Newsletter Clippings
(Page four)


Shared With You By
Kraig J. Rice
Bread On The Waters (BOW)
www.breadonthewaters.com

TABLE OF CONTENTS
(Clicking on these internal links will move you down this page)

Satan's Museum in the USSR No Real Christmas Without Him by Sam J. Gallagher
My Kingdom For A Dream by William H. Shea George Muller: Man of Faith and Prayer
Jesus Christ Is Immanuel by Gary Blakeney The Lion, the Lamb, and the Blood
Some Seed Will Yield by Muriel Larson Wanted: Dead (the tongue)
The Humanists and Education in the U.S.A. Spirit-Filled Witnessing
What's In A Name? (Satan) by Robert Morey Attitude of Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Five Roads To Walk With Jesus by Donald W. Raub Soviet Torturer Decorated
You Can Be An International Intercessor Some advantages of being a Christian "King's Kid!
A Red Chinese student found Christ Angels and Demons by John Hagee
The Seven Deadly Sins by Horatius Bonar Get the Root! (bitterness) by Muriel Larson
Live As Children Of Light by Muriel Larson If I Had My Life To Live Over
But I Have No Talent by Muriel Larson John Three Sixteen (article)
Songs in the Night by Richard L. Jones  

Satan's Museum in the USSR
by Richard Wurmbrand

"Communism is Satanism in modem disguise. For this I offered ample proof in my book "Marx and Satan" (Crossway). Since its publication, new leads have confirmed my assertions.

James Webb in "The Occult Establishment" (Open Court) showed that the leading Russian Communists, Lenin, Trotsky and Bakunin, all had connections with the occult organization, Monte Verita in Switzerland. Why would men who deny the existence of the supernatural frequent Satanist circles?

In the USSR, it would be out of the question to establish a museum of religion except for the purpose of ridicule. Yet, in the town of Kaunas there is a four-story Devil's Museum with 4,000 sculptures, paintings, and masks of Satan.

The Communists also practice what Satan teaches. In the world there are 200 million members of the Communist parties and their youth organizations. In addition, there are some 400 million sympathizers.

These have no inkling that their leaders have Satanist connections."

Quoted from Richard Wurmbrand, Christian Missions to the Communist World Newsletter, April 1987, page 1.

My note:
The above article was written when the USSR was still in existence. There are still communists in the world. With love Communists have to be won for Christ. As the Church of Jesus Christ begins to partake of some of the rich inheritance that has been given us in Christ, we will begin to operate with power in spiritual realms. As we begin to use the tools that God has given us, we will see new hope for accomplishing the mission of the Church. God has not given us an impossible command, but the only way the commission will be realized is as we use the equipment that God has provided for the task. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they are mighty! God is concerned that we war a good warfare
(I Timothy 1:18).

A New Year is like a sheet of driven snow
Be careful how you tread
For every step will show

No Real Christmas Without Him
by Sam J. Gallagher

"Amid the hurried throng of shoppers in a snow-covered town in Alaska, strolled a young man. The gay colors and festive decorations of Christmas were all about him, but his head was bent in troubled thought and his gait was measured and slow. Pausing for a moment in the falling snow, he drew a wrinkled and worn letter from his pocket. His eyes rested on these words, "We can have no real Christmas without you. Please come home. Mother and I are advancing in years and we desire above all to see your face once again." Hurriedly wiping away the gathering tears his decision was made. He would spend Christmas with those who loved him.

Throughout this highly privileged country of America, millions will be celebrating during this Christmas season. There will be trees, tinsel, twinkling lights, and gaily-wrapped gifts. But can there be any real Christmas without Him for whom Christmas was instituted? Jesus Christ came to this earth over 1900 years ago as a Babe in Bethlehem. His bodily presence is no longer with us, for He is seated at the Father's right hand, but being the omnipresent Son of God, His presence in Spirit pervades the universe. His eyes penetrate far beyond the glitter, the glamor, and the festivities of the Christmas season to the heart of each of us. He will spend Christmas with those who love him; those who have made a place for Him in their hearts and lives. These are the ones who have placed their trust in Him and who know the peace He came to bring. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ"
(Romans 5:1).

Yes, Christmas will be empty without Him in your heart. Life itself is but one long round of despair and anxiety without a personal relationship with the majestic Christ of the Ages. He alone has the power to forgive sins, and thus grant peace to the troubled soul. It was for this purpose that He was born in Bethlehem, "Thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins"
(Matthew 1:21). For the same purpose He gave His life on the Cross of Calvary for us, "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins"
(Ephesians 1:7). For this purpose also he arose again from the tomb, "...raised again for our justification"
(Romans 4:25).

There is abundant living for those who by faith accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly"
(John 10:10). "He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life"
(John 5:25). "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life"
(I John 5:12).

To live without Him is forfeiting the only real and lasting joy that is offered to mankind and is also sealing your destiny for all eternity in the regions of the lost. Accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour today. Be among the number that love him, enjoy Him, and serve Him. When eternity calls you will then be with Him in the land of the blest. Only those who love Him will spend eternity with Him. "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also"
(John 14:3)."

Quoted from The Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, September-October 1986, page 6-7.

We envy a man's triumph
Not his struggle to attain it

My Kingdom For A Dream
by William H. Shea

"In a few, short months he rose from obscurity to become the leader of the world's most powerful nation. No, we're not talking about Bill Clinton, but Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon— and a story that comes to us from his time can help us make sense of today's headlines.

The new superpower

With his father ill, Nebuchadnezzar had been given command of the Babylonian army in the spring of 605 B.C. Marching his troops to the Euphrates River in ancient Syria, he came to Carchemish— a fortress city used by the Egyptians to guard the place where it was easiest to cross the river.

A terrific battle ensued. The forces of Pharaoh Neco II were destroyed; the remnants of the Egyptian army fled south. Nebuchadnezzar and his army followed them, mopping up opposition along the way. As a result, Syria and Palestine became a part of the Babylonian Empire.

In August, Nebuchadnezzar learned of his father's death. Leaving off his military campaign, he hurried back to Babylon and claimed the throne. And there you have it: from prince in March to king of a great and newly conquered empire in August.

A part of his new empire was the kingdom ofJudah. While campaigning, Nebuchadnezzar had come to Jerusalem and demanded that Jewish king Jehoiakim surrender both tribute money and hostages. Seeing that it was futile to resist, Jehoiakim did as he was told.

And among the hostages he handed over were Daniel and his three friends: Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.

Honored hostages

Daniel and his friends were taken to Babylon, not just to ensure Judah's good behavior, but to be schooled in the ways of empire. By making a place for Jews in his civil service, you see, Nebuchadnezzar hoped to give them a stake in Babylon's future. The hostages knew that if Babylon prospered, they prospered— and that, Nebuchadnezzar believed, would ensure their loyalty and forestall revolt.

Every effort was made to remake the identity of the hostages. They were given Babylonian names— Daniel was renamed Belteshazzar (i.e., "may Bel [the chief of all Babylonian gods] protect the king's life") his friends were given the names Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

The hostages were also sent to Babylonian schools. There they learned the Babylonian language and the cuneiform script with which it was written. They probably studied mathematics and astronomy. And though they may not have liked the course very much, they probably had to learn something about astrology.

Astrology was important to the Babylonians because they were interested in almost anything and anyone who claimed the ability to predict the future. Archaeologists, for instance, have dug up a number of the clay tablets that Babylonian diviners used to learn hepatoscopy — the art of predicting the future by means of a sheep's liver. If certain lobes of the liver of a sacrificed sheep were unusually large, this was believed to mean that the king should (or should not) go to war!

Other methods abounded. Diviners searched for clues by shaking arrows (belomancy), by studying the patterns made by oil on water (hydromancy), and— perhaps most commonly— by interpreting dreams (oneiromancy).

Forgotten dream

These divinatory arts were put to the test soon after Daniel arrived in Babylon, when Nebuchadnezzar had a dream— or more accurately, when Nebuchadnezzar woke up one morning and remembered that he had had a dream. He could not remember what it was about, but he knew the dream had impressed him as being very important.

Naturally, he turned to his advisers— some of whom probably had taught Daniel. But his advisers were stumped. They could interpret signs and symbols if someone told them what they were, after all, but they could not recreate them out of the unknown.

Nebuchadnezzar was angry— and when you are the world's most powerful ruler, you can do a great deal of damage when you're angry. "What's the use of wise men," he must have said, "if they can't help you when you need it most? I might as well have them all killed!"

So the order went out that all of Nebuchadnezzar's advisers were to be executed— and that "all" included Daniel and his friends. Their lives were on the line— but as a result of their prayers, God produced for them what the pseudoscientists of Babylon could not. God revealed to Daniel the knowledge, both of Nebuchadnezzar's dream and what it meant.

Daniel took this news to Nebuchadnezzar and, when he'd heard the details, the king was pleased. He promoted Daniel to a higher position in his government and cancelled the impending executions of his advisers.

Image of the future

The dream God gave Nebuchadnezzar— and Daniel— was an outline of human history, using a symbol with which Nebuchadnezzar was thoroughly familiar. Nebuchadnezzar had seen an image or idol— much like the one he would have found in any local temple. But while the typical image was made of a single kind of metal, this image was segmented vertically, with each part made of a different metal: a gold head, silver chest and arms, belly and thighs of brass, iron legs, and feet made of a mixture of iron and clay.

Each metal, Daniel told the king, represented a kingdom that was to come on the scene of history. Daniel identified the first— the gold head— by telling Nebuchadnezzar, "You, 0 King, are that head of gold." The breast and arms of silver, however, he told the king, represented "another kingdom, inferior to thee, [that] shall arise."

Daniel lived to see the transition to this next kingdom. The story about how the Medes and Persians conquered Babylon is told in the fifth and sixth chapters of his book. Clearly, the breast and arms of silver represented the Persian Empire.

But the rulers of Persia did a foolish thing. Twice they attempted an invasion of Greece, once under Darius I and once under his son Xerxes. Both attempts succeeded only in stirring up the Greeks. And when Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire in 328 B.C., the belly and thighs of bronze in the image of Nebuchadnezzar's dream had come on the scene of action.

Alexander's empire did not long survive his death, however. It broke into pieces— and one by one, those pieces were picked off by the iron empire of Rome. Mainland Greece fell in 168 B.C.; Asia Minor in 133 B.C. And with the fall of Syria and Judah in 60 B.C., the fourth great Mediterranean empire predicted by Daniel had come to pass.

But then history entered a new stage. The next era was represented by a mixture of iron and clay— a mixture that would not stick (or "cleave") together. Unlike the monolithic empires of the past, in other words, this would be a mix of kingdoms, both strong and weak. And any attempt by one to take over the others would fail— just as would any attempt to weld steel to ceramics.

You can see how up-to-date this prophecy is. No one has ever been able to put together the shattered pieces of the Roman Empire— not Charlemagne, not Napoleon, and not Hitler. True, the Treaty of Maastricht may encourage commercial, economic, and political ties. But events in the Balkans, the Caucasus, and elsewhere demonstrate the continuing truth of this prophecy, over 2,500 years after it was given.

Everlasting empire

But wait! There is one more part to the dream!

In his dream, Nebuchadnezzar saw a stone— one that, without human effort, had somehow been cut from a mountainside. The stone rolled onto the plain where the image stood and smashed the image to pieces. Then the stone grew until it filled the whole world.

Nebuchadnezzar's dream, then, culminates, not in the shattered remnants of the iron kingdom, but in a kingdom of stone— a kingdom shattering everything that came before it: "And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall its sovereignty be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand for ever"
(Daniel 2:44, RSV).

The stone that represents this kingdom does not come from the metal image, but from outside. It has been prepared by God, not by man. It is a kingdom completely different from the kinds of kingdoms that men and women prepare. It is a kingdom in which peace and truth and justice and righteousness will prevail completely.

That is the kind of kingdom that awaits us and that God has prepared for us— the kingdom of heaven that God shall set up at the end of time. It is the kingdom over which Christ shall reign and a kingdom in which we shall live with Him forever.

And we know that this kingdom is coming soon. How do we know that? Because in the 2,500 years since God gave the dream to Nebuchadnezzar, everything else it predicted has come true. And if Daniel was able to so accurately foresee the rise and fall of earthly kingdoms, shouldn't we trust him when he predicts the establishment of God's heavenly kingdom?

We live in the time when the contents of Nebuchadnezzar's dream have been exhausted— and with them, human history. ...the next great event in world history will be the establishment of the "stone kingdom" of Daniel Chapter 2— God's eternal kingdom."

Quoted from the Signs of the Times Magazine, May 1993, pages 24-27.
With a M.D.from Loma Linda University and a Ph.D. in Assyriology from the University of Michigan, William Shea was a researcher in the Biblical Research Institute, located at Silver Spring, Maryland at that time. Copyright 1993 by William Shea.

Faith is walking to the edge of all the light you have
And
Taking one more step

George Muller: Man of Faith and Prayer
by Diana Severance

"THE ORPHAN CHILDREN all had their dinners and were ready for bed. They always felt loved and cared for in the Bristol orphanage; little did they know that the orphanage had no money and there was no food for breakfast the next day.

Though he did not know how, George Mueller was confident the Lord would provide for the orphans - after all, wasn't he a "father to the fatherless"
(Psalms 68:5)? Mr. Mueller went to bed, committing the care of the orphans to God.

The next morning he went for a walk, praying for God to supply the orphanage's needs. In his walk he met a friend who asked him to accept some money for the orphanage. Mueller thanked him, but did not tell the friend about the pressing need. Instead, he praised God for the answer to prayer and went to the orphanage for breakfast.

No Salary for George

George Mueller had joyfully dedicated his "whole life to the object of exemplifying how much may be accomplished by prayer and faith." When he had moved to Bristol in 1832 to take the pulpit of Gideon Chapel, he and his wife Mary decided not to accept a salary from the congregation. They wanted to daily depend upon the Lord for their needs, and they accepted only unsolicited freewill offerings. Mueller's journal is full of the amazing ways the Lord directed funds to them throughout his sixty-six years of ministry.

A Detestable Young Drunk

George Mueller had not always lived a life of faith. As a young man in Prussia (in today's Germany) he was busy pursuing his own pleasures. At age fourteen, when his mother lay dying, he was out partying and getting drunk with his friends. By sixteen he was a liar, a thief, a swindler, a drunkard, and in jail. Yet, God worked in the young man's soul and brought him to Himself. While at the University of Halle in 1825, he left behind the profligacy and self-seeking of his old life and became totally devoted to serving his Lord. Humility came to mark Mueller's life, for he depended on God for everything, viewing himself as a tool in the hands of the Master Workman.

By 1829, Mueller had left his native Prussia and gone to London to train as a missionary to the Jews. However, in England the Lord directed him along other paths, and by 1832 he was pastoring a Brethren congregation in Bristol. Bristol would be the center of his ministry for the next sixty-six years.

Influenced by Pietism

At Bristol, Mueller began reading a biography of a great leader of the Pietism movement, A. H. Francke, who had founded an orphan house at Halle in 1696. Francke's orphanage became the largest enterprise for orphans then existing in the world, and he had trusted in God for every provision. As Mueller began to work with the poor in Bristol, he too wanted to trust the Lord and bring every need to Him in prayer.

A year after coming to Bristol, Mueller had established two Sunday schools, two adult schools, and six day schools. In 1834 he founded the Scriptural Knowledge Institute. Debts were not allowed for this work of the Lord, and the "patronage of the world" was not to be accepted. The Lord prospered the work. By 1880 the institute was responsible for seventy-two day schools with seven thousand students in Bristol, besides others in Italy, Spain, and South America.

Homes for Orphans

As work among the poor in Bristol grew, Mueller believed he should open an orphan house. Within a year, one hundred orphans were being cared for; by 1870, the orphanages had multiplied and two-thousand children were being cared for.

The homes emphasized education and the development of Christian character. The quality of education was so high that Mueller was accused of educating the poor beyond their station and robbing the factories and mines of their labor. Boys were kept in homes until they were fourteen and girls until they were seventeen. All were trained in some work so they had jobs when they left the orphanage. Boys were often apprenticed to some trade and the girls were prepared for domestic service, nursing, or teaching.

