when dogs pout

July 20, 2018

This ain’t real sophisticated, uber smart, deep theology or even original but it will help.

Prince had his hit song, “when doves cry”

I have when dogs pout.

This is our American Bulldog, not wanting to go to bed. Stubborn, pouting and not about to give in.

Sound familiar?

You don’t know what God is doing, you’re suffering, in pain or maybe it’s mental anguish; you’ve punished yourself better than anyone else. Finances are a mess, health is shot, marriage on the rocks, kids on drugs, one’s pregnant.

You’ve lost your job, done something stupid. Said something you wish you could take back.

Hey, you’re not alone we’ve all been there in one way or another. There is simply no way you can live long enough and not have some kind of suffering.

Two choices; Pout or Praise; that’s it. One makes it worse, one makes it better. The definition of insanity is doing the same wrong thing over and over and expecting different results.

You know what? Maybe no one is coming, there is no rescue, no pat on the back, no good news, pout or praise.

Believe this, you can prolong the suffering, pout, or get immediate relief, praise. The circumstances in either might not change. But your heart will, your mind will. You can get relief from pain by praising God, you can stop heartache by praising God. You can see a glimmer of hope praising God. Yes, it will probably suck again, but you can have moments of closeness with God, clarity of thought, a change of direction, just by praising God.

How come you ask or why?

Because in that moment of praising God, you stopped being the center of the universe. So stop being an asshat and stop pouting.

It might seem impossible, but just say it out loud. “God, I love you” start saying Hallelujah, just shout, “praise the Lord”. Lift up your head, wipe away the tears and believe God loves you and Jesus suffered more than you ever will. Thank God for your salvation.

Email us at scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

We will pray for you, God bless.

Sola Scriptura

July 19, 2018

  “That I may know him” (Phil. 3:10).

  “The one unchanging factor on this earth is the Word of God. It is upon the written Word, and in the Living Word, that the Christian life is to be established. Yet there are Christians throughout the world who are seeking to get along on the basis of questionable blessings, and fluctuating self-centered experiences.

 How many rest on the initial step of the new birth, ‘Begotten again. . . of incorruptible seed through the word of God’ (1 Peter 1:23), and fail to press on to know ‘Begotten. . . by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. . . unto an inheritance’ (1 Peter 1:3).

  “If our hearts are really true to Him we may be assured He will lead us on in the knowledge of Himself just as fast as we are able to advance. He knows how much we can take in, and He does not fail to minister to us the very food that is suitable to our present need. We may sometimes feel inclined to be impatient with ourselves because we do not make more rapid progress, but we have to learn to trust the Lord with our spiritual schooling.

 If our eyes are upon the Lord Jesus, and we follow with steadfast hearts as He leads us, we shall find that He leads us by the right way and brings us through all the exercises we need in order to form our souls in the appreciation of Himself, and of all those blessed things which are brought to pass in Him. We have to trust Him all the way through, and to learn increasingly to distrust ourselves.

The enemy will encourage you to do anything but carry out the systematic, Spirit-taught study of the Bible. He will give religious experiences, feelings and pious thoughts—all apart from God’s Word. Do not be deceived. The Scriptures are our only sustenance—there are no substitutes. Sola scriptura, the Word of God only.

  “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord” (Hosea 6:3).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Karey, a seeking heart, nearing the vanishing point (salvation). Think about it.

Pray for Thomas L, eye surgery on Friday.

Pray for Jennifer, her diabetes is getting worse. She fears losing her sight.

HANG OUT THE WASH

July 6, 2018

The secret things, the “dirty” things, the shameful things; the smut, the dirt; the porn, the “secret sin”; nasty things, the sexual abuse, those things stained my soul because they weren’t talked about for so many years and made me feel shameful, broken, like something was wrong.

Yes, I’m forgiven, it’s under the blood, I’m washed white as snow. But like any normal person I wish had not done them; the LSD, the pot, the booze, satanic rituals, biker initiations, the violence, the denial; just a long period of bad stuff, stupid stuff.

It took a long time to find the right persons to unload all that crap on over several years and they never condemned or scolded. It’s important that you unload the burdens, hang out the wash. Find a support group, find a biblical counselor, not some hippy dippy shrink that won’t do you a bit of good.

The reason I’m writing this today is I was in a restaurant and I heard a country western song and a particular phrase totally caught me off guard and I was flooded with memories, dirty rotten memories. It took me a minute (literally) to shut it off and get out my bible and reaffirm my sanity.

But here’s my take; if you never have felt unsaved for a moment than you’ve never been saved for a moment.

Guilt is part of the package, it’s to remind us of the price paid for our redemption.

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:13

It’s why we are called sinners and need a Savior, it’s why the word ‘saints’ only applies to a group and not a individual.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

The Struggle

July 3, 2018

boxing

“For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:14).

  Hatred for others comes easy for some; but to fully hate one’s old man comes hard for all. The Lord Jesus loves us too much to allow us to go on loving ourselves.

The Christian’s victory is not over others, but over himself. His sword is drawn, not to slay his fellowman, but to slay himself. He wins by losing. He triumphs by being defeated. He lives by dying. His crown is a crown of thorns. His throne is a Cross. His weapon is not strength but weakness.

His victory is not found in establishing his own cause but in establishing that of his fellow-men; the poor, the sick, the disinherited, the brokenhearted, the wayward, the lost. This may be foolishness to men. But we must not forget that ‘the foolishness of God is stronger than men’ (1 Cor. 1:25).

How blessed it is to know, and at the same time how solemn to realize, that the sin of the child of God is against his Father, and that it is the love of relationship that is called into exercise about it—love which acts towards us ‘for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness’“ (Heb. 12:10).

