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Gideon

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  1. Gideon

    Time to put away our bottles.....

    Praise God for those few who are taking their walk with the Lord seriously. But there is a reason why the world holds that the church by and large is full of compromise, lack of true passion for souls, secret sins and hypocrisy. Although the way is narrow, His house will be full. Do you honestly think that after the start we had in the book of Acts, that the best He can do is what we generously refer to as “church”? When was the last time you heard men in the world look at us an exclaim “Behold how they love one another!” Yeah, me neither. God is returning for a respondent bride prepare to meet her husband. We are healed, but only slightly. And sadly, despite the many promises of God, we are content to have one foot in the world and the other clutching our bus pass to Heaven. No one is taught how to possess their vessels in sanctification and honor. No one is exhorted to run their race as if there is but one prize. Is this not adequate reason to lament and warn? David was asked once, when Jerusalem was in captivity, to play a nice uplifting song on his harp. He responded “Ho can I sing songs of joy, when God’s people lie in captivity?” It is a good question, one you may want to ponder. God has more for us, far more than we now can even comprehend. But until we acknowledge our low state, and cry out for Him to deliver us from the power of the world, our flesh and the devil that rule over us with an inescapable grip, nothing will change. And brother, it must. Blessings, Gideon
  2. The fact that the vast majority of churches are not leading the sheep into the deeper ‘meat’ of the Christian walk should concern each one of us greatly. The fact that they are not should concern us even more. We have a diet of milk only. When we are young believers, this is good and needful, but the gospel as we know it leads us no further. We can go to church faithfully for years, even decades, and never hear a sermon on how to possess our vessels in sanctification and honor. Oh, occasionally, we might be told of the importance to try, and the alters will be filled with people confessing they straying, only to see the same thing occurring six months later. Do we not get it? Guys, if we are not told the HOW to walking in victory, what good is it, other than to lead us back to forgiveness, since we will fail at our attempts to be holy over and over again. And what is the result of this pattern of failings? We finally lower the standard, proclaim we have arrived at the deeper understanding of grace, that we will always be sinners, that holiness is impossible and stop trying to gain victory over sin as long as we at least avoid the really bad ones. So we run back to the cross, and never get to the second half of the good news.... His, and our, resurrection. We have been blinded by the enemy to who we are. We ARE new creatures if we are truly saved. The old us died when Christ died. Sin’s power and authority over us was broken, once and for all. But because we have not mixed these truths with faith, it has profited us nothing..... yet. In these coming last days, God is going to awaken all of us to Him. We will understand the cost of following Him. What is the cost? Full and complete surrender, a coming to a point where we HATE our old nature, a self that refuses to bow the knee to God in all areas of our lives. But even more importantly, we will awake to what we get in return, the ability to abide in Him, all day, every day. And with that comes the power to say no to the devil every single time he comes trying to tempt us to give in to sin. God’s love for us will flow over us. We will FEEL it, and no more will our prayer life be one sided or non-existent. And that love will then flow out of us, to a lost and dying world. No one will have to tell us we need to go witness. It will simply be impossible not to. Can a lit lamp not shine for all to see? It will be simply impossible. We will finally understand the HOW of holiness. We will understand why it is called the ‘beauty of holiness’. No more will we associate it with strictness and religiousity. We will see it is for what it really is, nothing more and nothing less than the safety of us abiding under the wing of His protection and manifest presence, where He can.... and will.... love us into His image. We will stop trying to play potter and let the master potter form us into vessels of glory, fit for His use. But we must understand this .All WILL awake, but all will not respond. We are told that up till now, both wheat and tares, sheep and goats, have grown together in what we call ‘church’. But the final separation is about to occur. Half the virgins will say “The old wine is better” and hold onto their religion that allows self a little leeway to sin when the desire hits, because they can always repent and then do it all over again. How convenient! But praise God, the other half will awake to what God actually accomplished for us when Christ died. We died with Him. Our old carnal nature is dead. DEAD. We have spent years, and in my particular case, decades, trying to reign in and kill our self nature, when all the while it was always dead. That is blindness, my friends. We will awake to what God accomplished when Christ rose from the dead. He brought us up with a Him to newness of life. We ARE new creatures. It is not longer us.... the old carnal natures us..... that lives, but Christ who now lives in us. This union is called the new man. And as this separation occurs, we will understand what the great falling away means. The goats will be angered at the audacity of the saints, and it will come to pass that they will turn on the sheep and betray them, thinking that in doing so they will be doing God a service. This awakening is not a revival as we know it. No city is going to be the center. No pastor is going to be the leader. God Himself will lead us, and change us, and plant our feet in victory. We will be made into overcomers, victorious over the world and its baubles, the flesh and its carnal, self centered, desires, and our feet will be planted on the very neck of our enemy, the devil Himself. Glory to God! The church, long the laughing stock of the world, is going to rise from the ashes of religion and display Christ and His love to a world that desperately needs such a display. The harvest is about to begin, and praise God, His house WILL be full! Many blessings, Gideon
  3. Gideon

