RSS

Bible

This page is divided into three sections: my Bible notes, my Bible posts, and my growing selection of the most relevant sermons or teachings on the Bible and demons.

My Bible notes
Some of my most recent Bible notes, the remainder of which can be read at Bible.com:

2 Corinthians 12:9

My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
‬‬
It is important to correctly ascertain why you are experiencing hardship, to determine whether it is deserved or otherwise. Doing so helps you put a problem into perspective, and indicates the proper attitude you should have while you endure it.

To say it was God’s intent that your strength may be shored up in weak areas by challenging circumstances is a likelihood only for those who are closer to perfection than not [2 Cor. 12:9, 12]. Whenever prayer fails to remove a difficulty, an accurate assessment of your righteousness through Christ will determine whether a given hardship is undeserved [Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall… 1 Cor. 10:12]. True righteousness is much more than just abstaining from sin, as your good works account for at least half the worth of your faith in His estimation [James 2:17].

Severity is not a factor for making a determination between training and admonishment; God will make the point in whatever way works best, regardless of your standing with Him [Job]. Expect any degree of admonishment from God to range from gentle to severe; after all, if He expects you to go as far as dismembering yourself as a means to avoid sin [If thy right hand offend thee… Matt. 5:30], it can be reasoned that He also will resort to drastic maneuvers to attain His goal for you: spiritual perfection [Be ye perfect… Matt. 5:38].

Prayer-resistant hardship, then, is always either admonishment or training, and never temptation, as we know that any means of temptation from the Devil can always be overcome by prayer [God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that [which] ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Cor. 10:13].

It is important to correctly ascertain why you are experiencing hardship, to determine whether it is deserved or otherwise. Doing so helps you put a problem into perspective, and indicates the proper attitude you should have while you endure it.

To say it was God’s intent that your strength may be shored up in weak areas by challenging circumstances is a likelihood only for those who are closer to perfection than not [2 Cor. 12:9, 12]. Whenever prayer fails to remove a difficulty, an accurate assessment of your righteousness through Christ will determine whether a given hardship is undeserved [Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall… 1 Cor. 10:12]. True righteousness is much more than just abstaining from sin, as your good works account for at least half the worth of your faith in His estimation [James 2:17].

Severity is not a factor for making a determination between training and admonishment; God will make the point in whatever way works best [Job]. Expect any degree of admonishment from God to range from gentle to severe; after all, if He expects you to go as far as dismembering yourself as a means to avoid sin [If thy right hand offend thee… Matt. 5:30], it can be reasoned that He also will resort to drastic maneuvers to attain His goal for you: spiritual perfection [Be ye perfect… Matt. 5:38].

Prayer-resistant hardship, then, is always either admonishment or training, and never temptation, as we know that any means of temptation from the Devil can always be overcome by prayer [God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that [which] ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Cor. 10:13].

Proverbs‬ ‭16:6‬ ‭KJV‬‬

By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.

What is mercy? Forgiveness, which is not just ignoring a trespass, but is the active and continuing development of a positive and productive relationship with those who have trespassed against you. 

What is truth? Trustworthiness. Faithfulness. Just two of the qualities one must exhibit in all things, at all times, always and without fail, even though that means an abundance of prudence (forethought and projection) or the possibility of unexpected and added expenditure in the future. It is your reputation in the light of day. 

What is fear of the Lord? A respect garnered from a life-preserving wisdom that reaches so deep that you trust His Word even on matters counter to your own will and comprehension; it is your prayer before any undertaking, knowing all things belong to God, are known by God, and are accountable to God. It is acknowledging those facts in word, thought and deed, gratefully.

Luke 10:18-20; Romans 8:37

And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

This is true for me; I nullify the essential and all-important swells of power that demons and their people use to affect their nefarious agenda by and through my sobriety, which, as I’m finding out the very, very hard way, comes only by complete trust…

For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

…and faith in God…

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

Psalm 46:1-3

…and only then so long as I raise no doubts about attaining it and recognize that none of the power to do so comes from me…

 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:31

…and all success is due only Him:

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:57

Let me reiterate that I mean all of this in the literal sense.

My mistake this last time was saying all through this latest period of abstinence, “As long as no one puts it in front of me, I’ll be safe.” 

