R A V M O S H E " B U D "
My father tolerated my going a few times, and went one time himself. After that, he forbid me to go and forbid the neighbors to take me. I remember being thirteen and someone asking me a Bible question. I searched the entire house, and there was no Bible anywhere, even in my father's private stash of books. No talk of the Bible, God or religion was allowed in our home. Believe it or not, this was in America.
My Father's brother and his children (my uncle and cousins) all claimed to be born again. They confessed they knew they were going to Heaven. But when I asked them HOW they knew, they could not answer me. When I asked them HOW a person became born again, they could not tell me. They told me they remembered going to an altar call and KNEW they were a new person after they had prayed. And praise God, II Corinthians 5:17 and Galatians 6:15 do say that when you receive Christ you are a new creature, and what you were before no longer exists. Even your religion has no power, but only whether or not you are a new creature in Christ. When you receive Christ, you become something, someone that never existed before. You become a Child of God. Before you were a slave of Satan, sold into slavery before you were born. You had no choice about it. But Jesus came to set you free. If anyone believes in his heart God raised Christ from the dead, and CONFESSES with his mouth Jesus is Lord, he shall be saved, their faith on their experience, not on what the Bible says.
Well, I went to several alter calls. I felt no different. Looking back, I can see why: the preacher did NOT teach me what the BIBLE says. You must obey the Bible to get results. But I didn't know that. Neither did most of the genuinely born-again people I met when I was seeking to find God.
I do know most of the churches I went to were dead. If I knew one thing, it was this: God wasn't there. My Christian friends convinced me there was no God. I began to follow in my father's example, and by my late teens I was an atheist. Yet, I held forth this challenge: if anyone could show me one shred of hard evidence that God has worked in their life, I would believe it. Not one person I knew really could. So I became an atheist.
In my late teens, I remember one of my atheist friends ranting and raving that all Christians should be rounded up and shot, all churches should be burned, and all Bibles should be outlawed and confiscated. I stared at him in unbelief. I told him, "You have more faith in God than ANY Christian I have ever known. You can't war against someone who does not exist. Since the Bible is a meaningless book, who cares who has it? It is just empty words, there is no God, it is all superstition." But he became all the more violent and hysterical, ranting at a fever pitch about that awful book and Christianity. All I could see was the awesome faith he had in the power of Christians and the Bible! I didn't know about demons then, but I realized this man had more "faith" in God than any Christian I knew.
My Christians friends convinced me there was no God. But my atheist friends convinced there really was! How they hated Him so! How can you hate Someone that doesn't exist? To hate Someone THAT much, you have to KNOW that He exists!
John 13:34-35 tell us Jesus commanded (COMMANDED) that we LOVE one another. Jesus said no one will be convinced you are His disciple UNTIL you walk in love towards one another. In my early twenties, my grandmother gave me her Bible. Now, when she was 16 years old (1917) she went to a camp meeting and received Jesus. In those days, when you received Jesus, they gave you a free Bible, and wrote the day you got saved and your name in it. She had kept this Bible for over seventy years, and gave it to me. I was very impressed, for I knew that this was her most cherished material possession. I was very impressed. I KNEW she had to have something REAL if she was going to give up THAT Bible to a rebellious atheist like me. She HAD to believe it was real. Her act was an act of LOVE. And just like Jesus said, and the scripture cannot be broken, I was convinced SHE had something real. I HAD to be convinced, because the Bible said it was a law that cannot fail. That's how God's Law works; just like the Bible says! She walked in love, and I was convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that she (even if no one else I knew was) was definitely Jesus' true, committed, absolutely uncompromising disciple. I had NO doubt at all SHE was dead serious.
Do you see why we must walk in love if we are to win souls? Jesus said it, it is so.
So I casually read my Bible. I read the four Gospels. I remember reading Mark 11:23-24 (Jesus speaking) "And whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in their heart, but believe in their heart that what they say shall come to pass, they will have whatsoever they say. And therefore, whatsoever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them." It was as if the words jumped up and branded themselves on my mind. I was not born again. I did not even believe there was a God. I read the Bible only out of respect for my grandmother, and my conviction she was serious. I also honestly wanted to know if there was a God. I just wanted proof. I had no proof. I had no evidence.
