HOW TO ENJOY THINGS MORE

In Eyes Wide Open, Steve DeWitt reveals some wonderful truths, “Christians who properly place God as the source and goal of the things they enjoy will find themselves enjoying those things even more. In truth, the way we as believers relish created beauties ought to outstrip that of unbelievers, since we neither find our identity in them nor hold on to them as ultimate.”

Secondary happiness, which is found in something or someone God has created, ultimately leads back to Him. The secondary only fulfills its purpose when people follow it to the primary.

Robert Crofts wrote, “Let these earthly pleasures and felicities excite and encourage us to thankfulness, to all duties of virtue and piety, to look higher to their fountain, to God himself, to heaven, to love and enjoy in Him, to contemplate His infinite goodness, love, beauty, sweetness, glory, and excellency.”

Paul said, “What is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy” 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20

Paul understood that God is our primary joy. It’s fine for us to say that our children, our grandchildren, and our friends are joys if we remember that God made them and works through them to bring us happiness. They’re not lesser joys, but greater ones—precisely because we know whom these gifts come from! Then we will be able to say as Paul did:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:4-7, 11-13

The Bible teaches absolute truth. Success and a productive life come from embracing the following Biblical principles:

1. Truth exists and is knowable.

2. Truth upheld brings blessings.

3. Truth disregarded brings consequences, usually bad.

Embracing a biblically informed worldview of “truth” brings “joy unspeakable” (1 Peter 1:8) and “abundant life” (John 10:10) as Jesus promised to obedient followers.

TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE FOR ETERNITY

A new study finds that the overwhelming majority of those who read the Bible at least three times a year have experienced transformation as a result of their encounters with Scripture. Imagine how their lives would have been transformed if they read God’s Word daily. A sizable minority of Christians who interacted with the Bible less frequently also experienced transformation.

The American Bible Society released the seventh chapter of its 12th annual “State of the Bible” report Wednesday, which focuses on “Bible use.” The survey of 2,598 adults conducted from Jan. 10-28 defines “Bible users” as those who said they interacted with the Bible at least three to four times a year.

Within this group of “Bible users,” 92% answered in the affirmative when asked if “the message of the Bible has transformed my life.” Just 8% said otherwise. By contrast, a majority of respondents who did not meet the criteria for designation as a “Bible user” (62%) did not see the message of the Bible as a source of transformation in their lives, while 38% did.

John Farquhar Blake, the director of ministry intelligence for the American Bible Society, reacted to the findings of the survey in a statement: “While we’ve reported that there has been a sharp decline in Bible reading, nearly 60 million people who engage with the Bible less than three times per year say it has had a transformative impact on their lives.

The Bible Society research shows that consistent interaction with God’s Word changes us.

Of course, it will, the Bible contains the truth about us and God’s world. It reveals the truth about our spiritual enemy (Satan and his demons) and the good news of what Jesus has done for us by taking the punishment that is due all sinners by dying in our place so that we might be restored to a right relationship with our Heavenly Father. When we repent of our rebellion against God and accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, our Heavenly Father then sends the Holy Spirit to indwell our Spirit to enable us to combat our spiritual enemy and live a Christian life.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.Ephesians 6:12

We cannot live the Christian life without the Holy Spirit to be our counsellor, comforter, and teacher. He is the one that produces the fruit (9) of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, goodness, gentleness, kindness, and self-control. He is also the one that provides the gifts (9) of the Spirit for ministry (1 Corinthians 12) words of knowledge, words of wisdom, prophecy, discernment of spirits, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, faith, healing, and miracles. He is the third person of the Trinity and we must not grieve Him or quench His work in our lives. Sadly, many of us do, we do not openly say my will be done today not your will Holy Spirit but in effect, we do not recognize the Holy Spirit’s deity and consult Him about each day’s activities.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30

READING OF THE BIBLE

Broken down by age demographic, majorities of both adults aged 58 and older (75%) as well as adults aged 18-57 (65%) reported reading from a printed Bible in the month prior to the survey’s collection. Majorities of younger Bible users embraced Bible apps (53%) and searched for Bible-related content on the internet (57%) in the preceding months, while 35% of their older counterparts used both of the aforementioned methods for interacting with the Bible.

