Archive for the ‘Spiritual Warfare’ Category

Recently I had a man, who lives in another state, whom I had led to the Lord for salvation several years ago, call me to tell me about a frightening experience he had. In the middle of the night he felt like he was being attacked mentally by the devil or demons. He wanted to know what the Scriptures have to say about such things. I pointed out to him from the Bible that while Christians can’t be “demon possessed (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; John 14:23; 1 John 4:4 ) they can be “demon oppressed” (1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:10-17; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; Acts 10:38). Maybe you, or someone you know, has had such an experience yourself. If so, read on. God’s Word offers hope.

Thoughts. This is where the devil or demons usually attack Christians (Ephesians 6:10-17; See 1 Peter 5:8; 2 Corinthians 2:11). Thankfully they need permission from God to tempt us (Luke 22:31; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Ephesians 6:13). It might be for us to be bitter toward God and blame Him or someone else because of a bad experience we’ve had in life (Hebrews 12:14, 15), or they might tempt us to have an unforgiving spirit toward someone who has hurt us deeply, whether it be physically, emotionally, or mentally (2 Corinthians 2:10, 11).

Language. The devil or demons also can tempt believers to engage in filthy speech (Ephesians 4:27-29). “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45; See James 3:10; Ephesians 4:15).

Personalize. Has someone hurt you very badly? Are you looking for an opportunity to take vengeance on him/her? If so, this bad attitude will eat you up and hurt you far more than the person whom you want to hurt. Maturing, spiritual Christians can/should help such believers so they don’t let the trespass become a sin (Galatians 6:1-4; See Ephesians 2:1). Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19). Do you really believe that God will do this for you in His time and in His way?

Tools. Here is a strange question. Have you ever given thanks for the person who hurt you (1 Timothy 2:1) or considered that God may want to use him/her as a hammer, chisel, saw, or sandpaper to help conform you into Christ’s image (Romans 8:29; 12:1, 2)? If you’re a Christian, do you have and are you displaying the “Fruit of the Spirt” toward that individual? (Read Galatians 5:22, 23.) How might the Lord Himself act and/or react if He were standing in your place (Philippians 2:5 ff)? Are you suffering for doing what is right or for something wrong (1 Peter 2:19 ff; 4:12 ff; Philippians 1:29)? Is confession in order (1 John 1:9; James 5:16; Proverbs 28:13)?

Torture. Christians who have an unforgiving spirit or bitterness in their heart can be afflicted by the torturers (Matthew 18:21-35). This could involve demonic oppression and torment (Examples: King Saul who wanted to kill David – 1 Samuel 16:14, 23; 19:9; Satanically ensnared Christians – 2 Timothy 2:24-26). Keep this in mind. No one has ever wronged us to the same degree that we have wronged and sinned against God. “Sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4). God wants His children to “… be kind to one another, tenderhearted, [graciously] forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32; 1:7; See Luke 23:34; 1 Corinthians 2:8). Are you doing this? If not, why?

Forgiveness. Let’s back up some. At the time of our salvation we are judicially forgiven once for all (Ephesians 1:7; See Romans 8:1). But we need family forgiveness when we sin as God’s children so we can get back in fellowship with Him (1 John 1:5-10). When God forgives us He doesn’t remember our sins against us (Ezekiel 33:16), but He doesn’t forget what we did because He is omniscient (Isaiah 46:10; John 2:24; Psalm 139). He will usually allow us to be tempted again in the same area to give us another opportunity to display either our love for Him or for our love of the pleasure we derive from engaging in a particular sin (1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 John 2:15-17; Hebrews 11:25; James 1:12). We have a choice to make – to sin and grieve God (Ephesians 4:30) or to gain victory and please God (2 Corinthians 5:9). There is a “sin unto [a premature, physical] death” that defiant Christians can commit (1 Corinthians 11:30; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16; Proverbs 29:1).

Carnality. The Christians in the church at Corinth were told to disassociate themselves from the “Christian man” who had been committing incest with his mother and to “deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh” (1 Corinthians 5:1-8; See Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Timothy 1:20). Apparently, after they did this, he repented (changed his mind) and confessed his sins to God and to the church (2 Corinthians 2:1-11; 1 John 1:9; James 5:16). Once he did this, the Apostle Paul admonished them to forgive him and take him back into their fellowship. If they refused to do this, he warned them about the devil’s attempt to take advantage of them and cause them to be “demonically oppressed” (2 Corinthians 2:1-11). Are you Satanically oppressed or ensnared right now (2 Timothy 2:24-26)?

Attacks. When Satan, or more likely a demon, attacks our minds with any of these particular temptations: to have an unforgiving spirit, to be bitter, disappointed, discouraged, or to act cowardly, we must put on the whole armor of God and focus our attention on the “helmet of salvation” to overcome them (Ephesians 6:17). We need to think about all the spiritual blessings we have in our “salvation package” (Ephesians 1:3 ff).

Biblical Meditation. “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, … noble, … just, … pure,  lovely, … of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8). Are you doing this? If not, with God’s help why not start now?

Song. “O soul are you weary and troubled? / No light in the darkness you see? / There’s light for a look at the Savior / And life more abundant and free / Turn you eyes upon Jesus / Look full in His wonderful face / And the things of earth will grow strangely dim / In the light of His glory and grace.” – Helen Lemmel

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change if necessary (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If you’d like to get new articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Please SHARE this with others.

Gospel. If you’re not saved yet, please read this article carefully: https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/the-bad-news-the-good-news/

Philippians 1:27-30

Most of us want to be liked and accepted by others. We spend a lot of time, effort, and money to make others like us. Just think about how much money we could save if everyone were blind and couldn’t appreciate the clothes we wear, or the cars we drive, or the houses in which we live.

Most people want to be part of the in crowd.” But what price are we willing to pay to be popular and accepted? Are we willing to go along to get along” even if it violates the clear teachings of the Word of God and our consciences? Does it mean anything to you that you grieve God when you sin – act lawlessly (Ephesians 4:30; 1 John 3:4)? Are we willing to be unpopular with the world’s crowd so that we can be well pleasing to God (2 Corinthians 5:9; See Psalm 1)?

The Apostle Paul realized that preaching or teaching in the abstract and in generalities to no one in particular resulted in weak Christians. The truth that is found in God’s Word must be presented clearly and simply to others who, in turn, need to apply it to their every day lives. He told Timothy to Preach [proclaim] the word! Be ready in season and out of seasons. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and teaching.” (Find out why in 2 Timothy 4:2-5). James, the Lord’s half brother wrote, But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 2:23).

In his brief letter to the church in Philippi, Paul expressed his desire for them to live, to stand, to strive, to be fearless, and to suffer for the cause of Christ if necessary (Philippians 1:27-30; See 2 Timothy 3:12). Let’s think about these things for a few minutes.

Live. (v. 27a) When God saves us as a result of our believing in/on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, He begins the process of conforming us into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29; 12:1, 2). This involves our cooperation with God. In another letter, the Apostle Paul instructed believers to put off their carnal way of thinking that often results in unbecoming, sinful behavior that can have detrimental consequences in the physical, emotional, and spiritual realms. Then he told believers to put on other things that display Christ like behavior (See Colossians 3:5-17; Galatians 5:22, 23).