I studied that scripture for over twenty minutes. I said out loud, "If there is a God, I will tell you what. I have never, ever, ever met anyone who says they have done this. I have never, ever, ever, met anyone who talks about healing, miracles, and deliverances of God like the ones in the Bible. God, show me ONE person that has prayed this prayer of faith ONE time and had it work and I'll believe it." Within the next few weeks, I got a better job and the new office was full of Pentecostal Christians who believed you could have what you say (provided what you say lines up with God's Word.) I heard several people give me testimonies of being on their death bed yet being healed instantly by praying the prayer of faith. One woman gave me a book by Kenneth E. Hagin, and prophesied over me, "God says you will be the next Kenneth E. Hagin."
I thought they were all nuts.
But I wrote to Brother Hagin and ordered a couple dozen of his books. I checked up on the Bible, and at least he was saying what the Bible says. He testifies that he was born so deformed the doctors said he'd never live to see 16 years of age. But he read Mark 11:23-24, believed Jesus meant what He said, acted upon it, and was healed! Today, Brother Hagin is in his eighties and going strong.
When I was an atheist, I read my Bible just enough to cause trouble. I figured if all these "Christian" churches believe the Bible, they should live it. Yet, when I compared their services and beliefs with the scripture they were not even close! James chapter 2 says to respect the poor, and not show favor to the rich. I would often go to churches dressed as a rather poor person, and they would ALWAYS rather rudely demand that I leave! They didn't believe or live what the Bible said. They taught weird doctrines (like purgatory) that exist no where in the Bible. So, I decided, whatever this church was, it sure wasn't a disciple of the book they claimed they believed. I figured whatever a "follower of Christ" was, they sure were NOT, because they didn't believe a word Christ said! I still was not sure I believed all this stuff, but as a unbelieving atheist, I had to admit: at least Brother Hagin takes the Bible literally and believes what it says. He doesn't make things up and twist scripture the fit his preconceived religious notions. So I began to read his books. I wanted to know what the BIBLE said. I was hard pressed to find him say the smallest thing that disagreed with the scripture. He taught the Bible, only the Bible, and just the Bible. He taught what the BIBLE said.
But I still didn't believe it myself. I began to attend a Pentecostal church, but they were no help. I kept asking people how you got saved, and they sounded like my cousins; they weren't sure. They knew they were saved because they attended an altar call. Well, I attended several altar calls and nothing happened.
To this day, I almost cry when I see someone go to the altar and no one shows them what the Bible says. I see the whole church rejoice because that person is "saved" and yet I know beyond a shadow of a doubt they are not. They have that same look of confusion and disappointment I had! And the church elders don't get it! It is so sad. Do you see why it is so important EVERY Christian KNOWS what the Bible says? I just can't stress that enough...
On Christmas Day of 1984, I literally begged an elder in the church to show me how to get saved. Either she didn't care, or she didn't know. I still knew I had no real deep conviction I was "saved." But I gave up.
Oh, how many people in the churches have gone to Hell because they gave up? When all around them (in church, even "Full Gospel" churches) there was not one that could show them the way? Brethren, we will answer to God for the blood on our hands.
In January of 1985 I would try to pray, and no matter what happened, I could only say one phrase, "Jesus, chain me to the Rock." I could say nothing else. It began to scare me, so I quit praying. Big mistake. If that ever happens to you, go with it and say what you have to say. I almost ended up in Hell over it.
In the dark hours of the morning of January 16th, 1985 I awoke in my room. There was a man in my room as real as you or me. At first I thought a burglar was in the house. When he saw I was awake, he grabbed me and the floor opened up, and the earth itself opened up like a tunnel. I saw black and felt heat like a furnace emanate from the tunnel. He was trying to take me to Hell. As I went down to Hell, I was suddenly covered head to foot with thick steel chain. The man (a demon) became hysterical and began to claw wildly at the chains. I looked around behind me, and the chain was entirely embedded in an enormous Rock. Somehow I knew the Rock was Jesus. God used Moses to typify Jesus as a rock when He commanded Moses speak to the rock to bring forth water in the desert. Hence the gospel song, "Jesus, the Rock cleft for me..." Anyway, I awoke in bed, and there were claw marks on me. I placed my hand in the marks, and they were much too large to have been made by my hands. So I knew someone else had done this.