And, that was what happened: everything demons tried to get me to use, failed—the dreams, the cravings, the money, the opportunity, the desire, etc.—right up until one of their people put it in front of me, which is when I said I would fail. And, fail I did. 

Going forward, I must say and believe, “I am safe no matter what; I will stand up to any form of temptation.” And, then, I must trust that just like in all the other scenarios where demons tried to get me to use, they will fail whether they put it in front of me or not. 

The mistake was saying at the onset of sobriety that I was less than conqueror through Christ, when, in fact, I am nothing but more than conqueror:

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

It’s neither faith nor trust when you say and think otherwise, and you won’t be a conqueror of any kind if you don’t have these two essential elements in place.

Matthew 18:20; Matthew 25:35-40; Judges 7:2-7

My yearning desire is to … be with Christ, for that is far, far better.

How can you tell how strongly someone really wants to be with Jesus? Easy: by where they go, and what they do while they’re there:

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

As Matthew 18:20 points out, Jesus dwells in congregations of true believers; but, where else is He? (You do want desperately to know this, right?)

  1. Hospitals and sick rooms
  1. Orphanages
  1. Nursing homes
  1. Jails and prisons
  1. Wherever the homeless and hungry are found (e.g., homeless shelters, sidewalks, railways, alleys, under bridges and in parks; single-parent, elderly, widowed and impoverished households)

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

If you truly follow Jesus, if you truly make reply to His call, you’ll be found in those places, too; and, while you’re there, you’ll learn a lot about the real world—the world you never knew, but the world Christ cares most about. 

In turn, the special and unique knowledge you acquire from your experiences in those places, coupled with your willingness to go where no one else will, makes you an indispensable asset to your Lord and Savior, both in this world, and the next, in that God chooses for very special tasks brave and competent Christians, just as He chose soldiers thousands of years ago:

And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. So he brought down the people unto the water: and the Lord said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. And the Lord said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.

God—and, by inference and implication, Christ—still very much chooses His prized soldiers in the same way He always has, going with those that keep their eyes on the game, and not those who bury their faces to avoid it (as described in the Book of Judges).

Matthew 10:29-31; Psalm 139:1-18; Psalms‬ ‭1:2-3;‭‭ Philippians‬ ‭4:8‬

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

God thinks about you all the time, and very deeply at that:

O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

Those close to Him recommend a reciprocal effort on your part in the same regard:

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Just like us, God isn’t interested in one-sided relationships. That’s why the fastest route to a personal intimacy with the omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient Creator of all things is to respond in kind. 

Is there anything better to think about than He whose very essence is defined by these qualities?

…whatsoever things are true, whatsoever modest, whatsoever just, whatsoever holy, whatsoever lovely, whatsoever of good fame, if there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline, think on these things.

Matthew 25:34-35, 37, 40, 46

Part of your earthly reward as a worker for the Lord is knowing that the friendships you make through Christ are going to last for an eternity, and that every second of your time, every ounce of your energy expended in fellowship is never for naught. 

Christ said the hungry provide the best starting point for such friendships, and, in particular, the one friendship you need the most:

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: … Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? … And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. … And these [the righteous] shall [go away] into life eternal.

Can’t afford to help? Don’t have time? Don’t know anyone hungry? 

Try this: Download the McDonald’s app, and then pass its free offers to any one of the homeless that beg outside their restaurants every day:

Across the street from McDonald’s
The McDonald’s restaurant at 1299 East Santa Clara Street in San Jose, California
A free sandwich coupon, available from the McDonald’s app
A free medium fries coupon
The simple, quick and convenient (and free) food hand-off to the homeless (and disabled—that’s a wheelchair, and a cane) 

After all, you’d be crazy not to:

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: … Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred? … Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

‭‭Romans‬ ‭7:6‬

If you think practicing homosexuality (or any other significant form of sin) is a hindrance to God’s will that you serve Him right now, think again:

But now we are discharged from the Law and have terminated all intercourse with it, having died to what once restrained and held us captive. So now we serve not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but [under obedience to the promptings] of the Spirit in newness [of life].

Demons and their people would have you believe that the only service recognized by God is total obedience to the Law; however, Christ says that, through Him, doing good—even while not yet being good—is service sufficient as you struggle along the path to salvation. 

