(NOTE: All thoughts in this page are mine, those God blessed me with. But, there are some in here (very, very few) which are changed thoughts and truths from other authors which touched me deeply. I have changed these (very few) to best tell what was going on in my own heart. In the end, what will count is the truth and not the person who wrote it. Truth will remain while all authors will soon be gone from the earth. Till then, "we speak wisdom among those who are perfect; yet, not the wisdom of this world, nor of the rulers of this world, that come to nothing...", 1Cor.2:6.


  1. "For the Lord will restore the excellence of Jacob Like the excellence of Israel", Nahum 2:2a. It is good to note that sometimes God refers to Israel as Jacob and others as Israel. In this specific verse we get a different idea from the usual one. Let's see. Israel was Jacob before he had fought with God and overcome, and when he had conquered, his name was changed into Israel. Firstly, Jacob did not fight against God, but with God. It is something we should highlight. Secondly, we get the idea that the people regressed and began to be called Jacob again and, for that reason, it became necessary to return them to the glory of being Israel. It was necessary for them to be restored, as a people, to the parameters of striving with God in order to overcome again "for the plunderers (sins) have plundered them, and have destroyed their vine branches", Nahum 2:2b.
  2. "Ask of Me and I will give...", Ps.2:8. Jesus said something that makes us think - if we are truly attentive: "Until now you have asked nothing in My name", John 16:24. He was speaking to disciples who had done and witnessed many miracles, who cast out devils, who broke up the multiplying bread with their own hands - among other things we do not even know about. But Jesus claimed that they had never asked anything in His name. Surely they had asked (and received), but not in His name. The true proof that we are within the will of God is when we ask in His name and receive and not only that we ask and receive. In His name means in His stead, as His representative, for His interests, for His glory and for His Kingdom. To ask and to receive has never been proof that God is with us, for there have been condemned demons that have asked and received. God gives both to the good ones and to evil ones.
  3. The aim of true prayer is to approach the person of God to know Him and to experience Him as He is. God will, however, act as if he does not know the needs to bring people to present themselves before Him in a real way and in intimacy. But we must never forget that this only happens with the clear intention of knowing Him as He is. And for God to "know" us as we are, we must ardently desire to know Him as a person and not just to the things He gives. For God to approach us, knowing us, we must present ourselves before Him to know Him.
  4. There are people who, instead of coming to help, come to show off; instead of being a help, they are a complication in the form of competition with those whom they try to help.
  5. "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life", John 8:12. There is yet another very enlightening verse in this regard: "The life was the light of men", John 1:4. Many seek light for their ways, forgetting that the light - the only light - that God gives is that which comes through the kind of inner life that we have received from Him, which makes us compare one thing to another, 1Cor.2:13. Whoever receives this life has this light and whoever has no light has never received this life - even if he states or believes that he has received it.
  6. "No one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit", 1Cor.12:3. I have not yet seen anyone give a sober and accurate explanation of this verse. Firstly, we have some passages in the Bible where demons claim that Jesus is Christ and Lord (Mat.8:29); and we have yet another passage where devils claim that Paul was a servant of God Most High, (Acts 16:17). Now, we must know what it means to confess that Jesus is Lord in the terms in which Paul expresses it here. Jesus must be the real Lord of the life of those who confess this. That is, these must not be mere not words, but, a realization on the ground and in the living of day to day life. Those who make their own decisions - even if they consult God about it - do not have Jesus as Lord; whoever is not or can not be fully obedient to God in all things does not have Jesus as Lord; only those who follow and are instructed, guided and can be truly transformed by the Holy Spirit, co-working with God in that direction, have Jesus as Lord. These are some of those who can truly affirm that Jesus is, in fact, their Lord. And this is found and affirmed as established in their practical life - and never according to mere belief that it is so. I know that many suffer from the fear that God is not with them. But we must be truthful about it if we are ever to reach the truth.
  7. "For we are labourers together with God (co-workers of God)", 1Cor.3:9. A co-worker of God can only be someone with whom God walks continually and in reality. That is, the presence of God must be real, true, and never just assumed that God is present. It is not conceivable to have a co-worker of God when His presence is only believed or assumed to be true. There are no God-co-workers of fiction or working from a distance with the Lord.
  8. "I do not receive testimony from man", John 5:34. All human testimony is given or stimulated by affinities, preferences, and personal opinions. It is not given according to the truth. The same can be said of the glory that men give and attribute - even to God. Everything depends on what they receive from Him and does not depend on what God is, being full of glory. "I do not receive honour from men", John 5:41. "How can you believe, who receive honour from one another, and do not seek the honour that comes from the only God?" John 5:44.
  9. I do not exist to solve my own problems. I exist to fulfil my mission towards God and to put people before Whom can solve their spiritual problems.
  10. He who swears, promises, or makes a vow only does so because he is weak, has no ability or willingness to fulfil and for this reason he makes his vows. Who does or has the ability to perform, does it without a second thought. Vows are evil temptations to make the weak transgress by not fulfilling. "But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one", Mat.5:37. Now we must understand the provenance of behaviour, its origin. The problem with vows is that there transpires the idea that the person is not in origin (at heart) what he vows to be or to do. That is, his behaviour does not come from the heart and comes, rather, from the vows he makes; for this reason he vows, it is, because he is not from inside what he tries to be. Therefore, we can assume that it is much easier to form a hypocrite through vows than to create a saint. The true Gospel transforms people from the inside out so that they can do and be naturally what they are transformed into from the inside and that has no evil origin. Vows might work for some people who have already been changed from inside and need to change old habits to adapt to or to adopt new ways which are conformed with the inner change that has taken place.
  11. Sin will take you farther than you wished to go, holds you longer than you thought it would, you will do more harm than planned and instead of pleasure will bring you gall, bitterness, sadness, discomfort, instability and insatiability. Everyone who abandons sin, being saved from all his sins by Christ - and not by self - will see a total regression in all these consequences of sin. Each sinless day will make it easier to stop sinning, and every day sinning will make it harder to stay clean and in Christ. It is up to you to decide whether tomorrow will be an easier day towards the goal of total holiness and surrender or a harder and more difficult one.
  12. It is not sleep that gives us true rest, but a soul cleansed of its sins by the blood of Jesus; food does not kill the true hunger, but, it is achieved through the Word of God; the same can be said of true thirst that only the water of life can satisfy. We could also talk about true love, real money, true wealth and so many other things that humans pursue with all their might, and, after they have achieved it they find out they have nothing but the habit of looking for it all the time, even after they have found it.
  13. "Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the full knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord", 2Ped.1:2. It is very easy to interpret Scripture on own terms and ways without the notion of its true meaning. Imagine yourself in the presence of God in the way that Ananias and Sapphira were, Peter, John and others. If in this presence peace is multiplied and not conviction or condemnation, if in this kind of presence we receive grace or more grace, it is because we are truly cleansed before God. Otherwise, this peace will not be multiplied and there will rather be friction and tribulation without size within the soul. "The sinners in Zion are afraid; Fearfulness has seized the hypocrites: "Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?" He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, He who despises the gain of oppressions, Who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes, Who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, And shuts his eyes from seeing evil: He will dwell on high; His place of defence will be the fortress of rocks; Bread will be given him, His water will be sure", Is.33:14-16.
  14. "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that at the proper time he may exalt you", 1Pet.5:6. The problem with many people is that they do not accept, or they easily forget, or ignore a certain undisputed fact: it is in God's time (and never one's own) that one is exalted having been humbled under the powerful hand of God. And the longer the time and the intensity of the humiliation, the greater is the work that lies ahead awaiting us, and the greater the responsibility after humiliation, that is, depending on whether it took long because one has been resisting or submitting to God unconditionally. There is a direct link between preparation and the work that lies ahead. However, many never reach this post-humiliation stage because they either do not humble themselves or want things in their own time. That is one reason why many do not use the time and opportunity to cleanse themselves but rather try to hasten things, since only he who "cleanses himself from these things, will be a vessel for honour, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work (that lies ahead)", 2Tim.2:21, and not he who hastens things. We should use all our circumstances to cleanse ourselves by humbling ourselves before God.
  15. "Shepherd God's flock that is among you (...) not greedily but eagerly, as God desires", 1Pet.5:2. Greed is not manifested only by desiring the money of the sheep or their possessions. It is also manifested by the greed for souls along with the power over them, of glorying with the size of the flock or their obedience and submission. All of this is evil greed and no one should be moved by any of those motives, or similar and parallel motivations.
  16. "The righteous is scarcely saved", 1Pet.4:18. Many preach more than salvation. They preach prosperity, the fulfilment of the desires of their own carnality and so many other things. But we must take into account that the just is "only saved".
  17. "Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls in well-doing, as to a faithful Creator", 1Pet.4:19. Doing good under these circumstances does not mean paying back with good in exchange or doing good as a form of revenge to show self, but it means to continue to do and to be as if nothing has happened. It means not changing our course whether circumstances change or not. To surrender the soul under these circumstances means just that. It does not mean handing over circumstances to be changed or transformed to please us, but it means holding the soul in Jesus and not only the body or the flesh. When the wind raises the skirt of a lady, she does not try to hold the wind, but rather the skirt or dress.
  18. "No longer to live in the lusts of men, but in the will of God the remaining time in the flesh", 1Pet.4:2. To live according to the will of God means more than trying to do only those things that God wants. It means to do all things - the things of always or of everyday life - in another way, using other means, having or obtaining other motives, and shifting the target of glory or glorification for things achieved in a perfect way. It is not just walking other ways, but it is mainly the way we walk in all our new ways. The way things are done stand high above what is done. Things need to be done here on earth the way they are done in heaven. "On earth as it done in heaven". Everything has to do with how we walk and not just where we walk. Changing our course is only a small part of doing the will of God. The main part is the way we walk in all our ways, what power we use, what motives we depend on and whom we please, whether it is people, ourselves or God. "Each one as he received a gift, ministering it to yourselves as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let it be as the words of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as of the ability which God gives, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ, to whom is the glory, and the might forever and ever. Amen!" 1Pet. 4:10,11.
  19. "These are the true words of God", Rev.19:9. This can only mean that there are words that come with the label of being God's words an they are not. Sometimes, we wonder why God sent Elijah to the widow of Zarephath and not to others. We see that she was someone who never let herself be impressed by a miracle and who, although not rejecting the multiplication of oil and flour, was not impressed by Elijah either, for it took her some time to be convinced that Elijah was really God's man. It was necessary for her son to die and to be resurrected to convince her while the oil and flower was being multiplied daily, since only God is capable of resurrecting from the dead. "Now by this I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is the truth", 1kings 17:24.
  20. "First, say: 'Peace to this house'. And if a son of peace is (not) there (...) your peace (...) will return to you", Lk.10:5,6. We read the same in Mat.10:13, but with a slight difference. There it is said: "Let your peace return to you". It seems that in one place it says that peace will come back by itself and that in the other the disciples have some power to make it return to them. But it is not quite like that. The disciples have no authority to bring this peace back. It comes back by itself and it is up to the disciples to accept it so, and to let it return to them. They may never be without peace, not even when they are rejected. They have the ability not to insist when they and the Gospel are rejected. One of the characteristics of the Gospel that has power, of the one which is true, is to mark forever and to leave a heart troubled within whoever rejects it. Such people shall never forget about the true gospel. It is the powerless gospel that insists and persists in being accepted and taken in, because it can not leave its mark on the hearts of people and it doesn't allow peace to return to them and to leave a heart in turmoil and to be like a troubled sea which has no peace - which is God's will, Is.57:20,21.
  21. "Turn, O backsliding sons, says the Lord; (...) and I will bring you to Zion. And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who shall feed you with knowledge and understanding", Jer.3:14,15. It is true that all true revivals begin with the conversion of leaders and Christians. It does not depend on the place, the circumstances, and not even persecutions or the strength of sin. It all depends on whether believers actually convert to the Lord or walk their own way, which they call God's ways.
  22. "Receive with meekness the implanted word", James 1:21. It is extremely important to receive the word with meekness as it confronts to cleanse. "You are clean through the Word which I have spoken to you", John 15:3. I had an elderly relative who did not like to bath. One day he had to go to the doctor and my father forced him to take a bath so that he could be taken to hospital. Two men grabbed him and bathed him. He almost died. He had freak attacks, heart acceleration, wounded pride and everything you could imagine. He did not receive cleansing with meekness. Many believers are like that when they are confronted with the Word and hardly receive it with meekness because they feel confronted in their pride.
  23. There are people who say they get tired of doing what is right, of practicing or reading the word, and never get tired of doing other things that give them pleasure. Therefore, it is concluded that only the one who has pleasure in what he is able to do does not 'tire' out. Let us imagine someone who can say with all sincerity something like this: "I will delight myself in Your statutes"; "Your testimonies also are my delight"; "And I will delight myself in Your commandments, Which I love"; "Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction"; "Trouble and anguish have overtaken me, Yet Your commandments are my delights"; "I long for Your salvation, O Lord, And Your law is my delight"; Ps.119:16;24;47;92;143;174. "Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night", Ps.1:1,2. I do not believe such a person can ever get tired of reading and studying the Word and of practicing it.
  24. "Be doers of the word", James 1:22. When we put a target or objective before us, we not only see the end at a distance with the full intention of never losing sight of it, but we also seek the means, we think of the ways to achieve it, and all the legal mechanisms to be able to reach what we purposed. All of our heart must be available, all means must be within our reach, anything that can prevent these means from being achieved is summarily analyzed and extinguished and only after that can we speak of all our commitment, dedication, confidence and motivation operating towards that target. Becoming a practitioner of the Word is something that works the same way. There are means of grace that we must reach beforehand (Heb.4:12); Our whole heart must be available (ready and prepared, Lk.1:17) for such an effect and, also, ready for the many and varied consequent effects brought upon us by becoming sincere and delightful practitioners of the word. It is not enough to want to be a doer of the Word, for we must love the means and dedicate ourselves to the continuous search for what is capable of enabling us to be practical in the Word we received.
  25. "Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed", James 1:13,14. There are those who do not blame God for their temptations, but, blame circumstances, people, the weather and so many other things which God controls. It is true that God's providence is responsible for the circumstances that can improve and transform us. But, it is one thing when a trial has the ability to transform or sanctify, and something else when it is given the ability to make one fall and stumble. We must know that before us stand death and life, and that we should be able to choose life. When we sin, circumstances are not to be blamed, and neither people around. The main cause of transgression and falling into sin is nothing more and nothing less than the kind of heart we have in us. Changing places does not change the heart and, when changing places or circumstances, the heart we have will go on with us. Temptation is temptation only because of the heart we possess and nothing more. "Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed".
  26. "My brothers count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience", James 1:2,3. One needs to know that if we do not have this enjoyment being tried by various temptations, being really in God and never outside Him, impatience will be produced and never patience. The joy or sadness during these moments will tell us where our treasure is, for whoever seeks the treasure of holiness and understands the ways that lead to it will have joy being tried and whoever seeks another kind of treasure will have sorrow and doubts when put under trials by the providence of God. "But let patience (steadfastness) have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing", James 1:4. How can patience have its perfect work? If we really know that trials come to us from God or if we are really found in Him, we will conclude that these trials intend to achieve something inside or outside us to turn us pleasant to God. Therefore, we must not prevent or pray against those things that we know come to us as trials of faith. Rather, we must know how to cooperate in the same direction by striving and cooperating with the same intention to achieve the same end. Instead of trying to change circumstances, we must apply our efforts and attentions faithfully to achieve what God intends by cooperating with trials for the same purpose. That is just one way of redeeming the time. Thus, patience not only will have its perfect work, but, will have our total cooperation without any sort of feigning. We can not be lacking in this kind of wisdom, praying to God in faith and patience. And for this to happen, there must be total availability of heart to that end, never allowing our heart to deal with the thorns at the surface that suffocate this wisdom trying to divert from us the circumstances and situations that are mere trials instituted by God for our eventual and ultimate benefit. "Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him", James 1:12.
  27. "He who loves abundance shall not be satisfied with increase", Ecc.5:10. Paul says - and quite rightly so, having wisdom backing it up - that "having food and clothing, with these we shall be content", 1Tim.6:8. Anyone who is content with being in Christ, whether in poverty or wealth, will never change. But everyone who loves abundance will always run after money and comfort even after he has reached it. We must, however, distinguish between loving abundance and having abundance. There are many poor people who love abundance, even if they do not have it. "He who loves money will not be satisfied with money", Ecc.5:10.
  28. "Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it", Dt.12:32. It is and will always be very easy to diminish in what God commands, says or reveals, whether it be through negligence, forgetfulness, unfaithfulness, lack of fruit and consequent frustrations and discouragement, or any other reason. But there is a law in the spiritual nature to which no one escapes: anyone who is able to diminish on what God says has all the capacity to add own desires to it as well. One thing leads to the other.
  29. A long walk always begins with a step, it advances with one step - even if it is the following one; and always ends with a step - even if it is the last one. And if it is the last one, it must be given as the first one has been given.
  30. "And Achan answered Joshua and said, "Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel", Jos.7:20. There are detailed confessions of sin that come late and are to no avail. Even such a confession may be rejected for many reasons. That is what happened to Achan. "Why have you troubled us? The Lord will trouble you this day", Jos.7:25.
  31. It is possible that one is trying to do something for the Lord and it be considered a form of idolatry. "Though you detain Me, I will not eat your food. But if you offer a burnt offering, you must offer it to the Lord. (For Manoah did not know He was the Angel of the Lord)", Judges 13:16. It is: we may be in the presence of God doing things the old way without realising it.
  32. It being true that the devil tempts the children of God, that is, those who are truly clean of heart, to serve other gods and other things, the reverse is also true. The devil tempts the wicked to serve the true God and to serve Him - or try to serve Him - with an impure heart and by fraudulent means. The Gospel is discredited and slain in both ways. They are deceive who do not believe that the devil does not tempt the wicked with the Bible and with the church. He places the unrighteous to serve in the temple of God.
  33. "Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction", Ps.119:92. It is good that nothing else but the word of God can make us rejoice or grieve. Everyone who has other joys or who seeks them will perish, certainly.
  34. "You established the earth, and it abides", Ps.119:90. Establish me as well, Lord, and I shall also abide. Do not allow me to establish myself or I shall not abide - not for long, anyway.
  35. "Their land is full of silver and gold (...) it is also full of idols", Is.2:7,8. When the heart does not change permanently and unless it is established in that transformation having taken hold of grace with all one has, that is, if it is not transformed so that it is able to live the new life as if it has never lived any other life before, it happens that a mere abundance or the simple providence of God will be transformed into idols of various kinds. A land full of gold together with a heart that has not been truly established after a genuine transformation will indeed take the provisions of gold and make idols of it, for, having attained what it wishes, the heart becomes idle. But, this never happens when the target is Jesus, when the exclusive desire is to know Him as He really is, even if the gold multiplies or even if misery or poverty is experienced in an extreme way.
  36. "They feed on the sin of my people", Hos.4:8. We know that false preachers use the desires and sins of the people who listen to them to take advantage of them. Only those who are greedy give ears to a greedy preacher; only a perverted girl offers herself to a perverted preacher. The wicked feed themselves and take advantage on the wicked. False preachers subsist only because there are false believers who follow them and their teachings. "And it shall be like people, like priest", Hos.4:9.
  37. "Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children", Hos.4:6. It is good to understand the Word for what it says without going over it lightly. Here, it does not say that God will forget those who forget about Him, but who forgets His law. There are many who remember God, sing and preach, but "forget" to fulfil all the requirements and commandments of God in practical life. Their children shall be forgotten by God.
  38. I shouldn't become a leader if I am not led. A good leader is and shall always be a good follower. "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me", John 12:26.
  39. "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me", John 13:8. Jesus spoke here of washing the feet of those who, generally, are all clean. And he spoke to Peter too. Peter could stay out of the Kingdom and have no part in Jesus if his feet were not washed by Jesus. They should not only be washed, but should be washed by Jesus - something that is quite different, although it does not look like that. I am sure that Jesus spoke in a figurative sense, for no matter how stinky or dirty Peter's feet were, that would not prevent him from entering heaven - unless they were dirty by negligence and loathing. For any carnal man it is an honour to be better by merit, to be cleansed by his own strength and abilities. Every man likes to show forth work to glow in appearance, especially if it is able to generate approval and applauses. And so, he tries to work out his own merits with God - especially with Him or before Him. This is one of the reasons why he does not let himself be cleansed and prefers to clean himself. Many desire to be forgiven, but, also to finish in the flesh that which was begun in the Spirit. These will never get a share in Christ. "If it is not I who wash your feet, even though you are clean in the whole...". "You also ought to wash one another's feet", John 13:14. And it will always be much more humiliating to man to be corrected by another human being, someone equal to him, for many esteem the opinion of men above everything else. And if it is a mere man who corrects another man, he feels inferior than the one who corrected him. It only shows that such a person does not yet believe that the least will always greater and that those who accept correction with joy and gratitude may be greater than the one who corrects.
  40. Advices are given to those who want to know how to do or what to do, or wish to do better. It is not given to the obstinate. The obstinate need the teaching of the rod and not advice. They reject advice.
  41. "...Full of grace and truth"; "And great grace was upon them all", John 1:14; Act.4:33. There are many other words and ways to describe the baptism with the Holy Spirit. To be full of grace or of God's power are two of them. Grace is synonymous of power. One needs to grow in grace in proportion to the growth of spiritual stature. You can not jump over the wall into the sheepfold to "grow" in grace. To grow in grace, it is needed to become more familiar with Jesus himself, and growth will be natural and proportional to growth in stature. Have you ever imagined someone growing physically and not growing in muscle strength? Now, you can imagine what happens to all those who grow in stature and knowledge, but decrease in intimacy with Jesus and humility.
  42. Being or wanting to be the bride of Christ, any reckless look to the world is adultery. However, there are many people who say they cannot live without the world and still welcome it as a lover. Others marry the world and want God only as a lover. Then, they say they are not adulterers. "Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever desires to be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do you think that the Scripture says in vain, The spirit that dwells in us yearns to envy?", James 4:4,5.
  43. It is good to correct those who err, but it is good for the corrected - if he corrects himself - and not for those who correct. But correction is a gift of applied and sober wisdom. Isn't there "applied mathematics" at University? There must also be Applied Wisdom in practical life. Through this wisdom we must learn that there is difference between correcting someone whose foundations and bases are correct and who needs to correct a phase or some detail in the right path; and those whose bases and initial foundations are wrong or corrupted right from the beginning. I cannot straighten a phase of a road that has been born crooked or someone who goes in the wrong direction, because it will be better for him to be crooked enough to find solid reasons to go back to the beginning and start all over again. You have to know how to correct or whom to correct and in what way. It is not worth trying to adjust the details of a wrong way, as it is not good to restart any "person who has been washed and does not need to wash, except for his feet, but in the rest is entirely clean", John 13:10. You cannot rebuild a whole car when it has only some defective part and you can neither fix a part of it when it is only a lot of metal welded together. You cannot correct someone who has never gripped his heart and all his sins right from the beginning and has, consequently, set his hopes on a false doctrine and false assumptions and expectations.
  44. "Blessed are they who hear the Word of God and keep it", Lk.11:28. No one keeps a word he has never heard. But someone who does not keep what he has heard will not hear from God again. You may believe that you hear from Him, but you believe lies.
  45. The will is an important part of any rational being. The Bible says a lot when it speaks of goodwill. And when it comes to the will of God in man, there is an involvement of the will of any man with it, whoever he may be. Either man's goodwill exists in relation to what is the expressed will of God for him; or there is only willingness (but not goodwill); or there is bad will on his part, making him angry, upset and impatient performing it; or there is unwillingness; or there is indifference. I believe that indifference is the lowest degree of man's lowliness. It is easier to convert a rebel than an indifferent person who deals only with his personal, daily material life.
  46. "The way of the ungodly shall perish", Ps.1:6. The way of the ungodly way is, in itself, undermined from birth and has the characteristics that make itself perish without anyone's intervention. That sort of path perishes by itself. It has the inherent conditions in it to perish. God has His nature - He is a nature. Within this nature, there only grows, is born and develops that which is proper of that nature. Wickedness perishes for that reason. It does not develop in an environment created by God. Everything that exists needs an adequate and compatible nature to develop itself. If it has it not, it will never develop and shall perish. This is what happens to wickedness and why it perishes. Wickedness does not need any intervention to perish, for it perishes by itself in a natural way. With the intervention of God it only perishes faster and without it, it perishes in its time and form. Holiness, in turn, subsists because it lives under the eternal nature of God. But, there is something else: "The Lord knows the way of the righteous", that is, He participates in it in an active and living way. Therefore, there are many reasons why we should remain eternally under the blessing of God.
  47. When we try to raise numbers and bring people to our churches by pleasing them, that is, by pleasing and flattering them, besides being seen as hypocrites by God and by Heaven, we become idolaters. Because people do not have the Spirit and say they have, they try to reach out to sinners by other illicit and deceitful means, arranging substitutes for God's power, bringing into the churches alternative powers because of the absence of the real power of God. What did John have when he spoke the truth saying that the people who came to him were thieves, vipers and hypocrites, and yet no one would deny to come to him to repent and to be baptized?
  48. Whoever fears to lose for God's sake is idolatrous, for that sort of fear is there instead the fear of God. If avarice is idolatry because it makes one feel secure in the insecurity of falsehood, imagine what kind of sin it will be to fear something other than God! He who fears to lose does not fear God - he demands from Him.
  49. Every man or woman manifests his own heart through what he thinks of others. When Peter spoke about Paul, I came to know more about Peter than about Paul.
  50. "Repentance that leads to acknowledging of the truth", 2Tim.2:25. There is a sort of 'repentance' that does not lead to an unique and proper acquaintance with the truth. We must have that in mind.
  51. "Pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart", 2Tim.2:22. We need to understand this verse. Many try to follow faith, peace, justice and even the Lord. However, not even with tears and supplications do they reach that goal, unless they are able to embark on the path of a pure heart beforehand. Therefore, we can not pray, seek, ask and plead with those who do not do so with a pure heart if we decide to seek, but not alone. We can not believe that we will receive without the heart having been purified and freed from all guilt and sin. We can seek the right things, but if we do so without the heart being purified in anticipation, we will never find it. We have to choose the people with whom we seek holy matters.
  52. "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me", Lk.9:23. All the words of Jesus apply to circumstances and situations. There are words for beginners, for the weak, for the strong, for moments of prosperity and for less good times. We cannot apply words to ourselves that do not apply to our present moment or circumstances. When Jesus tells people to deny themselves, He speaks to specific people and situations. There are people whose desires, whose circumstances and whose ways of operating and doing come from God. Knowing how to distinguish times and situations, these people can not deny and should rather be faithful stewards of the work, grace and capabilities they receive from God. They must know what to deny how to deny whatever may prevent them to walk that way, without distracting themselves by resisting evil. One must know how to handle the word of God wisely.
  53. Whoever does less and less, being lazy or unfaithful, shall also be bad in doing whatever he still does. That is, what you still do will become increasingly incomplete, poorly done and dispatched quickly. And that which you must do and can not be avoided, will bring impatience, moodiness and irritability that will affect those who are close and around. This is the price paid by those who can not or do not want to be faithful in all things.
  54. "Rejoice with the wife of your youth; And always be enraptured with her love. For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman, and be embraced in the arms of a seductress?", Prov.5:18-20. We know that life is compared to water in Scripture. Water flows to where it is channelled. A strange woman can attract, but, in an opposite direction against nature and against the natural course of a married life. We know that the love of the wife or husband has valid directions and flows to the opposite side of a stranger's. The good way prevents sin as the attraction of the stranger is made impossible by it. It is unlikely that a person will be drawn to both at the same time, that is, towards the love of the stranger and the love of the wife or husband at the same time. One is either attracted to one or to the other, but not to both. I do not believe it possible to be drawn by both at the same time, unless one treats his wife as a stranger or deals with her as if she were a prostitute. The person who is able to mix the two does not love his wife - he loves perversity.
  55. Many fight for a better future as if nothing behind them counts. It is good to know that our future began the day we were born. If it began twisted or has been twisted along the way, it must be corrected and acknowledged in confession. Whatever has been twisted in the past must be corrected or we shall be misguided and deviated from the path that is able to lead home. Acknowledging, confessing and correcting in such a way that we abandon error may appeal to the mercy of God to reconstruct or even multiply whatever locusts may have eaten. If our past is not corrected, the whole of our future is compromised and eternal failure shall not be avoided.
  56. Let not mercy and truth forsake you", Prov.3:3. Kindness or mercy is not only to be benign, but it is a way life. This kindness cannot allowed to be defiled and must remain pure. It keeps itself segregated so as not to contaminate itself, not mixing, mainly, with what is similar or opposite to it. Therefore, if I mingle with what is contrary or resembling kindness, it departs from me and it will be withdrawn. This is how I am forsaken by kindness or mercy because it is something that is bestowed in my heart.
  57. There are, surely, many things that offend God and people do not realize it. And many others are never catalogued as offenses, such as lack of faith or even false humility. I realized, once again, that whenever it is said, believed, affirmed or thought to be too difficult to abandon, whether it is error, sin or anything that is useless or destructive, God is offended. Such hearts speak as if God does not exist or as if He is weaker than the flesh. "And this is the victory that has overcome the world: our faith", 1John 5:4. "Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?", 2Kings 1:6.
  58. The word "iniquity" has brought many doubts about its meaning. This word has much to do with the approval, exaltation, and acceptance of evil. It is like moralizing error and accepting it in some way, or, at least, let it alone without reprimanding it. A wicked heart is a heart that does just that or lives with it. "...Knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them", Rom.1:32. Iniquity is twisted and depraved morality.
  59. The main problem with evil does not consist in the fact that it takes the foreground or invades the front stage, but especially in showing itself as good or attractive. The problem for the soul becomes serious when evil is well seen and disguised enough to be accepted as good. We must take great precautions with all those who show off or impose themselves. Many believe to have rights over others when they are popular. Any person who wants to show off does so only because he/she secretly knows and assumes that he/she does not bear good fruit. In the background, what speaks of the real state of heart and of the genuine spiritual health is the genuineness of the fruit. If good fruit is absent, anyone will pretend and show off. The desire to show off reveals that there is a lack of goodness within which craves to be camouflaged, covered up, made up for and hidden. No one has to show off but he who, at heart, knows he is not up to requirements of God. The more you fall or the more you believe you fall short, the greater the debt towards showing off. You shall feel a need or craving to show off to convince yourself by convincing others about you. In fact, showing off is an idolatrous concupiscence, because it gives people confidence. This concupiscence is a way of covering up and of disguising. I believe it is not just a way to cover up, but it is a formula to feel assured and to cover up what is clearly visible from heaven. And, whatever makes people confident is a form of idolatry. That is why covetousness is idolatry, Col.3:5.
  60. "My Kingdom is not of this world", John 18:36. All those who wish to prosper in this world and in that which perishes should consider more carefully this statement of Jesus. If the kingdom of God were of this world, all believers would be rich, protected and materially prosperous. But, it doesn't work that way. Contrary to what is believed and generally accepted, all those who are materially prosperous should know how hard they have to work not to lose anything eternal because of materialism. However, there are many 'servants' of Christ who would fight with much more vigour and determination were His kingdom of this world. "If my kingdom belonged to this world, my servants would fight (...). But for now my kingdom is not from here", John 18:36b. How many would rejoice were the Kingdom of God of this world! Shameful! Sad!
  61. "The world has hated them, for they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world", John 17:14. It does not take much for the world to hate us if we live for God with all sincerity and truthfulness. Just by not belonging to the world makes it hate you because the world is possessive and obsessive against rejection. Not belonging to it is enough reason to be hated, despised, ignored or even mistreated by them. However, such hatred, torture and ill-treatment have never been and will never be a reason for Jesus to lead the faithful out of this world. The only reason that drives people out of this world is the will of God. "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one", John 17:15.
  62. "I in them, as you are in me, that they may be completely one", John 17:23. This union, if true and unfeigned or not forced, means a lot. People of an equal heart are in agreement and become a natural union. There are forced unions, thought out and rehearsed unions among people who, in fact, are in disagreement at a heart level. But it is not about these unions that Jesus speaks out here. The union of which Jesus speaks of is a unanimity that exists only in people of equal heart, with identical motives and motivations (and never just alike), with equal power, with common means (of grace and power), with common purposes and having experienced the same changes or on the way of it. They are the same in everything. Any forced bond or one which is carnally achieved is superficial and does not last long - even if it lasts until death. Nothing superficial resists the test of fire.
  63. "Those whom You have given Me, they are Yours", John 17:9. How many seize the souls of those whom God gives to be saved from their sins? If they are saved from the devil's claws, why would preachers work to have people under their claws and not have them exclusively under the holy yoke of God? They are not the property of the preacher, church, or institution. Not even our own children are our property. The preachers bind people to their doctrines, bind them to their purposes and churches, and depend on their tithes. All this is avarice, not just of money, but of souls. "Blessed are you who sow beside all waters, who send free the feet of the ox and the ass", Is.32:20.
  64. "When that One comes, He will convict the world concerning sin because they do not believe on Me; and concerning righteousness because I go to My Father and you see Me no more", John 16:8-10. There are words difficult to understand because there are many desires and interests in those who say they believe in God. Those who do not believe are convinced/convicted of sin for the simple reason that it is the faith that makes us overcome any sin. "And this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith", 1John 5:4. By not believing the way they should, they shall have many sins to be convicted of because it is faith that is able to exterminate those sins. If they do not believe, they do not overcome sin and that is why they shall be convicted of sin. They will be shown their sin because they did not exterminate it through faith. It is also noteworthy that we are only convinced of righteousness seeing Jesus physically no more, that is, "blessed are they who have not seen and have believed" John 20:29.
  65. The doctrines of prosperity, along with all other false doctrines and their teachings, are very heavy on people for many reasons. On the one hand, it is very difficult to abandon them. People fear to err and, abandoning a doctrine of prosperity makes them believe that they enter into a lack of faith which will lead them to some material need, making them feel vulnerable. We need to demystify those doctrines to eradicate completely the mentality that they leave behind, because selfishness always fears to lose. Those doctrines appeal to selfishness and to the fears of the flesh. This happens to all who have strayed from the truth. From experience, I have seen Catholics very afraid to destroy images they once venerated, even if these images do not move, do not speak and will never cease to be inert things; Satanists fear to leave their world afraid of being killed by the devil; etc. This same fear prevails in the so-called evangelicals who abandon false doctrines. They fear to lose instead of fearing God, and the only thing that they might lose is falsehood and what they gain might be real life.
  66. "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil", Eph.5:15,16. The matter of redeeming the time has much to be understood. It is not only a matter of waking up from sleepiness, but also of not wasting time unnecessarily with occupations that add nothing to eternity and, also, to be found clean in order to be able to perform God's will through grace.
  67. I don't need to confront the world to be persecuted by it. I do not have to do anything to be confronted by the world, for the world will persecute me, whatever I say or do. "They hated Me without a cause", John 15:25. If the world loves me, I do not love God. If I realize that I do not love God by realizing that the world loves me, I must not confront the world to prove otherwise. I should rather and only find the means of grace to love Jesus by fulfilling all He has commanded and told us.
  68. "I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing", John 15:5. This verse does not literally apply to everyone. There are those who accomplish much without God, but not for God. The disciples had come to a point or state where it was no longer possible for them to do anything without God, that is, nothing would be fruitful were they not found in Jesus and Jesus in them. It is excellently wonderful to get to that point. "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the Words of eternal life", John 6:68. Then, it is not just a question of being fruitful by God's blessing, but that the fruit is able to remain forever and ever. If the fruit does not remain, that sort of fruitfulness is worth nothing. "I have chosen you and ordained you that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain", John 15:16.
  69. I, often, hear people say something like this: "I want to go back to what I had, to the communion I had with God and with the pure brothers. I miss them very much". These people may even return to an apparent Christian life, but they will hardly come back to God in a real way since they do not return because they are sorry for their sins and because of their intense desire to obtain forgiveness to glorify God. The desire to return is the seeking of the pleasure of peace. Having wrong motives and carnal motivation will not reach God until such a person changes his motives and, consequently, reaches the means of grace that lead to genuine and effective repentance. It may, eventually lead to it, but until it happens their Christian life will be apparent and deceiving.
  70. Many prayers are not heard because what the person asks for, says or expresses does not correspond to the true meaning of what God gives to it, even when the same words are used. For example, one may ask to walk in the light not knowing that it means walking and living in an exposed and transparent way. This is one of the reasons why prayers are not answered. "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he may have enough to finish it?" Luc.14:28.
  71. The one who hides and the one who wants to show off have one and the same sin. They both stopped walking in the light. One hides by hiding and the other wants to hide through his appearance, that is, shows off in the frontline something that he is not, probably to hide some other reality which his own heart and conscience refuses to acknowledge or accept.
  72. "If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them", John 13:17. If this is true in the matter of washing the feet of the disciples, how much more on other occasions and other things! We must have the notion that what Jesus said applies to every area of ??our entire existence. Doing has much to do with being able to do and by being empowered by God. There are skilled, untrained and disabled people trying to do God's will, but not the way it is done in heaven. And there are several stages of doing: one is the decision to begin; another is to finish what you started; and the other is the ability to do even the impossible; and, most important, to remain faithful and fresh within the very first love after all is accomplished. For many reasons, many people do not stand up to start. They do not get to the point of getting up to do what they need to do, either because they find it insignificant, or they find it impossible and difficult. The worst phase is the initial indecision phase. After any important task has begun, God's pleasure and strength will motivate those who do. In this initial phase, problems and thorns can arise that should be ignored or banned (whatever works best for you), because there is no virtue that will not be contradicted by tribulations, temptations and distractions whose function is only to get us out of focus. Despite all worship, flattery and persecution, Jesus never allowed his focus to be clouded, which was the cross in Jerusalem. He never allowed any deviation from that focus even when listening to all. So we should be and do if we "know these things".
  73. "The sheep hear His voice, and He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out", John 10:3. It is very tempting to keep the sheep isolated and closed in the sheepfold to avoid them being confronted with the cruel and sinful realities outside, through which they might be strengthened in truth and motivation. Evil has the propensity and faculty to put truthful people all the more against it. It strengthens truthful people against it. Those who are not completely truthful go astray. "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they were of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out so that it might be revealed that they were not all of us", 1John 2:19. It is good to note that Jesus takes the sheep out and leads them from then on. They are not alone for He goes ahead of them. Hearts need to be confronted so that they may manifest what they are made of. Nothing good comes out of any kind of protectionism. Protectionism keeps people for the sake of self and own satisfaction and not for the Lord. "For there must also be heresies among you, that the approved ones may be revealed among you", 1Cor.11:19. This is the only way to separate the sheep from the goats naturally. "Blessed are you who sow beside all waters, who send out free the feet of the ox and the ass", Is.32:20.
  74. "Truly, truly, I say to you, He who does not enter into the sheepfold by the door, but going up by another way, that one is a thief and a robber", John 10:1. In this case, Jesus is talking about entering the sheepfold. But, there are ways to avoid the door in many and diverse situations besides the sheepfold. For example, we may try to reach someone's heart with subtlety rather than by truth and by being truthful. People shall respond or correspond with a same spirit; or we can use fraudulent and dubious methods in business and employment, trying to reach profit or wealth by jumping over the wall of honesty and sincerity; we can try to reform life without changing the heart; etc. There are many ways to jump the wall into an intended goal. A robber will always act in the same way in all situations of his life. What he does with one thing, he will do with the other. He is a thief and a robber and that is why he jumps over all the walls.
  75. "The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him", John 8:29. Many people complain that they are distant from God or even abandoned by Him. One reason is to want God to do what pleases them instead of them always doing what pleases God. And that does not mean that they do from time to time what pleases God, but, always and only. I do not know why they still wonder why they feel alone and far from God when they do not do God's will.
  76. "If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God", John 7:17. The things of God work. Not only do they work out, but they result in something pure, holy, and heavenly. However, one has proof of truthfulness of the word only when life becomes practical. The results of a practical life prove the truth and truth of the doctrine. If it works towards God and brings forth heavenly fruit, it's true.
  77. "From this time many of His disciples went back into the things behind, and walked no more with Him. Then Jesus said to the Twelve, Do you also wish to go away?" John 6:66,67. It is interesting to note that one of those who remained to the end was Judas Iscariot. False ones are perseverant. Jesus, however, was never deceived by his perseverance and maintained full lucidity and sincerity about the truth. "Did I not choose you the twelve? And one of you is a devil", John 6:70.
  78. "How can you believe, you who receive honour from one another and do not seek the honour that comes from God only?", John 5:44. No one can consider himself to be a disciple of God pleasing people or trying to please God in a way which people are pleased. "Will you lift up His person, or contend for God? Is it good that He should search you out? Or as one man mocks another, do you mock Him? He will surely blame you, if you secretly lift up persons", Job 13:8-10. God is pleased with other things, with another life that does not pretend love, respect or any other virtue.
  79. "I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who strengthened me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry", 1Tim.1:12. To have a ministry blessed by God it is not only necessary to be called. We must become faithful - we must be made faithful. Those who do not become faithful can even have a ministry, but they will be like those who jump over the wall into the sheepfold, trying to reach by human means what can reached through God alone. These ministries become spiritually poor and it is through them that the mistakes of doctrine and misconception about true life that have destroyed the churches see their way in. Churches are no longer spiritual temples.
  80. When the Pharisees confronted Jesus about whether He was the Christ, they got no response from Him. We do not see Jesus giving answers to confrontation. However, we see Jesus saying to the Samaritan woman: "Jesus said to her, I AM (the Christ), the One speaking to you", John 4:26. The confrontation does not want revelation and rather dispute. The Samaritan woman sought the truth, sought a revelation to the heart, whether she knew what she was looking for or not. The Pharisees sought to refute and nullify the revelation brought about within themselves and in others. Confrontation seeks dispute as the means to reject and the true search wants to find. Jesus does not respond directly to those who want to reject through confrontation; but, to whoever seeks Him truly, He gives even those answers that one can not verbalize, or when one does not understand what is going on in the heart in order to formalize the questions.
  81. "You knew that I reaped where I did not sow, and gathered where I did not scatter", Mat.25:26. Many people feel cheated, resentful or even hurt when Jesus does not address them personally or does not call them personally and directly and sends others to do so. But, we know how Jesus reaps where he does not sow and that an indirect call is worth as much or even more than one directed personally. Jesus did not call Peter personally. His brother Andrew went to fetch him. Yet, He said: "Have I not chosen you?", John 6:70. Philip found Nathanael bringing him to Jesus. Few were those whom Jesus called personally. And they all became apostles. All those who have been called by others were welcomed by Jesus as if they had been called in a personal and intimate way. Jesus reaps where he has not sown.
  82. We must know that what hinders the future from happening is the past and its failures that have never been corrected. Everything we did yesterday together with what we have done recently will have a deep influence on today and on tomorrow, one way or another, because it is part of the future that began already. Our future began the day we were born. If it began twisted, it must be corrected by having it acknowledged in confession. In this respect, there is no seed that does not germinate. No one can sow thorns and harvest wheat, and no one can sow wheat and expect to harvest thorns. If we do not wish to harvest thorns having sown them before, we must, first, dig out those seeds and bring them out to daylight to eliminate them.
  83. Perfect people are those who do the best they know, the best they can and have the simple ability to perform and be one with God. If they do not depend on the effort to do or to be who they are in God, depending on Him alone, they are perfect. When they are incapacitated it is because they do not walk with God and try to accomplish through self-sufficient means in a independent way. These are and will always be imperfect.
  84. For there to be unity between sincere people, few things are necessary: that the disposition or state of mind be the same between them and that they have the same opinion, purpose and use the same means to reach them. "That you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment", 1Cor.1:10. It is no use for people to try to agree by ignoring their differences, because they run the risk of being hypocritical. We can not live or commune in a false unity. If we want to be a true union, the transformation has to take place at a deep level in the same way in all those that unite. Let us never seek a superficial unity, for, besides not obtaining the blessing of God, it will, eventually, end in disaster. It might start well, but might reach an undesired end.
  85. "For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish", Gal.5:17. There are many forms of greed. Greed is not only to covet what others have, but, it is a craving for anything that you have or that you do not have. In fact, covetousness is a form of idolatry that tries to fill the soul with the emptiness found in everything besides God Himself. It is true that things do not fill the soul like living water. Even when you get those things you still live on in emptiness. So, because it doesn't fill, greed only serves to hinder doings, it is, "so that you do not do the things that you wish", that is, assuming that someone wants to do what is right. Greed creates confusion, hindrances, losses of time, busybodies entangled with empty stuff, and becomes a mere hindrance and never an achievement. The ability of covetousness is only to be able to be against the Spirit, that is, its function is to be against the Spirit by creating confusion, spiritual inactivity, inertia, discouragement and unfitness. Its function is not to fill, but, to prevent us from being filled (with the Spirit), hindering or even preventing our doings by whatever means it finds at hand. Sometimes, sowing thorns in good earth is an option if it cannot prevent good seed from being sown or if it can not prevent the earth from being good; or sowing snares in the midst of wheat if the good earth has no thorns. In each phase, the lusts of the flesh have a strategy and an exclusive target, which is to make it impossible for you to do what is right if that is what you wish to do. Its function is to be against the Spirit and nothing else. Keep this in mind whenever you covet anything, whether it be clothes, shoes, money, luxury cars, women or men, or any other empty stuff that exists in this present world. Its only aim is "that you do not do the things that you wish", making a busybody out of you. It just shows how important are our doings and works of faith, that greed's only function is to hinder them.
  86. "Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops", Mat.10:27. To say something in full light is much more than to speak in a way to be heard. The person who proclaims in the light is someone who is familiar with it, that is, he lives in it and is not someone who shouts out about it. In the original "in the light" means to be at ease in that light to speak, to feel at home in it and to speak from it that way. Whoever speaks in the light must already be solid in it, secured and stable. Anyone who feels watched, noticed, appreciated, depreciated, ashamed or even targeted by being in the light and for being transparent is not yet a stable person living in that light.
  87. I do not believe that doctrines or belief in them is a crucial factor in the destiny of people. However, I believe there are doctrines that condemn the souls of many. Any kind of attachment to a teaching or doctrine that excuses, minimizes, prolongs, or passes over the guilt, danger, or seriousness of any sin, whether large or small, is worse than suicide, for it kills the soul and the spirit forever. There are doctrines that are on the side of the flesh and others that are on the side of the Spirit in the struggle for holiness. See in which side you find yourself by the type of doctrines you choose and appreciate. "Take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness", Lk.11:35.
  88. "You re the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden", Mat.5:14. God separated light from darkness as His first act in creation. To be light means to be transparent in our practical life. Moreover, this verse tells us that we are built on a hill. "Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully", Ps.24:3,4. Aside from walking in the light - not hiding anything for whatever reason - we should be on the holy mountain and remain holy there. Only the pure and spotless in all aspects of all practical life will be able to remain there; otherwise, the light can be turned into darkness. To the clean on the holy hill it is said that it will be impossible for them to be hidden.
  89. All the involvements lead to developments, and when they begin, you never know how they will end. "Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people's sins; keep yourself pure", 1Tim.5:22. We do not need to practice the sins of others with them in order to be sharing participants in those sins. It is enough to be involved in the wrong way with the people whose sins are obvious, endorsing their ways by the way we live and commune with them. This involvement will be received as supporting their sinful ways. All you need for them to believe you support their ways is to support them. We can and must maintain our equidistance safely without creating stumbling blocks for anyone. If we remain pure, we can become a safe way for others to come out of their sins. If we get involved, we will be barring the way out of their sins.
  90. "For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ", Phil.3:18. These do not profess to be enemies of Christ. They only walk as such. What is an enemy of the Cross of Christ? The Cross, in its true essence, means death to sin and to the world. We know that the opposite of true love is selfishness. Therefore, there are those who preach in a way that establishes the flesh and everything that is appropriate to its carnal life, its survival, maintenance and its own purposes. They preach Christ, but in the end they seek what is earthly and fleshly and want Christ to do so for them as well. For such, the Cross does not represent the death of the flesh as the true essence of it, but rather its survival and 'good' use. They became enemies of the Cross preaching a cross of their lost and earthly mind. "Whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame who set their mind on earthly things", Phil.3:19.
  91. "...He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief...." Rom.4:20. It is one thing to doubt the appearance of truth or to doubt a lie; another thing is to doubt the truth or God for having an unbelieving heart, which feels more comfortable placing itself alongside with lies and doubts - something that would be to doubt through unbelief. The state of the heart determines the conduct and thoughts of each person. If the heart is unbelieving and unstable it will doubt what is true, stable and eternal. Sort seeks sort. Therefore, it doubts through unbelief. But no stable, trusting, truth-loving heart, which turns instinctively and spontaneously to God and to truth, will ever surrender itself to any resemblance of truth sponsored by lies and deceit. This is not to doubt through unbelief, but rather to doubt because we are believing friends of the truth. Nevertheless, doubting and being unstable go hand in hand, whether we doubt lies or truth. We need to take a stand against lies and be firm and be "established in the present truth", 2Pet.1:12.
  92. "Though you know them and are established in the present truth", 2Pet.1:12. Many are content with knowing and gaining knowledge of the whole truth. But we can not act as if we could fulfil without the power of grace. You have to be confirmed in the truth. And who confirms is God - not your testimony or whatever you say or believe about yourself.
  93. "For if these things are in you and abound (...) you shall never fall", 2Pet.1:8-10. It is not only necessary that these things that Peter mentions (and things that he does not mention) are found in us. They need to increase and find the inner circumstances and availability of heart to be able to increase daily. From what we read here, the person in whom the virtues and virtuosity of God do not increase is barren.
  94. "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven", Mat.7:21. In order to have, to be or to do God's will, we need to be in right standing with Him and that nothing is found in any of us that stands between us and Him, or us and anyone else and which displeases God. It is not by deciding to do the will of God that we will be able to do or to enter it. You have to find grace to do all the way God wants it to be done, it is, on earth the way it is done in heaven. Being at the point of obtaining grace, we will be able to achieve it and reach out to the means and ability to do it. If there is anything annoying our fellowship with God or with our neighbour, surely we will not attain grace to do all the will of God. We can have grace to clean ourselves - if that is not too late. After being fully cleansed will we be able to do the will of God. That's what it's all about when Paul says, "Be ready for every good work", Titus 3:1. Moreover, not every good work is accepted by God. Cain was never accepted by God, although he had the initiative to offer to God, perhaps, feeling thankful for what God had given him.
  95. "And great was its fall", Mat.7:27. In what sense is it said that the fall shall be great? In fact, the higher the expectations, the greater the disappointment and the greater the effect it has on the soul. It is precisely this that makes the fall great. The person with few expectations from God does not have a great fall. It's a scary idea, though. We should have greater expectations from God which must be fulfilled in all details. How many believers will be disappointed to the point where their fall becomes great?
  96. "Judge not, that you be not judged", Mat.7:1. Judging others can occur for several reasons as well as being a waste of time and an excuse for someone never to judge his own heart and actions. (If we judge ourselves we shall not be judged). One reason is that the person who judges has the same sins he judges in others. At least he has the same aptitude or propensity for the same sins he sees in others. That is why he judges them. But there are people who judge because they are bitter at the moment they judge or even by being of a bitter nature. Many of these people say things they do not even see in others. They say the first thing that comes to mind. One way or another, their destiny is traced and they must be saved from a bad heart and from judging, for they will be judged in the same measure and for the same sins which they judge others for.
  97. "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself", Lk.9:23. Sluggards need to deny themselves to get a constructive attitude, a lively initiative, continual readiness and alertness to the movements of the Spirit of God. But it is not only the lazy ones that should deny themselves. The hyperactive, who is unable to wait on God and who does not rest in God has great difficulty getting out of the front line to make room for truth and a active operation of grace. He must also know how to deny himself. Everyone has his way to anger God and the flesh can operate in many and varied ways. It is up to you to put yourself under God's light and scrutiny to know what to do and how to be enabled to do the will of God.
  98. "It is written: Be holy, for I am holy", 1Pet.1:16. This verse and the truth it contains has two senses, which in union form the whole of its true meaning. We can understand that it says that we should know that, as God is holy, we have a responsibility to be as holy as He if we wish to deal with Him frontally. On the other hand, there is also another meaning: God being holy, our holiness will be a consequence of continually walking in His presence. Besides the commandment and warning, there is also the consequence as a gift. However, we should give more attention to the commandment because it is the part that fits us without ever trying to be holy without Him present in us. The rest belongs to God and His providence.
  99. "Mercy triumphs over judgment", James 2:13. The language of the Bible is not the same as the language of any man. A harmful understanding about what mercy is all about can lead to a misinterpretation of this verse and, also, of the Gospel itself. How does mercy triumph over judgment? The judgment of God will always happen. That is, sin will never be accepted or overlooked in judgment. Therefore, this mercy is not and will never be a form of acceptance of transgression. We cannot accept sin - never. That would be to divert mercy from its real purpose, which is to exterminate sin from the face of the earth. To accept any sin, to excuse it, to understand it or to minimize its guilt, is to deny or even to despise the very function of mercy. There is a difference between accepting any sin and taking advantage of the means of mercy and grace to annihilate all sin by its roots while there is time. The mercy of God gives us the chance to extinguish sin, even under intense temptation, through those means He makes available to us.
  100. Many sin and do not feel guilty about it; others sin and become inconsolable. But when I sin, I feel more guilty for being far from God, because, being away from Him, or even semi-estranged, leads me to sin or to be more vulnerable to temptations. We are to remain in God, being cleansed of everything since we will not enter into His presence without being clean - how much less abide in Him. It is true that if my devotional and my approach to God are deficient I can't even imagine the possibility of living without sin or with faith. Therefore, even though I feel inconsolable for having transgressed, I must feel greater guilt for not being close to God than for having sinned. It is always good to tackle the problem at its roots and not just try to avoid the consequences. "Walk before Me and be blameless", Gen.17:1. That has an order: to be blameless comes after, as a consequence. And if there were conflictions and persecutions from the world before, by being in God, one might have fewer conflicts with the same world and with the same people having turned away from Him and that might be a false comfort and serve us as a deceptive encouragement; if, before, it was unthinkable to see, hear, or speak about things of the world or to speak of spiritual truths the way the world speaks about them, any separation from God will work just the opposite. It shall be very easy to be blasphemous and unpleasant towards the Lord. We must take good care of our souls by remaining in God, whatever the cost. Only by remaining in Him and He in us can we take good care of our own soul and to make good use of all means of grace within our reach. Only by remaining in Jesus will we have access to all these means of grace and, also, to be able to use them soberly and to remain in them through Jesus, and to remain in Jesus through them.
  101. "For he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. Let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord", James 1:6,7. It is not only because of the lack of faith that such a person will fail to receive from God. He loses what he asks for, and also other things that come from the Lord - not just the one he asks for. This happens not only because of the lack of faith, but because he is a wavering, fickle minded and uncertain person who cannot lodge eternal, constant things. Eternal life is a constant, permanent life, without ups and downs. This life is lodged in a constant person who is not carried from side to side by any wind of doctrine or circumstance. "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" Amos 3:3. "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways", James 1:8. If he is inconstant in all his other ways as well, then he will receive nothing - both what he asks for and what he does not ask for. He shall receive nothing from God. Nothing will be added to him when the main issue (constancy) is not provided before God.
  102. Many hearted people, honest about their spiritual life and their obedience, often have a problem about when to act and when to expect and leave it in God's hands. Sometimes they feel guilty if they act, and also if they do not act. Now, it is obvious that by being attentive in the waiting and the expectation in God, moments will come that things begin to happen. Therefore, we must act accordingly. For example, Jesus knew that his time had come and that the sheep would not or could not be taken with Him so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. Therefore, He did not restrain himself by asking them to let the disciples go when he was arrested. "You seek Me, let these go their way", John 18:8. What he did or tried to do was in unison with the Scriptures, with the timing and with the providence of God. He did not do it before and did not neglect the opportunity when the right moment arrived.
  103. "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son", John 14:13. There are certain conditions for this to happen as it is written. In the first place, it only happens when the Father is truly glorified and the heart of the one who prays is attentive to that glory of the Father and the deepest motive is only to glorify him. Secondly, we should pray about that which we have full assurance concerning what God will hear and answer, and that it is what He wants - and only those who pray in Spirit can do that. It is by the Spirit that we can, not only discern what God wants, but it is the only way to achieve it. "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit...", Eph.6:18; "Praying in the Holy Spirit...", Jude 1:20. There is another issue: the target of prayer may never be hindered by anything which may prevent the prayer to be answered or heard by God: "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints", Eph.6:18; "Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people's sins; keep yourself pure", 1Tim.5:22. It is not only the one who prays that should be clean, but depending on the prayer that is made, the other person can not have anything that may hinder that prayer. There is yet another important issue. If there are holy people with whom one can not cohabit, or with whom one does not tend to be be tuned with, it is necessary to be able to pray for those with the same heart and love and not only for those who are closer to us because all are equally loved by God. We are pursuing and trying to achieve what God most desires and not only that which is close to our heart. As long as they have come to God, we should be able to pray for them with the same perseverance and supplication because we seek everything that is dear to God. It is He who should come out glorified by our prayers and not our preferences.
  104. "And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged", John 16:9-11. People are convinced of sin only if they have sin. Now, faith exterminates sin. So, by not believing as you ought, sin remains and you will be convicted of it for salvation's sake. "For if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins", John 8:24. That is one point, it is, that is the main reason why people are convicted of sin if they do not believe. The second point: It is interesting to see that we are convinced of righteousness in the coming of the Holy Spirit. That is, the person has not been righteous and has no experience of being truly just. To think or believe that you are righteous and to be truly righteous are quite different things, for any sinner always believes himself to be just and every saint always assumes to be a sinner. And there is more: it was necessary for Jesus to leave our carnal environment for all this to happen. The faith of the apostles before Pentecost was a faith of sight and carnal approach. It was necessary to stop being that way. And the shock of Jesus' death worked in them in that direction. With the coming of the Holy Spirit their faith has become a true faith from the heart and it became the essence of a clean of heart. "Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God", Mat.5:8. And it is also interesting to note that the devil has already been tried and is, yet, still around. It is necessary that the Judgment be first exercised over sin itself so that some of those who accept the power to live without it can be saved (from it).
  105. "But now, they have no excuse for their sin", John 15:22. The favourite speech of any sinner is to excuse sin and, especially, his own sin. He likes to excuse and to 'understand' sin, which means accepting, living for and living with it. But with Jesus at the door, there is no longer an excuse for sin since "He saves His people from their sins", Mat.1:21.
  106. "And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning", John 15:27. It is very easy to misunderstand or even not understand this verse. "Ye shall bear witness" is in a future form. That is, something would happen in the near future that would lead all disciples to a real experience of witnessing, revealing, manifesting, and testifying to what is heavenly. And this would happen because they remained with Christ from the beginning without ever having abandoned him during His trials and harsh moments of persecution. The word "to bear witness" or testify comes from "testing," that is, testing, experiencing, and living the experience in person. Today, witnessing is understood differently. Today you witness what you hear or heard about, what you believe and not what you see for real and experience from God personally.
  107. Today's churches stimulate the creation of antichrists: they create similarities of believers through their doctrines. That is the danger of learning doctrine without having eternal (constant and permanent) life within. It stimulates imitators of truth. Each seed brings forth that which is its own. A false believer is an antichrist. An antichrist is not only the one who opposes Christ and the truth, but it is he who resembles Christ or a Christian and whose testimony works against God. The most effective and active enmity is and will always be the one which resembles love. That is why creating similarities of what is in heaven is so dangerous and so damnable.
  108. He who walked in darkness his whole life learned to live hidden and created habits of a life related to his walking in darkness. The blind not only fail to see, but have created habits of orientation, perception and daily life which are not compatible with the ways of the people who see well. Therefore, entering into a world of light, everything must become new and the new habits and a new conduct must be assimilated, and the old must be exterminated and forgotten. One may no longer walk guided by sounds and touches. Those who learned to live in spiritual darkness learned to hide, to cover up, to disguise, to minimize guilt or to talk it off. The most hidden thing of any person is his innermost self. When the person ceases to cover himself up or ceases to talk for it and about it, his exposed inner self becomes visible because he becomes transparent. The innermost of any sinner is the most hidden thing in this world - or so he thinks. The truthful person does not hide anything. This is the same as having truth from within: it is being whom you really are and never assuming any other kind of posture. "Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts", Ps.51:6.
  109. No one is able to love whoever he has not seen or has not come to know. In the same way, he cannot hate whoever he has not seen or known. Only those who have true knowledge of good and evil can hate or love either of them. One cannot love or hate both at once. And because people are in living enmity against God ever since, it means God is known to them. "What may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them", Rom.1:19.
  110. What most people seek is to have God guide them without having to leave darkness. They wish to be guided under darkness and not under light. They do not wish to deny the life of darkness and much less leave it. They reject it when they are led to light or, should I say, when led out of darkness. And whoever is not spiritual sees no need to be guided when all is lighted. The carnal man sees the need to be guided under darkness and the spiritual are guided under the light, even when everything is clear and visible.
  111. "And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it", Rev.5:3,4. John saw extraordinary things as probably no one ever saw. However, none of this impressed him to the point of not experiencing the immense sadness for not being able to open the scroll and not being found worthy to do so. Many would say that it should be so, that is, no one should have this privilege and honour other than God. This kind of humility is false and their doctrine is one of excusing their own sins. John wanted the supreme and the utmost, it is, to be able to fulfil the will of God, and that is why he was so loved by Jesus. That's why had been so special to Him. He was extremely sad that he could not open the books, and that there was no one who could do it. He cried because no one was found who could do the will of God.
  112. Whoever becomes proud when beautiful and whoever becomes sad by being ugly have one and the same sin. The sin is there if you think highly of yourself or if you wish you could think highly of yourself. If you desire another woman you commit adultery. In the same you, if you desire to think highly of yourself, you are guilty of pride.
  113. "And the Spirit is He who bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater", 1 John 5:6,9. Well, here it is. While acknowledging that John is speaking to people who have attained the life of fullness, especially, those who can keep the testimony of God above all other testimonies, this is true to anyone. Believers who misbehave do not accept the testimony of God because it speaks against them. From there they become an easy target to men's opinions. Being vulnerable to the opinion of men is a form of slavery. Such people are not set free and the Son has not set them free. The same can be said of any worldly and wicked person. There are people who are vulnerable to public opinion, and because they are vulnerable to it, they get a distorted notion of holiness. They uphold a sort of holiness that is acceptable to carnal people and is capable of pleasing them. So, they try to reconcile their walk with this awkward sight. And it is to be expected that nothing works out as it should. This is what happens to those who, in addition to admitting the testimony of men, have this testimony in equal or greater esteem than the testimony of God. Let us bear in mind that the only true testimony is and will always be the one that God gives. "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God", Rom.8:16. If it is I or any other carnal who testifies about me, my testimony is false or falsified. We do not need to reject people to reject their testimonies, whether those testimonies are about us or anything else; and we do not have to accept their testimonies to make it easier for them to enter the narrow gate that is Christ. Our acceptance is not what makes people enter the narrow door and our rejection is not what causes them to reject God. The reasons for that lie deep in the kind of heart they have or do not have.
  114. When your faith is weak, most of your sins will be like strong parasites which do not die. "And this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith", 1John 5:4.
  115. "Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going", John 12:35. The secret of a Christian life consists in walking or not walking. "Walk in the light" and the same word is used in relation to darkness: "he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going". That is, those who do not stand still in darkness won't know where they are going. And whoever does not walk having light is going nowhere as well. Now if we have no light and are faced with darkness on our way or life, we should not walk. If we walk, we'll never know where we're going. We must stop to reach light before taking any further step. "Be still, and know that I am God", Ps.46:10. Having attained this light (or if it has reached us), we must learn one more thing, having the need of it in high esteem and as an unquestionable and nonnegotiable duty: to walk through the power of grace and not to trust in any carnal capacity or means whatsoever. The flesh knows how to walk (in darkness). That sort of walk cannot be applied under the light. The flesh has its capabilities and knows how to walk, but its deeds do not serve the kingdom of heaven, and its service is not accepted in the genuine temple of God. You are or should be the temple of God where the flesh should not be allowed to serve using the capabilities it has - much less to reign. One can not walk in the light the way one would walk in darkness, using the same methods and the same kind of power. A sinner has always walked or tried to walk. But, he does so under darkness and under the cover of darkness. He knows how to walk in darkness and he does not know how to stand still while in them. There is no sinner who stands still and does not walk while in darkness. "But the wicked are like the troubled sea, which cannot rest, and its waters cast up mire and dirt", Is.57:20. With the shining of light, he is frightened and stagnates because he does not know the walk of light. He might try to walk the walk of darkness in his precarious light. However, he must learn to walk in the light and start walking again, taking his first steps out of darkness and penetrating ever deep into the intense light of Christ - something he never did before or never knew before. But he, also, has to unlearn how to walk when he finds himself in darkness. "If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble because he sees the light of the world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles because there is no light in him", John 11:9,10. There are two things we must learn: to walk in the light and to stand still in darkness.
  116. Usually, people wish to be guided under darkness as they walk in darkness. Also, once they have light they see no need to be guided and led. Under the light, they wish to have it their way and to use carnal means to walk on. They do not see the need of being guided under light. They trust in themselves. This is how carnal means are used in the Temple of God. Also, to be guided under darkness means, to such, that they do not forsake darkness where they enjoy to false prosperity of sin. They want God to lead them along all carnality and selfishness.
  117. "But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light", Eph.5:13. It is not the light that condemns those who practise bad works and sins. The light does not condemn, but reveals and makes visible what is condemnable. The visibility of sins, which shows them as they are, is what exterminates sin from the heart, that is, reveals how they are reprehensible and detestable and are, consequently, condemned to death. Moreover, all sins are condemned to death because of the visibility and it is not light's fault that they exist. Before light was there, those sins already existed. However, they were invisible and not taken into account. Mortal condemnation to sin is an effect of the light and not an action of it.
  118. Usually, all of us, when talking about truth, say that we must speak the truth. And so should it be. However, the Scriptures speak of "practicing the truth", 1John 1:6. Truth is a practical living, it is we being truth itself in a genuine way. Whoever practices the truth also speaks the truth. But it doesn't mean that everyone who speaks the truth always practices the truth.
  119. "Because of the Pharisees they did not confess, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory of men more than the glory of God", John 12:42,43. We can understand two things from these words: that the Synagogue was the glory of man or the place of man; and that to love more the glory of man might not hinder us to lie to ourselves by assuming that we continue to be believers while concerned about the opinion, approval or even disapproval of any man. Let's not deceive ourselves in any way and neither by any means. "How can you believe, you who receive honour from one another and do not seek the honour that comes from God only?", John 5:44.
  120. "And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me", John 12:45. The people whom Jesus addressed came t"And heo him. But, Jesus claimed that they did not see Him in the Father and neither the Father in Him. Many people have an image of Christ, an idea of what He is or should be (according to them), and when the true Jesus does not correspond to that image, He is taken as false. In fact, when Jesus ceases to be a mere image, He is promptly rejected. He is different He is not an image. That way, the way is opened for the false ones to be accepted as true ones. All people have constructed a certain image of God. They have gone astray and deviated from the true and genuine One. There is no one who has never obtained or created an image and God in his mind and imagination. "I have come as a Light into the world", John 12:46. Now the light reveals, manifests and exposes all that is never visible in darkness, whether good or bad. There are no people in this world who like to be exposed and transparent and there are those who hate it. And Christ came precisely "that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness". Ponder it well before you ask to be in the presence of Christ and to walk in that light. Perhaps you don't know it means to be fully transparent and visible from all sides. Many prayers are not heard because what the person asks for, says or expresses in prayer does not correspond to the true meaning of it. "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he may have enough to finish it", Lk.14:28.
  121. "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me", John 12:26. Many sincere people believe that serving Jesus is the pinnacle of their calling. However, by these words we can understand that there are those who serve Jesus and do not follow him. Even if such people are honoured by the Father in some way for serving Jesus, the danger of not following Him exists because of serving. Martha served Him and did not get to the best part. "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there also My servant shall be. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honour him". Following Him leads to serving, but, serving may not end up in following Him.
  122. "When Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone", John 6:15. All who want to force Jesus to be their king deceive themselves in many ways. Jesus is already the king. But he is not king over the flesh and does not want rule over it. He rules and leads against it. Those who wish to make him king by force forget that He is already king and that, in fact, they must submit to Him and not he to them. They are the ones who desire to exalt him over the flesh because he does not reign over it. They should rather submit to the Kings of kings who is already king over all that is spiritual. Whoever wants to make him king by force does not want to submit to the Spirit and to the spiritual. Many want Jesus to become king of their world, pride and flesh and do not wish to submit to the spiritual world of humility where Jesus already reigns - forever and ever. "Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, your King comes to you, meek, and sitting on an ass, even a colt the foal of an ass", Mat.21:5.
  123. The aim or goal of a good doctrine is to bring the person to a good end. Doctrine is not and will never be an end in itself, but an instrument or the means to bring someone to a good harbour. Each doctrine has its functionality and works to achieve a goal. True doctrine is not a goal, but a mechanism and a way. It is the means and not an end. From the moment the goal is achieved, doctrine becomes obsolete and impractical. It's like a warhead that, after having launched a rocket, is no longer useful because it has fulfilled its mission. What's more, people who launch it do not sit on it to direct it. If they sat on it, they would die along. Now, whenever doctrine is put as a target, as a destiny or as a final goal, it becomes a threat and no longer an instrument. "Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God. of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment And this we will do if God permits", Heb.6:1-3.
  124. "And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, 'The old is better' ", Lk.5:39. This is one of the reasons why people who are already believers are hardly converted. If someone already considers himself 'converted' why would he want to convert himself or stretch out to God's means to do so? He who drinks from false doctrine or from a true doctrine that does not bear fruit can take a long time to drink true living water directly from the living fountain. It is easier to bring a person out of the world into the living waters than one who is already a believer, pastor, or theologian.
  125. "But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe", John 5:38. Sometimes people try, but they cannot do what they understand. It's a sign of not getting it right to have the Word to stay in us. To remain or abide in that Word means to be able to make it our practical life in an exclusive, spontaneous and imperial way. Now, if anything separates any person from God, it is obvious that a dependence on God is impossible and so is the access to grace and all the means to fulfil. And without Him nothing (heavenly) will be achieved. Being in communion with Him - which is eternal life itself - we can believe that the daily bread will bear fruit and remain a possible and an accessible reality to any of us. If we do not combine the knowledge of the word with the life that gives it its practical outcome and power, it is all in vain, because we will say one thing and do another. This means that the word does not remain in us and is only floating in our imagination and desires, remaining far from our practical life. The Word is not just what we understand of it. Jesus must become the Word Himself for us, for He is also the Word. The Word is His real presence. Without His presence, everything we know or try to do will never make a meaningful difference to any of us.
  126. "For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed", John 3:20. All things have their effects and consequences. Have you ever seen someone who cannot stand being reproved and who strikes back at everything and nothing? It is a sign that he does not walk in the light and even abhors it, that is, he is contrary to being exposed. His practical life reveals what he truly is and shows whether he lives in darkness or exposed in the light.
  127. "To receive the instruction of wisdom...", Prov.1:3. Many do not know the role of understanding in the whole context of the Christian life. In the first place, we must have true, eternal, constant and abundant life within us. Understanding will be the servant of this life, will be an instructor of the steps that this life requires of all of us - it shall never be the master of the steps. It will never replace life, which is the origin of the Christian walk. He will be a mere instructor and servant. True life will be the light of men. "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men", John 1:4. He who does not have it walks in darkness, and then the understanding will be a servant of darkness. That is where 'wisdom' wants to instruct life, wants to be master over it and becomes own mindedness.
  128. "The foolish person will speak foolishness, and his heart will work iniquity: to practice ungodliness, to utter error against the Lord", Is.32:6. There is a difference between the fool practicing iniquity; and saying that those who practice lawlessness are foolish or insane. One means that someone may practice iniquity because he is foolish; the other means that one becomes foolish by sinning. According to the interpretation of this portion of Scripture, those who practice iniquity are the true fools. Also, when it is affirmed that the fool "utters error against the Lord", it does not mean that he speaks against God, but, that he commits errors that operate against God. He speaks of God - and can even speak very well of Him. However, it is his mistakes, life and beliefs that work against God in practical terms.
  129. True faith and a full surrender to God always go hand in hand. It is, in fact, a full surrender in the true sense of the word that we are talking about - a total, unconditional, unquestionable and irrevocable surrender. Faith is obedience that surrenders to the Word of God. Many believe that faith is a way to achieve things, when in fact, it can be a giving up of certain things - or of all things. The weapons of the flesh, the solutions, ideas, desires, aspirations and common thoughts of the mortals are given up in order to be able to set the pace with a reality hitherto unknown in its practical form and of unquestionably superior and different value. When God sent Assyria to destroy Israel, we see how He worked in the hearts of people to get the message across to the Israelites that they should surrender to the Assyrians in order to save their lives. It would be an act of faith, a step in the dark and in the right direction by believing God. But, this step into 'darkness' was a huge step in the light of God. Some, however, decided to flee to Egypt and to Ethiopia, seeking refuge and carnal support there. They feared the Assyrians much because of the atrocities they were capable of. Most of the leaders and scholars of Israel never accepted such a solution, they being descendants of Abraham, who had God the Almighty as a friend. For them, the act of faith would be to overcome the Assyrians. To surrender would be something against the current of their aspirations and beliefs. It would be something unthinkable. For them faith was not obedience to what God had said, but it would be the formula to get what they wanted. They were the false prosperity preachers of that time. For this reason, too, they crucified Christ, because they expected another type of Messiah, one who would not be despised and ignored by the enemy, and whose friends would not turn their faces on Him, Is.53:3. Don't you often turn your face to the will of God, despising what is granted to you through His providence? Faith is a total, active and joyful surrender to the expressed will of God, even working with enthusiasm for it whatever it may be. Whatever His will is, faith works in that direction, cooperating and even striving for it. "Though the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall there be fruit in the vine: the produce of the olive tree shall lie, and the fields yield no food: the flock shall be plucked up, and there shall be no cows in the pasture: yet shall I rejoice in the Lord, Of my salvation", Hab.3:17,18. What counts is salvation - even if it a final salvation. It counts that we attain that purity of God, from God by being saved from each of our many sins. And it is impossible to be saved from any sin without a total surrender and an unconditional reconciliation with God and His will.
  130. "Honour the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase", Prov.3:9. Honouring God com with all our possessions means much more than giving to God and to the needy. The worst part comes with what remains after we have given. Many stumble through what they keep for themselves doing with it whatever is not pleasing to God. We need to be honouring God with everything we have and are.
  131. "In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths", Prov.3:6. There are many misinterpretations of this verse. Many think it is the supposedly evangelical language where people need to affirm with their mouth things which they do not experience. They affirm believing they will come to experience by affirming beforehand. But, the word of faith is one of confirming rather than of affirming. It is life which brings faith to existence and not the other way round. That is how falsehood starts working. For someone to acknowledge, he must have known first. One can acknowledge only as far as he has come to know or experience for real. There are people who know God truly in all the ways of their inner and outer life. But, as grace works by man and uses what he is because God wills it so, it may seem that the works that result in something come from man. Therefore, it becomes difficult for one to acknowledge God in what he himself does and attains. Through observation and humility, however, it is very easy to prove it is the Lord at work, and to see and recognize God operating when it is He who is truly operating. It may not be Him, but when it is He, it must be acknowledged. This was one of the great struggles Jesus had: to have the disciples come to that point through a sincere heart. "Now, (and not before), they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me", John 17:7,8. The disciples knew him, but Jesus' great struggle was to get them acknowledge from their heart that Jesus was what he was and that he came from where he came without having them pretending to believe. "Now the end of the commandment is (...) faith unfeigned", 1Tim.1:5; 2Tim.2:5. I know that there are bubblers who live far from God and attribute to God all that happens to them. They do so as people who suppose things would do. "Life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us. That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life (...) And truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ", 1John 1:1-3. But this verse does not refer to those, but, to those who truly know God and whose ways have their foundations truly grounded in the hands, providence and workings of God through a voluntary and total surrender, where there is an exchange of arms and a change of sides in the war field as if one has exchanged army in a true war scenario. In fact, the person who surrenders to God is not only a surrendered deserter, but becomes a person who swops sides and picks up the weaponry of light to confront what he has previously stood for. He is more than a traitor to sin and to the flesh to become more than a conqueror over it. It is this person who begins to deal with God in a real way, experiencing the presence of God in all he experiences, who can acknowledge Him in all his ways. These are the ones who must be careful to acknowledge God in all their ways because it is a fact and an undeniable truth. This recognition becomes also necessary when we are being corrected, just as happens when we are being used. Those who are corrected may not realize that it is God who is correcting them and may find themselves resisting God without realizing it. "My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction (...) take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; Keep her, for she is your life", Prov.3:11; 4:13. In those that are used, temptation can arise to feel powerful and accomplished, being a small step away from downfall and pride because of something which God has finally accomplished. For this reason, the verse that follows concludes: "Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord...", Prov.3:7. Acknowledging Him may refer to many other situations as well, where people are persecuted and hide their Christianity for fear something carnally worse will happen to them. Nevertheless, the principle of being truthful about truth that one experiences remains valid: it must be true. One must be truthful about truth and about what is real. "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us", 1John 2:19.
  132. "Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts", Ps.51:6. The truth of God can not be from the mouth only, in books and reading or be travelling only from mouth to mouth to soothe ears, but it must find permanent lodging in the inmost being of any man - of all men. The inmost part of any person is the most protected and closed place of the earth. Seldom do we find anyone who likes to reveal his inner self and have it permanently exposed for all to see because the intuition to preserve and hide it from the eyes of all strangers is quite strong after Adam has sinned. And God is usually a stranger to man. That is, the truth about self is hardly exposed by self and rarely anyone else has access to it. Therefore, when the truth of God ceases to be a stranger to start reigning from where things are most protected by man by being the most secretive place that exists within the whole creature, man transforms himself and enters into the grace of God. God loves truth from within. It means He communes with those who are truthful from within. Now, in order to have truth find its way into the heart of the creature, the inmost being must become true and truthful. The truth finds a place only to settle down in peace where it can not be bothered or contradicted. Truth needs a real place to stay. "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?", Amos 3:3. "Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me", Ps.51:10.
  133. "Those who rejoice in My highness (majesty)", Is.13:3. There is more in these words than what the normal believer can understand. They understand less than they should because they assume they already know what they do not know and do not look to a God to whom belongs all that power that many wish to have for themselves by themselves. Let's look at this step by step. God is majestic and to Him belongs all dominion. However, this does not mean that men no longer hold on to what does not belong to them and which belongs to God. They may, also, believe that what they can do comes from themselves and not from God, or, at least, they act that way. "For his God instructs him to do right; his God teaches him", Is.28:26. There are still thieves and deceivers who steal from God some of His glory. Man prefers to control his own ways, being in control of his own reins, destiny and actions. For the carnal who becomes a believer, the moment of surrendering this dominion to God, provided it is a willing, permanent and heartfelt surrender, can become a moment of great sadness, of carnal uncertainty and of a fierce struggle. But the truly spiritual man rejoices with this majesty being fully God's for a change in all its practical forms. Those are able to rejoice with Him being majestic and Him detaining all power.
  134. Anyone who feels guilty before God always gets that feeling he is lacking on faith after having been truly forgiven, and the boldness to approach God with the intention or the certainty of being attended starts limping. I believe it is a carnal and non-spiritual feeling, which endures after forgiveness has truly been granted. We can not serve the flesh in this way. Now, let's see the reverse of that, that is, someone who feels clean and has that boldness and certainty that he will be heard because he is clean. It is true that if we do not cleanse ourselves from all sins we will not be heard about anything other than attaining that cleansing. But, we cannot base our trust upon a heart of a Pharisee, which is also carnal, to trust in our spotlessness. Trusting in it is not and will never be the same as trusting in Jesus with all your heart. We must find a genuine way to have the two things fully reconciled in our hearts: to be clean and to trust in Jesus.
  135. "Bring no more vain sacrifice", Is.1:13. We need to become aware of those times when the offerings, tithes, prayers, and all that is said to be worship today are carried out in vain. That is, when those things do not achieve the desired effects. Under such circumstances, it will always be better to be still and quiet by not offering (to avoid provoking God to anger) or, then, to seek to cleanse oneself of all that can contaminates any kind of offer. "While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart?", Act.5:4. God does not corrupt himself by accepting offerings from hypocritical hearts and from stained consciences. If He did not accept Cain's offer, He may not accept anything from any of us. Men will always prefer to give of what they have above giving themselves up to God, having, first, acknowledged and confessed their sins by name so that they can become living sacrifices. A living sacrifice is not a dead sacrifice, having been killed off by any sin. There are two ways of worshiping in vain, that is, without achieving the fruits that God requires, and these fruits only come through the power and blessing of God. One is that we are in sin trying to please God with offerings and sacrifices - which brings out the anger of God against a person, against a group of people and even against a whole nation. "The calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting", Is.1:13. The other is funded by past experiences of fruitlessness. Let me explain. One cleanses himself of all his sins, but since he has never truly believed that those sins hindered prayer and prevented him from being accepted and attended to by God, the accumulation of previous fruitless experiences leads to a lack of assurance and, consequently, to a vain kindling of God's fire on the altar and cause the watchman to leave the post of waiting and of living hope. He does not wait on God with the desired expectation and does not take his requests seriously in faith when they seem to be delayed or because he finds himself caught up with the memories of previous fruitless experiences when he was still in sin and had prayed in vain. To each it is given according to his faith. "Who is even among you who will shut the doors, and you not kindle fire on My altar in vain!" Mal.1:10. "I will stand on my watch and set myself on the tower, and will watch to see what He will say to me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved", Hab.2:1.
  136. There are provocations and temptations that stimulate rebellion. However, there is a false humility that appears to be obedience and is not. And if it is not obedience, it is rebellion - even though it appears to be obedience. And if that is true, there is a false rebellion, that is, a rebellion that is not rebellious against God. Remember that any holy man is a traitor to sin and to the world. The world and the worldly shall be greatly disappointed in him. However, what God regards as rebellion is a sin as serious as witchcraft or idolatry, 1Sam.15:22. Now there are many forms of rebellion and obstinacy. The most common is the one that does not wait on (expect from) God or does not wait patiently with Him. Waiting with impatience is not waiting patiently. Saul could not wait for Samuel until the last minute, although Samuel had told him once and a year before: "And you shall go down before me to Gilgal. And, behold, I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice peace offerings. You shall stay seven days until I come to you and make known to you what you shall do", 1Sam.10:8. He waited seven days, but gave up waiting at the end of the last day. God told him that this sin was rebellion and that it was the same as witchcraft or idolatry, 1Sam.15:22,23. He survived the high sea and died having the beach at sight. And for this reason the kingdom was taken from him and given to David. Therefore, the worries and concerns that induce to take over the reins of any of our circumstances into our own hands is one of the many provocations and enticements to rebellion. If God speaks about something, we should wait; if we surrender something leaving it in His faithful hands, we must wait. And the hope should not be empty, because the expectation and the true certainty of hope are part of the word "to wait" on God. And the higher the expectation, the easier it is to wait until the end.