A higher share of older Bible users (46%) adopted an app-based Bible reading plan at some point in the month preceding the survey, along with 35% of younger Bible users. On the other hand, more younger Bible users (32%) watched Bible-oriented programming than older ones (23%).

FORGIVENESS

The survey also inquired as to whether respondents were “able to sincerely forgive whatever someone else has done to me, regardless of whether they ever ask for forgiveness or not.” Forty-seven percent of Scripture engaged respondents indicated that they strongly agreed with that statement, while an additional 47% somewhat agreed. Just 4% somewhat disagreed and the remaining 2% strongly disagreed.

The overwhelming majority of those in the “Movable Middle” told pollsters that they somewhat agreed with that statement, followed by 20% who somewhat disagreed, 17% who strongly agreed, and 4% who strongly disagreed. Forty-eight percent of Bible-disengaged respondents “somewhat agreed” that they were able to sincerely forgive those who had done them wrong, while 30% somewhat disagreed, 11% strongly agreed and 10% strongly disagreed.

Christians need to get back to treating the Bible as the inspired, inerrant Word of God.

The Bible alone truly answers the greatest questions that men of all ages have asked: “Where have I come from?” “Where am I going?” “Why am I here?” “How can I know the truth?” For the Bible reveals the truth about God, explains the origin of man, reveals the only way to salvation and eternal life, and explains the vexing problem of sin and suffering.

A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW IS CRITICAL

A biblical worldview is critical because that’s what enables you to become a true disciple of Jesus Christ. Romans 12 talks to us about, ‘you have to have your mind renewed’, you must be ‘transformed’ by that ‘renewing of your mind’ with God’s principles at the core of all of your thoughts so that you can in fact live like Christ.”

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.Romans 12:2

Moreover, this is impossible unless we have been born again with the Holy Spirit now indwelling our spirit. Proverbs tells us that the spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord and of course a lamp needs oil to function which is, of course, the Holy Spirit. To function as God intended we have always needed the Holy Spirit to be our counsellor, our comforter, and our teacher.

The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.” Proverbs 20:27

 Also, according to Barna, the only way to achieve cultural transformation is if people choose to “believe God’s truths,” which in turn will allow them to “act upon those truths based upon those things that you believe.”

“We are here to be salt and light. That’s what transformation is: changing the world around us forever based on God’s truths. But in order to do that, we need a healthy church. We need believers who get it, believers who are willing to put their lives on the line. Today’s traditional church and leadership model has veered far from Christ’s New Testament model of disciples making disciples typically in house churches.

In fact, a study released earlier this year by the Cultural Research Centre of 1,000 pastors found that only 37% of Christian pastors in the United States have a biblical worldview. The majority possess the hybrid syncretism worldview.

“As you read the Scriptures, you find that biblically, it is the role of the community of faith, i.e., our churches, to be supporting families and particularly parents in that process, equipping them for raising up their children to be dynamic followers of Jesus Christ,” Barna advised. Only the church model Jesus established, as described in the Book of Acts, will achieve that goal. I a convinced that the House church model is Jesus model and the institutional church will not survive the prophesied “end times” tribulation.

AMERICA IS A NATION IN CRISIS

Prominent Evangelical pollster George Barna says that most Americans blend their beliefs to create “a customized worldview” that is far from biblical as the country is in a spiritual “crisis.” The founder of The Barna Group, who now leads the Cultural Research Centre of Arizona Christian University, spoke recently at the Family Research Council’s (FRC) Pray Vote Stand Summit, a Christian conservative voting rally held in Atlanta. Barna told those gathered that he believes one of the “brilliant strategies of the evil one” is luring people into believing that they can combine and adopt as many worldviews as they want. Barna warned that “America is a nation in crisis” because its citizens do not hold a biblical worldview and will instead add their own “worldly ideas.”

He said, only 2% of U.S. parents with children under the age of 13 have a biblical worldview. “Why does that matter?” Barna said. “Because you can’t give what you don’t have. And here we have 98 out of every 100 parents in America who cannot give their children a biblical worldview because they don’t have one.

