Posts tagged ‘spiritual fruit’

How To Achieve The Fruits of the Holy Spirit:

According to Galatians 5: 22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law”.

Okay, now what does this mean, some of you may be asking? When it says SPIRIT, just WHAT type of “spirit” is the passage talking about? I’m glad you asked! The “Spirit” being referenced/referred to in the above bible passage is talking about the HOLY SPIRIT! Now…..for those of you unsure who or what the HOLY SPIRIT is, let me tell you: it is the SPIRIT OF GOD! That’s why it’s called “Holy”.

Okay, some of you might still be confused so I’ll try to explain it a bit better. Look at the “scientific properties” of WATER, for instance (also known as H20). It is the SAME ELEMENT but has 3 different properties (solid/frozen, boiling/steam, and liquid). So it is with God the Heavenly Father and Jesus. It’s the SAME GOD but it’s the same God represented in THREE DIFFERENT FORMS, if that makes any sense?

BEFORE Jesus appeared on the Earth in his FLESHLY incarnate form (by means of a virgin birth) he appeared during the times of the Old Testament in his PRE-FLESH-INCARNATE-FORMS (also known as “Christophanies” – Google it). He was the “King of Salem” that brought out bread and wine to refresh Abram after he won the battle against foreign kings, He shut the mouths of the Lions in the Lions Den, He with the “Son of Man” who was with Daniel’s 3 friends in the Fiery Furnace of Nubuchadnezzar, He was the “Angel of the Lord” besides Joshua at the Battle of Jericho, He was the one who parted the Red Sea, He was the “Burning Bush Not Consumed” that Moses saw, you get the picture…..

Therefore, during the Old Testament times, there was no need for the Holy Spirit because Jesus was there (in PRE-FLESH-INCARNATE form). And during the times of the New Testament times WHILE Jesus was on the Earth, there was no need for the Holy Spirit because Jesus was THERE in fleshly, incarnate form!

In fact, Jesus explained this in further detail to his disciples in John 16:7 when he said the following:

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you”

And in Luke 24:49, Jesus is JUST ABOUT to ascend back up to heaven….But not before he leads his disciples up into Bethany and lays his hands on them to bless them:

“And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high”

However, it wasn’t until AFTER Jesus left the Earth for good (following his Ascension to Heaven), that the disciples RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT/HOLY GHOST:

And please remember: The Holy Spirit of God is the Spirit that testifies of HIM and His Word! It’s the Spirit that’ll let you KNOW things like: “Yes, this is of God” or “No, this is NOT of God!”

In other words, it’s a Spirit of JOY/SPIRITUAL COMFORT and/of SPIRITUAL CONVICTION/DISCERNMENT! (Note: It is called The Holy Ghost AND The Holy Spirit, depending on what bible version you’re reading).

ACTS 2:1-13:

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 

And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine”.

Okay, so in a nutshell, the disciples and many others are sitting around in a room, waiting for the “gift” of the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost. And this was about 40 days AFTER Jesus ascended back up to heaven through the clouds to be on the right hand side of God the Heavenly Father.

And suddenly, a WHIRLWIND comes into the room and the disciples start SPEAKING on inspiration from the Holy Spirit! And there were Jews from ALL AROUND gathered there at Jerusalem! There were Greek Jews, Arabian Jews, Asian Jews, etc. And they each spoke their own languages (INCLUDING the disciples of Jesus gathered there at Jerusalem!)

So try to imagine for a moment what CONFUSION that must’ve caused them when they HEARD the disciples speaking, but yet, HEARING THEIR OWN LANGUAGE being spoken! In other words, when Peter was up there on podium speaking Galilean (his native language), the Asian Jews didn’t hear Galilean, they heard their own ASIAN LANGUAGE being spoken. The Greek Jews heard Peter speaking in GREEK, the Arab Jews heard Peter speaking in Arabic or Farsi. You get the picture?