It is impossible that He should treat it lightly; and it will be impossible in the end for any one of His own to treat it lightly either. Grace abides towards us; and because grace abides, sin cannot be permitted to have sway over the objects of it.

  “Let not sin, therefore, reign. . . “ (Rom. 6:12).

God bless from scumlikeschurch@gmail.com

Remember Bonnie C in your prayers, her dad has begun the struggle with Alzheimer’s.

Pray for Ray, heart problems, going in tomorrow for more tests

Pray for Charlie C, his family is concerned about his personality change

Pray for Ray S, liver problems

 

ONLY THE RIGHT WAY

June 24, 2018

OK, WORDPRESS IS ACTING WEIRD AND THIS MAY GET POSTED TWICE IN ONE DAY.

WARNING THIS POST CONTAINS ADULT SEXUAL LANGUAGE OF A VERY FRANK NATURE, PLEASE DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE EASILY OFFENDED OR LEGALISTIC

THE APOSTLE PAUL SAID THERE ARE THINGS SO SHAMEFUL WE SHOULD NOT TALK ABOUT THEM. I DON’T THINK I’VE CROSSED THAT LINE BUT IT MAY BE CLOSE. I MEAN NO HARM AND DON’T WANT TO OFFEND SO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

FIRST A QUOTE FROM A MOVIE, IT’S NOT FROM THE BIBLE BUT IT WILL KICK OFF THE DISCUSSION. ‘YOU WILL NEVER KNOW THE POWER OF LOVE UNTIL YOU COMPLETELY SURRENDER TO IT.’ (I DON’T REMEMBER THE MOVIE BUT IT’S STILL A GOOD LINE)

WOMEN HAVE THE POWER TO CREATE BY GIVING BIRTH, MEN HAVE THE POWER TO CREATE BEAUTIFUL WIVES WHO ARE FULFILLED AND HAPPY BY BEING MEN WHO LOVE THEIR WIVES MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE ON THIS EARTH.

SO HERE’S WHERE WE GET INTO A SENSITIVE AREA, SEX; IF YOU WANT TO BLESS YOUR WIFE PRACTICE GODLY SEX.  THAT MEANS NOT FORCING YOUR WIFE TO HAVE SEX WHILE ON HER PERIOD ( BECAUSE YOU THINK SHE HAS TO SUBMIT AND THIS PROVES SHE’S A GODLY WOMAN) REALLY, IF YOU ARE THAT KIND OF HUSBAND AND YOU WERE STANDING HERE IN FRONT OF ME I’D PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE. (GODLY COUNSELING DOESN’T SEEM TO WORK )

ONE THE BIBLE SAYS YOUR NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE SEX DURING THIS TIME. HEY HOW ABOUT THAT, GOD KNOWS WHAT SCIENCE HAS PROVED. THE UTERINE WALLS OF A WOMAN ARE WEAKER DURING THIS TIME AND IT CAN CAUSE PROBLEMS. AND REALLY YOU HAVE TO FORCE YOUR WIFE TO PROVE SHE’S SUBMISSIVE, THAT ONE IS GOING TO BACK FIRE IN YOUR FACE.

PLEASE DON’T READ ANY FARTHER IF YOU ARE REALLY SENSITIVE.

ANAL SEX, IT’S WRONG, DON’T CARE WHAT SEX IN CITY SAYS, SEX BOOKS, PORN, ITS WRONG, IT GOES AGAINST BIOLOGY AND IT GOES AGAINST THE BIBLE; I DON’T CARE IF YOUR PARTNER EVEN LIKES IT; GOD IS STILL GOD EVEN IN THE BEDROOM. YES YOU CAN PRACTICE HOLINESS EVEN IN THE MARRIAGE BED AND THE BIBLE DOES NOT SAY THE MARRIAGE BED IS UNDEFILED AND ANYTHING GOES. IT SAYS WE ARE TO MAKE THE MARRIAGE BED UNDEFILED. GOD DOES NOT CONDONE ‘FREAKINESS’ IN THE BEDROOM OF A CHRISTIAN COUPLE.

I BRING THIS UP BECAUSE I HAVE SEEN THE DAMAGE THIS ATTITUDE AND THE DAMAGE IT CAN WREAK IN A CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE.

A WOMAN WAS BEING ABUSED BY THE ABOVE IN A CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE. THE MAN DIDN’T RESPOND TO COUNSELING. SO SHE DECIDED TO POISON HIM. NOT TO DEATH JUST ENOUGH TO MAKE HIM SICK TO HIS STOMACH AND HE WOULDN’T FEEL LIKE HAVING SEX AND SHE WOULD BE SAFE AND SOUND.

THE AMOUNT OF GUILT SHE RACKED UP WAS GIVING HER MIGRAINES, EVENTUALLY SHE INSISTED THEY GO BACK TO COUNSELING AND UNDER THE THREAT OF DIVORCE AND OTHER THINGS LIKE HER FAMILY HUNTING HIM DOWN. CONVINCED THIS MAN TO STOP ABUSING HER. AFTER SIX YEARS OF COUNSELING AND BEING SUBMISSIVE TO THE PASTOR, HE STRAIGHTENED UP.

I’M HAPPY TO SAY THEY ARE STILL MARRIED, AND HE DID STOP, BUT HOW CAN CHRISTIAN MEN BE SO WRONG, AND YET BELIEVE THEY ARE SERVING THE LORD AND DOING NO HARM. IT’S A LIE AND THUS THE DEVOTION FOR TODAY MAY BE UNPLEASANT AND EVEN MAKE SOME MEN ANGRY, YET IT IS NEEDED IN OUR VERY POLLUTED CHRISTIAN HOMES AND MARRIAGES.