Barna cited research conducted by the Cultural Research Centre showing that there are seven major worldviews that Americans are most influenced by: biblical theism, Eastern mysticism, Marxism, moralistic therapeutic deism, nihilism, postmodernism and secular humanism. “As we look at America today, we know that there are a number of competing worldviews competing for the heart and the soul of the nation,” Barna said. “Each has a different understanding of everything that takes place in the world, a different explanation for why things are happening, a different concept of how you might best live your life.” The most common worldview isn’t any of the eight main adopted ones, according to Barna, who noted that the primary worldview dominating America is “syncretism,” or varying combinations of all eight worldviews into one belief system.

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Australia is not much different from America in the speed with which it is moving away from a Biblical worldview. As mentioned, Barna believes one of the “brilliant strategies of the evil one” is luring people into believing that they can combine and adopt as many worldviews as they want. The way Satan has done that is by getting the teaching institutions, schools, and universities, to teach evolution, not creation, is how this world came into existence. The Bible’s account of Creation, the Fall, and the worldwide flood of Noah’s day is all myth, hence Genesis the foundational book of the Bible is not true so why should any of the Bible be true.

God has raised up many ministries to correct the attacks on God’s Word. One that was birthed in my country but now worldwide is Creation Ministries International: http://www.creation.com. One of the two founders of this ministry Ken Ham also birthed Answers in Genesis in the USA: http://www.answersingenesis.org.

BE ON THE WINNING SIDE: JESUS AND THE SAINTS WIN

Bible prophecy reminds us that Jesus, the King of Kings, will have the last word in the end, because only He is “the ruler of the kings of the earthRevelation 1:5

And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever,Daniel 2:44

And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.’” Daniel 7:27

“Now, therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” Psalms 2:10-12

The final battle of Armageddon when Jesus and the resurrected Saints come against the Antichrist and his army is a one-sided affair as the following Scripture shows

And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.Revelation 19:14-16

Note Jesus gives authority to the resurrected Saints to rule with Him on this earth with a “rod of iron” during His Millennial reign. Jesus’ Millennial reign (people being born and people still dying) is a transition period before the cosmos is destroyed. What follows is a second resurrection, the White Throne judgement, and a new heaven and earth where only the righteous dwell.

The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’Revelation 2:26-29

They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.Revelation 20:4-5

Despite the fact that Satan is bound for most of the thousand years, Jesus and the Saints still need to rule with a rod of iron which shows that many will still rebel against God’s commandments and rule. We are also told that when Satan is released he is able to raise an army “their number is like the sand of the sea”.

And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him so that he might not deceive the nations any longer until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be released for a little while.Revelation 20:2-3

Whose side will you be on during the coming tribulation will you submit to the Antichrist and take the “mark of the beast” in order to survive or will you trust God no matter what comes your way?

LAST DAYS DECEPTION

In this message preached over eight years ago, David Wilkerson exposes and rebukes Kenneth Copeland and the prosperity preaching crowd. These false prophets have been exposed and there is no reason why any true believer should follow or listen to their preaching or teaching. The false teachers have repeatedly given false prophecies and have drained poor people of all their money with the false promise of prosperity.

Pastor David Wilkerson warred against the false prosperity gospel for much of his ministry. David Wilkerson passionately exposed the last day’s deception. He encouraged listeners to pray and seek God. He preached with anguish. Enjoy this sermon and share it with others.

GOD’S HISTORY BOOK

The first book of the Bible, Genesis is the book of beginnings, the opening sentence reads:

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1

and the last book of the Bible, Revelation is the book of consummation. It truly is the end of the story for this world:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed awayRevelation 21:1

Despite the fact the Bible is the only book in the world that accurately prophesies future events, few, and I include a lot of Christians in the few, treat it with the respect and honour it deserves.

Major events in God’s dealings with mankind are treated as myths.

geologic-timescale-converter
The geological column is a general order of Noah’s Flood, but with many exceptions. Most of the column represents rocks deposited/emplaced as the floodwaters were rising on the earth, about 4,500 years ago. Thus the ‘dates’ of millions of years shown on the left side are not correct but are retained to allow conversion between the column and real-time Biblical history.
Article from Creation Ministries International (CMI) “Geology documents dinosaurs fleeing Noah’s Flood” by Tas Walker

The worldwide flood of Noah’s day when God destroyed all life on this planet with the exception of those He preserved on Noah’s Ark.