  137. "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain", Ps.127:1. Sometimes it seems that this verse excuses who works without achieving success. But, it is the responsibility of those who work to walk with God, find him in their prayers and find the power of grace to perform only through it, that is, through grace exclusively. The flesh has its capabilities. Finding God while building is a huge responsibility - far above becoming a privilege. Let no one dare to build without Him or without being in an outstanding good relationship with Him, having put all his existence in order before God or he shall build without God and, consequently, in vain. "Him who orders his conduct (ways) aright I will show the salvation of God", Ps.50:23.
  138. "I am a debtor...", Rom.1:14. I know someone who owed and whose heart was mourning day and night for being in debt. The day he was able to pay one of the debts in full, he felt a great relief and inexplicable lightness in his heart. It was as if a huge weight had left him. Thinking about it, this verse came to my heart: "I am a debtor". Then I imagined what I owe to God, all the vast work I have not finished yet, and wondered about it. How heavy is my debt. If a debtor feels tired, he is not exonerated from his duties and neither excused from his debts; If you do not have assets and means to pay you still owe; If someone lacks grace to fulfil his obligations, he still owes and needs to find that grace. A debtor only ceases to owe when he fulfils all his duties and the demands upon him, or when he dies or when his debts are forgiven. The enormous weight of a debt should never be overlooked and neither underestimated. It is an eternal burden. And all debts have a deadline to be settled in full.
  139. "And he did evil in the sight of the Lord; he did not depart all his days from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin", 2 Kings 15:18. The sins of Jeroboam were two idols in Samaria that were made to prevent the Samaritans from going to worship in Jerusalem. Now this is mentioned about a King of Samaria (Menahem) who slaughtered people, opened pregnant women in the middle, and was responsible for many horrendous crimes. One such crime was the conspiracy that led him to kill the existing king, while kings in Israel should be appointed by God and not by the force of the sword and bloodshed. Despite all these horrendous crimes, we see the Scriptures condemn him because "all his days he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam". The sin of idolatry is so terrible that it overlaps all others and is mentioned above all other horrendous sins. Moreover, it leads to other crimes, being the root cause of many other ugly sins. I believe idolatry leads to those sins. This man, Menahem, would be condemned for the other crimes he committed, surely. However, Scripture highlights the crime of idolatry above all other horrible crimes he has committed. The enormity of guilt and condemnation of the sin of idolatry should not be overlooked. It stands out above all other sins and crimes. Remember this as long as you keep an idol in your heart. An idol in the heart brings with it other crimes. There is no idolatrous ideology that has not committed other crimes and sins as a direct consequence of being idolatrous. "As they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting", Rom.1:28.
  140. Unstable and hesitating people commit a few crucial mistakes or sins. They feel bossy, command too much and feel outraged when they are not heard or listened to and this contributes to greater instability in them. The lack of real confidence causes them to be bossy and to seek fraudulent means to feel secure or sure about themselves. The other mistake is that they ask a lot about what they should do, especially to those who do not know or are like them, because such people are not truly a threat to their self-confidence. Sort seeks sort and encourages who is alike. An unstable person is one who is capable of trusting self only, mostly and preferably. And, often and for inexplicable reasons, they avoid asking who knows. Normally, a hesitating person is wrong and holding on to an opinion of someone who really knows is a too great a trial for the self-confidence he seeks to have. He seeks self-confidence and not to be right. Self-confidence and trust in God are on opposed sides, they are mortal enemies. Therefore, there will always be conflicting heart issues between these people and eternal beings because constant beings make certain decisions that lead to the end self-confidence, and that is seen or taken as a threat by those who are unstable. Unstable people are often bossy and want to remain unstable. One rarely sees an unstable person soliciting an opinion from a determined and reliable spirit. The unstable always conclude that the stable (eternal and constant) ones are stubborn people who do not listen to others (in this case, do not listen to them).
  141. Faith consists in believing that God exists and also that He is good, Heb.11:6. The commandments that God gives rarely explain the reasons why God has needed to command. Now, when God commands, we can see Him as one who places many restrictions or as one who has excellent reasons behind His commandments. If God does not explain the reasons, it has a lot to do with promoting intelligent obedience, because it is up to those who obey to be put under the test of fire knowing that if God commands, he has an excellent, wise and wonderful reason to do so. The same applies when God gives or takes away. God does not explain His reasons because it must promote faith and full trust in a wonderful being within those who are obedient from the heart. Only those who obey will see what reasons God has for putting us under commandments that He does not explain and which, often times, only become clear after having reached an obedient heart.
  142. Anyone who is wrong about something and thinks he is right will become more and more self-convinced each step he takes against God or each day away from Him, unless such a person comes back to God having been called. Even if you fight back and defend yourself, the wake-up call will prevent you from entering a cycle of error with no way back, which is also slippery and, apparently, without thorns. It lures you further and further into error.
  143. All that is exalted works against God and against self because it does not reach God. If it does not reach God, it does not reach life because God is life. Let us use an example. In the old days, people covered themselves with sackcloth and ashes to humiliate or humble themselves. Even the proud and idolatrous king Ahab humbled himself that way and was accepted, 1Kings 21:29. It was not easy for a proud man to appear humbled in ashes and dressed with sackcloth. The appearance is and will always be the chief expression of pride and vanity. It is just too obvious that it might be through the appearance that the humbling starts. However, as the years went by, sackcloth and ashes became a source of pride, as well, because the people were religious. Just as the Pharisees prayed in the corners to be seen by men from all sides, many practiced the "sackcloth and ash" to be seen and appreciated. From that moment on, the dressing up of sackcloth and ash no longer had the desired effect on the person's soul. It had become yet another display of pride. Consequently, it no longer attracted the attention of God to respond to prayers made in that state. The state of the hart was still pride and did not correspond with the appearance. The effect of humiliation ceased to be produced and the "sackcloth and ash" began to work against God and against the soul. Today, we can say the same about many prayers that are made to show that one knows how to pray or that one has privileges before God above others. This way of praying works against God and against blessing. Many even cry and shout in prayer to show off - not to be heard. It will not be difficult to conclude why the churches have become so spiritually poor. The only question is whether churches pray this way because they are spiritually poor or if they became poor because they pray that way.
  144. "Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil", Prov.3:7. We can not be anything in our own eyes. We can not be pastors in our eyes when we are pastors, for we would cease to be sheep of Jesus; We can not be holy and consummate in our own eyes, for we would cease to look at us as persons saved from our sins, who live in a world where sin prevails and seeks the sleepy, inattentive and those who do not watch and pray. I do not quite know how this works, but according to the Scriptures, "It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones", Prov.3:8. However, nothing should deter any of us to become as holy as God is. Let's just belong to Jesus. And I can never feel sad that I am no more than the nothingness that I am. That may mean that Jesus is all. This can happen even when great works of God are executed under the will of God. Even so, there is no proof, then, that I am more than nothing. "So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do'", Lk.17:10.
  145. "Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established", Prov.16:3. I believe this verse is addressed to all those whose heart belong fully to the Lord in a continuous way. Unless one is fully committed to the Lord at heart level I cannot entrust my works to the Lord and much less expect that my wild, untamed thoughts can be guided and, eventually, established. Unless I have entrusted my whole heart to Him so that He may be able to direct my thoughts it is to no avail committing my works to Him. Entrusting the works to God without having entrusted my whole being to Him, at first, is synonymous of falsehood and, in truth, I cannot possibly have entrusted my works to God in the terms of this promise, especially when these works are performed by me in the power of God for the sake of God. All promises have particular and peculiar conditions to be fulfilled.
  146. This present life is or was worth it because during it we came to know Jesus. Because of it, death will be more precious because we shall see Him face to face.
  147. There is a truth that must cause us great fear: the eyes of God travel throughout the universe without ceasing and nothing is hidden from Him, not even in the depths of the remotest part of this vast universe. This is terrifying, especially for those who live hiding sins and do not expose them by walking in the light willingly. But, it is a great consolation for anyone who ardently wants to put all sins in the light. If nothing goes unnoticed to God, we can be sure that none of our righteousness, acts, availability of heart and purity will pass unnoticed to Him either.
  148. The point of all prayer is never the moment we pray, but the moment God answers. The essence of all prayer is its answer. Without an answer prayer is worthless. Many prayers are answered as we pray. That answer is clear and we come to know that God has answered us. "And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him", 1John 5:15. This perception of the answer is real, clear and spiritually perceptible. It is just as real as the perception that He is hearing us while we pray. The perception that He is hearing us is not the answer. No prayer should stop before the answer is granted, even if the answer is a "no." "No" is also an answer. "My grace is sufficient for you", 2Cor.12:9. On the other hand, there are prayers to which God gives confirmation of the answer some time after it has been made although the perception of being heard is there. This is what happened to Solomon. "And the Lord said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, which thou didst pray before me", 1Kings 9:3. We do not know how long after prayer God told him that. But He did.
  149. I believe that all people think about God one way or another. And those who do not think of Him, have thought or will still think, whether here on earth or during eternity. However, whenever one thinks of God here on earth, either doubts or certainties arise. No one remains indifferent. Everything will depend on one's closeness to God and the reality of His presence. The certainty of all things, especially those not seen, depends only on the intimacy one has with God. From this intimacy faith is born as fruit. Any other kind of faith is false. In case there is no intimacy with God or when there is something bothering it in some way, the fruit will be doubt and not faith.
  150. "Now, the Lord my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor evil occurrence. And behold, I propose to build a house for the name of the Lord my God", 1Kings.5:4,5. Many ask things of God for which they are not prepared, risking their lives by using what God gives to their own delights and lusts. Solomon, having received so much from God, remembered Him to build a temple for Him. Many would rather build a temple for themselves. It is very good and beautiful to see that one's focus remains, knowing that he has become nothing more and nothing less than a steward after having received all that he has received from God. It is no wonder that another experienced king rejoiced so much about Solomon in this regard. "So it was, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly and said, Blessed be the Lord this day, for He has given David a wise son over this great people!" 1Kings.5:7.
  151. Adversity of heart can easily be turned into a permanent opposing mood. An opposing mood may be turned into a common feature of personality which is inclined to oppose whatever comes its way, whether good or bad. Such a person holds on to a contradicting mood and to a conflicting personality as a security illusion, protecting himself from nothing. He feels safe to hold on to it and extracts pleasure from doing so. Everything is to be opposed and contradicted to grant self a false feeling of protection. It also happens that such a person believes everyone else is against him because he is an angry spirit. This is the main reason why people oppose Jesus. "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed", Ps.2:1,2. "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against (contradicted)", Lk.2:34. And there is only one way to stop an own contradicting spirit: by submitting to God and to obey what is right by repenting of each of your past and present sins, so that your own heart and conscience may have a chance to cease to be an arena of confrontation and war. Those who continually struggle against conviction or against conscience are conflicting people, whether they acknowledge it or not. And it is not easy to deal with such people while we are in God. "All of them (are) as thorns thrust away, because they cannot be taken with hands. But the man that shall touch them must be fenced with iron and the staff of a spear", 2Sam.23:7.8. Let there be mercy! However, it should be noted that the disgusted are accepted and acceptable among their own kind, just as thieves or alcoholics accept and trust their own sort. Species always seek the comfort and company among their own kind.
  152. "All my salvation (is in Him) (...) Will He not make it increase?", 2Sam.23:5. Sometimes there are words and affirmations in the Bible that can pass us by for various reasons. One of those reasons is that the wording is beautiful and becomes an appealing setup that we do not understand very well; they are word constructions that rhyme or appeal to us. This verse is one such situation. David speaks of "all my salvation". That may mean a few things. It means that partial 'salvation' is possible, that is, one may believe to be saved when God has only freed him from certain sins or from certain means used by sin. A smoker, for example, has a great struggle against his addiction and when he overcomes it, he ends up believing he is fully saved because the fight has been ferocious against something that dominated him mercilessly. The enormity of that struggle made him despise other sins, which were left unattended and of which he has not been saved yet. The joy of victory over vice will put all other sins in the background, unattended or will make them look less important to the point of being despised and be underestimated. Any sin kills. You do not need to be hit by an atomic bomb to die. A small bullet kills just as easily. It is necessary that salvation be complete and total, being saved from everything. Never trust a partial salvation, even if it is your own. On the other hand, David affirms that this total and complete salvation "is in Him", even though the English translation doesn't put it that way, as other translations do. Whenever we begin to see sin as a too serious threat to go unattended, the temptation to save ourselves emerges from darkness to keep us from being fully saved by Jesus and His power. We should always know that He is the only Saviour and there is no other. Any other saviour or salvation methodology is His competitor and not His helper. By trying to save ourselves, our salvation will not be in Him. "And blessed is your advice, and blessed are you who have kept me (...) from delivering myself with my own hand", 1Sam.25:33,26.
  153. Any stage of growth is a critical time, especially because of the counter influences of people with whom any kind of relationship is maintained, or because of any kind of circumstances we may face. We must choose and select what we must see, hear, speak about and with what sort of people we may or may not get along.
  154. Is it possible for God to abandon me? Yes, this is possible as it is also possible that He will never abandon me. And if one day He forsakes me, it will be for a good reason and a good cause, for God can not do evil. Even abandoning me will be right and He will be doing what is proper and good for His Kingdom.
  155. "In His wrath He shall confound (distress) them", Ps.2:5. We read in many places of Scripture and in varied situations that men will be confused in God and distressed. We also read that many of those who are confused are those who call themselves by the name of God: the believers. They shall be all the more distressed and feel troubled because they are believers. And why be confounded? Every person confused in this aspect is and will always be someone who believes or expects one thing from the Lord, and something very different or even opposite happens. And that is precisely what will happen: one expects one thing from God and the opposite happens to him. Many of those who wait for heaven will receive hell; those who make jokes about heavenly things (in their confidence) will see God laughing at them and not at the joke, instead of reaching out to them; those who hope to attain mercy only at the end of their lives, having rejected it along their earthly time that they might be saved from all their sins in time, will be surprised by the wrath and rejection of God. Let us not deceive ourselves about the Lord. He has never changed and will never change.
  156. There are things that work out or take its time to work out and other things that do not work out so well. But, what counts is the true inner testimony from God about it, for there must be a testimony of God that must prevail above all apparent failures - or even successes. And whenever anything that God has announced takes some time to come to fruition - if it was really God who spoke and if the person abides in Him - the inner testimony will prevail. In 'believing' people who do not have this testimony or who can not have it because they are separated from God (by sin) and are found apart from Him in the true sense of the Word, a deceiving substitute for this testimony will, then, prevail as a similarity. This substitute is a mixture of stubbornness with a perverse and compulsive feeling worked by self for the sake of self in the name of God, thinking highly of self and taking its position before God for granted, which is, sometimes, instigated and sponsored by demons. Usually, such people are turned into people who believe they know everything, who think they can do and accomplish everything, and who insist that they should be heard in everything and always feel offended if they are not taken into account or heard. Any such person becomes an imposter, it is, someone who imposes everything he thinks or believes. And any imposter or imposer is an opponent to God and to good sense. We must never forget that there is always a carnal substitute or similitude for every virtuosity or virtue from God, for we have been created for these virtues. Being empty of them, the organic of the creature will try to fill it up (or fulfil it) with some similarity or image of what is on earth or heaven. And the likeness of anything on earth or heaven is a form of idolatry. It is for this reason that stubbornness is idolatry (1Sam.15:23), for it tries to fill the soul with substitutes. That is also why carnal people are very deceived about holiness or sanctification. So as not to displease people, they try to please them by holding it up as love. And it's not love - it's a substitute. That is why carnal 'sanctification' is repressive and the true one replaces sinful customs completely, exterminating old habits by filling the soul with true, practical virtues of love. The flesh breaks the vessel in pieces if it carries some dirty water, to prevent it from being filled again; true sanctification, however, cleanses the vessel fully and fills it again with true, pure and living water. Stubbornness is replaced by obedience to the testimony; belief is replaced by true faith that is born from a real relationship with God; true hope replaces self-deception which expects in vain; and thus, every vessel is transformed rather than repressed or broken. Covering the mouth of the vessel to prevent it to be filled with dirty water is also to cover it not to be filled with living water. Everyone who imposes, opposes the true work of God and creates an opposing spirit within rather than a good disposition towards God. "And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared (with a good mood and contentment) for the Lord", Lk.1:17. "Blessed are you who sow beside all waters, who send free the feet of the ox and the ass", Is.32:20.
  157. "I took you from the sheepfold, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people, over Israel", 2Sam.7:8. It is good to take into account what Jesus said: "Whoever is faithful in the least shall be faithful in much", Lk.16:10. Now, David was faithful as a shepherd - probably, unlike his brothers. Being faithful in that and depending on God fully for the sake of the sheep and his father's possessions, he could be placed as head of the people of God because of the heart that he had within him. Joseph was faithful in everything during his stay in prison and during his time as a slave of Potiphar, maintaining a continuous and healthy communion with God to the point of being able to seek and to hear accurately and diligently the voice of God, under a heavy yoke, about the dreams of other prisoners. Very few can do that under a heavy yoke. He kept that fellowship and communion with God, too, after he had become king of Egypt. Nothing had changed for him. Only the place where he had that intimate communion with God changed - not him and neither the fellowship with God. These are the men whom God seeks. No one will feel satisfied by changing from place to place if he is not satisfied with God in the most uncomfortable place in the world. "My son, fear thou the Lord and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change", Prov.24:21. The heart that the person has in an uncomfortable place will go on with him anywhere. No one will be faithful in wealth (or towards abundant life) if he is not permanently faithful with his time, thoughts, discipline, sleep and in his few resources under poverty. No one will be faithful in marriage if he is not faithful before marrying. And then, we can follow the same reasoning in all other areas of our life. We must be faithful at heart and from our own nature. God seeks only a faithful heart. That is what He seeks. The rest is with Him. "The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you", 1Sam.13:14. "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro in all the whole earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward Him", 2Cron.16:9.
  158. "Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you", 2Sam.7:3. A prophet who walks with God speaking this way knows what he is saying. When a person is with God and God with him, as was David's case, he must do what is in his hand to do. This is what the prophet assumed as truth at that time before he had to go back on his word because of a more accurate word from God, which He had spoken after Nathan had left David.
  159. "And he shall be like a tree (...) that bringeth forth his fruit in his season...", Ps.1:3. We all know that there is such a thing as God's time. No one can deny that. However, here we read that there are trees that bear fruit in the proper season because they are planted along streams of living water. Therefore, we can assume that there are trees whose fruit is out of season or even inexistent because they depend very much on the weather and circumstances. There are people who strive only under troubles and adverse circumstances, whose fruit we see only when they feel pressured to turn to God, that is, to turn to the living waters. They do this because they are not permanently planted by the streams of pure, living water. Only under adverse circumstances can they show forth some fruit. They are not planted near streams of living water, that is to say that their pleasure is not, in fact, drawn exclusively from the Word of the Lord and they have not enough time to meditate on it unless they are compelled to do so by their needs and circumstances. They are not the same under well-being and adversities, poverty and riches, hunger and abundance. They change according to circumstances. They do no abide in Jesus all the time. "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you", John 15:7. "I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need", Phil.4:12. One must be in the position where one remains in God, being permanently grounded in Him. "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered", John 15:6.
  160. In case I had the privilege in my life of preaching every day of the week, I would certainly make a point of preaching about hell at least once a week.
  161. If I ever have the privilege of attaining a work of the dimension of Pentecost, I know that even my mistakes will be praised and magnified by many, and that much of what I have done perfectly will be severely criticized by many others. I do not know which of the parties would be the most wrong, because both contribute to the lie. Those who praise errors (instead of recognizing them with a spirit of meekness, understanding and forgiveness in the heart) grant a reason to the opponents of God to disprove everything they say about it.
  162. "The Lord shall repay the evildoer according to his wickedness", 2Sam.3:39. If this is true that God will repay the wrongdoer according to his wickedness, it is also true that he will repay well-doing according to the true, existing goodness in the heart. That is, it will not be the good deed that will determine the repayment of what man has done, but the true goodness that exists within the person while the act is accomplished or done. Many do good to others with dubious motives and without true inner goodness. They will be rewarded according to what exists within their heart and not according to the size of the deed. The foolish person can be called generous, and the greedy miser can be said to be bountiful, Is.32:5. A small deed coming from a heart of great kindness will be rewarded according to that kindness and not according to the size of the deed. It shall be rewarded above an enormous act with a small kindness of the heart. "Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all", Lk.21:3. The same principle is applied to transgression and sin. A heart full of kindness and holiness which falls in some occasional transgression, the transgression being something that did not come from an evil heart, will not receive the same treatment as a transgression coming from a wicked heart. "He shall reprove with equity for the meek of the earth", Is.11:4. Even the sort of repentance of both is not the same and doesn't work out the same way. The one needs to be forgiven and changed - without change there is no forgiveness; while the good heart needs only to find forgiveness and to hold on to what he has or had. "Take not Thy Holy Spirit from me; He who is bathed has no need except to wash his feet, but is clean every whit", John 13:10; Ps.51:11.
  163. "For I know that the Lord is great", Ps.135:5. I hear many people praising God and singing to Him and I have always found that there is a lack of truth in their songs of praise, a lack of reality that they try to compensate by pulling on to feelings they do not have and would like to have. In fact, few see it as hypocrisy or as an abominable vomit which they pull out by force. Anyone who does not experience in practical life the greatness of God should rethink the way he sings to see if, by chance, what he sings is a realization of truth and if it is a reality in his life. The Psalmist says he knows that God is great. He does not suspect that God is great, does not believe only, but knows He is great from personal experience. He experiences God being great. And only those who know God this way have the ability to truly recognize and acknowledge that He is great. Are all the songs that are heard acceptable to God, and are the hearts true in what they sing? Perhaps, they sing only of what they have heard or go along with the melody.
  164. A woman who does not submit to her husband or a man who submits to his wife becomes one of the biggest stumbling blocks and biggest miscarriages of the planet. A wife who does not submit can not be a man even if she she tries hard and, at the same time, she is not being a woman. She leaves her place and space void to try to occupy a space where she does not belong and which she cannot fill. The same happens with a man who submits to his wife.
  165. "Admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed", Titus 2:5. This is something we must take into account: every woman who does not submit to her husband contributes to the blasphemous' sins of others, and that the Word of God be ill-seen and undesirable. I have heard people say of women who are not up to the true gospel of God: "If that is how you serve God, I do not want anything to do with your God!"
  166. "My enemies have forgotten Your words", Ps.119:139. The human way entertains this romantic idea that if we become pleasant to God we will be pleasant to everyone. It is pure romanticism, especially when we have found genuine life from God. It should be noted that the Bible states that the righteous will be persecuted for being righteous - and not for any other reason whatsoever. The Psalmist says that his enemies are those who have forgotten the Words of God. This is not because the Psalmist has enmity within him or that he is the enemy, but because enmity exists or comes into being in those who have forgotten the Word. The Word of God, when loved and revered, has the ability to transform for good those who cling to it from the heart. On the other hand, forgetting the Word, despising it, ignoring it, or abandoning it has the ability to turn anyone evil, bitter and full of enmity. Hence, all those who have forgotten the Word of God have become enemies of the Psalmist who cherishes and loves every word of His Lord in its fullness. They have been driven to opposite poles. "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword", Mat.10:34.
  167. Error is and shall always be more insisting and more persistent than any right way because it has no peace. "But the wicked are like the troubled sea, which cannot rest, and its waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, says my God, to the wicked", Is.57:21.
  168. There is always a straight way to be found among crooked ways and circumstances, especially when God leads. In the midst of confusion (which should never affect any of those who are truly led by God) we must follow the way God puts before us without allowing anything or anyone to interrupt it in any way.
  169. "Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek Your statutes", Ps.119:155. There is a huge wave of believers who seek all from God but the ability to fulfil truth from their hearts. They seek prosperity, peace and happiness, all that any demon would gladly have from God. The devil would also like to be happy. The devil himself would be very happy to get all that Christians demand to have from the Lord. In this respect, I see no difference between this type of believer and the devil. They are said to be saved because they attend church, sing well, while they do everything with wrong motives, that is, they wish to bribe God with their worshipping by wanting an Almighty God on their side, and their service to God to be instrumental to their own happiness. But if the statutes of God are not sought above all things that exist and are not sought for the sake of the statutes themselves, I do not think it is easy to truly save such a person. I do not believe in a believer who does not seek to fulfil from the heart and who does not seek to find the means to be able to fulfil by grace - and not by any other means. It takes a heart transformed by God - and not transformed by self - to be able to fulfil through the power of grace exclusively. Whoever does not seek this as an end in itself, cannot consider himself saved. Saved from what? We are saved from our sins and freed from our ability to sin - and from the capacity to try to save ourselves (for the sake of self). To find such a heart along with all the means to achieve it is not the same as seeking salvation as a means to gain access to other ends. Not even eternal happiness should be our purpose after all, although it is an unavoidable consequence resulting from genuine salvation. Our purpose is to find all the means to be able to obey and to fulfil. If not, we will remain ungodly whether we believe we are believers, pastors or not. Let us never forget that even Saul believed that God would be on his side against David. "And Saul was told that David had gone to Keilah. So Saul said, 'God has delivered him into my hand, for he has shut himself in by entering a town that has gates and bars'", 1Sam.23:7. It seemed only very logical to the demon-possessed Saul that God would deliver the anointed David into his hands to kill him. That's how deep into deceit one can get!
  170. In addition to the deception itself, the doctrines of prosperity aim at the demotivation of many and succeed in putting many hearts against God, especially the hearts of those who believe in this type of doctrine. An irrefutable fact is that God uses many of the circumstances of earthly life (if not all circumstances) to achieve all His purposes inside and outside the hearts of people. "From His dwelling place He looks on all the people of the earth. He forms their hearts", Ps.33:15. Now, whenever we can not see God, His blessings and all His work apart from earthly prosperity, we will be confronted with certain realities that will make us believe that God does not love us, or that He does not exist or that He leads us to look for a needle in the haystack trying to find the reason for not being prosperous. The true promised prosperity in the essence of the Word is to be rich in understanding and, above all, in true life. The rest depends on the will of God and what He can add unto us without putting our eternity at risk. Let's us never desire a morsel of dirty bread above eternity, for that is what this world's prosperity is if compared to eternity.
  171. Your law is truth", Ps.119:142. Many talk about the Law of God as an attorney would speak about the laws in this present world. However, it is to be understood that the definition of the Law of God is not to be compared with the one which man gives to it in the sense of this world. Whoever is true of heart and walks in the Truth abides by the Law of God. The Law of God is truth and only truthful people are able to walk in it. "Can two walk together unless they agree?", Amos 3:3.
  172. "I have restrained my feet from every evil way, That I may keep Your word", Ps.119:101. It is true that he who observes the Word deflects his own feet from all evil ways. But we can not confuse maintenance with the required conditions and principles to start or even restart a serious work in the heart of man. To be able to observe the Word, it is also demanded that the feet are diverted from all appearance of evil before grace is received to attend to the needs of man's heart. It is a decision and an act of man's heart. Grace, being an active power, will not be found otherwise, except for the confirmation of the purpose of keeping one's feet and heart from evil. Grace is the power from high. The power from high is an unmistakable manifestation of the power of grace.
  173. "And I will walk at liberty, For I seek Your precepts", Ps.119:45. Walking in freedom has more to it than to overcome or to overcome sin. It means that we walk in holiness in a natural way, as if we have never walked or lived any other way before. It means that sin becomes absurd and, also, whoever walks that way will never be wise in his own eyes, neither holy in is own eyes because such a person doesn't discuss the matter of his own holiness since it is as natural to him as is breathing. No one discusses his breathing unless he is very sick. And no one discusses his own holiness unless he is unholy.
  174. Anyone who deceives himself shall always think that others are deceiving him. Because he feels deceived, he must have someone to blame. By not allowing the possibility of it being self-deception, he shall blame someone else. "All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes", Prov.16:2.
  175. "The deceit (of those who err from thy statutes) is falsehood", Ps.119:118. Let us understand this verse better. "The deceit (of those who deviate from Your statutes) is falsehood". Many people deceive themselves and say they are being deceived by others. But, deception grows only on a sort of ground which is proper for it to grow upon. There is a kind of deception that occurs because of the falsehood that exists at heart level, and which the person does not recognize as such because it is something of the heart. As the eye of man looks ahead and doesn't see itself and the hand cannot grab itself, in the same way, the heart doesn't recognize itself and needs the external hand of grace to do so. When you go astray and stay astray (and even sing God's songs in a foreign land), it does not happen by casual mistake, but it is because of the falsehood of the heart. The heart is the traitor. This is the main cause for backsliding - not temptation. (Remaining on the way under temptation may also mean that man remains in the way to be changed and does not always mean that he remains there because is already changed. It doesn't mean, either, that a backslider doesn't preach the truth; or that he doesn't carry on singing God's songs; or that he doesn't look holy from outside). Temptation might be the enticing means, but is not the main reason for backsliding. "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us", 1John 2:19. The person does not go astray because he is tempted, but because he is false towards God at a heart level. We know that anyone thinks too well of himself and trusts himself more than God or His word, which states that the heart is deceitful above all things. Consequently, man doesn't believe that his own heart can be deceitful to the point of abandoning God. He has conceived an own world from which he tries to live on and draw assumptions from. That might be why man is capable of singing and of preaching being far away from the Lord. As a rule, too, he never looks at his own heart as an opponent of God, but, believes rather that God is a friend to his heart. If the heart nourished friendship for God and not enmity against Him, it would not need to be changed along the way. For this reason, when a man feels deceived in his own ways, he seeks out other guilty parties and assumes to be innocent or to be wronged. Sometimes, he even blames God for the mistakes of his own ways. Misconceptions arise from the deceit of one's own heart, from duplicity hidden from one's own eyes, or from sins of the heart that prevent from walking with God in a real way - whether those sins are secret, covered up, forgotten or simply ignored. By not walking with God in a real way, man seeks alternatives to affirm himself, including the one of standing on a false belief that he already walks with God. It is in this respect that "deceit is falsehood" or that existing falsehood is at work in a concealed way, and is, in fact, the main cause for backsliding or for destruction.
  176. Many believe that it is through effort that we are fulfilling the commandments of God when in fact the commandment must be something from the heart. And when something is from the heart, it is natural, simple and often almost unconscious. The effort is called to exercise the commandments of the heart only when there are interferences and setbacks such as persecution, distraction, fatigue and other things that can affect us to the point of not being able to live from what we really are or have become in Jesus. Sentimental effort is not a demonstration or revelation of the heart and can be proof that we do not have what we strive to feel, to do or to show forth. Because it is not from the heart, one tries to force what he is not or what he does not have in him to be.
  177. "Let my heart be blameless regarding Your statutes, That I may not be ashamed", Ps.119:80. (The word "ashamed" can also be translated as "confused". Shame, in biblical terms, is the same as confusion deriving from being let down by God. It means one expects something and gets another or gets nothing). It is possible for someone to try to keep God's commandments or even to try to keep them because of the attacks of conscience that he suffers, or because of fear of condemnation, or even for another greater reason. Yet not all those who strive to fulfil have attained a righteous heart in what they strive to accomplish. It is desirable that the commandments of God be a strong expression of the heart of those who fulfil them, and never something contrary to their heart. That sort of contrariety would be like someone who married and did not give up the heart of a bachelor or who persists in thinking like a bachelor while trying to live a married life. We must know that our whole conduct must reveal the true content of our whole heart, that is, the commandments must be the full expression of a truly transformed heart. Our whole heart must be printed out and visible on our faces and in our normal conduct. When that does not happen we will be like Saul who prophesies by the Spirit of God and shoots murderous spears in practical life by the spirit of the devil. The heart becomes a traitor to the commandments and this leads to confusion. One hears voices that pressure him to obey and, at the same time, might hear one little voice that should be obeyed to the detriment of the others, and yet, is overwhelmed by the others. It will be that way that someone gets confused, because the heart is not right inside. We need to walk with God without a divided heart, and instead of trying to keep all the commandments with that kind of heart, we'd better pray for a new heart. But, it becomes very difficult for someone to ask for a new heart when he believes that he already has it. Our heart must be in unison with every will of God and with each one of all His commandments. If not, we will certainly be confused along our way. "I love Your Commandments above gold; yea, even fine gold (...) Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O Lord, according to thy lovingkindness (...) My soul has kept your testimonies; and I love them exceedingly", Ps.119:127,159,167.
  178. Both goodness and evil must be able to produce in us the fruit of righteousness, that is, they have the capacity to make righteous people more righteous.
  179. "I have remembered thy name, O Lord, in the night (...) This I had, because I kept thy precepts", Ps.119:55,56. Many speak of grace and how it works, but very few truly understand what the real power of grace means in a practical life. It is a power and if it is not power it is not grace. If the Psalmist says that he could remember the name of God by keeping his commandments, we can and should draw many conclusions from it, which are mostly opposing many nowadays doctrines regarding the grace of God. In order to remember God - which we do by having grace active in us - we must walk with Him and if we do not walk with Him, we will forget Him or, at least, we will not remember Him. It is not difficult to remember someone who touches us continually, who penetrates us and who makes Himself felt by His presence. It is true that he who walks with God keeps all his commandments and that he who keeps his commandments for the sake of God and His love walks with Him. However, we must never forget that grace (favour) is implored and received. "I entreated thy favour with my whole heart (...) I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies", Ps.119:58,59.
  180. "Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, And I shall keep it to the end", Ps.119:33. There are certain conditions and certain things that must happen in order to be able to keep the commandments of God to the end and, getting there, being able to say without lying: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith", 2Tim.4:7. One of those conditions is to be taught by God in a personal way and not merely by men. "It is written in the Prophets, "And they shall all be taught of God". "They", means those who are God's and not any other. "Therefore, everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to Me", John 6:45. No one comes to God learning from a man, unless God uses Himself what man teaches, having received from God himself. Even so, we must be taught by God personally and individually forgetting the man who helps or helped us in whatever way.
  181. "I have declared my ways, and You answered me", Ps.119:26. The Bible states that if we confess each of our many sins by name we will be promptly forgiven, assuming that whoever confesses them does so intending to leave them as well. This has many similarities with describing to God all our ways. However, let us bear in mind that it is necessary for God to hear us concerning sin and describing them to Him. For God to hear, it is necessary to describe all our ways in detail without covering anything to anyone or about anyone, and also that our description is perfect and in accordance to the truth, that is, it should not be what we think of ourselves, but, what is really true. We must describe what God sees in the way He sees it. Otherwise, we will never be heard about this description, let alone be forgiven.
  182. "Your testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors", Ps.119:24. We know that all carnal people seek pleasure and delight through what they do, think or desire. Others seek to have enjoyment through the testimonies of God and in the Word. It is always better to find pleasure in the Word, for it means that you do not seek it in what opposes God and you. But pleasure in itself does not add anything to the practical life of heaven, it is, to eternal life which starts here and now, for the commandment must become life and inner virtue, and pleasure can at best become an incentive to achieve that sort of life, but can never be made an end in itself. The motivation must be to live and that for God, and not to have pleasure. That is why no one should be satisfied with finding pleasure in the testimonies of Jesus, for these testimonies are given to be profound counsellors from the deepest of the soul of the person and not mere pleasures.
  183. "And Saul took the kingdom over Israel and fought against all his enemies on every side", 1Sam.14:47. It seems all began to evolve in the right direction after Saul took over the throne, taking it from God. I have heard many sincere believers say that since they have become believers things have ceased to function as they thought it should. With a carnal king, however, carnal people felt at home, successful and directed. But, God is spiritual and when the people lack real spirituality, it becomes clear why "the word of the Lord is rare and there is no widespread revelation" to guide them, 1Sam.3:1. God cannot guide them through carnal ways, as they demand. Therefore, they must be guided by other means. In men of the flesh, things work by the power of the flesh; in the spiritual man, things work out only by an active power of grace. Now, when men wait on God and continue to be carnal, it is obvious that they will not hear nor receive from Him. And for things to work out with them, they must either become active spiritual men in the true sense of the word or they must turn back to the power of the world again, otherwise they will remain stagnant - or deceived. Our options must not be between whether things work out or not, but if they are accomplished through graceful means or not. The flesh can brag about many accomplishments. Things must be able to work out here on earth the way they work out in heaven, it is, "on earth as it is done in heaven".
  184. "...That that I may be avenged on mine enemies", 1Sam.14:24. These were Saul's words about the Philistines. For him, they were no longer God's enemies, but his own. Now when the enemies become our enemies and we no longer have them as the enemies of God - being enemies of God - it will happen that we will fight by the power of anger. Such wrath does not come from God and can't work the righteousness of God (James 1:20). What must move us is the power of God and of grace, which is often imitated by the power of the flesh. It being imitated, the will of God shall be limited or simply nullified. Our zeal must never be anger, hatred, impatience or anything else that causes us to move for the sake of what is right (and ceases to be right because of sin in the heart, and because the motives by which we execute have become personal and carnal). If we fight, let's fight for God - with God. Otherwise we will have carnal ideas that will hinder us in our ways and in many ways, just as Saul's curse harmed people by not allowing them to feed themselves during a hard battle (1Sam.14:29), weakening the people who should be strengthened instead. And this is how an evil path will seem good to our eyes and the wrong one will seem to be the right one. Let's have sin as the enemy of God and not merely as our enemy. God's enemies must be our enemies. However, it doesn't mean that our enemies are always God's enemies.
  185. "Revive me in Your way", Ps.119:37. It is quite possible to try entering into the ways of God without being vivified or revived in them. That is, the paths are followed on the basis of laws and precepts and never through the life and a fire from the heart kindled by the love of God in all the power of grace. We need not only to walk in the ways of God, but to be quickened in them.
  186. "Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord", Ps.119:1. There is more in this blessedness than the real reward (present or final) for those who succeed in being righteous before God and all men. It has much to do with the previous state of grace in which all those who are able to walk with God without interruption can be found. If they are not blessed beforehand, they will not be able to walk all the ways of God. It is through the power of grace that we can walk and stand upright in all the ways of Jesus. "Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word"; "...Grant me thy law graciously", Ps.119:17;29. You have to be alive to keep grace flowing through obedience. Without these things no one will be able to be blessed to the point of having a happy ending. We must seek grace and find it without delay.
  187. "I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches", Ps.119:14. Sincerity in such an affirmation is there only when the person has been really materially rich and his practical life reveals or proves that what he says is true. Having the poor saying this, not being rich, will not pass from a good intention of principles which is very hard to prove by his practical life. However, there is a way to have it tested in the life of the poor. Just look at how dissatisfied or satisfied he is found in his situation of material poverty and if only Jesus satisfies him under such circumstances. If he lives satisfied with that sort of providence coming from God, he can certainly become someone who rejoices with God's testimonies more than in riches once he gets them. Think of Joseph who came out of slavery and went from a dungeon to a palace from which he ruled the world and did not change a bit.
  188. I hold the option in my hand to get angry and annoyed or not when I am assaulted by aggression and evil, and to keep my course intact, that is, to continue to do just what I was doing as if nothing had happened. "Princes also sat and spoke against me; but Your servant thought on Your Precepts", Ps.119:23. It is not possible to get involved with evil and be at peace with God at the same time, and to become aggressive because of evil is similar to getting involved in sin. That is a sure way of being overcome by it, Rom.12:21. Being a son of Jesus, I should never be bothered or concerned with evil - not even by being resentful against any part of it. To resent is to get involved. However, I can not obtain this wisdom of practical life as long as I please or displease people, for aggression can bring about both one thing and the other and, sometimes, simultaneously. And in both situations I will be involving my heart in the sins of others and will have a great share in them, 1Tim.5:22.
  189. "With my lips I have declared all the judgments of Your mouth", Ps.119:13. Here is a good example of being imitators of Christ. We do not read that "with my lips I will declare all judgments" but "all the judgments of Your mouth". What God says, we say; what God thinks, we think - we do not say; what God does, we do - we do not say. "Truly, truly, I say to you, The Son can do nothing of Himself but what He sees the Father do. For whatever things He does, these also the Son does likewise", John 5:19. But it is necessary to see Christ and to obtain full communion with Him so that we can do what He does as He does by having a full perception of His doings and by which power He does. How will we be imitators of whom we do not see?
  190. "And you will see an enemy in My dwelling place, in all the good which God does for Israel", 1Sam.2:32. For many of those whose faith is based on believing doctrines, it is an unacceptable truth that the good that God has determined to do can be be turned into evil without equal. Our living with God should lead us to a good teaching and to be able to live in that through the grace of God - and through that only. "He said, I have sworn in My wrath that they should not enter into My rest although the works were finished from the foundation of the world", Heb.4:3. It must be borne in mind that God can and should get angry. However, who will bear the wrath of the Lord?
  191. "My mouth is enlarged over my enemies because I rejoice in Your salvation", 1Sam.2:1. One must understand the difference between words and between certain expressions linked to certain words. "Because I rejoice" is not the same as "therefore I rejoice". We can not rejoice in salvation because God has given us other things. We may rejoice in other things because God has given us salvation - if that salvation is real. Had God not given us salvation from all sins all other things would or could become sinful stumbling blocks. Our true joy must consist in the real fact that we have been delivered from sin, that we have been saved from all our sins and all the loves of this world. This kind of joy in this kind of salvation means that from then on the world saddens us and we do not miss it anymore, and we feel misplaced in it. The world raped us and salvation makes us virgins again. Our true joy does not consist in the fall of our enemies, but must consist in the fact that we are saved from all our sins.
  192. "Speak these things, exhort (...) Let no one despise you", Tit.2:15. It is important that no one who has the gift of exhortation should be limited or set off by the contempt of others. This contempt may arise for many reasons, or Paul would not warn Titus about it. Excluding the fact that a prophet is never recognized and respected in his own environment, yet there are other ways to lose the respect of others and to win the contempt of many. A stumbling block can lead to the contempt of others, especially when such stumbling blocks do not originate in a pure and clean gospel (for the true Gospel is a stumbling block. The Corner Stone was and is a stumbling block for many dissolute and irreconcilable ones. This kind of of contempt, however, is not what Paul speaks about here). Each one must search his own life so that the only cause for contempt may be a pure Gospel. To be despised as Jesus was by refusing to leave the Cross to do the will of the Father is divine. But to be despised for speaking what Jesus does not show or to live a worldly life is diabolical. Let each one search his life under the true light of the Holy Spirit.
  193. "You will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come", John 8:21. If we can not afford to die with something that does not allow us to enter heaven, we certainly can not live with it either before we die. Eternal life begins here and we it is here we receive the life of Jesus from Him. Now, if sin prevents us from enjoying this eternal life after death, it certainly prevents us from living from it here on earth. If something prevents us from entering eternity at peace with God, surely that same thing will keep us from living in peace with Him right now. Everything that prevents death from becoming eternal life, prevents us from walking with Jesus now, and He with us. It will not only cost us eternity, but will prevent communion with Jesus, His approval, walking with God and all that it entails.
  194. "And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon such who have not heard", Mic.5:15. I have seen many people complain that they do not hear God. It is true that many hear and do not understand what they hear or don't take it to heart for some reason. But there are those who really can not hear the voice of God, much less distinguish it from other voices. This verse of Scripture is a serious warning for all. God will take revenge on whom does not take notice when He speaks, certainly. Knowing that whoever can hear is sheep, it means that all who do not hear have not become sheep. Hence the revenge on those who do not hear.
  195. "And He shall stand and feed His flock In the strength of the Lord", Mic.5:4. Many believe to be shepherds or to belong to the ones who are pastured in a herd. The Bible speaks of those leaders who shepherd themselves and cause the flock to fatten them. They feed on the flock and their resources. Because of it many feel pastured and assume it is God who feeds them. To feel that way having been fed is but a small step. Let us remember that we will only be fed by God if we are able to do so by His strength. If it is self or own force that tries to walk on God's ways and which makes us 'stand', then the person commits an enormous crime. Self-piety or an own walk can never been taken as being pastured by God. Remember that you must stand, yes, but through the strength of the Lord. If you can't stand that way, you are not standing at all.
  196. "Therefore, at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and accused the Jews", Dan.3:8. The Chaldeans, especially the most prominent ones, began to hate all the Jews because of the piety, ascension, faithfulness, and integrity of Daniel and his friends. It can be assumed beyond a shadow of a doubt that the cause of this hatred that, eventually, had spread against all Jews derived from people like Daniel. The world never forgives the integrity of a saint, for it can not reach out to anything which integrity achieves in the long run. "And all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution", 2Tim.3:12.
  197. When it is all over, God will turn his back forever on all those who have not been saved. It is a terrifying prospect of never being remembered again by God. Here on earth even the vilest sinner holds on a hope that one day he can be remembered by God. After the earth passes away, there will be no more such hopes, let alone the possibility of being remembered by Him.
  198. "And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints", Rev.19:8. We know that many figures, stories and parables in the Bible represent unmistakable truths. Here, we hear about the clean (white) linen with which the bride is dressed. White (cleanness) represents holiness and purity and the linen represent the acts and the lives of people. Besides, it shines and is bright. Jesus is marrying the purity and the holiness that we are. Once married, the two become one and Jesus Himself shines out of it. In other words, Jesus is forever associated with the purity of the saints and their doings, that is, the linen does not represent only the bride's own clothing, purity and holiness anymore, but His choice as well. He, so to say, dresses Himself up with what we are as well since it shines off His name. Will Jesus be able to put on your current righteousness? Would He dress Himself up with your garments? Never forget that Jesus, in the eyes of this world, is dressed with the righteousness you have, practice or reveal without feigning. All that is forced is hypocrisy. And Jesus will never dress Himself up with hypocrisy. However, in the eyes of the world, you represent Him. From their point of view, He is dressed with you. "For the name of God is blasphemed among the nations because of you", Rom.2:24. Here on earth you will continue to carry His name on your shoulders and the testimony of Jesus depends largely on what you live without feigning and not on what you are able to say or preach. That's what the name of Jesus is dressed with. It shines off the name of Jesus. Therefore, "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity", 2Tim.2:19.
  199. "For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested", Rev.15:4. I believe most Bible scholars never understood the Bible. In fact, they do not take the Bible seriously. At the very best, they do not understand it the way it should be understood. They are lost in their own thoughts and cease to be open to true instruction and true teaching of the true wisdom of truth through the true Holy Spirit. Whenever they read the Bible they are not open to the teachings of the Holy Spirit and, consequently, follow their own thoughts and interpretations about it. And own interpretation depends a lot of own experiences of things. Then, they feel pleased with their 'biblical' thoughts, something that serves as an incentive to follow on in the same way and even to improve the imitation of true knowledge. That way, they avoid the enormous impact that the Word of God can bring about within the soul. When God's judgments are manifested in the true sense of the Word, people prostrate themselves before God. Let me explain. When something is manifested within the person's soul, the impact is as great as what happened to those whose hearts have been cut as a result of Pentecost. And even when there is no reason (sin) to be cut in the heart, as was the case of the disciples who were already prepared for the coming of Jesus (the Holy Spirit), yet the impact on them has a lasting and eternal effect. It is in this way that we desire that the Word of God and all his judgments be manifested. Nothing else can be considered as a manifestations of the judgments of God. Real revival resembles Judgment Day in many ways. And it is real.
  200. The desire to change and to be transformed is what makes God work inside and outside the one who wants to change. When God sees that the desire exists in fact, He attends to that prayer and to the request of anyone who asks for the power of grace to be changed. The will to change will then be transformed into a will to remain changed after it has happened.
  201. I believe from personal experience that it is entirely necessary to have trials and tribulations along the way to be cleansed and pruned of many things. However, there are various kinds of tribulations and trials. There are trials that pass quickly and there are long-term ones. Long-term ones can become strenuous, even if they are not of the difficult kind. Long-term trials are absolutely necessary for a spiritual exercise which aims at achieving constancy by exterminating intermittences in the spiritual life to make it stable. According to the Bible, we need to stand and remain so and not only to stand up all the time. If there are still areas where you still resist God by believing that you are doing the right thing unaware that the 'right' thing that you pursue is counteracting against God's workings within, a long-lasting trial will either exterminate all false hopes or will exterminate you. One way to resist God is to persist in believing that God will give what He wants to exterminate from our most remote hopes, or that He will do that which He won't do.
  202. Part of my work is to encourage everyone on the way of God or in the beginning stages of entering it, as well as it id to discourage all those who do not walk in the ways of God or start thinking of abandoning, in some way or degree, the ways where God leads. Encouragement to anyone who is leaving God or God's ways is synonymous of working against life itself. Let's never be guilty of it.
  203. "Those who wait on the Lord shall inherit the earth", Ps.37:9. Waiting on the Lord is much more than a waiting of time and for time to pass by until the time of God has come. It is true that there is such a thing as God's time, as there is time to be born to a child in gestation. But, the truth is that what determines the birth of a baby is that it is fully formed and ready to be born. However, many wait in vain, for there is no gestation in the spirit for what they wait for. Waiting on God has much to do with true expectations worked by God in us and with certainties. It's not just about letting time pass by. If there is no concrete thing operated by the Holy Spirit within the person, if hope is without foundation, all waiting is in vain and will become an unparalleled disappointment. Besides, time is given with the sole purpose of having someone - anyone - fully prepared to receive. God labours within man to prepare him for what is coming to him and to have him faithful and ready from then on. Imagine a lady waiting for a baby. She knows what she is carrying inside her and no one can tell her she is not carrying a baby. People may try to convince her otherwise, but they will never be able to make her believe otherwise if she is in her perfect mind. And she also knows that if all goes well with the pregnancy and with her, in due time her baby shall be born. Besides, her mind changes along the way and she is made ready and mature to nurse a child after that time of waiting. The responsibility of nursing grows in the meantime and becomes a pleasure. This is how expectation works within the person in whom God manifests himself about something. That is what it is all about when we speak of waiting in the Lord, of hope and of hope that does not deceive. That is how hope works out when it is fruit born from the Spirit. "My expectation is from Him", Ps.62:5. "Christ in you, hope of glory", Col.1:27. There are many who insist on a kind of hope which is not sure about anything and which is not worked by Christ. And there are many who hope without having Christ for real in them.
  204. It may happen that a person does not know the reason why God sends tribulation or why he allows anguish. However, this should not prevent the joy of heaven to take hold of the soul if all our ways are truly given to God. And if they are not yet surrendered to Him in all honesty and total trust in His providence, they are still in time to do so. "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience", James 1:3. By what we read or can interpret from this part of James, the refusal to have joy under these circumstances has much to do with the lack of true wisdom. "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God and it will be given to him", James 1:5. Asking for this kind of wisdom if we do not have it - or if we do not know how to apply it - is an act of faithfulness from us, that is, it is a logical step to take and the only desirable and practical thing to do.
  205. "Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart", Ps.15:1,2. This is a rare combination. There are 'sincere' people in unrighteousness because the world appreciates the bad and the immoral. Just by having wrong reasons or motives to do good one becomes bad and immoral. Therefore, those who practice righteousness from the heart tend to be quiet about it and to become less transparent because they are not appreciated by the world - which is to say that they become less sincere and more feigned. Thus, the combination of sincerity, the practice of justice/righteousness, and speaking the truth from the heart while remaining in that righteousness is rare and difficult to find. However, this conjugation of virtues is a non-negotiable condition to remain in Christ and Christ in you, that is, to remain on the holy mountain of Zion.
  206. "They speak idly everyone with his neighbour; With flattering lips and a double heart they speak", Ps.12:2. As a rule, people who flatter believe that flattering is love. Anyone who flatters, encourages falsely, attempts to give a hope which God withdraws from the heart or does not give, is working falsehood. Few flatterers have the ability to realize that they are double hearted, that is, they seek their own interests by flattering others. These seek friendship, position among people or praise in return.
  207. "And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You", Ps.9:10. Knowing that God never forsakes anyone who seeks Him, did you seek Him today?
  208. "Then, He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress (confuse) them in His deep displeasure", Ps.2:5. Many will be confused or innerly distressed for many reasons. Some because they do not believe and underestimate the truth of a real God - and He is real; Others because they believe to be believers being rejected by God; Still, others because they believe themselves to be right, serious or wise, but not so in God's eyes. All these things may be avoided by having God become real in time, that is, soon enough to avoid being confused and to make Him king of all their existence in a real and practical way. "I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion", Ps.2:6.
  209. When God takes away my job, my livelihood, my income or anything else because I have moved away from Him, I should not seek Him because of what has been taken away from me, but rather to find Him. It happens to make me go back to God and not to get back what has been taken from me. I must turn to Him for the same reasons that He has forsaken me. That must be the motive to turn to Him, otherwise I will be like a baby who is not in the right position to be born. "The pangs of childbirth come for him, but he is an unwise son, for at the right time he does not present himself at the opening of the womb", Hos.13:13.
  210. God has no obligation to help us - He has the love, the power and the mercy to help us in everything and anything we need.
  211. "According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted: therefore have they forgotten me", Hos.13:6. The motives in prayer and in any form of approach to God must be right and according to the righteous perspectives of God. Motives prevent answers to many prayers. But even if God answers a prayer with wrong motives, as soon as the person receives that which led him to approach God, he will forget about Him. The person with wrong motives does not want God - he wants something that God can give. Having received it, he will act as if he no longer needs the Lord. "For your destruction, O Israel, you are against me, against your helper", Hos.13:9.
  212. There are people who are not satisfied because things are not well with them and they desire what is good in the eyes of God; and there are people who are not satisfied because things are running according to God's will and they desire evil. Your deepest desire is godly or fleshly?
  213. Incontinence takes away the heart and dissolves or nullifies all understanding and godly wisdom. This is true of any kind of incontinence, be it wine, jealousy, a loose tongue, criticism, or any other form of incontinence. Some types of incontinence may occur within marriage as well.
  214. Faith is that kind of trust in Jesus which is never intermittent. But trusting in Jesus is not trusting in our faith, because trusting in our faith is synonymous of trusting in ourselves. And many rely so heavily on the faith they have that they do not realize that they are no longer trusting Jesus.
  215. "Take heed to yourself (...) for in doing (...) you will save both yourself and those who hear you", 1Tim.4:16. It is good that we keep this in mind: the salvation of the hearer depends largely on whether the preacher does and practices with all success all the things he is able to teach. It is not by studying and elaborating proper sermons that we achieve the salvation of others, but by living exemplarily the whole life of God. Our whole existence must be in full accordance with the full dimension of God's promise. Otherwise, we have not yet entered into the rest that has been promised to us.
  216. "Pray without ceasing", 1Thes.5:17. If I were to translate this verse, I would say: "Pray without giving up". But, translated that way, it would still be a little short of the whole it intends to convey. It can mean "pray incessantly" or even "pray without omission". You must know how to put these meanings together in one word or, should I say, in one practice. Praying incessantly can and should be possible. But, it may lead to vain repetitions or requests for things to which God has already answered - which can be considered as lack of faith; or even be found praying for the sake of mere praying, heartless and incited by the duty to pray always, and any prayer without heart cannot be considered as prayer; it may also mean that one shouldn't walk around with an heavy heart without turning to God. Then, looking at "pray without omission", we would have to see and review the causes that lead people to miss the opportunity to fecundate any prayer that exists in the heart, that is, to head or direct to the Lord any kind of weight that the Spirit has initiated in the heart the moment it starts burdening; then, there are also those daily prayers that can become monotonous by the absence of heart when praying and, because of it, we do not pray because of the lack of willingness to change the heart. Since the heart is absent, anyone can be distracted and omit prayer, whether it be thanksgiving or seeking God's blessing on something we do or eat. Many chose to cease to pray instead of seeking a heart change. Then, there is "pray without giving up" and we soon think of the Canaanite woman and the one who disturbed the Judge in the middle of the night in search of righteousness. If it seems that God does not want to attend for some reason - as happened to the blind men outside Jericho - we must know that by insisting without giving up and shouting louder as the blind men did when tempted by the discouragement of others and by the apparent denial of Jesus which felt like contempt to them, can lead to a sure answer. "Woman, great is thy faith!". God will not only attend prayer as He might solve that which prevents Him to attend immediately. However, we must get to a point in our spiritual life where we can say, like Jesus, without lying to ourselves: "I know that You hear Me", John 11:42. We must reach that point in our lives. "And it will be, before they call I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear", Is.65:24.
  217. It is very easy to deceive a deceived or deceiving person, just as it is relatively easy to direct or even redirect a person in whose heart there is no deception. The ways of life depend a lot on the kind of heart we have - or on the sort of heart we get. There is a reason why God changes our heart first. It is necessary to know that everything depends on the heart that one can have or obtain. The exact measure of revelation of truth or the manifestation of deceit is directly related to the kind of heart we have or obtain. Let us never deceive ourselves concerning this issue. If it is true that God gives "His Spirit to those who obey Him", it is also true that He leaves the disobedient to themselves to be guided by any wind of doctrine or sin. "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life", Prv.4:3. "See to it, my brothers, that no evil, unbelieving heart is found in any of you", Heb.3:12.
  218. Curiosity can be a virtue in many situations. It can be a gift and, like all gifts, it can easily be turned into a stumbling block.
  219. There are many long, continuous e extenuating sermons that have no intention of saving people from their many sins, but, intend only to have the churches packed and full of people. The intention is to show forth numbers and not holiness and dedication to God and His work.
  220. There are sins that are not exterminated and extinguished because there is some refusal to expose all its roots in the light. Cutting the branches of a tree will not kill it and that pruning may even make a better tree out of it. But, having the roots plucked out of the earth and exposed in the sun, we create the circumstances not to worry about its poison and indigestible fruits anymore, along with its venomous and doomed shadow. For example, there are sins that are the offspring of other sins. Envy and jealousy make one speak evil of anyone; may create irritability and a certain kinds of impatience against people; it creates arrogance and calls for glory (boasting) to oneself; causes some kind of verbal and physical aggression; jealousy and envy consume the person, consume his time, his thoughts and guide his normal behaviour, which, in turn, can be considered as becoming unfaithful in what one could be doing instead. This is an example of sin with ramifications. There are many more. Therefore, by exposing and cancelling that kind of sins by its roots, many other sins and their ramifications die as a consequence because they are deprived of their root. An inferiority complex may lead one to want to show himself, to seek carnal love, to have ulterior motives in what he does; it can encourage pride and self-defence against ghosts and illusions; and all of that is condemned from the moment the person exposes the inferiority complex as sin and as the root of sin to be extinguished. Heresies are born, for example, because one does not walk with God. They are exterminated by solving the root of the problem. illegitimate sex, pornography and its associated sins are liable to full extermination by knowing and acknowledging the truth about the illusion that exists around it. Everything around sinful sexuality is an illusion about things that true sex is not able to grant or to fulfil. It is all illusion around it and when everything is exposed as illusion it shall be easier to extinguish. Besides, by loving God and by knowing it works against God, even if it were not mere illusions and lies, the acknowledgment of the truth about it will revert and convert the soul. Moreover, all sins and their origins obtain their life from carnality, which, being truly extinct and annihilated by the cross and being replaced by the new life of the resurrection, will liberate the new being to be totally free in Christ. That is, to be free of these things.
  221. It is not by insisting against error that it shall be exterminated - it is by practicing righteousness. By living from God, that which is past is decomposed to serve as manure for the new life. One only learns by living and practicing the true life through Christ, using grace as the power - as the exclusive power. Holiness can't be fully accomplished by marching against error or by rising up against those who harm us. Give no more attention or opportunity to the old life if you have indeed found the new one.
  222. Everything that begins in God must be finished in Him and nothing that is begun in Him may ever end without Him. One cannot dare to end in the flesh whatever has been started through the Spirit of God. God must never be abandoned halfway when it is He who introduces us or induces us into something much desired or longed for. We must be careful enough to abide in God. Certainly, we will be put to the test in this area as well.
  223. "Faithful in Christ Jesus..." Ef.1:1. It is important to note how often Paul (and the Scriptures) emphasize this term of being in Jesus and that all the virtues must become functional in Him. It is not only through Him, but in Him. For this to happen two things are necessary: to be at peace with Him and to become functional through a new life, in a new state. It is easy for a sinner to remain with relative peace far from God, that is, to have the sort of peace that the world gives; just as it is for a saint to be in full peace with God in the presence of God. The saint will feel bad away from God, just as the sinner near Him. God does not change to adapt to someone. God is and will always be the same. It is, therefore, necessary that the person begins to feel at home being in Jesus and it is necessary that experiencing Him is real. But then, one must be able to be faithful, to be virtuous, to be cooperative and to live all virtues in a practical way through Him, with Him. These are two different things. Nothing else should work like it used to work before God became real and His presence unmistakable. "You shall not do according to all that we do here today, each doing whatever is right in his own eyes", Dt.12:8.
  224. "If we suffer with Him, we may also be glorified with Him", Rom.8:17. There is no spiritual benefit to be drawn from going through tribulations alone, that is, by not suffering with Christ in what we suffer. We must suffer with Him if we wish to be glorified with Him and to suffer in such things He would suffer for. If we suffer without Him, we will want to be glorified without Him, that is, we shall want all - or at least some - glory for ourselves. There are two ways to suffer without Him: We either suffer in those things He would never suffer for; or we wish to try to accomplish heavenly things through a fleshly power and own means and ways which glorify man only.
  225. The celerity, promptness, irreverence and readiness with which we come out of our sins is directly related to the intensity (and the sincerity) of the desire to leave them for good. The intensity of the struggle is also directly related to that desire: the greater the desire to get out of sin and the more sincere, the more intense, the faster and the more effective the struggle shall be.
  226. In several places, the Scriptures allude to the works of the flesh, both directly and indirectly. I believe, however, that it is a great mistake to associate the works of the flesh only to that which is evil, such as avarice, prostitution, wrath, and so on. These works and the power of the flesh are extended and understood far beyond that since they shall try to do good and to be acceptable to avoid being extinguished from the soul. That is, they not only try to do what is right through wrong and an unacceptable powers to God, but prevent the grace of God from being free to act exclusively and to achieve by itself. It should not be considered acceptable or even reasonable to have the devil working within the temple of God - not even by doing what is "right" or "good". Grace is the alternative power that works with the endorsement and the blessing of Jesus. But, it must operate truly in a unique and exclusive way. The power of grace never works together with the power of the flesh. It operates against it. Therefore, it is to be assumed that the works of the flesh are, also, those 'good' works practiced by the arm of man or to glorify any man.
  227. "Therefore, I speak to them in parables, because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not; nor do they understand", Mat.13:13. We see that God also said that He spoke with Moses face to face because he was faithful in all his house. There really is a serious and an undeniable relationship between faithfulness and hearing things from God more clearly and to the point. Those who are faithful in all things "are strong and have good courage" - whatever circumstances they may encounter - to be faithful enough to God in every detail and do not need baits to be moved towards what they do not understand. Humans are very fond of mysteries and are easily drawn to unveil what they do not understand, or understand halfway, or, as Jesus said, understand without understanding. The fact that they do not understand what they 'understand' encourages them to pursue what can turn them faithful. And by understanding what they do not understand encourages them to pursue it as, on the other hand, the by not understanding it would promote and establish a degree of discouragement and a lack of willingness to go after it. That is the wisdom of God working hard for salvation. And it can also be said that there are those who receive what they do not receive; who hear what they do not hear; who touch what they do not touch; etc. Moses became faithful, but lived moments when that which was fulfilled was not fulfilling, that is, miracles happened, but Israel did not leave Egypt towards freedom. In the end, as we become faithful in everything afterwards, we must know that things change, become different in shape, and that we need other mechanisms and other procedures to keep ourselves in a line of conduct that is pleasing to God. Things work differently after we are faithful. We shall understand what we understand. The way it is worked changes with us when we become faithful in everything. We should expect a difference in shape and in the way God works with us as we progress towards being faithful in all things.
  228. "When the army goes forth against your enemies (...) If there is among you any man who is not clean because of an accident at night, then he shall go outside the camp. He shall not come inside the camp", Dt.23:9,10. It is good to know and to remember that God never changes. He hasn't changed since then. Even today, we have to be clean if we want to be successful against evil, against sin and to have the Gospel of truth victorious around us. We should be found with the same initial power that has been bestowed during Pentecost. There is no more such power because there are many impurities within the army which craves for real revival. Real revival starts with us if it to spread around in our communities.
  229. We read in many places of Scripture that any of the concerts that God made with us can be invalidated. Any concert is an agreement between two or more parties. Whenever one party enters into disagreement and doesn't fulfil the sublime conditions that the concert is attached to, the whole concert is brought to nought.
  230. There are people who, when it is time to harvest, they decide to sow. When they see the harvest, they begin to believe and to sow. I've seen a lot of people like that. When it is time to go to the service, they begin to prepare, take a bath and dress. The closer the church is to their house, the later they get to the service. If we do that with anything, we shall do the same with everything. We need to know how to prepare ourselves in time because it is what faithfulness is all about; we should cultivate a habit of being prepared in anticipation. The foolish virgins - although they were virgins and were clean - went out looking for oil in despair upon the moment they should be using it. They did not prepare. Many seek grace upon the moment of need when it should be found beforehand and in times of great abundance. "Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need", Heb.4:16. Only prepared ones will remain firm after a bad day or after a relentless trial or pitiless ordeal. The bad day will come, surely. No one can avoid it. And those who have prepared will undergo as it as they would pass any good day. "Therefore take to yourselves the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand", Eph.6:13. The secret, however, is not to anticipate the evil day which shall come without a doubt. The secret of assured victory is to find rest in the bosom of God in time, that is, while grace can still be found. Didn't Joseph prepare for the seven years of slim cows? Well, it is up to us to believe that a bad day is heading towards us and to prepare. It has been announced in anticipation. Let's be prepared in anticipation.
  231. The Law penalizes every transgressor. But the primary intention of the Law is not to protect the injured party - although this is one of the purposes it holds clear. Its main purpose is to rid society of what defiles. And it is achieved in several ways. Its sanctions serve as warnings to anyone who can transgress; and its work is to exterminate evil and any bad example from the face of the earth.
  232. "Because Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord", Ex.19:9. It seems that God has appeared to Israel in favour of Moses because he had reported the words of the people to God. Here we see the intimacy that Moses had with God and his humility. We know that God knows all, sees all and doesn't need anyone to tell Him what is going on or what has been said behind closed doors - or behind the clouds. "Your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask Him", Mat.6:8. We see the same attitude in Elijah who answered God when he asked twice what was he doing there, in the mountain of God. And Elijah answered twice using precisely the same words in both answers. It also shows that his words were thoroughly thought about and measured meticulously.
  233. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked", Jer,17:9. We need to take this into account. It is not easy to get a perfect heart. But with the active power of grace everything is possible - as long as it is active. Let's see how far the heart can deceive. Many do not dare to murmur against God. But they murmur against people - and even against who leads them on the paths of God. The Israelites murmured against Moses and Aaron. They did this thinking that they would avoid being accused of murmuring against God. They did not dare to blame the Lord blatantly and, therefore, blamed Moses and Aaron. Moses had to alert them to that and failed to convince them. "Your murmurings are not against us, but rather against the Lord", Ex.16:8. A hardened mind hardly changes its way of thinking and of believing.
  234. "A little leaven leavens all the lump", Gal.5:9. We need to know that we are dough or lump and need also to know how to live with it, assuming that as a fact whenever we think of putting ourselves under certain situations. Without leaven, the dough does not leaven. When unfermented, the whole dough is good. When we do not fool around with whatever leavens, we shall remain simple, sincere, honest, most pure, that is, if we have been purified indeed beforehand and sanctified in full. Now, if we walk cultivating leaven, we will be leavened and it will become difficult to avoid transgressing. Jealousy is dough already leavened; prolonged anger is leavened dough; jealousy, promiscuity, charming attitudes towards sin and pleasing it is dough bubbling in fermentation; fear, the kind of sadness that is sin and many other things are signs that there is or was leaven mixed with the dough. All leavened dough has ceased to be good and cannot be preserved anymore. It is no longer pure. We're talking about what criminology would qualify as a premeditated crime, and it is so even if there was only some sort of consent towards it. It starts fermenting the inclination towards sin, which shall surely shape and form the mind, making it hard to resist afterwards because the mind is not able to resist itself. If it has been shaped, it is itself. No doctor can perform a surgery on himself. It is only able to deviate its thoughts towards something else and resisting itself creates confusion and strengthens the inclination to sin. That's why we should not try God by messing around with what leavens. It's not the dough that is dangerous: it is what can leaven it. Do not blame the dough that you are made of and do not excuse yourself with the fact of having been made of flesh, entertaining foolish ideas. Avoid situations, things, movies and everything else that can leaven your mind, heart, eyes and which may shape you way of thinking. Even the way you think shall be changed or affected on the long run, it will become like a culture. You are and will always be the result of what you learn, see, enjoy and eat. There is a saying that says, "we are shaped by what we eat". In the spiritual sense, that saying could not be truer. Remember that you are dough and will always be. Do not refuse to be dough - something impossible to achieve - only because it can be leavened: refuse yeast and avoid any situation that can leaven the kind of dough that you are. "You shall put away leaven out of your houses (...) no leaven shall be found in your houses (...) nor shall there be leaven seen with you in all your borders", Ex.12:15; 13:7.
  235. When God called Moses, initially, there was already an attitude in him that refused to go and obey. He had a contradicting spirit in his heart from the beginning of the commandment or a reason never to return to Egypt again. He did not cultivate willingness to obey God, much less in that regard. Probably, he felt deceived and disappointed in God for having to flee from Egypt and that antagonism prevailed during all the years that he managed to remain far away from Pharaoh's claws. I think there is some truth in that assumption, if not a lot. There was a resisting spirit within Moses, perhaps fed by resentment, which he would not acknowledge openly, and which grew and became solidified along the years in the desert. That spirit manifested itself only when being put before obedience to God. Outside that situation, it was hibernating and dormant. For some reasons, he always looked for an argument, arranged an excuse or annoyance on his way instead of saying openly that he was not in the disposition to obey God. Given up to obstinacy and opposition, he was neither available to take to heart everything that God would say as He would say it, and took in His words only partially. If willingness was his culture and the will of God his great love and disposition of heart, he would most easily hearken to all the words of God and would pay attention to all of them, eating them one by one. However, on the first setback before Pharaoh, Moses complained to God, saying: "Lord, why have You brought trouble on this people? Why is it You have sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people; neither have You delivered Your people at all", Ex.5:22,23. He complained because there was lacking his heart some of all the words of God and did not take them all into account to recall them all at a time of need. God had said as a warning the day Moeses was called: "However, I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not even by a mighty hand", Ex.3:19. Moses could not recall those words because his mind was upset and hadn't been submissive from the beginning. His stubborn heart filled with antagonism did not allow him to take all the words into account when he most needed to remember them. At the first setback, he used the state of his heart to rebel and to argue against God who had sent him. It can be seen clearly that he had a badly healed wound and obeyed God with a thwarted attitude right from the beginning. We thank God that Moses was not killed in the desert; ("And it came to pass on the way, at the encampment, that the Lord met him and sought to kill him", Ex.4:24); and that he changed with time, becoming a man of great meekness and unparalleled readiness towards God and His will. True conversion means precisely that, it is, that he became the precise opposite of what he had been, it is, an eye for an eye and tooth for tooth in a reverse sense. "Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth", Num.12:3.
  236. "Let the Lord look on you and judge, because you have made us abhorrent in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us", Ex.5:21. The people put the blame on Moses and not on Pharaoh. Moses felt guilty as well and went out complaining before God who had sent him. This accusation of the people against Moses as well as the one of Moses against God was missing the target. It also showed a lack of willingness to proceed with the will of God. Many people feel guilty about many things for many reasons. Others carry the guilt and blame that result from obedience. "If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of God and of glory rests on you", 1Pet.4:14. Elijah was considered guilty for the lack of rain in Israel; Jesus was considered guilty for the constant uproar among the people; Moses was buffeted by the mouth of the people as the guilty one for the things that were happening to them. And it was only obedience's 'fault'. Evil does not like to be disturbed and constantly seeks someone to blame when it is disturbed and is awakened from its dormant state of rebellion against truth. Is truth guilty for being truthful and upright? Or is it evil to be truthful? Imagine someone living in a dark room without being able to see what is going on under the cover of darkness and someone turns on the light. Once the light is on, the cockroaches run to hide, and dirt and spider webs become visible. Until then, there was no awareness of the existence of those pestilent things. But with light, it all became visible. Must the light be blamed for the existence of those things under the cover of darkness? We must be able to carry the loads and the burdening weights of the oracles of God as the natural consequences of obedience. No one enters a war without hurting the opponent. No one picks up the weapons of light without affecting darkness around. We should not feel guilty at all for walking in the light and for causing such things to happen. It is not our fault. Unless we feel innocent and hold truth innocent as well, we shall be tempted to complain against people and against God.
  237. "For , if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle?" 1Cor.14:8. Without wanting to take this text out of its context, I wish to apply it in another sense: the voice of God. Many hear the voice of God and are not sure that it is God speaking. You may already have heard wrong voices, which leads to doubt the right one and to be unsure about what you hear. But, you should be sure about God's voice in order to have it fully executed and to keep it alive in your memory until the end. "So the Lord became angry with Solomon (...) who had appeared to him twice", 1Kings 11:9. When God speaks to us and, for some reason, we do not remain in line with what He had said before, we will surely be criminals. A huge crime has been committed. Whoever doesn't hear well should be able to hear better. The reasons that lead someone to despise the voice of God are various, such as negligence; forgetfulness; the occupation with things that are not priorities, but which are taken as a priorities; stubbornness and obstinacy; and also when one does not take the voice seriously because of not having believed, which leads to have His voice as an uncertain sound. The fact that the sound is uncertain may also have to do with the heart that is unstable. If something sounds uncertain or if we listen to our uncertain heart above keeping the commandment of God as top priority, we will not only be unstable and offensive towards God, but we will do great harm to our own souls by becoming hesitant, sometimes doing and sometimes not doing the will of God, opting for our own will or someone else's. And only those who perform all the will of God become firm and steadfast to the end. "He who does the will of God abides forever", 1 John 2:17. If such remain forever, it is because they have become constant and persistent along the way. They have not only learned the way of persistence and endurance, but, have been assured by God himself along the way by being on the right track, continually in proper mood and disposition and using the proper means of power along the way.
  238. "Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God (...) But Ahaz said, 'I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!'", Is.7:11,12. The fact that someone refuses to tempt the Lord by asking for a sign does not necessarily mean that unbelief doesn't exist in the heart or that it won't persist in there by having refused the sign. Refusing the sign is not the same thing as settling down the heart trusting and believing fully in the Lord, which can happen with or without the sign. By receiving the sign neither means that the heart will become confident and secure from then on. Maybe, it will trust momentarily. However, it is necessary to change the heart not to return to the vomit of own an mindedness that is a direct result of unbelief, because when the consciousness of the sign has passed, the heart can again be as it was before. One thing is to be convinced briefly. It is quite another thing to be transformed to the point of being able to believe permanently. "He who can believe...", Mk.9:23.
  239. Sometimes, we do not look back, but are afraid to move on. If we are stagnated in our walk dreading the next step in the same way that we fear looking back, we should approach God rather than turn further away from Him, because all moving away from Him means entering into fear to start wavering between two thoughts and, consequently, getting into the world and sin. There is no mid way: by not getting into one world, one enters the other - or remains in the other. Whoever fears to walk on and to move on - although he does not look back - transgresses in the same way that anyone does by looking back. He commits the same sin and both are guilty of the same offense. These sins are one and the same, just like Pharaoh's dreams. If you do not look back, but neither go on, you are acting and are not serious in your obedience and much less in your trust in Jesus. However, we must be sure that we are going out mandated by God and not by an own mind. "So Jacob went on his journey and came to the land of the people of the East", Gen.29:1. In his mind, he was leaving the place where he thought God was to move on, in obedience.
  240. In most situations, mitigating, attenuating and softening things and its consequences becomes a form of camouflaging or, should I say, of covering the eyes from reality. We must have the capacity of looking everything straight in the eyes and to attend to the reality which is according to God's perspective. We must be honest, straightforward and head-on in God, in all simplicity and kindness. Whatever we cover today will make a comeback tomorrow with greater power and with greater loss for the soul.
  241. "For when you were the slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness", Rom.6:20. Servant of sin, free from righteousness; servant of righteousness, free from all sin. Whom do you serve in your daily life?
  242. Jacob made his way to Haran, to Laban. He stayed there for about twenty years. Then, God told him to return to the house of his father Isaac. And so he did. Concerning the path toward Haran, he was guided by God without realizing it (seeing he was running from his brother Esau); and the way back was taken in obedience to a command of God. He was sent back by God. To be led by God is not necessary to receive audible commands. Jacob received no commandment from God initially to go to Haran because it was providence that led him there. Although I do not believe that Jacob had been filled with the Spirit at this stage of his life, he was guided by God without realizing it. But, to be truly guided by Jesus, one needs only to be fully surrendered to God, depending entirely and exclusively on Him. Nothing else and no one else is God to depend on in the least of things. "For who has despised the day of small things?", Zac.4:10. An absolute surrender and a life full of the Holy Spirit creates all the conditions for our own thoughts, actions, paths and certain decisions to come from God - often without realizing it. "We have the mind of Christ", 2Cor.2:16. These are the children of God: those who are guided by Him. I do not think any other can be accredited as children of God, not even when considering themselves as such, or by making a profession of faith and by self-accrediting themselves as Christians. An own testimony is never valid. "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God", Rom.8:14.
  243. Often, we linger to accept certain realities and deflect the truth in another way, hitting another target and, perhaps, using a half-truth to do so. When you create this habit of deflecting the aim of a spoken truth by trying to deceive yourself about reality, the habit will remain forever - even in a reverse situation. Let me explain. Let us look at Jacob's dream where he saw angels ascending and descending from heaven in a ladder. Jacob found himself confronted with the reality of God when he saw Him at the top of the ladder. God in a real way was a strange experience to him. Then, God said to him: "Behold, I am with you", Gen.28:15. But Jacob said to himself: "Surely, the Lord is in this place", Gen.28:16. He made a half-truth for himself. He bent and deflected the truth in another direction. God was with him and not so much in the place. God told him one thing and he assumed another. By what had he been driven to do so? There was no possibility for him to deny the reality of God anymore, but he managed to exchange the reality for a half-lie by saying that God was in a place. He could not accept the fact that God had said that He was with him. Reality was too hard for him to accept. Do you know the expression, "too good to be true"? He did not own that sort of freedom to assume that it was with him that God was. Something hindered him to do so. However, he could not deny that God was there. There was no denying of the reality of God. Until then God had been a mere belief and not reality to him. He deflected the truth when he saw God as real. Belief seldom accepts the reality format of what it believes, especially in its practical form. Belief wants to keep everything as belief. While it remains unrealistic and far away, it does not create an inner conflict. In its practical form, however, reality is quite different from belief. Reality frightens and confuses belief and remote hopes. Whoever believes in a Jesus of his own mind or in a far away Jesus is startled when He presents Himself as real and in the present sense. "I was sought (...) and I said, 'Here I am'", Is.65:1. People are able to take in an unreal God, but it is difficult to reconcile themselves with a real One. Unreality is always quarrelsome and unkind towards reality. Belief and reality are different things and are lived and evidenced (experienced) distinctly, even when they speak of the same person and use the same words. Their practical ways are quite different. I believe that Jacob's desire that God would be with him was so great that he had some difficulty in taking God's words in as facts when He had been revealed to him as real and present. Perhaps, he had been living with a remote hope that God existed, but so far had not experienced God as real, so personal and so close by. And when confronted with the reality of God's existence, he had great difficulty in assuming it as it has been submitted to him. And that's how one creates a habit of flexing facts that, in most cases, remain for years and years as a habit until one day someone becomes aware of it and tries to eliminate it at great cost, much grumbling and continuous effort. All personality habits and ways of thinking are very difficult to deal with. It is like exterminating a culture, a way of being. This habit feeds itself on anything, wherever you are and whatever the truth is. Suppose, contrary to what happened to Jacob, God is not with the person. Then, the habit shall grab what is not real and it will want God to be with him and will not say that God is in place anymore, but rather with him because that's the unreality. Such people will rather say God is with them instead of removing and confessing all that is separating God from them and them from God. These deflect the truth in a reverse way driven by the habit of flexing the truth and by shunning off reality from their consciousness and dealings. May we never sustain this habit of deflecting the truth and of lying to ourselves. Let's get fully reconciled with truth and reality to take it in as it is presented to us. Only then shall we be able to be saved. And the vow that Jacob made was motivated by disbelief in reality. "If God will be with me ...". God had already said that He was with him. The vow also deflected God to the future and God was at the present. He was there, with Jacob. God was there and was not accepted. "He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him", John 1:11. There are many resolutions and many vows inspired by disbelief, unbelief or even discouragement, which, obviously, do not come from faith. Faith is founded upon sure facts - it is the capability of assuming a reality, it is to accept a situation when it is for real. If not true, belief will take and accept it; and if it is real, it will reject it and will try to deny it. That kind of faith is acting and it is not real living. Another issue: If the reality of God is not taken as the beginning of all, it will be seen as the end, that is, as the end-purpose. Soon, we will find ourselves working without God because we are working to have Him and for something we already have and we will not be able to use what we have for other purposes such as sanctification and other important things for our walk, for our sincerity and security. We will be unfaithful and shall be remissive in our duties. "We beg you, therefore, on behalf of Christ, be ye reconciled to God", 2Cor.5:20. If God is become true in our hearts, we must be promptly reconciled with that reality, and that without pretence or feigning - provided it is reality and not belief or forced 'faith' erupting from falsity still found in the heart. It is far better to tell ourselves that God is not with us when He is not than to say otherwise. Saying otherwise is not faith - it can't be faith. God can and must be real for us and in us. Then, we must also assume that the real presence of God is but the beginning of the way and not the end of it and neither the end-purpose, because "being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life", Rom.5:10. We will be saved from our sins by the presence of God, and not saved of any other thing that we do not even know what it is. We should be able to remain in reality because our imagination is rich in attempts to escape into unreality.