REMEMBER MEN, THE APOSTLE PAUL ALSO SAID WE ARE TO SUBMIT TO OUR WIVES AS WELL; PLEASE BE GODLY MEN, EVEN IN THE BEDROOM.

GOD BLESS. From scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

SUPER POWERS

June 13, 2018

Enterprise_5_hr

  “Partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world” (2 Pet. 1:4).

  We are to find out in Romans 6, through the gracious teaching of the Spirit of truth, all that happened to the Lord Jesus there on the Cross. Then we will know our own position and standing, since we were judicially in Him there.

Have you ever thought about God’s thought about you, that you are ‘to be conformed to the image of His Son’? ‘It doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him’ (Rom. 8:29; 1 John 3:2).

This cannot fail. The Lord Jesus presses on our hearts that He brings us into association with Himself. He ‘hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus’ (Eph. 1:3). He puts us in this position answering perfectly to His nature, and with a nature to enjoy it.

  “He imparts to us of Himself in order to qualify us for Himself.”

Not only is my blessing in heaven, but I need the Lord Jesus’ power to enable me to rise above the sense of my infirmity down here; for this world, instead of contributing to me, makes me feel my weakness and need, and that I must rise out of it to find and enjoy my blessing.

The very infirmity which this evil age makes me conscious of makes me draw upon the power of Christ, as the One outside it, passing into the heavens, so that I take pleasure in the very infirmity which is exposed here, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

  “God forbid that I should glory, except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. 6:14).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Praise from Anne, 42 days sober

Pray for Rachel, severe ear infection

Pray for Jay P, having knee surgery on Thursday

Cam, pray for this young mom and her battle with cancer.

Pray for Christina and Todd, spiritually curious, pray the right people come into their lives

Stick, Stuck, Stunk

May 31, 2018

THE BAND-AID THEORY

Ok it goes like this, you are a band-aid, you are in the box, in your wrapper and you are brand new.

You are a virgin, so let’s say you have your first sexual encounter, you are not in the box (protected) and you have lost your wrapper. And when you have your next sexual experience you have to peel yourself off the other band-aid; and you get stuck to the next one.

As time goes by and your sexual experiences with other people increase two things happen, less adhesiveness , and what level of sexual experience you had with the last person you will bring into the next relationship. Date a freak, have sex, become a freak, share that with someone else.

Hear the sucking sound, its your life, if you are fortunate to only have one sexual encounter with one person and it is there only encounter and you get married or are married you can see the power of the adhesiveness. But the more experiences the less ability to stick.

With our sick level of attention to sex, where little 8 year old girls look like hookers and the rate of under 12 pregnancies increase, children raping other children we are heading ( no we are already there) living in the exact age where God annihilated nations for worshipping sex.

So to you virgins, keep the wrapper on, to those who have lost their wrapper, practice celibacy, don’t go to that last level of sex you had with your last relationship.

Act like a virgin, practice purity, abstain from lustful practices, stop watching, reading viewing anything related to sex.

From your elder brother in the Lord.

God bless

scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

pray for Vickie, as she battles breast cancer

pray for Walter, he dipped his toe in the dark side in the early days of his divorce. Now his wife wants to get back together and he’s going to have to tell her about certain things, (and no, he doesn’t have a choice).

Pray for Geraldine, she waited till she was 43 to get married, had saved her virtue, gave her heart totally to a man, dated (courted) two years. God married, had a storybook wedding. 9 years later he’s in prison, she’s lost everything and is having a spiritual breakdown.

 

The Worldly Kingdom

May 27, 2018

Well you get to read my Sunday Sermon.

The Kingdom of this World.

  1. The Danger of Passivity

The very first danger that I want to warn you of is the danger of passivity—the danger of passivity—that is, feeling that you don’t have to do anything—feeling secure, not really being aware of the devil, of his kingdom, and this king of terrors.

Now, you do need to be informed. You cannot afford the luxury of being passive. You need to understand that, as a Christian, you’ve been born again; you are a member of the Kingdom of Heaven; you are a citizen of another Kingdom; and, while you live and dwell here on Earth, you are dwelling in hostile territory. We are citizens of Heaven, but we live in Hell’s headquarters.

Now, let me give you a verse that points that out in the Book of the Revelation; you may just want to put this in the margin. In Revelation 2:13, Jesus was speaking to that church at Pergamos. And, this is what Jesus said to that church, to encourage them: “I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat”—s-e-a-t—”is” (Revelation 2:13). That literally means, “where Satan’s throne is.” Now, Jesus said, “I know that you love me, but I also know that you dwell where Satan’s throne is.” You see, the Kingdom of God has a King, and the kingdom of evil has a king: his satanic majesty, the devil. And, Jesus very clearly called the devil, in John 14:30, “the prince of this world” (John 14:30). Jesus said that about him. He is the prince of this world. He is the dark prince.

Now, notice, in verses 11, 12: “Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus” (Ezekiel 28:11-12). Now, you say, “Pastor, is this scripture directed to the king of Tyrus?” Yes and no. It was directed not only to the king of Tyrus, but it was directed through the king of Tyrus, to the power behind the throne. The king of Tyrus was a wicked, demonic, demon- infested, devil-inspired, malicious, vile, corrupt, and violent king. But now, our Lord speaks to the power behind his throne—the devil himself. It’s very obvious that, from the context, our Lord is speaking, not merely to the king of Tyrus, but to Satan, who was behind the king of Tyrus.

Now, this is not unusual. Before, in the Bible, we have seen the Lord address the devil through an individual. For example, Jesus said to Peter, “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me” (Matthew 16:23). Now, Jesus was talking to Peter, but He was really talking through Peter, right on to the devil, who had motivated Peter to say what he had said. In the Garden of Eden, the serpent was used of the devil. And, the devil took an animal, a serpent, and used the serpent to defile and to deceive Adam and Eve. So, God, when He addressed the serpent, was really speaking to the power behind the serpent, to the devil himself.

