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Mark 4:37: And there arose a great storm…Mark 4:39: And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
A little over two weeks ago I woke up thinking about one of my cousins. The Holy Spirit would have me warn her at times when a storm was about to come into her life. He was warning her because He loves her and He did not want her blindsided. But the Holy Spirit told me it frighten her when God would tell her that “A Storm Was Coming.” So I stop telling her, but the storms would still come at times.
I said all of that, to say this, God said “A Storm Is Coming.” When He said it, I asked God was this storm for me personally, for the Body of Christ, or for this country. God got quiet. I shut up. I started to pray, and prepare for a storm. As I prayed, the Holy Spirit began to speak to my heart and share with me about the storm.
When God tells you a storm is coming, you need to prepare for that storm. In the natural when they tell you a storm is coming, you make sure you have enough water and non-perishable food for at least three days. You make sure you have candles, matches, flashlights, your cellphone charged, and your car is full of gas. Then you buckle down in a safe place until the storm passes.
But what do you do spiritually to prepare for a storm? You pray, place your trust in God, and have faith God will bring you through the storm. You pray for strength, to be able to handle and endure the storm. You buckle down, shut down, and spend some quality time with Jesus in His Word; because Jesus can tell the storm to cease, and the storm will cease. You fast if the Lord leads you, or you feel that fasting will help prepare you for the storm. Fasting draws you closer to Jesus to gain deeper fellowship with Him. And I assure you in this storm you are going to need Jesus.In our storms, Jesus is our light (candle and flashlight) in the dark. He is our non-perishable food (the Bread of Life). He is our living water (the Holy Spirit) that flows from our innermost being. He is our peace in the storm, whether He tells the storm to cease or not. Jesus will bless us with peace that passes all understanding even in the storm. He is our comforter. Because sometimes God calms the storm, and sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His Child. We are not going to make it through this storm with light, peace, and comfort without Jesus.There Is A Storm Coming! You Need To Be Prepared!Encourager Linda Flagg, M.A., B.S., BCPCLC
Board Certified Professional Christian Life Coach
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Hi all. I am feeling week. Here is the post for tonight. An old one but good one. Soo u all in the morning.
Knowing God goes beyond what we think, see or feel. It is an inner knowledge of God that cannot be taken from us. When we have this inner knowledge, nothing outward can sway us from our belief in God. We no longer need evidence to protect our faith. We trust God just as much if He does not give us what we want as we do when He does.
This is just a small paragraph from a Joyce Meyer devotional, but it's the one that stood out to me the most. Folks, this is what our stand is a...ll about. Knowing God. In order to have our marriages restored, we need to get to know the God that created marriage. We need to focus solely on Him. At times when we do this, it's going to feel like we are giving up on our stand. THATS A LIE FROM THE PITS OF HELL! When we are completely focused on God, we really are in the thick of standing for our marriage. We really are doing battle against the enemy and he doesn't like it. So what happens when you focus on our Savior to the point you don't care what God is doing to or in your spouse? Satan throws a curve ball. Your spouse is filing for divorce, your spouse says something nasty, your spouse stops communicating, and so on. DISTRACTIONS! That's what they are! Don't fall for it!
If you are like me, you have already fallen for those and many more. BUT, there is HOPE! Get back up, and dust yourself off. You only stumbled, you did not fall. Get into the Word again. Start asking God what these scriptures mean for you. What does God really mean when He tells you you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus? ONLY God should be answering that! If you are hurting over what is going on, consider this possibility. You are focused on your spouse and not what God is saying or doing with you and you alone. This distraction keeps us from facing the things in our life that we do, say, or think that is not pleasing to God, but that God wants to change. If you cannot face yourself, how will your spouse ever see an example of how they can face their own issues. They are reading us. What do you want them to see? The same old stuff, or a strength that they want to run to for help. The only way they can do this is for us to get to know God.
A quote I once heard Ravi Zaccharias say was, Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.”
King David’s sin took him farther from God’s face than he ever imagined. The greatest pain of his life came during his separation from God’s hand of blessing and favor. He couldn’t bear the thought of losing his relationship with the One he loved the most. We can see this in the prayer David prayed after he had fallen into sin.
David prayed, Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. (Psalm 51:1-3, 9-12).
When David came to his senses he cried out to God for forgiveness and God graciously forgave him; however that did not erase the consequences of his sins, for David paid dearly for those sins in his life and the lives of his family.
I'm sure if we knew the consequences of our sin before falling to temptation, how many of us would ever follow through with it? If only we could see beforehand the harm that our sins bring to ourselves and to others I'm sure we would not fall prey to them. Remember Peters admonition in (1 Peter 5:8) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: The goal of our enemy is to destroy us and those we love by setting snares for us which will cause us to fall .