    A Quiet and Gentle Spirit

    Hi Naomi, so nice to see you again. What you are asking is a great question, but it is not just about obtaining a quiet and gentle spirit. It is really “How do I bear fruit?” Is that pretty accurate? If we think about it, what exercise spiritually can we do to cause us to bear fruit? There is none. For instance, how does an impatient person become patient? More than a few times, I have heard pastors in their sermon warn people not to pray for patience, for we know what is coming next. Things to try our patience. It gets a good laugh, but if we are honest, it wears us down even further. We cannot practice being good and get better. That is God’s job, not ours. What we need to learn is that our job is not to bear fruit, but to abide in Him by faith, believing that we are dead and our life is hid with Christ in God. His job is to make us fruitful. So, when I see a need for patience in my life, for instance, I acknowledge that Christ in me is patient and thank Him for it. This is not theory, it works. Satan will try to accuse us of our shortcomings, to center our eyes back on the old us, but that does nothing to give us what we need. That is like a man looking at himself in a mirror and instead of seeing God in him, for indeed He is, he sees his old man and his lack. That man walks away forgetting what manner of man he was. But praise God, as we look in our mirror and see God in us there, we are changed into the very same image from glory to glory. Glory! God always responds to faith. Ask Him your request, believe that you receive it, even if there is ZERO evidence that you possess it, and we are promised that we shall have it. God as our master potter will change us from the inside out, not by our efforts to act more godly, from the outside in. I pray this helps. Blessings, Gideon
  4. Gideon

    Are our pastors leading us astray?