Now, his reign of terror. The king of Tyrus had a reign of terror that was energized by the devil. Now, I want you to notice how he is described here, in this passage of Scripture. Notice, in verse 12: “Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.” Obviously, you know that was not a human king; certainly not the king of Tyrus: “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God;”—the king of Tyrus was never in the Garden of Eden—”every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold” (Ezekiel 28:12-13). You see, here is a creature that is described as being scintillatingly brilliant, dazzling in his beauty, surpassing in beauty, and superlative in wisdom. Isaiah tells us that his name was Lucifer. Lucifer literally means, “light-bearer.”

And then, the Bible says that he had pipes in him. Notice the last part of verse 13: “The workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created” (Ezekiel 28:13). Now, Bible expositors have sometimes said, “Could it be that this man—this being, rather—was a master musician, that music resided in him, and when he spoke, when he expressed himself, it was like a great vast pipe organ speaking, that there was melody that fell from his lips?”

And, he dwelt in a jeweled city of rare mineral beauty. Does that remind you of anything? One day, the saints are going to dwell in a city just like that. The Bible says he was upon the Holy Mountain. Now, this certainly doesn’t mean the king of Tyrus; he was not like this. What does a mountain, a Holy Mountain, stand for, in Bible prophecy and typology? The Mount of God stands for the government of God; the mountain stands for the authority of God. This one had something to do with the government of God, the authority of God.

Many believe that he was the prime minister of Heaven. He is called, in this same passage, the “cherub that covereth” (Ezekiel 28:14). The word covereth means that he spreads forth his wings. That is, he was there as the prime minister of God; there, before the throne of God; there, beholding the glory of God, spreading out his wings there. He was a cherub; that is the highest class of angels.

Over in verse 18, it mentions his sanctuaries; notice, here, “Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries” (Ezekiel 28:18). This means that he evidently had a priesthood, that he received the worship of other creatures, and passed it on to the throne as an angelic priest, spreading out his wings there, to the throne. We can only begin to wonder what all of this cryptic language means. We can see glimmers and facets that here was a person highly, highly exalted.

But now, I want to tell you something, folks: In all that we said about him, I don’t want you to make a tragic mistake that some people make when they consider the devil. Have you ever played the game of antonyms? Do you know what a synonym is? A word, a different word, but it has the same meaning as the first word, right? Now, an antonym is an opposite word. All right? Let’s play the game of antonyms. I’ll mention a word; you give me the opposite word, okay?

“Up” (congregation: “down”). Good. What a smart congregation! All right. “Backward” (congregation: “forward”). “Left” (congregation: “right”). “God” (congregation: “Satan”). Satan? You were wrong. Now, that’s the mistake that many of us make. Don’t ever think of Satan as the opposite of God. You see, God has no opposites. God has no antonyms; and God has no synonyms. There is nothing like God to compare God with. And, Satan is not the opposite of God.

So many people have the idea that over here is the kingdom of Satan and over here is the Kingdom of God, and that, somehow, these are polarized opposites, equal opposites. They are not—they are not. God is God, and Satan is a created being. I want you to understand that. And, as a created being, he is subject to Almighty God. And, you need to understand this. Now, he is great; but notice, he was created: “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created” (Ezekiel 28:15). Now, all I have done is to try and show you of the greatness, something of the majesty, that was inherently his.

  1. The Danger of Pride

But, I want you to notice something else in dealing with the devil. Number one: Beware of passivity. Beware of acting as if the devil doesn’t exist, or that he is of no consequence. But no, my dear friend, he is a person of great, great, great, great, magnitude and consequence. And, he has an effect on your life, like it or not. You cannot afford to be ignorant; you cannot afford to be passive. Secondly, in dealing with the devil, I want you to also beware of pride.

Now, it was pride that made the devil the devil. Continue to read here, in verse 15: “Thou wast perfect…”—speaking to the king of Tyrus; actually, the power behind the throne, the devil himself—”Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise”—underscore that phrase, “by the multitude of thy merchandise”—”they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground” (Ezekiel 28:15-17). The Bible says, “[He that] exalteth himself shall be abased” (Luke 14:11), and, certainly, this has been fulfilled in Lucifer himself. Now, Lucifer, the son of the morning, became Satan, the father of the night. He became a fallen angel, a fallen spirit-being, through the sin of pride.

Now, we don’t have to guess about that; the Bible makes it very clear to us that it was the sin of pride. First Timothy 3:6: God gives instructions for the qualifications of a minister, and one of these is that he “not [be] a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil” (1 Timothy 3:6). It doesn’t mean that the devil will condemn him; it means that the same thing that happened to the devil will happen to him—that it was pride that made the devil the devil.

Now, what happened is this: that the devil was handling holy things, and it got to him. Merchandise is that which passes through our hands. Notice in verse 16: “By the multitude of thy merchandise” (Ezekiel 28:16). Now, here was a person who made merchandise his office. And, I want to warn every young preacher-boy who’s listening to me, every Sunday School teacher, every child of God, to beware when God blesses you—when God anoints you, when God uses you—that you don’t make merchandise of your office.

“Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil” (1 Timothy 3:6). Now, it was pride that made the devil the devil—not only because of his merchandise, but because of his inherent beauty. Notice verse 17: “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness” (Ezekiel 28:17). His brightness and his beauty brought him down. His pride brought him down.

