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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Love, Lust, and the Antichrist

by
Kay Frances Graves
God is Love
He that loveth not
knoweth not God;
for God is love.
-1 John 4:8

The Bible, the Holy Word of God, tells us that "God is love."
    
Look around; see what the Most High God has created for us to enjoy simply because He loves us.  Observe how mothers mirror the love of God through their inherent desire to comfort and care for the children they bring into this world.
    
Study the animal kingdom.  Watch the way animals instinctively nurture their young and protect them.
    
Then take note of how the devil has been hard at work corrupting mankind from the beginning, transforming compassionate love and care into hate.
    
Sometimes bad things do happen to good people and God does not always respond as we would like Him to.  So there are those who sit in judgment of God and try to somehow blame Him when evil exposes itself.  They believe that He should personally control all of the hateful actions of evil people.
    
If we are thinking along these lines could it be that we expect God to produce Heaven on Earth right now, instead of letting our Creator carry out His plan, in His time, to ultimately establish a kingdom that is void of evil, yet blessed with freedom?
    
It is not God's desire to force people to do what is right.  He does not want robots to inhabit His Kingdom.  He wants His Kingdom to freely function according to the laws of love.  Some important things must first happen before this is possible.
    
Nevertheless, there are those who refuse to wait for God's plan to unfold and have given up on God and given up on love as well.  They have decided to just worship any god they believe will provide them with some sort of benefit.
    
It is power they really want--the power and freedom to follow the god of their choice or usurp the position of Almighty God to become their own god--one they believe will have the power to create ultimate riches, physical gratification, and/or a place in some sort of paradise.
    
Or they believe that we are all just animals and that when you are dead, you are dead. . .and that is all there is to it, so better take whatever you can get out of life right now.
    
Nevertheless the Word of God tells us that those who seek any idol or any type of "godhood" are really traveling the broad road that leads to self-destruction and regardless of the number of "good works" they may perform, they will ultimately spend eternity in Hell, because they have rejected the one true God and the only real plan of salvation that exists, which does not depend on anything we do, but on what Jesus Christ has already done for us and our response to that.
    
While some don't care if anyone gets hurt, or even if they have to commit suicide to get the eternal benefits they are after, others may be seeking the preeminent position of "god," believing that it is their duty to redefine love so everyone can find peace and prosperity.  One way or another they are determined to make it happen, whether "for the ultimate good of mankind" or to take over the world in the name of their god--even if it means killing people to do it.
    
The Bible tells us that an attempt at worldly control happened before and it will happen again.  How can anyone foolishly think that God is going to let it happen now, if He did not let it happen then?
    
While an attempt to enslave the entire world may cause chaos and a great upheaval, the Most High, Loving God, Himself, promises that ultimate worldwide control will never happen.  Love will always prevail and ultimately overcome evil, because "God is love" and Jesus Christ holds the keys to life and death and hell (Revelation 1:18).  Furthermore, Jesus Christ is coming back to destroy those who have rejected the love of God and responded to His love with hate and murder.

The Love Lie
    
How is it possible that anyone can believe that the end justifies the means and that murder in the name of any god is really a good thing or that something good can come from something that is motivated by hate?

While some deny their God-given need for genuine love, there are others that proclaim that love can exist in our heart without having a personal relationship with the One True God.
    
While varying amounts of inherent natural affection are evident throughout the world and commonly misinterpreted as love, it is impossible for the unique, genuine love of God that is without compromise, to exist without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit because:

(9) The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately wicked:
who can know it?
(10) I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins,
even to give every man according to his ways,
and according to the fruit of his doings.
-Jeremiah 17:9-10

Since the One True God is the only source of real love, the enemy must create a counterfeit love, one which will be powerful enough to make people forget the real God and what genuine love actually is.

And [Jesus] said, Verily I say unto you,
Except ye be converted, and become as little children,
ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
-Matthew 18:3

When we discover the simple difference between genuine love and false love, we will be freed from the devil's deceptive spell, shocked into the real world, and will for the first time, be able to see things as they really are instead of how we have been told they are.  We will become as little children who have not yet been influenced by the high sounding philosophical lies of the world and the devil.

Genuine Love

Since the Garden of Eden, the devil has been twisting God's Words and trying to rewrite His definition of love.  He knows that when mankind understands the true definition of love, he will be able to see who God really is and will value His preeminence, making it impossible to accept satan, himself, or anyone else as his god.
    
Even though the evil one dwells in the spiritual dimension and "offers" some amazing benefits (i.e. power, earthly prosperity, and ecstatic experiences) the truth is, the devil has nothing of any real eternal value to actually give to anyone.  Because of this, his main mode of operation has always revolved around manipulating our mental and fleshly weaknesses found in the physical dimension of life.
    
Before Jesus came to show us what genuine love looks like, it was almost impossible for anyone to understand the real benefits and dangers of the spiritual realm.
    
Therefore, before Jesus could reveal His mission, He had to help His followers understand the difference between the physical dimension and the spiritual dimension.  Read the Gospel of John again and take note of how many times Jesus uses physical illustrations to teach spiritual lessons that reveal the existence of a spiritual dimension and the preeminent importance of eternal spiritual life over physical life.
    
(More details regarding this can be found at my blog: TheSimpleGospelOfJohn.blogspot.com and other free blog books and articles found at NurturingLife.blogspot.com .)
    
While we are supposed to value and nurture our physical life, the foundational truth Jesus had to first establish was that our eternal life (not our physical life) must be our priority, because this physical world is not all there is.
    
We are going to live forever--somewhere else.
    
Therefore the purpose of Jesus' mission was to provide what was required to help us make the right choice regarding our final destination.  He did this because God Himself is pure, holy, genuine love and it is this supernatural love that motivated Him to send His only Son to be the propitiation for our sins and the sins of anyone who would acknowledge and personally receive Him as the only One worthy to be universally preeminent in their life.

Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends.
-John 15:13

The greatest evidence of genuine love--God's love--was revealed when Jesus Christ sacrificed His life so that we could have eternal life.
    