It's God's Concern

The history of the Bristol orphanages is page after page of answered prayer. Nothing was too small to bring to the Lord in prayer, for nothing was too small to be under God's care. In his prayers, Mueller would confidently set his need and his case before God: "He is their Father and therefore has pledged Himself, as it were, to provide for them; and I have only to remind Him of the need of these poor children in order to have it supplied."

An Unfailing Faith

It was this unshakable faith in God's providing hand that made the Bristol orphanages so unique. Some leaders visiting the orphanage asked the matron of the home, "Of course you cannot carry these institutions without a good stock of funds...Have you a good stock?" The matron quietly replied, "Our funds are deposited in a bank which cannot break." Tears came to the eyes of the visitors, who gave a donation to the work, a very timely gift because at the moment there were no funds on hand! The orphanage never accumulated a surplus of funds, but daily relied on the Lord for the provisions.

When he was seventy, George Mueller turned over the management of the orphanages to his son-in-law and began a series of worldwide missionary tours. From 1875 to 1892 he traveled 250,000 miles and addressed three million people in forty-two countries. He died in Bristol at the age of 93. Though the equivalent of millions of dollars had passed through his hands he accumulated no wealth for himself. His life demonstrated what extraordinary ministry can be accomplished through the combination of tender compassion for hungry and homeless children, unshakable faith in God, and practical action to meet needs."
Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, December 2001, page 6
Diana Severance was with the Christian History Institute at that time

The Lord of the ministry
Is
More important than the ministry of the Lord

Jesus Christ Is Immanuel
by Gary Blakeney

"The Bible, in Matthew chapter one, emphasizes both the humanity and the divinity of Jesus. His humanity is emphasized in two ways. First in the genealogical list of names
(Matthew 1:1-17); this shows that all of Jewish history prepared the way for His birth. Jesus was a part of history. Second, His humanity is shown in His birth to a human mother. Jesus was fully human just like you and me.

The divinity of Jesus is also emphasized in two ways. First, in the immaculate conception and virgin birth; this was not an ordinary birth
(Matthew 1:18, 20, 23, 25). It was different. Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. The second way His divinity is emphasized is in the three names applied to Him in chapter one:

1. JESUS (Matthew 1:21, 25). This was His human name. It is the Greek equivalent of Joshua and means "The Lord saves." Just as Joshua saved Israel by delivering them from the wilderness to the Promised Land, so Jesus delivers sinners from sin to salvation.

2. CHRIST (Matthew 1:16, 17). This was His official title. It is the Greek equivalent of Messiah and means "anointed." Jesus is the Anointed One of God. He is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. As Matthew goes on to show in his gospel, Jesus is the King, not only of the literal nation of Israel, but of the universe.

3. IMMANUEL (Matthew 1:23). This name describes who He is. This word, however, is not Greek but Hebrew, so Matthew translates it for us. It means "God with us." That is who Jesus is. He is God with us. Not only is Jesus fully human, but He is also fully divine. Jesus' divinity is not a concept unique to Matthew
(John 1:1, 14; 5:18; 10:35-37; Philippians 2:6-11; Colossians 1:15-20). Although Jesus in His very essence is God, He did not want His equality with God to be hard for mankind to grasp. Instead, He humbled Himself by taking on human form and sacrificially giving Himself in death on the Cross. Comprehend that if you can! God not only provides the sacrifice, He is the sacrifice! What mercy! What love! What grace!"

Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, December 2001, page 15

For all you do
His blood is for you!

The Lion, the Lamb, and the Blood
by Curtis Dickinson

"Nothing in all of history impacts the human race like the death and resurrection of Jesus. But this generation, for the most part, fails to see the heart of the matter, and few people seem to make the connection between the Blood of Christ and their own eternal destiny. The Christian who has fathomed the meaning of the Blood of Christ has seen the heart of God as He is touched by our sin, in both His judgment and His mercy.

Jesus spoke of His "blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins"
(Matthew 26:28). Paul said, "being now justified by his blood,"
(Romans 5:9) and John wrote that Christ "washed us from our sins in his own blood"
(Revelation 1:5).

In the fifth chapter of Revelation (verses 1-5), John describes his vision in which no one is able to open the book sealed with seven seals. Then he is told that the Lion of the tribe of Judah has overcome to open the book, but when John looks for a lion, he sees a Lamb
(Revelation 5:6), a Lamb that has been slaughtered, to which the four and twenty elders sing a "new song" saying,
"Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation"
(Revelation 5:9).

The Blood and the Lamb

When God determined to slay the first born in Egypt, He provided a way of escape for the sons of Israel, who dwelt there as slaves. They were to slay a lamb and put some of its blood around the doorways of their houses. The blood was the evidence that a lamb had been killed, and the first born in those homes would be saved from death.

The issue here was life and death, and the shedding of blood was the means by which the animal was put to death. "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul"
(Leviticus 17:11).

Wherever blood was used in sacrificial offerings, it signified that death had taken place. However, the death of animals was not sufficient for meeting the penalty of man's sins. "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins"
(Hebrews 10:4). The needed sacrifice was found in Jesus. "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage"
(Hebrews 2:14, 15).

When the prophet Isaiah described the coming of a suffering servant to redeem God's people, he pictured Jesus as a lamb led to the slaughter, dying for the people "to whom the stroke was due." Just as the lamb was put to death to save the first born Israelites from death, Jesus was slain that we might be saved from death in the Day of Judgment. John the Baptist, therefore, introduced Jesus by saying, "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world"

(John 1:29). Expressions such as "the Cross of Christ," and "the Blood of Christ" are euphemisms that always signify Christ's death. We are cleansed, washed, sanctified, and justified by His Blood only in that His Blood means His death. Paul could write, "we have been justified by his blood" because when Jesus shed His Blood He was dying for us under the penalty of sin. "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him"
(2 Corinthians 5:21). In effect, the judgment has already taken place on the Cross for believers who by faith are justified by His Blood.

The Lion

Like a lamb being led to the slaughter, Jesus willingly submitted to crucifixion that the final penalty for our sins might be met, His death demonstrates that God's laws are life and death matters. Christ died because God takes His laws very seriously indeed. Christ's death also demonstrates God's tremendous love and mercy, in that He would give His Son that we might not suffer the final death at judgment for our sins, but might have life and immortality.

By sacrificing Himself, Jesus gained a great victory over the world, sin and death, making Him worthy to "take the book and open the seals thereof"
(Revelation 5:9).

But in John's vision Jesus is also identified as the Lion of the tribe of Judah
(Revelation 5:5). After Jesus, the Lamb, was obedient even unto death, God raised Him up, exalted Him, and gave Him all authority in Heaven and on earth. No longer is He the lowly Lamb, submitting to the abuse of evil men who oppose God. Now He is the King, reigning on the throne of David, and will return to judge the world in righteous judgment
(Acts 2:30,31; 17:31).

It is fitting for us to sing about the Blood of Christ, if by this we have in mind the value of His death for us. To acknowledge His death is also to acknowledge our debt to Him. Following the example of Jesus, Christians are to humbly obey the Father and be willing to suffer tribulation and the persecution of the oppressors in patience.

"And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again"
(2 Corinthians 5:15). To glory in His death is a shame unless we put ourselves at God's disposal to be used as His servants to please Him."
Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, April/May 2003, page 6

 The way God works:
 He births the vision
 He chooses the vessels
 He provides the seed
 He prepares the partners
 He guarantees the harvest

Some Seed Will Yield
by Dr. Muriel Larson

"I've been cheated!" complained an angry man to the Atlanta newspaper.

"For three years straight now I've been buying a bag marked "wild bird seed" from a store and planting the seed. Nothing has ever come up. Should I sue the company?"

Bird lovers may sympathize with the man in the loss of his money. But they might also be tempted to advise him that bagged birdseed is for the birds and not for planting!

Have you ever sowed seeds and wondered why plants never came up? Perhaps the seeds were old and had lost their fertility. Perhaps they were planted too deep or too shallow. Perhaps the birds or bugs ate them. Or maybe they did come up, but cutworms got them.

Jesus, in His parable about a sower, told about how the seed fell on different kinds of ground. Some fell by the wayside and was devoured by birds. Some fell on stony ground, sprang up quickly, and then withered away. Some fell among thorns and was choked and yielded no fruit. Other seeds fell on good ground and yielded much fruit. Jesus explained that this was like the Word of God being sown among men.

WHAT KIND OF SEEDS DO WE PLANT?

True Christians have an inherent desire to share their faith with others. We want to sow the seed as our Lord commanded. But sometimes we may wonder, even as the man who planted birdseed, why we never see any results.

Could it be that we are planting the wrong seeds, as he did? Jesus said the seed is the Word of God. This is the best seed to plant, for the Word of God does the work of God.
Hebrews 4:12 says,
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

Can personal opinions or arguments on side issues have anything like the power of God's Word? Actually they can't, because they are like the birdseed that is just for the birds. When we are trying to reach someone for Christ, it's best for us to share the wonderful truths of His salvation, along with the living Word of God. And of course we can tell how the Lord transformed our lives.

HAVE PATIENCE!

Yet what if we do tell others about Christ and use Scripture, and nothing seems to happen? It's discouraging, isn't it? Birds and bugs may get our flower seeds; and as Jesus said, the birds devour seed scattered by the wayside.

What should we do when this happens? Keep on sowing. One spring I planted some vegetable seeds, and either they didn't come up or the frost got the seedlings. I planted some more of the same kind later and they all came up. The Bible says, "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not"
(Galatians. 6:9).

Some years ago I had a neighbor with whom I shared the gospel. A middle-aged woman, she was a church member but didn't know the Lord. It seemed that the more I talked to her, the less I got through. But I kept planting and praying.

One day Bette surprised me by asking if I could show her how to be saved. Joyfully I sat down with her and the Bible and shared with her the way of salvation. She knelt with me in her living room and received the Lord Jesus as her Savior. She was filled with joy! Shortly after that she was baptized and became active for the Lord. The seed finally came up, bright and green, and it bore fruit in Bette's life.

MISPLANTED SEEDS

Sometimes seeds may be sown in wrong ways, even as literal seeds may be planted too deep or too shallow. We may share the gospel with someone without backing it with prayer or genuine concern. Some Christians hit people over the head with the Word, in a superior, contentious spirit. That's really burying it! On the other hand, our stand for Christ and the Bible may be wishy-washy; a shallow planting that bears no fruit. The Bible says, "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him"
(Psalm 126:6). Now that's the way to plant the gospel!

CARING FOR YOUNG GROWING THINGS

Isn't it a joy to see young plants spring up? Yes, and it's a joy to see the Word spring forth into life eternal for some fellow human being. But have you ever seen what happens to young tomato plants when cutworms have been busy during the night? Disasterville!

You have to surround the young plants with little cardboard collars or sticks to protect them from the cutworms. If you put tomato plants out too early in the spring, frost might get them also; so you must sometimes cover them with caps at night.

Even so, young Christians need the prayers and ministrations of older Christians to help protect them from the devastation of their enemy, Satan. They need to be nurtured by the Word, helped to grow to the point where they can stand firm for the Lord. They need to be covered with the protective mantle of prayer.
Ephesians 6:18 tells us to pray in the Spirit, on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. We are to be alert and keep on praying for all saints.

It takes a lot of work to be a good "farmer" for the Lord- but it's worth it!"
Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, June 2003, page 12

The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail
Instead of his tongue

Wanted: Dead
by Ethel Buttram

"KNOWN CRIMINAL: Attacks without warning; usually very sly and subtle.

KILLER: Can kill body and soul.

DESTROYER: Known to destroy the value of life itself. Will destroy all that is good and holy.

HOME BREAKER: Will turn wives against their husbands and husbands against their wives. Parents are turned against their children and children against their parents.

CHURCH SPLITTER: He has been known to split churches, causing pastors to turn away in sorrow with their characters slandered. By breaking hearts of the saints, he has destroyed Christian standards and influence.

WORLDWIDE HATE: He has caused nation to turn against nation and kingdom against kingdom, bringing hatred and distrust.

ROBBER: He has turned riches into rags and kindness into bitterness.

If he is not conquered he will continue on his road of destruction; leaving scenes of ruin, rivers of tears, souls suffering and left with battle scars.
(Read Matthew 12:35-37).

When you see evidence of his whereabouts, approach him boldly in the Name of Jesus, taking the Sword of Faith...the Word of God.


     He can be caught and stopped! Use Matthew 18:18.
     His aliases are: TEMPER, GOSSIP ENVY, LIAR, JEALOUSY.
     His name is the TONGUE.
"The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defiletht the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell"
(James 3:6).

"But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison"
(James 3:8).

"Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these ought not so to be"
(James 3:10).

"... let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meeknesss of wisdom"
(James 3:13).

"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy"
(James 3:17).

Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, June 2003, page 15

School: A place with four walls
And
Tomorrow inside

The Humanists and Education in the U.S.A.
by Kraig J. Rice

"Professing themselves to "be wise, they became fools" (Romans 1:22).

I was unsaved in 1964 when I took a class on anthropology (the study of man) at the local Santa Rosa Junior College. The professor taught the theory of evolution as fact, that the Bible was a collection of fairy tales and myths, and taught that the Jews were a cult. He believed this nonsense himself and this is what partly made the philosophy so believable to me. I could have dropped the class at any time but I enjoyed the class and believed what I was taught by this man. He quoted all kinds of facts, figures, and dates to make his philosophy seem truthful. Believing in the theory of evolution, however, never gave me peace in my heart, a conscience clear of guilt, or a reason for living. The man taught with the complete approval and sanction of the administration of the college. Never once was evolution allowed to be refuted or the Biblical-creation view given equal time.

The college professor was sincere in his belief and teaching of the theory of evolution. However, just because a person is sincere does not mean he is absolutely right. He may be sincerely wrong or sincerely deceived. I have met some of the most devout cultists seeking to sway me to their religious beliefs who were absolutely sincere in what they believe to the point of having tears in their eyes when they talk to me. No matter, if what they believe and propogate is contrary to God's Holy Word, the Bible, then they are sincerely wrong.

Why was a college professor able to teach evolution as fact and as the truth in one of this nation's public colleges? I didn't know the answer until many years later when I learned about Secular Humanism. My purpose in writing this is to give a brief summation on this subject from the way I understand it so one may understand why I encountered what I did in a public college.

What is Secular Humanism? Briefly stated. Humanism is a religion (declared so by the U.S. Supreme Court) that teaches that man is his own god and that he should rely upon himself and his own powers to solve any and all problems apart from the control and guidance of God. It is the same deadly "enlightenment" that Satan used on the first couple in the Garden of Eden to get them to disobey God and go their own way in defiance of God.

How the Humanists infiltrated our society is another story. They have gained control of the news media, entertainment and television media, the government, the medical field, law, politics, and some church denominations. I wish to limit my discussion here to how they dominated the educational system in America because it was in the educational field I first encountered the Humanists and their godless philosophy of evolution.

The first American to use public education to promote Humanism was John Dewey. His "band wagon" was progressive education. Beginning in the early 1930's, during the Great Depression era, he and others promoted and pushed ahead Humanism into public education. Once this cancer was intrenched in the body it spread and spurred on the collapse of the Judeo-Christian ethic in public education. The death verdict was pronounced over the decease of the Judeo-Christian ethic in 1963, when the Humanistically inclined U.S. Supreme Court justices outlawed the recitation of the Lord's prayer and Bible study in public education.

I believe America has come a long way in departing from what the founding fathers had in mind when they began public education. The intentions of this country's founding fathers was to establish a nation where the laws of God were followed by church and state— as closely as was humanly possible. They understood and recognized the need for a wonderful Constitution that would protect the people from the corrupt powers of an overbearing civil government, and they realized that their new government was to curb human depravity and be a servant to the people. The early Puritans in our country realized their dependence upon God and established a covenant relationship with Him because He was a Person to be feared if the sins of their new nation moved His hand of anger against them. They were wise because the Bible says "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom"
(Psalms 111:10). God blessed them and their new nation. The public schools were used to teach students to read, especially the Bible.

