Posts tagged ‘Fear vs. Faith’

James 2:19 = Even the DEMONS *Believe & Tremble!*

James 2:19 “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble“.

The 2nd part of James 2:19 isn’t a passage that most Christians and/or church leaders talk about very often, if at all (or even do so much as think about). In fact, the VERY first time I read that passage at the tender age of 19-21, I was AWESTRUCK! The demons TREMBLE with FEAR at Jesus? F E A R? Why? I had thought at the time. Wouldn’t it make more technical sense for them to react to Jesus with ANGER, rather than FEAR?”

But let us look at two other bible passages in the bible which address this very issue!

Matthew 8:28-29 says: “And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, ‘What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?‘”

The Matthew 8:29 passage, in my further attempt at fully understanding the “demons’ fear of Jesus” back then, really got me to start questioning everything I “thought” I knew at that point about Satan and demons! Like, I KNEW that Satan and demons were ANGRY things! But little did I know, as per that passage and the 1st passage I listed, that they were FEARFUL, angry things! WHY? Because they KNOW that Jesus has the POWER to eternally judge them! 

Luke 8:28 further echos the sentiment: “When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, ‘What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me NOT!'”

When I originally read the Luke 8:28 passage back then, I sort’ve had this “human” mental imagery in my mind of a demon (using the man’s human body as a vessel) kneeling down on his knees in front of Jesus, putting both his hands up in a “I surrender” position and DESPERATELY PLEADING with Jesus to NOT be tormented!

And it was THAT mental imagery in my mind which served as a VERY POWERFUL force of spiritual understanding within my spirit! For just like a human person might hold both their hands up in a “I surrender, I don’t want any trouble” position if there was a gunman who was threatening their VERY LIFE, so did THE DEMON likely do in the presence of Jesus! WOW! PROFOUND!

So therefore, what can we gather from these 3 passages in the bible? Answer: DEMONS **FEAR** JESUS! That’s right…..out-right **FEAR HIM!** So it stands to reason: If DEMONS fear Jesus, how much more does SATAN fear Jesus? Answer: Likely a whole HECK of alot! Why? Because he simply KNOWS that he’s powerless against Him, amongst many other things! Which then even further stands to reason: If SATAN and DEMONS actually **FEAR JESUS**, (despite any major “anger issues” they might have AGAINST Jesus), then why should WE, as born-again Christians/Messianic Jewish-roots Christians FEAR **THEM?** It stands to reason!

There’s yet another bible passage that I’d like to share, which is Matthew 10:28 [New Testament, Book of Matthew, Verse 28] which states: “And fear NOT them which kill the body, but are NOT able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is ABLE to destroy BOTH soul and body in hell”.

In other words, don’t FEAR the spirits and/or the people that have the ability to “kill you” since they ONLY have “ability” to kill your BODY, ONLY but NOT your soul…..Instead, you should FEAR GOD/JESUS since ONLY GOD/JESUS has the power to “kill” both your BODY ***AND*** your soul in hell and/or the lake of fire! OUCH! Therefore, in hindsight, the Matthew 10:28 passage is telling us in NO uncertain terms whom/what we SHOULD and SHOULD **NOT** fear, in the “biblical sense!”

Too many Christians today FEAR! Rather it’s FEAR of “workplace issues”, FEAR of the future, etc. But what they oftentimes don’t realize (myself included, sometimes) is that SATAN AND DEMONS are the driving force BEHIND that “FEAR!” And as long as we don’t have any “idols” or “demonic objects” in our homes (ouija boards, tarot cards, New Age and/or metal music, carved images, witchcraft-themed movies, books, etc.), we have POWER & AUTHORITY in the name of Christ to REBUKE THAT DEMONIC SPIRIT/THOSE DEMONIC SPIRITS OF FEAR!

But yet, here’s the sad reality. As long as a “Christian” has demonic “objects” in their possession, OR consume them (such as movies and TV shows), Satan/demons have the LEGAL spiritual “right” to RULE OVER THEM (**UNTIL** said object is REMOVED or said consumption is FULLY REPENTED OF)! Sad but true! Many Christians today have demonic objects in their home and don’t even know it!

For example, many think that Harry Potter books or movies are “harmless!” And yet others at some point (myself included) attempted to “justify” their watching of “Witchcraft-themed shows” (like Salem for instance) telling themselves that they’re just spiritually educating themselves about the Enemy Satan, so they know how he “works” in the Kingdom of Darkness, etc.!

Folks, let me tell you something. I MYSELF made the mistake of watching some of the “Salem” TV series on Netflix (LONG BEFORE the Netflix BAN was needed on the part of many Christians!) And I even tried to justify it to myself, telling myself that it was somehow OK to watch the show, IF I was only doing it from a “get-myself-educated-on-the-schemes-and-workings-of-the-Devil” type of way!