  244. It is necessary to create all the conditions to have free access to God and to have the fellowship with Him untouched and uninterrupted by what Jesus said to be thorns that can choke the good seeds. God must become the priority above all priorities in all aspects at all times and under any circumstances. If I am with him, in communion, secretly in my room, and an earthquake shakes my ground, it should not be able to disturb me or distract me in anyway from what is heavenly essential. For many, it is very easy to be interrupted even by a phone call. This attitude of being with God without being able to be interrupted must be a way of life, a natural attitude towards God, a feature of a personality and of a pure heart. It should not be just something achieved through resolutions and efforts because the effort in this respect shows only that we are not truly with God and only wish to be, or that we have great difficulty in being alone with him exclusively having Him above all priorities. It must be something of our own nature, it has to become something of our purest and simplest instinct. And for that to happen, firstly, this communion must be real. That is, Jesus must be present for real. I need to be truly found in His presence. This presence should never be fictitious or unreal and imaginary. We must not live in a lie.
  245. All doctrinal disputes arise from the inner uncertainty of those who discusses them, who make a fuss over them and fight for them. It is not the doctrine that leads to God and rather God that leads to a true doctrine and teaching. When Paul speaks about the "sound doctrine", it may seem that we must defend it or fight for it. But, the truth is that the sound doctrine results from a true and real relationship with Jesus and we must intercede for the relationship with Jesus above the doctrine itself, which gives way to the sound doctrine. What must be privileged is a sound communion with God, being cleansed from a bad conscience and abolishing everything that can harm, disturb, kill or complicate this fellowship with Him. Sound doctrine will arise naturally in the eyes of those who are able to walk with God and who need to know about them. Their eyes are opened by abandoning sin and by turning to God. There is no need to discuss the doctrine and to confront people with it. Just get someone to get a pure, real and solid communion with God by having abandoned and abhorred any fictional, false and unreal fellowship with Him by having deleted all sins from the condemnation list and, also, by being filled with God in His fullness. Many are communing with themselves when they say they are with God. And whenever we find sound doctrine, we must never fall into the temptation of depending on it, fighting for it or even interceding for it. It doesn't lead to God. God leads to it. Let us keep our efforts to make real communion with Jesus possible, without hypocrisy, true and pure. We must keep ourselves in God and not spend our time and energy to remain in the doctrine. We remain in it by remaining in God. If we begin to fight for the teaching and the doctrine we shall most assuredly obtain an idolatrous spirit because we rely on something that is not God - even if it comes from God. This communion with God must be real. It does not occur by means of resolutions, but rather via reality after having fully cleansed our souls from all filth and past transgressions.
  246. In fact, in this world it is easier for humans to believe lies than truth, although the lie is more difficult to understand or even to explain than truth. Even Eve easily believed what the serpent told her at the expense of what God had said. It is more difficult for a rational, serious mind to believe that a fish decided to leave the sea, evolving later and turning itself into a monkey and then man, than to believe that God created each species in its proper place and time. Evolution does not make sense, it does not mean to make sense and yet people choose to believe it. If evolution were true, nobody would believe it. And that's why few believe in God because He is the truth. For some reason it is necessary to admonish and urge anyone to believe in the truth. But no one needs to be admonished to believe the lie. Normally, it is believed naturally.
  247. Many speak with anger and sadness against false preachers who steal in churches and assail the pockets of those who give their tithes and offerings. And it is regrettable that there are so many false prophets and preachers spreading false and contradictory doctrines. However, the blame should be split between the false preachers and those who support them by offering and giving them what they ask or demand for by using promises and threats. And it doesn't matter how little they give. The giver is as guilty as the one who does everything to extort and take what is not his to possess. We cannot ignore that those who give are the ones who maintain and keep those who use their offerings for own benefit and to spread further all kinds of false doctrines, which mean only to enrich themselves further. Those who give are the main accomplices of falseness because they contribute to spread falsehood faster than the truth is spread. Today, it is not the chaff that is found between the wheat, but rather the wheat that is found in very small amounts among the weeds. And let us not forget that the wheat will be plucked by falsity from among the weeds, unlike the weeds from among wheat. Without these doctrines, false ones will never be made rich at the expense of tithes and offerings and if there is no one to give them, they will become poor and shall quickly fall into disgrace because God will not support them.
  248. Every time God sets Himself against anyone, against a people, against a congregation or even against a family, He is trying to correct them and to seek their repentance. When they do not repent and do not come to God, whether they have been with God before or not, the Lord shall carry on punishing them for the sake of those who repent. Many do not listen to reprimands (by nature, by own-mindedness, by pride or shame) and do not believe in those corrections - much less will they believe that those come from God. They assume unconsciously that a God of love cannot correct them, admonish, punish, deny or even destroy them. The amount of love for self drives them to believe God loves them the way they do, even to the point of accepting their hearts' purposes and ways. They begin to believe that those things that are happening to them might be mere trials or something they cannot understand at that moment. With that, they are not inclined to correct themselves or their paths and feel rather encouraged to carry on as always. It is in this environment that dreams may emerge, along with a lot of own desires, false faith and deceitful hopes about those desires, and that numerous prayers are offered which do not receive answers. And it also means that where false hopes begin to emerge - or false prophecies - disappointments shall come along one after the other. However, that may also lead to insistences before God while on erring paths (which is taken as perseverance while, in truth, it is taken by God as an abomination) assuming that God cannot be the opponent and that a loving God cannot deny them. That is how far love for self can take an non-repenting heart. The uttermost point of an abomination is reached when one is able to believe that God accepts sin or sinfulness or that He is able to delight in whom holds on to sin despite it all. God is seldom taken as the enemy - and He can be the enemy! God is enmity against the flesh and may we also believe that the flesh means only to be enmity against God. It means business against God and any alliance with it means the destruction of good values in exchange for bad ones. Many false prophets arose in Jeremiah's time, Isaiah's and all the other prophets who spoke the truth against Israel. I believe they arose mainly because the prophets of God spoke against Israel and false ones found themselves being squeezed to abandon false faith and false hopes. False prophecies were mere resisting reactions to truth. The people, and mainly their leaders, did not accept that anyone could speak against Israel, much less saying that they came in the name of God with punishments, destruction and reprimands seeing that God loved them and chose them to be special. However, it is worth taking notice that a false prophet who speaks contrary to God, that is, who talks about prosperity or does something in that line of conduct while God is or will be working the opposite, that false one being moved by a false faith in whom many will believe for the same reasons that a false prophet is moved, it will happen that the prophet along with anyone who believes him shall receive the opposite of what is being prophesied or preached. That's the rule. If he promises heaven, he shall receive hell. "Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who prophesy in My name, whom I did not send, and who say, 'Sword and famine shall not be in this land' - 'By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed!" Jer.14:15. That is why many prosperity preachers need to steal and to rob the pockets of foolish people, crying out for their tithes to enrich themselves. God won't make them rich. Foolish ones are foolish enough to give it to them and, thus, help to spread falsity even further in a smoother way. God does not give them and they try to steal it by seizing what is not theirs to receive. They shall soon fall into disgrace and shame - it's just a matter of time until that happens. The one who begs for tithes and offerings will be put to shame along with all those who are foolish enough to give them what they beg for. Both parties are equally guilty and shall be put to equal shame. God is not mocked and whoever does not subject himself to Him and to His reproofs will be forced to be ashamed forever.
  249. Many talk about revival and even pray for their leaders and churches to be converted or even to find genuine revival. If you are one of those, have this in mind: genuine revival starts with you. Do not shovel that responsibility away by any means - not even by praying for others - because it must start with those who desire after it wholeheartedly. When you desire it, you are the one who need it. And if you find it, surely, something around you will also happen.
  250. When we are struck by God because of rebellion or any other deviation from the truth, we need to be able to believe that we are being hit by Him. We must be able to get the perception that it is God who is opposing us. If we are able to believe that when it is indeed so, it may mean salvation to us. No other conclusion should be drawn from any reprimand coming from God, however severe it may seem. Any other conclusion would mean rebellion and not faith. If one begins to believe that those are mere trials or that it is from the devil - that in a practical perspective it means the devil is stronger than God in one's life - one shall hardly know the truth and, by not knowing it, shall never be made free. Blessed are those "who can believe" and that can be brave enough to face that as a reality - if they are being consumed by God indeed. Any other conclusion will be seen as not wanting to turn to God to make right and to straighten a walk. "You have stricken them, but they have not grieved; You have destroyed them, but they have refused to receive correction; they have made their faces harder than rock; they have refused to return", Jer.5:3. Let there be people courageous enough to dare to believe!
  251. "In her month they will find her", Jer.2:24. In nature, female animals come into heat and are found by males. They leave signs everywhere in order to be found. Sometimes, the males are far from them and still find them. So it happens with those who are prone to sin: they shall be found by it. Heat to sin calls for transgression. If there is provision for sin in your heart or mind, you can be sure that sin will find you, will impregnate all your conduct, and will contaminate you and God shall not be able to walk with you. Make no provision for sin and do not dare to believe it is impossible to stop sinning. If you do believe so, you are making provision for sin. Even if there is only indifference towards sin in you, it shall draw near your heart to manipulate it. You shall be found by it for sure. And if you are caught up by sin, make sure you also realize that you shall also be found by the judgment of God. You may not want one thing and believe you shall avoid the other. You either hate sin or love it.
  252. It is common to have a righteous person feeling guilty about this and that being justified due to false accusations from the enemies of God, including the devil himself. It is also common to have guilty ones justify themselves continually and to stand up against any accusation of conscience. Beware when some is his own justification.
  253. Disappointment in God can have many causes and origins, but we may never doubt God's character because there is no reason to do so. Firstly, a person may be disappointed when believing God promised him something and the belief, prophecy or revelation was false or forged by fleshly harassments. Consequently, expectations end in frustration and disappointments because God did not promise what one expects. If not promised, it shall never be fulfilled. Usually, people wait and wait and nothing happens when they are found under such circumstances - something that is different from a true hope in God. It is not possible to get tired waiting when God has indeed promised and all such expectations are fulfilled before one less expects. Secondly, the person, having received a promise of God, must prepare to receive it. It is like getting ready to bring a child into the world and all that it implies. If God promised, it is because the person is not ready to receive and circumstances are not ripe. If it only depends on the person's preparation, God promises to bring someone to prepare for it and be found spotless at the point of being able to remain faithful after having received. Were everything ready and prepared, God would not promise - he would instantly grant. If the person is already prepared to receive and ready, God gives instead of promising.
  254. When God promises us something personal - and God really promised it without any shadow of doubt - we must use our time to prepare to receive and also to be able to live in a new reality without wanting to look back. We must become fit and able to live in it as if we have never lived any other way before. This preparation is vital and prior to receiving. Many turn back afterwards because they have never prepared to receive from the moment God had promised. Maybe, they were slow to believe. Mark how many times Jesus used the word "prepare" or "be prepared". No one should seek oil upon the moment of the groom's arrival and no one begins to prepare for a wedding on the appointed day to marry. "Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help (us) in time of need", Heb.4:16. However, even when we are fully prepared, we must learn to trust God after we have received and to keep expecting from Him only. We cannot rely on our preparation and rather fully on God who is able to use that preparation. That is one of the conditions to stand firm. "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that (...) having done all, you may be able to stand", Eph.6:13.
  255. There is fellowship with God and there is communion with the Word being in Him and being blessed in it. Many confuse the two, taking communion with God for communion with the Word and vice versa. Communion with God establishes us and can establish the Word within us; the Word without God is dead; the established Word must be able to straighten our ways (if we are found in God while walking as well) for the fellowship with Jesus to be firmer, more solid, so that everything in us can depend solely on Him. The point about it is to reach a life that depends, waits and puts all its trust on Him and Him alone. And that must become a way of life, a spontaneous, normal, natural way to live as if we have never known any other way before. Jesus refuses to walk with us in the ways of sin or to bless the so-called "good ways" that do not come from Him. If we are not found in God when reading and studying the Word, Jesus will be a stumbling block to us and not our salvation - and so shall be the Word. A sound and pure communion with the Word of God, where God Himself is also present in a real way to bless it, to teach it His way and to apply it, creates real faith and causes it to grow; this kind of real faith which is transformed into a walk, in turn, is strengthened, solidified and maintained for the sake of a real communion with God and abolishes any sort of false communion and wrong reading or studying of the Word. Let no one be alarmed when his kind of communion becomes most pleasing to God and becomes a greater dislike to the flesh both of self as well as to the flesh of other Christians and outsiders. Real faith can easily gain enemies from fleshly people. However, we see many children of Jesus remaining truthful and firm without having access to the Word for years (being persecuted because of their faith in Jesus where the Bible is prohibited); and we see many people reading the Bible every day being distant from the ways of God and from a true fellowship with Him.
  256. Do you remember Paul on the road to Damascus? Many believe he was converted when the strong light crossed his way and stopped him from wandering far from God. I do not think so. He had been given the opportunity to repent of all his sins and to turn to God when Jesus confronted him with that light. However, I believe he was genuinely converted only when Ananias laid hands on him and he had received the Holy Ghost, having previously prayed and fasted for three days and, perhaps, confessed every former sin one by one, which prepared him to receive Jesus that way. We must realize that conversion and repentance, though inseparable, can't be the same thing. We must, also, be aware that, in both, there are two components: the part that is up to the person and the share that is up to God. "So it was, when he had turned (...) that God gave him another heart", 1Sam.10:9. These are different works and they both need to happen. One needs to turn before God can change the heart. Repentance has to do with past transgressions and the conversion has to do with the essence of the person, which causes one either to sin or to be holy, and which is transformed into a new person "when one had turned". Repentance and conversion, together, form what we know as justification. The person is made righteous and just. No one is converted before having received what the apostles received at Pentecost. That's what Jesus made known to Peter beforehand. "(Peter) and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren", Lk.22:32. The sign of a baptism with the Holy Spirit is true conversion. We may differ in different points and in doctrinal views, but what really matters here is what happens as a fact in practical terms. The practical part is what counts. Either before or later, one way or another, this baptism with the Spirit must occur. This event may come with signs and wonders, or may come without them. It is not signs and wonders that prove that this baptism has taken place, but rather the transformation that has taken place within the person. That's why the Spirit of God is called "Holy." For some reason it is called the Holy Spirit. Peter has been converted at Pentecost. However, he had walked with Jesus for three years before that happened. Probably, even before walking with Jesus and being called by Him, he had sought God and providence has guided him. But, the Peter who walked with Jesus and who was afraid enough to deny God three times was transformed into someone who was able to sleep soundly knowing that he was a few hours from being slaughtered, Act.12:6. Paul, the killer, was transformed into someone who distributed life for free and was able to be moved by the love of God - whom he formerly denied - instead of being moved by his own kind of love and glory. "It is appropriate that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you", John 16:7. Where am I getting at? I wish that everyone understands that we cannot abandon people who have repented as if they had already achieved everything they need for a life of fullness. Do not abandon an embryo. Even after having found that abundant, eternal and constant life no one should be left to his own without having learned to be guided by Jesus and to stick by it. Such a clean person needs to have his feet and steps cleansed as well. No one will go unpunished abandoning such. We must take everyone who finds that abundant life to learn to keep it and learn how to obey and by which means and ways. "... Teaching them to observe all things ...", Mat.28:20. Even if, for that purpose, it becomes necessary to offer entreaties and incessant, insistent prayers, everyone should find way to enter this abundant life and be filled with the Holy Spirit. "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?" Lk.11:13. We cannot deny the fact that Jesus says here that it is those who already consider Him as Father who must ask and do anything to receive His Spirit.
  257. "...That you have (...) not remembered Me, nor taken it to your heart? Is it not because I have held My peace from of old that you do not fear Me?" Is.57:11. Well, there is a big problem in the heart if God is silent. Not that God is found always talking, but He who guides is able to have us reminded when our memory fails us as disciples. To remember God and all that He had said is extremely important, especially when His words are personally directed to a specific heart for a specific purpose, and whoever does not remember may incur in great guilt. We should be able to remember everything the way it was said in the context that God expressed it. We know that memory works well and flows when we are free and at peace. Peace of mind and memory are inseparable allies. It is true that memory becomes degraded if it is not kept active, and that it improves with activity and dedication. If you are dedicated to Jesus with great love, certainly, you will remember more easily all that He had directed you in a personal way. And to be reminded of God does not take a lot of memory, unless we are sowing among thorns, which have the power to choke every good word. Thorns can affect us in such a way that not even the devil can with all his power and persistence. Sowing among thorns, whatever those thorns are, is more dangerous and works greater mischief than being tormented by the devil.
  258. Suspicion is a cruel instrument of a carnal mind. It may be unfounded or based upon something. However founded, it is cruel both to those who suspect as well as to the person under suspicion. Even when it is grounded, it is always cruel and cannot be made a weapon of love upon the ground of being founded. It may be false or founded and, yet, it is still suspicion. Although it may be justified, it is not a revelation from God. Distrust and suspicion are not certainties, and if we, indeed, wish to help others and to be made useful, we can only do it with the certainty of a diagnosis obtained from God. If we obtain an accurate and reliable revelation, then, we must act accordingly in God for God's purposes, to avoid being accused of negligence. God never uses suspicion to reveal. God manifests to the person and does not create suspicions. Being warned is not to be suspicious. To listen to the revelation is not being suspicious and is, rather, being obedient to God. If we still have a spirit that is suspicious, we should go to God to annihilate our suspicions and to exterminate that spirit for good, which is the source of all kinds of suspicion, and intercede before Him to grant us a spirit that hears Jesus and is able to follow Him faithfully in all obedience. Suspicion takes the place of guidance from God. If you do not trust someone, it should be because God said so by having received a revelation from Him. And not relying on someone is not the same thing as being suspicious. And if people are unreliable it should not affect us in any way having our full trust solidly grounded on God. Being in God, it doesn't matter whether a person is reliable or not since we have given ourselves wholly to Jesus and not to people. And if we do not trust them, we can not act spitefully just because God has revealed the evil hidden in the heart of someone. We must detain the person in accordance with the revealed truth - if the truth has indeed been revealed - and abandon mistrust acting in full accordance with the love of God for the sake of the salvation of those who are still captive to evil. Distrust or suspicion is a tool of Satan and certainty is the weapon that God uses. We must learn, also, to act in accordance with the truth, because if we please people, God might never reveal anything again that needs to be pushed into the light. God reveals for a specific reason and that goal has to be reached in full.
  259. "Come without money and without price", Is.55:1. It is interesting to see that, although it is free, we need to buy. Nobody buys without giving anything in exchange. Buying is to buy. When we buy the water of life, but without money and without price, we must understand that we buy it with our life, that is, the old life perishes in exchange for a new one. It is with our old life we buy it, giving it over to have it exchanged for living water. For this reason, we read in the same text the following: "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord", Is.55:7. Although you can buy without money and for free, it will cost all you own and have, along with all that you are. Jesus gives you a life and you cannot have it keeping the old one and the old way of living. It is a life for a life.
  260. "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good", Rom.12:21. Anyone can get to a point where he gives up and allows evil to overcome - not because evil is strong, but because of having given up. One fights hard, gets tired and gives up, perhaps, by using the wrong powers, or by persevering for the wrong reasons, or because there is any other reason that leads him to stop doing good to get into direct confrontation with evil. No one should neglect his own living and godly ways to find himself in a battle against evil using the same methodology which evil may, also, use. Let no one think that he can extinguish a fire by blowing against it. Sometimes, you have incorrect expectations about Jesus, whose sole mission is to save from sin. You may, also, have left the way for some other reason. In fact, there is something wrong in your heart or with your way of fighting if you no longer remain on the side of goodness to grant evil free way to its victory, or, shall I say, to your own defeat. To let evil overcome, you must have allowed your own defeat. To be beaten is to surrender to evil - even if it is done to fight against evil itself; it is to surrender to it and not just to let evil master you. Evil doesn't overcome evil. Evil entices evil even more. You cannot become bad to fight evil. And the one who surrenders to evil, will practice it sooner or later in whatever degree, even against his own will. For evil to overcome, it is necessary that whoever is on the good side allows it to overcome. To be defeated by evil is, firstly, to lose your life to it; secondly, to be unable to reach all the will of God. You must know that anyone who is on the side of goodness and love is only beaten by having allowed himself to be beaten. "Be not overcome by evil". It is a commandment - not an advice.
  261. Many preach the Gospel, become teachers of Scripture or theologians and find a doctrine that seems more credible to them. Others, on the other hand, find a doctrine that is more suitable or appropriate to them. Without realizing it, sooner or later, they begin to preach the doctrine and not the Gospel anymore. We had great men of God in different doctrinal poles in their thinking, but they were widely used by the Lord to preach the Gospel. Whitefield and Wesley differed greatly. Many believed they were opposed and not that they complemented each other. However, nobody can deny that they were greatly blessed by God in His holy work of preaching the Gospel, each in his proper place and time. What they did and what they lived was far above any doctrinal point of view, and the strength and power of the Gospel was evident through their lives. "It is good that the heart be established with grace", Heb.13:9, and not by doctrinal versions. "We forbade him because he does not follow with us. But Jesus said to him, "Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side", Lk.9:49,50. Is the North Pole and the South Pole opposing each other? Don't they sustain the earth together, each in its proper place? Not all who consider themselves on opposite sides are really opposed to the cause as long as both preach the true Gospel and do not go out preaching their preferred doctrines. However, it is extremely important that what they believe is not contrary to the Gospel in all its fullness, holiness and means of salvation. Let us remember, too, that were each pole trying to attract to it the inhabitants of the earth, people would not find anything different in their inner life going to one side or the other. Both poles are cold and create ice and keep it icy, which can be melted only by the heat of real life.
  262. Many can not discern between wisdom and knowledge. Although it is very easy to distinguish between them, it is never easy to explain. For example, as I read today from someone's writing, knowledge is knowing that tomato is a fruit and wisdom is to know that it should not be mixed in a salad of fruit, but, rather with lettuce and onion to make a vegetable salad, that is, it is used with vegetables and not with fruit. We have a lot of knowledge, but we must be ready to express it and be prepared to live it out in a practical way. "Prepare the way of the Lord". Wisdom is the practical way of our whole existence if we are found in the ways of God.
  263. It is through communion with God that things go on well - even though through unthinkable means and ways - and that our heart is assured. When things do not happen that way, there is some question related to that communion with God which should be promptly resolved or that might still be in the stage of being sorted out. Not everything can be taken as trials, as most people think and believe they are. Job was tried, but you cannot assume that everyone is being tried or tested - many are separated from God and that might be why things do not happen smoothly. Now, if someone is alienated from the power resulting from a real communion with Jesus, the arm of the flesh, its own way of thinking and doing along with an own strength will be knocking on the door to become alternatives to His unlimited power. When Job was being tried without knowing whether he was alienated from God or not, he refused determinately to solve anything his own way or through his own strength. He even refused the fleshly help and comfort of all his fleshly friends. He refused to be encouraged by them. It is carnality that urges and challenges to stop waiting on the Lord to separate even further from Him, doing the wrong thing or trying to do the right thing the wrong way, extemporaneously, without connection to the Spirit or via the wrong power and by own decision-making. What the devil wants most is to be able to serve in the Temple. He does not want a fallen creature to abandon the Temple of God. That creature serves his purposes best in there. The fleshly assure themselves there as well and feel comfortable serving in the temple, that is, they feel less condemned while there when, in fact, their guilt and judgment shall be greater serving or attempting to serve in God's Temple being impure. So, if the person is on the path of salvation from all his sins, everything that is carnally performed is unable to work. Everything becomes difficult, treacherous and discouraging with performances ending in disappointment after disappointment and strong hopes continually being denied brutally. Things are rejected, upset the heart and are denied by God. It is God who resists the proud and the unfaithful and not the devil. We need to take that into account. It is necessary for the person to quit his day to day life, his own thoughts and accusations, to try to settle his heart on God to resolve the issues that prevent the flow of power of Jesus and of His operations. It is He who works to will and to do when we belong to Him truly. But, we should be His truly and be found in Him unconditionally. The things of God flow in those without hindrance, but never flow having stumbling blocks in His way. "Take the stumbling block out of the way of My people", Is.57:14. If there is some stumbling block, the former stutterer starts stuttering again, founded doubts settle in all over again and many begin to believe that it is only trials that are taking place when, in fact, it is God resisting and opposing the sinner or the backslider to make him reconsider all his ways - and not just some of his ways - even though they must be considered one by one.
  264. God has helped many people through others. There are servants of God who, when used to help others, impress the needy ones who are helped. They might create a dependence on such which might not be healthy. But, sometimes there is something else that happens in many who remain arrogant: after having been helped, they do not remember where it all began and some go as far as despising those who had been used to help out in the ways of God. These, after having been served, come to trust in themselves more and better. Then, the simplicity of the servant that God used contrasts greatly with the complicated mind of who wasn't able to stand before God or was unbelieving and, therefore, could only be helped by way of a third-party's faith. Let's face it: God helps anyone who approaches Him with all his heart and with that heart being pure (purified) and sincere in the truth of Jesus. If God used someone to help, it is because it has become necessary to do so. There was something wrong with that person's communion with God and there was something right with whom God used to help. It is necessary that the two combine and meet, because a blind man should never be guided by another blind man; and those who see well need only to be guided by God and need His full blessing along the way, waiting fully on Him without despising any servant of God. But, all those who had been wrong will suffer temptations to return to the old mind and to their previous way and that after having been helped. And if these temptations are not resisted and regarded as abominable things, a door opens to despise those who, in their simplicity of heart, had been used to place the lost feet on the proper track. Despising the person used by God will be the same as despising the Lord Jesus Himself. It's good for us to remember where we came from, that is, where it all began. Sometimes it is not remembered. But, there is still another erring path. If God used someone else and his faith to help those who are slaves of an unbelieving, wavering mind or are found in desperation, we understand that there was a mind that did not rely on Jesus by itself, that is, in full and on its own. His strength was small. And if anyone is in Jesus and was not helped, he did not use his status to be helped. The person was helped by a third-party's faith for one reason or another. The aim of God, when using third parties, is not just to help someone, but is mainly to give birth to an own faith capable of leaning on Jesus by himself too, in a real way, without falling into the temptation of despising anyone who live from an "equal faith". "For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? You are already full! You are already rich! You have reigned as kings without us - and indeed I could wish you did reign, that we also might reign with you!" 1Cor.4:7-8. If faith in Jesus does not emerge through someone's help, everything that has been accomplished is in vain. Then, one of two things might happen: either the person swells up and despises those who have real faith, by whose faith he had been helped initially; or a dependency mentality is conceived that depends in an unhealthy way on the man or woman who could help. These seem to be two different sins, but in fact, it is the same unbelieving mind that manifests itself in different ways. This mind, moved by spiritual poverty, falls either to one side or the other. However, it remains the same disease even if the symptoms manifest themselves in different forms. The diagnosis is the same for both.
  265. Evil can't be good. It can never be reformed, retouched or bettered - it must be annihilated. Its destiny is destruction and annihilation. In other words, you cannot accept it, encourage it, try to change it and neither encourage anyone while found under its claws.
  266. Anger, wrath and aggression discourage both those who practice it as well as those who are affected by it, directly or indirectly. It happens to all who wish to prevail in the ways of God and all His righteousness. Anger and discouragement go hand in hand most of the time.
  267. "And He will destroy (...) the veil that is spread over all nations", Is.25:7. Another translation also says that it is a veil behind which people hide. The veil keeps people in a darkness caused by their own transgressions. Their sins keep them hardened in darkness. They do not dare to move beyond that veil for fear to have their inner being revealed. But, here is the miracle: "Whenever one is converted (turned to the Lord), the veil shall be taken away", 2Cor.3:16. After that, everyone will be able to see beyond that veil. But, before being converted, no sinner can see with good eyes anything beyond his own sins and pleasures. This veil hides the beauty of holiness from his eyes, so that he can never wish to get to it. The sinner sees no point in holiness. However, from what we read in this verse from Isaiah, the veil is also appreciated and used for sinners to hide behind the darkness brought about by their sins, to camouflage them or even excuse transgressions and justify them so that their enjoyment of a life of illusion can be continued and maintained. Self-justification has the ability to encourage those who sin to carry on loving to sin and to have no reason to discard it.
  268. "You also also made a reservoir between the two walls For the water of the old pool. But you did not look to its Maker, nor did you have respect for Him who fashioned it long ago", Is.22:11. Let's see if I can explain what should be understood by these words. We know that the reservoir was made at the command of the leaders of Judah. But, here we read that it was God that had formed it many ages before. It hadn't yet been built and God had already fashioned it in His mind and will. And it was only a reservoir of water for Jerusalem. The complaint of God is that those who built it never looked up to God who had formed it long ago. Still, it was built and accomplished for the sake of Jerusalem and David. The fact that the people involved in its construction had never recognized God in his work did not stop its construction. However, I believe that those who built it were certainly lost to the Kingdom. "In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes", Prov.3:6,7.
  269. In fact, what will determine the quality of my day and also the state of my mind during the whole day, the capacity and willingness to tackle all problems with peace and determination and to be able to receive every blessing with thankfulness, is the quality of my time with God early in the morning and never the amount of time I spend with Him in the closet. The amount of time also counts - it must be enough - but the resolutions and the light that transform the heart that I receive and work out with Him, and that in addition to being clean and getting the ability to keep my heart clean and spotless through blessing, is what will determine the quality and the usefulness of my whole day and of everything else I do. The blessedness of my day is measured by God's acceptance of anything I do and never by the amount of service. There is no virtue in service which is not accepted by God. That is what we must learn from Cain's rejection.
  270. In fact, what will determine the quality of my day and also the state of my mind during the whole day, the capacity and willingness to tackle all problems with peace and determination and to be able to receive every blessing with thankfulness, is the quality of my time with God early in the morning and never the amount of time I spend with Him in the closet. The amount of time also counts - it must be enough - but the resolutions and the light that transform the heart that I receive and work out with Him, and that in addition to being clean and getting the ability to keep my heart clean and spotless through blessing, is what will determine the quality and the usefulness of my whole day and of everything else I do. The blessedness of my day is measured by God's acceptance of anything I do and never by the amount of service. There is no virtue in service which is not accepted by God. That is what we must learn from Cain's rejection.
  271. There is no one who won't be guided within the boundaries of the will of God being clean and blameless before Him and in prayer. No one will be weak if spotless before God - not even when feeling weak, deployed or weakened. The weakness of the person starts when there is something which separates him from God. This does not mean, in any way, that the flesh needs to be strengthened or made strong. The flesh is dead and annihilated in those who are strong before God. That is why they are strong in practical terms. Above seeking acceptance in God, we should rather seek to be beyond reproach in the ways of Jesus. Within the parameters of these conditions, we can and must approach Jesus with our requests and prayers and He will, surely, be listening attentively. If we seek fruit, let us have the courage to be unsatisfied with half-fruits.
  272. Thereare huge dangers when certain things we hear, either promises or commandments, are not fulfilled. Sometimes it is a delayed promise which is still to be fulfilled. But, often, those who hear do not present themselves before God to be transformed and shaped to the size and responsibility of the promise. Many do not make a promise a subject of serious prayer as did Isaac when acknowledging that his wife was not conceiving children, the promise being that his descendants would fill the earth. In fact, there are many and varied reasons why promises are not fulfilled and some why promises are either delayed or simply seem delayed because our notion of the timing of God is somewhat different from God's intention. "Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry", Hab.2:3. A promise that does not become subject of prayer, will certainly not be fulfilled. And when something is not fulfilled, the human mind will want to be always listening to it being promised over and over to try to take heart and to fight off the evidences of failure in a way that should not be done. And that's where false voices begin to emerge, whether these voices are of demonic origin or from self. But, it may happen that God's voice echoes in between the chaos of the mind and it is not believed or will not be remembered for long because such a chaotic situation happens only to an unbelieving mind which is not steadfast. And an unbelieving mind seeks signs and voices. It will remember to seek voices and signs and not remember what has been told. Although disappointments can be fought off and laid down, they always leave marks and the disappointed person might not be able or willing to take it seriously again when it is God speaking. And who does not take God seriously and can't take to heart all He says or does, shall not receive from Him.
  273. "The envy of Ephraim shall depart (...) Ephraim shall not envy Judah, And Judah shall not harass Ephraim", Is.11:13. The envy of Ephraim arose, probably, because Judah had been separated for God (because of Solomon's sins) and instead of Ephraim repenting of their sins so that God could approach them too, they rather followed the path of envy and aggression. Judah, on its turn, tried to respond with harassment and vengeance. It is very difficult to live with envy and jealousy around, especially if it is found at home or in the church. But, whenever it happens, the one that envies will feel despised and trodden down when things are done correctly. The other option is to be dominated as the envied one. Evil is within whoever envies. And such own always a flickering personality and are incapable of leading, much less dominating. For this reason, you should never comply to any circumstance where envy and jealousy are dominating and you can never give in to any of their claims. However, you can't foment it further by reacting as Judah did or you shall be adding anger to jealousy and envy. You cannot allow your heart and ways to change for the worst because of it - not even a little bit. The envious one is always manifested as a pushy person in these claims and the envied one will always have a tendency to give in, especially if such is humble and simple of heart. However, we know that envy is bad for the one who envies and, if we give in or let go, we might not be loving his soul. We must know that God has promised that "the lion shall eat straw with the ox". The ox ate straw before already and it was the lion who was transformed. We do not read that the ox was changed to eat meat with the aggressive lion. It is not the ox that has to change, and, in the same way, we can say that is not the envied one that needs to change anything for the sake of peace with jealousy and envy. You should never change your holy conduct in any way for any reason whatsoever. The same principle can be applied to many other personality sins and alike crimes.
  274. "Truly, You are God, who hide Yourself", Is.45:15. The ideal Christian life is the one where God never hides Himself. He hides Himself only for specific reasons. In the case of Israel, God was hidden because of Israel's sins. He did that instead of bluntly abandoning Israel to its fate. Hiding was the alternative that He worked out instead of abandoning them. It was enough for the unbelievers and the unfaithful to feel abandoned. Many use verses like this to excuse and justify the absence of God in their lives and in their ministries. Never forget that God is only able to hide Himself for certain specific reasons and because of love. In the absence of these reasons, He certainly never hides Himself. "And truly, our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ", 1 John 1:3. And we believe that the commandment of Jesus about this issue is clear enough: communion with Him should be real, continuous, unhindered, permanent and constant. "Abide in Me, and I in you", John 15:4. This is the commandment. It must be the saddest thing to see a Christian having a life where God is always hiding Himself. I cannot conceive something more sad than that.
  275. Many like to do evil. These are, consequently, heartily opposed to goodness and confront it. Many others do good and evil is set against them and they are confronted by it. Do not feel guilty if that happens to you; and don't dare to think of changing because evil confronts you in case you are found in your innocence. Rejoice if, by being righteous, you are chased by evil. If you are not persecuted by evil, something is very wrong in your life.
  276. Many complain that they have never experienced the help or the power of God. However, they never reached the point of needing God's intervention in their lives. They avoid reaching that point where their own strength ends and they do not work until they can no more. God always works when we are with him, and we experience Him especially when we live beyond our own capabilities, even though that is not a fast rule.
  277. Be extremely careful with revenge. Have a good look into it and consider all your other options if you want to take revenge and, also, how you react when someone else is to unload revenge upon you. Revenge makes us worse people than what we really are; more adulterers than are; more evil than we are. Vengeance causes to go beyond all boundaries of common sense. And when someone takes revenge upon you, think that the person is acting above what he really is; and that might be a less evil person than what he appears to be by taking revenge. Revenge makes anyone go beyond his wickedest limit.
  278. "Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us? Then I said, Here am I! Send me", Is.6:8. We exist to do God's will and not our own. A fact hit me concerning Isaiah. He had been sent to the people that they would be hardened. We want to be sent to people to have them repent and converted. Our success in the work is to achieve all that God intends. Beyond that, nothing can be considered as success. I know that what I say will serve for many as an excuse or justification for their inabilities and failures, but there are facts that we should be able to point out. Elijah had no revival among the people; however, he fulfilled all the will of God and achieved all that was intended for him. The fact that his people never got converted didn't stop him from reaching all the will of God for his personal life and did not stop him from living a life free of error and sin. His holiness and dedication to God had never been questioned - not even during his worst trials.
  279. It is good that, right from the beginning, people learn to examine their hearts and put them under the light of Jesus and keep them there from then on up to eternity. But, the heart must examined according to truth and by it; secondly, it must be delivered to the same truth to be transformed by it - and not try to accomplish it on its own. However, there prevails this fancy idea within the doctrines that we should always try to please God as one would please people, that is, always recognizing that we are sinners even when one doesn't feel like a guilty sinner. Now, it is true that we are sinners; it is also true that, once having been forgiven, one should live according to that truth and be able to recognize it as a truthful fact. We must live up to date. Forgiveness comes with conversion and conversion comes with the confession and forsaking of sin. We should be able to live in full compliance with what is true about ourselves and God. Whenever God comes in, in a real way, nothing remains the same anymore and one should be able to recognize the truths about it and the new realities as we are transformed and restored to health.
  280. "He shall judge between the nations (...) They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore", Is.2:4. This is brought about through the Judgment of God. There are several forms of judgment and many ways to judge. Also, there are the reasons and the type of power (or lack thereof) and the moral authority with which judgment is made. According to what the Scriptures teach us, there is a kind of judgment that God loves and one that God abhors. We know that all good doctors need to have accurate diagnosis if they wish to cure illness. There is no medical healing without an accurate and correct diagnosis. The same principle can be applied to the judgment of those who want to heal the soul of any man and have it saved: no one accomplishes it by passing over committed sins or concealed, disguised or hidden ones. Sin is the cause of mischief and perdition. No one is ever forgiven without putting his own sins in the light to have them judged to death and without confessing them as heinous crimes. Now, the judgment of God is according to truth and love. The motives are to save or to save what remains condemning what is no good. It is love that moves that way. I always believed that a real revival works like the day of judgment, where sins are judged and manifested. We must never try to escape the judgment that saves. From the final judgment of God (at the end) no one is ever able to escape. However, many are able to throw out the Judgment of love and to "cast away His cords" from them. Let's remember that those who stoned Steven had been cut to the heart in the same way that the others have been who asked what they should do to be in peace with God.
  281. According to Scripture, oppression, bribery and corruption are inseparable. Where there is one, there are certainly the others as well or, at least, circumstances are created for the others to exist along. It's just a matter of searching it out if you want to prove that as a fact.
  282. Wisdom, when it comes from God, remains true to the end. As a rule, people who grow in wisdom have that silly idea that what they have been shown previously loses its importance before freshly given wisdom, or that previously granted wisdom looses its relevance as they get wiser. Were it so, it would not be "growing in it", but, rather substituting it. There is no greater wrong thinking than that. We must keep, remember and give great regard to all instruction that came from God previously. Its validity does not end and it remains forever. Wisdom never nullifies wisdom, because it would be like Beelzebub driving himself out to divide his kingdom.
  283. "If a wise man contends with a foolish man, whether he rages or laughs, there is no rest", Prov.29:9. We must know what does the Bible define as a fool. A fool is not just someone who makes silly jokes and foolish things. There are many fools of many kinds. There are people who believe in inert or wrong things and the Bible says they are fools. Others become fools because they do not believe in real and truthful things, let alone in Jesus. What the Bible says here is that to argue with such people will take us nowhere and will, also, take all our future rest from us. The only way to talk with them or the only argument that you should ever try once or twice is trying to show the fool that he is foolish. If he believes that, everything else can come to a good end because he has believed truth and the conviction of sin can work miracles.
  284. "In the sin of an evil man there is a snare", Prov.29:6. We should understand this verse as saying that, besides the transgressions there is also a snare in sin. We must know that transgression makes the sinner and the sinner creates transgression. A heart is changed when sin is committed. Adam's eyes were opened to sin after he had transgressed the commandment of God. But by what the Bible says here, it is not just transgression that is brought about - which is, in itself, very serious already. In addition to the transgression, ties are launched to future temptations and future sins are guaranteed by each present transgression. Also, transgressions and temptations for those around are launched and spread as nets. All offenders become, also, stumbling blocks and there will be snares for others thrown out as well, both in the present and in the future. Any sort of transgression causes it to happen that way. Take care of your life, hold your crown secure by staying away from those who transgress. And if the wrongdoer is you, repent immediately to avoid stumbling in the future and to avoid being a stumbling block for those around you, and you might not be cast into the abyss with a millstone tied up on you back.
  285. "When a wicked man rules, the people groan", Prov.29:2. This is an inescapable fact. And it is worth having in mind that it is the Bible that says this. However, those who sigh and groan hardly recognize the source of their problems because they always admire, uphold and stand for those who lead them. Who admires and respects the wickedness of the wicked, is wicked himself. Were he not wicked he would, instead, feel a deep sorrow against wickedness and not against own, consequent heaviness only. Consequently, there is nothing to be done until one becomes righteous and leaves all ungodliness behind, whether we are speaking of leaders or followers. It is God who punishes and denies who leads wickedly and those who choose such as their leaders.
  286. "When the wicked (...) perish, the righteous increase", Prov.28:28. This is something we all need to keep in mind always: when you abandon your sins fully through the truth and by the Lord Jesus, circumstances are created for righteous people to be multiplied around you. Don't forget it, not ever. The main cause for the absence of genuine revivals or the main cause for the spreading of falsified ones is the sins of the Christians. Perhaps, it is the only cause for the absence of genuine revivals.
  287. There are many reasons why one shouldn't speak of anyone with anyone. Sometimes, we should even avoid speaking well of someone with others. Evil exists in speaking of others and it also creates the bad habit of speaking of others and of paying attention to what they do. Speaking of others can become a habit. It is best to talk with those whom we speak of keeping the rules of God's true love as we speak to them. But, there is another side to this question: to hear when someone speaks of others. If you hear, it makes you an accomplice. There are many hidden and serious dangers to those who listen to such talk. If you hear lies or altered truths, suspicions may arise where mercy and love should prevail. By listening, we are able to think well of evil ones or ill of others without ground for such thoughts. If we wish to be useful, we must know how to evaluate according to correctness, exemption, love and fairness. "He shall not judge by the sight, nor decide by the hearing of His ears", Is.11:3. Instead, listening about people can cause to prefer some above others by giving an ear to those who are still able to speak of other people's lives - and that is sin. "If you have respect to persons (show partiality), you commit sin and are convicted by the Law as transgressors", James 2:9.
  288. "A man who flatters his neighbour spreads a net for his feet", Prov.29:5. Nobody likes to be found guilty of any crime, not even when having committed it. Here is a serious crime which few consider as grievous and as abominable as it really is: flattering others. Flattering others is an inexcusable crime for the disastrous consequences it brings with it. This word "flatter" means, at least in the original Hebrew, much more than flattering with words. It means giving preference to someone above another for personal or dubious reasons; having regard for anyone above the other, whether it is temporary in the case of strangers or permanently in the case of close friends and family; flattering in order to promote an approach to the flattered one; highlighting someone for hidden reasons other than the promotion of the glory of God, etc. There are many more ways to commit this serious crime against one's soul. How many serious girls have married a person not appointed by God because of some flowers given them by flatterers? By flattering them, the wrong person has spread the net of a wrong marriage for their feet.
  289. It is up to God to forgive and to be merciful. It honourable to Him, like anything He does and accomplishes. And it is up to me to be relentless against any own sins, assuming I have them - when I have them. It is up to me never to minimize them, nor to excuse them in any way, and to have them immediately pushed into the light for immediate extermination. That goes together with receiving and perceiving the mercy of God. You can never separate one from the other.
  290. Sincerity is a inseparable partner of purity, that is, whoever is sincere of heart and walks in the light with nothing hidden, twisted or camouflaged can be honest because he does not have anything to be ashamed of. Many tend to maintain the old habit of hiding, which must be dealt with and done away for good. And, also, whoever walks in the light denies power to sin, slams the door to temptation and is able to keep his own heart clean and spotless before God and people. It is crucial, safe and vital from both virtues to be inseparable. One works with/for the other. As a rule, insincerity and lack of spiritual honesty is linked to whom has something to hide - or to anyone whose way is still hiding. And whoever keeps any sin hidden, also strengthens and keeps its power along with own guilt. "Come and let us walk in the light of God", Is.2:5.
  291. "Do not boast (presume) about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth", Prov.27:1. This is a lesson for all kinds of people. Pessimists and all prophets of misfortune think that the next day shall always be worse than the day before; and the optimistic try to believe otherwise. While there is some difference between them, we must know that the line that separates them is very slim, because the optimistic is only trying not to be pessimistic and any pessimistic does not express himself optimistically only by stubbornness or to seek attention from people around and who can not save. Assuming anything about tomorrow is sin for any, unless God has revealed what shall be. Tomorrow is up to God to decide and it's up to me to depend on Christ and not on tomorrow. I can be confident in God whenever my ways are pleasant to Him. But, that is not optimism because it is a certainty. Anything that is not a certainty can never be taken as faith. Optimism is not faith - it is a carnal thing. Optimism doesn't move God. In fact, I believe it puts Him off. Sometimes, optimism is a lazy way of postponing or of avoiding making sure.
  292. Many interpret spiritual good sense as unbelief. It is one thing to say: "Lord, if You can do it, help me". It is another thing to say, "Lord, if you will, you can help me". "And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean. Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed". Immediately, his leprosy was cleansed", Mat.8:2,3. This man would have never been cured if such language were unbelief talking. By saying "if you want" he assumed that Jesus could. He was submissive to Jesus and the will of God.
  293. "The glory of man is to pass over transgression", Prov.19:11. This does not mean that any man who became righteous, that is, that has been justified inwardly, accepts sin. It means only that he lives without getting involved or without being influenced by the sins around. He does not react to provocation; does not lose his divine target when he needs to go through ways with evil traps, provocations and persecutions, and passes over these transgressions without being bothered by them on his way in order to keep his crown and target safe. In fact, he holds, ensures and maintains that no one steals his crown from him. He passes over transgressions as you would jump over a muddy puddle in a rainy day. This is and will always be glory to man. This is how he shall be glorified.
  294. "Every man is a friend to one who gives gifts", Prov.19:6. This is a true statement of most man on earth. But, this system does not work with God. "Bring no more vain sacrifice; incense is an abomination to Me; the new moon and Sabbath, the going to meeting; I cannot endure evil and the assembly! (...) And when you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; yea, when you make many prayers, I will not hear (...) Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes", Is.1:13-18. Remember that God could not accept Cain's presents and gifts. God might not accept yours as well. In that same spirit - as God's - the righteous must live always, whose life and ways should never change because of a gift.
  295. "The way of a guilty man is perverse", Prov.21:8. Here, it is is not distinguished between evil ways and those who could be considered decent ways. Any way of anyone who still carries his guilt is evil in God's eyes and is a burden to himself and to humanity around. And they are wicked in the sight of God because they are truly wicked. God only sees the truth about something.
  296. "Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, And apply your heart to my knowledge; For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you", Prov.22:17,18. Another translation says that "it is soft to keep them within you". That may mean, also, that in case a man does not have a heart which is strong, willing and diligent in applying the word, wisdom and good words of salvation will be a torment to his mind and there will be a strong, annoyed inclination to deflect it from him.
  297. The Bible says that "The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit; He who is abhorred by the Lord will fall there", Prov.22:14. It is worth noticing that it is the wrath of God burning when God hands someone over to his own sins. Many are under the wrath of God by being delivered to sin, but do not realize it so because they believe that the wrath of God is manifested by becoming sick, deplete or persecuted. There is no greater false belief. Just read Ps.73 to have a more accurate idea about the wrath of God and how it is manifested or accomplished in someone's life. The most common way for the wrath of God to be manifested is to be unable or to be unwilling to get rid of sin. That is the wrath of God at work. "I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands like bands. Whoever pleases God shall escape from her, but the sinner shall be taken by her", Ecl.7:26.
  298. Every person who listens without interrupting creates a scene where he also can speak without being interrupted. Habit creates habit. Whoever interrupts his speaking neighbour for no godly reason cannot say he loves his neighbour as himself.
  299. "Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, And an idle person will suffer hunger", Prov.19:15. It is known as a fact that most lazy people have a serious commitment with sleep and set no fixed limit to the time to stay in bed or daydreaming. But the most interesting part of this truth is that it is also stated that the lazy one has a deceitful soul, which continuously deceives him. In fact, all lazy ones have a covenant with death and hardly undo that concert. "He who is careless of his ways will die", Prov.19:16.
  300. "Contentions are like the bars of a castle", Prov.18:19. We all know that those bars do not break by themselves. If you have argued with someone, go back and reconcile yourself quickly. Things will never get sorted out by themselves, at least not in God's eyes. "Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him". "When you go with your adversary to the magistrate, make every effort along the way to settle with him, lest he drag you to the judge, the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. I tell you, you shall not depart from there till you have paid the very last mite", Mat.5:25; Lk.12:58,59.
  301. "He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great destroyer", Prov.18:9. The lazy, the careless, the distracted, the dreamy and many more alike are wasters and destroyers. They are all gems of the same eggs. They act without responsibility and react badly to any reminder of their sins. It must be so difficult for such to change habits and ways as it is for the rich to leave their riches for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Opportunities are wasted when they pass them by, and they do not listen the voice of conscience and live as if they owe nothing to anyone in this world. And, whoever is not a debtor to the world around shall live as if the whole world owes him something - or everything. Their whole existence is a serious and continuous risk and waste, both for themselves and for those around them.
  302. Obedience is crucial for any who wishes to live an abundant life in Christ. Without this obedience there is no abundant life. We owe obedience to the truth (which implies disobeying lies and rejecting them); we must obtain a tender, obedient spirit toward those who express the truth and practice it faithfully; and we must be obedient to God unconditionally. There is conditional obedience to people and there is unconditional obedience to God. Unconditional obedience to Jesus and the Holy Spirit's leading is always an non-negotiable must.
  303. "Reprobate to every good work (...) To the pure all things are pure. But to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure", Titus 1:16,15. This means that good works will be acceptable only if he who practises them is pure. That is, for the work to be considered good, a person must be approved by God. The problem does not lie in the work, but in the person. Beautiful labels and advertisements do not make the institution. Every good work can be either approved or rejected - it all depends on whom does them and what motivates them. Even if the works of infidels look good, they never bring what is good and never reach a good end. "In the gain of the wicked there is trouble", Prov.15:6. Cain offered to God and was not accepted. There was nothing wrong with the offer. It was rejected because Cain was evil and not because the offer was evil. "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord; The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the Lord; The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord; He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination", Prov.15:8,9,26; 28:9. And here we do not see it being distinguished between good and bad thoughts or between good and bad prayers. They are all abominable, either good or bad as long as the person is wicked.
  304. There might not be a more aggressive person in word (and, sometimes, in deed) and more self-defensive than a lazy one when confronted with his laziness. The sluggard's life and ways are full of thorns and he has no perception of it. Those thorns make him nasty. He hardly knows why his path is thorny. "The way of the lazy man is like a hedge of thorns", Prov.15:19.
  305. "The thoughts of the righteous are right; the counsels of the wicked are deceit", Prov.12:5. This does not mean that the wicked always carries the intention to deceive with him, although that might happen. In fact, many times the counsel of the wicked seems sincere, convincing and appealing. What this verse means is that the wicked lives deceiving and cheating himself. "They do not know what they do". His advice comes from a heart in a wrong state and will never come from God. The advice of any person away from God is deceit itself - even when he is sincere. "The plowing of the wicked is sin", Prov.21:4.
  306. "Better is one despised, and having a servant, than he honouring himself and lacks bread", Prov.12:9. This thought, this idea can be transported to many areas of ordinary life. As a rule, the negligent ones exercise themselves more and harder to seem faithful than to be faithful, that is, they try to show one thing different from truth and reality (and when they try do be faithful they will still try hard to be seen). They try to seem virtuous because they lack the virtue. Prostitutes like to show how serious they are as woman; thieves seek to be taken as honest and are easily offended with the truth about themselves; and so on. "You have a harlot's forehead, yet, you refuse its shame", Jer.3:3. Those who do not tidy up the house, do so only when they are to receive visits; those who do not care for themselves and are slothful shape up very well for any public event; and those who sin are the ones who 'work' harder in today's churches. They honour themselves with emptiness. "They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable", Titus 1:16. They honour themselves and lack the bread.
  307. "The righteousness of the perfect shall make his way right", Prov.11:5. Many are concerned to promote themselves and that their paths are seen and appreciated, even if it is done with the intention to honour to God. Others try to make what is bent to seem straight by winning over the hearts in order to change others' minds and views about themselves. However, other people's opinions can't change our things for the better or for worse - not even our own opinions can change them for better or worse. Unless a sincere and public acknowledgment of sins and mistakes is available to be given from the heart, all talking will be in vain. We must abandon all means to promote oneself knowing that, by walking uprightly, all our ways will be manifest, no matter what happens and when it happens. Even the crooked eyes will eventually acknowledge that the righteous is in right standing with God and people. Even if their mouths say otherwise, their hearts acknowledge the facts in secret. It is just a matter of time until the righteous is seen as righteous. No one should seek recognition, but rather to be able to walk in all sincerity before God and people, finding righteousness in order to become righteous and that alone. Abhor self-promotion and visibility. Let God reward you in His time. If God rewards sins accordingly, He shall surely reward righteousness sooner and quicker than He rewards sin.
  308. "The wise in heart will receive the commandments; but a babbling fool shall fall", Prov.10:8. By a babbling fool we may also understand that we are talking about those who counter-attack instead of accepting the commandments. When convicted, they try to defend themselves by pointing out the sins of others - especially of those whom they believe are responsible for their conviction - when they should, instead, admit to their own sins and mistakes. These try to divert what they consider accusations by accusing others. There are, also, those who talk so much that they cannot hear anything. That is, one either speaks or hears and a babbling fool has no way to hear and understand because he is always busy talking. One cannot get to the point where one accepts the commandments if there is no disposition or availability to hear and to listen carefully without being eager to talk and to say something back, even if it is only for the sake of adding to the conversation.
  309. "Violence covers the mouth of the wicked", Prov.10:6. Many believe that violence can only be of the physical kind. But the violent man uses his own mouth to show what he truly is. All violence comes from a violent being. There is the being and there is the act. These are two different things all together. Therefore, even when there is no visible violent act, the violent being does not cease to be violent. He is still violent even when a violent act is not consummated. It is normal that any sinner has tendencies to hypocrisy and to cover up what he is. So, there remains the possibility that any violent being hides what he is at heart and that people around do not realize that he is violent. However, even if there is no visible violence, any such will be condemned for being violent because God judges the hearts and judges all works under the light of the hearts. There is the act and there is the heart that leads to the act. If the act is not materialized, it does not mean that the heart cannot judged. "The Lord weighs the hearts", Prov.21:2. The mouths reveal many hearts. The mouth is, usually, the visible tip of the iceberg that is mostly hidden under deep waters.
  310. "The fruit of the wicked tend to sin", Prov.10:16. Another translation says, "The productions of the wicked tend to sin". There are wicked ones who, by their appearances, seem holy. Whatever the wicked one does, whether well regarded or taken negatively by others, always lead to sin. But, if a man is righteous, it is not so: whatever such do, whether regarded with a negative look or well seen, always lead to life and a true reconciliation with God and people around. Never fear to be fair, truthful, kind and righteous. Rather fear to be hypocritical and you shall bring life to all who are to die in their sins.
  311. "Love covers all sins", Prov.10:12. We must understand the Scriptures properly, that is, understand it with precision and only what it means. Many understand that this verse means that love covers up existing transgressions when, in fact, love does precisely the opposite. Love pushes everything into the light without condemnation to the sinner who yields to that light. The sin, however, is condemned to death. Love does not gloss over sin and doesn't overshadow it to cover it while it still exists. Sin is generally condemnable, but it is the sinner who is exposed to the death of Christ by being in the light where all is visible. If the sinner ceases to exist, he can't be condemned anymore. The dead can't be condemned anymore by law because they are dead. If the sinner dies with Christ, he shall be as dead to sin as a corpse is to this present world. That is how Light annihilates the possibility of transgressing because, by putting the hearts and the transgressions fully in light, it creates the ability to have any sin fully and successfully exterminated by creating a saint, it is, by converting a sinner into a saint. Therefore, the sinner dies and ceases to exist. What this verse means to bring under our attention and belief is the fact that by loving with God's love, one can't sin. This verse of Scripture is talking about the transgressions of oneself and not of others. Transgression is caused by pure, active selfishness that seeks satisfaction in whatever way possible. Therefore, the person who is indeed converted from selfishness to the love of God and by it - and not to the love of self - is forgiven because of having been transformed and converted. "Be converted so that your sins may be blotted out", At.3:19. So, love covers transgressions in that sense and sins will no longer be remembered by way of conversion that comes through/with repentance. Sins are covered that way. "He he who turns back the sinner from the error of his way shall (...) hide (cover) a multitude of sins", James 5:20. "Hatred (in self) stirs up fights, but love (in self) covers all (own) sins".
  312. Sometimes, I find myself amazed about certain theologies and certain statements of people who say they are dedicated to the Gospel. Many of their theologies are mere ideologies. Several pastors say without shame or doubt that the person in Christ will be truly holy only after death. These overlook many passages of Scripture, like this one: "For the grace of God is manifested (...) teaching us that having denied ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live discreetly, righteously and godly, in this present world", Titus 2:11,12. There are abundant texts saying the very same thing. I can't understand how is it possible to overlook such things in Scriptures by reading them all in honesty from beginning to end. It simply amazes me. They prefer to take their stand upon doctrine above siding up with truth. It seems to me they keep trying to make believe that holiness is something from another world, that it is difficult or impossible for anyone to be honest, to strive for the truth and own correctness, or that it is impossible to be faithful, etc. I have heard many pastors saying that to many people right from the start of their Christian life, it is, as soon as they start off. Their views tend to cut to death any motivation or attempt to be holy right from the start. Tell me, isn't it something from the devil? Who else would deviate the eyes of someone from a path of holiness? Tell me, is it that hard to tell the truth and to be truthful? Is it that hard to be honest in your work? Is it impossible to stop lying or to steal? You see, holiness is something simple, something for this world now and ever. Many condemn themselves through what they teach and believe.
  313. "Let him ask (...) doubting nothing (...) (for such a man) is a double-minded man, not dependable in all his ways", James 1:6,8. Let's say that, through this text, we understand that the person who doubts God who can do anything is extremely inconstant and not dependable of heart. Not even he himself should depend on his own heart when it comes to righteousness. He is, at least, unstable in relation to God and God's ways. And, when a person is unstable in this aspect of his life, he will be so in all his ways. The Scriptures say: "He is unstable in all his ways". But, we can not twist Scripture for the sake of doctrine. What we may actually understand by this text is that the flickering person who finds it hard to trust God is unstable in all the ways of God and, perhaps, only them. He, most probably, does not become unstable in the ways of the world and sin. Inconstant in a way, means he might be constant in the opposite polar. If inconstant in sin - if you have fallen into any temptation inadvertently - it means you can become constant in God's ways. Being unstable in God, you might be constant in sin if you fall into any trap of the devil or of the flesh. That is why many "go from us" and are able to remain false and breeding falsity continuously.
  314. Partiality is hypocrisy. There are those who place themselves alongside with their own believing that means they are loving them. However, real love is always impartial. Partiality never seeks the truth. Whoever is not truthful is false and breeds partiality. And no one needs the love of falsity.
  315. Sound teaching and correction is desirable for those who want to learn. For those who do not wish to learn or be corrected, teaching becomes a form of insult. "The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those that make peace", James 3:18. But for those who are not peaceful in practical terms, it can't ever be sown in peace. There are those who nurture a romantic idea of righteousness and justice, which dream about it and do not and neither experience it in God. And there are those who do and accomplish. Those who are not able to practice feel confronted by any good teaching when, in fact, teaching has another spirit, that is, one of love and meekness. "The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy", James 3:17. The fact that true wisdom is impartial and, therefore, does not please people, is taken as a form of confrontation by those who avoid being taught by meekness. One of the characteristics of those who want to learn is the lack of desire in them to be pleased. However, when foolish ones are not pleased, confrontation arises. Meekness is often seen as aggression by heart-devils. The confrontation between meekness and hardness or rebellion is inevitable. That is why there is and will always be an active enmity between the fleshly and the spiritual, whatever the occasion may be or in whosever it might be found. It is the oldest of all confrontations. It exists ever since the devil fell.
  316. Any person who buys for the sake of buying, talks for the sake of talking, spends for the sake of spending, or does anything for no specific reason, certainly lives just for the sake of living. That is, he has no direction, does not have a reason to live, does not live for a cause and has no real aim in life. And if he has, he is not fulfilling it. His existence is a burden to creation and brings no contribution to God's aim. He may even have other ideals or thoughts, but in practical terms, he lives only for the sake of living.
  317. Many prayers are made pressured by the duty of praying. It is not totally wrong because praying is a duty. However, many pray to show God or others they are praying and have little intention of getting real answers. Duty-praying is a stumbling block for many because it hinders the heart to express itself fully and faithfully before God. That way, assurance can't be given by the Spirit who helps to intercede. And, without that faith there shall be no answer.
  318. When people praise God, they believe they are pleasing him with flattering words of praise, as if God were carnal and needed to be praised to be moved towards us. In fact, true worship that arises from the knowledge of the truth about all things shows that the person not only approves good things, but that he nurtures great appreciation for them and for whoever is responsible for them. What pleases God most during praise is that the person has eyes, heart and love for the things that matter to the point of God being praised. God does not need our praise for anything - much less to approach us. However, the fact that we are able to appreciate what really matters to the point of having praise erupt spontaneously gives great joy to God. That is why God abhors all kinds of false or fake praise because it is trying to flatter the Lord into something instead of having great appreciation and, perhaps, admiration, for what He does. Nobody buys God through praise. The motives that lead to praise is of utmost importance and it, therefore, determines whether we will be accepted or rejected as some kind of Cain.
  319. When Jesus says that not a single hair of mine will perish, did he have in mind my hair or me? We need to know it is not the hair He is referring to, but us. Let's understand Scripture for what it says.
  320. The genetics of each determines his height, shape and, they say, his body's health. But, what does a good genetics avail to anyone without the proper food, without the necessary care, without the simple discipline of a regimented life? Now, there it is. In this same way does the new person in Christ exist. We need to know that it is not just to be born again: we need to keep ourselves in Christ, we must exterminate and deny every sin, knowing how to do it in order to accomplish it effectively and to be or to remain complete in the Lord. We need more solid food each day and need to care for and maintain our healthy body and soul in Christ.
  321. "...So that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Berachiah, whom you killed between the temple and the altar", Mat.23:35. The sense of justice of God is very different from ours. On that generation would fall the guilt of the blood of righteous spilled during all times - from the blood of Abel to the last prophet of the Old Testament! (However, it is interesting to see that Jesus doesn't claim upon justice to bring their guilt up to His own blood being spilled). Who has the heart, the appetite for the same type of sins incur in the same penalty, even if those sins have not been committed physically for lack of occasion or for another reason. Who has the heart to sin or the capability to transgress, carries the guilt.
  322. "But I say to you that every idle word, whatever men may speak, they shall give account of it in the day of judgment", Mat.12:36. By "idle word", especially in this verse, we understand any word that does not correspond to the truth or reality of the heart. It is in that sense that Jesus speaks of those who speak good things being bad. What they say doesn't match up with what they do or with the way they wish to say it. Therefore, every word that does not correspond, one way or another, to the reality of the heart will be seen as idle. It is not only necessary that each word corresponds to the heart, whether it is felt or not, but that it also corresponds to the truth lived and experienced within the heart of anyone who pronounces it. "For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned", Mat.12:37.
  323. "But if you had known what this is, "I desire mercy and not sacrifice", you would not have condemned those who are not guilty", Mat.12:7. Could it be that all those who desire to sacrifice to try to bribe God into something are the ones who most easily condemn innocent ones?
  324. "But, everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall", Mat.7:26. Many are content to hear the Word, either by radio or in the services. In fact, hearing the Word is not the end of the trail. Here, Jesus speaks of those who hear and, even so, may end badly - very badly. The fool is not the one who doesn't hear, but him who hears. We must bear this in mind, for those who do not miss a service, who do not lose a sermon on the radio and appear to be extremely zealous may be the ones Jesus considered foolish because they dedicate themselves only to hear and are not extremely dedicated to fulfil the main requirements of truth, which is a walk and a kind of life.
  325. Truth, to mean something to any recipient, must become a revelation of the Spirit that marks the soul of that recipient with its revelation. Imagine someone who does not read, did not hear, and suddenly, something is revealed to him with such meaning that can change or transform his entire conduct. Now, imagine someone reading and, at the same time, obtaining the revelation of it with an equal impact. In fact, this kind of manifestation of the Word can be received also while studying the Word in depth. What matters is that it becomes a manifestation or revelation which marks the soul and the whole being of the person, something that can turn every instinct into obedience and compliance with Christ, it being not only immediate and spontaneous, but lasting. If there is no such revelation in this manner, the truth will not get the expected results. Truth will, then, continue to maintain its meaning, but shall mean nothing to the person who hears it.
  326. "Pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you", Mat.5:44. When we pray, we do it to be heard. We can not pray with the intention of working against bad feelings caused by persecution and ill-treatment. It is criminal and selfish to pray merely to counteract against my feelings of annoyance and revenge and that those are overcome that way. We pray to be heard. Sins are overcome through the power of God and obedience. Many believe that we should pray for our enemies in order to avoid hating them. Instead, when prayers are made, we must breed the desire that people may come to love and be saved from themselves. This means that I can be praying for others because of my sins and own temptations. But, motives always determine whether we shall be heard or not. I can and must be perfect as the Father is in this aspect as well, wishing as he the true salvation of those who mistreat and run against the truth. If a person is bad, then, it is because he is not saved. If you are lost, you offend God and cannot bring Him any glory. Before each prayer, find out first whether it has become a habit or ritual, as when you pray before eating and drinking. We should always examine our hearts to discover if we really want to be heard and if we indeed desire our prayers to be heard. Perhaps, when we pray, we have something else in mind, something distinct from our words of prayer, indicating that we have a double heart like all those who are not sincere in their devotion. If we are to be heard, we must then thoroughly and wisely analyze our motives to find out if we really have fulfilled all the conditions for our prayers and desires to be met and to be heard by God.
  327. "Whoever, therefore, breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven", Mat.5:19. This is one of those verses that many misunderstand, which can easily be twisted up. This means that whoever teaches men properly being himself in a bad inner state of life, shall carry the proper consequences. Here, Jesus does not speak of those who teach the wrong things and rather that teach proper things which they themselves do not practise or experience. That is, these words are addressed to those who do not comply with certain things which they preach correctly and those who teach what one ought to teach and whose lives are not ordered according to it. What they teach doesn't become visible in their lives - it doesn't match with their practical living. These are called small in the kingdom of heaven. The Pharisees taught the right things. However, they did not fulfil the righteousness of God. The word could not impact their lives. The Sadducees taught the wrong things and also did not meet the proper requirements of truth. Jesus did not speak of the Sadducees here, but of the Pharisees, who taught the right things, when he said, "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven", Mat.5:20. Jesus is speaking of those who teach the right things lacking the life they talk about. It would certainly create a mentality which consisted only of empty words, a kind of life to which people would get accustomed to. It would teach people to teach and not teach to live - or live to teach. The commandment is clear: "Teach to keep the commandments...", Mat.28:20. People would rather assimilate a life which doesn't accept experiencing the truth they know of. That sort of life is easily assimilated because known truth is appealing to the soul. The preaching of truth can create either hypocrites or saints. This being said, and knowing that the Kingdom of God has come to earth with Jesus and during Pentecost, one can consider genuine revival as the reigning of God. Now, let's take this a step further: when a church or pastor doesn't experience what Pentecost is all about, he is small or even insignificant in the Kingdom of God. This may mean that the living or the life lived by the church or by the pastor is directly responsible for the lack of real revival and, perhaps, for the propagation of a false one. One of the main reasons why many do not experience genuine revival is that the life of those involved in preaching is hypocritical. They feign the gospel.
  328. "Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil", Mat.4:1. Here is something that many do not like: to be lead to be tempted and tried. Everyone wants to be led by the Spirit, some even beg for it. However, most live in a romantic idea that God will guide them to what they themselves want for their personal lives or even for their carnal desires. But, as soon as the Spirit begins to guide truly, one loses total control of the course we will take. It is not for us to decide anything anymore and our decisions (unless made in God) are to no avail. When God truly guides, we are not only guided, but the target to achieve is also Him. And as there was no food in the desert - even if Moses had received it from God in the desert - Jesus had to fast for forty days and nights.
  329. "...He conceives troubles...", Ps.7:14. This may mean that most of the problems of a day-to-day life of any person following his own way (not being in God) are mere consequences of his own walk. God shouldn't be blamed for it. Those who expect from God being righteous fly as high as the healthiest eagles and others conceive and give birth to problems after problems because a problem always leads to another problem. A problem never comes alone and one demon may bring seven others with him.
  330. He made a pit and dug it out, and has fallen into the ditch which he made", Ps.7:15. Many dig to drink water supposing to find it pure and do not know they are digging out their own death. This thought of digging deep has its meaning. Fools are driven by desires and not by the reality of faith or through the reality of God. They are not consistent with the reality of spiritual facts. In fact, they do not want to be consistent. By becoming consistent, they shall cease to dig deep into the world. Worldliness and inconsistency are inseparable partners. So, they pursue and insist on their ways believing and believing and trying God with their fake faith, being inconsistent and believing to be perseverant. That's how the pit is made deeper. Personal desires lead inconstant people to dig more and more because nothing they want is materialized. So, they carry on digging and digging instead of putting in order their lives and their ways with God. And what seems to be perseverance to them is, in fact, stubbornness instigated by the despair brought by an inconstant heart in all its ways. People can easily be driven by unbelief as much as pure ones are driven by true faith and by genuine believing. Inconstant people are perseverant people, either in the wrong direction or driven by the wrong motives and with a bad faith.
  331. When a righteous man wastes his time with distractions or deviating thoughts and decreases the quality of this daily fellowship with God and His word, he shall hardly spend his day in a blessed manner and he shall hardly pass his day without succumbing or giving in under some temptation. Sin lies at the door awaiting the least prepared. Sin is like a lion in the jungle: it seeks the weakest of the herd to feed on. We must, therefore, be extremely careful with these distractions, with diversions of thoughts, the lack of attention, false voices that tempt us during the time set apart to be alone with God. To give in to them is an offense to the soul and a great disrespect to God. I believe that if a person listens to those voices and distractions knowing that they are the strangers' manoeuvres, he shall hardly recognize the voice of God during his day, distinguishing it from others. By giving too much credit to the wrong voices one gets a natural tendency to doubt the right one.
  332. "...Be instructed...", Ps.2:10. In another translation, we read something like this: "Allow yourselves to be instructed". As a rule, those who are not instruct become 'disinstructed'. Instruction either grows or it decreases. What they know gets worn out, adapted to circumstances, boring, without interest on the long run. Their good knowledge and whatever best instruction they might have gets lost, little by little, or ceases to be able to influence their conduct - which amounts to the same thing. It's wonderful when we find someone who wishes to be instructed and allows instruction to change his ways. It is up to anyone to make a point and to breed an attitude of allowing instruction to change the heart and find lodging in there. The carnal man does not allow himself to be instructed, but easily allows the opposite or the reverse of it. The spiritual man allows instruction in and searches his heart deeply under the light of truth and of God. He resents being 'disinstructed' and doesn't allow it to happen consciously. That is why, he is often accused of not wanting to hear as the carnal man does. The carnal man is praised for being carried away by the mouths of those whose roots are in this world and resents being instructed.
  333. "And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivulets of water that brings forth its fruit in its seasons", Ps.1:3. The promise is not only to bear fruit, but to bear it in its proper seasons, it is, in its proper time and occasion. Bearing some sorts of fruit out of its proper time can be a curse. Everything that is well planned has its seasons. Each step must be taken in its own time to ensure that the final result is good. Our way must be a step by step plan being fulfilled in its seasons. Everything must have its own timing to be well done. "For the Lord knows the way of the righteous", verse 5. If everything has its own time in our lives, we must be extremely joyful. If we are sure we are according to the timing of God, it means God is working it all out. "It is not so with the ungodly", verse 4.
  334. It is only normal that the existing deceit in the heart and desires of people become their own enemy. But, what is in self should be the easiest thing to solve because its transformation does not depend on the decisions of others, does not depend on the circumstances and does not even depend on God's providence anymore because God has already provided the solution through Christ. Change is within our reach, especially when grace is available on the spot and as soon as one takes the solemn decision to be transformed through Christ.
  335. Deception and deceit has been spreading like cancer in the paths and the lives of all those who refuse to be transformed into another person through Christ to be in full agreement with Him. The person who claims to be a believer supposedly believes everything that comes in the Bible. And that person believes to be safe believing it. However, who does not believe in Scripture and is not transformed is not as guilty as the one that believes and refuses to be transformed by the power of Jesus. The believer's guilt is greater than the disbeliever's regarding the refusal or the inner resistance to be transformed.
  336. When something comes from God, to give up on it is as bad or as criminal as insisting on what does not come from Him.
  337. "And, as many as were ordained to eternal life, believed", Act.13:48. Before I state anything about this verse, let it be understood that I solemnly believe in the true doctrine of predestination and believe, also, that it is the most widespread doctrine in Scripture. However, I don't believe this specific verse of the Bible falls under the category of that doctrine. There are words that, by being misunderstood, can create confusion. Sometimes words are misunderstood because our doctrine, idea or longings and desires are keen to manipulate our interpretations and even our beliefs. We believe as we wish it to be true. And, sometimes, there are words that, when translated, do not produce the same meaning as the original. In this verse we find one of those cases. According to Strong's, the word "ordained" as shown in this verse means "to be arranged in orderly manner, to be in the disposition to receive". When it is spoken here of those who were ordained to eternal life, it means that they had been prepared to receive it at that specific time. It means their paths and hearts had been ordained and prepared for such an event. Some would be prepared later. Others, perhaps, would never reach the point of being prepared to receive such a life. These would be useful only to prepare the saints even more by persecuting them. Nothing is wasted in the Kingdom of God and even manure can be used to make good plants grow healthily. John the Baptist prepared the people to receive Christ, bringing repentance to them and by bringing them to confess and abandon every known sin by name. It could create a disposition in the hearts to receive Christ as He is. It was said of him that, "he would go before Him (...) to make ready a people (full of readiness) prepared for the Lord", Lk.1:17. Christ, on His turn, prepared the people - and especially the disciples - to receive the Holy Spirit (it is, eternal, constant, abundant life). And the Holy Spirit prepares people for a life in heaven. What we shall be prepared for after that we do not know. However, all stages are, also, ordering steps and preparations for the following ones. We cannot receive the ultimate one without going through previous stages ordained by God. "To him that ordereth his way, I will show the salvation of God", Ps.50:23. It has to do with the ordering of paths and hearts. But, there is always a prior preparation of the person, whether such are aware of it being done or not. There is a solemn preparation for a revival of the size of that which occurred in Paul's time. So, those who were already ordered, whose paths had been prepared, were saved. They did not miss on a single one of them. All the others could be prepared through what would happen to the ones prepared beforehand, or perhaps, be hardened by it. As Paul said, "To preach the gospel to those beyond you". For this reason, it becomes so important that those who labour in the harvest times should never be found alienated from the leadership of God. There are plans made by God, which must be accomplished to lead somewhere and He knows the way and where. He is the way. We know that the lame man healed by Peter and John in the temple gate in Jerusalem had never been healed in previous years, not even when Christ went in and out of the Temple. He had been put there for years every day. Surely, he was there when Christ went in and out of the Temple. There should be nothing more important than to be pricked to follow Jesus in His times. He makes everything beautiful in His time by sticking to His timings. All is planned and ordered. We must be ready and prepared to live that way, it is, to live orderly and according to plan.
  338. Talking about Joseph, Scriptures say that God gave him "grace and wisdom before Pharaoh", At.7:10. If we think it out carefully, we see that it is understood that the interpretation of dreams and the true gift of prophecy which he possessed was wisdom. He could not interpret unless a dream had been given and unless it came from God. There are dreams that do not come from God. Hence, there is prophetic wisdom, that is, we know things by manifestations from God. Wisdom is something that is or becomes known and can be further thought out, remembered or even reasoned out - perhaps, for years ahead. We must be able to build upon it without incurring in the crime of adding anything unto it. We know it because God has revealed it, we can sort things out because it has been revealed, and once revealed or manifested, the knowledge concerning future or present things is wisdom. But, if it comes from God, it cannot be own wisdom or handled as such.
  339. Many are led by the force of circumstances to imitate or to try to imitate, in their apparent lives and forced behaviours, those who walk in the Spirit and prayer, who live facing each situation being guided by Jesus in everything and in every way. But the life of an imitator does not work out. What results is to walk in the Spirit ourselves, in Jesus, by being personally guided by Him. We cannot wish to be like others and we should rather follow their examples of being oneself before God.
  340. Never try to obtain perfection without realizing or recognizing your imperfections and without making them known and visible. Put those in the light first. The way to perfection cannot be found apart from dealing with the imperfections of the heart, which are mostly hidden or, at least, thought to be hidden. Do not run after holiness without admitting all your sins publicly. If you do, your sins shall live on and on and, perhaps, forever.
  341. "And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins (...) Everyone who abides in Him does not sin", 1John 3:5,6. Many people desire deeply that Jesus is manifested to them and that He is found by them. However, the reason or the condition to manifest Himself is that someone wishes ardently to be without sin forever, changing the heart to the point where one becomes truthfully new and deeply transformed. The reason why Jesus is not manifested is surely this: people want Jesus to appear and manifest Himself in favour of those things which their hearts select as desires. They do not want Him to be manifested to take their sins away forever. Their sins are like pets from which they do not wish to depart. By not wanting to be without sin or to recognize sins as sins, Christ cannot be manifested. Christ manifests Himself to exterminate sin or sinning from the soul. He can make it impossible to sin again. "For this purpose, the Son of God was revealed, that He might undo the works of the Devil", 1John 3:8. That is the main purpose why He manifests Himself.
  342. "We are are now God's children, but what we will be like has not been revealed yet. We know that when Christ is revealed we will be like him, because we will see him as he is. And everyone who has this hope based on him keeps himself pure, just as he is pure", 1John 3:2,3. This is for real and, in fact, occurs this way. Having the hope of heaven, the person purifies himself. If this hope becomes real and is not just a mirage, the tendency is to seek purity from the Lord and by Him instead of looking at the sins of others or trying to fix them, intruding in their lives. But, when a person embraces a doctrine of an earthly hope that things on earth are accomplished, it becomes visible and clear that such people rarely have an inclination to purify themselves and, if they do, they have the wrong reasons. Perhaps, they don't wish to lose an earthly gift and that might be the main reason why they avoid impurity. It is an impure heart trying to avoid impure actions. Having the wrong reasons, there will be wrong forces operating in the heart, certainly. That shall keep the person going and becoming more and more resilient in the wrong path or with the wrong motivations.
  343. When God gives us something we consider too great or to wonderful for us, or too hard for our capabilities, we have the ability of becoming proud by achieving those doings. Lack of faith is almost always the entrance to pride if the things of God are achieved one way or another. Therefore, we should be able to live with the great things of God as something very normal being with/in God. Such things happen easily by living and coexisting with Him continuously. Elijah was not surprised when he learned that would be taken alive to heaven that day.
  344. The greatest dangers are not persecutions and criticisms. The greatest danger comes in the form of praise and pleasant words. Beware of loving to be praised and pleased.
  345. There are signs that tell us we are getting discouraged. Sometimes discouragement is subtle and many people realize it only when they are already far gone into it or collapse in desperation. For example, when the person begins to change a good conduct or changes healthy habits just for the sake of changing, that is, for no apparent reason, he may be entering a cycle of despondency and dissatisfaction with something. There are things unresolved in your life if you do that, which leave you adrift. If you are spiritual and suddenly something starts to become too strong, too heavy or too doubtful to endure or to resist; when you easily fall into temptation or relapse to fleshly things or attempt to do spiritual things in carnal way; when you stop walking in the Spirit; when you begin to see many errors in others and your own weaknesses are concealed and own sins are not spotted or acknowledged; when you fight against the stream instead of walking with God; make sure that it is not discouragement in sight and beware. There is no reason and no excuse to get discouraged. God might be the one preventing us to succeed because without Him, we may never accomplish anything.
  346. Every one believes, one way or another, that God controls things or, at least, nurtures some secret hope that He is indeed in control of everything. So, if something goes wrong or different from what is expected, the tendency to doubt and the temptation to question is huge. When in right standing with God, tribulations and persecutions are great trials for all those who truly believe that God controls all things. They are true tests to trust, and the sort of faith that survives such tests is, indeed, genuine faith. It is purified gold.
  347. "...If you do good and are not afraid (startled) with any terror", 1Pet.3:6. To fear no terror means not being afraid of the consequences of any of our actions because it is God who justifies. But, whoever is not transformed to the point of "doing good", has many reasons to fear any surprising terror - especially from God.
  348. Faith has its rewards. It has its challenges and its rewards. It is not always that faith gives what is expected and it does not always give only what is expected. Usually, it grants above what faithful ones ask for. Many don't even receive what they ask. The man who was helped through the roof to reach Jesus was rewarded with more than what he wished. At first, he was not given physical healing and Jesus rather granted him the forgiveness of his sins because he and his helpers had believed Jesus was able to heal. Such faith should be rewarded with something greater than physical healing. I believe that his physical healing was attributed to him because of the dispute against the truth about Jesus' power to forgive sins as a fact, especially because that fact had been disputed by believing unbelievers. His faith was able to make righteous and whole in forgiveness. "By faith Noah, being warned (...) prepared an ark (...) and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith", Heb.11:7. That is, Noah received justice (righteousness), which means the ability to be right with God who sees everything as it is. God does not pretend to see something different from what He sees. He sees things as they are. It means, Noah was indeed righteous. The reward was to be righteous from a certain point on.
  349. Scripture states that we find God by seeking him with our whole heart. However, there is great difficulty in finding Him and we see many people crying out and lots of prayers being made in that direction. Yet, everything remains pretty much the same. Wherein, then, resides the difficulty of finding Him? Wherein lies that difficulty? It is certainly not ascribed to the distance. He's very close by and there is no problem to his ear. He listens very well. Doesn't He see us? There is nothing hidden from him - not even in the deepest darkness. So, what is it that makes it so difficult to find Him in a real manner? Many lie when they say that they have found God. We're talking about truly finding Him, it is, in a real way. The difficulty resides in people's sins. Some seek Him with no intention to abandon their sins and without desiring to find a permanent solution for sin within them and that once and for all. Others seek to be blessed by keeping their sins. If someone truly seeks Him for the right reasons and with full intention of abandoning all his own sins, he shall surely find Him! (Is.59:1,2).