Quote. A good place to learn to be Christ like is when we encounter the little complaints which people have. We cannot mature unless we have occasions and provocations that disturb us. Every big thing is made up of a lot of little things.” – Dr. H. L. Schafer

Consistency. Even though we’ve been saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ, we still retain our sinful nature that we inherited from our parents (Psalm 51:5; 1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25). We still have the potential to behave like unsaved people when we act carnally (1 Corinthians 3:1 ff; 5:1 ff) or yield to the temptations that come from the devil/demons or from the world system. But when God saved us, we became partakers of the Divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), and have the potential to live a life that pleases God (2 Corinthians 5:9; See Romans 8:8). Paul wanted believers to learn to lean on the Lord for strength to do the things He wants us to do. It’s available to all Christians (Philippians 3:10; 4:13). A consistent, godly life has a tremendous impact on others around us. But an inconsistent, hypocritical life brings disgrace to God’s name which could result in our being chastened severely by the Lord (Hebrews 12:5 ff; 2 Samuel 12:14). When a believer sins, he/she needs to confess the sin(s) to God the Father and then claim His forgiveness (1 John 1:9; James 5:16; Proverbs 28:13; Psalm 51:13).

Stand. (v. 27b) All around us a spiritual battle is raging for the control of the mind, emotions, and actions of mankind including Christians (Ephesians 6:10-17; 1 John 4:4; 5:19; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 10:5). But the Good News concerning Christ’s death for our sins and His bodily resurrection must be proclaimed if people are to be saved (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8; Romans 1:16, 17; 10:9-17). When was the last time you shared the Clear Gospel” with an unsaved person? Do you really care about lost people? If not, ask God to stir you up His love in your heart (Romans 5:5; Revelation 2:4). Are you helping Christians stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-17)?

Unity. In His High Priestly prayer, Jesus expressed His desire that true believers be united in their objective of glorifying God and loving one another (John 17:21; See Ephesians 4:4; John 13:34, 35). Sometimes it’s very difficult to know who the true Christians are and who are only “professing Christians.” God knows those who are His, but we can only make an evaluation of a person by his/her beliefs and behavior (John 10:27; James 2:18-20). We are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14). Disobedient Christians, who engage in habitual, sinful conduct/lawlessness (1 John 3:4-9), will be disciplined by God (1 Corinthians 11:30-32; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16), and need to be shunned by other believers until repentance and confession have been made (2 Thessalonians 3:14; 1 Corinthians 5:1 ff; 2 Corinthians 2:1-11; Ephesians 4:32; 1 John 1:9; James 5:16).

Strive. (v. 27c) Too many Christians are not focused on the things that God wants us to think about and do (Philippians 4:8; Colossians 3:1 ff). We have Good News for people who are dying physically and who are spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1). Getting this information to them may cost us our lives. Jesus laid down His life so we could be saved (1 Peter 3:18; John 10:10-18), and Paul endured all things for the salvation of the elect (2 Timothy 2:10; 2 Corinthians 11:23-33). In like manner we should be willing to follow their examples in an effort to reach the lost and edify believers. The Crown of Rejoicing” awaits Christians who are involved in leading others to Christ so they can be saved (1 Thessalonians 2;19, 20). The Crown of Glory” is given to those who shepherd God’s flock God’s way (1 Peter 5:4).  This involves feeding, leading, guarding, and healing God’s flock of sheep.

Problems. The devil is delighted when the Gospel is not clearly presented to unbelievers and when Christians are confused about how they are supposed to live holy and godly lives (1 Peter 1:15, 16), once they have been saved (2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 6:10-17; See our Dispensations Chart).  All of the Bible is for us, but not all of it is addressed to us (Titus 1:9; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17).  Far too many Christians never share the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) with lost people, and some add to it or subtract from it and cause others to believe in vain by adding good works to faith in Christ alone (1 Corinthians 15:2; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

Fearless. (v. 28a) All believers need to Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). He and demons are real and they are enemies of God and would like to overthrow God and overwhelm His children. Paul reminded Timothy that …God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). John, the Apostle, reminds us that [we] are of God, little children, and have overcome them [those with the spirit of antichrist], because He [God] who is in [us] is greater than he [the devil] who is in the world” (1 John 4:4; See Ephesians 2:2). Nothing can happen to a true child of God without God’s permission. True Christians have confidence in God’s ability to raise the dead and give them a better life in heaven if they are killed (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52).

Doomed. (v. 28a) All those who reject God’s offer of salvation that is available to all mankind, will be cast into the lake of fire to suffer forever in accordance to their works done on earth (John 3:16, 18, 36; Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 20:10-15; 21:8). Where will you spend eternity?

Reproof. God the Holy Spirit reproves (convinces) unsaved people of the sin of unbelief in Christ, their need of Christ’s righteousness to enter heaven, and the ultimate judgment to come on them as it will on the devil and his angels/demons (John 16:8-11). There are no second chances or opportunities to be saved from the lake of fire after an unbeliever dies (Hebrews 9:27).

Resurrection. Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead guarantees the resurrection of all human beings who die (1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 51, 52; Hebrews 9:27). Do you know in which one you will participate if you should die? The Scriptures don’t teach the annihilation of the wicked or reincarnation as some cults and religions teach.

Suffer. (v, 29). While true Christians will not go into or through the seven years of the tribulation (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 4:13-18; 5:9; See Daniel 9:27), all Christians who desire to live godly lives will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). The Gospel is offensive to proud men and women who think the can save themselves by their good works (1 Corinthians 1:23; 1 Peter 2:8; Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Quote. We who preach [proclaim] the Gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world…We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not compromise but ultimatum.” – A. W. Tozer

Help. We’re here to assist you and others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). If you’re a true Christian, we’d like to ask you to take this information and pass it on to other people who are teachable and willing to change.  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on “Facebook” and “Youtube” for our Bible studies. We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

Share. We’d like you to memorize this short Gospel presentation and share it with unbelievers as God the Holy Spirit leads you: Friend, you have sinned. But Christ died for sinners and rose again. Trust Him alone and He will save you eternally. Do it now!” – Dr. Manfred Kober [1]

[1] https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

Why? Why do you do what you do? You may think you know why you do what you do, but all of us can deceive ourselves.The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Even the Apostle Paul admitted this when he said, “For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord”(1 Corinthians 4:4).

Judging. Contrary to what many people have been misled to believe about judging (Matthew 7:1-6 is addressed to hypocrites), we are allowed to judge actions (John 7:24; 1 Corinthians 5:3; 6:2, 3), but we must be cautious about judging motives because only God knows for sure why we and others do what we do. Christians are also to evaluate what they are being taught by comparing it with the Word of God which is truth (1 John 4:1; John 17:17).