But BOY WAS I MISTAKEN! Not long after I started watching the 1st episode, I had an “ungodly spirit” that invaded my home! A dark shadow! It oftentimes “slightly” shook the end of my bed at night while I was trying to sleep! It would follow me into the bathroom and would sometimes abruptly make the shower curtain rod fall on me whenever I tried to use the toilet or take a shower! It terrified my cat(s) at night and made them “growl” and “hiss” for absolutely no reason! I’d go out in the hallway and would see my cat(s) growling and hissing at “shadows that weren’t there!”

And at first, I’ll admit, I was in a bit of denial. I mean, you hear about invasion of demonic spirits in movies and on certain TV shows. But not ONCE as a Christian do you EVER think that it will come to YOUR house for something so small as watching a Witchcraft-themed TV show (even if only for “education of how the Enemy works” purposes!)

I honestly thought at the time that if the Lord Jesus KNEW MY heart and KNEW I wasn’t even “remotely” interested in Witchcraft, but that I only wanted to gain a better understanding of HOW the Enemy works, that I’d somehow be “OK” and that demonic spirits would NOT be allowed to enter into my home! But I was WRONG! After about a week or so of “the attacks” and attempting to rebuke the spirit in the name of Christ but getting no results, I asked it outloud one time during one of its “attacks”: “WHY DO YOU KEEP TORMENTING ME?”, and it hissed out (just like a snake) ONE word and one word ONLY: SALEM!”

And that’s when I knew it was the UNGODLY TV-show by that same name that was GIVING this “demonic spirit” the legal spiritual RIGHT to invade my home. And so then when I personally inquired to Jesus about WHY He had allowed this “dark, demonic spirit” to invade my home, and “attack me”, Jesus informed me that it was actually for my own benefit, so THAT I would learn the hard way the TOTAL SPIRITUAL DANGER that goes along with watching ANY type of program that has a “positive view” of Witchcraft in it! NO CHRISTIAN – MYSELF INCLUDED – SHOULD BE WATCHING **ANY** TYPE OF PROGRAM OR MOVIE LIKE THAT – **EVEN IF** IT’S ONLY TO “GET EDUCATED ON THE ENEMY!”

Thankfully, my experience eventually came to a “safe ending”. Once I realized just how SATANIC the show was, (and how it very likely portrayed ACTUAL SATANISM), I IMMEDIATELY stopped watching the Series, I prayed to Jesus for forgiveness, and vowed to never watch a single episode of THAT or any OTHER show LIKE that, EVER, EVER AGAIN! And just like that, the DEMONIC SPIRIT was GONE! No more “end of bed shaking” in the middle of the night, no more shower curtain rod violently falling on me in the bathroom, no more terrified growling & hissing cat(s) in the middle of the night, etc!

Now, I have to make an honest confession, here. Did I somewhat “fear” the “demonic spirit” that kept attacking me, while it was attacking me? At first, I did a little, yeah. Why? Because I didn’t know WHY it was there. I didn’t think at first that there was ANY reason FOR it to be there in my home! And see folks, that’s where ALOT of problems with our spiritual walk with Christ can come in…….when we DON’T have our “full spiritual thinking caps” on and in our “leisure time”: For THAT is the time when we are MOST vulnerable to falling victim to Satan’s devices and he KNOWS it!

Now, if “I”, a teacher of God’s Written Word, can fall that easily to something like that (telling myself that it was OK since I was ONLY watching it to gain more understanding of HOW the Enemy works against believers, etc.), how much easier would it be for a non-teacher of God’s Written Word to fall that easily for something like that? FOLKS, WE MUST REMAIN ON **FULL SPIRITUAL GUARD** AT **ALL TIMES** AND IN **ALL PLACES!”** (And believe me, that goes just as much for ME as it does for anyone else who’s a believer in Jesus!)

But I tell ya, folks: Two of Satan’s MOST BIGGEST spiritual battlegrounds against born-again Christians today is at home/among non-believing family members and THE WORKPLACE! Because if you’re working at a workplace where hardly NOBODY is a bible-believing, bible-adhering Christian, it’s going to get harder & harder to adhere to Christ and his gospel as the years roll by in SUCH a “place!” SO HOLD FAST TO THE FAITH!

The non-believers (or rather, the demonic spirits residing INSIDE the hearts, souls and MINDS of unbelievers) are constantly “testing you”, constantly “sizing you up”, and/or “waiting for you to FAIL!” And this could be manifested in any NUMBER of ways……..They or a manager might attempt to micromanage you, they might try to get you to participate in the “latest gossip”, they might tempt you to work on the sabbath or give you more work than they know that you can do at any one given time and then criticize you when you fail, etc.  