  350. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of the Lord shall man live", Dt.8:3. This means that it doesn't matter what sort of word it is, but by whom it is spoken. A good word from the devil or from men does not make alive and a strong or undesired word from God does not kill. Man shall live by any kind of word spoken by God.
  351. Why does religion accuse truthful ones to be false? For the same reason why blind people think other people to be blind.
  352. "Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe", Dt.8:1. It is good to see the reason why we need to keep the commandments of God in our hearts: it is to be able to do them. We do not learn the commandments to be able to hammer them into people's minds and conducts. These commands should be preserved in the heart. However, they must be preserved within the soul to be met and accomplished faithfully. Save all commandments to the heart, but remember that to remember them all the time is not walking according to them yet - even though remembering them is a great help. Many are content to have the commandments saved in the heart and to be reminded of them constantly. That is how many only condemn themselves. We should not take to heart only, defend and fight for the commandments and our doctrines (if those come from God and truth) in order never to forget to do, experience and be enabled to fulfil them. They must be stored in the heart to be kept as well. We should not be content with knowing them - even if we know them all.
  353. Paul says: "Lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway", 1Cor.9:27. If this could happen to Paul, it can happen to any of us. Having these words in mind, we may assume that there is a huge possibility for any person to enter the world of wisdom and become so involved in it that he overlooks the fact of having to live according to what he knows, interceding relentlessly to find the necessary grace to be able to ensure his own conduct. Being wise is to live it out and not to know about it. Let us remember that to stop preaching to others because we do not live according to what we preach or teach is morally correct and honest. However, to stop preaching does not prevent our own condemnation because to stop teaching others does not transform us to the point of obtaining the necessary heavenly conduct. Usually, the problem is not in the word we preach, but in the preacher himself. Paul preached the truth. However, he had in mind that even preaching the truth, he could be disqualified and see the clouds filled with blessing being blown away without having dropped their blessings because he had not been able to live what he preached. Our preaching should be an exposition of our personal experience and not the result of learning, general knowledge or study.
  354. Many parents say: "Today's children no longer respect their elders". It seems they assume that rebellious attitudes are caused by the times we live in and not by the homes we live in. If these times caught up with your children, it might be because it caught up with you as well. Parents should think that children are what they have learned to be and that they have become what surrounds them at home. If they love us as parents, they shall also love what we are and shall become much like us. The Germans say that an orange never falls too far away from its own tree. The adults of today no longer teach children according to standards of respect, fear and love. They themselves do not respect children who are told to respect them; adults are not moved by the needs of the elderly; do not comply with the laws of society; etc. Today, it is believed that the child will learn on its own and the world assaults our homes with filth and endless evils. Children left to themselves do not have the experience and knowledge to choose and to know what to reject and what they should not learn. It is up to adults to have that wisdom for them, choosing correctly for the child with love, kindness and good expositions of truth about it. Remember that your child is your neighbour - your nearest neighbour.
  355. Hypocrisy might be defined in many ways. However, malice can not be mistaken with hypocrisy. Many do not realize or, perhaps, choose to not realize that they have become hypocrites before God. Hypocrisy in the eyes of God is to come to Him with a subject different from what matters to bring to God at our approach to Him. If life goes wrong to someone because of his sins and he comes to God to solve the problems instead of solving his dreadful sins, he is hypocritical even if he does not know or does not admit that the cause of his problems are his own sins. If anyone cries tears before Him, but does not fix his living, does not change his bad attitudes at home, doesn't discipline his life, house or household, never returned what he stole, does not ask for forgiveness for the lies he committed in word or deed, it is obvious that it will be considered a hypocrite before the altar even if his tears and feelings are deeply felt. Deep feeling does not define sincerity or hypocrisy before God. Feeling has nothing to do with sincerity. Feeling go hand in hand with expression and with being expressive.
  356. "Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart", 1Tim.1:5. Many seek to love and be turned into loving persons in order to be blessed, seen or even rewarded. Some even seek to love in order to be loved. For them, the end of the commandment is not love, that is, that one can be enabled to love anyone through a clean heart without any secondary motives. For such, 'love' is the vehicle or the means to achieve what they want when, in fact, all things must and can contribute to achieve a true heart-love as the end of everything. The purpose of every thing we have or possess is to achieve this purpose: love out of a pure heart.
  357. We all know that the opposite of love is sin and that sin amounts to selfishness. The opposite of the law of love is selfishness. Hatred is just another form of emotional selfishness. The opposite of love is much more than simple hatred or lack of sentimental love, for every form of selfishness breaks the law of love. Carnal love breaks the law of love. However, there is a fact beyond dispute: when we want things that are excellent and heavenly, we desire them for ourselves - although we wish the same for others as well. Therefore, we conclude that people may desire after excellent and heavenly things for themselves without breaking the law of love because it brings glory to the Lord. We are even told that "whosoever hath this hope purifies himself as He is pure", 1John 3:3. This means doing everything to be pure longing for precious things. This is pure obedience through a changed heart.
  358. It is not necessary to teach wrong things to have error propagate itself and to disseminate its seeds all around. The only thing it takes is not to teach the right things the proper way by living out with the proper attitude. Many talk about truth as if it is a lie. The only thing that is needed to have the law of God condemn us is to neglect the proper teaching about how to be able to keep God's commandments - and that includes living as an example.
  359. "He that receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward", Mat.10::41. If this is true, then, if one receives a righteous man as an hypocrite, one shall surely receive an hypocrite's reward; and by receiving a truthful man as a liar, one shall receive a liar's reward because one has a liar's heart. Only a liar's heart can be opposed to a truthful man and shall surely receive its corresponding reward.
  360. "But, those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man", Mat.15:18. This fact raises many questions and issues. Imagine that nothing comes out of the mouth for some reason when the heart is evil. This is possible to happen. It doesn't make man good. If a person doesn't say a word by resisting the impulses of the evil heart, he might want to do what is right. But, it doesn't change his heart and only avoids transgressing. But it can happen, too, that the person be silent by malice, wishing to bring about a greater evil. In this case, the silence defiles man and that kind of silence is also transgression.
  361. "Voice of one crying in the wilderness (...) make His paths straight", Mat.3:3. We see a few remarkable things in this verse. First, it is a voice in the wilderness. This means a lot. It means that John spoke alone or at least started off in loneliness. Truth was a desert and no one lived there; only the fields of sin and lies flourished. The lands of lies were not deserted. Secondly, there were many things to straighten out. These things should be straight before the arrival of Christ and His appearing to the people. This voice was meant to have people preparing (repairing) the way of the Lord for His coming. Finally, there were evil paths that shouldn't be straightened, but destroyed - only the ways of God should be straightened, repaired and prepared, just as Elijah repaired the altar of the Lord. This means much more than it seems. The paths, the doctrines, the means, mechanisms, motives, aims and many other things were twisted and bent. The Devil's ways were to be simply destroyed and discarded and the ways of the Lord straightened. Can you understand these things?
  362. "Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart", Mat.11:29. Learning has a certain relation with wanting to learn because learning is laborious - it is works. However, there are things in teachers that can disturb learners. A professor full himself often causes an aversion on the part of the learner. Another of many problems is the lack of patience in those who already know and try to teach as if the student is at the same level as he who teaches. Under-estimation, pre-estimation and miss-estimation can also be a problem. So, people earn a certain aversion to learning because of the way, attitudes and ways of those who teach. In this world, everyone has a bad image of those who teach, for those who teach are arrogant and harsh when they teach. Their way of teaching is mundane because their hearts belong to the world. So, Jesus had to assure us that He is otherwise and teaches in a different manner, into a different world and through another attitude. He is meek and lowly in heart, and if what disgusts most in learning is the arrogance and rigidity of those who teach, we believe, then, that nothing in Christ will prevent us from learning from Him - as long as He is real and is no longer a fictional Jesus. It all depends, henceforth, on us wanting to learn or not. If Jesus is still an image or a mirage, we will, too, and of course, have an image of how He might be when He teaches that resembles much of what we've come to know from this world. "Little children, keep yourselves from idols (images)", 1 John 5:21.
  363. There is a widespread misunderstanding that, quite often, paralyzes people's souls. That is the deception which causes to believe that if someone knows the commandments everything is accomplished. But, it is necessary to assault the heavens to be able to fulfil all the commandments in the same way and by the same means they are fulfilled in heaven. These means are closed to carnal men. To attain to the way to accomplish is what enables us to fulfil them all, without exception. The pride of man makes him believe that he can do or accomplish whatever he already knows about. But fulfilment is far from knowledge and the important thing is to be fully able to do naturally, that is, spontaneously from the heart. There are those who perform without knowing, Mat.25:35-39. It means knowledge didn't play a role in fulfilment of the commandments. The heart needs to be transformed to that point and to the point, too, to be able to receive grace for the exclusive purpose of being able to fulfil spontaneously and heartily. "And by this we know that we have known Him, if we keep His commandments", 1John 2:3. A heart that still struggles to fulfil the law of love is still divided. Effort is to be exercised on those works which require effort and not to be what we should be. The person who strives to be, changes his appearance and not his essence. There is far more beyond knowing the truth instead of believing lies and resemblances of truth. We need to know that. "I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it", 1 John 2:21.
  364. "And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities", Mat.11:1. It is known that as soon as we set out in obedience - "hating father, mother and children" - God blesses our families and all those we left behind. But, if the person looks back penalizing those who could become children of God through his work, that is penalizing the future family of God, his own family shall suffer similar penalties. Our dearest ones will be the first to benefit by our obedience and the first to be penalized for our disobedience or our going back - unless God has other individual plans for any of them in particular.
  365. "For they do not know to do right...", Amos 3:10. It is common for people to feel excused or justified when they do not know how to do or can not do something. In fact, this theory of "who does not know cannot to be blamed" is a falsehood. By having God close by - if He is indeed with us - we learn and we are enabled to carry out anything through Him. If we do not walk with Him, we should walk; and if we walk with Him, we should know. Not knowing is no excuse - it may be a cause for condemnation. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me", Phil.4:13. "Learn from Me, for I am gentle", Mat.11:29. If ignorance was not a crime, God would not say: "They do not know to do right (...) An adversary shall be all around the land; He shall sap your strength from you...".
  366. Despair is dangerous because it causes people to despise what they want most and to trample what they would like to see exalted.
  367. "But (He) will arise against (...) the help of them that work iniquity", Is.31:2. You have to know that there are people against whom God rises. These people are afflicted with various things. They, therefore, seek help and those who help do not always understand that their help is against God, that it is opposition to God to provide that sort of help. Thus, they are clashing against God and are not aware of it. And God rises against those who help. He will be against the help of those who practice lawlessness. The only aid that may be awarded to them is one that leads them to repent of their sins. So, never put yourself in a dramatic position inadvertently. It is human to want to help, but we must follow God and not oppose Him inadvertently. "When the Lord stretches out His hand, both he who helps will fall, and he who is helped will fall down; They all will perish together", Is.31:3.
  368. When someone is talking about stumbling or stumbling blocks, what's the first thing that comes up to your mind? We know that stumbling blocks cause to sin. But, keep in mind that it is not only sin that can cause someone to stumble. Jesus may be the main stumbling block for many. When you walk along with Jesus, sin is or may be the stumbling block; but if your walk with Him is crooked, wrong or wrongly motivated, God will be the stumbling block. "And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel (...) And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken", Is.8:14,15.
  369. If you wish to measure the amount of love people have towards worldliness and sin, see that even under the threat of an eternal suffering in a hell of fire inside a lifeless abyss people do not let it go and they rather choose to disbelieve truth and facts to be able to carry on with their sinning.
  370. Wherever there are still open wounds and sadness, one must try to find out whether the inner soreness is in a process of healing or if it is in a process of deterioration. It is one thing to have a wound healing. It is another to have a wound that is getting worse and worse by the day or if it is not healing. Even though both are wounds, they are quite different situations.
  371. We see, sometimes, that receiving grace or seizing it comes to us as a commandment. That is, to receive grace and to reach a state which enables to have God's knowledge guide our lives right through is a moral duty - it is a commandment of God. When theologians talk about grace, they create the impression that it comes as inactivity or makes a person passive when, in fact, it is a strength and a very active power in man, which makes man very active through the right powers in the proper directions. However, one also needs to have the proper heart. The biggest problem to grace is the alternative powers of the flesh, which may want to switch from grace to it occasionally, or even replace it entirely and be mistaken for grace at work. Grace operates on such who can become operative through it. Not all can achieve that state of heart and fulfil all requirements to have it work hard on and through the heart. Many speak as if anyone who receives grace becomes inoperative and passive. It may be true in those who can not be educated through it in God's ways; in such who do not receive it; and in those on whom grace does not work as they believe it does, seeing that grace manifests itself only in the ways of God and through a heart fully and unconditionally committed to Him. Grace abstains from working to have man's will or desires fulfilled. That is why many become passive expecting grace or talking about it. They talk about it and, in practice, they never receive it. Soon, those who try out the things of the flesh become idle expecting grace to operate under such circumstances. Grace is an active power, it is a river that can not be stopped, which will flood with life everyone around in whom it finds a proper lodging. Paul tells us to take hold of grace; Jesus was growing on it; and we see in Prov.3:3,4 that under certain conditions, man needs to work or keep the work in order to receive it, find it or even grow in it, or through it. Grace is a free gift, but is not distributed in vain. It is not vanity. We read, also, that the eyes of the Lord turn the earth upside down to find someone whose heart is perfect towards Him. This means that God chooses who meets certain conditions or meets certain requirements to give him certain gifts of grace."Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour (grace) and good understanding...", Prov.3:3,4.
  372. God answers all the prayers of the righteous. If a "yes" can be considered an answer, we must believe that a "no" is also an answer. When people do not get any response from God, they must make sure they are fulfilling all the conditions that lead to God answering us. We must see if we really believe, or whether we are separated from God by any sin either against a person, God or against self. God answers one way or another. All that really matters is to receive concrete answers, clear guidance or sure hope which is not self-designed nor self-indulged about the subject, even if the response is contrary to what we would expect to receive. We must insist and persevere until we get answers. Unless that is so, it is sinful to carry on that way.
  373. "I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple unto that which is evil", Rom.16:19. All who do evil make plans and think hard about how they will achieve their purposes and devices. They want to be wise in evil and, therefore, dedicate much of their time making plans and designing schemes. Now, we are told to do or are required to do so in relation to well-doing. Let's be wise in doing well. The meaning of being "simple" is not to think about it, not having the initiative and not being prepared to be evil. The person who does not think things out is simple. This kind of innocence is a crime if applied to well-doing and faithfulness and is a virtue when applied to falsehood and evil-doing.
  374. It is not only the preoccupations and concerns that have the power to hold someone far away from the practice of the word of God, killing the soul through suffocations and strangulations. The many 'good' occupations - whether they are happy ones or even sad ones - are also able to have similar effects.
  375. The fight to be different or to be distinguished has ceased in me. With that I became different and I feel different and at peace with myself and God. To wish to be an example doesn't make me an example. Were I an example, I wouldn't wish to become what I have already become.
  376. Man's chief problem is that he does not stand or support the idea that he is the one who needs to change. So, he assumes that reconciliation is another's task towards him and God, when in fact, his share of responsibility is the only real work at hand. By changing, he helps others to change as well. We should know that personal transformation is a moral duty, which needs to be accomplished by us and not only by others. But, keep always in mind that we should not be transformed into what others require of us, but in what God transforms to, which is in accordance with the standards He requires of us and is accomplished through His power. When people want us to change, they actually want us to change to fit them and not to be solely faithful to God. The kind of transformation that God works is rarely pleasant to people.
  377. "Only the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the Lord until those days", 1 Kings 3:2. If there isn't a place where a truthful preacher has a chance to explain according to the Lord and live his heart out, or a place where truth is held up high, there is no reference for the practice, or knowledge, or acknowledgement of truth and people will carry on sacrificing to the Lord (or to some other god) in the high places. Truth needs to be settled down and established before it can mean anything to sinners all over the world. If it isn't, people will always seek high places to sacrifice and high things to serve with. They will despise lowly and truthful things. "For who hath despised the day of small things?", Zec.4:10.
  378. "Now, a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord", 1Sam.21:7. Many people are "detained before the Lord". They can't miss a service, they sing and praise with all their strength and wish to appear in the service of God and to make themselves felt. They fulfil all rituals and don't miss a prayer meeting. They keep themselves "detained before the Lord". However, none of their many prayers are answered and their works are proof of their dead religiosity. That kind of religiosity convinces only self and is disdained and refused by God. Just like Doeg, the servant of Saul, they don't really commune with God and neither God with them while in the Temple. Doeg did the wrong thing after Saul's complaints against his servants. Once outside the Temple, he did not do what God would expect from him. We can easily see that he had been detained before himself for the sake of self and never before God. He used own strength and own fire to fight for own desires inside the Temple of the Lord. He couldn't execute the will of God and, instead, ended up killing God's priests believing he was doing a good thing.
  379. Faith results from a genuine relationship with Jesus. If this is true, unbelief results from a non-existent or broken relationship with God. We are able to believe in whom we know because we come to know Him and His power. Thus, the unbelieving person feels an overwhelming need to feel supported by God and men. And if he has that urge to feel supported, it is because he is not being supported or he wouldn't have that urge. Such happenings lead to fake things and to try believing carnally, wanting to see signs by receiving blessings and other things. All these people want is to feel loved and supported by God. This is one of reasons why God does not give them signs and, therefore, refuses to feed unbelief and the deceptive illusions and demands of the heart.
  380. "...Because his sons made themselves vile, and he (Eli) restrained (rebuked) them not", 1Sam.3:13. We see that Eli caught the attention of his sons while they kept sinning against God and man. "And he (Eli) said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the Lord's people to transgress. If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the Lord would slay them", 1Sam.2:23-25. Therefore, we can easily conclude that reproving has a different meaning for God than what we give to it on many occasions. Humanly speaking, Eli rebuked his sons, but, in the eyes of God, his sons had never been reprimanded. In his case, reprimanding them could mean excluding them entirely from the house of God and even from their father's lineage. Speaking against them and drawing their attention upon their sins was not rebuking. As Eli's sons were not excluded, the whole household and his offspring was judged to the point of never being able to serve the Lord again. It is sad to see that Eli placed himself in a dramatic position because of his own sons. He was a man whose word did not fall to the ground and we see that the things he had said were fulfilled (in the case of Hannah). Still, the wrath of God hovered over him and over his offspring. God did this for the sake of His people - people like Hannah. It would have been better for Eli to feel that God was not with him. He would have had the opportunity to reconcile himself with God. But, in a way, the fact that his words did not fall to the ground gave Eli a false confidence until the day he stopped caring about it.
  381. Whoever is confused with voices or can't distinguish between voices, it is, whoever is enticed by the devil and believes it is God speaking, shall surely believe the devil is speaking when it is God speaking. We need to be made real sheep instead of trying to discern between voices. Sheep hear their Shepherd and run away from the wolf's sounds and voices. The main secret is to be transformed into real sheep. Sheep hear and know.
  382. "Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread: and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the Lord", Judges 13:16. Manoah desired to sacrifice without really knowing it was the angel of the Lord. This means he would offer to God without knowing it was God. This sort of offering is idolatrous. We may be bowing down to a Jesus of our own minds while standing before the real One. We may have an imaginary Jesus in our minds while dealing with the real one. Or we may want to serve the real One the way we would serve the Jesus of our minds. There are many ways of being guilty of the sin of idolatry.
  383. "But the angel of the Lord did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife again. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of the Lord", Judges 13:21. It is interesting to notice that Manoah knew that it was the Lord who appeared to him because He never appeared to him again. False ones wish that God appears all the time and they even insist on such doctrines, inducing people to do what they should not do or in a way they should not do.
  384. Many argue that they are grounded on God's promises even when the reality shows otherwise, I mean, even when promises are not being fulfilled. Things do not work out with them and they use that situation to hope more and to believe even harder. There are some similarities between trials and being denied by God. People easily forget that one who lives for the promises in expectancy is the one who is able to remain fully holy all the time. To be expectant is like expecting a baby: a pregnant woman knows that she is carrying a baby and that it is a baby and not fat growing inside her. She is fully aware of the baby inside her and cannot deny it and her hopes grow as fast and as sure as her belly does. Most Christians, however, have imaginary hopes and 'live' by them. Their 'hopes' grow even when they are aware of the fact that their bellies are not expanding.
  385. Holiness is a promise and should be the ardent desire of all those who do not entertain the idea that it should be or that it can be used as an exchange asset to make God meet some desires of the flesh. When it is rated as an exchange for something, faith vanishes after the exchange has taken place as well as when no exchange is done. Everything that is offered to be exchanged for something shall be replaced by what it is exchanged for. If I take some property to exchange it for a car or a truck, I lose my property when I gain the car or the truck. I cannot keep it after the exchange has taken place. That is what happens to faith or holiness which is put forth to receive something for it.
  386. We know know that Israel did not destroy all the nations that God had sent them to destroy, and those which were destroyed have not been destroyed to the uttermost. Several reasons led to that. It wasn't because they did not want to destroy them. I believe that many wanted to, but could not. "But they (Judah) could not drive out the inhabitants of the lowland, because they had chariots of iron" Judges 1:19. It is not enough to want to do God's will. We must be in the state to be able to carry it out through His power. Those who wanted to do it lacked power to be able to bring God's will to utter fulfilment. They were not in right standing with God and they did not seek God's way and, therefore, lacked that initial power to expel all sin from their land. "Wait (rely) entirely in God's grace," said Peter. We must be able to do so. (It doesn't mean that they had been in right standing with God before, but, after having entered the Promised Land, each one added to that state a seeking of own things by trying to live an own life - something they were not able to do in the desert). For things to work out by grace and in order to get them work successfully that way, it is required that we are able to maintain a very close walk with God, having God's desires burning in the heart continually and having that as the only known way of life and not just an occasional happening prompted when necessity is pressing. We achieve that state of heart by being close to God and not by force. If we have not that kind of walk with Him, the bigger expectations will be in vain - if it is possible at all that anyone can exercise real hope without being in right standing with Jesus.
  387. "Take good heed unto yourselves, therefore, that ye love the Lord your God", Jos.23:11. Allow me to humbly translate this: "Take good heed unto yourselves so that you can be made able to love the Lord your God". Unless our heart is available to the Lord to work on it and to be attracted (drawn) to Him, we shall not be able to love Him the way it is required. If our conscience is not cleansed, we shall not be near God and, consequently, shall never be worked on by His Spirit to be drawn to Him to love Him unconditionally. We cannot love an unknown person and, if we do, we love an image (of our minds) and not the person. "Little children, keep yourselves from idols", 1 John 5:21.
  388. It is very common for people to exchange eternal things for what perishes. There are even really useful things that will perish or pass away, such as science, prophecy and other important things. "But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away", 1 Cor.13:8. It is very easy to become dependent or addicted to what we are capable of doing, to what we know or to what is manifested, or to the things we can achieve personally or visualize. Science is good, but obedience is better because through it we have full access to what God knows; prophecy is good, but the walk with Christ is better and, unlike prophecy which will cease, Christ shall never be taken from us if we walk with Him truly and truthfully. Furthermore, Christ brings with him his reward. If we seek and find Christ as He is, if we find Him truly and if it is no longer a Christ of our minds or of our hopes living in our illusions, the rewards come surely with Him. But it is not at all guaranteed that, seeking and finding only the reward beforehand, it shall bring Christ along.
  389. "The roads to Zion mourn because no one comes to the set feasts. All her gates are desolate; Her priests sigh, Her virgins are afflicted, and she is in bitterness", Lam.1:4. It is worthy of notice that Christ has been afflicted and never became bitter. Bitterness comes in during afflictions that are caused by sinning or that come over unclean people. It is born when the soul is not in full synchrony with God or when it works against God. It is a final blow on a true relationship with God. Bitterness is preferred above a genuine reconciliation with God. If the soul is found in full synchrony with God, no affliction makes bitter because God takes full care of the soul.
  390. "We don't trust in the flesh", Fil.3:3. A fleshly trust or confidence is something that assures us or convinces and gives assurance, either emotional or of some other kind. Now, a false assurance or confidence is misleading. Misleading or not, it causes you to trust when you should question it and cause to be suspicious of whatever else you could or should trust. Confidences can become forms of stubbornness and obstinacy. There is exaggerated and emotional confidences and there is stubbornness that is turned into false confidence. None of this is faith, but is the very mind cheating you by playing dubious games with itself for own, uncertain motives. (However, we must not confuse the fact that true faith is determined and persistent and that the world takes it for stubbornness). The flesh does not cause to trust it for no reason. It pursues a fleshly heart or fights to keep it. The confidence of/in the flesh keeps it alive and active. But the worst thing that may happen is that a person with a false confidence does not seek alternative paths and is faithful to own thinking, and own beliefs or hopes, which are always preferred as assurances or 'certainties'. It is satisfied with own stuff. False confidences do not create the need of making sure about something or to obtain certainty from truth or from realities of God. True faith is a certainty about truth and not a mere confidence. The confidence of faith comes from a certain, undeniable and heavenly fact.
  391. There is deadly danger after every victory. After a victory over any trial the temptation to become negligent in the relationship with God is enormous and subtle. A day of victory should be seen just as another day. We are not done yet. And even if we were done, we should remain with the Lord for the Lord's sake. Let us not rejoice and be carried away because demons are subject to us. If the person is dedicated to God only in order to be able to achieve something important, even if it is something heavenly, it means that, in fact, he is not consecrated to God but to the purpose he is aiming at. Having achieved that purpose he may cease to be as devoted to God by not feeling the need to be so. But, our need must be Jesus, not what He can add or bring along by relating Himself to us. The person who becomes slack in his relationship with God after having achieved some promise or victory in Jesus was, actually, never dedicated to God for His sake, but for own sake. We must know that our life is of utmost importance to God. We must save it for His sake. If we want to save it, we must do so for Him and His sake and not for our own. If our life is still important to us, we are not saved. "If anyone comes to me and does not hate (...) his own life, he can not be my disciple", Lk.14:26. There is another fact that I want to emphasize: the one who becomes slack in his relationship with God after a tasty and important victory is the one who, during the trial, was easily discouraged, unmotivated, stranded in his own thoughts of despair, and felt adrift and abandoned by the Lord.
  392. Concerning us, God must not only have the last word, but the only word as well. He shall always have the last word, but we should be found in such a way that His words are also the only ones. No one should murmur along the way and should never expect anything else but the mercy of Jesus.
  393. Deplorable is the state of the person who is delivered to himself. Any person in this state is dominated by desires that he can not control. He is delivered to paths which he can not chose, prevent or control, not even under the threat of death, poverty, illness or misfortune. And a person given over to himself is not just the one whom God has abandoned, but one that has abandoned God - or any of his ways.
  394. "Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb", Lk.24:1. It is so common to find people going through many pains and hardships in search of a dead Christ! They sacrifice more to find a dead one than a living one. They sacrifice and wake up very early to do that. If you have set your heart to find a dead Christ, you will find it very hard to interact and live with a living one. They are quite different. And there is only a Living one who is dead to the world and the world to Him. Entertain no hopes for worldly things if you seek the Living One.
  395. Negligence does not occur only when laziness has the upper hand. It occurs when we get to do what is not primary and what is primary remains undone; or when we do God's work in a worldly manner, however zealously it is done, and little pain is taken to carry out through grace to do things with the help of the Spirit because we can do it our way. To be able to do things in the way they are done in heaven - it is, through grace - requires full surrender to the Lord and His ways of doing things. We must be faithful to the point of finding grace in a real way beforehand in order to be able to carry fully out in a way it should be performed and which is able to accomplish what pleases God. Unless things are accomplished through grace it won't be pleasing to God - even if they are accomplished somehow. It is possible to do things in the power of the flesh. The flesh's main aim is to work in the Temple of God and be accepted instead of being dead. It will rather be a slave than dead. Whoever does not seek grace and the power through which things must be performed or doesn't seek any other necessary virtue or means in God to be able to perform the way it should performed, is negligent. There is no doubt about that. What else can we think of someone who seeks the ends without finding the means or without going through the means? There is condemnation hovering over the heads of all those who jump over the wall to avoid going through the narrow door.
  396. Everyone who is not found doing what he should be doing, either because of laziness, lack of time or any for other reason, ends up doing what he should not do or ends up performing in a way it should not be performed. That is a law in the spiritual realm and no one can avoid it being so.
  397. To be more than conquerors, especially to end our journey still as a conqueror, does not mean having to present works, progress or miracles achieved by faith. It means having finished still abiding in Christ, being found in Him at the end of everything - if that relationship is real. "I know your works and your labour and your patience, and how you cannot bear those who are evil. And you tried those pretending to be apostles, and are not, and have found them liars. And you have borne, and have patience, and for My name's sake you have laboured and have not fainted. But I have against you that you left your first love. Repent ... ", Rev.2:2-4. That true, royal, intimate relationship that few know of or experience for real should be as fresh at the end of a life course as if nothing else had happened during a difficult during it - or even at the end of an easy life. Whatever happened does not count unless our relationship with God is kept in such a way that surpasses everything else. The love must be equal or fresher and more simple than it was in the beginning of our journey - if our start was real and true at all. "...That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death", Phil.3:9,10. "If a man abides not in me, he is cast out", John 15:6.
  398. "It is written, 'My house is a house of prayer', but you have made it a den of thieves", Lk.19:46. It intrigued me that Jesus could call people who traded in the Temple as "thieves". He doesn't use misplaced words. To be a thief, one must steal what does not belong to him. Now, people sold what was theirs as far as I believe. They only used the temple for that purpose. The Mosaic Law provided for the possibility of people having to sell their tithes and offerings at home to buy what to sacrifice with that money in the city of worship if it would be difficult for them to transport to Jerusalem that which was to be offered to the Lord or enjoyed in their feasts. What was not legitimate for them was to create dealers in the Temple. Why? It is common in this world to have copyrights and image rights, which can be used only by those who hold those rights. Those rights must benefit their rightful owners. In order to be classified as thieves and robbers it would be needed to use the rights or the resources they did not own to sell and buy. We can not take advantage of God, or of circumstances, or of any person to negotiate or become rich. And if we can not do that with God, we can neither do that with people. We can not take advantage of the weaknesses, the wishes, desires or the obligations of others to take advantage of them. We can not take advantage of anyone and under no circumstances. And it should be noted that whoever bought also became a thief and a robber by complicity. Whoever bought in the temple was an accomplice of those who sold in there and also contributed to this sin that offends God greatly.
  399. "Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me", Lk.18:4,5. The original word in the Greek for "weary Me" means to make tired out to the point of being defeated, as in a fight where, after being tired, a final blow is applied. There are two possibilities: either the person who asks is defeated and tired out, or the judge to whom the request is made is 'won' over and meets the request. Certainly, one of these two things will happen and there is no grey zone or alternative. There is no midway about it. Let us remember that this is "a parable that men always ought to pray and not lose heart", Lk.18:1. And the rule or its teaching is for everyone with no exception. All are bound to its teaching, whether you are a Paul or a lost one beaten at the roadside.
  400. In this world, when strikes are promoted, it is required to guarantee minimum services. I believe that is a common law in most countries. This means that those who are on strike do the least. They work upset or unhappy about something if they work at all. Remember that whenever you give your minimum in God's work and when any work is not completed or is left undone - you are on strike. Many strikers also disturb those who carry on working as they should.
  401. When we walk to please people and to have them like us, we also walk to displease some others because people are not always heading in the same direction. It is said by the world that we can't please everyone. God says we cannot please anyone. In an environment where people are pleased, we usually tend to talk too much, say things which need not be said and are conditioned by many other things which we find difficult to control.
  402. The mind is quite fertile in imagining. The devil often uses it and entices it in many ways. One of the ways is to cause people to visualize whatever they are not allowed to have or whatever God shall not grant them. The sensation of lack or of loss keeps desire alive.
  403. What would you think of someone who grabs a hammer and often smashes his own nail to cry out? And what would you think or what would your reaction be if you didn't know what caused the cry and the pain? I know a lot of people with that attitude in them. They sin, offend and debate against truth and, afterwards, seek a shoulder to cry on. If they do not find that shoulder, they feel victimized, despised and rejected by others. They smash their own hearts and lives and still hope to find all sorts of happiness along their lives.
  404. One day, I went to buy bread and the employee that attended me gave me more change than she should have given. I realized the mistake only when I got home. I returned to the place to try to correct the error. The lady was corrected and was happy about it. She thanked me heartily. I just do not understand the reason why people feel so offended when they are corrected in God's ways, something which will have them gain more valuable things than a mere loose change. To be in synchrony with the truth is more valuable than all gold this earth can offer. It is much more valuable to have eternal life than any coin this earthly life makes available to anyone. We should be extremely happy whenever someone comes to correct any errors in our steps, in our attitudes or even in our way of thinking. Shouldn't we be grateful and satisfied with the altruism of someone who goes out of his way to have our steps assured in the proper way for the right motives?
  405. "If a man loves Me, he will keep My Word", John 14:23. There is a lot to be said about this statement Jesus made so clear. How can one try to keep His words without first loving Him with all his heart? And how can anyone claim to love Jesus when he cannot keep His words alive to walk heartily and joyfully according to them? Many try to 'keep' it to avoid being condemned or to become an example to their children. Translating this to truth, it means that they attempt to keep the Word because they love themselves. And they fail to keep it. No one is able to meet God's demands unless he loves Jesus above life itself. "He who does not love Me does not keep My Words", John 14:24. In other words, he can't keep them.
  406. Teaching and educating are not the same thing and do not always go together. Teaching is to extract from knowledge and to distribute it; educating is to offer from what we really are - if we are. Both need to leave the impression that whoever hears and learns must not stick to learning and must still find God and grace to become and to keep being. If we are something in God, we must be open, available and walk in the light so that nothing can be hiding behind our actions. Our actions should manifest and reveal in all truth all we really are in utter simplicity of heart. This is the teacher who knows how to educate. Knowledge teaches and serves as an ally to education, but knowledge is a servant and not a master. Life is the master and the master is life itself when it is lived and exteriorized in all simplicity and sincerity of heart.
  407. Those who truly walk with Jesus with a true heart, hear God. If you hear the wrong voice, it is because you still hear the voice of desires and own-willingness. The heart that is still tempted by the flesh and its desires may be forced to hear the voice of deception, which, often, impersonates and imitates God and talks as if it is Him talking.
  408. "Now is the judgment of this world. Now shall the prince of this world be cast out", John 12:31. Interestingly, for the world, it was Jesus who was being tried and thrown out. But, with this act, it was the devil who was expelled and judged. There is nothing to fear if you, in truth, live in Christ. You should not fear to be judged by the world and to be expelled from their synagogues. That works in your favour and should be a cause to joy - to real joy. It will mean something to the world.
  409. People are very quick to judge the right way and to stand up against it because it opposes them silently. When that right track is believed by some wrong people whose walk is strange to truth, they feel even more justified to oppose it. "The name of God is blasphemed among the nations because of you", Rom.2:24. If they already judge who walks according to truth, imagine how many stones shall they throw at truth because of those who go astray and say they carry on believing in the Gospel. However, no one in the world is quick to judge his own ways. In fact, they are quick to cover them up and keep them secret. Had they been able or willing to judge own ways, they would be close to the salvation of Jesus. "For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged", 1Cor.11:31.
  410. "Others said, 'These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?'" John 10:21.There are people who are led to believe in the words of Jesus because they have witnessed miracles. This means that, in fact, they do not believe or did not believe in the Word itself and are led to believe in it by external means. On the other hand, there are people - like the Samaritan woman and those whom she has called out to see the Christ - who believed because of the very word itself. "And many more believed because of His own word. Then they said to the woman, 'Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world'", John 4:41,42.
  411. "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill and to destroy", John 10:10. This means that whoever destroys, mutilates or steals is of the devil. If you destroy your own marriage, life or somebody else's you are a thief working for the devil to rob people's lives off them.
  412. If we pray to spend time lost in prayer, we are not praying for things to be solved or sorted out nor to find concrete answers for concrete issues. It's true it is not all about asking when we pray, but we must be able to receive some guidance and direction whenever we pray, or praying is sin.
  413. If I do not change under the circumstances where I am found now, I shall never change when those circumstances have changed for the better. It is not circumstances that have the power to change us - they serve only to show us what we truly are. Better circumstances are not able to transform us. Good circumstances are able to cover up what we really are secretly and bad ones have the power to unmask our true self or to get it waking up from the deep sleep of hibernation.
  414. Whoever sins, not only arranges excuses for his sins, but finds always fault in others, blames others for own transgressions and easily accuses them of any obvious defect that can be spotted in them. The constant search for mistakes in others and the gossip about them are proof that own sins are being concealed or disguised. Such people shall surely die in their sins and shall be lost while covering them up, that is, while finding guilty ones, blaming them for own mistakes or finding excuses or even explanations for own sins. To excuse own sins is a way to cover them up. Everyone who conceals any of his sins shall never find mercy - neither now nor later (Prov.28:13). Make no mistake about it.
  415. "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, 'We see.' Therefore your sin remains", John 9:41.. This reminded me of the words of Jesus, which underline the huge danger of dying in own sins, that is, that our sins are found with us when we die. Jesus takes away sin, both in its origin as well as in the inevitable consequences of guilt and cyclical power of sin, which increases every time any sin is committed because it weakens man and ruins that kind of faith that is able to save from it to impose a false faith which considers self as saved while holding on to sin. It is only true faith that is able to overcome the world and to exterminate the sins of those who believe in Him. Sin brings forth death and ruin. Jesus in man overcomes that kind of death by annihilating sin and its power. When sin remains, death remains too. Whoever falls in the trap of sin, shall sin more and shall accentuate the trend of blindness, that is, shall get more excuses to blame others of own sins rather than to be able to recognize and to acknowledge them, that is, to recognize in order to seek and find salvation from those sins. Jesus saves from sin. Whoever does not acknowledge all his sins; or conceals them stating that he sees and is not blind; or claims to have Christ while in sin; or remains in his sins or his sins remain in him for any other reason, will never be saved from them. How can anyone be saved from something he does not recognize or acknowledge? And if he does not acknowledge them, he shall surely be deprived of the blessed vision that it is Christ who frees from sin in an unthinkable way. "So I told you that you will die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am, you will die in your sins", John 8:24. If we do not allow or do not reach out to Christ to save us from all sins, we shall surely die in them. Sin also remains and gets a stronger grip when we say we are believers, saved ones or make some similar, hypocritical statement while in sin. If we stay in sin, from what have we been saved?
  416. "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled", John 6:26. The Jews and those who will not believe always seek a sign to have a reason to believe. In fact, anyone who would like to prove himself right always seeks to see a sign which he believes will not happen. The search for a sign is a defying attitude and is, in fact, wickedness at work. It is a wicked response to truth and to life. Some even challenge God with this defying attitude as if He won't be able to perform - which would prove them to be right by not believing. The prospect of people about God is evil. From the perspective of God it is faith that should produce the sign and from men's point of view the sign should be good enough to produce faith in Him. Faith in any other or in any other thing is easy to produce without a sign. All men perverted the principles of truth, their prospects are controversial and their hearts became rebellious. Their starting principle is to be always otherwise and to be in a state of constant disagreement with God. The heart of man is controversy itself. Its nature is to oppose whatever comes its way against selfishness. However, we see Jesus say that there is something even worse than seeking a sign to believe: it is to seek Jesus only to be able to eat. This ruins all claims of those who hold on to the doctrines of prosperity. This means that people 'believe' to eat. This kind of opportunism or of opportunistic faith is falsity and comes from a heart haunted by falsehood. We can conclude, then, that God gives a different emphasis and meaning to believing than what sinners are willing to give to it. Jesus said that to believe and to have life go hand in hand. So, to believe is to live - it is the ability to live in accordance with the law of God and in full agreement with what He really is.
  417. "I do not receive honour from men", John 5:41. The word "receive" is often used in this portion of Scripture and, also, in the Gospel of John. When Jesus says that He does not receive honour from men, it could mean two tings and only one of them is what Jesus wishes to convey. It could mean He doesn't receive it because men do not glorify Him - which is half true. Men indeed, and unlike all nature, do not give glory to God. But it can also mean that Jesus does not receive it even if it is given to Him. He may not accept it in any form and He doesn't depend on it. He refuses to receive it and to depend on it.
  418. "I do not receive honour from men", John 5:41. The best evidences that someone still receives honour from men are: the the promptness with which he rejects good advice; how offended he feels with accusations; and how much he still defends himself before others.
  419. Most wars - wars between individuals, family members or even between countries - get its strength from dirty and aggressive consciences. Any person with a dirty conscience learns to be aggressive, retaliates to defend himself and lives from deception. When the conscience is stained, it accuses. That charge breeds an aggressive reaction from the accused person who resists coming to the light to have everything clear and fully transparent by acknowledging his sins. This reaction can, in turn, become unmanageable and filled with justifications - something which is able to stain conscience even further. The most obvious sign of a stained conscience is the aggressiveness with which someone protects own ground and tries to defend himself. Sometimes, the person is found in a state of continuous self-defence, which defends self even before having been charged with anything. That person guesses what is coming his way. This defence can be carried out with anger or with a smile. Any accused person reacts that way if he doesn't have a heart that fulfils God's law. The person who is right with God and is found at peace when his conscience is illuminated by genuine light never reacts against aggression. Responding to aggression is a vice or addiction picked up by someone who has or had a stained conscience. If you had a dirty conscience before and no longer have it because you washed it in the blood of Jesus, but you still react to accusations and aggressions, the addiction remained. You are in great need to deal with that, too, after being cleansed from all sins without having missed on a single one. Nobody needs an old habit to live the new life. The worst aggression that may exist is that of your conscience - it is, at least, something that people consider an aggression. People who are not used to have peace of conscience react in a bad, unhappy way only to escape this type of aggression. No one can ever escape the aggressions of conscience and it angers sinners more and makes them more aggressive. And anger makes people unaware of what they are - it makes them, at least, careless and causes them not to care about it. Don't try to evade the pricks of conscience by accusing others or by masking yourself with a look of innocence. No masked person is what the mask says he is. All who walk around with a dirty conscience always react the same way because of everything and because of nothing. They live in a continual state of alert and warfare, and react even before they are accused of anything. They harm to prevent the aggression they imagine is coming their way.
  420. "He was the burning and shining lamp", John 5:35. There are lamps that burn and do not shine. We should burn and be light. We shouldn't burn to throw only smoke and no flame or no light. The smoke can hinder light when the lamp burns.
  421. "He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent Him", John 5:23. This is true in every way. Every person who does not honour or is unable to honour whom the Father has sent to him - whoever the sent one is, whether it is a child or a grown up - does not honour the Father, not even if he claims to honour Him.
  422. When we find the way, we should consider a few things and have them in mind. The path is right, pure and untouchable. The person who enters it is initially the wrong kind of person. So, we have someone with the wrong heart heading towards the proper way. Will there be conflicts? Of course, since there is no wrong person in this world who does not believe to be right. The path can not become wrong or consider itself wrong hypocritically to adapt to evil and to agree with it since only those who are in agreement can walk together. Soon, there will be conflicts and only a persistent patience on the part of the truth - without compromising itself - can achieve the total transformation of the one who is wrong. Quite often, the holders of truth are accused of being stubborn due to their unchanging persistence in the way of truth.
  423. "He implored Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. Then Jesus said to him, 'Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe'", John 4:47,48. It's not easy to discern that someone seeks a sign when he has a dying child and nears Jesus for help. But, Jesus saw it. It's sad, too, to know that even with a child at a death bed people seek a sign instead of hoping to find healing in Christ.
  424. God may call us for His works or we can offer ourselves to it. However, we must all learn to wait upon Him for the proper time to be sent out.
  425. There is hatred and indifference. Some say that indifference is worse than hatred. But some say that indifference does not take revenge and doesn't punish. Regarding God, indifference is hatred against Him in hibernation. It is concealed hatred. It is pure, dormant enmity asleep. There is no one in this world indifferent to God. Those who have not visited him in prison for being involved and busy with their own lives are, were or will be punished with the same sentence of those who put Jesus and his friends in prison to mistreat them mercilessly. It is true that hell was prepared for the devil and his angels. But all those who hate Jesus or are indifferent to Him and to His loved ones will suffer the same eternal damnation.
  426. Responsibilities and increased duties should lead us to a greater and more sincere approach or proximity to God so that He can perform the doing in us. We must also change our habits with increased responsibilities so that we can adapt with joy to a new reality. Each increase of responsibility should achieve these results in us. Keeping the same routine, the same habit of life and the same courses of action are not compatible with an increase of responsibility. Get ready for practical changes and transformations if God delivered His talents to you as a servant - or if you need to make up for those who have buried theirs and have not been faithful.
  427. Life is an opportunity for schooling and we are all students. However, there are some that are more determined to learn and more and better dedicated to truth than others.
  428. Purification, either of the spirit or of the flesh, is not necessarily to abandon what we consider carnal or sinful. (There is filthiness of the spirit and of the flesh). It is, rather, to sanctify it all back to God again, getting to do things through Him, for Him and with Him. All things that are lawful unto us are necessary for a life of harmony and peace. But, sin stretched out its hand to touch what is or was holy. Therefore, purification or sanctification is not necessarily to reject, but do with God for God - it is to rededicate to God in a way pleasing to Him what sin and the flesh have stolen away to use for selfish purposes.
  429. Many wonder how was it possible that David's son started, afterwards, hating the virgin that he loved so much. Before he had forced her, he loved her to death. However, after he had possessed her, he hated and despised her just as much. This happens quite often to many of those who have pre-marital sex: after they get it done, they start despising the person they have been using or misusing. I know many couples who became frigid after getting married because they have done, before marriage, what is meant to be done only after getting married. Pre-marital sex leads, quite often, to frigidity once relationships become lawful or after sex becomes a duty. It is appealing only while it is unlawful. However, that is not the only cause for frigidity.
  430. Many believe that the fear of the Lord is the passport that enables to enter the kingdom of righteousness and purity. However, we know of one man who feared the Lord and, frightened, hid his talent in the earth; and he delivered the talent intact and well keep to the Lord. Fear, alone, does not mean anything if mixed with negligence, self-interest or any other carnal drive. Fear must lead us to bear fruit, to fulfil, to be faithful and to do God's will. Forsaking evil is not doing good yet; to stop stealing is not giving from what we have; to stop killing is not distributing life yet; to stop lying is not telling the truth. "We do not wish to be unclothed, but to be clothed, so that the mortal might be swallowed up by the life", 2Cor.5:4.
  431. When those servants received each their talents, we do not see the Lord explaining to them how they should use them. Each servant used them as he thought best.
  432. "But if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delays His coming..." Mat.24:48. There are several things that go unnoticed in many verses of the Bible. This verse is one of them. The question is: does the servant become evil by saying what he says, or does he say what he says because he is evil? Here is my opinion: who speaks against God is already separated from Him by other things or through other offenses. Then, having become a wicked servant, he says what he says. Who knows if those extended trials come only to help reveal what he truly is and what sort of servant he has become. All servants tend to believe they are faithful and pure. Becoming a servant is enough for them. They do not care what kind of servant they become. Many serve without having been purified; others serve to cover up their sins; and others serve without remaining cleansed. The secret is to wait, keeping holiness while waiting and never become stained, sinful or impatient along the way.
  433. Frankness is a commendable virtue. But, it is a virtue that cannot stand alone, that is, cannot live unaccompanied by truth. Truth is love. Imagine an honest person who believes a lie - he will be frank without realizing he is holding the fruit of the serpent; or someone who believes error honestly without recognizing it and taking the error as sure sign of life. Frankness is commendable, it shall always will be. But, we must know that it must be associated with truth, goodness, kindness and the love of God. If not, that kind of openness becomes a weapon of destruction and a source of serious problems.
  434. The person that seeks the truth with all his heart will never end misled or deceived. In fact, it is truth that seeks such people and truth shall never miss them. Truth seeks a true heart where to lodge itself and to feel at home, and a heart where it can accommodate itself comfortably. No one will remain deceived being of a true heart seeking the truth in order to absorb it, and with the intention to practice it without hesitation. Truth mixed with hesitation is a source of trouble - it is an offense to heaven.
  435. "Be reconciled to God", 2Cor.5:20Doesn't it sound strange to tell firm believers to be reconciled with God? One might ask whether they are not reconciled to Him already. If Paul was found saying that in nowadays' churches, many would, certainly, be offended and scandalized. But, the reality is that there is much more to be said about reconciliation with God than what today is preached or believed. Reconciliation with God implies that we are in unison with Him, through Him and for the same reasons He upholds, being able to use the same power and having full access to it all the time. It's not only to accept His will, but accepting to become someone who can perform it the same way, with the same joy and through the same power it is used in heaven. "Here on earth as in heaven".
  436. Many of the sins that people commit being believers occur when they are exposed to temptations that could be avoided. One can visit old friends who drank with him; many are exposing themselves to temptation when they could avoid nudity and pornography; they could prevent disbelief by seeking to know that God is faithful and by seeking the real reasons or causes for any trial and thus avoid being exposed to useless doubts and questions - it is through the truth that we are made to stand; one could avoid own ways preferring reconciliation with God at all times; etc.
  437. The biggest problem in the world among those who are deceived is not the inability to see error, but to reject it in favour of the right things. To be able to see error or to refuse evil is not the end of the course. "We do not wish to be unclothed, but to be clothed, so that the mortal might be swallowed up by the life", 2Cor.5:4. Deceived people often reject things with bitterness and never with confidence - if they reject it at all. When they reject it, they might do so in appearance to accept those sins in secret. The basis of their rejection is never a trust in the truth, but a drive of anger and jealousy. However, the vast majority ends up reconciled with error and accept it due to the insistence of falsity and of false ones upon them and their souls. Falsity never stops and does not hesitate to use its vast number of heresies over and over again until people find themselves living with it as if it is the normal way to live.
  438. One day, even the married ones and children will be placed alone before God. We need to keep that in mind with joy. However, we must use what we still have to exercise loyalty, faithfulness, love and all the other virtues that enrich a heart, a life and a world. When everything else has passed and we are put before God, we will be faithful, virtuous and full of Jesus. We shall be what we have learned to be and what we have become. It is what it is all about in this life. Everything is exercised around this important issue. All we have, possess and do now is given with the sole purpose that there be, one day when everything is over, a people which God can choose.
  439. "For the extortioner is brought to nought, destruction ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land" Is.16:4. Any violent man or sinner has his end announced a long time ago. His end can occur by getting him converted. He can cease to be bad or he shall be destroyed. Either way mean his end. Most sinners have already gone to judgment. They can't be found anymore. If you are not fully converted yet, be assured that your end is near and it has been announced.
  440. If money is a source of problems and trials, the lack of it also brings its sort of ordeals. Thus, only a right and pure heart is able to keep the good way both in time of plenty and in times of want and lack of means. And if we speak about the lack of money, we can also speak about the absence of opportunities to use well what we have or about the absence of ideal circumstances to exercise faithfulness. We must be faithful at heart and not depend on circumstances to show off. If the rich go astray more easily, the poor also have their thorny tribulations which keeps them from seeing the truth or even to practice it when they have found it. The thorns that choke the Word can be found both in good and in bad ground.
  441. We all have already said something, one time or another, about God's time. "Oh, it's because it was not the right time!" But, we must take into consideration some things about God's time. The first thing is that there is, in fact, such a thing as God's time. This fact is undeniable. We must take this into consideration when we pray, when we hope, watch or ask for something in prayer. But, we talk about the time of God in the sense that it is He who determines things to happen. That time depends not only on the clock and calendar, but also on the circumstances, the state in which the person is found and some other things. Because it is God who determines what and when shall happen, many good or desirable things may never happen when we are found in a bad spiritual state. It is not only the clock and the season that influence the times of God. Many still go on hoping to receive when God's time has already passed. However, they still carry on hoping because they have not received for some other reason. Others do precisely the opposite: they force to anticipate what is yet to come.
  442. Many insist on believing they have or we detain rights that must be protected and assisted by all others. But, before God, we have only privileges that we do not deserve. There are rights between people and people, which must be respected. God speaks of "the rights of the poor of my people". However, these rights are those of others before us and not ours before them. We must safeguard these rights that people detain before us by God's will and providence. The ones perishing have the right to receive the spiritual food from which we eat; the poor have a right upon our salary and possessions; etc.
  443. If I am intolerant towards evil people, I am also able to be intolerant towards anyone else. Everything I do, I do because it's what I am. The world believes that our attitudes depend on what people do to us and with whom we deal. But the truth says it depends on what we are and not what others are or do. It is good to feel bad around evil and among the scornful. However, we cannot say that it is because of these scoffers that we feel bad. We feel bad among the scornful because of the transformation that occurred in us. And evil ones feel bad on the table of righteousness because of what they are. It is never righteousness' fault. And if it is not righteousness' fault, then it isn't evil that causes discomfort and nausea to the righteous, but it is mainly because of the heart that the righteous has received.
  444. "My son if thou be surety for thy friend, thou art snared" Prov.6:1. We cannot answer for the lives of anyone. We shall answer for our ways and duties before God. If we have done all to have the best spiritual food served in due time, we cannot answer for anyone's life - not even for our own children or wife. Each shall answer for his own life.
  445. "...That he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of disaster", Hab.2:9. Many fall into the trap of wanting to be rich or healthy so that their nests may be set on high and supposedly safe from evil happenings. But, we are safe from evil only by delivering our ways to the Lord, whether rich or poor, healthy or sick. No one dies if God does not want it to be so and no one lives if God does not cause to live. Let us give ourselves over to Him.
  446. "Put away from thee a deceitful mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee", Prov.4:24. Many do not believe or do not wish to believe that the way we talk is the best portrait of our heart. It is not only the subject that shows us what is in us, as Jesus said, but how we express it shows what we are made of. Our form of speech became a habit and a culture. This causes a problem to many because they attempt to change the way they talk, that is, the habit, without changing the heart. In fact, many avoid changing their heart. It would work like drying up a floor where there is a constant dripping. It is like drying up a place that will be wet all over again. Before drying it up, one should fix the dripping. Also, we should never underestimate the seriousness of the warning that commands us to do away with the deceit of an own mouth and lips. Many underestimate this kind of sin. Any sin is very serious when looked at from the side of God. The sins of the mouth are also responsible for crucifying Christ, and those are sins from which God saves us as well. The same can be said of sins of the eyes and of all our senses. What we like to see feeds the lusts of the heart we have. What we most like to hear reveals what the heart craves for and which illusions it keeps within to hold on to. If we put ourselves to the test by giving freedom to our senses, then, shall we get a more accurate perception of the real state of our hearts. One needs a mirror to be able to see oneself.
  447. "Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life", Prov.4:13. Nobody likes to be corrected; however, most wish to be seen as correct. How does someone become correct without being corrected? Everyone wants to reach out to the ends without going through the means. For that purpose, many brag about themselves to achieve some unlawful recognition. Here, we are told to love instruction and to desire it deeply. To allow "patience to have its perfect work", we should get to the point where we cooperate fully and gladly with instruction and listen to correction without resentment, and showing forth great joy while being corrected by God. We are instructed because we are loved. Carnal love has as a standard to be accepted in any condition. Spiritual love corrects having a good end in mind. It is very easy to believe that we are corrected or punished because we are despised, unloved or abandoned. A carnal mind makes such assumptions very easily. We seem to hold correction as a weight when it should be an easy, desired yoke to bear. Correction should be a joy knowing that if it is the Lord who corrects us, we shall, certainly, come to fruition. If you can find out what is the target of correction and which is the end that corrective instruction wants to achieve, eagerly cooperate with it and show God that you are one with Him in what He does and seeks to achieve.
  448. "Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men", Prov.4:14. There are many ways and reasons to opt for a bad way. When God denies something to someone as a rebuke, that someone may choose to do things another way instead of listening to the rod of reproof; or when the delay seems to be too long, one might go astray and deviate from the proper way believing to be doing the right thing. Abraham went into the slave woman because the waiting seemed to be a dead end to him. Nowadays, the seed of Ishmael persecutes the Holy Seed - and Christians to this very day. There is a number of reasons for someone to go astray into an evil way and most of those reasons do not seem to be bad at all and neither the ways we put ourselves into. Some ways of death seem right to the eyes sometimes. Let's be careful.
  449. Whenever things go wrong or do not result in God's ways, people look for alternatives to make it work rather than seek the reason for failure. God may have a reason to deny the person in front of men and angels and it is that reason that we must seek and solve in a way satisfactory to God, instead of trying alternative ways to achieve the things that have been denied by God. All alternative paths will be considered as means of idolatry or as opposition to God. We should pay more attention to the rebuke of God instead of trying to ignore the warnings by recurring to other means or mechanisms to resolve whatever God has jammed. We cannot abandon the path of wisdom and salvation by ignoring a warning of correction coming from the Lord. "My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord", Prov.3:11.
  450. Someone may start a way insinuating that he is already a master in it. This can happen for various reasons. One of the explanations is that a ray of light in the darkness causes such an impression that it can be believed that the whole sun has been discovered. And whoever believes to have discovered the sun or live as if he had discovered it, does not evolve and can finish his way believing to be a master without ever having learned better or more. But, the opposite can also happen: one may end being a master believing that he is not. The humiliation suffered to destroy all his arrogance during the years he is instructed might induce him to believe that he cannot be useful in God's hands.
  451. Many people know that if you ask God for wisdom, He gives it without reproach. That is what James says in the Bible. And many also know that it is true from experience. However, we must know that Scriptures also say that, "He gives sound wisdom to the upright", Prov.2:7. If faith is a condition to find that kind of wisdom, we must not forget that there are other conditions that also must be met for that wisdom to be received or conditions that must be met through it when and if it is received. Righteousness, purity, confidence in the truth, the rejection of lies and of false wisdom, the absence of double motives and sincerity of heart must be taken into account, in addition to many other things. But one thing is certain: those who receive it, have God's approval or they would not receive it. Bear also in mind that true wisdom is a life and not mental knowledge which one gets through study. Studying is good so that there may be words to explain what we experience. But, do not confuse personal experience with study and neither wisdom with learning from books. They are not the same thing.
  452. It is good to know many things. But, it is essential and necessary to take one thing at a time and come to fruition with it. Bringing everything to the end can not be seen as incompatible with knowing much. However, if we know too much and we do not take everything to a good end, if things are not fully accomplished, all knowledge will serve to condemn us and not serve as a precious help on the way. Wisdom is supposed to be an aid on the way. This is true both in this life and in the spiritual life. We must deal with each subject, with each sin, with every virtue, with each truth until we get to a successful conclusion of every thing that is delivered to us to be faithful to it, with it, because of it or through it. "My food is (...) to finish His work", John 4:34.
  453. Many talk about watching. But I believe that few know what it really means. Watching is to be aware and wide awake expecting something. But, to what shall we be attentive? It is true that the devil comes to steal and destroy. But, is it true that he only enters the house which is not on guard against him? Or does he enter the house of any of those over whom he has power regardless if they are watching or not? I leave that question in the air, because the devil is shameless and daring as well. He is able to face an opponent or victim head-on. He isn't always subtle. Looking deep into Scripture, however, I see Jesus expressing His views on watching in another sense as well. Jesus describes Himself as "the thief that comes in the night at an hour when no one expects". "Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord, when He cometh, shall find watching!" Lk.12:36. Our real vigilance is a state of expectation. "And if He shall come in the second watch or come in the third watch and find them so, blessed are those servants. Therefore, be ye also ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when ye think not", Lk.12:38. I could guard against the devil if the power to save myself was in my hand. But, as it is Jesus who saves me from any of my sins, I must always be awaiting the salvation from Him when I am found in trouble. For this cause will I keep watch. "I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what He will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved", Hab.2:1. He may arrive at any time and I cannot be found sleeping. I must be ready to receive this salvation willingly and joyfully, without having a sense of loss when Jesus takes any sin fully away from my world. I should not allow my house to be undermined by any other sin before He arrives just because my heart says, "My Lord delays his coming" - if He delays indeed. I must be found in a good state of heart by the time He comes. There will be no opportunity to clean up after He comes, unless to be cleansed is the reason for my watching and waiting fervently. I shall be treated as a thief caught in the act if I am found in a state that God disapproves when He comes. This is why real revival must be preceded by a thorough cleansing or it will be our judgment day when it happens.
  454. "...Because I called, and (...) I stretched out my hand, and no one paid attention...", Prov.1:24. How often do people label themselves with innocence when, for some reason, they do not pay attention? "Oh, sorry! I was not paying attention! Can you say again?" And no one is offended and all repeat what they were saying when no one was paying attention to them. Everyone thinks it normal. But if someone is busy with other things, if you are distracted, too concentrated when it is God speaking, not paying attention is a very serious crime. Use extreme caution, too, with your mood, because a bad mood works with a refusal to hear what others have to say. There is nothing of more importance or priority than the words of God, especially when those words are so scarce. Use extreme caution because God can speak or express Himself at anytime. Stay tuned and keep that possibility open. "And you yourselves be like men who wait for their lord so that, when he comes and knocks, they may open to him immediately", Lk.12:36. Whenever you are focussing on anything or are emotionally moved by something, keep open the possibility that God may intrude to say something. He will want to be heard immediately, no matter what is happening to you. For God, it is not normal that someone does not pay attention when He speaks. "But whoever listens to Me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil", Prov.1:33.
  455. "Rejoice in the Lord, O righteous ones; praise is becoming for the upright", Ps.33:1. Why is praise becoming for the upright in heart? Because righteousness itself depends on the Lord. Without Jesus, righteousness would not be possible. Therefore, praise should exist simply because there is righteousness. Righteousness alone is by itself a matter of praise - it is enough reason to praise God for.
  456. Every thing people have, God has given; every thing people do not have, God has taken away. And it is true of everyone, righteous or unrighteous.
  457. There is no difference between one who claims to be an atheist and he who believes in God and acts in his practical life as if God does not exist. "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God!'". However, God also speaks of all those who "acted corruptly; they have done abominable works, there is no one who does good. The Lord looked down from Heaven on the sons of men, to see if there were any who understood and sought God. All have gone aside, together they are filthy", Ps.14:1,2If an atheist says there is no God to be able to walk in his own ways or the way he understands as a way, or if someone chooses to go astray saying that God exists, both act as if God does not exist. Both are unbelievers and strange to the faith in Jesus. God takes into account how you live above the faith you express. Atheist or not, the carnal desire is to live in sin and in own ways. Some prefer to believe that God exists and that He will suffer them or even fulfil their carnal desires; others prefer to believe that He does not exist to live carnally and as they like. The flesh does not want law. I believe that there are more atheists among those who claim that God exists than anywhere else, because "all have gone astray" and live their practical lives in darkness as if God does not exist. Believing in God is a comfort to their consciences and not a saving power. They wish to bribe God by saying He exists and by believing the way devils believe.
  458. When there are false witnesses or false rumours, one should be able to distinguish between those who are intentionally false in order to crush and destroy righteous ones; and those rumours or falsehoods that originate in ignorance. However, we should not get any illusions: both are equally destructive. Never be a witness against your neighbour, not even in ignorance; instead, try to save those who are about to be stoned. Keep your mouth shut or keep it exclusively able and ready to express the salvation of Jesus, who saves both 'good' and bad ones from their gross sins.
  459. It is thought that those who hate us or simply do not support us improve their attitudes toward us when we perfect ourselves. Many try to become perfect in order to be well accepted by those who reject them. Their motives are not upright. But, the truth says that the opposite occurs: those who hate or oppose do not stand the fact that holy ones become holier. In fact, they wish to see errors in them instead of successes and perfections. They seek their downfall and imperfections to have something to talk about. Perfection increases the anger and bitterness of those who hate God and His children. Remember that you must give an account of your life to God and not to those who hate you and abhor righteousness. Pray for them in secret, having a heart full of mercy, bleeding with supplications, and do not try to do it to be accepted by them. If you do, God will see you as a hypocrite who pretends to be accepted and not that his enemies be saved.
  460. Those who seek the Lord only when they have problems for the sake of those problems will cease to seek Him when their problems are sorted out and solved. We must seek and find God for His sake and not only because of the problems we have, and must be able to rejoice in the fact that we have Jesus and not the solution to problems. It is true that someone can start off wrong or have the wrong reasons in the beginning and end well, that is, you can begin to seek God because of the problems you have and end with Jesus for what He is. But the sooner the heart changes its motives, the better for everyone's sake in every way.
  461. "Therefore, the prudent will keep silent at that time, for it is an evil time", Amos 5:13. To keep silent during bad times is prudence at its best. We may be taken to evil thinking and evil believing about God - let us keep our thoughts silent and pure, especially if we cannot think on anything to praise God about yet; we may be tempted to take the wrong direction or to make hasty decisions to avoid what God is intending for us; we may decide without God and without contemplating Him; our words may come out harshly and hard; our complaints may call upon uncertainty and unbelief and it may carry us into the reign of the devil and darkness. It is good to know at all times that there is great wisdom in keeping quiet every time we should not say or do anything.
  462. The way I speak can determine a course of a life. It is never good to be a stumbling block with words. If I have the right words at an improper time, or if I utter them in a wrong way or with a wrong attitude; or if I have the wrong words and speak in a good manner to entice people; I might be the stumbling block of a life. It won't be good for me and neither for those who hear me.
  463. I don't need to ignore bad things around to prevent being affected by them. I need to know they are out there, expecting me to lose my guard. I can't be taken by surprise if I know they are around trying to strike my soul. However, if my mind is found in Christ and the expectations are of Him and are alive and genuine, evil cannot touch the core of my soul even when I look it into the eyes. I shall be absorbed by the Lord and shall not be entangled by the thoughts of evil. God will grant what is good to be involved with and to keep me busy.
  464. "He brought us forth by the word of truth (...) So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath", James 1:18,19. It is good to know that we are born again and brought forth by hearing, it is, through the word. The importance of hearing and listening is outstanding. It means our life and eternity depend on it. "Take heed therefore how ye hear", Lk.8:18. If we do not hear, we can't be regenerated. Whoever speaks a lot, can't hear - let's be slow to speak. We can't listen and speak at the same time; whoever is hasty, impatient or angry has his mind busy with other stuff and can't hear - let's be slow to wrath. However, we should distinguish between those who hear as they should and those who listen only to be able to figure out how to reply.
  465. The way of God is a life and not a theory or a doctrine. Whoever doesn't live according to what he preaches (if he preaches the truth) should never mention doctrine or teaching to avoid being condemned further. It would be far better for him not to have known what it is all about.
  466. "Where there is no vision (prophecy), the people perish", Prov.29:18. Think of a person without direction, a sheep without guidance, a life without law or someone who does not know what to do. A person does not become just disorientated, but idle. Any idle person still thinks and can rarely control thoughts, worries or any other mind issue. In fact, only an idle person can give full freedom to his thoughts. Without Christ, anyone imprisoned for his faith becomes uncontrolled. He shall not be able to bridle his own thoughts. If someone is in a prison cell without anything to do and a lot to think about, he has a good opportunity to sanctify his mind because thoughts arise at rampant, uncontrolled and loose.
  467. If God does not do what we want, the tendency is to doubt Him and His love for us. There is an appeal to doubt when we are still of the resisting sort. When someone is put to the test, as a rule, he will not get what he wants, or will not receive in the form he expected to receive, or in a timing he would wish to receive. There is a saying that true friends are manifested only when we have no money. Sometimes, Jesus is presented to us "as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not", Is.53:2,3. Do not be surprised if Jesus presents Himself to you in such a way. If He does, it will be revealed if you are His true friend or not.
  468. Who is the person that, being tried, understands everything that is happening to him? Job understood that he was being tried. However, he understood only that far. He did not understand the reasons and the means used to try him. He only concluded that he was being tried and no more than that. This is, perhaps, one of the reasons why James advises us to ask for wisdom if we need it under trials. Wisdom is, also, prudence in the words we utter; taking control of the thoughts we have or allow to take hold of our mind; not taking hasty conclusions and much less unjustified ones. "Let him sit alone in silence when it is laid on him; let him put his mouth in the dust - there may yet be hope; let him give his cheek to the one who strikes, and let him be filled with insults. For the Lord will not cast off forever", Lam.3:28-31.
  469. "The testing of your faith produces patience", James 1:3. As faith is the result of a relationship and a child of a genuine fellowship with Jesus, we must consider that for it to be tested successfully and to be able to end up producing patience, the fellowship with the Lord must be maintained at any cost at all times. It is not an issue of keeping the faith but rather of keeping the fellowship with the Lord in the absence of selfishness, personal reasons and interests, and all that it entails. Without Jesus in a real way and without depending exclusively on the true aid of the Holy Spirit (provided it is real) we and our faith will not pass the test and it shall not have its perfect work. It is necessary to pass the testing. If we are not able to pass this testing, it will produce impatience rather than patience. Patience is also the result (fruit) of fellowshipping with Jesus. If this is true, impatience is the direct result of the lack of this fellowship, or of a kind of fellowship where selfishness and personal interests are actively and continually harassing the Lord. If a sincere communion with Jesus is not maintained during trials, we will not pass the test and unbelief shall be tried and not faith. Not passing the testing can only end up in impatience, complaints, ugly and harsh words along with bad thoughts towards God and people around.
  470. Every one of us experiences moments of complex situations through our lives. A preacher must learn to preach the Word, but he must also watch over his personal life. He must live twice as much as he preaches. Only then can he consider himself a preacher of the true word of God. For this reason there are times when we read the Word just to take care of our own hearts and souls, and there are other times we use to outline a sermon or a bible study that must correspond to what we live and practice already "... Lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified", 1Cor.9:27. However, the whole of all sermons must be soaked with encouraging and charging intuition that takes any listener to be a doer of the Word and not a mere hearer only. "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves", James 1:22.
  471. Faith that heals sickness is not always able to save the soul. "And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back and glorified God with a loud voice. And he fell down on his face at His feet, thanking Him. And he was a Samaritan. And answering, Jesus said, Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were none found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner? And He said to him, Rise and go; your faith has cured you", Lk.17:15-19. To nine, their faith cured them of leprosy; but, to the one, it also saved his soul.
  472. "It is impossible (inevitable) but that offenses will come (...) Take heed to yourselves", Lk.17:1-3. It is common sense that everyone must take good care of what belongs to him, whether it is a house, car, children or marriage. No one will do it for him. The offenses to which Jesus is referring here are serious threats. This is not only a serious warning to those responsible for the stumbling blocks - it is also a warning to those who stumble. That is why Jesus says, "Take heed to yourselves". It is impossible to avoid offenses coming from every corner when we live for God in full synchrony with His ways and power. Let's feel warned. These offenses may come from where we least expect. They may come from a spouse, a mother, a child, a father or any loved one or even any trusted one. "For from now on, there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three", Lk.12:52. Let's thank God for women and men who have married a saint and let's pray for those who married a serpent.
  473. When you are unhappy in a certain place, you shall never be happy in any other place. A change of place or circumstances won't change your soul. The problem resides in the heart and not where you have been placed by God. The place is the excuse and not the reason for your complaints. It is the excuse not to fix your heart with the Lord and people around. Give thanks to God that He provides places and circumstances where the worst of you comes out and is made visible. Use those situations to judge yourself better, in the light, and you might not be judged in the last day about it. And if it is true that a certain place is able to bring the worst out of you, it is also true that it can bring out the best that has been planted within you heart and has never had the chance to be revealed or manifested. However, goodness must be exclusive of the heart where it resides. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a grain of wheat fall into the earth and die, it abideth by itself alone; but if it die, it beareth much fruit", John 12:24. Evil must be dead and goodness must reign in an exclusive way.
  474. From the first times that I started reading my Bible, everyone says, "we need to know the Scriptures". I even found people that memorize Scriptures. I have heard of someone memorizing the whole Bible for fear that communism would, one day, deprive him of it. Jesus said that the Pharisees knew the Scriptures. They did not live the Word out, though. They did not live it out, experience it or taste Jesus as the Word itself. I don't think it is wrong to have the verses of the Bible memorized, but, I also believe that if Scripture means a lot to my heart and understanding, I shall know it by heart anyway, or perhaps, in a better way than to have it merely memorized.
  475. If I am correct doctrinally and am found in right standing with God and use my time to confront or attack wrong doctrines or evil, there shall be no time left for me to preach the true gospel. It is a fruitless course of life we take by trying to devastate falsities of any kind, especially because they tend to die by themselves. Besides, if I do so, my works and preaching shall be fruitless because I have been spending my time involved with strange fire, have put the gospel aside and my intentions have not been pleasant to God. Let's keep weeds away from our own heart and garden and have in mind that weeds shall grow in every careless or neglected garden no matter what we do. The reward for a wrong heart shall always be a wrong course of life or track. And, if I attack evil, I am doing what evil seeks from me. It seeks confrontation all the time. Evil seeks that I stir it more by confronting it. I cannot be found fertilizing its soil for it. The best way to annihilate or counterwork a wrong path or way is to be found in God always doing the right thing the right way through the proper power, working at the proper garden. If I am not found doing just that, even if I am right doctrinally, I shall have no true fruit to put forth because I have been too busy with a sideway and not with the true gospel of Jesus. My right doctrines cannot bear fruit because I have not been busy with the gospel. My works and lack of fruit will not convince wrongdoers to change because I have been charging against them and have not been working for the truth and with its changing power. And in case they listen to my words and I cannot put forth any true fruit myself due to the course of life I have been taking, it will harm truth greatly. The only way is to be right and do right and never to charge against a wrong course unless I am fitly led to do so. "As I hear, I judge: and my judgment is righteous; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of him that sent me", John 5:30.
  476. Everyone who gossips about people or mentions things behind their backs can be frontal and direct towards those he talks against only by being rude, cruel and unhelpful. Only a devilish heart can talk against other people behind their backs. And that same heart is able to talk in a rude and harsh manner to those same people, who he would prefer never to confront. People seek attention at the cost of the annihilation of others when they talk against them. They have an urge to be against people, whether they do so behind their backs or confront them plainly and harshly.
  477. All sorts of impatience are like thorns deep in an important muscle: it not only hurts, but incapacitates the body part which it serves. And when a body part suffers, the whole body is limped because we have only one of each body part to serve the body in the whole.
  478. Spiritual authority is a vast mixture of many virtues and of personal characteristics. However, all of them are based upon a foundation of humility. As the foundations stand for a house or building, so does humility stand for authority. A proud man might be, at the most, an autocrat. He doesn't have a solid foundation. Nevertheless, the foundation is not the house. And the house is nothing without a solid foundation.
  479. "Therefore, I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, he loves little", Lk.7:47. This truth is not referring to those who have sinned little, but only to such who have been forgiven little. If it were about those who sinned little and have been forgiven all their little sinning, then, it would be a contradiction to say they love little. Let me explain. The opposite of sin is love. So, if people sin little, it is because they love much and that is why they sin little. Those who sin little have abundant love and have little selfishness in them, since love is the opposite of sin. This verse of Scripture means only that, for some reason, people have been forgiven little because they might have not been sincere about their sins; or they ignored them or miscalculated the greatness of their guilt; or, perhaps, they are blind to their sinning; or simply refuse to confess them by being ashamed or to proud to be fully exposed in the light. Then, they shall be forgiven little or even nothing. This doesn't mean either that whoever loves much does so not because of having been forgiven. Abundant forgiveness brings thankfulness about and not love. Instead, one is forgiven by loving much because, by loving, it shows one has been converted from selfishness to love. And conversion is a central condition to receive forgiveness. No one can ever separate confession from conversion. No one shall ever be forgiven by missing out on one of the two. Nevertheless, confession must lead to or end up in genuine conversion.
  480. Hearing and obeying God is a life and death issue. Whoever doesn't listen to Him will get lost along the way and shall go to and fro according to the direction the wind takes. Doubts, emerging bad imaginations and deviating or distracting thoughts is the heritage of all those who do not hear God. To hear God one needs to have a heart that is according to God. They must be alike. Only sheep hear Him, the Shepherd. And it doesn't help forcing our ears to hear if we are not fully reconciled with God. Hearing God is very simple and all it takes to hear Him is to be made sheep.
  481. If God is speaking to your heart, take care not to interrupt Him with arguing, with thriving bad thoughts or counter proposals because all of that shall be seen as resisting God. "Do not resist the Spirit of God".
  482. "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" John 21:15. The thing that is asking to stand out here is that John was loved by Jesus (perhaps more than others were) and that Peter loved Jesus more than others did or were capable of loving. Jesus loved John more, and Peter loved Jesus more. Then, it is interesting to see that Jesus appointed as leader the one that loved Him most and not the one He loved more. The one that loved Jesus more than others was asked or appointed to care for the ones Jesus loved and to be their overseer. Jesus does not appoint according to His preferences, but according to the inner heart and personal constitution of a future servant.
  483. The relationship we must have is not with the Holy Spirit, but through the Holy Spirit. It must be a relationship with the Father and with Jesus. We must know Jesus and have the Holy Spirit assisting us to know Him.
  484. "He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me", John 14:21. No one is able to keep a commandment that he doesn't have in him. The commandment that is kept is the one that has taken hold of the heart and turns to be part of the being who keeps it. "I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts", Jer.31:33. The heart must become the commandment itself. Then - and only then - must it or can it be kept. Transformation has taken place. After that, it is the duty to seek and find grace and its means of power to be able to maintain and keep it in a way satisfactory to God. If we have the car, we must find the proper means to run it. We cannot push it around or use own means to make it move. And to find both (it is, the heart and the grace to have it run) one must remain is such fellowship and communion with Jesus that it becomes our only way to exist. A transformed heart can do nothing unless it remains in God. Without Him or the commandment no one shall ever have the commandments, or be able to keep them if one has them already inside or burned in by the fire of God.
  485. "I go away, and you shall seek Me and shall die in your sins", John 8:21. This is sad indeed. Jesus said once that whoever comes to Him shall never be rejected. But, here we read that people shall seek Him and, even so, shall eventually die in their sins. It is possible to reach a point of no return in a sinful life, or, should I rather say, a point of no way out for our sins. Let's fear.
  486. "He who is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her", John 8:7. It is interesting to see that the only one who had no sin and could cast the first stone did not throw that stone at the woman. "Neither do I give judgment. Go, and sin no more", John 8:11. But, what Jesus "threw" at her was, perhaps, something harder: "Go, sin no more".
  487. The discourse of Jesus in John 6 was hard and unacceptable to many who were listening with an open heart. However, Jesus did not detain Himself from making it even harder. "Then Jesus said to the Twelve, 'Do you also wish to go away?'" John 6:67. Thank God the twelve remained with Him or Jesus would not be able to say to them, later, that "You have been (you have remained) with Me from the beginning" John 15:27. But, there is something we must have in mind: one of the twelve who remained with Him was a devil. Not all who stay with Him to the last moments is heavenly and not all who remain stays to represent the values and the virtues of God to man.
  488. When a thorough confession of all sins (by name) is not accompanied by the abandonment of those sins which are confessed, even if that means a great loss to anyone, the near future or the near end shall be worse off than it was before sins have been confessed.
  489. One of the faculties of the flesh is to become able to believe in fantasies and lies, to fight for them and live as if they are goals which must be reached at any cost. And when people do not repent from their many fantasies by coming to the faith, they shall easily deviate from the way and start believing their powerful Lord must fulfil the desires of their evil heart and their own expectations. The flesh does not have as a goal or as a 'dream' to do God's will and to have it fulfilled here on earth right now. The will of God is to know Christ as He is - which is eternal Life itself - and to have the people around just as saved.
  490. Many believe faith is an end in itself and not the means to an end. They preach as if it suffices to come to the faith in Christ. But, faith is the means which shall attain the end God wills for us by adding perseverance, expectation and holy endurance to it. "Add to your faith...", 2Pet.1:5. Why would one need to add to it if it were an end and not the means?
  491. "My God shall cast them away because they did not listen to Him. And they shall be wanderers among the nations", Hos.9:17. To become wanderers among the nations, these days, may mean to have nothing to do and to have too much time to think the problems over and over without being able to solve them; may mean to breed hopes which are never fulfilled and to keep breeding them over and over again without realizing those hopes keep repeating themselves without being fulfilled; etc. If you are going through such a situation, perhaps you may consider to repent from all your sins and come back to God. However, do not expect to be rewarded by going back to Him. Expect only to be saved from your sins and to have you true inner life restored.
  492. The great majority of the so-called gifts we see at work in churches today are self-attributed. They cannot be regarded as gifts, but as own-mindedness. Somewhere people started believing it is God's duty to listen to them and to so-called words of faith to fulfil them at their command. According to their practical views, they decide and God must act accordingly. Their decisions are law. However, I believe that anything that is self-attributed ceases to be a gift to become deceitfulness and selfishness at work.
  493. "Because of the greatness of your iniquity and the great hatred...", Hos.9:7. Many people came to ask me how could they get rid of hatred and grudges. The answer should be easy and simple. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. It is true that hatred becomes a habit or a way of the heart, a routine of the mind. The machine to hate is there, ready to work, and any fuel shall ignite it. It flashes all around and shoots at random. Sometime, somewhere it all started to be that way and you could not help it any longer, but being nasty. But, before it became an 'unconsciously' autocratic and anarchistic habit, it had an origin. By sorting out the origin of it, we may, by the grace of God, deal with the ways that have been turned into habits afterwards. Justification leads to sanctification. Hatred is not the opposite of love - selfishness is. Hatred is just one of the many manifestations of selfishness. If we are found separated from God in some way or because of something, selfishness is what awaits us to take over the heart. If we cannot live for God or use His means to do so, we shall live for the sake of self and make use of carnal means because spiritual means are cancelled. Then, hatred may become great and uncontrollable. Being away from God will lead to grudges against people and God, surely. Soon it will become unbearable, especially if one has already tasted eternal life before. It goes from iniquity to great hatred.
  494. "...All that eat thereof shall be polluted: for their bread is for their soul and shall not come into the house of the Lord", Hos.9:4. What if we talk about the house we desire, the car, the marriage, or any other thing which serve only to satisfy appetites and not to honour God and His service? Does your house serve God? Have you tried but it doesn't work? Is your marriage a living example of peace and heavenly harmony? Whatever serves only for bread for the soul is polluted. It is not acceptable for the service of God and shall never enter the Temple of the Lord. But, this verse may also mean something different: it may mean that because it is polluted, it shall serve as food to selfishness only, which is the centre point of all sin. It means that if something is sinful or stained by wrong motives or sin, it shall serve only to pollute man further and to fill up the measure of his greed. Because it is polluted it is cursed and shall not enter the Temple of God to serve Him. Not even when people dedicate it to God can it be acceptable. It shall, consequently, serve to turn man more and more selfish and against God.
