Thursday, February 8, 2018

Home

In this blog, I provide training and instruction on being delivered from evil.

As the Scripture says:

"Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name...deliver us from evil." (Mat 6:9, 13a)

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm." (Eph 6:12-13)

Some of the topics covered include the origin of sin and satan, demonology, evil giants, conspiracies, the dangers of disobedience, the consequences of sin, the origin of secular music, the protection of God from the forces of darkness, spiritual warfare, and overcoming by the power of Jesus' Name.  I hope this will be an instructive, edifying, and encouraging experience for you that will help you to grow in your walk with the Lord.

Demonology 101 Demonology 201 Demonology 301
Overcoming the World The Evil Nephilim Giants What Lurks in the Darkness?
Sin and Consequence The Dangers of Disobedience Hiding Place
Speak to the Storm When All Means Fail - Part I When All Means Fail - Part II
Piercing the Darkness What About Conspiracies? Contending as one man
Even if it doesn’t happen like we expect The Flaming Sword The Kingdom of Darkness
The Evil Spirit of Alcohol The Origin of Sin, Satan, and Secular Music The Rise and Fall of Lucifer the Musician
Demons Disguised as Humans The Lord will Rescue You Sin, Satan, and the Submerged Sphere
Spiritual Warfare The Past Defeat and Present Threat of AI The Temptation of Christ

You may also access my complete blog directory at Writing for the Master.

Attribution notice: Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. "Archangel" painting © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm all rights reserved by the artist.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

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___________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org. Partner with us online by giving to DMI.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Temptation of Christ

Let's take a fresh look today at the temptation of Christ and the lessons we may learn from it. To begin, here is the passage contained in just eleven verses, but which was an amazing feat that our Lord accomplished:

"Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry."

"And the tempter came and said to Him, 'If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.' But He answered and said, 'It is written, "MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD."

"Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, 'If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, "HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU"; and "ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE." Jesus said to him, 'On the other hand, it is written, "YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST."'

"Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, 'All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.' Then Jesus said to him, 'Go, Satan! For it is written, "YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY."' Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him." (Mat 4:1-11)

Now let's look at the lessons learned from how the devil approached the temptation of Christ, and how the Lord responded to it. Keep in mind that the Lord had been fasting for forty days, which is something most people have never done. So until we have done that ourselves, we cannot fully appreciate what He went through. He could not rely on physical strength to overcome these temptations. He was operating at a handicap essentially, due to his hunger and thirst, and the fact that he was in a dry, arid place where there were no people. He was facing temptations that were very real, very strong, and powerful, and He completely overcame them. Here is how:

The Word of God
First, we can see that Jesus relied on the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, in order to battle the devil in each temptation. His response was always, "It is written." Each time the devil tempted Him, he countered the devil with what is written in the Scriptures, and He didn't just think about these in His mind, but He spoke them out loud to the devil. This is key for us to remember, so that when we find ourselves being tempted, we should do the same.

"For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account." (Heb 4:12-13, NIV).

The Lord did not try to reason with the devil or have a discussion with him about the temptations. He did not weigh the pros and cons of each thing the devil proposed. He was not verbose either. He simply responded with a terse, very concise response citing directly from Scripture by saying "It is written," and then quoting the passage that the Father brought to His mind by the Spirit.

In order to do this, you need to be immersed in the Word of God, living on it daily as your bread. For He said, "Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." Jesus had been feasting on the Word of God during His time of fasting in the wilderness, as He once told the disciples, "I have food to eat that you do not know about." (Joh 4:32b).

We need to be meditating on the Word and committing it to heart. Scripture memorization is a key aspect of your being prepared for temptation. As the psalmist said, "How can a young man keep his way pure, by living according to your word." (Ps 119:9, NIV78). And "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." (Ps 119:11, NIV).

The three verses of Scripture Jesus cited to the devil were all in the same book of the Bible. He cited the book of Deuteronomy, 6:13, 6:16, and 8:3. Isn't it amazing that all His responses came from these two chapters of the same book? Of all the books in the Bible, He quoted from the Law, which proves that it is still valid to quote from the Law when necessary. After all, Jesus did that, as we read throughout the gospels, and so did the apostles all throughout the New Testament. "Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.” (1 John 2:6).

The fact that Jesus quoted all three verses from one small portion of Scripture shows just how densely packed the Word is with weapons that we can use for our defense against temptation. Even if you only have a limited amount of the Word in you, it is still a powerful weapon against the enemy. How much more if you consume large quantities of the Word daily and commit portions of it to heart!

Each time the Lord countered with the Word, it shut the devil up. He could not resist the powerful sword of the Spirit. For more on this, see The Bible is the Word of God and Scripture Alone.

Now that we've looked at how the Lord responded, let's look at the approach the devil used each time.

Casting Doubt
He sought to cast a shadow of doubt over the divinity of Christ by making the skeptical remark, "If you are the Son of God..." and then trying to tempt Jesus to prove it to the devil.

The devil knows that whatever is not of faith is sin, and that he who doubts is unstable in all his ways, which is why he tempts people to doubt. As James said, "He who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does." (James 1:6b-8, NIV78).