So folks, BE CAREFUL! BE ON YOUR FULL SPIRITUAL GUARD AT ALL TIMES! I can’t emphasize that ENOUGH!!!!!!!! Especially since these “unsaved coworkers” don’t yet even KNOW that they’re being spiritually deceived by demons in all of those things! So pray for them, pray for them, pray for them and don’t ever STOP praying for them folks, MARK MY WORDS! And pray for yourselves as well, since we all know it’s very easy to be “swayed” by coworkers. 

But going back to my main point: Satan/Demons FEAR the name of Jesus! Therefore, why should WE, as as born-again Christians, fear THEM? It stands to reason! For WHEN we fear Satan and/or demons, we are, in all actuality, fearing beings that FEAR JESUS! Now think about that. Truly sit back and think about that for awhile. Let that thought ruminate for a bit in your mind. Because if we FEAR demonic beings that FEAR JESUS, what does that say about US as so-called “born-again believers?”

If there’s ever a time in our lives when we fear Satan, fear demons and/or fear persecution, we’re doing it wrong! That means that something is missing in our spiritual “walk” with Christ! Because NO Christian with the correct, FULL spiritual armour is going to fear the Devil or Demons! (Not for ANY reason!) Instead, they will laugh in Satan’s or the demon’s face whenever they “make threats” and loudly and boldly proclaim: “I rebuke you in the name of Christ, now GO!” without any problems or hesitations! In fact, they will KNOW that they know that Christ has their back, no matter what and they need NOT fear!

Are YOU at the place in your life right now where you have ZERO fear of Satan, demons and/or the future? If not, WHY? And if not, what sorts of steps must you take to NOT be afraid anymore, in the name of Jesus? What it help you to know that Jesus HIMSELF was afraid in the Garden of Gethsemane when he KNEW he’d be facing “human death” for the first time?

And yet, even IN SPITE OF HIS FEAR, he STILL trusted the Heavenly Father? If Jesus could still trust the Heavenly Father during HIS time of trial & tribulation (and FEAR) on the Earth, then so can WE also trust Jesus (who OVERCAME death & the grave) during OUR times of trials and tribulations on the Earth, right folks? IT’S THAT SIMPLE!

Isaiah 41:10 proclaims: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness while John 16:33 states: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world“.

In other words, Jesus is telling us here that WHATEVER scary situation we might face in life (being fired from our jobs, a severe medical diagnosis, a death, a traumatic event, severe persecution, etc.), we do NOT need to worry since Jesus IS IN CONTROL OF IT ALL! He’s got the power of the UNIVERSE at his fingertips! He created the universe with just the mere sound of his VOICE!

Therefore, is He REALLY gonna create the universe with just the mere sound of his voice (“Let there be light”, etc.) and then scratch his head in confusion over how to help us deal with OUR life’s “treacherous situations?” OFCOURSE NOT! Jesus KNOWS what he’s doing, no matter what, so we got to remember that, folks! Even though I know sometimes that’s easier said than done. I know it’s “hard” to trust Christ in times of SEVERE TURMOIL in our lives! I know many Christians have the “why me” type questions whenever something bad happens. Just like I KNOW how hard it is to believe that Jesus is CONSTANTLY working things out for the BEST for us that are believers in HIM!

But one thing I DO know is THIS: Jesus is faithful and TRUE! And not once has he EVER, EVER, **EVER** let me down! NOT ONCE! He has ALWAYS and FOREVER been there for me! It is ME that hasn’t always been there for HIM the way I should at various small points in my life! But thankfully for me and for ALL of us, he is a loving and JUST God, who FORGIVES US FOR ALL OUR SINS! We might as feel at times as though Jesus has forgotten about us on this “Earth rock” down here, but believe me, he hasn’t! It’s US who forget HIM!

We as Christians (as a whole) tend to sometimes get slightly “lukewarm” in our faith at certain times in our lives! When severe persecution bears us down and makes us feel exhausted and drained of energy, temporarily giving up seems like the most EASIEST  & most CONVENIENT thing to do! But folks, we can NOT give up! Not NOW! Not EVER! ESPECIALLY IN THESE HERE LAST DAYS OF HUMAN HISTORY! WE ARE THE LAST GENERATION, FOLKS! https://yeshua777.wordpress.com/2018/09/11/we-are-the-last-generation-biblical-proof/

We are the last “100% human species” on this Earth! By the time our children grow up into their 20’s, true 100% humans will be a thing of the past and “cyborgs” will be THE NORM! Quite sobering to think about, isn’t it folks? Yet Jesus says we do NOT need to fear for the future, our salvation is certain (provided we still believe, trust AND obey him and do NOT take The Mark of the Beast for ANY circumstances!)