My forefather, Edmund Rice, was an ordained Deacon in the Puritan Church, He came to America from England in 1638 and for generations afterward his children and grandchildren feared God and obeyed the Lord's Commandments. I wonder what he would think if he were alive now and could see how radically different things have become. What he would object to the most is that our public schools have become anti-Christ indoctrination centers. Among other things unbiblical "values clarification" is an attempt to brainwash the minds of students to hold to relative rather than absolute standards of morality. This is the kind of morality that is built on a foundation of sand rather on a foundation of rock.

Who are the humanists? They are men and women who are spiritually blind but organized. The first Humanist Manifesto went to press in 1955, but in the fall of 1975, the leaders of the American Humanist Association updated the 1953 manifesto to make the Humanist Manifesto II. Stating it basically and briefly, the Humanists believe in the following:


      1. Any belief in a personal God is an unproven and outmoded faith.
      2. The priority of human needs and experience is placed above
         God and religious revelation.
      5. Humans come first, not God; and nature comes first, not deity.
      4. No deity will save mankind: mankind must save itself.
      5. Science affirms that the human species is an emergence from
         natural evolutionary forces.
      6. Ethics is autonomous and situational, needing no theological
         or idealogical sanction. Ethics stem from human need and interest.
      7. Individuals should be permitted to express their sexual
         proclivities and pursue their life-styles as they desire.
      8. Innovative and experimental forms of education are to be welcomed.
It appears to me that the Humanists have decided to force the U.S.A. to condemn its educational "house" established on the Rock and move it to a foundation that is built upon the sand. I smell "coven conspiracy" here. The Bible story in
Matthew 7:26-27 of the house built upon the sand goes this way from Jesus:
"And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell; and great was the fall of it." I believe Christians, with the help of God, can defeat the Humanists. They are not ten feet tall but only flesh and blood. They can be voted or appointed out of office, They can be prayed out of office or be converted to Jesus Christ while holding their office of responsibility.

In the political arena there is a great danger now of Humanists posing as "born again" Christians to obtain votes and political favor. These are political wolves in sheeps clothing and do not love Jesus Christ or His people or what they stand for. One may know them by their political fruits (voting records, whether or not they are now or have been members of Humanistically inclined associations or receive campaign support or funding from Humanistic dominated groups).

The Humanists don't believe in God and do believe in evolution. That is why I was taught evolution as fact in 1964 in public college and the professor was allowed to teach it with the complete approval and sanction of the college administration. There is no proof to substantiate the lie of evolution as fact. The Bible says, "The fool hath said in his heart. There is no God."
(Psalms 14:1). Why are we letting a lot of fools loose in our education departments? It's because our foundation of public education is a moral disgrace in the eyes of God.

After learning the lie of evolution I became a humanist. I went home one night after my anthro class was over with for the day and argued with my Bible believing mother about the truthfulness of the Bible and cast doubts on its credibility even though I had never read or studied it in any great capacity. My mother frustrated my logical attacks by simply stating, "You just have to accept the Bible on faith." That did not satisfy me at all intellectually at that time. Later, after my conversion to Christ I studied the Bible intellectually at Bethany Bible College and obtained all the answers I sought for.

Is Humanism dangerous? I have to say yes. If a Christian goes to a public college he or she must prepare to encounter the lie of evolution taught as fact and be able to withstand peer pressure. This takes a strong Christian well anchored in his or her beliefs. Some varying forms of philosophy are also taught as absolute truth and should be avoided like the plague. It may be dangerous to the faith of a Christian to go to secular college after having attended Christian high school through all four years. In this case I recommend a Christian college. Once I met a young woman who had suffered a tremendous mental breakdown. She had been raised as a Christian and believed the creation account of Genesis. She went to a secular college and studied evolution. Her parents told me her mind "snapped" due to the conflict between what they had taught her from the Bible and what the college had taught her in regards to evolution. She became nearly a living vegetable and stayed in this condition for years afterwards. One time in 1968 I met an eighty year old gentleman in Santa Cruz, Calif. and witnessed to him. We had a long involved discussion after which I showed him wonderful scriptures from the Bible and invited him to pray with me to accept Jesus Christ as his personal saviour. He refused. When I inquired why he told me he did not believe the Bible at all. Then he went into his bedroom and pulled out a picture book on evolution and showed it to me and stated that was what he believed in. One page in the book showed the purported stages of the progression of man as he evolved upward to modern man. I explained to him all that was a lie but he wouldn't listen. He chose the lie of evolution over a wonderful Saviour who died to save him from his sins. Yes, the devil has used the humanists to do his will. The lies of the humanists are dangerous.

What should committed "born again" Christians do about the philosophy of Humanism in our public schools?

First of all recognize it for what it is. One would not play around with a dangerous rattlesnake and so one should not play around with Humanism either. Something that deadly should be killed.

Secondly, Christians should run for political offices, get involved, vote, educate their children under Christian teachers, properly train their children at home, and resist Humanists and the religion of Humanism wherever and whenever possible. Let's attack and conquor this strong hold of Satan thats leading our young people away from God.

Thirdly, change the existing laws to reflect true Christian worship and instruction.

If a loved one, friend, or relative is struggling with Humanism or evolution I suggest that you read the following books for help:
The Battle for the Mind by Dr. Tim LaHaye
From Evolution to Creation by Dr. Gary E. Parker

When the restaurant next to the Lutheran Church put out a big sign with red letters that said, Open Sundays,
the church reciprocated with its own message:
We are Open on Sundays, too

Spirit-Filled Witnessing
An Assemblies of God Sunday School Leaflet

THE CENTRAL TRUTH: The Holy Spirit makes our witness for Christ effective.

THE GOLDEN TEXT:
"Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me"
(Acts 1:8).

Sometimes the devil attacks our witness for Christ by using lies to destroy us or discredit us. Sometimes he simply takes advantage of our weaknesses and human failings and makes us look ridiculous— and tries to tack that ridicule from us onto our Lord.

Ridicule of our relationship with Jesus Christ is effective in direct proportion to the reality of our belief and trust in Him. If we are fully convinced of Christ's existence as the risen, eternal Son of God; and if our lives are vibrant and alive with the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, there is little Satan can throw at us that will make a difference.

Believers in the Early Church, both those who had seen Christ and those who had not, were fully convinced that Christ was indeed who He claimed to be. They could say as Paul later wrote, "I know whom I have believed"
(2 Timothy 1:12). Is your experience with Christ as convincing to yourself and to others?

Just what does it mean for us to be Spirit-filled witnesses for Christ? Certainly we can't tell our friends and families about Him in the same way that those who walked with Him and met Him after the Resurrection did? or can we?

In fact, our witnessing is less than "Spirit-filled" if it fails to include sharing the face-to-face daily experiences we have as we walk with Jesus. Like the early Christians, we must share our encounters with the risen Christ.

BIBLE COMMENTARY: FILLED WITH FAITH AND POWER

Stephen Is Arrested

Read Acts 6:8-15:
"Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, performed amazing miracles and signs among the people. But one day some men from the Synagogue of Freed Slaves, as it was called, started to debate with him. They were Jews from Cyrene, Alexandria, Cilicia, and the province of Asia. None of them was able to stand against the wisdom and Spirit by which Stephen spoke. So they persuaded some men to lie about Stephen, saying, "We heard him blaspheme Moses, and even God." Naturally, this roused the crowds, the elders, and the teachers of religious law. So they arrested Stephen and brought him before the high council. The lying witnesses said, "This man is always speaking against the Temple and against the law of Moses. 14We have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy the Temple and change the customs Moses handed down to us." At this point everyone in the council stared at Stephen because his face became as bright as an angel's."
(Acts 6:8-15).

1. The greatest hindrance to the work of the Early Church wasn't outward opposition- it was inner division. To deal with possible contention and jealousies which threatened the unity of the Body, the apostles, under God's direction, reorganized the structure of the church at Jerusalem and set up the office of deacon. The seven men chosen were men of good repute who were full of the Holy Spirit and practical wisdom.

2. The organization of the Early Church put no one in a straitjacket. On the contrary, the touch of the Spirit on their routine duties of caring for the widows encouraged them to trust God for greater things. Stephen's life is an example of how the early leaders stepped out for the Lord in a new ministry full of grace and power.

3. Jesus was clearly at work in Stephen's life and new ministry. Stephen, first of all, was full of grace. The words "full of grace" are used in only one other passage in the New Testament where they are applied to Jesus
(John 1:14). God could use Stephen because he reflected the character of Jesus. And being full of the Holy Spirit and practical wisdom, Stephen was also full of power.

4. Stephen did nothing to deserve or earn this power. The word "power" in Acts is often connected with the baptism in the Holy Spirit, which is a gift, not a reward for merit. Filled with the Spirit and with holy boldness, Stephen stepped out into a ministry which reflected the ministry of Jesus.

5. Stephen's ministry quickly brought results. Many miracles took place. He took a new step and brought the gospel into the synagogues of Jerusalem. Through Stephen, the Holy Spirit shattered the arguments of the enemies of Christ.

6. But this great ministry brought renewed opposition from the Jews. Just as Jesus' arguments drove the Jewish leaders to plot against Him privately, so it was with Stephen. When they found no other way to stop this Spirit-filled witness, they started a campaign of lies and misinformation. When they had incited the crowds to near-riot pitch, Stephen was arrested.

7. Stephen was charged with blasphemy against Moses and against God. In the end, they linked all this to false witnesses who claimed Stephen was teaching that Jesus would destroy the temple. It is significant that the Jews had forgotten the glory of God which made a holy place holy: They were more concerned about the temple than the presence of God. In reality, God had left the temple and made a new temple, the Church, the body of Christ.

Fearless Witnessing

Read Acts 7:51-54:
"You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? But your ancestors did, and so do you! Name one prophet your ancestors didn't persecute! They even killed the ones who predicted the coming of the Righteous One- the Messiah whom you betrayed and murdered. You deliberately disobeyed God's law, though you received it from the hands of angels." The Jewish leaders were infuriated by Stephen's accusation, and they shook their fists in rage."
(Acts 7:51-54).

1. When Stephen was given a chance to defend himself against his accusers, the Holy Spirit helped him know what to say and how to say it. But he didn't waste time defending himself. Instead, Stephen was empowered by the Spirit and gave a strong defense of the gospel and a witness to Christ.

2. Stephen began by reviewing in some detail the long history of Israel and all of God's grace and power at work in the nation. This work of God, Stephen said, continued even though Israel rejected the Law and the prophets, persecuted those whom God sent, and went astray into idolatry.

3. Indeed, he argued, by rejecting the spiritual worship God demands while clinging to the outward forms and ceremonies, the Jews became the true offenders, not Jesus or Stephen. Bringing his message to a climax, Stephen declared that the Jewish leaders, by rejecting Jesus and the gospel, were resisting the Holy Spirit.

4. The Sanhedrin was unable to give an answer to Stephen's argument and his strong charges. Instead, the members turned on him in savage fury. Their anger made them act like wild animals and showed what was in their hearts all along.

Received by Christ

Read Acts 7:55-60:
"But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily upward into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God's right hand. And he told them, "Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God's right hand!" Then they put their hands over their ears, and drowning out his voice with their shouts, they rushed at him. They dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. The official witnesses took off their coats and laid them at the feet of a young man named Saul. And as they stoned him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." And he fell to his knees, shouting, "Lord, don't charge them with this sin!" And with that, he died."
(Acts 7:55-60).

1. In contrast to the rage by which the Sanhedrin members showed their resistance to the Holy Spirit, Stephen remained calm. Because he was still full of the Holy Spirit, he did not look at his persecutors. Instead, he fixed his gaze heavenward and saw a vision of the throne and the glory of God with Jesus standing at God's right hand.

2. Stephen's vision indicates he was seeing and declaring that Jesus was in the place of authority and power as God's Son— at His right hand. It is significant also that Jesus was standing. Other passages speak of Jesus sitting at God's right hand. Here Jesus rose to welcome and bless the victorious Stephen as he came into heaven.

3. The Jewish leaders covered their ears because they didn't want to hear any more about Stephen's vision of God and Jesus. At the same time, they closed their minds. They rushed at Stephen in a spontaneous, violent impulse, threw him out of the city and proceeded to stone him to death.

4. As the Sanhedrin members rushed Stephen, they took off their outer garments— perhaps to free their arms for throwing the stones— and laid them at Saul's feet
(Acts 22:20). Hence, we know that Saul was present at Stephen's death and probably heard the preaching. The writer of Acts uses this to introduce Saul and prepare us for what the Bible later says of his salvation.

5. Stephen's last words must have made a lasting impression on Saul. Instead of praying for deliverance, Stephen called out to God for a warm welcome home! He died serenely, just as if he were falling asleep. Stephen became the first of the church's martyrs, those who give their lives because of their witness.

6. Like those in the Book of Revelation, Stephen won a triumphant victory. By the blood of the Lamb, by the word of his testimony, and by loving not his life unto death
(Revelation 12:11), Stephen gave a strong witness to Jesus— and left a tremendous example for all believers. He inspires us to be martyrs, faithfully witnessing even in the face of persecution or death.

APPLYING THE WORD

Stephen is never linked in Scripture with Jesus' life and earthly ministry. He may or may not have known Jesus while He walked with and taught His disciples. Yet Stephen is the perfect example of a testimony to the life and power of the risen Christ. Through the Holy Spirit, Stephen came to know Jesus so intimately that he was willing to give his life for Christ. That is the kind of witness God expects of each of us today. Jesus can become just as real and present to us as He was to Stephen when we daily call upon Him and allow the Holy Spirit to make Him real in our lives. Like Stephen, we can be powerful witnesses to Jesus— even to the point of giving our lives for Him if that is necessary— through the power of the Holy Spirit."
Quoted from a Sunday School Leaflet entitled "Spirit-Filled Witnessing" by the Gospel Publishing House, The Church In Action series, Study 3, Dec, l8, 1988

Satan says procrastinate
But
God says do not wait

What's In A Name?
by Robert Morey

"What's in a name? In Scripture, names had a much greater significance than they do today. Most parents today do not choose a name for their children based on the meaning of the name. Instead, they choose a name that runs in the family or that is unique or popular.

In biblical times, names indicated something about the person who bore that name. They often indicated a character trait such as Jacob, which means "supplanter," or what a person did for a living. This held true for hundreds of years in Western culture and explains the origin of names such as Baker, Goldman, Taylor, Shepherd, etc. It is only in recent times that people's names have lost this sense of significance.

In this light, the biblical names and titles of this fallen angel who opposes all that is good and right indicate his nature and his work. Let us examine the names and titles of the devil in the order of their frequency of use in the Bible.

The Favorite Name

1. Satan. This fallen angel is called "Satan" 53 times in Scripture. It is the favorite name of the devil throughout the entire Bible. It is also his proper name. Thus when Jesus rebuked the devil when he had finished tempting Him, He used the devil's proper name. He said, "Begone, Satan!"
(Matthew 4:10).

The word Satan in the Hebrew and Greek simply means "adversary." It refers to someone who is your enemy; someone who has it in for you. Remember those days in junior high when the school bully picked on you? Or maybe there was a girl who would gossip about you. You had an "adversary" —someone against you.

The Principle of First Mention

The first reference to "Satan" in the Bible is found in
1 Chronicles 21:1. As is often the case, the first mention of something or someone in the Bible is very important. It will therefore pay us to look more closely at this passage to see what it says about Satan:
"Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel"
(1 Chronicles 21:1).

The passage reveals several things:

Satan attacks nations as well as individuals. Both Israel and David came under attack. Satan's devices encompass a plan to destroy nations as well as the souls of men.

Satan has a special hatred for those nations where the truth is preached. We do not read that he "stood up against" nations that worshiped him through pagan religions. No. Instead, he lifted them up and sought to expand their power.

Satan is able to motivate people to do things by putting ideas in their minds. He put it into the mind of David to number the people. We'll have more to say about this later.

Satan can implant thoughts even in believers. David was not a pagan. Yet Satan was able to manipulate him into doing something that would harm both him and the nation.

