NO ILLUSIONS

Yes, I am up at a very early hour.  I have no illusions as to who I am and what I have been.  I will ever remain mystified as to why my Creator continued a relationship with me beyond my teen years.  I was worthy of eternal death early on.  I returned to a life of sin time and again.  Yet time and again the Spirit of God compelled me to forsake and ignore all other pursuits and to study His Word minutely, deeply, almost 24/7, month in month out, year in and year out.  And then He went a step further.  His Spirit began awaking me time and again at 3:00 a.m., linking together in my mind those thousands and thousands of passages, illuminating my mind, compelling me to arise and write, write, write.  But why ME?  Why not an honest-hearted, clean-cut type who had been ever faithful?  Why someone whose actions had bordered on insanity time and again?  Through His writing prophets, God saId something to me loud and clear long ago: “I WILL rule over you.  You are MINE.  You WILL do what I called you to do if I have to extend your lifespan beyond human comprehension.”  So finally I listen.  Finally I serve.  I don’t mind arising in the wee hours of the morning after several hours of sweat-producing work.  To have your Creator commune with you and bless you with His healing touch again and again and to assure your heart that you have been forgiven of all your sins – now that’s contentment, that’s the good life, that’s having it together.

HE’S THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER!

Believers must keep ever in mind that God changes not.  We have the same God as Abraham, King David, the prophets and the apostles.  The supernatural and the miraculous are “old hat” to Him.  With God ALL things are possible.  “Ask what you will and it shall be done unto you.”  The One who spoke those words cannot lie.  The condition, of course, the caveat, if you will, is that those who offer petitions to Him must be in continuous, unbroken fellowship with Him, obeying Him and trusting Him in full faith to work on behalf of the one offering the petition.  The Apostle John wrote that we KNOW that we have the petitions that we desire of Him “whatsoever we ask…because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (See I John 3:22 and I John 5:15).  I don’t need any blood work to show me that or a CAT scan or a bone scan.  I have God’s Word – something much more trustworthy than a lab report.  (I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in May of 2016, foregoing all medical treatment, trusting in the Lord alone to heal me miraculously!)
Remember how Jeremiah the prophet said if we grow weary when running in a foot race how will we contend with horses?  (See Jeremiah 12:5).  If our faith is thrown for a loop when faced with some manner of illness, what will happen to our faith if faced with some more immediate and deadly peril?
Paul said we are not to focus on what we can see, but on the unseen – the Holy Spirit’s abiding presence and Jesus’ promise to be with us always.  I sleep very well, I assure you.  You can put the same caption under my picture as that found beneath the drawing of Alfred E. Newman, “What?  Me Worry?”  The Lord commands, “Take no anxious thought for tomorrow.”  Some might find themselves in good hands with Allstate.  I find myself in the best of hands with the Lord.  ‘Nuff said.

WHEN HEALING SERVICES FAIL TO DELIVER

Charlatans like Benny Hinn, Peter Popoff, Oral Roberts, and the like have brought the “healing service” into disrepute and open ridicule around the world.  Pat Robertson and his son, hosts of “The 700 Club” television show bow their heads, close their eyes and with a television camera firmly fixed on them say, “Someone out there has an aching hip that has been bothering them for over a year.  You are being healed right now.  Claim your healing.”  Of course “someone out there” includes thousands of viewers so afflicted.  One or more of them are going to be absolutely certain this phony “word of knowledge” is for them.  And, of course, if their pain is psychosomatic they will be instantly “healed.”  These charlatans do not realize that the scriptural word of knowledge is super-specific.  One with this spiritual gift would actually say something like, “Barbara Anderson, your hip began hurting you last November after you fell in your garage.  The Lord now honors your faithfulness to Him and heals you at this moment.”  The word of knowledge is not venturing a guess.  It is not vague.  The word of knowledge is God giving one of His true servants super-specific knowledge of something or someone that is humanly unknowable.
Time and again I have heard these deceivers say something like, “The Lord told me just before we came on the air that the first one hundred callers who will pledge one thousand dollars to this ministry will see that thousand dollars multiplied back to them ten-fold within 60 days!”  I wouldn’t want to be within a country mile of these imposters
 when they stand before the Lord at the judgment.
Actually Jesus Christ needs no earthly servants, not even faithful church elders, to bring about physical healing of his true followers.  To us, He says, “Ask what you will and it shall be done for you.”  The faithful and obedient believer has absolute confidence in His Lord and any and all statements made by the Lord.  The apostle James cautions that it is “the effectual, fervent prayer OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN that avails much” or moves the hand of God to act and bring about physical healing.  (See James 5:16).  I fear all too often the elders or deacons praying for the healing of some member of their congregation still have sin in their life and lack genuine God-given faith when praying for the sick party.  Hence, there is no healing.
Many fail to realize that to “ask in Jesus’ name” means to ask by His authority, or having His authority, and one has the authority to so ask ONLY when that believer is totally, completely and continually submitted to obeying the Lord in all things, in every area of their life.  The reason many prayers prayed “in Jesus’ name” are not answered is due to the fact that the one offering that prayer is withholding something from the Lord or failing to obey the Lord in all things.  It is that simple.