Jesus Christ HIMSELF tells us in Luke 12:32 “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom”. So lets unpack this a bit. First off, Jesus is telling us NOT to fear. And then the 2nd part is even more beautiful than the 1st part; Jesus is telling us that God DELIGHTS in rewarding us “eternal life” in his “eternal heavenly kingdom”. Therefore, if we DELIGHT in the Lord Jesus AND in obeying him, then someday, the Heavenly Father will DELIGHT in US! What a splendid thought, folks! 

Also: If you have FEAR in ANY area of your life and/or spiritual walk with Christ, WRITE IT DOWN! Then read a scripture in the bible about Jesus overcoming demons, etc. Then go back and read your list and ask yourself if your “fear” is justified! My guess is that it WON’T be, in your mind or heart! However, if you’re STILL unsure rather your “fear” is justified or not, PRAY TO JESUS ABOUT IT! (The most easiest, yet, most OVERLOOKED solution to ANY problem we might have today – PRAYER!) And whatever person, thing or object you fear, fill in the blank with said person, object or thing in the prayer down below!

Pray the following: “Jesus, I fear ________. I’m not sure WHY I fear ______ but I do. I’m not sure what to do about ________. But I know that you DO know what to do about _________ and my FEAR of it! So please Jesus, help me overcome my fear of __________. And make it to the point where someday soon, I will LAUGH at my initial fear of ________ and will fully realize that Satan is a LIAR! Please help me realize that my fear of ________ comes from a DEMONIC SPIRIT and that in YOUR heavenly name, I have authority OVER said “spirit”.

P.S.: Please also reveal to me if there’s any demonic objects in my car or home that are “allowing” the spirit of FEAR to “fester” in my life/home/workplace and help me to GET RID of those objects, if so! Please help give me the necessary tools to get RID of the SPIRIT of FEAR and have it leaving me/my home/my workplace IN NO TIME! Please instead REPLACE the spirit of FEAR in my life with YOUR Holy Spirit, THE SPIRIT OF FAITH AND OF TRUTH! I say this in your heavenly name, Jesus! Amen!” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Prophets FEARED: God’s Response

Hebrews 11:6-8 states: “BUT WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE HIM: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek himBy faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went”

All the great prophets of the bible had FAITH! No doubt about it! And I think alot of us tend to forget that. For when evil PREVAILS, many a Christian (myself included at times, I admit) can feel SO depressed and SO disheartened and discouraged that it’s hard to see any light at the end of the tunnel, sort’ve speak. Things can just FEEL so helpless, at times! (Believe me, I know!)

So what are we as Christians to do when it feels like the whole entire world and society as well as certain “life circumstances” are against us? Cause we KNOW from the bible that many of the Lord’s prophets (as listed above) had FAITH but were there ever any times when the Lord’s prophets were AFRAID? And the answer is YES! Let us examine:

1). Psalm 38 (written by David – likely before he was King and “on the run” from King Saul) declares:

O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore. There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.

My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart. Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.

My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me. My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off. They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long. But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth.

Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs. For in thee, O Lord, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God. For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me. For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me.

For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin. But mine enemies are lively, and they are strong: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied. They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is. Forsake me not, O Lord: O my God, be not far from me. Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation”. 

2). And then there is the case of Elijah, who was “on the run” from Jezebel (& King Ahab) after Jezebel had threatened his life! We read about this in 1 Kings 19: 1-4

And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time. And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers”

3). And let us also not forget Jonah, who FLED from the presence of the Lord when the Lord commanded him to go to Nineveh, a totally EVIL city that had been founded by NIMROD (Noah’s great-grandson!)

This is recorded in Jonah 1: 1-3Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me’. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord”

4). Moses – He was AFRAID to go before the people of Israel to inform them that the Lord God told him that He was gonna try to “secure their permanent release from Egypt” by (gasp!) “going before Pharaoh”! Why? Because he was afraid the people wouldn’t believe him, etc.! 

Exodus 3:10 records the Lord’s decree unto Moses: “Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt”. So here, the Lord’s COMMANDING Moses to go to Pharaoh, one of THE MOST intimidating characters in Eygpt! So, understandably, Moses is a just a little bit “nervous” over this. 

Next verse (11): “And Moses said unto God, ‘Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?’

Verse 12: The Lord’s response to Moses: “And he said, ‘Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain”. 

Verse 13: Moses’s response back to the Lord: “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?”

Verse 14: Lord’s response to Moses once more: “And God said unto Moses, ‘I Am That I Am’: and he said, ‘Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you'”.

Verse 15: Lord’s additional response to Moses: “And God said moreover unto Moses, ‘Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations”.

