Why did God allow this to happen to me?

If you ever been to a funeral or had a talked with someone who has been hurt and blamed God for it. You will get this statement, ” If there was a loving God, why would he allow this to happen”? So in turn, so many believe that God, let their baby die and he needed that baby in heaven. Others have been abused or have had other misfortunes and have come to this question again and again. They end up with a hatred toward God. There are some with the attitude;” if this is a loving God, I do not want anything to do with him”.  If this is you?  This blog is for you!

In the comic strip above, we have a man asking Jesus, why did he allow these thing? Jesus in turn said “I was about to ask you the same thing”. So today we will tackle this as simply as I can.

When God created man back in the Garden.  He gave man dominion (authority) over this planet. (Genesis 1:28). In other words, God is the creator and is the owner of planet Earth. The management of this planet, he gave to man. Secondly he created man with a special gift and also a deadly one, FREE WILL.

What is freewill? It is ability to make ones own decisions and rule ones self as he wishes. Good or bad, a man can go or do as he wishes and God will not force him to obey and live by His rules.

With this free gift of freewill. God made it clear to Adam, if he would break the one law he established, there would be consequences for those actions.  We read in Genesis 2:17, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die.  In this verse God tell them, there is consequences for your actions. If you eat from this one tree, you will die! but that decision is up to you!

As it happened, Adam and Eve did what they wanted and they received there consequences for their actions.

Adam (man) to this point was a immortal creature. Death was not on this earth but God warned man if you rebel,  you will unleash a deadly virus on this earth called “death”. God did not create death, it came from Satan and it was conscience of living a life apart from the source of eternal life (God).  Adam and Eve, on that day made a decision to separate themselves from that life.  From that day on, the virus; sin, sickness and death , was released on this planet. In the New Testament, Romans 6:23, God reminds us of this fact.  For the wages of sin is death.  Sin is choosing to live your life, apart from God and His ways.   The wages (paycheck) for that is death. It was not created again by God, he warned us not to go down this road, because of what will happen. But we did it anyway and now fast forward to 2014…..Today.
The world is a frightening place, rumor of wars and wars are happening. violence, diseases and famines cover our world. People are murdered. Women and children are raped and abused, some sold into slavery.  Alcoholism and drug addiction are everywhere. Children are born with defects and many other crippling diseases.

And man cries out to God, “If you are a loving God, why do you allow these things happen?”

Now that we have the back ground to why these things have happened.  We now can look at the comic strip again. The man asked Jesus, why? and Jesus response was “I was about to ask you the same thing”!

Everything we blame on God, if honestly looked at. Is done through the temptations of Satan and the desires of men.

Famine (starvation in the world).  America alone can produce enough food to feed the world. but why do people go hungry? Governments, politic, greed and I am sure this can go much better.

Sickness and diseases:  Can you image what this world would look like if man used his resources and intellect to research cures instead of military might and conquest. How much money and time goes into building bombs, warships and planes. If all the energy we use to kill one other was used to save others?

Crime and violence:  Who commits crimes? Does God sell drugs? Rape and abuse women and children? Go into stores and rob people. Does God kill innocent people for the lust of money? Does God run drug cartels and gangs?  Was a women ever been raped by God?  The answer is always  NO!!! Who does these action against other human beings? Man does! So if man is always doing this, why does God get blamed for the condition of the world, he put us in charge of?

One reason is a bad doctrine in churches and in peoples mindset.  Most people have this idea; God is so powerful and mighty. He is in control of everything. Nothing happens that He does not allow or control. That is bad doctrine and just plain stupid.  God does not control all. He does not have anything to do with  a man who chooses to kill, or a person who chooses to rape women and children. Nor is it His will for parents to get so drunk and high, they come home and beat and abuse their children.  God has not any part of these things, that is the work of the devil.  He tempts someone to do his evil work and then blames God for the outcome.  Satan love to accuse God and says; “If God loves you, this would not of happened! He does have all control,  He could of stopped this”!

John 10:10 states, The thief (Satan) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I (Jesus,God) have come that they may have life, and they may have it more abundantly.  

A very simple theology I live by. If something is stealing, killing or destroying in my life or my very life.  It is SATAN!  If there are things coming into my life that are producing goodness, abundance and health, it is GOD.  So when I see the evil, I can take my God given dominion (authority),  I can resist it, fight against it. Not be neutral and act as a victim, and allow sickness, disease and evil to wreck my life. When I see these thing surface in my actions, thoughts I can take immediate action to straighten my actions and thoughts out, so I do not do harm in my life, marriage, health or finances. Then I can turn to Gods Word for guidance and get instructions, on how to bring life back to these situation caused by the devil, myself or some other human who decide to do harm to me. God does not kill babies and need them in heaven! God did not will your child, mother or father to die because He needed them more in heaven. Nonsense. Since death came into this world by one mans action (Adam) , we are guaranteed one thing when we are born. We will die, no one get out alive. Roman 5:15 says But the free gift is not like the offence. For if by the one mans offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.

I do not blame God. God is my solution and my life source. When I turn and get angry and blame God. I turn from the only source that can help me get through or stop these things in my life. Read Genesis 2-3, you will see how Satan got Adam to turn on God, run and hide and then start the blame game. But who came to the garden? God did, not to punish to rescue his children from their mistakes and the lies of the devil.

We see the same in the New Testament for us, for all who sinned. God doing a rescue mission. For God so loved the world the He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  (John 3:16-18)

God is not your problem or cause of your problems. Not one of them. If you are honest you will see it was cause by you or someone else. God wants us to repent, turn away from these harmful things and turn back to him. He will not punish but save you. Would you like to give him your life? You can repent and stop blaming everyone for the problems in your life and turn to the solution. When I got off a alcoholism these are the words God spoke to me.  Stop looking at the problems and look to me, your solution.

I hope this was a small help to a hard question. It is not in-depth but I hope to give you a chance to look at it in a different light then you might have been. God did not do this too you, nor is He punishing you.

If I can help you in any way, write to me Dennis Stauffer at dennisstauffer@dsiministries.com or dinostauffer@yahoo.com

Thank you for reading my article.

Why Did God Allow This To Happen ? Repost

If you ever been to a funeral or had a talked with someone who has been hurt and blamed God for it. You will get this statement, ” If there was a loving God, why would he allow this to happen”? So in turn, so many believe that God, let their baby die and he needed that baby in heaven. Others have been abused or have had other misfortunes and have come to this question again and again. They end up with a hatred toward God. There are some with the attitude;” if this is a loving God, I do not want anything to do with him”.  If this is you?  This blog is for you!

In the comic strip above, we have a man asking Jesus, why did he allow these thing? Jesus in turn said “I was about to ask you the same thing”. So today we will tackle this as simply as I can.

When God created man back in the Garden.  He gave man dominion (authority) over this planet. (Genesis 1:28). In other words, God is the creator and is the owner of planet Earth. The management of this planet, he gave to man. Secondly he created man with a special gift and also a deadly one, FREE WILL.

What is freewill? It is ability to make ones own decisions and rule ones self as he wishes. Good or bad, a man can go or do as he wishes and God will not force him to obey and live by His rules.

With this free gift of freewill. God made it clear to Adam, if he would break the one law he established, there would be consequences for those actions.  We read in Genesis 2:17, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die.  In this verse God tell them, there is consequences for your actions. If you eat from this one tree, you will die! but that decision is up to you!

As it happened, Adam and Eve did what they wanted and they received there consequences for their actions.

Adam (man) to this point was a immortal creature. Death was not on this earth but God warned man if you rebel,  you will unleash a deadly virus on this earth called “death”. God did not create death, it came from Satan and it was conscience of living a life apart from the source of eternal life (God).  Adam and Eve, on that day made a decision to separate themselves from that life.  From that day on, the virus; sin, sickness and death , was released on this planet. In the New Testament, Romans 6:23, God reminds us of this fact.  For the wages of sin is death.  Sin is choosing to live your life, apart from God and His ways.   The wages (paycheck) for that is death. It was not created again by God, he warned us not to go down this road, because of what will happen. But we did it anyway and now fast forward to 2014…..Today.
The world is a frightening place, rumor of wars and wars are happening. violence, diseases and famines cover our world. People are murdered. Women and children are raped and abused, some sold into slavery.  Alcoholism and drug addiction are everywhere. Children are born with defects and many other crippling diseases.

And man cries out to God, “If you are a loving God, why do you allow these things happen?”

Now that we have the back ground to why these things have happened.  We now can look at the comic strip again. The man asked Jesus, why? and Jesus response was “I was about to ask you the same thing”!