Whenever the devil tries to cast doubt into our minds, we need to remember -- and even state aloud -- what is written in the Word of God and trust in Him, Who cannot lie.

I'd like to mention two more things that we need to beware of in connection with this. First of all, the devil tries to tempt people to question the deity of Christ. And if he can't succeed in doing that, he also tries to get believers to question their identity in Christ. Just as he tempted Christ to prove his identity as the Son of God, he also tries to cast doubt in the minds of believers that they are truly children of God, or truly saved. Now that you know this, you will be better prepared to defend against such temptations.

For more on this, please see my article Your Identity in Christ.

Using Scripture
The devil uses Scripture, too. However, he does so by twisting it to make it say something it does not mean. He uses Scripture to deceive people and create confusion, in order to make it seem like God said something He did not say. He uses the Bible to convince people that what is sin is actually not sin. The devil knows the Bible better than most Christians do.

In the wilderness, he quoted from Psalm 91, regarding the promise of angelic protection, and sought to tempt Christ to put God to the test by throwing Himself from the pinnacle of the temple. Of course, it would be presumptuous to do something intentionally to hurt oneself in order to see if God would protect you from harm, and that is just what the devil tried to get Jesus to do. He is always perverting the right ways of God. Even to this day he does the same thing with his knowledge of Scripture, twisting it, and using it for evil to trick people into sinning and doing his will. This is why it is important for us to not only know what the Bible says, but to understand what it means and believe it.

For more on this, please see my articles, The Nature of False Prophets and Read the Bible for All It's Worth.

Focusing on Self
The devil tried to get Jesus to focus on Himself, and he does the same to us, too. Let's look at how he did that. First, each time he said, "If you are the Son of God," he was seeking to get Jesus to focus on Himself. He did this three times to Christ. In the first instance, he was appealing to the Lord's hunger after forty days of fasting, tempting Him to turn stones into bread for Himself to eat. And in the second instance he tried to get the Lord to focus on proving His deity by jumping off the top of the temple and killing Himself. In the third temptation, he said, "All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me." Again the focus was on self.

Sometimes the devil uses this focus on self to tempt you to do something for yourself that seems pleasurable, like eating food when you are fasting, and other times he tries to tempt people to do something that would be harmful to themselves, like committing suicide. But this focus on self is one of his tactics. Beware of his selfish temptations.

For more on this, please see The Self-Help Gospel, and Is the the Self-Help and Actualization Movement a Sham?

Devil Worship
The devil tempted the Lord to worship him, as I have already mentioned. Just as he wants to tempt people to focus on themselves and be selfish, he cannot help being selfish himself. He wants the focus to be on him. This is something he has done for thousands of years, and he is still doing it today. He always promises something in exchange. With Christ, he promised to give him all the kingdoms of the world. With some people he promises fertility, or sexual satisfaction. Or he promises rain so their crops will grow. Or with others he is promising some other kind of success, like fame, fortune, or power. Through many different forms of idolatry, the devil is stealing worship from God and leading souls down to hell. For more on this, please see Modern Day Idols.

It's no wonder why in these last days we see a rise in devil worship and satanism. His days are numbered and he is furious. He is pulling out all the stops and doing all he can to get the world to worship him. In the book of Revelation, we know that in the very last days during the Great Tribulation, the multitudes will worship the devil and worship man, particularly the antichrist or beast. "They worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, 'Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?' " (Rev 13:4)

Focus on the World
The devil tried to get the Lord to focus on the world. He showed Him all the kingdoms of the world from atop a high mountain and promised to give it all to the Lord, even though the Lord created it all. The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it, the world and all who dwell therein (Ps 24:1). He is already the God of all the kingdoms of the earth. He didn't need to have the devil give Him those kingdoms. He is the King of kings, and Lord of lords.

But what the devil tries to do is to get you to put your focus on the world and the things that are seen. "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2Co 4:18). For the apostle John said, "Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever." (1Jn 2:15-17)

Now I want to show you how Jesus handled all of these temptations, in addition to what I have already cited above.

Focus on God
In every instance in which He was tempted by the devil, Jesus focused on God. In the first temptation, He said, "Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." Do you see how He put the focus back on God? He did the same again in the second temptation, in which He said, "You shall not put the Lord your God to the test." And in the third temptation, He said, "You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only." The emphasis was clearly on the Father here.

For Jesus, it was not about self, it was about the Father. The focus was always what pleases the Father. This is the true definition of success. Success is not accumulating wealth and material goods. Success is pleasing my Father.

For more on this, please see Pleasing the LordFrom Self-Confidence to Confidence in the LordSuccess in God's Eyes, and Walking in the Perfect Will of God.

Prayer and Fasting
While this may not be obvious to most people, the fact that Jesus was praying and fasting was also a key in His overcoming temptation. This aspect is the essential background or context for the whole temptation of Christ in the wilderness, but it can easily be overlooked. Let's not forget that the Lord taught His disciples that certain types of demons come out only by prayer and fasting (Mk 9:29, KJV). If you find yourself tempted in a certain area, then praying and fasting may be just what you need. In fact, you may need to fast from the very thing you are being tempted to indulge in, not only from food and drink, but also from such things as TV, Facebook, social life, etc. Otherwise, if you are fasting but not praying, it is basically just a form of dieting.

