We are His Witnesses

Isaiah 43:10-11
10  Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
11  I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

1 Peter 3:12-15
12  For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
13  And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
14  But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
15  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

It is of the utmost importance that we as the witnesses of Jesus Christ, are always ready to give a scriptural account of the hope we have within us.  This hope not only pertaining to the plan of salvation, but to everything that witnesses of the hope that lies within us.

Some examples could be:  how you overcome trials and tribulations, why you live a separated life from the world, I thought once you were saved, you were always saved, etc.

As you can see, to be an effective witness, one must have a knowledge of the Word of God, and then they need to be a humble servant of Christ and present this information with meekness (quiet, gentle, and submissive) and (in the) fear (of the Lord).

2 Timothy 2:24-26
24  And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26  And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

As we learn here from the Apostle Paul, we must not strive or fight vigorously against those who oppose themselves.   We must be gentle and patient.  And again in meekness as we give instruction.  And then perhaps, or maybe, God will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.

Remember the parable of the sower……

Luke 8:11-15
11  Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
12  Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
13  They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
14  And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
15  But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

We need not strive or debate the Word of God with anyone.  As you can see by the Word of God, the receiving of the Word is a heart condition.  Those who hear the Word with an honest and a good heart, and keep the Word, will bring forth fruit with patience.

As a witness of Jesus Christ, one of the first and most important scripture verses for opening up someone’s eyes to the possibility of being misinformed with the knowledge of Christ that they have been taught, is….

2 Timothy 3:16
16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, Not some scripture is and others are not.

This verse clearly states that All scripture is profitable for doctrine.  All scripture is profitable for reproof.  All scripture is profitable for correction.  All scripture is profitable for instruction in righteousness.

This teaches us that we can not stack one scripture against another to justify why we choose to only apply certain Bible verses in our walk with God.  I would like to give 3 examples of how people commonly use one scripture to reject another.

Example 1

John 3:16 (accepted)
16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Mark 16:16 (rejected)
16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Yet we have learned that all scripture is inspired by God and profitable for doctrine.

Example 2

Romans 10:9 (accepted)
9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Acts 2:38 (rejected)
38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Example 3

Ephesians 2:8 (accepted)
8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Acts 22:16 (rejected)
16  And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

When you are witnessing to someone, be sure to introduce 2 Timothy 3:16 into the conversation so that you can show the person that we should never use one scripture against another, but rather all scripture will work together.

After you have opened up their eyes to the acknowledging that all scripture is inspired by God and profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness, a great follow up is to explain to them, how the scriptures are set up.

Isaiah 28:9-13
Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
10  For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
11  For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
12  To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
13  But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

The prophet Isaiah is telling us that knowledge and the understanding of doctrine, comes by studying the scriptures one line at a time.  Which is line upon line.  And also by one precept at a time.  Which is a rule that governs one’s behavior or thought, which would be a commandment.  So, he is saying we learn by one commandment at a time, and by studying the scriptures one line upon another line, one commandment upon another.  Gaining knowledge here a little and there a little.

Meaning part of the information you need for a particular subject is found in one book of the Bible while more of the information you need is found in other books of the Bible.

God purposed this for man so that we would study the scriptures.  God is looking for someone who truly loves Him and is seeking Him.  These type of people, will search the scriptures, pray about them, learn from teachers, and will always consider all possible meanings of the verse at hand, because they want to make certain, they are obeying the Gospel correctly.  It is to these people, that God will open the scriptures up to, because the scriptures are spiritually discerned.

1 Corinthians 2:12-15
12  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
15  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

Now I would like for you to take notice of Isaiah 28:13 again.

Isaiah 28:13
13  But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

This verse here is speaking of the Jews.  The Jews had been disobedient over and over to the LORD.  In His Jealousy, He decided that He would go to another people who were not a people.  This being (us) the Gentiles.

So Isaiah tells us that the word of the LORD to the Jews was one commandment upon another, one line upon another, until it caused them to be snared.  It became a trap to them.  The Word of God is written in a way, that God reveals to some, while concealing it from others.  The answer for why, is because of seeing whether you have an honest or a dishonest heart.  Do you truly love Him and will you obey what he says, or will you not truly love Him and decide to build your own plan of salvation from the scriptures.  Listen to Jesus give the answer to His disciples.

