SPIRITUAL PROPAGANDA IN THE PULPIT:
Without consent on the part of the hearer, without this need for propaganda by practically every citizen of the technological age, propaganda could not spread.
Therefore it is not just a wicked propaganda machine at work which has established means to ensnare the innocent citizen. There is a citizen who craves propaganda from the bottom of his being.
This is why news stations compete so strongly for our attention. They are not just seeking to get their propaganda message out. They are seeking to gain the largest audience by responding to the cravings of the listeners. Those who deliberately feed information of a biased or misleading nature, to promote or publicize a particular political or spiritual cause or point of view could not exist without potential hearers of lies.
Now apply this to what is being preached from our pulpits each week. Are the preachers speaking a Word from God or is it a message derived from the desires of the hearts of the hearers?
ACCOMMODATING CHRISTIANITY: Tell me what I want to hear.
There are those spiritual leaders who profess themselves religious and call themselves teachers of truth, who will sneak or creep into church buildings or house churches. These so-called leaders will captivate worldly believers by their offers of an accommodating Christianity filled with promises of freedom and liberty to fulfill the appetites of the flesh. These are those who, though they are ever learning, are never able to arrive at the of knowledge of truth. They are careless hearers, they are inattentive readers, they are uninterested inquirers of truth.
2 Timothy 3:5-7 ESV having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. (6) For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, (7) always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
Romans 16:17-18 ESV I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. (18) For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.
We have covered in great length what worship is not. Worship is not praise, and praise is not worship. It is true however that one will lead to the other. Right in the middle of praising the Father one might enter into a place of worship and fall to his face. Or right in the middle of worship when one is in the physical position of bowing, kneeling, or laying face down he might enter into a place of praise and start shouting, singing, dancing, twirling, or one of the other many expressions of praise.
We covered many Old Testament examples of worship showing that it had nothing to do with music but with a position of the heart and the body. Now it is time to get into what the New Testament says about worship.
The very first time that the word worship was used in the New Testament was in Matt.2:1-2 concerning the wise men coming to the baby Jesus to worship Him.
Matthew 2:1-2 ESV Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, (2) saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him."
The Greek word is "proskuneo"̄ pronounced "pros-koo-neh'-o" from Strong's G4352 and means to kiss like a dog licking his master's hand, to crouch down, to prostrate oneself in homage to reverence and to adore.
This word is used 60 times in the New Testament.
A second Greek word for worship (G4576) in the New Testament is "sebomai" pronounced " seb'-om-ahee" and means to revere, adore in devout religious worship. Most of the time this is used to show those who have a false worship of the Father and the Son.
Matthew 15:8-9 ESV "'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; (9) in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'"
To be continued:
Have you ever been in a difficult trial or in a dry wilderness place and you knew that you were in the trial or wilderness place because of your own sin and poor decisions? You knew that you SHOULD cry out to God for help and really NEEDED to cry out to God, but you were afraid to do so because of your sin.
Maybe your problems, trials, or wilderness place is not due to deliberate sin, but rather because of immaturity or wrong decisions based on the flesh. Sometimes even though I have prayed for guidance and wisdom, I still have done something that resulted in a heap of trouble. What should we do at such times?
Psalm 25 teaches us to seek God in the hard times, no matter for what reason we are in those hard times. It seems that James 1:5-6 is a New Testament summary of Psalm 25.
James 1:5-6 ESV If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (6) But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
The context of James’ counsel is that we all need God's wisdom in the midst of various trials. James tells us by faith to seek God and His wisdom in our trials. This is the same thing that David tells us to do in Psalm 25.
GOD'S GLORY and OUR GOOD: No matter how difficult your trials or what their cause, seek the Lord for His wisdom and trust Him to work things out for His glory and for your good.
David cries out to the Lord to teach him God's ways. We could say that this Psalm is a school-book lesson on how to live by faith so as to please the Father and be blessed by Him.
Psalms 25:4-5 ESV Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. (5) Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.
Psalms 25:8-9 ESV Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. (9) He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
DO YOU WANT TO BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT?
In earlier posts we said that...
1. We must be THIRSTY for the things of God.
2. We must BELIEVE THE PROMISES of God.
3. We must be SURE of our SALVATION.
4. We need to ask ourselves "Who is going to be EXALTED"? FIFTH:
5. We must BELIEVE the REPORT of God over man.
(John 12:38 ESV) so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: "Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"
(John 12:39 ESV) Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,
(John 12:40 ESV) "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them."