It's easy to see how the Lord's fasting made it more difficult for Him to handle the temptations, and indeed it did so from a natural perspective. But from a spiritual perspective, which is more important when dealing with spiritual battles, His prayer and fasting was a key to His effectiveness in overcoming the temptations. For He taught His disciples, "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Mt 26:41, NIV)

Commanding the Devil to Depart
The final aspect of the Lord's response I want to mention is that He commanded the devil to depart from Him, and so can we. He said, "Away from me, satan!" The Scripture says, "Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him." Let's not forget this. Jesus told us that the same things He did, we shall do also. We, too, should command the demons to depart from us, in the name of Jesus, and they will flee.

Putting it All Together
While the devil tries to tempt us, we can learn from the Lord's example how to resist the devil. Resist the devil and he will flee, just as he did from Christ. The devil uses the strategy of casting doubt, using Scripture, getting people to focus on self, or to focus on the world, and even to focus on him.

However, the Lord was such a perfect example for us. He used the Word of God in all His retorts to resist the devil, and it worked flawlessly every time. He quoted out loud to the devil that which is written in Scripture. He focused on God and what would please the Father. He refused to focus on Himself and His needs. His primary need was to please God. He fasted and prayed.  And He boldly confronted the devil, commanding him to leave.

Let's take these things to heart and apply them in our own lives now by the help of the Holy Spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit to do that, and He will give you victory over the devil's temptations.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, except where noted. Other Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible NIV. Image used according to Fair Use Act for commentary and educational purposes only. No copyright infringement intended.

Author's note: I also recommend reading my articles, Your Identity in ChristFastingSins That Will Keep You From HeavenThe Forgotten Sin of Worldliness, The Kingdom of Darkness, Demonology 101Pleasing the Lord, Success in God's EyesFor the Glory of God AlonePiercing the Darkness,  Demons Disguised as Humans, Jesus Christ Descended into Hell, The Evil Nephilim GiantsRock, Rap, and Reggae Music -- Five Divine RevelationsAlcohol and Cigarettes -- Ten Divine Revelations, Angelica Zambrano Hell and Heaven, and Godly Attire & Adornment -- Seven Divine Revelations,  as well as the articles available through the Home page of this blog.  You may access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org

Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Past Defeat and Present Threat of AI

In my previous article called The Times of the Gentiles, I wrote about artificial intelligence (AI) as a key aspect of the rising Iron-Clay world empire that will be ruled by the antichrist, and I warned that AI presents a formidable threat to mankind. I showed how the book of Revelation may contain an example of AI technology that will be used by the false prophet to force people to worship an image of the beast. Today I would like to draw an analogy between AI and another Ai that's found in the Bible. By doing this comparison, and enumerating some lessons learned from Ai, I think you will be able to see the relevance of that defeat to the existential threat of AI that we are going to be facing in these end times

The Defeat at Ai
First let's review what actually happened at Ai. For this we go back to the book of Joshua, where it is recorded how he led the Israelites across the Jordan into the promised land after the death of Moses. His mission was to lead the nation to possess the land that the Lord had given them. Under his leadership and guidance, they were to go into the cities and conquer their enemies one by one, destroying them and taking over the land.

Initially they got off to a good start. Immediately after crossing the Jordan, they conquered Jericho, which was a great victory considering its great walls that surrounded it like a fortress. The next city to take was Ai, but here is where they ran into trouble. Joshua sent scouts to reconnoiter Ai, and they returned with an overconfident attitude, recommending that only a small contingent of the Israeli fighting forces be sent to conquer Ai. After their first victory at Jericho, which was a major one, they assumed Ai would be easy in comparison due to the fewer numbers of enemy people living there. Here is what happened:

"Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, 'Go up and spy out the land.' So the men went up and spied out Ai. They returned to Joshua and said to him, 'Do not let all the people go up; only about two or three thousand men need go up to Ai; do not make all the people toil up there, for they are few.' So about three thousand men from the people went up there, but they fled from the men of Ai. The men of Ai struck down about thirty-six of their men, and pursued them from the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them down on the descent, so the hearts of the people melted and became as water." (Jos 7:2-5)

This was a major defeat that immediately followed their major victory. What a humbling experience! What could have gone wrong? Why couldn't they defeat this relatively smaller city when they had destroyed Jericho the way they did?

The reason was that there was sin in the camp. Before they took the city of Jericho, Joshua had placed a ban on all items in the city. He said:

"The city shall be under the ban, it and all that is in it belongs to the LORD; only Rahab the harlot and all who are with her in the house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent. But as for you, only keep yourselves from the things under the ban, so that you do not covet them and take some of the things under the ban, and make the camp of Israel accursed and bring trouble on it. But all the silver and gold and articles of bronze and iron are holy to the LORD; they shall go into the treasury of the LORD." (Jos 6:17-19)

So to summarize that, aside from taking Rahab and her household alive, they were to destroy everyone else in Jericho. And they were forbidden from taking anything in the city at all for themselves. Joshua said that anyone that took any of the plunder for themselves would would make the camp accursed and bring trouble on it. All silver and gold was to go into the Lord's treasury.