Everything we blame on God, if honestly looked at. Is done through the temptations of Satan and the desires of men.

Famine (starvation in the world).  America alone can produce enough food to feed the world. but why do people go hungry? Governments, politic, greed and I am sure this can go much better.

Sickness and diseases:  Can you image what this world would look like if man used his resources and intellect to research cures instead of military might and conquest. How much money and time goes into building bombs, warships and planes. If all the energy we use to kill one other was used to save others?

Crime and violence:  Who commits crimes? Does God sell drugs? Rape and abuse women and children? Go into stores and rob people. Does God kill innocent people for the lust of money? Does God run drug cartels and gangs?  Was a women ever been raped by God?  The answer is always  NO!!! Who does these action against other human beings? Man does! So if man is always doing this, why does God get blamed for the condition of the world, he put us in charge of?

One reason is a bad doctrine in churches and in peoples mindset.  Most people have this idea; God is so powerful and mighty. He is in control of everything. Nothing happens that He does not allow or control. That is bad doctrine and just plain stupid.  God does not control all. He does not have anything to do with  a man who chooses to kill, or a person who chooses to rape women and children. Nor is it His will for parents to get so drunk and high, they come home and beat and abuse their children.  God has not any part of these things, that is the work of the devil.  He tempts someone to do his evil work and then blames God for the outcome.  Satan love to accuse God and says; “If God loves you, this would not of happened! He does have all control,  He could of stopped this”!

John 10:10 states, The thief (Satan) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I (Jesus,God) have come that they may have life, and they may have it more abundantly.  

A very simple theology I live by. If something is stealing, killing or destroying in my life or my very life.  It is SATAN!  If there are things coming into my life that are producing goodness, abundance and health, it is GOD.  So when I see the evil, I can take my God given dominion (authority),  I can resist it, fight against it. Not be neutral and act as a victim, and allow sickness, disease and evil to wreck my life. When I see these thing surface in my actions, thoughts I can take immediate action to straighten my actions and thoughts out, so I do not do harm in my life, marriage, health or finances. Then I can turn to Gods Word for guidance and get instructions, on how to bring life back to these situation caused by the devil, myself or some other human who decide to do harm to me. God does not kill babies and need them in heaven! God did not will your child, mother or father to die because He needed them more in heaven. Nonsense. Since death came into this world by one mans action (Adam) , we are guaranteed one thing when we are born. We will die, no one get out alive. Roman 5:15 says But the free gift is not like the offence. For if by the one mans offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.

I do not blame God. God is my solution and my life source. When I turn and get angry and blame God. I turn from the only source that can help me get through or stop these things in my life. Read Genesis 2-3, you will see how Satan got Adam to turn on God, run and hide and then start the blame game. But who came to the garden? God did, not to punish to rescue his children from their mistakes and the lies of the devil.

We see the same in the New Testament for us, for all who sinned. God doing a rescue mission. For God so loved the world the He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  (John 3:16-18)

God is not your problem or cause of your problems. Not one of them. If you are honest you will see it was cause by you or someone else. God wants us to repent, turn away from these harmful things and turn back to him. He will not punish but save you. Would you like to give him your life? You can repent and stop blaming everyone for the problems in your life and turn to the solution. When I got off a alcoholism these are the words God spoke to me.  Stop looking at the problems and look to me, your solution.

I hope this was a small help to a hard question. It is not in-depth but I hope to give you a chance to look at it in a different light then you might have been. God did not do this too you, nor is He punishing you.

If I can help you in any way, write to me Dennis Stauffer at dennisstauffer@dsiministries.com or dinostauffer@yahoo.com

Thank you for reading my article.

DO NOT GET PASSED-OVER!

Understanding the Passover

So many times in the Old Testament, God gives us a “type and shadow” of the things to come in the

images (1)future.  He gives us a metaphor and with this metaphor God loves to paint a picture with His Words.  In this article I want to share a little on my favorite type and shadow in the Bible: The Passover  from the book of Exodus.

Exodus 12:21;  Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. 22 And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. 23 For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you.24 And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever. 

God is painting the picture and it an easy one to understand.  When we go through the story and understand what these words mean spiritually, they give us a deeper meaning of our salvation.

Egypt/World System

First let us look at Egypt.  Egypt is a picture of the “world” in which we are all born into.  We are children of God yes, but after the fall of Adam and Eve, we are no longer born into “Eden” but into this fallen world.  So after the fall of man at the garden, every man and woman born into this world are born spiritually dead.  This is why Jesus said in John 3;3 “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”   You might be alive physically but your spirit is dead and can not understand the things of God or enter into His Kingdom.  When we are not born-again, our mind and thoughts are locked into this world view and system.  We simply can not gasp spiritual truths.

Here is an example we all have heard; “I read the Bible but it is nothing but Greek to me!” The reason is: We need the help of the Holy Spirit to teach us the spiritual truths contained in the Word of God.  Without God’s aid the Bible is reduced to a bunch of ancient stories written in an ancient culture.   So we need to be born again (our spirit-man becoming alive) to understand the Biblical truths and principles God set in His Word.

Which lead us to the next point. 

Living in Egypt Produces Slaves

For 430 years the Israelites lived in Egypt and Egypt made them slaves.  Being born into this world produces the same results, sin becomes our slave-master.  When we read of Israel suffering at the hands of slave-masters, this should be a wake-up call to all of us.  This is an excellent example showing us how living in this world will treat us.  Sin is a brutal task master!

Roman 6:17; But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.

Unfortunately, many find pleasure in this world with its many sins.  Because of this desire for pleasure many choose to stay in their sins. God will never force anyone to leave, remember God gives us our choice.  As long as we desire this world with its manifold pleasures, they are ours.  God gives them to us, including all the pains, problems and consequences that come along with sin.

Proverbs 10:2  A fool finds pleasure in wicked schemes.

Good News

God did not intend for us to stay in the world system and be slaves for our entire lives.  As He did for Israel, He does for us in this story.

“Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. 

 The Lamb 

Genesis 22:8:  And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.”
I wanted to start with this verse, because from the beginning, God had a plan to rescue His children.  I especially like Genesis 22:8 when it is written in the proper sentence structure.  When the translators translated the Bible, they left out a comma.  Let us look at what God was saying.  Let us reread this with the comma in place:
And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide Himself,  the lamb for a burnt offering.”
This is exactly what happened.  God provided Himself as the Lamb for the burnt offering.  Jesus is the “Lamb of God” who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).  So when God needed to rescue us from these bonds of slavery, God became man and became the sacrifice to save us all.
 
Interesting fact: This is why Jesus was born in a stable.  God went so far as to be born in Bethlehem in a stable. These very lambs, born in these stables, were the exact ones used for the “passover” in Jerusalem at the time of the passover feast.  Jesus was born with all the other sacrificial lambs!   These same lambs which were offered for the atonement of Israel’s sins.

Dip the blood 

images (1)

Exodus 12:22  dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. 

If you look at the picture of the door, you will see that when the Israelites took the hysop branch, dipped it in the blood, struck the top of the door and then moved this bloody, dripping branch left to right  they were looking at something very puzzling to them: “a picture of a bloody cross.” on their door.  To them this was a mystery because the cross for crucifixion, was not made for thousands of years later by the Roman Empire.  But for us today what a powerful picture this is.

The Results of the Blood

Nevertheless, when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you.

This is the great news of the gospel.  Jesus sacrificed Himself for your sins and took all your punishment upon Himself!  This happened so that when it is time for judgement, God will do the same as he did in this picture story.  God’s judgement (the destroyer) will pass over you and you will not die. (eternally)

When your life is marked by the “blood of the lamb,” God’s judgement will never come upon you.  It will pass over you.  When Satan wants to drag your spirit to hell he will see that your spirit is reborn and the outer door of your heart is marked by the blood of Jesus.  He then has to pass over you.  He no longer has any claims on your life.  You have been purchased and delivered from his power by Jesus Christ.  Think about it, Jesus dying in our place is the best news there could ever be!

Remember, the Egyptians and the Israelites are the same, they are both members of this human race.  So what was the different between the children of the world (Egyptians) and the children of God (Israel)?  In reality nothing!  But whoever applied the blood to their doorway was spared.  I believe if an Egyptian heard this and did the same, in faith with the people of Israel, they would have received the same blessing from God.  The judgement would have passed over them too.

I believe this would have gone the other way also.  If an Israelite that night, decided this was foolish and did not apply the blood of the Lamb to the door post, he would have received the same judgement as the Egyptians did that night.