Matthew 13:10-15
10  And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
11  He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
12  For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
13  Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
14  And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
15  For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

You may have read this just now, and missed the answer to why this happens.  The answer is verse 15.  Jesus tells us, their hearts is waxed gross, their ears are dull of hearing, and here is the answer to why they don’t see, for their eyes they have closed.  Least at any time they should open their eyes and see, which would allow them to open their ears, to hear, which would bring understanding to their heart, which would bring repentance and conversion, and then Jesus would heal them.

Jesus is looking for a bride that truly loves Him.  Someone Obedient and Faithful to Him.  Thus scriptures were deliberately set up to either ensnare you if you love not the truth, or if you do love the truth, the spirit will open your understanding.  Let me show you who the gospel is hid from and who it is revealed to.

Matthew 11:25
25  At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

2 Corinthians 4:1-4
1  Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
2  But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
3  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

This goes right along with what Jesus answered to His disciples concerning them that had shut their own eyes.  Now we find out that because they believed not, the god of this world has blinded their minds.  So the Gospel is only hidden to the Wise, Prudent, and to them that are lost.  Yet it is revealed to babes.

2 Peter 3:13-18
13  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
14  Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
15  And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
16  As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
17  Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
18  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

As the witnesses of Jesus Christ it is important to understand how the scriptures are set up and that all scripture is inspired by God.  This knowledge will allow you to quickly assess whether the person you are speaking with is hungry for truth.  If they are, this will lead to many other questions from them.  As the Lord’s witnesses we must be prepared to answer these questions by growing in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as we have just been instructed.

To download any of our free audio or written sermons or to listen to our free radio station be sure to visit us @ http://www.ensnaredindistractions.com/

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The Power of Pentecost!

The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

The voice of John the Baptist

Matthew 3:11
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

What is this fire?  This Pentecostal fire?

Acts 2:1-8
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire,and it sat upon each of them.
4  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  

Pentecostal Power!!

5  And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
6  Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
7  And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
8  And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

Acts 2:13-18
13  Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
14  But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
15  For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
16  But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
17  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18  And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

I’m talking about ……..The Power of Pentecost!

Acts 2:3
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

I say this fire is a purifying fire!! A Godly fire that purges out our ungodliness and it sanctifies us!

This is Pentecostal Fire! – Godly Fire!!

Let Me Speak To You About The Mystery of the Human Tongue

James 3:6-10
6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

Devilish Fire – Sensual Fire

7  For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
8  But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9  Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
10  Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

With our tongue we praise God and curse our brother who is made in the image of God. But when the Holy Ghost comes in, God’s Spirit unites with our Spirit and cries out Abba Father in recognition that you have became a child of God. God only can tame your tongue! When you receive the Holy Ghost God does sanctify and tame your tongue.

Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues is the Power of Pentecost!

Church the Power of Pentecost is not a one time experience!

Acts 1:5-8
5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
6  When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7  And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Power to Witness; Pentecostal Power!!!

Isaiah 43:10-11
10  Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
11  I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

Power over death, hell, and the grave!  Power over sin! Power over our trials, tribulations, sorrows, and persecutions.

With Pentecostal Power-comes persecution!

The early church after the day of Pentecost was persecuted for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the Power of Pentecost!

(Peter and John taught and preached Jesus to the people in the Temple after healing the impotent man at the gate Beautiful. )

Acts 4:1-10
1  And as Peter & John spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them,
2  Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
3  And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide.
4  Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand. (What a revival in a single day!)
5  And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes,
6  And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.
7  And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?  (By the power of Pentecost!)
8  Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,
9  If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;
10  Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

The Name of Jesus Christ Invokes the Power of Pentecost!

Acts 4:15-21
15  But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves,
16  Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.
17  But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.
18  And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
19  But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
20  For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
21  So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.

Acts 4:29-31
29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
30  By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
31  And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

Pentecostal Boldness!

The Holy Ghost is the Power of Pentecost! (The nine gifts of the Holy Ghost is Pentecostal Power!)

These scriptures prove that the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is not a one time experience, but continuously moves on His people. That is they were all refilled with the Holy Ghost, they already had the Holy Ghost yet they received a refilling when they prayed and asked God for boldness to preach His word.

Again I say Church Pentecostal Power is not a one time experience!

Church, saints hear me! The Holy Ghost is not a one time experience, we can be refilled over and over again! As a matter of fact- we must be refilled over and over again, lest we grow feeble and weak, spiritually sick. The joy of the Lord is our strength, and that joy is the Baptism of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance.

Speaking in other tongues is a miracle, it is Pentecostal Fire!

Speaking in tongues is not a one time experience!