    Here is the problem, and blessed be the one who sees it. We have all... yes, all churches.... all denominations.... all who call themselves Christian.... we have all fallen asleep, ever since the grievous wolves entered into the flock just as Paul foretold would happen after his death, and they would not spare the flock. Sheep, goats, wheat, tares, we all, those who plant their flag on this doctrine or that, those earnest in their walks, and those lazy in them. Yes, you read that right. All sleep. Down through the ages, there has always been a remnant who were awakened and who walked out their Christianity wide eyed, joy filled, victorious and awake. In the book of Acts, by and large, with few notable exceptions, all were awake to the walk God had for them. They walked in victory as overcomers. Why do we see a gigantic difference between those saints of old, the ones who turned the entire world upside down in one generation, and even the most dedicated and diligent among us today? Simple. They were awake to who they were. We are not. Yet. God birthed the church as if it was shot out of a cannon. First sermon. Five thousand saved. And as wonderful and powerful and anointed as the apostles were, this was a true grass roots firestorm of love. The world did not know what hit them. 120 comment men and women, filled with God, walking in Holy victory, became a formidable army the likes of which the world had never before seen. No matter what Satan threw against them, even the cruelest forms of persecution, nothing slowed them down and every Satan inspired ploy seemed to be like gasoline thrown on the fire. This was the early rain, and boy, did it do what it was intended to do, plant the gospel seed all over the world and get it growing. But it did not last. Our Father had a master plan for His Son’s bride, and the long dry growing season finally set in. The church lost her fire, her passion, her first love. And the long religious slumber set in as the crop slowly grew. The church was definitely still God’s church, healed but only slightly, and we became..... ugh.... religious. But the crop has a purpose. God was not finished with us, not by a long shot. The end was approaching , and the church, long moved in religious shallowness, would once again be raised up and shake the world to its foundation. The church would be awakened and become who they have been destined to become... new creatures who not only want to obey, but who can obey, bringing forth fruit at the final harvest. And guys, that time has come. We are the blessed generation who will see the end of all things, and march into eternity as FREE INDEED overcomers. I fully realize that many are most likely rolling their eyes at this point. LOL. Look, I get it. Mine would most like be as well. But I pray you bear with me here before you judge me a heretic or flat out crazy. This awakening that I speak of, is it scriptural? Absolutely. The parable of the 10 virgins tells us this exact thing in a nutshell. Five of the virgins had oil but.... no light. Why was that? Five had no oil at all. And right near the end, when the call goes out the the bridegroom cometh, the five with oil lit their lamps, the five without left.... ahhhh, the great falling away. But wait... let’s go back a minute. What is the lighting of our lamps? It is, after being awakened, where we willingly put off our old nature that we have erroneously and unsuccessfully tried to reform to try to make it bring forth good fruits. It cannot be done. No matter how hard we try, we cannot die to self by.... well.... self effort. it is when we realize the truth that we actually died when Christ died, and this put our old natures off by faith, then praise God, we will have our minds renewed and then put on our new man by an act of desperate faith as well. It is this “trigger”that will start the rain clouds gathering, ready to deluge all who love the Lord in sincerity with the latter rain. Think what would happen if all who did not want real holiness of character, who had no hunger for more of Jesus, but only wanted the eternal life He promised, but with no desire for His character, all those playing church, were simply separated from those who do? That alone would cure a good portion of our lukewarm spirits, don’t you think? But wait, there is more.... much, much more. God will FILL us with His Spirit, and sanctify us wholly... like for real, to where we, like Paul, can say, it is no more I that live, but Christ who now lives in me. Now THAT is full! The church in the book of Acts was blessed with power, joy and love, but guess what? What God has for us is GREATER, for we are told that the latter rain will be greater than the former. Whoa. The world will simply be blown away at what they will see. Multitudes in the world who love the light but had no desire for religion, will come to know Jesus as their Lord. But with this will also come persecution the likes of which we have not seen for all who live godly in Christ Jesus WILL suffer persecution. Denominations will melt away like wax exposed to the heat from great light. Remember, you who are convinced that YOUR denomination is the right one. When we say that we are of Paul, or of Apollos, are we not yet carnal? Yes, we are. There is one church... His. What is the grain of sand in the pearl that will cause irritation until little by little, we become pearls of God? It is that the old us, our carnal self, our prideful self, our old nature that is incapable of loving others as it loves itself.... it must die. And for that to happen, we must first want it to. The next step is easy, for God promises t to cause us....yes, you read that right.... to walk as obedient children, but the first step is a doozy. Our pride must be laid on the alter. We must admit that we need new natures in order to walk victoriously, to be holy, to let love, His love, flow through us. And that, guys, does not come easy. Like Paul in Romans 7, every single one of us must come to see ourselves as wretched men, for if we are still in our old natures, if sin still rules us in one way or another, we most definitely are. Those who are in the flesh CANNOT please God. There is no escaping this valley of decision. All will enter it. And here, our decision must be made. A question must be answered. Who will reign over us as our Lord? Us or Him in us? blessings, Gideon
  5. Gideon

    Are our pastors leading us astray?