Motives. It is possible for a believer to use his/her spiritual gift with wrong motives. We might be looking for the praise of/from men (John 12:43). This is why the Apostle Paul wrote about our using agape love while serving others with our gift (1 Corinthians 13). This kind of love is produced by God the Holy Spirit in the lives of Spirit filled” believers who aren’t grieving or quenching Him (Ephesians 4:30; 5:18; Galatians 5:22, 23; 1 Thessalonians 5:19). Paul said the love of Christ compelled him in his service to God and others (2 Corinthians 5:14; 2 Timothy 2:10). Jesus demonstrated this kind of love by washing His disciples’ feet (John 13; See 1 John 3:16, 17) and laying down His life so we could be saved (John 3:16; 6:37-39; Hebrews 10:7, 9). His New Commandment” was that we love one another as He loved us (John 13:34, 35; Contrast Leviticus 19:18). What or who compels/motivates you into doing what you do and say? Is it God (Philippians 2:13) or Satan (Ephesians 2:2)?  What keeps you from engaging in certain sinful pleasures and practices?  Is it peer pressure or some other reason?

Omniscient. Although Christians can engage periodically in sinful activities to gain momentary gratification without everyone’s knowing about them, God and spirit beings are aware of them. God alone is omniscient (Isaiah 46:10; John 2:24, 25). He knows everything about us (Read Psalm 139). Spirit beings (cherubs, seraphs, and angels) aren’t omniscient but those who are assigned to us can see what we do and hear what we say (Genesis 3:1 ff; Job 1:6 ff; 2:1 ff; Daniel 4:17; Hebrews 1:14; 1 Peter 1:12; 5:8).

Permission. God allows believers to be tempted by the devil and our other spiritual enemies (1 Corinthians 10:13; Genesis 3:1 ff; Luke 22:31 ff; James 1:13 ff). By doing this, He gives us opportunities to demonstrate our love for Him or our love for ourselves.When we resist and overcome the temptations that come from the devil, our own sin nature, or the present world system, we show God that we love Him more than temporary, sinful pleasures (Hebrews 11:25; See Proverbs 2:16; 5:3, 20; 6:24). The Crown of Life”awaits believers who resist sinful temptations (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10).

Confession. When we, as Christians, sin/act lawlessly (1 John 3:4), we must confess (name) our sins to God before our family fellowship can be restored (1 John 1:7-9). He promises to forgive our sins but He doesn’t forget what we’ve done since He’s omniscient. But He won’t hold the sins we confess to Him against us (See Ezekiel 33:16 NKJV).

Re-exam. Sometime in the future He may allow us to be tempted again to give us another opportunity to display the true condition of our heart. Therefore, Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life”(Proverbs 4:23). We never know when thesepop quizzes” will be given. Failing the tests can/will bring much sorrow (Proverbs 5:11; 6:32-35; Matthew 26:75) and could lead to our premature, physical death (1 Corinthians 11:30; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16). We have potential years” and actual years.” (See Ecclesiastes 7:17; Jeremiah 27:13; Ezekiel 18:31).

Examination. Before we participate in theLord’s Supper”or during times when we’re flat on our backs, we can/should look up to God and engage in some self evaluation (1 Corinthians 11:28). The Psalmist wrote: “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”(Psalm 139:23, 24).

Questions. Are you undergoing trials and tests right now? Are you sure you’ll go to heaven the moment you die? Why should God let you into His heaven? Do you have assurance of your salvation? Have you placed your faith in Christ alone who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third dayIf you’re saved, do you have unconfessed sins in your life? Are you grieving and/or quenching God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19)? Are you growing spiritually? If not, why? Are you doing what God wants you to do or what you want to do (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10)? Are you glorifying God by making Him known to others (1 Corinthians 10:31)? Are you well pleasing to Him (2 Corinthians 5:9; See Matthew 25:23)?  What needs to changeIf you know what you should do, and don’t do it, it is sin (James 4:17).  We, as Christians, can do all things through Him who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). If you have questions and/or comments, you can reach us through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this has helped you, we’d like to hear from you and ask you to share this with others. Follow us on Facebook and Youtube. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Every day Christians are being tested and tried in various ways. Others, including spirit beings, good and evil, are watching and listening to our words and noticing our responses to others (Job 1:6 ff; 2:1 ff; 1 Peter 1:12). James, the Lord’s half-brother, wrote this to Christians, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4).

He also wrote, “Blessed is the man [or woman] who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12). If we truly love God, we will obey Him and resist the sinful temptations that come our way.

Defeated. Sadly, there are many Christians who are defeated by their spiritual enemies quite often. This may be due to improper teaching on the part of the Bible teacher. Or it could stem from a believer’s unwillingness to study the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16, 17), and put himself/herself under the teaching of a godly Pastor-teacher (Ephesians 4:11-16; Hebrews 13:7, 17) who can help the believer learn how to identify and overcome the temptations that come from the devil, the sin nature, or the present world system. Using a “one size fits all” approach to temptations won’t work. Blaming the devil for everything will not work.  We have three specific spiritual enemies, and there are three different ways of overcoming the temptations that come from them.

Devil. To overcome the temptations that the devil hurls at believers, we must be sober and vigilant (1 Peter 5:8). Then we must submit to God and resist the devil after the whole armor of God has been put on (James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-17). It is our understanding that there are 14 specific temptations that the devil and/or demons throw at us. Each piece of the armor is designed to counteract specific temptations.

Sin Nature. To overcome the sin nature, a believer must understand that the works of the flesh are all perversions of good things (Galatians 5:19-21). But as long as a believer walks (orders his/her life) by means of God the Holy Spirit, it is impossible to succumb to the temptations that come from the sin nature. We must “reckon [ourselves] to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:11; Galatians 5:16, 25). We are told to flee youthful lusts (2 Timothy 2:22). God doesn’t want the sin nature to have dominion over us (Romans 6:14; See 1 John 2:1 ff). Those Christians who deny that they have a sin nature are deceiving themselves, not others (1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25).

World. To overcome the present world system, we must first identify it as to what it is. It is a system, devised by the devil to appeal to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride (vain glory) of life (1 John 2:15-17). It involves urbanization, human government, commerce, entertainment, education, industry, and senseless warfare (Genesis 4:16-24; See Luke 11:50, 51). While living here on earth, a believer may use the world system, but he/she is not to abuse it or love it by making it more important than God and His children (1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 John 2:15-17; 3:16, 17). We are citizens of heaven and we’re just passing through it on our way to heaven (Philippians 3:20).

God’s Will. God has a “desirous will” for His children that may or may not be carried out. He energizes His children to be willing to be doing of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). He also provides His resurrection power for us to overcome our spiritual enemies (Philippians 3:10; 4:13, 19). “No temptation has overtaken [us] except such as is common to man[kind]; but God is faithful, who will not allow [us] to be tempted beyond what ]we] are able, but with the temptation will make the way of escape, that [we] may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). In spite of what God has done for us, some (perhaps many) choose to enjoy the temporary, sinful pleasures of this life (Hebrews 11:25) to their own detriment and a premature, physical death (1 John 5:16; James 5:19, 20; 1 Corinthians 11:30).

Confess. When a believer sins (acts lawlessly), he/she needs to repent (change his/her mind – 2 Corinthians 7:9) and then confess it (i. e., admit the sin by naming it) and then claim God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9). “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). Do you have unconfessed sins in your life that are interrupting your fellowship with God?