The problem was that one of the Israelites named Achan took some of the plunder and kept it for himself. The Bible records:

"But the sons of Israel acted unfaithfully in regard to the things under the ban, for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, took some of the things under the ban, therefore the anger of the LORD burned against the sons of Israel." (Jos 7:1)

Note that the sons of Israel were all viewed as having acted unfaithfully, because of the sin of one man. Since he rebelled and took some of the contraband, this caused the Lord's anger to burn against Israel. But Joshua didn't know about this matter yet. He was perplexed and distraught over the defeat at Ai and immediately went to God in prayer to ask why it happened.

"Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD until the evening, both he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads. Joshua said, 'Alas, O Lord GOD, why did You ever bring this people over the Jordan, only to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? If only we had been willing to dwell beyond the Jordan! O Lord, what can I say since Israel has turned their back before their enemies? For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it, and they will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will You do for Your great name?'" (Jos 7:6-9)

As you can see, this was a serious blow to the Israelites. And here is the answer the Lord gave Joshua as to why it happened:

"So the LORD said to Joshua, 'Rise up! Why is it that you have fallen on your face? Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. And they have even taken some of the things under the ban and have both stolen and deceived. Moreover, they have also put them among their own things. Therefore the sons of Israel cannot stand before their enemies; they turn their backs before their enemies, for they have become accursed. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy the things under the ban from your midst. Rise up! Consecrate the people and say, "Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, for thus the LORD, the God of Israel, has said, 'There are things under the ban in your midst, O Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you have removed the things under the ban from your midst.'" (Jos 7:9-13)

The Lord told Joshua that the reason the sons of Israel could not stand before their enemies and turned their backs before their enemies was that they had sinned, they had transgressed His covenant which he had commanded them. They had taken some of the contraband, stolen it for themselves and then used deception to keep it hidden among their own property. Thus they had brought down a curse on themselves. God promised not to be with them any more until they had removed and destroyed the stolen contraband.

Then through a process that the Lord directed, it was discovered that Achan was the culprit. He confessed to Joshua that he had taken some of the contraband and hidden it in his tent. 

"So Achan answered Joshua and said, 'Truly, I have sinned against the LORD, the God of Israel, and this is what I did: when I saw among the spoil a beautiful mantle from Shinar and two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold fifty shekels in weight, then I coveted them and took them; and behold, they are concealed in the earth inside my tent with the silver underneath it.'" (Jos 7:20-21)

Then they sent messengers to his tent to fetch the concealed items and they brought it back to Joshua and all the people. And just as the Lord directed him to do, Joshua removed the items from the camp, along with Achan, and there in the valley they burned the contraband with fire and stoned him and his family to death.

"Then Joshua and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the mantle, the bar of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent and all that belonged to him; and they brought them up to the valley of Achor. Joshua said, 'Why have you troubled us? The LORD will trouble you this day.' And all Israel stoned them with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones. They raised over him a great heap of stones that stands to this day, and the LORD turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the valley of Achor to this day." (Jos 7:24-26)

Afterward the Lord told Joshua to arise and take all the men of war back up to Ai, because he had given into Joshua's hand its king, his city, his people, and his land. Remember that they had already consecrated themselves to the Lord once again, as He commanded them to do through Joshua (7:13). Then just as the Lord commanded, they went up to fight against Ai and totally defeated it. What a big difference from the first attempt they made! 

Lessons Learned from Ai
We can learn some important lessons from this terrible event. Defeat is always certain when there is sin in the camp. Don't expect to walk in victory when you have transgressed God's covenant. We should never take things the Lord has commanded us not to take, or steal or deceive. Your sin will always find you out. You can be sure that you will not be able to stand before your enemies, if you walk in disobedience to the Lord. There is a strong connection between disobedience and defeat.

Likewise, when even one person in the church has sinned and continues on unrepentant, refusing to confess his sin, then that congregation cannot stand before their enemies; they will turn their backs before their enemies, for in a sense it is like they have become accursed. God's presence will not be with them anymore unless they take proper measures to deal with it. 

Under the New Covenant in Christ's blood, we do not stone people to death. But the one who has sinned must repent before the Lord and confess their sin to Him. They must take whatever steps the Lord directs to address the matter, so that everything can be restored properly. They must make restitution. That will vary from one situation to the next. They may need to go and apologize to someone, seeking forgiveness, and return something they have stolen. They may need to destroy something that the Lord had forbidden, which they had in their own possession. They may even need to confess publicly what they have done in certain instances. As I said, it will vary, but the whole situation must be made right in God's sight, according to His Word and led by His Spirit.

The apostle John wrote: "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us." (1Jn 1:8-10)

The apostle Paul wrote: "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Rom 8:1)

This is very comforting to those who genuinely repent and confess their sin. But Paul also said:

"For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live." (Rom 8:13)

And "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap." (Gal 6:7)

Even though we are under the New Covenant, there are still very serious consequences for sin. In the book of Acts we see some examples of this, such as the death of Ananias and Saphira in chapter 5. And in chapter 5 of Paul's letter to the Corinthians, he instructed them to expel the wicked man from among them, who was a man that was sleeping with his father's wife. Because this sexually immoral person was practicing this sin with the church's full knowledge and he was unrepentant, he had to be excommunicated or dis-fellowshiped from their midst. Yet very few churches ever go to such lengths to deal with sin. Very few are willing to confront sin.