Giving one's life can be defined as 1) literal death, or 2) it can be a matter of denying self in order to provide what someone else needs, as God specifically leads according to the priorities of His Word.
    
God's genuine love compelled Him to willingly take full responsibility for the eternal lives of others, sacrificing His own physical life in order to provide what is good, perfect, and eternally best for them according to the Word of God.
    
He was the only one qualified to be the perfect sacrifice for our sins, because He had no sin.
    
This makes Yeshua, Jesus Christ, our loving hero and our exalted champion over sin, hate, and all that is evil.  He is the One who has come to be our Messiah and save us from ourselves and all of the devil's wicked schemes designed to destroy us.  He is the One who has demonstrated how love nurtures life and thereby conquers hate, death, and hell.
    
However, to fully appreciate what Christ has done for us, it is just as important to understand the wiles of the devil and his clever substitute for love.

Counterfeit/False Love

While the devil has been twisting God's Words and trying to rewrite His definition of love since the Garden of Eden, using the physical realm to draw us into his spiritual net, he has also left a clear trail of physical evidence that exposes his wicked scheme.
    
If we care enough about our eternal life to spend the time it takes to review the historical evidence, we can clearly see the devil's wicked plan.  Since the devil likes to boast about what he has done as well as what he intends to do and enjoys building physical monuments to these actions and intentions, we can easily find the same mode of operation being played and replayed throughout history.  The Word of God also clearly identifies where the devil's inroads will be found:

(15) Love not the world,
neither the things that are in the world.
If any man love the world,
the love of the Father is not in him.
(16) For all that is in the world,
the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes,
and the pride of life,
is not of the Father, but is of the world.
(17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof:
but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
-1 John 2:15-17

In James, Chapter 4 and many other places in the Scriptures we are warned again that the entire world is at war with God.
    
In 1 John 2 above, God did not bring up the topic of lust to put us into a pit of self-loathing guilt designed to keep us perpetually looking within for hidden sins or to occupy us with something to wallow in, while every bit of spiritual confidence toward God is being drained out of us, but to help us overcome through His forgiveness and to rise up by the power of His Holy Spirit that resides in His unfailing Word, so that we might possess the ability to identify our real enemies, come into fellowship with God and have what it takes to spiritually "occupy," through the power of genuine love, until He returns (Luke 19:12-14).
    
I get it.  We are not to minimize sin.  We are all sinners.  Sin is not okay and we are greatly hindered by sin.  But there is more to the mission of Jesus Christ than realizing we are sinners, which is only the first step.  Jesus died to make us whole.  His intention was to remove our initial burden of sin by washing us with His blood and continuing to wash us by the "water of the Word" (Ephesians 5:26) so that we might be empowered to accomplish the specific assignments He intends to give each one of us.
    
Too many perceived personal conversions begin and end with an "all about ME and Jesus" focus, so they never get to see the bigger picture.  False professors are somehow unable to understand that when we declare Jesus as Lord that means that He and His Word are going to be preeminent in our life.
    
Salvation is not about us, our own personal plan for prosperity, and what good works we are doing for Jesus, it is about Jesus Christ and getting in harmony with Him and His Word so we know what He is doing in the entire world and what specific part we are to play in that plan.
    
In the above passage found in 1 John, God exposes the physical enemy that is committed to destroying genuine love.  God's Word describes this enemy as: 1) "the love of the world," 2) "the love of things that are in the world," 3) "the lust of the flesh," 4) "the lust of the eyes," and finally 5) "the pride of life."
    
Because these sins are antonyms of the genuine love of the Father (v.15 & 16), they expose the opposite/contrary nature and purpose of the devil.  If the defining nature of God is found in love, then the defining nature of the devil has to exist in lust.
    
So let us consider the lust vs. love theory for a moment as it applies to the Antichrist that is coming soon.
    
In order to accurately examine the differences between genuine love and lust, it will be helpful to review what we know about the Antichrist as well.  The identifying characteristics of the Antichrist will first be found in his name, just as names have always revealed character throughout the Word of God. 
    
So is the name, "Antichrist," correctly synonymous with the word, "lust?"

"Antichrist" from Strong's definition in the Greek, #G473, defines "Anti" as:

     1)  over against
     2)  opposite to
     3)  instead of, in place of

The Word of God tells us that many "antichrists" have already come.  Many antichrists have been 1) "against" Christ, but this last Antichrist is going to be a little different.
    
Also today many Christians believe that the Antichrist that is coming is going to usurp the position of Christ and thus qualify himself as being 3) "instead of" Christ--or "in the place of" Christ and it has been historically proven to be true that there have always been those in the world who have desired to possess the title and sit in the seat of "god" on Earth.  So, either of these definitions could fit.
    
Lust can be against Christ and His command to be holy.  Also lust can easily take the place of Christ in a person's life, when that person is lusting after the position of "god" on Earth.
    
However, if we are speaking of Christ and God in the context of His being "love," it becomes obvious (and more fitting) when we remember that "lust" today often calls itself "love" and tries to pass itself off as love.  Therefore, "lust" would uniquely qualify Antichrist as 2) the "opposite of" love and therefore the opposite of God.
    
Can we find a second witness to this fact?  Is there any physical evidence that connects the workings of the devil with anything else that can be seen today or in history that symbolizes lust as the opposite of or a perversion of love?  Here the Word of God gives another valuable clue:

Husbands, love your wives,
even as Christ also loved the church,
and gave himself for it;
-Ephesians 5:25

Why is the family being redefined today?  Why has the loving top down responsibility in the church and home been gradually transformed into a hierarchical bottom up focus through the false doctrine of "blind faith submission" to human authorities (just because authorities happen to have somehow found their way, or infiltrated, to the top of the hierarchical chain of command)?
    