Scars. Even though a Christian may confess his/her sins and be forgiven, the physical, emotional, or psychological scars may last a life time. Thankfully, true Christians won’t have these scars and memories in eternity future (Revelation 21:4). But unbelievers will weep and gnash their teeth forever in the lake of fire where the worm (sin nature and its cravings) does not die, and where the fire is not quenched (Mark 9:44, 46, 48; Matthew 25:41, 46).

Deliverance.  To avoid this awful place, one must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Have you done this yet? It not, why not now?  If you’re a  true Christian who wants to to display your love for God and earn the “Crown of Life” (James 1:12), and who wants to avoid God’s chastening and scourging in this life (1 Corinthians 10:31; Romans 8:1), then learn how to overcome sinful temptations (Hebrews 12:5-11). God doesn’t want us to sin (1 John 2:1), and has made it possible for us not to sin (1 Corinthians 10:31). Christians have been given everything we need for life and godliness in God’s Word (2 Peter 1:3). But we must study it carefully (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16, 17).  Keep this thought in mind.  “The Lord will judge His people [believers].  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:30, 31).

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). If you have questions/comments, we can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. To receive future ones as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on “Facebook” and “Youtube.”

Additional Help

Dr. H. L. Schafer, “Maturing In Christ” http://gracelifebaptistchurch.us/publications.php

Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer, “He That Is Spiritual” https://www.amazon.com/s?k=he+that+is+spiritual+chafer&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

Spiritual Enemies https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/category/spiritual-enemies/

https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2010/08/27/our-perverted-sin-nature/

https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2017/12/01/when-we-sin-what/

https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2017/03/17/our-adversary-the-devil/

The Greatest Rescue Operation”

Fighting fires is a dangerous occupation. Every year fire fighters lose their lives while trying to save others. Most of us have never had to be rescued from a burning building although you may know someone who has had this experience.

Greatest. Today let’s consider “The Greatest Fire Fighter” and what He did for you and me. There are many people in our world who know little or nothing about Him and the personal sacrifice He made to make it possible so that we wouldn’t have to end up in an awful place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth and torment in the lake of fire forever (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Mark 9:44, 46, 48; Revelation 21:8).

Unique. Jesus Christ was not just another, ordinary man who lived here on earth about 2,000 years ago. He was/is the God-man (John 1:1-18; 5:18; 10:30), who came to earth to glorify His Father (John 17:4). He presented Himself as the rightful King of the Jews (Matthew 1:1-25; 27:21), and the Savior of the world (Luke 19:10; 1 Timothy 4:10). This doesn’t mean that all mankind will ultimately be saved (“universalism”).

Substitute. In order for Him to rescue mankind from having to spend eternity in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons, He had to offer Himself as a Substitute and die for our sins and then rise again bodily from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Why? Because “the wages [payment] for sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Someone has to pay the debt for the sins we have committed and will commit. Either the individual himself does, or a perfect, sinless Substitute could pay the debt. Jesus, the sinless One (Hebrews 4:15), died as “the just One for [us] the unjust ones” (1 Peter 3:18). The payment that He made on our behalf was accepted by God the Father, who demonstrated this fact by raising Jesus from the dead (Romans 4:25). Only a living Savior can help us.

To the surprise of many people, this rescue operation has three phases: Past tense, Present tense, and Future tense. What God begins, He finishes (Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 7:25).

Initial Salvation. He saved believers from the penalty of sin (Ephesians 2:8; Romans 6:23). This is known as justification. God forgave our sins judicially (Ephesians 1:7) because Jesus, the believers’ Substitute, took on Himself our sins and died for them once and for all (Hebrews 10:10). He paid the debt in full (1 Peter 1:18; 3:18). The guilt and condemnation of sin were removed (Romans 8:1). Justification doesn’t make us innocent or “Just as though we had never sinned.” Rather, it means that God counted us to have acted right when we died for our sins and rose again in the Person of our Substitute, Jesus Christ (Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:4). Christ’s righteousness was put to our account (Romans 4:16, 25; John 16:8-11). When we understand this truth, and realize that the burden of sin has been lifted from us, and that God the Father sees us and accepts us through the merits of Christ (Ephesians 1:6), it should make us very grateful to God and cause us to do things to please Him (2 Corinthians 5:9).

Progressive Salvation. God is saving believers from the power of sin. This is known as sanctification. God set us aside unto Himself and we don’t have to sin anymore, but we will sin periodically (1 John 2:1, 2; 1:9; James 5:16). Satan is no longer our father, God is (Colossians 1:13; John 8:44; 1 John 3:8-10). The temptations that come from all three of our spiritual enemies can be overcome. Satan (1 Peter 5:8; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-17). Our sin nature (Romans 6:14; 7:14-25; Galatians 5:16, 25; 1 John 1:8). The present world system (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31; Luke 11:50, 51; Genesis 4:16-24). Christians need to be informed, alert, and realize that no temptations are more than we can bear and that other people have the same kind of temptations that we have (1 Corinthians 10:13). God’s resurrection power is available to all Christians (Philippians 3:10; 4:13). A Christian can demonstrate his/her love for God by overcoming temptations (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10). God has provided everything we need for life and godliness within His Word (2 Peter 1:3). Diligent study is required if we want to grow spiritually (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 3:18). Because of His love for His children, God the Father will chasten/scourge His unruly children so that we will not be condemned with the world (Hebrews 12:5 ff; 1 Corinthians 11:30-32; 1 John 5:16).

Ultimate Salvation. He will save true Christians from the very presence of sin at the time of our death or the Rapture. From that time on we will be present with the Lord forever (2 Corinthians 5:8; John 14:1-3). When the Rapture occurs all Christians will receive new bodies (Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 15:49-51; Luke 24:33-43) and then our souls/emotions will be saved (1 Peter 1:9). This is known as our glorification.

God’s Desire. Even though the Lord Jesus Christ desires that all mankind be saved (1 Timothy 2:4), and has made it possible for them to be saved from the lake of fire (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2), most people reject “natural revelation” (Romans 1:18 ff; Psalm 19:1). They also refuse to believe in/on Him as the One who died for their sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (John 3:18, 36; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). This is the only “unforgivable sin” that a person can commit today (John 16:8-11). Some people know and believe the facts of the Gospel, but they haven’t placed their faith in Him exclusively. If they believe in hell and heaven at all, they rely on some or all of their good works to get them into heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Are you?

Certain? Are you absolutely sure that you will go to heaven the moment your die? Why should God let you into His heaven? Is there anything that you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what?

Now! Today is the “day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). Make sure you’re truly saved (2 Peter 1:10; 1 Corinthians 15:2; See Mark 8:36; Matthew 7:21-23). If you’re saved, are you sharing the Gospel (1) with others so they can be saved (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8)?

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 2 Timothy 3:16. 17). If this information has helped you, please let us know how it has. Then please SHARE this with others. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

  1. Manfred Kober https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

The Bad News & The Good News” – See our website: www.kelseypeach.com

In all likelihood, whether you’re a Christian or not, you probably don’t know very much about “The Weeping Prophet.”  He wept bitterly because God revealed to him the devastation that was coming to His own people, the Jews.  

