“Can our eyes deceive us?” Photo by Susanne Schuberth
This is from the blog Entering the Promised Land:
I recalled having read a certain quote by Oswald Chambers quite some time ago. However, whenever I tried to find it again, I failed, since I could not remember the exact wording. Just today as I was searching the net for mystical experiences by Christians, I would find some criticism about the very word “mysticism” by T.A. Sparks and A.W. Tozer instead. Of course, there has been false mysticism in Christianity too, but not all mystical experiences were wrong. As long as one gets closer and closer to the Living God, I would never dare to say that mysticism was a bad thing. The false mystical experience might get obvious to us when we realize that it has caused the believer to get more and more focused on his own person and “ministry” than on the person of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. Pride about knowing more than others, arrogance toward not-so-spiritual believers, and sometimes even a sort of megalomania (about what God would be able to do through the little “ME”) go hand in hand with Satan’s spiritual suggestions.
Later I also found another writing on the internet by a man who tried to prove Oswald Chambers and Watchman Nee wrong. Reading his deliberations, it got more and more clear to me that the carnal mind can never understand what the spiritual mind already knows due to its experiences with God and Jesus. The skilled theologian might find countless Scriptures to support his theories and thoughts about Christian mystics being deceived, however, what he does not know, it seems, is that our reason and logic cannot but understand the very surface of what was written in the Bible. The very depth of Scripture, albeit, reveals itself only through the Holy Spirit that indwells the believer and continually teaches him subliminally what is true and what is not true, even according to the Scriptures. The apostle Paul told us,
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Cor 2:14-16 ESV)
And the apostle John wrote,
“I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.” (1 Jn 2:26-27 ESV)
Reading this Scripture, it dawned on me that we can only be deceived if we have not received the anointing of the Holy Spirit yet or, when we have received it, we stop abiding in Him and His love. There is a common “deception” I would like to point out here, which has to do with the Chambers’ quote I had been looking for. Although it is not a real deception, it is rather a saddening sort of confusion that has grieved so many believers because they were taught wrongly about salvation. Eventually, here is not only the Oswald Chambers’ quote (which I highlighted in bold letters), but his whole devotional.
The Staggering Question
June 1, 2015
He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” —Ezekiel 37:3
Can a sinner be turned into a saint? Can a twisted life be made right? There is only one appropriate answer— “O Lord God, You know” (Ezekiel 37:3). Never forge ahead with your religious common sense and say, “Oh, yes, with just a little more Bible reading, devotional time, and prayer, I see how it can be done.”
It is much easier to do something than to trust in God; we see the activity and mistake panic for inspiration. That is why we see so few fellow workers with God, yet so many people working for God. We would much rather work for God than believe in Him. Do I really believe that God will do in me what I cannot do? The degree of hopelessness I have for others comes from never realizing that God has done anything for me. Is my own personal experience such a wonderful realization of God’s power and might that I can never have a sense of hopelessness for anyone else I see? Has any spiritual work been accomplished in me at all? The degree of panic activity in my life is equal to the degree of my lack of personal spiritual experience.
“Behold, O My people, I will open your graves…” (Ezekiel 37:12). When God wants to show you what human nature is like separated from Himself, He shows it to you in yourself. If the Spirit of God has ever given you a vision of what you are apart from the grace of God (and He will only do this when His Spirit is at work in you), then you know that in reality there is no criminal half as bad as you yourself could be without His grace. My “grave” has been opened by God and “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells” (Romans 7:18). God’s Spirit continually reveals to His children what human nature is like apart from His grace.
In closing, I dare to raise two additional, maybe challenging questions.
“Do we believe that others will be saved because of our witness or because Christ is Savior? Can we trust Him and His unconditional love so much that we are convinced He loves our neighbors/loved ones/co-workers just as much as He loves us?”
The Lion of the Tribe of Judah
Dreams from the LORD 2011-2015
3 October 2015
Last night I had a dream where I was with this Christian family. We talked about the persecution of Christians in the United States. Then I said that the Lord will raise up men—supermen—who will protect Christians (through intercession) from the devil and evil men (or words to that effect); this will be done in the power of the Holy Ghost. I told them that it is already happening. I gave them this scripture: Romans 8: 19: “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” I then told them about the Japan Earthquake.
I Samuel 3: 15: “And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision.”
Daniel 11: 32: “And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.”
Revelation 2: 18: “These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire . . .”
Revelation 2: 26-27: “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.”