On the other hand, when the people of God consecrate themselves to the Lord and remove all devoted and forbidden things from their midst, as well as all evil doers, and walk in holiness, righteousness, and truth, then they will be a terror to their enemies. The enemy will not be able to stand before them. And this is true of any church that does this, too. They will walk in victory over all the power of the enemy and through Christ overcome the world.

Artificial Intelligence
What does all of this have to do with artificial intelligence or AI? It has a lot to do with it. The reason is that AI is considered by one leading expert named Elon Musk to be the greatest single threat to human existence. And there are many factors that lead us to believe it will be a key component in the kingdom of the antichrist. If that is so, then AI represents a potentially formidable enemy to the Church. If it falls into the wrong hands, it could easily be used for evil purposes. This is true for all the same reasons that the world does not want rogue elements or terrorists possessing nuclear technology or nuclear weapons capability.

A human being is no match for a nuclear weapon. They are helpless before it. We could say the same of other technologies like guns. A person is no match for a gun. And guns in the hands of evil people can be used to terrorize them, as we have seen countless times throughout history, including the recent Las Vegas massacre. Likewise, a human without the power of the Holy Spirit is no match for future, advanced forms of AI technology, if they are harnessed for evil purposes.

Since we know that apart from Christ, all men are sinful, we know that there is no question AI can be misused to harm people. And since we know from Scripture that an evil dictator will rise to global power in the last days, this technology becomes a potential tool in his arsenal to use to control people. If you don't believe me, then just read my article called The Times of the Gentiles, and you will see what I mean. 

History already has plenty of examples of despotic rulers who have used their power to destroy others. We have historical examples in which mass numbers of people were murdered for being Christians or for opposing the evil practices of their ruler. For example, such things happened under Caesar Nero in the first century, and later during the Inquisitions, as well as under Hitler's Nazi regime, and later under Stalin and other leaders of the Soviet Union and its communist satellite states. This continues even today in countries like communist China and North Korea. So this certainly has a historical precedent.

That being said, if there is sin in the Church, how will the Church be able to stand up to the threat of AI or any other threat of the enemy for that matter? It won't be able to do so, because all its protection will be gone. It will be liable to destruction from its foes. The same thing that happened to the sons of Israel at Ai will happen to the Church in any confrontation with AI being used as a means of societal control or persecution.

Naysayers and Opportunists
Meanwhile there are those who downplay the threat of AI and tell you it's nothing to be concerned about. They point out that Isaac Asimov had an "us against them" attitude in 1942, when he wrote the three rules for robots in his book Runaround, which were meant to protect mankind from robots taking over the world. They try to characterize such an attitude as old-fashioned, unwarranted paranoia from seventy-five years ago. They encourage people to get with the times and embrace AI, so that they won't be left out and miss the chance to enjoy the benefits of it, or perhaps so that they won't be a hindrance to its progress and acceptance in society. Such naysayers are speaking the same way the spies did that Joshua sent to Ai, when they downplayed the threat of that city and advised Joshua to send only a few soldiers to fight against it. This is exactly what the enemy wants to accomplish through the use of such propaganda -- for everyone to let down their guard with respect to AI.

However, there are those with real intelligence who still recognize the threat of AI, especially in the form of autonomous weapons. Oren Etzioni, PhD, author and CEO of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AIAI), suggested an update to Asimov's Three Laws of Artificial Intelligence. He has proposed his updated rules for discussion by the United Nations, in light of the enormous growth of the AI business globally.

Communist China has recently announced its intention to be the world leader in AI by 2030. And according to Frank Tobe's September 2017 Robot Report, Russian president Vladimir Putin has told a group of Russian students that artificial intelligence is “not only Russia’s future but the future of the whole of mankind… The one who becomes the leader in this sphere will be the ruler of the world. There are colossal opportunities and threats that are difficult to predict now.”

Life Application
That's why now is the time to repent, for the kingdom of God is near. Now is the time to do some serious soul searching and seek the Lord while He may be found. Now is the time to confess our sins and make things right with the Lord and with our fellow man. Now is the time to seek deliverance from besetting sins and bondage in your life, which are demonic strongholds. It's high time we sought holiness and consecration to the Lord. We need to cry out to God and ask for the ancient paths, because so the church has allowed so much compromise with the world that it is now widely accepted and not even recognized as sin any more. Now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation. But it will soon be over and then you will have to contend with the wrath of man, which will be followed by the wrath of God. It will soon be the day of vengeance of our God.

If you do not deal with sin in the camp now and cleanse yourself of it, then you will be no match for the enemy. You will be an easy target, and liable to destruction. You don't want that and neither do I. That's why we should take this warning seriously. Pastors should also take this warning seriously. They should first apply it to their own lives. They should then apply it to those in their own congregations over which they are in charge. They should preach against sin explicitly, naming sins that will keep people from heaven. They should expose evil and purge unrepentant evildoers from their midst, not allowing them to remain in the Church.