  495. Someone who walks around with a stained conscience and is, consequently, blind shall always see his own faults and sins on others and judge them according to the convictions or the perceptions about sin he has. In fact, when judging others, he is judging himself and he is not aware of it. But, that is not all. Usually, he attributes to himself the virtues or good things he is able to spot in others. Own sins are seen in others and others' virtues are claimed for self. If you ever wish to know what sins you need to confess and bring to the light, and what sins you should be saved from, make a list of the faults you see in others. It shall be a credible hint or guide for your own salvation. And if you wish to know what other people have that is good and virtuous, make a list of the good things you believe you are when others are around.
  496. "They have set up kings, but not by Me; they have made rulers, and I knew it not", Hos.8:4. God could also say the same things about many issues and about many Christians: "They chose their husband or wife and did not consult Me"; "They decided this or that and did not enquire from Me" "They travelled and I was not their leading motive"; "They chose their pastor and it was not I who decided"; etc..
  497. "Israel hath cast off the thing that is good: the enemy shall pursue him", Hos.8:3. When we speak of the enemy pursuing us, we easily think of problems, disappointments, sickness or troubles. However, we must realize that most of what shall happen consists of temptations and sinful downfalls. By abandoning God, we are handed over to ourselves, to temptations and to our own deceitful hearts. The devil will play around with us as a cat does with a mouse. The persecutions will be mostly inner ones backed up by discouragements and disappointments in God, anger, unbelief, resentments of all sorts and hardness against repenting. That is mainly how the enemy pursues those who left God, to push them further and further away from Him.
  498. A firm, direct, cutting, righteous, precise and truthful preaching will obtain genuine results only if accompanied by its corresponding manifestation to the soul of the hearer. It must be pressed to the soul and spirit of man directly and personally by the Spirit of God, which is holy. If the Holy Spirit, for some reason, doesn't manifest and press truthful words to the heart of the hearer, the results will be disastrous. It is the full responsibility of those who preach to be always right with God and to depend on Him to have the Work bear its proper fruit. We cannot depend on the preaching, but on God. If God doesn't accompany the preaching, the hearers shall be antagonized and put off. Why could John the Baptist say to his hearers, looking into their eyes, that they were vipers and opportunist snakes and still, they would come again and again to listen to him and to repent by confessing their sins before him? We confess sins only before whom we trust. And why do many leave their churches for much less than that? It is required of the preachers who preach as they ought to be the Gospel themselves, and to be a living proof of God's power and holiness. They must make sure nothing separates them from God and there must be no outstanding issue that they must fix with God or people - whoever those people are, either enemy or friend, family or stranger, child or grown up. But, in case they take notice that their gospel and their preaching is antagonizing people, they may never fall into the temptation of changing their right ways to accept a more popular way of preaching. They might do it instead of resolving all issues that stand between them and God and which stain their relationship with God. Rather humble yourself before God and carry on preaching as you ought and may God bless you richly.
  499. God created joy and made it available to those who belong to Him. Those that belong to Him can enjoy it any time for any reason and under any circumstances. This kind of joy does not depend on the greatness of the motive, but only if we have it by being right with God and if our conscience is clean and accessible to the Holy Spirit. If we are in right standing with God, having confessed and abandoned every know sin (having been cleansed through His blood), this joy is always there and needs no known secondary reason to manifest itself at any time. We simply have this joy in us. It dominates us and we cannot miss out on it or help it up - it simply exists and anything can cause us to be joyful. Our laughter is there not because of what we laugh about but because of the joy that is there. Circumstances are unable to influence or change it - not for the better and neither for the worse.
  500. Many believe it is enough to distinguish between evil and good and to be able to discern between them. However, the Bible says expressly that there are two things which must be mastered: one must know how to reject evil and how to submit one's soul to the goodness of God to be able to become like Him. One must know to accept goodness and to reject evil. These are two different things altogether. Both must be mastered and accomplished independently through the means of grace and not by any other means. No one can do it for somebody else and one thing does not lead automatically to the other, even though these two virtues are inseparable. We must, also, take into account the fact that many people say evil is good and that good is evil, that sweet is sour and sour is sweet.
  501. "I waitedpatiently for the Lord", Ps.40:1. It is interesting to know that David did not say that he waited impatiently for the Lord. For some people it may even sound as a virtue to wait impatiently for Him. David waited with patience and not in despair. It is important to wait on the Lord, however difficult or troublesome it may be. However, I believe that waiting with patience is more rewarding for the soul. I don't know if any who say that he waited for the Lord, but impatiently, shall also say, later on, that "He inclined unto me, and heard my cry". I honestly don't know. Perhaps, such a person might still be rewarded in the same way for having waited, but I cannot say for sure.
  502. Before asking what God wants to accomplish through your life, you should ask if He has your life in His hands to do with it as He wants when He wants. Your life must be His unconditionally and without hindrances. Only after that is accomplished or being accomplished should you ask what He wants to do through it or around it. The testimony must be alive first - it must be a living one before anything else can happen.
  503. "And they do not say within their hearts that I remember all their evil. Now their own doings have hemmed them in; they are before My face", Hos.7:2. There are many ways to have God recall our sins again, even those that have been forgiven before. All it takes to have God remember old sins again is to go become fit to commit them again. God must remember forgiven sins to condemn backsliders because the fact that they had been forgiven before must speak against them. "For he in whom these things are not present is blind and cannot see afar off and has forgotten that he was purged from his sins in the past", 2Pet.1:9. If conversion makes God forget all committed sins, backsliding will make God remember them all again.
  504. "And I sought for a man among them who should wall up a wall for the land, and stand in the break before me, that I should not destroy it. But I did not find one", Ez.22:30. To "stand in the break", as God says, one needs not only to pray and to intercede, but, one needs to be or become someone whom God hears in prayer. There is a lot more in intercession than one thinks of at first impressions.
  505. "...All of them moaning, every one in his iniquity", Ez.7:16. This may not mean that those who moan are aware that their heaviness is resulting from their sins. It only means it is because of their sins, but not that they are aware of it as a fact beyond dispute. It means only that their own sins are responsible for what they become. In case they knew their sins did bring that heaviness upon them, why would the Lord find Himself in need of sending the prophets day in and day out to convince them or call upon them to repent? They never believed the prophets that God sent to warn them. They even killed some. "The way of the wicked is as darkness: They know not at what they stumble", Prov.4:19
  506. If man complains, let him complain about his own sins. It is sad that people do not listen to what the Bible says. Everybody easily and promptly complains against other people's sins and never against their own. They rather feel sorry for themselves and angry against others. It is true other people have sins; however, let them complain against them themselves. Allow them that duty and privilege. How different would this world be did everyone complain against his own sins! God would easily forgive them and help them out of corruption and people would get along with each other. "Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord", Lam.3:40
  507. It is not possible to find communion or understanding between a wrong heart and a right one. A wrong man gets along with another wrong man, and the rightful person with such who are as right as he is. Those who gossip get along with people that gossip and will never get along or understand those who refuse to talk against others or refuse to listen to such talk. One of the reasons why people may think all goes well between those who are wrong is the fact that they are alike and get along, and not that they are right. The flesh cannot deny itself, but only what is spiritual and upright; the spirit denies the flesh when it comes to God and is made alive. The idea that people are right when they have lots of supporters is a lie from hell. Another lie is to say that upright ones do not have supporters and are not loved or appreciated.
  508. "...The iniquity shall be sought for, and it shall not be found; (...) for I will pardon...", Jer.50:20. We read this same statement in many places in Scripture: Sin shall be sought, but never found because it has been forgiven or blotted out. Now, in order to be forgiven by God, one must be truly converted, being able to abandon all those sins which have been confessed in all its sordid details. To be able to abandon sin permanently and effectively, one must be able to seek and find grace from God for that purpose; a temporary abandonment of sin shall not work and shall not bring pardon. There must be genuine conversion before forgiveness can take place. Therefore, if sins shall not be found when sought, it means people are converted fully and changed permanently.
  509. I don't know why it happens, but a great majority of people feel guilty or ashamed when other people sin in front of them as if they are participants of it. Sometimes, they even fear the consequences of other's sins. I think it happens because either their conscience is not at ease or they are not solidified in truth. They cannot easily hold on to facts as they are. They might not be able to believe their innocence or they might not be innocent in some aspects of their lives. Sometimes, they even feel unjustified guilt. Others, on the other hand, see only the sins of other people and overlook their own. When they hear a sermon that they understand or that touches them, they usually say, "So and so should be listening to this". Is there a greater sadness than the one where people do not see their own sins and, consequently, see the reflection of own sins when others sin?
  510. It is possible to show impatience having the heart already changed because of temptation - if temptation happens or if it has a smart grip on the actions of a changed man. It is also possible to show forth patience and calmness without having been changed by God. We should not be virtuous in appearance only.
  511. Anyone who talks of another, speaks against himself. He shall be condemned by his own words and sins. It is not others who are condemned by your cutting, accusing words or remarks, but you only. You are drinking the poison which you hope others will die from.
  512. "I looked and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness", Jer.4:26. Some times, we blame God for the failures of His words and works on earth. However, we see that the desert that now prevails is, was or could be fertile soil in a land He created with the purpose of becoming productive and fertile. After sin has stepped in, the need to plough and work on it was created. It needs to be prepared beforehand and, afterwards, the needed rains fall from heaven. "Break up your fallow ground, and do not sow among thorns", Jer.4:3. "I looked on the earth, and, lo, it was without form and void; and the heavens, and they had no light", Jer.4:23. It is sad to mark that God uses, here, the same expression that was used before the earth had been created: "And the earth was without form and empty. And darkness was on the face of the deep", Gen.1:2. The conditions of the earth, as it is found now, seem to be the same as when the earth was in need of the first intervention of God. At least, it is so in the eyes of the Lord. "Though you dress with crimson, though you put on ornaments of gold, though you make your eyes large with paint, you shall make yourself beautiful in vain", Jer.4:30. There are many who work hard on appearances thinking they are doing a good thing and little do they know that they are working on covering up the world's defects and deflections by using means which only change its appearance. But, God sees the heart and not the make-up. The heart is not changed by the way we talk, but the talk is changed by the way the heart is. We need to plough deep into our hearts and break through the fallow ground of appearance. We should not plant among thorns and in shallow ground. Our hearts must be able to guarantee growth and to retain the waters from heaven faithfully. We cannot hinder God's works by working on appearances as if we are working on holiness.
  513. Grudges or intolerance against people is a sin that never walks alone. Anger lies, quite often, about many things - it is never objective about issues; it has answers even before it hears the questions; it has vain imaginations and conceptions only to be able to justify itself; it is always defending itself, even before it is attacked or even when it is not being attacked - and God said we should under no circumstances defend ourselves or take revenge, not even when attacks are real. I could, perhaps, mention more sins resulting from intolerance and grudges. However, I shall leave it to you, to your conscience and to the capacity you have to enquire all to keep what is good.
  514. There is a law in nature which no one shall ever be able to change: if I am able to be unpleasant to others for personal reasons, I am still of the kind that search to please people, however occasionally. And if I still please people, I am still able to be unpleasant.
  515. No one may trust anyone who speaks of other people, for various reasons. Firstly, whoever speaks of others behind their backs is seeking something for himself, like attention, affection, or support against others, or something else, and is not objective about what he says. Such people accuse to find something they guess they might get in return, especially if the hearer has the same mind or is feeling as bitter. There is always some sort of complicity involved in backbiting or gossiping. People who gossip are dishonest at heart and are not honest people, not even towards themselves.
  516. We all know we always reap whatever we sow one way or another, one day or another. However, many believe they shall reap only things proportional to the seeds that they sow or plant. They seldom believe that little seeds can turn into big happenings. Even a giant starts off as a very small embryo. "And when you sow, you do not sow the body that is going to be, but a bare grain (it may be of wheat, or of some of the rest)", 1Cor.15:37
  517. If it is indeed true that the "woman is the glory of man" (1Cor.11:7), then, it is also true that she can become his main source of dishonour, friction and weariness. "A woman of virtue is a crown to her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones", Prov.12:4. Whatever is honourable to someone can become the opposite by moving away from God. The things and plans of God work out only near God and by Him. Let's remain in Him.
  518. Any form of idolatry is intimately linked or associated with the fleshly desires of some practices of evil that God and conscience don't approve. The idol is unable to reprove or chastise and is able to grant some religious comfort to the sinner who is in need of consolation due to the aggression of conscience and the Law of God against him. The biggest danger to the soul of man is to believe that God upholds his lifestyle. Such a lie is able to create terrorists. People choose the kind of gods that suits them best. "We may not be lusters after evil, even as those indeed lusted. Neither be idolaters, even as some of them, as it has been written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play", 1Cor.10:6,7. Lusts and idolatry have always been associated and found together. Religiosity and evil are twins. They can't live apart and work hard together.
  519. Any person inclined to enter, accept or believe an erroneous doctrine has the wrong heart in him. Consequently, the main problem to solve in such a person is not of the doctrine kind or teaching, but of heart. The (wrong) doctrine becomes the barrier or the protecting wall around the heart, though. It must be destroyed fully one time or another, one way or another. However, the real problem lies in the heart and the acceptance of the wrong thing is held on to because of convenience and not because of it being truthful. A wrong doctrine is the main protection of a wrong heart. It is the wrong heart's main defence and surrounds it to protect it from war. It suits people's sins to have a wrong doctrine and to have war face the wall instead of confronting the heart. By sorting out the heart before God in all truthfulness, wrong doctrines tend to perish by themselves because the heart ceases to be in need of them to protect itself.
  520. Paul (and wisdom) say we must not sit in a table filled with meat sacrificed to idols in order not to have weak brothers stumble because of us. They may be scandalized by our actions or attitudes. However, that is a completely different thing from when Jesus entered a Pharisee's house and allowed a (ex)prostitute, who was also a woman, to touch Him. It was a scandalizing stumbling block for the Pharisees and, perhaps, for some of His disciples. We must never exclude this type of action from Jesus as wisdom at work as well.
  521. Whoever cannot love bad people or indecent ones, won't, surely, love good ones for the proper motives. Such shall love good ones because they treat them nicely and it only proves how much such people love themselves.
  522. We don't rest from God but with God.
  523. Separation or segregation from evildoers may not mean holiness to those who separate themselves. It can help to be holy, especially in the beginning stages of the Christian experience, and as long as that experience is real. But, if we do not preserve or maintain our fellowship with and closeness to the Lord, separation from sin is unable to keep us. We must trust the Lord and not our separation from sin.
  524. There are those who don't know what they do, as Jesus also said and confirmed. However, there are also those who don't know what they say, hear, see and watch.
  525. A question question for today's preachers, many of which use and dominate today's pulpits unceasingly: Do you wish to have truth prevail or that you be the preacher?
  526. It startles my heart to see how weak or useless is the faith of many. It is troublesome and worrying. Doubts storm in at the slightest accusation or persecution; concerns and doubtful thoughts at the slightest lack of food or clothing. The most insignificant trial is enough to have the heart troubled and concerned to the point of wishing to change their way or move back into worldliness and its ways of accomplishing or getting things. It is easy to mark that their foundations are not strong or that they are inexistent. They cannot maintain their joy in trouble and persecution. To be persecuted may mean we are on the proper track and we are advised to keep that in mind. God might not be against us. "...And not being terrified in anything by those who oppose, which (...) truly is a proof of salvation to you, and this from God", Phil.1:28.
  527. "And no hair of your head shall in no way perish", Luk.21:18. It seems strange that someone who is being killed and tortured for his faith should believe that not even a hair of his head is perishing. It makes sense, though, if our eyes are set in heavenly things and look at the word of Jesus by having heaven in mind. "It is the Spirit that gives life. The flesh does not profit, nothing! The Words which I speak to you are spirit and are life", John 6:63.
  528. "Then, put into your hearts not to premeditate to make a defence", Luk.21:14. There are two ways in which we must understand this verse from Scripture: the existing or dying selfishness to save self as if it must live; and the lack of confidence in God who leads faithfully and as if He is non-existing or if He shouldn't save from selfishness. Whenever someone attempts to save himself through his own efforts, he must think on what he is doing. It is not a good thing that which he is trying to do. "And blessed are you in that you have kept me (...) from delivering myself with my own hand", 1Sam.25:33.
  529. Everyone that attempts to save himself from anything whatsoever, is trying to do something he shall never be able to do.
  530. When Jesus says assuredly that the cares of this world suffocate the word of God, He doesn't necessarily mean that it hinders our understanding or remembering it, even though it can also be the case. In fact, what He means is that it shall surely become a stumbling block to the practice of the word we understand correctly. It is a word that has fallen in good ground. One cannot serve two masters at once and to serve is to be practical about it. It is impossible to have anyone fully available for a practical life in Christ for which grace must be asked for and found in time (beforehand), if the worries of this world are still affecting our mind and spirit.
  531. What would you think of someone who throws seeds of weeds around in his field expecting to harvest corn that is good to eat and that only? What a 'faith'! How can someone sow thorns and get good corn from a field? What would you think of someone who throws any numbers in a calculator having a certain result in mind beforehand? Who imagines the result first? Our end result is a consequence of the numbers we put into a machine. So is our life: we shall harvest precisely what we have sown. Unless we clean our fields of old seeds and old plants that bear alike bad seed, which we have been using in our lives, we shall bear no other fruit than the one the seeds are supposed to put forth.
  532. What determines if there is revival or not is not the amount of praying but the amount of prayers that are heard by God and attended to.
  533. Christ never said that He would win the world over (as the devil tempted Him to do) but rather that He overcame the world. By overcoming it, it is assumed that the world is an enemy and not an ally or friend. We overcome enemies and not friends. Many wish to please the world to the point of winning it over to their side. Imagine a team that, on the field, instead of playing the important game, rather uses its time to convince the other team to let go and play on their side. It shall lose the game, surely! Our adversary doesn't play the game of life to lose, but to hit us with death. To become an ally of an enemy is the worst kind of treason and the worst manner of surrender in warfare.
  534. What God wants more than anything else is to have people around whom He can't deny.
  535. Anyone unable to teach himself shall never be able to teach others as he should. Teaching others is more difficult than to teach oneself because, in order to teach anyone effectively, one must be already living what he teaches. Yet, people choose always the hard part. The high point of hypocrisy is to teach whatever we don't do ourselves. Such a sin is quite a bad.
  536. We don't see Jesus repeating the Sermon of the Mountain. Yet, His disciples never forgot it. What did the Lord have that His disciples and hearers recalled with precision everything He said and taught? Do you have what Jesus had, at least when you are taught? "Ask those who heard me what I have said to them. Behold, they know what I said", John 18:21.
  537. Many people fear reality. It happens because they have been denied by God all their life long. They have been excluded from life and learned the many habits of unbelief. They prefer fantasy and illusion, which, in practical terms, disappoints more, but doesn't disappoint them. Unbelievers are able to trust lies and shadows of truth. To find realities is, for them, to set out in search of disappointment. Therefore, unbelief rejects reality and angers heaven to the uttermost because it chooses the easy way out which leads to death.
  538. "Until now, you have asked nothing in My name; ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full", John 16:24. This word of Jesus may seem very strange. The disciples had asked many things till then, including to sit at His right and left hand. They had, also, performed many miracles. How is it that they till then they had never asked anything in Jesus' name?
  539. It is only expected that we shall go nowhere by listening to the right things without being able to listen to God. Knowledge on its own will never become true, genuine life that way.
  540. It is possible to be "in Christ" and not breed fruit. If it weren't so Jesus wouldn't have said, "Every branch in Me that doesn't bear fruit is cut off and burned", John 15. We must be careful because we might be believers and mean nothing to heaven.
  541. "...So that your joy may be full", John 15:11. Joy shall never be full unless we have true joy substantiated alone by being in the Lord. If we can be in the Lord and still be joyful and at peace in Him, if we have nothing else to take joy from, our joy is genuine. Few people are able to be at peace in the Holy presence of God - if it is genuine - and to be content only with Him and His will.
  542. Every time someone's sin is revealed to him, it is expected that such a person repents from it and work on being converted or changed through the power of God which is sought for that purpose exclusively. But, it doesn't work out that way all the time. Many times, the opposite is achieved. When the person is convicted, he hardens himself. When Jesus mentioned Judas his sin, Satan got into him; when Stephen showed the Pharisees their sins, they stoned him to death and cried out, even though they have been cut to the heart as happened to those who have been converted by Peter's words.
  543. Some times, Jesus seems to arrive late at happenings, as in the case of Lazarus where He got there four days after he had died. However, it doesn't matter how late Jesus arrives at a scene. He is never too late. Even if He is late, He is not late. "If it tarries, wait for it; it will not tarry", Hab.2:3. To wait for it is a commandment. It cannot be taken lightly. To heaven, there is no acceptable reason to despair or to give up. Expectation must always be kept ablaze and alive because "it will not tarry".
  544. Whoever can't trust is suspicious of other people. You cannot unlink one thing from the other. However, mistrust can also be a firm foundation, depending whom you trust or mistrust. "Yet, they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers", John 10:5. To trust the Lord means you avoid the devil fully. It means you don't trust the devil and worldliness. To stop giving good credit to the devil means faith in the Lord if we are found in Him. If you are capable of trusting the Lord, you cannot possibly trust the flesh, worldliness or any devilish thing.
  545. It is a common thing that people will rather not listen to men who speak the words of God faithfully. Those who reject shall attribute such words to anyone but God. However, whenever something goes wrong with those who reject, the person that spoke is blamed as if he or she is responsible for whatever has gone wrong. It was so with King Ahab, who blamed Elijah for the mischief of Israel. "Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that (...) I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word", 1 Kings 18:36.
  546. Faith is to trust in whom we cannot believe or to believe in whom we cannot trust in order to make it possible for us to abandon all the things we do not wish to let go.
  547. Unbelief may think it shall receive. It it weren't so, James would have never said, "Don't let such man think that he will receive anything from the Lord", James 1:7. It is quite remarkable to see how many unbelievers assume they shall receive.
  548. If it is true that "the Lord is near those who call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth", why are so many people calling on God and nothing remarkable is happening? Why is everything around still crooked and wrong?
  549. Discipline is a good thing for whoever has it or has a heart filled with good things, which need to be directed properly. However, if someone has never become used to discipline, the struggle is great under it. But, let's know that discipline is not all there is to it. Discipline must be an instrument of the heart and it shouldn't replace the heart. Discipline which is not used with a heart is like a rod without love.
  550. To wait in the Lord is vital for many things. To wait on Him or for Him means that we abstain from any other means to achieve those things we are commanded to wait for or to expect from the Lord; it means to let go on own means and own strength, especially when we have them; it means the right kind of trust in the Lord only (and that kind of faith is able to save); it means rest from own means, the absence of love for fleshly means, conclusions and power; it means to be unable to trust in the flesh; in fact, expectation or hope are many things in one. However, let's be careful because it doesn't always mean we are trusting or expecting from the Lord when we deny the flesh. Paul said we might even give our own body as a sacrifice without being bound by the bonds of the love of God.
  551. Many times we ask ourselves how can people go astray from what they have learned from the Lord and from godly teachers. There are people who build the right things on the wrong foundations or build amiss on the right ones. It is understandable that they go astray. But, there are those who leave the proper way which they walked on properly. What shall we say of such? How can we explain that? There are real revivals that last only for a short time. If we learn directly from the Lord, revivals shall be established if we remain in Him. "I have not departed from thy judgments because thou hast taught me", Ps.119:102
  552. "...those who remember you in your ways..."Is.64:5. The important part is to be able to remember the Lord in the ways and to gain that sort of lifestyle, much more than to remember the ways themselves. The ways teach us to know the Lord. God uses them to cause us to know Him more as He is. God remembers the ways as we remember Him because He is a God who "works for those who wait on Him", Is.64:4. We cannot assume that God shall work for those who are unable to wait on Him, from Him or to stick by Him.
  553. "Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart", Ps.97:11. It is interesting to notice the fact that many call on God for light without a willingness to become righteous and a desire to have gladness in the heart without being upright from the heart. That is one of the reasons the world learned to complain.
  554. In the same way that I expect anything bad coming from the world in any measure (because the world has no limitations or boundaries for conscience), I also expect anything good in utmost measures from my good Lord - far above what I can ask or pray for.
  555. There are moments when the power of silence reaches far more than the best, chosen words. Our life, when lived in wisdom, must be a wonderful, synchronized combination between words and silences. Our motives must be purely to honour God. The goals of words and silences must never be in conflict with each other. Every time we reach out to achieve the purposes of God for His sake (and not for ours), it doesn't really matter if such is achieved through words or through silences. But, there are those who keep silent for fear just as there are those who keep from talking because they are courageous. And there are those who talk a lot, as they say, to reach souls but mean only to show off. And there are such who keep silent under the excuse of being wise while they can talk a lot about many other issues that do not matter for the world to come.
  556. I have come across many complaints from many people who say they cannot hear God or that, when they hear something, things do not work out as they have heard or understood it. However, experience tells us that every time I am doing something for God's sake using the means of God and not my own, I am being led in a secure way. You must seek and find the will of God as well as all the means to carry it out. Do not be content only to know what God's will is. Reach out to the means to be able to carry it out. Those who perform the will of God are the ones who shall be applauded by heaven, and not those who knew what it was. You must be able to execute it through the true fire of God and never use a false igniting to have the fire going in your soul. Rather despair than use a false fire on God's altar. Take care to be or to become a sheep-like child of God who, instead of trying to discern between voices, they are familiar with God's. Sheep hear Him - goats and wolfs don't.
  557. Whoever knows how and when to learn shall know when and how to teach; if you are unable to learn, you can't teach. If you cannot listen, you cannot speak as you ought; if you don't discern what and when to listen, you won't speak what and when you ought; if you cannot understand properly, you cannot explain properly either; if you can't face death with a smile, you never knew God the way you should have known Him or, perhaps, you are simply denying Him.
  558. God can be offended under many circumstances and for a multitude of reasons. Some times, those reasons may seem good reasons in the eyes of man and, yet, they are offensive or become offensive to heaven. People may offend God under hunger when hunger is the trial; an unmarried person may demand to get married and trouble God about it instead of asking for it or of expecting it from Him; somebody in loneliness may complain having God close by. We should never offend God because of being found in the wilderness, Ps.78:17,40. We must know how to wait on God under any circumstances. Desires may cause hearts to complain or cause people to do their own thing the way they wish it to be done at the timing they think is best.
  559. God is always good. Even when we are rejected by Him, He is being good.
  560. It is so important to take note that when we lack time for certain things because we have been busy and blessed with the word of God, He blesses whatever we believe suffered a lack of our attention. We shall find out that God is indeed a "God who works for those who wait on Him". However, the reverse of this might not be true, it is, if we neglect our spiritual duties to be able to attend so-called worldly duties, the Word can't be blessed. The word shall not be blessed and neither "the other things" if we have it the other way round.
  561. "Give strength to God...", Ps.68:34. How can we give strength to an Almighty God? It is not God who needs strength or to be strengthened, much less by us. We are the ones who need Him. As I understand it, because we are a fortress which defends itself continually and for obvious reasons, we need to hand the fortress over to the Lord. We need to lay down those self-righteous rights we detain for ourselves, which we use by defending ourselves from anything.
  562. Faith comes by hearing, undoubtedly. We not only need to believe it, but can experience it as truthful. However, it doesn't mean we need to establish faith relating it to the thing we need to trust God for. Faith can be a gift, but it is part of the fruit of the Spirit as well. In fact, real faith is fruit of a real relationship with God. We have it by communing and relating our hearts fully to God by contemplating Him as He is. No one will ever be able to believe concerning a certain point or object which God performs unless the main work in the heart is already accomplished. If the main work has not been performed inside beforehand, faith shall not be working in its details and it won't help forcing our hearts to believe if it is so.
  563. "Oh bless our God, O peoples, and make the voice of His praise to be heard; who holds our soul in life, and does not allow our feet to slide", Ps.66:8,9. When Scripture says that God does not allow our feet to slide, it means two things. It means that He does not allow it to happen because He holds and assures the saints in the way of all truth. "He is able to keep you without stumbling", Jud.1:24. In another sense, it also may mean that He does not allow us to feel unable to stand upright and truthful all the time. We are disallowed to stumble. We may never think of stumbling as an inevitability. Besides removing the power of the enemy from the heart, He restricts us to walk only upright in truthfulness.
  564. "The righteous shall be glad in the Lord and shall trust in Him", Ps.64:10. This means that before anyone can trust in God, one must become righteous. One must inherit the righteousness of God and have it abounding in the heart to be able to trust Him. Sort communes with sort. Not everyone can believe. Many simply can't. The unrighteous shall never be able to trust a righteous God and Lord. They would rather believe in an unrighteous one. "If you can believe..." Mar.9:23. People cannot believe unless they have cleansed their hearts and life in the blood of the Lamb. One thing leads to the other. Any bad conscience cause faith to shipwreck and failure to the soul. It is undoubtedly so.
  565. When people sin, they react each in his own way. Some react with sorrow and repentance; others with aggressiveness, anger and impatience because they cannot stand accusation; some hide with shame; and many others react in many other ways. I don't know how you react to it. But, there is something we must know: there is a huge difference between sinning and being tempted. There is also difference between an unexpected burning arrow thrown at us and a temptation for which we are responsible by putting ourselves in a situation where we are easily tempted. For now, let's talk only about sinning and being tempted. If we ever confuse the two, we cannot react the way we should under each of them. We cannot afford to react towards guilt the way we should react towards temptation. That would mean we would defend ourselves. And we cannot deal with temptation the way we deal with committed sin and guilt, walking around as if we are either guilty or responsible for the devil's behaviour. The way to deal with guilt requires of us that we are indeed guilty and the way we react against temptation depends a lot on whether we are guilty of something else we have not brought to the light before and opens a door to the devil and his arrows. It is not good to misjudge our situation because we do not deal against temptation the way we clean up our souls from guilt and sin. When we are tempted, we are not guilty of sinning. We may not walk as if we are or we would miss the whole point. The worst of all is the fact that whoever looks to temptation as sinning, shall decidedly deal against committed sins as if it were mere temptations. When we sin, we lay down our defensive weapons to plead for mercy in a way that we find it. We expose our hearts fully and confess openly our sins before whoever hears it. We also plead people to forgive us in case the sins offended them in some way. We do that instead of hiding in shame. However, when we are tempted, we rise our shields and weapons of light (and not other weaponry like hiding or fear) and remain close to the Lord who teaches to use them effectively. It requires surrender, a learning and abiding spirit and experience in the ways of the Lord. There is no shortcut to it. We cannot extinguish a fire by using matches and can not set aflame up the fires of God with a fire extinguisher. Reacting the wrong way towards sin and temptation can lead us into catastrophic situations. We must know how to deal with sin and how to deal with temptation either separately or together. Even when both happen at the same time, they need to be differentiated carefully. Even though there are common things to them, like the surrender to God, we may never act the way we do against guilt whenever we are being tempted. If we do, even if we surrender, we shall near God with settled ideas of how we shall deal against it or how God should deal with it. It might be catastrophic for a soul if we err either in the medication or in the diagnosis of the real state of our heart. That means we miss the point and the truth about it. Once one lands up in such a situation, it happens, usually, that God is not put away from a life all together and an alternative life or 'faith' is held on to. People start believing in a convenient way and fight for their ideas. This is what Paul calls "a faith that has shipwrecked" (1Tim.1:19). And those that have shipwrecked give a lot of problems to the real work of God. The lack of spiritual honesty and sincerity of heart will take hold of people and they shall conceive doctrines and leaders that are able to sooth them in some way. Most nowadays doctrines have been conceived to fit dishonest Christians in them.
  566. "Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults", Ps.19:12. Sins or faults are hidden in proportion to the quality of light I enjoy and of the communion I hold with the Lord, as well as my willingness to fix it the right way, it is, through the Lord and by exercising faith in Him (which is often a fearful way to deal with it by those who fear the consequences of sin). Unless God decides that time is not ripe enough to reveal what shall surely be revealed one day, it all depends on the sincerity, exclusivity and the intensity of the communion we have and keep with the Lord of light. If something is hidden, it means light is absent or hasn't reached it yet. Light, pure and real light, shows all. The less sincere the fellowship with God, the more faults shall remain hidden.
  567. There is a serious problem in people, which they are not always fully aware of: there is a way that seems right and ends in a very bad manner. It happens all the time with those who do not walk with God the way they ought. It is very rare to have a sinner recognise or admit that whatever he has done is wrong or wrongly performed. His ways, his manner of thinking and of believing will always oblige him to believe whatever he does is right. It is proven as a fact that if he is unable to trust his own ways in some degree, he feels insecure and uncomfortable. If we come to know God as He is, however, we must be able to live on without trusting our own ways and thinking, especially if we realize that our walking is not exclusively biblical or fully inspired by the Lord. In fact, we shall not only need to deny trusting own ways, but need to mistrust them fully spontaneously.
  568. "As we have heard, so have we seen", Ps.48:8. I don't know how much of this word can be served to unmask hypocrisy during praise. There are people who praise God to bribe Him and not to praise Him for something they know have been or have seen being performed. They praise Him and, yet, they have never come across His greatness and works for real. They imagine God in their own lives and believe that is what faith is all about. If faith can be false or shipwrecked, so can praise. God shall never accept false words of praise. If things are not working out in their lives they should repent and not praise. When people praise God for something He has not performed for them, through them or in them, they will suffice at that and not search for better or higher things of heaven. We must abstain from bribing God with words of praise. Praise must be truthful or it shall condemn us for many reasons and in many ways.
  569. If doubting God is sin even before we know anything about Him, imagine how great a sin it is to do so when we hear the word distinctively and directly from His mouth, it is, "having received the promises"! "He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief", Rom.4:20. You may stagger because of other things, but never "through unbelief"! It is lawful to doubt when we are being deceived, but never to doubt God under any circumstances - not even when you are being deceived. The Lord doesn't deceive. If doubting is not brought about by unbelief, it is not sin. Truth causes us to doubt lies sharply. We cannot believe lies and, to come out of them all, we must be able to doubt them at first to withstand them firmly.
  570. The chronically unsure fear security. They abhor having to feel secure, avoid assurance and are always found in direct opposition to genuine faith because it is firm. They easily accept a false and imaginary faith, though. Let me explain. People trust themselves a great deal. Even those who are very unstable always lean towards what they know of themselves to take refuge in there. Whatever they have become is their hiding place. Outside of it they feel like a fish in dry land. They aren't in dry land when secured, but they feel so. Being unsure offers them the feeling they seek to have. Consequently, they cannot be solidified in Jesus because they do never deny themselves to be secure in an unknown but real way. The old person must be dead - as dead as a decomposing corpse is to this world. If that is not a fact beyond questioning, people will only believe they are secure - and they aren't. Unless they are dead for real to themselves, they shall always converge to what they are and shall be attracted to it because that is where they feel at home. And every home is "sweet home". People seek comfort and not reality. And at home is what they have learned to be and the way they feel. This kind of sentimental refuge is to them as a mother is to a little, unsure child - however mean that mother may be.
  571. The great majority of nowadays' believers speak of/about God as any daydreamer would speak about the beautiful spouse that lives only in his/her own wild dreams and who is always absent and inexistent. Every time David said that God was with him, it was for real - He was indeed with him, so much so that he said his heart or soul was refreshed! God was so visible that it stirred up the enemies of God against him and those enemies were, also and in fact, the only enemies of David. What would you think of someone who always says convincingly (emotively self-convinced) that his beautiful wife is with him all the time and he is always seen alone and complaining of loneliness? That is what the world thinks sees of Christians and Christianity today because Christianity talks a lot about a God who is absent. Let's live otherwise. Unless our life is our message, let's stop preaching around and the world will be hopefully better off. At least, they shall nurture a better hope (in Christianity) instead of looking to other religious abominations to settle down. I have myself come into places of worship where people say God was there and they even sang so. I saw God absent and far from their words and hopes. They sing because they like the songs and not because it describes the reality of what is going on. Where God is present, no Ananiah or Sapphira will remain there for long. Today, we see many an Ananiah and many a Sapphira singing in church and even taking over the leadership. However, Scripture says "the ungodly and the sinners shall not stand in the congregation of the righteous", Ps.1:5. What we see most nowadays is the ungodly standing around in places of worship and in the services being 'happy' there, while righteous people feel awkward in the same place. The godly do not stay in the congregation of the unrighteous.
  572. Praise doesn't buy God off. It doesn't bribe Him into something. No one can ever pass that idea without being condemned for serious crimes. God is never bribed, much less with praise. True praise to God is sincere and erupts from genuine, visible and truthful conclusions. It always happens whenever anyone comes face to face with Jesus. "My praise comes from You", Ps.22:25. Praise doesn't bring blessing, but blessing brings praise about. Besides, true praise is the direct opposite of pride. True praise is humility at work. When sincere, man wants praise for himself, not for anyone else.
  573. Pride is the opposite of sincerity. Whenever people are not sincere, they cease to be humble. True humility is to be ourselves when we are in God. Hiding, manipulating, covering or adding to true self is what pride is all about.
  574. "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting (refreshing) the soul...", Ps.19:7. It is good to know this is true. The main reason why people deflect from the true way and become bitter and disappointed in it is because they do not spend enough quality time with the Word of the Lord. To despise the word of God or to be disrespectful to the point of not to keeping it is enough to turn people bitterly against God and against people. They wish to add any kind of numbers to the sum and, even so, get the result they plan. They do not think of the numbers they add, but on the end result. One cannot plant thorns to enjoy cornflakes.
  575. We must be able to distinguish or to discern between the winters and the summers of our lives. They exist. Let us never doubt about it as a fact. It is a duty to distinguish between them. If we do so, we shall be able to know when are separated from God and when we are only being tried and are not separated from Him. Trials are not punishments. They can be corrections, but not punishments. The "good" stuff that we find while separated from God can deceive us as much as the bad things that happen while we are found in Him. They can give us the wrong perceptions. We must stick to the testimony of God within us. We mustn't be like Saul who blamed God and everybody else for not being able to hear the Lord anymore. We must be able to believe the truth about our true state and work accordingly.
  576. "The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup: you hold my lot", Ps.16:5. I have come to know many people who affirm they have been trying to live for the Lord and do His will without success. They cannot reach the point of holy satisfaction. It puzzled me quite a lot. They could never say: "You hold my lot". Let's see what kind of people can be served by God in His will. They are those who can say beforehand: "The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup; I have no good apart from You". And those lines and boundaries are beautiful to such people. They want no more than that. Their lot is assuredly God's responsibility and pleasure. All others shall remain confused and mistaken by deluding themselves continually.
  577. "Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, (...) and speaketh the truth in his heart", Ps.15:1,2. Normally, we hear of those who are truthful towards other people. Here, we hear of those who speak the truth to themselves in their hearts. The way of truth is for all - even for ourselves or towards ourselves.
  578. "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God!' They acted corruptly; they have done abominable works, there is none who does good", Ps.14:1. I can't see any difference between those who say they don't believe in God and those who believe in Him and sin on or those who sin and believe they shall never be condemned. Both live as if God doesn't exist.
  579. "The wicked walk on every side when vileness is praised by the sons of men", Ps.12:8. What do we see happening in the world today? Singers are profane and immoral... and praised; corruption is the goal; dishonest people are the ones who are running for elections and win them; actors who show evil and nudeness are praised and desired most; homosexuals gain ground in the media everywhere and are commonly accepted as normal ones, etc. When that happens, wickedness is spread and exalted everywhere and good people won't be found. "Help, Lord, for the godly man ceases! For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men", Ps.12:1. Think of it next time you are found praising an evil singer or idol. If a father is able to exalt a worldly singer, surely the world will settle down in his house most easily and the results won't be good.
  580. "If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?" Ps.11:3. All buildings must have strong foundations. The bigger the building, the stronger the foundations must be made. It cannot work out in other way concerning heavenly towers of light, heavenly houses or households. We must all know we cannot build where foundations have not been laid securely beforehand. If we do, the fall will impress us deeply. There is no miracle to avoid that happening. Even if God makes a miracle, it shall be the miracles of putting foundations and not of holding the building together without them.
  581. "The wicked has said in his heart, 'I shall not be moved; I shall never be in adversity'", Ps.10:6Every attitude of the wicked is similar to the attitudes of true faith. In fact, many Christians who walk disorderly and are not in right standing with God have the same kind of talk. They believe the good Lord shall bless them and no evil will ever reach them. They need to believe that to carry on being evil. They talk about God in their pride.
  582. Trust conquers hearts and doubts obtain more followers and addicted fans. Also, people love to be found near those who are able to trust in the truth before God and be associated with them because, many times, they don't wish to believe themselves. Insecurity and its associated feelings seem to be a fortress to all those who are not found rooted in the Lord. They feel strongly "at home" by mistrusting. Yet, they seek the company of the strong.
  583. Many believe we must suffer like Job to be able to groan before the Lord. But, I believe all it takes to groan that way for the right things is to be filled with the Holy Spirit and be one with Him.
  584. Trust is a deliberate decision which is taken in sobriety. It is a sober decision. Sometimes, it is a sober resolution if taken against emotion. It is taken after having pondered carefully, "comparing spiritual things with spiritual". Once truth is pondered soberly and carefully, the decision is taken. It needs to be taken immediately or it shall be rotten the next day, as happens always with the manna of God. We cannot base trust on what we feel. Perhaps, it is advisable to trust on what we feel by touch when we touch Jesus. Touching is not feelings. We may feel the touch and that has nothing to do with feelings of emotion. My fingertips don't have feelings, but I can feel something when I touch it. The devil waits for the moment that God speaks to a thirsty soul to 'lead' it astray into wrong assumptions or self-minded conclusions about what man desires for himself. He knows man follows his own heart greedily or preferably. Feeling is the playground of the devil and we lose nothing by never trusting it. In fact, we gain eternity and spiritual stability by trusting the Lord only and denying it. Not only the heart can play tricks within us, but the mind also. Besides, trusting in what we are feeling is to trust self. Feeling is self and not God. To trust in another besides God is idolatry. "You cannot make a hair white or black", Mat.5:36. It is not wrong to feel as long as you know it is you. You can not honour feelings as you should honour God.
  585. Many adventure themselves into what they call faith and launch their heads against an unbreakable wall to break their necks through future doubts. They adventure themselves into what they desire, trusting God will uphold them in that. In other words, their heart is not circumcised and they dare to trust something else will happen besides their conversion. Adventure will end in doubt. They tempt God by demanding Him to uphold their uncircumcised desires. And when God doesn't uphold their adventuring, they become angry and irritable against people and God. Faith has nothing to do with adventure. Faith is exercised when Jesus sends out or speaks - not when desires and feelings send out or command loud. You may ask: "Is it wrong to desire what is good?" I would say, no. However, it is wrong to 'obey' in pursue of it before God has spoken His heart out about it. It was right to cleanse the Holy Land of awful sinners. However, David never went out before inquiring from God. I must put every holy and pure desire before God and, as Habakkuk said, wait "in my tower and watch to see what he will say unto me". To decide for God is a calamity and to demand from Him is worse than extortion. It is sin to expect a blessing from God upon something which has not been undersigned by Him. It is equivalent to putting God as disciple and us as Lord. Is there a greater mischief for the soul than that one, or a greater sin?
  586. "Blessed is the man (...) who doesn't stand in the way of sinners", Ps.1:1. Allow me to translate this. "Blessed is the man that does not stop, lose time by looking at and ponder the way of sinners because he has found the bounty of God". Here where I live, some car accidents happen in highways. It is interesting to notice that the traffic jam is as bad on the other side of the highway where cars move in the opposite direction. People slow down and even stop to watch the mischief of others on the other side of the road. This is what I believe this verse is conveying to us. When we stop to criticize, "study the depths of Satan" or even to take some delight in the way of sinners, we might not be as blessed as we believe we are. We have the Law of God to hold our full attention captive night and day, non-stop around the clock.
  587. Some times people say I seem angry and defying when I preach. I have been giving some thought to it. I haven't come to final conclusions yet, although I already decided I cannot exchange sincerity for anything else. I will still be instructed by God and shall, perhaps, change. But, my heart is also troubled when I think of changing. And an emerging thought came to my mind these days, even though not all has been said about it: the sin of a preacher is when he doesn't live according to what he preaches - if he preaches truth. The way he preaches may be bettered by God or not. However, to sin is to preach lies or to preach truth when we ourselves are not living according to it. Such preachers are assassins and shall answer before God for the souls they killed with truth or half-truths and lies. They shall also answer for their own souls and what they have done for or against it.
  588. Be extremely careful when you think something is too good to be true. Because you believe it is too good to be true, you can fall into the trap of unbelief just as when everything is too bad around you. Bad things evoke thoughts which create a bad, unbelieving heart. There is nothing to good to be true since God is extremely good, even beyond our comprehension. There is nothing too good to be true. We may expect anything from God.
  589. Every word produces something, it has consequences, whether it produces them in those who pronounce it, or in them that hear it, or both. Whoever speaks shall always give a full account to God of all his words. It wouldn't be so if words were not producers. Those who hear shall also be held responsible for whatever they have heard. The way we hear is also something we shall be held accountable for. "Take heed how you hear", Lk.8:18. When words are directed to us in a flattering manner, we must repulse them because they are lying words. If words in the mouth of people come from God, we must take heed to hold them in great honour and never forget about them. And every person who is able to believe false prophecies must know he must be converted to God, because he doesn't yet have the capability to run away from a stranger's voice. He is attracted to them because sort seeks sort. Sheep do run away from a stranger and those who don't must know they do not belong to the sheepfold. I must also be able to distinguish between words directed to me and those meant for other people. Words can make alive or kill. Words shall make me holy or unholy, whether I speak or listen to them. It all depends on the state of my heart and whether I already have a sheep's heart or not.
  590. "Overcome evil with good", Rom.12:21This does not necessarily mean we need to pay back with good on the spot. We can do so for our own sakes, I mean, if a bad situation causes evil to erupt in us and we opt towards a contrary way instead. However, I believe this verse stretches far beyond that. It means we must be able to carry on with our lives as usual and unhindered if we indeed live for the Lord and for His sake to the full. Nothing should be able to trouble us. "Hold on to what you have so that no one takes your victor's crown", Rev.3:11. If the wind blows you dress up, hold the dress and not the wind. This verse doesn't induce us to answer back, but rather to keep the way whatever happens. Evil has as a hidden goal to stop our course, to discourage us on the way or even to make us to abort truth in the beginning stages or later on. Its aim is mainly never to allow a good way to end well, or to allow it to start off in the promised degree.
  591. Running away from a voice which pretends to imitate God's voice is not sin. Many people fear to run away from a commanding voice as if it is sin to do so. To doubt the wrong voice is holiness and to believe or obey it is sin. Doubting can be holiness and believing can be sin. It all depends whom we believe and whom do we doubt.
  592. Many people decide to "sin no more" because they fear hell and are afraid of being damned forever. They get a fright and decide so. Sometimes, they make such a decision to avoid being condemned by mother, father, friends or family. However, unless you stop sinning because you hate sin and love God, any such decision against sin won't last for long.
  593. If we, indeed, live by the words of the mouth of God, it becomes necessary that every word spoken by us comes from Him without a shadow of a doubt. If we want people to live for real, we must speak those words God has spoken for them. But, if we speak outdated, misplaced words that did come from the Lord once upon a time for a certain purpose or meant for a certain time, people won't live. The same shall happen in case we revert to others a word which God spoke for us or towards us.
  594. An adversary is not the person we hate, but someone who hates us. Some so-called Christians ask God for revenge because they cannot be at peace with someone. That means that anyone may ask God to take measures against the righteous in case the righteous is the one hated or despised. However, God doesn't please people and won't displease them either for the sake of somebody's wishes of revenge. Our adversaries must be those who hate the truth and Jesus, whom we love with the love of God for the sake of the Lord. If God can, indeed, change the heart and save someone, why would He hear any prayer that asks for the destruction of any such man or woman?
  595. A life of sin is the consequence of having attained a sinful heart. When people commit sin, they shall turn and gain a sinful heart unless they repent on the spot. Homosexuals are what they are because they left God and have been left to themselves. They exchanged God for something else and receive fitting wages of death upon themselves. Any uncontrollable sinful way or attitude is what people get by not seeking forgiveness from the Lord immediately. Even when those people who claim to be believers, their works show they despise God and repentance.
  596. A lie can cross the whole world while truth is still preparing itself. The good part of it is that lies seldom live for too long without being caught. That is why the devil uses one lie after the other to keep people busy, for he knows one lie is always short lived. The amount of people that believe or trust lies shows how many liars there are because only a liar can believe a lie. It is a God given curse that people rather believe lies. Truth shall always outlive everything. It shall remain forever, no matter what happens or how ingeniously it is attacked or distorted. Truth goes out to live forever while lies start off to die.
  597. There should be such intimacy between man and God that one could delight in His presence and suffer outside it. Also, one's senses concerning what God does and thinks can be such that one is completely aware of what is happening in God's mind and heart. That is what it means to stand before God. When Abraham prayed for the righteous that could be found in Sodom and Gomorrah, he instantly knew when God put an end to the conversation after he had asked if God would spare were there ten righteous people. "And the Lord went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham", Gen.18:33. It was God who left the conversation at ten. But, the fact remains: Abraham knew when it happened. He sensed it fully "and went his own way".
  598. There are millions of wrong paths and only one right one that is found everywhere. Usually, people mistrust the right way because it is not wrong. If, however, they can trust it, they do so because they have either been converted or because they treat it the way wrong paths are handled in daily life.
  599. When our words are from God and truth carries power, we do not need to repeat, emphasize or use any other means to be heard and for those words to be remembered.
  600. Now, an issue to think about to all those who are still tempted to distinguish between sins. Many still consider certain sins more harmful or more deadly than others. If I take the smallest calibre gun and shoot to the head, it shall kill, surely. The same will happen if I use a canon or a missile. Will anyone be more dead by being shot by a missile than when killed by a bullet? The size of the weapon doesn't really count when it comes to killing. So with sin: its size or moral importance to the society doesn't kill less or more. It kills regardless of the size of the condemnation it causes to erupt.
  601. People who have not a real relationship with Jesus, especially those who do not know or experience him in a real way (Job 42:5), need to grab on something exciting, intriguing or motivating to "keep the faith". This is why many are so actively concerned about end times, and such like doctrines. Should they have a genuine and close relationship to the Lord Himself, they would need nothing else to comfort, encourage or even motivate them. This is why many seek signs, tongues and whatever else. And every time God refuses to grant what people insist on is what the devils uses to impersonate or even to try to imitate with a great deal of deceit inside the church to create a great deal of havoc and destruction. It is mainly from such situations that false prophesying and tongues emerge. It has always been like that.
  602. If Paul talks about a "good hope", (2 Thes.2:16), then, surely there must be a hope which is deceiving and bad. If there is a way that seems right in the eyes of man and the end of it is death, then there is a hope which seems good also and ends up in disappointment or even death, certainly. We can also mark certain verses that speak about "good courage", and so on. Let's be ware: not all hope is a good hope. Many things are not what they seem to be and, consequently, not all that seems good in the eyes of man is good and not all that seems bad in the eyes of man is bad. "And the matter was very displeasing in Abraham's sight (...) But God said to Abraham, 'Do not let it be displeasing in your sight'..." Gen.21:11,12.
  603. When we read about the Living God and that people turned from "idols to the Living God", it implies more than modern protestants cause people to believe. That means that God is avtive and living among people. He is not alive there far away only, but among people. Every one experiences Him, whether it is for them or against them.
  604. Some times, when people uphold us, we won't know if they do that out of politeness or duty, or if they do it because they have realized God is using us in some way. What we say must be a true expression of our perception of truth.
  605. "Let love be without dissimulation", Rom.12:9. This means love should never be feigned or forced down upon the heart, but rather that the heart should be able to overwhelm our whole expressive being. Instead of forcing the heart to love, one should remember that God can pour down His love in us to love as we should. "Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good". To stay away from evil with the heart's consent and desire and, consequently, to become able to cling to what is good as an alternative to evil opens the way to have our prayer answered in case we are asking to be filled with that love which is poured from heaven into our hearts."He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me", John 14:21. Staying away from evil is a part of love - of real love.
  606. "Be of the same mind one toward another. (...) Be not wise in your own conceits", Rom.12:16. Being of the same mind means moving together as one man, doing the same thing the same way with the same joy and heart, lifting up the same Lord with equal sincerity. Being wise in one's own conceit hinders all of that. No one can be of the same mind with another if there is still any remains of self conceit, whether that conceit causes to feel inferior or superior to another. When we are nothing, we cannot feel less nor more than anyone else.
  607. Scripture says that if two or three agree in prayer, it shall be done to them. This means that the Holy Spirit is free to work in those hearts according to God's will in what we can and should pray for. This is to be well understood before one prays. Many agree for many other reasons. Some agree because they have the same heart, culture or even the same sort of desires and attitudes, which have not been worked by God. That cannot be the same as agreeing because God has shaped up the heart and the desires of man in Him.
  608. "But if you, through the Spirit, mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live", Rom.8:13. Many words in this chapter of Romans are so meaningful one cannot express the fullness of it. One can talk about many things here. The flesh is not to mortified only, but it needs to be exterminated through the Spirit and not by any other means. If tried any other way, it can't result in holiness. If one has the Spirit of God indeed, how is it to be achieved? Surely, one cannot be found fighting the flesh all the time. Paul says the flesh has to be considered dead if the Spirit reigns, as dead as a corpse is to this world. If considered dead because it is dead indeed, one can be fully involved with real life, entrusting our whole being to the ways of that life. If temptations come, one should be found holding on to that life instead of being busy fighting sin or temptation. "Hold fast to that which you have...", Rev.3:11. The more I think about this, the more I am convinced that the cracks of the whole matter is to be filled with the Spirit of God. You shall find Him if you search for Him with your whole heart. Only finding Him in His fullness shall things work out as Scripture says.
  609. If I judge the Law, I am not busy fulfilling the Law. That is what the Bible says. This means I am not able to do do two things and the same time. When I am not fulfilling the Law of God, I am breaking it. There is no such thing as indifference towards the Law of God: one either breaks it or fulfils it.
  610. Every time someone falls into the trap of feigning humility or by pretending to be humble without destroying the haughtiness of his own evil heart for real, the door to real humility is closed up for him, along with the door to the true knowledge of God which is granted to the humble. An alternative way blocks the way the the genuine one. False humility is pride and is the opposite of walking in the light.
  611. The fact that wisdom remains with backsliders should be held in mind by all those who slide away from God. Salomon said that his wisdom stayed with him when he got drunk and did what shouldn't be done. Many comfort themselves with lies after backsliding, telling themselves that they are still with God because they remain wise, can preach and counsel. The wisdom that remains with backsliders is there to condemn them sooner or later and it shall be used by the devil, surely.
  612. Paul talks, in Rom.7, about the man that doesn't do the good things he wishes, and practises sin instead, which he doesn't desire. He is talking about someone under the law. Let's mark out some things in these statements: most people desire after sin and many do so willingly. Paul, here, talks about a man whose main desire is to be holy or God's. He is not talking about a man whose desire and purpose is sin. He talks about someone who approves the law of God in his heart and desires intensely to fulfil it. Secondly, he says that such a man tries to become pleasant to God by the works of the law even though the law is good. Such a man hasn't tasted grace yet as a means to achieve the good purposes of his heart. Thirdly and against many preachers' beliefs, he says that such people who experience such a struggle under the law are bound to a body of death. It is not a body of life. It means, they shall not live under such a struggle. It is bad news for all people who hope in eternity by experiencing such a struggle by sinning on. Christ needs to free us of such a body of death. "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Rom.7:24,25.
  613. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me", Phil.4:13. This is, perhaps, one of the verses of the Bible which is most frequently misused, misunderstood and most wrongly applied. Let me explain. By the will of God, sin weakens a heart and it takes strength away, especially if the man is spiritual. It is by a heavenly decree that it happens, which no one can change. But, this strength is of the kind that enables to become or to remain holy. The strength in man lies in his holiness brought by a close walk with God. The lack of strength of an unholy heart is of the kind that it cannot become or remain holy. The strength we are talking about here is of the kind that enables people to become and to be holy and the lack of it enables to be unholy. It means that the weakness is not discouragement but rather an incapacity to be holy. Usually, honest people under the law are the ones who wish to be holy and they find they can't because they do not reach out to grace exclusively. That is how the law is weakened by sin, as Paul puts it. It is too weak to make holy because the blood of rams and bulls cannot take sin away from the heart. Now, there is a lack of strength brought by sin which is the will of God for man. No one can change that: it is God's will that sin weakens people. It is an eternal, unchangeable decree. However, many try to change that by calling out for strength from the Lord for other purposes, but not exclusively for the heart to become holy. The kind of strength these misled people look for is of the sort that could strengthen their sinful life for them and which would encourage them to be able to solve the problems sin brings about due to the eternal decrees of God. They want God to work against Himself and against His decrees. Besides, they ask for strength so that they can solve their own problems by themselves and without God. People love to be able to do all things themselves. That way, they can have it their own way. They wish after that power. They do not wish for the strength of grace for the purpose grace is available for - they look for a way to be able to do it themselves. Paul talks about the weakness or lack of strength to become holy and claims that the law is weakened by sin. "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly", Rom.5:6. Let us be reminded of the fact that this kind of lack of strength is very strong towards sin. If it wasn't so, Christ who not need to die for the ungodly. This means that weakness to become holy is a powerful strength to be or to remain unholy. In other words, this lack of strength which is an outstanding power towards sin, keeps people away from God. That sort of weakness is the will of God for all who remain in a sinful state. It is a heavenly, eternal decree which people often try to change by misusing the verse that says, "I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me". They mean that they can do all things, but not through Christ in them, working for them for the sake and purpose Christ died for. They want to believe a lie. The strength of God makes holiness possible and available. God does not grant animal strength for those who remain in sin and wish to keep it that way by finding strength and encouragement to carry on as always. It is sin that strengthens them in that direction. You cannot overcome by sin because a heavenly decree says so. Once people are handed over to themselves, they sin more and more easily. It means they have less and less strength or less willingness to be holy. Some come to a point where they don't even waste a thought on becoming holy. Even their politeness is hypocritical because it asks for acceptance and not for holiness.
  614. Homosexuals (according to the Bible), are people that have been given over to themselves and it was God who handed them over. They claim for rights they don't have, try to live a kind of life they can't experience and try to force other people to accept them as normal people, even though they try to have an unpractical life. Because they cannot find what they look for since they are handed over to themselves, they fight hard to have more and better rights than any other human being and they try hard to stand out above others. And the governments of this world are putting them above others by granting them rights which are taken away from others. They take rights from normal people to grant them to depraved ones.
  615. If we indeed walk with God, and it happens that there is no way or solution for something that is God's will, then I am sure that the outcome is about to happen.
  616. "You hate to be taught...", Ps.50:17. We must be careful with ourselves when we resent being taught. It might be the upper part of an iceberg of unwillingness sticking out.
  617. We have certain laws in nature - even in the spiritual nature - that cannot be avoided. They shall stick with us for as long as earth and heaven exist. For example, a liar listens to a lie and believes it; or liars get along with liars and truthful people hear the truth. There is always a natural resistance to truth in the heart of any liar, and it doesn't matter what kind of truth it is. Even if it is a truth concerning himself, one that the liar knows to be a fact, he shall resist it. His way is to resist. Even before hearing it, he shall be found in a resisting mood. Now, there are many people that believe and spread what they believe. Some say Jesus was not born of a virgin; others say Jesus is not God or cannot save from sin; some believe Jesus is not the same today and He doesn't do the things He has always done anymore; these are all lies that people easily and promptly believe. If we apply the laws I have mentioned, it means that every person that believes such things are liars. They believe lies easily. If they are able to believe lies, it means they are liars.
  618. Any person that doesn't eat as he should, will feel less and less hunger. We know that children who become sick lose their appetite and will, consequently have less and less appetite unless they are forced to eat at least something. This means that a good kind of appetite that is not satisfied, that is despised or neglected will diminish as time passes by. It seems to be a sort of law in nature that good hunger lessens if it is not satisfied completely. This we can see happening, also, in the reading and living of the Word of God, in genuine prayer, in good works and, in fact, in all fruit of the Spirit. If a good thing is despised or neglected, the heart shall slowly move away from hungering after it and shall start hungering for something else.
  619. We all know that Jesus is the way. It means much more than we can think of. He is the way in many ways and for all thinkable situations. This also means there are a lot of alternative ways, but He is the only one. If it wasn't so, He would not have stressed the fact that He is the way - the only way to come to the Father. All other ways are deceitful and deceiving. And, from my experience, a parallel way is thousand times more dangerous than a way that opposes you directly. A parallel way is more dangerous than an opposing one, even though all parallel ways mean to be an opposing obstacle to the real Ways of God.
  620. Sometimes, we have this ultimate idea that all commandments have a moral principle behind them and that by being able to keep them, we are holy. In fact, it is true that the Lord aims at our holiness and so should we. However, we read in the Word of God that there are many things God commands so that we "may remember the Lord". That means, perhaps, those commandments do not have morality as the prime goal, but a love towards God and His means. We may become morally correct, respectful and have no vices without knowing the Lord. We do not remember the Lord in our ways. Those ways are our ways and not the Lord's. It is very important to remember the Lord all the way, and to know how to do and think through grace, remembering that God's way is not our own and that His means are different. He has some other means by which we move on and live. "You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness, who remembers You in Your ways", Is.64:5. "And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way (...) And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power", Dt.8:2,18.
  621. If you have plenty success in the work of the Lord, even if your work carries a great blessing, remind yourself constantly that however great your work is the need remains immeasurably greater.
  622. If the Lord is first and above all in your life, everything you do or think about becomes very important. All of it rests in the blessing you find or, should I say, in the blessing that finds you. However, if the Lord is there and He is not first in your life, whatever you do is a waste of time. Then and also, Bible feeding will be, for you, as picking up crumbles from the floor which fall from the Lord's Table.
  623. "If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes", Gen.18:26. This explains why many cities and many countries in the world are spared from disaster or destruction.
  624. There is a certain kind of language in the Bible which disgusts some people because they prefer to understand things in it their way. That is the main problem with beliefs and superstitions: it must believe according the way it wishes to believe and to understand with pleasure what they wish to understand. I may say, for example that cars have been made so that people may go from one place to another. And it is a common, true affirmation. However, that affirmation may have a lot of parallel interpretations. It could mean cars have not been built to crash people to death, but to turn life easier. And, even so, many people die by getting the car of their preferences. It is easy to conclude a lot of things from my affirmation. But, do people apply the same rule of understanding to alike language in the Bible? We read: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved", John 3:16,17.Let us pay close attention to what we may conclude from these verses. Can't we conclude that many people get lost or could go lost because Jesus died for us and especially because of it? "That whoever believes should not perish...". Could it mean it mean that people could perish even or because He has died in the Cross at Calvary? Is this verse a warning as much as it is a blessing? If so, then, we can grasp in an easier way what it means that "He is a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient", 1Pet.2:7,8.
  625. Our best is not always reached through effort. Our best is reached, sometimes, by making use of holy creativity, solid imagination, spontaneous readiness and lightness of spirit. Effort is useful under certain circumstances, but is an error under other situations. In fact, there are things that become imperfect because of effort. To lift a rock, I need effort and strength, but not to deal with fragile things or fragile and weak people. If I go about fragile things applying strength and effort, I err grossly.
  626. Many times, when talking of goodness and doing it, we start believing that the only issue is centred around doing and that it is easy to will and difficult to do. "But now also finish the doing of it, so that even as there was the eagerness in the willing, so also the finishing, giving out of what you have", 2Cor.8:11. But, what shall we say about the reverse of it? Have you thought about doing without willingness under the light of God?" And herein I give my judgment: for this is expedient for you (...) not only to do, but also to will", 2Cor.8:10.
  627. The Bible talks, many times, about the rod. According to the Word of God, God uses the rod; fathers and mothers should use it with all readiness and wisdom; and the oppressors also use the rod. "... The rod of his oppressor ..." Is.9:4. We should not disregard, delay or hate the use of the rod just because oppression also uses it. When we look at the world and the way people deal with each other, we realize that they continually accuse and attack one another verbally and physically. Mutual accusations is one of the weapons of the world. In fact, it is one of their rods. However, corrections through the rod are used by God and by holy fathers in God. Conscience also uses the rod, both a bad and a good conscience. The bad conscience uses it against others when it feels attacked and affected; a good conscience uses the rod when it is illuminated by God, that is, makes use of it to correct itself and to get itself cleansed by the blood of Jesus. We must lose the habit of using the rod as oppressors use it, who change good motives into bad ones and exchange the good means God established for bad ones, by using threats, which should be denied and abandoned forever. "And you, forbearing threatening..." Eph.6:9. Could it be that the use of threats might be one of the reasons why we have unclean lips and we live among a people of unclean lips (Is.6)? 
  628. Even when God hides His face from us, we still need to wait on Him. We should despise the idea of looking for alternatives when we are waiting for God, especially if He is hiding His face from us. "And I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him", Is.8:17.
  629. There is big difference between covering and concealing. Eve concealed her shame by trying to hide her sins. But, the seraphims covered their faces and feet in the presence of God. Seraphims covered their feet because of the humility of their hearts and that cannot be seen as refusing to walk in the light. It is true that he who conceals does not walk in the light, but that was not what was happening with the seraphims. However, Eve hid from the light when she covered herself up.
  630. "And He looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry", Is.5:7. Either there is righteousness in the heart or a cry; either people are righteous and pure or they are oppressed. There is no midway: they either shine with joy and peace resulting from righteousness or they they shall complain against oppression and lovelessness.
  631. It is extremely important to know that holiness is a pre-condition to achieve God's works. It is so for several reasons. However, we do not achieve things because we are holy. One of the reasons holiness must be there is that when entering the path of holiness, one finds direction because holiness of heart is the very work of God. Everything we receive must operate in favour of holiness. Therefore, if we seek holiness because of other things, we are not seeking things to operate towards holiness but rather that holiness operates towards things. It is an obstacle to have a mind that thinks that way - it is an upside down way to reason about the whole issue. We can not dare to believe that the works of God are resumed by achieving the "other things", and that we achieve them by becoming saints. Holiness can never be the means towards whatever we wish to have or to do. Holiness in an end in itself and not the means. If you have not entered holiness, you haven't tasted the works of God yet. So, whenever certain things are not achieved due to lack of the works of holiness, we cannot believe that they are not achieved because of the lack of holiness. We do not achieve them because we are found in the wrong track. Trying to achieve other things and settling our hopes fully on them, whether that is done through works or without them, is the path of error. The right way is to seek and find the right kind of holiness which comes through Jesus who is the way (the means) and never through any other legalistic means. It is necessary to find holiness immediately, but never because of other things. When the lack of holiness hinders certain achievements, it means we are on the wrong course and it cannot be ascribed only to the lack of works. The reason is because we do not seek holiness as the main thing and those things we seek must be prepared to achieve that kind of holiness which is achieved through Christ. Now, when we seek things away from holiness or through it, we are entering the paths of error. Consequently, we will not achieve those things we are looking for and will neither find true holiness in/through Christ.
  632. If, in Salomon's time, it was silver which had no value due to the abundance of gold, I hope and pray that during my ministry gold loses its value due to the abundance of life and heavenly treasures.
  633. If it is true that "David went on and became great because the Lord God of hosts was with him", (2Sam.5:10), that means many decrease and become insignificant because the Lord is against them for some reason.
  634. It is good to have good doctrine. However, what is doctrine good for if I do not catch up with the life of the doctrine? I need to get the life of the doctrine and not merely the doctrine of life.
  635. Some times, we ask many things without being able to specify what we are asking for. I acknowledge that it is not always possible to specify our own needs, especially if we have become spiritual and we are seeking God's will for our lives. We do not always know what we need to pray for. But, when we ask for "everything we need", our mind starts to play games with us. If we ask for everything we need, we automatically assume we have nothing of the whole yet or that, whatever we have, is not good or enough. And, how many times do we need only some detail of the whole because we have already received the rest? The whole does not work out when it lacks some detail. This is something we need to have in mind when we ask for those things we don't know what they are. We have to be open minded to the point of accepting the fact that we already have something of the whole we are asking for when it is indeed so. We cannot always dump away or despise all we have when we are asking for "everything we need". We cannot despise a detail when it causes the whole to work out.
  636. The strength of the flesh and its alternative ways will be as useful to a man filled with God as the armour of Saul would be for David before Goliath. It would only hinder and would not be helpful. If we wish to be dressed up with some kind of clothes, we need to get rid of the ones we are wearing. To be clothed with God, one needs to get rid of the flesh and, to be carnal, one needs to be without the Lord. Any carnal man is on his own.
  637. There are many people who wish to be great, especially before man. That spirit has found lodging among God's people. There are many who prefer to be great in church rather than do or to be God's will. It is unthinkable how many efforts are spend to achieve that sort of greatness that does not count before heaven. Jesus talked about becoming the least to be great. And there is another source of greatness: "Whoever does My commandments and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven", Mat.5:19. The real secret of greatness resides in being fulfilling and not on teaching others alone. Whoever fulfils is great in the sight of God if he teaches how to fulfil as well.
  638. The man who loves wisdom asks for forgiveness a thousand times when he has forgotten about something important which God revealed to him. He feels like those who lost a pearl of unthinkable value, regrets deeply having lost it and seeks hard to find it again.
  639. "Rest in the Lord and wait patiently on Him", Ps.37:7. To wait on God is and shall always be an option put before the will of man. While we are waiting, many things will appear before us as valid options to stop waiting on God. If God has promised, He will meet our need soon. Impatience may cause someone to take an alternative way which is not waiting on God. It is like not waiting for God's bus and we take another because it arrived first. It is a way to show we do not really trust our Lord and Saviour. Besides, another bus takes always another route and ends up somewhere else.
  640. Throughout Scripture we read how God supports, helps and keeps the righteous because he is righteous before God. We cannot deny it as a fact. However, that does not mean we must become righteous in order to be helped by God. God is not bought off and never will be. What this means is quite different. God has a truth to defend. If God would help the wicked, he would be settled in wickedness by being supporting and the Lord would be working for wickedness. To help the wicked is to help wickedness, because the source of the wickedness is the wicked.
  641. We can not afford to cleanse our souls to achieve certain things God refuses to grant because we are not found spotless before Him. It is true that certain things are not reached because we are not found as God wishes us to be. But, we can never clean up our souls to achieve those things. We clean our hearts and our lives to the full with the sole purpose of being clean for God's sake. God will grant righteousness to those who want to be righteous and we should not dare to expect something more than righteousness when we are resolute and determined to become clean. God is not a negotiator and will not talk to those who sit down to negotiate with Him.
  642. Whoever puts forth conditions to do something he should do, he is the same person who is capable of threatening if things do not go according to what he wants. "...Stop your threatening...", Eph.6:9.
  643. Logic tells us that those who stay in bed awake are sick. However, there are many people who stay in bed in the morning wide awake and are not sick.
  644. "Now, therefore, ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints", Eph.2:19. If you are a fellow citizen with holy people, it surely means you are holy or that you became holy. There is no such thing as an unholy fellow citizen with the saints.
  645. Time plays in our favour when we wait on God. There are people who wait in vain - even if they wait on God - because they are not right with God and their lives are not found spotless and up to date in relation to all their past and present sins. It may be the case, too, that they have not been faithful to something they have received and for which they have been waiting faithfully before. Consequently, they are waiting in vain - if they are waiting at all - because of not having been faithful, or because they have not corrected themselves in time to receive grace again. Faithfulness does not end with the waiting, but must persist after having received. However, for those who have obtained a fellowship and a real intimacy with Jesus, time goes on in their favour. Everything works for the good of those who truly hope in God, for their hope does not deceive them, will never disappoint them, is not based on pretentious assumptions and is not made up by wishful thinking nor is it fake.
  646. When we say that we are doing something for God because He did much for us, we must think on what we are saying and what intentions cause us to say such a thing. If we are speaking as if we are giving something in return to God, we can be sure that it has very little value in heavenly terms. What has value before God is the voluntary work which emerges from a will that has been made free to do as God does, full of love and without conditions or pre-conditions to do something good. Whoever puts forth conditions to do something he should do, he is the same person who is capable of threatening if things do not go according to what he wants. Doing to pay back is doing conditionally. If we give because God gave us, we can be considered as grateful opportunists. But, there is another thing that is very true when we say we do something because God has done things for us first. Jesus fulfilled a work on the Cross that must still be carried out in the hearts. The work of the Cross is still being done today. It goes on in time and it still changes man. When this inner work is completed satisfactorily (in the eyes of God), we can love voluntarily because His love has been poured and can be continuously poured on us to love through it. So, we are able to do because He did first. The misinterpretation of this fact is what leads people to understand that God should be repaid because He did something first. When God is 'repaid', it means that the person is carnal and tries to give back by own strength and through sacrifice. Possibly, this does not come from faith and is not operated by grace. Everything that is not of faith is sin and all that is not substantiated, operated and completed by grace is false fire inappropriately placed on the altar of God.
  647. Intimacy with God is not determined by the work we do, nor by the gifts we have to exercise faithfully, nor by the virtues and power that God shows in our work for Him. Intimacy with God should and can exist without any particular reason besides belonging to Him. It is true all the works that we do need the blessing of God and must be carried out through Him. However, each one of us must take care of his own life as if nothing else needs to be done for God, and as if the only real work in life is to be or to become close to God in all holiness and in all senses. The real work of the Cross is to make us belong to God. Miracles, power, powerful preaching don't have the power to make the worker get closely related to Jesus. Being closer to Jesus and work are two different things. Far beyond what is being done for the Lord or people, anyone should present himself before God without a thing to give, but only himself. The task of our life is to be God's and to belong to him unconditionally. The rest, that is, everything else we do is important for others so that they can also get closely related to God themselves. The work we do does not benefit us in anything besides the privilege and pleasure of doing something important for the Kingdom. We must take care of our lives along with the work we do, so that we shouldn't be found gaining the world and lose our soul. "Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers", 1Tim.4:16.
  648. Any false prophet seldom believes that he is false. In fact, I don't believe there is one false prophet who believes he is false, even though I may be wrong about that. They are, usually, deceived people. The false ones usually speak with greater conviction than those who walk close to God because they do not fear to be wrong.
  649. When God chooses someone, He does so having His will in mind. Consequently, that which is good for the Lord means goodness to those He chooses.
  650. "But, unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath", Rom.2:8. If there is such a thing as obedience to sin, the disobedience to that sin can easily be considered as a virtue of unspeakable value. We need to be disobedient to sin without remorse. Remorse of that sort could mean looking back to it and be made offensive to truth and to the Lord.
  651. We should never forget that the Word should be life and not a mere study we need to master. To learn or master the Word is to become living. It is not to learn how to recite it or to add to knowledge.
  652. Some lie to hide and some tell the truth to hide too.
  653. It is far better to give no hope to someone than to give a false hope. Therefore, rather strive to obtain real hope, the one which never fails and never deceives, Rom.5:5.
  654. "You have said, 'It is vain to serve God. What is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the Lord of hosts? And now we call the arrogant blessed. Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape'", Mal.3:14,15. Whenever one has an earthly mind and whenever one considers earthly things as the greater or as the desirable blessing, such a person sees a curse in anything that is lacking. If this was true, the terrorists and murderers would not be on earth. And while people believe that the ultimate blessing is an earthly one, God can hardly pursue the enemies of the Gospel and the bad ones to convert them.
  655. It is not always true that working for God is to preach the Gospel. There are people who work to see the fruits of their works. Now, while the work is done merely because of the fruit it brings, it is not done for the sake of Jesus. Then, people do not acknowledge that work is important to God because it is too important to them. And working for Jesus' sake grants and brings more fruit from work than any other kind of work. Probably, the person who works hard for the fruits will not see the fruits of his labour - not even if there comes fruit from it in a far future. It might also happen that he shall not see the fruit of work for a time only, in order to be sanctified and fully dedicated to Jesus rather than to work. Only the wise and the selfless can understand, grasp and embrace this truth.
  656. There are certain truths that are as a garment of wool that has not yet been completed: many seek the end of it to continue the work, while others seek it to pull and destroy what has been done.
  657. Legalism destroys in many ways. One way: it puts people against the preaching of the law. In fact, the preaching and dissemination of law is fundamental to achieve the death of the sinner. "For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me", Rom.7:11.
  658. If wisdom is something easy for me to obtain, then it must be because it is difficult for others; if money is easy to get, then it must be because it is difficult for many who need it and whom I must help; if knowledge is within the reach of my hand, it is because it is difficult for others who will survive through what I find. Nothing is given to us by chance. Everything we own and receive is meant for all. It is more of a responsibility than a gift. May God continue to bless us even more, then.
  659. "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord, or who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully". Have you ever wondered what it means to be clean of hands? Today I am thinking about it. It must be the way we do things, and the dedication to perfection in whatever we do. "He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation", Ps.24:3-5. Many want to get other things, but God promises righteousness, that is, He promises to make fairly clean. Is that what you expected to receive from God by cleaning your hands and by purifying all your heart? Or do you expect to receive something else in return? If so, your aim is not to be spotless in order to please God, but to bribe Him.
  660. "Depart from evil, and do good; and you shall dwell for evermore", Ps.37:27. The Catholic idea that doing good is to help people and to help the homeless is widely spread - even among non Catholics. But, doing good is to fulfil the law of God in all its aspects and not only to help our neighbour. Because the churches have been denying God all these centuries, the idea was settled that doing good to people is the way to avoid feeling guilty and to avoid denying God and His works. Good works have become a camouflage which, in fact, does not hide much because it is a lie trying to cover up another lie.
  661. Wisdom is to experience what one learns, is the active part of everything that happens to us and not merely the knowledge about it. Wisdom is a personified way of someone walking in the ways of God, it is the agility of behaviour and words about what happens on the inside and on the outside. It is the shortest way to an objective.
  662. The problem with wisdom is that those who obtain it are always seeking to know more and better. Let me explain. When we want to sort out something, the target is to solve it through the wisdom and power of God. The target is not the wisdom itself, because wisdom is a tool and not the goal to achieve. People, as a rule, despise what they already know when they hear it again as if what is ??known had lost its importance because they already know it. Do you despise your child simply because you already know him or her? What we know, we must remember and not forget or neglect. "He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you" John 14:26. "I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it" 1 John 2:21. How many things are confirmed by remembering what God has taught us? Peter said: "I remembered what the Lord said", Act.11:16. In fact, we shall be able to remember with great agility only those things that have been able to transform us and those things that were able to make us new, I mean, those which are able to keep us new as well.
  663. According to the Bible, Balaam was a prophet (2Pet.2:16). However, who can believe he is in heaven now?
  664. All pains and sores pass away, but, we don't. "He who does the will of God remains forever", 1 John 2:17.
  665. "You are the ones who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God", Lk.16:15. Now, someone who loves to justify, or feels flattered when justified before men when they approve or applaud this kind of justification, has as a target to be seen or to remain under the spotlight. Such think it is the spotlight that makes them look good and not what they are. So, when someone wants to please others or get close to them, he needs only to justify his neighbour. This nears who flatters to him who is flattered. Then, if it is true that one can be justified before men, it is also true that what men will think of people is very important to hypocrisy. The opinion of other men is crucially important to any carnal man. Any carnal man is a hypocrite. When this truth is viewed under this light, all those who flatter and justify others seek a closeness to others by also setting a snare to their feet. It is a double crime we are speaking of here. If someone depends on self-justification, death to God lies at his door. To justify someone is a contribution to the deceit living in that heart."A man who flatters his neighbour spreads a net for his feet", Prov.29:5.
  666. Joy is like thanking: there needs to be something that happened to make us rejoice. Today, there are many fools who try to cheer themselves up without being truly experiencing Jesus. They are hypocrites without real joy. Just as we can not be thankful without having received anything from anyone, the same should be said about how joy works in the heart.
  667. "How great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You; You have worked for those who trust in You before the sons of men!" Ps.31:19. Trusting in the presence of men does not always mean we must say that we are trusting. Imagine us being surrounded by evil men who want to take our life. Shall we trust or will we convince them that we trust as long as we are found in their presence?
  668. "My sins have taken hold on me, so that I am not able to look up", Ps.40:12. Men of God, when they sin at some point, cannot not look up. Today, it seems that there are no values ??of truth, and deception took over everything, because we see millions of people trapped in their sins, looking up as if God were to answer and to meet what they want and ask for. There is no longer any shame in dishonouring God and no fear in using His name in vain.
  669. Where there are false prophecies, or words which use the name of God in vain, or sentences of comfort that something is not from God, or condemnation which doesn't have it origin in the conviction of the Spirit, or any other situation where people try to speak for God deceitfully, we must keep several things in mind: the deceived believe with great conviction in what they say, and the force applied to their beliefs prevent them from being convinced otherwise; and, secondly, there is no good in ending prophecies altogether where false prophecies are found, and there is no point entering a opposing path to prophecies by saying there is no such thing as prophecies anymore. The only way to overcome error is to do things the right way and it will only happen when people are found in good terms with Jesus and stop using God's name in vain. And it is good that things begin to happen the right way as soon as possible, lest God turns His back on us in a definite way.
  670. What would the love of God be good for in or for an anointed (to guide or help others) if there is no love for those who will be guided or helped by it? We must not think that just because we are not designed to achieve certain things in a certain way, we are not as loved as those who are able to guide and help. Remember that the aim of the gifts of others is you and people like you and me. People do not have gifts for themselves. It means God loves those He is aiming at with bestowing gifts and his great love on those who lead the church. Choosing those would mean nothing unless they were to be a blessing to many others.
  671. The hardest thing I experienced working for the living Gospel is to try to convince someone who has not experienced the real Gospel and believes he has. It is not easy to instruct someone to seek what he believes he has already found.
  672. "...To humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not", Dt.8:2. There are errors that are costly. One of them is committed when we are being tested. When we are being tested, we doubt this and that and even put the power and goodness of God in doubt. Sometimes, we neglect our work to remain obsessed with some concerns and accusations against God. However, we must have this in mind: the degree of loyalty or faithfulness that we present under intense trials is proportional to the degree of loyalty or faithfulness we shall reveal when everything is going well and when we have already received. Joseph was as faithful to God after he had been turned king of Egypt as he had been inside Pharaoh's muddy dungeons. Nobody may believe he shall be more loyal, more dedicated or more loving when trials come to an end. Faithfulness shall be the same as when one is being tried relentlessly to the limit.