Romans 10:13 For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
 
God does not have favorites.  God does not pick and choose who gets saved and who doesn’t.  Salvation is for whoever calls on His name.  God will save them from their sin.  No person, no matter what he has done, will ever have God reject them if they repent and give their lives to him.   Repent today and receive the forgiveness he gives at the cross.
 
You too can become like the Israelites after they partook of the Passover meal.  They walked right out of Egypt and became free people going to meet God at Mount Sinai.  In the same manner, you can repent, ask God into your life and walk out as a free and new person.  This is where they became God’s people and God promised them not an Egypt, but a “promise land” dipping with milk and honey.
 
So if you have never asked God to remove your sins, do so today.  It is a free gift and it is for the asking.  God will break the slave masters chains and deliver you to freedom.  At this point you may be asking what shall I do?
  1. Acknowledge you are a sinner, or if you are a religious person you may be trying to earn your way to heaven through traditions and the law.
  2. Repent (this simply means that your going one way and you notice you are going the wrong way! Turn  Around!  Your life is leading you straight to hell.  Turn around and move toward God.
  3. Realize you can not save yourself!  Only Jesus can save you and He already did 2000 years ago on the cross, He became that Lamb and shed his blood for you and I.
  4. Just like Israel, place (spiritually) the blood on the post of your heart.  You do this by accepting this free gift and giving your life to Jesus.  It simply is for the asking and God gives it.
  5. When you do this,  God’s judgement will pass over you because Jesus already received that punishment at the cross.  One final thing, this is not just a “get out of Hell free card”.  Going to Heaven and missing Hell is a great benefit of being passed over from God’s judgement, but there is so, so much more!
  6. John 17:3 (NKJV)  And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.  So what is eternal life?  We get to spend the rest of this life on earth and then the next in eternity getting to know God and Jesus Christ!  
So my friends do not live your life, Passed over.  Next weeks article is:
“What’s next?”  See what God has in store for those who leave Egypt.
—————————————————————————————————————————
If you have any questions on salvations or this message. Feel free to write me at Dennis Stauffer@dsiministries.com.  I love to hear from you.

Written by Dennis Stauffer

Edited by Gary Green (Omega House)

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RETURNING TO FAITH: A STUDY OF DAVID AND GOLIATH PART V

Returning to Faith

Have you ever heard the expression “blind faith”?  Well let me clarify,there is no such thing!  Faith is not blind but sees and hears.  Remember, faith is believing what God told you in His Word, His promises and His direction and guidance (both Rhema and Logos).  When we understand this, then we can begin to stand on them, just like Abraham.  God told Abraham he was going to have a son and that was enough and final for Abraham.  He had to wait 25 years, but each day he did not doubt nor question God’s Word.  Rather, to him, with each passing day he was getting closer to God fulfilling His promise.

David had also received a Word from God and he knew who he was before God.  He knew that the people of Israel had a protecting covenant (Logos) with God.  David also knew that this Philistine Giant, was not only an offense to God, but Goliath and his people had no covenant with God.  So David knew from scriptures (Logos) that God was with him, and not Goliath.

What shocked David was how the Army of Israel was so stuck in their boots (afraid) of Goliath and also how they allowed (Goliath) to speak of God in the way he did!  This caused a righteous and a holy anger to arise and burn in David.  David was now highly motivated.  

David had Faith and Experience with God

Learning to walk in faith builds experience and confidence in God, this is one thing I want to touch on here.  Faith is always bigger than you!!  I have heard it said; “If you can achieve it on your own, it is not from God.”  God loves to tell us to do what is far beyond us.  He loves to show us what we could not imagine or dream of.  Things that we could never achieve on our own.  Unfortunately, once again, most in the church will never know what this is or what is it like to go for the impossible.  That is why God makes the “impossible, possible.”   There is one catch, however!  You have to hear God and then move out of “your comfort zone”.  Faith is never comfortable nor is it for the faint at heart.  Remember God tells us to do what is far beyond our own abilities.  In this manner God will rightfully get the glory.  There is one more thing about this however, God will not give you something you can not accomplish.  If God tells you to do it with Him, you will succeed if you do not quit!

When David told Saul not to worry, he would kill the Giant, Saul almost fell over.  David was a young teenage boy, not big or strong, no combat experience to fight a seasoned veteran like the warrior Goliath.  So in the natural, to Saul, this was an impossible and suicidal mission for David.  The reason is because in “the natural” it was a suicide mission.  It was completely impossible for a young teenage boy with no weapons or training to beat a 9 foot tall homicidal monster, but David had a secret in his heart: 

34-37:  But David persisted.  “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said.  “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth.  If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death.  I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God!  The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!

Think about this!  I live in Colorado with mountain lions and bears, there is no way, even with my army training, I would fight a bear or a lion with a stick!  What is impossible for me was also impossible for David, but with his intimate relationship with God, David knew that God was always with him.  God showed him how to kill a lion, and how to kill a bear.  So now this giant was no different to him (preparation time).  In fact, Goliath was even less of a challenge for David than a lion or a bear.  They were only animals and they were not offensive to God, but Goliath, because of his words about the God of Israel, was only going to make this fight even easier in David’s mind.  This Giant declared war on God!

David had intimacy and experience with the most high God.  So for David, the Giant was the one who was in danger, not him.  David had spent enough time with God and had seen enough of God’s power at work in his own life to be totally confident.  Therefore, David had no doubt about the outcome of his fight with Goliath.  His experience with God showed him that and gave him his confidence.

Secondly, David knew above all that He could not die!   He had a God given destiny to be the King of Israel and rule over the land (Rhema Word).   So with the Logos (God’s covenant with Israel) and the Rhema (David would be king of Israel), he was confident in the Lord’s promises, he would win and would not die at the hand of Goliath. 

45 David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head.  And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! 47 And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!”

Faith without works is Dead- Book of James

48 As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. 49 Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground.

50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword. 51 Then David ran over and pulled Goliath’s sword from its sheath. David used it to kill him and cut off his head.

Faith requires action!  Too many believers love to sit around and talk about faith like they would in a cheerleading rally.  They get all excited and fired up, but when the smoke clears they do nothing!  Faith is more then quoting some fine scriptures and acting all pumped up at a church service.  Faith takes work.  

David had faith, and lots of it, but he still had to go face to face with Goliath.  God did not take away the fight for David.  God did not strike Goliath with a lightning bolt as David looked on.  David had to “run quickly and confront his giant.”  Too many Christians sit around asking God to remove the giants or mountains in their lives, but at the same time refuse to do what God has told them to do! 

Just like David we need to understand our Covenant

So many of us today are like King Saul and his army.  They had the same covenant David has as an Israelite, but they did not know it.  This was caused either through ignorance or they were living in a condition of unbelief.  But either way look at the results, they lived 40 days in total fear.  In reality, at any time one of them could have done exactly what David did.  But rather, they lived in a state of unbelief.  Their unbelief not only came from bad teachings, but most of all from the fear generated through believing the devil’s lies.  

John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

I would like to give you some simple theology, and believe me it is as simple as it can get!  If something is killing you or stealing from you or destroying your life!  It is Satan or your religion.  Sometimes it is not Satan, it your false religion or doctrines that goes against the very word of God.  Jesus called it;  Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. Mark 6-9
I have found in the original Greek, an interesting meaning for the word “kill” in this verse, which really fits today’s theology and many of today’s teachings on sickness.  This word denotes the idea of a religious sacrifice.   When you believe that the sickness or problems in your life, is from God or for the “glory of God.”  You are offering your health and life on the “religious alter”, and it will kill you.
 
The following  statement is from Rick Renner’s “Sparkling Gems’ devotional. Rick is a missionary and pastor in Russia and is a great teacher of the original Greek language:
Not only does the thief come to steal, but Jesus said that he also comes “to kill.”  At first glance, it appears that this means to kill, as to take someone’s life.  But the Greek word is thuo, which means to sacrifice. It originally referred to the sacrificial giving of animals on the altar. It could mean to sacrifice; to surrender; or to give up something that is precious and dear.  It was particularly used in a religious connotation to denote the sacrifice of animals, and it had nothing to do with killing in terms of murder.
 
An extreme idea of this is “muslim sucide bombers” who sacrifice their lives to kill others in the name of god.  But we have lesser degrees in Christianity.  However, in these examples we mainly hurt ourselves and our loved ones by sacrificing our health, our finances and security in the idea it is all God’s will, when it is the devil.
 