Now, let me say this: that his beauty and his brightness are corrupted, but traces are still there. So, when you consider the devil, and think about the devil, don’t think of him primarily as some scaly monster with hooves and a horn. No, the Bible describes him, strangely enough, not as a repulsive monster—though he is one; but the Bible says he has the ability to transform himself and his ministers as angels of light. Listen to this scripture: 2 Corinthians 11:14, 15. The Apostle Paul is warning about the seductiveness of false apostles. My dear friend, let me say, that when you look for the devil, never fail to look in the pulpit.

I was preaching one time, and a little boy came up to me, after the service, and said, “Pastor, when you were up there preaching, I could see the devil, just as plain.”

But, in all seriousness, here’s what the Apostle Paul says, speaking of false apostles—and he said, in 2 Corinthians 11:14: “And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). Ministers of righteousness who are truly ministers of Satan.

You see, Satan has always been able to deceive. He still has his beauty, but it is a blemished beauty. He still has his wisdom, but it is a warped wisdom. Let me tell you, let me describe the devil, if I can describe the devil, for you: He is brilliantly stupid, hideously beautiful. Have you got that? Brilliantly stupid. Now, when you think about it, the devil’s a knucklehead. I mean, he’d have to be to be the devil, wouldn’t he? I mean, to think about it, that he thinks that he can overthrow God! That is unmitigated stupidity. And yet, when the Bible describes the nefarious working of Satan, it does it in these words: “more subtil than any beast of the field” (Genesis 3:1). Angel of light, the wiles of the devil, the snares of the devil, the devices of the devil; wisdom, but wisdom corrupted.

You know that many people who have mental problems sometimes are cunningly wise, but yet so far from being at home base mentally. This is what has happened to Satan. He is brilliantly stupid, hideously beautiful; and you see, dear friend, there are signs of that beauty that remain. I am convinced that the devil works through some of the world’s best music, some of the world’s best light creations, some of the world’s best literature. Don’t just look for the devil in the bowery or in the slums. You’ll find him in the finest universities; you’ll find him in the art galleries; you will find him in the halls of learning; and you’ll find him, sometimes, in the pulpits, as he transforms his ministers as angels of light. But, what was it that brought him down? It was pride!

Now listen, when you allow pride in your heart, when I allow pride in my life, I become in league with the devil, more than any other way. There is nothing that makes us more untouchable by Satan than a genuine humility—a genuine humility. Pride is the devil’s stock-in-trade. And, the Apostle Paul warned: When you have a minister, make sure that he is seasoned, that he knows God, lest being a novice, he be lifted up with pride and come under the condemnation of the devil (1 Timothy 3:6). The devil knows how powerful the tool of pride is. How did he get Eve to fall in the Garden? It wasn’t a temptation to fall down; it was a temptation to fall up—not to be ungodly, but to be godly. “Do this; you’ll be like God—only, just do it my way.” And, the temptation to her was pride. And, to every mother’s child since then, it is the temptation of pride.

III. The Danger of Presumption

Now, there’s a third thing I want you to be aware of, in dealing with the devil. Beware of passivity; beware of pride; and beware of presumption. Beware of presumption.

So many times, we have the idea, when we sing, “Oh, victory in Jesus!” and, when we hear who Jesus is, and what He’s done for us, that, evidently, the devil has been so incapacitated, so demolished, so diminished, that we just simply are going to steamroll over him. And, my friend, I want you to see something of the devilish power that still resides in him.

Again, I remind you that Jesus said, in John 14:30, that Satan is “the prince of this world” (John 14:30). And, in 2 Corinthians 4:4, the Apostle Paul called him “the god of this world”—little “g”: “The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not” (2 Corinthians 4:4). The Apostle Paul, when describing the nefarious kingdom of darkness, said, in Ephesians 6:12, he spoke of “the rulers of the darkness”; he spoke of the principalities, and powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). Now, the devil is commander-in-chief of vast numbers of spirit-beings called demons, who are in full sympathy with him, who rebelled with him, and do his bidding.

I’ve said that you will deal with the devil, but I said maybe not directly. As a matter of fact, the devil is not omnipresent. He can’t be everywhere at the same time, as the Holy Spirit of God. But, he has myriads—multitudes—of demons. We talk about, “We’ve been wrestling with the devil all day.” Maybe we’re bragging a little; probably, a puny demon could handle most folks. But, my dear friend, you do come in contact with him. And, he is in control of the kingdoms of this world. He offered those kingdoms to Jesus, and Jesus refused them; but Jesus did not rebut his right to offer them, for he, Satan, said, “All of them have been delivered to me” (Luke 4:6). Jesus did not challenge Satan’s charge, or Satan’s statement; but Jesus simply refused, and He won the kingdom back by His death on the cross. But, He did not deny Satan’s right to give these kingdoms.

Now, Satan is known for a multitude of iniquities. Notice, in verse 18: “Thou hast defiled thy sanctuary by the multitude of thine iniquities” (Ezekiel 28:18). Notice, in verse 16, he’s known for his violence: “By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence” (Ezekiel 28:16). My dear friend, Martin Luther, who wrote that great grand hymn—one of the grandest I believe has ever been written, —”A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” said of Satan, and he would say to us, of Satan:

His craft and power are great,

And armed with cruel hate,

On earth is not his equal (Martin Luther).

I hear people today talking flippantly, casually, sarcastically, about Satan, and I think Satan is sitting over in the corner smiling, when they do that. Acts 10:38: the Bible speaks of those who were oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:38). Luke 13:16, speaks of those: a woman, whom Satan has bound (Luke 13:16). Second Corinthians 12:7—even the Apostle Paul spoke of a “messenger of Satan to buffet me” (2 Corinthians 12:7). The King of Tyrus still has a reign of terror: subversion, perversion, diversion. He wants to divide, to depress, to destroy. Depression, oppression, possession. Satan, sin and suffering are a trinity of terrors that are inseparable: Satan, sin and suffering.