Pit.  Even though God had drawn them out of an iron furnace and a horrible pit in Egypt (Deuteronomy 9:26; 1 Kings 8:51), and entered into a conditional, covenant relationship with them (Exodus 19:5-8; 20:1 ff; Deuteronomy 28:1-68), most of the Jews turned their backs on the true and living God, and worshiped the lifeless idols of the pagans around them.  For this, and their failure to observe the weekly Sabbaths and the Sabbatical years, they were sent into captivity in Babylon for 70 years (Leviticus 26:34-43; 2 Chronicles 36:21; Daniel 1:1, 2).

Value.  Even though our “House Rules” for living are different from those which God gave to the Jews, there is value that comes from reading the Old Testament.  (See “Understanding The Times, Dispensations Chart” on our website.)  We can learn (1) from negative example, what not to do (1 Corinthians 10:6-13), (2) that God will keep His promises to us, New Testament Christians, as He did with the Jews in the Old Testament (Romans 15:4), and (3) we can learn much about the character of God from the Old Testament (Ezekiel 6:7, 10, 14, 7:4 et al).

Oh, Charles, Charles. [1] It’s rather sad that Charles Dawkins has such a low and distorted opinion of God as he has expressed in his writings such as the “God Delusion.”  He calls the God of the Old Testament all kinds of nasty names.  On one occasion he had to admit that he was more of an agnostic rather than an atheist. The Scriptures call atheists “fools” (Psalm 14:1). But I’m very sure that his mentor Charles Darwin, [2] who wrote On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life,” knows better now, in his current state (Luke 16:19-31), who God is and how man came into existence (See Genesis 1:26, 27; 2:7).  Please note the words favoured races that Darwin used.  Margaret Sanger (Planned Parenthood) [3] apparently believed that some races were inferior to others.  What about you?  “The wicked shall be turned into hell, And all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:7).

Similarities.  As I’ve been reading again the writings of the Jewish Prophet Jeremiah, I’ve noticed many similar conditions that exist in our beloved country as they existed in his.  He wasn’t happy about what he saw going on among the Jews.  God told him to warn them of their wicked ways and the consequences that would follow if they didn’t repent.  But they kept on sinning and engaged in the wicked and debased practices of the heathen people around them.  They even sacrificed their children to the pagan gods and threw them into the fire.  Is that any different than our behavior in the United States where over 60 million babies have been aborted (murdered) since 1973 in Roe v. Wade?  May God have mercy upon us and may we turn from our wicked ways before God brings judgment on us.

Sodom And Gomorrah.  The people living in these cities were depraved and very wicked people (Genesis 13:13; See Jeremiah 23:14; Romans 1:18 ff).  But did  you know that Jesus rebuked the Jews living in some cities in Israel (Matthew 11:21, 23), and told them that it would be more tolerable for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment (the Great White Throne – Revelation 20:11-15) then for them? Why? Because if Jesus had lived and performed the miracles that he did in Sodom and Gomorrah, He said that they would have repented and believed on Him. He could say this because He was/is omniscient (John 2:24, 25). But the Jews of Jesus’ day, who heard Him teach and saw His miracles that proved His deity, didn’t believe on Him and accept Him as their promised Messiah (John 1:11, 12; 19:6; Matthew 16:16). But one day in the future, the Jews will acknowledge this fact (Matthew 23:37-39; See Zechariah 12:10; Philippians 2:11).

United States.  Of all the people in the world, we, who live in the United States, have been exposed to the Word of God and many of us own Bibles, even though most of them are not being read on a regular basis.  Many of the “televangelists” on radio or TV talk about the Gospel and different ways of salvation, but most of them don’t get it right. (See below.)  Shame on them; woe to them (Jeremiah 23:1; Matthew 23:13-16; James 3:1; Jude 1:13).  In some countries of the world, having and/or reading the Bible could get you imprisoned or mean death.  How highly do you value your Bible?  Is it less important than your cell phone?

Light.  With light and illumination comes responsibility“To him who knows to do good, and doesn’t do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).  Jesus is the Light of the world (John 9:5).  Have you come to Him for illumination and salvation?

Gospel.  My friend, we’re all sinners who have come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).  We all deserve to be eternally separated from God in the lake of fire (Romans 6:23; Matthew 25:41, 46).  But Christ died for all our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).  Anyone who believes on Him alone for salvation, will be saved (Acts 16:31).  Have you done this yet?  If not, why not now?

Carnal.  Perhaps you’ve been saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ, but you’re carnal and acting like an unsaved person (1 Corinthians 3:1-4; 5:1 ff; 1 John 1:8).  If this is your condition, confess your known sins to God and claim His forgiveness (1 John 1:9).  You may also need to confess your sins to others whom you have offended (James 5:16).  Then start walking by means of the Holy Spirit so you don’t keep on yielding to the temptations that come from your sin nature (Galatians 5:16, 25; See Ephesians 5:18).  If you’re yielding to temptations from the devil, avail yourself of the full armor of God and resist him and he will flee from you (1 Peter 5:8; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-17).  If you’re misdirecting your love away from God and directing it toward the present world system, stop loving it (1 John 2:15-17).  We may use it, but we’re not to abuse it (1 Corinthians 7:31).

Help.  We’re here to help you and others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook and Youtube for our Bible studies. We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

[1] Charles Dawkins https://www.christianpost.com/news/richard-dawkins-forgets-full-title-of-darwins-book-in-debate-69563/

[2] Charles Darwin – Evolution Is Impossible –

Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmAFp27gYFA&feature=youtu.be

Part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNIEB2q1Tmo

[3] Margret Sanger – Planned Parenthood https://creation.com/margaret-sanger-darwinian-eugenicist

Bullies. Have you ever been bullied verbally, physically, or spiritually by someone? I have been. Are you sick and tired of being abused? I was and still am. Would you like to learn how to defend yourself and come out on top instead of on the bottom? Are you teachable and willing to change? Would you like to be a wise person who knows what to do and when to do it?

Story. One day a proud young man approached Socrates and asked him to show him the path to wisdom. Socrates looked at him and paused for a few moments, allowing him to become uncomfortable with the silence. He locked eyes with him and said, Meet me at the river at dawn.” The next morning the young man arrived at the river before dawn. Socrates soon walked down the path and waded out into the water, motioning for the young man to join him. When they both were about chest deep, Socrates looked at him and asked, What do you want?” The young man responded, To find wisdom!”

Socrates grabbed the young man and began drowning him. He held him under water for twenty seconds and then let him up, asking him again, “What do you want?” The young man responded again, To find wisdom!” At that, Socrates promptly submerged the man under water again. Thirty seconds passed, then forty, and the man’s face began to turn blue. Socrates lifted the man up and asked, What do you want?” The man gasped, Air!”

Socrates released the young man, and saidWhen you want wisdom as much as you have just wanted air, then you will begin to find wisdom.”  – Original source of story unknown

Truth. What about the truth? Jesus referred to Himself as being the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). God’s Word is truth (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17). It tells us in words what God wants us to know about God, man, sin, salvation, the future and much more. It also tells us about our spiritual enemies.