Does this remind you of the struggle that took place in some churches over obedience to authorities just before WW2?  This transformation also comes with a subtle attack against godly women, demanding that they be silently obedient (among other things that have been taken out of the context of the Word of God by the enemies of Christ who completely ignore the fact that this "silent women command" was specifically written to an out of control rebellious church in Corinth).
    
Throughout the Word of God, we are given a very different picture of authority.  We are instructed to obey God rather than man, whenever any authority commands something that is against the Word of God.
    
As the enemy intended, in response to the feminist movement, many churches have now gone to the other extreme by turning godly submission into ungodly control, destroying God's delicate system of checks and balances in the home and church by silencing women and demoting them from their God-given position as loving "joint heirs" in Christ, which when understood correctly, does not really conflict with man's leadership in the home or in the church at all.
    
Man's authority does not depend on where he happens to reside in a hierarchical structure, but on how much responsibility he has been given by God and is willingly taking with an attitude of love and a desire to serve those God has entrusted to his care.  (The same applies to those who hold positions in government and other places of authority.)
    
Jesus confirmed this when He told us "And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:"  (Matthew 20:27)
    
Authority means "responsibility"--not "control"--unless, of course, the man is not really a part of God's family, but actually a part of satan's structure and as a slave of satan, will be carrying out the devil's orders.  In this case, the Bible tells us that we are to resist evil and obey God.
    
In the above verse from Ephesians 5, God gives us a perfect picture of genuine love.  It is the love Christ had for His Church when He laid down His life for it.  In the Word of God, this type of love is being compared to the type of love husbands are supposed to have for their wives.
    
However, this top down type of love in many churches has now been turned upside down and is morphing into a lust for power through an obsessive overemphasis regarding submission, in an attempt to validate ungodly power by applying pressure through fear and guilt on those who are really just looking for someone to love them and lead them.
    
So what is really happening in churches today?
    
Before churches can be taken captive by the spirit of Antichrist, the God-given voice and freedom of women must be destroyed in order to create common ground with the enemies of Christ and welcome in the new law of the land, which has been carefully crafted for the purpose of destroying all of the checks and balances (and we might add, "warmth, Godly love, and natural affection") that the weaker sex is created to provide.
    
By enslaving women under ungodly male domination and lust-driven control, the new man designed by Antichrist will/and already does refuse to "regard the desire of women," which is to be loved the way Christ loves the Church (Daniel 11:37).  Instead, he will only be interested in selfishly taking what he wants from the relationship when he wants it.  For the followers of Antichrist, genuine love ceases to exist on Earth or even in their fabricated version of heaven.
    
If marriage qualifies as a picture of genuine love that gives up its own life and desires; what would the opposite of that look like? . . .Lust?

Genuine love cares more about the other person than it cares for its own needs.  On the other hand, lust (i.e. false love) sees people as objects to be used to fulfill its own desires, instead of people to be loved and cared for and often demands this perceived power by its physical position in some type of man-made chain of command.

Of course, love is a two-way street in marriage.  However, if the husband is called to lead, then he is the one God is going to hold ultimately responsible to initiate genuine love in the marriage.

If the couple is unequally yoked and the wife is a Christian, then she is the only one who has access to genuine love and therefore the responsibility to initiate and demonstrate the genuine love that has been given to her by God in hope that her husband will see the love of God through her and be drawn to Christ also.  However, this does not negate his responsibility.  He is expected to take his responsibility to love his wife by submitting to Christ and receiving the power to do so. 

There isn't any provision in God's Word for a wife to suffer "martyrdom by marriage" as so many religious "authorities" are teaching today when they teach blind submission.  If a spouse refuses to comply with the laws of God, the person is free to get a "writ of divorcement" and leave the marriage.  There is a provision for divorce in the Word of God, even though this is not God's first choice.  In any case, it is God's intention that a believer must be in a position to freely worship and obey God as God has specified in His Holy Word, the Bible.  An unbelieving spouse is not allowed to interfere with that.

Here are some of the characteristics of genuine love:
truthful - joyful - kind - warm-hearted - serving - empathetic - respectful toward others - caring for the welfare of others - giving - helping - encouraging - nurturing life - building - committed to and focused on the will of God - clean - pure - good - committed to doing what is right - giving freedom to others - grateful - spiritually beautiful

Here are some of the characteristics of false love/lust:
deceptive - hate-filled - angry - cold-hearted - lying - lewd - pornographic - hating others - abusive - vulgar - unclean - perverted - sociopathic - psychopathic - self-centered - destroying - murdering - focused on selfish "feelings" - willing to injure or kill others for profit (directly or indirectly) - gaudy - prideful - enslaving - controlling - obsessed with having authority over others - loves/lusts after riches and things of the world - motivated by money and lust for power

Words of warning, lest we be deceived:

"Unconditional love" is not the same as "unconditional tolerance of evil."  Genuine love does not tolerate evil.

The true characteristics of those around us may be carefully hidden and not readily visible.  Jesus warned us about wolves in sheep's' clothing and the deceptive wiles of the devil.  The Word tells us: "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1).

Who is a "false prophet?" A false prophet is anyone who assumes a position of authority over others and tries to teach them how to live in a way that is contrary to what God has prescribed in His Word.

Testing the Spirit and Characteristics of Antichrist

The Word of God tells us that the Antichrist will have all of the opposing characteristics of genuine love, which we are told, in Daniel 11, will hinder his relationship and respect for women.  Therefore, he will carry out his opposition to Christ through blood-thirsty conquests, rejecting the blood of Christ as payment for eternal life and substituting it with the blood of those he wages war against, considering that to be the only works required to enter his counterfeit heaven--which the Most High God really calls "hell."

May we dare suggest that this hatred for women will be such a significant characteristic of Antichrist's nature that those who follow him will turn the picture of Christ and His Church upside down in their marriages?

Perhaps, they will be known for controlling, beating, and/or verbally abusing their wives and children, instead of endeavoring to harmonize with the godly, loving desires of their wives--and perhaps even denying physical expressions of love to their wives, while in their hearts they are adulterously "saving themselves" for other women that have become a figment of the wicked (even sometimes religious) imaginations of their hearts.  Sounds a lot like a description of pornography, doesn't it?