That day, I found a man who had been heavily into Satanism before he got saved. I talked to him about demons and being saved. He said, "God just spoke to me and said you have never been saved. You are not born again. "I said, "Well, I go to church, but if I am DEFINITELY saved, I don't know it." He began to show me what the BIBLE SAYS! He showed me I was sold into slavery to sin, I was a sinner, because of Adam and because of my own sins. He showed me Jesus was sent of God to be my Redeemer, washing away my sins with His Blood He shed on the Cross for me. But I had to DO something to receive it. I had to do what Romans Chapter 10 verses 9 and 10 say, "If any man believe in his heart that God has raised Christ from the dead, and confess with His mouth that Jesus is Lord, He SHALL (know beyond a shadow of a doubt) be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness, and with the MOUTH CONFESSION is made unto salvation." Some churches teach you can't KNOW you are saved. Well, you CAN because the BIBLE says so. Believe the Bible, not your church!
I had to DO something. Salvation didn't just fall on me like over-ripe fruit. I had to do what GOD said to do in His Holy Word. This is why we don't see answers to pray. This is why we don't see results. We don't DO what GOD said to do in His Holy Word. Whenever I do, I get results. When I OBEY the written Holy Word of God, I get results. EVERY TIME! And you will too, if you DO what it says. Go read the book of James if you don't believe me. The Bible says the exact same thing! But I didn't KNOW that! But thank God, this brother was familiar with the Bible and showed me what to do! See why ALL Christians need to study, believe and act upon the Bible? You NEED to know how to get saved, and if you ARE saved, you need to find out what happened to you! You can only ONE way: diligent, prayerful READING of your Bible, and BELIEVING what it says. I am shocked at how many Christians, even ministers, don't read their Bibles! If they do, they don't believe a word that it says! No wonder Satan is crushing the church! And yes, you need to stick with the 1611 authorized King James Version (KJV) and forget the modern translations! The new translations have removed dozens and dozens of key scriptures.
So I did what the Bible said! I did what this brother showed me the BIBLE said to do, and was instantly saved! On January 16th, 1985 at 09:47PM Eastern Daylight Time, I prayed: "Father, I am a sinner. I repent of my sins. So I am SAYING IT (out loud with my mouth): I believe in my heart God raised Christ from the dead, and I confess (out loud with my mouth) that JESUS IS LORD! And I receive Him as MY Lord, promising to trust and OBEY Him." I felt like a huge weight was pulled out of my chest. I saw a big black cloud go out of me. This was Jesus removing my sins far from me, like the Bible promises He will (John 1:29, Psalms 103:12.) I was also instantly healed of eye disease. High noon on a bright day was dark to me, and nighttime was almost impenetrable. I suffered from "night blindness." But that hour, it was instantly removed from me. I was also transported to Heaven. I was in a great room. Everything was dark stained carved wood, and an oriental rug covered the center of the floor. I was in a huge library with books all around (Daniel 7:10, Revelation 20:12.) On the rug was a podium, with a very large book (Exodus 32:32, Daniel 12:1, Philippians 4:3, Revelation 3:5.) I saw a very large angel approach the book. He opened the book, and suddenly I was behind him, looking over his shoulder. He opened the book so that all the blank pages were on the right hand side. All the pages on the left were written upon. I would say about 55% of the pages (written upon) were on the left, and about 45% of the pages (blank) were on the right. And the angel picked up a quill feather pen from an ink well and wrote:
On January 16th, 1985 at 09:47PM EDT Doyle H. Millington believed in his heart that God raised Christ from the dead and confessed with his mouth that, "Jesus is Lord." So do I affirm, witness, testify and confirm this day and do therefore, by the power invested in me by the Most High God do enter his name this day in the Lamb's Book of Life. Praise God forevermore, Amen!"
Then he slammed the book shut, and I was back in my house again. For over a week, I saw the world in a different fashion. For one thing, I knew that I knew that I knew that I was saved. Not because of the visitation, but because I KNEW it on the inside of me. I had something there that was not there before (Acts 20:32, Galatians 3:18, Ephesians 1:11-18, Ephesians 5:5, Colossians 1:12, I Peter 1:4, Romans 8:16-17, Galatians 3:6.) I had received the inheritance Christ had bought for me. I had the Holy Ghost on the inside of me WITNESSING that I WAS a child of God. I had forgiveness of sins. I was translated out of Satan's slavery and translated into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, God's Holy Son (Colossians 1:13.) And I knew it beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Please note: It is of extreme importance EVERY Christian read their Bible and be familiar with scripture. I have NEVER had anyone ask me how to receive the New Birth. But before I knew Jesus, I asked several people, and no one knew. They did not read their Bibles. They did not believe what the Bible says. I could have gone to Hell over it. I had been diligently asking people how to get saved (in a "Full Gospel Pentecostal Church" no less!) for over two months and not one person would help me. Perhaps they didn't care. Perhaps they didn't know what the Bible even says. Perhaps they just didn't believe what the Bible says. Either way, Let us not stand before God and have to explain why someone went to Hell because we were not ready, able and willing to show them the way. Romans 15:4, Ephesians 1:18, II Timothy 2:15.