My point here is that Satan, thru modern day churches, teach or at least have people believing that sickness is from God to teach you something.  They use the erroneous “thorn of flesh” to say Paul was a sickly person, who suffered from a horrible eye disease.  Nowhere in Scripture is it mentioned that Paul had eye problems, that is except when he was blinded by the light from Jesus for three days during his trip to Damascus.  However, a couple of sentences later in the book ofActs, Jesus instructs Ananias to place his hands on Paul so Paul can regain his sight.
Paul was not sick or blind.  His “thorn in his flesh” was persecution that he continually faced everywhere he went.  The word infirmities used in the King James and New King James versions is not sickness!  In most translations it is “weakness”.   If you want to do a more in-depth study on this read about Paul’s infirmities in 2 Corinthians 11:22-33.  In this passage, Paul gives a list of all his infirmities.   Paul is ship wrecked, beaten, persecuted etc., and in this extensive list he never ever mentions being “SICK.   And then at the end of this list he says this:
verse 30 If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity. (weakness)
When these thoughts and ideas are taken from the erroneous teachings of evangelicals and put in context we can then see what is considered to be Paul’s infirmities.  
Knowing my covenant when I say I am Saved or I recieved Salvation

I will finish up with this.  When you say I am saved or I have received salvation, you may not be aware of what you are really saying.  Remember the New Testament portion of the Bible was written in the original Greek language.  For most folks, when they use this terminology, what they are really saying is this; “I have been born-again and Jesus forgave all my sins and one day I will go to heaven” But the Greek gives you more to this: (Remember, I am not using my brand of theology here!  This is what the words “Saved” and “Salvation” means in the original language and what all is encompassed in your New Covenant as believers.)

sózó: to save
Short Definition: I save, heal
Definition: I save, heal, preserve, rescue.

sótéria: deliverance, salvation
Short Definition: deliverance, salvation
Definition: welfare, prosperity, deliverance, preservation, salvation, safety.

So in closing this series of (What Voice Do You Hear), I want to leave you with the Word of God and its original meaning.  Remember, King Saul and his army had the same covenant with God as David had.  However, they refused to believe and act on their covenant because of the erroneous voice they listened to.  It was there but left void because of their lack of faith and disbelief.  Therefore they suffered in fear and anxiety while David came along with the same covenant, acted in faith, used and believed it and killed Goliath. 

Today many are living like Saul and his army because of what some churches and preachers have taught them – that their sickness is from God!  That Jesus was poor and therefore you should be also!  That being broke glorifies God!  If we really sat down and thought about what we are saying, there would be no need for a theological debate. 

Think!  How does a child suffering from cancer glorify God?  A child or loved one dying draws someone closer when they think it was God who killed the loved one?  I don’t think so!

On prosperity, how does being broke and being a failure at all you do glorify God?  How does living in fear and anxiety of the world around you glorify God when God Himself says He is our strong tower, our mighty fortress?

 One of my favorite verses.

Psalm 103 v 3-Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul,
And do not forget any of His benefits;
 
He forgives all your sins,
He heals all your diseases;
He redeems your life from the pit,
He crowns you [lavishly] with lovingkindness and tender mercy;
He satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the [soaring] eagle.

Read this whole Psalm.  The one thing I want to point out in closing is in verse 3.  I believe that most believe Jesus forgave all theirs sins (past, present and future) and I believe that most (born again believers) agree on this, but finish verse 3 “who heals ALL YOUR DISEASES!   This is not charismatic theology this is the WORD OF GOD!

Written by Dennis Stauffer

Edited by Gary Green (Omega House)

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What Voice Do You Listen to? The Voice of David, the Man of Faith and His Battles. Part IV

This is the last blog of this series but I broke it into two different blogs because it was way to lengthy.  In this blog, I will discuss the last and most important voice we hear, – the voice of Faith!

17 One day Jesse said to David, “Take this basket[e] of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread, and carry them quickly to your brothers. 18 And give these ten cuts of cheese to their captain. See how your brothers are getting along, and bring back a report on how they are doing.[f]” 19 David’s brothers were with Saul and the Israelite army at the valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.20 So David left the sheep with another shepherd and set out early the next morning with the gifts, as Jesse had directed him.

David Did Not Set out to Kill a Giant!

When we read the story of David and Goliath, we read just the part where David goes after the giant.  However, David did not set out to kill a giant that day!  He was on an errand from his father Jesse to go and make a pizza delivery for his brothers,(just joking – about the pizza part) 12 miles away on foot or donkey.  The thing we must remember is that David was the youngest of all the sons.  When we read this story and other passages concerning David, we find out that his father and brothers had no respect for him.  When Samuel (the great Prophet of Israel) came and had all of Jesse’s family assembled, his father did not even invite David in from the fields for the gathering to meet the great Prophet of Israel.  This would be equivalent to Billy Graham coming to your house for dinner and you were not told or invited.  Now we see again in this passage and later on that his image with his family did not improve, even after he was anointed king.  David was still just a shepherd and errand boy, while his brothers were soldiers in Saul’s army. Continue Reading →

What Voice Do You Listen To? The Voice of The Unbelieving Church Part III

What Voice Do You Listen To?  The Unbelieving Church? Continue Reading →

WHICH VOICE DO YOU LISTEN TO? (The Voice of the World System) Part II

16 For forty days, every morning and evening, the Philistine champion strutted in front of the Israelite army.

 21 Soon the Israelite and Philistine forces stood facing each other, army against army. 

24 As soon as the Israelite army saw him, they began to run away in fright. 25 “Have you seen the giant?” the men asked. “He comes out each day to defy Israel.”

Introduction from Part I

I want to do a series on “Which voice do you listen to?  As I was studying this passage of scripture, God gave me revelation into what was going on behind this passage spiritually.  What I am trying to say is that in our lives we have voices and messages bombarding us on a regular basis, we then have to choose our responses and reactions to these voices.

After rereading what I wrote in this article, a want to say I sound like a 1950’s preacher, preaching that the devil is in everything.  This is not my intent in this article.  My intent is to show you, how the devil uses everything possible to get us sidetracked away from the ways of God.  Remember Jesus told us the road to salvation is narrow (one way and one lane) but the road to destruction is an 8 lane highway.  Satan can and will use anything and everything to keep you off the one road that can save you, and that is Jesus.  He even uses religion of all things to help people go to hell.  

VOICE NUMBER TWO: Philistines (The World System)

Your first thought might be, the Philistines never said anything!  Goliath did all the talking.  You are correct, and in this world system Satan does all the talking, but who has his back?  Can you imagine what would have happened if Goliath came out all alone, no army with him?  If he just stood alone in that valley?  The Army of Israel would have swooped down and killed him in an instant.  With those odds it would of been no contest, no matter how big Goliath was.  He would have had no chance of winning, but Goliath was not alone.  He had his own army, his back up force to match those of Israel.

So it is with Satan.  He is the mastermind and mouth of this world system.  The prince of this world.  His back up is a “World System” that swings his sword of lies, fears, and deception.  Just look at today’s world and how everything that temps us has a face or a picture attached to it?  Temptation has no power without an image!  Go to the garden and the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the Bible says it was pleasing to the eye.  It was the bait and power behind Lucifer’s words to Adam and Eve.  To this day nothing has changed. (Genesis 3:6)

What is the World System?

Satan uses this world to convince us that his lies, fears and deceptions are the truth.  The world system is speaking to us everywhere?  It is on the news and newspapers, it is on the television commercials, it is on the radio, in our music and in our magazines with it’s stories and fake pictures of what we should look like.  Satan uses it all to convince us that he is the truth and God is a lie and a fairy tale.  These things we see and hear, they are the deception, to cover-up the lie.

News and Newspapers

When is the last time you turned on the news and it was all positive and hope filled?  My guess is, never except for a  human interest story or a story of a hero.  Satan loves to spread his lies of fear in our news system.  Just like Goliath, spouting off his loaded threats to the Army of Israel that left them shaking in their boots.  News anchors come on the TV and radio and newspaper with their gloom and doom reports.  Here is an example I love.  How many of the pandemics that the news constantly reported on ever came to fruition?  How many new flu strains were supposed to come and kill thousands of people here in the United States every flu season?

We see this time in and time out,  we hear the end is near but nothing happens.  Everyday we hear the hype and sensationalism of the news anchors.  They fill us with fear of the upcoming wars, the financial disaster that is going to happen or like I said, the new virus that will kill hundreds of thousands throughout the world.  Do you remember the January 1 2000 Y2K?  The computers were going to malfunction and all of civilized world was going to shut down and be paralyzed.  Everyone was convinced.  We have seen the same with “bird flu”, the “swine flu” and then they give it a crazy name “H1N1.”,  just to put icing on the cake to freak us all out.  But in the end those strains killed no more than the average flu did that year or even less.