  673. To ensure hunger for obedience, for discipline, for loyalty or any other fundamental virtue ensures much more than what we can imagine. These virtues when exercised under the pressure of duty do not last for long, even if the is part of our life and of obedience. Duty without hunger for duty will not seek to be fed for a long time and, even though it seeks, it will not eat when it finds because it doesn't feel hungry. Doing without the hunger to do shall eventually cause to love God less and less and will soon lead to rebellion.
  674. "You shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess", Deut.5:33.There are several crimes when we do not follow God in all He shows, and some possible consequences. God is God and there is no better guide. By not following Him all the way would amount to suicide, and is a huge lack of respect towards God. The enormity of this sin has a lot to do with the greatness of God. Another crime being committed by not obeying God is the infamous negligence of this huge privilege of being able to follow the surest and most correct way with all the assurances and promises of a bright future. Therefore, disobedience not only triggers a series of curses upon man, but, also deviates him from the only way that can be blessed.
  675. "...Oh Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed. My soul is also sore vexed", Ps.6:2,3. This means that even if the bones are troubled, the soul might not be disturbed along with it. One thing does not imply the other. But, we can reach a point where the soul is also disturbed and vexed.
  676. There is a lot of piracy around the truth. The pirates of truth created walls, barricades and barriers around what is truthful and real. If we want to get to the truth, we have to march confidently over organized trincheirs, jump hurdles and suffer ambushes from all those who claim to be preachers.
  677. As as rule, whoever doesn't want to do something which needs to be done, sends people around to do it for him. The good leaders lead by doing themselves.
  678. There are and there will always be examples among God's people. But of one thing I am sure: all those who have some man of God as spotlight needs necessarily to get to the level of the example that is given to them (by God). I'm not saying that they need to do the same kind of work, but we have to achieve the same fidelity, the same kind of heart and the same level of moral and spiritual truthfulness that has been graciously placed before our eyes. Who does not achieve the same life given to him by the example, will be failing before God. There are examples stronger and more salient than others. But one example that is given to the flock is the minimum required of the same flock.
  679. False prophecy is rebellion. Whenever people prophesy falsely, they say just the opposite of what God would say or, perhaps, in an opposite mood or spirit. And they do it in the name of God. The prophets and those who are inclined to hear these prophecies own a kind of rebellion much worse than witchcraft. "Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you, and I did not send him, and he caused you to trust in a lie, (...) I will punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his seed. He shall not have a man to dwell among this people; nor shall he behold the good which I shall do for My people, says the Lord, because he has taught rebellion against the Lord", Jer.29:32.
  680. Don't use the Bible to flatter anyone, don't use God's words in vain; Do not hide behind the Bible or with it, but expose yourself; do not be led by preconceived ideas or misconceptions. If you flatter anyone you are using God's word in vain, at least, you are misusing it. And you also hide behind a kind of love which does not love your neighbour and create many misconceptions which would never come into existence by any other sort of means. You must, also, be extremely careful to guard yourself against any tongue which flatters you. Soon, it shall criticize you as well. Whoever pleases people also displeases them and those you praise you are also capable of saying things against you. It all depends in what kind of mood the person that talks finds himself. Whoever flatters shall also be able to engage in gossiping.
  681. It is not good for people to be saved through wrath. Let me explain. We are saved from our sins and indirectly from the coming wrath. Thus, where there is a genuine conversion, there is genuine forgiveness, that is, there is this natural impossibility to sin. When the person does not want to give up all sins, that means he doesn't want to be saved from them as well. Soon, through the wrath of God the conditions to stop sinning begin to emerge here and there. The grip of anger and the pressure it exerts on the hearts lead many to stop sinning and it is not the desire to stop sinning. What happens after anger ceases and after God stops reprimanding? The possibility to return to some sins is huge, because the person ceased from sin to divert the anger of God. The goal was not to stop sinning but rather to quench the wrath of God. When the anger ceases, sinning may start all over again. Soon, those who truly begin to abhor sin - regardless of having been reprimanded or not - are the ones who shall remain pure in heart. Therefore, it is highly advisable that the person reminds himself continually of the wrath of God until he is really converted. However, it is necessary that the person gets to experience the ways of love (which leads to abhor sin) and gets a heart that hates sin with a natural instinct. Anger will cease as soon as people have returned to their original state of creation. "Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause Your anger toward us to cease", Ps.85:4. The prayer is not for God to stop being angry, but to convert people and, as a consequence, anger against sinners will cease. There is a chronological order in the words of this prayer that we should not underestimate. First, we return to our original state, and then anger ceases. But, once anger ceases, we should remember that to obey by fear is not perfection yet.
  682. Clocks which are not working show the right time twice a day. However, it does not mean they should be approved twice a day. In the same way, people who are false or live through a false gospel might be occasionally right. However, that should not be an appeal to our hearts to listen to them or to give them some credit since their hearts are wrong. Falsehood uses the truth to lie about/through it.
  683. "...According to His good will", Phil.2:13. There are many words in the Bible which are easily misinterpreted due to the meaning our normal languages automatically link to them. This expression "good will" is one of them. We could, also, talk about "good courage" or any other expression where the word "good" is attached. When the angels announced the good will of God to the shepherds in Bethlehem, they were not merely talking about a willingness towards man as if God's attitude has suddenly changed. In fact, they were saying that God's will is good, whether people approve it or not. They were describing the will and not a disposition change in God. It is a will which God will look at and and say: "And He saw that it was good". The will of God is good and can easily be accepted with great joy, it is, with the kind of joy with which angels announced it. God's will has always been good. However, in the Old Testament times it was mostly revealed as a prophecy of a future event, even though it has been experience by many in their personal Pentecost. Have you undergone through a personal Pentecost?
  684. "And he, trembling and astonished, said, 'Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?' And the Lord said unto him, 'Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do'", Act.9:6. It is interesting to notice that when we are confronted by the Lord, He doesn't always change our direction, but only our ways and heart. Jesus didn't change the direction Paul was going. He did not redirect Paul back to Jerusalem or anywhere else. He was told to enter the same city he had planned to enter to kill. Jesus didn't change his direction, but only his life and heart. By having the person changed, everything changes. Even if circumstances, town, country or place don't change, everything changes. Occasionally, God might change our circumstances for some other ones, but it seldom works like that. Righteousness must be fulfilled in the place where we are found - right there where we are confronted with Him and His reality.
  685. "Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people", Act.6:8. It is not only by faith that the things of God are performed. Faith is not the only thing responsible for wonders and miracles. One must still live in the centre of the power and of the will of God. It is the power of God. If faith is a gift of God, so is the power. That power cannot be given to people who do not experience an extreme humility. Man may never feel greater than others or have a tendency to be proud. He is just like others. It is the power of God at work and not man's. It means, it is God at work. Faith is in the heart of man, but, the power works outside him when greater works are performed.
  686. "And some fell among thorns. And the thorns sprung up and choked them", Mat.13:7. There is always a serious problem once thorns grow: they choke whatever might be good or fruitful. However, if they are able to grow, it means the ground is proper for them. Never allow yourself to breed illusions: wherever or whenever the cares of this world grow, they shall outgrow the confidence in the Lord because thorns grow much quicker. They shall choke the hope in the Lord, something which not even the devil is able to achieve directly, which is to choke the very words of God. The cares of this life is more powerful than the devil in that sense.
  687. "But, I say to you that every idle word, whatever men may speak, they shall give account of it in the day of judgment", Mat.12:36. What can be seen as an idle word? An idle word might also be a word which we speak because we don't wish to feel awkward being quiet before people. We simply speak for the sake of speaking and not for the sake of contents.
  688. "How can you, being evil, speak good things?" Mat.12:34. That was an old question we should have always in mind. However, there is a newer one: "How can you do evil having been transformed?" Today's gospels put pressure on people against full holiness. Let's take heed against those gospels. They are not godly.
  689. Jesus sent His Disciples without silver or gold. We read they couldn't even take as much as an empty bag with them. We may understand, in some way, that not all are called to live that way. Some are called to provide for those. We cannot be called to live that way by the arrogance of our hearts. However, all should be able to trust in the Lord: some for the provisions they need and some others for the provisions others might need from them. We must go obeying God. We cannot afford going disobeying Him being sent by arrogance and own mindedness. Disobedience is arrogance - it is stubbornness. Remember what happened to the Sceva brothers who tried to expel demons as Paul did (Act.19:13-16).
  690. Many believe that the Kingdom of God will be after they die. There is no idea more wrong and more deceiving than that one. The Kingdom of God has come to earth and it is here where it begins - in us. Unless we start living in it now, there is no chance we will experience it after death. Concerning the Reign of God which starts right here, we read: "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven", Mat.5:19. There are so many preachers who complain about not having revival and about their lukewarm congregations. They don't seem to be very effective in preaching the Gospel the way they ought. They work harder, exhort harder and become exuberant preachers to stir up dead people into some sort of life which is not eternal life, as if dead people can be stirred to anything. They should, perhaps, read this piece of Scripture to understand it better. Perhaps they are either small or even insignificant in the Kingdom of God because they break the least of the commandments of the Lord and their example is followed by their congregations. It is no wonder there are so many deceivers today and perhaps we might find here a reason why so many cheap gospels are proliferating around us more and more and with greater speed.
  691. Whoever is not able to live up to criticism will surely fall with the praise from men. 
  692. To blaspheme is to use God's name in vain, to make unrighteous references to it when one is joking or praying in vain. We should be more on our guard when we use God's name, because the commandment is still a very serious one: do not use the name of the Lord your God in vain.
  693. It is far better to die unmarried and in right standing with God than to marry having been driven into marriage by sin instead of being led by God. "Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season", Heb.11:25. This verse uses the word "choosing". It means it is our choice. You need to take that option: rather unmarried than married driven by sin. God will not choose it for you. Left and right are before you. If you keep delaying that definite decision it shall affect your future life accordingly, even if you take the choice path later on in life. "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?", 2Cor.6:14. It is so obvious that such a decision shouldn't even be a matter of much thought because you must choose between light and darkness. That is what it is all about. You must choose speedily. Choose whom you shall serve. "They feared the Lord, and also served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence", 2 Kings 17:33. Do you fear God and still guide yourself according to the rules of novels and romances? Has the world's ways and views still the last say in your life? Does it still influence your decisions? Will your feelings know better than God and can they decide better?
  694. You might be in bad terms with God or God with you and be unaware of it. It is also possible to be in good terms with God while you believe God is against you for what has been happening to you recently. However, many of those who are not that right with God usually say things like this: "If God shows me, I will leave this altogether. When He shows me, I will make the decision. God is not speaking to me about it!" We should read in between the words when people say things such as those. In most cases, God is already speaking or has already spoken and people are not hearing that well. And if God is not speaking, He should be. I am sure God will fulfil His duties all the time. Are you in a state to hear properly? You are a sheep already? Sheep hear gladly and easily. But, only sheep do so. Perhaps you are not searching to have and to keep a sheep's heart. Now you are saying God will speak or will say something about it when your own heart is far from being able to hear Lord. Only sheep can hear Him.
  695. The enthusiasm of faith, the joy of receiving or of knowing one shall receive is a natural consequence of believing in the Lord and of trusting Him for something. However, we must know that enthusiasm may come from a lot of sources. Someone may become enthusiastic and joyful because of the sign itself; these are the unbelieving ones who consider themselves believing. Another situation that occurs frequently is when someone receives something he waited for a long time or something he desired deeply. Being emotionally or personally involved in the issue causes joy to burst forth. And there are those who honour God and are touched by a deep joy once they realize God's will is being accomplished by an answer to prayer. Those, usually, are peaceful beings, quietly happy and their joy is so great they have no words or gestures capable of expressing the kind of joy they experience. That is why they are always found quiet and peaceful. They are believing beings indeed.
  696. Patience that is not associated with an intense desire to accomplish or reach the things Jesus has promised and to have them accomplished and received the way they are promised cannot be seen as patience at all. The desires of the heart must be kept alive and lively to have patience actively engaged in reaching God's will.
  697. It is unquestionably true that there will never be a genuine, overflowing revival without holiness. If there are no holy vessels, there shall be no revival. If there is, that revival is false. However, we can never believe the reverse of that, it is, that if there is holiness there shall be an overall, spreading revival. We know Jacob cleansed himself and his people and there was one of the first revivals of the fear of God in the peoples surrounding him. But, Elijah and Elisha were continuously holy and there has never been a revival in Israel. Things are not as linear as many might wish them to be.
  698. Today, someone from Cuba wrote to me and there was said: were I as righteous as an angel, I should still lay down my righteousness to be dressed up with Christ. "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ", Rom.13:14. I will not comment any further on that.
  699. Many times, people who go through many kinds of tribulation comfort themselves with words such as: "Did it not happen, I could have been dead or something worse could have happened to me". However, I believe this is a misleading thought. Even though God is solemnly sovereign to use tribulations to deviate anyone from a greater trouble, one may never forget that God does not need any artificial means to do it. In fact, tribulation has only one goal in mind: to prune into full, unconditional obedience. Obedience is the great issue at stake when we are tried by anything. Many fail in that by rather believing something else.
  700. Transparency is the greatest tool towards holiness. In some cases, transparency is holiness itself. Walking in the light is the assurance of holiness, especially if we walk in the light the way Christ does.
  701. An error or sin is never alone. One sin always brings another with it. Solomon sacrificed in the high places, even though He sacrificed to God. Perhaps, this is one of the key reasons why many strange woman got into his life, it is, between him and the Lord. It is true one sin may be committed without having other sins as the cause or the call to it. However, if there is one single sin which is not properly cleansed and fully dealt with, it shall surely call other sins into its fellowship.
  702. Here is a truth: if I am indeed led by the Lord, if I am His child indeed, if I am not mistaken about it, any kind of tears I shed concerning myself are tears shed in vain. I should rather keep my tears for those who, far and near, are lost around me.
  703. When we are found in a way which seems right and which is not God's will for us - however noble that way may seem - and if we believe it to be God's will for us, we shall seek to hear voices of convenience which only confirm what we believe. It is needless to say we shall despise every other contradictory voice. This is a way which leads to disappointment and false endings. We shall be easily deceived by the voices of our own heart which shall, also, be lit by the fires of hell. We shall mistake our own hearts' voice for God's voice. It is very difficult to correct someone who believes he is right. However, it is not that difficult to wrongly convince someone who is indeed right. If the flesh has the upper hand, things will go smoothly towards a fleshly way. We should become sheep. Sheep hear God's voice because they are sheep and not merely because they are eager to hear. Unless we are sheep indeed, we shall easily disregard God's voice because it is contrary to what we wish to hear. This is why a way which seems right is able to lead to death.
  704. "The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted", Ps.12:8. Sometimes, people ask themselves why there are so many robbers and assassins in certain countries around the world. In many countries, these bad people swerve around freely while honest people live closed behind the iron bars of their own homes taunted by fears of being robbed. According to the Bible, that happens because those who lead those countries have not the proper motives in leading them. They seek their own things and not God's will or the benefit of the people they lead.
  705. I read this today: fear knocked at the door; faith went to see who was there. No body was there.
  706. I do not need to believe lies to believe what is possible with God.
  707. If I am a faithful person and no one trusts me, if people around do not expect me to fulfil and they keep reminding me of my duties, I will surely be offended or feel wronged. Even unfaithful people feel injured when they are not trusted. Having that in mind, think of how great a sin it is not to trust God and not to take Him for what He is.
  708. When someone is being 'treated' by God through trials and is not corrected in the midst of those difficulties or reprimands, he will not become any better when things start going well again. Changing circumstances for the better shall not cause the heart to become better if the person has not submitted to God or to all His requirements under correcting trials. Imagine that a marriage faces certain difficulties and poverty, which intend to unite the couple and to teach them to understand each other through those trials. If they do not unite under difficulties and trials in case that was the reason for trials - the disunity will worsen as soon as the circumstances start to change for the better. The disunity and disagreements will be of a worse degree. We cannot feed the vain hope that things will improve in the heart if circumstances change for the better, it is , if the heart has not changed when being tried. That will not happen. It is a law of nature and is applicable and extensible to all other possible human situations. If someone steals, being poor, he shall steal after becoming rich and will become even more dishonest; if someone lies under pressure, he shall will be a greater liar when the pressure is lifted off; etc. We need to change now, before circumstances change, regardless of what problems we may face now. The circumstances have nothing to do with the condition of the heart. They are separate things altogether and must be dealt with separately. "And that servant who knew his lord's will and did not prepare, nor did according to His will, shall be beaten with many stripes", Lk.12:47.
  709. If the greatest honour to man is to be freed from himself and to be saved from himself and from his own sins - and if that is what honours God most - that means that the biggest disgrace is to be delivered to oneself and to be left in those most wanted sins. "And even as they did not think fit to have God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do the things not right", Rom.1:28.
  710. "Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him", Ps.37:7. Many can only be 'in the Lord' by not resting in Him and by not waiting in Him. If they 'rest' that way, they are not in the Lord, and if you are in the Lord, they cannot rest. It is necessary to achieve a quiet being while in Him and He in us, without being fake. These never get tired because they expect Him truly and continuously.
  711. "As for us, our eyes failed waiting for our vain help: in our watching we have watched for a nation that could not save us.", Lam.4:17. How many seek after those things that can not save them from anything! There are things we need which not even gold can buy. Many look up to pastors and evangelists who cannot save.
  712. All half-truths always become great lies one way or another. There is no half-truth which will not become a big lie sooner or later - if it is not dealt with in time.
  713. If you know that people are inspired by actions and deeds, try doing instead of talking. Obey the commandments of Jesus and talk less.
  714. Work well done and finished does not tire as much a part of that work done either perfectly or in a imperfect way. Doing something half way is more fatiguing, takes longer and calls us back to it more often than doing it well, either in the long run or straight away.
  715. Debating against life is to fight in favour of death. God is life and our consciences the barometer. If God is against us, we must hear His reasons and understand them in the way He understands them before exalting ourselves against Him.
  716. God can guide and lead someone without being noticed. He can guide without us realizing it. But, that does not edify obedience or build the kind of heart that God desires for all of us even though it is effective for other things.
  717. Unbelief openly opposes the idea of a real God. A real Jesus scares the unbelieving sinner. That's what defines unbelief. Unbelief marvels with His reality, rejects or fears a real Jesus. However, it believes in an inactive Jesus and search such a Jesus eagerly.
  718. Often, prayers, intercessions and fastings of many are driven by wants and desires of their own and not by a search of God's will and that things are materialized as God's will.
  719. Distraction is, as a rule, a fight between at least two thoughts that demand the person's attention. Attention is to be placed on one issue while thoughts are many. That is where distraction comes in. Under these circumstances, instead of being struggling with various thoughts, we should stop and decide which of them will we give priority.
  720. The Apostles used the words "this present age" to describe something that would be difficult to describe as "this life". Life in this world is not life and, therefore, they had some difficulty in using the word life to speak of what is happening here. So, they started using the words "this century" or "this age" because it won't last for long.
  721. Roses have many similarities to those who carry the fragrance of the Gospel of Christ around. Grace grows among thorns, but its perfume and beauty are not affected by them in the least. The petals and the fragrance do not become bad because of the thorns. The thorns do not poke the flower but only those who try to destroy it.
  722. Have you ever seen a child who does not know how to write well and tries to write his name on paper? When such a child learns to write his name on a sheet of paper, it always starts with big letters just to find out that the name will not fit on the sheet. Then, the letters are gradually reduced to fit in. Would it not be better to start with small letters? In fact, this is precisely what many do with spiritual things. The way some talk about certain true things when they come to Christ, in the beginning, is so disproportionate that, in the end, it does not fit in the sheet of their own lives. It could fit if the letters were of the right size. Does the size of the letters really matter to describe great things? Will big letters describe great things better or would it make any difference in the greatness of a great thing? If I write "universe" in small letters, will the size of the universe be affected in any way?
  723. My rest is to be with God. I do not rest from God, but with God.
  724. Abraham saw the womb of Sara becoming stale and dry in front of his own eyes in the course of the years. This aging was constant and daily. But the promise of God kept reviving itself and living in his heart. While Sarah's womb was drying up, the fire of the promise was growing in him. He could not deny any of them. No one could hinder it either. Each passing day, the contrast increased. And it all ended well. So does our God work. We should be suspicious only if things are not working that way. But, if the workings of God are in line with what happened to all men of God, we should not be concerned. It is a standard. The stories of the Bible are clear and confirming if we are led and taken by the Lord. If these 'contradictory' things happen to us, we should take heart because we are within the program and within the standard of God. There is nothing better to have it confirmed that God is indeed with us.
  725. I do not exist to make friends or to have friends, even though I have them. I exist to give children to God and to edify them as such. Even if they all become my brothers and sisters, I do not exist for that purpose and am not not working to gain such results. It is all about the Lord Jesus.
  726. I experienced life in a real way. Then, I made faithful drawings of what it stands for. Now, some try to achieve the design and not the life and the design comes with the Life. Some learn to draw and not to live. Why is it so? They also try to paint from my picture because I painted what is real and good. All I wanted was to picture true life so that people would want to abandon fake Christianity and go for the real one. Now, many serve an image and not the real thing. I had only in mind to make it easier to understand and that some could see the difference between real life and the false gospels that are proliferating around. The fact is that those who live by images and examples and do not consider having, sharing and experiencing real life for themselves have only an own witness to share and God doesn't testify about them. "They are their own witnesses", Is.44:9.
  727. Learning is to learn by living or learn by experiencing genuine, abundant life. The Bible speaks of some who are always learning and never coming to the knowledge of true life. Moreover, it is not necessary to know or explain everything that happens in us when we live and experience the eternal life that God has given us to live by now and always.
  728. How can we distinguish between the leadings of the Holy Spirit and the impulse of emotion? Emotion is always a consequence of something. It comes from man. The voice of God is the source. Therefore, simply distinguish between origins and results, and then see what is the origin of what you feel and seek to live by the origin instead of seeking the consequence or outcome to build your hopes upon.
  729. "...Do not be conformed to the former lusts in your ignorance", 1Ped.1:14. It is necessary to look at this verse a few times. Only then can we understand its true meaning. It speaks of former lusts. That is, they no longer exist or are no longer lusts. There are good things that people are able to lust for and having denied the lusting for it, they might be able to keep those good things and enjoy them in another manner. But, if there are no lusts anymore - not even in the form of temptation - how can someone still be conformed to them? It sounds like a contradiction, but, we know that it is not. Paul also writes to the faithful in Rome not to comply with the lusts of this world, Rom.12:1,2. He was not speaking of their own lusts, but of the world's lusts around them. He spoke to people who were already believers and whose lusts might have been, also, "former lusts". Therefore, we may conclude that to be conformed to lusts might not have anything to do with personal temptations, but, with acceptance of sin around. That is, we can be indifferent, conniving, ignorant or approving lust and allow it to have 'peace' in the way it operates. Paul talks about those who "have pleasure in those that do" wrong things (Rom.1:32).This may mean a lot against all those who delight in wrong movies and novels. For example: our words and ways of speaking may give the impression that what they call romance is not a form of adultery; or that dishonesty is just 'business' and that it is not necessary to estimate our neighbour as ourselves, seeking merely to gain from them, etc.. There are many ways to be conformed to the lusts of this world in deeds, acts with words or without them. Even the meaning of our words should be revised if we are to live without becoming disagreeable or offensive to God.
  730. "For they have worked falsehood. Therefore, the thief comes in, the troop of robbers plunders outside", Hos.7:1. There are certain laws in nature from which no one escapes. The same happens with spiritual laws. The thief enters where falsehood is practiced. Although there are exceptions to the rule because of other things that God may want to achieve, we must bear in mind that even today those who kill by the sword, die by the sword; he who speaks of others, shall hear rumours about himself as well and be affected by it; he that practices falsehood will be stolen; etc. "And they do not say within their hearts that I remember all their evil", Hos.7:2. It might be a way of God remembering certain sins.
  731. "For your goodness is like a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goes away", Hos.6:4. How many things in your life come and go? How many good attitudes do not remain for long? There are many people whose good intentions last until the first trial. It happens that the Bible calls those as unstable and divided of heart. When will their attitudes and decisions become heavenly and stay forever?
  732. "For your people are as those who strive with the priest", Hos.4:4. There are those who quarrel with the husband, father, mother and even against the authorities of their country or of another country. This can never be considered a minor flaw or sin, but, rather as a grievous transgression. Whoever cannot agree with someone for whatever reason, does not need to respond unmannerly. And it might not always be necessary to answer when it is God who answers for us. However, sometimes God answers through us and we need to do it as God would.
  733. "It obvious that you are a letter from Christ", 2Cor.3:3. The fact that it is evident that someone is a letter from Christ doesn't mean he shall be generally accepted as such. Anyone will be manifest as a letter of Christ because of having fixed his doings and life with Jesus and with all people concerning all former and present sins, abandoning them forever and pursuing the life that God alone can give after having done away with sin. If it is God who gives that life, the proof that the person is in right standing with God is having received that sort of life. Soon, such a person is able to express another kind of life and not just another profession of faith or a manipulated conduct. That life speaks loud and clear and shall intrigue all who previously knew the person before the change had taken place. However, not everyone will like what is visible, though the transformation might impress deeply and shall never be forgotten. Now, being a letter from Christ, that is, if it is truly a letter of Christ, does not necessarily mean it shall be generally accepted as such, since it is possible to be rejected as such. Normally, the last ones to admit the transformation - if it is admitted at all - is the household of that person and his church. Most people are not easily aware of what goes on into their close relatives because they believe they already know them too well.
  734. Every form of hope is legitimate. By that I mean that I can always expect something from God. But, to avoid disappointment, I must distinguish between a hope that is based on a word of God addressed to me (whether it is in accordance with what I had expected and hoped for or not); also, a hope that certain conditions aggregated to it; and a kind of hope that is only mine and about which God has not yet declared His desire. Those things I may wish that God would give can cause hope and it may be kept as such. However, I must bear in mind that God still has to express Himself about it. And until that happens, there will be a 'legitimate' hope which may disappoint if maintained as a certainty. We need to accept a "no" with the same joy as we would accept a positive answer from God about what we expect. A "no" from the Lord is good news. It means He is guiding and is around, caring for us. Only legitimate hopes, which are based upon a word spoken by God, do not deceive/disappoint and do not cause anyone to roam about aimlessly without being safe and without being reassured on a regular basis about it.
  735. "Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth", 1Cor.13:6. This joy in the truth is a kind of relief from a weight. Injustice, i.e., the existence of iniquity, is a burden to the righteous heart. It is not a threat to the righteous, but to the unrighteous that has never been changed. Yet, it is burdensome to the righteous. It is a weight to any righteous heart.
  736. Those who are accustomed to exercise a kind of 'faith' which is based on own hopes, own desires or own conclusions (that did not come from God and were not brought by His Spirit to the spirit of man), will certainly have great difficulty in believing otherwise, i.e. when God pronounces a word or speaks to the heart. This is because the two sorts of heart operate distinctly and antagonistically. To be able to believe when God has not spoken beforehand is not faith. And if this is true, we can say that the one who can believe when and where God speaks, cannot believe when it is the heart that is speaking instead of God. To doubt it can not be considered as unbelief. However, there is a huge possibility that people are trapped between these two things who become stagnant and hesitant.
  737. "Be not overcome of evil", Rom.12:21. If evil is ever able to affect our peace and to cause us to respond in an unkind way, we have already been defeated by it.
  738. If we do not have any evil in the heart drowning real faith, faith will prevent all evil in there. Nothing is irrelevant in this earth. Anything means something all the time.
  739. The same way that faith knows that God will settle all his accounts with the wicked, in the same way we know that He will draw near to the righteous to reward everything to them because of the existing righteousness in their hearts. Believing in one of these things without being able to believe the other can not be regarded as faith.
  740. "The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in any of his thoughts", Ps.10:4. This does not mean that everyone who doesn't seek God says that God does not exist. It means only that they act as if God did not exist, living without being guided, without being ruled by God and His Spirit and acting without the fear of the Lord. It also means that whoever does not seek God for guidance and to be reigned by Him is wicked - even if the 'search' after God is there for other purposes.
  741. Faith may require of us to believe in absurd and impossible things, like a virgin having a child without knowing a man. But, even if it is required such a thing of us, the word given to us demanding such believing behaviour of heart is not given in a ridiculous and detached way. The Word that we believe should be backed up by the substance and strength of the One who promises it. In the case of Mary and the husband of Elizabeth, the angel Gabriel appeared to them. The bigger ordeal fell upon Joseph who received divine information through a simple dream. Anyone can doubt a dream. But it is not easy to doubt an angel that stands night and day before God and who, when he appears, doesn't need to tell his name or who he is.
  742. "...And Moses spoke so to the sons of Israel. But they did not listen to Moses because of anguish of spirit and because of the cruel bondage", Ex.6:9. How hard is it to tell the truth to someone who does not want to believe or that is not able (willing) to believe! Then, imagine how much harder it will be to explain or tell a truth to the unbelieving who, at the same time, has no hope or avoids being deceived and disappointed by hopes. There is no greater pain for the heart than a hope which doesn't end in fulfilment. Here we find two disabled virtues which are very important for the normal life of any man: true faith and true hope. And if we add to that the fact that a word is addressed to a hard heart that does not love and do not want to love, we have many serious problems to solve which, in many cases, are impossible to solve. We may be glad, however, that everything is possible with God! "Now abideth faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love", 1 Cor.13:13. "Love covers all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things", 1Cor.13:7.
  743. All sins have a judgment on them. Although its sentence might not be as immediate as happened in the case of Ananias and Sapphira, it will always reach out to all guilty ones who have not been entirely washed in the blood of the Lamb. And even those who are clean can never get rid of certain consequences of the many sins they have committed. Imagine a girl who became pregnant before marriage. She shall never be a virgin again and the baby will never be returned and must be created as a child of God after His forgiveness has been granted.
  744. God acts differently with people. He deals in a certain way with those He sees will be faithful and in another way with those liable to stagger between various thoughts. That being true, God cleanses the clean ones more through trials and situations where their faith is put to proof. Those who are not faithful are challenged with situations that will provoke them to believe. One is the dealing of a God with a Jacob who needs a wrestling with Him, and another is His dealing with an Israel that has already wrestled with God and has already overcome. The unbelievers are challenged with signs and other things that can provoke them to believe, but are not tested because they have no faith to be tested. Only faith can be tried. Those who already believe are tried to be more clean.
  745. "I know that this great storm has come on you for my sake", Jonas 1:12. How many times the evil things that happen to people around have us as the cause? And many believers are seldom capable of assuming and recognizing their guilt and their share in the problems around them. Have you been disobedient to the Lord lately? Remember that disobedience to God will not affect you only. Some others might also suffer because of you.
  746. "For, in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted", Heb.2:18. Let's turn this verse the other way round. Are you in a disposition to be tempted and helped in these things Jesus was tempted with? Or do you look for other sort of help? Figure out in what things Jesus was tempted and determine whether those are the things you seek to be helped with.
  747. "Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows", Heb.1:9. Two things about this. Many envy the joy of certain people who walk with Jesus continuously. They want the fruit or the outcome, but avoid sowing and planting. True joy results from the fact that a person loves righteousness and hates wickedness. But we must have something in mind: it is not necessarily the iniquity of others that is hateful, but one's own. This verse talks about personal holiness, righteousness or wickedness, and not other's. Justice (righteousness) inhabiting someone makes that person righteous. This justice (righteousness) must be nurtured, cared for, loved and cherished. And it is the possibility of an own iniquity that must be hated, interrupted, abolished and despised. Doing this with the iniquity of others is proof of cowardice and truth-deflection.
  748. "But, put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and have no care in the lusts of the flesh", Rom.13:14. Here are two things to be noticed by all those who want to stop sinning. One is to put on the Lord Jesus, it is, to be fully coated with Him. And it needs to be real. The second thing is not to give any leeway, allowance or thought to the possibility of sinning. As a rule, people only do one of these things and they stagger along the way. They either only engage in a fierce war against sin, or excuse themselves and put the blame on God while seeking sin and visiting, looking, thinking or fearing the things of darkness.
  749. Any continuous and uninterrupted tribulation, even if it of a mere light kind, is more difficult to bear than many occasional tribulations that come and go, that is, begin and end. A drop of water that drips every second throughout the night disturbs more people than a bang that lasts for a moment only.
  750. "Persevere in prayer", Rom.12:12. The word 'persevere' is different from 'insisting' in many senses. The main characteristic of someone who is able to persevere is that such a person has a well defined and definite target which he knows he is going to reach. At least, he knows it is within the reach of God. But, I never saw anyone managing to be persistent in the prayer for much time by depending, in daily life, on own strength, or by flirting own ideas and having own schemes to get to what he intends. Whoever does not hand over everything to Christ - even those daily things of daily business - will not be able to persevere to the point of obtaining a concrete answer to any prayer. There must not be the least dependence on anything or any other power besides the power of Christ to do something. If anyone claims to have the power of God while some other power or some other means are flirted with at work or even while in holiday and rest, such a person is a liar.
  751. "Be patient in tribulation", Rom.12:12. This patience referred to here is not only patience with the tribulation itself, but it is an overall patience during times of tribulation. This patience must reign faithfully during our everyday life and towards anything else besides the tribulation itself as well. However, we must be able enough to distinguish between tribulation of a clean heart and those conflicts of mind which occur due to the lack of spiritual hygiene and steadfastness.
  752. Grace needs to be received. When God delivers it out to us, it that does not mean we are receiving it, but, only that it is being offered. And to receive grace, though it is good, is still not to depend on her. And to be able to depend on grace and having learned to do so should be understood as being able to depend wholly and exclusively on it for everything. Grace is put before man; then, it must be received willingly and cheerfully and there is nothing better to cause joy than finding after an intense search for it which ends in finding it for real; if it is not welcomed with a smile and joy at this point, it will be an insult to God. And when it is accepted, it is necessary to exercise willingly a kind of dependence which is whole, exclusive and complete. "Let patience have it perfect work", James 1:4. Though one thing takes to other one, one thing is not the other thing. They are different things altogether. If one doesn't depend wholly and exclusively on it, one cannot be living under grace.
  753. "As to diligence, do not be slothful", Rom.12:11. We need to understand God's Word properly to never give it a meaning that it has not. This care or diligence Paul mentions here is one of taking care and of doing all things with all readiness, i.e. taking diligent care of all house duties, of all the duties of a mother, of work, of reading the Bible, of praying, of needs of people and of everything else which needs to be cared for. By being enthusiastic in everything, we will not be slow in anything. But, be careful lest you are hypocritically enthusiastic. Do not leave your heart behind when you are doing everything for the sake of God. Why would you offend the truth of the Gospel and be a shame to the Children of the Great King? Doing His things or doing anything for Him should be seen as the greatest privilege anyone could ever think of.
  754. "Communicating with the needs of the saints", Rom.12:13. I have seen many people giving leftovers to God and for God's work. I also saw a few ones giving to God of the little they put aside for themselves. But, hardly ever have I seen someone who tries to inquire about the real needs of someone who asks nothing and tells no one anything about his own needs. The true saint does not communicate with others about his own needs. According to Paul, it is those that can help who must communicate with these needs and be informed about them one way or another. Today, only those who ask in the services receive provisions. And they should be preaching the Gospel of truth instead. The honest and sincere ones will preach the Gospel from a pure heart without thinking of own interests or personal needs. No one hears them complaining or mentioning any need when they pass the message faithfully. In fact, one will find that any true servant of the Gospel will not even think on any personal needs while the greater needs of truth lie before him. It is as if a servant of Christ has a lot to say about his Lord and about truth and the time is too short to speak about anything else. Everything else becomes irrelevant when we face the true Gospel.
  755. We know the parable of the ten virgins, of whom five were foolish. And they were foolish because they did not prepare and did not prevent for the possibility of a long wait. However, there is something in this parable which can be easily missed. The struggle of the virgins was to remain awake. As usual, the person fights against something which is not the main problem. The true problem was not even the waiting, the lack of sleep and the fatigue, but, the lack of oil that has not been provided for when they were not tired and were still confident. When the moment of truth and reality came they all realized that the real need was the oil which is to be provided before the time.
  756. Anyone can be firm or, as Paul says, steadfast. However, few are secure or secured in God. Let me explain. There is no firmness in someone who is not firm at heart. To be firm in God, one needs to have firmness inside or to be able to react firmly in a natural way with God, in God and for the Lord. A person who changes constantly and swifts from moment to moment, or even from year to year, will not be firm because such does not exercise firmness as a way of life or never got used to exercising steadfastness. A person who had been firm in sin has his own kind of firmness. Soon, that capacity can be based on God because of having exercised steadfastness before, in case such a person is fully reconciled to God and to His ways. Being steadfast in sin is an aberration. But, firmness in God is a virtue. However, it must be an eye for eye of what we were able to be for the world, only that now we are so for God and towards Him. And anyone who was changeable, uneasy or unstable in his previous life of sin, when approaching God must learn to exercise steadfastness until it becomes his nature or his natural way of life. Only steadfast will manage to be firm in God. One cannot expect to be able to exercise steadfastness without gaining a steadfast heart and mind in God when ceasing to trust oneself to trust God only, which, in the world before, could be seen as stubbornness. Stubbornness is a sort of steadfastness which does not cooperate with anyone, much less with God. Steadfastness works with the Lord and keeps gathering with Him right through.
  757. Without grace, people cannot enter God's ways and they walk in own ways in this world under the patience of God. The person without God has the capacity to choose his own ways, but, has no option to enter the narrow door and neither of remaining in the narrow way without being moved by the power of grace and being resolved to do things in a way that doesn't deny grace afterwards. The Bible is clear about the fact of each one having the capacity to follow his own ways by himself. Grace enables us to stop following own ways and to remain belonging to Jesus right through.
  758. When it is laws, standards, decisions or stimuli that are opposing or rising against any sin or against any shadow of sin, we cannot rest assured that such sin will be exterminated from the heart. It is a good principles to have certain reasons, standards or even measures to prevent transgression. But, applying those standards or rules hardly extinguishes the fires of sin from the heart, even though if all those measures and standards are praiseworthy and appreciable. Nevertheless, none of those annihilate, reveal, expose, extinguish or erase the sin from the heart. There is no law that accomplishes purity of the heart as grace does when actively engaged in transformation and forgiveness. Any moral beginning may avoid the act of transgression, but, does not do away with the fountain of sin.
  759. "For circumcision truly profits if you keep the Law, but if you are a transgressor of the Law, circumcision becomes uncircumcision", Rom.2:25. Many talk about being elected and predestined in the way the Jews talked about circumcision. Suppose we change some words in this verse and say something like this: "Election truly profits if you keep the Law, but if you are a transgressor of the Law, election becomes destitution". How wrong or how right would this statement be?
  760. We recall how God told Joshua "only have good courage and be strong". If we compare translations, the idea that we get is that of "having a good and motivated spirit" and that this is put forth as the only condition to what God has promised Joshua. Now, there is a truth about this which we may never ignore. This truth is the fact that no one can be without any sort of spirit for a long time. Any lack of motivation doesn't last for long. However, if good encouragement is not there, a bad one will. If one cannot be rightly motivated, a bad kind of strength will take over. It shall happen to anyone. There is no way anyone will remain for a long time without any kind of spirit. If a good spirit is not sought a bad one will surely seek to take over.
  761. "Elisha said: Yes, I know. Keep quiet", 2Kings 2:3. It is interesting to notice that the true prophets of God will not always speak and they shall not always reveal what they know. They will rather act according to what they know and will tell people who also know to keep quiet. This is indeed interesting. Most so-called prophets speak to much and to quick and they seldom remember what they have said or thought the day before. They would never be quiet about something, especially if they knew it would come to pass. They would easily grab the occasion to shine and to stand out. It is so easy to sell the soul to evil and call upon others to applaud by having found truth.
  762. It is very easy to speak for God or about His deeds while being in opposition to Him. "Behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of Egypt", 1 Kings 12:28. Who brought the people out of Egypt? However, half-lies and half-truths have their sort of power to deceive. This sort of lies and truths can 'paste' or attribute the deeds of God to false prophets, false prophecies and even false powers; and they can, also, attribute to God the wrong deeds.
  763. Before, in the time of the apostles, all good teachings and doctrines were ways of life. It was always a profession of life. People would speak about what they experienced. Today, it has become a profession of faith and not of true life. Those who preach (right or wrong) are content to strive to be able to believe the doctrines they consider right. For this reason, so many make a point of having certain confessions, discussions and professions of faith they consider right and for which they war assiduously. I wish they had a confession or profession of life and not of faith and that their life would express the truth of the Lord clearly! Instead of speaking about grace, they should reveal grace in practical ways and in their own lives without acting it out.
  764. It is not only the true children of God who speak the truth. I believe even the devil speaks the truth on most occasions and uses it as a lie. The striking difference between the children of God and those who are not children of Him cannot be detected by what they say or teach, but by what they are. The children of God are the truth itself. "The good seed are the Children of the Kingdom", Mt.13:38. The others only speak of the truth and are unable to be truth itself. Therefore, it shouldn't be enough to be a convincing preacher who preaches very well and who has the capacity to influence the listener's eyes and ears towards the truth, because such a person can talk about the truth without being truth himself, being unable to live all he teaches. The normal way is to live more than we can preach about. The cup overflows and if it overflows, it must be because it is full. I don't understand how many 'overflow' without having been filled.
  765. Where we are able to hope (wait) to the end for all good things from God, the results are always superior than the expectations of the waiting time and higher in contrast to the 'delay' which has been endured to the end. This fact, however, can only be properly understood and fully accepted by those whose time of probation has passed and can hurt anyone who is still going through his waiting time of trial, expectation and probation.
  766. It would be good if people cared more about what they are above worrying about what they do. It is true that a normal person, someone who is not conditioned by laws of performance, will act according to what he or she really is. The works of people who are not conditioned by laws of conduct, shame or an other will make manifest what the person really is inside. However, there are people who are so conditioned (especially in religious, academic or even evangelical circles) that they manage to avoid showing what they are or are capable of being. It is possible to conceal one's own heart even from self. Let there be light where no one is aware of facts and possibilities! That is why the doctrines that say people keep sinning after knowing Christ as He is, brings such disastrous results and they are worthy of all the shame they are able to bring upon the Cross of Christ. These are doctrines that excuse those who do not see their way out of sin to enter an inner transformation or those who don't really desire to be deeply changed and are changed superficially. Usually, many apologize and ask for forgiveness in order to remain as they are. We can also understand why prostitutes and thieves come up in front into the Kingdom of Heaven. It is because they do not have words to apologize or to explain away any of their heinous deeds. They can only focus on changing what they are, and look for the change that grace can make possible. The others will always have the morbid, tiring and exhausting tendency to cover up what they are, mutilating their thoughts and actions to appear good and Christian-like without having changed.
  767. The will of God is to be done. We may be doing the will of God without realizing it, as we can refuse to carry it out knowing what it is. Someone who does not realize that he is doing the will of God, exercising it fully, will be doubly blessed. This reveals that he has a heart as God's. On the other hand, knowing what God's will is does not guarantee that the person will do it or even that he shall become what God is. Only those who gain a heart according to God will be able to carry out His will the way He wants it to be done, as it is done in heaven. "Can two walk together unless they are agreed?" Amos 3:3.
  768. There is something wrong with those people who praise God superficially and 'magnify' His name by saying that He does great things when He has not done them. Falsehood can never be praise to God. However, when we are able to magnify the Lord's name, it must be because of undeniable facts. "And David spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day that the Lord delivered him from the hands of all his enemies and the hand of Saul", 2Sam.22:1. David was not pretending, nor was he a liar in his approach to God or people. He really praised the Lord for what he had really done, and not because David wanted to praise Him for things which had never been confirmed. The unbelieving mind doesn't mind 'praising' God superficially because it doesn't really expect great things to happen - it only says it does.
  769. Only a faithful man can believe a faithful promise from a God who fulfils. An unfaithful one will rather believe an unfaithful promise.
  770. If it is a serious crime to have someone's blood in our hands, imagine how much worse is the crime of having the guilt of a soul's damnation in our hands!
  771. "And Saul said, 'Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and you did not come in the days appointed, and the Philistines gathered themselves at Michmash, and I said, the Philistines will come down now on me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the Lord. And I forced myself and offered a burnt offering'", 1Sam.13:11,12. Here, we see the first signs of idolatrous reactions to fear and unbelief in Saul. Idolatry does not consist only on whom it is offered, but, what sort of power we attribute to offering. There is no power in sacrificing. There is power in God and He is never bought off or bribed into something. This is why I believe that most seasons of prayer and fasting are totally wrong and twisted or, at least, wrongly motivated. Fasting must be an act of obedience of the soul. If we attribute any power to prayer, we are not convinced it is God who holds all the power. Prayer has no power - God has. Now, it is very important to deal securely against sin and to react immediately and instinctively against it by moving towards God to be fully and unconditionally saved from any of it. If we do not do that, the heart we have will carry on being as he has always been. It will cause to stumble in future occasions. We see Saul trusting in sacrificing above obedience and trust in God and His providence. Later (1Sam.1:22,23), we can see clearly how he still believed in sacrificing and offering above obeying. He didn't deal according to the first convictions in the beginning. He dealt lightly against sin in the heart. That heart made him stumble over and over again in future times. Unless we react promptly and immediately against any odour of sin with grace and with spiritual intelligence and effectiveness that comes with it, we shall be caught up in it over and over again. And our salary shall surely be death.
  772. To thank is not the same thing as being thankful. No doubt, we can reveal our thankfulness by saying thanks, but, saying thanks does not always mean we are thankful. To say thanks to someone is good, it is educated manners. But, we need to be thankful to be approved by God. And when someone says thanks, it doesn't necessarily mean such a person has thankfulness in him. And if someone is unable to express his thankfulness, it doesn't mean he is not thankful.
  773. "And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the Lord, and also with men", 1Sam.2:26. The same thing is said about Jesus, that He grew in favour towards God and men. However, we must realize and accept the fact that many bad things are occurring today because of popularity. There are people that reach many hearts for God because they are themselves pure and holy in their motivation and work. However, during my lifetime, I have seen people becoming greedy after the success has been reached. It is not every person that remains the same after success has been attained, as Joseph remained after becoming king of Egypt. The sudden change from slave to king in one day's time did not change Joseph. Only circumstances changed and not him. I have seen people bringing the world into the church after having reached many for God by holy means. Then, one may ask: why does such a person change his ways since holiness and purity brought all of that? Why change now? One cannot understand it. But, it happens more often than we realize. If being as Christ brought many to the Cross, why does one bring in the world and other things into the church or into the ministry after many have come to relate themselves with the Lord of holiness? We are called to be holy and not to be popular and successful. We might not realize how hungry for truth and holiness many people are. Once they see truth working out in practical terms, they come by the hundreds or even by the thousands. They come and magnify God, honouring Him with their living. This is what is meant by becoming graceful or in favour towards men. But, those who minister become easily greedy and start to launch other means to increase their success or achieve more and more in a so called quicker way and it works out the other way round. I have seen it happening many times. And because people are hungry for truth, once the ministers or the congregations change their ways of purity, only the bad ones will remain in the congregation and they might even increase in numbers. It is there, in that congregation, that many sins will become manifest, just as the Bible said it would happen.
  774. The Word of God is like a cake: we bake it wholly to eat it in pieces afterwards. We cannot eat the whole of it at once in one bite. We cut it to pieces to be able to eat. But, before we can do that, it must become a whole. We must have the word of God in its whole before we can enjoy the detailed pieces of it. We must have a global knowledge of His Word, of practical living, experience and real life before we are able to enjoy the broken pieces of it.
  775. "The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces", 2Sam.2:10. To become an adversary of God is to go against Him. In other words, when God, a man of God or an enlightened conscience speaks out and it is not taken to heart or is rejected, one is made an adversary of God. Those are the people who shall be broken to pieces.
  776. "Talk no more so very proudly", 1Sam.2:3. One translations says, "Do not multiply words of pride". It is very easy to speak like the world does. What we talk about is not the matter here, but the way we talk about anything. Words multiply easily. One word becomes a sentence and a sentence becomes a conversation very quickly. These conversations become a way and build up a style or a spirit (a culture). The spirit that starts a conversation or a worldly talk will easily take hold of entire communities. They shall talk very proudly, even when they talk about God. We must exterminate it from our lives. "Remove arrogance out of your mouth. The wicked shall be silenced in darkness", 1Sam.2:3,9. "Withhold Your servant from arrogant sins; do not let them rule over me; then I shall be upright, and I shall be innocent from great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing before You", Ps.19:13,14.
  777. The only thing that can cause a heart to fail is sin. Only sin can be responsible for a heart failure. Even if people can excuse themselves with many things, only sin can cause a heart to drift apart and to be caught up in discouragement, which, on its turn, tries to blackmail God into pitying those who are refusing to bring sin to the light. "My sins have taken hold on me (...) and my heart fails me", Ps.40:12.
  778. If a family does not pray together, it won't stay together. They will drift apart and fall into dissensions, indifferences of many kinds and many other pits of hell. Prayer is what cements the walls of a home together to keep it from falling apart.
  779. When there is a deficiency in discipline in a home, family or an individual, we should consider it as a extremely serious problem. The lack of discipline can be compared to a building where one of the pillars is missing. In that case, it shall fall to one side, to the side where discipline is missing. In other words, pastors must be careful when they do not have a working schedule; children must have to time to love their duties and perform them; etc. We must be extremely vigilant against this spirit that does only what it wants when it wants. True discipline is one of the pillars of the Christian life.
  780. We often hear the word "joy", especially in the Bible. However, its meaning is very important and can be quite different from what we are used to. The true meaning of this word is like when two people who belong together have been separated for a long, long time are reunited again. It doesn't matter why they have been separated, whether they became incompatible or were merely separated. They experience inexpressible joy when they reunite because they belong together and were apart. That is what we should be experiencing every day of our existence in the Lord. This is why the Bible talks about having joy in the Lord and not outside of Him. If we manage to be fully united to the Lord while experiencing His fullness (if that fullness is not a burden to conscience or to daily living), we shall come back to where we belong by creation. We shall, then, be able to experience that sort of joy that the Bible talks about.
  781. I need to be on my guard against the way people talk to me as much as the things they say. What they say and the way they say it are two different temptations which achieve different answers or even sinful answers and reactions. I may say the right thing in a bad tone because I was spoken or neared in a bad tone or way. "Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips", Is.6:5. I cannot follow the way it is opened up before me as a fish would be enticed or lured by the the bait in a hook - even if the bait is real food.
  782. Jesus talks about those to whom He spoke in parables because they would hear truth without understanding it. Paul also mentioned people who are "ever learning and never able to come to the full knowledge of the truth", 2Tim.3:7. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says that one comes to know by doing. We may easily assume, then, that all those who can't come to the knowledge of truth, even if they learn much and believe they are learned people, are people who don't do God's will or are hindered to do it through those sins they refuse to bring to the light. Whatever the reason is that hinders people from a genuine, heartily practice of the words of God and His will, the fact remains that they shall not know, as a consequence, whether they are really listening to God or not and whether what they do is from God or acceptable to Him. That doubt shall always be within them. There are, also, people who try doing certain things they need not to do in order to refuse doing those things thy must do. They get a substitute for the will of God in the name of God. They won't come to the knowledge of truth either.
  783. Every trial or temptation comes with the intention to kill and to create havoc. The intention of God when He allows them, is to make alive and to clean even more. We can say it is a battle between life and death, and so it is indeed. The trial or temptation may turn the heart either bitter and angry or one can use those circumstances to clean further, to make perfect and to do away with the spots of the soul. The option stands always at the door of whoever is tried. One must choose either to live or die. No one can take an indifferent stand when tried and that is what many do. However, we must make sure all trials are really trials and not merely consequences of some sin which is driving the soul into the domain of fierce vengeance of dark powers.
  784. "But, He must first be rejected by this generation", Lk.17:25. I believe many have read this portion of Scripture without paying it the attention it demands. Why was it necessary that Christ be rejected? Let us think. "This generation" is a hypocritical one. It believes in God, talks well of Him and, at the same time, lives in sin. It doesn't know God and yet speaks as if it knows Him intimately. That is one of the reasons it must reject Christ. It must appear as evil as it is. It has already rejected Christ, but, lives as if it is accepting Him. It cannot be kept under the cloak of falsity and praise to God. It is necessary that it rejects Christ.
  785. Some times, we have more serious problems than the ones we can imagine or think of. For example, let us imagine we have some practical problems we need to solve and, at the same time, we also have some sins which hinders God to sort them out in our lives. The first thing we might think of is to confess and do away with those sins because of the problems we may have. We fix our lives with God because of the problems and not because it is the right and the only thing to do. Sin is a huge problem in itself. Those motives might hinder God's work as well. We cannot near God having secondary intentions in mind. In fact, these problems might even be the main reason why we near Him with our sins. "Jesus answered them and said, Truly, truly, I say to you, You seek Me not because you saw the miracles, but because you ate the loaves and were filled", John 6:26. We must know that to be separated from God by any kind of sin is a serious problem on its own. It is the problem. We cannot wish to solve it with the intention to solve other problems. We cannot love this life to the point of of sorting out our sins for the sake of it. That is an idolatrous thought.
  786. "So likewise you, when you shall have done all the things commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants, for we have done what we ought to do", Lk.17:10. Today, we see all kinds of preachers and ministers. However, very few are 'unprofitable' servants. In fact, many wish to have God serve them and their ideas. I am not able to see anyone singing and selling music and still living with the belief or conviction to be an unworthy servant. No such person believes he is worthless, especially if popularity shows otherwise and 'proves' he is a gifted 'artist'.
  787. "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. You have received freely, freely give", Mat.10:8. We should pay closer attention to these commandments. This commandment, it seems, has not been given to one individual, but to groups of individuals. This could mean that a group of people will perform God's works together. In their midst may exist various people with different gifts. Nevertheless, it must be the group's work, having all the others backing up the one who has the gift in use, whatever it may be. Then, everyone shall know that it is not the person and neither the group that heals, but God. God's works will become works of obedience and won't be a decision of any person in particular. God has determined beforehand which works must be performed. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them", Eph.2:10. We won't be able to carry out God's works unless we all have a tuned ear and a willing heart which shall obey as God leads and be able to move as one man.
  788. The cares (concerns and worries) of this world do not only choke the words of God which we need to recall and remember on appropriate occasions and during the course of our duties and days, but it may also cause the heart to be in a fighting mood against God occasionally. This kills the soul in two ways: it neglects, refuses, despises or forgets those words which bring life; and it 'fights' against the One who gives life to those words and, in fact, to anyone. He is the only one who can accomplish whatever He says. The concerns for this life choke the word and, also, fight against the One who opens, reveals and blesses the way we need to take and follow by paying attention only to that word which has been spoken or directed to anyone.
  789. Every person that works hard and well only under supervision, even if it is under the supervision of the law and even if the work is well done, is considered lazy and unfaithful, especially if without that supervision the work is not done so well.
  790. Many ask themselves why the church, today, is the place where most sins are committed and, in fact, most of the grievous ones. It seems to be a mystery, but, only to those who do not take every word of the Bible seriously. The Bible says that those who do not hear and who despise correction and instruction will fall into many sins inside the Congregation. If anyone despises exhortations, listens more readily to doctrines which are taking over these days - doctrines such as the ones about prosperity, about once saved always saved and others which allow sin to be acceptable and to look less grievous - the Bible says that such a person's evil will appear "in the midst of the congregation and assembly", Prov.5:14. It is there where sinning will emerge. No one can avoid it happening that way. The previous verses tell you shouldn't live in a way of which you shall say, one day: "How I have hated instruction, and my heart despised correction. I have not obeyed the voice, nor bowed down my ears", Prov.5:12,13.
  791. The wisdom of which the Bible talks about can only be despised or treasured. No one will stay indifferent to it. "She is a tree of life to those who lay hold upon her; and happy is everyone who keeps her", Prov.3:18. To forget later on, or not to take it seriously enough, to ignore it, or not being able of thinking on it according to the line of thought it intends to lead into is to despise the whole of it. That is why the Bible often talks about those "in whom these things are found", and why Jesus laid the emphasis on "those who abide in Me and My words in them". Any word coming from God or the Bible that is not able to remain in man has surely been despised or looked upon with contempt. "He who is careless of his ways will die", Prov.19:16.
  792. "In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths", Prov.3:6. I could say a lot about this verse. The word "acknowledge" derives from knowing. Before one is able to acknowledge, one has to know and to be known of God. Our ways must be experienced by Him and they must contain the Lord in them before we are able to acknowledge Him in them. We can acknowledge only when it is true. Many acknowledge Him out of their mouth but not out of truth. To acknowledge is the responsibility of all those who have really experienced the Lord fulfilling in their ways.
  793. Many feel bad or discouraged when a commandment or word goes against what they think or wish to do. It happens when they have something else in mind, reacting to it as if it is a word of death. Immediately after that, they start blaming themselves or God. Some even find in it a reason to turn back to the world. Excuses, mere excuses! And if they do, it is because they wanted that to happen and turn an excuse into a reason. They quickly forget that every word that comes from the Lord is a word of life and not of death. These people are unable to rejoice when exhorted, seeing that the Lord exhorts those whom He loves. If He wasn't interested in their lives or if He wasn't paying attention to it, He wouldn't have exhorted them. We should never dare to offend God by taking His words as words of death. Maybe, that is why the Lord leaves many people to themselves. Isn't it what they want? God is a real gentleman and will respect the choice people make.
  794. Why is it that when someone is under trials, whether they are heavy or not, the first thing that is thought of is of being abandoned by God? Why isn't the mind inclined to suspect that it is being tried? To think one is abandoned is backed up by self justification. Job became aware of the fact that he was being tried by afflictions of many kinds and few people in this world have undergone the kind of trials he has been through. The feeling of abandonment in a Christian is directly related to some sort of self justification or self-preservation.
  795. In the Bible it is confirmed and said that the "righteous shall live by faith". But, we also read, "Keep My commandments and live", Prov.4:4. We cannot deny the fact that both things come in the Bible and that the Bible does not contradict itself. So, there must be something we might miss here. The theologians make it look as if doing and faith are opposed. They ascribe doing to the Old Testament. But, Jesus said, in the New Testament, "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled", Mat,5:17,18. We must understand that doing and believing work together and are not opposed. We still live by fulfilling and we fulfil through faith. Faith enables us to fulfil faithfully from the deepest points of our hearts.
  796. We read, in the Bible, that all those who really come to the Lord, from the smallest to the greatest, shall be taught of God. In case you don't know, this is one of the conditions to be able to stay true and faithful to the Lord right through. We find many people who are taught and who even teach well from Scripture. But, unfortunately, most of them have not been taught by God Himself. This is why they and their 'converts' soon fall away from the ways of God, in which they have never been taught by God. They cannot stand because they have never made a point of being taught by the Lord. "I do not turn aside from your rules, for You have taught me", Ps.119:102. We shouldn't desire only to be taught, but, to be taught by God Himself. This implies that we have and maintain a close relationship with Him and that is what maintains the soul in all holiness. Now you know why so many called genuine Christians fall away and backslide: they are not taught by God. "I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths", Prov.4:11.
  797. "The proud have wronged me with falsehood; as for me, I will meditate on your precepts", Ps.119:78. It does us good to find such people as this psalmist. He did not use his time to think on the evil that has been committed against him or to question it, but rather to meditate on the law of God. "For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke, yet I have not forgotten your statutes", v.83. He did not question the reason for being like a wineskin in the smoke. He simply used his time and mind to remember God's statutes. Are you like that? If you aren't, you won't grow spiritually. "I hold my life in my hand continually, but I do not forget your law", v.109.
  798. Every time we are tried in the faith by certain circumstances or things, we must know that it feels like a trial only because of the kind of heart we may still have in us. Trials do not feel like trials because of what is happening, but because of the heart we still have. The intensity or degree of the trial can only be ascribed to the condition that the heart is found. It cannot be blamed upon circumstances or sufferings.
  799. Many people are confounded or confused in the ways of the Lord. They do not hear properly or do not wish to hear properly. There are, certainly, explanations for that. The Bible doesn't leave anything untouched. But, I cannot see the reason why those who are confused persist in the error of their lives. Some go to the point of striving to believe their error is the right way and something else must have gone wrong. That is bad and the confusion is accepted as the normal way of life. That is how deceitful man's heart can be: it can start believing in the confusion it refuses to explain. Let us look at it this way: God's word is straight, to the point and truthful. It has many other attributes, but, let's stick to these for now. God's word has no other intention but to save from sin and to change the heart. To live with a truthful word one needs to have or to get a truthful heart. Sort seeks sort and only alike things are able to match and to walk together, Amos 3:3. The living are together with those who live and the dead are with the dead ones. It is a lot of work to obtain such a heart. Besides, the heart must always fit into the new realities of a new, incoming life. Alike things seek to meet and to get along. They call upon each other. Now, if we put a bad heart in touch with a good word and the person who has that heart tries to stick by that word, it so happens that the heart tries to fulfil to avoid a change. To adapt is not to change. And everything must become new. That is where confusion starts or takes over. "Let my heart be sound (sincere and wholehearted and blameless) in Your statutes, that I may not be put to shame (confusion)", Ps.119:80. We need to work with the Lord to obtain a new heart or the pure word of God will become a stumbling block and a source of confusion. We cannot put life and death to work together without having injuring consequences.
  800. Sin is something which can be committed. After it has been committed, it calls for more sin or even for other sins. Sin calls upon sin. And having sin calling upon sin, soon it shall become a way of life, a lifestyle. Sinning becomes a habit, a way of life. Transgression and violating an own conscience is taken for granted and the feeling of impunity starts taking over, reorganizing the mind against the reality of a present or future judgment and against the certainty of the wrath of God. The habit of not believing that sin brings wrath settles in to deceive till the Judgment Day shows it otherwise. Some people are judged before Judgement Day and shall be judged again on that day. The mind will get used to believe and to rely on impunity when it has enjoyed sinning for a long time. Darkness causes to believe in the impunity of the guilty. Once we are free from sin by the work of God in the inner soul, there are certain habits, beliefs and patterns which must be worked against through God's word and which must be actively changed. We need to be renewed in our minds as well, especially after having tasted the heavenly life for the first time. We enter that sort of life with an old mind and it must be changed. Our whole life calls upon sanctification and change. After one is made just (justification), the whole of the mind, thoughts and all we are or have learned to be, need to transformed fully (sanctification). "Be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect", Rom.12:2. This will amount to the same thing as changing from the heart a culture or a nationality. Has everything indeed become new in you? Has eternal life already taken over all you are, think and believe? Has it redirected you and reinstructed all you are?
  801. One thing is to wish to be humble or, at least, to look humble; another thing is to be really humble and take the position of a servant as if there is no other way to live. In the position of a servant, the Lord is exalted by the servant who makes a point of revealing His Lord as exalted because He is indeed exalted. Humility does not lie about things. There are humble people, so to say, who are able to look inferior than others or, at least, in the same level as others. But, it does not mean the Lord stands out as exalted in their lives, since their humility is not an exaltation of the true Lord and Saviour. There are various combinations of attitudes and ways to which we must pay full attention. For example, we may be able to exalt the Lord without words just as we may be exalting self using words which exalt the Lord. One can exalt the Lord in sermons, words and songs without having taken the place of a real servant. One can do all that without humility. And such shall also be opposed by God. "God resists the proud", James 4:6; 1Pet.5:5.
  802. "Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more", Is.1:5. The love for the world, besides being sticky, is terrible. In fact, it is disastrous. How shall we ever understand that people will defend it to remain in it at the cost of their own lives? Sinners will rather rebel and be punished and, by that, blackmail God into what they would have Him do for them: accept sin. "From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores", v6.
  803. "Lookingfor these things, be diligent, spotless, and without blemish, to be found by Him in peace"2Pet.3:14. It is not only demanded that we be spotless and without blemish: we need to be naturally and consistently in peace of mind having nothing but godliness, nothing of the world, its means and resources and none of its ways. We must be found in peace in the presence of God and to remain so in Him. Looking back is enough reason to be cursed on the spot if, when He comes, we are found longing for what should be left altogether. We must be found in complete joy and peace living a spotless life. It must be our joy. In the same way, our good hope and taking courage must be sincere and real in such a heart, v.1. Have you ever seen people with long faces simply because they cannot enjoy the things of this world, even when they have left them behind?
  804. To be able to rely on the providence of God is to be able to be satisfied with today.
  805. "...Confirmed in the present truth", 1Ped.1:12. Peter did not make a mistake using these words. He talks about a present truth. By that, we assume their is a future reality or truth we must look out to. "Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be", 1John 3:.2. The word "truth" in the way the Bible wants it to be understood and commonly accepted is a present reality and not merely a word which talks about something that is truthful. Truth is experienced. Unless truth becomes real and living, it cannot be truth. Under this context, Peter talks about the "present truth". It means there is something better, more glorifying than the fullest abundant life one may or can ever experience on this earth, which is, by itself, far above what any human can conceive or imagine for himself here on earth. He might be able to imagine it for others like Peter and Paul, but seldom for himself. But, this "present truth" must not only be real: it must be confirmed and established by God Himself. We must live in it and through it in such a way as if we have never lived any other way before. That is what it means to be confirmed in it.
  806. "By faith, also, Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged Him who had promised to be faithful", Heb.11:11. Sarah laughed when she overheard God saying she would bear a child in her old age. It seemed she was unbelieving or that she had an unbelieving moment by laughing. However, this verse states clearly that "she judged Him who had promised to be faithful". It can be confirmed that Scripture does not contradict itself. However, it is easy to ask why did she laugh being a woman of faith? Was it unbelief at work? Perhaps, Paul is not referring to a moment of temptation of an unexpected surprise which might have taken her out of her normal mind. Even Abraham had his mind made up concerning Ishmael, Gen.17:18. Perhaps Paul is talking about her whole life of faithfulness to the Lord and to Abraham who lived with this 'strange' idea or ideal of being blessed by God, believing even against hope. She had had God in a very high light for many, many years - during her whole life! She was not unbelieving - she had been tempted to disbelieve the word she overheard and which had always been a dream for her, which a woman in her time and under her circumstances always had. Besides, she had exercised faith after Abraham was reprimanded because of her laughing. How else could she have had a child unless she believed to the point of relating herself physically to Abraham again? We all know there are certain things old people don't do anymore. She must have decided to do it again to conceive Isaac.
  807. "Abraham, by faith, lived in the land of promise as a stranger", Heb.11:9. Abraham had a promise and lived for many years where God had put him to live. In fact, the world is God's and everything that is in it and He could give it to anyone He wanted. However, Abraham lived in that land as a stranger. He did not live in it as if he owned it. He could have done so legitimately. But, he didn't. He even made a vow that he would never take as much as a shoe string for himself or by himself. Only God would do so. Didn't David refuse to kill Saul who had been an enemy of God and of Israel? Why did he refuse to kill him? Wasn't it because God had promised David the throne of Israel? This is a death blow to all those doctrines who say we must take hold of this and that. Appropriation is not the same thing as receiving. And the Bible talks about receiving the promises by taking hold of eternal life, it is, of Christ. Abraham's heart was not in this world - it was set on God and on Him alone. "For he looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God", v.10.
  808. Every deed starts in the heart. Take good care of it instead of concentrating only on your actions and acts. The more you take care of the heart, the the easier it shall be to control, change or make your actions perfect. The other way round, it is, trying to control your heart through your actions is the way of hypocrites and conduct-manipulators. "Above all things that must be kept, keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life", Prov.4:23.
  809. "Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord", 2Ped.1:2. Many talk about the peace and the grace they have received. But, the only kind of peace and grace that is worth something is that kind which is kept in the presence of God, it is, when God is a reality. If I can live in full peace and feel at home having God present in a real, Pentecostal way, then my peace is of the kind that God gives. Jesus won't change for a moment, not even to adapt Himself to man or to man's circumstances or beliefs. According to Peter, real peace must not only be there when God is there (as He had made Himself present in Pentecost), but, it must go beyond that: it must be able to be multiplied under such circumstances. This can mean that our peace and comfort needs to experience a multiplication and an increase as we get to know and experience God in a real way by getting closer and closer to Him in motives, in reality and in truth. Can you live in peace and be at rest experiencing the fires of God? Can you face all He reveals by approaching you? He is light. He shall reveal all. Only by being able to live with that sort of light and going as far as accepting it with joy can grace and peace be multiplied. Multiplying it any other way, under other circumstances or through any other means is the way of error and it shall never be real peace or real joy and grace. "Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?", Is.33:14.
  810. Once, while talking to a certain man, the Lord revealed to me that His wrath was hanging over him. I was caught by surprised. I instinctively put some distance between the two of us and made sure he wouldn't wish to be my friend. This man had a good job, a prospering lifestyle, an apparently happy family along with many other things. He died shortly after that and his death was a terrible one. Yesterday, as I was thinking on it, I realized that the so called prosperity people preach so much about is no prosperity at all. This man had it all and he was under the curse of God. Let no one believe that God is with him only because he has some degree of material prosperity to rely upon. And if this is true, let no one think God has left him under any kind of trial or under poverty. God does not leave His own for a single moment. Let's stop believing lies by looking at things as they appear to be. God might not be with the rich and might not be against the poor - it all depends if someone holds on to sin or not.
  811. In many aspects, evil operates and works more intelligently and using more intuition. In practical life, we must exceed evil in the means to be holy and become practical in our faith. Evil knows that to overcome good, sin must be practiced and committed. We must know that, to overcome evil, we must do good, Rom.12:21. Many take it for granted that God is with them even if they sin in some way. "...Let us do bad things that good may come? Their condemnation is just", Rom.3:8. In fact, their condemnation shall be doubly just: they believe they can do evil and stand because God will accept them. It is a double sin. To believe that God accepts evil is the opposite of faith because faith is to believe that He is good. "He who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is good...", Heb.11:6. If God would accept evil, He wouldn't be good anymore. Those who are able to believe that God accepts their evil are not in the faith anymore - if they ever were!
  812. "We know that whatever things the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law; so that every mouth may be stopped and all the world may be under judgment before God", Rom.3:16. There are people who believe God made the world condemnable so that He could be exalted in glory. But, there is a lot in this statement that is misunderstood. Let me try to explain briefly. The world is evil and does not look condemnable to all yet. The world is sin and is, was and shall always be condemnable for its evil before God. However, it doesn't look condemnable in the eyes of the people who live in it because they are still in love with it. In fact, it must look as condemnable as it is evil. God works to make it look as it is. For example, today when we think of the devil or hear about him, there is a clear image of evil attached to him. His fame (name) is evil. The devil is synonymous of evil. No one links the devil to any kind of goodness anymore. He has to work under disguise, without letting anyone know it is he who is at work. Maybe, in former ages, the name of the devil did not sound as evil as it sounds today. Nowadays, anyone thinking of him knows what he stands for. He is condemned and also sounds condemned. Even his name and fame talk about it and confirm it. Now, the world is not seen - yet - as condemned and as evil as the devil already is. The devil is seen as an enemy, but not the world - at least not yet. It is not looked upon as a bad thing yet, even if it is condemnable. The world must be judged by what it did at the Cross. It killed the Creator of the world. It showed just how bad it is. It can't lie before truth anymore. It is still able to lie to people. However, the day will come when people will also look at the world as evil and condemnable or condemned - just as the devil has his fame go before him nowadays. The fame of the world will be like the fame the devil. The world must be condemnable in our own eyes as well, just as it is in fact and in reality. It is already under the judgement of God and we must believe it and look at the world as condemned or, should I say, as evil and condemnable. We must look at it for what it stands for.
  813. If it is the love for sin that hardens the heart, than hatred towards it makes the heart soft and meek. Do you wish to be meek? Hate sin and the more and better you are able to hate it, the more meek you shall be.
  814. When the Bible talks about "the lie", it gives a more extensive definition to it than the one we do. To God, a lie is, also, truth that does not work out. If your faith doesn't work out in practical life and if it does not bear fruit, then, it is a lie - even if is based upon the name of Jesus.
  815. Passive faith (or unbelief) is always the proof of the lack of dignity of the soul of the man who thinks highly of himself, and does things only to be seen (otherwise, he won't do them). Such a man believes unconsciously to be better and wiser than God and does not realize it. He carries a stone in the place of his heart and believes it is a piece of gold.
  816. We often talk and hear about faith without deeds or even about faith with deeds. Under that light, we must know that being able to wait legitimately on the Lord is a deed of faith.
  817. There is a serious problem awaiting those who make continuous use of jokes and meaningless attitudes to be friends with others: they often refuse to think seriously about more serious subjects. Besides, many of them do not see the point of going back on their actions and words to ask for forgiveness for comments and remarks which are loveless when analysed under the light of God and of love. By being frivolous, there are many offenses which are never regarded as such and which need restitution. Few will go back on their actions and words to ask for forgiveness because "it was a joke".
  818. Humbling ourselves beforehand and in time is a precious pearl which God can bless richly and multiply easily. However, there is nothing like humbling ourselves during moments of exaltation and blessedness. Nothing can be compared to such a capability.
  819. Let's imagine that Moses didn't go to see why the bush was burning without being consumed. Or, let's imagine he ran away from the vision out of fear thinking it was a spell or something. If he had done that, he could have missed God's will for his life. His whole existence would have lost all its meaning and he would have roamed around with a meaningless lookout about the rest of his life and, perhaps, so would millions of people (Israel) because of him. Sometimes, people come to me and say they can't hear God's voice about His will for their lives and that they don't know why they exist. And we, who counsel people, sometimes wonder why it happens too. We even pray about it and there is no voice and no vision to guide us. It can, also, bother our hearts if we don't stay at God's side to uphold Him before anyone.
  820. There must be moments when we must read a lot of God's word to understand it. However, reading a lot is not always synonymous of practicing a lot. Practical things are done one at a time and carried to the end. Only what is done to the end is considered as doing the word of God. To read with understanding from the Spirit is good and special, especially for future occasions. God can use, in the future, the word that is stored up in the soul and in the heart. Seldom does God use a word stored only in the mind - only if it has reached the heart. "The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance", John 14:26. That is the only goal of the stored words of God: to feed in proper moments of need - or of great need. That is not the same thing as reading a lot and learning a lot to stand out and to feel above others in any kind of wisdom or perception. If we read to stand out or only to know about it, we read in vain.
  821. In order to be helped, corrected and established in a real and practical way and to have God cooperate with us in such interventions in the soul, we must have an exact diagnosis of what is disturbing our peace - if it is disturbing at all. If anyone still has some respect, fear or love for his own evil, or if such a person exaggerates about or above the real view of it to produce some false humility which is a lie before God and people, one shall not be helped by God at all. We can only be helped according to truth and must be fully identified with what truth reveals, without adding or taking away from it. Our perception and reaction must be in accordance with the view (vision). "Write the vision, and make it plain", Hab.2:2. We cannot write more than the vision and neither less. May God help us.
  822. One of the ways to love the world and to let it become imperceptible to our consciences, is to allow it to become familiar and usual. To allow it around us is what the Bible mentions as being "friends of the world". It shouldn't feel at home near any of us and neither any of us near it.
  823. To have a good way look like a good way, sometimes, the contrast of a bad way is of great help. Therefore, never become discouraged or dismayed when you ask God to straighten your ways and you become, instead, more and more aware of how bad your ways are, Ps.5:8b.
  824. "I am he man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath", Lam.3:1. It doesn't really matter why we go through a stage or place where God's wrath is felt or experienced. Whether it is because of our own sins or only because of other's sins, all is well after sin is fully purged and taken away - even when wrath was used as the means to do so.
  825. "You shall not add to the Word which I command you, neither shall you take away from it", Deut.4:2. When it is the Lord who gives us a word, it might look like an insignificant thing because temptation will be at work against it and against us from the moment we receive that word. It might, also, seem wrongly written or badly explained when we review it (if we have written it down, as we should). It happened to me, quite often, that people listened to something I preached about which seemed to me as something that wasn't so good or so significant and they rejoiced about it and even came to me thanking for "the word they just needed to hear and prayed about". In my mind, it often seemed to be close to a useless word. We must stop the idea that we must always say or understand "wise things" when God is willing to grant only the appropriate life or understanding of something practical and simple. Therefore, when something comes from the Lord, let us despise the temptation to add, to change or to take away from what God has given us. Let us handle it as it is given, hand it over as God gave it. Let's rather be obedient instead of wishing to shine. It is possible to wish to change a word that seems insignificant by adding unto what God has given or said, just as it is possible to take away from it because we believe it shall hurt people. Such people, usually, say "we must be wise". Sometimes, we believe it is not the proper time to speak out what God has granted us and we even choose another subject to preach about. In fact, we are being foolish enough to reject the words of God. We should not take away or change it in any way - not even the meaning of it.
  826. "Oh Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I teach you to observe, that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers is giving you", Deut.4:1. Can you see the sequence of facts and happenings in these words? First, there is "observe". By observing, it is made possible to enter the Land; "by going in", it is possible to conquer. Obviously, after having conquered it, it is made possible to live in it. However, Israel did not keep the motives pure after entering. Maybe, that is the reason this verse does not add "and live in it" as the following step after having possessed it, even though other Bible passages do. Anyway, no one can conquer a land from far away. One must be in it. In other words, one can only conquer the soul from the grips of sin to hand it over to the Lord by entering the land which is possessed by sin, it is, where sin fights back and resists terribly through temptations and accusations. There is no other way to conquer it but only by entering it with courage and full faith in the Lord, holding high up all the weapons of light.
  827. After entering to possess the Promised Land, comes a serious problem: the reason why such a land had to be possessed. Everything must be done for the Lord's sake after the possession of it, just as it has been before taking possession of it - even when we are directly and gladly benefitted by any achievement. We must keep the motives always updated, and the motivations, after we have received, must remain pure. Unless we are able to do all for the Lord, nothing of what we do has any value in itself. If we do not strive to conquer for the Lord, we might not even enter it. But, if we have conquered it because we have done it for the Lord and for His sake, we shall only remain in it by keeping doing all for the same motives and for the sake of the Lord.
  828. We easily realize that Joshua couldn't have done better than he did, even though the people of Israel could have. After a extremely obedient Moses, who had very pure motives in leading God's people, Joshua had a hard challenge ahead of him because all humans cannot easily accept someone unless such a person outstands the other. For the disobedient people of Israel, it wouldn't do being like Moses: Joshua would need to stand out more. That is the way of the flesh. It reasons that way.
  829. We only know those truths which have become practical to us. The rest is never real knowledge, even if some consider it as such.
  830. It is very important for us to be always in a state where we can have answers to any prayer at any time, whatever the circumstances we may find ourselves in. Otherwise, we may incur the danger to find ourselves in a life and death situation, pray for help and not be heard by the Lord because there is some sin separating us from God. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to be ready and found in Him all the time.
  831. "For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, lest his deeds should be exposed", John 3:20. This means that everyone who feels exposed and annoyed when exhorted, corrected or counselled does not yet love light the way he should love it. Light reveals all and if one still needs to make use of force to expose sin or anything else, then light doesn't feel welcome. Therefore, it is left over to man to expose it himself and to make an effort to start loving light. Let's get to the point where we love light in such a way that we shall be able to rejoice in case anything bad in us is revealed.
  832. There is nothing like the Word of God to make a man humble when it is fully understood and put into practice without hesitations, without own conditions and without interruptions of any kind.
  833. Many wish to teach others to gain a place of authority among the brothers. Only a few wish to serve God and to become a servant of the Word of God. "I exhort the elders who are among you (...) Feed the flock of God among you, taking the oversight, not by compulsion, but willingly; nor for base gain, but readily", 1Ped.5:2,3. To teach the Word of God to stand out is to do something "for base gain".
  834. One of the many problems we can come across by not waiting in the Lord is the fact that we might not be found where we should be once the Lord comes with whatever we have been waiting for. Because we have not waited, we are simply gone from our post and have not prepared to be able to receive it. "I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will look forth to see what he will speak with me", Hab.2:1.
  835. Prayer doesn't find answers by force, but by fulfilments and by abiding to the conditions God made eternal and non-negotiable.
  836. If we read the Bible, we will come across many truths about the weak and the strong. However, we become aware of the fact that the Lord says that the weak will never fall (when found in Him) and that the strong will never stand without Him. So, what good is it to wish to be strong?
  837. The first thing to know when we seek a life of prayer which brings forth fruit, is that one must start to pray. To know about prayer is not praying yet. The first step is to start to pray.
  838. Never forget that to read the Bible is not an end in itself. People, usually, think that to be religious is pleasing enough to God and by spending much time reading their Bible with devotion is the whole of their religious duty. It is a good thing to read the Bible and to understand it - the more, the better. But, remind yourself constantly that the Word of God is a mixture of powerful means and not of powerful ends. The Word has to lead us to a real Christ. Reading the Bible has no virtue in itself unless it leads us to the Lord to have and to maintain a continual, uninterrupted fellowship with Him. If the Word you hear doesn't lead you to the Lord and to be His intimate friend in a real way, once you know the Bible very well, your times of devotion will become vain repetitions and not times of wonderful, unexpected fellowship with the Lord of Lords. Don't stumble by holding truth in your hands or mind alone.
  839. Joy is not something you decide to have, even if it is a commandment. Joy depends on the honesty of your heart when you are looking to Jesus. The lack of joy often gets settled by living in the normal carnal trend, especially when Jesus is at work, either in your life or in someone else's. The opposite of stealing is to give; of lying, is telling the truth; of dishonesty, is to do to people what you would wish to be done to you; of joy, is to be carnal.
  840. "And He said: It is written, "My house shall be called the house of prayer"; but you have made it a den of thieves", Mat.21:13. The Lord condemns as a thief anyone who uses the temple or the pulpit to negotiate.
  841. The Lord gives, but not according to merit. God gives according to need. That is mainly what we understand from the parable where the master hired the workers at different stages and all received the same wages. Those who have been hired later had the same needs as the others. Working less did not diminish their needs and having worked more did not multiply the needs of those who worked more hours.
  842. "But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord", James 1:6,7. Here is my point: does this verse also mean that if one is wavering and unbelieving about one thing he shall not receive any other thing as well?
  843. Why is the truth about the real estate of any sinner taken as an offense to self? Why would that truth hurt him? Isn't it because the sinner wishes to think higher things of himself? Isn't it because he wishes to think better things of himself?