I realize this is a hard message, but if you don't want to hear it or heed the warning, then you will eventually be a victim of the enemy, and that will be much worse than the drastic measures I am proposing. Pray about this and ask the Lord what He would have you do. It's your choice. Choose this day whom you will serve. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB
   
Author's note: I also recommend reading The Times of the Gentiles, Sins That Will Keep You from Heaven, Holy Living in a Perverted World, Ask for the Ancient Paths, Restored Truth, The Forgotten Sin of Worldliness, Abominations in the Sight of GodThe Coming Wrath of GodWalking in Truth, Righteousness, and HolinessThe Evil Nephilim Giants, Demons Disguised as Humans, Wars and Rumors of War, The Dangers of DisobedienceDemonology 101, Demonology 201, Demonology 301, Baptized with the Spirit and Holy Fire Baptism.  Further reading: Baptized by Blazing Fire -- a Korean church's testimony.  I invite you to visit the Home page for this blog, and you can also find my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Sin, Satan, and the Submerged Sphere

I previously wrote about the origin of satan and his fall in my articles called The Origin of Sin, Satan, and Secular Music and The Rise and Fall of Lucifer the Musician. Then in The Creation Gap Theory, I explained why the gap theory is false according to Scripture. Some people use that erroneous theory to place the timing of satan's fall and his existence on earth long before the creation of Adam. In this article, I would now like to show from Scripture the time period in which I believe the fall of satan took place, in relation to the six days of creation.

Here is the context:

"A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth." (Rev 12:1-2)

Here are my observations from the Word, and my interpretations, which I have numbered in order to make it easier to comprehend each one:

1. Satan appears in his fallen state as a red dragon.

"Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems." (Rev 12:3)

2. We know he is fallen because of his evil intent. For he desired to devour the male child who would rule all the nations with an iron scepter, which is the Son of Man, Jesus Christ. His intent existed before the male child was born.

"And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne." (Rev 12:4-5)

3. The dragon swept a third of the stars out of the sky with his tail and flung them to the earth (Rev 12:4a). Since these cannot be literal stars or they would destroy the whole earth, we know they are angels who fell when they followed the dragon. (Rev 12:9). The earth had to exist already for the dragon to bring down these angels to earth and it is reasonable to assume the dragon was also on the earth.

4. There was war in heaven. It was not a battle of flesh and blood but a spiritual battle.

"And there was war in heaven..." (Rev 12:7a)

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." (Eph 6:12)

5. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.

"...Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven." (Rev 12:7b-8)

6. The dragon and his angels lost their place in heaven.

"...and they lost their place in heaven." (Rev 12:8b, NIV).

7. The dragon was hurled to the earth and his angels with him.

"And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him." (Rev 12:9)

Note: Before I comment any further about this passage in relation to the ancient fall of Lucifer and his angels, I need to say that I definitely think this verse still has a future fulfillment. Even if this passage is a reference to the past fall of satan, and his being cast out of heaven, it will be also be fulfilled in these last days. In his book, Angels on Assignment, Roland Buck said the angel Michael told him that this event was yet future, when the Lord would send His angels to clear out the heavenly realms of the devil and his angels and cast them down to earth during the Great Tribulation. I believe that revelation to Roland Buck is genuine, that what Michael said to him is true, and that this passage is a prophecy about a future event that has not yet been fulfilled. But perhaps it is a double prophecy, which has a past fulfillment at the time that the devil and his angels were cast out of heaven. It is in that historical regard that I now refer to this passage.

8. The dragon is the ancient serpent that we see in the Garden of Eden (Rev 12:9, Ge 3:1), who leads the whole world astray. He is called the devil or satan.

"...the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world..."

"Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?"(Gen 3:1)

9. Since the serpent is seen on earth before the fall of man, we know he had fallen into sin and was already on the earth before the fall of man. At what point did he arrive on earth? We don’t know for sure, but it was after the earth was created and before the fall of man. That places it between Gen 1:1 and 3:1.

10. Jesus said that God prepared a place for the devil and his angels (Mt 25:41). In that place there is eternal fire and punishment (Mt 25:41, 46).

"Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels...'" (Mat 25:41)

11. This place is the same one that all wicked humans go to who are condemned by God (Mt 25:41).

12. The Bible always refers to heaven as up, just as the sky is above, and it refers to hell as below, just as the grave is below. The Bible refers to ascending to heaven (Deu 30:12; Ps 139:8; Prov 30:4; Amos 9:2; John 3:13; 6:62; Ac 1:2; Eph 4:10; Rom 10:6), and Elijah going up to heaven, too (2 King 2:11). It refers to descending from heaven (John 3:13). Jacob saw a stairway erected on the earth with its top reaching up to the heavens, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it (Gen 28:12). The Bible refers to descending down to the pit, down to the grave, down to hell (Is 14:15; Pr 5:5; 15:24; Amos 9:2; Lk 10:15). It speaks of Jesus being in the belly of the earth for three days and three nights after his crucifixion (Matt 12:40 ), while His body lay in the tomb. It speaks of the depths of hell (Ps 86:13; Prov 9:18; Job 11:8), even the lowest hell (Dt 32:22) and the lowest regions of the pit (Ps 88:6). David even said that the enemies who sought to take his life would descend into the depths of the earth (Ps 63:9). This also has a future Messianic fulfillment regarding the enemies of Christ.