Enemies. Before we, as Christians, can live victoriously over the three spiritual bullies that confront us, we must learn the truth about them and how they operate. We must read, study, memorize, and meditate on God’s Word and rely on God the Holy Spirit to illuminate our minds (Ephesians 1:17, 18). Then we need to apply the truth to the situations in which we find ourselves (James 1:22). We don’t use the same tactics for each of our three spiritual enemies. Do you know when to flee, when to stand and fight, and which one to use without abusing it?

Sin. It’s not a four letter word but a three letter word. But it has caused so many problems from the time when Eve and Adam ate the forbidden fruit and even before then when Lucifer, the anointed cherub, rebelled against God and wanted to be like God” by acting independently of Him (Isaiah 14:12-14).

Creation. It is our understanding of the Scriptures that the spirit beings, whom God the Son had created (Colossians 1:16, 17; John 1:3), saw Him create the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1; Job 38:7). Lucifer, the anointed cherub, once had his residence in a mineral garden on this earth that God had created in a place called Eden (Ezekiel 28:12-19). From here he ruled under God over all other spirit beings – cherubs, seraphs, and angels (Ezekiel 28:14; Jude 1:9; Revelation 12:7). Note – Later God placed Adam and Eve in a fruit and vegetable garden eastward in Eden (Genesis 2:8).

Rebellion. Not being satisfied with the role and responsibility that God had given to him, he set out to lift his throne above God’s and be like God and unaccountable to Him (Isaiah 14:14). Then he convinced one third of the angels to go along with him in his rebellion against God (Revelation 12:4).

Man. It is our understanding that after Lucifer’s rebellion and demotion, God made an inferior creature out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives – physical and spiritual (Genesis 2:7). He called him Adam. Then He took a rib from him and formed Eve, his counterpart. They were given the responsibility to have dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:26, 28).

Control. This led Lucifer (the devil) to try to take the control away from them back to himself. We don’t know how long he observed Adam and Eve before he decided to tempt her into disobeying God’s clear command not to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17). We know that he succeeded and got both her and Adam to disobey God which resulted in immediate spiritual death (i.e. separation from God).  Physical death came much later (Genesis 5:5). It appears that they were stripped of something (Genesis 3:11). Was it a garment of light (See 1 Corinthians 15:49; 1 John 3:2; 1 Timothy 6:16)?

Unrighteousness. The Scriptures use many words to convey different aspects of unrighteousness. The Biblical definition of sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4). Sin involves man’s acting as though God has placed no restraints on him. Like the devil, man wants to act independently of God and be the master of his own fate and the captain of his own ship.” He wants to make his own rules and decide what is right in his own eyes (See Judges 21:25). Have you noticed that many people do the same thing today? They want to impose their rules on others but they don’t want anyone else to impose their rules on them. (This sounds a lot like our legislators and politicians, doesn’t it?) Such lawless behavior is rampant today and getting worse (1 Timothy 4:1 ff; 2 Timothy 3:1 ff).

Sin. It is what God declares it to be. Since He made man, He has the right to make the rules for us. He also conveys to us the consequences of lawlessness (See Genesis 2:17; Deuteronomy 28; John 3:16, 18, 36; Romans 1:18-32; 6:23; Revelation 21:8). Upon careful examination of the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16, 17), and using the normal rules of interpretation, one discovers that God has different rules for different people in different periods of time. Example: Dietary rules before the flood of Noah’s day – herbs and fruit (Genesis 1:29; 2:9, 16). After the flood people were allowed to eat every moving thing (Genesis 9:3). The Jews under the Mosaic Law had a limited diet (Leviticus 11:2 ff). Today our diet is unlimited (1 Timothy 4:3-5). To see further distinctions, consider our Understanding The Times Dispensations Chart” at www.kelseypeach.com.

Sources. There are three sources from which temptations to sin come: the devil, our sin nature, and the present world system. Some people believe that Christians lose their sin nature when they get saved. This is not true (See 1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4). God has provided everything that a Christian needs for life and godliness within the pages of the Scriptures so he/she can live victoriously over these solicitations to sin (1 Corinthians 10:13; Colossians 2:8; 2 Peter 1:3; 1 John 2:1). Some people believe that the temptation itself is a sin. No!

Temptations. In his book, Maturing In Christ, p. 33, Dr. H. L. Schafer writes, “Part of the well-known hymn correctly states, ‘Yield not to temptation for yielding is sin.’ Having the temptation is not sin. Temptations are allowed by God in order for a believer to mature by having victory. The believer is not responsible for having temptation, but he is responsible for his reaction to temptation.”  Note the progression that is involved that leads to sin and death (James 1:12-15).

Blame. Do you blame the devil for all your problems and the sins you commit? Did you know that he must get permission from God before he or his demons can hurl their fiery darts against Christians (See Luke 22:31, 32; Ephesians 6:13; Job 1:12; 2:6)? How many of his 14 temptations can you identify and what is the Biblical way to overcome them (1 Peter 5:8; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-17)? How do you overcome the strong desires (sinful lusts) that come from your own sin nature (Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 5:18; Romans 6:11-13)? How does the present world system appeal to maturing believers and how does a Christian overcome it (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31; Genesis 4:16-24)?

Salvation. For someone to be saved today from eternal condemnation, he/she must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Have you done this yet? Are you “believing in vain” by trying to add your good works to faith (1 Corinthians 15:2; Ephesians 2:8, 9; See Matthew 7:21-23)? Please read the “Bad News & Good News” on our website. Once you’re truly saved and have assurance from the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16) and from God’s Word (1 John 5:13), we’d like to have a part in your spiritual growth (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18), and show you how you can serve God effectively with your spiritual gift (1 Peter 4:10), and reproduce yourself (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8) while you’re here on earth. We’d like to show you how you can earn the “Crown of Rejoicing” (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20).

Help. Are you teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15). To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow” or “Subscribe.” Please let us know how you like our new website: www.kelseypeach.com.  If you have found this article to be helpful, please let us know and share it with others.

Maturing In Christ, by Dr. H. L. Schafer http://gracelifebaptistchurch.us/publications.php

Spiritual Warfare: Devil https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/spiritual-warfare/

Our Sin Nature:  https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2010/08/27/our-perverted-sin-nature/

Scofield Study Bible http://www.cheapestbookprice.com/prices/9780195275520-the-scofield-study-bible-iii-nkjv-indexed

 

 

“Magic Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest in the land?” Perhaps you recall these words from the story about Snow White and the evil queen. As humans, we like to think of ourselves more highly than perhaps we should (Romans 12:3; See Philippians 2:5-11). It would be more appropriate for us to look into the mirror of God’s Word and ask Him to search our hearts to see if there are wicked ways in us so we can be cleansed (Psalm 139:23).

Confession. When Christians become aware of them, we should promptly confess our sins to God to gain “family forgiveness” (1 John 1:9; See also James 5:16). Don’t confuse this with“judicial forgiveness” (Ephesians 1:7; Romans 8:1). Confession of all the sins you’ve ever committed is not a condition for your salvation. If it were, how could anyone be sure that he/she had confessed every one of them?