But nevertheless, how many people were living their lives under the constant strain of fear and stress of this upcoming disaster in our towns and schools?  It is a never ending fear that comes across from those talking heads on TV, of the voices on the radio and those who are writing in the newspapers.  I personally avoid listening to the news.  I will only read headlines and short paragraphs of current events, and when I do, I keep in mind that what they are saying is designed to take me out of faith and put me in a state of fear and anxiety.  Think of how many people we know that are in a constant state of anxiety and stress?  The pharmaceutical companies are making millions if not billions a year just off anxiety and stress medication.  It all comes from the voice of the enemy who is forever putting so many in a state of constant fear and anxiety.

Madison Avenue 

If you are not aware of this term, it used to be the street in New York City where the huge global advertisement companies were located.  The expression is that these were the people who were behind all your great advertisements.  Their job was to get you to purchase whatever their clients was selling.

Today it’s worse then ever, “Materialism” the great idea, “the more you make, the more you have and the more you want to buy that which will fulfill your happiness.”  The United States is the hot bed for this idea.  Look how much we are paying for new large homes with smaller families.  The price range that people will pay for what they think is their “American dream” and happiness.  So many today are paying over $500,000 for a modern home.  Think of that?  A half of a million dollars for a house!   When I was growing up, that was a mansion in Beverly Hills.  But today, people are buying the lie and purchasing these homes and will probably never get out of debt.  They have become slaves to their homes and to the mortgage companies.

Then there are the new cars we must have and again the world is selling us the lie.  So many people are purchasing $30,000 to $50,0000 cars.  These are not sport cars or super luxury cars but average cars and pickup trucks!  My one friend said on top of his huge mortgage, he is paying for an additional $550 car loan and he owns two cars.  These cars are only good for 5-8 years before we want another one.  When I was growing up and not long ago these were prices for homes not cars.  But the world says we need all this and we believe it.

Once again Madison Avenue does what the news people do, they use fear.  They tell us how we need these new gadgets and airbags to save us from terrible crashes.  Then we pay so much for these things and it makes us once again slave to a debt and a dream of a happiness that is not found in these things.

Why does Satan use these things?  It is very simple, how many of us are working two or three jobs between the mother and father just to make ends meet?  Just to pay for the mortgage, the car payments and credit cards we rack up every month?

It takes us away from the two most important things God gave us; a relationship with him and with our family and friends.  We are all so busy trying to make ends meet we have no time or quality time for what is most important in this life!  How many children like myself, are growing up alone?  I had a family but both my mom and dad were always gone working just to supply us with a life.  Today it is not just to make it, but it is because we buy into the greed and lust of materialism.  The worst part I see is that even most Christians have bought into this lie!

Music and Television Shows

Not only do we have the news and newspapers and internet.  We have radio full of music that we sing along with and rap to the very words of Satan himself.  The lies in the music and television that we listen to is at a alarming rate.  We have rock music with its message of  drugs, sex and hatred.  We have rap music full of anger, call to violence and murder with its entitlement mentality behind it.  I was listening to a Disney CD with my young girls and the message that was coming from this, to these 8 and 13 year old little girls was partying, self glorification and you know it, sex.  Walt Disney music teaching young teens the idea of sex, partying and self worship!

We then turn on TV and watch the new reality shows.  It is full of over dramatic sensationalism.  The people who watch this, especially young adults, believe this is real life and that this is the way we should act and treat each other.  Movies and DVD’s have not changed over the years.  They are still full of action violence, horror slasher movies and movies that promote open sex and whatever the liberal Hollywood agenda is at the moment.

Education System

The modern day school system and college campus is a hot bed of unbelief and hostile opposition towards God and Christianity.  Modern  schools promote atheism, secularism and open sexuality.  A teacher can teach our children anything and everything except for Jesus, God and Christianity!  College professors make it a common practice to intimidate Christian believers with their high intellectual ideas, humanism and secularism.  It alarming how many Christian young people come out of great Christian homes only to go to college and come out either as atheists or find themselves no longer following Jesus Christ because of the anti-Christian agenda in most colleges.

The Christian religion

OH YES!  Satan’s most sneakiest perversion is in the church!  Today modern Christian Churches are a favorite place of Satan.  How many so called Christians and preachers do not believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the virgin birth and all the basic tenements of the faith?  How many churches and denominations teach Salvation of Grace and Faith alone?  So many now teach that you only need to be a member, join our denomination and or  just get baptized and you are a Christian.  How many are deceived  and  buy into believing in works for salvation?  Some teach that Sacraments alone will get you to heaven? 

Satan has perverted the Gospel message so much that most average Americans, because they are Americans, believe they are Christians just because they were born in the United States?  The list can go on and on.   In the average church today, millions are faithfully going to church and at the same time are on the road to hell!  How many blind pastors are leading blind congregations just because they are following the traditions of their denominations and not are following the ways of Jesus in the Gospel.  Jesus said we must be born-again not of flesh but of Spirit.  So many today have left this teaching due to the lies and deception of Satan.  How many modern Churches are teaching that there is no Hell and that a loving God will never send anyone there?

Just because you go to church and have been baptized, and just because you may have received sacraments or you are living a “good life” and helping others and finally giving to your church is not a guarantee you are going to heaven!!!  The only way to heaven is putting your faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He paid fully for us.   Salvation into heaven and a relationship with God, is only a gift that can be received. (Ephesians 2;8-9)   It not a work of good deeds and or of a religious activity.  It is not from any kind of self rightousness you may have earned or received through merits from a Saint of old.

Ephesians 2,8-9: For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of Godnot of works, lest anyone should boast. 
Galatians 2:21: I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”
Romans 4:5; [ David Celebrates the Same Truth ] But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,
Next week I will be doing Part III, The Unbelieving voices.
Written by Dennis Stauffer
Edited by Gary Green (Omega House)
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WHICH VOICE DO YOU LISTEN TO? (A Study of David and Goliath) Part I

DAVID AND GOLIATH

I want to do a series on “Which voice do you listen to?   As I was studying this passage of scripture, God gave me revelation into what was going on behind this passage spiritually.  What I am trying to say is that in our lives we have voices and messages bombarding us on a regular basis, we then have to choose our responses and reactions to these voices.

Which voice do you listen to?

1 Samuel 17 1-50 New Living Translation (NLT)

17 The Philistines now mustered their army for battle and camped between Socoh in Judah and Azekah at Ephes-dammim. Saul countered by gathering his Israelite troops near the valley of Elah. So the Philistines and Israelites faced each other on opposite hills, with the valley between them.

Then Goliath, a Philistine champion from Gath, came out of the Philistine ranks to face the forces of Israel. He was over nine feet[a] tall! He wore a bronze helmet, and his bronze coat of mail weighed 125 pounds.[b] He also wore bronze leg armor, and he carried a bronze javelin on his shoulder. The shaft of his spear was as heavy and thick as a weaver’s beam, tipped with an iron spearhead that weighed 15 pounds.[c] His armor bearer walked ahead of him carrying a shield.

Background

A little background into our beginning passage.  The date of this passage is around 1023-1018 BC.   My point is, if you are not to familiar with the Old Testament part of the Bible, do not worry, nothing has changed.  If you are familiar with Middle East and current events, Isreal is still fighting with it neighbors.  Philistines are not modern-day Palestinians, but the conflict is still basically the same.  These groups have been fighting since Isaac and Ishmael (Geneses 21).  During this time, the Philistines had several giants, one was named Goliath and he had some bothers too.

Israel had it’s first king, his name was Saul and these two forces met for battle in the valley of Elah.  So in this battle, there came a challenge from Goliath.  Instead of everyone coming out and fighting and  everyone getting killed, let’s do a one on one and the winner takes all battle.  For a proud Goliath, this seemed to be a sure win for him.  As you just read about his size and stature, no one in the natural could beat this hardened warrior one on one.

Voice Number One; Goliath/Satan

Goliath stood and shouted a taunt across to the Israelites. “Why are you all coming out to fight?” he called. “I am the Philistine champion, but you are only the servants of Saul. Choose one man to come down here and fight me! If he kills me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves! 10 I defy the armies of Israel today! Send me a man who will fight me!” 11 When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken.

Goliath in this passage represents Satan; the devil, accuser of the brethren.  The bible has given us insight into this enemy of God and man.  Satan was originally an arch angel in heaven in charge of worship.  He was the most beautiful angel ever created.  He served God with his worship but one day he rebelled.