Satan can take something which seems perfectly innocent and use it to do evil. Taking a census of men of fighting age is hardly wrong in and of itself. In the book of Numbers, God Himself commanded such a census be taken. Why then was it viewed as sin in this passage?

A clue is given in the response of Joab, the commander of David's armies. When David told Joab to number the people, Joab sensed that this was not the right thing to do at the time. There was no war. There was no need to enlarge the army. Besides, God had not commanded it. This is why Joab said, "May the LORD add to His people a hundred times as many as they are! But my lord the king, are they not all my lord's servants? Why does my lord seek this thing? Why should he be a cause of guilt to Israel?"
(verse 3).

But when Satan is motivating someone to do something, it is very difficult to talk him out of it. So David did not listen to Joab and forced the census
(verses 4 and 5).

Satan hates it when God's people love each other and are united in the cause of righteousness. The census caused a breach of fellowship between David and Joab, his best friend. Joab disobeyed David by not including the tribes of Levi and Benjamin in the census because he felt David's command was abhorrent
(verse 6).

The census also caused fear, anger, and division among the people. Was the king going to attack a nation when there was no reason to do so? Was he out for vain-glory like the pagan kings?

Satan wants to destroy a believer's walk with God and give God an occasion to punish him. Because David, Joab, and the nation of Israel fell into the sins of anger, strife, disunity, gossip, slander, etc., God had to condemn and punish them all
(verse 7).

Satan loves it when personal sin leads others to wickedness. David confessed his sin in
verse 8: "David said to God, "I have sinned greatly, in that I have done this thing. But now, please take away the iniquity of Thy servant, for I have done very foolishly."

While God was merciful and forgave David his personal sin, this did not mean that everyone else was automatically forgiven.

God sent a plague and 70,000 people died under the wrath of God
(verse 14)! The city of Jerusalem was almost destroyed
(verse 15). Satan laughed as he saw the damage he had done to Israel, David, and Joab.

Just from this brief look at the text we see that from the very first mention, the being named "Satan" is the enemy of all that is good. He actively seeks to destroy the unity of God's people on an individual and corporate level.

Other Old Testament Mentions

Not only is Satan mentioned in the historical section of the Old Testament, he is also mentioned in the poetical sections.

In the oldest book of the Bible, the book of Job, the name "Satan" pops up in the very first chapter. The oldest name in the oldest book for the evil one is "Satan"!

Once again, Satan is the "adversary" of the people of God, which is why he sought to destroy Job and his family. Satan's insanity is obvious to all who read how he desperately tried to get Job to curse God.

When we turn to the section of the Old Testament referred to as the Prophets, we are once again confronted with this insane being who was cast down to this planet and who is determined to destroy the people of God: "Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. And the LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?"
(Zechariah 3:1-2).

While Joshua the high priest was interceding for Israel, Satan was standing at his right hand as his adversary. The LORD had to rebuke Satan in order for Joshua to get on with the holy task of interceding for the people of God.

Satan in the New Testament

The name "Satan" is also found in the Gospels, where it is the predominant name for this fallen angel.
In Matthew 4:10 it was "Satan" who came and tempted the Lord Jesus. He had the nerve to try and tempt even the Lord Jesus!

The apostle Peter was familiar with Satan on a firsthand basis. No doubt he painfully remembered the time that Satan put the idea into his mind to rebuke the Lord Jesus
(Matthew 16:22). I know that I would never forget that awful incident if it had happened to me.

When Peter opened his mouth and rebuked the Son of God, Jesus turned around and in front of everyone rebuked Satan for putting Peter up to it
(Matthew 16:23). I would not have wanted to be in Peter's shoes on that day!

In Acts 26:17-18 the apostle Paul speaks of the commission that the Lord Jesus Christ gave to him at his conversion: "I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you (Paul) to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me." (NIV)

At the very inception of Paul's Christian experience, Jesus sent him forth to preach a message which would open spiritual eyes and turn sinners from darkness to light. Paul would see the gospel release people from the powerful grasp of Satan and transfer them into the kingdom of Christ
(Colossians 1:13).

In Paul's letters to the church at Rome, Christians are told to rejoice because they will crush Satan under their feet
(Romans 16:20). In the New Testament letters known as the General Epistles, Satan is the predominant name for the devil. In Revelation, the final judgment and doom of Satan is revealed. He and his fellow fallen angels "will be tormented day and night"
(Revelation 20:10).

The Bible talks about the future as something that is certain because God has ordained it to come to pass. As surely as you are reading this book right now, the doom of Satan has already been set in motion. It is what is called in the business world "a done deal."

Scripture describes the future with the same certainty with which it describes the past. God will triumph over the devil. The good will win over the evil. Justice shall be vindicated. Christ will judge the world in righteousness, and the saints will live happily forever. The future is not a cosmic crap game ruled by Lady Luck. Since God is the sovereign Creator and Sustainer of the universe, He will bring His words to pass
(1 Thessalonians 5:24).

His Most-Used Title

2. Devil. The most-used title (as opposed to Satan, which is the most-used name) in Scripture for Satan is the New Testament word devil. It is a Greek word which literally means "tempter." It is a title instead of a name because it is not a proper name at all. This is why it is not capitalized in the Bible.

Satan is called the "devil" 31 times in the New Testament because he tempts people to do evil. Biblical authors will often use the word devil instead of some other title when temptation is the specific device of Satan under consideration.

As Jesus began His public ministry, He was led by the Spirit to spend 40 days in the wilderness. We saw earlier that during this time Jesus was visited by Satan. Since the purpose of Satan's visit was to tempt Jesus, Matthew and Luke both use the title "devil" in their accounts of the temptation
(Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13).

In his description of the temptation, Matthew uses the title "devil" four times
(Matthew 4:1,5,8,11) and the title "tempter" once (Matthew 4:3). The use of the word tempter in verse 3 emphasized the particular device Satan employed.

Matthew introduces the name "Satan" only when he quotes Jesus' rebuke of the devil in
Matthew 4:10. "Satan" refers to the person while "devil" refers to the work. You could say that "Satan is the name while the word devil is the game." Hence the name "Satan" was used when Jesus officially rebuked him and ordered him to leave.

In Acts 10:38, we read how "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him" (New International Version or NIV).

Notice that Peter summarized the earthly ministry of Jesus in terms of His power to deliver people from the power of the devil.

Paul also used the word devil when he rebuked a witch. His scathing rebuke serves as a model of how to answer modern occultists and heretics: "Then Saul, who was called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, "You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?"
(Acts 13:9,10 NIV).

Paul's rebuke would no doubt be condemned as "unloving" by those who think that someone's feelings are more important than God's truth or their immortal soul. But notice that it was the Spirit of God who led Paul to rebuke this witch as a "child of the devil."

Career Soldiers

In Ephesians 6:11,12, the apostle Paul describes the Christian life as a battle with the devil: "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (NIV).

The Christian life is a spiritual war in which the believer is a soldier who needs his full armor to defeat the temptations of the devil.

Peter was tempted by the devil to rebuke the Lord and then tempted yet again to deny the Lord. It is no wonder that he described the devil as a vicious lion. He had been mauled by that old wicked lion and warned us from his own experience: "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings"
(1 Peter 5:8,9 NIV).

Please notice that the "roaring lion" is after Christians, not unbelievers. I have been mauled a few times myself and expect to feel the devil's teeth now and then as I rob him of souls in the future. There is a price to pay when you fight the devil.

Other Names and Titles

3. Dragon. The next most-used title for Satan was a popular intertestamental Jewish literary description. Since the book of Revelation was written in the style of a Jewish apocalyptic work, it is no surprise to find that it calls Satan a "dragon" 13 times. In
Revelation 12:9 the dragon is identified as Satan, the devil, and the serpent all rolled into one evil being.

The Jews used the dragon as a symbol of the devil because it was traditionally viewed as loathsome, evil, vile, and malicious. This is in keeping with the picture of the dragon in Revelation as one who seeks to devour the saints
(see also Revelation chapters 12-13).

4. The Evil One. The devil is called "the evil one" 12 times in the Bible. How appropriate! For that is exactly what he is by nature. With this title we enter the realm of his character.

Most people do not realize that where our English translation of the "Lord's Prayer" says, "Deliver us from evil," the Greek actually says, "Deliver us from the evil one," in other words, the devil! Even in His high-priestly prayer in
John chapter 17, Jesus said,
"I do not ask Thee to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one"
(John 17:15).

Not only do we find the devil described as the "evil one" in the Gospels, but we later find that the apostle John rejoiced because the young men had "overcome the evil one"
(1 John 2:13). Then in 1 John 5:18, we read one of the most precious promises in all the Bible. The apostle of love tells us that ultimately the evil one cannot harm the child of God. Satan may scratch and maul you, but he cannot really harm you. Even old Job was better off in the end than at the beginning.

5. Baalzebub or Beelzebub. The devil is called "Baalzebub" or "Beelzebub" 11 times in the Bible. The Hebrew word literally means "Lord of the Flies" and originally referred to the Egyptian worship of the sun god called "Baal" as "the lord of the flies." The Egyptians even worshiped the fly itself. Archaeologists have dug up idols in the form of the common housefly.

It became a Jewish name for Satan and is referred to in the Old Testament in
2 Kings 1:2,3,6,16 and is used in the Gospels seven times. As a matter of fact, it was one of Jesus' favorite terms.

6. The Serpent. Satan is called a serpent or a snake ten times in the Bible. The first reference to Satan as a snake is found in Genesis chapter 3, where Satan spoke through the body of a snake.

In the New Testament, a serpent is referred to in
2 Corinthians 11:3, where the apostle Paul worried that just as that old "snake" deceived Eve, he was going to deceive them. Again in
Revelation 12:9 and 20:2 the devil is called that "serpent of old," a reference to the fact that he was with man and woman in the garden.

It is interesting to note that occultists and New Agers have turned dragons and snakes into symbols of goodness and even wear them as good luck charms. But all this recent glorification of dragons and snakes is just another attempt by Satan to get people to worship him. We should educate our children that such things are symbols of evil.

7. The Prince of this Age. The apostle John called the devil "the prince of this age" (NIV) three times
(John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). The King James translates it as "the prince of this world," but the Greek word that is translated "world" does not refer to this planet but rather to an age. Thus he is called "the prince of this age" in modern translations.

Satan has only this age in which to fight against God and His people. His days are numbered, and he knows it.

8. The Adversary. Satan is called "the Adversary" (or "enemy") twice in the New Testament
(1 Timothy 5:14 and 1 Peter 5:8). He is the adversary of the souls of men and opposes all that is righteous.

9. The Prince of Demons. The devil is called "the prince of demons" two times
(Matthew 9:34 and 12:24 NIV). That he is called the "prince" or "ruler" of the demons indicates that the demons are not a disorganized mob. There is a chain of command, and Satan is the boss. Demons are under his authority.

10. The Prince of the Power of the Air. Satan is called "the prince of the power of the air" in
Ephesians 2:2 because his kingdom is universal and invisible just like air. When asked where Satan rules, the rabbis would wave their hands in the air to symbolize that his invisible rule was everywhere.

11. The God of this Age. Satan is called "the god of this age" in
2 Corinthians 4:4 (NIV) because his goal is to keep people in this age from hearing and believing the glorious gospel by blinding their minds to the truth.

The word god here is used in the figurative sense, in the same way pagan idols are called "gods." They are not "gods" by nature but only by name
(Galatians 4:8).

12. The Accuser of the Brethren. The title "the accuser of [the] brethren" is used in
Revelation 12:10 as a title for Satan. When I meet Christians whose "ministry" is to run around and accuse the brethren all the time, I assume that they are on the devil's payroll because they are doing his work for him!

God has called all Christians to defend the faith according to Jude chapter 3. Our focus should be on defending the gospel when unbelievers attack it and not on attacking the character and motives of fellow Christians
(1 Corinthians 4:1-5).

When Peter tells us in 1 Peter 3:15 to give a logical answer to those people who challenge the gospel, he goes on to say that we should be gentle and respectful as we do this. Remember, it is not enough to win the argument. Our goal is to win the person to Christ!

13. The Spirit of Disobedience. In Ephesians 2:2 the devil is called "the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient" (NIV) because he is a malignant fiend who loves to motivate people to rebellion and anarchy.

Having pastored for many years, I have seen far too many people fall into this device of Satan by becoming disobedient and rebellious to the rule of Christ over His church. My heart has been broken so many times by people who rebel against the lordship of Christ by demanding their own way in church affairs.

Like the man mentioned in 3 John verse 9, they are determined to either rule or ruin the local church they attend. In some cases, they split one church after another out of rebellion to the rule of Christ and then have the gall to claim they have done God a favor. Their condemnation is just.

No wonder the apostle Paul came down hard on the demonic spirit of disobedience that caused so much pain and suffering in the churches he founded. In this rebellious age we must learn to submit to the lordship of Christ in all of life and follow what He has set forth in His Word concerning the structure, offices, and management of the local church
(1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; Hebrews 13:17).

14. The Deceiver of the Whole World. This title is given to the devil in
Revelation 12:9, and who can argue with it?

15. Abaddon or Apollyon. Satan is called in the Hebrew, Abaddon, and in the Greek, Apollyon, in
Revelation 9:11. Both words simply mean the "destroyer," one who loves to mangle, to rip, or to tear. Don't think for one minute that those whose main "ministry" is destroying the lives and families of God's people are ministers of God.

16. The Father of Lies. Satan is called the "father of lies" by Jesus in
John 8:44. Do you want to know the origin of all lies? The lie that we are all a part of God? The lie that we oozed out of God and are oozing back into God? They came from the "father of lies."

One new device of Satan that has recently gained popularity is the idea that it is not "loving" to tell people the truth. Anything that might hurt someone's feelings is viewed as unloving. This lie pits love against truth. We should never allow this to happen.

The apostle Paul admonished Christians to speak "the truth in love"
(Ephesians 4:15). There is no conflict between speaking the truth and loving someone. The conflict is between coddling someone's feelings and loving them enough to tell them the truth.

17. The King over the Demons. The devil is called the king over the demons in
Revelation 9:11 because he is their leader and they are his followers.

18. The Tempter. As we noted earlier, Satan is called "the tempter" in
Matthew 4:3 and 1 Thessalonians 3:5. Paul says to the Thessalonians:
"For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless" (NIV).

19. Lucifer. Satan may or may not be called "Lucifer" in
Isaiah 14:12. Most Hebrew scholars feel that "Lucifer" is not the proper translation of the Hebrew word— that the Hebrew actually refers to him as the "shining one," he who had the brightness of God's glory originally shining around him. That is why most modern translations do not use the name "Lucifer" in the text.

20. Archangel. Down through the centuries, it has been speculated that Satan was an archangel because he is compared to the archangel Michael in
Jude verse 9 and in Revelation 12:7-12.

The Bible uses the word archangel only in reference to Michael. We do not have a single verse where Satan is specifically called an archangel. But while the word archangel is not used of Satan, he and Michael are linked together in several passages in a way that seems to put them on equal footing. This is why many Christians have assumed that Satan was originally an archangel.

It would also seem that Satan may be more powerful than Michael because Michael could not personally rebuke him: "But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him [Satan], but said "The Lord rebuke you!"
(Jude verse 9 NIV).
If Michael were equal to or greater than the devil, he could have rebuked Satan.

With all these names and titles, it is obvious that the Bible means to indicate that Satan is an evil being and not just a symbol of evil. He is a fallen angel of vast power and intellect who migrated to this planet along with his evil followers. And he insanely imagines that he can become God.

Satan's insanity has led him to oppose all that is good and right and to oppose all life and love. But his ultimate defeat at the hands of Jesus has been secured by Christ's death on the cross. The victory belongs to Jesus!"
Quoted from the book © by Robert Morey, Satan's Devices, Harvest House Publishers, Chapter 5, pages 49-63.