Samson: A One-Man Wrecking Crew
A Parable About Lukewarm, American Christianity
[The painting of the lion above was by Belinda of the Grace and Truth blog]
This is from the blog aeneidodyssey:
One of the first things I remember in Sunday School was learning God’s attributes. He was the ‘Alpha and Omega’, ‘beginning and end’, ‘omnipresent’, and ‘omnipotent’. Hearing the word ‘omnipotent’ has such a powerful meaning in our faith. While many of us who aspire to be leaders wish we had some form of power, when or if we get into those positions, we often find we are powerless to make any substantial changes. However, God in his omnipotence is all-powerful and as Tozer points out, the Anglo-Saxon term is ‘almighty’. He also points out that throughout the Bible, the term is only used to describe God. In addition, in today’s world with such technological discoveries and innovations, we often find ourselves losing our perception of God as omnipotent. Rather, we believe somehow we are able to achieve beyond many of our imaginations and that gives us some form of power. Further, Tozer points out that today’s modern world ‘suffers from a secularized mentality’ and how the old world with the sacred writers ‘their world was alive and personal; ours is impersonal and dead. God ruled their world; ours is ruled by the laws of nature and we are always once removed from the presence of God’. I couldn’t agree more. We have very little inspiration or belief in an omnipotent God because in our view we are able to explain via the laws of nature what is occurring and thus this should somehow counterbalance God’s omnipotence. While we may be able to determine how far the Earth is from the sun, or what elements are on the planets. However, how does this make us less in love or in awe of God?
This is from the blog Craig T. Owens:
“No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. The pulpit can be a shopwindow to display one’s talents; the prayer closet allows no showing off.
“Poverty-stricken as the Church is today in many things, she is most stricken here, in the place of prayer. We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, few pray-ers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere.
“The two prerequisites to successful Christian living are vision and passion, both of which are born in and maintained by prayer. The ministry of preaching is open to few; the ministry of prayer-the highest ministry of all human offices—is open to all. Spiritual adolescents say, ‘I’ll not go tonight, it’s only the prayer meeting.’ It may be that satan has little cause to fear most preaching. Yet past experiences sting him to rally all his infernal army to fight against God’s people praying. Modern Christians know little of ‘binding and loosing,’ though the onus is on us-—‘Whatsoever ye shall bind….’ Have you done any of this lately? God is not prodigal with His power; but to be much for God, we must be much with God.
“This world hits the trail for hell with a speed that makes our fastest plane look like a tortoise; yet alas, few of us can remember the last time we missed our bed for a night of waiting upon God for a world-shaking revival. Our compassions are not moved. We mistake the scaffolding for the building. Present-day preaching, with its pale interpretation of divine truths, causes us to mistake action for unction, commotion for creation, and rattles for revivals.
“The secret of praying is praying in secret. A sinning man will stop praying, and a praying man will stop sinning. We are beggared and bankrupt, but not broken, nor even bent.
“Prayer is profoundly simple and simply profound. ‘Prayer is the simplest form of speech that infant lips can try,’ and yet so sublime that it outranges all speech and exhausts man’s vocabulary. A Niagara of burning words does not mean that God is either impressed or moved. One of the most profound of Old Testament intercessors had no language ‘Her lips moved, but her voice was not heard.’ No linguist here! There are ‘groanings which cannot be uttered.’
“Are we so substandard to New Testament Christianity that we know not the historical faith of our fathers (with its implications and operations), but only the hysterical faith of our fellows? Prayer is to the believer what capital is to the business man.
“Can any deny that in the modern church setup the main cause of anxiety is money? Yet that which tries the modern churches the most, troubled the New Testament Church the least. Our accent is on paying, theirs was on praying. When we have paid, the place is taken; when they had prayed, the place was shaken!
“In the matter of New Testament, Spirit-inspired, hell-shaking, world-breaking prayer, never has so much been left by so many to so few. For this kind of prayer there is no substitute. We do it—or die!” —Leonard Ravenhill, from his book Why Revival Tarries
The Spirit of a Prophet
“Thieves” by Gustave Dore
“If preaching of terror is legal preaching, then the law was more preached in the New Testament than ever it was under the Old. I make it appear thus: There are more terrible and dreadful doctrines scattered up and down in the New Testament than in the Old. It is a note of Chrysostom that in all the Old Testament the word damnation was never used, but it is used thirteen times in the New. And it is observable further that in the Old Testament, though the word hell is often used, yet it is most commonly used for the grave and not for the place of the damned. But in the New Testament, except in two places, hell is altogether taken for the place of the damned, Acts 2:27 and 31. Therefore it is clear to every eye that the gospel is more backed with terror, and with the doctrines of hell and damnation, than ever the law was. The preaching of the law has only ‘Anathema,’ but the gospel has ‘Maranatha’ also. Therefore, all those who are of that seducing antinomian error that cry down pressing duty such as preaching the law greatly deceive themselves, for Christ Himself and the apostles and evangelists all preached more terror than any of the prophets ever did.”