Whereas some may ostracize or exclude you (or where you may ostracize or exclude others), know the pointlessness of that. God leaves the door wide open through His Son for everyone:

…behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it…

Genesis 39:12

How to resist temptation, old-school style:

And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.

Joseph set the bar for successfully resisting temptation many thousands of years ago; as God is unchanging, it is likely you will be judged by this standard. 

After all, the Word warns that there are those who have set the bar on certain qualifiers that define a worthy citizen of Heaven, and that such persons will bear witness against those who fail to meet the standard they set:

The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

1 Peter 5:6

If you can’t yet impress upon God your true desire to yield to His will in all things by doing His will in all things every time, at least have a game plan for when temptation arises. That effort shows you’re taking God’s commandments seriously, and that you value the first quality of wisdom: prudence. Most importantly, it shows humility (the beginning of wisdom), the anti-thesis of the root of all sin (pride):

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.

Cooperating with God—or being humble—means yielding to His divine judgment on any point of disagreement as quickly as possible, every time. If your conduct and thinking disagree with God on an issue, don’t wait until that manifests into sin. Address it at least by learning about the logic and reasoning behind God’s stated will, and plan an avenue for escape when temptation arises. 

The sooner you do, the sooner you realize Christ’s command that we: 

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Luke‬ ‭23:34‬

A true believer, a follower of the Way, a Christian, a son of God wants no man to suffer on his account for having wronged him, even if that man very much deserves it. That’s because this is where Christ’s heart was while he was being slaughtered without mercy: 

Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

This is what your heart must be truly capable of to be claimed by Jesus as His own on that Day. 

Surprisingly, that’s even harder than it sounds, as attested to by Abel, who spent a lifetime in right-standing with God, only to be killed for worshipping God in a manner more pleasing to Him than others. 

Like Christ, Abel suffered for righteousness’ sake (Matt. 23:34-35), but, even still, the blood of Jesus speaks better things than that of Abel (Heb. 11:4; 12:24), in that while Christ’s blood cried out for mercy, the blood of Abel cried out for vengeance: 

…the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.

This is why the path to righteousness is described as narrow, and traveled by few; to intentionally replace a rightful demand for vengeance with a heartfelt plea for mercy in the minds and hearts of many is just not tenable, even while required of the children of God.

The bar is this high.

Matthew 5:45b-c

How a sinner faces yet another day with hope, knowingly or otherwise, isn’t a mystery if you give it some thought. Since the beginning of time, even people who never knew God sensed an energy that pervaded the entire universe, which demanded and insisted upon righteous behavior, and which we now call the Moral Law. It was an energy that could be felt by everyone, everywhere, all the time, even by those who knew not the source (i.e., God): 

Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.

But, that’s not what gives a sinner the strength to carry on through another day while in an adversarial relationship with God. Since the coming of the Christ, there’s another energy every bit as pervasive as the common sense of right and wrong, which feels like hope from on high: 

…for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good…

When the sun hits the face of the sinner every morning, it says to their instincts:

…behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it…

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.‭‭Revelation‬ ‭3:20‬ ‭KJV‬‬

It’s God’s way of saying that no options are precluded, that He is holding open the door to reconciliation that no one but He can close. That’s a good feeling, even while the other energy at work beats down on their conscience all the day long. 

On the flipside, Matthew 5:45c describes how a saint stays humble: 

…and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

While a saint may rightly rejoice in that hope, God wants them to remain fully aware that his law stands—that to realize that hope, one must remain fully in right-standing with Him. 

…God is no respecter of persons…

For there is no respect of persons with God.

Matthew 5:45b-c, then, brings equity and balance to one’s estimation of himself and other men in the eyes of God.

Matthew 5:43-45

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

— Matthew 5:43-45 

You might be entitled by law and tradition to hate your enemies—to devise ways of hurting back, to feel and display outward hatred and anger—but Jesus wants your mind to think about ways to make peace, not war, whenever the choice presents itself. 

It’s a given that enemies will always present themselves at various times until the day we die. It is because of this fact that Jesus warns His followers away from the resultant pattern of thinking that develops from a lifetime of near-constant defensive posturing and retaliatory maneuvering. 

