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Edition 367: June 7th 2017.
Hunger for God:
In these fast approaching end-days, the pressures, tests and challenges are intensifying. “The love of many will grow cold”. There are wonderful answers and provisions in the Bible for those who will seek them out. There are many who will endure and many who will be swept away with the world!
This edition will shatter some of your views.
It’s not okay!
It’s not okay and not enough to believe in Jesus – “even the demons believe and shudder!” It’s not okay to simply call yourself a Christian and think you’ve arrived. It’s not okay to measure yourself amongst yourselves, or the masses of these days, or most of the modern churches today.
You must come to salvation through the new birth and then set your heart and soul and every aspect of your life to follow our Lord, grow in Him and know Him more and more intimately.
You must be radical in your pursuit of our Lord in these days; otherwise you are in danger of being swept into mediocrity and onto the road to hell.
Today, the lives of many, Christians included, are filled with spiritual ignorance, emptiness, vacancy, and vulnerability to all manner of deception, error, sin, and modern idolatry.
People want acceptance and not rejection. That’s fine, but God will not accept you and your idols.
The essential, single-minded pursuit of God:
Yes, we are saved in an instant, but we need to “hunger and thirst for righteousness”. We need to have a driving desire, a longing, yearning, zeal and passion for truth in this dark, gloomy, world.
You cannot and will not counteract the war on truth in these days, if you are not selective, discerning, and single-minded in your hungering after our Lord and His truth. In many cases even the modern churches have conceded to error, concealed, shrouded and hidden the truth.
You need to spend time, separated to our Lord, alone in your deep pursuit of God and knowledge of His word and ways, in prayer and study. You must “take heed that you are not deceived”!
Pursuit of God, if done right, produces discovery and revelation of our Lord. If done right, you will notice that it also produces a great disconnect with the world.
Our calling as believers and our purpose is to live above the world. It is to stand against the blast of the wind of the world and set the sail of our lives so that we can move forward against that ill-wind! It is to be other-worldly. That’s one of the reasons the world hates us – because we are not like them.
Do you fit in comfortably with the world and its ways? If you do, you need to get saved and begin to hunger after our Lord!
As a believer, it’s very hard to grow above the level of your church and its leader, if he and they are products of modern-world Christianity. I’m not calling on anyone to leave their church – that’s between God and you. But I am calling you to great heights in and with our Lord.
Guard your heart with all your strength! You can’t have a heart that is wrong and live right! “Blessed are the pure in heart: For they will see God.”
Today much of the church, especially the spirit-less church is doomed and doesn’t even know it. Their flock are pampered, passive, blinded wimps, going along with the dangerous flow of the world. Much of the modern church has married the world. Amazingly, the Bible prophesied it.
The sign of spiritual ruin is all around us, it is lukewarmness and a mixture of truth and error and the chasing after ear-tickling, motivational me-centred hogwash.
Obstacles to your hunger for God:
●Do not set your heart after miracles, signs and wonders. They do not determine truth! When and if they come along, well and good! Even then question them. Truth can withstand scrutiny.
●Don’t trust what the world thinks. It has been fashioned and formed by the god of this world.
●Do not trust yourself and your own heart!
Proverbs 28:26 “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool.”
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it?”
Job 28:13 “Man does not know its value (wisdom), nor is it found in the land of the living.”
●Very few people are aware of how much they have been formed and fashioned after the lives and opinions of modern man, the world system and hidden demons.
They have mixed themselves with the deadly mixture of truth and error. Mixture produces confusion and makes you lukewarm, ready to be “spat out by our Lord.” (Revelation 3:16)
Leviticus 19:19 “You shall not let your livestock breed with another kind. You shall not sow your field with mixed seed, nor shall a garment of mixed linen come upon you.”
You can’t find “mixture” being spoken well of in the Bible. It is universally condemned. It produces sterility.
●Be careful of the “love” crowd! They will lead you the wrong way! Are you surprised?
"God is love" does not mean love is God. If love is God that means that anything that is love is of God and is right. That is wrong and pure deception. Do you see how the devil cleverly reverses the truth to deceive and capture many?
Note that the powerful end-times, “perilous times,” verse in 2 Timothy 3:1-2 speaks condemningly of “Lovers of self, the love of pleasure” and more. Clearly then, everything that is of love is not necessarily of God! In fact these people have a form of godliness, but deny its power, which lets Satan rule.