Now, I don’t want to frighten you, “because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). But, I do want to warn you not to be presumptuous. If you’re presumptuous, you’re going down. Beware of passivity; you’re going to be involved. Beware of pride; you’ll get over in the devil’s territory. Beware of presumption, as thinking that he is just simply a piece of cake, and that there is no struggle with the powers of darkness.

  1. The Danger of Pessimism

One last thing I want to say, and that is to beware of pessimism. Beware of pessimism. Don’t get the idea that, somehow, Satan may win, or that things are going to get so bad or so terrible that everything is just going to go wrong. I’ve said before, and I want to say again: There is no panic in Heaven. The Holy Trinity never meets in emergency session.

Notice what God said in Ezekiel, so long ago: “It’s going to happen.” 28:17: “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness:”—now, watch this—”I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee” (Ezekiel 28:17-18). When Satan said, “I will ascend,” Jesus said, “I will descend.” And, Jesus has conquered Satan at Calvary. And, the Bible says, in Hebrews 2:14, that He destroyed “him that had the power of death” (Hebrews 2:14). And in Greek the word is katargese it is the word that is used there, and it doesn’t mean, “to obliterate”; it means, “to make of no effect.”

When Jesus Christ was on the cross, as I preached a few Sundays ago, the demons of Hell were there. They had a holiday, when Jesus was on the cross; they pointed at Him, and they said, “He’s finished.” But, they were wrong. He wasn’t finished; it was finished. The plan of salvation was finished. And, here’s what Jesus did on that cross: Colossians 2:15—the Bible says, “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he”—Jesus – “made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:15). In what? In His death on the cross. What has happened to Satan is he has been spoiled; that means he’s been stripped. And then, he has been shamed; He made a show of them openly. And then, he has been subdued, “triumphing over them.” Every time you think of Satan, I want you to think of someone who has been stripped, shamed, and subdued.

Now, do not be presumptuous. If you get yourself out of God’s protection, the devil can harm you.

And, dear friend, as long as you abide in Christ, you don’t have to worry about Satan. “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Satan has been stripped, shamed, subdued; he has been vanquished, but he’s not vanished. He is present, but he is not prevailing. First John 4:4: “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Now, Jesus, at the cross, overcame Satan.

But, wait a minute. Is Satan going to continue his reign of terror forever? No. One of these days, the King of kings, the Lord Jesus, is going to be enthroned, and Satan is going to be cast into Hell. Look at verse 19: “All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more” (Ezekiel 28:19). That means, “Never are you going to be in power; never, anymore, are you going to have a reign of terror in the world.”

Let me show you the counterpart of that; and this is one of the greatest blessings in the Bible,—Isaiah 14—and look at verse 13. Again, Isaiah 14 deals with the demise of Satan. And, it talks about how Satan has exalted himself, and lifted himself up. But, notice what God says He is going to do to Satan: “Thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14).

And, notice what has happened to him, what God says to him, in verse 15: “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit” (Isaiah 14:15). My friend, Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels; and, notice verse 16: “They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee,”—that is, they are just going to squint in unbelief—”and consider thee,”—they’re going to stroke their chins—”saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?” (Isaiah 14:16- 17).

God is going to bring the end of created intelligences of the universe. And, when Jesus Christ, the King of kings, is finally enthroned and glorified, and Satan is finally put in his place in the lowest Hell, our great God is going to say, “Come over here, now, and look; look at it. You see him? Do you see him down there, ignominiously groveling? Do you see him like a worm on hot coals? Do you see this highest of a high, who’s been brought to the lowest of the low?” And, you’re going say, “You mean, that’s him? That’s the devil? That’s this mighty one? That’s the cherub? That’s the one who stretched his wings before the throne? That’s the one who was full of wisdom? That’s the one who was surpassing in glory and beauty? That was the one who handled the merchandise of Heaven? That is him? He’s the one that made the world a wilderness?”

I’ll tell you what else is going to happen: You’re going to find folks just like us—just like him, like me, like you—and, you know where we’re going to be? We’re going to be just like Jesus—just like Jesus, made like Christ. You cannot imagine the glory. Now, you get this, my dear friend, and get it big, and get it plain, and get it straight: You are going to have greater glory in Heaven than Satan had before he fell—greater glory in Heaven than Satan had before he fell—because you will be like Jesus Christ. And, there you are; there he is. Who do you want to follow? Who do you want to follow? Choose sides carefully, my dear friend; think about it. Listen—I had rather be a saved sinner than an innocent angel. We have gained more in Christ than we lost in Adam.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

just a note, questions, comments, prayer requests, etc. please send to the email address.

 

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Jesus the only way.

 

(ok, this is really long, you might want to print it out, there’s just no way to make smaller bites, or this would turn out to be a one year study)

This issue about how can Christ be the only way to God is one of the toughest objections that will surface. It used to be the questions that concerned the issues of why do the innocent suffer. But now, I think, this question has become perhaps one of the largest obstacles. Why do you suppose that’s true? I think it’s a growth of pluralism and the issue of tolerance. We’ve discussed this in a number of cases but in our culture people have been educating us to suppose that tolerance is defined by agreeing with people or at least agreeing that their view may be just as legitimate as your view.

That is to say egalitarianism when it comes to truth has become the kind of course of the time. In other words, we are egalitarian with regard to truth. It’s interesting that we are often still elitists when it comes to people but egalitarian when it comes to truth. As I see it, it should be just the other way around. We are to be elitists when it comes to truth and egalitarian when it comes to people. That is to say, treat people in such a way that tolerance would be defined as loving and caring for the person and agreeing sometimes to disagree but in understanding that when we disagree on a truth that does not mean I’m rejecting you as a person.