Watch your eat-or-be-eaten thinking, then, and put that sound mind God gave you instead towards the most loving handling you can devise in response to each onslaught by your enemies. 

It is true that God uses designations such as ‘humble’ and ‘proud’ to indicate His approval or disapproval of any given person; however, His outward actions to the unjust reflect a love that says, “The door is still open on my end, if you want to mend fences.”

Our message to our enemies should always say the same, and we should never put our own judgment before God’s. If He’s still shining the sun on the proud, that means, whether you can see why or not, He’s holding out hope for them.

Philemon 1:6-8

[And I pray] that the participation in and sharing of your faith may produce and promote full recognition and appreciation and understanding and precise knowledge of every good [thing] that is ours in [our identification with] Christ Jesus [and unto His glory]. For I have derived great joy and comfort and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints [who are your fellow Christians] have been cheered and refreshed through you, [my] brother. Therefore, though I have abundant boldness in Christ to charge you to do what is fitting and required and your duty to do.

Both our joy and our strength as workers for the Lord comes from Christ, a fact He expects you to communicate as you do good deeds (Phil. 1:6). In fact, He intends to reward those who hold fast to His name while doing so, as He foretold in His revelation to the Apostle John. 

The purpose is to edify fellow workers, and to keep you mindful of the divine purpose of your work (Phil. 1:7)—a point easily lost due to its sometimes arduous and perilous nature. 

It’s also to remind you to make godly choices in all your other affairs, so that your work for the Lord isn’t for naught (Phil. 1:8).

Matthew 21:19

In spite of the number of Jesus’ miracles recorded in the Gospels, it is known that Jesus was not a fan of them: 

Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit…

He knew they would only distract from His message, wrongfully equating righteousness with raw power in the eyes of humanity. He was so adverse to it, in fact, He wouldn’t even use it to show up the Devil in the desert (where He was tempted to do so three times), nor would he later use it to save His own life. 

It was a tool—and a tool only—to reward faith, and to teach or illustrate important facts and lessons requiring added emphasis. 

The fig tree story is a perfect example of the latter. Whereas any Buddha or Confucius can spout off a pearl of wisdom, only Jesus says it like He means it. 

And, what was that, exactly? That Jesus demands that His followers give better to the world than what they take from the world or else be cut off from Him forever: 

Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered. 

Here’s an example: take the dirt that was the sin you overcame, and turn that experience into fruitful knowledge useful to others struggling similarly; then, help them on their path to salvation with that knowledge.

Isaiah 3:9

Gay Pride Parades are not new: 

The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.

I don’t pick on gays; it’s easy, it’s cowardly, and it’s wrong. They have the same blessings and love of God available to them that anyone else does, and it’s a sin to do or say anything that suggests otherwise to them. 

Having said that, I have an idea for a better “pride” to celebrate than that which is paraded down the streets in so many cities every spring: pride in a Savior, who in the face of the Devil—a beast that has afflicted this remarkably resilient subset of our society more than any other—paved a way for even the lowliest of us to come to God.
Christ died for them at the behest of His father, and gladly and willingly on top of that. Sometimes, I never think of Jesus as belonging to anyone else more than they, and not as much as those goodie-two-shoes who claim Christ as theirs and their alone. 

This fact is a worthy cause for a street party, to be sure; and, it is this fact (and none other) that, if ignored by them, will be the reason for eternal separation from their Creator, in that their acts constitute a blatant disregard for the Blood whose power was made greatest by those with the greatest need. 

Our eternal reward is comprised of worthwhile people to love. Who wouldn’t love a people so brave, so fearless, and with the ability to come together in same—world-wide—to make a place for themselves in such a world that didn’t/doesn’t want them?
Extra care and attention, then, in your message and attitude towards each and every such person when you present God’s love to them. 