Could this be the route the Antichrist is taking, inviting men into the "good old boys club" to destroy the picture and function of Christ and His Church, bringing lukewarm professors under the control of the Antichrist, destroying the foundation of love which supports and sustains the Church, the family, and the country as it removes the Most High God who IS LOVE?

Could this be the mode of operation the devil is using to remold society by replacing the genuine loving eternal care demonstrated in the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a different foundation based on physical feelings and self-centered urges?  If not, then why has the topic of "feelings" become so important over the past few years, while at the same time bullying has increased?

Is it because when "feelings" are elevated, hate and anger are also elevated--because hate and anger also qualify as feelings?  Everyone has feelings and hateful, angry feelings are all about "ME, MINE, and WHAT I WANT. 

Isn't this lust?

However, when the love of God is manifested in a person's life, it brings forth a different type of feeling which generates care and concern for others.  So when we have the love of God, we are going to try not to hurt others in any way, so "feelings" are not going to even become an issue.

It is only when "feelings" are taken out of the context of God's genuine love that everyone suddenly becomes overly concerned about their feelings and demands "the right" to express their feelings--whatever those feelings may be.  Because of this, "freedom" has also been redefined to mean "the right to reject the laws of genuine love and do whatever we want in order to gratify self."

The antichrist system devised by the devil, has been busy building a worldly empire with lies and deception ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God.  Its nature is expressing itself even now in murder, control, slavery, and worldwide human trafficking.  The spirit of Antichrist has always worked to destroy anyone who represents genuine love or follows the Most High God, who is love.  Throughout history its symbols have represented murder, sexual lust, and hatred for God (i.e. phallic, witch-craft, occult, satanism, idolatry, etc.)

"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."  (Revelation 20:4). 

How the Antichrist Seduces the World with False Love/Lust

The devil would not be very subtle, if he showed us his extreme murderous nature in the beginning when he really, at the initial stage, just wants to gain our good favor and trust.  With his forked tongue and slick lies he plays the part of "the humble non-threatening moderate," being careful not to reveal his true intentions as long as he does not yet possess the power and "authority" to enslave.

This is why the true agenda of the Antichrist system will remain hidden until sufficient power is given to it.  However, through the power of self-serving lust, much ground has already been taken in America.

The issue of "feelings" has lost its balance and has successfully been elevated above truth, causing ignorant Americans to willingly tolerate anything, while they fearfully tremble at the thought of failing to be politically correct.

Once humans become myopically obsessed with their own feelings, they have started down the broad path to eternal destruction and it doesn't take long to graduate from obsession with feelings to addiction to lust, since lust is the evolved, matured version of selfish feelings.

Feelings that are "all about ME" ultimately lead to "whatever I desire at any cost."  Worldlings do not realize that at the end of the road awaits physical, real-time slavery and death, when even the basic requirements needed to sustain life will be denied.

Also over the course of time, many professing Christians have willingly departed from the truth of the Word of God to pursue ecstatic feelings and supernatural experiences.  When self-centeredness evolves, it morphs into lust and when lust matures it destroys empathy and natural affection, producing what the world calls, a "sociopath" or "psychopath"--someone who is unable to empathize, have any normal feelings, or normal desire to care about others.  This is how the devil builds liars and murderers.  It takes one to build one.

Why are lasciviousness, pornography, adultery, and murder on the rise in the world?  This is the devil's agenda.  He has been diligently engaged in engineering his army of psychopathic servants and will continue to do so until they become sufficiently void of human compassion, empathy, and concern for the welfare of others.

Currently citizens are not aware that they are gradually being enslaved through their lustful, ungodly appetites--they think that they are just partying and having a good time.  But one day they will find themselves in literal chains burning in the literal fires of hell, while the devil enjoys eternally tormenting them with their lewd biographies, bragging forever about how stupid they were and how he cleverly snagged them in his net of deception and pulled them into the pit of hell, first by their warm fuzzy "feelings," tolerance of evil, and then by their overwhelming obsessive compulsive self-centered lust for hate, physical gratification, and the things of this world.

The devil will sing a similar song in the ears of the false professors found in lukewarm churches, reminding them of their religious fantasies that created a false sense of eternal security as they tried to work their way to Heaven carrying meals in oven proof dishes to those who could not make it to their religious indoctrination centers, instead of searching the Word of God and lovingly protecting and caring for the needs of their own families as He intended to specifically lead them according to His Word.

In the end, the cries of their own neglected children and elderly parents will ring throughout eternity in their ears along with those they betrayed because of their fear and cold-hearted lack of natural affection.

History will be repeated.  It happened before and it will happen again.  When God's definition of love is reinterpreted until it becomes lust and the preeminence of Christ and His Word are disregarded, the opposite of love will emerge and come into power.  His name is "Lust."  His name is Antichrist.  Through deception, murder, and death, the satanic system he represents is building a world void of genuine love, and creating hell on Earth.

"And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.  And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth." (Revelation 6:8).

"For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.  Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." (Luke 21:35-36).

Pray now, while there is still time.  Be sure that you have repented of your sin and the idolatry of trying to be your own god; that you have put your trust in Jesus Christ as the preeminent Son of God, that you have received the gift of eternal life, and are dedicated to daily washing by the water of the Word and are sharing Christ's warning to turn from going your own way and receive His sacrifice for your sin.

Because the One True God is love and love is the opposite of lust and hate, Jesus Christ is the only One who can provide the power to overcome evil, in all of its forms, through our dedication to the truth of God's Word and His genuine love.

Share this message wherever you go.  We have been given the command to spiritually occupy until He comes. . .and he is coming very soon.

(36) Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
(37) Jesus said unto him,
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all they heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,
(38) This is the first and great commandment.
(39) And the second is like unto it,
Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
(40) On these two commandments
hang all the law and the prophets.
-Matthew 22:36-40

Jesus said:
"If ye love me, keep my commandments."
-John 14:15


Monday, October 15, 2012

10--Hidden Manna - Chapter 8

Hidden Manna
Loving and Not Loving
The Bread

If ye love me,
keep my commandments
.