And some of the “diaspora Jews” there thought that fact was SO outrageous, that the disciples “must be drunk with new wine”. Even though that might seem like an “innocent” accusation by TODAY’S STANDARDS, back THEN in ancient biblical standards, that was one of THE WORST things you could say or accuse about a person, ESPECIALLY a disciple or one of high-religious-ranking! So imagine how Peter must’ve felt, standing in front of the all those people, being accused of such things!

Yet, in Acts 2:14-21, Peter gives this BOLD RESPONSE:

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved”.

By then, the Jews that had accused Peter and the other disciples of being “drunk with new wine” had realized their mistake and were amazed at the BOLDNESS of Peter in the declaration and sat up and took notice!

But anyways, there’s the whole story and backstory concerning the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost. So now that you know WHAT and WHOM the Holy Spirit is, we’re gonna go back to the passage in Galatians:

Galatians 5: 22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law”.

In THIS instance, “fruit” doesn’t mean LITERAL fruit. It means SPIRITUAL FRUIT. Or in other words, what types of RESULTS are you getting from your spiritual walk in Christ? Are people getting saved? Are people being given information between right and wrong? Do most people consider you a patient, kind person? You get the idea.

But to further break down the process of the “fruits of the Spirit”, I’m going to personally define each one and then give you hints and tips on how to personally BECOME the epitome of each one on the list! 😉

Remember, the Galatians 5:22-23 passage goes directly in line with Matthew 17:16-20, which states:

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them”

Remember the passage in Matthew 21:18-20 where Jesus is hungry and happens across a fig tree that has leaves on it and LOOKS LIKE it has fruit on it but doesn’t have any fruit on it, so Jesus CURSES THE FIG TREE? That is a foreshadowing of all the “fake Christians” that Matthew 7:21-23 says do the following:

“Not 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. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?‘ And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity“.

Okay, here’s how to NOT be one of those “fake Christians” who end up ETERNALLY CURSED just like the fig tree that LOOKED like it had fruit from the outside but was ROTTEN from the inside: EMPLOY AND EMBODY *THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT* (AKA THE *GOOD FRUITS*)….

Galatians 5: 22-23

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law

Love – an intense feeling of deep affection. (We can ALL love our friends and family. That’s easy. Even our enemies do the same. But how well do we LOVE Jesus? How well do we love OTHER HUMAN BEINGS that are NOT our friends and family? That’s what Jesus means when he says in Matthew 22:37-40Jesus said unto him, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets”.)

Joy – a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. (Do you obey the Lord because you feel like you begrudgingly HAVE to? Or do you obey the Lord Jesus Christ because you WANT to, out of SHEER LOVE and RESPECT for the Savior? Do you feel JOY while obeying his commandments? Do you feel JOY in his Spirit? If not, you’re doing something wrong and you better pray to Jesus quick to find out what the something IS!)

Peace – freedom from war/disturbance, remaining calm, feeling tranquil/content/relaxed. (Do you feel at peace with your day to day life? If so, why not? Is there something you’re doing wrong in your walk with Christ? If so, FIX IT! And if you DO feel “at peace” with your day to day life in Christ, that’s a good sign, it means you’re on the path that Jesus WANTS you on, in life. If you feel “peace” about a move, a job change, a marriage, it means that Jesus is behind it. Note: If you DON’T feel peace about something, or don’t feel “at peace” WITH Jesus, there’s something wrong! Better examine it while you still have a chance!)

Longsuffering – having or showing patience in spite of troubles, especially those caused by other people. (Do you CAVE at the first sign of pressure? Do you immediately get into an argument if someone hurts you? Or do you try to reanalyze and reassess the situation……..maybe they didn’t mean to hurt you? Maybe they were having a bad day?)

Gentleness – the quality of being kind, tender, or mild-mannered. (Think of children, pets, and old people. Do you hold the door open for old people or help them put things in their shopping basket? Are you gentle and patient with pets and children when they act up? Are you gentle with your spouse if you disagree with them about something?) 

Goodness – the quality of being morally good or virtuous (Please remember that Jesus AND the bible define virtue and “moral good” as those people who SUBMIT to Jesus and his biblical laws! For a person can’t be a “good person” without Christ!)

FAITH – complete trust or confidence in Jesus and/or his promises, even if not (yet) seen (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”).

Meekness – being submissive, humble and agreeable (but not sinning when doing so – i.e. being “submissive” to God’s Word, not blaming Jesus or others for what’s wrong in your life or in your job, etc.)

Temperance – self-control, abstinence from strong alcoholic drink and/or “all non-sinful things in moderation?” (i.e. eating a “moderate” amount of food instead of over-eating, only watching an hour of TV every night instead of all night, only being on the computer for an hour each night, instead of all night, etc.?)

Self-Application Study Guide Questions:

1). Have you ever failed to show “LOVE” to someone? Who? Why? How? What can you do from now on to make sure it doesn’t happen again? How have you felt before when someone else refused to show “love” to you in a given situation?

2). Who or what do you find your “JOY” in? Why? Would Jesus approve of the said thing or person you find “joy” in? Why or why not? What stories from the bible (if any) give you joy? Why? How can you INCORPORATE some of that joy into your OWN life? Do you feel JOY at the mere mention of Jesus and/or salvation? If not, why not? Are you jealous of other Christians who seem to have much “joy” in their lives, despite all the calamities they face? If so, that’s a good sign for there IS such a thing as “righteous envy” and Jesus can take that “righteous envy” of yours and use it for HIS GLORY! So fret not!

3). Do you feel a sense of PEACE in your life, concerning Jesus and and the gospel? Why or why not? If not, whom or what is holding you back from feeling that sense of peace in Jesus in your life? What steps can you take to recapture that peace in Jesus that was stolen from your life from said thing or person? Note: If someone has stolen your “peace in Jesus”, then that means you’re doing something wrong! That either means you’re either caving in to the pressures of persecution, you happen to be dating or married to a non-Christian or you’ve allowed someone to slowly creep in and rob you of your faith! The only way to have PEACE IN JESUS is to REPENT OF ALL SIN *TO* JESUS and get back on the “battlefield of life!”

4). Remember the parable of the sower? What happens when persecution hits ya? Do you get scared and give up and go running for the hills? Do you back off from your faith and/or your preaching a bit, hoping that the persecution will die down soon? Do you stress and buckle underneath all the pressure you’re under from school, home, work, etc.? Or do you face whatever “trials” come your way head-on, KNOWING that Jesus is with you? If you tend to run away from trials and tribulations, WHY? And what steps can you do to change that from now on? Did you know that even the demons themselves tremble and believe in Jesus? So why don’t YOU?

Longsuffering simply means the ability to remain calm NO. MATTER. WHAT. In other words, a group of people might be spiritually persecuting you. Do you give up and go running away (i.e. change jobs?) Or do you face the persecution head-on, knowing that no matter what, Jesus is with you and they (the persecutors) won’t win? Please remember that our faith is tested by FIRE (i.e. trials and tribulations). So if you can’t stand in spiritual battle NOW, how ever will you be able to stand in spiritual battle later, when the “heat of persecution” INTENSIFIES?

5). Gentleness – How many of us have gotten occasionally impatient with small children, pets or old people? Our young children are acting up, our pet is acting up and not minding us, the old person ahead of us in line at the checkout is taking FOR-EVEEERRRR to pay……Nearly all of us, at some point or another, if we’re being completely honest. But the “fruit” of gentleness just means we need to be PATIENT and GENTLE at ALL TIMES (even during the times when we’re about to LOSE patience). That’s why Jesus says to anger but NOT to sin IN our anger. Trust me, it’s an acquired learning exercise. What types of situations have you been impatient with a young child, a pet or an old person? Why? How? What types of situations in the future can you utilize to be PATIENT and GENTLE with small children, pets and old people?

6). Goodness – Funny how almost every single human on the planet would (in their own mind) define themselves as a “good person”. Because hey, no-one really likes admitting their own failures and shortcomings, am I right? It makes them feel so……..small……like such a “terrible” human being with flaws……..with………sin……….with…….oh my gosh….(gasp!) IMPERFECTIONS! However, the bible (and Jesus) define a good person by how well they RECEIVE the gospel AND apply it to their LIFE!

Have you ever been unkind to someone? Why? How? Did being unkind TO that someone help or hurt the situation? Did you feel guilty at all afterwards, on the inside? Why or why not? We must be “GOOD” (that means be KIND) to ALL people, according to the bible! It’s a part of “loving our neighbor as ourselves”. Noah was defined in the bible as a good man, a righteous man who always tried to OBEY the Lord. And no doubt OBEYING the Lord (on Noah’s part) very likely meant loving OTHER PEOPLE as he loved the Lord and HIMSELF!

7). **FAITH**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”.

For those people who have actually SEEN Jesus during a Near-Death Experience, faith is nearly automatic! But for those who have NOT seen Jesus during an N.D.E., faith is a little more hard to come by, I know. How much faith in Jesus (if any) do you have? Why? If not alot, why is that? Do you think the universe came to be by mere accident? Do you think that colored illustrated books just produce, write, illustrate and publish themselves?

There is SO MUCH EVIDENCE for Jesus and his existence (outside of N.D.E.’s AND outside of Christian sources, even) that it’s not even funny! In the Old Testament, Saul is told that Jesus prefers FAITH over sacrifice! Also, it was Abraham’s FAITH that was accounted to him for all righteousness! If you don’t have faith or alot of faith, you can always PRAY TO HAVE FAITH! 😉

Your key always opens up the lock to your house/apt., your microwave always turns on when you hit the power button, the TV remote always turns off when you turn it off. Therefore, if you have faith in inanimate things, why don’t you have more faith in Jesus, the one true LIVING GOD? What steps can you take to increase your faith? The bible says that faith comes by hearing and that hearing comes by READING THE WORD (The Bible itself!) So what steps can you take to increase your reading of the bible daily?

8). Meekness – How submissive to Jesus and God’s Written Word (the bible) are you? Do you find yourself “questioning certain parts” or “disagreeing with others?” Do you find yourself “questioning God” or certain biblical characters on a continual basis? If so, why? And/or do you find yourself feeling “superior” to other Christians for all your biblical-based bible knowledge or principles? Why? How?

Do you occasionally find yourself questioning Jesus’s orders? (i.e. “But Jesus………this doesn’t make any sense to me! Why should I print an Op-Ed letter to you when that seems totally crazy to me? I don’t get it. Until I understand why, I’m not doing it!”) Are you “meek” (submissive and humble) towards Jesus, the bible and others? If not, why? What steps can you take to learn to be more meek and humble? Jesus says the meek and the humble SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH (i.e. New Jerusalem talked about in Revelation 21-22!)

9). Temperance – Do you have “modesty?” “Self-control?” If not, why? Whom or what are you addicted to? Why? How? How does this “addiction” play into the fact that the “fruit” of the Spirit REQUIRES us to have “self-control”? Can you see how said “addiction” is taking you AWAY from Jesus and the gospel of Salvation?

If the serving on the package says 1 cup, do you eat 5 cups serving instead? If so, why? The bible condemns drunkenness. Do you ever get drunk? If so, WHY? In my mind, this does NOT just apply to “addictions” like alcohol, drugs, sex, videogames, partying, food and the like. It also means WITH OUR WORDS! Are we able to “self-control” our WORDS? Are we able to “self-control” our ANGER and our ACTIONS?

How many times have you lost “self-control” over something or someone? Why? How? Do you see HOW and WHERE the LACK of “self-control” came from? What steps can you take to overcome said LACK of self-control? With time, prayer, patience and training, YOU can train yourself to have more “self-control” and “self-restraint”.

I hope this has helped someone today know how to apply the 9 FRUITFUL GIFTS of the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost to their lives! Thanks and have a great evening! 😉

 

 

 

 

When You Feel Like Giving Up: How To Overcome

So have you ever gotten to that critical point in your spiritual walk with Jesus Christ where you “ALMOST” felt like giving up? Where you were just OVERWHELMED TO TEARS with all the stuff for Christ that you have to do in your day to day spiritual walk (note: only Jesus himself knows the particulars?) Where you just felt so HOPELESS, WEAK, POWERLESS? Where you were almost certain that if you were to die today, Jesus would likely NOT (at this point, anyways) welcome you into the eternal heavenly kingdom, someday?

Folks, we’ve ALL been there at some point or another. We’ve all gone through our “dark valleys of spiritual anxiety” from time to time. In fact, our spiritual walk with Christ hasn’t ALWAYS been easy. But folks, realize THIS: our spiritual walk with Christ wasn’t MEANT to be “easy”. For if it were “easy”, then EVERYONE would do it. But BECAUSE it’s hard and not easy, ONLY the Lord’s select few will make it through all the “trials and testings” (and later on receive ETERNAL REWARDS for doing so!)

Many Christians here in the year 2018 and on, say that they are now under a HUGE dark cloud of SPIRITUAL PERSECUTION……..spiritual persecution that’s the WORST SPIRITUAL PERSECUTION OF THEIR VERY ***LIVES!*** In other words, many Christians feel like it’s the WORST spiritual persecution that they have EVER, EVER experienced in ALL OF THEIR EXISTENCE! Basically, every temptation that they “could” be tempted with, many Christians now say they’re being tempted with.

There’s this sense of “spiritual heaviness” over many Christians these days. But I know that it IS a work of darkness brought on by Satan himself and the “demonic realm”. It is an executed attack by which the enemy (Satan) is attempting to throw poison fiery (spiritual) darts at EVERY born-again Christian (myself included) from EVERY which direction! However, I trust in Jesus as Lord & Savior! I have started to learn how to pray in the spirit and it’s VERY empowering!

Therefore, WHENEVER you start to feel hopeless, stressed, depressed, discouraged, full of anxiety/fear, etc., there’s SEVERAL things you need to do:

1). Realize that it’s a SPIRIT you’re dealing with, A DEMONIC SPIRIT and NOT so much a “feeling” or “emotion”, in and of itself.

2). Realize that you have POWER & AUTHORITY over such “unclean spirits” in the name of Jesus Christ!

3). Don’t be afraid to EXERCISE your power & authority against ALL unclean spirits! Say & loudly declare: “I am cleansed by the blood of the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. In the name of Jesus Christ, I REBUKE THEE!

4). Get rid of ALL demonic objects and/or “idols” in your home and car that might possibly be giving Satan/demons the “legal” spiritual right to “spiritually harass” you [Please Note that’s there’s a HUGE DIFFERENCE between spiritual “attack” and spiritual “harassment!”] 

Spiritual attack is defined as Spiritual PERSECUTION/TESTING. Such as, you lose your job, someone in your family dies, you get arrested for sharing the gospel, your bestfriend suddenly turns on you for no reason, etc. In other words, circumstances that are BEYOND your control! However, when you TRUST in Christ, you will have TOTAL CONTROL over the situation!

Spiritual harassment, on the other hand, is an attack by Satan/demons in which you technically DO have control, at the onset. Let me explain. Whenever you WILLFULLY CHOOSE to have “idols” or “demonic objects” in your home (ouija boards, tarot cards, animal carvings/figurines, “Catholic statutes, etc.), that gives Satan/demons the “legal” spiritual right to “occupy your home/car” or wherever the demonic objects are.

And by HAVING the demonic objects in place (in your immediately vicinity, be it your car, home or workplace, etc), you are more or less GIVING Satan/demons LEGAL spiritual control of your “territory” and/or the LEGAL spiritual right to SPIRITUALLY HARASS YOU! Because BEFORE you brought those things into your home, Satan/demons had no real power against you (the born-again Christian believer).

But AFTER you brought those cursed things into your home, you GAVE UP any initial power & authority you might’ve had over Satan and demons in the name of Jesus! That’s WHY you need to get rid of all those things! Get rid of all the demonic objects and IDOLS in your home, pray for Jesus to forgive you of having had such things in the first place and DON’T LOOK BACK! Because DEMONIC ATTACK AND/OR HARASSMENT is a REAL THING, FOLKS! In fact, I can provide SEVERAL examples:

You go into the bathroom and then your shower curtain rod falls suddenly and hits you on the back or head really, REALLY hard for NO REASON, or you see black shadows moving about your house or your radio or TV turns on all by itself or you feel something poking and prodding your feet or body at night when you’re trying to sleep or you have CONSTANT nightmares where demons are harassing you and controlling you, left, right and center, etc.etc.

Therefore, when one INITIALLY had control in the beginning (afterall, each person MAKES a choice to have said objects in their home/car/workplace to BEGIN with, do they not?), AS SOON AS they brought that demonic object into their car/home/workplace, that person GAVE OVER their control/their spiritual power and authority to the enemy (Satan/demons). Do you see where I’m going with this, folks?

Now…….that being said, what sorts of things classify as “demonic objects” and “idols”, you may ask? Let me list them:

  1. Tarot cards
  2. Ouija boards
  3. Incense
  4. Statues or carvings (doesn’t matter if they’re “Catholic” or not – a statue is a statue and a carving is a carving)
  5. Astrology materials
  6. Myths & Legends
  7. Occultic/New Age Artwork
  8. Dolls
  9. Black candles
  10. Anything that glorifies other “gods” other than Jesus Christ
  11. The Book of Mormon, the Qu’ran, The Talmud, etc.
  12. Music that doesn’t glorify Jesus Christ
  13. Movies that don’t glorify Jesus Christ
  14. Books that don’t glorify Jesus Christ
  15. Santa Claus and Easter bunny stuff
  16. Figurines
  17. Hallucinogenic drugs/drug materials
  18. Hard liquor
  19. Crystals
  20. Satanic video-games like World of Warcraft, etc.
  21. Posters of people, animals, places or things (Hint: even a “poster” of Jesus HIMSELF can be an “idol” according to the bible!)
  22. Abstract Artwork (especially with the Kundalini spiral, or “lightning” patterns, etc.)
  23. ETC.

Many Christians today, especially many Americans, let ALOT of ungodly things into their homes (ungodly movies, music, TV, video-games, etc.) and then turn around and wonder WHY the world, as well as their own emotional/psychological/spiritual well-being seems to be going to “HECK” in a hand-basket! Is it because 8 out of 10 homes are NOT keeping watch and NOT keeping “spiritual guard” over themselves, their homes and their families?

Why is it that many Christians today think they ONLY have to keep themselves on full spiritual guard while they’re at CHURCH? What about all the times when they’re NOT in church? Many Christians today report feeling depressed, disillusioned, hopeless, helpless, etc. But WHY is that, do you think? What part have WE, as born-again Christians (as a whole) played in this? Is it because we’re all (as a whole) unwittingly bringing things into our home that we shouldn’t, but yet, we’re so caught up in the things of this world (the lastest movie/TV shows/”technological gadgets”) that we’re not even SEEING spiritually clearly?

Many Christians haven’t read their bibles in a long time. And when they DO try to read it, they notice they feel extremely sleepy and can’t stay awake or something else comes up and distracts them. And many INTERNALIZE IT and blame THEMSELVES for it! But folks: it’s THE ENEMY that’s trying to make you NOT read your bibles! It’s THE ENEMY who wants YOU to feel stressed, depressed, hopeless, powerless, etc.! Just like it’s THE ENEMY who wants YOU to blame YOURSELF for HIS spiritual persecutions against you!

In fact, many Christians, if they were to investigate things further, and peel back all the spiritual layers (much like, peeling back layers of an onion), they’d discover that Satan and demons were the sole cause! They’d discover that Satan and demons were in fact themselves the original “driving force” that very first CONVINCED a person to buy that ungodly video-game or “idol” object to begin with! And then, when that object was brought into the home, Satan laughed with glee as he was then able to get a two-thronged spiritual control over the person!

Remember that last time you were about to do something really huge, something really miraculous for the Lord and Satan tried to stop you dead in your tracks or immediately distract you with something else? That wasn’t coincidence, folks! That was pure, outright, HIGH SPIRITUAL WARFARE!

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” – Ephesians 6:12

But now I want to get into the very HEART of tonight’s message: ALL of the spiritual persecution and/or harassment you’ve experienced BEFORE will be NOTHING like the spiritual persecution and/or harassment that will come from Revelation 13:7:

And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations

So in other words, if YOU thought that the spiritual persecution and/or spiritual harassment you’ve suffered up until THIS point (8:00p.m. central standard time, USA, on 12/28/2018) was BAD, you haven’t seen NOTHING yet, folks!!!!!!!! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!! Because as “bad” as things are in the world and in society right now, things are going to get WORSE……..much, much worse! Now…..I know that’s kind’ve a buzzkill and probably not what most of you wanted to hear tonight but it’s the truth!

But lets unpack Revelation 13:7 a bit. What does the bible MEAN when it says power was “given him” to MAKE WAR WITH THE SAINTS? And who are the “saints”, by the way, according to the bible? The bible, in several passages (Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:2, Jude 1:3, 2 Corinthians 1:1, Ephesians 1:1, Colossians 1:26, Ephesians 2:19, etc.) declares that ALL born-again believers in Jesus are SAINTS!

Now………for the 2nd part of that passage…….What does it mean that power was “given him?” And furthermore, who’s the HIM that the bible is talking about? Answer: the HIM that they’re talking about is none other than THE ANTICHRIST and the reason that power is “given him” is because he HAS no power of his own volition! Whatever “limited power” he has is “green-lighted BORROWED POWER!” In other words, Satan’s “limited power” comes from power that he BORROWED from God the Heavenly Father! Because as we know, God the Heavenly Father is ALL POWERFUL & ALL KNOWING!

Folks, we’re getting really, really close to the fulfillment of Revelation chapter 13, I’m NOT EVEN KIDDING! We’ve got all the TECHNOLOGY in place, it’s just a question of WHEN that technology’s gonna be unleashed on all of mankind SIMULTANEOUSLY AT ONCE! And if you think you’ve ALREADY (as a born-again Christian) experienced the DIE-HARD SPIRITUAL PERSECUTION OF REVELATION 13:7, THINK AGAIN! Folks, we here in America haven’t even gotten CLOSE to the HIGH LEVELS of spiritual persecution that ALL born-again Christians in this country will soon face!

Christians in the Middle East and Asia are being rounded up, imprisoned, tortured and PUT TO DEATH for their faith in Christ! So let that be a preview to us ALL, here in America, and in Christianized Western nations! We in Westernized nations have this overall tendency to think it could NEVER, EVER happen to us………..the same horrible things that are now happening in the Middle East & Asia……….but folks, it’s ONLY a matter of time! Therefore, if you think any type of “persecution” you’re experiencing NOW is bad, JUST YOU WAIT!

Also as well: If you can’t handle what small-time persecutions you’re facing NOW, how will you EVER, EVER be able to handle all the LARGE-TIME PERSECUTIONS as the LITERAL TIME of Revelation 13:7 unfolds? It begs of question!

I KNOW it seems “scary” at the onset. Afterall, there’s always this fear of the unknown. But folks, you must NOT give up, not NOW, not EVER! Because remember: that’s just what Satan wants! Satan WANTS you to give up! Satan WANTS you to throw in the towel! Satan WANTS you to believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture so that when it doesn’t happen, you’ll lose faith and take The Mark of the Beast! (In fact, Matthew 24 indicates the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of a Pre-Tribulation rapture!) 