A person's testimony doesn't end with the New Birth. When a person receives Jesus, their testimony has only just begun. I have written up some of the experiences I have had with God since I came to know His Holy Son.
GOD HEALS OF EYE DISEASE
After I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I realized I was healed of my "night blindness," a condition that makes low light situations appear very dark to the sufferer. At high noon on a cloudless summer day, if I attempted to read a book indoors I had to focus a 100 watt bulb (often I used three) on the page to read without straining. I rented an attic room in a boarding home, and the socket in the ceiling could only hold a 30 watt bulb. The bulb resided behind a frosted glass panel, and I never used it for reading as the light was too dim. But that night (January 16th, 1985) I went to my room, turned on that very light, and it appeared so bright it hurt my eyes. Never again did I need to focus 300 watts of light on a page to read clearly, and even normal daylight seemed much "whiter" and not nearly so "yellow."
I also perceived all the material world around me was just so much "smoke" and the spirit world was the only thing solid. This agrees with the Bible. (Hebrews 11:3) I was also acutely aware that the "real me" was connected to somewhere else, and my body was here on Earth, operated as if by "remote control." This, too, is scriptural, for the 1st and 2nd chapters of Ephesians say that we ARE (not will be--future tense; but ARE--present tense) seated at the right hand of the Father in the Person of Jesus Christ in Heaven. Jesus is our Head, and we are His Body here on Earth. Paul prays that all saints see, believe and develop faith in this spiritual truth (Ephesians 1:16-23.) I was sensing the fact that my spirit was connected to Christ at the right hand of the Father, but my body was still on the Earth. But scripture says it, so it is true whether we are consciously aware of it or not.
GOD REVEALS TO ME CHRISTIANS MUST BEAR SPIRITUAL FRUIT
After I received the Lord, I realized with great horror that I could have spent eternity in Hell. Hell is a real place. Refusing to believe in Hell will NOT make it go away. Scripture calls it a place of everlasting torment, a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth and a lake of fire that will never be put out. (Revelations 19:20, Matthew 25:41, Mark 9:43-44, Luke 16:24-28.) I was angry with all my atheist friends for trying to deceive me into going there, and all my "Christian" relatives for not showing me the way. Really, we all have free will, but it is typically human to want to blame someone else. I was also angry with some "Christians" I knew because they lived such cruel, mean and hateful lives I didn't believe for a moment they had anything real. Our personal lives are the only Bible some will ever read. Jesus commanded we love one another, and THEN (and ONLY THEN) WILL the world realize, believe, and be absolutely convinced we are truly Jesus' disciples (John 13:34-35.)
I say this, brethren, because if WE don't walk in love, WE WILL receive the greater damnation. Jesus said so. Matthew 23:14 says, (Jesus speaking,) "Woe unto you scribes (Bible teachers and Bible students) and Pharisees (preachers, rabbis, priests, pastors, elders, religious folk of all kind) hypocrites! (A hypocrite is an imposter: a fake pretending to be something they are not. By what sign can we identify the fakes? Jesus tells us...) for ye devour widows' (rob the weakest and most defenseless of the poor of all they own) houses AND FOR A PRETENCE MAKE LONG PRAYER: therefore, ye shall receive the greater damnation." One sign of being a hypocrite is greed for money, and preying on the weak, poor and defenseless. The Apostles Paul and Peter say some preachers' only motive to preach and care for the flock is to make money! We are warned NOT to preach, teach and fellowship for money! (II Thessalonians 3:1-16, I Timothy 3:1-13, Titus 1:6-12, I Peter 5:2-4.) The phrase "filthy lucre" means money. Notice the Apostles also warn us to FLEE from those that are only in it for money! Stay away from them, avoid them!