Some how people have got the notion that to disagree with your thinking is to reject you as a person. I don’t know where that came from but that’s never really been the case at all. Such things would have eliminated the whole possibility of debate and dialogue in the past. Rather you have the idea that it is a good thing. Come now, let us reason together. (Isaiah 1:18) Let’s think things through and let’s have an opportunity to kind of evaluate options in the marketplace of ideas to see which ones hold and which ones do not. That is really all we are doing here.

the immediate objection surfaces that how can Christ be the only way to God is that means it’s too narrow. Some will say that since religion is all basically the same, some people feel that does it really matter which one you believe. In other words, aren’t all those religions pretty much variations on the same kinds of ideas? Isn’t it a matter of personal preference or upbringing or an estimated 75% of the world isn’t Christian, can they all be wrong? This sort of notion comes up. Jesus may be the only way for you but how does that make Him the only way for everybody?

You see, these are all really variations of the same objection. When this question surfaces then we need to consider that there are three basic options.

One could say that it’s not narrow and to revisit the whole issue and to say actually, as some have tried to do, that Christianity has been redefined in many circles as being so inclusive that it includes virtually anything. The question is whether that really is acceptable within the idea of mere Christianity or historic orthodox Christianity and whether that’s compatible or whether that’s coherent or not. The other option is if it’s narrow it must be wrong. The third option is narrowness doesn’t make it right or wrong. The question is whether it’s true or not.

When C.S. Lewis came to faith in Christ, ultimately he communicated that it was not because he wanted to believe. In fact, it was very much against his predilection. His disposition was to go against that. In fact, he said, I was a very satisfied, smug atheist. Then all these friends, these people I ran into, kept on jostling me. An atheist, he says, can never be too careful these days! You might read something, you might run into something that might be factual and so it is. It was not really something he wanted but something that kind of embraced him. It was not unlike Paul’s experience. He was really fighting against this whole thing. It was when Christ laid His hand upon him- that became a decisive experience in his life.

So Lewis came to the point where he says, you need to understand, it’s not because of any pragmatic value that Christianity may or may not have, it’s not because I feel good about it or that it is something I want to believe, I happen to be a Christian because I happen to believe it’s true. There is no other reason I believe but because I happen to think it’s true. I have been persuaded that there is a veridical case for Christianity among the worldview options. It’s such that it has the best evidential base of any of them.

Let’s take a look at the first option then that it is not narrow. My argument here is that such a view would conflict with the very exclusive claims of Christ. Now some people are clever and they try to redefine those claims or try to say that well, it looks like He said it but He really didn’t say it, the church put those words in His mouth. We’ve talked about that a little bit with this whole issue about Jesus being a myth or a legend when we talked earlier about the bible and it’s reliability. But the bottom line here is to say that there is no manuscript or historical or ancient traditions that would support such a view. In fact, it’s a view that’s rather recent that has been imposed upon the material to reconstruct or one might better say to deconstruct the text to fit modern parameters of a more pluralistic context. As we know, we live in a culture where truth is now presumably socially conditioned rather than something that’s objective. In a postmodern culture, which is actually ultra modern, basically the idea is that everything is up for grabs. What may be true for you may not be true for me. We’ll talk about that in a minute but let’s look at least at the texts themselves first of all.

Here’s what people often suppose. It might be that there is a mountain and as we go further and further up this mountain toward its pinnacle there are different ways up this mountain. Various people go up by different routes, some circuitous and others more directly but eventually they’re all going to converge at the top. The idea is that everybody at the top of the mountain will realize it was all the same quest after all. We’re all meeting at the top and whatever god, as you define who God would be, we’ll all say, oh, so all the religions really were all about the same god or about the same thing. It just looked different in our own culture. It’s often presented this way or else they use a wheel illustration. We look at this wheel and the various aspects and when we look at the hub, we see again that we’re all actually kind of heading toward the same hub, same center, whatever that might be and we may not know what it is. There are some accounts given that are of a pluralistic nature that say, nobody of course can know what kind of god this is. The very nature then of god is unknowable.

Of course that’s a content statement that everyone has to ask, how do you know that He’s unknowable? Immediately you have to realize that they are importing backhanded some particular facts and making very specific claims that the various people who made claims to know about God were completely deluded.

In other words you cannot be totally neutral on this matter. I’m suggesting here that actually that kind of view does not take seriously into account the claims and credentials of Christ. Now in John 3:18, the statement made by Christ, “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Often, Jesus will speak of Himself as the Son of Man or the Son of God. He has this very strong claim that He’s making. In John 8:24 He said, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” Again this is a very strong claim.

Many people say, well, Jesus never really spoke much about Himself but even if He wasn’t true or even if He didn’t live or even if He wasn’t raised from the dead, His teachings would still be true. This was what Gandhi actually held as his position. He said that I admire His teachings so much that even if there never was a historical Jesus, still they would be true for me. The problem is, Jesus’ teachings are always about Himself – unabashedly, constantly referring back to Him. He doesn’t talk just about general terms but He says, unless you believe that I AM, then you will die in your sins. In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

I take it as well, as I look at the various founders of world religions that there is a radical uniqueness of Christ in a number of ways in this regard. Some people promoted their teachings as the only way to God. But as I said earlier, Christ promoted Himself as that way rather than a set of teachings. Some would say that it is only through the teachings of various so-called prophets, and some said truth is spoken of in many ways but Jesus was very specific about this. He was specific not only about his exclusivity but also about His deity and His unique position. He boldly made this statement, (John 8:19b), “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.” He who does not know Me does not know My Father. This is a very strong claim indeed and can be seen in another text in Matthew 11. This is just before the important text we’ve all heard, Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My Yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Jesus is inviting them not to come to hear His teachings but to come to Him and He will give you rest. Take My yoke- receive – He constantly talks about receiving Him. The verse just before this, Matthew 11:27 says, “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” So you have this pretty strong kind of claim that has to at least be accounted for. In John 14:9, He said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”