"I've had a few arguments with people, but I never carry a grudge.
You know why?
While you're carrying a grudge or bitterness, they're busy out dancing."
- John Griffin

Attitude of Gratitude
by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

"By today's standards, she should have been a very unhappy, troubled woman. Her father died when she was quite young, leaving her to be raised by her mother and grandmother. As a result of a doctor's careless error when she was only six weeks old, she was afflicted with lifelong blindness.

The tragic and traumatic experiences of this woman's childhood years would have given most people more than enough grounds for a lifetime of self-pity, bitterness, and psychological disorders.

Yet, in her autobiography, Frances Jane Crosby wrote, "It seemed intended by the blessed Providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank Him for the dispensation."

The doctor who destroyed her sight never forgave himself and moved from the area, but there was no room in Fanny Crosby's heart for resentment. "If I could meet him now," she wrote, "I would say "Thank you, thank you," - over and over again- for making me blind."

Blindness a Blessing

The blindness that many would have considered at best an accident and at worse a curse, was considered by Fanny to be one of her greatest blessings. She accepted her blindness as a gift from God. "I could not have written thousands of hymns," she said, "if I had been hindered by the distractions of seeing all the interesting and beautiful objects that would have been presented to my notice."

Fanny's first poem, written when she was eight years old, reflects the perspective that was hers until her death at the age of 95:

 
      Oh, what a happy child I am,
      Although I cannot see!
      I am resolved that in this world
      Contented I will be.
      How many blessings I enjoy
      That other people don't!
      So weep or sigh that I am blind,
      I cannot, nor I won't!

And so, for over a century, the Church has reaped the rich benefits of one woman's thankful heart, as we sing, "To God Be the Glory," "Blessed Assurance," "Redeemed," "All the Way My Savior Leads Me," and countless others of the 8,000 songs that Fanny Crosby wrote in her lifetime.

In a world that has forgotten how to be grateful, the example of this beloved, blind hymn writer seems extraordinary, if not down right odd!

We Fail to Give Thanks

But, oh, what a price we pay for our personal and collective ingratitude. After nearly two decades of ministry to hurting people, I have come to believe that a failure to give thanks is at the heart of much, if not most, of the sense of gloom, despair, and despondence that is so pervasive even among believers today.

Furthermore, many of the sins that are plaguing and devastating our society can be traced back to the often undetected root of unthankfulness.

The "attitude of gratitude" is something that desperately needs to be cultivated in our hearts, our homes, and our society. Its presence brings in its train a host of other blessings, while its absence has profound, lethal repercussions.

Consider with me some of the contrasts between a grateful heart and an ungrateful heart:

1. A grateful person is a humble person, while ingratitude reveals a proud heart. The grateful person feels a great sense of unworthiness- "I have so much more than I deserve." But an ungrateful person feels, "I deserve more than I have."

I can still remember hearing my grateful father respond when asked how he was doing, "Better than I deserve!" You see, he never forgot the waywardness and rebellion that had characterized the first 25 years of his life, prior to his conversion. It never ceased to amaze him that God had saved him, and he always felt an enormous sense of unworthiness and gratitude for the least of God's favors.

I have always been impressed by the grateful sprit of Ruth the Moabitess. Widowed after less than a decade of marriage, an impoverished stranger in a foreign land, and "condemned" to live with her embittered mother-in-law, Ruth seeks a way to support herself and Naomi. When she is discovered by Boaz, who extends to her the right to glean in his fields, she falls all over herself trying to express gratitude for his gracious gesture:

"Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?"
(Ruth 2:10).

2. A grateful heart is conscious of God and others, while an ungrateful person is self-conscious and self-centered. Grateful people think about and help others, but ungrateful people tend to focus on "my needs," "my feelings," "my hurts," "my desires." An unthankful person is full of himself; his whole world revolves around himself. He seldom pauses to consider the needs and feelings of others.

As a result of this preoccupation with self, ungrateful people are typically "grasping," demanding people, while grateful people are free to be giving and caring.

Grateful people are loving people who seek to gratify and bless others, while ungrateful people are bent on gratifying themselves.

One of the most common end-results of ingratitude is the sin of moral impurity. The man or woman who is not thankful for the way God has met his needs easily begins to falsely accuse and find fault with our good God. In reflecting the provision God has already made, the ungrateful person is only one small step away from seeking to get his needs met in illegitimate ways.

3. A grateful heart is a full heart, while an unthankful heart is an empty one. No matter how little he may actually have compared to others, a grateful person enjoys a sense of fullness. But no matter how much a person may in fact have, if he is not a thankful person, he will live with a gnawing sense of emptiness. I envision an unthankful heart as being something like a container with a hole in it that causes all its blessings to leak out! The grateful person has unlimited capacity to truly enjoy God's blessings, while the ungrateful person can not enjoy the blessings he does have.

The Apostle Paul provides us with a powerful illustration of this principle. The book of Philippians is really a rather lengthy thank-you note, written to express gratitude for what the believers in Philippi had done to minister to Paul's material needs while he was traveling and planting churches. "When I departed from Macedonian, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity"
(Philippians 4:15-16).

Bound Paul Abounded

Having expressed his heartfelt appreciation for their most recent gift, Paul, writing from the bowels of a Roman prison and deprived of all but the barest of necessities, makes a remarkable statement: "I will have all, and abound: I am full"
(Philippians 4:18). Who but a very grateful person could have assessed his incarcerated condition with those words?

If we are honest, I think most of us would have to say that our thank-you note in such a situation would certainly have included a litany of the sacrifices we were making, the price we were paying to serve the Lord, the creature comforts we were lacking, and the physical and emotional needs we were facing.

But, not Paul! From a heart overflowing with gratitude, he cries out, "But I have all and abound: I am full"! In fact, so abounding does he believe God's goodness to be, that he proceeds to reassure his readers that there is more than enough for them as well: "But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus"
(Philippians 4:19).

4. People with grateful hearts are easily contented, while ungrateful people are subject to bitterness and discontentedness. Years of counseling with people who are chronically unhappy, depressed, frustrated, and emotionally unstable, have convinced me that these "disorders" most often stem from an unthankful heart, regardless of any external circumstances that may appear to provide an explanation.

An ungrateful person holds tightly to his "rights," and sets himself up for hurt and disappointment when God or others fail to perform according to his expectations. But the individual who has yielded all his rights to God sees all of life through thankful eyes, and has no room in his heart for selfish, destructive emotions.

Great saints of the past sing in unison on this point. A. W. Tozer observed, "Thanksgiving has great curative power. The heart that is constantly overflowing with gratitude will be safe from those attacks of resentfulness and gloom that bother so many religious persons."

In his commentary on the book of Matthew, Matthew Henry wrote, "Thanksgiving is a proper answer to dark and disquieting thoughts, and may be an effectual means to silence them. Songs of praise are sovereign cordials to drooping souls, and will help to cure melancholy. When we have no other answer to the suggestions of grief and fear we may have recourse to this: "I thank Thee, 0 Father."

5. A grateful heart will be revealed and expressed by thankful words, while an unthankful heart will manifest itself in murmuring and complaining. A grateful spirit is what enables people to view and respond to the most painful circurmstance in life with thanksgiving. As one person observed, "Some people complain because God put thorns on roses, while others praise Him for putting roses among thorns."

Again, thankful believers from the past have much to teach us in this matter. Matthew Henry, the well-known commentator of the 19th century, was once accosted by robbers. Reflecting on the experience, he wrote in his diary, "Let me be thankful, first, because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse, they did not take my life; third, because, although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed!"

David Brainerd, that devoted missionary to the American Indians who died before the age of 30, was characterized by a thankful spirit that enabled him to count his blessings in the direst of difficulties. On one occasion, while visiting friends, he suddenly developed a toothache and a shivering cold. During the night, a high fever and great pain attacked him throughout his body. Yet he thanked God that this distress had fallen upon him while he was among friends, rather than alone in the wilderness.

6. Thankful people are refreshing, life-giving springs, while unthankful people pull others down with them into their selfish, demanding ways. We have all known people who were unpleasant to be around because of their negative, down-in-the-mouth way of looking at life. Perhaps we also know what it is to have our own attitudes affected adversely by such people. Unthankfulness is infectious; it poisons and contaminates the atmosphere of our hearts, homes, and other relationships.

But gratefulness is equally contagious. Do you remember the story of Pollyanna, the orphaned child who was sent to live with a cantankerous aunt who didn't want her? Do you remember how the whole climate of the home and community was literally transformed as Pollyanna introduced a joyless, thankless town to the "The Glad Game"? At first, people made fun of the strange little girl who insisted on finding something to be glad about every time anything bad happened. But ultimately they were compelled by the power of the "attitude of gratitude."

From time to time, I find it helpful to stop and take stock of my "gratitude accounts." I ask myself is there any circumstance in my life for which I have never given thanks? Is there some blessing I have received for which I have not expressed gratitude? Is there an individual (a family member, a friend, an acquaintance, an associate, a teacher, a pastor) who has in some way touched or benefited my life, to whom I have not yet paid my debt by saying, "Thank you"?

Let us join in praying, "Thou has given so much to me...Give me one thing more- a grateful heart!"
Originally printed in the Spirit of Revival
Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, November 2002, pages 6-7

The trouble with a mule is
it is backward about going forward

Five Roads To Walk With Jesus
by Donald W. Raub

The Damascus Road- the Way of Submission:
The name means "activity." Damascus was located in Syria, north of Jerusalem. It was first mentioned in
Genesis 14:15 in the account of Abraham's battle with Lot's captors. This is the road where Jesus confronted Saul with heavenly light so brilliant that he fell to the ground in submission
(Acts 9:3-4). Saul's conversion was surely more dramatic than most, yet all who belong to Christ have walked this road. The light of the Gospel, if obeyed, brings us into submission to the Savior.

The Calvary Road- the Way of Sacrifice:
The name means "Golgotha" or "place of the skull." This road was probably a rough, beaten path that led to the place of execution. This is the road to the place where Jesus was crucified. Simon, from Syrene carried the cross along this road to Calvary where Jesus shed His Blood for our redemption. On top of a hill, at the end of this road, the most important event in all of history occurred. The Lamb of God was slain for us. Every true Christian has walked this road to full acceptance of God's sacrifice of His Son for us. It is not a pleasant road, but it is most necessary. From the "place of the skull" comes the hope of eternal life.

The Jericho Road- the Way of Compassion:
The name means "a fragrant place." It is an old road, mentioned in
Numbers 22:1. The children of Israel entered the Promised Land by way of the ancient city of Jericho. In the New Testament, the road to Jericho was the setting for the account of the "Good Samaritan"
(Luke 10:30). Also, blind Bartimaeus was healed by the Lord Jesus along this same road
(Mark 10:46). This road of compassion needs to be traveled more frequently by those who love the Lord.

The Emmaus Road- the Way of Fellowship:
The name means "hot springs." It was on this road, in the afternoon of the day of His resurrection, that Jesus walked with two disciples. With heavy hearts, the disciples discussed the death of their Redeemer, and that His body was now missing from the tomb. Oh, how they needed fellowship. Jesus joined them, but in their grief and confusion they did not recognize Him even though He explained everything to them. Jesus knew exactly what they needed and He provided fellowship at the most crucial time. We as Christians often walk this road, and we should. At times we need fellowship, and at other times we provide fellowship for others who walk this road. At the end of the day, Jesus revealed Himself to the disciples by breaking bread as He had done so many times before. Remember, Jesus is always near even though we may not be aware of His intimate presence
(see Luke 24:13 and 31).

The Highway of the Redeemed- the Way of Holiness:
This is the road of which Isaiah wrote in approximately 700 B.C. It is a road where only the redeemed can walk. Those without a clean heart will never get near. It is a place of safety, provided by God for His children. It is on this road that the "ransomed of the Lord" shall sing songs with everlasting joy and gladness,
"...sorrow and sighing shall flee away"
(Isaiah 35:8-10).

All five of these roads are vital to those who have hope of eternal life. Have you walked along each of these roads?"
Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, November 2002, page 13

Is it harder to
Live for Christ
or
Die for Christ?

Soviet Torturer Decorated
by Richard Wurmbrand

"Dear friends and brethren,

The Gospels record that the two thieves crucified on either side of Jesus both mocked Him. However, one of them, according to Luke's account, had a change of heart and began to rebuke his comrade: "But the other criminal protested, "Don't you fear God even when you are dying? We deserve to die for our evil deeds, but this man hasn't done anything wrong"
(Luke 23:40-41).

In record time this thief gained the promise of entering Paradise the same day.

The Bible relates different stories in order to make it easier for us to grasp refined spiritual realities within ourselves. This being so, we should try to find out why one thief obtained Paradise, the best "steal" of his career, while the other failed to enter at the same door.

Oftentimes, children watching the feats of a magician think magic is simple. They see rabbits or watches being pulled out of a hat and have no idea of the props and many hours of training it takes to make such illusions possible.

Modern civilization also engenders "sophisticated illiteracy". A first grader once stated that butter "grows" in supermarkets. Likewise, one might get the idea that all there is to electricity is knowing how to turn a switch on.

The magic flying carpet of the Arabian Nights stories remained an impossible dream in those times, while for our generation flying is easy, because many inventors and engineers have applied the complex laws of aerodynamics.

The Scriptures are often veiled and telegraphic, but our slackness in meditating on their deeper implications make us believe that we can apply all kinds of Bible promises without spiritual effort.

We must beware of becoming such "spiritual illiterates". Reading only about miracles may lead one to fancy that miracles happen without a cause and thus no more thought is given to their chain of causality.

Communist Paradise

The Communists have started revolutions in different countries by promising paradise to those oppressed. Today in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and other Communist-infiltrated countries, many simple-minded people believe such promises. However, reality is quite different once the Communists come to power. The millions killed in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and Central America prove beyond doubt, for those who want to see, that the Communist paradise is actually a hell.

Tatiana Velikanova, a famous Soviet mathematician, was exiled and placed under house arrest in the cold settlement of Tauchik, in the Soviet Kazak Republic.

Here is an eyewitness report written by one of Tatiana's few visitors: "My heart ached when I saw Tanya. Her face was ashen, powdered with coal dust; she was shivering with cold- her hands and feet were frozen stiff. No one offered her shelter for the night; no one even offered her so much as a hot cup of tea. True, they gave her a cot with a mattress and two blankets and allowed her to take some coal to heat the stove. But what was the use of blankets when the walls were full of cracks and the temperature outside -22°C (7.6° F!). And if she started the fire in the stove, it would have provided mostly smoke. Tanya started the fire on the day before our arrival and succeeded in heating the place to 6°C (42.8°F)."

"Her room was one of a four-room lodging, in a stone barracks,without water, sewage disposal, or even a screened-off area for the toilet. Of all the modern conveniences of the twentieth century, it had only electricity. How can someone consider it suitable for human living?"

"When the decision was made to move Tanya into these quarters, the door from the corridor was sealed up while one of the windows was cut through to the floor creating an entry from the street. They (the authorities) added a 3 by 3 foot, box-like enclosure which juts into the room- you can guess for what. Resourceful people, to say the least."

"The room is rather big (for Soviet standards), about 55 square feet, but it serves as an entrance hall, bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom, and also a toilet."

"In Tauchik the toilet is a special subject. Not that they are nonexistent in that settlement; somewhere at the edge of the village stand wooden cabins for public use, though they cannot be used (because of dirt)."
(Samizdat 133/84)

This is an example of the Communist "paradise".

RED CHINA is another example of a Communist paradise: "About 27 million Chinese died from food shortages resulting from the Great Leap Forward of the late 1950s, an American analysis of new Chinese census figures concludes. Professor Ansley J. Coale, of the National Academy of Sciences at Princeton University, said the Great Leap Forward favored industrial development at the expense of agriculture, and the death rate almost doubled between 1958 and 1962."
(Los Angeles Times, 1/11/84)

The Things of Men

The mocking thief, parroting the rabble, thought that the solution to his predicament would be a patch-up job, just a return from the cross to his old way of life. Like other Jews of his day, he expected Jesus "to save" them by re-establishing an independent Jewish state.

In his dire predicament, he expected a rational, simplistic solution and thought he was in a position to advise Jesus accordingly.

When the apostle Peter tried to prevent his Master from facing crucifixion, Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Thou savorest not the things that be of God"
(Matthew 16:23).