Do not let Satan lie to you and tell you, that you cannot speak in tongues anymore. Every time that you allow the Holy Ghost to move upon you, move in you; the gift of speaking in tongues will well up within you as a well of living water. It will bubble over, it will overflow you. For out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Stir up the gift within you! The gift of the Holy Ghost!
Stir it up! Get beside yourselves!
Crucify your flesh!
Bring your flesh into subjection to the Holy Ghost in you!
Let God have reign in your life!
Submit yourselves unto God!
Give God a spiritual sacrifice of praise! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Begin to worship God!

Pentecostal Power – You shall receive Power after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you!

Raise your hands and worship the Lord! Cry out to God like you did when you first repented and earnestly sought God. You can have a Pentecostal experience right now!  This very moment! Draw nigh unto God, lift Him up and God will draw nigh unto you.  Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever!! He changes not!!

Worship God, love God, praise God, lift up Holy hands unto God!!

The Holy Ghost is a continual blessing of eternal life!  Renewed in your heart daily!! Day after day, after day, forever and ever!

Pentecostal Power is the saving power of Jesus Christ.

Lesson written by Perry Harris.

To download any of our free audio or written sermons or to listen to our free radio station be sure to visit us @ http://www.ensnaredindistractions.com/

Lord If Thou Wilt Thou Canst Make Me Clean

Matthew 8:1-2
1 When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.
2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

A leper cried, “Lord if thou wilt thou canst make me clean!” The leper spoke of a physical corruption of his fleshly healing of his body, he suffered from a natural, physical corruption of his flesh. This desire terrified the people of Jesus’ day, there was no cure – for it was highly contagious in some cases.

People with leprosy were cast outs separated by themselves, not able to live with their families. Their very flesh rotted, their fingers fell off from rot, their toes fell off, their lips, nose, and ears rotted off. It was horrible beyond our imagination. It was a “living death”. If I were this leper and saw Jesus coming by, I too would have worshipped Him and cried, “Lord if thou wilt thou canst make me clean!”

Today, Church, sinners are suffering from “Spiritual Leprosy.” Spiritually in the eyes of God they are corrupt, rotten, decaying, already spiritually dead.  But Praise God, Jesus came that we might have life and that more abundantly.

When we hear His voice (“Jesus)” harden not your heart, “for today is the day of Salvation.”  Jesus will save and cleanse and make clean and whole all sinners who cry out to him “Lord if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean!”

Now let me speak of us, the Church; the saved, the body of Christ, his sons and daughters.

Yes, Lord I have repented.
Yes, Lord I have been baptized in Jesus name for the remission of my sins.

And thank God, I have received the Holy Ghost speaking in tongues as the spirit giveth the utterance! Thank you Jesus, praise your name! Hallelujah, I have been born again!

But, oh, Lord I have not been perfect since that wonderful day of Salvation. I  have fallen short. I have failed. I have sinned. Church we have fallen short, we at times have failed, we are guilty of sin!!

We must cry out “Son of David have mercy on me!”

Thank God for His Word, “the Bible” wherein lies our Salvation our hope.

I John 1:5-10
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Then this is the message, verse 9, If we confess our sins, Jesus is faithful to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This is after being saved, being born again!

I John 2:1-6
1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

We have an advocate.
He is our propitiation for our sins.
Walk as He walked.

Matthew  8:3
3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

And Jesus put forth his hand and touched him “the leper”, saying, I Will Be Thou Clean, and immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Church today; right now, Jesus is stretching out his hand to the sinner and to us the saved, saying come; repent. I will be thou clean!

Lesson written by Perry Harris.

To download any of our free audio or written sermons or to listen to our free radio station be sure to visit us @ http://www.ensnaredindistractions.com/

The Beauty of Contentment

To truly find contentment in one’s life, one must become acceptant to everything that happens in your life at all times.  The Bible States it like this….

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16  Rejoice evermore.
17  Pray without ceasing.
18  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Did you hear that??  Rejoice at all times and in every thing give thanks.  Not in some things.  Not only when things are going the way that you like them or wish them to be.  But In Every Thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

The Lord wants us to be thankful at all times!!!

So how does one become thankful at all times?

First one must recognize that……

Romans 8:28-31
28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
31  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 

Amen!!  So all things work together for good to them that love God and our called according to his purpose.  We also learn something else of interest.  Those whom God foreknew he also did predestinate.

Would this eliminate choice?  Of course not.  God knew the end before the beginning.  So through this foreknowledge God already knows the choices you will make and who then are His.  So those that were His, he did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.  And so those that He predestinated, He called, and those He called, He justified through His Son, and those whom he justified, He then also glorified.  This is why the Apostle Paul states, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”

Our Job as the children of God is to Press on!!