 Taking a look at three verses
 1)  This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels. Revelation 12:9
If you do a serious study of Adam and Eve in the garden along with the  story of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness, and then meditate on it, you might come up with these questions.  Did Satan ever threaten either Eve or Jesus?  Did he grab Adam by the throat with all his angelic power and threaten Eve with “If you do not eat this fruit I will kill your husband?”  With all his angelic power, you do not see any of that.  He simply talked and began deceiving Eve.  There are no threats, no intimidation is ever mentioned!  There is a reason, and why am I pointing this out?  It is because this is all the power he has or is limited to by God.
If you are a Born-Again Christian, saved by the blood of Jesus, he can only tempt you!  He can only deceive you into sinning thus getting you to destroy yourself.  All he did was use his voice to tempt Eve and the rest was up to Eve.  Eve gave in and brought sin on herself.
On the other hand, he attempted the same thing on Jesus and Jesus did not fall for it.  Jesus just responded with the scriptures and destroyed the attacks of Satan.  If we can only learn this truth about defeating Satan.  This is all Satan does,  he offers you something and then tempts you with it.  The rest of the story is up to you.  Do you listen to what God says or do you fall for the lies Satan offers.  If you have the Spirit of God in you, Satan is limited to all he can do.  Only the world gives him this underserving reputation.  Yes, he was a powerful angel but in Colossians it states:
Colossians 2:15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
Like I said, the only one who has the real power to destroy your life is you!  You have to buy into the lie and the temptation and then you have to act on it.  I know this is not popular to a victim minded society but it is the truth.
  2)  Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
 
Satan is “like a roaring lion,” in another words, he is a “big mouth.”  If you study male lions, the most feared weapon is their roar!  When a male lion roars it is simply to send his victims into a panic. He is not charging or attacking.  He is just using his voice, just like Goliath did against the armies of Israel.  He never mutilated anyone or did anything to cause panic among King Saul’s men except roar, which leads us to our next point.
Another attack of Satan and also a favorite of his, is the scare tactic: Fear.  Satan love to use his voice to instill fear.  The acronym for F.E.A.R. is False Evidences Appearing Real.  In reality faith is hearing the Word of God and believing it and fear is hearing the word of Satan and believing it.  Too many people are in the latter.  They believe everything Satan and his demons whisper to them.
  • His Jezebel voice loves to whisper that lump you feel is cancer.  Your whole family died of cancer and you will too.
  • You know you are going to lose your job.  You know you are not that talented!  You are going to lose everything!
  • You know your husband/wife is having an affair, he/she does not love you any more.
  • You know you are a failure, you are not smart enough nor talented enough and you know you never get the breaks in life.
  • Do you know that God is disappointed in you and does not love you anymore.  He stopped hearing your prayers long ago.

These are the voices and the lies of the deceiver – Satan.  Goliath is just like Satan.  Goliath appeared to Israel, as a giant with lots of weapons.  In 1 Sam. 17:16, the Bible states that for 40 days Goliath screamed and taunted the army of Israel into a paralyzing fear.  He just came out day and night taunting and scaring everyone into submission without a fight!  Everyone from King Saul to the lowest ranking soldier shook in their boots at the appearance and voice of Goliath.  He did not kill anyone.  He was just barking out threats with his voice.  This was his real weapon and he was able to keep an entire army in fear and at bay for 40 days and nights.

So many today are living in the same paralyzing fear!  Satan has you frozen in your life over some word or words he whispered in your ears.  I know I struggle with it too.  I am currently trying to write a book and Satan always comes and tells me “you are no Max Lucado or some other great Christian writer”.  He loves to whisper to me, “Do you believe anyone really wants to read your work.”  I know as I wrote this article he whispering to me these very words.

Satan is the deceiver.  He tells you that he has a better way than God.  He tells us that God is holding out on us.  Satan is the master of lies.  Satan is the accuser.  He loves to get us to condemn ourselves.  Once again, he gets us to condemn ourselves.  He does this by accusing us first, then we accept his word over Gods word and then finally we take it in our heart and believe it.

3)  2 Corinthians 11:14:  But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

Satan loves to disguises himself not only as light but anything that is to his advantage.  As light he loves to make us feel we are doing the right things.  How many people go to church, live religious lives, follow various religions and then still find they ended up in hell?  They think they are following the right way.

However, Jesus is the only way.  He is the only one who came from above and paid for all our sins.  Religion says “you have to do it and do it right in order for God to love you and accept you.”  This is not true.  Jesus made it clear that no man can enter into heaven on his own power, it is only God who saves.

Matthew 19:25-26: When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”   But Jesus looked at them and said to them, With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Satan loves to convince the world that he is the alternative to God, God’s equal enemy force,  that he possess as much power as God.  We watch this in movies and television shows.  Satan is nothing more than a created being!  A created being, created by God  who used his freewill to condemn himself.  Not only did he condemn himself but also 1/3  of other angels and billions of humans, who continually buy his lies and fall into the pit of hell.  The only upper hand I ever seen that Satan has, is that God is limited to his Word and He sticks to it. (Not saying this from a perspective of weakness).

As I mentioned earlier,  Satan can and does offer man everything under the sun.  From religion, to money, power, sex.  There is nothing he is not offering through his lies.  He is the ultimate salesman.  He will tell you anything and offer anything to get you to quit following God and rather follow him into the pit of hell.  Remember Satan is not the “King of Hell”, or “Ruler of the dark realm.”   Rather he is a condemned fallen angel who is awaiting his time to be sent to that prison named “Hell.”  Simply put in he is out on parole and awaiting his incarnation date.

Satan is not God’s equal in anyway or any form.   He is a fallen, created angel, who’s only function (in my opinion) is to offer man a false way.   He is the tempter and deceiver of man.  He hates man because (in my opinion) God gave man (Adam and Eve) a kingdom.  In Lucifer’s pride, beauty and splendor, he could not stand to see God pour out His Love on  another created being and give them power and authority.

But remember, all voices (those other than the Word of God) are influenced by Satan!

 

 

 

The Law is for Wimps III

The Law is for Wimps, Conclusion 

You might still be asking how is Grace tougher than the Law as no one can keep the Law!  I will show you a few examples of what I mean when I say there is no such thing as Cheap Grace, and living under Grace is not a so called cake walk.  I believe living under grace is tougher than the Law ever can be.

There is one note I want to add.  By no means am I trying to make “grace” legalistic or burdensome, as did the religious teachers of Jesus’ time with the law.  Jesus said in  Matthew 11:28-30  Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

What I am trying to do is get people to see that the law is obsolete.  Do not try to mix Grace and the law.  There is nothing there to substantiate that line of reasoning because living in the Spirit of God and submitting to His Lordship is freedom not burdensome.  The Holy Spirit gave me this illustration to show the difference between law and grace.

Let’s say you live in Denver and you want to take a trip to Paris.  You decide you want to drive to Paris!  So off you go from Denver to Paris.  You get on I70 East and head toward the East coast for the next 2200 miles.  The trip is going great, you drive and drive and then something horrible happens:  THE ATLANTIC OCEAN!  Let me point out that as soon as you hit the sands of Atlantic beach, your driving trip to Paris is over!  You can have the best and newest BMW or Mercedes Benz but that car is not crossing the ocean.  That car took you as far as it could go.  It is useless at this time. You are going to need a plane or a boat to finish your trip.  You cannot mix the car and the ocean – they are mutually exclusive at the moment.  Again, that car is useless to cross the ocean.  That is the law.  It can only take you so far and if you want to go to heaven, you are going to have to ditch the Law and grab hold of Jesus and His grace.  He is the only one that can get you there.  So my advice to you is get rid of the car in Denver and instead go to the airport and get a first class ticket with Air Grace Jesus and enjoy the journey. PS: the ticket is FREE

Here are some examples of law vs Grace

How many laws and traditions are there under the Law?  According to one source there are 613 laws and traditions.

Now, how many commands are there living under Grace? I believe most will say two: Love thy God with all your heart, soul and mind and Love your neighbor as yourself.  Those two laws fulfill the Law.  If you love someone you will not steal, lie, commit sexual sin or covet their possessions from them.  Love does not do these things against another.

Again, how many commands are there living under Grace?  The answer is infinity.  Let me explain.  Under Grace we live by the Spirit of God.  The Holy Spirit directs and guides every believer with the Will of God and the plans He has for our lives.  So let’s break this down.  The Holy Spirit should be telling you, who you should marry, where you should work, if you should buy that house or just rent.  He wants to be in on every decision you make.

Remember,  Jesus is not only Savior of our life but also our King.  I would also like to add that He is not too busy or overworked to help you.  In addition you are not bothering him.  So when the Holy Spirit is at work and is allowed to work, He has full decision making power in our lives.  Think of how many times the Holy Spirit is guiding all of us believers in the world with all of our decisions that need to be made on a daily basis.  That number boggles the mind.  Also remember, He is not just sending out suggestions, He is a KING in charge of His Kingdom.  Jesus is commanding His kingdom.