There are a lot of "faith killers" out there and saddly many are in the church. Over the years I have been told over and over by family, friends and others within the body of Christ what I can and can't do concerning my walk with the Father.
The most ridiculous is in the area of the work of the Holy Spirit. When I was a member of a certain denomination I was told that I could not lift my hands, dance in the Spirit, speak in tongues, or lay hands on people for healing. Of course all of these are in the Bible for Christians to have the liberty to exercise.
I was told that those things of the Holy Spirit were for the Church "down the road", of course speaking about the Pentecostal church. I remember thinking how I had wished that I had a recorder taping the conversation so that I could play it back and let the person hear how dumb they sounded.
It is a theology that says, God does certain things from His Word here in this church and He does certain things from His Word over there in that church, but the two cannot mix.
If we want to be filled in the Holy Spirit, we need to be BELIEVING BELIEVERS concerning the things of God and not let our hearts be hardened towards the supernatural acts of God.
Hebrews 3:7-8 ESV Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, "Today, if you hear his voice, (8) do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness,
No matter the cost, purpose in your heart that you choose God and His Word over friends and family and the traditions of men. It is a choice we all need to make because we all need to be tested in not having idols placed over God and His Word.
I will be exploring Ps.25 in this topic of seeking God in the hard times. The hard times could be our health. It could be our finances. It could be broken or damaged relationships. The hard times could be a result of choosing to live in a sin that you know is wrong, against God, damages your testimony, yet you can't seem to break the cycle.
Psalms 25:1 ESV Of David. To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
The first thing we see in Psalm 25 is that King David is offering up his heart to the Lord.
If we are currently in hard times we have many choices. We can try though our own power, experience, and intellect find a way out. We can give up, grit our teeth and determine that this is a part of life as long as we are 98.6 and breathing and accept the hard times and live with them.
Or we can truly seek the Lord in the middle of the hard times. The first step in this is to give up our heart to the Lord. It is admitting that you are at wits end and that even if you die you will love, worship, and praise the Father.
Psalms 107:26-30 ESV They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight; (27) they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits' end. (28) Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. (29) He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. (30) Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.
Command number 5 is DO GOD'S WILL:
The first 4 commands we covered earlier:
1. COMMAND #1: DON'T MAKE GOD'S HOUSE (YOUR BODY) A DEN OF THIEVES. (JN.2:13-18)
2. COMMAND #2: YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN. (JN.3:3-7)
3. COMMAND #3: GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES. (JN.4:1-2)
4. COMMAND #4: WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH. (JN.4:23-24)
Now we get to the fifth New Testament command.
5. DO THE WILL AND WORK OF GOD: (JN.4:34)
We always hear believers quoting Jn.14:12, especially when it is talking about someone else's responsibility to take a stand in faith.
John 14:12 ESV "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.
From this Jn.14:12 verse we know that we are to do what our Lord did. This is true of Jn.4:34.
John 4:34 ESV Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.
Of course we cannot go to nor are we called to go to a physical cross and die. We would die in vain to do so. But everything that our Lord did between His birth and the cross He did so as a Spirit-filled man and not as God. Therefore, because all that He accomplished He did so as a Spirit-filled man we can also do those things. It is the will of the Father that we accomplish His will. It is the will of the Father that we accomplish His work.
1. David understood the joy and responsibility of doing the will of the Father.
Psalms 40:8 ESV I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart."
2. We need to ask God to teach us to do His will.
Psalms 143:10 ESV Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!
3. How important is it to do the will of the Father?
Matthew 7:21 ESV "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
1 John 2:17 ESV And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
Mark 3:33-35 ESV And he answered them, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" (34) And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! (35) For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother."
To Be Continued:
It is easier to talk to people about preparation for hard times and tehends times when we are going through the hard times. When you can't find the items you need on the sheves of any store and when you try to order them they say you can't because of being "out of stock," it becomes a little more clear as to why we teach about stocking a few things back for emergencies.
When the smoke clears, the Coronavirus has made it's run through the world, and we can get back outside, please don't try to run down to the store and stock up thousands of dollars of stuff. Preparing for times when the trials have really hit the fan takes a little planning and sacrifice.
As Debby and I were attending Bible College our monthly income was 600.00. That was a total of 600 dollars with 2 little boys. For 3 1/2 years we lived off of meatless spaghetti and a lot of beans and chili. We did what we had to do. The same is true when you go camping. If you are a normal camper you eat hotdogs and other foods you don't eat everyday in your home. It will be that way when all the stuff starts hitting teh fan. This should have been a wake-up call for the world. Things will get worse and more intensified, and it will last longer in duration. Therefore, getting food on yur shelf will be things that have a longer shelf-life and foods that have the best nutrition. We will need protein and carbs to maintain strength to do what will need to be done.