At Jesus' ascension, "While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven." (Luk 24:51)

"And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, 'Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.'" (Act 1:9-11)

When Jesus returns, He will come down from heaven, the dead in Christ will rise first, and then we are are alive and remain on earth will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thes 4:16-17). Heaven is the Lord's throne and the earth is His footstool (Is 66:1; Mt 5:35; Ac 7:49), and He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet (1 Cor 15:25; Ps 110:1). We have a clear picture in Scripture of God sitting up in heaven on His throne and placing His feet on the earth below. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that hell would be inside the earth, where all the enemies of the Son of David would go when they are put under His feet.

13. God did not spare the angels when they sinned but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment.

"For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment;" (2Pe 2:4)

14. This prison is beneath the earth, for Jesus descended into the lower earthly regions, after his death on the cross. (Also see Jesus Christ Descended into Hell).

"But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it says, 'when he ascended on high, he led captive a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.' (Now this expression, 'He ascended,' what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.)" (Eph 4:7-10)

He did not go there to be punished but to preach. He went there by the Spirit to preach to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago in the days of Noah. (1 Pe 3:19-20). At one time before the cross, the place known as Sheol, the grave, or hell, was divided in two. One side was for the wicked dead, the devil, and his angels. The other side was for the righteous dead (Lk 16:23). There was a great chasm dividing the two sides (Lk 16:26). Anyone coming back to earth from that place would have to rise, hence the expression rising from the dead (Lk 16:31) Side note: The Bible says that every knee under the earth will bow. This refers to those in hell.

15. The dragon is seen on the shore of the sea in Rev 13:1. The beast comes out of the sea. The dragon gives the beast his power and his throne and great authority (Rev 13:2). Therefore we know the devil has power, authority, and a throne.

"And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority." (Rev 13:1-2)

16. The second beast comes out of the earth in Rev 13:11, which again shows that the origin of these evil spirits are inside the earth. The devil is the god of this world (2 Co 4:4).

"Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon." (Rev 13:11)

Certainly the location of the devil and his angels is not limited to inside the earth. They are not all confined to being inside the earth. The apostle speaks of our battle against "spiritual wickedness in high places" (Eph 6:12). We know that they are also in the heavenly realms, which refers to our atmosphere. He is the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2). Whether someone is in a plane, in the International Space Station, or on the moon, the devil and his angels can still reach them there to tempt them. That is why I believe, as I already mentioned, that Revelation 12 speaks also of the future cleansing of the heavens from all evil, and the casting down of the devil and his angel to earth. Nevertheless, we have this passage in Revelation 13 about a beast coming up from the earth, and I believe it is because that is where the evil one has his base of operations. I believe hell is inside the earth.

17. It would seem that since God prepared hell for the devil and his angels, and since hell is inside the earth, then the devil must have sinned before the earth was made. Once the devil sinned, God made the earth and prepared hell for him. This would explain how the serpent could be already in the garden on earth when man was put here (Gen 3:1). It would also explain the darkness that existed on the earth when God made it.

Earth submerged under liquid water in darkness (Gen 1:2)
18. The planet was a submerged sphere.

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters." (Gen 1:1-2)

When I read that, I understand it to mean that when God made the earth, it was completely submerged under liquid water, suspended in the darkness of space without any sun, moon, stars or other source of light to illumine it. It did not yet have any form or order to it, nor any adornments, much like a round lump of clay on the potter's wheel before it is formed into a vessel. This sounds like the very kind of place God would send the devil to, a place of darkness.

19. Once God created the light, He saw that it was good and He separated it from the darkness (Gen 1:3). God did not call the darkness good. That darkness was present because of evil. Whenever the Scriptures speak of darkness it is almost always a bad connotation.  For example, Jesus spoke of the outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth  (Matthew 8:11-12; 13:41-42; 13:49-50; 22:12-13; 24:50-51; 25:29-30; Luke 13:27-28).

20. Therefore it is my belief that immediately after the devil sinned, God made the earth as a place to which to send him, where he would be punished in hell inside the earth. Not only is it pitch dark there, but based on seismography research, we know that the temperature deep in the center of the earth is very hot. In fact, temperatures inside the Earth actually exceed the temperature on the surface of the Sun! It is dark and hot there, which fits perfectly with the description of hell given in the Bible (Matt 13:42,50; 25:41; Mk 9:43; Jude 1:7)

God could easily make the earth instantaneously on that first day of creation and put the devil there. Then on the sixth day He crowned His work by creating man in His own image to rule over all the fish, birds, livestock, and all the creatures that move along the ground, which include the serpent. (Ge 1:26).

Sin definitely came before the earth was made, but man had not sinned until the serpent deceived the woman and man listened to the woman (Gen 3:1-6, 11-13,17; 1 Tim 2:14).