  844. "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith", Rom.12:3. The problems people face or will have by thinking highly of themselves are many. We can only mention some of them. One of the dangers or problems it can bring in the future is the disappointment which makes someone avoid thinking soberly of himself. Allow me to explain. Whenever people think highly of themselves - especially in the ministry - God resists them along in whatever they say. "God resists the proud", James 4:6; 1Pet.5:5. Whatever they say shall be resisted and not blessed. They will surely be disappointed in God and will start doubting Him for two main reasons: God resists them; and they can't make use of the self-confidence that made them think highly. Consequently, once they become humble and blessed, there will always be a temptation either to doubt as God leads, or to think highly of self again so they can 'trustfully' walk on. There is a kind of trust that is unbelief. It shall be easy, then, to fall into the trap of disobedience and unfaithfulness. The temptation to be unfaithful will be right at hand. Besides, all those who think highly of themselves will always strive to do what is not meant for them to do and to neglect whatever is meant for them because they are not able to do more than one thing at the same time. It will create a pattern of thinking and of going through life which can cause many to stumble. Soon, if they are enabled to carry out some of the things God has for them, they will also be easy preys of temptations to do other things or other's things. They will easily neglect the duty that is at hand to do what is not meant for them. That is how the mind learned to be and to react. Sins of omission will, consequently, lie at the doorstep if the mind is not renewed after one has ceased to think highly of self. Next time you act or react to anything prompted by the highly thoughts you have or breed about yourself, think of the dangers and of the consequences you are incurring.
  845. Many believe that to speak of judgment is unkind. However, we read that "The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment", Ps.37:30. Further, it says it speaks that way because "The law of his God is in his heart", v.31. It is unthinkable to talk about any law without being reminded of its sanctions. Any law has its blessings for fulfilment and its curses for breaking it. Even the supreme law of love has it. That is why it is called a law. In other words, it is impossible to uphold the law of God in the heart without thinking of judgement. Judgement is part of that law. And the tongue shall speak only from what fills the heart.
  846. You can desire to have new things and new experiences every day. However, it will never make you grow spiritually. What causes you to grow as a person is to build upon what you have received. You can choose to do things better and to improve through the power of grace or to search for new experiences.
  847. "Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil", Prov.3:7. There is a definite connection between being wise in one's own eyes and the aptitude, ability or capability of practicing evil. This means that being able to use carnal weapons and own wisdom will surely lead to death and ruin. We may say the same thing, among many other own things, of being strong in own strength or being convinced by one's own heart instead of being convinced by God.
  848. If we are indeed dead and crucified with Christ for this world, we are made just (righteous). It means we are justified with Christ. When that happens, there shouldn't be bad or good moments in our lives anymore - there is only Christ in us.
  849. I am often accused of lifting the standards of God very high up beyond the reach of people or humans. Even if it is true that the standard is high, I become more aware, each day, that God might have them even be higher than I put them forth. May God help us.
  850. "Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God (...) lest when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and lived in them (...) then your heart might be lifted up and forget the Lord your God", Dt.8:11-14. This is not easy to explain. However, the truth is that whenever someone is able to forget the Lord or spiritual duties, it means the heart has already lifted itself up in some way. Any person who is able to forget the Lord has still some pride lifting the heart against true, inner life. Such a person is not as humble as it seems to be. By being able to forget a great God or by neglecting any spiritual duty is proof that pride is still there or that it has crept in again. Anyone capable of forgetting the Lord is capable of anything imaginable or unimaginable. Forgetting about God makes any person the worst of creatures in the universe. However, very few people believe it to be such a serious crime. It is possibly one of the greatest sins there is.
  851. God has promised His bread on each day and not during the day before. He has already given the manna on the day it should be used and we believe He hasn't changed to this day. It shall still be done the same way. That is the way things are done in heaven. Let's hope we are able to do things on earth the way they are done in heaven.
  852. Lack of faith is disobedience, Heb.4:2,6,11.
  853. "If I worship you because of the fear of hell, send me to hell; if I worship you having paradise in mind, exclude me from it altogether; but, if I worship you because of you, Lord, do not hide your face from me". (Rabia, 800 DC)". I believe I couldn't say it better. I subscribe it. This is my prayer too. Amen.
  854. In many places in Scripture, we read that God is long-suffering. This means, He takes a while before He reveals His wrath. In other translations, it is said: "He takes long to manifest wrath or anger". In other words, we must be very careful when believing God approves many things our conscience is troubled by simply because we are not punished yet. This does not mean God is approving it, but that He is only taking a while before revealing His full wrath. Make sure you are right with God before you misinterpret the fact that God is not doing anything against you yet. Take the fact into account that He is long-suffering and that it might be working against you.
  855. "...accounted to him as righteousness", Gen.15:6. This word, "accounted" is the possible English translation. It doesn't express the full meaning of it. This word means: "To plait or interpenetrate; to fabricate". In fact, it means to "input" in a strong sense, to work deep within. We have the word "amputation", which may well be the precise opposite of this word. To amputate is to take a member of the body away from it. To input means to put it back where it is supposed to be. This said, let me go on with this thought of my mind. When God created us, we had this righteousness in us. We were made righteous. Sin amputated righteousness from us. "There is no righteous one". Now, when this righteousness is put back into its place, the English translation only says, "accounted" or "ascribed". The true meaning is that it is put back within again. We must take it into account from then on. In other words, this kind of righteousness is put back into man, where it belongs and from where it should have never been amputated. This happens because one believes in the Lord. This doesn't mean that a branch is put back into the tree, but, that the whole structure of the tree is make sound again and the tree lives on instead of being cut off. Now that it has been justified, it is, made just, it can produce good fruit again and be sanctified. If this righteousness is not put back into man, he shall only suffer from self-righteousness because he shall keep trying to be righteous and only self-righteousness can be fabricated by the efforts of any man without God. This is how important it is to be justified by the Lord. We must be made just (righteous) again.
  856. Whenever a sound heart is talking about "feeling the presence of God", it means a feeling of touch and not of emotion. Feelings of emotion prove only that a person has a heart and never that God is present. "Our hands have touched the Word of Life", 1 John 1:1.
  857. Every troubled person is troublesome. A troubled living works out like a descending snow ball - it gets bigger by the day. Disturbed people often disturb those who wish to help them.
  858. All good works are normal things to normal beings created according to the image of God. There is nothing more to it beyond its normality. Good works cannot save anyone. However, without them, anyone is condemned.
  859. Conscience is a wonder. It is a mysterious wonderwork. According to the the Bible, it is able to defend and to accuse. However, most people, when referring to conscience, only have in mind its keen ability to accuse. Many fear their own conscience. According to the Bible, it is also able to defend, Rom.2:15. In order to have it functioning in all perfection, it has to be left alone in all freedom to perform. It mustn't be pressured, influenced or hindered, unless it is wisdom and the word of God instructing it. It must be free to express itself according to all truth. It can only function in freedom having Christ lighting it, instructing it and reviving it. Under those circumstances, whenever conscience is not left alone to talk, decide, hinder or support, it becomes confused, confusing, disturbed and disturbing. It is like wishing to see our face on the surface of the water and someone splashes on it. It doesn't mean the face is not there, but only the vision of it is distorted. It is also true that conscience is not only hindered in its ability to accuse aright or wrong, but, also in its capability to defend and to stand firm supporting truth or supported by truth and the wisdom of God. How many people loose some of their peace of mind because they feel like accusing themselves all the time when conscience is trying to defend them? We see that whoever does not grasp the accusations of conscience is also unable to listen to it when it is defending or assuring aright. It can defend or accuse amiss as well and that might be one of the reasons why people prefer to have it accusing all the time. They feel they are on the safe side by having it accusing. But, it is an illusion. It is a limp conscience the one which only accuses. It is, therefore, very important to leave conscience alone in the light of God and to listen to it carefully instead of being its instructor. If we create a pattern of hindering it, we shall easily become confused and abased. Soon, we shall take our own way to follow it, Is.53:6. The only guide and helper to our conscience should be God's word when it is fully lighted.
  860. We have plenty of proof that, in fact, there is such a thing as a false faith in Jesus as there is the true faith in the Lord. A false faith has a strength of its own backing it up and from which deceit takes an advantage. We can never underestimate the strength or the capability of deceit. Deceit is very keen. It is even able to deceive those who know they are being deceived. It is not very hard to deceive anyone who has a deceitful heart. To deceive a deceitful heart is to grant the heart what that heart desires behind the scenes, to grant it the sort of comfort it desires and where it feels at home.
  861. Life separates from sin and sin separates from life. Any sin is death itself and life works holiness. There is noting more opposed and more differentiated than sin and life.
  862. We know it very well that all great things are mixtures of many details. Some of those details are bigger than others and some are smaller. However, all of them have the same importance in the whole since each detail has its role in holding the whole together. Whether they are bigger or smaller, they have the same importance. Obedience is one of those great or greater things that can happen to us. Light about all details make it possible for us to be diligent both in minor or bigger details. And more light shall be given as we walk on in full obedience. Obedience brings in more light and more light bring more and better obedience. We must know that all details of our obedience are important. They are the jewels of that crown we shall receive and in which we are working for. We must know that our crown is obedience. No obedience, no crown. And each jewel must be placed in the whole or the crown shall be defective and, possibly, unaccepted.
  863. "And it happened when the time was come that he should be received up, He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem", Lk.9:51. We know there was still some time before Jesus would be crucified. However, He started showing that steadfast desire to show up in Jerusalem from very early. His main mission was kept in mind all the time and His mind was exercising steadfastness beforehand. We must, also, be exercised from early on so that we will be a prepared people when the time comes for us to faithful and obedient unto death. We must start exercising steadfastness from the first moment. However, let us do it having God's will in mind and before our eyes. To be steadfast in something else is evil.
  864. I wouldn't advise a compulsive or an impulsive obedience to anyone. However, we may never consider an immediate obedience as impulsive. When something is impulsive, we may say it is superficial. It doesn't come from deep and doesn't last for long. It is like a baby trying to run when he can scarcely walk. It won't run for long till he falls down. True obedience requires from all of us that everything is fully understood before it can be obeyed in the next moment without any hesitation or doubt. Whoever knows how to run doesn't need to think much to start running. His response is immediate and ready. Let those who can run do it well and let those who can't do more than walk, do it well too. Let's do our best, whether we have received one talent or ten of them.
  865. Many believe it is necessary to solve some personal problems before we may think of spiritual things or spiritual problems, such as sin in the heart or lack of communion with the Lord. When it happens, we may be assured that the problems that hinder our wholeheartedness in the Lord might go without solution until the Lord is fully satisfied with our spiritual dedication and progress. We need to take a stand to choose life and to concentrate on celestial things. By doing so, we are choosing between heaven and earth. So, instead of solving those problems - which He can most easily do also - the Lord chooses the ground to make it the "valley of great decisions". We need to choose what we shall pay attention and dedication to. The war has just started and the Holy War has taken off in the "valley of great decisions".
  866. The disagreement with your own heart is called confusion. One can disagree with self for two main reasons: the heart has goodness in it and evil makes an approach to lodge in there; or the heart is evil and goodness and the Lord make a move to live in there by dislodging evil forever. One may never forget that the gospel creates confusion among people for that reason. That can be taken and assumed as fruit.
  867. When our heart does not easily approve what is good, it becomes a good candidate to evil things and evil misleading. And the longer it takes to come to the point of approving goodness, the longer the torture shall be in the heart and in the soul. Also, the longer it takes, the more persistent and nasty shall evil be as a candidate.
  868. Obedience s the key that opens that door which cannot be shut.
  869. "Take heed how you hear", Lk.8:18. The first step towards a false faith is to neglect to take heed how you hear.
  870. The Lord Jesus is the centre of the world.
  871. The future belongs to the day it shall happen. Today was yesterday's future and tomorrow shall be today's future. Let's keep the future where it belongs and take care of today. The rest will arrive soon and will, also, become past.
  872. If what we ask amounts to the illusion and fiction of the religious ways of any religion, we shall receive only according to the way we ask. Our life shall be fiction and illusion which passes away soon. If we are able to ask for Jesus and to see Him the way He is, we shall receive Him the way He is. If we ask for the Jesus we have in mind, we shall receive accordingly - it is, we shall receive nothing because that Jesus doesn't exist. If we ask reality in an illusionary way, we shall have lots of illusion to keep us busy with. If you wish to know what you shall receive, look to the way you ask. The way gives you a close hint of what you shall receive. If you ask for a real Lord through a real heart, that is whom you shall be able to find. If the Lord you are trying to meet is not the real one, you shall have the unreal one with the same name.
  873. The heart that is not prepared to take the worst from the hands of the Lord is never prepared to take or to receive the best from Him either. For the righteous, whatever comes from the Lord is able to work out eternal goodness and peace of mind, even if it is achieved only in the long run. Both 'bad' and good which comes from the good hands of the Lord has very good intentions behind it, however bad the intentions of evil are, driving it. Evil cannot harm beyond recovery whenever we remain in the Lord. Te aim must not be to remain unharmed or untouched, but rather to remain in the Lord. Let's not be protective of self.
  874. The way to do something is more important to learn than to do any proposed thing. The way leads to the work, but, seldom does the work lead to the way it is carried out. I believe it is far more important to learn the way things are done in heaven than to try to do those things themselves. To learn with or from the Lord how to do through His means is far more important. "Your will be done here on earth as it is done in heaven". We know God's will is important, but we see clearly Jesus teaching to pray for the way above praying for the will itself. The way brings the will along. We need to learn to live with the same kind of power heaven lives from, depend on the same kind of power it depends upon, reject the same kind of power heaven rejects. Motives must be the same, the goal must match, the kind of power must be the same and we must learn how to handle it all the way these are handled and used in heaven. Any sinner has in his ways a last resource of survival. Unless our ways die, we will never be dead as sinners. The last remains of sinful hope is to try to carry out God's things through the strength of the arm of the flesh, to trust having money around, to mistrust when we are poor or in trouble, to bless when we are blessed and to rejoice only when the world would have reasons to rejoice. The flesh cannot serve in the temple of God. It will be whipped out of there. You are that temple. We cannot dare to rely on lies or lying attitudes any longer. Let us be exceedingly glad whenever we cannot do things our own way anymore, especially when God is around and we can feel Him in the air we breathe.
  875. Every person who is not in full tune with the Lord will wish to have own things done by the Lord or the Lord's things done his way. We cannot avoid it being so. It simply works out that way. No tree can avoid bearing its own kind of fruit. And that sort of fruit shows that the tree is not tuned with the Lord. Only the fruit can show with certainty what kind of tree it is we are thinking or talking about.
  876. I cannot justify the wicked before the Lord, not even when the wicked one is me or someone I love dearly. If I do, besides offending God greatly, it also shows that I am able to judge him and be angered, jealous, bothered or even hindered by his ways. If the wicked makes me stumble, then my heart is not what it should be. It is the heart that must be fixed and made stable while in the Lord. Let us remove the stumbling blocks from there and not the wicked from his table so we could sit around it. If the Lord commanded Moses to turn gold into ashes because it had belonged to sin before, let us not desire to preserve any of it for personal purposes. Let us rather go without gold than with the stench of any sin sticking to it. Gold is not always pure.
  877. It is enough to be suspicious of any known lie. Suspicion is sin. However, certainties are not sin. To be suspicious of any lie is very little compared to the true virtue of faith. It must be impossible for any true believer to believe any kind of lie or to fall into any of its traps. Besides, Jesus said that sheep "will not follow a stranger, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers", John 10:5. We all know that liars are good with words and can become very convincing sometimes. In fact, they have greater abilities to lie than truthful people often have to tell the truth. If suspicion is sin, how can any lie be turned obvious and clear to make way for certainties approved by God? We know it is not good to talk about suspicions or suspects. Well, the fact is that the Bible says that the wicked shall not be able to stand in the congregation of the righteous, Ps.1:5. Has your congregation been criticized lately because the wicked left it? Be glad, for it is a good thing which is happening to your congregation.. "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us", 1 John 2:19. It works like this: it must be made impossible for a lie to stand in the field of good corn. It must feel a need to leave from there. And it shall happen only when the righteous become "even more righteous". We won't need to be against lies if lies are against us. In other words, if any sort of lie or illusion still has some hold on us, or some enhancement for our eyes, some beauty or goodness in our views, whatever its appearances are, then lies won't easily feel uncomfortable enough to leave and to speak out their views against us. Remember that the power of any lie is to please people and when people do not feel pleased, they will feel like going away from you in a resentful way. The consequences of not pleasing who seeks to be pleased and seen acts like a revenge of some kind. If the world still seems fascinating to you, which is the same as believing a lie, you must stop and put your heart honestly in the light to find out whether the world has really anything everlasting to offer you or not. Make sure about it. If you seem unable to do that, I am sure it is impossible to have true faith fully settled in your heart as well, I mean, genuine certainties. Then, you must remember what James said about double heartedness and what its causes are. Faith is not unstable in its views because it has investigated everything truthfully to be make sure about things. And we need to be truthful about all or we cannot expect truth to feel at home in us. Unless we are truthful, how can we feel at home sitting around truth's table? We need not only to know how to express truth, but we need to be truthful ourselves as well. If so, then expression is easy. However, to be able to explain truth does not make us truthful, but being truthful makes its expression and explanation quite easy.
  878. No one puts on effort to be himself in the Lord - only not be himself. In other words, no one puts on effort to be humble, but only to be proud.
  879. Why do you cry and feel sad because you are unable to think positively about things? Do you really need positive thinking while Christ is there to think about and to be reminded of? Why should you still try to have any good thoughts about self? "Isn't there a God in Israel?" 2 Kings 1:3. Why would you still wish to trust self? When will you dare to entrust yourself to the full cares of the Lord Jesus alone? For how long more will you keep delaying it?
  880. Unbelief is an incapacity. It can be a crippled capacity. In makes it impossible to trust truth or reality. Don't we often see people ducking away from reality and from facts saying facts are hard to swallow? Don't people feel happy fantasizing? That is why there are those who can believe and those who can't. Christ mentioned the fact that there are those who "can believe", Mark.9:29. Consequently, faith is an unique ability or a capability to trust and believe truth and to express itself according to it; and unbelief is the ability to rather trust a lie. Faith is not just believing - it is believing the truth. Unbelief believes a lie.
  881. The lack of faith has many causes and many origins. But, all of them can be called sin. It also has many grievous consequences. And where there is lack of faith, there shall always be a great deal of self-confidence and trust in the arm of the flesh. If there isn't self-confidence, there shall be an idolatrous search after it as 'the thing'. Self-confidence is idolatry just as covetousness is, or, shall I say, the trust in money. Man needs to trust to feel confident and he will rely mostly on himself or something like him when he is unable to trust the Lord. Trust in the Lord is a capability and it is a disability for a lie or for unbelief. You cannot separate lies from unbelief and neither truth from genuine faith.
  882. To start and end any issue in prayer demands from us that we become upset or resentful against repetitions of prayer. We need a kind of discipline which refuses to repeat things before the Lord as if He is deaf. "Let man examine himself" instead of falling into the temptation of vain repetitions which offend God greatly. Prayers without answers shouldn't be repeated until the key to its answer is found, gained or obtained. Any person who seeks answers and isn't satisfied with merely having his 'religious duties' fulfilled, will seldom fall into this trap of vain praying. Repetitions are offenses to God and man repeats himself because he refuses or neglects to cleanse his life of all things which makes God turn His face away from him. Doesn't God see all things? If He sees all things, why wouldn't He be able to hear all things? In the same way that he sees the tiniest thing in any corner of this vast Universe, we can assume the He can hear the tiniest sound anywhere as well. Those who yell and are noisy like to have themselves heard by all and do not take prayer seriously. They seek to be seen like the Pharisees who used to pray in the corners of the streets to impress others - and themselves. They sound as real warriors, but, I take them as unbelieving, pitiful creatures who wish to impress themselves as well. Some think they will be heard by the repetitions they make and others by the amount of noise they make. Others think that prayers are the means to impress others and that they will be answered by having as many as possible impressed by them or by their ways and by showing off. Why would people still act as if they are the ones responsible for opening doors or to show forth answers? And if the doors open up for real, why do they act proudly as if they were the ones who opened them? Most Christians, today, are good actors or actresses. They know just what to do and to feel in their deceit. Man easily finds a way to boast of anything he thinks of.
  883. Remember to have manners when you pray. Do not try to open a door which is not for you to open. Have manners. You knock - God opens. Do not presume the answer and to not wait on a presumed answer as if taking it seriously through a false smile in your face and by a hypocritical attitude. If you start distributing promises or possible tips about what you "have not seen" as if you have seen it, you are a false prophet. "Let no man beguile you of your reward in a appearance of humility (...) intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind", Col.2:18. Do mot promise anything God has not clearly answered you about - even if He has promised. We still need to inherit the promises. The promise is something and the inheritance of it is something else.
  884. Any prayer that gets an immediate answer or any other kind of answer is a challenge only to the one who prays and not to the One who answers. A prayer shall never be a challenge to the Lord. Is it still to you? Are you still surprised when God answers? And do you take that sort of surprise as praise? Have you ceased to pray, giving up before the time and before the answer? If you have, aren't you assuming that God is not faithful or aren't you taking God for a liar?
  885. Have you ever seen any presuming person, it is, someone who solemnly believes his own understanding of everything to be reliable and worthy of admiration? And how many times have you heard people assuming things about others? "You can stand on my word! Such and such is a trustworthy person and will do it!" People easily become surety for others and pawn their own word. I believe only pride or the remains of it can speak for another person. To become sureties for others is a presumptuous attitude. No one can say for sure if anyone will fulfil what is thought of him and, besides, no one knows if that person shall live until the next day. I believe only false humility can give such honour in such a way before people. Pleasing people cannot be humility and it cannot be love. We must know, we do not need to praise others to love them. John loved those people he called "generation of vipers". "My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and plead with thy friend. Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler", Prov.6:1-5.
  886. We all know that we can, must and may have a heart according to God's. That is not news to us even though there aren't many people with such a heart. We must get a heart which delights in what the Lord delights. However, there is a small detail we are not often aware of: we must not only delight in what He delights, but must also delight in it the way He does. Have you ever seen the Lord yelling and making a big fuss when He achieves something? Have you ever seen Him wavering before a small thing, wondering if He, being so great, should carry it out?
  887. Many say, believe or assume God does not harm anyone and that all bad things which may happen to anyone have its origin in the devil. The truth is that even the bad that the devil performs is allowed by the Lord's providence. All those who can believe that God or His providence makes room for evil doings also believe that in the end all shall work out for the general good of the Kingdom of our blessed Lord. All those who can't believe that, will not only suffer under the yoke of evil, but will, also, suffer from bitterness, misunderstandings about the Lord and His doings, doubts, despair, hatred, a murmuring heart and many other things. Because of some of those things they will not feel like stretching their arm and heart towards the Lord. Whoever is capable to trust the Lord under any yoke of trials, shall "be strong and of good courage". People who cannot trust the Lord under heavy yokes often justify themselves and go from bad to worse. They believe their venom can blackmail God into something they believe they have the right for.
  888. Ignorance has a lot of stairs. Let's use them to get off it instead of going up and up on it. There is nothing we will find in ignorance besides more ignorance and presumption. Ignorance invites people often to take the stairs up. It appeals to people and makes evil sound good. It sounds wise, but, it is hypocritical, foolish and will pretend to be good or even do good.
  889. "Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit", John 1:33. It is interesting to mark the fact that God chose a dove to symbolize the descending of His Spirit upon Jesus. Allow me to explain. The Bible talks about the descending of the Spirit quite often. However, there is something else that the Bible talks about as well to which few people pay full attention. It talks about those upon whom the Spirit remains - just as it was mentioned about Jesus. In other words, we cannot say that those "who have not the Spirit" (Judas 1:19) never received Him. If the Spirit doesn't remain on the person He has descended upon, such a person "does not have the Spirit". We all know what a dove is like. It is something which can fly away or remain. Isn't it interesting to know that any person can be without the Spirit by making it "fly" away and become sensual again? That is the sign that made sense to John. Jesus had always been full of the Holy Spirit. In other words, coming down upon Jesus was a sign to John and not to Jesus.
  890. Eternity is a big today. This is why we desperately need to learn how to live the day we find ourselves in now as living beings. If we do not live out of the border of today, we shall never mix the things of this day with tomorrow's and become confused beings. Are you a confusing preacher or a confused person?
  891. No one is able to kill a living being. But, a dead being must never consider itself living. A living being cannot die because death cannot reach out to him. Unless living beings sin in some way, they shall never die.
  892. Accusations are gossiping thoughts which mix truths with lies making both of them look like half truths. I mean that a whole truth starts looking like a half truth and the lie also looks like a half truth. At the end, they create an attitude, which, by insistence, create a pattern of mind and personality that becomes a difficult stream to straighten up. Later on, truth finds it difficult to persuade an accusing mind or to break through to cause it to listen. Accusations is gossiping in the mind. And when it speaks, it often talks about others too or, at least, talks about others with the same spirit - whether it says good or bad things about them. You cannot separate gossiping from a self-accusing mind. They are always found together.
  893. "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good", Rom.12:21. To overcome evil is not to laugh at it, but to exterminate it within self. Evil grants us many opportunities to exercise goodness instead.
  894. The Bible says that even a fool looks wise when he is quiet enough. If that is true, then we can say that even the wisest person will look like a fool when he speaks more than he ought to speak or speaks in a way which he shouldn't speak.
  895. By rule, the person who judges and condemns some sins in others is not someone who takes care of his own life. His own sins and heart are close to abandonment. At least, the temptation to neglect it exists. Such a person is not someone who "takes the seed to sow in his field", as Jesus said he should do. He shall rather try do sow in someone else's field what he receives and sees and won't save himself from anything. Though he wishes to be saved, he deflects truth away to someone else's fields.
  896. Haveyou ever seen someone who reacts violently or aggressively to an own error when it is pointed out or when it has come under his attention? Don't such people usually throw back the accusations to the one by whom they think is accusing them? Anyone who accuses back or judges back is someone who, somehow, felt accused by something. That is why he reacts that way. Well, when someone judges, it is because there is some kind of accusation in him. If the conscience accuses, people react by judging. The basic principle is the same: one feels accused and throws back the judgement. This is the whole truth behind bad judging. People easily judge when they see their own sins in others. They react by judging because they feel accused. They react badly when that happens. That is a poisonous spirit reacting to some kind of accusation. It is the bad spirit of self-defence rising to sting back because it feels accused by his own conscience. That is why he judges. He judges because the image self has about itself has been disturbed or affected and must be protected and preserved by any means. It must either look holy or others must look bad. Therefore, judging is a poisonous reaction to the accusations of an own conscience.
  897. Every person who is not fulfilling his or her marital duties towards husband or wife when they can easily be fulfilled has an adulterous heart and doesn't know about it or doesn't admit it. Even if adultery is not committed, the heart is adulterous.
  898. Grace is an active power and not a passive waiting room. It is not a passive 'hope'. Grace really works! We must get hold of it and grow in it and with it.
  899. "...In the faith that is in Jesus Christ...", 1Tim.3:13,1;14. This means there is another faith outside Jesus Christ. Many, when separated from the Lord, are taken in, comforted and held in error by a false faith which is quite deceitful and they are not even aware of it.
  900. When I was a child I learned to live on my own and I struggled through life without a father or mother. It was me and the world, me and darkness and the world's muddy streams. I have learned a way to 'stand' and to overcome which I must let go now because I have a Father now. I can't rely on the strength of my fleshly arm anymore. And my arm of flesh became strong indeed. I must lay it down, along with my weapons and surrender, but not to this world. I will surrender to the Victor. I must be able to do it fully and unconditionally, however strong the old habits of survival are. I must not be afraid to let my flesh down because I am taken in into grace's care and power. I feel it, I know it.
  901. A person, to change, must desire to change and not merely to be understood and accepted. Therefore, every time a person tries to explain himself, tries hard to be accepted and believed or tries something else which is not a willingness to change, nothing will happen. And to try to help people through a gospel of acceptance is evil. If you really wish to change and that for real, then, you must stop trying to get into the sheepfold by climbing over the wall. You must enter through the gates of grace with a willing heart to do as shown, by the power which is given, having only a real change of heart in mind all the time. You must be able "to remember the Lord in His ways", Is.64:5.
  902. There aren't many differences between rich men and poor men concerning entering the kingdom of God. Let me explain. Poor people are worried people, taken captive by the concerns and ways to make a living. Their day is a busy one and they seldom rest to look for peace of conscience - which is not the same as the peace of the world that grants satisfaction in a fleshly level. They believe in the same god rich people do believe in. Their thoughts are often as consumed as the rich people's thoughts. They have as many thorns as rich people have and they hardly looks up to the Lord wholeheartedly. The only difference between rich people and poor people is that poor people cannot trust poverty, they cannot hope upon what poverty grants. They extract no hope from their practical life. Poverty has no promises, nothing to offer besides bitterness. Yet, they hope to be able, one day, to trust riches. Rich people can still trust riches and be deceived by its promises. However, poor people put their hope upon the same god as rich ones, if there is still hope left in them at all and if Mamon has not disappointed them beyond any possibility of trust. Rich people serve Mamom and poor people hope upon him.
  903. When we lay hands upon people, one of two things can happen: the person shall partake of what we have and are, or we shall partake on the sins of those we lay hands upon. Paul warns us against laying hands upon people in haste.
  904. "No one can say that Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Spirit", 1Cor.12:3. Now, as to be able to say honestly that Jesus is Lord, we have much, but very much to understand, especially in this present day where superficial doctrines are abundant. The person who has a Lord is a person who is truly dominated in the very sense of the word, guided, truly reigned and whose whole life, decisions, abilities and everything he has no longer belong to him and are no longer for his own benefit. There is no other master any more, nothing else that dominates his life or influences his decisions; his children do not belong to him; and, in fact, everything that he has or that he is, is no longer his. Everything is used and mastered only to glorify the Lord, everything belongs to God and everything that is done is fully accomplished for Him through Him. At the time of the apostles it was easier to understand the word "Lord", for there was still slavery around. The slave was owned by a master, whether he was thwarted and upset in that position or not. The difference in terms of Jesus as Lord is, however, enormous. This Lord we seek as such, to be our master, that is, whoever seeks and finds Jesus to take possession of his whole existence, including his past, (there are those who seek it and do not find it) come to live in that position within a kingdom that has Jesus as a true Master. This kingdom is sought and deeply desired. There, nothing else counts. However, it is one thing to be a thwarted, upset slave, who seeks his own freedom and the ability to take all his decisions or that the decisions of his Lord favour him; another thing is to seek to be accepted as such a slave in a cheerful way, willingly and full of power, repudiating even the slightest idea of an own freedom. Now, no one is able to achieve (in a real way) that point, or to get that place and that privileged position within that Kingdom, being truly accepted and approved for it (after an exhaustive screening), except by the Holy Spirit. It is mainly for that purpose that we should seek to be filled with the Spirit.
  905. Unfortunately, most of my work is to un-twist Scripture that has been twisted. I find it very hard to preach only the Good News (Gospel) because most of my preaching and time is completely absorbed by making straight what has been twisted and crooked from Scripture. "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints", Jud.3.
  906. "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved", Act.2:47. There are many misinterpreted verses in the Bible because of the many doctrines that emerged from past centuries of deceit and search. This is one of them. Many believe this verse is referring to predestination, to God's decisions of the past concerning today. But, it can't be. I am not saying anything against predestination. I am only saying this verse might not be referring to it. This verse is referring to the near future of any new believer in Christ. Do you recall the words of Paul to the prison keeper? "Believe and you shall be saved". As such, you also find more verses in Acts alone which put the verb in a future sense to all believers (Acts 2:21, 11:14, 15:11). All these verses refer to the near future of any new believer and it is not pointing to eternity, as some wrongly suppose. Those who surrender and believe can and may confess their sins and be pardoned; those who are pardoned can, then, be made free of any sin because the way is open to them - and it doesn't matter how huge and ugly that sin is. That is what salvation is all about. This means people can be saved from their sins after believing, by believing by and surrendering fully to the Lord. Now, referring to this verse: this means those who believed would or, rather, should be saved from their sins by believing - after believing. God added to the church daily all those who would/should be saved from their sins, all imaginable and unimaginable sins. This refers to the near future of new believers and not to the far past of predestination.
  907. Everyone puts himself forth as an example. However, only a few are indeed examples. And, of those who are indeed examples, only a few have the courage, the confidence and the daring attitude to put themselves forth as real examples in humility. Because they are too aware of what Jesus saved them from, they are unaware of how exemplary their lives really are.
  908. When do I need to persevere in prayer? Have I received what God has promised and which is according to His will? If not, it is time to persevere and not to give up. That is what praying without ceasing means: pray without giving up.
  909. "No one can receive anything unless it has been given to him from heaven", John 3:27. Why do people still live as if all depends on them and not on the Lord, their obedience and His grace?
  910. The Bible never expresses itself against "works", but only against "the works of the Law" - circumcision, sacrifices to obtain God's grace, etc. Whatever people consider as works today is not what the Bible considers as such. In those times, people instinctively thought of works in another light than we do today. It was mainly understood as the works of the Law and not as the works prompted by a normal Christian love.
  911. "We have different gifts based on the grace that was given to us. So if your gift is prophecy, use your gift in proportion to your faith...", Rom.12:6. The things you say, are they shown to you by God or do you speak and give opinions according to your own wishes or to look wise before others?
  912. Have you ever seen people who exist to contradict? Perhaps you are one of those who say no to yes and yes to no. When someone says left, you say right; and would that person say right, you would say left. It is a common habit all over the world. It has always been. The favourite habit is to be in the opposition side. Scripture says, however, that a contradicting heart is a rebellious heart. When John was sent to prepare the way of the Lord, it is said that he came to "to make ready a people prepared for the Lord". This is the precise opposite of a people with a contradicting heart. Are you prepared for the Lord? "All day long I have stretched forth My hands to a disobeying and gainsaying people", Rom.10:21.
  913. Usually, people have this idea that a stumbling block to others' lives is the way they talk or what makes people angry or upset. Are we not allowed to talk frankly? The fact is that a stumbling block is something in our lives which contradicts the gospel. If people are angry against the truth or against the sincerity of the heart that speaks the truth out of love for the Lord, that is fruit and not a stumbling block.
  914. If you make jokes about God or about God's things, you shall soon be a joke yourself and you shall be laughed at "I also will laugh at your calamity", Prov.1:26.
  915. "...And they kept Your word", John 17:6.Many times I asked myself, even during moments of struggling prayer, what is needed to have converts keep the word to the end. And I have been looking for a distant solution and all the while the answer is so close and so clear. "Keeping the word". The first condition is that it must be the words of God indeed and not a word extracted from the capabilities of reasoning and from our knowledge. Knowledge is a treasure from which we get old and new things, but not all knowledge is applicable to certain moments. Specific words must come from the Lord at specific times. That is one of the conditions which must be fulfilled: the words must be the words of God. The second condition we can easily come across in this chapter of John is that people must recognize and realize it is the word of God and not of man. How much praise do you give to the preacher? If it is the word of God, why should the preacher be exalted for it? "Now they have known that all things, whatever You have given Me, are from You. For I have given to them the Words which You gave Me, and they have received them and have known surely that I came out from You", John 17:7. Jesus struggled to have people believe what He had or said came from God. These are two of the few conditions that must be fulfilled so that disciples can be able to keep the word to the end.
  916. It takes a living one to see another living one. Dead people seek dead people and commune with them; and the living ones see each other and commune because they have much in common. "You see Me because I live, you shall live also", John 14:19. Living people see Jesus because He is alive.
  917. What does it avail us if we consult God in everything and we don't receive answers in everything? The answer is what we should seek and not the religious habit of praying and praying at all times about everything. It is good to receive answers about everything we pray if we pray about everything. "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son", John 14:13.
  918. "The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit", 1Cor.7:34. This statement is true only in a few cases. There are unmarried people whose mind does not serve the Lord because it is always pleading Him to get them married. Their minds is absorbed by marriage even if they are not married. They are distracted by the thoughts of a possible future marriage. Remember that the aim is "that you may serve the Lord without distraction", (v.35).
  919. Faith reaches out to the will of God - not to our own will. Real faith turns it possible for us to achieve the means to carry out God's will for our lives and to work towards the lives of others.
  920. "Your boasting is not good", 1Cor.5:6. Paul mentions this referring to sin in the church and to the fact that people are not removed from the church having sinned. He calls it pride. Let me explain: he says that people who are not able to remove sin or sinful people from their midst are people who boast and are proud. This is a strange statement because most people would say precisely the opposite. They would say proud people - those who think a lot about themselves - will be unloving enough to expel sinners from their midst. People see 'acceptance' as love. But, Paul says it is pride. It means it is too humbling for them to get rid of sin. Now, Paul commands the whole church to be cleansed because they did not expel sin from their midst. They should clean themselves from pride as well. It seems strange that by cleaning others' sin they would clean themselves.
  921. Many preach so that they themselves might not land in hell. They preach out of fear and not out of love. Others preach to save other people from their sins. To which of these categories do you belong? "For I myself was wishing to be accursed from Christ for my brothers", Rom.9:3.
  922. Doctrine is something to be followed by those who teach. Those who learn follow Life.
  923. Self justification has deep roots and is never found apart from accusations against others. In fact, it often accuses God. If these accusations do not appear at first, be sure they will soon be visible. It is just a question of time until they come up.
  924. When things do not work out the way God said they would, or if they do not work according to expectations, why does man, at first, blame God instead of himself? Why does any sinner first think God is on the wrong and not he himself? Would man seek the missing link in his heart, he would receive beyond expectations!
  925. We know there is a huge difference between doing things and doing them through Christ Jesus. Those who try to do the right things without grace and by themselves will sooner or later give up or despair at some point. They shall take the easier route of the enemy sooner or later. That is the same as giving up, or even worse. Whoever fails has as a first thought giving up. The second thought shall be of doing the opposite of the true way of life. However, we cannot consider it as the opposite way, since doing things without grace can never be the opposite of sin, but of the gospel. The opposite of the Gospel is sin. Now, listen to me. There is an alternative way which makes more sense: try it in another way. Try doing all through the Lord Jesus. If you feel like giving up, you must know you are only giving up on own ways or because of them. Maybe the Lord has never been your Shepherd, as you think He has been.
  926. "...Power, according to the Spirit of sanctification", Rom.1:4. The real working power of God in a place or person is never separated from the genuine holiness of that place or that person.
  927. The amount of praise you give or feel like giving to man is the amount of praise you would like for yourself. You won't solve this problem by stopping to praise man, though. And when no man listens to you you will be tempted to be bitter and disappointed. Bitterness happens because pleasing man is still in the heart and you are going against it. However, man will understand it as having something against them. Now, you will solve it truly only by getting a good look into truth: was it God who did or who does something? Was it really God, or was it man? "At evening you shall know that the Lord has brought you out of the land of Egypt", Ex.16:6. Do you really know it was the Lord? Make sure and, then, be sincere about the praise you give. And if man deserves the praise, give it to him. However, if God does, give to Him what belongs to Him.
  928. To allow the Lord to have His way with us to the uttermost and to guide our lives fully is a decision as important as the one when we at first turned to Him. And to decide to turn to Him and believe in Him was, perhaps, the most important decision we have ever made.
  929. There is a truth no one can run away from: if we know how to wait on the Lord and we wait unhindered, then time runs fast and His timing might even take us by surprise. But, for those who are impatient with God, especially when they have had a word from Him, time passes very slowly and waiting (which is a fundamental issue in any true child of the Lord) becomes so hard! However, those who can wait having a stained conscience might be waiting in vain. And those who are clean will receive even what they have missed before, and even what has been eaten by the locusts for some reason.
  930. Is there still any doubt that God treats us according to our ways? He does not deal with us according to what we believe, but according to our ways and lives. "So they returned and said: 'Just as the Lord of hosts determined to do to us, according to our ways and according to our deeds, So He has dealt with us", Zec1:6. The promise may take long, either for good or bad, but it shall surely come. We all know we shall reap what we sow. Has anyone ever reaped something different from what he has sown? Can we sow thistles and thorns and expect to reap good fruit? Or sow good fruit and reap thorns and thistles?
  931. Have you ever tried to make Jesus king over your life by force? Have you ever wondered why such a thing is condemnable? Usually, people try to make Jesus king by force because they want Him to rule over flesh and blood. In fact, He needs to be forced to rule over such a thing, and because He doesn't, many are disappointed in Him. Jesus, however, doesn't need to be forced to rule over spiritual or heavenly things. People who want Jesus to rule by force are aware of the fact that they can't have or do certain things by any other means. Therefore, they try to make Him King by force because they know or suspect all power is in His hands - including the power they wish would be working together with the flesh in their favour. The idea of knowing (or guessing) that Jesus has plenty of power, mixed with the wish to have all working together for self, makes people force Jesus to be king and ruler over their selfish lives and wishes. These people are called Christians today. They think that is what Jesus came for: to achieve their goals for them. And Jesus came to make us achieve His goals for Him and to have it done His way because there is peace in doing so. Therefore, there are these two sides in the heart of man: if you are forcing Jesus to be king, it also means you are not working on your repentance and conversion from sin to holiness. In fact, it shows you are trying to strengthen the strongholds and hideouts of sin and nearing Jesus for the power to do so. These are the two sides of this truth and fact. If you find yourself trying to force Jesus to be king - Him who is already a King - it means you must stop and repent because the flesh is ruling in you.
  932. I know there is a huge association or relationship between faith and faithfulness. One does not exist without the other unless it is a false faith.
  933. It is good if we can translate thoughts into words, then words into teaching and teaching into life - or life into teaching. Whoever does not do that, does not grow - such people grow old and cold!
  934. One of the reasons why God does not work as He can, is that He can't find the environment, heart conditions and all other virtues in people such as faithfulness or truthfulness. "You ask and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it upon your lusts", James 4:3. We must work hard on the conditions which will bring God down to work for His Kingdom and for it alone. Otherwise, He can't come. Would He come without the conditions being met, He would be strengthening His enemy, the flesh. "Prepare the way of Jehovah, make straight a highway in the desert for our God", Is.40:3.
  935. Sinners who have never been truly converted have the habit of being impatient against other people's sins and patient towards their own. They even seek attention towards their own sinfulness or try to ignore their own sins by highlighting others's. But, when Christ changes our lives it all changes and we start becoming impatient against our own sins and patient towards others' sins who fight them.
  936. Isn't it strange that, just after the Red Sea had been opened in front of people, Moses had to tell people, "At evening you shall know that the Lord has brought you out of the land of Egypt"? Ex.16:6. Didn't they know it or didn't they accept it was the Lord's doing? Would they believe had Moses told them it was another god who did it? I believe they still thought it was Moses who did it! How many times do we mention the person when a prayer has been heard and say, "such and such a person prayed and I was healed"? Shouldn't we rather know or say that it was God who healed? Let's never forget that the mouth speaks they way the heart feels.
  937. When we expect things (wait on the Lord for things) which God has never promised, we shall have two kinds of problems: we will be unable to see or to be aware of what God is giving because our eyes are set on something else; and we shall not be receiving what we expect because God loves us to the point of not giving outside His will and, also, loves His name and honour. But, either way create the ground where the devil can establish despair and faithlessness and, consequently, unfaithfulness. faithlessness and unfaithfulness are always found together. They are inseparable. The cure is a change of heart or motives because wrong motives is as good as wanting our own thing.
  938. "The Lord tests the righteous, but the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates", Ps.11:5. The first part of the verse means that we are being loved when we are put to the test. This also means that the wicked is not tested. If this is true, why do righteous people so easily believe lies when they go through tests and when they see the wicked prospering?
  939. "The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts", Ps.10:4. This does not necessarily mean that the wicked says there is no God - he just acts as if the Lord does not exist. In fact, the Lord does not exist in his thoughts and in his practical life. The wicked never takes God into account when he sins and neither when he does some good. We must know we need to be dependent on God for all we are and do and the wicked does not practise good through grace. We should be able to do good through grace and not merely do good. This is why the wicked sins even when he does some good.
  940. "For the wicked boasts (...) He blesses the greedy", Ps.10:3. This is a truthful consideration. And how truthful it is indeed! The wicked is never indifferent to the riches of the greedy. But, there are other truths we can think of about this. If we turn these words around, it says that those who praise or bless the greedy are wicked. Do you do that? Another truth is that whoever criticises the greedy for having riches, however he got it, is also wicked. One must be able to resist the temptation and to trust Jesus, for He is our sufficiency and anyone else's. "You shall keep them, O Lord, You shall preserve them from this generation forever", Ps.12:7.
  941. The aim of the Judgement of God in the final day and before that is the extermination of all sin and even of the remembrance of it. The final aim is not punishment, but extermination of evil from the face of creation.
  942. Every person who is not spontaneous in/with/towards the truth has created many complexes and instabilities in the heart along his lifetime. And everyone who is spontaneous in darkness has lost all sense of dignity and shame. A saint doesn't walk if he finds himself under a cloud of sudden darkness. He freezes and keeps still awaiting for the Lord; and he walks under light. The wicked does the opposite of this: he walks under darkness and stagnates when light hits him in a real way.
  943. It is the disobedient fathers who have disobedient children. However, this is not a totally reliable rule. Obedient Samuel did not have obedient sons. I believe he was an exception only. Nevertheless, if you wish to have obedient, holy and kind children be that way yourself and find proportional grace to be so from the heart. Children will mostly become what you have become and not necessarily what you have taught them to be. Teach yourself and your children will be taught.
  944. We are either children of heaven or children of the country where we have been born. We cannot possibly be both. We must be careful about this idea of nationalism. We belong to heaven and not to earth. Besides, any heavenly citizen is a faithful child of God. And that faithfulness will overflow to the normal life on this earth. Citizens of heaven are good citizens anywhere - even in a country where they were not born. A real citizen of heaven will be a foreign anywhere away from heaven.
  945. Be sure of this: if someone considers certain sins less grievous than others, then you must know there are some sins, also, which such a person does not consider sin. Make sure you deal with that before you pray for such people. Do not become part of deceit by praying with him, and keep yourself pure. "Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people's sins; keep yourself pure", 1Tim.5:22.
  946. It is true that fear is not perfect love. However, there is no perfect love on this earth which has not been fear of the Lord at first.
  947. "Also the children of Israel secretly did against the Lord their God things that were not right", 2Kings 17:9. When people do things in secret, it means it is wrong and it also means they know it is wrong. However, because people do many wrong things, they do a lot in secret. This creates a pattern in them and an attitude to do things permanently in secret. Many times, it creates another pattern of trying it the wrong way first, because secret doing and wrong doing are associated. I knew a man who would try lying first, even when truth would clearly benefit him more; and he would tell the truth only when there was no other way out for him. The truth about this is: when those patterns are set, people will either do the right things in secret because a pattern of secret doing has been established; or they will try to do the wrong things in the open. That happens because evil is what they approve and feel comfortable with. That is why many are still ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus. And we can never measure the amount of evil that can come from this sinful life. We may not afford to do the right things in secret, because what we do attracts people's attention and many learn it.
  948. If Salomon's words in a dream counted to God, how much more will our words count when we are awake. Let's be careful when we talk. God hears all.
  949. A testimony can be considered as such only when it testifies about God and His reality. Many people testify, but not about God. They testify, mainly, about themselves. They talk about how they accepted Jesus and what they suffered, but seldom can we trace a reality of God or God's doings in their testimony.
  950. To this world, it is an offence if we don't do something for ourselves or through our means. "Mocking, (they) said, He saved others; himself he cannot save", Mk.15:31.
  951. Perfection is not an easy subject for many people. However, I believe most people are confused about it. They easily define perfection as they would have it and not as God would. It would be good for all of us to define correctly and according to the Bible what real perfection is all about. However, the first firm step towards perfection is: actions must match with the heart and vice-versa.
  952. There is something I always believed and which makes more sense to me as I live on. It must be easier for us, creatures of God, to live a holy life than to live in sin. With that I don't only mean that it is lighter for the soul, and more reviving for the heart, but it is far better and easier in all aspects. I mean that it is easier to have access to it as well. Think with me: if you are dumped into water, is it easier for you to try to remain dry or to be wet? I believe it is not that easy to be dry inside water and neither to remain wet outside of it. Now, God is everywhere and, according to the Bible, we live in Him, even though the soul of many is dry and He does not live in everyone, Act.17:28. Sin is not everywhere - at least not in the sense that God is. Sin is in the heart. This is why it seems stronger and it looks as if it is everywhere because where man goes, sin goes along. Sin is a parasite of nature which clings to man as he goes. People in the world fight hard to remain dry from God and to be ruled by a hard master: sin. God is everywhere. If we can change man's heart, we can change the world. Therefore, it should be easier to live a holy life than a life of sin after the heart has been changed.
  953. Jesus did not die when He was crucified. He even said He would be in paradise with the man who died on the cross beside Him. How could He be dead and in heaven at the same time? From Paul, we hear He died to this world and to sin, Rom.6:10. That is the kind of death He died and the only one He works in those He reigns. Whatever He is dead for, will be clearly manifested in those He lives. The kind of death He experiences, we shall be able to experience as well.
  954. Usually, people do things taking their feelings into account in order not to betray them, while we are called not to betray our enlightened consciences instead. I know a woman who loves her own family dearly and does not like her husband's. When it comes to share expenses with her family, she makes a point of it that they get above what she thinks is right. She says it is because of conscience. But, whenever it comes to share expenses or anything else with her in-laws, she wants to give only the minimum possible and seeks a way to lawfully reduce her obligations towards them. In both cases, she does not wish to betray her own feelings. Conscience has not the upper hand in her conduct as she thinks it does, and she does not deny herself in both circumstances. She cannot abhor her feelings towards her own and cannot love those she believes are outsiders of her heart affairs. She believes she is being faithful to conscience. However, she is only being faithful to the way she feels.
  955. In the Bible, we come across something that called my attention. It is often said that God curses blessings. "I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already", Mal.2:2. In other words, the blessing comes to show the faithfulness of God and, afterwards, the locusts and the maggots eat it up. God does this to all those who are called by His name and say they belong to Him when their ways do not show the godliness and faithfulness towards the Lord. If this is true, if God can curse a blessing He has granted, there is another side to it: God can bless some curses. God blessed the curse that astonished Job; He blessed the persecution against David inflicted by Saul. And we could find many more such examples all over the Bible.
  956. A sinful person is always searching for own righteousness to lean upon and to justify himself. A saint seeks own sins with the Lord and His light to cleanse his heart.
  957. For God, there is no such thing as human rights, but only God's rights. Unless we deny all possible and imaginable rights in favour of the Lord, we shall stand in denial before Him. Deny yourself and leave all the rights to your life in the Lord's hands. Hand them over to Him. We have no rights. Holiness is not politics.
  958. Once people give room for the reality of salvation and for the Word of God to live inside them (so that it won't be dead there), people enter into a phase of pre-conversion. The only thing people need to do is to make room for the possibility of a real Jesus and deny the dead one they keep on to and hold in their minds. Conversion starts as soon as a word made alive is put into practice in a most natural way.
  959. We are all familiar with the words of Jesus which say, "Seek and you shall find". However, Jesus also said in the gospels that, "You shall seek Me and you shall not find", John 7:34. It is because we did not or do not come to where He is. "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully", Ps.24:3,4. Those who are not clean will seek and not find.
  960. Revival is to convert Christians. It starts through the genuine conversion of Christians.
  961. Today someone talked to me about feeling suffocated by responsibilities. She talked about how her husband left her because he argued the responsibilities of marriage suffocated him and he wished to be single. Little does he know his irresponsible way is the burden of his whole being. One is suffocated by irresponsibilities and not by responsibilities. "His commandments are not burdensome", 1 John 5:3; "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light", Mat.11:30. How sad that people have such strange ideas and excuses to be able to live a careless, burdensome, irresponsible and promiscuous life.
  962. It is believed that the love of money applies only when it is to be used on or for self. However, we see many people loving money and stealing from the poor to sustain their gospel and their false doctrines. One can love money to have it and it doesn't matter where it is applied or spent. The love of money is settled in the heart and not where it is applied. "The greedy shall not be called generous...", Is.32:5. This means the greedy can seem generous and righteous - even to himself. If people use their money for other purposes than their houses, it does not mean they do not love money, and that they do not feel safe by having it or that they do not feel powerful having and using it. And when servants of the living God buy a car by the will of God and spend something on themselves, it can't mean they love money and feel comfortable by having it to spend on themselves. They belong to the will of God. God takes care of them as well.
  963. Have you ever given a serious thought to the words of Jesus when He said people will rather jump over the wall to avoid going in through the door? There are many circumstances where it happens. Let's think a little about it. For example, pleasing people means the use of an alternative way to 'love'. Because people refuse to love for real, they enter into being pleasant to camouflage their lack of real love. This is why I firmly believe that everyone capable of pleasing people has the capacity in the heart to be unpleasant and inconvenient. And we will find many other subways which people will rather take to avoid the true virtues or the reality of the true essence of love, faith, godliness, prayer among many others. People will rather try hard to believe than to make sure about the Lord and His truthfulness - and faith is to make sure or to be sure; they will rather pretend and be polite than find love in the Lord to be able to love from the heart. And we all know it is harder work to jump over a wall than to get in through a door. However, people prefer the hard way.
  964. We often complain about the absence of fruit or, especially, of immediate fruit. Today, I was struck by the fact that Jesus says the things of the Kingdom of God must be leavened before they can become useful, Mat.13:33.
  965. The Word of God says (and we can easily confirm its truthfulness on daily life) that the wrath or anger of man does not work the righteousness of God. Now, if this is indeed so, we can also state that the wrath of God does not work the justice of man. In other words, let us not hope God will avenge or take revenge on behalf of man.
  966. When the sun shines on us, our skin tells about it; when we face cold weather, our skin tells about it too; and when the light of God shines on us, our whole being tells everyone around what has been happening to us as well. But, I have seen many people talking about what they only imagine or about what they think is happening to them without foundation.
  967. To add or to take away from God's word is just another way of not fulfilling it. "You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you", Deut.4:2. Haven't you heard of how deceitful the heart of man is? It makes a new commandment by changing it or by 'interpreting' God's word its way so that it won't have to obey it as it is. It soothes and quietens the conscience to obey some commandment - especially if it is a changed one. We must know it is the Word which must change the heart and not the other way round. If we read God's Word and do not reject it, we shall either be changed or change the Word to suit us. The heart entices a change in the Word and the Word has an appeal upon the heart to change. It is the eternal war between the Word and the heart of man. It has always been like that.
  968. We can speak of an immediate glory which God receives and glory in the long term. For example, when our prayers are answered on the spot, God is glorified by it. However, when it happens that way, it means God has already been glorified through our total sanctification or commitment to the truth. And when we become holy (and to some people it takes a while before they are like Christ), then God is spoken good of because of the purity everyone sees in His children's lives. Now, I believe that not all instant or immediate glory to God is always a sign of salvation to the person through whom God is glorified. We know how Pharaoh glorified God through his condemnation. It was good for God, but not good for Pharaoh. Blessed are those who are glorified in the glory of God. "...Heirs with Christ (...) that we may also be glorified together", Rom.8:17.
  969. One of the main conditions to be "slow to speak and slow to anger" is to be spontaneously humble and without those barriers which delete our good sense. If we please people or go out to please ourselves or anything else, we have a barrier which hinders good sense. And we know all inspired talk or holy conversation is filled up with good sense.
  970. When the Bible talks about the arrogant, it means specially those who do not, will not or cannot depend on God. The arrogant stands in contrast with those who can wait on God and expect all from Him. "You ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that'. As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil", James 4:15. This means dependence on God is the opposite of arrogance.
  971. We so easily talk about the abundant life God grants. And it is good that we talk about it because there is such an abundant life that there will be no more need. However, we must have in mind we have come from a life of dryness and of great need - of great inner need. In other words, we have adopted and conceived habits of our own which fit in a way sinners conceived to manage to live in a decaying spiritual poverty. We have adapted our ways to a life of poverty. If we change the wine, then we must make sure we also change the wineskins. We cannot live an abundant life as if there is still a need. Abundance means there is no need anymore. And if we do not experience a life of abundance, it doesn't mean there isn't such a thing as an abundant life. The woman at the well knew from the words of Jesus she would never again need to fetch water as she became used to do. It means Jesus made it clear to her that there is more to His words than we are able to believe or live with. There is more which will never end in which we must remain as if we have never lived any other way before.
  972. "If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth", Jer:15:19. Oh Blessed promise! However, this does not mean we shall automatically be as God's mouth when we utter only precious things and stop uttering worthless ones. No, there is more which needs to happen after those conditions are met. God has still to speak and be our mouth. He needs to take hold of the whole of us because our best is not close to the preciousness of the words of God which are easily fulfilled. We must know that the words of God will become ours and not that our words will become His.
  973. Just as there are people who talk out of "the deceit of their own minds" (Jer.14:14), so can people speak having "the mind of Christ". However, even when we have the mind of Christ, we must discern whether God has spoken to us or through us. We must be able to recognize facts and be able to say, "I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy", 1Cor.7:25.
  974. There are people who become proud against truth simply because it was God who spoke. What I mean is, if God speaks, these people resist instinctively because it was the Lord speaking. Just the smell of the Lord causes in them a sort of nausea. "Be not proud, for the LORD has spoken", Jer.13:15. Why else would God warn beforehand against pride when He speaks?
  975. It is obvious the prosperity doctrines around the world, today, will create a lot of dishonest preachers and Christians. The main reason is the lack of blessing upon what they preach and believe. God will not bless lies. Consequently, they will need to fill up their main needs with money which they take from people through dishonesty. They create debts through their filthy words and need to make up for it in some other dishonest way. I mean, they need to show that what they say works, even though it works through own measures.
  976. When Christians sin, they not only get the curse of a wandering heart, but they are put into many sorts of problems which they are unable to solve. They also get the desert in which a wandering, dry heart has to dwell. They get a dry heart and a dry desert in which to dwell. It is a double curse they get as a reward for sinning and for keeping themselves far from God.
  977. There is no other way to be a useful instrument in the hands of God but by being cleansed of all types of sin. "Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honour, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work", 2Tim.2:21. And when I say no other way I really mean nothing else. There is no Bible instruction, no degree - in fact, nothing else - that will ever make someone an instrument in the hands of God. One can become any kind of instrument, even one that preaches the Bible correctly. However, it is altogether a different thing to be a clean instrument in the hands of God.
  978. Many children are never corrected because many fathers have the wrong motivation when they correct them. Parents punish their children when angry or impatient, but little do they realize they should use a rod only to save them from the wrath of God and from sin. Can you see, now, why many Christian's children have become little devils? It is because we need grace which can be bestowed only on proper motives and on living truth. Others, on the other hand, stop using the rod on them because they see it is useless, even if the Bible says the rod works. By not doing it, they are conformed with the ways of this world and make believe that what the Bible says does not work out and does not bear fruit. They make God a liar because they have the wrong motives. Besides, they cannot genuinely believe their own children are going to hell. That is one of the reasons parents become slack in taking care of those gifts God has entrusted to them to take care of and to prepare for eternity. Did you think God gave you a child for your own sake? No, it wasn't. It was for eternity's sake.
  979. Here is an interesting thought. "...If God, perhaps, will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth", 2Tim.2:25. Let me explain. I have heard many Christians, pastors and theologians pray something like this many times: "Lord, let these people come to the knowledge of truth so that they may repent". Now, here, Paul puts it the other way round: let people repent so they may, perhaps, come to know the truth. It just shows how much Christianity has drifted away from truth, because this goes against all modern theology. It says, too, that people who repent do not know the truth yet. "Nevertheless, when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away", 2Cor.3:16. They shall know it if they continue in the way, and, by knowing it, they shall be made free of themselves. And people who repent also will "come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil" - only those who have repented already. In other words, after repentance there is a lot of work to do and before repentance there is nothing one can do.
  980. Those who trust people or self cannot trust Christ and all those who lean on people become independent from God.
  981. Nothing good comes out of disobedience and nothing bad comes out of obedience to God.
  982. Jesus never talked to people to give the impression that coming to Him is the end of the way. In fact, He emphasized that coming to Him is the beginning of the way into which He shall lead further. He often talked about finishing what He has started. It all starts by coming to Jesus. That is why He is the way and not the end.
  983. "Deliver me from all my transgressions; make me not the reproach of the fool", Ps.39:8. The believer shall always be an offense to the fool. However, this verse says more in another light. It says that a believer who is not free of sin shall be the reproach of the fool. He shall be stamped on because he is salt without savour. This means an unclean believer shall be a few degrees below a fool. Actually, such believers are worse than fools. Even Jesus talked about people who believe and shall be laughed at because they do not find grace to end what they started.
  984. Any worried or worrying person does things or wants things because of troubled self and, consequently, for the sake of self. Worrying demands satisfaction. It demands to be pleased and appeased. It asks to be able to spend on own lusts, I mean, to spend on a worrying mood. Only those who do not worry can do things for the sake of others and for the glory of God. Worry is a totalitarian master.
  985. Usually, when we read about being heirs of Christ, for some reason, we think about having a place in heaven or some inheritance outside or ahead of us. But, when the Bible talks about it, it is referring directly to the nature of Christ. Our inheritance is the very nature of Christ within ourselves. That is the Promise, or, should I rather say, that is our Promised Land. And that is promised for us to look for with all our hearts.
  986. Revival is to be able to fulfil the Law of God. Many people think revival are miracles and signs, but, genuine revival is to change people in such a way that they are turned into the very Law of God. It shall be written in their hearts and what is in the hearts is clearly seen outside. Never expect more than that as the only goal of any genuine revival. Everything else must contribute to the goal only.
  987. There are many ways through which God's promises are fulfilled or not fulfilled. If they are not fulfilled, it shall cause further mistrust and greater self-trust or self-justification, and very few realize it is something that works against a living God. It is not only lack of faith that can hinder what God has said to become true. If the motives are not aiming at God's glory things won't happen as God said. Another possibility is to have an expectation which is different from the true interpretation of any promise. Find out what the conditions are to the promise you created expectations about to see who is on the wrong and what is on the right. It is very easy for any sinner to blame God instead of self when things do not work out according to what God has said. And there are many reasons why any sinner can be blamed for, besides his lack of faith. "But does this mean that God cannot be trusted?", Rom.3:3.
  988. Many people say there is nothing wrong with going to the cinema or to watch worldly filth and violence. They say and believe they do not practise those things themselves and are just taking pleasure and enjoying themselves. The Bible, however, talks against those who do wrong things as well as against those who "have pleasure in those practicing them", Rom.1:32.
  989. Many people have problems like speaking too much. They say or believe they speak a lot and try hard not to do so. However, we should be reminded of the words of the Lord which say that what the mouths speaks starts in the heart along with its desires or loves. In other words, the first step towards quieting the mouth is to deal with the heart and to exterminate what causes it to speak so much. Then - and only then - may we apply the adjustments needed to change habits and patterns, whatever they are.
  990. Didn't Judas betray Jesus with a kiss? Why do people think one cannot betray Jesus with reading the Bible or even praying? There is a lot of praying and of reading of the Bible which deceives self to carry on as hidden as always.
  991. "Pray that you do not enter into temptation", Lk.22:40. What does it mean to enter into temptation? Does it mean we must avoid places or situations where there are temptations or hardships? No! It means we must not have our thoughts and mind running the way of temptation or thinking its way. We must be found thinking, believing and having reality and holiness under the circumstances we find ourselves in. The disciples were not taken from the place or circumstances of persecution when Jesus told them to pray not to enter into temptation. Avoiding places doesn't change the heart.
  992. God made things in such a way that the lives of Christians should always be spoken about. We cannot avoid it. It is a kind of law of nature. In other words, whether we live properly or whether we are truly open letters written by the Lord, we shall be spoken of and commented by people everywhere. We shall either be a good testimony, a sweet smell of the gospel or we shall be worse than the heathens, depending from what we live.
  993. Many believe that to have an own view of things is to have an idea that we do not read about in the Bible. How gross a mistake! To have an own view means that we read the Bible and interpret it in a way that suits someone. And if you view matches with God's, it is good that you know it does.
  994. Jesus handed His spirit to the One who was smiting Him for the sake of the sins of the whole world. Would you do that? Would you, still, entrust your spirit to the One who was destroying or dilacerating your body?
  995. God is not yet spreading vengeance. He is spreading salvation and transformation for His enemies. Is there any sweeter thing than that sort of vengeance which turns a killer into a saviour? "Vengeance will be sweet".
  996. Mercy is to show forth the permanent way out of sin and never to breed a feeling of acceptance towards any sin. Because mercy has the way and walks on towards purity and holiness, it shall never accept sin. To accept sin is to pervert the reality of what mercy really is. There is no virtue which rejects sin more or, should I say, accepts sin less than mercy: mercy knows the way, it knows the way out of sin. How can mercy ever accept it as a factor which cannot be solved in the lives of those it tries to save from it?
  997. Faith must be like the mustard seed and not like the mountain. People often have it the other way round so they can blame something for their failures. Having excuses for failures causes people to carry on as always, believing the same things and holding on to the same stuff that keeps them away from the Lord. If we do not take God's things as simple, plain and objective, we cannot fix errors when we fail. We shall blame the lack of faith, the timing of God or whatever excuse people may have conceived as an excusing doctrine instead of acknowledging it is not working. Were people able to acknowledge it is not working out with them, they would search for what hinders them to be backed up by the Lord.
  998. Faith is often a mystery to many. Many try to convince themselves and to convict themselves of truth. And some try to do so by convincing others about what they say and wish to believe so as to cause themselves to believe better and more having the opinion of others as the power to believe. They use acceptance as motivation. But, it is not what faith is all about. Faith is to be of the truth. To have faith, truth must have already spoken to us and fully convinced us. To try it the reverse way is like trying to get the child before the embryo is created or conceived.
  999. Wrath in man does not always originate in the devil or through temptation. Wrath can emerge in man because the Spirit might be convicting him by striving against him and man opposes it to be able to do something else. A greater power than man's, which hinders his ways, is always an annoyance to him. It annoys the spirit of man - even a dead one. Because the Spirit of God strives with man silently and does not give up, man becomes upset and, most of the time, he cannot figure out why he is upset. He is upset because he cannot feel free to do whatever he wants do do.
  1000. Prosperity doctrines are very hard doctrines. They are hard on people. Actually, they hinder people to get into heaven and even into the right perspective about the lovely doings and dealings of God. If someone has sin or faulty ways in his life and God would bless such a person materially for some exclusive believing reason, then, the prosperity doctrines would rise the thought that there is no need to fix what is wrong anymore since God has already blessed. Since the aim is prosperity, people won't care about holiness, especially if all goes well with them. On the other hand, would God deprive such people from some material thing to correct the heart, they would not be able to believe God loves them by depriving them from what they believe they will receive. It is a very hard doctrine that works against truth and stands in opposition to the love of God.
  1001. Many say people must have holiness and good fruit from the heart. I agree with that. One of the best ways to get that done that way is through examples. One cannot conceive how deep and how well any good example works. It works deep in people and a good example can often do more than a thousand words. Be holy and you shall have holy people around you desiring to be holy from the heart. On the other hand, there is no greater and no deeper hardness than the one which strives against fruitful examples. Be an example anyway, because you "make a tree either good or bad", just as Jesus said it must be done.
  1002. "...He who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God", John 3:18. Most people stumble over the gospel and entangle themselves in the things they believe by reading from the Word of God and still missing the point. This is one of the issues most Christians stumble all over the world: believing in Christ. Let me explain what it really means. We are saved by faith; we are saved by Jesus and there is no one who can be saved from sin unless it is through the power of Jesus. So, by not believing in Jesus, the person is already condemned because he shall not get out of his sins. "Behold the Lamb of God who takes sin away from the world". By not believing, people everywhere shall be surely condemned by their sins and by their sinfulness. By believing in Him, they shall be able to enter the narrow way and be purged and cleansed along the way. Do you believe that believing in Jesus will cause you to avoid entering and walking the narrow way of cleansing instead and that it will allow you to live on in any kind of sin?
  1003. "But that He be revealed to Israel, therefore I have come baptizing with water", John 1:31. This verse has a mighty meaning of which few people are aware. In the first place, we should know what it means that Christ is revealed to us. It means we really get to know Him, and to touch Him, to hear Him and to confide with Him. In order to do that, we must surely go through John the Baptist, so to speak. People came to him confessing their sins and receiving the baptism of repentance. This means that if we really wish to know Christ and experience Him the way He is, we must first bring all our sins to the light, one by one. There is no such thing as getting to know Christ without a thorough confession of all past and present sins. To start knowing Christ as He really is, one must go through John the Baptist.
  1004. There many attitudes which can induce people into error concerning what they prove or show. For example, carelessness may resemble confidence because both are not worried or concerned about certain important things. But, we all know confidence is never careless about what is important. It just knows in whom it trusts. Wrath may resemble zeal; glorying may resemble praise, and so forth. Let us be on our guard against the resemblances of things in heaven and earth. "Thou shalt not make any resemblance of what is in heaven or on earth".
  1005. We read in the parable of Lazarus and the rich man how the rich man in hell would be content with a single drop of water. This shows many things, but, it reveals mainly that judgment, rewards or punishment will always be an eye for an eye for what we have done. Lazarus would be content with a single crumb of bread before. Now, it was the rich man's turn to be content with a single drop of water. The other thing about this is that we all know that a drop of water would never satisfy the rich man's needs in hell. Most people there crave after the illusionary 'relief' of their burdens still. Illusion carries on with them in hell still. They lie to themselves by not wishing and searching for the real thing and for genuine satisfaction of their real needs. Instead, they keep the lie alive by looking for a drop of water when God's will and commandment are rivers of living water. Are you doing the same thing while here on earth? Are you asking for a drop of water or do you strive for the rivers of God?
  1006. "Therefore, be careful that the light in you isn't darkness", Lk.11:35. We know that when earthly light shines somewhere, one side is light and the other is taken by shade. There is shade only because there is light and because the sun shines. One side of the earth is lightened because it is turned to the sun and the other side is night because it is in the shade of earth. This is what Jesus must have been warning us about: there must never be any shady spots in us. We must seek such a position under light that no shady spots are found in us. We also read about heavenly light that shone upon Paul or even upon Jesus in the mount of transfiguration: it was light all around. It seems there was no shady spot under that light. "Now if your whole body is full of light...". This is the kind of light we should seek, to walk under it because there is a kind of exposition to light that brings darkness and shade on some spots of our hearts. Earthly light, man's doctrines and churchy ways give people a hiding place and a cause for them to hide many things beneath the "light" of religion. Be careful and on your guard against it. But, be also on your guard against sins which are hidden because you have confessed some other sins.
  1007. We must have heard a lot about Jonah and his doings a long time ago. But, according to Jesus, his disobedience has been used by God as a sign to help convert the city he went to. Jesus said that it was a sign to the Ninevites. It means his fame preceded him before he got into Nineve. People may have heard a lot about him before he got there.
  1008. "And in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon and cried out with a loud voice, saying (...) I know You, who You are, the Holy One of God", Lk.4:34. How many unclean demons walk around in our synagogues today? And how many of them manifest themselves 'praising' and 'exalting' God? Demons walk around in churches today and feel at home there. They even play their part in the services and many people are not aware of it. Many of those demons also refer to Christ and tell the truth about Him, just like it happened in that day when Jesus entered that synagogue! And any lying heart will easily listen to demons' lies and truths. Let those who can take this hearken and take heed.
  1009. Be careful never to ask or demand from the Lord that a stone be transformed into bread simply because you don't believe Him. Many Christians do that even when they are not aware of it. One would be surprised to know just how many revival Christians do that. And that is why the bread of Life is turned into stones to them. I often hear people say, "How is it possible that so and so hears such a pure gospel and senses the power of God and he is not genuinely converted?" This might well be one of the reasons.
  1010. "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many", Lk.2:34. Right from the start we see that where Jesus appears, things are never the same again. They just can't be. Some will fall and some will rise. The tree is made either good or bad and no tree will be the same ever again. Even at the Cross we see one man being risen to heaven and the other one falling down into hell. No words need to be spoken for it to happen. It just happens. And when that does not happen, it means a false gospel is being presented. It means that if one holds on to sin forsaking grace, he shall fall; and if someone forsakes sin by Jesus, he shall be risen.
  1011. "And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger", Lk.2:12. Have you ever thought that a normal baby wrapped in swaddling cloths could be a sign to anyone? Let me explain. Angels appeared to half-asleep people and they sang as they do in heaven. Yet, that was not considered to be a sign. We find the angels commanding those shepherds back to earth. Even though the angels did not need much more to say or do after that appearance, yet, that something so 'insignificant' and earthly could be the sign is amazing. They abandoned their flocks and what they held very dear to them to look after to go after such a sign. This should teach us something, especially those of us who look for big things and become negligent towards the will of God thinking it is insignificant compared to what we hold dear. Modern preachers would not consider this as a sign.
  1012. We read how an angel appeared to Zacharias to tell him his prayer had been answered, Lk.1:13.I believe Zacharias did offered many prayers about the same issue or problem and the angel said it was a single prayer. The other thing I am sure about is that Zacharias had, at that stage, already given up praying for the child he wished to have. He was too old by then to pray for it and so was his wife. So, the angel was referring to a prayer offered a while before, which was still on fire before God. Have you ever thought your prayers could be forgotten if you have no sin hindering them? If you have thought that, repent.
  1013. "And instantly he saw again. And he followed Him, glorifying God. And seeing, all the people gave praise to God", Lk.18:43. How many people are able to do the works of God in such a way that all those who follow them glorify God for real and not them or their church? And can their works also cause such an impression on all those present to glorify God by giving real glory to Him from the heart? Jesus could receive glory for all His deeds, but, it was the Father who received it when He worked. And He did not tell people to act that way at all. Can you work in such a way that you do not need to repeat yourself again and again saying "all glory belongs to God" or any other known 'slogan' people often use? Do you find yourself always in the need to 'divert' the attention from yourself through words? Isn't there a better way where the deeds speak for themselves and where you free yourself from that responsibility of repeating yourself about it all the time? The fact is, everyone who keeps repeating that the glory belongs to the Lord gives the impression he is struggling to stop showing off or that he wants to give away the glory he owns or deserves. Only those to whom things 'belong' give it away to someone else. And, if people part glorifying the Lord it surely means it has never belonged to them or to you.
  1014. "...Stood and prayed thus with himself...", Lk.18:11. We easily miss the main point of these words. This means that one is merely praying to oneself, inspired by self and, sometimes, giving the answers to self to be able to carry on believing a lie. This must be a terrible state of mind where one finds oneself 'praying' with oneself thinking to be praying to the Lord! It could be so otherwise and so simple! Are there more foolish people than deceived believers?
  1015. Many, when mocked by others because of holiness, feel strangely uneasy and accused of something they can't really express. The accused or mocked one feels the pressure is upon him and feels as if he is on the wrong side. But, the fact is that the ones that mock, accuse or despise the words that speak deep, or despise the example that talks or the lives that shine, those are the ones upon whom the load of responsibility is or should be transferred. This is mainly why they respond by accusing and mocking. Make sure that you know the accused often accuses as a means to find his own false stability along with the peace that the world gives. When Jesus talked against the love towards Mammon, we read that, "The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him", Lk.16:14. They did not ridicule him because He was wrong, but, because they wished to carry on loving money. Ridiculing the only Way was the means to deceive themselves about it. It is not Jesus who should feel bad about being accused or ridiculed. He didn't. He did not feel any guilt by speaking this way; He did not feel bad about the young rich man feeling sad and going away unconverted; He did not feel any remorse by leaving His home or hometown; He did not feel bad because Peter and the other apostles had to leave their families either. Beware, because accusations have the power to make the innocent feel guilty about what is right and, on the other hand, have the power to cause them to receive good exhortations of truth as false accusations. This is the other side of this truth.
  1016. You can always try to fulfil whatever you promised by remembering it and trying to do it. But, there are a few problems in such a way. One is that you might be thinking to use your own fleshly strength to do so since you are relying mainly on yourself. The other is that memory can fail people for many reasons. One of those reasons might be the occupations and cares which have the power to absorb our being completely. Now, if you have promised to be a faithful person or to produce any other good fruit, make sure you know that the only way to fulfil it without a doubt is to gain a heart and a being which shall be faithful even when you have forgotten about the promise you have made. Make sure you get a praying heart before you vow to pray every dawn; or that you live in the real presence of God before you promise to think of Him all the time; or that you get saved from the love of money before you promise to be faithful in your business; or that you are capable of fulfilling all conditions to pray effectively before you promise you shall work on having answers to all your prayers. We can mention many other examples, but God can show them to you if you ask Him.
  1017. It is true the Lord blesses according to the intentions of man as well. Good works with bad motives won't be blessed at all. The reward will be according to the works and the intentions of man are part of his works. "For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works", Mat.16:27.
  1018. The believers of evolution are more fascinated about the idea of it than they are of believing it. People love to explore the unthinkable and muse themselves with the imagination of any non-existing thing or of any other kind of occupations which 'feed' their empty mind. Emptiness feeds emptiness. It keeps them busy since people far away from God have nothing to do and nothing important or lasting to think about.
  1019. There are many excuses or arguments that people use to be or to remain sinful. The unbeliever will say, "There is no God". And that is why he corrupts himself. It is just a way of assuring he will carry on in sin. The believer with whom God is will say, "God is not with me" and corrupts himself as well for the same reason. When God is with them and people are able to say God is not with them, it just means they wish after sin and not after the real Emanuel. On the other hand, the 'believer' with whom God is not pleased will say (and take for granted) God accepts his sin and looks over it. He will say "God is love and God is with me" and will take for granted God understands his sin and will forgive it even if it is not repented from. For him, God is not a God who purifies, but who accepts. People will always seek a reason to be sinful when the intention of the heart is not holiness and the desire of the heart is not the Lord of all holiness.
  1020. If you are capable of pleasing people instead of pleasing God, you also bear the capacity in you to displease them and, also, to commit all sins associated to pleasing and displeasing people, sins like jealousy, gossiping, bitterness, etc. Let me explain. Pleasing others is selfishness. It is not done because of others and whoever tries to please others, does it for the sake of self and not for the sake of others. It is not others' best interest that is chased after, but self's. It means that, when there is no return from others whom you please, no appreciation, self won't be satisfied with it and won't feel fulfilled. It will, then, seek revenge. In other words, only those who seek to please others have in them the ability to displease them and to be unpleasant.
  1021. Pessimism can be the opposite of hope. Pessimism comes from a bitter heart and it exists only because the heart is bitter or its ways and its carnal foundations are being contradicted in the deepest, unseen parts. Pessimism does not exist because it is true or because it speaks truth in some way. It exists only because the heart is bitter. Man believes in himself and the amount of pessimism, often, reveals the amount of trust in the flesh there still exists, (whether unseen or merely not acknowledged) and which is also practised. Because it is practised in daily life, the Spirit of God opposes it at the level of its foundations. Once the Sign which will be contradicted (Lk.2:34) starts to operate, man is made to realise from deep within he cannot trust self. For him, it means he cannot trust at all, especially if he is still carnal in some way. This is where pessimism steps in to dominate the tongue, the thoughts, the talk and the ways of those who are able to kindle trouble in the hearts of all around by contaminating them through many sins associated to bitterness, Heb.12:15. The most common contaminations which we shall see in such cases is jealousy (because they do not attain what they see in faithful people); bad thoughts in a general way; unfaithfulness (because of the lack of motivation brought by pessimism); the spreading of the smell of hopelessness and the lack of truthfulness about the Lord and His sovereign power to change things under any kind of circumstances and at all times. And because these people do not trust their God in their ways by not acknowledging Him in them from the heart, it shall seem as if their thoughts and beliefs about things are confirmed. But, the truth is God is not establishing their ways because they have become unable to trust Him and that is why it will seem that what they say and believe is true or becomes true. What they hear about God is never confirmed in practical living because they do not acknowledge Him in all their ways. Pessimism is a lie resembling truth. Pessimism has a way out which is called optimism. But, we all know that optimism is not faith. It is rather a carnal something.
  1022. Daydreaming, even if it is dreaming about the things of the Lord, has two main problems: if things do not happen according to what is dreamed and comes in another shape - even if it comes in a better shape - it can mean disappointment in a fleshly soul. The carnal soul does not reach out beyond what it sees, feels or believes. The other problem is that it makes people unfaithful, since they use up their time in a wrong way when they should be doing the right thing for the Lord at the right time. Hasn't the Lord given you something to be faithful to while you spend your time dreaming?
  1023. If we are holy through living for the Lord, by having a real fellowship with Him, we represent Him here on earth. This is what it means that we pray or do things in the name of the Lord. We are here in His stead, representing Him in His 'absence' or in His invisibility. Now, we read a prophecy in David's time, about Jesus, that says, "Ask of Me, and I shall give the nations for Your inheritance; and the uttermost parts of the earth for Your possession", Ps.2:8. Are you doing this in Jesus name, in His place? Are you pleading and asking this as a representative of the Lord Jesus?
  1024. Many believe they are in a position where they can demand many things from God even out of season, especially, if they believe to be fulfilling what God requires of them. The fact is that when we are planted near the waters of Life, we shall bear fruit in in the proper season and not in the season we want. The promise is that a tree which is planted near the waters shall bear fruit in its proper season, Ps.1:3. If it were possible for a tree to bring forth fruit out of season, it would be a bad tree. We read in Malachi that it is a curse to receive blessings before its proper time. For example, if we pretend to bear the fruits of the Spirit before meeting up with Him in a real manner, the curse will be hypocrisy. And we may say the same thing about every good gift that may come from the Lord.
  1025. There shall always be a great difficulty to serve God and to be faithful to Him if the use of our memory is poor. How can we serve Him without remembering what the Lord has said here and there? Memory is also trained and educated. However, the biggest problem to memory are the thorns and the cares for this world. They cause people to become forgetful beings or unwilling when remembering what God has said to them.
  1026. There has always been some confusion between being wise and having knowledge. Knowledge is what we know and being wise is how we apply what we know. They are not the same thing. And there are people who have knowledge and are not wise and those who are wise and have little knowledge.
  1027. Have you ever apologized for things you shouldn't have been apologizing for? It means there are other things you should apologize for and you aren't. It just works like that. People are often tempted to cause an impression of humility on others which gives them the ideal hiding place for their sins. Besides pleasing others, those who apologize for things they shouldn't be apologizing for, must know they are keeping back something or trying to hide much. And we should all walk in the light instead of trying to use the ways of light to hide. "O house of Jacob, come and let us walk In the light of the Lord", Is.2:5.
  1028. The more I am blessed with the wisdom and the words of God, the more I realize that Godly things are in ruins in this present age. It is not a fully erected Temple anymore and it is not a beautiful palace which attracts dry people to it. I just wonder where are the engineers and the workers to raise it in its full splendour again.