NO TIME IN DEATH

“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8).
That is a one hundred percent true statement.  To be absent from the body IS to be present with the Lord as there is no time in death.  When one closes their eyes in death in the next millisecond they are opening their eyes in the resurrection.  It doesn’t matter if ten thousand years elapse from the time they die to the point in time when God calls the dead out of their graves.
“And many of them THAT SLEEP IN THE DUST OF THE EARTH shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2).  Where does scripture place the dead?  In heaven?  In hell?  NO!  Asleep in the dust of the earth.  THAT is where scripture places the dead.  But since there is no time in death, to be absent from the body is to instantly hear the voice of God saying, “Awake.  Come forth from the grave.”
And what are the very last words recorded in Daniel?  These, God speaking to Daniel, says, “But go thou thy way till the end be, for thou shalt rest (asleep in the dust of the earth), and stand in thy lot (with fellow resurrected believers) at the end of the days” (Daniel 12:13).
Inspired scripture does not contradict inspired scripture.  No scripture, no verse, not one statement in the New Testament contradicts or says anything different than what you have just read in Daniel.
Those who call themselves pastors and ministers yet who teach doctrines contrary to what you have just read will give account one day to Jesus Christ for the confusion they have caused among believers and the world at large.  That’s not saying they are not saved, but, brother, will they forfeit many if not all of the eternal rewards they could have had if they had only spoken the truth of God instead of the clever lies of Satan.  Many will be among those Paul speaks of who are saved “yet so as by fire.”  Just as one is rescued from his burning home but suffers the loss of all of his possessions in the flames, so many will escape hell granted eternal life but will suffer the loss of all rewards they might have had.  I don’t want to be in that number and have so set my mind and heart that I will NOT be in that category.

GOD GAVE US DOCTORS!

God gave us doctors!  Why does that seem to be a given and taken for granted by so many?  Why don’t you ever hear, “God gave us politicians,” or “God gave us lawyers,” or “God gave us coal miners?”  And why don’t you ever hear the one who is so quick to say, “God gave us doctors,” also saying, “God gave us prayer,” or “God gave us the Bible,” or “God gave us a Savior?”  It seems about the only time you hear God mentioned by some is when they use the phrase “God gave us doctors.”  Other than that God doesn’t seem to figure very largely in their thoughts and conversation.
I can’t seem to find any scripture support for the “God gave us doctors” line, but I can sure find a lot of scripture support for prayer, for trusting God, for asking and expecting God to heal me when I am sick or ill.  I think I’ll stick with that for which I have plenty of scripture support as well as past experience in having God heal me time and again in answer to simple, believing prayer.
I feel sorry for unbelievers.  All they have to which to turn when faced with grave illness is men – men who are prone to make mistakes, men who charge an arm and a leg for their help, men who give no guarantees, men who are generally unbelievers themselves.  What a poor state of affairs that God’s sons and daughters would think all God gave them to assist them when faced with life-threatening calamity is the questionable help of other men or women, who are often unbelievers who look upon God as a mythological creature!

America Has a Rendezvous With Judgment

Recent surveys indicate that there are 1.8 million adult Muslims living in America, the overwhelming majority of them immigrants.  Immigration is the Trojan horse that permits sworn enemies of this country to enter by invitation and to reside wherever they wish.  If nations could be adjudged as fools or wise, this country would be the world’s supreme jester.
This nation is going to pay a terrible, terrible price for both its corruption and its willingness, even eagerness, to invite hordes of Muslims to find residence here.  The present generation may not pay so dearly, but the generation that follows, and the generation after that will pay a price in bloody horrors most cannot now even imagine.
I feel sorry for those not submitted to the total LORDship of Jesus Christ over their lives.  They will be like soldiers who have laid down their weapons and their armor.  They will be most vulnerable.
I now know how the prophet Jeremiah must have felt as he continuously sounded the alarm that doom and destruction was all that awaited Israel and Judah.  The God who warns, “I change not,” will deal with the sins and corruption of America just as He dealt with the sin and rebellion of those two ancient nations.  He is the same, yesterday, today and forever.

How Is It That You Have No Faith?