Remember…….

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3  A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4  A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5  A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6  A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7  A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8  A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

We must also fully Trust in God, having Faith in His Word, and have an understanding of trials, tribulations and the final outcome.

Proverbs 3:5-6
5  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Do you believe it??  Do you want your path directed by God??  Then one must apply a few things.  First, one must trust in the LORD with all of your heart.  Does this sound familiar???

Mark 12:29-31
29  And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these

Second, one must learn not to lean upon your own understanding.  Why??

Proverbs 20:24
24  Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

And Finally, in all of your ways, you must acknowledge God.  If you will apply these three things, then God will direct your path.

So what about trials, temptations, and tribulation?

James 1:2-4
2  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

So here we see that temptations, try our faith.  And this trying of our faith will teach us patience.  If we then let patience have her perfect work, then we will learn to want nothing.

So the understanding of trials and temptations is a big part of understanding how we can become content.

But I will forewarn you.  Don’t find yourself content without God.  For contentment without God is the path of a fool

1 Timothy 6:6-12
6  But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
9  But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after  righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
12  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

So what about Tribulations?

Romans 5:3-5
3  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

We as Christians must learn that……

Philippians 1:21
21  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

2 Corinthians 5:6-10
6  Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
7  (For we walk by faith, not by sight)
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

This is a key ingredient for how the apostles achieved contentment through their persecutions.  They were aware that to be absent from our bodies is to be present with the Lord.

Remember what Jesus tells us…..

Matthew 10:28
28  And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Up to this point we have found that for one to find contentment and Godliness, one must become acceptant of everything that happens in one’s life at all time, by acknowledging that all things work together for good to them that Love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  We must Trust in God with all of our heart, having faith in His Word, leaning not on our own understanding.  We must acknowledge God in all of our ways, and then God will direct our paths.  We must also remember that the trying of our faith works patience.  And if we let patience have her perfect work, then we will be complete and lacking nothing.  Because it is through our trials and tribulations that we gain patience, then we gain experience, which leads to hope.  And this hope makes not ashamed.  Why?  Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which has been given unto us.

And what is this hope??

Colossians 1:26-27
26  Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Finding Godliness with contentment also requires Temperance or Self Control.  Want Peace in the midst of your Storm?  You Must find Contentment.  Without Contentment, there is no Peace.

Philippians 4:4-13
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
9  Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
10  But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
11  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Here what Apostle Paul tells us???  I can do all things through Christ.  Not through his self, but through Christ which strengthens him.  Remember….

2 Corinthians 12:10
10  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

How is he strong??  Through Christ that strengthens him.

Mark 9:23
23  Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

Do you believe today???

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I Will Give up Everything to be Caught Up in the Rapture

Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:7-14,

 Philippians 3:7-14
7  But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
8  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
11  If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
12  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

I will give up everything and count the loss of those things as less than nothing that I may gain Jesus Christ and His righteousness which is of God by faith.  That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection.  Being buried with Him in baptism, partaking of His death, burial and resurrection.  If by any means I may attain unto the Resurrection of the dead. (the dead in Christ). I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I – Christ lives in me.   

I am willing to give up everything to be caught up in the Rapture!!!!!

Church! Jesus spoke of two Resurrections in John 5:25-29

The Resurrection of Life and the Resurrection on Damnation.

John 5:25-29
25  Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
26  For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
27  And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
28  Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which
all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29  And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

The First Resurrection is the Resurrection of Life.  The Resurrection of the Just, The Resurrection of the Saved; the born again Christian, the redeemed of Christ, those bought with a price, those washed in the blood of the Lamb.

Apostle Paul said, “I will give up everything and count it as nothing to attain this first resurrection, the resurrection of eternal, everlasting life. Apostle Paul warned the Church that there are those who falsely say that there is no Resurrection of the Dead.  But if there be no Resurrection of the dead, then Jesus has not risen and we are still in our sins and our religion is vain.  

But thank God that Paul declared that Jesus has risen and that there is a Resurrection. 

The Resurrection of Life has two parts. 

The first part—-Jesus was crucified, Jesus did raise from the dead on the 3rd day.  Jesus did give up the ghost on the cross.  His soul did descend into the bowels of the earth.  Jesus did descend into hell, there he did preach to the imprisoned souls.  There the dead did hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  When Jesus rose from the dead on the 3rd day, the righteous dead also rose with Him.  The graves were opened up and the saints of old did walk the earth and were seen of men in Jerusalem and they did ascend into Heaven when Jesus ascended up.