How different our world would look if we all would live and walk in the Spirit.  Can you imagine, if we all lived in the Spirit and followed Gods Word in the Bible?  Think of how many less divorces there would be in the church?  How many more missionaries and Pastors would be in service if we all obeyed His call on our lives?  How many fewer bankruptcies and financial problems there would be if we were lead by the spirit on the issues of money?  We can ask this question in every area of our lives!   And then on a more personal level, we can wonder how much are we listening to and obeying the Holy Spirit?

Marriage

Within the New Testament God has placed many guardrails and has given us many directives to guide us regarding marriage and sexual relations.  Under the Old Covenant, Moses gave us a right of divorce for any reason.  Men treated women like property.  I believe they treated women a lot like we do cars.  They would buy a new one, love it for a few years and then get tired of it and trade it in for a new one.  Jesus had to deal with this issue with the Jews and the hardness of their hearts.  Under the New Covenant, the only reason given to get a divorce is for infidelity.  In the church today there are many questions regarding getting a divorce.

This leads me to the first point.  If we allowed the Holy Spirit to direct us and guide us in picking our spouse, just think of how few marriages would end by divorce due to alcoholism, drug and violence?  Do you think the Holy Spirit would allow you to marry a man who He knew would beat his wife?   The fact is, we rely more on cultural traditions then we do on God for finding a partner.  Too many times we do what we want and go out with whom we want, and then TELL GOD to bless our choice.  We then try to make it the Will of God while in a state of emotional bliss or lust.  Then after all of that we ask God to Bless our Mess!  Wow!

But on the positive note on living in the Spirit, I want to tell a story I heard in college.

I heard this man was sitting in his office one day.  The Holy Spirit spoke to him and said, “On your way home, buy your wife, one white rose.”  He shrugged it off.  As he was driving home, the Holy Spirit commanded him to stop and buy his wife a white rose!  Once again, he did not want to stop but the Holy Spirit began moving more strongly until he finally stopped.  When he got home and gave his wife the rose, she broke down into heavy sobbing.  Her husband was so confused.  After she composed herself, she explained that she was having a battle in her faith walk.  She was believing God did not love her anymore.  But in her morning prayers, she struggled heavily with this and the Holy Spirit told her how much God loved her and that He would never stop loving her.  As a token to show His love, He wanted to get her a “White Rose.”  She thought to herself, how could God buy her a white rose?  You can see why her reaction was so powerful when her husband, not knowing of her prayer time, came in with a white rose.  This is what I call living in the Spirit.  Can you image what our marriages would look like if we all did this?

Finances (Money)

There has been a great debate in churches for many years now.  This is the debate; should tithing, an Old Testament commandment from God, exist in the New Testament.  Many have argued on both sides of the (coin).  Even the best grace teachers still hold on to tithing in the New Testament.  I believe this is because tithing deals with their money and how they receive offerings.  What I am going to share with you is what I believe I received from the Lord in my quite times with Him.

What I learned from the Lord is this.  In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells the Parable of the Talents.  This is found in Matthew 25:14-30.  Jesus tells of a master who left for a journey and left three of his servants with money.  One with 10 thousand dollars, one with 5 thousand and the last with 1 thousand.  The first two went and invested and doubled their masters money.  The last one dug a hole and buried the masters money – which gave no return.

There are many applications to this parable, but the Lord showed me this.  Who is the master?  Jesus is the Master and He went away to command his kingdom.  The servants are His Christians.  So Jesus left us behind to serve in his stead with his money.  Most, I believe even in the best Christian circles, believe that they work for their money and it is theirs to do with as they please.  Then on Sunday they believe it is their responsibility to give a little bit back to God, a tenth (tithe)

God showed me why we do not see the tithe in the New Testament.  Because He is Lord over all.  God owns everything!

Let me explain.  In the New Testament there are 18 references to  “Bondservants”, a nice way of saying a SLAVE, who loves his master and then signs their life over to them permanently.  We in the typical Christian Church do not preach this very often….we are slaves to Jesus, He owns us and He is our Lord and Master.  We must remember that at salvation, we exchanged our lives for Jesus.  He gave His life for us and we Gave our life to Him.  He is Lord.

So back to my point.  A slave owns nothing unless the master grants it.  The master owns all!  He owns you, your wife, and your children.  They are his to do with as he pleases.  So in this parable in Matthew, I believe Jesus is showing us that he gives us our jobs, our health and our talents.  The money we make belongs to HIM!  He is not a asking for a percentage as listed in the Law but all of it.  So in the New Covenant, I believe as Spirit filled believers, we should be seeking the Lord on how we are to use His money.  How to spend it on our needs, how to give and who we should be blessing.  This is tougher then the tithe because the Lord may say to give only 10 percent away and keep the remaining 90 percent.  But the Lord may tell you to give 50 or 70 percent away and live on the 30 percent remaining.

How would you respond?  When I went on the mission field, I was giving away most of the money to feed the poor.  But the Lord was always faithful and we always had more then enough.  So ask yourself is the Law tougher then Grace? Remember, we are to live by the Spirit of God and allow Him to direct and command our finances.  But the truth is only 2 to 3 percent of all Christians really give the tithe, (10%) let alone more as God directs.

The Sabbath and Holy days.

Colossians 2: 16  So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths.

Under the Law, the Sabbath was from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday.  I think I got that right?  How many New Testament denominations are still trying to hold to the Sabbath and meet on Saturdays.  On the other side of the coin, many believe God moved the Sabbath to Sunday under the New Covenant.  Neither one is correct!  Under grace, Jesus is now our eternal rest.  We rest on the finished work of the cross of Jesus.  Jesus is the Sabbath!

The Christian Church by “tradition” meets on Sunday, I believe this is because so many great things happen on Sunday, like the resurrection of Jesus from the grave.  But it is not a holy day, nor is it the traditional Sabbath day. Jesus is our Sabbath and everyday is a day of worship.

Everyday under the New Covenant, we Christians should get out of bed and enjoy the presence of the Lord and worship and give thanks to God.  Everyday we should be reading our Bibles and devotionals and spending quality time with God, while one day of the week or more, we should gather as a community of believers and give worship as a family before God.

The Gentile “Church” (body of believers) traditionally meets on Sunday, but a church as a body can meet anytime they decide.  On Tuesday night, Saturdays, it makes no difference.  We gather as a family weekly and give worship, but like I said, individually we should be worshipping God daily.  Everyday a believer should set aside time for God.

Conclusion

I know I do not write with much grace, I write more like James in the Bible. Do not believe me, read the Book of James.  James is straight to the point and very opinionated according to todays standards. In no way do I want to put you in any bondage to the Spirit of Grace in this article.  I only want to show those who feel or still hang tight to legalism or the law, that the Law is limited.  Read the Bible, how many times did men think they were keeping the Law only to have  Jesus show them their folly?  But under Grace, living under the Spirit of God and His guidance, God can show us and teach us so much better.  I like this example:

You go for a job and when you complete the interview, you get the job.  Then you ask for the “employee handbook.”  They give it to you but then say, read it over quickly but you will not be needing it.  You look puzzled and they say follow us and they take you to the Owner of the companies office.  You sit down and he explains; yes read over the employee handbook but for the greater part you will be working with me personally.  I will teach you all the ins and outs of my company.  I will show you personally how I like my company run.  I will teach you all that you need to know personally.  Everyday I will be you working side by side with you.

What do you think is the better way?  Sitting down reading a handwritten book or having the owner personally teaching you all that you need to know of His company and his heart.

That my friend is my conclusion to this!

Everyday we can wake up with the Spirit of Grace and be guided by His Spirit and the Word of God – the Bible.  This is where He teaches us the most.  Yes I do know that “do not steal” is written in the Law, but how many times have I done something like that and the Holy Spirit would ask me if this is how I should conduct myself?  For example, the Holy Spirit would convict me of taking extra pens from the bank lobby.  How many times has the Spirit of God showed me things in my marriage, or raising my children that is not written in the Law or the Bible?

 The Holy Spirit does not contradict the Word of God, rather, the Holy Spirit explains the Word and guides us in following the Word.  Living this way, through Grace is a far better way to live!  It is a much more intimate and personal way to relate and interact with God.  We have a loving God who lives and breathes in our hearts.