Kenneth E. Hagin once wrote Jesus appeared to him and said, "More ministers have gone to Hell over money that any other single factor." I believe it. Brethren, flee any church that just seems to be about money, raising money, and constantly pressuring you to give money. It is unbiblical, and the above scriptures prove it is not God's will. Read Luke 16:10-15 where Jesus warned us to love God more than money (mammon) and how the preachers "who were covetous" (meaning they LOVED MONEY more than God) IMMEDIATELY derided Jesus, PROVING what Jesus just told them was true, for they loved money more than God.
I will say it again: the BIBLE commands us to flee brethren that are just about money, money, money. I know I just condemned 99.99% of the churches in America, but Jesus said He'd judge us on what the BIBLE says, and that IS what the BIBLE says. Period. Always robbing people of money is the first sign of a brother or sister who is in rebellion against God.
After I received Jesus, God began to teach me that His disciples must live right, and bear spiritual fruit, which is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (self-control.) God called (commands, demands) we bear fruit, and if we don't, we WILL be gathered up by (deceived into following religious) MEN and our end will be to be BURNED! That is, we will be judged by God and cast into Hell! Galatians 5:22, John 15 the entire chapter, Matthew 3:10, Matthew 7:19, John 12:24-26.
Jesus was talking to HIS DISCIPLES when He warned them of being gathered up by men and being burned. Jesus commanded we REMAIN in Him and in His Word or be dried up like a dead branch. I believe this is what it means: if you get dried up like a dead branch (stop living in His Word and Spirit, having no time for the Bible or praise and worship) occultic religious phonies will come and draw you astray. II Timothy 3:1-9. You will become farther and farther from God until you die, stand before Jesus, and say, "Lord, Lord," and He will say, "I never knew you, depart from Me and be cast into Hell..." Since the WORLD is NOT in Christ, NOR in His Word, they can't "remain" in them. Christians are in the Word and in Him. So these warnings are written to the BORN AGAIN, NOT to the world. Notice again: The ones that HELPED THE POOR are the ones that were told, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of the Lord..."
Brethren, we can't receive the New Birth and then act any old which way and still make it to Heaven. God made me to know that and Scripture backs it up. Jesus Himself said to a Born Again Spirit Filled believing church, (Revelations 3:5-6,) "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I (Jesus speaking) will not BLOT OUT HIS NAME OUT OF THE BOOK OF LIFE, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit (of God) saith unto THE CHURCHES." Moses prayed to God in the wilderness that if God destroy the Israelites for their idolatry of worshipping the Golden Calf, (Exodus 32:32) then to blot his (Moses') name ALSO out of the Book of Life.
Daniel was promised (Daniel 12:1) everyone who was WRITTEN IN THE BOOK would be delivered at the end of days. So, your name must be in the book. And God has the power to blot it out. Both Jesus and Moses say so. Again, you cannot act any old which way after you are born again and make it to Heaven. This is one of the very first things God taught me! In Matthew 22:12 Jesus speaks of a man that came to the wedding, but had no garment. In Revelations 3:17 Jesus says to a BORN AGAIN church that they have failed to see they are wretched, blind, and NAKED. Jesus commands them to buy gold tried in the fire so they can be clothed in white raiment (clothes, meaning the salvation Jesus gave us.) So you have a choice: it is up to YOU to put on the white garment by trusting in Christ. God will NOT put it on FOR you. You have to do it. And you have to do it according to the rules God laid out in His Word (II Timothy 2:5.) And once you receive the things of God, you must fight to keep them (I Thessalonians 5:21, II Thessalonians 2:15, II Timothy 1:13, Hebrews 3:6, 4:14, 10:23, Revelations 2:25) for Satan comes immediately to wrestle it out of your hands (Luke 8:12, Ephesians 6:12.)
I believe the men at the wedding were born again believers whose names had been blotted out of the Lamb's Book of Life because they went back to living a sinful, selfish life (Hebrews 6:4.) I believe the church in Revelations 3:17 had already had their names blotted out. But because they were born again and materially wealthy, they reasoned they were right with God, but they were not. Remember, Jesus said they were NOT AWARE of their lost condition. This is so dangerous; scripture warns the moment you think you are guaranteed to make it in, you are in danger of falling (I Corinthians 10:12.) Scripture also warns us that until we actually are in Heaven, it is not over yet (Matthew 10:22.) Which means you can go turn away from God if you want to. Hebrews 3:12 (written to born again Christians) warns BRETHREN not to depart from God with an evil heart of unbelief. The Apostle Paul warns in Galatians 5:4 that if you trust in your own righteousness, "ye ARE fallen from grace."