“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” – Matthew 24:13

I don’t know why but the Lord Jesus himself has just now (at this very moment) lead me to the parable of the sower! This can be found in Matthew chapter 13, verses 1-23!!!

Basically, in summary, there are 4 different types of “reactions” in one’s heart to a person’s hearing the gospel of salvation:

  • Type 1 – This is a person who hears the gospel being spoken but does NOT understand it. Therefore, because he does NOT understand it, (and my own spiritual take on this has always been that this person likely doesn’t even HAVE a desire to understand it, in their hearts, to begin with), that which they heard is quickly stolen away by the enemy, which is Satan!
  • Type 2 – This person receives the gospel with joy but has no “deep root” of faith within themselves………for when persecution strikes, they give up because they “can’t handle it” and/or “don’t understand why they’re being persecuted”
  • Type 3 – This person hears the word (the gospel), but the cares and riches of this world (i.e. materialism and greed) “choke” the word and this person becomes “unfruitful”
  • Type 4 – This person hears the word (the gospel) AND understands it (AND obeys it and obeys it WITH JOY)…….Therefore, because of this, he/she BEARS MUCH FRUIT!

Folks, what type of person are YOU? For if you’re type 1, 2, or 3, it’s time to re-evaluate and ask the Lord Jesus for some spiritual understanding while spiritual understanding may still be found! We’ve probably all, at some point, been a type 2 or type 3 or combination thereof. But it’s what we DID with that experience that matters. Did we LEARN something from it? I know I did. I’ve learned that not all the money and things in the world will satisfy for ONLY Jesus Christ and having a close spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ will satisfy!

In my much younger day, I didn’t really understand what “spiritual persecution” was all about. I used to think it was just God being “mad” at me, I didn’t know any better. And it’s quite easy to become a type 3 without even trying. For we live in a world and a society where “consumerism” is EVERYWHERE! Have we seen the latest movies or TV shows? Have we read the latest books? Have we bought the most up-to-date “technology?” The list goes on. In fact, as time goes on, it’s going to be harder and harder and harder to BE a type 4! And I really think that’s the message that Jesus wanted me to tell you all tonight!

And when you “feel” like giving up, just KNOW that it’s Satan trying to spiritually knock you down and KEEP you down and out of the count………..just KNOW that Satan’s using his demons to wreck HAVOC upon you! Are YOU going to let Satan and his demons win? Or are you going to let JESUS CHRIST ALMIGHTY – KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS win? 

Whenever you GET to that critical point where you’re thinking: Man! I just can’t TAKE this anymore! This is just…..TOO MUCH! I CAN’T….EVEN…..“, DON’T GIVE UP! Keep a diary or journal. WRITE ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE FEELING!! And then PRAY to Jesus Christ about WHAT you wrote! It works! MARK MY WORDS! Journaling my spiritual struggles has helped me IMMENSELY! Because it allowed me to go back, read what I wrote (from the outside looking in) and then REALIZE what the “trigger” was that LED me to feel occasionally “discouraged” in the FIRST PLACE!

Last but not least, when all ELSE fails, read the Psalms (most written by King David) and about the heavenly city called “New Jerusalem” in Revelation, chapters 21 and 22! And remember Jesus’s words in Hebrews 13: 5-6 Let your conversation be without covetousness (i.e. jealousy); and be content (i.e. happy/satisfied) with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I WILL NEVER LEAVE THEE, NOR FORSAKE THEE’. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me”. 

And lastly, I say a prayer for you:

“Jesus, if there’s anyone out there today who’s struggling with feelings of fear, doubt, stress, depression, anxiety, discouragement, despondency, etc., I pray that you LIFT THEM UP IN SPIRIT and ENCOURAGE THEM and GIVE THEM THE BOLD FAITH LIKE A LION, THE WISDOM OF A SERPENT AND THE GENTLENESS OF A DOVE! I pray that you ENLIGHTEN them to all the “tactics” of the enemy and give them the tools by which to OVERCOME the enemy! Amen”.