And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.Genesis 6:13

God created the nations by confusing the language.
Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.” Genesis 11:9

These two catastrophic events demonstrate God is in control of His world and that He does judge it. To believe otherwise is foolish. In addition, God has revealed in His Word, the Bible, that He will pour out His wrath again upon an unrepentant world. In fact, God gives us incredible detail on the “end times” before Jesus returns, particularly on what He allows Satan to do through his Antichrist. God tests His church. It will be refined with tribulation even great tribulation prior to God rapturing the church and He pours out His wrath with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements.

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.Matthew 24:9-14

IS YOUR LIFE BRINGING GLORY TO GOD

God never called us to do anything for Him. He does, however, call us to work with him.

James, the half-brother of Jesus, taught: “In the same way, faith also if it has no works, is dead.” James 2:17,

The simple truth about the difference between good works and bad or religious works, is that good works are works that God by His Holy Spirit calls us to do, through prayer and our ongoing relationship with God in Christ.

Dead religious works, in contrast, are things we try to do for God in order to earn His favour. Jesus died on a cross for our sins, and we receive His favour only by His grace. No amount of works will ever purchase that favour. However, because of that grace we now do good works for Him through the leading of His Holy Spirit.

In Matthew 25:23, Jesus said, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things.”

It sounds to me like Jesus was building some form of “performance-based Christianity!” Our true calling is to be living so close to Him, and to be so biblically astute, that our whole lives bring glory to His name in the process. Moreover, what you do on earth for Him will determine your role in serving Him during His Millennial reign on this earth.

In fact, God, the Father sent the Holy Spirit to be our counsellor, teacher and comforter to make us like Jesus and to prepare us to rule and reign with Him during His Millennial reign on this earth.

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 “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.Revelation 5:9-10

They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4-6

HERE I AM SEND ME

Another powerful message, The Truth of It from Martyn Isles that will minister to each of us, but it is also a message that will impact and convict many unbelievers. As you watch it, prayerfully make a list of those with whom you will share it.

God is using this young man powerfully to impact many for Him. Thousands of people attended the RAC arena in Perth W.A. last Saturday and over 6,000 viewers watched the meeting live streamed. Make sure you watch it too.

BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW HELD BY ONLY 6% OF AMERICANS

The number of Americans espousing no religious beliefs at all has been increasing rapidly over the years. A new survey shows that trend continuing, claiming a mere 6% hold to a truly “biblical worldview.”

Photo by Aaron Burden/Unsplash

George Barna, Senior Research Fellow, Center for Biblical Worldview Family Research Council said at the time, “with 94% of Americans essentially rejecting the biblical worldview as their preferred way to think and live, placing first in a race in which few people cross the finish line is hardly a victory.”

He went on to explain that simply “knowing a few Bible verses, attending church services, and praying won’t get the job done.”

“Our studies show that Americans are neither deep nor sophisticated thinkers,” Barna argued. “Most people seem more interested in living a life of comfort and convenience than one of logical consistency and wisdom. Our children will continue to suffer the consequences of following in the unfortunate footsteps of their parents and elders. People who are willing to fight for a more reasonable way of thinking and acting can make a difference, but it will be slow progress.”

Family Research Council, President Tony Perkins said this week he hopes the new Center for Biblical Worldview can help give believers a firm foundation so that they can engage the culture by being rooted in God’s Word.

Every Christian can and should obtain a biblical worldview,” he said, “which is only achieved when a person believes that the Bible is true, authoritative, and then taught how it is applicable to every area of life, which enables them to live out those beliefs.”

The Bible which the world has now largely rejected is where we find both a true history of the world as well as the prophesied future of the world. Satan, the Prince of this World has convinced the world that God is not needed, the world has evolved from simple life forms to more complex life by natural selection and mutation despite the absurdity of such a worldview.

The same Bible reveals what it will be like in the last days before Jesus returns to rule and reign on this earth for 1000 years. It will be like the days of Noah when lawlessness abounded and God judged the world with a worldwide flood.

you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.2 Peter 3:2-4

Here is the promise of His coming to rule and reign with a rod of iron!

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.Revelation 19:11-16