–Christopher Love (English Covenanter and Martyr)
Matthew 13: 50: “And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
“Thou heardst me truer than tongue confess
Thy terror, O Christ, O God.”
–Gerard Manley Hopkins
II Thessalonians 1: 9: “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.”
“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”
Jude 7: “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”
“The frown of his face
Before me, the hurtle of hell
–Gerard Manley Hopkins
“God shall not pity them but laugh at their calamity. The righteous company in heaven shall rejoice in the execution of God’s judgment, and shall sing while the smoke riseth up for ever.”
Hell on Earth
The Divine Comedy
Paradise Lost: The First Book
Jesus spoke of demons and hell
WARNING–HELL IS FOR REAL AND MANY ARE HEADING THERE
This is from the blog Grace and Truth:
“Crystal meth is the devil’s drug,” Jacob said.
“You mean ice?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he answered, “It is the devil’s drug. I was on it. It ruined my life. I lost my family and my friends.
“Everyone’s on it,” he went on, “it’s taking over this city.”
I was talking to Jacob last night on the street. A young guy who looked like he had done some heavy stuff in his young life.
“One time, ” Jacob told me, “I went straight up through the clouds to heaven (on a trip). But when I got there the gates were locked and they wouldn’t let me in. I have had a bad past. So they sent me to hell to work as a slave. It was so hot there I could feel the flames. I knew I wasn’t fit enough or strong enough to stay in hell forever though and I didn’t know how to get out.”
Ice is crystal methamphetamine, a synthetic drug, in its purest form. Ice is now endemic in Australia. The government and law enforcement are powerless against this demonic drug, but so far are unwilling to admit that they have lost control and have no idea what to do about it.
I believe that we are entering a new season my brothers and sisters. And ice is only a small part of what is coming. God is going to all0w everything that can be shaken to be shaken. Everything we have trusted in – money, global economics, security, the things Western culture was built on, even Christianity – everything that can be shaken will be shaken.
“Tell Zerubbabel governor of Judah that I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms. I will overthrow chariots and their drivers; horses and their riders will fall, each by the sword of his brother.” Haggai 2:21, 22
The birth pangs have already begun : earthquakes in diverse places, mass deception, wars, rumours of wars, men are now lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (see Matthew 24 and 2 Timothy 3)
All this was prophesied 2000 years ago, and it is happening right NOW. There’s not time left now. God is permitting a huge shaking to come and it is going to begin in the church.
Why would He do that?
“”I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it…” Ezekiel 21:27
Because He needs to sort the wheat from the chaff.
The only way to separate precious wheat kernels from the inedible husk (or chaff) is to shake, shake, shake it with a winnowing fork till
Farmer winnowing on his threshing floor
the chaff breaks off. The wind then catches the useless chaff and blows it away, leaving only the lovely kernel of wheat.
“He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.” Luke 3:17 (John Baptist speaking of Christ)
Jesus is now looking to see who will stand. Who will stand when the shaking comes? When all we have put our trust in topples and falls… will we be blown away as chaff? Where will we put our trust… Will it be in Christ alone?
Will the Son of Man find faith on the earth?
This is it my friends. Now is the time to topple Self off the throne of your life and allow the rightful king back on His throne. It is Jesus Christ only who will provide refuge in the coming storm. It is Him alone who can save you.
Jacob said to me last night on the street after I’d shared the gospel with him that he is the “god of his own life”.
(Is that the case with you?)
My answer to Jacob was : “Well, you are going to hell then.”
He half-gasped/ half-laughed in surprise: “I can’t believe you just said that to me.”
Yeah, because no one says the honest, blatant truth anymore.
The essence of sin is self-love. That is it. The devil had it, he tried to elevate himself to god-hood and he is on his way to the lake of fire to burn with the chaff for eternity.
There’s no time left for seeker-sensitive rubbish and I can’t be bothered with it anymore. For goodness sake, Christ has died for us. He took the punishment for your sin and mine at the cross. He shed His sinless blood to pay for our horrendous crimes against God. What wondrous love is that? What more could He do?
Get right with God now or face Him at the judgment seat of Christ. Your choice.
Jacob took a New Testament last night. He said that he is going to seriously consider what we talked about.
I pray that he will. I pray that you will too.
In the love of Christ,
A Sword is Sharpened
The Killer Angels
Jacksonites, Yours is a Bloody City