So here we got FOUR separate instances in which the prophets of the Lord were either SCARED/AFRAID (David & Moses), FLEEING from ENEMIES of the Lord (Elijah) or FLEEING *FROM* the presence of the Lord (Jonah). And though there may be other instances in which prophets/followers of the Lord were afraid, those are the top three mentioned in the bible. But guess what, folks?

5). EVEN JESUS HIMSELF was AFRAID in the Garden of Gethsemane:

Matthew 26: 36-39Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt“.

 

So here in the above passage, we see that Jesus is (gasp!) AFRAID! This is the ONE and ONLY time throughout the entire New Testament when Jesus is TRULY afraid! Why? Because he KNOWS that soon, when he is crucified for the sins of mankind, that he’ll temporarily be OUTSIDE OF THE PRESENCE OF THE HEAVENLY FATHER (since the Heavenly Father is SO holy, that he can not “JOIN WITH/CONNECT TO” any “sin” – and so thus – when Jesus KNEW that he was to BECOME “SIN”/THE “SACRIFICIAL LAMB” FOR ALL OF MANKIND, He, the Holy Son of God, knew that he’d be temporarily separated from the Holy Divine presence of the Heavenly Father AS he, the Holy Son of God, “BECAME SIN for ALL”).

Not to mention that Jesus was likely afraid of dying! He was BORN into a human lifetime. He was fully God AND fully human. He knew all about living as a “human” and what all humans experience during their “lifetimes”. But what he likely did NOT yet know at this point in time was about the ACTUAL EXPERIENCE OF DEATH! He had been born and lived as a human but yet, he had never DIED as one! He was likely afraid, for this was something he had NEVER, EVER experienced before and likely really didn’t know WHAT all to expect, at that point in time.

Luke 22:44 records: “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground

 

So here in Luke 22:44, we can see that Jesus was SO deathly afraid and SO anguished, that BEADS OF SWEAT were POURING to the ground, AS he prayed IN ANGUISH and with GREAT, GREAT ANXIETY!

However, WHEN Jesus added the Nevertheless, not as I wilt but as thou wilt to his highly anguished prayer, he was more or less saying that he ONLY wanted the cup of suffering to pass from him IF it was God the Heavenly Father’s will. Otherwise, he more or less said that he was WILLING to go through all the suffering he was about to endure (even AS terrifyingly AFRAID as he was, at that time), IF it was the Heavenly Father’s will, which it WAS! That is what’s known as “having faith in times of fear!” And it’s no doubt something that we ALL need to know and learn how to do!

So there you have it, folks! EVEN JESUS HIMSELF was greatly afraid at ONE point during his time on Earth! So what does that tell ya, people? It tells us that no matter HOW afraid you are, now matter HOW terrified or full of “anguish” that you feel over life/certain life circumstances, and/or no matter HOW disheartened you feel over something/someone, JESUS UNDERSTANDS! The PROPHETS OF OLD understand! JESUS’S DISCIPLES understand! For they THEMSELVES were once in YOUR shoes! So remember that, folks!

[[Let us not ALSO forget that Matthew 26:56 records “But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and FLED“. Translation? EVEN Jesus’s own DISCIPLES were afraid, at one point!]]

But now that we know HOW and WHY the following four biblical characters were afraid (Jesus being one of them), how did God (the Heavenly Father) respond to each of the four? Let us turn to the bible for the answer:

1). DAVID:

1 Samuel 31: 3-4 records: “And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers. Then said Saul unto his armour-bearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armour-bearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it”. 

Translation? Saul was punished seven-fold for trying to pursue and kill David (the “future king of Israel”). Saul had his “kingdom” stripped from him and given to another (which was David), and fell upon his own sword (dying a most disgraceful death), not to mention many other things.

In fact, in 2 Samuel 3, we read: “Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker“. Translation? There was a long “permanent conflict” between those who were loyal to King Saul and those who were loyal to David. And in the end, those loyal to Saul became fewer & fewer in number, while those loyal to David increased by “leaps and bounds”.

And David, when he REPENTED of his sins, (namely, the sin of “adultery” with Uriah’s wife Bethsheba, and then later having Uriah killed), he is later rewarded with yet ANOTHER son by Bethsheba (which was Solomon), among many other things.

In fact, 2 Samuel 12:8 records THIS: “And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things”.

Translation? When King David REPENTED of his sins and told the Lord point-blank ABOUT his fear & his anxiety, and had FAITH in the Lord’s forgiveness, the Lord rewarded him seven-fold with long life, a lasting kingdom and “over-abundance”.

Translation? God is there telling David that if what David attained had NOT been enough for him, that the Lord would’ve given onto him MUCH, MUCH MORE! Wow! What a statement! But then again, we only have to flip through the books of the bible to see HOW the Lord God BLESSES THOSE WHO REPENT OF THEIR FEAR(S) AND COME CLEAN ABOUT THEIR FEAR(S) AND/OR THEIR SINFUL ACTIONS!