When we speak about preparing we do not want to give the idea nor get the mindset of being a survivalist. The believer is called to be an overcomer and not a survivalist. However, in preparation we will be able to assist others who are not in the faith or are weak of faith.
We encourage believers to store sufficient food, clothing, and where possible fuel for at least three months. Some prepare for one year. The best way to do this, is when you do your normal weekly shopping pick up one or two of the items on this list and store it away. We have not laid down an exact formula for what should be stored, but a foundation that you can build on based on your location and space.
Stocking up on some items will:
* Provide peace of mind as we obey the counsel to prepare.
* Help ensure basic needs in case of personal or natural disaster.
* Strengthen skills in preparing and using basic foods.
Once you have stored the basic food items, you need to regularly include them in your daily meals so as to accustom yourself now in what you will eat later. This also allows you to rotate your stored items keeping them current in date.
We suggest that the Saints concentrate on essential foods that sustain life:
1. Grains: Grains include wheat, rice, rolled oats, dried corn, pearled barley, and other cereal grains. Flour, cornmeal, and pasta products such as macaroni and spaghetti are also included. Each family should store various grain items that suit their individual circumstances. For example, rather than storing three to four hundred pounds of wheat per person, a family might choose to store two hundred pounds of wheat, one hundred pounds of flour, twenty-five pounds of rice, twenty-five pounds of rolled oats, twenty-five pounds of dried corn, and twenty-five pounds of macaroni per person. There are numerous combinations. This gives variety to the menu and encourages using and rotating the supply. It also provides choices for those who do not like or cannot eat a particular grain.
Most grains can be dry-pack canned in small containers. This makes them more convenient to use and reduces the possibility of spoilage. Grains may also be stored in tightly sealed metal or heavy plastic containers.
2. Legumes: This is an inexpensive, nutritious protein food. This includes beans (soy, pinto, white, kidney, lima, winged, red, navy, pink, and black-eyed), split peas, lentils, and peanuts.
They can be stored in clean, dry metal or plastic containers with tight-fitting lids. They may also be dry-pack canned.
3. Fats and Oils: Fat is essential to every diet. Shortening, cooking oil, margarine, and mayonnaise are suggested for storage.
Store fats in sealed containers in cool, dry, dark places and rotate them frequently.
4. Powdered Milk: Nonfat powdered milk, instant or regular, is an excellent storage item. It contains all the nutrients, except fat, found in fresh milk. In the past, storing large amounts of powdered milk has been recommended. However, this has often led to spoilage and waste. More recent studies show that smaller quantities of milk are adequate if people store and eat larger quantities of grains.
Powdered milk can be stored in the original sealed packages, or if purchased in bulk, it can be stored in tightly covered metal or plastic containers. It can also be dry-pack canned. You may also use canned milk as part of the milk storage program, but you must rotate it regularly.
5. Salt: Nutritionists recommend iodized rather than plain salt, when it is available.
Salt can be stored in its original container in a cool and dry place.
6. Sugar and Honey: Whether to store sugar or honey is a matter of personal choice. Sugar may harden and honey may crystallize and/or darken. Neither affects the safety of the product.
Store honey in small containers. Then, if it crystallizes, you can immerse the containers in hot (not boiling) water to liquefy it.
Store granulated sugar in a tightly covered metal or plastic container or place it on a shelf away from moisture in its unopened cloth or paper bag. Occasionally knead the bag to help prevent the sugar from hardening.
Water: Water is more essential than food in sustaining life. Store a minimum of seven gallons of water per person for drinking and food preparation. Store an additional seven gallons per person of the same quality water for bathing, brushing teeth, and dishwashing.
Use heavy plastic containers with tight-fitting lids. Metal containers, which may corrode, tend to give water an unpleasant taste. If you have any doubt as to the bacterial safety of stored water, you may purify it by boiling vigorously for one to two minutes or by adding chlorine bleach (5 percent sodium hypochlorite solution). Generally, half a teaspoon of bleach will purify five gallons of clear water, and one teaspoon will purify five gallons of cloudy water. If you store it away from sunlight in clean containers, and if it is safe bacterially at the time of storage, water will remain pure indefinitely.