    It’s not that the church is dead, but that it is by and large unfruitful that is the concern. We are healed, but only slightly. The even bigger concern is that it does not bother us. If by chance, we are blessed to have found a Godly fellowship, with a pastor who loves the Lord and spends his time in prayer and study of God’s word, interceding for those in his congregation to grow in holiness and victory, praise God. This still should not relieve us of being burdened for the health of th church as a whole. As a whole, few will argue that the western church is seriously eroded from the truth of walking in purity and victory over the world, the flesh and the devil. Here is the problem. Many have said that their church is not eroded, that they teach biblical principles, repentance, hatred of sin. But are these walking in victory and joy, with satan’s arrows thwarted each and every time by their shields of faith held high? Those in the larger churches, where warm fuzzies have replaced the above listed principles, are they all bound for hell? Why are they there to begin with? Most started with the “balanced churches” but found that they could not walk the walk and became tired of the guilt and always having to repent. I am in no way defending what they have settled for, lowering the standard to make them feel comfortable and loved. That is grievous error to be sure. It is, as I have stated in the past, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness. But may I play the devil’s advocate for a moment? Why did they leave? Simply because no one showed them HOW to overcome. All they heard was DO THIS or AVOID THAT, but guys, that is not life. That is not freedom. That is not victory. That is simply error on the flip side of grace. Here, these take pride in the fact that they have refused to lower the standard, and that is a good thing. We must hate sin. We must avoid loving the world and all its baubles. We must know how to possess our vessels in sanc....... do you see where this is going? Those on the opposite end of the spectrum, while holding up parts of the standard, have totally ignored critical parts of it, such as loving as Christ loved, or walking in holiness or hating one’s own life. Neither side is guiltless. With painfully few exceptions, the standard of holiness unto the Lord is not being walked out by either camp. The world looks on and sees both sides as hypocrites, for neither one is walking in purity of heart and single eyed devotion to God. Here is the standard we need to proclaim, no matter what position it puts us in. Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord. Let he who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Thou shalt love the Lotd your God with ALL your heart and your neighbor as yourself. Those four ought to suffice to shut all our mouths and admit we are not walking there, amen? Is it pleasant to come to this point? Nope. Shall we not do as we are commanded? What did Joel tell us to do in a situation like we find ourselves? Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord , and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? Joel 2:17 We want to defend ourselves, yet there is no defense for what we are trying to pass off our take on Christianity as the best God can do, so that we are .... conveniently....guiltless. When we finally come to the place where we admit it, and stop our infighting as to why our way is better than their way, and ALL of us fall on our knees and cry out to God to show us what we are missing as to HOW to be able to walk in victory over the world, our own flesh and it’s pride and love for sin, and the devil and all his devices that trip us up on a daily basis, only then will our answer come. What is holding that back? Simply our pride and contentment without possessing single eyed, holy, love-filled hearts. Like Laodecia, we are quite content right where we are. We do not think we need anything. Is it any wonder why the last harvest is not yet? For the Lord tells us in Ezekiel 36 that the heathen will know that He is the Lord, when He shall be sanctified IN US before their very eyes. And that brothers and sisters, has not yet occurred. But..... it is coming. After God spoke the above word in Joel, He continues.... ”Then (after we break in humility and need before Him) will the Lord be jealous for his land, and pity his people. Yea, the Lord will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen. Joel 2:18 Our awakening is coming. For some early risers, those whose sins went before them, it has already arrived. But God is not returning for a church in disarray, with all arguing that their way is better ,but with none displaying that better way so that others may follow. Some will argue that this must be false doctrine because the apostate church is the one pushing this “grand awakening”. This awakening of which I speak is not a revival as we understand it, led by overflowing emotions, following prideful leaders looking for power and followers. Let the apostate have theirs. The one I speak of is begins in brokenness and hunger and then with God Himself showing us how to abide in Him in real manifest love and victory. Our ability to walk as overcomers rather than as the religious overcome is our birthright. Every single person who loves the Lord, no matter how weak, will, before the Lord, returns, be able to stare down the devil when he comes tempting them. Every single soul will be filled so full with God’s love for them that it will overflow on all that are around them. We have been promised that we will walk FREE INDEED, in full victory over the world, the flesh and the devil. Praise God! . The question is, can we admit that we need such a thing, both personally and corporately? We hear talk of the latter rain, but all we have received up till now are a few mercy drops. We haven’t seen anything yet. In the book of Acts, they received a deluge of love and power and holiness and in their generation, turned the entire world upside down. Unbelieving men would exclaim “Behold how they love one another!” Ananias and Saphira became object lessons on what God thinks of any who would rob God of glory to take some for themselves. One cannot read their exploits and not be amazed at their joy in the face of great persecution, the nightly miracles that God performed thru lowly hearted sold out men of God, and their hunger for souls to come to know the Jesus they knew. There can be no doubt, the gap is as wide as the Grand Canyon between what they possessed, or more accurately, who possessed them, and what our modern Christianity has accepted as the best God can do. But can I tell you a secret? As wonderful and powerful that initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit was.... are you ready? ..... ours will be greater. Listen to what God says to us, again through Joel. Make no mistake this is OUR prophecy.... “Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.” Joel 2:19 What must happen for this outpouring to drench us in a walk of victory and love. We must admit that we need it. Tears must flow. Hearts must become broken. We must acknowledge that we are not in any way, shape or form living the standard so that the lost will know that our God is THE God. We must hate our own lives, called our old nature, and long to know ho to rid ourselves of it, for only then will we be able to stand up to satan’s devices. A new day is dawning on the church as we know it, with wheat and tares growing together. The mother of all church splits is about to take place. They are about to be separated. Some hearts are, even now, being softened to receive their new natures from our God. Hunger for more, more victory, more abiding in Him, more power in prayer..... is growing. These natures, who we really are inside, can and will be molded by the master potter into glorious vessels fit for His use. Others will hear the cost that needs to be counted, and dig in their heels and walk away from God. These will have hardened hearts from sins they do not want to leave behind, and refuse to admit their need, staunchly defending the indefensible, a Christianity without Christ’s love in their hearts. This is the great falling away. To the hungry, I say, God has a blessing for you that will overtake you, no matter how you may feel you are a lost cause. To those content with a Christianity without life, may God open your eyes of your understanding that you may finally see how deep God’s grace really flows, that He has promised to cause us to walk obediently to a Him in all things, and that we need such a Christianity in order to not bring shame to His name. And when we are finally awakened in full, the final harvest will commence. Those in the world will see the church as she was meant to be, displayed in the beauty of holiness. Those who love the light, but who have avoided what we have called church because of our lack of life, will run to get what we possess. And they will say: ”Look! That which bore only briars and thongs has become again like the garden of Eden!” Yes, Lord. So be it. Let it rain. Blessings, Gideon
  6. Gideon

    Are our pastors leading us astray?

    Brother Shiloh, I hope you are correct on this. Certainly, the vast majority of churches has become business models rather than churches, and the pressures many pastors face to keep the bills paid and the books balanced forepces them to keep the masses happy by preaching on “pleasant things”.. Warning against sin is not one of those topics. May God encourage all the pastors determined to be faithful servants and truly lead the sheep in their care and rescue the many who have sold out with repentant hearts, who have leaned on the arm of the flesh , preaching a one sided message that will simply not cut it when the coming darkness hits. Blessings, Gideon
  7. Consider: When was the last time you heard a sermon with any sort of a warning, an exhortation, or a rebuke coming from the pulpit of your church? We are living in an age where the gospel message is nothing but good things, where things like repentance, counting the cost, or hating ones life are deemed unnecessary to those who have come to the deeper understanding of grace. As we read the New Testament, there are countless scriptures from various men of God, including Peter, Paul, James and John and yes, even Jesus Himself that are there for warning, teaching, correction, rebuke, chastening and instruction in righteousness. We pride ourselves as “spirit filled believers” that we believe and take to heart the whole word of God, that every word is God breathed. But do we? Do we really? You see, the truth is,that we are sitting under pastors and teachers that we admire, that we think we are in agreement with, but when was the last time you heard your pastor warn you about sin, or worldliness, or the love of money, or of a gospel that tickles itching ears? You see, if we find that as we sit under our pastor, listening to him share his take on the gospel with us Sunday after Sunday, and almost never do we hear the balance that we see so clearly in the New Testament, is there not a red flag that ought to pop up in our souls? We are told that in the last days, men are going to heap to themselves teachers that will scratch their itching ears, telling them what they want to hear, rather than what they need to hear. Hmmm.... Maybe it is not the pastors leading us astray, but visa verse. Ouch. Paul tells us in Romans 11: Behold therefor the goodness and the severity of God. On them which fell, severity, but towards thou goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise, thou also shalt be cut off.” Romans 11:22 My point here is not to say we are missing all the “bad stuff” so let’s concentrate on that, fill everyone with fear, and a healthy dose of legalism, and restore balance to our gospel. What I am trying to point out is that our gospel compass has become flawed, and just concentrating on those perceived negatives for a while will not fix it. Darkness approaches. Will we be raptured away? Perhaps. Perhaps not. But if we do not get our gospel compass fixed, it will not matter. And how do we escape this situation where we talk a lot about God but have somehow let ourselves be led astray from the real purpose of the gospel, which is our abiding in Christ Himself? I pray you hear my words. Until we can admit that we are desperately in need of discovering the HOW of abiding in Him, where it is no more us that live, but Christ who now lives in us, we can heap together more pastors that will fill us with a gospel with no balance, or, conversely, align ourselves with hard God-fearing pastors that warn us till the cows come home to beware this, or beware that, and it will make little difference. Both lack one thing..... life. In these last days, God is even now beginning to awaken us to our great need, and praise God, to His greater supply. The early church flourished and turned the world upside down, not because of their missionary programs, or because of their lavish sanctuaries replete with great programs for the children. The love they shared was plain to be seen by others on the outside, all because of one thing. The life of Christ was beating in their breasts. Is this not the great fix desperately needed for our broken compass? We have been healed, but only slightly. We have been trained to defend our take on the gospel for if we do not, and admit that our take on it has shortcomings, we will open floodgates of doubt. But let us remember, it was Laodecia who said ‘We have need of nothing.’ If we are to get anywhere, honesty with God is the first order of business. God has a walk for each one of us that defies what we can even imagine. Our birthright is victory over the world, the flesh and the devil. We are told that we are to be made overcomers, yet how we limit the Holy one of Israel to do that for us. In the coming days, the church is going to be shaken. The mother of all church splits is about to take place..... the sheep and the goats will part company. And what will the determining factor be as to which side we end up on? Simple. Does our heart hunger after Him? When He asks each one of us “Lovest thou me more then these?” .... with ‘these’ being anything we can think of., or even all of them rolled up into one... will our answer be ‘yes, Lord.’? Blessings, Gideon
  8. Gideon

    Wilderness Christianity

    Absolutely! When we take our shield of faith and combine the blood of the lamb with our testimony as to who Christ has made us, declaring that sin has no more power over us, often people assume that means we are saying we are perfect. But the absence of the negative does not mean the fullness of the positive. When Israel entered the promised land, God told them that He had given them the land and that every step they took would be theirs. But they still had to go in and possess it. And it is taken by believing the promises of God. This is how the divine nature is shared with us, from glory to glory. How important ant it is, however to finally come to hate ones walk in the wilderness. Lots of movement, lots of time passed, no progress. Jesus said that we must count the cost of following Him. But what a rare thing that is today in our modern take on Christianity. We we hear a lot of FREE, but counting the cost? Our itching ears cannot bear such a thing! And what is the cost to walking into and taking the land of promise? Hating our old nature..... self. Blessings, Gids
  9. Gideon

    Wilderness Christianity

    If there are no battles in the promised land, I am doing it all wrong then, lol. The difference is that here we are destined to win the battles. Can we fall here? Ask Joshua after Ai. LOL. Yes, we can fall here, but it is almost always because our faith is small and wavering, But when we learn that IF we sin (not when) and turn back to Him in contrition and repentance, and then immediately pick back up our shield of faith as to who we are and that sin have no more authority over us, we find that our faith grows! And as we become established in the faith, the arrows do not cease to be launched at us, but none make it past our shield and cause us to slip. God told Israel that every step rhe6 took was their possession, for God had already given them the land. Their job was to appropriate it as their own. And so it is with us. Blessings, Gideon
  10. Gideon

    Wilderness Christianity

    I did indeed. Vroom, vroom! Congrats. blessings, Gids
  11. Gideon

    Wilderness Christianity

    Let us make sure we distinguish between the battles we are facing. The difference I see between a believer walking in the wilderness of their old nature and one who has escaped the wilderness and has entered the promised land as a new creature is this. In both situations, battles occur. But in the wilderness, the battle is with oneself. Here we try to be a good Christian, to bear fruit, but eventually we are worn down and settle into a spiritual rut, running religious laps, convinced that if we run long enough, we will be changed. Sadly, we are wrong. . Oh, we are always on the move, more or less, but here we are pretty much fulfilling the scripture about ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Here is is always three steps forward, two st.......okay, okay.... three steps back. But once we come to the point of realizing that our ‘progressive’ sanctification is simply a desert mirage, and sin still rules over us, even after decades as a believer, and self is still ultimately as much in control as it was the day we were first saved, and we cry out to God to rescue us out of our Romans 7 existence and to plant us in the promised land of victory over the world, the flesh and the devil, the battle is no longer with self. Why? Here we have reckoned ourselves dead to sin and the self that loves it.... our old nature. So what is our battle now? It is with the enemy and the unbelief that he tries desperately to get us to go back to. We are finally a true threat to him and he will come at us tooth and nail, but all to no avail, for overcoming is our birthright here. There is never victory in the wilderness. No matter how long we labor there, we will never grow from old natures man to new natures man. Yet, our time in the wilderness is critical. There is indeed a purpose for our walk through the wilderness, and every single one of us is called to go through it.... but never reside there. It’s purpose is to break us of all hope in our flesh, to see our sins as exceedingly sinful and to finally realize that no matter how hard we try, or how long we run laps, we are no closer to the victory we are called to. When do we know we are ready to take the leap of faith? When we HATE our old sinful, self loving nature that often refuses to bow the knee to the Lord. And when we arrive at that point, and all hope is ourselves has been ground to powder, and we know we need a miracle, then, praise God, He gives it to us. But until we are desperate enough to cry out to Him to see it, and to grab hold of it, all we will see is desert sand. When a man or woman comes to the end of their rope, worn out by the wilderness, where we become religious but not righteous, and truly desperate for rest, for peace, for joy and for the manifest presence of God to be there all day, every day, God will remove the scales from our eyes and let is see that the old US does not need to die. He is already dead. What we need is to believe it, and to act on it by appropriating our new nature by faith alone. Blessings, Gideon
  12. I believe you are quite right. When Jesus ministered on the earth, much of His time and effort was to the offscouring of the world. This irritated the outwardly righteous looking Pharisees to no end. But what Jesus told them confirms what you have just said. The prostitures, the drunkards, the tax collectors not only listened but hung on every word. Why? Because they knew they had need of a doctor, and they realized He was the great physician. But the Pharisees, they assumed that they were actually quite pleasing to God and did not need a physician at all. Andrew Murray once wrote that of all the sins, religious pride was the hardest to be freed from, because it was that pride that prevented one from seeing their great need. Is it hopeless for those who think they have need of nothing when they assume all is great between them and the Lord, even as willful sin still lives in their lives? Not at all! In these last days, we will all be awakened to our true state. The sheep, no matter how they have previously lived, will admit their great need and cry out for deliverance from their contentment without godliness. Others, the tares, will understand that to truly walk with the Lord, hating their own life, and declaring their own righteousness as of no value, will be a mountain they simply cannot or will not want to scale. Some will walk away altogether, others will simply cling to their religious life, full of head knowledge but devoid of the fruits of God. this is the valley of decision, when each one of us will finally understand what the cost of our salvation really is. The sheep will count the cost.... and gladly pay it. The goats will insist there is no cost, when in truth they are simply trying to avoid paying it. And what is that cost? Us.... our carnal self, our old nature Blessings, Gids
  13. If we are children of God, we are told that we have an adversary, the devil, who does not slumber nor sleep. He is at war with us, and we are told that we should not be ignorant of his devices. Make no mistake, it is all out war. The Bible calls it our good fight of faith, and we are given armor, weaponry and a shield to insure we are not overcome, but rather, walk as overcomers. But what if we are experiencing no struggle, no warfare at all? What does that tell us? There are three reasons for this, as far as I can see. 1) Like Paul, one may have fought a good fight, and have finished their course, and are fully established in Christ, walking as one, not two. I suspect this is rare indeed. Considering that this statement by Paul was made at the end of his ministry, then if this is you, congratulations. That is not me... yet. But I will continue to press. 2) In the ministry of Jesus, after He faced off with Satan in major warfare, we are told that Satan left Him for a season. There are, thank goodness, times of refreshing from the battle against Satan, his accusations and temptations. Here we rest, draw new strength from the Lord, knowing that this time of peace is temporary. The devil will be back, that is for sure. These two categories above are both commendable for us as believers. But there is a third category where no battle is occurring. It is when we have stopped wearing our armor, stopped wielding our sword and our shield of faith is.... somewhere... where the heck did I put it? I can make this no plainer. If this is our walk with God, and there is no resistance in our spirit to the attacks of darkness, no places in our walk where Satan attacks, no temptations that need to be resisted, and we do not hear the accusations of the enemy, there is great danger here. In this place, Satan does not need to attack, for we have it on cruise control. We have agreed to a truce. We are told that our walk with God is like a race.... not a sprint, but an endurance event. We are told to resist him steadfast in the faith, but if there is no resistance, the battle is being lost. Our prayer of faith started this walk, but that prayer of faith also awoke the enemy to our task ahead of us. to press in, to walk in all we have been given and to seek more. And that, guys, gets him determined to stop us. This, sadly, is not a rare occurrence. Why have so many that once did run well, stop running at all, stop battling, stop drawing nearer and nearer to the Lord? It is quite simple, actually. When we are taught that holiness and purity are impossible to achieve in this life and that no matter how much we sin whether or not we repent, grace has us covered, the natural response from our old nature is to kick it back a notch and rest. If sin still has a hold on us, generally in one or two very specific areas.... what I call our ‘Achilles heel”sins.... and there is no guilt, no conviction, no chastening, then listen, something is amiss, and badly. Everyone of us receive chastening and correction if we are His, but if we arrive at the place that God is not speaking to us in some way to stop the sin, or to pull out of the rest stop, then the diagnosis is a hardened heart, a direct result of sinning again and again so much that it doesn’t seem so bad after a while. We start to make our excuses...... everybody does it.....I’m only human.... grace has me covered.... and little by little our faith, once burning bright and clean, becomes dull and lifeless. And the danger increases the longer we persist. Faith can actually be confused with head knowledge, where we think we believe, but it is not with softened hearts but hardened heads. Oh, my dear saints, the days are getting darker. Temptations will increase. Lusts that accompany a fleshly nature will surely become stronger and stronger, and if we remain choosing to not battle, because we reason God wants us happy, then we are under great deception. Listen. God wants us holy. Why? Because sin and sullied or hardened consciences prevent us from fellowshipping with our Father, and like a good Father, He wants closeness. One of the most confusing verses in the entire Bible is where we are told to struggle to enter into the rest that God has for each one of us. Our fleshly minds can make no sense of it. Why would we have to struggle if we are trying to rest?? It is actually quite easy to explain. It is in our act of struggle to stop sinning, and to resist the arrows thrown at us by Satan, that we finally see one of the great truths of the gospel. We cannot be holy by our efforts. We cannot cease from sin. We cannot love a God with our whole hearts. CANNOT. Yet.... we must. It is pure hearts that will see the Lord. Without holiness, we may gain Heaven but be robbed of the joy of actually SEEING Him. So why in the world would our God tell us to do something He knows we cannot do? Because we do not know we cannot do it. Only when we try with all our might and fail.... and fail again are we brought to the place where we truly hate our old fleshly nature that has a traitor living inside. Ahhhh, but when we finallly give up, willingly declaring absolute surrender, and like Paul in Romans 7, cry out to Him to do what only He can do.... deliver us from the power of darkness... to our joy and amazement we discover the full power of grace. Here, when we are hungry and broken, and we finally see the only solution is to die, we finally see the solution He has provided for us, death to the old us, while providing us new natures that hate sin and love the light. Listen. There is no traitor in the new man. He will resist, steadfast in the faith. He will battle, and not cave into satan’s wishes. He will take the way of escape God has promised to provide us. He will wield His shield of faith, and see all the arrows cast at us by our enemy quenched by the keeping power of our God. Glory to God! And why will he do all these things? Because God IN HIM will cause him to do so. The biggest hindrance to our growing up into Him in all things is unbelief. We do not see how it is remotely possible to stop sinning and to actually walk in victory all day every day. But why is this? We have assumed it is something WE must do, so with defeat inevitable, we simply have chosen to stop battling. But in these last days, saints who have long ago stopped resisting evil in certain areas of their lives, are going to be brought to the place where they again believe that what we cannot do, our God will do IN US! Nothing is impossible to our God, even making us truly obedient children! Fairh is about to be restored to us. Real faith. Faith that allows us to actually abide in Him, with us not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh! Faith that is strong enough to overcome the world, the flesh and yes, the devil himself. May all those found struggling with sin and guilt be encouraged. your God will move mountains to see that you escape the bounds of Romans 7 and discover the FREE INDEED Jesus has for you. And if you have read this and realize that despite your walk with the Lord perhaps includinga lot things about the Lord..... Sunday services, ministry, good works, etc. but you can admit to Him that there is no battle being waged in your heart against the darkness in you, and no hunger for more intimacy with Him and that there is no chastening happening when you sin, I pray for you that you can cry out to God to restore your first love, and hear His sweet voice again calling out to you to let Him back in so that He can plant your feet back on solid ground...... as an overcomer. Blessings, Gideon
  14. Gideon

    To all that struggle with sin.

    Most know that I am not a man of few words, lol, but brother, I would not change or see a need to add one word to what you wrote. Praise God for His truth that truly does set us free. Blessings, Gideon
  15. Gideon

    Multi-Culturalism: A Failed Policy

    I was operating under the assumption that in the immigration thread that was recently posted and subsequently closed at my request, someone supporting your stance said that he believed that segregation... separate but equal.... was Biblical. As I recall, not one of those who saw nothing wrong with separating children from parents spoke out to say this was wrong. If I am in error here in my assumption, please forgive me. We all, unless we are native Americans, are descendants of immigrants. The world is getting smaller, and we are inevitably becoming one big melting pot. Right or wrong, it is our future til the Lord comes back. IMHO, efforts would be better spent trying to live the message we say we believe, in hopes that others, whatever their culture, will ask us what we possess that they do not. The minute we take sides on earthy strides, yet without our hearts hungering for pure hearts, and His love flowing through our veins, we have veered off target. Blessings, Gideon
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