2). ELIJAH:

1 Kings 19: 5-9 records:And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eatAnd he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.

And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of GodAnd he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, ‘What doest thou here, Elijah’?”

In 1 Kings 19:14, Elijah responds AGAIN and says to the Lord: “…..’I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away'”.

And the response from the Lord is found in 1 Kings 19: 15-18: “And the Lord said unto him, ‘Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. 

And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him‘”. 

In other words, the Lord here is informing Elijah that he’s not the ONLY ONE who adheres to the Lord’s decrees……..that there are SEVEN THOUSAND Israelites who had NOT bowed down unto Baal, nor had kissed him (as if to imply that those who worshiped Baal actually KISSED his idol/image or something?)

Therefore, the Lord here is letting Elijah know that he’s NOT ALONE! This must’ve been a very, very comforting confirmation for Elijah while he lived out the rest of his days. That no doubt BOOSTED Elijah’s faith in the Lord. And when Elijah knew he was about to be taken from the Earth, he informed his “apprentice”, EliSHAH that he would soon be taken from him. And as he and EliSHAH were on the River Jordan…….

2 Kings 11 records:As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind

Conclusion? Even though this “highly powerful prophet of God” fled for his LIFE from Jezebel, God REWARDED him for “listening to the angel” and “coming back to service for the Lord”. God was SO pleased with Elijah and his faith after that, that he took him up to Heaven (much like Enoch!)

3). JONAH:

In Jonah 3:10, we read:And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not”. 

Okay, so in above passage, Jonah (albeit reluctantly), goes into the city of Nineveh and preaches the Lord’s message to the people! And as a result, THEY REPENT! All of them, EVEN THE KING! Wow!

But yet, Jonah was still a little “perturbed” at that point in time as Jonah 4:1-6 records:

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live”.

Then said the Lord, ‘Doest thou well to be angry?’ So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city. And the Lord God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd

Translation? Jonah kind’ve sort’ve takes a “chill pill”, realizes he shouldn’t be so angry and goes to “chill out” while he awaits to see what becomes of the city (if anything) of Nineveh. And the Lord God is SO PLEASED with Jonah for “taking a breather” that he decides to help Jonah stay cool in the hot, humid climate by placing a shadow gourd over his head to help him stay cool. And when Jonah saw this, the bible records that he was EXCEEDINGLY GLAD!

But again, only by FAITH did Jonah go into that dreadfully evil city, in the first place! Even if it was somewhat of a reluctant faith, it was faith nonetheless!

4). MOSES:

Exodus 10:28-29And Pharaoh said unto him, ‘Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die’. And Moses said, ‘Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more’“. 

Exodus 14:8 “And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand”

Exodus 14:10And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were SORE AFRAID: and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord

Exodus 14: 13-14And Moses said unto the people, ‘Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever, The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace

Exodus 14: 26-31 “And the Lord said unto Moses, ‘Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen‘. And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.

And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of themBut the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. 

Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses”

5). JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF:

In Luke 22:42, Jesus is SO afraid, that he starts praying the following: Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done”

So how does God respond, you might wonder? The answer comes one verse later, in Luke 22:43! “And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him”.

Therefore, the Lord God Heavenly Father SAW Jesus’s anxiety, HEARD his highly anguished prayer and sent one of the angels from heaven to strengthen him.

In Mark 16:6, we read: “And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him“. So here, we see that Jesus had resurrected from the dead (thus, ending the so-called time of “temporary separation” from God, the Heavenly Father!)

And later on in Mark, we read in Mark 16:19 “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God”

Therefore, Jesus was blessed with ETERNAL GLORY for all the “submissive” fear and suffering he had endured the night BEFORE his crucifixion, as well as the day OF his crucifixion, as well as the time right AFTER his crucifixion and right BEFORE his resurrection. And the time between his resurrection and ascension up to Heaven, was not only to PROVE his words that testified of God the Heavenly Father but also (I think) for the Lord God to give him some time once more to spend with his “friends”, his disciples.

5). As for Jesus’s disciples, they were no doubt “rewarded” by God for their FAITH by increasing the Lord’s kingdom “by leaps & bounds”. And not only that but their names will be recorded ON THE WALLS of the heavenly city called “New Jerusalem” today! How COOL is that? 😉

FINAL CONCLUSION: ALL prophets of the Lord had times when they fell short of the mark of righteousness. But the preceding 5 biblical characters up above (including the 6th group, the disciples) ALL feared at one point! However, when they REPENTED of that fear (in their hearts) and SUBMITTED to the Lord’s will INSTEAD, they were ALL BLESSED!