These Saints are the first fruits of the first resurrection.

The second part of the first Resurrection is the Rapture!

Apostle John wrote in Revelation 20:6,

Revelation 20:6
6  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 15:51-57,

I Corinthians 15:51-57
51  Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Rapture is the second part of the Resurrection of  Life! 

Jesus is coming again, the trumpet of God is going to sound and the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we which are alive shall be changed in a twinkling of an eye from mortal to immortal, from corruptible to incorruptible and we shall be caught up into Heaven with Jesus. Praise the Lord! Praise God we are the present day fruit of God, His righteous people; His Church, that shall be caught up in the Rapture of the Saved that began when Christ arose 2000 years ago.

Again Paul speaks of the Rapture in I Thessalonians 4:13-17,

I Thessalonians 4:13-17
13  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Saints I will give up everything to be caught up in the Rapture!

Now let us speak about the Second Resurrection-The second death; the Resurrection of Damnation.

Apostle John wrote in Revelations 20:7-15 

Revelations 20:7-15
7  And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
9  And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
10  And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
11  And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

After the one thousand year reign of Jesus and His Saints which is the Thousand Year Millennium, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and he shall go up against Christ and his Saints in the beloved city of Jerusalem and God will rain fire down from Heaven and Devour them!

Praise God Hallelujah!!!  Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire!!! 

This is the Great White Throne Judgment!

This is the Second Death, the Second Resurrection; the Resurrection of Damnation and whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire!

Saints, blessed and Holy is he who taketh part in the First Resurrection, upon him the second death; the lake of fire and brimstone; hath no power!

All who come up in the first resurrection shall not be in the Great White Throne Judgement but shall stand before the judgement seat of Christ to receive their reward for the works done in their body. This is the Church, we that are saved by grace, through the faith in Jesus. 

Apostle Paul expounds upon this in Romans 14:10-12

Romans 14:10-12
10  But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
11  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
12  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

The 2nd death is the lake of fire prepared for satan and his angels. Thank God we are not doomed to that terrible place. God did not prepare that place for us, for mankind, but it was prepared for satan and his angels!!

But Church be warned: Hell hath enlarged itself, its mouth has become a great abyss, a great chasm, to receive all the ungodly, all the unthankful, all the proud, all the vain, all the liars, all adulterers, all murderers, and all who have refused Jesus Christ and his Salvation. 

Mankind cries out, how can a just and loving God send us to such a terrible place, a place where Jesus said: There shall be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Where the worm-the soul-dieth not and the fire is never quenched. Being burned for eternity in fire, but never consumed-knowing who you are and where you are, Eternal-Living Death! 

Know today; our God is love. Our God is merciful, our God is compassionate. Jesus hasn’t, doesn’t, and never will send a soul to Hell! Praise God!!!

We send ourselves to hell by refusing God’s blessed plan of salvation, by refusing to repent, by refusing to be baptized in Jesus name, by refusing the precious cleansing blood of Jesus to wash away our sins.  By rejecting the Holy One of God, by turning our backs on Jesus and the cross of Calvary and counting the shed blood of Jesus as nothing and the death of Jesus as vain.

But God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son; put our sins upon Him “Jesus”, He who knew no sin-God made him to become sin for us that through His death, burial, and resurrection; that whosoever believeth on Him, Jesus should not perish, but have everlasting life. God has done all that is humanly possible, God has done all that is godly possible to save us.

What more could He do, what more can He do that He has not already done.! God became a man, one of us, took on the seed of Abraham; became flesh so He could put sin to death in the flesh, defeated Satan’s power over us took back the keys of hell and death, brought salvation to light, and gave us eternal life.

As it is written, Oh death where is thy sting, oh grave where is thy victory. I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord-where by we have now received the atonement.

I will give up everything to be caught up in the Rapture!

Do you want to make your calling and election sure?

Will you give up everything, every sin to make heaven your home?

Heaven is going to be a wonderful place!!!!

Do you want to go?

II Corinthians 13:5a
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.

What is the faith???  The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ!!

What must you do to be in the faith???

Acts 2:38
38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

What must you do after completing this New Spiritual Birthing Process???

II Corinthians 7:1
1  Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Lesson written by Perry Harris.

To download any of our free audio or written sermons or to listen to our free radio station be sure to visit us @ http://www.ensnaredindistractions.com/