If we desire to live for God and in the blessings of God, He commands us to seek Him and His purposes and plans. We need to look down the road and calculate the cost of our decisions. We must keep our eyes firmly fixed on His path and stay true to Him and conscientiously stay focused.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (Hebrews 12:1)
Listen to a short testimony and song by the Cathedrals Quartet
WHEN WILL THE RAPTURE OCCUR?
The Bible does give us a lot of undeniable clues and facts concerning the rapture so that no one should be deceived about the time of its occurrence. There are three popular views of when the rapture will occur. The most popular view is called the Pre-tribulational theory of the rapture. This theory suggests that the rapture will occur before the arrival of the antichrist and before the great tribulation begins. The second view is the Mid-tribulation rapture theory which suggests that the rapture will occur at about the middle of the tribulation period or 3 Â½ years into the tribulation. The last rapture view is called the Post-tribulational view and it proclaims that the rapture will not occur until the second coming of Christ immediately after the tribulation. The rapture is term given for the catching up of the saints who are alive when Christ returns. The question is when will Christ return to rapture and resurrect His elect? Will it be before the tribulation, at the middle of the tribulation, or after the tribulation? For this answer we now turn to the word of God.
THE RAPTURE PARABLE
Jesus gave us a parable about the rapture, or gathering together of the elect, and the correct interpretation of it (Mt. 13:24-30; 37-43). This parable teaches that the rapture will occur at about the same time as the destruction of the wicked (Mt. 13:24-30). The parable talks about a field that has been sown with wheat (the Christian believers) which came up and bore fruit. In the same field, which is really the world, tares or weeds (children of the devil) were also planted along with the wheat. In the parable the field was left to grow until the harvest. The weeds were not plucked out of the wheat but both were left to grow until the harvest. At the time of harvest (the end of the world) the angels would be the reapers. They would gather up the wicked tares and put them in bundles to be burned and the righteous wheat would be gathered unto God. A Pre-trib view would have God pulling up the wheat long before harvest time and leaving only the weeds to grow. A Mid-trib view would also have the Lord plucking out the wheat before the harvest and allowing only the weeds to grow. Only a Post-trib view would allow the wheat and tares to grow until the harvest or end of the age when Christ returns to set up His kingdom. The wicked will be destroyed and cast into hell while the righteous are gathered up and saved unto God.
THE SEVENTH SEAL
According to 1 Corinthians 15:52 the rapture takes place during the last trumpet. The last trumpet is found in the seventh seal. There are seven trumpets that sound under the seventh seal (Rev. 8-11). The last or seventh trumpet that sounds ushers in the second coming of Christ (Rev. 11:15). If the Pre-tribulational view was correct the rapture would have to take place before the first seal which is believed to be the arrival of the antichrist and before the first trumpet sounds. As the trumpets begin to sound the judgments begin to fall upon the earth. Mid-tribulationists would have the rapture occurring sometime after the first seal but not during the seventh seal or the last trumpet. The only view that is biblical here would be the Post-tribulation view which has the rapture and resurrection taking place at the last trumpet, under the seventh seal, when Christ comes to take over the earth.
THE FIRST RESURRECTION
The next question is when will Christ gather His elect in the rapture and resurrection. The Bible calls this the first resurrection but when will it take place? There are only two resurrections. The first resurrection for the righteous happens before the millennium and the other resurrection for the unrighteous happens after the 1000 year millennium. Pre-tribulation adherents have the first resurrection taking place both before the arrival of the antichrist and then again another resurrection and rapture at the second coming. With this view we have three resurrections. The Bible does not teach that there will be two resurrections for the righteous. Mid-tribulation proponents believe that the rapture and resurrection will take place sometime during the tribulation period. The Post-tribulation view lines up perfectly with Revelation chapter 20. The first resurrection takes place at the second coming of Christ, after the tribulation. The souls who were beheaded during the tribulation will be among those of the first resurrection and they will reign with Christ during the millennium. No mention is made about any Pre-tribulationally resurrected or raptured saints. If the first resurrection occurs during the tribulation then why would the tribulation martyrs have to be resurrected later when Christ comes to set up his kingdom?
THE LAST TRUMPET
The Bible is very clear that the rapture takes place at the last trumpet (1 Cor. 15:52). Even those of the Pre-trib view who suggest it would have to be the first trumpet would still be wrong because the antichrist arrives long before the first trumpet. The antichrist arrives during the first seal but the trumpets donâ€™t come until the seventh seal which is when severe judgments are falling upon the earth. A Mid-trib view also would not take place at the last trumpet but somewhere before that. The last trumpet Bible fact connects the rapture and first resurrection with no other view of the rapture except the Post-trib view which takes place at the second coming of Christ.
THE MARRIAGE SUPPER
When does the marriage supper of the Lamb occur? The marriage supper is when Christ meets His bride the church. The Bible tells us that the marriage supper will take place at the midnight hour (Mt. 25:1-13). For many people midnight is when one day ends and another new day begins. What does midnight signify here? Pre-trib proponents would say it means that Christâ€™s people will be gathered together to meet Him before the arrival of the antichrist and the great tribulation. Mid-trib believers would say just before the wrath of God falls upon the earth His people will be gathered. Post-trib adherents would say it means the last and final hourâ€¦the end of this age and the beginning of a new age when Christ takes over the earth and sets up His kingdom. Revelation chapter 19 tells us when the midnight hour is! After the tribulation events are fulfilled the saints in heaven will accompany Christ to the earth at His second coming (Rev. 19:1-14). The midnight hour will end this wicked age of human barbarism and usher in a new age of righteousness under Christ! The righteous souls in heaven will come back with Christ to receive their new bodies at the resurrection and those Christians who are alive and remain will be raptured to meet Christ in the air (1 Thes. 4:14-18). This is the marriage supper of the Lamb.
BEFORE OR AFTER ANTICHRIST?
Will the rapture occur before or after the arrival of the antichrist? Paul answers this question in 2 Thes. 2:1-4. Paul plainly tells us that the rapture or the gathering together of the saints will not take place until after the arrival of the antichrist. We must not let anyone deceive us into believing that Christ will come secretly before these events ( Mt. 24:26; Mk. 13:21). At the mid point of the time of antichrist we still do not find a rapture occurring. Instead Godâ€™s people and their innocent little Children are told to flee from the antichrist (Mt. 24:15-22; Mk. 13:14-20; Lk. 21:21-24). We do find Christ coming with power and great glory to gather together His elect after the tribulation (Mt. 24:29-31; Mk. 13:24-27; Lk. 21:25-28). The blessed hope is going to be a glorious and powerful event unlike a secret appearing of Christ where Christians mysteriously vanish from the earth while the others are left behind.
THE WHITE ROBED SAINTS IN HEAVEN
Where did the large number of white-robed, end-time, saints who were found in heaven come from in Rev. 7:9-17? Are they the Pre-trib saints who were raptured? The Bible says that these saints are those who were killed during the tribulation. There is no mention in the Bible of any large group of raptured Christians in heaven. When the fifth seal is opened the souls of those slain during the tribulation is revealed. They are seen in heaven wearing white robes and told that they should wait until their Christian brothers and sisters, who also would be killed during the tribulation, could join them. Why is it the will of God for His people to be martyred rather than raptured? I believe the answer is because the Lord chooses to try His people and those faithful to Him will be purified by their faith, even unto death (Rev. 7:14). Few Christians today would be worthy enough to be raptured. In this Laodicean era they need the purification that comes from persecution and martyrdom. The Lord knows what is best for His people. There was no rapture for other Christians in China, Russia, and Muslim countries who were killed for their faith in Christ. The Lord never promises to deliver His people from persecution or the tribulation period (Jn. 16:33). Jesus warns us that we must be prepared for such times when they come and be faithful even unto death (Rev. 2:10; 12:11).
GATHERING OF THE ELECT
When will the elect be gathered together or raptured? During the tribulation period there will be many scoffers who will say â€œWhere is the promise of his coming?â€ (2 Pet. 3:4-14) They will say this because of they were taught a Pre or Mid-tribulation doctrine. They would not have any grounds to say that if millions of people had vanished from the earth due to a Pre or Mid-tribulation appearing of Christ. The Bible does, however, give us the answer to when the rapture or gathering together of the elect will occur. Jesus Himself said that the rapture of His elect would only take place after the tribulation (Mt. 24:29-31; Mk. 13:24-27). Pre-trib proponents theorize that the elect mentioned here are millions of people who become converted to Christ during the tribulation despite the absence of preachers, Christian believers, Bibles, churches, or the Holy Spirit. The Bible, however, tells us that the unsaved people during the tribulation will not come to repentance but will become hardened in their sins, having a hatred for God because of the judgments that are falling upon them (Rev. 9:20,21; 16:9,11). Instead of Christians being raptured before the tribulation we see some being imprisoned and put to death for their beliefs while others are fleeing to a place of protection (Mt. 24:9-22; Rev. 9:6-11; 12:6, 13-17; 13:15; 18:24). Christ said for the elects sake He would shorten the tribulation period (Mt. 24:22; Mk. 13:20). The Lord never promised to deliver His people from persecution but he does give them peace in the midst of their trials and tribulations. (Jn. 16:33; 2 Tim. 3:12). Christians are certainly not appointed to the wrath of God but they must always be ready to suffer persecution from an evil world.
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BURNING INCENSE TO FALSE GODS: WHY SMOKING IS A SIN!
Many believe that smoking cigarettes is not a sin. Others try to justify it by quoting verses out of context at random. Then there are those who claim that the Bible has nothing to say about smoking. Yet other people will erroneously say that smoking is not harmful because it calms the nerves and makes them more alert. The fact is that smoking is extremely harmful to ones health and to those who are exposed to their second-hand poison. I will show you why cigarette smoking and tobacco addiction is wrong for a Christian. In principle the Bible does have a lot to say about the sinful habit of smoking.
IT IS HARMFUL
Millions of men and women are dying every year from tobacco related illnesses. Smokers are at great risk to get emphysema, COPD and lung cancer. The World Health Organization has estimated that the use of tobacco was responsible for 100 million deaths during the 20th century. There are over 19 known carcinogens or dangerous chemicals in cigarette smoke. Benzopyrene, acrolein and hydrocarbons are among some of the deadly toxins in cigarette smoke that attach to the bodies cells to kill them or turn them into cancer cells. Tobacco smoke also contains radioactive carcinogens that become trapped and deposited in the lungs, releasing radiation into the body for a long time. The combination of carcinogens, hydrocarbons, and radiation being released into the body through cigarette smoke acts as a deadly poison that slowly begins to break down the bodies immune system, like a slow acting suicide, to enable cancer and other diseases to take hold. Hazardous compounds found in the smoke of cigarettes include carbon monoxide and cyanide. These are believed to be responsible for causing heart damage and for destroying the alveoli in the lungs resulting in emphysema and COPD. Cigarette smoking reduces life expectancy by 10-20 years. The Bible teaches that it is wrong for believers to use anything that is harmful to their health. Their body is the temple for the Holy Spirit. We have a divine commission from God to take care of our health and shun things we know is unhealthy and harmful to our bodies (1 Cor. 6:19; Rom. 12:12) The Lord will hold all accountable who willingly defile and destroy their health (1 Cor. 3:17)
IT HARMS AND OFFENDS OTHERS
Second hand smoke is so harmful to those in its path that it can cause them to have damaged blood vessels, asthma, respiratory infections and even cancer. Second hand smoke kills at least 600,000 people per year. We should never bring harm to anyone just because we want to satisfy a carnal lust (Jam. 4:17; 1 Jn. 3:14). We should never set bad examples before others (Rom. 14:15,16). Smoking is a harmful and offensive habit that must be overcome. Do walk in rebellion to the wishes of your family, friends, church, or your God (Isa. 65:2). We are commanded not to offend anyone in anything (2 Cor. 6:3) Forsake the ways of foolishness and go in the way of understanding (Prov. 6:9). Clear your conscience of having poisoned yourself and others (Heb. 13:18). God does not take lightly such offences to your children and family (Mt. 18:6,7). Donâ€™t put their health at risk. Be a caring Christian and never put those in your home or others in harms way with your toxic chemically-laden tobacco smoke. We must never do anything that could bring potential harm to another (Matt. 10:16).
IT IS AN ADDICTIVE LUST
All bad habits are addictive and enslaving. The devil knows how to make things that are harmful to our health addictive and pleasurable to the senses. He has a dark and deadly plan to ensnare people with harmful addictions and lusts so he can destroy their health (Jn. 10:10). The nicotine drug in cigarettes is a psychoactive chemical that stimulates the nervous system giving the effects of mental alertness and calmness. Over time smokers will experience cognitive decline, reduced memory, brain shrinkage and an increased risk for Alzheimerâ€™s. This drug is far more addictive than cocaine or heroin. Jesus offers an abundant life to those who overcome and make right choices in life. Give this enslaving habit to the Lord and let Him forgive you and restore you. Smoking is a carnal and fleshly lust that must be denied and abandoned. Christians are to never come under the enslaving influence of any addiction or bad habit (1 Cor. 6:12). Sinful and enslaving addictions are to have no dominion over a Christian for such things only lead to death (Rom. 6:12-16). Instead consecrate yourself to God and your body to the fulfillment of righteous living (Rom. 6:13).