Finally, to disprove the false doctrine of "once saved, always saved" let me quote Ezekiel 33:13, (God speaking) "When I (God) say to the RIGHTEOUS (God's people; NOT the sinner) that he shall surely live; IF HE TRUST TO HIS OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS (we trust in Christ's PERFECT righteousness shed in His Blood for us at the Cross to save us, NOT "how good" we have been ourselves) AND COMMIT INIQUITY, all his righteousnesses WILL NOT BE REMEMBERED; but his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it." Read Matthew Chapter 7, especially verses 21-23. Jesus speaking, "Not everyone that saith unto Me, 'Lord, Lord' shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven (that doesn't leave a lot of room for argument, does it?): but he that DOETH (obeys) the Will of My Father which is in Heaven. Many shall say to Me in that Day (the Judgement Day,) 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy Name? and in Thy Name have cast out devils? and in Thy Name done many wonderful works?' And then I (Jesus) will profess unto them, 'I never knew you: depart from Me that work INIQUITY.' "
In Matthew 25:41 Jesus tells us WHERE they will be cast to: "everlasting fire (Hell) prepared for the devil and his angels." What does "iniquity" mean? God told me it means high treason. It means betrayal, rebellion, disloyalty. Treason is attempting to overthrow your master or government, which applies to trying to overthrow the king to take the throne, a coup de tat.
So we could say many who promise to obey God saying, "Lord, Lord" are seeking to set themselves up as Gods. Which is what Satan did from the beginning, attempting to cast God off the throne and be god himself. And that is exactly what Satan tempted Eve with: be your own god, who needs to submit to God? You are better off being your own boss, don't be a slave to YAHUVEH. Remember, the way back to salvation is to submit to God and put yourself back under His authority (Isaiah 14:12-17, Genesis 3:5, James 4:6-12.) And submitting to God means loving one another. See we see a simple pattern:
Satan's way: running your own life, taking advantage of others to benefit yourself, working to get what you want.
God's Way: submitting to God, letting Him run your life, giving of self to benefit others, seeking to gain what GOD wants, not what you want. Remember, we are told to seek first His Kingdom, Jesus sought His Father's will, not His own will, and we are told to pray that God's will be done in our lives, not our own, and that doing the Father's will is absolutely necessary to make it into Heaven (Matthew 6:33, 6:9-10, 7:21, John 5:30.)
Indeed, the scripture states that we have all like sheep gone astray, every man going to HIS OWN (meaning anything that is not the Father's will) way. Doing "your own thing" is a sure fire one way ticket to the lake of fire. Doing "your own thing" is the very definition of sin, doing God's will is the very definition of NOT sin. If you do what you want, you are in sin. If you do what God wants, you are not in sin. So let us fast and pray and find out what God wants, and do it. Simply doing what you want IS what God calls sin. Let us submit our will to HIM and do what HE wants (Isaiah 53:6, James 4:13-15.)
Remember, Jesus told the preachers, "You are of (just like) your father, the DEVIL, and his lusts you shall do. He (Satan) was a MURDERER from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him." John 8:44. Notice the connection between murdering people and lying. I have always contended the only motive to tell a lie is to take advantage of someone. I John 3:15 tells us whoever hates his brother is a murder, and no eternal life (God) abides in him." John 10:15 and John 15:12-17.
Love is exactly the opposite. We lay down our lives for those we love, as Jesus laid down His Life for us. This is the greatest commandment (Mark 12:31, John 15:12-13.) Robbing the poor certainly is NOT love, Jesus said, He came to give men life more abundantly, but Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy. Those that kill, steal and destroy are not following God, but Satan. Those that follow God bring and share abundant life with others (John 10:10.)
Many of the scriptures that warn of Hell and falling away from God are followed or preceded by scriptures about loving others or the dangers of walking in hate. One example is when Jesus said it was better to cut off an eye, hand or foot and enter Heaven crippled than go to Hell whole.