God sends strong delusion to people who “believe the lie and had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:11)
Don’t tell me that everything that is love and pleasure is of God!
If you as a man say you love another man, love is involved. But is it of God because it is love? – Never!
True biblical love always includes rebuke and correction, measured against the Bible. “As many as I love I rebuke.” (Revelation 3:19)
●Don’t get hung up on hobby-horse doctrines and try to prove everyone wrong and yourself right. Don’t centre on exposing of error!
Truth always exposes error, but you need insight, knowledge, understanding and wisdom to deal with error. You need the God-given weapons.
Sometimes people come under demonic influence by going after spiritual error without the spiritual strength of truth in their hearts. You need the supernatural power through the gifts of the Spirit to even see some deceptive error.
The occult and the believer:
Many believers have had an involvement with the occult in their lives, before being born-again. Some still mix various dark, condemned practices in with their Christian lives now. It is a far greater issue than most are aware of.
At the close of this age the battle will absolutely intensify in the spiritual, supernatural and with occult power at work.
You cannot have any involvement at all with these things as a believer. You must rip it all out of your life forever. Don’t underestimate the great danger you will place yourself under if you have any participation with the following practises. Please read this entire section and take note of it.
Here are just some of the occult practises absolutely condemned in the Bible:
●Divination: It consists of fortune telling, consulting familiar spirits. ●Consulting the dead: Which would normally be through a medium. ●Astrology: It includes horoscopes, fortune telling, card reading, and the use of a prognosticator or star-gazer. ●Witchcraft: It includes sorcery, spells, the use of enchanting materials like drugs, certain types of music, dancing and the like. ● Idol worship: It includes the elevation, exaltation and consulting of charms, various items, art works, carvings etc. ●Devil worship: It includes the direct worship and consulting of Satan himself.
Here are a few shocking verses dealing with this subject:
Leviticus 20:3 “I will set My face against that man and cut him off from his people, because he has given some of his descendants to Molech, to defile My sanctuary and profane My holy name.”
Note in this verse above, the witchcraft resulted in God cutting the man off from his people. I know some Christians who have ventured back into satanic activity after being saved, who are forever cut-off from the people of God.
Acts 8:9-11 “There was a certain man named Simon, who previously practised sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great, to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest saying, ‘this man is the great power of God.’ And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time.”
Note that Simon was “previously” involved with the occult!
People run to people like this. People elevate and idolise them. People almost worship them. People lift them up onto a pedestal. People claim that these ones are great! People say that they must be of God because of the great power or insight that they have!!!!!
Do not think that because something, someone or some ministry appears to be “great” it is of God automatically. Untold million are deceived this way.
Did you know that King Saul had within him a mixture of spirits? He committed suicide on the battlefield after consulting a witch!
This is not the way to hunger after God. You do not elevate anyone ever for their fame, insights, so-called miracles or supernatural doings.
Most of the illegitimate signs, wonders and insights these days are by people weak in spiritual character, who secretly want to elevate themselves. They want recognition and acceptance. They have a pride problem backed by Satan. They want you to “hunger” for them and not God’s truth through faith.
If you set your heart to blindly follow and hunger after any individuals, you will be led astray. You will not find the depths of God.
Acts 13:8-12 “Elymas the sorcerer withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. Then Saul, also 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.’ And immediately a dark mist fell upon him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. Then the proconsul believed...”
Acts 16:16-19 “Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune telling. This girl followed Paul and us and cried out, saying, ‘these men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.’ But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, ‘I command you in the name of Yeshua, the Messiah, to come out of her.’ And he came out that very hour. But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas...”
What an incredible situation! Please note that it does Satan no harm to uplift the servants of God. Satan himself told the truth in this verse above. He said that these men were servants of God and they were. But there was an evil hidden agenda. Paul saw through the self-promotion!
Be very careful of individuals or entire ministries excessively promoting themselves, Watch out for manipulation – it is deadly. Watch out for hidden financial agendas. In most cases they are using our Lord as their sponsor. Be careful of people or ministries who reject you because you question them and their motivations.
Now, do you want to get closer to our Lord? Do you want progress in your hunger after Him? Read the verse below:
2 Timothy 3:8-13 “As Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth; men of corrupt minds, disapproving concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all.”
These men resisted the truth. Can I say that again? They resisted the truth. They had only bits of it that suited them. They rejected the truth that they deemed objectionable! They could progress no further!
There are untold millions in this category. They are stuck where they are. They can’t go any further even though they may want to. How many churches do you know that are stone dead? They are stuck in a perpetual rut. They will not open themselves to all of the truth.
People who have been directly involved in the occult should never be in the ministry. Of course they can be saved and forgiven, but there is almost always a problem of them falling back somewhere along the line.
If you have been directly involved in the occult, Satan regards you as his possession and ownership and he will not easily let you go. He may release you for a time. You have created a situation for yourself that is almost impossible. You need to be actively on your guard all the time!
A word of warning: Don’t ever contemplate getting into occult activity. It is often irreversible – don’t take the chance!
My friends, if you as a believer do not grow in the things of God you will remain thoroughly worldly and you may think that’s fine, but read on!
1 Corinthians15:19 “If in this life only, we have hope in Messiah, we are of all men most pitiable.”
James 3:15 “This wisdom (demonic) does not descend from above, but is earthly (worldly), sensual (self), demonic.”
Note from the verse above, that believers who are worldly, are descending and declining. It goes from worldly ways to self-orientation to being demonically driven. The direction is down.
The way out of the devil’s traps:
Many times people who’ve been involved in the occult feel trapped. There’s a good reason for that. In the Bible, the word used for “divination,” which includes most of those satanic activities, is “python.” (Strong's G4436)
A python is a snake that kills its prey by coiling around it and strangling it. The spirit of “python” does just that. It slowly squeezes the breath and life of God out of you.
In these evil days many will turn to Satan for help because modern churches are not setting them free. Don’t ever make a deal with the devil. It will trap you, and ultimately strangle you to death.
God does not mince his words in this regard. He calls you an “abomination” if any of these satanic activities are in you, or you participate in them. He turns a deaf ear to your prayer.
The way out is through genuine, real and complete repentance. There is always a price to pay in this regard. In most cases it’s a visible, demonstrative act of repentance that is the first step.
This involves the sacrifice of all contacts and identification with the items of the occult. Burn every book, idol or contact item. Destroy them all. Don’t sell them. Don’t give them away – burn them. Then you need to forsake the people involved as well. If you don’t say goodbye to them all, you are on thin ice, with fire below.
I tell you now, with the authority of God, if you do not, forsake it all you will not get free.
To be truly free you need to solidly repent, set your heart, mind and soul to love the truth, and fear our God in all humility as you come to him in surrender.
You need to embrace the cleansing cross of Calvary and learn what it means to take up your own cross daily.
1 Thessalonians 5:21 “Test all things, hold fast to what is good and right, and abstain from every form of evil.”
Some helpful verses in this regard:
Psalm 25:9 “The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way.”
Psalm 19:9 “The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.”
Job 28:28 “To man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord that is wisdom...”
Proverbs 8:13 “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.”
Proverbs 14:26-27 “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to avoid the snares of death.”
Proverbs 22:4 “By humility and fear of the Lord are riches, honour and life.”
Consider your ways:
2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith...”
Psalm 144:4 “Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.”
James 4:14 “...What is your life? It is even a vapour that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”
Here today, gone tomorrow. Yes maybe, from the perspective of the world, but no one is ever truly “gone.” What is gone is the moment, the vapour, the mist of our lives on earth, which includes our opportunity to make eternal good of our lives – God’s way.
Seeking and finding our Lord in a more intimate and deeper, growing way, involves forsaking a lot. It is costly. It is not some cheap easy-believism, as present by many today. It is not for sissies and spiritual slobs.
This why so few will find Him in that special way – they are not prepared to pay the price! They are the original cheapskates! Are you a spiritual cheapskate?
Psalm 2:11-12 “Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in your way...Blessed are those who put their trust in Him.”
By the way, the verse above most certainly includes praise and worship in service to the Lord. Today most praise and worship is devoid of the fear of the Lord – totally! Sometimes, after watching some praise and worship, I think I would have got more from Led Zeppelin or Jethro Tull!
My friends, having a diligent heart after God is the way to truth, safety, fulfilment and glory!
I took this picture of the remains of a Camel-Thorn tree in the beautiful Namib Desert.
Shalom and grow in His Grace!