Your purpose in Christ is to adopt His same qualities, and with them, to make happen this: 

And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

2 Corinthians 5:20

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 

The message of Christ is good news—not hateful, hopeless news—so check your calling as an ambassador of the Word against these verses, which form the basis of one’s hope for salvation, a description of the path to salvation, and God’s promise of salvation:

  1. When it comes to your hope of salvation, God backs your bank…:

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

— 2 Peter 1:4 KJV

  1. …as long as you invest…:

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

— 2 Corinthians 7:1 KJV

  1. …so that one day it will be said of you and those you deliver the gospel to:

AND YOU [He made alive], when you were dead (slain) by [your] trespasses and sins In which at one time you walked [habitually]. You were following the course and fashion of this world [were under the sway of the tendency of this present age], following the prince of the power of the air. [You were obedient to and under the control of] the [demon] spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes of God]. Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind. But God–so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us, Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation). And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One). He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus.

— Ephesians 2:1-7 AMP

Make sure when you interact with others as you represent the message of the Cross that your attitude and approach is centered and grounded in these verses—no matter who you’re talking to, whether it be a prisoner, a gay man, a drug addict, etc..

2 Timothy 2:10

Most people’s primary reason for keeping their hands clean (abstaining from sin)—and, therefore, possessing a clear conscience before God—is to preserve their own lives; but, that’s not the right motive, even if it is the right means. 

Seeking life through righteousness is for the explicit and sole purpose to serve the lives of other saints, who are an early dispensation of your eternal reward: that is, an intimate and eternal friendship with like-minded, loving, faithful and true brothers and sisters molded in Christ. 

Jesus even said:

For whoever is bent on saving his [temporal] life [his comfort and security here] shall lose it [eternal life]; and whoever loses his life [his comfort and security here] for My sake shall find it [life everlasting].

Seeking life, then, by righteous conduct may obtain it, but using it for the benefit of the saints is essential to keeping it; otherwise, you may die, leaving behind any number of confused people asking, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” The answer being, of course, that you weren’t making good with your “good.”

Exodus 12:13

Jesus isn’t just an add-on at the end of the Old Testament; rather, everything prior to the New Testament that happened and was written about were acts of God intended to prepare our hearts and minds to receive Christ. The Old Testament, then, is a record of how God shaped and otherwise prepared the world for the coming (and success) of His Son.

Exodus 12:13 describes the first act of God in this regard, which was made on behalf of his Son, who would not come until thousands of years later. The message He intended to send to Man by and through this act:

Whereas the angel of Death passed over houses on which the blood of the paschal lamb was sprinkled on their thresholds [Exodus 12:13], likewise, sprinkling the blood of Christ over the doorway to your heart will give you life.

1 Peter 1:18

This message is the foundation for our rejoicing in Christ Jesus and our worship of God, as the early church so poignantly emphasized in its writings:

You must know (recognize) that you were redeemed (ransomed) from the useless (fruitless) way of living inherited by tradition from [your] forefathers, not with corruptible things [such as] silver and gold, But [you were purchased] with the precious blood of Christ (the Messiah), like that of a [sacrificial] lamb without blemish or spot.

Purge (clean out) the old leaven that you may be fresh (new) dough, still uncontaminated [as you are], for Christ, our Passover [Lamb], has been sacrificed.

By faith (simple trust and confidence in God) he instituted and carried out the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood [on the doorposts], so that the destroyer of the firstborn (the angel) might not touch those [of the children of Israel]. [Exod. 12:21-30.]

I didn’t make this up, in that the Bible explicitly states that God had a plan since the before the beginning, and that it led up to everything we know and cherish now:

Making known to us the mystery (secret) of His will (of His plan, of His purpose). [And it is this:] In accordance with His good pleasure (His merciful intention) which He had previously purposed and set forth in Him, [He planned] for the maturity of the times and the climax of the ages to unify all things and head them up and consummate them in Christ, [both] things in heaven and things on the earth. In Him we also were made [God’s] heritage (portion) and we obtained an inheritance; for we had been foreordained (chosen and appointed beforehand) in accordance with His purpose, Who works out everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His [own] will, So that we who first hoped in Christ [who first put our confidence in Him have been destined and appointed to] live for the praise of His glory!

And, here’s a parting thought you should keep in mind at all times: If God made the world for Christ, how good of a fit will this world be to those who follow Christ?

For we who have believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on God) do enter that rest, in accordance with His declaration that those [who did not believe] should not enter when He said, As I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest; and this He said although [His] works had been completed and prepared [and waiting for all who would believe] from the foundation of the world. [Ps. 95:11.]