Jesus began this discourse AFTER He rebuked the disciples for striving with other disciples and accusing them of not following Jesus according "their" rules. The disciples were trying to boss others around, not SUBMIT to Jesus and the Holy Ghost. See Mark 9:38-50 and Matthew 18:1-10: notice Jesus' warning not to hate or despise other disciples, and that the disciples had argued over "who would be greatest." God did not call us to dominate others, but to SERVE them.
There is a principle reflected in all this: Satan's spirit desires to be god over others. God's Spirit leads us to submit OURSELVES (not force others to submit) to and obey God. Do you want to know what spirit a preacher is following? Examine their fruit: Do they follow God and HELP people, or do they follow Satan and boss, oppress, and rob people? And since Jesus said wolves wear sheep's clothing, beware! Often the
greediest of all proclaim the loudest how generous they are (Matthew 6:1-4.) You can tell because after they boast of their "generosity" they immediately demand donations so they can "help others more." If they really cared, they'd tell YOU to get out there and help your poor neighbor yourself. They would not seek to hoard everyone else's time, labor and money to themselves!
I John was written to show us how to tell the wolves from the sheep. Unless you follow scripture, they can be nigh impossible to tell apart. But by their fruit you shall know them. Notice not ONE of the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
meekness, temperance) has anything to do with bossing others around, but ALL of them have to do with how well you behave towards others. The Apostle Paul and John both ran into wolves, and Jesus warned us of them. (Galatians 2:4, Acts 20:29, II Corinthians 11:26, Matthew 7:15, 10:16, I John Chapter 2.)
Who prophesies and casts out devils in Jesus' Name? Remember, the wolves said, "Did we not prophesy and cast out devils in Your Name?" According to Mark 16:15-18 prophesying and casting out devils are signs that follow those that BELIEVE! So Jesus is telling CHRISTIANS they are HELL BOUND if they "work iniquity" or sin. What sin specifically? Well, if we look at Matthew 25:42-46, specifically, REFUSING TO HELP THE POOR, especially the poor Christian! Read all of Isaiah Chapter 58. God says fasting and praying will not cause God to answer your prayers. But you WILL get God's attention if you feed the poor, relieve the oppressed, have mercy on the downtrodden, and keep the Sabbath.
Notice God puts keeping the Sabbath LAST! Mercy comes BEFORE religious observances. Period. Hosea 6:6 shows God desires we have mercy on others MUCH MORE than He desires we have religious obedience, EVEN obedience to the religious ordinances GOD HIMSELF commanded! Mercy comes first, hence Jesus did NOT break the Law when He healed on the Sabbath as the preachers accused (Matthew 12:10-14.) Brethren, we need to have mercy if we want God's favor. The first thing God taught me was that AFTER receiving Jesus Christ, we must 1) Bear fruit by abiding in Him and His Word, 2) have mercy on others, 3) obey the commandments of the Law LAST! Hosea 6:6 plainly states God wants MERCY on others BEFORE sacrifice (religious obedience to the Law.) Let us not become so religious we crush others beneath our "righteous stand." God will call us traitors in that day of judgement if we do. God desires MERCY and not religion. In the great faith chapter (Mark 11) Jesus tells us we must forgive our debtors if we want God to forgive us, and forgiving others is absolutely necessary if we are to have our prayers answered (Mark 11:25-26, Matthew 6:12, Matthew 18:21-35.)
Another scripture that shows God wants mercy and not religion is this: Mark 7:6-13. I looked up the word "Corban" in Webster's Thesaurus, and
this is what it says:
Main Entry: cor?ban
Pronunciation: 'kor-"ban Function: noun
Etymology: Hebrew qorb An offering
Date: 14th century: a sacrifice or offering to God among the ancient Hebrews
Jesus is saying to the preachers, you teach people that giving money to the church is so important (just so you can profit yourselves) you will demand the money even if the person has poor parents in need! This violates the scriptures! And since honoring your parents is the first commandment with a promise attached (long, healthy life) it is implied the preachers are causing people to die young and live in sickness! All for their own greed!
Your family must come before the church! God commanded Moses to tell the people your parents come first when you look to give money to someone in need. And your neighbor comes second. The church comes last! That is what the Bible says! Jesus taught His Disciples with the miracle of the loaves of bread (Mark 6:34-44,) the coins in the fish's mouth (Matthew 17:27,) the prayer of faith (Mark 11:23-24,) and the teaching on the Good Father (Matthew 7:7-12) each of us is to trust God for our needs, not to squeeze money out of others. If you know a brethren or a preacher that does this, brethren, even if I myself ever do it, flee from them. They have begun to deny the true faith. The same is true if they refuse to help family members in need (I Timothy 5:8.)