This other phrase that we just alluded to, I AM, often in bold letters, is seen again and again throughout the Scriptures in the New Testament as being a claim that Jesus makes. The I AM claim that He is making is related to the claim given to Moses. The proposition was given to Moses at the burning bush and you recall when Moses said in Exodus 3, whom shall I say is sending me? Who, will I tell Pharaoh, is sending me? Who, will I tell Pharaoh, is giving me the authority for this message? What did that voice give Moses? What was that name that Moses heard? Exodus 3:14, “God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, “I AM has sent me to you.” That is the name then for the self-existent One. He exists in and of Himself. He looks to nothing else for His derivation. When Jesus said to the Jews, (John 8: 58), “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.” How do you suppose they reacted to such a phrase? By the way, He didn’t say, I happen to exist or I am He, He said I AM. Else where, when they came to seek Him and there was a cohort, some 600 of them armed, and they came at night, as you recall in the Garden of Gethsemane, to take Him away, they came armed with lanterns, spears, torches and so forth. John 18: 4b, “Whom do you seek?” John 18:5a, “They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He said to them, “I AM.” (Note: now in your bibles it might say He in italics but this phrase was ego eime- I AM) John 18:6, “So when He said to them, “I AM He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.” Something happened that was pretty powerful. In another case (John 57-59), when Jesus said, before Abraham was born, I AM, the Jews objected and said, You’re not even 50 years old and are You saying that You preceded him. They took up stones and wanted to stone Him to death for blasphemy because they understood that such a claim would be to make yourself tantamount to being God.

He supported His case for deity in a number of ways besides His numerous I AM statements. He also claimed the attributes of God. For example, the attribute of eternality is something that He claimed in John 17:5, “ Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” He claims as well the attribute of omnipresence. You see this illustrated in several passages for example when Jesus says in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” Now you can see where there are lots of times when more than 2 or 3 groups of people as well will gather together and it would imply a clear statement of omnipresence. “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b) I am with you. I’m constantly present with you. I would also say another claim, His sinlessness, is also a divine attribute. He would say, which of you convicts Me, charges Me with any sin. That’s a pretty strong statement. Now I have run into one or two people, maybe two people, who claimed to be sinless. They’re pretty rare but every so often I’ll run into someone who claims to be absolutely perfect. It’s an astounding claim but it requires no self-consciousness whatsoever or the perfection of those 3 defense mechanisms of denial, rationalization and projection. The only way I can account for a person who thinks himself or herself sinless is of course to see what friends and perhaps a spouse would reply to that statement about them! This particular person had to hold that view because he held a particular theology where by if he sinned at all, he would lose his salvation. What I did was I pressed him a little bit with that particular theology and said, well, what kind of sin are we talking about? Is it something pretty big or something more modest because the question is, where is your cutoff? I pressed him with that. He hadn’t murdered anyone. Then the problem would be, what if you hate somebody in your heart? Do you recall when Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount said if you hate your brother you’ve committed murder in your heart? Then I pressed it farther and I got it down to where if he exceeded the speed limit, unbeknownst to him, by ½ mph, he would lose his salvation. Now at that point, frankly, he had committed the sin of pride in order to hold to such a stubborn position because he refused to acknowledge the incoherence of his position. The point is, if that’s your view then any sin will do it- thought, word or deed and it can be sins of omission as well. The sins of omission cut both ways as well. There are a lot of things I have done wrong by simply not doing them. Remember that idea- if you have a liturgical background part of the confession is that we have sinned in thought, word and deed, by what we have done and in what we have failed to do. That will nail you because there are all kinds of things that we should’ve done. We look back and say, I should’ve said a word of kindness to that person or I should’ve- you see where I’m going with that? Thought, word and deed will get you too. It’s not just your deeds but your thoughts and your words count too! We have a dilemma that we have to address. Scripture hits us front on with that.

There are a number of indirect claims that Jesus makes concerning His deity. There are a number of these but one of these is His ability to forgive sin. That is a pretty strong claim in Mark 2:5-11 and Luke 7:48-50 when Jesus says, I forgive them, and particularly when it was not a sin committed against Him. Try this at home- somebody complains to you about another person who had said something mean to your friend and your friend told you about this and whatever they did you say, that’s okay, I forgive them. Do you see the absurdity there? Wait a minute, what do you have to do with this, you weren’t involved? To make such a claim is to make the supposition that all sins are committed ultimately against Him. This would mean, of course, that He claimed to be God. In fact the Pharisees rightly said, who but God could forgive sins? They were right and again- they wanted to stone Him for these kinds of claims and these so-called blasphemies because they were right- if He wasn’t God these were indeed blasphemies.

Jesus’ acceptance of worship was pretty strong. Remember when, for example, Thomas sees Him and he says, my Lord and my God. (John 20:28) Peter worships Him in the boat and when Jesus says, all must honor the Son even as they have honored the Father. (John 5:23) The word that is used is the word for worship. These are very strong claims. That all people would face Him in judgment is not a modest claim either in John 5. Imagine me coming to say to you that by the way, when you die it’s going to be me that you give an account to- not anyone else- me. These are pretty strong claims if you would analyze the implications of that. Also, that judgment will be based upon what you did about Me is again, a very strong claim.

Stay tuned

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for James, he and his son have drifted apart.

Pray for Fritz, always been in church, never accepted the Lord because of “hypocrites.”

Pray for Robin M. a burned out child of the 70’s, never grew up.