IT DOES NOT GLORIFY GOD
The smoking and chewing of tobacco and use of other harmful substances cannot glorify God in any way. A Christian is commanded to glorify God in everything they do (1 Cor. 10:31). A Christian is to please God by not using anything that is harmful or sinful (1 Jn. 3:22; Col. 1:10 ). Because we were bought with a great price we are to honor God by offering to him a body that is healthy and holy (Rom. 12:1,2; 1 Cor 6:20). In this way we can glorify God in our body and in our spirit (1 Cor. 6:20).
IT IS UNFAITHFUL STEWARDSHIP
Wasting money to purchase a harmful product to poison yourself and endanger the lives of others is a perfect example of unfaithful stewardship. Smoking is an expensive habit that burns up money that could be used for a more worthy cause. Donâ€™t forget the expensive medical bills you will need to pay someday as a result of smoking. Donâ€™t become an unprofitable servant who lost his soul because he squandered his time and money on a foolish and destructive habit (Mt. 25:30). Be a faithful servant who uses what the Lord gives him wisely and not wastefully (Mt. 25:14-30).
CONNECTION TO SPIRITISM
Smoking was first introduced as a ritual to contact the spirits by the pagan Mayans who worshipped false gods and practiced human sacrifices. People who practice spiritism, such as Shamans, use the smoking of tobacco as a method to communicate with spirits. They believe that when you inhale the smoke you invite the wisdom and inspiration of the spirits to mix with your body and soul. They believe they can share this wisdom and inspiration they receive from the spirits with others when they exhale the smoke. They believe their exhaled smoke would assist in the purification of those receptive souls in the path of their exhaled smoke. The ritual smoking of tobacco, by the Indians, was considered a sacred ceremony to offer incense to the gods and spirits. The peace pipe was considered a charm to appease enemies and to acquire pledges of friendship. The sacred peace pipe was also used to offer smoke to the demon gods and was thought to possess a supernatural power or charming effect. The one who held the pipe was thought to possess power to change circumstances. Tobacco was considered a sacred plant that brought favor upon those who burned or smoked it, in the eyes of the spirits or gods. The Indians were the first to invent cigars and cigarettes. Their predecessor to the modern cigar or cigarette featured tobacco that was rolled up in corn husks. A Christian should have nothing to do with something that has pagan origins and a connection to spiritism (1 Thes. 5:22). Because cigarette smoking is an act of burning incense to false gods and demon spirits it gives these spirits the legal right to invade your life and attack your health and destroy you (2 Ki. 22:17; 23:5; 2 Chr. 28:25; 34:24,25; Jer. 1:16; 7:9; 11:12; 19:4; 44; 48:35). Avoid cigarette smoking and close that door to demonic attack!
Deliverance from cigarette smoking is extremely difficult. Many have tried over and over but have miserably failed. Deliverance workers testify, in their experience with smokers, that there is a significant spiritual element to consider in addition to the nicotine addiction. Deliverance ministers have found that cigarette smoking opens up doorways for demon spirits to invade the lives of those who smoke. These demon spirits can introduce an emotional and psychological element that supports a personâ€™s need to smoke. They can for instance introduce a spirit of depression or cause a smoker to intensely crave nicotine. An addiction spirit may hold a smoker captive by constantly demanding to be satisfied. Once these spirits are rebuked and cast out the smoker can obtain real and lasting deliverance. Remember that it is Christ who gives you strength to overcome (Phil. 4:13; 1 Jn. 4:4), power to resist temptation (1 Cor. 10:13), cleansing from all unrighteousness (1 Jn. 1:9), and a transformed life (Rom. 12:2). Christ enables anyone to become more than a conqueror from any enslaving habit or lust (Rom. 8:37; 1 Cor. 15:57; 2 Cor. 12:9). You will need to get rid of all your cigarettes and no not frequent places or fellowship with people who smoke (Rom. 13:14). If you repent and commit your ways to God He will give you victory over smoking (Ps. 37:4,5; 1 Jn. 1:6-9). God can give you and other believers the power and authority to break all the powers of the enemy in your life (Isa. 54:14; Lk. 10:19). Break the curses of smoking incense to other gods, the curse of self-destruction, and any ancestral curses back 10 generations on both sides. Seek your freedom from this satanic path of physical destruction and let Christ transform your life!
Prayer for Deliverance
Heavenly Father, forgive me of this bondage to smoking and cleanse me of all my unrighteousness. Forgive me for harming my health and the health of my family and all my offence to others. Deliver me from this sinful addiction and set me free from it. Take away all my desire for smoking. I surrender my heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ and place this bondage at the foot of His cross. In the name of Jesus Christ I command any and all spirits which entered me from smoking to leave me forever. Help me not to develop any other bad habits or to gain weight. Thank You for delivering me from this evil addiction and I give You all the glory, honor, and praise, in Jesus name, amen