-John 14:15

The secret of the Hidden Manna is found in the obvious.

Only those who genuinely love Christ will keep His commandments.

Blessed are they
that do his commandments,
that they may have right
to the tree of life,
and may enter in through the gates

into the city.

-Revelation 22:14


Since His commandments are comprised of what He has said (in the Word of God), only those who hear and obey what Jesus has said will actually have eternal life. We cannot hear and obey in our own strength. It is the power of the Spirit of His Word that will accomplish His will in us.

Therefore we must be walking in and living in His Spirit, continuously communicating with Him if we hope to receive the Hidden Manna and endure to the end.

God will only value what we have to say to Him, when we value what He has said to us.

If we are not listening to Him, He will not be listening to us.

God is not obligated to hear us. We are obligated to Him in every way. He does not need us. We need Him. He is magnificent and good while our natural tendency is to be ignorant and self-centered.

With the power of His Word and Spirit, we can go against our natural tendency and as His children, actually desire to pattern our character after His. When we draw close to Him in this way, He will draw close to us and will help us become the person He wants us to be.

The first step is to love the Hidden Manna.

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

(17)For God sent not his Son into the world
to condemn the world;
but that the world
through him might be saved.

-John 3:16-17


Only those who believe in Jesus (who He is and what He has said) have eternal life.

Jesus’ purpose was not to condemn anyone. His mission was to save mankind. Nevertheless, many of those who came in contact with Him felt condemned.

He that believeth on him
is not condemned:
but he that believeth not
is condemned already,
because he hath not believed
in the name
of the only begotten Son of God.

-John 3:18


When the crowd came in contact with the Son of God some of them sensed that their sinfulness was keeping them in a state of condemnation. Because some of the people felt condemned, is that proof that Jesus was actually condemning them?

Do our feelings always accurately interpret another person’s intentions toward us?

No, not usually, unless the Spirit of God gives us the ability to discern their intentions. More often our own feelings can deceive us, especially in the case of unbelievers who are not protected from spiritual deception.

What is the real condemnation and where is it coming from?

(19)And this is the condemnation,
that light is come into the world,
and men loved darkness
rather than light,
because their deeds
were evil.

(20)For every one that doeth evil
hateth the light,
neither cometh to the light,
lest his deeds
should be reproved.

(21)But he that doeth truth
cometh to the light,
that his deeds
may be made manifest,
that they are wrought
in God.

-John 3:19-21


Those who desire to do what is right and true come to the light because their deeds are in harmony with God’s Word and His will.

On the other hand, those who love the darkness and their sinful ways recognize that they do not qualify for eternal life because they know in their heart of hearts that they are not willing to let go of their sin, of their love and trust in the system of this world, and are not willing to turn from going their own way.

In effect, they are acknowledging their own pre-existing condemnation and identifying with it, which causes them to feel very uncomfortable. Jesus is lovingly inviting them to take the free gift He offers, but they do not want it because they love the darkness rather than the light. They want it all. They want to freely indulge in their sin without feeling any condemnation. But this is not how the Creator created us to function.

Therefore those who hate the light are actually responsible for their own feelings of condemnation and their own sin. Their deeds are evil and guilt and condemnation are the naturally occurring consequences of rejecting God.

There is only one safe and effective way to get rid of feelings of guilt and condemnation and that is to repent from going our own way and ask God to help us follow His Word and His will.

Consider this in the light of the world’s imposition of the new politically correct attitude and behavioral modification philosophies it promotes. This corrupted view of life is based on emotions and feelings and attempts to hold someone else responsible for the whims and feelings of others by limiting normal free speech while opening the gate to worthless, vulgar, and profane speech—speech that degrades humanity and destroys society.

Sometimes our feelings do get hurt. Unfortunately some people today view themselves as victims and are just waiting to have an excuse to accuse someone of hurting their feelings.

Yes, it is obviously wrong to say hurtful or unkind things to others. Adults should know better and children should be taught better. This is why the true definition of love should be taught and honored. But when every remembrance of God and His laws of love are being removed from the system of this world, we can expect that these offenses will increase.

The world’s out of balance devolving philosophies which label truth and God’s Word, “hate speech,” are designed to make it a crime to share truth and repeat what God has said, because it might make someone feel guilty about their sinful ways.

In reality, it is the Word of God that is the solution to real hate speech. Therefore the more genuine “truth and love” are labeled “hate,” the more profane and Godless verbal attacks will increase.

While the truth may make people feel uncomfortable, it is love, not hate, which provides this truth in order to help them find God’s solution to their feelings of guilt and condemnation.

Would we get angry with our doctor if he told us that we had a physical illness that was terminal?

While the diagnosis might make us feel bad, most people would certainly appreciate knowing the truth about their physical condition, especially if the doctor also told them that now, because he has been able to diagnose the illness, an effective cure can be implemented.

Therefore, love and truth cannot ever be successfully or logically equated with hate.

Jesus did not come to hate or condemn mankind, but to save whosoever would come to Him.

Things are what they are. Either the Father has given us to Christ or He has not given us to Christ. If the truth about eternal life is proclaimed as an expression of God’s love and desire to draw the sheep to the Shepherd and a person senses his own condemned state, he has the option of recognizing that he can receive forgiveness for his sin and can repent, thus indicating that the Father indeed has called him and given him to Christ.

On the other hand, if the person desires to reject Christ and remain in his sin, that is his choice as well. This indicates that the Father has neither called him nor given him to Christ.

This is why it appears that we have free choice and we do in a sense have free choice. But what we choose is still an indication of our eternal position and God’s foreknowledge regarding those who belong to Christ when we consider that God’s concept of time is not the same as ours.

Unfortunately, if sinners cannot have their sin, without guilt and condemnation, they will do whatever they can to eliminate the guilt and condemnation through anything that will distract them from it, such as drugs, behavioral modification, and psychotherapies.

