentment and soon turned him
sour. He began to brood and he found himself unable to sleep. He should
be by that window – that thought, and only that thought now controlled
his life.
Late one night as he lay staring at the ceiling, the man by the window
began to cough. He was choking on the fluid in his lungs. The other man
watched in the dimly lit room as the struggling man by the window groped
for the button to call for help. Listening from across the room he never
moved never pushed his own button which would have brought the nurse
running in.  In less than five minutes the coughing and choking stopped,
along with that the sound of breathing. Now there was only
silence, deathly silence.
The following morning the day nurse arrived to bring water for their
baths.  When she found the lifeless body of the man by the window,
she was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take it away.
As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be
moved next to the window.  The nurse was happy to make the switch, and
after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully,
he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside.
Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it all himself. He strained to slowly
turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall.
The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate
who had described such wonderful things outside this window.  The nurse
responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She
said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”
The sins of jealousy and anger are deadly and left unconfessed they fester and destroy a person.
Psalm 137:7b, 8, 9 “…do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret; it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.”

Good Humor and the Atheist….

Gen 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…”

Good Humor and the Atheist

An atheist was taking a walk through the woods, admiring all that the “accident of evolution” had created.

What majestic trees!

What powerful rivers!

What beautiful animals!” he said to himself.

As he walked alongside the river he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. As he turned to look, he saw a 7 foot grizzly charge towards him.

He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder & saw the bear closing in on him. He tried to run even faster, so scared that tears were coming to his eyes. He looked over his shoulder again, and the bear was even closer. His heart was pumping frantically as he tried to run even faster, but he tripped and fell on the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up and saw the bear right on top of him raising his paw to kill him.

At that instant he cried out “God, please help!”

Just then, time stopped… The bear froze; the forest was silent; the river even stopped moving.  A bright light shone upon the man, and a voice came out of the sky saying…

“You deny my existence all of these years; teach others I don’t exist; even credit my creation to a cosmic accident, and now do you desire me to help you out of this predicament?

Am I to count you as a believer?”

The atheist, ever so proud, looked into the light and said… “It would be rather hypocritical to ask to be a Christian after all these years, but could you make the bear a Christian?”
“Very well,” said the voice.

As the light went out, the river ran, and the sounds of the forest continued, the bear put his paw down. The bear then brought both paws together… bowed his head and said… “Lord, I thank you for this food, which I am about to receive.”

Yes we all know that animals are neither believers or unbelievers but for the sake of some good humor it works.

An interesting truth is that inside of us all is a yearning for God. The atheist is just more open about his rebellion. Most attend a church but never serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!!

The question to ask is, where do I stand???

Rev 20:15 “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

 Gen 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…” 

Gen 2:7 “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made”

Flee the Temptation to…

Flee the Temptation to…

There is a war being waged that most people never recognize as a war. It is the war between good and evil and the war will not come to an end until Jesus returns a second time to put an end to sin and satan. Many people do not even see satan as real and that unfortunately is to his advantage. The wonderful truth is that I have read the book (bible) and know the ending. God wins……………..! For us to win the skirmishes or battles that the enemy brings into our lives we must;

 2 Tim. 2:22 “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

An old Navajo who recognized the war going on within was telling his grandson about the fight that goes on inside each of us.

He said it is between two wolves: one called the flesh is evil (anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, superiority, etc.) and the other called the Spirit is good (joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, empathy, etc.).

The grandson thought about it and asked, “Which wolf wins?” his simple reply, “The one I feed.”

Gal 5:16 “This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other so that you cannot do the things that you would.”

 Romans 7:17-25 “But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God–through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”

 So the question this morning is which one will I feed?

My Debt Paid in Full…

Romans 14:12 “So then everyone of us shall give account of himself unto God.”

My Debt Paid in Full

My time on earth had come to an end and I found myself in a courtroom in heaven.

The first thing I remember is sitting on a bench in the waiting room of what
I thought to be a court house. The doors opened and I was instructed to come
in and have a seat by the defense table.

As I looked around I saw the “prosecutor,” he was a villainous looking gent
who snarled as he stared at me, he definitely was the most evil person I
have ever seen.

I sat down and looked to my left and there sat my lawyer, a kind and gentle
looking man whose appearance seemed very familiar to me. The corner door
flew open and there appeared the judge in full flowing robes. He commanded an
awesome presence as he moved across the room and I couldn’t take my eyes off
of him. As he took his seat behind the bench he said “Let us begin.”

The prosecutor rose and said “My name is satan and I am here to show you
why this man belongs in hell.” He proceeded to tell of lies that I told, things
that I stole and in the past when I cheated others. satan told of other
horrible perversion that were once in my life and the more he spoke the
further down in my seat I sank. I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t look at
anyone, even my own lawyer, as the Devil told of sins that even I had
completely forgotten about.

As upset as I was at satan for telling all these things about me, I was
equally upset at my representative who sat there silently not offering any
form of defense at all.  I know I had been guilty of those things, but I had
done some good in my life — couldn’t that at least equal out part of the
harm I’ve done?

satan finished with a fury and said “This man belongs in hell, he is guilty
of all that I have charged and there is not a person who can prove otherwise.

When it was his turn, my lawyer first asked if he might approach the bench.
The judge allowed this over the strong objection of satan, and beckoned him
to come forward. As he got up and started walking I was able to see him now
in his full splendor and majesty. Now I realized why he seemed so familiar
this was Jesus representing me, my Lord and my Savior.