One of the sure things about history is that it repeats itself. I am writing a commentary on the Book of Hosea. Let's look at a few verses in chapter 7 and see if anything seems current and familiar.
(7:4) They are all adulterers; they are like a heated oven whose baker ceases to stir the fire, from the kneading of the dough until it is leavened
(7:8) Ephraim mixes himself with the peoples; Ephraim is a cake not turned.
( 7:11) Ephraim is like a dove, silly and without sense, calling to Egypt, going to Assyria.
(7:16) They return, but not upward; they are like a treacherous bow;
WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS MEAN?
In Hosea chapter 7, there are four charges made against Israel and their wrong direction in the areas of their morals, their politics, and their religion.
SOUND FAMILIAR? Welcome to the "present" past
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT BEING ORGANIZED?
Sometimes we may seem overwhelmed with all that needs to be done. The things we would LIKE to do gets shadowed by all the things that we NEED to do. In the chaos of everyday life we can get overwhelmed, confused, and even move into the place of procrastination because it is mentally easier to not start a project then start one knowing that we won't be able to finish it.
What is the answer? The first rule of thumb is to pray each day not to be crisis driven and do only those things which the Father has placed in your hands for that day. Yes, there is a right time for doing dishes and laundry. In other words we can do it when we have a moment of time and be frustrated at the amount of chores we have or we can do it when the Father says and He gets the glory and we are blessed and empowered.
Rule 1: Don't be driven by the need or the crisis of the day.
Rule # 2: Begin with the end in mind.
This means that we need some organization, a game plan. Now typically I am not an administrative person, however when I have multiple jobs/tasks that need to be done and I pray and seek the Lord I always seem to come up with a plan that accomplishes 2 or 3 times more than if I just jumped into the project without any thought about how I was going to accomplish everything that needed to be done.
Having said that, let's look at Scriptures concerning an organized spirit-filled life.
1 Corinthians 14:40 ESV (40) But all things should be done decently and in order.
Habakkuk 2:2-3 ESV And the LORD answered me: "Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. (3) For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.
Proverbs 13:4 ESV The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
1 Corinthians 15:57-58 ESV (57) But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (58) Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Mark 6:39-41 ESV Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. (40) So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. (41) And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all.
Proverbs 6:6-11 ESV Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. (7) Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, (8) she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. (9) How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? (10) A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, (11) and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.
If you need help in this area I would like to suggest a great book on clutter and how it effects us andhow to get out from under it.
It is "ORGANIZE HIS WAY" By Eileen Koff
THE "OVERCOMING" POWER WITHIN US:
This is post #13 on the blood atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have already looked at the blood bringing about 11 wonderful Biblical life-changing truths. If you not done so it would be a great advantage to you if went back over the first 12 posts of this study.
The 12th truth concerning the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ is the believers "OVERCOMING POWER."
I am amazed how so many believers who have been saved for years and years continue to be overcome by the enemy, the world, and their flesh. Is the cross enough for victory?
Apparently it must not be enough to live a victorious daily life according to many believers and many Christian authors. Our Christian bookstores are filled with self-help books on overcoming depression, fear, rejection, etc. etc. etc.
What ever happened to the BLOOD of the LAMB? The cross is enough. We can overcome by the blood of the Lamb of God. One of the fruits or characteristics of an immature Christian is that of being overcome. One of the fruits or characteristics of a "young adult Christian" status is that they know how stand on God's promises and in His power to overcome the evil one.
1 John 5:4-5 ESV For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. (5) Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
1 John 4:4 ESV Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1 John 2:13-14 ESV I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. (14) I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
John 16:33 ESV I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."
WHAT TO STORE UP IN PREPARING FOR END TIMES:
When we speak about preparing we do not want to give the idea nor get the mindset of being a survivalist. The believer is called to be an overcomer and not a survivalist. We are called to be a people of faith and not rely upon the flesh. However, in preparation we will be able to assist others who are not in the faith or are weak of faith.
We encourage believers to store sufficient food, clothing, and where possible fuel for at least three months. Some prepare for one year knowing that it most likely will not last a year. We have not laid down an exact formula for what should be stored. I will place some items to stock up on in a list in the next study.
We suggest that the Saints concentrate on essential foods that sustain life, such as grains, beans and peas, cooking oil, powdered milk, salt, sugar or honey, and water. Most families can achieve and maintain this basic level of preparedness. The decision to do more than this rests with the individual.
Do not think that once a crisis hits that you will have time to gather the necessary things to hold you and others over. There is only a three day supply of food and necessary items on the shelves of our stores. So start stocking now a little each month or it will be to late to get anything.
I happen to believe that the Father is going to care for His children with bread from heaven as He did with the Hebrew children in the wilderness for 40 years. If He did it then He will do it again. However, not everyone will be able to believe God for this. The food that we store will serve to minister more to others than for the true believer walking in faith.
We encourage you to follow this counsel with the assurance that a people prepared through obedience to the commandments of God will be able to minister by assisting others during the “End Times” tribulations. Fear is not a character that a believer should have. Therefore, if fear is the motive for storing then there is a heart problem with the heavenly Father and His Word of Truth. The words of our Lord in the “Book of Matthew” do not end when the tribulation starts.
(Matthew 6:25 ESV) "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
(Matthew 6:26 ESV) Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
(Matthew 6:27 ESV) And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
(Matthew 6:28 ESV) And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,
(Matthew 6:29 ESV) yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
(Matthew 6:30 ESV) But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
(Matthew 6:31 ESV) Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'
(Matthew 6:32 ESV) For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
(Matthew 6:33 ESV) But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
(Matthew 6:34 ESV) "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
If families would think in terms of storing only foods basic to human need, or if they would supplement the food storage they already have with the basics to build it up to a year’s supply, the task would be simpler than they might think. They would then be prepared for food emergencies. A year’s supply of food storage is beneficial in several ways.
However, the key is always remember to seek the Kingdom of God first and foremost, and not to walk in fear.
I am spending a few lessons on the topic of gold because so much trust has been placed on it. From the governments of the world for their economic stability to the individual seeking to have a solid financial security for the future, gold has been the ch
oice of many.
The Old Testament role was quite straight forward. Gold served as money or adornment. Corruption certainly existed during Bible day. For example, people would shave gold coins, until they ended up as little more than nubs. Still gold remained and its value was not systematically destroyed nor manipulated through a financial money system. The time of King Solomon was known as the Golden Age of Israel. Solomon had lots of gold, in fact earning over 600 talents of gold per year and more.
We have seen what gold has done over the years of history since the birthing of the church. This history according to Acts chapter 2 is known as the period of “the last days”. Gold prices have climbed and fallen. However, it is the use and value of gold during the Tribulation period which should interest us. The Bible seems to suggest that gold holdings will be of little help at that time.
Ezekiel 7:19 ESV They cast their silver into the streets, and their gold is like an unclean thing. Their silver and gold are not able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD. They cannot satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs with it. For it was the stumbling block of their iniquity.
People will continue to hold on to their materialistic idolatries and corrupt financial systems despite terrible times of crisis and tribulation.
Revelation 9:20-21 ESV The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, (21) nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
In Rev.6:6 we that it will take a full days wage to buy some grain for bread. I would like to share a story from the internet about a grandmother in Germany telling her grandson about a time between WWI and WWII.
Revelation 6:6 ESV And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!"
ONE MAN’S STORY:
As a little boy I used to ask my grandmother to tell me stories of her life as a young girl in Germany. She was always reluctant to talk about it, but I was usually able to coax something out of her. I didn’t understand until I was much older, but her reluctance was a result of the pain those memories caused. One of the stories that she would tell took place after the First World War.
Germany lost and, in so doing, agreed to the Treaty of Versailles. In addition to the loss of geographical territory, the German Weimar Republic was forced to pay enormous sums in reparations. In essence, the Germans had to pay for all of the damage done in the war. Germany did not have the financial means to pay these damages and their solution was to just print money.
As this new money moved into circulation the impact was devastating to the German economy. The inflation rate was absolutely staggering. A few years after the end of the war the German economy had an inflation rate in excess of 300% per month! The economy had essentially collapsed and the country was experiencing a depression of enormous proportions. This set the stage for the rise of the Nazi party several years later.
Which brings us back to my grandmother’s story. She would tell me how her father and brothers, all coal miners, would get paid twice a day. The currency was devaluing so fast that it needed to be spent as fast as it was earned. My grandmother told of collecting the money and going shopping for food.
The grocers didn’t even bother counting the money. They just estimated the amount by how large the stack was. A loaf of bread could be purchased for two bags of money in the morning, by the afternoon the price might be three bags. The currency had so little value that people would burn it in their stoves for heat because wood had more value than the money.
The reason I share this is because many people everywhere will be starving, and money and gold will be worthless compared to a scrap of bread.
GOLD AND SILVER (Continued)
I am spending a few lessons on the topic of gold because so much trust has been placed on it. From the governments of the world for their economic stability to the individual seeking to have a solid financial security for the future, gold has been the choice of many.
The topic of gold evokes interest today just as it always has throughout the millennia. Much of mankind’s history has surely been motivated by the possession of this fascinating metal. One would think that there must be lots of gold in the world today. Not so. If all the gold presently existing above ground in the world were put into one place, it would amount to one solid cube the size of a doubles tennis court and 45 feet high.
That block would represent most of the gold ever mined in history. It is estimated that only about 15% of all gold ever produced has been either consumed or lost. The rest of it all remains accounted for and owned by some person or entity today. There is only about 160,000 tons of gold in the world today. This seems like a lot but it equates to less than one ounce per person on the earth.
Why the big attraction to gold? It is a rare and special substance and one of its most valued properties being that it does not corrode. The only other metal that rivals gold’s properties is platinum. However, platinum is very difficult to produce and is much rarer. The timelessness of gold and also the fact that it is only found in pure form in nature are qualities much admired. In the Bible, gold is used to express ideas of purity, value and wealth.
Gold also plays a significant role in prophecy. Today’s world with its corrupt monetary systems, will want to heed what the Scriptures say about gold, especially its “last day” roles. Unfortunately, there exist some serious misconceptions and false hopes about gold today.
Many believe that in light of hyperinflation, perhaps a massive worldwide economic depression, monetary debasement by corrupt governments or any other form of economic theft, gold will hold its value. Is this really the case? No! We could cite reams of supporting economic and financial history on this point, both ancient and modern.
The history of the past century alone will dispel all such comfortable notions. Despite two world wars, a supposed massive debasement of our currencies hyperinflation, and the recent gold rally, gold has returned a total of -9% in real terms in 111 years. The supposed financial safe harbor of gold has been a myth. Yet it still stands as a stronger investment value than any currency.
Before going any further, it is therefore important to settle this point of “false hope.” In this present age of gold, as alluring and hopeful as it may appear, it does not offer a sure escape from monetary corruption nor judgment. It may be a promising investment from time to time. It may even provide protection from the ravages of inflation during certain periods. But it will not provide assurance against a world “where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” (See Matt.6:20). In the first place, we must remember that our Lord Jesus Christ still remains in heaven and that this world still remains thoroughly corrupted.
This great era of human history from a commercial point of view can be called “the Age of Global Capital”. It is marked by world-wide sophisticated forms of monetary corruption and theft. Because of these conditions, many people seek a safe haven for their savings. Investors therefore value gold for what they believe is its property of “real money.”
Just what does the Bible say about gold today and its future roles, especially at the time that God restores everything? In tackling this subject, we need to consider gold’s role over five different eras of time:
1. Old Testament times
2. The Last Days (beginning with the revealing of the Church in the Book of Acts)
3. The Tribulation period
4. The Millennium
5. The Eternal Jerusalem
To be continued...
Among many who truly profess the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior, there is little disagreement concerning the doctrine of salvation. Most would agree that salvation is a work of GRACE, which is appropriated by faith in the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ. But when it comes to a personal life of holiness, personal growth and maturity, and walking daily in victory, there are many opinions to draw from. We seem to know how to “DEAL” with committed sins, we can just ask forgiveness and move on. But, how do we deal with the daily life sins that seem to rob the believer of joy and victory? How do we handle those “LIFE CONTROLLING” sins that always set us back?
There are always questions concerning the “FLESH”, “SIN”, and those “NAGGING PROBLEMS” that we can’t seem to get victory over. There seems to be the idea among some believers that there are sins that are destined to be a part of our lives forever. Then there is the idea that we can “carry” certain issues around all our lives by calling them our “THORNS IN THE FLESH”. This would imply that we are spiritualizing or even condoning our sins and weaknesses, and that we truly believe that God does so as well. This belief about our sins is incorrect and against the Word of Truth.
Then there is the issue of “OLD ADAM”. Who is he? Is he really dead? Do I have the power and right to raise him up to live within me? Can I blame my sins on my “OLD ADAMIC NATURE?”
In this series we have been proclaiming Biblical promises that are ours because of our standing in the Lord Jesus Christ by faith. I would like for us to look at some more of the promises that are ours because we are believers and a part of the body of our Lord Jesus Christ. If we are to defeat the sin within us we need to see ourselves the way God has called us and then act on that.
(2 Corinthians 2:14 ESV) But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.
(2 Corinthians 2:15 ESV) For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing,
(2 Corinthians 2:16 ESV) to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.