But these “solutions” to the problem will neither rectify their sinful state nor make their feelings of guilt and condemnation go away, because the Creator created us to experience guilt and have feelings of condemnation when we sin so that we will want to seek His forgiveness and receive eternal life.

So when the solutions of worldlings do not work, sinners believe that the next logical step is to try to destroy God and every remembrance of His existence.

There isn’t any reason for anyone, who senses his own condemned condition, to accuse the messenger of good news and say he is guilty of a hate crime. Yet for this perceived “offense” Christ, Himself, was crucified.

However the evil plan to crucify Christ in an attempt to remove every remembrance of His existence was a most miserable failure, because it was this very sacrifice on the cross that made eternal and abundant life possible.

O how love I thy law!
it is my meditation all the day.

-Psalm 119:97


Why is the Word of God so valuable that I would love it enough to meditate on it all day long?

Here are some of the reasons:

Thou through thy commandments
hast made me wiser than mine enemies:
for they are ever with me.

-Psalm 119:98


The Word of God makes us wiser than our enemies who would like to destroy us.

I have more understanding
than all my teachers:

for thy testimonies are my meditation.

-Psalm 119:99

Evil exists in the world and there are those who desire to enslave others. They would like to have a place of power in the world and tell others what to do and what to think. God’s Word serves as our means of protection.

The Word of God has the power to help us sort out everything we are being “taught” so we can understand if it will ultimately profit us or destroy us. Actually many who try to teach others really do not understand what they are teaching or the real consequences it may have—often they are like robots, already enslaved, just repeating what they have been taught to believe and are unable to think for themselves.

Sometime in their life they compromised what was right for what they thought they wanted and unknowingly sold their soul to the devil. Only Jesus Christ can buy their soul back and give them a new eternal life.

I understand more than the ancients,
because I keep thy precepts

-Psalm 119:100


Wisdom and understanding usually come with age. But if we follow what God has said, we can experience the benefits of understanding and wisdom even while we are still young.

Even when society devolves to the extent of corrupting the elderly (who should have preserved the wisdom of God through their lifetime and experience), those coming after them (who have endeavored to retain the Word of God) will be the ones carrying the Wisdom and Spirit of the Word of God in their hearts.

I have refrained my feet
from every evil way,
that I might keep thy word.

-Psalm 119:101


Lesson 101: How to Avoid Evil:

Value the Word of God enough to desire to keep it.


I have not departed from thy judgments:
for thou hast taught me.

-Psalm 119:102


When we listen to what God, the Creator of all that exists has to teach us and realize who He really is, we will want to do His will.

How sweet are thy words
unto my taste!
yea, sweeter than honey
to my mouth!

-Psalm 119:103


When we belong to Christ, His Word is something we seek because it is sweet to us. If the study of His Word is a religious duty, a chore, or an activity we do not have time for, something is seriously wrong. Perhaps we do not really know Christ at all or really belong to Him.

Through thy precepts
I get understanding:

therefore I hate every false way.

-Psalm 119:104


When we love the Word of God, we will come to hate lying and everything that is false because we will understand how evil and destructive it is to ourselves and those around us.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,
and a light unto my path.

-Psalm 119:105


Only the Hidden Manna—the precious Word of God—can illuminate our path in life by the power of the Spirit of God, Himself.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Read Here. . .NOW. . .Most Important Mystery of End Times

From the Book of Revelation. . .


Mystery
of
The First Love Lost


 
Excerpts:

“Perhaps the greatest characteristic of this mystery is that scholars, for the most part, believe they have already identified the first love lost. Therefore, it is hidden in the assumption that it is not lost at all. They presume that the love that is lost is referring to the believer’s love for Jesus. But this is only part of the mystery.”

“The significance of this divine mystery could seriously alter the way the average person perceives the Bible. But, it remains beyond the reach of most people today so they are destined to miss out on the ultimate mystery of all time.”

“The enemies of God made a serious mistake by underestimating the mystery and failed to see the value of this pearl of great price. They were not interested. They did not have time to pay attention to details and clues. They had places to go, people to see, religion to spread, money to make, empires to build, and nests to feather. So they tripped over the mystery, which was hidden right in plain sight—and still failed to see it.”


"They had a vision before them, but it was the wrong vision.  They had a faith, but it was a counterfeit faith.  They had the Word of God, but it was a manipulated and fragmented Word.  Therefore even when they had a Jesus, it was not the real Jesus they had."

“Thank God, like every good mystery, everything will be revealed in the end. According to the signs of the times, we are getting very close to the end right now. Would you like to see where you will appear in the picture when all of the pieces of this eternal puzzle come together?--If so, pick up your magnifying glass and join me in discovering the amazing Mystery of the First Love Lost.“
 
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Preface


2011 by Kay Frances Graves.  All rights reserved.  Do not use this material in any manner without prior written consent of author.

(Scripture is from the KJV, unless otherwise indicated.  Bold words, underlining, and brackets are added by the author for emphasis.)

 

Preface

I was just seven years old when God first made Himself known to me.  My younger sister and I came across a multicolored bird, feathered in a variegation of deep iridescent emerald, ruby-red and blues.  It was lying dead on the path in the West Virginia woods where we played every day.  I had never seen a bird like this before nor have I ever seen one since.
       After poking the poor creature with a little stick and determining that it was really dead, we decided to give it a proper burial.  We covered it with a small mound of dirt on the side of the path and carefully placed wild violets around the circumference of the tiny grave.
       Donna and I had been to the movies often enough to know that a prayer comes after the burial.  So we knelt down before the grave, bowed our heads, and called on God.  But I did not know what to say to God about this beautiful lifeless little bird.
       Questions about life and death began spinning in my mind.
       Suddenly the light went out in the woods.
       A dark cloud covered the sun and a strong, piercing wind funneled down the path, almost blowing us away.  The friendly adventurous woods we loved so much became a cold, dark, and very frightening place to be.
       My prayer and thoughts about life and death had been interrupted.  Where was God now?
       Shivering from the frigid wind blowing through my light cotton dress, I looked upward through the tree tops toward heaven searching for Him.
       At that very moment, the woods became still, I saw the sun peek out from behind the dark cloud, illuminating the spot we were standing on, warming and comforting our little bodies.
       This time a different type of chill shook me to my core.  Somehow I knew God was right there in the woods with us.  He was telling me not to be afraid and assuring my troubled heart and mind that He would be with me always.
       I took my sister's hand and we ran back to our little cabin.  Through excitement and tears, I proclaimed to my mother that I had seen God.  She told me not to be so upset.  She said that I had quite an imagination, that I should just forget about it, stop crying, and go out and play.
       But I could not forget it.
       Twenty years later, after I became a Christian and read the Book of Revelation for the first time, I was shaken to my core again, after all those years when I read:

(16)And he had in his right hand seven stars:
and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword:
and his countenance
was as the sun
shineth in his strength,
(17) And when I saw him,
I fell at his feet as dead.
And he laid his right hand upon me,
saying unto me,
Fear not; I am the first and the last:
(18) I am he that liveth, and was dead;
and, behold, I am alive for evermore,
Amen;
and have the keys
of hell and of death.
-Revelation 1:16-18
 
       To this day, this passage in Revelation still gives me goose bumps every time I read it.  the similarity to my childhood experience in the woods in West Virginia that day could not be overlooked.
       The description regarding what the writer of this passage in the Book of Revelation saw and heard made me realize that God wanted me to know that He held the answers to my question-filled prayer about death.  God had, indeed, assured me that He was alive and eternal and that He had been, and always would be, with me.
       However, the rest of the Book of Revelation remained rather foggy for the next 30 years.  Then one day I came across another passage in Revelation that took on a whole new significance:
 
Blessed is he that readeth,
and they that hear
the words of this prophecy,
and keep those things
which are written therein:
for the time is at hand.
-Revelation 1:3
 
       I was missing this blessing by not reading the Book of Revelation as often as the other books of the Bible.  I guess I had been avoiding it because I found it rather difficult to understand.
       This verse was telling me that I would be blessed by reading, hearing, and keeping [from #2334 in the Greek, meaning to attend to carefully, guard, and observe] the things that were contained in what was written.
       Did it matter to God whether I understood what I was reading or not? 
       Yes. . .and No.
       No, because the verse said that the blessing would come from reading and hearing the words.  God was saying, "Just read it."
       But the answer was also, "Yes," since God certainly wanted me to understand what I was reading so I could preserve and observe it.
       It was only logical then that God would have to eventually give me an understanding of the words, if I was going to be able to observe something that I could not at the moment comprehend.
       In other words, God was telling me that this Book, like the rest of the Books of the Bible, had to be read by faith believing that God Himself would impart its meaning to me.
       I went to a dollar store and bought a CD of the audio version of the Book of Revelation and every night when I went to bed, I played the CD and every morning when I woke, I played it again.  After several months, God prompted me to move my Bible study to the computer.  First I typed out the passage and then prayed that God would give me something from it.
       When I became anxious that I might not understand what was written, God asured me that I did not need to know everything perfectly.  He led me to search for what He wanted to give me at that moment and not worry about understanding everything else.  God reminded me that His Word has many levels of understanding and the Word interprets the Word through the Holy Spirit that resides both in my heart and in His written Word.  In this way He would assemble the building blocks of the Word and begin revealing what He wanted me to know.
       My computer study soon brought me to Revelation 2:4-5 and the serious warning Jesus gave about something He had against the church of Ephesus:
 
(4) Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee,
because thou hast left thy first love.
(5) Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen,
and repent and do the first works;
or else I will come unto thee quickly,
and will remove thy candlestick
out of his place,
except thou repent.
-Revelation 2:4-5
 
       I asked Him to reveal exactly what it means to "have left your first love."
       Over the course of the next year, God showed me that I already knew what it meant.  I just had to remember and identify it.  Now He wanted me to help others identify it too, because without knowing, remembering, repenting, and returning to the first love and first works, no one will be able to endure to the end.
       The Book of Revelation is specifically designed to "reveal" vital information in end times.  While I admit that I do not completely understand the entire Book of Revelation, I am grateful that He has given me this important piece of the puzzle to share.  So be it.  This is my mission.  Thanks be to God!
 
Kay Frances Graves
January, 2011
(Scroll Down to Read Introduction)
 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Introduction

Introduction
(6) Howbeit we speak wisdom
among them that are perfect:
yet not the wisdom of this world,
nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
But we speak the wisdom of God
in a mystery,
even the hidden wisdom,
which God ordained
before the world unto our glory:
Which none of the princes
of this world knew:
for had they known it,
they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
-1 Corinthians 2:6-8
 
       A mystery can be a novel, short story, play, or film whose plot involves an event that remains puzzlingly unsettled until the very end.  This definition can also describe the greatest mystery ever told.  This is the mystery God refers to in Revelation 2:4 as "the first love lost."
 