A cause has to be related in quality to its effect. A chicken egg cannot produce a giraffe. Divine effects have to have divine causes.

How could the Saviour of the world produce only a temporary salvation?

When God appeared to Moses in the form of a burning bush, He alerted Moses to the fact that even the surrounding ground was sacred
(Exodus 3:5). How could ordinary ground have maintained a miraculous fire?

Miraculous Ground

Our seeing and hearing are also miraculous ground, the preciousness of which we are usually insensitive to, while we trample over it with our narrow, habitual thoughts.

Only the Communists, who are lying, can promise to bring paradise on earth by changing the superficial social order. Christians should beware of the mistaken belief that religion consists only of helping the poor and straightening out social wrongs.

Jesus fed the multitudes miraculously in order to speak to them, yet reproached them for following Him just to be fed. Those who think so are only looking for a mundane saviour.

From the divine one has to expect the totally different, the strangeness of the divine. The "neighbor" of the one who fell among highway robbers can be only the "strange" Samaritan, and those who meet the resurrected Jesus meet "only a stranger"
(Luke 24:18)

There is no way to produce the divine by combining our own thoughts, let alone our doubts.

The mocking thief used a logical test to find out if Jesus was the Christ. This is no way to reach Paradise. Mundane success has nothing to do with spiritual conquests.

Railing at Believers

Anatoly Vlasov, a Pentecostal from Minsk, Soviet Union, describes how he was approached in 1977 by the Soviet authorities and encouraged to apply for a passport to emigrate to Sweden at the invitation of Swedish Christians.

Unlike the United States, the Soviet Union makes obtaining a passport a tedious process that can take several years.

For months on end, Vlasov spent much time and money in order to gather all sorts of pointless documents required by the authorities as a prerequisite to obtaining the passport application.

As he went through the process several times, because he was told certain forms were not needed or had to be revised, the Swedish invitation and visa expired.

Finally, after another long wait, the family was summoned to the passport office. Instead of handing them the expected documents, a secretary, smiling sarcastically, showed them the X-marked paper they had to sign to attest that their applications for traveling abroad had been denied. Vlasov's wife exclaimed, "Is it possible you have tormented us for so long and now you turn us down? At least tell us why?"

Of course she received no answer.
(Samizdat, 133/84)

In our day and age, Christian brethren in Communist countries are harrassed, tortured, or simply ridiculed. "And others had trials of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprlsonment...of whom the world was not worthy"
(Hebrews 11:36-38).

Soviet Torturer Decorated

Unlike the free world, in Communist countries many are rewarded for evil doing.

Recently, the Soviet Union has granted its second highest award to a psychiatrist accused by the World Psychiatry Association in 1977 of abusing his profession by torturing dissidents.

The news agency Tass reported that the Order of the October Revolution was awarded to Andrei V. Snezhnevshy, director of Moscow's Institute of Forensic Psychiatry.

Critics of the Soviet psychiatric system say the institute is the main clinic for treatment of dissidents detained by the KGB.

Snezhnevsky is believed to be responsible for developing the diagnosis of "Sluggish Schizophrenia," used as justification for the forced drug treatments of Soviet dissidents.

It was also reported that Andrei Sakharov, the famous Soviet physicist, had been treated with mind-altering drugs for over six weeks.

A Mocking Attitude

The thief who continued to mock Jesus had an apparently valid reason to do so. He was simply following the example of the high priests who led the rabble jeering at Jesus' crucifixion.

By all ordinary human standards and prior experience, Jesus had failed. To this thief, what happened to Jesus was the result of His naivete, if not outright foolishness.

One usually does not feel sorry for people who suffer because of their own foolishness; one even laughs at them. This thief was a witness to "the unique event" of the universe, yet he never grasped its meaning, wasting his closeness to Jesus on a few mocking remarks. He should have been filled with awe.

Due to his superficial judgment this thief failed to be saved.

While Job suffered, the attitude of his friends was similar to this mocking thief's. They too were condemned by God.
(Job 42:7)

If a person wants to understand suffering and divine salvation, the Book of Job points out that one has to consider the universe in its entirety, from the mysterious formation of an embryo to far-distant constellations. After all was considered, Job answered in awe: "Therefore have I uttered what I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not...Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes."
(Job 42:3,6).

If our religious attitude is not awe, then we have a mocking attitude. Paradise is approached in silent awe, beyond speech, beyond superficial thought.

To what test could we submit the divine? Consider that on the eye retina alone there are over 100 million nerve cells that, for every second we SEE, perform over 10 billion calculations, even before the nerves reach the brain.

Lenin's Unpublished Letter

The Polish Canadian newspaper, Glos Polski, revealed a highly secret letter of Lenin, plotting the extermination of Christianity in Russia.

Shortly after the Communist revolution, Lenin wrote,

"Terror must be perpetrated unmercifully and in the shortest time possible, because people cannot endure continued cruelty of the regime...the trials must be conducted promptly, ending in swift sentences for the greatest number (of clergy)...the confiscation of monasteries and churches (should be carried out) with the greatest severity, without scruples and in the shortest possible time. The more priests executed during this occasion, the better."
(Samizdat, May 1984).
Following such directives, over 60 million people became victims of Communism in the Soviet Union alone.

Lenin was masterminding the killing of tens of thousands of innocents without an inkling about his own frailty.

Two years after writing this letter Lenin suffered brain strokes and died.

The thief on the cross had a mocking attitude because, knowing he was only hours away from death, he did not realize his predicament, nor repented of his past deeds.

Seeing Our "Seeing"

The unconcerned attitude of the free world regarding terror in Communist countries comes also from a lack of perception that the Communist world is truly nearby and that the same fate might befall us.

The Pharisee prayed, "God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are...even as this publican"
(Luke 18:11).

This is a wrong way of "seeing."

There is no fear of God until there is another "seeing": a close, detailed look at "the condemnation" we are in, a condemnation shared by everyone.

This is not our daily, ordinary kind of "seeing," to which we are accustomed.

Jesus advises: "Consider the beam that is in thine own eye."
(Matthew 7:3)

This is a seeing of our own seeing, a seeing directed totally to ourselves, with eyes cast down, so as to stop haphazard thinking. It is smiting our breast so as to concentrate on ourselves, like the publican who prayed, "God, be merciful to me a sinner."
(Luke 18:13)

Realizing our own condemnation makes us aware that all our scheming has no value beyond the immediate temporal necessities of this life. We have no platform on which to stand and question the divine.

If the mocking thief had looked at himself like the publican, he would have understood that a Saviour who would save Himself before saving others is an impossibility. It would be like a sword that cuts itself, or a finger pointing to itself.

This thief's rational expectations, in face of a Divine Saviour, were sheer hallucinations. So is all human thinking if it were to face true Paradise. For gaining Paradise leaves nothing more to gain, its enjoyment leaves nothing more to enjoy, and knowing it leaves nothing more to know.

This story of the two thieves suggests that we should give time to such an exercise in seeing; for our mocking mind, locked in this mortal body, is ready to seize any occasion to display its haughtiness, like Jonah who slept while everyone on the ship was praying desperately.
(Jonah 1:5)

A former Soviet prisoner remembers...

"There were several nuns in our camp. Christmas Day fell on a Sunday. The nuns, taking advantage of this day of rest, scattered all over the camp and began to glorify Christ."

"One of these carolers came to our barracks and, standing in the doorway, in a voice filled with enthusiasm and emotion, began to sing about the Saviour's birth.

"Not everyone in the barracks immediately grasped what she was saying, and some in the rear corners even began to crack flat jokes about her. But, after someone said, "a carol", in a voice full of inspiration, everyone fell silent. Suddenly the walls seemed to have disappeared; so did the strict regime Siberian labor camp of the KGB. Each and every one of us, swept up on the wings of overpowering emotion, was carried far, far away from these "oases" of death (as the prisoners called the camps). Each one lowered his head and remembered his distant childhood: caroling in front of village huts on happy evenings like Christmas, the New Year, Epiphany, or celebrating with joy and gladness within the family.

"And the voice of the nun, formerly a young peasant girl, overcome with emotion, gained strength and glorified Christ:


  Thy Nativity,
  0 Christ our God,
  hath shined upon the world
  the light of knowledge;
  for thereby, they that
  worshipped the stars
  were taught by a star
  to worship and know Thee,
  the Sun of Righteousness,
  0 Lord, glory be to Thee.
"And then the barracks, resounded with the second stanza:

  Today, a Virgin gives birth to Him
  Who Is transcendent in essence; and
  The earth offereth a cave
  To Him who is intangible.
  Angels with shepherds give glory;
  With a star, the Magi do journey;
  For our sake a young child is born,
  Who is the pre-eternal God.
"Even some of those near death raised themselves on their plank beds and listened with wonder.

"The singing gradually died away. The nun sighed with emotion...and began to extend Christmas greetings:

"I greet all of you, God's martyrs, on this great day of Christ's Birth!"
"Dozens of voices, weighed down with grief and fear, answered with friendly emotion from all the corners of the barrack:
"Thank you, friend, and to you a Blessed Christmas, too!"
"It would seem that this Christmas prayer contained no counter revolutionary phrases, but the stool pigeons had already reported the incident to the camp authorities."

"Barely had the nun stepped out of the barracks when the camp guard swooped down, seized her, and led her to the commandant's office. A quarter of an hour later, all the other nuns were rounded up in a convoy and were taken to the camp zone where there was an underground isolation cell."

"Along the way, the nuns fearlessly continued to sing: "Christ is born, glorify Him." No force exerted could break the feeling of that joyous religious uplifting shared by those who professed their faith in Christ."

"Suddenly one of the dying men, gathering up all his remaining strength, in premortal anguish shouted: "Death to the butchers!"

"That was a cry of a dying man who had been driven to insanity by suffering, who as prisoners say, "has come to the doorknob of the morgue".

"After two days the order of the camp commandant was posted on the bulletin board:

For a display of religious feelings and a demonstration of obscurantism in the prisoner barracks, former nun prisoners (names) are to be moved to the camp isolation cell for a period of three months where they must remain in total isolation from other prisoners; they are deprived of the right to correspond with relatives for a period of one year, and without fail are to be taken out to work. Prisoner (name of dying man) for counterrevolutionary cries in Barracks No. 27, as witnessed by all other occupants, also to be moved to an isolation cell.
"Within a few days the poor man was already dead. His thin body was taken to the mass grave and thrown on top of the other corpses which were dumped there earlier, and covered with lime."

The well known Ukrainian poet, Vasyly Stus, who has already spent eleven years in Soviet prisons, is presently held in solitary confinement in the special regime prison Camp No. 36, in the Perm Region, because he was the "ringleader" who instigated the singing of carols at Christmas, 1982.
(Samizdat 129/1984)

The Thief Who Stole Paradise

If your big question is who will enter Paradise, the answer is to be found only by one who weeps much like the apostle John.
(Revelation 5:4)

Yet, important spiritual details can also be learned from the thief who gained Paradise.

He showed extreme contrition by accepting crucifixion as due reward for his deeds.
(Luke 23:41)

He recognized the Saviour in "the man who has done nothing amiss".

He became like a child, in that he stopped any thinking, except to request that he be remembered by the King, and learned that Christ's kingdom comes today, in the present!

Though immobilized on a cross, he reached Paradise together with the One he called Lord, just like the 38-year-old lame man, who won the race to the healing pool, without moving
(John 5:6), and like Mary, deftly choosing the good part by sitting quietly at the Lord's feet.
(Luke 10:42)

Unless the Saviour intervenes, there is no way to reach Paradise, for it is strongly guarded by Cherubim angels with four faces, watching in all directions
(Ezekiel 1:6), and a flaming sword, turning every way (Genesis 3:24).

May the Lord help this message reach the hearts of many, especially the Communists and those oppressed by them in Communist countries.

Yours in Christian service,

Richard Wurmbrand

Communist hell:
Brother Sasueta, mourning with faith and dignity the death of his son, Fermin. Communist Sandinistas in Nicaragua killed him under torture for his Christian zeal. The mother lost her mind.

Recommended reading:
Hermann Hartfeld, Faith Despite the KGB"

Quoted from the Jesus to the Communist World Newsletter, September 1984, pages 1-4.

"To be a Christian without prayer
is no more possible than
to be alive without breathing" -Martin Luther

You Can Be An International Intercessor
by Ted W. Engstrom

"The greatest thing anyone can do for God and for man is to pray." So wrote the beloved Bible expositor S.D. Gordon, who added: "You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed."

In January 1972, World Vision staff member Frank Ineson started for us what he then called "Global Prayer Associates." The name was later changed to "International Intercessors." This is a group of dedicated Christians whose prayer is united around concerns presented in our monthly newsletter titled "International Intercessors."

This prayer letter carries a profile of three different countries each month, indicating the particular needs in each country. Our intercessor partners are given seven prayer requests for each country, along with a variety of other requests, totaling one prayer burden for each day of the month. Additionally, each letter contains an inspirational article to stimulate prayer. Armin Gesswein, who contributed greatly to the Norwegian spiritual revival of the 1930s and has been a revival prayer leader ever since, writes many of the articles. Sometimes copy is gleaned from one of the great prayer leaders of the past.

It occurred to me that many who read this magazine may not know they can be a part of this body of special intercessors. All you need to do is write International Intercessors at World Vision and ask to be enrolled. You will receive the prayer material free of charge each month. There are now nearly 17,000 prayer partners enrolled, but there is need for thousands more. International Intercessors Director, Norval Hadley, and his staff handle up to 1800 requests for back articles each year. Partly as a result of this ministry, thousands of prayer requests come to World Vision each year and are dealt with in one of our daily morning devotional groups.

In introducing International Intercessors in the March 1972 issue of this magazine, former World Vision International President Stan Mooneyham wrote, "Two factors indicate to me that it is especially timely to launch this ministry:
(1) We are seeing an increase in the number of people affected by disasters. These days could be the times prophesied by our Lord in the Olivet Discourse.
(2) I also sense that the prayer life of many Christians is at a low ebb and in need of encouragement and challenge."
These two factors still pertain. I cannot think of another time, at least in my ministry, with more turmoil and suffering in the world— due to both natural and human-caused disasters.

A recent prayer survey indicates that the average layperson spends four minutes a day in prayer; the average pastor spends seven minutes. Only one percent of husbands and wives have any meaningful prayer together. Yet, as Leonard Ravenhill writes, "Prayer is as vast as God because He is behind it. Prayer is as mighty as God because He has committed Himself to answer it."

Let me give you just one illustration of the power of prayer in the experience of International Intercessors. In the July 1979 prayer letter we issued a special prayer alert for Southeast Asia's "boat people." Soon afterwards there was a conference on refugees in Geneva, Switzerland, and the eyes of the world began to focus more keenly on the plight of those desperate people. Then President Carter dispatched some U.S. Navy ships to help rescue the boat people. Neighboring nations quit towing them back out to sea. Airlifts began to bring larger numbers of them for processing into a new life in the United States. Land was made available where refugees could go while waiting to be received by friendly nations. And World Vision's ship Seasweep was able to provide life support for many while they waited. This, we believe, was in direct answer to the prayers of God's people, many of whom were encouraged to pray through our International Intercessors.

Since so much is accomplished for God by prayer, and so little without it, wouldn't you like to be an International Intercessor?"
Quoted from the World Vision Newsletter, October-November 1984, page 23

Be all that you can be!
Receive more than you can imagine!

Some of the advantages of being a Christian "King's Kid!"
by Rev. John C. Powell

God is love-
"If you see a Christian brother or sister sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it."
(I John 5:16).

A King's Kid is loved by God!
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
(John 3:16).

And "whosoever" means you and me.

God in His love for me, gives me forgiveness of sins.
He gives me peace of mind and heart.
He gives me rest for my soul.
He gives me joy,
He gives me hope for tomorrow and help for today.
He comforts me in sorrow and rejoices with me in times of happiness.
I may be persecuted by the world but God will never leave me nor forsake me.