Do you recall the occasion in the scriptures when Jesus and His disciples were out on Lake Galilee, “and He was in the hinder part of the ship asleep on a pillow?”   A great storm arose and the waves of the sea began to swamp the boat.  They awoke Him and asked if He had no concern that their boat was on the verge of sinking.  “And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, ‘Peace, be still,’  And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”  Jesus turned to them and then asked, “Why are you so fearful?  How is it that you have no faith?”  They then asked one another, “What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”  (See Mark 4, verses 35-41).
When Jesus stood outside the tomb of Lazarus that man had already been dead for four days.  Martha informed Jesus that Lazarus had even begun to rot and decay and was beginning to stink.  When Jesus gave the command to that corpse to rise and come forth from the tomb, He was commanding every one of the billions and billions of cells in Lazarus’ body to reconstitute themselves and to become vital and healthy in an instant of time.  And they did so.
I don’t know how many dead and dying cancer cells were found in my body when the laboratory technicians examined the biopsy specimens they were given that had been extracted from my body, and a diagnosis was made of prostate cancer.  Was it hundreds, thousands, millions, BILLIONS?  It doesn’t matter one whit.  Lazarus’ Lord has said to them, “Be whole!”  And they have been made whole once again.
Finally, I am now what I dreamed long ago – a man of absolute faith in my Lord.  I don’t need to see to believe.  My faith is now my organ of sight.  I already see.  I am done with sin and rebellion.  My lustful desires have been conquered by the One who has never lost a battle.  And, because of this, I now say, “Bless you, cancer,” for had I not been diagnosed with cancer I doubt that I would have ever utterly and completely forsaken the way of the flesh.  Still, from time to time, I would probably have returned to my old, carnal ways here and there.
And now I ask of my readers what my Lord asked of His disciples long ago, ‘O ye of little faith, how long will you doubt?”  How many months, how many years will have to pass before you even begin to think the Jesus Christ I know and have fellowship with is the same Jesus Christ who rebuked the wind and the waves two thousand years ago and the same Jesus Christ who stood outside a Judean tomb and cried, “Lazarus, come forth?”  Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.  I am one of the most blessed human beings now alive on this planet.

God-Inspired Reasoning

I think it was obvious to all who really knew me that when I was walking in the flesh, in rebellion to God and His Word, living life according to the dictates of my own mind and seared conscience, I did not have the ability to think deeply or reason correctly.  I would do things that anyone with an I.Q. above 27 would have said, “Boy, that’s stupid!”  I literally could not think aright.  Oh, I was guilty of willful sin for sure, but I just was unable to look around the corner of time and realize, “Boy, you’re going to pay big time for that one!”  But whenever I would surrender my will to the Most High and His Son, my thinking and reasoning became nothing less than God-inspired.  I found that I saw and saw clearly, understood and understood aright.  More than once fellow believers reading one of my articles, or hearing me speak, would say, “I never thought of that.  You sure enlightened me as to the true meaning of that scripture.”  One lady approached me after I had addressed a small group and, peering intently into my eyes said, “You are holding a full cup and it is about to run over.”
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There is no joy like the joy of obedience.  A believer’s joy can never be full unless and until that believer permits Jesus Christ to become the absolute LORD of his or her daily existence and affairs.  By the way, do you know how many times Jesus is called “Savior” in the New Testament?  Twenty-four times.  Do you know how many times Jesus Christ is called “Lord” in the New Testament alone?  SEVEN HUNDRED AND THREE TIMES!  Do you think God was trying to make a point abundantly clear there?  I do.  Also, Jesus is NEVER referred to in scripture as “the Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.”  It is always, without exception, “the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”  Again, the Holy Spirit making a very clear point.  First and foremost, Jesus IS LORD!   Also, we do not make Jesus Lord of our lives.  God the Father made Him Lord of our lives.  We either accept this fact or reject it, but we, ourselves, never make Him Lord.  He is already our Lord.  We either bow to Him as such or choose our own course.  If we choose our own course, we are “out there on our own,” so to speak.  We stumble through life wide open to all the vagaries, pitfalls and dangers of having been born human into a world in rebellion against its Creator.  No wonder so many die young, endure tragedies, become failures in life and marriage, etc.
 
The apostle Peter, addressing a large crowd of murderous, Christ-rejecting Jews, told them: “Let all the house of Israel know assuredly that GOD HAS MADE THIS JESUS, whom you crucified, BOTH LORD AND CHRIST” (See Acts 2:36).  God also appointed Him Judge of both the living and the dead.  ALL judgment has been committed into the hands of Jesus Christ by God the Father.  When I see Him at the judgment seat I will see my LORD face to face, and I want Him to be able to say to me, “I finally did become that in your life, didn’t I, Don!”  And, I’m sure with tears rolling down my face, I will reply, “Yes, LORD, you finally did!”
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Christ’s servant (Galatians 1:10),
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Donald Wiley

THINK ABOUT IT

What takes place in the mind of the average person when confronted with a Scripture statement contrary to his own belief?  The average mind reacts in this manner: Whatever he has been taught, or has heard or read, and is the accepted belief of his church, he has ASSUMED to be true.  It has become rooted in his mind as if it were true fact.  It has become fixed, lodged hard and fast in his mind.  It – what he already believes, not necessarily what God says – is the fixed concept by which he approaches anything on this subject.  His own conviction, erroneous though it may be, is his starting point for considering any Scripture on the subject – his approach – the very basis by which he seeks to understand or explain the Scripture.  It never will occur to him that his belief – his definition of some Scripture doctrine – could be wrong.  He has firmly assumed whatever concept he may hold to be true.  His mind, therefore, will seek to understand the Scripture according to his erroneous belief, but never to question or harmonize his belief according to the Scriptures as he is certain he already knows what the Bible teaches on the subject at hand.  If he is unable to square the Scripture with his own belief, then he does one of two things: Either he tries to interpret the Scripture according to his own idea, or his mind becomes confused, and he simply forgets it – changes the subject, dismisses this Scripture from his mind and thinking.  In other words, he is spiritually blinded to seeing the truth on this point.  Perhaps it is impossible for him to even see the truth.  He has accepted one of the fables to which God said, through Paul, the world would be turned.  It simply cannot seem to occur to his mind that what he has so carelessly accepted could be wrong.
One is aided and assisted in maintaining their erroneous beliefs when they consider that the overwhelming majority of professing Christians are in total agreement with them in their understanding of some Bible doctrine.  “Surely, all these good, decent, highly educated people can’t be wrong,” they think.  That is WHY Mormons remain Mormons, Roman Catholics remain Roman Catholics, and Baptists remain Baptists!  By and large people just don’t change their thinking and beliefs once they have associated themselves with a given church or denomination.  Their beliefs are then continuously reinforced as being correct and scriptural when they hear those beliefs expounded and proclaimed again and again week in and week out, year in and year out.  That’s WHY a young Amish fellow is still in the Amish camp when his hair has turned to silver.
Think on these things, PLEASE!

The Answer to Unanswered Prayer

Through His prophet Zechariah, God long ago spelled out in the simplest of language the primary reason why He does not answer many prayers.
 “Therefore it is come to pass, that as He cried (via His prophets), and they would not hear (ancient Israel refused to listen to the prophets and respond to their warnings), so they cried (beseeching God in prayer to come to their aid and rescue them), and I would not hear, saith the Lord of hosts (yes, the Lord of HOSTS, the one who has billions of angels at His disposal to do His bidding and to fly swiftly to the aid of His faithful ones)” (Zechariah 7:13).
A couple of years ago on a very cold winter day I was driving back to Brookville from Eaton, Ohio, where I had taken my computer to have it fixed.  With the wind chill that day it was probably in the single digits.  On the highway I passed someone trudging along.  It was at a place on the road where there were no businesses, stores, or even houses.  I, therefore, knew this person could not find shelter from the cold and would have had to walk several more miles before finding someplace to get warm.   He was so bundled up around his face that I could not tell if he was young or old, black or white, or even if it was truly a male.  Turning the car around, I pulled up beside him (it was a young Mexican/American male), I rolled down the passenger side window and asked if he needed a ride.  Without a second’s hesitation he got in the car.  I had already turned up the heater full blast as I knew he would be freezing.  His face was beet red from the cold and tears welled in his eyes from the stinging wind and cold.  I asked where he was headed.  He said, “To my sister’s.”  I asked how far he had already walked.  He said about five or six miles.  I asked how much further it was to his sister’s house.  He said, “About five or six miles.”  I asked didn’t he realize he could have died in such bitter cold.  He said he didn’t have any other way to get to his sister’s house.  I drove him to her door.  But before we parted I quoted Zechariah 7:13 to him, telling him, “If you will listen to God and do what He tells you to do in His Word, He will listen to you.”
After I drove away, I regretted that I had not given this young immigrant some money.  I could have spared a ten or twenty.  It just didn’t occur to me until I had let him out and driven away.  I guess the Holy Spirit figured the golden nugget of Zechariah 7:13 was enough.  Otherwise I believe the Spirit would have whispered to my heart, “Give the fellow some money.”  He has whispered that to my heart on many other occasions.
I don’t pick up hitchhikers – usually.  He wasn’t hitching a ride.  He was a fellow traveler in danger of freezing to death or suffering frostbite.  Life is full of risks.  If you knew what the Lord has brought me through over the past several decades, you would understand why where one sees a risk I see an opportunity.