Heart. The heart, as it is used in the Scriptures, often refers to our mind (Proverbs 23:7), our will (Daniel 1:8; Acts 11:23; 2 Corinthians 9:7), and our emotions (Romans 9:2). The Scriptures tell us that our natural hearts are deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). “There is none righteous, no, not one. There is none who seeks after God.” “… all of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:10,11, 23). When a person gets saved, he/she receives a new heart. It consists of a new desirous will, and the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 2:16).

Sin. It is defined as lawlessness (1 John 3:4). It involves our refusal to recognize any restrictions or restraints from God and to act as though we had none. God determines what constitutes sin since He is the One who made Adam and then Eve from whom all of us have come (Genesis 1:26, 27; 2:15-17). The only unforgivable sin today that will keep someone out of heaven is unbelief in the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior (John 16:8-11; 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24).

Atheists. As fools, they claim to deny the existence of God (Psalm 14:1) and shake their fists at anyone who would try to restrict them in their actions (Psalm 2). God often allows such people to pursue their own desires which lead them into greater and greater depravity (Romans 1:18-32). Sadly, many people who claim to believe in God, often act as though He doesn’t exist. They leave Him out of their plans or ask Him to “rubber stamp” what they have decided to do (James 4:13-17; John 15:5).

Sin Nature. This is a rebellious nature (disposition) that all of us have. We inherited it from our parents and Christians will have it until we die physically (Psalm 51:5; 1 John 1:8; Romans 7:14-25).  Unbelievers will carry their depraved natures and desires on into eternity (Mark 9:44, 46, 48).  No one needs to tell us to act badly. We do it naturally. Even true Christians can act carnally (1 Corinthians 3:1-4; Galatians 5:19-21). If you’re a Christian, do you know how to overcome the temptations that come from your sin nature (See Romans 6:11-23; Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 5:18)? What about overcoming the temptations that come from the devil and the present world system? There are three different strategies that must be used to overcome these three enemies.

Little Savages. Consider what the Minnesota Crime Commission had to say about babies.Every baby starts life as a little savage. He is completely selfish and self-centered. He wants what he wants when he wants it: his bottle, his mother’s attention, his playmate’s toys, his uncle’s watch, or whatever. Deny him these and he seethes with rage and aggressiveness which would be murderous were he not so helpless. He’s dirty, he has no morals, no knowledge, no developed skills. This means that all children, not just certain children but all children, are born delinquent. If permitted to continue in their self-centered world of infancy, given free rein to their impulsive actions to satisfy each want, every child would grow up a criminal, a thief, a killer, a rapist.” (https://www.markbarnes.net/2008/05/little-savages/)

New Birth. Jesus told Nicodemus, who was “the chief teacher” in Israel at that time, that he needed to be “be born again from above” (John 3:3-6). This new birth takes place today when a person believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Our salvation (deliverance from the lake of fire – Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8) is not based on our good works lest any of us should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). We become partakers of the Divine nature (2 Peter 1:3) the moment we believe in/on Him. From then on, every Christian has the potential to behave in a manner that pleases God (2 Corinthians 5:9; See Ephesians 4:30). We don’t become gods now or in the future as some false religions and cults teach.

Like Christ. “…we know that when He [the Lord Jesus Christ] is reveled [at the Rapture, true Christians] shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2). This doesn’t mean that we will become gods but we will become like His glorified humanity with a body of flesh and bones, but one that lacks blood (Luke 24:33-43; 1 Corinthians 15:50). Do you know what happens after this event takes place? (Ask about our “Dispensations Chart” for more information.)

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:17, 17; See Matthew 7:6). If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you and ask you also to share the information with others. Check out our live video presentations on www.facebook.com/kelseyandjanet.pietsch and on www.youtube.com. If you want to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Clear Gospel:  http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf  

We recommend the Scofield Study Bible: http://www.cheapestbookprice.com/prices/9780195275520-the-scofield-study-bible-iii-nkjv-indexed

Recently, while trying to put a water hose away, I was stung by some bees. They had been feeding on some flowers nearby. I invaded their territory and must have threatened them. Their stings hurt badly. Bees take a dim view of being stepped on and they have an effective way of letting us know about it.

Pain. “[It] can be a wonderful teacher. It’s just a pity that while we quickly learn to avoid bees, we tend to learn more slowly regarding sin. Yet the truths of the Bible, the testimony of the prophets, the teachings of Christ – all point to the same time-proven principle: Sin hurts. Yet how often we repeat even the sins which cause us – or those we love – damage.

Patience. “God’s patience at last ran out toward [some Jewish people in the Old Testament] who simply wouldn’t learn, people who continually hurt themselves and damaged each other by indulging in the same ways.” – Your Daily Walk, Walk Thru the Bible, p. 269

Consequences. Sin often has long term natural consequences even though we’ve confessed our sins to God.  Consider the life of King David.  Let’s learn from his and the mistakes of others (1 Corinthians 10:6). 

Victorious Living.  Would you like to learn how to be victorious over your sin nature, the devil, and the present world system? You can live victoriously if you learn how to walk by means of the Holy Spirit to overcome the lusts (strong desires) of the flesh/sin nature (Galatians 5:16), put on the whole armor of God when it’s needed to resist and overcome the devil’s temptations (Ephesians 6:10-17), and refuse to love the present world system that is passing away (1 John 2:15-17).

Chastening. Should you, as a child of God, act defiantly toward your heavenly Father, and resist God the Holy Spirit, and refuse to confess your sins to God (1 John 1:9; See James 5:16), you could be chastened and scourged by God the Father in a variety of ways (Hebrews 12:5-11). Because the carnal Corinthian Christians were participating in the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy way, they were chastened with weakness, sickness, and some even died prematurely (1 Corinthians 11:30).

Potential. We have potential years and actual years. At the time of our salvation, we were made to participate in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:3), but we still have a sinful nature (1 John 1:8; Romans 7:14-25). We also have the potential to engage in the works of the flesh that are perversions of good things (Galatians 5:19-21).

Quote. “Without exception, every one of [the works of the flesh  Galatians 5:19-21] is a perversion of something which is in itself good. Immorality, impurity, licentiousness are perversions of the sexual instinct which is in itself a lovely thing and part of love. Idolatry is a perversion of worship, and was begun as an aid to worship. Sorcery is a perversion of the use of healing drugs in medicine. Envy, jealousy, and strife are perversions of that noble ambition and desire to do well which can be a spur to greatness. Enmity and anger are a perversion of that righteous indignation without which the passion for goodness cannot exist. Dissension and the party spirit are a perversion of the devotion to principle which can produce the martyr.  Drunkenness and carousing are the perversion of the happy joy of social fellowship and of the things which men can happily and legitimately enjoy. Nowhere is there better illustrated the power of evil to take beauty and to twist it into ugliness, to take the finest things and to make them an avenue for sin. The awfulness of the power of sin lies precisely in its ability to take the raw material of potential goodness and turn it into the material of evil” (Flesh and Spirit by William Barclay, page 39).