God loves me no matter what!
I may backslide, forget to pray and praise; forget to read His word; forget His will and go my own willful way.
But, He is still there, loving me and waiting for me to come back to Him and ask His forgiveness.
He is always faithful to love and forgive. God does not love my sins and shortcomings, but He always loves me.
Sometimes I'm not sure I like it, but God disciplines me with complete love and justice so that I may share His Holiness.

God is preparing a place in Heaven for me so I can spend eternity with Him in praise and adoration.

God will give you all these blessings of His love, too. All you have to do is believe in Him, repent of your sins and ask Him into your heart and life and you, too, can be a King's Kid!"
Quoted from the Heir Lines Youth Newsletter of the First Baptist Church of Cloverdale, Calif., March 1983.

Salvation cannot be earned
It must be accepted

A Red Chinese student found Christ through Help From Above
by Watson Goodman

Note: Help From Above is a small evangelistic gospel booklet available from WMP.

"It never ceases to thrill us when we get reports showing that God is giving Help From Above to people around the globe as He reveals His love and grace through World Missionary Press (WMP) Scripture booklets. When a person is saved by Christ the Lord, it is the greatest help he could receive and truly it comes from above.

The Holy Spirit sent Help From Above to a university student in Red China. When Rose and I were in Tennessee at the end of July, a friend told of his recent tour in China. One afternoon, he and his son and another tourist did not want to take the boat ride that was planned but rather chose to distribute Bibles and Help From Above booklets in Chinese from World Missionary Press. They openly prayed that the Lord would direct them. Immediately after they finished praying, two university students walked up to them.

They asked, "Are you people Christians?" "Yes," was the answer. Great joy came over the students as they identified themselves as Christians, too, and said they had been praying that the Lord would put them in touch with Christians who could supply them with a Bible. The Lord had answered prayer both for the Chinese students and for the tourists who wanted to know to whom to give the Bibles.

Then one of the students said, "I was saved through a little booklet called Help From Above" Can you imagine our friend's surprise? He had some of those very booklets with him to distribute and here one copy had already preceded him and had borne such fruit!

In early July, when Rose and I were near Philadelphia, a missionary couple told us this story: When they were in El Salvador they learned of a guerrilla warrior who had come to a pastor with a Spanish Help From Above booklet he had been reading for a long time. He said, "I want to know Jesus." The pastor had the joy of leading him to Jesus Christ, our Savior. This guerrilla warrior gave up his old life.

The only qualification anyone needs to be a candidate for this divine help that comes from above is to have a desire to seek God and to realize he has sinned and come short of the glory of God. Just as God has made of one blood all nations, so by one Blood, the Blood of Emmanuel, He can wash away the sins of anyone from any nation who will come to God through Jesus Christ."
Quoted from the World Missionary Press "News", October 1982, page 1.
Note: The link to the World Missionary Press website is on my links page

  • my links page

    Never give the devil a ride
    he will always want to drive

    Angels and Demons
    by John Hagee

    "Angels and demons have never been more relevant in our lives. America has been experiencing "angel mania"- best selling books, lyrics of popular songs speak of angels, a current popular TV show was called "Touched By an Angel." America is also obsessed with demons and demonic culture; via Harry Potter, and other seemingly innocent tools that can turn your life down the wrong path. But what do you really know about angels and demons?

    Angels appear in Scripture from the Garden of Eden to the Book of Revelation and they are mentioned more than 300 times in Scripture. They have supernatural power and purpose that affects your life and the lives of everyone around you.

    I believe in angels because the Word of God says they are real and I believe the Word of God to be absolutely true. For the Bible says, "Thy Word is Truth."

    So what is an angel? Angels are created beings, in Psalm 148:2-5 the Word says to, "praise the Lord all his angels; prove him, all his host...let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created." Angels are also without number,
    Hebrews 12:22 speaks of "an innumerable company of angels." They are innumerable, invisible and invincible. In
    Revelation 18:21, one angel cast a millstone into the sea and completely destroyed the city of Babylon. Angels are innumerable and look at what just one can do.

    The primary purpose of angels is to worship God! On the first Christmas morning Saint Luke records, "and suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace, good will toward men." The fact is that the first criterion for acting like an angel is to worship God with a loud voice.

    Angels are also messengers of God. God sent angels to Abraham with messages. Three angels appeared to Abraham and told him he was going to have a son at the age of 100. The point is that there is a word from the Lord for some of you right now. If you have a problem that you're going through, God has your answer so you should stop looking at the problem and praise God for the provision that is waiting for you right now.

    An important question to ask yourself is, "are you desperate enough for God's blessing to fight for it?" You need to know that the struggle you are now enduring is God's hand transforming you into a champion of grace.

    Are you willing to fight for your destiny?

    You cannot correct what you're not willing to confront. The message is that you must be willing to return to the place of your failure in order to have victory. God is asking you to go back to the place of your failure, to look your failure in the face, confront it, confess it and then get over it.

    So why does God want you to confront your failures? Because losers focus on what they're going through and winners focus on what they're going to!

    Even the Son of God has experienced angels. An angel appeared unto Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, while His disciples slept, with the sin and suffering of the world upon Him...when His sweat was as great drops of blood...praying "if it's possible, let this cup pass from me."

    The Word goes on to tell us in Luke 22:43, "and there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven strengthening Him." The point is that even the Son of God, as He prayed in Gethsemane, received the help and comfort of an angel.

    If angels can comfort Jesus Christ in Gethsemane, they can comfort you, strengthen you, inspire you, warn you, guide you, deliver you and protect you.

    The Word says, there are good angels and evil angels.
    2 Corinthians 11:14
    "and no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." The first and most important question is- are demons real? Jesus thought so. Seventy-six times times Jesus cast out demons from those who came to hear Him teach. Deliverance almost always preceded His healing services.

    These are the facts, 25% of Jesus' public ministry was dedicated to casting out evil spirits. Jesus never sent anyone out to preach without giving them power over demon spirits. The Word says in
    Matthew 10:1, "and when He called unto Him his 12 disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits to cast them out..."

    In Scripture, casting out evil spirits is the first thing Christ commanded the church to do. The top priority was to get the devil out of the Church. Something that Bible-believing Christians must realize is that if you are a threat to Satan's kingdom, demons will know who you are. The fact is whether you believe it or not, demons are real! Today, through the blood of Christ and the power of His Word, we can expose and expel demon spirits.

    When demons invade your life, they do so by your invitation. You accomplish this by the books you read. When you read the Bible, you are inviting the presence of the Holy Spirit into your life. When you read occult books such as, Ann Rice and gothic books, you invite demons in. Similarly, when you allow your children to read Harry Potter, whose theme is witchcraft; you give Satan an invitation to invade your life and the lives of your children.

    The battle for your soul begins in your mind!

    The Bible says, "let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." And that Jesus, "will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee."

    Demons invade your life by the movies you watch, the books you read, the music you listen to, and even by the church you attend. How you ask? In the Word, Saint Paul taught that in the last days that there would be an apostate church, which is a counterfeit church.

    Some modern examples of this type of church would be any church that would ordain a homosexual as a bishop. Furthermore, any church whose only message is how to make you "feel good" without being good through the confession of sin at the cross is a counterfeit church."
    Quoted from the JH Newsletter, September/October 2005, Volume 17, Number 5, pages 26-28, San Antonio, Texas

    Life is short
    Death is sure
    Sin the curse
    Christ the cure

    The Seven Deadly Sins
    by Horatius Bonar

    "Any sin is deadly unless repented of and forgiven by God. What is sin? It is any deliberate act against the known will of God.

    Man, with all of his modern cleverness and mechanical skill, with his flair for new inventions, new methods, new medicines, new adventures- has been unable to invent a new sin. We have today only new sinners committing old sins.

    The seven deadly sins have been called "the seven pallbearers of character." They are:

    
          PRIDE
          AVARICE
          ENVY
          LUST
          ANGER
          GLUTTONY
          SLOTH
    
    Some persons are inclined toward one kind more than another. But each is a spiritual tumor radiating its cancerous tentacles to the depths of the soul until, like a hissing, slimy serpent, it crushes and squeezes until life is gone- it is deadly.

    Pride is the outcome of an overly inflated ego. It thinks more highly of itself than is warranted and demands that others do so also. Pride breeds jealousy. One becomes proud of what he thinks he has and jealous over what the other person has that he does not have.

    It was pride that caused Lucifer to be cast out of Heaven. The Bible proclaims, "...God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble"
    (James 4:6).

    Avarice is penned as a "passion for riches; covetousness." In essence, avarice is an inordinate love of things. It manifests itself in selfishness. This was the dominant sin of the rich fool to whom Jesus referred to in
    Luke 12:16-21, whose barns bulged with crop surpluses, so he built larger silos and more spacious elevators while he forgot God and forgot his soul and thought God had forgotten him.

    The spendthrift wants to get for the pleasure of spending, while the miser wants to get for the joy of keeping. Both are rotting with the sin of avarice. They live for themselves with no regard for others— or for God.

    Envy is a sort of passive decomposition of the soul. It is proportionate to desire. The more we want what we do not have, the greater the depths of envy. It can take the form of desiring social prestige or political power. The higher the ambition, the deeper the envy.

    We read in Proverbs 14:30 that "A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones."
    It was because of envy that the scribes and Pharisees hated Jesus and plotted and planned His death.

    Lust is the fourth deadly sin. The three preceding have been sins of the mind or heart, but lust is an inordinate love of the pleasures of the flesh.

    It wears the modern tag of "self-expression." It is the prostitution of love, the debasing of the finest flower that grows in the garden of mans heart.

    Everything today is geared to sex and the senses. It is "wine, women, and song," or "sex, drugs, and rock and roll." Nothing new there— just more open and widespread than ever before.
    "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world"
    (1 John 2:16).

    Anger is the outburst when the pressure of desire or frustration or repression reaches a certain uncontrollable degree. It is dangerous to others, but is devastating to ones self. Anger caused Cain to commit the first murder.
    In Ecclesiastes 7:9 we read:
    "Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools"

    Anger leads to destruction; it is deadly.

    Gluttony is the sixth fatal sin. It is one of the most universal today, especially among church folk. The motto of the rich fool, "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die," is the slogan of the 21st century glutton. Instead of eating to live, they live to eat.

    A glutton is one whose body is his shrine and his belly his god, as in
    Philippians 3:19:
    "Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things."

    Sloth is the seventh deadly sin. It is defined as "disinclination to exertion," "laziness," and "indolence."
    Proverbs 21:25 states,
    "The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour."

    A slothful person is one who has lost the zest for living. His taste for achievement has withered; his appetite for life has faded. He has become barren and unproductive. In reality, such a person is a dead man still eking out an existence. Sloth is deadly.

    The only hope for persons saturated with sin is the Great Physician, Christ Jesus. He can first forgive the acts and then cleanse the soul through the power of His shed blood, which can make the vilest sinner clean.

    Here is the only successful therapy: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness"
    (1 John 1:9).

    The things of this world are fleeting. Ours is a dying world. But in a few years- it may be less- all things here will be changed. But in a few years- it may be less- the Lord shall have come, and the last trumpet shall have sounded. God shall have pronounced His judgment upon each of us.

    But there is a world that does not pass away. It is fair and glorious. It is bright with the love of God, and with the joy of Heaven. "The Lamb is the light thereof." Its gates are of pearl and they are always open.

    "The world passeth away."

    Like a dream of the night. We lie down to rest; we fall asleep; we dream; we awake in the morning; and everything is gone from our dream that seemed so real! So does the world go away.

    Like the mist of the morning. The night brings down the mists upon the hills- the vapor covers the valleys; the sun rises, the mist is passed off- hill and vale are clear. So the world passes off and is seen no more.

    Like a shadow. There is nothing more unreal than a shadow. It has no substance, no being. It is dark, it is a figure, and it has motion; that is all! Such is the world.

    Like a wave of the sea. It rises, falls, and is seen no more. Such is the history of a wave. Such is the story of the world.

    Like a rainbow. The sun throws its colors on a cloud, and for a few minutes all is brilliant. But the cloud shifts, and the brilliance is all gone. Such is the world.

    Like a flower. Beautiful, very beautiful; fragrant, very fragrant, are the summer flowers. But they wither away. So fades the world from before our eyes. While we are looking at it, and admiring it, behold, it is gone! You were made for eternity; and only that which is eternal can be your portion or your resting place.

    Like a ship at sea. With all its sails set and a fresh breeze blowing, the vessel comes into sight, passes before our eye in the distance, and then disappears. So comes, so goes, so vanishes away this present world, with all that it contains. A few hours within sight, then gone!

    Like a tent in the desert. They who have traveled over the Arabian sands know what this means. At sunset a little speck of white seems to rise out of the barren waste. It is a traveler s tent. At sunrise it disappears. Both it and its inhabitant are gone. The wilderness is as lonely as before. Such is the world.

    THE WORLD PASSETH AWAY.
    This is the message from Heaven. All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof as the flower of the field.

    THE WORLD PASSETH AWAY.
    But God ever liveth. He is from everlasting to everlasting; the King eternal and immortal.

    THE WORLD PASSETH AWAY.
    But man is also immortal. Eternity lies before each person at the duration of his lifetime. In light or in darkness— for ever! In joy or in sorrow— for ever!

    What then? You must make sure of a heavenly home in that world into which you will so soon pass. You must not pass out of this life without making sure that you will go to the City whose Builder and Maker is God. When you have done this, then you can lie down upon your deathbed in peace. Till you have done this, you can neither live nor die in peace. One who had lived a worldly life at last lay down to die; and when about to pass away he uttered these terrible words. "I am dying, and I don't know where I am going."

    "How can I make sure?" you ask. God has long ago answered that question, and His answer is recorded for all ages: "...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house"
    (Acts 16:31).

    "Have I then no work to do in this great matter of my salvation?" None. What work can you do? What work of yours can buy forgiveness? None. His Word is very plain and easy to be understood: "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness"
    (Romans 4:5).

    There is only one work by which a man can be saved. That work is not yours, but the work of the Son of God. That work is finished- neither to be taken from nor added to- perfect through all ages- and presented by Jesus to you, that you may avail yourself of it and be saved.

    "And is that work available for me just as I am?" It is. God has brought it to your door; and your only way of honoring it is by accepting it for yourself, and taking it as the one and only basis of your eternal hope.

    Forgiveness is through Christ Jesus, who is Son of God as well as Son of man! This is our message. Forgiveness is through the one work of sin-bearing that He accomplished for sinners upon earth. Forgiveness to the worst and wickedest, to the farthest off from God which this earth contains. Forgiveness of the largest, fullest, most complete kind; without exception, or condition, or the possibility of revocation! Forgiveness free and undeserved— free as the love of God, free as the gift of His beloved Son.

    Could salvation be made more free? Could forgiveness be brought nearer? Could God in any way more fully show His earnest desire that you should not be lost, but saved— that you should not die, but live?

    In the Cross there is salvation— nowhere else. It shines brightest in the evil day. In the day of increasing sorrows, of heavy burdens, of pressing cares, when friends depart, when riches fly away, when disease oppresses us, when poverty knocks at our door- then the Cross shines out, and tells us of a light beyond this worlds darkness, the Light of Him who is the light of the world."
    (Adapted from "How Shall I Go To God?")
    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Society Harvester, Aug 2006, Pages 6 & 7

    Bitterness is like drinking poison
    and waiting for the other person to die

    Get the Root!
    by Muriel Larson

    "A mimosa tree sprang up in my flower garden. By fall it was about three feet tall. That certainly doesn't belong in the flower garden, I thought. I think I'll transplant it to the front lawn. So I dug up the mimosa, but couldn't get all of its deep taproot. That taproot sent up new trees during the next several years. My, it was hard to get rid of!

    ROOTS OF BITTERNESS

    So are the roots of bitterness. When someone treats us unkindly or unfairly, it's hard to forgive it. We may realize we shouldn't dwell on such things, that we should forgive and forget- that bitterness doesn't belong in the garden of our hearts. But it keeps popping up, doesn't it?

    Our Lord knew we'd have this problem.
    Hebrews 12:14-15 says,
    "Follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled."

