Deceivers and False Christs

Paul, Barnabas, and Mark began traveling from town to town preaching the word of God. Many heard that message and were saved.

Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus, Acts 13:6

Bar-Jesus can be translated son of Jesus. He may have claimed some kinship to Jesus Himself.

He was very belligerent towards Paul and Barnabas when it came to their presentation of the Gospel.

Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.” Acts 13:9-11

Paul rebuked this false prophet and pronounced a curse upon him.

Jesus said,

“Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” Matt 24:4-5

For someone to be convinced that a minister or prophet is Christ would mean the deceiver would perform Christ-like miracles and deceive many. His methods and mannerism’s are very convincing.

One thing you must remember – no matter how realistic a false prophet may seem to be, it is not Jesus the Savior.

“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.” Matt 24:23-26

Jesus will not return here or there. He is coming back in the same way He left. (Acts 1:9-11)

Abba, I want to be closer to You and know so much about You that I may teach others Your and teach them to recognize deceivers and counterfeits. YES&AMEN

You can’t escape the Word!

I remember one Sunday, not too long ago, I was preaching. Actually I was reading a lot of scripture and I had someone get up and walk out the door.

It happens. It happened to Jesus.

There was a time when some guys wanted to judge, convict, and execute someone that broke the Law of Moses.

Jesus said that if any of them were without sin they should go ahead and do it.

Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. John 8:9

The spoken word of God is powerful.

The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Heb 4:12

The word of God convicts and there are those that cannot stand or sit in its presence.
The reading of the word conflicts with their life and so they must get up and leave.

I fear the day will come for the unrepentant when they shall hear the word and not be able to get away from it.

The Bible says the day is coming when the books will be opened and the dead will be judged by what is written in those books. (Rev 20:12)

I believe the books that are opened are the 66 books of the Bible. Each word is read and there is no escape.
The Law is read along with the penalties for disobedience and there is no escape.
The Prophets are read and tell of the coming Messiah and the re is no escape.
The Gospels are read and there is no place to run.
The letters of Paul are read and there is no place to hide.
When it’s over each person is convicted by their own conscience and by God Himself.

I pray that no one ever walks out again on God’s word. It is the word to change lives if they will listen and heed it.

Abba, I know there was a time I, too, did not listen to Your word. I ignored it. I mocked it. I ridiculed it. But now I live for Your word. It is the very air that I breathe. It is life to me. In Jesus name, YES&AMEN

Who will profit?

Ask yourself who stand to profit from the message?

That’s easy when it’s a TV commercial.

A commercial about a Whopper will profit Burger King. When the new Tundra is in an ad then Toyota and the local dealership will profit.

The manufacturer of weight loss pills will profit when you buy them but will promise that you will profit by using them by loss of weight!

You are bombarded with hundreds of messages everyday and someone stands to profit from each of them.

For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord. 2 Cor 4:5

There are many preachers and evangelists out there – and I’m one of them.

But is the message you hear benefit the preacher or the Lord Jesus.

Like the weight loss pills, each of us will say, “If you listen to what I’m saying – you will benefit from it!”
And that’s true. The message of the cross has the power to transform your life.

But there are also the charlatan’s that seek worldly profit from preaching and evangelism.

Though the message may be Biblically based or contain bits of scripture, does the message continually point to Christ or someone else.
Does the message end with the way of salvation or does it end with an encouragement to buy my book or send your money.

Who stands to profit.

What things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him… Phil 3:7-9

Abba, let the words from my mouth always be the message from Your heart! In Jesus name, YES&AMEN

Get Ready!

Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” Acts 26:28

Almost carries no weight.

In my lifetime as a minister I have come across people that almost want to get saved.
They do but they don’t.

They like the idea of going to heaven but they aren’t willing to give up their current lifestyle to do it.

It’s like a game of monopoly to them with a “get out of hell” card!
It doesn’t work that way.

Jesus talks about the “almost” believers.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matt 7:21-23

God doesn’t play games. He’s not going to just pat someone on the shoulder and say, “Oh, I’ll let it slide this time!”

The words that Amos told Israel are words that each of us need to heed –

Prepare to meet your God, Amos 4:12

Abba, give me the wisdom to help others prepare to meet You. Eventually, each of us will! In Jesus name, YES&AMEN

Let the Shemitah Begin

It’s about to begin – the seventh year; the Sabbath year; the year of the release.

The next Shemitah year on the biblical calendar begins Sept. 25, 2014 – Rosh Hashanah, the civil new year.

In the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the Lord. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. Lev 25:4

Modern Israel hasn’t paid much attention to this ancient commandment – until recently.

More and more farmers and consumers are expressing concern about fruits and vegetable intentionally grown and harvested in the seventh year – also known as the Shemitah year, or Sabbath year.

Now the Israeli government and Jewish religious leaders are hoping to work together to reinstate the practice.

The new Shemitah budget will go to the Religious Affairs Ministry, which intends to use a portion of the funds for promotional materials, and educational assistance for farmers wishing to honor the commandment.

Another small portion of the budget will be used for the special ceremony that marks the end of the Shemitah year Sept. 13, 2015 or Elul 29 on the Hebrew calendar.

That ceremony will take place at the Western Wall, in Jerusalem during Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles.

At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the Lord’s release. Deut 15:1-2

You may wonder why I mention this so much.

Until a few years ago I paid no attention to Hebrew Feast Days. I now believe that’s a major fault of the Christian church.

If these times, days, and seasons were important to God – then they should be important, at least, for a Christian to learn about.

Read your Bible. Learn and be informed.

Abba, I don’t know it all. I don’t understand it all. But I am willing to learn. I ask the Holy Spirit to teach me. In Jesus name, YES&AMEN

Sabbath Year

Gardens were planted in the spring and with such abundance of rain and temperate weather, the late summer yielded a wonderful harvest.

But with the arrival of autumn things are slowing down.

With this autumn also comes the beginning of a shemittah year – a year of release and a Sabbath year of rest.

Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit; but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the Lord. Lev 25:3-4

But the church cannot afford to rest over the next year. For the church, working the harvest should never stop and never end until the Lord of the harvest says to stop.

Though the church cannot afford to rest during this Sabbath year, the church needs to continue to release love, hope, and forgiveness into the world.

The question remains as to what may happen at the end of this shemittah year.
Will there be another economic collapse?
That’s unknown at this time.

What is known is that God’s love for you does not diminish and does not rest in the Sabbath year.

With the return of Jesus getting closer every day, use this time wisely to let Jesus release you from your sin.
Accept Him as your Lord and Savior.


Believe the Unbelievable

Here is an interesting scripture,

Remember Lot’s wife. Luke 17:32

Jesus spoke those words and it adds validity to the story in Genesis where Lot, his wife, and daughters were fleeing from the judgment of God on Sodom and Gomorrah.

But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. Gen 19:26

I know that sounds impossible but even Jesus did not dispute it.

Jesus did not dispute the Jonah story. In fact He said,

For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Matt 12:40

The fact is the wild and fantastic unbelievable stories of the Old Testament are very believable in and of themselves; but more so because the Savior believed them.

To me this makes all of the New Testament believable and to be expected.

1 Thess 4:16-17 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

While that sounds utterly fantastic and many doubt that it will occur, if the Bible speaks the truth about the past then it speaks the truth about the future.

Believe it!

Abba, I believe the word. Guide me to live according to what I believe. In Jesus name, YES&AMEN!

Which Way Are You Going?

I worked our radio station booth at the Texas State Forest Festival last night and left late. I took one of the volunteers that helped home, since it was pretty much on my way.
He lives around a massive construction area on the north side of Lufkin.

Now I’m familiar with the construction to a certain point. I drive through it twice a day but I don’t deviate from the main route of the loop around Lufkin. To take him home I had to go on the other side of that area into unfamiliar territory.

After dropping him off I exited the same way I had traveled to his home. I was met with a “One Way” sign in the wrong direction. I only knew one thing to do. Turn around and find a different way.

A back road to the loop met with a new road that I had never seen or been on before, also a one way. But it was the right way and I made my way onto a more comfortable and familiar road and then I was homeward bound.

There are many paths and ways to travel in life. The Bible speaks about some wrong ways like the way of Cain (Jude 11) or the way of Balaam (2 Peter 2:15) just to name two.

Traveling those directions would be a wrong way and you should not enter. If you are traveling that direction you need to turn around and find the right way – the only way.

Jesus said,

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

Jesus is the right way home – and eternal home in the presence of God the Father.

Stop where you are today and ask yourself, “Am I going the right way?” If Jesus isn’t in the equation then the answer is no!

Repent (turn around) and ask forgiveness from Jesus for your life. Now you’re heading the right way!

Abba, help me to be one that would point the Right Way to others. In Jesus name, YES&AMEN

Little Children

I am surrounded by children. I have my 12 year old granddaughter, 9 year old grandson, and 10 month old grandson living with me.

Each of them have something in common – they depend on me.

Each of them are in a daily learning process. Haylee and Braeden may go to school every day and learn the three R’s; but the youngest is learning the basics of how to crawl, stand, and the meaning of the word “No!”

I’ve watched how Braeden will do just about anything he is told to do, while Haylee wants to resist it and Dawson is learning the meaning of the word “No!”

All of them are dependent on me for transportation. I provide the means, the way, the gas, the insurance, and I usually determine the route.

I buy the food for the house. I pay for the roof over their head and all the utilities to run the home.

Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Matt 18:3

I feel that God wants you to be totally dependent on Him for everything – like little children.

He wants you to learn from the Bible, obey Him, and depend on Him to lead you where you need to go. He will give you what you need.

Abba, You are my Father. I depend on You for assurance and safety. Please tell me what I need to do today! In Jesus name, YES&AMEN

Bad Decisions

Have you ever made a bad decision that you wish you could undo?

If only you could turn back the hands of time and do it all different.

But you can’t. You have to live with what was done and perhaps try to make it right, though there may never be a way to do that.

The Bible gives an example of someone that made a bad decision.

Lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. Heb 12:16

Esau thought he was going to starve. He wasn’t. You’d be surprised how long you can go without food, especially if you seek God. That’s called a fast.

The day came when Esau wanted everything to be alright. It did not happen.

For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears. Heb 12:17

Some mistakes and decisions can’t be undone.

Even forgiveness cannot change it all. For instance, you may forgive a drunk driver that killed someone but it won’t bring that person back.

But it may just save and change the drunk driver.

In the end it all depends on trusting God, having faith, and loving others.

Abba, I have made mistakes and bad decisions. But one of them was not in accepting Jesus as my Savior. My life has been complete since that time. YES&AMEN