Putting it All Together
In conclusion, let's concisely sum up everything I have just said. First Lucifer sinned and became a serpent, also known as the devil or satan, the great dragon. Then the earth was made. Then he was put on the earth, since he lost his place in heaven. Once God created man to rule over him, satan tried to prevent that from happening through his deception of man. But afterward God cursed him and said, “I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and hers;” (Gen 3:15a). This reference to the serpent's offspring (seed) means that the devil has his children on earth, too.

God foretold of the coming salvation of mankind. He said the woman’s offspring would triumph. God said of her offspring, “He will crush your head and you will strike his heel.” (Gen 3:15b). This is an early reference to Christ the Son of Man who would crush the serpent’s head and purchase redemption for fallen man. He is the male child who will rule all nations with a rod of iron. Though the devil tried to devour Him immediately after He was born, he did not succeed in doing so. And though he tried to do away with Him forever, he failed. For after Jesus died on the cross and was buried, He rose from the dead as a victor from the dark domain, and He lives forever with His saints to reign. He arose and ascended to God, where He sat down at the right hand of God (Acts 7:55-56; Rom 8:34; Eph 1:20; Col 3:1; Heb 10:12). As the Scripture says, He was caught up to God and to His throne (Rev 12:5).

Isn't it wonderful that even in the beginning, immediately after man sinned, bringing about death to the human race, God in His great mercy already had a plan in place to save us? And He declared how He was going to do it. He would do so through the seed of the woman. It would be the Son of Adam (Luke 3:38), the Son of Man, whom we know is Jesus Christ the Son of God, who would triumph over the devil. He is the only One who can deliver us from evil. And for the those children of Adam who obediently follow Jesus, who are wise about what is good and innocent about what is evil, the promise still remains that the God of peace will soon crush satan underneath their feet (Rom 16:19-20). The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, except where noted. Image of the Holy Spirit hovering over the surface of the deep courtesy of "I Am the Word the Comforter" website. Image of formless sphere courtesy Creation Evidence Museum of Texas, copyrighted, used for educational purposes according to “fair use” as defined by U.S. copyright laws.

Author's note: I also recommend reading my articles, The Origin of Sin, Satan, and Secular Music, The Rise and Fall of Lucifer the MusicianThe Creation Gap TheoryJesus Christ Descended into Hell, The Evil Nephilim GiantsPiercing the DarknessThe Son of ManRock, Rap, and Reggae Music -- Five Divine Revelations, The Forgotten Sin of Worldliness, For the Glory of God Alone, Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven, Alcohol and Cigarettes -- Ten Divine Revelations, Angelica Zambrano Hell and Heaven, Ask for the Ancient Paths, Godly Attire & Adornment -- Seven Divine Revelations,  and The Kingdom of Darkness, as well as the articles available through the Home page of this blog.  You may access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Lord will Rescue You

When we are going through fiery trials, and we begin to despair even of life, we need to remind ourselves of all the trials the Lord has brought us through in the past.

In the biography of Harriett Tubman, also known affectionately as "Moses" for her work in helping black people escape from slavery in America, she is quoted as saying, "God, He's helped me six times, and He never failed me on the seventh either." This is based on a verse of Scripture in the book of Job, in which Eliphaz says to Job, "He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee." (Job 5:19, KJV).

This is a wonderfully encouraging verse. Here is how it is translated in some of the modern versions:

"He will deliver you from six calamities; yes, in seven no evil will touch you." (Job 5:19, NET).
"From six calamities he will rescue you; in seven no harm will befall you." (Job 5:19, NIV)
"From six troubles He will deliver you, Even in seven evil will not touch you." (Job 5:19, NASB)

This numerically stepped sequence is often found in the Hebrew Scriptures, in which a number is given and then one more is added to it to denote completeness. Here we have the reference initially to six troubles, and then he adds one more to make it seven, showing how God will never fail you. Unlike Tubman's old saying, this Scripture refers to the future and not the past.  It is saying that God will always deliver you from whatever you may go through, not only from six calamities, but even from seven. You can count on God, no matter what. No matter how dark and hopeless your situation may seem, you can be sure that if you call upon the name of the Lord, He will rescue you.

Likewise, when we consider all that He has already done for us in the past to bring us through various hardships, as Tubman did, it fortifies our faith to believe that He will also surely see us through our present trial as well. As John Newton the former slave trader wrote in his famous song Amazing Grace, "Through many dangers, toils, and snares I have already come. 'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace shall lead me home."

No matter what kind of trial you may be going through right now, let me encourage you today to call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for help. I can assure you that He will deliver you not only from six troubles, but even in seven no harm will touch you. God is faithful. The Psalmist wrote, "Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken." (Ps 55:22, NIV). And the apostle Peter wrote, "The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from their trials." (2 Pe 2:9, NET).

Attribution notice: Some Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Other Scripture quotations from The Holy Bible, NIV and the NET Bible.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, I recommend reading The Afflictions of the Righteous, Overcomers in This Life, Even if it doesn’t happen like we expect , Speak to the Storm, The Refiner's Fire, and The Glory of Martyrdom for Christ. You may also like the other posts in this blog available through the Home page for this blog, and you can also find my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.