    LINGERING ROOT

    Some years ago the board chairman at a church I attended hurt my feelings by the way he publicly presented me with a Christmas gift for my service as assistant pianist and organist. He spoke as if I hadn't done anything to deserve it! I was so embarrassed! But I realized that as a Christian I should forgive, forget, and overlook, so I tried to do just that.

    Sometime later, when the man's wife was quite ill, I sent her a get-well card with a Scripture booklet, assuring her of my prayers.

    There, I thought, I have returned good for evil! But I still remembered that slight, didn't I?

    As another Christmas approached, however, I started thinking about what that man had said, and it made me angry all over again. All kind of thoughts popped into my mind, making me still angrier.

    Suddenly I caught myself. Hey I thought, I guess old Satan is after me! After serving in various churches for many years, I had seen the havoc that can be caused, the church splits and ill feelings that can come when Christians harbor bitterness toward one another.

    DEALING WITH THE ROOT

    I realized that I hadn't succeeded in ridding myself of that root of bitterness, and Satan was using it to defile me. Convicted, I humbly said to the Lord, "You know Lord, in myself I don't seem capable of completely expelling that memory, so I turn it over to You. Please dig deep and banish every root of it. Help me to love that man as You love him, for he is a good man."

    I have prayed this prayer about other slights and hurts, and I know from experience that our Lord does replace roots of bitterness with genuine love and compassion.

    LOVE UPROOTS BITTERNESS

    How can we be filled with His Spirit and show forth the fruit of love, peace, joy, patience, and humility if we have even a little bitterness or unforgiveness in our hearts?
    1 Peter 4:8 says,
    "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins." Whenever I find it hard to love certain persons because of a root of bitterness, I just ask the Lord for His kind of love. Bitter roots keep me from having God's peace and joy, so I seek to truly forgive those who hurt me and I pray for them.

    By doing this, I can honestly pray the Lord's prayer, which says, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."
    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, August 2002, page 8

     JOY:
     J esus First
     O thers Second
     Y ourself last

    Live As Children Of Light
    by Dr. Muriel Larson

    "We live in a very ungodly world today filled with the darkness of every kind of evil! It is difficult for Christians to keep themselves pure and live for Christ. We are bombarded from every side with temptations to sin and compromise. Never has a generation in history had such evil audio-visual assaults on its thinking. What can we do to protect our minds and hearts so that we can live as children of light, as the Bible in
    Ephesians 5:8 calls us?

    GOD'S EXCELLENT PRINCIPLES

    The Bible gives us certain principles to live by and these work for our protection.

    • Love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, and minds
    (Matthew 22:37-38). A basic principle of science is this: Two objects can't fill the same place at the same time. If we love God the way Jesus said, He will fill our hearts and minds. We'll have no room for the junk of the world.

    • Love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:39). When we do that, we can enjoy good relationships with others, as well as harmony in our lives.

    • Present our bodies as living sacrifices to God. We're not to be conformed to this world, but "transformed by the renewing of [our] minds." How can we renew our minds? By ridding them of junk— anger, resentment, bitterness, grudges that have grieved the Holy Spirit
    (Ephesians 4:30-31). And how do we get rid of the grudges? By forgiving everybody
    (Ephesians 4:32).

    • Follow the Lord, walk in love toward others, and live godly lives
    (Ephesians 5:1-11).

    • Do all to God's glory (1 Corinthians 10:31).
    "And whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus."
    (Colossians 3:17).

    • Obey our Master. Jesus said if we truly love Him, we will keep His words, and He and the Father will make their abode with us
    (1 John 4:12).

    • Trust God and think only on what is good and true
    (Philippians 4:6-8).

    • Put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-18), which can protect us from temptation and our enemy, Satan.

    Following these principles will not make us prideful "holier-than-thou" people, but will make us humble, joyful walking testimonies to the exciting truth that Jesus Christ makes children of light out of those who truly trust Him as Savior."
    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, January 2003, page 15

    Lord when I am wrong make me willing to change...
    and when I am right make me easy to live with

    If I Had My Life To Live Over
    by Hillery C. Rice

    "I recently visited an elderly lady friend of eighty-three. I had prayed with her a number of times, but this time I lingered a little longer and asked her a few questions.

    "How long have you been a Christian?" I asked. She replied, "Sixty-eight years." Think of it- living for God for sixty-eight years! Then I asked, "How has it been with you during these sixty-eight years that you have walked with Christ?" She replied, "It's been rough, dark, stormy, and wonderful!" Rough, dark, stormy, and wonderful- there seems to be little similarity between her first words and her last. Nevertheless, she had found the presence of the glorious Christ even in the midst of the storm, and that had made life wonderful.

    Before leaving this great woman of God, I asked one more question: "What advice would you give me to help me in my Christian walk?"

    She replied, "If I had my life to live over, it would be somewhat different. I had a large family and I was one of those housekeepers who was quite finicky. I wanted the house perfectly in order; everything clean at all times, and I spent much of my precious time following that pursuit. But if I had it to do over again, I would let the housework go more often. I would seek the kingdom of God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and lead my children to do likewise. There is nothing more important. I would radiate my influence always and everywhere for good. I would visit the sick, the poor, the lost, and the dying. I would let the outside storm go unnoticed and keep my heart, soul, and conscience in repair."

    Thank God for wise counsel! May God give us the wisdom and keen spiritual insight to apply this wisdom to our lives!"
    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, September 2002, page 15

    If you can't excel with talent
    triumph with effort

    But I Have No Talent
    by Dr. Muriel Larson

    "Every one of us should use our talents and our gifts for the Lord to the utmost of our ability," I said to the members of my Bible class.

    "But what if you have no talent like me?" asked Andrea. "I don't really feel as if there is anything I can do as well as someone else."

    "Oh, yes, Andrea," I said, "you have a gift to serve, perhaps more than one. You just haven't realized it yet. It's up to you to pray to the Lord to show you what your gifts and talents are. And in the meantime, continue to learn more of His Word and take every opportunity you have to learn how to do something for Him."

    Several weeks later I was talking to the director of a child evangelism organization in our city. "I'll be starting classes for Bible club teachers in September," he said. "Do you know anyone who might be interested?"

    Immediately I thought of Andrea and several other young women who had shown interest in growing and serving. "I think so," I answered. "I'll talk it up to the members of my Bible class."

    After hearing my pep talk, Andrea, Grace, and Wylene said they would like to learn how to work with children and reach them for the Lord Jesus. After they started with their training program and began holding clubs in their neighborhoods, they were so thrilled! At Andrea's first club meeting, which she held with Grace, she had the joy of leading several children to Christ. She was off to a flying start.

    During the following spring Andrea was asked to help lead the singing at the Tuesday afternoon Bible club conducted at our church by Jane Sanders, the pastor's wife. Andrea stood in front of about 300 children doing an enthusiastic job.

    In our Vacation Bible School in June Andrea helped in the Primary Department, for which I served as director and Bible teacher. On the second day, when I gave the invitation to receive Christ as Savior, 16 children prayed with me to receive Him and then came forward to indicate that they had received Christ. I was able to call on Andrea and Grace to help me deal with them personally.

    Andrea also helped me lead the two-part singing on a gospel chorus. I don't know what I would have done without Andrea - the young woman who had told me less than a year before that she had no talent!

    Gifts and Abilities To Build the Church

    The Apostle Paul wrote that there are many different kinds of gifts.
    In First Corinthians chapter 12 he listed these gifts and abilities
    (verses 8 - 10, 28).
    "But all these worketh that one and selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will"
    (verse 11).

    Paul used as an illustration the body, how it needs the hand, the foot, the eye, and all its parts. Thus the body of Christ has a special need for each true believer. If a person is an "arm," and that Christian is not fulfilling that God-given function, just think how handicapped the body of Christ is! And think how many precious young souls may not come to Jesus and learn to grow in Him.

    Dr. George Sweeting said, "The church is a nursery to the newborn and a place of worship, education, and training for the mature believer"
    ("How to Begin the Christian Life").

    Abundant Opportunities To Serve

    From personal experience I have found this to be true: The more you do for the Lord, the more opportunities He opens for you in which to serve Him. If you just step out in faith and do one thing for Him to the best of your ability, you may find other exciting avenues of service opening up, just as I have in reaching out to children. And the Spirit may see fit to endow you with yet another talent or gift.
    First Corinthians 12:31 encourages us to eagerly desire greater gifts for service. The greatest of all is love, which fills our souls to live for God and others.

    I must confess that sometimes I have not felt quite up to doing some of the things the Lord has laid on my heart to do. But I knew that He was quite capable of doing them through me; and if He wanted to do something, then I should let Him have His way. So I went ahead, trusting and leaning hard on Him. And He did it.

    It's better that way, too. For then we can't take any personal credit for the results. But we do experience the wonderful joy of being a co-worker with the Lord and knowing that He is working in and through our bodies and lives to reach and help others. Knowing all this can help somewhat timid Christians (as I was in some areas) to go forth and service in His strength.

    How sad it is that so many Christians go through life content to be lukewarm, mediocre Christians, fretting about the cares of life and missing out on the joy of serving Jesus! Paul rejoiced even in prison and in want. The reason he could do so was because He was leading souls to Christ even while in prison.

    Fortunately, Andrea, Grace, and Wylene found their talents and have been using them for God's glory in reaching and teaching children for Christ. But what of all those who may have that latent talent, but never realize their potential for service? If you have been saying, as Andrea did, "I have no talent," start praying, studying, and learning as she did. And the Lord will begin to use you to His glory, too.

    "No service in itself is small,
    none great though earth it fill;
    But that is small that seeks it own,
    and great that seeks God's will."
    — Anonymous

    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, October 2002, page 8

    "You’re not saved because you love the brethren,
    you love the brethren because you’re saved"
    -Adrian Rogers

    John Three Sixteen
    by an unknown author

    "One cold wintry night in the city of Chicago, at the turn of the last century, a little boy was selling newspapers on the street corner. He was so cold, and the men and women passing him by without notice weren't interested in buying many papers.

    As he stood there waiting, shivering and cold, a hand was suddenly laid on his shoulder. It was very dark; he could only see a tall form standing by him, and he trembled with fear. But a kindly voice said, "Boy, what are you dong here at this time of night? Such as you have no business in the streets at so late an hour! Go home, go to bed." The lad replied, "I don't have a home, or a bed to go to. I only have a box to sleep in, down that alley. It's awful cold in there, too. Sure would be nice to have a warm place to stay."

    The elderly gentleman looked down at the little boy and said, "Do you see that big white house there, down the street a ways? You go down there and knock on the door. When they come to the door, you just say, "John Three-Sixteen," and they will let you in." So he did. He walked up the steps and knocked on the door, and soon a white haired woman answered.

    He looked up at her and said, "John Three-Sixteen." The kind-faced lady smiled and said, "Come on in, son." She took him in, and sat him down in a wonderful soft chair in front of a great big, warm fireplace. The boy sat there for a while and thought to himself: "John Three-Sixteen...I don't understand it, but it sure makes a cold boy warm."

    Before too long, the lad could hear the sounds and smell the wonderful aroma of food being prepared. In a little while, the lady came back and asked him, "Are you hungry?" He said. "Oh, yes Ma'am, I sure am. It's been a few days since I had anything to eat, and if you could spare me a little food, I'll be very grateful." The lady just smiled as she brought him into the kitchen and sat him down to a table full of wonderful food. He ate and ate until he couldn't eat any more. Then he thought to himself: "John Three-Sixteen...I don't understand it, but it sure makes a hungry boy full."

    Then, the woman took him upstairs to a bathroom where a huge bathtub filled with warm water was waiting for him. It was his first real bath in a very long time, so he sat there and soaked for a while. As he soaked, he thought to himself: "John Three-Sixteen...I don't understand it, but it sure makes a dirty boy clean."

    After a while, she came in and helped the sleepy boy get ready for bed. She took him to a clean, comfortable room and tucked him into a big old feather bed. She pulled the covers up around his neck, kissed him goodnight, and turned out the lights as she walked out. As he lay in the darkness and looked out the window at the snow coming down on that cold night, he thought to himself: "John Three-Sixteen...I don't understand it, but it sure makes a tired boy rested."

    The next morning, the lady gently woke him and gave him fresh, clean, warm clothes to wear. Then she led him down stairs to the big table, once again full of food. After he had eaten his fill, she guided him to the same big, soft chair in front of the fireplace he remembered from the night before, and picked up a big old Bible. She sat down in front of him and looked into his young face.

    "Do you understand John Three-Sixteen?" she asked gently. He replied, "No, Ma'am, I don't. The first time I ever heard it was last night when the old man told me to say it to get in here." She opened the Bible to
    John 3:16, and began to explain to him about Jesus. Right there, in front of that big old fireplace, he gave his heart and life to Jesus. He sat there and thought: "John Three-Sixteen... I don't understand it, but it sure makes a lost boy feel safe."

    I have to admit that I don't understand it either, how God was willing to send His Son to die for me, and how Jesus would agree to do such a thing. I don't understand the agony of the Father and every angel in Heaven as they watched Jesus suffer and die. I don't understand the intense love for ME that kept Jesus on the Cross till the end. I don't understand it, but it sure does make life worth living."

    (Adapted by an unknown author from a very old tract published by the Full Salvation Tract Society, Hanover, Pennsylvania),

    "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life"
    (John 3:16).

    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, October 2001, page 8

    The sweetest songs
    Often come
    From broken hearts

    Songs in the Night
    by Richard L. Jones

    "Elihu, in the book of Job, asked, "Where is God who giveth songs in the night?" David, in the 42nd Psalm, answered, "In the night His song shall be with me."

    The strongest argument of the atheist has to do with the problem of human suffering. Epicurus, who lived from 342-270 B.C., presented three concepts about God and human suffering:
    1. If God wishes to prevent evil and cannot, He is not all powerful;
    2. If God can prevent evil and will not, He is not good;
    3. If God has the power and will to eliminate evil, why is there evil in the world?

    The fallacy is the atheist's belief that no good can be served by God's allowing evil or suffering. Everyone will pass through dark valleys sooner or later. All will become ill. Some will become permanently ill. For all of us there will be periods of suffering, bereavement, discouragement, danger, and difficulty. Through all, we are being strengthened by the refiner's fire.

    There are those who give up their fidelity to God because they do not believe God is fair. They ask, "What have I done to deserve this?" "Why are children born retarded? Born dead?" "Why is there cancer?" "Why me?"

    How will we answer these and similar questions? How will we learn to sing songs in the night? By having unshakable faith in the sovereignty of God. The world is not being ruled by chance but by a God who is in control. Even a sparrow cannot fall without His notice. So He cares about us. Nothing can happen to us that does not concern God.

    Jesus sang in the darkest night of His life on earth. The Apostle John sang songs of joy and praise while in exile on the island of Patmos. At midnight David arose to give thanks to God
    (Psalm 119:62). Paul said,
    "When I am weak, then am I strong"
    (2 Corinthians 12:10).

    Our lives will become stronger and our spirituality deeper when we learn to sing songs in the night."
    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, October 2001, pages 15


    If you have not already invited Jesus Christ to come to live inside of your heart then click on the above banner if you want to learn how to have a relationship with Jesus Christ and receive spiritual encouragement in your heart and soul.

    In some small way I hope that God has been able to encourage you through these articles.
    shared with you by Kraig Josiah Rice
    www.breadonthewaters.com

    Index of Newsletter Clippings

    Encouragement when you are hurting

    The 7 I Wills that God has promised you

    How to overcome discouragement

    Keep looking to God for deliverance

    A Bible Study About Miracles
    Do you need a miracle to happen in your life? God still works miracles. Maybe He has one for you...

    Testimonies
    Here are various testimonies that will help you with your faith.

    You are the apple of God's eye

    Index of Indexes at BOW


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    As of July 1, 2007

    THE WORLD PASSETH AWAY.
    What then? This is the question that so deeply concerns man. If the world is to vanish away, and man is to live forever, how important it is to know where we are to be forever! Life here is the beginning of the life that has no end; and time is only the gateway of eternity.

  • A Glimpse of Paradise