Value. Among other things, the Old Testament serves as a negative example for us not to engage in the same sins the Jews did lest we be judged as they were (1 Corinthians 10:6, 11). Our discipline, as Christians, is limited to this life because we won’t be condemned later with the unsaved people of this world (1 Corinthians 11:32; See John 3:18, 36).

Stinger. “’O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?’ The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the Law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:56, 57).

Deliverance. If you’re not a Christian, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, and you will be saved [from eternal condemnation]” (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Matthew 25:41, 46; John 3:16, 18, 36).

Help. If you need additional help, we can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.  We’d like to know if this has helped you. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

 

 

 1 Peter 5:8, 9

When it comes to the subject of the devil, two mistakes are often made by many people, including Christians. Some folks joke about him while others ignore him. Both of these responses are dangerous positions to take.

Warning. The Apostle Paul warned Timothy that in the latter times some people would depart from the faith and give heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. They would speak lies in hypocrisy, having their consciences seared with a hot iron. They would tell people not to marry and abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth (1 Timothy 4:1-5; See Acts 10:14, 28). He told Timothy to preach the word with authority and to be ready in season and out of season because many people would seek to follow teachers with itching ears who would tell the people what they want to hear (2 Timothy 4:1-4).

Ignorance. The Apostle Peter, having given in to a temptation from the devil to play the role of a coward (Luke 22:31, 32; Matthew 26:74), was well aware of Satan’s tactics. They seem to be intensifying in our day and we need to know the truth about him so we who are true Christians can resist and overcome him (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8, 9; 1 John 4:4) after we have put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17). Let’s not be ignorant of his tactics (2 Corinthians 2:11).

Satan’s Activities

Independence. He seeks to provoke believers to rely on themselves rather than on God (See John 15:5; 1 Corinthians 4:7; Philippians 4:13). As a result of King David’s yielding to Satan’s solicitation to number and rely on his troops rather than on God Himself, 70,000 Israelite men died (1 Chronicles 21:1). The leaders of the world have made and will make decisions to engage in unjust wars and in the future billions of people will die. Do you know how many people will die during the seven years of the Tribulation when the devil, the anti-Christ, and the false prophet are in charge? It will be over ½ of the world’s population (Revelation 6:8; 9:15). If God allowed them to have power for more than seven years, no one would survive (Matthew 24:22). By the way, not all wars are unjust and some have been ordered by God Himself (Deuteronomy 20:17-20). God gave the wicked nations in the land of Canaan 400 years to repent but they didn’t (Genesis 15:16; Leviticus 18:24). God is long suffering and wants people to be saved (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4). But there will come a day when He will judge the unrepentant and unbelievers (John 5:22; 2 Timothy 4:8). You and I can cause great harm to others too if we act like the heathen and the Israelites who sacrificed their live babies to the pagan god Molech (Leviticus 18:21; Jeremiah 32:35). Can God forgive the sin of murder and other sins (Exodus 20:13; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11)? Yes! He forgave King David, King Manasseh, and the Apostle Paul (2 Samuel 12:9; 2 Chronicles 33:1-20; Acts 8:1-3).

Victims. He roams the world to find victims to overwhelm (1 Peter 5:8). He’d like for believers to become bitter and have an unforgiving spirit (Hebrews 12:15; 2 Corinthians 2:10, 11) and get them to curse God and die for not protecting them from harm and danger (Job 2:9). The patriarch Job was an upright man and became the object of Satan’s abuse. He was allowed by God to strip Job of his children, his wealth, and his health (Job 1, 2). He became a prime example of our need to trust God even when things are going badly (Proverbs 3:5, 6; 1 Thessalonians 5:18). Do you do this?

Blindness. The Scriptures talk about three kinds of spiritual blindness: Natural blindness. This keeps all unbelievers from understanding many things in the Scriptures or think of them as simply being foolish (1 Corinthians 1:18-25; 2:14; 3:19). Satanic blindness. He spiritually blinds the minds of unbelievers to prevent them from understanding the power of the Gospel to save Jews and non-Jews (2 Corinthians 4:4; Romans 1:16, 17). Judicial blindness. This was imposed on the Jewish people because of their rejection of their promised Messiah (Romans 11:25; Matthew 27:25). Only God Himself can remove these three blinds from people’s spiritual eyes after the Gospel has been presented to them by a human agent (1 John 4:4; Romans 1:16).

Darts. Satan has in his arsenal 14 fiery, mental darts that he directs at a believer’s mind but only if God allows it (Ephesians 6:10-17). Disappointment, discouragement, doubt are very effective tools he uses to bring Christians down and cause them to lose their power from God (Philippians 3:10; 4:13). Do you know what the other 11 temptations are and how to overcome them? They are not to be confused with the temptations that come from our old sin nature (Galatians 5:19-21; See 1 john 1:8) or from the present world system (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31; Genesis 4:17-24).

Hinder. Whenever he can, he tries to hinder those who are engaged in the work of evangelizing the lost with the Gospel of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) and the edification of believers (1 Thessalonians 5:11) for their work of service (1 Thessalonians 2:18; 1 Peter 4:10). He encourages and promotes greedy, false teachers who do his bidding (Ephesians 2:2; 2 Timothy 3:1-9). Beware of the “health, wealth, and happiness preachers” (2 Peter 2:15; Jude 1:11; Revelation 2:14).

Doubt. He undermines the Word of God by casting doubt on it (Genesis 3:1). He often uses false teachers to twist the Scriptures (2 Peter 3:16). Many of them use the allegorical rather than the normal, historical, grammatical method of interpreting the Scriptures (Matthew 13:19; Genesis 3:1).

Angel. Believe it or not, he can transform himself into an angel of light so as to try to deceive other good angels (2 Corinthians 11:14). He drew 1/3 of the angels with him in his rebellion against God (Revelation 12:4). They became demons and are destined for the eternal lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46). This Biblical teaching stands in sharp contrast to the false teachers who teach and promote the “universal reconciliation” (salvation) of all of God’s creatures in the end.

Satan’s Future

Abyss. After the seven years of the tribulation (Daniel 9:27; See Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:15ff) the devil will be captured by a low ranking angel and will be bound in the Abyss for 1,000 years while the Lord Jesus Christ rules on/over the earth (Revelation 20:1-6; Isaiah 9:6, 7). But when the 1,000 years are over the devil will be released from the Abyss for a brief time. He will gather to himself those who inwardly rebelled against Christ during His 1,000 year reign on earth (Revelation 20:7-9). Then Christ will cast the devil, his angels (demons) and the unbelievers into the lake of fire where they will suffer forever (Revelation 20:10). God is a righteous and holy God and must/will sentence the unbelievers to that awful place. There are no second chances to be saved once a person dies (Hebrews 9:27). Don’t be misled by false teachers who teach otherwise. God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). His Word is truth (John 17:17).

Conclusion: Therefore, if you still are a child of the devil (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10), you need to be “born again from above” (John 3:3-6) so you can become a child of God by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Believers need to “Be sober, be vigilant; because our adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. [Having submitted yourself to God, and having put on the whole armor of God], resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:8, 9; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-17).

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