  1029. We all must know that the long term or permanent changes or decisions we make are the ones that count before God. It doesn't mean that the short term decisions are not taken into account for us, even for judgment purposes. It just means that what counts is how we end, even if the way we start is bad and even if we know everybody must start somewhere to end up well. Didn't Judas Iscariot start up well to end badly? Let me speak more about this. Suppose you find yourself sinning in some way and you promptly decide to do away with that sin. Then, you cut the act quickly off and, because of it, you leave the heart untouched or unchanged. It means the heart has not been given the chance to change along. You have dealt with it in haste and the roots of sin remained. Sooner or later there shall be temptations or sinning in that area because the heart has not been dealt with and because of the hasty dealing against something which has roots. Haste is, often, superficiality. Have you ever dealt with sin as something that has no roots and seem to lie superficially at the surface? If you do that, sin will come back or, if it doesn't come back, despair will, because the heart has not been changed along. When you deal with sin, deal with it in a long (eternal) term, instead of dealing with it as those who haste to have it quickly covered up and forgotten. Sin doesn't die by forgetting about it. We need to expose it and not to cover it up by ignoring it. It is exposure which is able to kill sin just as, supposedly, sunlight killed vampires.
  1030. When we bless others, we must be careful not to do so because we feel somewhat superior to the person we bless. Usually, a blessing is pronounced by someone who is close or closer to God. But, in order for the blessing to take place with full effect, and it to mean something more than empty words, there must be no feeling of superiority in the one who pronounces it and neither a feeling of inferiority in the one who receives it.
  1031. We need, quite often, the authority of God, especially when we preach the gospel or speak out the words of the Lord. One of the holes through which authority often leaks out is a life which has not matched itself up with the knowledge of God it experiences and with the Truth it has been taken by. If we live less than we know of God, authority will fade away for two reasons: one is that God will not reveal Himself as our friend because He cannot afford to back up whatever we say or do - he will no grant a false testimony about/through us; and the other is that people, by seeing clearly that we live less than we preach, will be inclined to despise us or our words. The other hole from where authority leaks out is when we try to match up with God's Life and principles through own means and strength or, we could say, without grace in the heart. When it is our heart which is forced to equal the principles, we should know it is not the same as having the principles match up with our hearts. Do you remember what God said about David, that he had a heart according to God? Then we must add principles to our life, because a good heart without principles shall become slack. Unfortunately, people want a God according to their heart and not a heart according to God.
  1032. People often don't take their own words seriously. That is why many say things before God and do not fulfil them or simply forget about them. The fact is that a request is recorded in the Bible made by Solomon in his sleep, in a dream. If words in our sleep or in our dreams can count before God, how much more what we say awake! Do we take the words we speak before God and people seriously? Do they count for us as they do for God? Do we know God means business with us and will never play games?? "Guard your steps when you go to the house of God, and be more ready to hear than to give the sacrifice of fools. For they do not know that they are doing evil", Ecl.5:1.
  1033. In Israel, in David's time, it was believed that to lie down with a virgin was a foolish thing. "And as for you, you shall be as one of the fools in Israel", 2Sam.13:13. But, as time went on, this world started to work hard and patiently on causing the impression upon people that it wasn't so bad a deed at all. Now, it is not even considered a crime anymore. Eventually, it started to be assumed it is a good thing to commit sins and that sin is not an act of a fool. Now, in worldly ways, secular thinking, movies and minds, we find this perverse idea or ideal so established that people assume it without giving a second thought about it. It is common and natural to sin. The idea that people cannot live on without sin has taken hold of the whole world and, worst of all, of church people's minds. Time must come when Christians start assuming again that sin is foolishness because it is indeed foolishness. We should assume truth again.
  1034. "I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore, choose life, so that both you and your seed may live", Deut.30:19. We see there is life and death before us. Yet, God says "choose life". Let me explain. Dead people cannot choose death because they are already dead. They have chosen already. Sin makes them dead. The only thing they can choose is to be revived and to have life in them again. This is why God says "choose life" since they cannot choose death anymore. Life is the only thing people are able to choose since sin has made them literally dead.
  1035. "And every one that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bring forth more fruit", John 15:2. Here are two interesting thoughts to which we do not always pay attention. One is that God prunes only those who bring forth fruit. Those who don't bring forth fruit are not pruned. The other thought that struck me today again is that God prunes the heart so there can be fruit outside. He doesn't prune circumstances so there can be fruit, but everyone found in Him. So, we cannot expect God to change circumstances for our delight, but rather to use them according to our inner needs.
  1036. We all have things we are right about and things we are wrong about. But, man is always a surprising creature. The thing is, man must believe he is right about everything or else he will fail to trust and to be confident. It is because he is the one in whom he trusts most. Man's own strength and his confidence in himself is very valuable to him. He will feel lost without it. Now, those things man is right about give him the confidence to carry on in a wrong track as if he is right about all. The fact that he is indeed right about certain things makes him unconsciously believe he is right about everything else or, at least, makes him put forth and hold on an attitude that he cannot be wrong. Man without confidence in himself feels desperate and he doesn't want it to be that way. The flesh demands that he must believe in himself all the time and to argue as if he is always be right. Believing in yourself is a worldly, carnal weapon man is fond of.
  1037. We know the story of Saul and how he failed to be fully obedient to the Lord's command concerning Amalek and his people, 1Sam.15. It was difficult for him to carry out the right thing to the full. He could be faithful in most things, but not in all things. But, it was not so when he did the wrong thing. It was easy for him to be faithful to evil. We read how he killed all the priests of God in one town and killed all that breathed in there, 1Sam.22:18,19. Faithfulness is one of those things we have been created with when God made us according to His image. It is part of us since creation along with many other things. Now, if we are not able to be fully obedient to the Lord, we must know we shall be able to be fully obedient to something else, even to the wrong thing. No one can hinder that happening that way, because it is a law of creation. We have been created as faithful beings. We shall always be faithful to something, whether it is the wrong thing or the Lord. "If you fear the LORD and serve Him and obey His voice, and do not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then both you and the king who reigns over you will continue following the LORD your God", 1Sam.12:14. Didn't Paul mention the fact that people in sin have their members fully yielded to it and to the world? They are, so to say, completely faithful to sin. And James also speaks out stating there are half-hearted people in the courts of God because they love sin and have not fully repented of it all.
  1038. Sometimes, God needs to speak through a dream or during people's sleep because they are too busy to hear Him when they are not asleep. There might be other reasons why God speaks to us during our sleep, though. God can try someone to see whether he or she will yield to sleep or to His voice and to obedience.
  1039. Those who do not please people, have no conscience of it. If people have conscience of pleasing others, that is when they start pleasing them. That happens when they become conscious of it. Sometimes, they even become unpleasant because only those who please people are able to be unpleasant. Consciousness of that sin makes people react some way or another.
  1040. The peace of God is not like the world's. It doesn't work the same way, it doesn't come at any cost and it doesn't produce the same results and it is not the same results that produce it. I mean that God will not change or adapt for the sake of our peace. If His presence is real and not imaginary, we must be changed beings and not adapted beings to have peace in His presence, I mean, if we wish to feel at home in Him. There is no such thing as peace in the presence of God unless we have indeed been changed and transformed by Him. God did not come to make us feel comfortable, but to change us. Once changed, we shall have peace in Him. If we have not been changed, His presence will be torture to us. This is one of the reasons many abandon the faith and create a similarity (likeness) of faith. "You shall not make for yourself any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath", Ex.20:4.
  1041. There are many people who are concerned about hearing the voice of God. To a certain extent, it is good that they are concerned about such things. But, I believe we should be concerned about becoming sheep, since Jesus said it is sheep who hear Him. Instead of being concerned about the voice, let's become sheep and do all to that end. Besides, there is something better for people who are filled with the Spirit of God and live by Him: they can feel or sense how God feels about certain things because they live close enough to Him. "My soul follows close after You", Ps.53:8. That could be a greater intimacy than hearing His voice only. However, "can two and two walk together unless they are alike?" Amos 3:3.
  1042. Many put certain sins in a different category than others. Let me explain. Some have prostitution or pride as a big sin and gossiping as a minor one, even if they consider it sin. And there are, also, sins which those people do not consider sin at all or, at least, not as dangerous a sin. For example, people may consider that love for an own country, its culture or anything about it or its pride is a good thing. That is what the tribe of Benjamin thought when the rest of Israel asked them to deliver those evil men who raped and killed a Levite's woman. Instead of delivering them, the whole tribe of Benjamin gathered as one man to defend evil doers because they belonged to their tribe, Judges 20:13,14. We should be very careful and guard ourselves against what people call nationality. Our identity is, quite often, something which stands between us and God and many people are not aware of the fact that it keeps them from having answers to their prayers because they can't see that as lifting or downgrading ourselves before our fellow men - and both are pride. In heaven, all people are alike and our hearts should aim to live as it is lived there. "If, then, you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God", Col.3:1.
  1043. After Moses, God gave Joshua as a leader to Israel. However, God gave no leader after Joshua. It can mean a lot of things, but, the most significant one is that people would now depend on God completely after the way these leaders have depended on God. In the new land we must depend on God and in times of abundance dependence on God is crucial. They had their chance now "not to do according to all that we do here today, each doing whatever is right in his own eyes", Deut.12:8,9.
  1044. How many people have committed great mistakes, or even changed the course of their lives by not enquiring from God? And how many did the same by not waiting for a clear answer or until God spoke if they enquired? There will always be a next difficulty if the flesh is kept alive: if one is not too busy, too confident or too proud to enquire from God, one might not be ready to wait for an answer or to pray in such a way that the answer comes.
  1045. We are often encouraged by testimonies of other people. And it is so good that the workings of God are able to encourage us, since it enrages many around the world. Yet, we must know we need to have an own story to tell and we must be encouraged by the presence of God. His presence should be such a reality to us all that the Lord Himself would be able to take us, encourage us and bear us in His own holy hands. He should be able to be our encouragement at all times.
  1046. It is true that lukewarm people are responsible for many a spiritual crime. Many people are not born again because of them, since backsliders do not enter the door of salvation and block the way to others because they gather in front of the narrow door to block it for others. But, these lukewarm people have another power: they can determine some of the ways or attitudes on warm people. Let me explain. Remember Isaiah who called out and said he had unclean lips and lived among people of unclean lips? Isaiah was warm, yet, he learned the ways of lukewarm Israel, especially the way they spoke. He acted and spoke like them. Now, if warm people act as the lukewarm ones, they become the main stumbling blocks to these half hearted people because they do not look different from them. Even though they are warm, lukewarm people can exercise a power which brings a conduct out of them to make them act like hypocrites. That comforts and establishes hypocrisy - even if warm ones are not hypocrites or even if they do not have the intention to act like them. This makes warm people the main stumbling block to lukewarm ones, just as lukewarm ones are to cold hearts.
  1047. Here is an interesting sequence: "Behold! I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil", Deut.30:15. It is good that goodness does not come before life and we can see that evil doesn't come before death either. Goodness follows life and bad things follow the spiritual death on people. The Kingdom of God and His righteousness is to be found first, along with its Life and its living powers.
  1048. We often talk about the glory of God and many people say, "all the glory to God", while keeping that glory secretly for themselves. There are many reasons why people seek what is not theirs. Some people seek or steal glory only to seek attention because they feel lonesome or put aside. They want to feel acceptable and work hard on it. Loneliness can make people steal. However, loneliness is solved by having God with us for real and not by seeking glory. His presence is able to deal against that sort of glory seeking, even though there are other sorts. Others seek glory to be self-assuring or assured. Maybe it is their 'faith' that has a need to be 'accepted'. They lack confidence in God. We should be able to make a sound diagnosis of the real reason why we seek glory for ourselves or why we talk too much, instead of pushing it aside by saying, "all glory is to God". That makes us sound like hypocrites. We need to come to the point where God can afford to exalt us for the sake of His Kingdom and name. By then, we should be able to live and feel comfortable with His glory because our hearts know all belongs to God indeed, and people see clearly that as true. Let's deal with whatever hinders it to happen or God will never be glorified through us. "You have said today that the Lord is your God (...) and that you will listen to His voice. And the Lord has taken you today to be His peculiar people, as He has promised you, and to make you high above all nations which He has made, in praise and in name and in honour, and that you may be a holy people to the Lord your God", Deut.26:17-19. Does your life speak by itself of the glory of God, even without words? Does your life exalt God and all His doings even when you are not thinking of it or are not aware of it? We cannot do two things at the same time: we cannot exalt self (which makes us self aware), and exalt God at the same time. Choose today whom you want to serve.
  1049. According to the Law of God, a kind of negligence which leads to someone's accident or crime is sin. Anyone who is negligent and causes someone to suffer, besides being guilty of negligence, is also responsible for or guilty of whatever happens to his neighbour; and if negligence makes someone else's crime easier, the negligent person is a co-criminal.
  1050. The Lord told Israel that they should bring an offering according to a previous blessing of God, Deut.16:17. This means the offering would speak out loud and clear and everyone around would clearly see how bountiful God's blessing has been. This goes against the doctrines of the so called prosperity preachers who say people must give first in order to receive back from the Lord. The offering must be according to the blessing of God and it is not the blessing of God which must be according to the offering. They have it all wrong.
  1051. When the Lord talks about freedom or liberty, He means us to be free from ourselves and from sin. The worst slave holder is self because it holds self captive. It means the slave and the slave holder love what they do. Therefore, once we are taken into our heritage of freedom, we cannot do things according to an own vision or own opinion because it would mean self shall be in charge again. God has also intended to free us from that - especially from that. "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God", Rom.8:14. The main complain God holds against sinners is that they have wandered "each into his own ways". "You shall not do according to all that we do here today, each doing whatever is right in his own eyes. For you have not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance which the Lord your God gives you", Deut.12:8,9.
  1052. "You may not eat the life with the flesh", Deut.12:22. We know how the Lord threw man out of Paradise and cut off his access to the Tree of Life so that sin or the flesh wouldn't eat of it and live forever. God had already separated light from darkness as His first act of creation and, after sin had entered the world, He also separated the flesh from Life as to confirm He doesn't want anything to do with sin or sinfulness that looks godly. And here we come with this symbolical commandment concerning blood (life) and the flesh: they cannot be eaten together. People should either be cold or hot. Everyone who eats from the flesh and from life at the same time shall be lukewarm and shall make God sick to the point of nausea or of vomiting. How is it with you? Are you trying to put Life and sin together by eating from both? You may never eat from the bread of life unless you decide to let the world down along with all sin and its fleshly moods or ways.
  1053. We read in Deut.2 that God says He has thrown out giants from certain places so the children of Esau and the Moabites could live there. I am sure they never admitted that it had been God doing it for them, by destroying extremely sinful nations. They must either have become proud or praised others gods for these achievements. Either way can be taken as forms of idolatry. Whether you praise yourself, your own wisdom or strength or praise other gods so you can look humble, you shall always be guilty of ugly idolatry. You can also be guilty of that sin by blaming God of those bad things that happen to you or to anyone else. It is just another way of exalting yourself and diminishing the Lord. "You shall have no other gods before Me", the Lord said. Don't be the one you praise for anything that happened.
  1054. Many are always in a hurry to get to work in time or to get to any other early business. Perhaps they are in a hurry because they weren't in a hurray to get out of bed.
  1055. A complicated mind is nothing less than a mind pressured by distractions and affairs, whether good or bad ones. These distractions press present duties and responsibilities aside and start a war inside the soul of man. By exterminating desires which are not according to God or by dealing diligently with those desires which are Godly but not appropriate for the moment, one will enter into the simplicity of Christ and shall start to enjoy Him to live from His life to the full.
  1056. Half-heartedness in the things of God or double heartedness are liars. The principle behind double heartedness is deceit. It tells people they belong to God since they are not cold. It causes them to put a foot in the grounds of God or of truth while they use the other foot to walk in the world. They limp. One foot in the temple comforts them and gives them an unacceptable equilibrium. Only God can see they are not warm since they may have become fools and too foolish to see. Half-hearted people know they are not cold and, therefore, it becomes hard for them to see they are not warm. They won't be able to realize they are not warm since they don't feel cold. Double heartedness keeps them near the courts of the Lord and grants them a feeling of comfort and of hope in the backslidings which they refuse to acknowledge as ways of death. Another truth concerning double heartedness is that it is a great offense to God since it lives for the devil right in the face of God. These people are not cold enough to go and live for the flesh entirely, or for the devil somewhere else and far away from the courts of God. They bring unholy things into the Holy of Holies and rub it in the face of God to force Him to take it in, absorb it and accept it from their hand. They believe a God of love would do just that. In case they would go far away and become cold, they would be, at least, truthful about many things. That's why cold people are better off since they show forth a degree of inner truthfulness within them. Didn't the Lord praise the unjust steward for the wisdom of being, at least, truthful about his whole situation and because of having made the correct diagnosis of his true standings before God? (Luk.16:8).
  1057. Many excuses are put forth by people who are not ready or don't feel ready for something yet. Ignorance causes people to say they can't do something because they are unable to do it. Capability comes through devotion and preparation comes from the Lord before or during the work we must be prepared for. It takes years of faithfulness in smaller things until we become naturally faithful enough to be entrusted with the greater things of God. If people are not ready or prepared to do something, it should serve as an accusation to them rather than an excuse. Jesus did not look over any lack of readiness or any lack of preparation, just as He will never ignore ignorance. Lack of wisdom accuses people of not having walked with the Lord of wisdom long enough and lack of readiness confirms people have not been faithful in former smaller things and have not been seeking the Lord during periods of trials, however insignificant they may have seemed to them then. They have not remained in/with the Lord to the end of their trying season. Can the Lord say of you, "You remained with Me since the beginning"? John 15:27, Luk.22:28.
  1058. By reading the story of Korah again and the two hundred and fifty men who died with him, I was amazed at what God said. He said that the censers were holy because they were brought before the Lord, Num.16:37. It just amazes me because people were rejected and the censers accepted. We read in the Bible, many times, that the right order of things is that man be accepted first; and we also read how often God said, "Him will I accept". It is people who should be accepted and not the censers. God said about Job: "Him will I hear (accept)", Job 42:8. Isn't it amazing? Sometimes, God can hear a man whose prayer is not uttered because it is man who is accepted. The right order of things is that God accepts the man before accepting his prayer or any other thing brought before Him. Are we acceptable sacrifices to the Lord? Can we be accepted? We know there are a few people who are rejected and whose prayers are accepted because of the glory of God or even because (for the sake) of the people they pray for; yet, they themselves are rejected. "Many will say to Me in that day, Lord! Lord! Did we not prophesy in Your name, and through Your name throw out demons, and through Your name do many wonderful works? And then I will say to them I never knew you! Depart from Me, those working lawlessness!", Mat 7:22-23. And this piece of Scripture is not talking only about those false prophets who say they do some wonders or pretend they do them to deceive people.
  1059. It is strange that sinners who rebel against God or His ways always try to serve the same God they rejected in a way of their own. It was so with Korah and will still be so in many churches: people will always try to serve on their own and or their own might to live from self-righteousness and to keep it alive for the sake of fleshly stability or fleshly trust. We should know that when we reject the way God established, or if we reject the people He put there to lead, we reject God. It is not possible to serve God the way we wish to serve Him. Let us remember that Jesus says "The way it is done in heaven" and puts it above the will of God itself. God does not want the devil or the flesh to serve in His Temple. Serving the Lord in an own way or through "the arm of the flesh" stabilizes a false faith and tranquilizes a dirty conscience. It takes conscience out of conviction. You wouldn't want it that way, would you? Beware, since any person (including yourself) who lack true righteousness in some way will surely hold on to some indulgence or foolishness which tries to turn to God or serve Him in a rebelling way or in a way God considers rebellion. (Rebellion is self-righteousness or self-righteousness is rebellion. Beware of any form of it!). Unless such people hold on to some sort of strange 'righteousness' they will feel at loss and, besides, conscience must be lied to so it may be stilled by force or by double heartedness. Double heartedness is the food of rebellion because it allows people to feel they still swerve around God, His words and His Temple. Religion takes the place of God in their lives to 'fill' the void for them. Religion is stubbornness. It is not possible to serve God with the spirit of mammon, serve the devil inside the Temple of God, or even serve God in the temple of the devil. It just doesn't work out at all. And one of these will happen as long you have or hold on to some kind of self-righteousness - however small it is. Self-righteousness and a false faith are rebellious attitudes and not nice pets. Be careful, therefore, with your own or your church's doctrine which tries to impose itself above the commandment of the Lord; of own inspiration which carries the heart captive into some wrong track; some heart feeling which plays the role of God; some self-justification which is not Christ defending your case against false accusations; self-congratulation which is not the praise of God. Rebellion is self-righteousness and self-righteousness is rebellion. We cannot use the weapons of darkness to turn to the Lord. Double-heartedness is the main food of rebellion and self-righteousness. Double-heartedness comes to feel safe in the Temple of God often. This is why so many people in the world of sin are religious - and some are fanatically religious!
  1060. True prayer has many secrets and the reason they are seldom discovered and practised is that they are very simple secrets. Complicated things seem to have a greater hold on people's minds, conducts, and, especially, on the wholeness of the mind. Discipline is one of these secrets. However, very few people can be disciplined and spontaneous at the same time, burning in holy desire as they pray in an orderly way. We all know how true prayer needs genuine fire. And when there is no genuine fire, people establish some sort of strange fire to make up for the loss of the participation of the Spirit in their prayer life. It is common to see discipline robbing people from their wholeheartedness in the Spirit when it should rather be able to increase it. Another problem is that few people can separate one problem or request from another. They are too eager to solve all at once and seem to be unable to deal through with one problem until God's answer opens way to the next one. The answer is the key of any prayer. Without answers, any prayer can be turned into some sort of idolatrous way. And when they are able to deal with one single issue wholeheartedly at a time to the end, they don't seem to be able to let it stand to walk afresh into a new talk with the Lord. For example, if they talk to God about themselves or about personal spiritual needs wholeheartedly, they seem to lose sight of others spiritual needs after they have done so because they have reached an answer to their prayer; and if they wholeheartedly pray to solve others' needs, they seem to neglect their own important ones after the answer has been granted. I could mention a few more of these secrets and problems in prayer, but, it seems there is always some dispute which robs people from the genuine spirit of simple prayer.
  1061. We see God commanding Aaron to sacrifice an animal before entering the presence of the Lord. But, it seems to me Moses did not need to do so. He entered the presence of God without the need of sacrifice. Maybe it is because he was always in the presence of God, inside and outside the Tabernacle.
  1062. "Do not drink wine nor strong drink (...) for a distinction between the holy and unholy, and between the unclean and clean", Lev.10:9,10. Even when people are not addicted to wine anymore or any other sinful practice, even if it is only for the sake of an example, even if it is only for the sake of others, one should not touch certain things, even when they might be holy things unto us already. "...So that you may teach...", Lev.10:11. No one can teach without being a practical example.
  1063. Sometimes we wonder why God has put in His Law, the one given to Moses, that people should not eat certain kind of animals, birds or reptiles. Then we read: "To make a difference between the unclean and the clean", Lev.11:47. We should all know that to distinguish between the clean and the unclean has always been a great issue to the Lord or He wouldn't make that an object of promise through the coming of Christ, Mal.3:18. We can easily conclude from these laws that the peoples living in the Promised Land prior to the Israelites had some religious link to all those prohibited things or God would never have intervened through prohibitions such as these. Israel should set an example and be excluded from falling into those religious traps and beliefs, just as we do nowadays with wine or any other thing people link to sin or to the 'enjoyment' of this present world. There are many reasons why Peter could eat from the birds and animals coming from heaven on the sheet he saw. There was nothing impure about them. People defiled those things through beliefs and idolatries. Besides, the work Christ came to do within man established another inner law, a personal one we desire after ourselves; also, most of those beliefs had already vanished from the earth by the time Peter was here. Nowadays' beliefs 'do not eat' many things out of religiosity and by concepts about God which miss the mark. Times have changed and so have beliefs and religions. Our external ways should reveal we belong to the Lord and not to laws. Once they cease to show just that and that we do it for the Lord's sake, then they become useless, obsolete and empty commands.
  1064. Many talk about the crowns they will get in heaven forgetting that the crown is a "crown of holiness", as Lev.8:9 says. Have you ever realized that it is a crown holiness? Holiness is the crown. Does it fit in your head? Do you desire that sort of crown? Do you look out to bear such a crown? After the Lord, holiness may well be the most precious gift there is for us.
  1065. Talking a lot and repeating oneself over and over concerning what one believes or about what has happened to us in the past might be a hidden sign of lack of surety or even of security. Beware, because we preach the truth only to save others and not to assure ourselves before people whose breath is in their nostrils.
  1066. It is indeed true man shall not live by bread alone. But, in the same way, we may confirm that man shall not rest by sleep alone, nor quench thirst only by drinking. The needs of the body are not the only things man should think about. They are not even to be compared to the spiritual needs. There is more and better needs which man should care for to be satisfied and whole. The fact is that many people eat and drink to sin and it makes them more hungry for true food. In the same way, we may be assured that much sleep takes true rest away from any of us. Beware and never try to make up for your spiritual needs by overdoing concerning physical food, rest or drink.
  1067. We all know what adultery is all about. If all of us would stay away even from touching our promised partner before marriage, I am sure adultery would also be made impossible through a principle which drives our behaviour along with God's blessing. It is a good thing to be pure and one can only continue in purity if pure already, since we all reap what we are able to sow. No one may expect to reap something different than what he sows.
  1068. "No offering which you bring to the Lord shall be made with leaven, for you shall burn no leaven nor any honey in any offering to the LORD made by fire", Lev.2:11. Many people have some fermenting stuff in their heart which they stubbornly ignore in order to be able to pray to God about certain other things they consider more important to them. If they do not ignore it, they would not be able to pray. And here we read it is unacceptable to offer anything to the Lord with leaven. It is better to deal with the leaven first and exterminate it from the heart before we pray. Ignoring it won't work. Others try to be nice while they pray and they are not the same people when they pray as they usually are. They put honey in their offerings. They put on a heart they do not have. And God says "you shall put no honey in a burnt offering". It is better to let a prayer stand until we can be ourselves and the heart we have may express itself and be revealed while we pray.
  1069. The Lord made Aaron high priest and so his sons after him. The Lord is able to work on people for a certain purpose even before they are born. This is why He can appoint priests in a successive way even before they are born. The blessing of the Lord is capable of creating responsible people through succession. We can see the same thing being promised to David and his sons succeeding him to lead God's people. Did you know your life can become important for your descendants up to a thousand generations ahead? (Ex.20:6)
  1070. Real wisdom and real words, to be heard, do not need noise or anything else pressing it through. Wisdom catches the attention of any heart inclined to it and is best listened to and understood in quietness. "The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools", Ec.9:17.
  1071. The best way to keep someone quiet who talks too much, is to give him something to think about. Much talking is often synonymous of an empty or a striving mind. And thinking about something is often the cure for both. It is very difficult to do two things at once and very few people can talk and think at the same time. "Because much talk comes from dreams and things of no purpose", Ec.5:7. Grant such a person a "purpose" or "thing" to think about and you shall have some quietness coming along.
  1072. The main secret towards obedience is not authority, good commandments or even wrath against disobedience. The secret for obedience is the attainment of an obedient heart which can see itself portrayed in those good commandments it is able to receive directly from God.
  1073. "They have turned aside quickly out of the way", Ex.32:8. It is interesting to see what God means or understands by the word "quickly". God was talking about forty days in the desert where people were breathing sand, were thirsty and away from the comfort of any home - and much more. (There is another context in which God applies the word "quickly" in Mat.5:25. It just shows when things must be quick, people have it slow and those same people can't wait when God is delaying certain things for a reason). For the people, forty days were to many days and for God it was not so long. It was too quick. God says that people "quickly" went astray. They couldn't wait. This stupidity cost them their lives and another forty days by which they had to be proved all over again because Moses had to go to the mountain again. We delay important things whenever we believe God is taking too long with some others or with purifying trials. " ...The sons of men (become) snared in an evil time", Eccl.9:12.
  1074. There is always that doubt concerning the next generation, especially when revivals or the greater works are experienced and lived close by. Will the next generations know that God is real and powerful? The truth about this is that people do not take God as real and powerful by seeing miracles and good or wondrous deeds, but, rather by experiencing God's presence - as long as it is for real. His presence talks by itself. It is His presence which will convince and impress them deeply that He is indeed Lord over all that exists. No preaching will achieve what His presence achieves. "And I will dwell among the children of Israel... And they shall know that I am the Lord and their God", Ex.29:45-46. Let people only work hard on those conditions which will assure the presence of God and Him to feel at home among them and they shall know that He is God indeed.
  1075. God said to Moses: "You shall take offerings from every man that gives it willingly with his heart", Ex.25:2. We cannot afford to believe that the modern ways of extorting money from people in churches are able to encourage free giving and much less voluntary offerings. In fact, people are moved by own interests when deceived by these robbers who use the gospel as their assaulting weapon. Any person who gives voluntarily to such a preacher has some selfish interest or some kind of sinful ignorance which drives him to give. People who give to extorting preachers are greedy themselves in some way. They try to deceive God through their giving and try to talk Him into blessing them as if God is not good enough to freely bless them. I do not believe that sort of giving can ever be considered free offerings at all. In fact, that kind of giving is the precise opposite of free giving. Preachers who extort do not only steal from people but extort them from their good senses as well because they start thinking they can fool God.
  1076. A good rule or law is not always the best option for a living standard or for an exhortation. Wisdom teaches us to apply things which can cause works and fruits to emerge. Only if there is no wiser or better thing to do, should the rule be applied even if it is only for the sake of protection of the truth's point of view.
  1077. The worst thing that can ever happen to the heart of man is it to believe God approves some evil it is seized by or used to. There is no more slippery ground than the one where people start believing God approves some kind of evil they prefer, love, nourish or keep alive. "Blessed is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves", Rom.14:22.
  1078. What can be worst to man than when God says, "I will not again pass by them any more"? Amos 7:8.
  1079. A person does not necessarily need to understand before becoming born again and, most probably, not even after. "The Spirit breathes where He desires, and you hear His voice, but you do not know from where He comes, and where He goes; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit", John 3:8. But, as soon as the new birth takes place anyone will understand something wonderful happened for which there are no words or explanations. There shall always be a proof of the truth and of the truthfulness (reality) of God inside man when God has touched him. "He who has received His testimony bears witness that God is true", John 3:33.
  1080. There are many diverging and some converging ideas about Jesus. I believe from the bottom of my heart that the more Jesus becomes real to us or reveals Himself as He is, the more diverging ideas will spring out of men's hearts. People will be converging around a false Jesus and diverging around a real, truthful and operating one. It just works that way since people are not used to reality concerning God. They will, however, subside doubts and fears before an illusionary God. Besides, a real God confronts people who are sinful and encourages or stands by (in a real way) all those who strive undivided towards holiness. This, alone, will cause inner conflicts on its own already. The more so when people around do not want to change and, yet, want to keep believing in an existing God Whom they do not wish to be real among them to disturb their ways. These will surely say believing in God is to believe in His existence and not to entrust our whole being to Him to be exchanged for a real new one. People who do not wish to change and still want to keep a belief in God will converge either immediately or on the long run concerning their ideal of a false Jesus. Even when in disagreement, they shall seek a way to converge and to get along. These will, also and surely, converge as one person against the true sons of the Lord.
  1081. It is often said that Jesus wants our all. But, it could be be said with all certainty that for Him it is either all or nothing. It is better to be cold if one is not warm.
  1082. "...For the ruler of this world comes, and he has nothing in Me", John 14:30. When the devil comes to us, the best weaponry against him is if do not have anything in us or any attitude that belongs to him. Let him be ashamed and have reasons to flee from us when we resist him. How shall the world ever know that we indeed love the Father unless the devil himself comes to prove it by himself?
  1083. Synchrony between the right time and the right thing is, usually, the best way to remember important things or, should I say, not to forget about them if we do not forget God in all our ways.
  1084. When we pray, we should be inspired by God's faithfulness and mercy above being worried and presumptuous. By worrying or by being presumptuous, we act like those who wanted to make Jesus King by force thinking of what self could benefit from Him as King. We should never allow ourselves to be taken by ways which confuse us concerning God's will. By being presumptuous or by worrying, we can't easily know what God's will really is concerning the thing we pray about. In other words, we forsake the way of faith and, possibly, the way of life as well. We should know that worrying or presuming will surely take us to pray about things God does not will or things He wills and we would want it done in some way or in a time God does not approve.
  1085. "From this time many of His disciples went back into the things behind, and walked no more with Him", John 6:66. To which thing are you tempted to go back to? To a past sign to find assurance through it? Whether it is something of the world or something good which is behind, the moment you step back you have ceased to walk through/with Jesus.
  1086. Jesus cannot be made King by force, John 6:15. He will simply slip away to hide Himself discretely. Anyone who uses force to cause Jesus to be king over his life, has something which he does not wish to give up. Such a person is avoiding the ways of God in dealing with the heart and with confession of all sins by name to be saved from them all. There are things which we need to give up for the sake of Jesus and there are things which we only believe we must give up and which please self only. By forcing Jesus to be king over one's life, one is as good as neglecting those simple truths and things which will cause Him to come near or into the heart. Cleansing one's heart will surely cause Jesus to come near to fill the void. "Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners; and purify your hearts, double-minded ones", James 4:8. People who force Jesus to be their king are, generally, refusing to be saved on God's terms and are working out an own salvation. To make Him king by force means one is trying to jump over the wall into the sheepfold. Making noise and creating heavy emotional backgrounds which will cause people to have a strange faith or to kindle a strange fire can also be seen as trying to make Him king on men's terms.
  1087. Many say that if God spoke to them openly they would believe Him or would believe in His existence. But, the Bible says that if one cannot believe the written words of God, one shall neither be able to believe in God had He spoken or had a dead person been resurrected (John 5:47; Luke16:29-31)Did people not believe it was thunder or an angel when God spoke from heaven? (John 12:29). Unbelievers will always be inclined to shovel off truth and reality.
  1088. No one is able to bar a holy revival, but, only by staining it from the inside. Only the used instruments of that revival are capable of stopping it. If they sin or take wrong ways to carry out God's will, then they will surely have that revival killed away.
  1089. The Bible talks about "walking in the Light" instead of talking about "entering the Light". It means Light is in the word already. We must only walk in it revealing all and being fully transparent. "He was the true Light; He enlightens every man coming into the world. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men", John 1:9,4.
  1090. All worrying is and shall always be very painful thorns whether the person still feels their pain and enjoys it or not.
  1091. Whoever does not know what God's will is for his life has only one problem: he wishes God to do what he himself wishes to accomplish. If it were not so, he would surely know what God's will would be.
  1092. The doctrines of greedy preachers who love money protect them and support them. However, truth does not. They preach about prosperity in a way that causes people to give them what they own. For these preachers, preaching is an investment and not obedience. They act as if Jesus is an ignorant and blind Lord who ignores sin. And we must know that anyone who gives them money is as greedy as the person who receives it. Sort seeks sort. Species seek the same species to live together. By showing off their riches, these preachers apparently live what they preach about. But, truth will eventually condemn them.
  1093. In the older times, Paul would say about Satan, "For we are not ignorant of his devices", 2 Cor.2:11. However, in case people were honest and truthful nowadays, they would say something like this: "We ignore his devices and became quite ignorant about him".
  1094. If you are one of those people who do not easily believe the devil has a definite plan or strategy to have your whole life ruined, you are ignoring truth. The devil has that plan to destroy you. Do not close your eyes to any of His plans or devices to ignore them and make sure you remain close to the Lord all the time.
  1095. The sort of wisdom that comes from God is malleable and like clay in the hands of the potter when learning; and it is firm and sure when it is teaching and carried around.
  1096. We should all know that it is very difficult to stop a holy revival where its leaders stand close to the Lord answering to Him for every moment of their lives. However, the devil will try many evils to discredit it before people. One of the ways is to create fake revivals or, as we call it, counter 'revivals'. People from outside will avoid becoming alive because of what they see in these counter 'revivals', which they associate to the real ones.
  1097. There are many ways to add to God's words. If you find yourself in any emotional state, whatever it may be, you must make sure you are not interpreting God's words and ways your own way. Anxiety, happiness or sadness, worrying or careless attitudes, along with any other way people may feel or think can cause them to interpret God's words according to their state of mind. They hear the state of mind and not God, applying His holy words to what they feel, think or wish to think.
  1098. We have this wrong idea that we need to speak about God or use His name to be able to use it in vain. It is true we can use God's name in vain by speaking. However, it is a huge mistake to believe that is the only way to use His name in vain. "...Lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain", Prov.30:9. Here, we hear the writer say he can use the name of God in vain by stealing even without saying a word. How? If you are a child of God and are able to trust Him, it should be obvious any act of stealing is an outrageous act against the name of God upon you. You have trusted in vain. You have taken His Holy name in vain upon your heart. How many other ways can you think of one can use God's name in vain?
  1099. We should never try to divert or avoid the confrontations between good and evil. It is not possible to avoid any of them. It is like a law in nature that evil will always confront goodness and that goodness will work against evil. "An unjust man is a hateful thing to the just; and he who is upright in the way is hateful to the wicked", Prov.29:27. Righteous people often try to avoid this sort of confrontations because of the so-called wisdom they have been able to stand by. However, evil will never avoid such confrontations and will always try to establish itself through an aggressiveness which cannot be hindered. These are the two main reasons why evil gains so much ground. Righteous people should live their lives openly and fearlessly without taking evil into account. Goodness can only be established that way.
  1100. Fears can cause people to imagine things. It causes people to see mischief and danger where there is no danger or mischief. Fear makes people suspicious. We should be aware of the dangers of the mind and its consequent feelings. Don't greedy people dream a lot to bring some kind of relief to their greed? Fearing people, also, create their own lions. "The fear of man brings a snare", Prov.29:25.
  1101. "A child left to himself brings shame to his mother", Prov.29:15. It shouldn't be necessary to explain this truth. How many mothers and fathers leave their children decide things for themselves as if they have enough life experience to know what course of life they must take? How many mothers and fathers leave their children to their borrowed ideas or twisted ideals? How many children learn only what they feel like learning and do what they feel like doing? Should we leave a ship in a tempestuous high sea to find its own way to land?
  1102. One needs to be a liar to believe a lie; an illusion needs a deceived heart to find roots; and it takes a truthful heart to become aware of truth in the lips of anyone. Sort seeks sort. There is a natural attraction and common understanding between alike things and alike beings.
  1103. We should never give anything above indifference to foolishness. We cannot give any attention or heed to any of it. Even talking to it or answering it is foolish. "If a wise man contends with a foolish man, whether he rages or laughs, there will be no rest for him", Prov.29:9.
  1104. If a bad man does something good, he is still worse than any righteous man who is trapped into some undesired sin. And we know how serious righteous people's sins are! Imagine how serious it is to have a bad man pass for a good one! "He who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is a hateful thing", Prov.28:9.
  1105. "A man who flatters his neighbour spreads a net for his feet", Prov.29:5. How many people take this truth seriously? How many mistake flattering for friendliness? How many are aware that a flattering tongue is a murderer of souls?
  1106. "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool; but whoever walks wisely, he shall be delivered", Prov.28:26. This means that those people who walk according to their heart are not wise and they can never be wise as long as they are able to trust it.
  1107. Greed comes from the heart of man and not from need. Its origin is in the heart. This means that no one is greedy only by being rich and that no poor man is free of any of it. A rich king may, indeed, oppress people to become richer and to take hold of many things he doesn't need. However, any poor man who desires such a man's riches is as greedy as he is.
  1108. It is often said that promises make debts. I believe it is true to a certain point. However, we must acknowledge that the contents of any promise counts more than any other moral value we may associate to fulfilling it. I can never make a point of fulfilling the wrong thing, not even when I have promised to do it. Doesn't the Bible say we must deliver ourselves from the snares of our mouth? (Prov.6:1-5). We can go back on any promise. We should choose what to promise and see if there is any virtue in fulfilling it. Fulfilling the wrong kind of promises amounts to sin. Is it good to fulfil a vow made to the devil? Or to fulfil threats spoken in rage? Shouldn't we rather repent of such sins instead of fulfilling them because we promised them?
  1109. No one who is easily tempted to feel wise in his own eyes will receive wisdom from God. To such, real wisdom is not given. It can't be given. God shall not grant wisdom to anyone who uses it to glory against truth and for the sake of self.
  1110. Have you ever heard about the saying that the spell turns against the witchdoctor? One way or another, all evil will, eventually, eat up the head of the evildoer. How much more will evildoers suffer by that sort of evil which tries to lure or harm good people! "Whoever causes the righteous man to go astray in an evil way, he himself shall fall into his own pit; but the upright shall inherit good", Prov.28:10.
  1111. "Evil men do not understand judgment; but those who seek the Lord understand all things", Prov.28:5. Do you seek understanding and real wisdom? Seek the Lord in such a way that you find Him. Then, understanding will be added unto you. He is our wisdom.
  1112. There is no midway about this: "Those who forsake the law praise the wicked; but those who keep the law plead against them", Prov-28:4. Are you really aware of this truth? This assures us that whoever forsakes God and His laws from within the heart will end up approving, defending, agreeing, believing and even praising the wicked or his wickedness. There is no alternative way or alternative consequence awaiting such a foolish behaviour. On the other hand, by keeping the law of God from the heart, we may also be assured there will always be some sort of life and death confrontations between us and the wicked. There is no alternative way out either. It shall be so indeed, whether it is the wicked who starts the confrontations or whether we speak the truth due to duty and love.
  1113. To bless any lazy man in his sleep; to try to reason with a stubborn, angry man who believes he is always right; to wash with cold water someone who feels cold; or to sing songs of happiness to sad people who choose bitterness above life is always a waste of time. "He who blesses his friend early in the morning with a loud voice, it shall be counted a curse to him", Prov.27:14.
  1114. When any person finds real life in the Lord and is able to live it out in the full measure, that sort of living is an answer to all evil which easily and promptly manages to say goodness and God do not exist on earth. We should never forget that. "My son, be wise, and make My heart glad, so that I may answer him who shames Me", Prov.27:11. Do you live with the real Jesus? Do you live His real Life out? Have you found it?
  1115. "Wrath is cruel, and anger is overwhelming; but who is able to stand before envy?" Prov.27:4. Envy does not have a face. It seldom reveals itself. Therefore, it is very hard to pinpoint it. It is a very subtle and very hypocritical enemy. Envy is, often, a hidden enemy.
  1116. As a rule, when things are carried out only because conscience drives people to do them, then those things are seldom carried out in all perfection. We know works exist for the sake of people and not people for the sake of works. Works and providence procedures are meant to perfect people's hearts up along with most ways of people. Therefore, if people are set up only for conscience's sake, there is a lot in them which still needs to be perfected. It may also mean that those kinds of works might need to be repeated over and over again until the full perfection of the heart is attained.
  1117. "The curse without cause shall not come", Prov.26:2. How many people blame God for things sinners are to be blamed for? How many pregnant teenagers blame the curses and hardships they are mainly responsible for? Should God be blamed for Adam's sin in eating of the fruit of disobedience? Is it God's fault if His own creatures have wandered so far away from Him that they start despising Him or simply ignoring Him and His existence?
  1118. "He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a broken down city without a wall", Prov.25:28. Many associate this verse to a bad temper and alike sins. It is not bad to breed this association. The bad thing is to have this verse associated only to such sins. In fact, there are many other sins to which this verse can be applied - if not all sins. Let me explain. If you cannot control your eyes, mouth or ears; whenever you give in to temptation, whether it is to laziness or any other sort of sin; whenever you give in to sadness for less honourable reasons or for selfish reasons; those are also ways to lose control over your spirit and heart. We should never allow our hearts to slip into sin. Sin is deceit trying to look important, awesome or fearful.
  1119. We know many work hard in order to have things eased up and made available for many others. The farmer works hard so that everyone may have bread at home in an easy way; the pioneers of the gospel have suffered so we may have it all available in an easy way. However, many preach as if everyone else needs to go through the same hardships and difficulties they have experienced or still experience in order to learn and make wisdom available to others. We cannot force other people to go the way we may have gone, unless it is God's will for them as well. Let's not be deceived by strange feelings of bitterness and of plain ignorance. "And in this is the saying true, One sows and another reaps", John 4:35.
  1120. Many take advantage of the gospel and its preaching to shine and rob something from God, whether it is glory or money. They even sing, "Shine, Jesus, shine" so they can be seen, take advantage of situations and be applauded. Evil is deceitful indeed! "For men to search their own glory is not glory", Prov.25:27.
  1121. "A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring", Prov.25:26. There are a lot of ways to give in to or before wickedness: we can be ashamed of truth and of being honest and truthful before a wicked confrontation; we may become impatient and angry as if wickedness means something; we may give in to wickedness by losing our temper as if God is in favour of the wicked and easily neglects the righteous. In fact, there are a lot of ways to allow wickedness to achieve the purpose of its existence. "Do not allow yourselves to be deceived!"
  1122. "An angry countenance drives away a feigning tongue", Prov.25:23. This is one of the main reasons why the wrath of God is something people should be aware of and see. It can cause people to become truthful.
  1123. Isn't quietness and peace a fruit of the Spirit? Why should I accept a noisy service and craziness as a service to God?
  1124. The best thing you can do for someone - anyone - is to share what you are above sharing what you have. Give most of yourself along with your possessions.
  1125. Whoever buys what he cannot afford or spends in what he does not need, is sure to sell what he needs most to pay up for his greed. Only by selling what he has will he be able to pay for what is not needed. And, usually, people sell Christ out to do an own will.
  1126. We cannot expect to receive more from God than what we are given or surrendered to Him. The abundance of the Spirit in us shall always be proportional to our surrender to Him and to the existing death to ourselves - not the supposed death.
  1127. "My son, give Me your heart, and let your eyes watch My ways", Prov.23:26. When the Bible tells us to give our hearts to God, it does not uphold or encourage those liars who go before the altar and say a sinner's prayer, or, should I say, a liar's prayer. In fact, giving our heart to Jesus means a lot more than that. It means that we accept His way to the end and exchange our ways for His for always; it means we shall, from then on, seek the influences of the Spirit of God and will always move towards the light to be lighted, move to where we can see well and beyond mistake, and where all become visible to all. It also means grace will become our ways instead of force and own-mindedness. There is a lot more we could add here, though.
  1128. "He who has a bountiful eye shall be blessed", Prov.22:9. Even Jesus said that the eye is the light of the body and that our eyes must be good. A good eye sees good things and a bad eye sees bad things. Sort seeks sort. It is indeed true that many things depend directly from the way we look to them. I am not a in favour of the so called positive thinking mode. I believe positive thinking, the way psychologists have it, is a great mistake since it means people should lie to themselves while they could believe in saving truth instead and be above positive and real. I uphold the standpoint that we should look out for good things because God has created thousands of them. They are out there. Let our eye be good and we shall be blessed indeed.
  1129. Adults burn their fingers one time after the other, even after being warned. (This thought I got from somewhere - I can't remember where). They work on destroying their own lives one time after the other. Yet, they are the ones who beat children up for not walking the right way or for committing childlike mistakes due to their lack of life experience or lack of practical wisdom.
  1130. The only truth is this: the only singer that matters to me is myself. I will leave all others receive their praise from their hearers, as they usually do. Should we lie by saying we sing to the Lord and receive the applauses and praises ourselves? Shouldn't we know how to give to God what belongs to Him?
  1131. When some bandit or evil person does me wrong or even squeezes me into a corner, I will expect salvation from the Lord. But, never must I expect God to avenge the wrong that has been done to me or to pay me back for whatever I may have suffered or lost. "Do not say, I will repay evil; wait on the Lord, and He will save you", Prov.20:22.
  1132. Wisdom is life experience or a living experience and not consequences of much studying.
  1133. There are things in this world which will always be in opposed fields. As an example, we have sin and saving wisdom, or understanding and iniquity. These can simply never co-exist in the same heart at the same time.
  1134. Many become annoyed and wilful against others in a sort of wilful vindication or vengeance. They believe they hurt others by doing so. However, these hurt themselves only, believing, by it, they can kill others through the poison they drink themselves, as someone said. Sin hurts self only. "His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be held with the cords of his sin", Prov.5:22.
  1135. When we are still learning, if we are still in the learning stage, it is more important to do well than to do all. If we attempt to do all at this stage we will surely do all wrong. This is why Jesus taught us to pray to do the things of the earth the way everything is done in heaven instead of doing the things of heaven. The way is of much greater importance.
  1136. "...So you shouldn't ponder on the paths of life..." Prov.5:5,6. One of the main weapons sin or the devil has against the soul of man is to cause him to avoid, neglect or dislike pondering and meditating on the paths of life. The main consequence of stumbling in sin will be a mind which is too busy, to annoyed, too distracted or too entangled to set aside some quality time to ponder on how to be saved from a bad pit, bad heart or from a bad way. Make sure you always find time to experience and understand the ways of life and to be able to ponder on them with easiness, willingness and with the intention to cause your feet and heart to follow it without delay through the Lord.
  1137. "...My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will", John 5:30. You must be assured that every time an own will influences or enhances a deed or word, all judgments will always be cruel, bad or evil, even when those judgements amount to pleasing people and praising them. However, if we indeed seek God's will and not our own, even a hard word will be love and loved by God and, eventually, accepted by people around us.
  1138. "Let your eyes look right on, and let your eyelids look straight before you", Prov.4:25. This verse says that either false people turn around and around the issues; or those who linger to do the right thing the right way become false. Never avoid being direct and simple, having a simple and unconscious meekness pointing out truth with truthfulness. Sometimes, people tend to receive or give according to what they like or dislike in a person; or they are influenced in their thoughts and opinions through circumstances around them. Are you honest and do you keep a sober look beholding heaven? Or do you live according to the way you feel under trials or feel about people around you? And when you need to hear something, do you tune you ears according to the feelings you think you must breed towards the ones speaking to you? If a false one would speak, would you listen because he seems nice? Or would you reject a holy word from a man who, according to your views, seems rude?
  1139. "The way of the wicked is as darkness; they know not at what they stumble", Prov.4:19. Just as the wicked may never know what they stumble at, many times, the ones who walk in holiness tend to forget or ignore what or who keeps them alive and holy because they get used to the holy life. Do you often recall what keeps you alive and pure? Or have you been tempted or even subdued by own righteousness lately? Have you become too used to walking with God, so much so that you ceased to take care of your own heart and life the way you ought? Forgetting what keeps you as you walk means you are clinging and depending on self-righteousness again. There must be at least some self-righteousness. Truth says there is.
  1140. It is a blessing when we have no way out and are solid in God's will and providence. An alternative way is just another way of giving up on God or on the way He intended for us in the beginning. And, many times, people wrongly take an alternative way as a gift from God. Did David kill Saul, or did he rather hold on to the purpose of waiting for God's timing and way to turn him king? What a curse it would be to kill Saul and despise God in the face of his own people! Would you kill Saul or would you rather prefer to remain in God waiting and sticking to His word?
  1141. There are street signs in all roads, just as there are the words of God in a Christian's life. However, sometimes people stop to talk about the colour of the traffic sign, how beautiful or ugly it is, or that it could be put in another position and such sort of things. People do the same with God's words: they admire it and discuss a lot about it instead of obeying it. This is what the Bible describes as perverting or twisting the Scriptures.
  1142. Once God makes a promise, He does so because the circumstances or the conditions which assure the sustenance of the promise once it is fulfilled, are not yet met. This is mainly why He promises instead of granting right away. Therefore, we must work hard on all those things which will assure the conditions for the promise to remain and to live on and on to the end. Let me give you one or two examples. Let's suppose God promises you a child as He promised to sterile Sarah. Then, you must work on those things which will assure that the child will find a healthy spiritual environment to live for God, such as a holy home, a holy relationship between mother and father and all other things which a child born of God will live by. Another example: if God promises you a job or some financial nourishment or backup, make sure you start working right away at becoming free of all greed, concerns, worrying, day-dreaming or whatever else accompanies or sustains the love for money. All unfulfilled promises have things to be worked on. If you have any promise, start working right away.
  1143. Never underestimate the words of any man who has been through trials and has overcome them. His words make sense to heaven and the flesh does not review itself in them anymore. Sin is not expressed through them any longer and the approval of God goes from great to unlimited, depending on how much of His good works still remains to be achieved in the heart and how perfect the dependence on Him is.
  1144. Thorns may or must be removed. It is possible to have them all out. No worrying or concern should remain if we are closer to the Lord than we are to ourselves.
  1145. Legalism is always proof of a withdrawal from God and a refusal to have our lives fixed on His terms or things done His way. There is always something one refuses to fix God's way when any kind of alternative way is made up - and that is where a legalistic life starts.
  1146. God promised that the descendants of Abraham would inherit the Promised Land. How much are you contributing to make children of faith? Are you adding descendants to that Land? Are you helping God fulfil the promise He has made? Is your whole heart committed to that solemn work?
  1147. Long trials work out, perhaps, against superficial needs better than any other kind of danger or hardship. Abraham waited twenty five years for his beloved son; Moses waited forty years to have his people saved from Egypt; David and Joseph waited thirteen years to see what God has promised them. Are you going to keep up the strain and wait on God faithfully until promises are fully fulfilled?
  1148. "I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you", Gen.12:3. God would curse those who cursed Abraham mostly because he was a carrier of many a blessing to anyone who would cross his way. We cannot curse any kind of blessing without being cursed ourselves. And God had made him a blessing and not a curse.
  1149. There is some difference between people who are occasionally faithful and those who are occasionally unfaithful. One has a wrong nature or heart which tries to live the right way. The other one has the right kind of heart or nature which tries to live out in an unstable way, tempting God to see if it might work out or if he might escape with it because he is faithful. One is an unstable, double-hearted person trying to live in a stable way and the the other one is a stable person trying to live in an unstable way.
  1150. The strength of a gossiping tongue is curiosity. To be inquisitive is a faithful instigator of many sins to a bad tongue. And, many times, people talk about others to find out more about them, just as much as they find or search things out about others' lives to gossip more. "...But they even become gossips and keep busy through curiosity about other people's lives...", 1 Tim.5:13.
  1151. Once God operates through some signs, whether they are considered great or small, there is something wrong with the useful doctrine which states that God does things when we are faithful or holy, even though it might be occasionally true. Let me explain. If it were true, miracles wouldn't be signs but rather rewards and there are both signs as well as rewards for faithfulness and holiness. Any sign should encourage us to become holy above measure. It cannot work the other way round, I mean, that faithfulness should entice us to seek signs. And, along with that, we should avoid creating a mind which believes the sign is the end of the road, the goal, and that after the sign or miracle has taken place, one may relax in unfaithfulness because the goal has already been attained. Avoid believing that sort of lie which tells you God is happy about your spiritual state or He wouldn't give you a sign. Do not put the cows following the plough. It won't work out. Rather, become an example to the faithful, 1 Tim.4:12.
  1152. Jesus promised to answer all our prayers. Therefore, if any prayer is not answered, surely there must be something wrong with either the prayer or the one who prays.
  1153. "...Having children in subjection with all modesty..." 1 Tim.3:4. If a modest person keeps children humble, it means children are humble towards a very humble person. How wonderful are such children! How precious they are!
  1154. To hand over to feelings our decisions, to listen to what we may feel to decide about things, is the same as taking a lot of money and throwing it up in the wind hoping it to be an investment. 
  1155. People hear better someone they consider their equal. They feel the exhortation in a much deeper way when it comes from the mouth of a loving, trusted friend. So, if you are friends to someone, avoid pleasing that person and talk plainly instead. Make use of circumstances to show forth real love.
  1156. Things become responsibility only after they cease to be mere dreams.
  1157. The best way to love my neighbour as myself - the way I serve or care for myself - is to become my neighbour and to take his place. That makes it much easier.
  1158. The great majority of people who turn back to the world or into sin, do so because their heart has never changed. "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they were of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out so that it might be revealed that they were not all of us", 1 John 2:19. They may have changed some habits or even attitudes, but not the heart. To have the heart changed for real one needs to clean up instead of trying to change. To live a changed life is what demands perseverance and strength from us and a changed life comes after transformation. Transformation does not require force - it is worked out through cleaning the heart and thorough exposition of all things in the light.
  1159. Many implore God for His blessings just to despise them after they have received them. People who have an unsatisfied heart will be as unhappy as when they did not have whatever they desired to have. The point is: you should rather desire what you already have. There is a special reason why God disallows greed or covetousness all together. Did you stop desiring your husband or wife after marriage? Desire whatever you have already. "Be content with such things as you have", Heb.13:5.
  1160. Giving coins to someone who has holes in his pockets is the same as God giving something to people who do not have their lives straightened with Him, secured and cleaned up in all their aspects. 
  1161. We live in the era of confusion of knowledge where people know nothing and, even so, believe they know all because they are still able to interpret things their own way. They tear Jesus' words apart to understand it the way it suits them. That is the main reason why people believe they know a lot. The wrong kind of knowledge is not meek. The other side of such hearts is that they can only trust themselves. If you boast in the knowledge you think you have, you cannot trust the Lord, but you are made to trust only yourself. "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding", Prov.3:5. Genuine wisdom and trusting God go hand in hand. Trusting self and lack of wisdom also go hand in hand.
  1162. Everyone who glories in himself has the other side of him which assumes good things do not last for long or that goodness is something unusual or unseen in this present age and era. If man did not think that way, he wouldn't take the glory upon himself. "Why do you boast yourself? The mercy of God endures forever", Ps.52:1. The Psalmist has seen this point clearly.
  1163. Truth is never helpless. Speak to the point, in the shortest, wisest way possible and never fear the consequences. Then, trust God to cause truth and His words to bring forth fruit, even when hearers hate what they have heard from you.
  1164. "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He who fears has not been perfected in love", 1John 4:18. Many, when they find themselves in fear, believe they must do away with it because of this verse. In fact, by doing so, they are trying to climb over the wall into the sheepfold. Instead, they should do away with lovelessness, which, on its turn, will do away with fear naturally. This verse does not entice people to stop fearing, but rather exhorts them to love since it is love which drives fear away. Those who do not love have many reasons to fear. Love does away with fear automatically and naturally, since conscience and the peace of heart grants people the desire to face God without fear. If you do not love, you should fear. And if you try not to fear without training your own heart to love from deep within in all sincerity, you become a dishonest person. Do not try to get a false peace of mind and never try to get into the sheepfold unless you get in through the proper door.
  1165. Faith does not generate the occasion. It is the right moment, the proper timing which is able to generate faith. Outside the proper timing there is no faith at all - only stubbornness. 
  1166. If we heartily walk in the light in a natural way, if we are transparent people, we shall never choose before whom we will walk in the light. Walking in the light is a way of life, it is not an occasional happening. Walking in the light or being in the light cannot be a choice for certain moments only. 
  1167. "O Lord, you have persuaded me, and I was persuaded", Jer.20:7. Jeremiah was easily persuaded by God. But, there are those whom God tries to persuade and they just aren't convinced or persuaded by Him at all. Usually, they insist upon their own feelings and thoughts and try to persuade God to their side instead. Trying to tell God what His will must be is as close to tempting God as can be.
  1168. "You are my praise", Jer.17:14. For many Jesus is problem and not a praise, especially if they cannot do whatever they wish to do.
  1169. The Word of God is not a science in the very sense of the word. The Word is more of a reality than of a science. It aims to experience the truth in a sound way. That is why it easily confounds the wise of this world. 
  1170. Robbers often seek caverns or dens to hide away. Many Christians take God as a safe den and not as a Saviour who saves from sin. They sin and steal and run fast to hide in a den they call God. This is why they start believing they can or should sin after coming to Christ. "Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know; and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?", Jer.7:9-10.
  1171. "They have denied the Lord by saying, It is not He", Jer.5:12. It is not needed to deny God openly through a statement against Him in His face. The only thing it takes to deny Him is to say that something He did is not from Him because it does not suit us to believe it. It can also happen by accepting something as His which is not worked by Him. Many say that the sin against the Holy Spirit is only to say the devil did something God is did. Them we may ask: what is it to say that God did something which was the devil who did it?
  1172. By reading about sanctification there will be no doubts in us that it means we should become holy. By reading of justification or righteousness we assume it means us become just and righteous. And when God speaks about purification, we all know He means us to become pure. It would be a very strange sanctification where people are not made holy; and a justification where people are not made just and righteous; or a purification where people are not made pure.
  1173. "These have chosen their own ways (...) Therefore, I also will choose their delusions", Is.66:3,4. This is the danger of following our own ways and even more so when we say those ways are God's! We will not have a say in the outcome of our ways and cannot chose the consequences.
  1174. To love as we ought is seldom to love as we can. Duty is less than capability. Grace demands more than the law. Duty, morality, discipline answer to conscience, whether that conscience is alive or not. Capability is the use of our whole being and not of conscience only. Conscience is only a part of us. And if our being is full of eternal life from within, if it experiences eternal life in the promised measure, our capability increases remarkably. "The love of God which He poured into our hearts..." This relation between duty and capability can also be taken into other areas such as believing and solid trust; awaiting and expecting from God; expectation and genuine hope. Duty is the minimum requirements for a holy life if we are indeed made free in Christ Jesus and are able to move freely in Him. However, duty is not the full measure of the capability of a loving, trusting or hoping heart at all.
  1175. Whenever God does not show us anything, whenever He does not say no or yes, the best thing we can do is to be still and quiet. Unless we do so, we might be disappointed some time later by realizing God did not say what we supposed He said. It is especially in te occasions when God is quiet that the heart of man is liable to rely upon itself and its deceitfulness, to speak up for God and to assume it is doing God's will by doing its own. In fact, it tries hard to push God int own will and deceives man into believing God wills it that way. We shouldn't force God to answer whatever has not started in Him. Man, usually, does that driven by impatience and a kind of fear that is worked up by the flesh. Man also feels pressured by circumstances or by people's opinions, by poverty or lust, by greed or even unbelief. Unbelief is a driving force. The heart always feels pressured one way or another when it has not learned to wait and to rely fully on the Lord. God is not responsible for the direction or the way man's own heart drives him. If man dares to follow an own direction or to do something in an own way, man can only answer for not having waited upon God the way he ought to and the amount of time he ought to have waited. The quality of waiting is also very important because it shows what we really think of God. When man does not wait on God and adventures himself into own ways believing God will bless them, those ways will soon end up in disappointment and grief. Man must cease to point out to God what He must do and learn to wait fully on what God has promised to him personally.
  1176. Not even the wrath of God lasts forever. Why should man believe his own wrath will?
  1177. "Little children, guard yourselves from idols", 1John 5:21. The worst obstacle of any man or woman are the idols living in the mind, those which are kept alive by suppositions. Because they are dead things, man can only suppose through them. All idols serve the main idol living there: self. There is no idol or idolatry which does not either serve or suit self and, on the other hand, everything that serves self is idolatry.
  1178. The person who understands truth is not necessarily a converted one, even though many converted people may have a good knowledge of truth by experiencing it. However, just as there are many converted ones who cannot explain or express what has been happening in their hearts, there are also many who have a thorough knowledge of truth gained through studying and reading who never experienced truth for real.
  1179. To be able to obey faithfully and thoroughly one needs to hear well too. No obedience can be consistent and neither can it be considered as obedience when obeyed at random or through guessing. That cannot be considered as obedience at all. If you don't hear, you cannot obey. Many teach obedience in a way that confuses new converts greatly, since obedience should be taught along with hearing and hearing with a sheep's heart. <only sheep hear. One must have ears to hear before one can be told to obey unconditionally.
  1180. It is very hard for a religious man to let religiosity stand because he thinks he has a lot to lose. People near God because of self-interest, believing in a Lord that can achieve all for them. The main reason why they pray or near God is self interest. And we all know God does not answer to selfishness. That is where religiosity is born since people are not moved by a supreme love towards Jesus. Prayers are offered and often repeated over and over again and there are no answers to them because of that. And, by ceasing to be dead and religious, people feel they will lose the expectations they have been working for so hard along the years and which have become the earnest subjects of their prayers. They often say they must keep believing and have faith concerning those things. In fact, they handle self interest as a non-negotiable right they seem to have built along the years of deadness. By becoming alive or, at least, by coming to the door of real salvation, people feel instantly religiosity and deadness is over for them. Along with it, all their self interest and rights are pointed out to die. They just see its death coming. Self interest is the main cause for dead religion, whatever that interest may be. We cannot near God for the things He is able to grant. Unless we come to Him to find Him, we shall not become living beings. "Jesus answered them and said, Truly, truly, I say to you, You seek Me not because you saw the miracles, but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not labour for the food that perishes, but for that food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you. For God the Father sealed Him", John 6:26-27. Jesus is food indeed and Him alone should we seek to find.
  1181. "You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people; You have covered all their sins", Ps.85:2. I couldn't grasp the full meaning of this verse till I prayed. What did it mean that all sins are covered? How are they covered? Then I understood. It simply means all sins are covered as soon as there is no possibility to fall back on them or as soon as there is no possibility to fall back into the already forgiven sin. God imposed a heavy punishment on Israel for their sins through the Assyrian army and there was no way they would go back to their former life after that. Their sins were, therefore, covered. This is what the Psalmist is trying to put across to us. Genuine conversion grants the gift of forgiveness. And every confession should be able to lead people to that sort of conversion or there will be no sins covered.
  1182. The important part is never to end above obstacles or above water, but rather to end the race in full peace with God and through God. This means our first love must at least stay the same if it has not grown. 
  1183. The widow of Zarephath told Elijah after her son has been brought back from death: "Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the Word of the Lord in your mouth is truth", 1 Kings 17:24. This means a lot. She means the word of God in some people's mouth is a lie. Another thing we may learn from this is: she did not take it for granted Elijah was a man of God, not even after she saw the olive oil and meal multiplying daily. That was not enough to convince her. However, she had been humble enough to be obedient to a man's word about whom she had been in some doubt. She baked the cake for Elijah first putting her son's life at risk. Her obedience had filled the void unbelief left in her. This kind of obedience opened the door for her to be assured about the mouth of Elijah later on and, consequently, about God's word. By obeying, she came across the knowledge and the confirmation of truth. She, now, became assured she was not being deceived by another bubbler or false miracle maker. There were many false prophets at the time. She had more than enough reasons to handle Elijah carefully and to keep him at a certain distance. But, her obedience caused her to make it to the end.
  1184. Many think they are special people because they know God and hear from Him. There is nothing special about that, even though the word of the Living God is scarcely dealt out these days. And, if someone's prayers obtain real answers and the evidence of the Life of Christ is clear in such, others will think of such as privileged ones. But, the more I live with the Lord, the more I believe there is nothing extraordinary about that either. In fact, such thoughts offend God greatly. Is it God's fault if people are not used to see Him around or to live in His presence? People should not have become so estranged to the Lord and the Lord to them. The unusual part of this whole matter is that people live far away from the One who should be nearest to them in a constant way. Living far from God as His creation is what is strange about all of this. "Be amazed, O heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid; be completely desolated, says the Lord. For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the Fountain of living waters, to hew out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water", Jer.2:12-13. The fact is that any genuine servant of God who is able to hear Him all the time - any time of the day or of the night - lives the normal way. Living so estranged from God that one starts believing that hearing Him is a special occurrence is offensive.
  1185. "And you shall eat it in any place, you and your households (...) And you shall bear no sin because of it", Num.18:31,32. All offerings were meant to be eaten at the place God chose, the Temple. And it should be a feast to God. However, God opened an exception by allowing holy people to eat it anywhere. The only condition was that people who eat it should be holy. They should have no sin. Their feast, speaking of God out loud, should be a practical demonstration of how God really is. Our lives should reveal the reality and the truth about God anywhere we are found.
  1186. In the Law of God, the best is required for Him and whatever is left, is meant for us. However, today the best is given to us and whatever is left goes to God - if there is no one else to give it to.
  1187. There is only one way for me to be abandoned: that God becomes too weak to help me out.
  1188. "A man can receive nothing unless it is given to him from Heaven", John 3:27. Tell me: just how many things did you refuse to accept because you knew they did not come from heaven?
  1189. Sin is a product of proud acting. It is a worm trying to look like an irresistible ruler.
  1190. "...Not purposing according to the flesh, so that there should be yes and no...", 2Cor.1:17. It is clear, from this word, that changes of mind are, mainly, consequences of not consulting the Lord. "A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps", Prov.16:9. This means God can change man's decisions upside down. We need to consult God and His will along with the way we should carry it out before we decide. It is also true that an unstable heart is unable to remain with the Lord or with whatever God says. An unstable heart swifts its decisions from no to yes even when God has indeed spoken or has been consulted.
  1191. Exhibitionism means there is some sort of deceit ruling the heart. To show off, or to impose things which do not work out any other way, creates dead religious beliefs. It is a deadly poison. Exhibitionism is the worst kind of deceit there is, since many people believe in it easily. It can make likenesses of things in heaven. It can imitate and impersonate a life of heaven. Whenever truth is unable to speak by itself through the power of God and through a personal experience of it, people will find in exhibitionism a way out to impose and to lie. Imposing truth upon others can be translated by the wise as something like this: "I do not live what I preach! I am not what I try to look like! I need the arm of the flesh and its strength to resemble the living. I need to show off or impose so people may believe I am a living being".
  1192. The interpreters of truth seldom live it out. Whoever finds truth and experiences it in an abundant way does not interpret it - he lives it out. Such people experience what they, quite often, are unable to explain. And, whenever they read Scriptures, they find those explanations they have been looking for understanding what has been going on through them.
  1193. Whoever knows little is often self-assured person unable to measure or to see what he or she does not know. Only wise people are able to evaluate or measure what they lack on knowledge. The wise are people who, quite often, say they know very little.
  1194. Any bad thought that does not become practice has more of temptation than of sin. On the other hand, any thought that is transformed into behaviour has more of sin than of temptation.
  1195. Many tasks at once delay perfection; many alarms confuse guards; many signs kill faith; many advices deviate from the counsel of God.
  1196. For anyone to understand inspired truth, he needs to be as inspired as the person who received it from the Lord.
  1197. Normally, running means running away from something. If our lives are ordered before God, running away may mean we are avoiding His work over us or in us. Transformation is hard, it is like entering into labour or having birth pains. Don't run away from it, but try to rather face it.
  1198. Why would God put us before situations we find unable to solve, accept or perfect up? It is because we must come to the point where we acknowledge or realize there is enough grace to accomplish it!
  1199. It is easy to see why so many people are so easily tempted by the devil, even though this cannot be applied to all. The Word says: "Israel has thrown off good; the enemy shall pursue him", Hos.8:3.
  1200. Laziness or the absence of it is put to the test mostly when people have nothing to do. When people have nothing to be busy about, the kind of heart they have reveals itself, especially in the area of promptness or laziness, patience or impatience. If you have nothing to do, do you still get out of bed early? Can we see you holding your Bible, reading and understanding it during easy going times? Do you rejoice by having some more time to spend alone with Jesus?
  1201. Have you ever seen anyone swimming upstream? "What a weariness", you would say. This is precisely what happens every time an unrighteous person tries to be righteous; or a selfish one tries to be loving for a time; or when a liar tries hard to speak the truth all the time. No one can easily practice righteousness unless he is righteous. This is the main reason why so many people get tired on the Way. Our concentration must be on the way and not on being righteous anymore. Being righteous must not be a goal any longer, but rather a way of life by the time we are able to walk with God.
  1202. Let us talk about goals and targets. If you know how to use a bow and arrows and you wish to hit a certain target, do you adjust the arrow or the target? Do you put the arrow in the proper position to heat the target or do you adjust the goal? If you do not adjust targets and do not move them around to be lined up with the direction of your arrows, why, then, do you wish to change God's goals and will for you? Why do you try to adjust truth to your convenience and His objectives to your wishes? Why don't you rather adjust yourself to the best wishes of God?
  1203. God cannot motivate us unless our motives are His. And He cannot help us, unless His help is able to drive us towards Him.
  1204. To a um twisted person straight things are twisted, justice is unrighteous and to sin is to have pleasure. Such a person has it all twisted, indeed.
  1205. There are those who put out the flames so the fire of sin can remain invisible and untouched deep in the heart. By taking care of appearances they find a way to 'protect' the heart from salvation. Oh hypocrisy! The worst kind of it is the kind which we practice towards ourselves. "Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts; and in the hidden part You shall make me to know wisdom", Ps.51:6.
  1206. If the devil had been the main source for any of my own sins, then my flesh wouldn't be the one in need to be crucified with Christ. 
  1207. Praise is usually a sort of emptiness when given to flesh and blood. Real honour is silent while being given or received. Do you tell people how much you receive as a salary? Why, then, would you want to proclaim how much honour or praise you receive?
  1208. We read that Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, became dumb for a time because he did not believe an angel's words. Many wish to hear Jesus speak to them. And Jesus is far greater than any angel. I believe some people do not know what they are asking for when they ask Jesus to talk to them. Just imagine what would happen in case Jesus spoke to you and you did not believe Him! "The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren; unto Him ye shall hearken", Deut.18:15. "And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be destroyed from among the people", Act.3:23.
  1209. Every time we see someone living all his moments near the Living God, expressing His wisdom with easiness with perfected enthusiasm, we say: "Oh, I would love to be like that!" That is not what Jesus would expect to hear from someone who would love to be that way at all. To be as that person we shall need to be ourselves and listen to all his words carefully. Rather be willing to hearken to what such a faithful child of God has to say. Be willing to listen instead and to be yourself in the sight of God.
  1210. I can distinguish between people, but not differentiate between them. I can assume people are not the same, but never should I dare to value some above the others under any circumstances nor in any practical way.
  1211. Those people nearest and the more intimate to us are the ones who grant us more freedom to be ourselves towards them. However, many use this opportunity and this sort of freedom to be mean and disrespecting. This should be the opportunity to care and respect and not to be the opposite. "Only do not use the liberty for an opening to the flesh, but by love serve one another", Gal.5:13.
  1212. It is good to attain to the depth of these words: "He acting unjustly, let him still act unjustly. And the filthy, let him be filthy still. And the righteous, let him be righteous still. And the holy, let him be holier still", Rev.22:11. In Daniel, we read something in that line of truth as well. We see through many examples that stand out for us in the Bible that all those who overcome some sort of trial are made ready for the next one and not ready to skip future trials. However, it doesn't work out that way with those who do not overcome a trial. (Let's have in mind that to overcome is not to solve a certain problem which came to try us, but rather to end with Christ and to be spotless, after the trial and whatever happens to the problem). Job was pure in God's eyes (and not in people's eyes). However, he went through the unexpected because he was indeed pure. Joseph also went to prison after clinging to purity. We also read in Rev.2:8-11 about a church which was pure and to which Jesus had no wrong to point out. To that church He said: "Do not at all fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the Devil will cast some of you into prison, so that you may be tried. And you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful to death...". We do not see Jesus distributing trials to the churches which have fallen back in some way. Those were told to repent and to go back to the starting point. We do not see Jesus warning them that they would be tried. Trials are the privileges of very few. Pure people are tied to become purer. Heaven lies still ahead of them. We may at least take two lessons from this: It means many people have an inner friction resulting from sin and they ascribe it easily to trials to avoid repenting. We know people who need to repent are not tried. They are, at the most, punished by their own ways. And, on the other side, people who overcome because they have kept purity are easily tempted by the idea that they will finally relax because they have overcome. They feel they must have reached the end of their way and are become too hasty and too eager to collect their reward after trials. In fact, people who overcome are just ready for the next step of purification. We must have in mind that these classes of people can assume from own expectations, each in its own way, which are not according to truth. Let pure ones never look back once they have taken up the plough into their hands; and do not allow stained ones to look forward unless they look backwards to find the spot where they have fallen. They need to fix whatever needs to be fixed first and before they can look forward, whatever it takes.
  1213. Idealists strain themselves for ideal situations and circumstances. They end up frustrated because there are no ideal situations. And even if there were, it wouldn't last for long because everything works much through cycles. Creation and nature has its own laws to abide by. "That which has been is now; and that which is to be has already been", Ecc.3:15. Harvests repeat themselves, rains come and go and come again. Everything starts all over again at its own season. Even a real Life with Christ starts afresh each day to be as it has never been before. Contrasting idealists, we see the real conquerors in Christ on the opposed side. They are able to achieve what idealists would easily call heroic acts, and, through that, idealists only reveal what they would rather not have come their way. Conquerors are people who find themselves content wherever they go and whatever they do. They look for things to transform through the acting of God and not for ideal circumstances. They know just too well how to gather with Christ and how to do so under any hardship. They also know their rest comes at the end. They never waste a circumstance - they use it fully up for the glorification of God. Conquerors expect to meet unchanged situations, unregenerate people and confrontations because of the truthfulness they carry with joy. Regeneration is their work and they work hard at it. They do not look for ideal things, but to obey the Lord and the truth. Idealists are not like that. They cannot be conquerors at all. They only trust under ideal circumstances and we all know this present world is not the ideal place - it shall never be. Idealists wish to inherit and not to work hard at their present inheritance. They squander whatever God has left to them to be faithful unto. They want changed things and not to change things as they walk on, starting that change at themselves. They cannot stand the idea that today can be a harder day than yesterday. They rejoice according to what happens to them and not in the Lord. They often look back because they cannot endure - they do not wish to endure. There is only one way to find ideal situations and people: we are the ones ready to become ideal and fruitful. Often, unmarried people look for the ideal partner, forgetting they are the ones who need to become ideal. Bosses wish to have the ideal employees disregarding the fact that they are the ones in need to become or to be made ideal. The same must be said about employees who look for ideal bosses - they need to have or to attain to the ideal heart. For all conquerors, all situations are challenges upon their spirit and upon their spiritual enthusiasm. For idealists, such situations work out much like a torture. There are no people so different and so apart from each other than idealists and conquerors.
  1214. If depression is a mountain of sins which have not been cleansed, (and it is), then stress is the fight of conscience against them or the load of sin as you try to carry out something else which is not cleansing all your sins one by one.
  1215. A deep desire towards the things God has for us is a condition to receive all answers in prayer concerning those things. However, we must have in mind that any deep desire is often what leads to feign a living. Deep desires are often responsible for the creation of appearances which resemble what we deeply desire. For example: people who desire to be holy can easily slip into an apparent holiness because they cannot believe it is possible to be holier than what they are; someone who desires to be rich often acts as a rich person does and does not wish to be seen by others as poor; those who wish to be fluent and expressive will rather change their voice and try to be eloquent instead of gaining the genuine kind of wisdom God has to offer to all those who ask it from Him. We must always bear in mind that appearance is the greatest hindrance to real living, no matter how good that appearance looks like. Appearance is a way to hide those things we believe we are unable to change or those things we do not wish to change at all. As I often say that appearance is not transparency and only transparency is walking in the light. And walking in the light and being transparent is what changes us from deep within. Try to remember that next time you deeply desire something God wishes to grant you. Do not rely on the works of the flesh or on its strength to accomplish what only light and transparency (in the Lord) can accomplish for you.
  1216. Every behaviour which is not spontaneous, natural, determined and exclusive is hypocritical. Be yourself.
  1217. Usually, no one sees as hypocrites those people who please them. However, God sees all as it is. We should also see things under the light of God and as He sees them.
  1218. If you would love to walk on towards truth and you find you can't, especially if the truth you are aiming at is God's and not your own, then your feet must be entangled in something the world has to offer. Entangled feet or legs turn walking very difficult and hard. Do you find it hard to trust at certain difficult moments of your life? And do you become jealous of people who can easily trust the Lord as they walk on? Do you complain easily as God leads you on? (It could work out well if you would complain when He is not leading, but not as He leads). When you make a point of loving your neighbour as yourself, do you find it hard to serve and love them? Do you experience some degree of difficulty hoping, waiting and expecting in the Lord? Are you expectant and happy waiting or do you see yourself as a victim? Whenever you wish to be truthful, do you often lie? Do you need to promise and decide to tell the truth? Or is your truthfulness spontaneous and obvious? Do you feel at home in the presence of God? I will explain why holiness is not so easy for you: you are entangled in worldly stuff and your feet cannot walk according to truth and according to your holy wishes. Your legs and feet do not follow your wishes because you are bound to the world or to some sin. This is the main reason why you stumble as you try to walk and why you are unable to fulfil all your vows. You deny the Lord when the world blinks at you and, consequently, the Lord denies you as you try to be truthful and to walk accordingly. Any smell of worldliness in you turns walking in the Lord hard and, sometimes, impossible.
  1219. Jesus stated that whoever does the things of God understands them. Understanding comes through practice and by experiencing the things of God. Practicing leads to understanding. "If anyone desires to do His will, he shall know...", John 7:17. Whoever does things the way they are done in heaven shall never be confused or lost. No living practicing Child of God shall ever be without spiritual understanding. Fulfilling is the only way to gain understanding directly from God. "O that my ways were fixed to keep Your precepts! Then I shall not be confused, when I have respect to all Your Commandments", Ps.l.119:5,6. The best way to misunderstand the things of God is to study them to preach to others or simply to be religious and dead about them.
  1220. We don't practice sin so that we can see God all the time, Mat.5:8. "Blessed are they who keep His testimonies, and who seek Him with all the heart. They also do no iniquity; they walk in His ways", Ps.119:2,3. Sin and blindness, sin and not finding are always related. One thing leads to the other. Seeking God to find Him for real implies that we leave sin forever or we won't find Him at all. And we may as well take into consideration that sin is what God says sin is and not what man says it is. Usually, man sees as sin what is done against him and God says sin is what we do. Are you living enough to be able to see the difference?
  1221. The great majority of people to whom God gave promises personally end up forgetting what God said simply because they do not commit themselves completely to become wholly dependable on them and do not heartily seek and wait upon their fulfilment and that only. They do not give their hearts over to what God said He would do for them or in them. They do not turn their vision and expectations wholly to the promise and end up forgetting because the painful businesses of daily and corrupted earthly living deviate their mind and attention. We may state the same thing concerning God's commandments: people simply forget about them in their daily life because they do not take heed to fulfil them. By not being committed, people create the occasion to be forgetful. This is what James means by "forgetful hearers". Practical negligence is always responsible for most kinds of forgetfulness.
  1222. Believing and having faith only when all is well with us is not faith. "Do not the heathen do the same?" Allow me to ask you: Does God change when things seem hard and when circumstances become dark and unbearable? Why do you bear them then? Don't! Do circumstances change God at all? Loving only those who love you cannot be considered love; believing only when all is well cannot be real faith; being patient only when we carry out those things we love most cannot be considered patience; talking about Jesus only to those we appreciate more cannot be considered spreading the gospel; being happy and joyful only in our own environment cannot be considered happiness at all; being extravagant and liberal when we are full enough to give leftovers away cannot be considered loving. Any sort of heathen could do the same or even do somewhat better!
  1223. Many do not reach the rising of the sun because they cannot stand going through the night. Every soul that wishes to see the sun rise, must face the dark passing by; t