(1) Unto the angel
of the church of Ephesus write;
These things saith
he that holdeth
the seven stars in his right hand,
who walketh in the midst
of the seven golden candlesticks;
(2) I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience,
and how thou canst not bear them which are evil:
and thou hast tried them
which say they are apostles,
and are not,
and hast found them liars:
(3) And hast borne, and hast patience,
and for my name's sake
hast laboured,
and hast not fainted.
(4) Nevertheless
I have somewhat against thee,
because thou hast left thy first love.
(5) Remember therefore
from whence thou art fallen,
and repent,
and do the first works;
or else I will come unto thee quickly,
and will remove thy candlestick
out of his place,
except thou repent.
-Revelation 2:1-5
 
       In the King James Version, verse 4 actually reads, "...left thy first love" not "lost thy first love."  Nevertheless, in the original language, the word "left" provides a pictrue of abandoning, disregarding, and discarding.  However, it is also true that whatever we ignore usually goes away.  Therefore, when something has been disregarded and ignored, it is lost.
       Whatever has been discarded is also lost in the sense that it has been forgotten or is missing from the memory bank.
       Jesus commands churches to remember what it was that was abandoned and lost.  In order to avoid being removed from their perceived relationship with Christ, churches must find the memory or remember what was lost, repent of disregarding it, and do the first works.
       This passage begins with Jesus telling the church that all of their impressive good works do not qualify.  The passage ends with Jesus commanding the church to repent and do the first works.  Apparently these first works are required works that will qualify the church's relationship with Christ.
       How can any works qualify our relationship with Christ when we are not saved by works, but through faith alone?
       "...For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
       Is the Word of God contradicting itself or are we getting closer to the mystery?
       In Revelation 1:20, we are told that the candlesticks are the seven churches and representative of all churches that call upon the name of Christ.
       If we do not unravel this mystery and remember exactly what it is that we have lost, so we can repent, our candlestick will be removed out of His place.  Symbolically it is the position (or the relationship the church has with God) that will be removed.
       Am I saying that if I am a real Christian I can, personally, lose my salvation?  No.  The candlestick represents the specific church of Ephesus and all churches that fit this profile.  This verse clearly states that it is the church that can be removed from its relationship and position in Christ.
       The true Church is not a worldly corporate organization created by men.  We have the world's "church" [manmade organization] and Christ's "Church" [true body of believers].  While members that make up false churches marked for removal will be removed, true believers who make up the true Church and Body of Christ will follow Him and not be found in these worldly churches
       Everyone who reads the Book of Revelation is being warned to examine the characteristics of the churches that are marked for removal and either be instrumental in their repentance or avoid them, lest they become guilty by association and also removed.  If we truly belong to Christ, He will lead us to do this because we have the promise in John, Chapter 10, that none of His (true) sheep will be lost.
       It is often said that true believers can be found in every church and every denomination.  Can't we assimilate into any church that calls itself "christian" and still be a Christian?
       No, we cannot do whatever we want.  
       Our church affiliation should not be based on geographic location, as in "attend your local church," or on our historical family affiliation, as in "it was good enough for my parents, so I guess it is good enough for me." We are to follow Christ like the sheep follow the shepherd.  If we are truly His sheep, we will follow Him and His Word in everything, including our church affiliation.
       Why would the Spirit of God warn us about this, if it was not important?
       If a church desires to decide for itself which (even religious) works it wants to engage in, instead of letting Christ lead them into the works He specifically wants them to do, why would a true follower of Jesus Christ join in their disobedience and idolatry (placing their own will above God's will)?
       How can we know if the works that are being done are really led by Christ?
       First of all we need to accept what Christ is telling us.  He is saying that some good works are not acceptable.  This will surprise many people no doubt, especially those who believe that Christianity is based on a system of our good works balancing out our bad deeds.  This idea of trying to balance evil with good comes from ancient pagan beliefs, not Christianity.
       We will know if a church is engaged in true Spirit-led works if our own works and theirs are coming out of the real "first works," which He has declared to be the priority.
       Are we saved by these first works?
       No, but without the first works we are not saved.  Herein we will discover the mystery.
       Perhaps the greatest characteristic of this mystery is that scholars believe for the most part that they have already identified the first love lost.  Therefore, it is hidden in the assumption that it is not lost at all.  They presume that the love lost is referring to the believer's love for Jesus.  But this is only part of the mystery.  God knows all things.  He knew that we would not even see the need to identify what was lost.  This is why He is commanding us to remember.
        I will say no more and risk revealing the mystery prematurely.
       The significance of this divine mystery could seriously alter the way the average person perceives the Bible.  But, it remains beyond the reach of most people today.  Therefore many are destined to miss out on the ultimate mystery of all time.  God Himself tells us that very few will have "eyes to see and ears to hear."  However, Mystery of the First Love Lost needs to be written for the few who do not yet realize that they have been given the capacity to receive these amazing secrets of God.
       How do we know if we are among the few who will understand this mystery?
       The truth is, if we are called to be among the few, we cannot miss it.  We will begin to discover the mystery when we are confronted by it and it will not let us go.  The detective in us will not rest until every rock is overturned, every clue is examined, and every piece of the puzzle is collected.
       Searching for the answer to the mystery will become a labor of love.  We will experience a sense of urgency and excitement with each step that brings us closer to discovering this "hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world, for our glory."  (1 Corinthians 2:7)
       This is not a glory that makes us gods or equal to God, but is the glory, or adornment, we receive through our relationship with Christ as His bride.  It is the result of basking in the light of His glorious character and wisdom, just as the moon reflects the light of the sun.
       This wisdom is so powerful, that if the enemies of God had known about it, they would not have crucified Christ--and this is the point.  They did not care to know.  They "loved the darkness rather than the light" because their deeds were evil.  They were presumptuous and preoccupied with going their own way.  Therefore they went down the wrong path.
       They had a vision before them, but it was the wrong vision.  They had a faith, but it was a counterfeit faith.  They had the Word of God, but it was a manipulated and fragmented Word.  Therefore even when they had a Jesus, it was not the real Jesus they had.
       The enemies of God made a serious mistake by underestimating the mystery and failed to see the value of this pearl of great price.  They were not interested.  They did not have time to pay attention to details and clues.  They had places to go, people to see, religion to spread, money to make, empires to build, and nests to feather.  So they tripped over the mystery, which had been hidden right in plain sight--and still failed to see it.
       The aspects and clues to the mystery of the first love lost are mysteries themselves.  Therefore, we are actually pursuing a mystery buried within many mysteries.  Thank God, like every good mystery, everything will be revealed in the end.
       According to the signs of the times, we are getting very close to the end right now.
       Would you like to see where you will appear in the picture when all of the pieces of this eternal puzzle come together?
       If so, pick up your magnifying glass and join me in discovering the amazing Mystery of the First Love Lost.