Written by Dennis Stauffer

Edited by Gary Green (Omega House)

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The Law is For Wimps Part II

Last week I started showing you, through scripture that we as New Testament Saints are not under the Law, neither should these two covenants (the Old covenant and the New covenant) be mixed together.  Many Christian organizations and denomination today do this.  I believe that the Apostle Paul references this concept in the following verse:

15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15  (NKJV)

I believe we as mature ministers need to know how to divide the Word of God.  We should know the difference between the Old and New covenants and not try to mix the two together as Saint Paul explained in the Book of Galatians.

This week I will show you why I say the “The Law is for WIMPS.”  Why I say that the New Covenant is superior in every way to the Old Covenant of Law.  I will show you once again why those who try to mix the two are dealing with some serious spiritual issues.

Since I became a Christian, I have seen that the Message of Grace preached in even the most conservative denominations is a weaker and softer approach to the Law.  Somehow these churches believe that the Old Covenant Law is for the John Wayne spiritual types and the New Covenant Grace message is for the Robin Williams spiritual type person.  They believe that those who can keep the law are the spiritual army drill sergeants and hard core spirititual types.  For everyone else these churches believe that God gave them the “Grace message” because it a let many off the hook and is the wimpy approach to God for those who can not hack it.

Just the other day, I was talking to my wife about how some family members of ours. hates a preacher in Guatemala, who preaches the grace and faith message.  They say, “he is of the devil” and that their STRICT legalist denominational church is so superior and never would preach the grace message.  Well bad news for them.   Number one,  they are misguided and two, I will show you by the Word of God how the Gospel of Grace in the New Testament is way more demanding and tougher then any Law message.  This is the point to my Part ii message.

ROUND 1

JESUS VS RICH YOUNG RULER

Mark 10:17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’”[c]20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

Here is a teaching about a rich young ruler that has been taken out of context a lot.  I want to point out in this article that the rich young man, was very secure in himself, his riches and his spirituality and probably his position in life.  He comes to Jesus I believe, in hopes of bolstering his already high opinion of himself.  This young man (the law keeper) tells Jesus (messenger of grace), that he has kept all the law from his youth.  He was so sure of himself and his righteousness.   Jesus out of compassion (grace) shows this man, what he was lacking.  Go sell all you have!  Jesus is not telling us that we must sell all we have and be poor to be in his kingdom.  He was showing this young man, to make a point to him!   This young man’s god was money and he was not keeping “the law” as he thought he was.  He went away sorrowful. Under the Law, you can get a false sense of security in your religion. This man was full of pride and so was the Pharisees that Jesus had to deal with.   Grace 1, Law 0

Round II

Jesus (the women caught in adultery) vs the Scribes, Pharisees 

John 8: But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.Now early[a] in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught[b] in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded[c] us that such should be stoned.[d] But what do You say?”[e] This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.[f]So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up[g] and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience,[h] went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her,[i] “Woman, where are those accusers of yours?[j] Has no one condemned you?”11 She said, “No one, Lord. ”And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and[k] sin no more.”

The Pharisee thought once again that they had Jesus in a “catch 22.”  They figured that either way Jesus would answer they had him.  If Jesus condemned her, they would have pointed out that His grace went only so far and He was just like them.  On the other hand, if Jesus lets her go, He would be violating one of God’s own commandments of the Old Testament.  That would show He was not from God and was a false teacher.  So they finally had Him!  I believe at this point they began to realize something about their attacks against Jesus.  It seems Jesus always trampled on their traditions and their doctrines.  As we read the Bible, to us it looks like Jesus many times breaks the law and violates God’s Word.  In fact however, Jesus never violated God’s Word but instead destroyed man made laws. As you study the Bible, you will find that the Pharisees and religious leaders turned God’s 10 Commandments into 613 laws and traditions.  God gave only 1o, but they had made tradition after tradition.  What God meant for good, the religious leaders turned into a millstone around the neck of the people.  The law was burdensome!

I believe when Jesus wrote in the sand, He wrote down the sins of the people.  Then when He wrote the second time, I believe Jesus started writing names behind their sins, starting from the oldest to the youngest.  They then started running away because Jesus exposed their darkness.  They wanted Jesus to condemn the women for her sin, but I believe he was showing them they needed to deal with their own secret sins.  All left and fled from the light of God.  Jesus then looked around and asked the woman where are the people accusing you?  He then, did not condemn her by the law but showed her grace.

A question here.  Which is harder?  To condemn her to death and get rid of her within 5 minutes or show her grace and offer her a new life with discipleship that will take a life time?  That’s the difference between law and grace.  It is easy to condemn, but it would take a lifetime of work to harvest a beautiful repentant life as Jesus did here.  This story did not end here, but began with her as one of Jesus’ true followers.  Grace 2 Law 0

Round III

Tax collector (sinner) vs Pharisee (law keeper)

Luke 18 9 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

This round finds Jesus telling a parable of a tax collector, one of Israel’s most hated.  Tax collectors  were Jews but they worked for Rome.  They habitually collected and made people pay more than was owed to cover their greed.  So needless to say, they were hated.  On the other end we have Israel’s so called finest.  The highest in their religious order.  The Pharisees, Scribes (lawyers), and Sadducees.  In todays world we would consider them like the “Cardinals” who serve the Catholic Church in Rome.  These men esteem the highest religious positions.  But Jesus had a different opinion of these men.  You see, those who hold tightly to the Law build it on self-righteousness and pride.  They believe they are holding to the law but just as in the case of the young rich ruler in Chapter 18 in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus breaks through their deception and shows them the truth.  No man is justified by the Law. No matter how good you are, no one can keep the Law.  The bible makes this clear.  Roman 3:23  All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  The Pharisee thought he was keeping the law and was righteous, but it was the tax collector who knew his place before God.  Jesus makes it clear that the Tax Collector went home justified before the throne of God, while the Pharisee went home the same way he came to the temple, lost, full of pride and deceived in believing he was right before God.  Grace 3 Law 0

 Deceived and Full of Pride

I have ended with this story because it leads back to my original premise.  People who live a legalistic life based on the Law believe 100% that they are “Gods best,” just like the Pharisee in this parable.  He read out loud his own list of good deeds.  He had no need of a Savior to deliver him because he was his own deliverer.  But we read in Matthew 23: 1-18 that Jesus had finally had it with the Israel’s religious system and false teachers of His day by sharing the woes of the Scribes and Pharisees.  I believe Jesus had had it with them.  He showed them time and time again through Love and by the Word and by His deeds and His miracles that He was the Son of God.  But nothing, not even raising back to life a man that had been dead for three days could convince them.  This is how legalism works, it hardens the heart with deception and pride.

The Law is for Wimps II Conclusion

You might still be asking how is Grace tougher than the Law?  No one can keep the law!  I will show you a few example of what I mean, when I say there is no such thing as cheap grace and living under grace is a easy way out.  I believe living under grace is more way more tougher then the Law. Heres is my examples.

How many laws and traditions are there under the Law?  According to one source there are 613 laws and traditions.

Now how many commands are there living under Grace?  I believe most will say two.  Love thy God with all your heart, soul and mind and Love your neighbor as yourself.  Those two commandments fulfill the Law.  If you love someone you will not steal, lie, commit sexual sin or covet their possessions from them.

But under Grace the answer is an infinite number.  Let me explain. Under grace we live by the Spirit of God.  The Holy Spirit directs every believer and guides him with God’s will and plan for their life.  The Holy Spirit guides you in your life decisions, for example, who you should marry, where you should work, if you should buy that house or just rent etc. etc.

Remember Jesus is not only Savior of our life but our Lord and King.  So when the Holy Spirit is at work in us, He is directing us, that is all of us who believe.  So think of how many times the Holy Spirit is guiding all of us believers in the world with all of our decisions that need to be made on a daily basis. That number boggles the mind.  This is truly a KING in charge of His Kingdom. How different our world would look if we all would really live in the spirit and obey His Word.

Understand this, when you read the New Testament, especially the from the book of Acts to Revelation. You are reading a lot of principles set down by God for His New Testament Church and how we who live under the Kingdom and the Lordship of Jesus Christ should be conducting our lives.  For example marriage. God shows us that under grace a women is not a servant to her husband but should live in submission to her husband. On the other hand, men are not to be commanding submission and servitude but “loving his wife as Christ loves his church. This means God never forces anyone at any time to do anything. God never forces himself or His Lordship over anyone. We live under freewill. Give me one Law that can cover the depth of this subject? This is one example of living under grace. It takes the Spirit of God and a lifetime of walking with the Lord to begin to understand the love the Lord has for us. God gave us this principles to state who ever lives under my way shall prosperous in all their ways. God bless. Next week Part III

Written by Dennis Stauffer

Edited by Gary Green (Omega House)

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