David’s kingdom was determined to be eternal by God, Moses successfully lead the ENTIRE nation of Israel out of Egypt, the city of Nineveh was spared God’s Wrath at the preaching of Jonah, Elijah restored people to the Lord and was taken up to heaven, plus Jesus successfully carried out God’s will on Earth by being crucified, etc.! Now just think for a minute if any of those biblical characters, after initially hesitating at the first, had instead acted on their FEAR, instead of their FAITH? Can you IMAGINE? 

So what can get gather from all this? Whenever one FEARS, HAVE FAITH! And remember the prophets that were before you! Even THEY were scared, sometimes! But yet, WHEN they submitted to God/the Lord’s will, they came to find that FEAR IS UNNECESSARY! It serves NO PURPOSE! Plus it actually TAKES ONE *AWAY* FROM GOD!

I close with the following biblical quote in the hopes that it will enlighten you and STRENGTHEN your faith and your spiritual walk in Christ:

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up

 

 

 

 

What Are YOU Grateful For?

Many of us humanoids naturally take things/people/events for granted. And that’s easy to do when we feel like we have everything we need in life. However, when we DON’T have everything we need/feel like we need, that’s usually when we turn into chronic complainers, am I right? We all start walking around with a “woe is me” type attitude, complaining to our friends/family/God about this or complaining to our friends/family/God about that.

But let me tell you something. Our friends don’t want to hear it, our family doesn’t want to hear it and God doesn’t want to hear it. And trust me, it’s not that they don’t care. OFCOURSE they care! But do you know and REALIZE just how emotionally/mentally/physically/psychologically draining it is to have to listen to someone CHRONICALLY bicker/rant/vent/complain about their life/their circumstances/another person/people/etc.? IT’S EXHAUSTING!

Sometimes I honestly feel sorry for the Lord above. It must be a really, really hard thing to have to listen to BILLIONS of believers angrily or sadly bitching to him about this or that EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. In fact, it must be DRAINING! And no matter HOW much he tries to help mankind see the light, mankind is stubborn, sinful, rebellious & ungrateful alot of the time. It must break his heavenly heart! ;(

But sometimes it helps to put things in perspective. Okay, so maybe you didn’t get that job promotion you were hoping for. So what. Jesus has better plans for you. Maybe what you thought was the love of your life left you most recently. Don’t fret. Jesus has other plans for you. Maybe it seems to you that so and so has it alot easier in life than you do. Don’t obsess over it. Envy is sin and you’ll get your own big break in life, sooner or later. Remember Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” and Matthew 6:33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”.

The root of complainism, in my opinion, stems from distrust/lack of faith/anxiety/fear. We COMPLAIN to Jesus Christ about things because we don’t TRUST Jesus Christ about things in our life.

And as a matter of fact, when it comes to the very concept of “anxiety/worry/fear”, in and of ITSELF, Jesus Christ had THIS to say in Matthew 6:24-35

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”

And know this as well: no matter HOW bad you think you have it, someone else out there has it off worse than you do. It’s true. For example: Americans (specifically American Judeo-Christians) want to bitch about how “spiritually corrupted” our country has become. But look at Christians living over in Asia and the Middle East. Many of them LOSE THEIR VERY LIVES for their faith, as well as doing so much as being in possession of a bible, a FORBIDDEN BOOK in their country/countries! Others are tortured and/or imprisoned for long periods of time. Therefore, us American Christians should be lucky we still live in a country (atleast for the time being) that allows us to practice our faith OPENLY without threat of death/imprisonment!

Or perhaps some single people out there are bitching and ranting and raving about being single. So what. As some married people would say to all you singles out there, “you don’t know how good you have it!” In other words, it seems like the grass is always greener on the other side! People always want what they can’t have! And WHEN they get that thing/person that was previously unattainable, they tend to LOSE INTEREST in it/that person, am I right?

Human nature dictates that we take for granted that which is easily obtained. Which makes sense. When Jesus Christ Almighty died as an eternal sacrifice for mankind’s sins, Salvation became a FREE GIFT to all whom believed and wished to receive it. Therefore, because it’s a FREE GIFT from God (BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH), it’s VERY EASILY taken for granted by mankind. People “put off/prolong” *being saved* in the name of Jesus Christ for that very reason!

On the other hand, we DO tend to be grateful for things that are NOT easily obtained. Why? Because we actually have to WORK for them since they’re not just magically handed to us. While it’s true that Salvation is granted by Grace through Faith, it’s also true that we must work to MAINTAIN that Salvation.

Jesus Christ says in John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments“. He further expands on this in Matthew 7:21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven“. Translation? Those who work to MAINTAIN their free gift of Salvation (by adhering to all of Jesus’s commandments in the bible — including but not limited to the 10 commandments) will KEEP it, while those who do NOT work to maintain their free gift of salvation (whom believe in Jesus Christ but of whom do NOT follow his commandments in the bible) will LOSE it.