Simply put, Jesus brings us back to the 1st and 2nd commandments, to Love God with all your spirit, soul and physical strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself. Whoever does this is not far from the Kingdom of Heaven. To love God before all things, AND to love your neighbor as yourself is the firm foundation that SUPPORTS all of the written Law and all the Prophets have ever said. And if you love God and your neighbor as yourself, you will continue in His Word and His fellowship (praising and worshipping Jesus in your private prayer life) and you WILL begin to bear fruit. If you do not bear fruit, God will cut you off, and MEN will gather you up and you will be burned (Exodus 20:1-6, Leviticus 19:18,
OUR NEED TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP HIM
I heard a sermon by Reverend Novel Hayes entitled: Worship, worship, worship, worship, the key to having favor with God.
I highly recommend the tape to everyone. In the Bible, when people wanted to hear God's Voice directly, they spent hours (sometimes days) on theirfaces before God worshipping and praising Him. Sometimes, but not always, they fasted. Reverend Hayes takes you through scripture and reveals that the proper atmosphere in which God speaks and moves is one of BIBLICAL praise and worship. Acts 13:1-2 states, "Now there were in the church that was in Antioch certain prophets and teachers...as they ministered (praise and worship) to the Lord, and fasted, THE HOLY GHOST SAID, 'Separate Me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.' "
Now notice, they did three things: They came together with other believers. They praised God. They fasted. And what happened? God SPOKE to them. In Matthew 16:21-28 a woman comes to Jesus and wants her sick daughter healed. Jesus ignores her and refuses to talk to her. Then she comes to Him again, and it says "Then came she AND WORSHIPPED Him, saying, Lord, help me" and Jesus delivers her daughter.
Praise and worship is the Biblically proper way to approach God. Psalms 100:4 tells us how to approach God: Have thanksgiving in your heart, and praise, express your thanks to Him, and bless His Holy Name. The reason? Because His Mercy endures FOREVER!
If you read the account of the Israelite's defeat at Ai, you read that Joshua got God's attention and voice by spending the whole day on his face before God and the Ark of the Covenant. At evening, God SPOKE to Joshua (Joshua 7:6-15.) Even the devil realizes the proper way to procure answer to prayer is to worship God. Read Mark Chapter 5:1-20. The devils in the mad man fell at Jesus' feet and WORSHIPPED Him before asking to be cast into the pigs. Jesus complied.
God told Norvel Hayes the church is sadly lacking. We do not worship Him enough. You have to get alone in the privacy of your home and get on your knees and just worship Jesus, telling Him how much you love Him and appreciate Him. So I did. And after a few weeks, suddenly, God began to speak. The first time God spoke to me He warned me a person's life was in danger. I thought I was just hearing voices, so I ignored it. Later, the very person God had mentioned almost died. I repented and vowed to believe and obey when He speaks.
After a while, Jesus began to appear to me. He would just walk in my room like an ordinary person and sit and talk to me. This happened every day at 6 PM on the dot. I would often tell a Christian woman at my work place what He said. She would always says, "Oh, that's Romans Chapter 8" or "That's Timothy the 2nd chapter," or "That's John Chapter 7." I told the Lord, "What is she talking about?" He told me to look in my Bible. The Bible is separated into books, each book has a title, each chapter and verse has a number. Hence, John 3:16 is John (the Gospel) the third chapter, the 16th verse: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoseover believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." I looked it up. He was right.
The very next day 6 PM came and no Lord. I waited till 6:05 and began to wonder. At 06:07 I began to pray. God spoke to me and said, "You have no need I appear to you. You now know all I ever did say and ever will say is what the Bible says. The Bible is My Holy Word. It is YOUR
responsibility to read the Bible and find out what it says."
To this day, if I
have a vision or appearance, and IT DOESN'T AGREE WITH THE BIBLE, I
reject it. Period. God stays in line with the Holy Word. Jesus Himself
said the scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35, Matthew 5:18.) If you
want God to speak to you, read your Bible. The Bible IS God talking to
you. And yes, stick with the 1611 King James version. Spend time in
praise and worship so you can discern what the Bible is saying.
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