The secret to immortality and invincibility

First of all, as Jesus said, there are such people as invincible immortals:

Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in (into) His kingdom.

It appears, though, that such immortality is not an inborn trait, but rather is granted through Christ. Here are a couple of ways I think that you could conceivably never taste death:

  1. By being a light of the world (if you wouldn’t hide a candle under a bushel, why would Jesus hide you in a grave?):

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

  1. By continually and unceasingly hungering and thirsting for righteousness (how are you going to be filled if you’re dead?):

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

  1. Preserving and adding appeal and flavor to the Gospel message (why would Christ throw out anyone beneficial to Him and His message of hope and reconciliation?):

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Demonstrating Humility, Trust in Prayer

Ask God for nothing you don’t have…

I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father…

— John 5:30 

[N]ot my will, but thine, be done…

— Luke 22:42 

[Y]our Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

— Matthew 6:8

…pray gratefully for everything you do have—that is to say, your food(!), your friends, loved ones, family, church and everyone and anyone who blesses your life by reflecting the love that comes from God:

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his love endures forever.

— Psalm 118:1 

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving…

— Psalm 50:14 

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

— Colossians 3:17 

Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.

— Hebrews 13:15 

[Give] thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…

— Ephesians 5:19 

He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God…

— Daniel 6:10 

I will thank you in the great congregation…

— Psalm 35:18 

[P]ray without ceasing, giving thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

— 1 Thessalonians 5:15

Can’t quite muster the mood to be sincere in your thankfulness sometimes? Thinking of what put you in that mood, pray gratefully for these two things, and watch sincerity ooze from your pores:

I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord…

— 1 Timothy 1:12 

Father, I thank you that you have heard me.

— John 11:41

2 Timothy 2:22

I’ve avoided watching that sordid video someone sent me via Twitter, and therefore succumbing to sin. I’ve kept my hands clean (pardon the pun). 

But, Twitter is still on my phone, the follower is still on my Following list, and I can’t stop thinking about watching the video. 

From Bible.org

“Being tempted is no sin. But lingering over it, toying with it, flirting with it—that is inexcusable. We can tantalize ourselves to such a degree that resisting the sin is no longer considered to be a possible option. The only question that remains is how we are going to do it. God says we should flee temptation (2 Tim. 2:22). And he will help us handle it if we obey. But if we dawdle and dally over it, we are doomed.” 

So, there are two options for me: stop putting that temptation in front of my face, and wait for God to see me through; or, give in.

I’m going to stick it through, I think, just to see what God comes up with—if anything…
What’s so stupid and embarrassing about this for me is this: I have bigger and better things to think about, yet my lust somehow pushes issues of world-import to the side, and demands I ignore them and disobey God, or else I’m in for a hellish time. 

Yuck! But, here’s the reward, the expectation, the promise

And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

So whoever cleanses himself [from what is ignoble and unclean, who separates himself from contact with contaminating and corrupting influences] will [then himself] be a vessel set apart and useful for honorable and noble purposes, consecrated and profitable to the Master, fit and ready for any good work.

But the firm foundation of (laid by) God stands, sure and unshaken, bearing this seal (inscription): The Lord knows those who are His, and, Let everyone who names [himself by] the name of the Lord give up all iniquity and stand aloof from it. [Num. 16:5; Isa. 26:13]

2 Corinthians 5:20-21

There are three distinct steps to obtain right-standing with God: stopping sin is step one; working for the Lord is step two.

Step three is spreading the Word, thereby giving credit where it’s due. Without praise for the Son of God, you’re taking credit for something you didn’t do (or could ever maintain) on your own—holiness. Carrying the banner of the cross on your walk along the Way is the key to obtain all of God’s promises.

Revelation 12:10-11

How will you know when the end-time is finally coming to a close? By signs in the sky? Plagues? War? A gut feeling that doom is upon mankind?

Maybe, but the sure way is an inexplicable invigoration of mind and body—one that seems to come from somewhere on high, one that pervades your entire being, one that strengthens you, and one that brings you joy brought only by the blessed assurance of salvation.