[Unfortunately, we’re now living in the times of the End and Salvation can’t wait, folks! The eternal clock is ticking! When Jesus Christ returns to the Earth for the 2nd time (and the bible SAYS he will), it’ll be too late and one’s fate will be sealed for eternity! So don’t be left behind, folks! Cry out to Jesus Christ TODAY! Don’t wait until tomorrow since tomorrow is not guaranteed! Note: **The recent world events/fulfillment of bible prophecy proclaim that Jesus’s return to the Earth is sooner now than EVER before! In fact, it might only be a mere number of months/DAYS before he returns!**]

That being said, what are YOU grateful for? What has the Lord Jesus done in your life? Well, for starters, he died an agonizing death for the forgiveness of mankind’s sins. All of mankind are sinners and are deserving of hell/eternal punishment. But Jesus Christ took it upon Himself to become an *atonement* for mankind’s sins. Therefore, Jesus died an excruciating death just to give YOU and ME and ALL of mankind a chance to go Eternal Paradise someday. There’s NO greater love than that, people! He also performed many miracles in the times of the New Testament and even during the times of the OLD TESTAMENT (as something called a “Christophany” – look it up!)

But next to what he’s ALREADY done for mankind and for the nation of Israel PERSONALLY during the times of the Old and New Testament, what has Jesus Christ personally done for YOU? Has he revealed Himself to you during a Near-Death Experience? Did he cure someone in your family from cancer? Did he heal YOU personally from some health problem or ailment? Did the Lord Jesus allow you to travel to an awesome place or places/destinations in the world? Did he send someone totally awesome into your life? Has he repaired a broken relationship? Has the Lord Jesus Christ given you special talents/hobbies in life? What are YOU grateful for, in your life? Think about what you’re grateful for in life, and then PRAISE HIM! Praise him above ALL other people and ALL other things! Do nothing but PRAISE HIM for he is worthy of ALL PRAISE! 😉

You can EVEN be grateful for times of personal suffering in your life! Why? Because think about it. When we have everything we need, we think we “don’t NEED God/Jesus Christ”. But when we DON’T have everything we need and life’s a pain/struggle, OH HOW MUCH WE CRY OUT TO THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, **THEN**, am I right? 😉 And as a result of that, what happened? WE WERE DRAWN CLOSER AND CLOSER TO **HIM**/JESUS CHRIST ALMIGHTY and never felt more happier/more joyous/more at peace within ourselves AND with HIM, am I right? 😉

So PRAISE HIM! EVEN in times of hardship/struggle! Just like Job said to his wife in Job 2:10 “But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips”, we must PRAISE THE LORD JESUS, ALWAYS! 😉

And think about it. How many times in your life did a “bad thing” later turn out to be a “good thing”? What originally appears as a downfall can later turn out to be a blessing in disguise. For example: maybe a person was denied what they thought was their “dream job”, only to later find a DIFFERENT job that they really, really enjoyed. Or perhaps a woman that originally wanted kids found out she was going through peri-menopause and couldn’t have kids due to that and other health reasons but later discovered that she could NOT accomplish her life goals with kids in the picture (thus deciding she really didn’t want kids, AFTERALL).

Jesus Christ works in mysterious ways. And whatever pain or struggle you’re going through right now in life, not only does He know but there’s a divine purpose for it all! And though we may not always understand Jesus’s reasoning at the TIME of the struggle in our lives, the answer will later become apparent to us, someday! 😉

If you don’t have a strong faith in Jesus Christ right now and/or IN His ability to adequately control/get a handle on your life, ask yourself why. How you answer this question will determine your best course of action regaining your faith and trust in HIM! And remember: He’s willing and waiting for you WITH OPEN ARMS to come back to Him in total repentance and total faith! Just give him a chance to work in your life! 😉

And remember: God created the universe and the heavens! So don’t you think he’d know how to handle the struggles in YOUR life? You’re talking about a God here that created DNA, cells, atoms, proteins and membranes down to the VERY LAST DETAIL! 😉 So it’s not like the turmoils of everyday human life is going to have him “totally stumped” or something! haha! 😉

Struggling times are NEEDED from time to time for SPIRITUAL GROWTH. Without a struggle of ANY sort, there would be NO spiritual growth and without ANY spiritual growth, there would no NO true faith that was tested in the fire of adversity. And Hebrews 11:6 says: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him”.

Video Enactment: “Are You Ready To Die For Your Faith in Jesus Christ [Yeshua]?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fj1d9h7IL0I

“May we all live like Job in Job 2:10 in the Old Testament. And Praise and Glory be to your great, heavenly name! Always & Forever! Amen”.