He stopped at the bench and softly said to the judge, “Father”, and then he
turned to address the court. ” satan was correct in saying that this man had
sinned, I won’t deny any of these allegation. And yes the wages of sins is
death and this man deserves to be punished.”

Jesus took a deep breath and turned to his Father with outstretched arms and
proclaimed, “However, I died on the cross so that this person might have
eternal life and he has accepted me as his Savior, so he is mine.”

My Lord continued with, “His name is written in the book of life and no one
can snatch him from me.  satan still does not understand this man is not to be
given justice but rather mercy.”  As Jesus sat down, he quietly paused,
looked at his Father and replied, “There is nothing else that needs to be
done, and I’ve done it all.”

The Judge lifted his mighty hand and slammed the gavel down and the
following words bellowed from his lips- “This man is free — the penalty for him has
already been paid in full, case dismissed.”

As my Lord led me away I could hear satan ranting and raving, “I won’t give
up; I’ll win the next one.”

I asked Jesus as he gave me my instructions where to go next, “Have you ever
lost a case?”  Christ lovingly smiled and said, “Everyone that has come to me
and asked me to represent them has received the same verdict as you…Paid in Full.”

In this world of terrible hurt, pain, suffering, and extreme self centered
focus to the exclusion of everyone and everything else there are times when
logic, thought, discussion, etc., do nothing.  It is in these times I have
learned that I have only one place to turn to ease the pain. That place is to my
Lord and Savior, Jesus.

II Cor 15:21 “For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin,
that we might be made the righteousness of God, in Him.”

The Cold Sin within….

Isaiah 64:6 “For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of
us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.”

Sin comes in many attitudes and forms.

The Cold Sin Within

Six humans trapped by happenstance.
In black and bitter cold,
each one possessed a stick of wood,
or so the story’s told.

Their dying fire in need of logs.
The first man held his back,
for seeing the faces around the fire,
he noticed one was black.

The next man looking across the way,
saw one not of his church,
and couldn’t bring himself to give,
the fire his stick of birch.

The third man sat in tattered clothes.
He gave his coat a hitch,
why should he put his log to use,
to warm the idle rich.

The rich man just sat back,
and thought of wealth he had in store,
and how to keep what he had earned,
from the lazy, shiftless poor.

The black man’s face bespoke revenge.
As the dim fire passed from sight;
for all he saw in his stick of wood,
was a chance to spite the white.

The last man of this forlorn group,
did nothing without gain,
give only to those who give to you,
was how he played the game.

Their logs held tight,
in death’s still hands,
was proof of human sin.
They didn’t die from the cold without;
they died from the cold within.

James 2:1-4 “My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious
Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if
a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in
fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes,
and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine
clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to
the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,”
have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become
judges with evil motives?

Where to find Absolute Truth….

Where to find Absolute Truth!

We all want answers to the troubles of life. So, where do you go when you need an answer? How about the Bible? Some say the Bible was and is just the writings of men as are millions of books found in the local library. Is that the case?

Is the Gospel of John a book of John’s words and John’s wisdom? Is the book of Romans a book of Paul’s words and Paul’s wisdom? The same question applies to the other books of scripture. Just who’s thoughts, words and wisdom are they? The question is are the scriptures actually the word, thoughts and truths of God or of men? If they are the truths of God and not men we then have the ONLY source of truth we will ever need for directing our paths through life!! And if the authors are human then the thoughts conveyed there are merely that, only the thoughts of men.

Also, one of my bibles has the words that Jesus spoke outlined in red. There is a danger in thinking that only those words are God’s words. I remember a 6th grader saying to me during an AWANA night (kids program at church) that those red letters mean that God is speaking to us. With that thought process they unknowingly were thinking that all the other words were not from God. The truth is that God inspired and protects the words in black print also. I don’t know about you but the scriptures take on a much more important place in my life when just Who is speaking to me is recognized as God!!!!! Listen to what God declares about His word and then you decide.

II Tim 3:16,117 “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness so that the man of God may be made perfect thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Then the question arises about how God did it. Now listen to how our Lord recorded His word.

II Peter 3:18 “Knowing this first that no prophesy of scripture is of any private interpretation, for the prophesy came not in old times by the will of men, but holy men of God spoke, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

The lives that God used to reveal His word to us do have significance. Those individuals and their lives had an awesome privilege in that God used their lives to point out His direction and truth for our lives. In the Bible God used the lives of 40 different people to reveal His truths. The important thing is that they are God’s truths and wisdom and not those of the scribes. The truths of scripture are God’s truths which only He allowed to be recorded as such and protects down through the ages. God also promises to protect His truths down through the ages so that no man can change them and so that every generation has them. The jot and tittle noted in Mat 5:18 are small puncuation marks in the languages God used to record His word and even those will not be lost down through the ages so that we have all the truth to make eternal decisions by.

Mat 5:18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

Isa 55:10,11 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth and make it bring forth and bud that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

One great example of how God revealed His truths is recorded in the last book of the Bible. Listen to how God revealed it to us.

Rev 1:911a “ I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book…”

Who’s writings and counsel do you turn to?

Psalm 1:1-4 “Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in the law does he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth it’s fruit in it’s season, and whatever he does shall prosper.”

Take a minute to thank our God this morning for giving us His word and protecting it through the ages so we can have the same truths that were revealed and recorded years ago. Yes, it is encouraging and challenging to think that God has given us truths to live by. Now it’s up to us to read and follow…………….

66 Books, 40 Scribes and ONE AUTHOR……………….WOW!