And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

— Revelation 12:10-11 KJV

It’s like the giddy anticipation you feel when a long-gone loved one is about to arrive back home; it’s like feeling light as a feather after a long, hard load has been lifted off your back.

My Bible posts
A non-comprehensive (but summarily extensive) list of Bible-related posts to this blog over the years:

READER | San Jose man requests help with likely human-trafficking victim/girlfriend. Faith is the victory that overcomes a world under the power of Satan.

BIBLE | Handling demon peoples’ attacks against churches, members. How to turn would-be enemies into friends by and through godly debate, Jesus-style.

BIBLE | The Study Notes of a Demoniac [2 Timothy 2:10]. Righteousness may save your life; but, serving others is required to keep it.

BIBLE | The Study Notes of a Demoniac [Proverbs 14:25]. Most churches purposefully omit discussions, sermons and lessons on demons, ignoring the fact that Christ’s first intent for His church was a safe haven from the Gates of Hades.

Demon people steal secret recordings. Why someone might stick it out with a demon-possessed loved on.

BIBLE | Christians, victims reeling from demonic activity aftershock. After the cessation of a prolonged period of high demonic activity, brief—but powerful—resurgences occur without warning, throwing victims into surprise tailspins when they do.
BIBLE | The Study Notes of a Demoniac [Revelation 1-2]. A checklist for workers for the Lord, helping ensure that their good works meet Christ standards.
BIBLE | Fear should not be a factor for you. God says to release fear in order to find freedom as you face life’s trials and tribulations.
Demon problem has but one solution—prayer. Prayer is the only defense against enemies that outpower and outnumber you.
JUSTICE | Demon involvement in economics and politics goes back 2,000 years. Injustice at the hands of demons and their people is a very old problem, and it should not be hard to believe that it still occurs today, even as it did during the earthly ministry of Christ.
READER | Young man’s soul seeks relevance of Bible to demonic crisis. The demon problem and the Bible certainly interrelate.
BIBLE | Fear was not a factor for David. How one of the Scriptures greatest heros handled fear in a godly manner, and in the face of an implacable and powerful enemy greater than he.
BIBLE | Smile while you vanquish demons. The promises of God lift one spirits through life’s insurmountable challenges.
BIBLE | The Study Notes of a Demoniac [Phil. 2:13]. It’s hard to see how God can work for your good in bad situations that tend to derail your progress through life; but, He can.
BIBLE | The Study Notes of a Demoniac (Matt. 3:10-12; Heb. 10:16, 19, 22-25). Three signs that Christ is urging you to a life of righteousness, and three signs He participated in the process of achieving it.
BIBLE | The Study Notes of a Demoniac [2 Corinthians 4:8-9]. Select Bible verses that provide assurance and renewed hope in a demoniac.
BIBLE | The Study Notes of a Demoniac [1 John 3:11]. The grave importance God placed on things He called His property in the Scriptures (e.g., the Ark of the Covenant) applies to those in Christ today.
BIBLE | The Study Notes of a Demoniac [Isaiah 30:18]. Ideas for doing more than just traditional means of providing charity to the needy.
BIBLE | The Study Notes of a Demoniac [Proverbs 17:4]. The full construct and the seriousness of lies.
BIBLE | The Study Notes of a Demoniac [Proverbs 17:5]. The right attitude towards the poor, both those born into poverty, as well as those who came into it later in life.
BIBLE | Fighting the Good Fight: How a demoniac fights like a Christian. Refusing to fall prey to the Devil’s wares (such as unmitigated and uncontrolled anger) is the number one fighting strategy for the God-fearing soldier.
BIBLE | Your God-prescribed duty to those in mortal danger. How God expects you to handle and help those in mortal danger.
BIBLE | God calls Voices Demons fools. God characterizes the Voices Demons as fools based on both their behavior and reluctance to acknowledge Him as their Creator.
God’s plan for demons that possess spelled out in Bible. God clearly spells out the expected end of the Voices Demons.
BIBLE | Whom shall I fear? Demons? Of whom shall I be afraid? People?. Proper perspective in any situation deemed life-threatening can abate unnecessary or debilitating fear.
Most relevant sermons
My growing selection of sermons most relevant to the Bible and demons:

Advertisements
 

Comments are closed.

 
%d bloggers like this: