Good morning friends and family. I thank God that I am able to continue to share God’s Word with you this morning. Praise God that we can still carry a Bible to church, or don’t have to worry about mentioning Jesus to a friend on the street. There are so many countries where it isn’t allowed, and it's getting very close to being like that here in the United States.
A couple days ago, I was sent a picture and a story about a man that had been persecuted by a radical Islamic group, because he was praying for someone in the name of Jesus. Leanna happened to walk by as I was reading the story about this man from England. It was a wonder this man was still alive, as they had taken one of his eyes out, he had been whipped, stabbed and was just a bloody mess. Leanna couldn’t turn back to see this man for a second time. He looked very much like the man who played Jesus in the passion of the Christ movie.
I read another article this week about how the Chinese Government is really getting stricter on home churches in their country. Friends, this is happening all over the world. Brother Jim, what do you bring up this for? Why? Because I believe we are going to see these same issues happening in this country very soon. I have held back some things that I have discovered going on for a reason. I want to gear the ones who listen on Skype, phone, those who hear these messages here at the house and for those that have been reading these notes online. There are now between 150 and over 300 reading these notes online every week. Praise God. He is the only One who could make this happen.
Why would I bring up these crimes that have been happening all over the world and to happen here in the USA soon? I truly believe because of the changes going on in our government, because of the growing Islamic faith here in this country, and because of some other issues I have seen, that we are very soon going to have to make a choice whether to follow Christ or not.
I have had many reply to me who say, “Oh no Brother Jim, Jesus will come before that”. I used to think that way too, but I don’t anymore.
Last week we kind of focused on our faith in Christ and how important it is. We found that it is impossible to please God without faith. Amen? Is each of us pleasing God? I pray so. We looked at scripture dealing with faith, but didn’t even scratch the surface.
Friends, in the past few weeks, as I explained last week, Leanna and I have been attacked from every direction. Both vehicles breaking down when there were places that we had to go. We had just dumped money into the car for tires and other repairs. I had just put money in the truck and the problem went further than that and would cost more than I had at the time. There is much money that has been owed us for some time. Prayers that I post on some sites have been attacked. It seemed like everything I touched broke. There has just been one thing after another. I know where most of these attacks have come from and our only hope has been our faith in Christ. We know His promises, now we have to stand on His Word and thank Him. He knows our needs and most of us know what Philippians 4:19 says. Actually let’s turn there.
We have to remember God is not like that fairy that waves her wand and abracadabra, your wish is commanded.
Philippians 4:19 KJV But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Notice this verse doesn’t say God will supply all your wants, but needs. Where would our faith be if we could just snap our fingers and ask God to give us all our dreams and wishes? Can you bless me with a new yacht, maybe a mansion with a full staff of workers so I could just hang around the pool? Oh, and please give me my own private jet? That’s not what it says. Our need is what God will supply according to His riches and glory.
Now, I want to share on just a little of how God worked in the past couple weeks. As I just mentioned, both vehicles have been down. For almost a week Pastor Babcock had been trying to get me to take one of his cars. Because of my pride, I kept saying no. Then I gave in. You see, we needed something to get from point A to point B and God knew that and put it on the Pastor’s heart. Also, by me not accepting this offer (blessing), I could have robbed Brother Dave and his wife from a blessing. That goes into a whole new teaching. At some point soon, I think it would be necessary to go into Kingdom dynamics. I think we all could learn much from it.
As far as the car goes, I was told it was going to cost $600 to $650, and $330 would be for parts. There is a shop that is just starting and I was able to get the job done for a total of $90. Praise God. God knew our need and He supplied. Amen?
Brother Jim, why are you giving a testimony? I give this, not to brag, but to give you examples.
Mark 5:19 KJV Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
Mark 1:44 KJV And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
There maybe someone hearing or reading this feeling like God has forsaken you because of what your senses tell you. But you know what? He's right there with you because the Bible says in Deuteronomy 31:6 KJV Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Praise God!!
We have looked into the life of Job before and I want to touch on some of the things he went through. If we read the book of Job, we find that he was a devoted follower of God who one day, under mysterious circumstances seemed to have been instantly forsaken by God. Job lost his business, his family, and his health. All through this horrible time, he kept his faith in God. Even when his friends told him to curse God, Job knew he would be restored.
God seemed to have forsaken Job, and Job didn’t know why. But we know that God was still with Job, even protecting him from an even worse fate. Even when God restored everything to Job, He didn't tell Job why it had happened. He just said, “I'm God. You're not. Who are you to question me?” And Job faithfully agreed. We can read and see the big picture of all that happened, but Job was going through one attack after another and if we were to go through all the things he went through, could we keep our faith? I hope we all could.
I think of Sister Dianne lying on the floor for approximately 43 hours, alone, with nothing to eat or drink. She heard the phone ringing but couldn’t get to it. Hearing Leanna and I banging on the door and hearing Leanna call her name, but not having the strength to yell out so we could hear her. For us, it was a helpless feeling. An empty pit in our stomach wanting to do the right thing, but having to obey the laws. Praying to God that she would be alive, but not knowing. That was our thoughts and feelings. Let’s think of her. Let’s imagine trading places with her. Lying on the floor and we know now that she had a mild heart attack. Lying on the floor with nothing to eat or drink. Knowing that her husband wasn’t going to be home till late Friday night. Couldn’t get to the phone. Suppose she cried out to God? I know she did, because I know she is a woman of great faith, but that slimy crooked legged devil knows how to plant thoughts into our minds. Later, Sister Dianne had mentioned that if she died, she didn’t want her husband to find her a mess. Bless her heart.
You see, I know that God brought the four of us together for a reason. I thought at first it was because I asked to hear sermons from a good Godly church, while I had been taking Bible courses though Peter Stanway. I was in my Bible daily. Writing sermons. Now, I believe God is going to merge two ministries together, for His Glory. That is just a feeling I have, but He is in control and the both of us will have to listen for His will.
There is another man in the Bible that we need to look at who had the greatest faith in God that ever lived. Anyone want to take a guess who that might be? For those who said Jesus, you are exactly right. Was His faith tested? Yes. First we see that Satan tested Him in the wilderness. Everyone remembers these verses? Then there were multiple attacks from the religious leaders and those who wanted to stone Him. Then we see while He hung on the cross before He gave up the ghost. Jesus Himself cried out on the cross, “Father, why have you forsaken me?” In this case, Jesus knew why. He also knew that even though it felt like God had forsaken Him, God was still with Him, in purpose if not in presence, and that He would be restored. Praise God.
Brothers and Sisters, I guarantee you that we all are going to go through trials. Some of these trials are going to be so difficult that it’s going to seem like we are facing them alone. Here's what you can do when your human emotions and human faith are fighting to see who is dominate. Amen?
We must remain obedient to God’s ways. We cannot, and I repeat, we cannot swerve from our faith, for God is counting on you and me to keep our faith in Him. Do we remember the fig tree that Jesus cursed? Later while they walked by it, it was withered up?
Matthew 21:21-22 KJV Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. (22) And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
Church, for those who have been hanging around with people that are not believers that are bringing you down, stay away from them. People who always speak negative about everything and everyone are going to eventually bring you down with them. Spend time with friends and family who love the Lord and will be sensitive to your difficult situations. Praise and worship God through it all. Most importantly, and this is what I try to share each week, continue praying to the Lord and spending time in the Word. This is how God is going to speak to you, but you need to be sensitive to hear. He may point out scripture dealing with a problem you are going through. You may hear that still small voice. He may send someone to you to answer that prayer.
Friends, when we read about Job, we see he was restored while he was still alive. Amen? Jesus had to die first. Not that I wish death on anyone, but if you keep your faith in Christ, whichever happens to you, you can be assured that you will be with Jesus in paradise because that's what the Word of God says. Amen?
I am going to go through a few scriptures and even though we have all heard them or read them before, I want us all to see them today and memorize them.
John 3:3 KJV Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
For a non-believer these are strange words, and I think this is why Jesus had to explain this.
John 3:5-8 KJV Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (7) Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (8) The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
John 3:15-21 KJV That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (19) And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (20) For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. (21) But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Friends, these are not my words, but the Words of the Messiah, Jesus. Amen?
John 3:35-36 KJV The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. (36) He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Please turn to Acts 10: 43.
Acts 10:43-45 KJV To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. (44) While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. (45) And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Church, this I need you to hear and get a grip of. God is proud of you who follow Him, especially when the whole world seems against you. Remember, He can do mighty works through you, so keep the faith. Amen? Praise the Lord!!
Church, as I have been witnessing, posting prayers all over the web, sharing sermon notes on many sites, Christian and non-Christian sites, I find many questions that come up. There have been many from younger males questioning their faith. Why? This might upset some, but it is the truth. They have been confused because of man’s dumb religion. Yes, I said it. Man’s laws and rituals. So many, and especially younger people, have never heard a salvation message. They hear about praying for more money and fancy cars. They hear that God is love and if you get drunk, no problem. All you have to do is tell God you are sorry. Now you have certain churches marrying gays. Wow! Can you believe that? We are told to love the sinner, hate the sin, but that doesn't mean to embrace the sin.
They have never been to the cross. I will probably get hate-mail because of this, but I wonder if some of the pastors out there have ever had a real Calvary experience. Are they really saved? What I am trying to say here is this. If the leadership isn’t saved in many churches, what is the congregation learning? Amen?
Turn if you will to Ephesians 2:1-10. For many people they may think they have been saved because of a feeling. It may have been at a Christian concert where the music was awesome. Great light-show, they might have heard a powerful word, or whatever. For me, twice I heard a message on hell and it scared me and I repeated a prayer that someone said. Because of my lack of fruit, I know I was not saved. I hadn’t had that cavalry experience. I did not have a relationship with Christ.
There are those who know all the right words, speak all the right things, and serve the ministry. They base their belief of going to Heaven on the fact that they are a good person and because they do good works. They don’t know God.
Ephesians 2:1-10 KJV And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; (2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (3) Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (4) But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, (5) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (6) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (7) That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast. (10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
So, I would ask you, have you given yourself completely to God, accepting your salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ? You have admitted to Him that you are a sinner and have repented from that sin? Not say I am sorry and then go back and do it again. Repent means to turn away from. You now hate those things that God hates. Have you asked Jesus by mouth to be your Lord and Savior? You believe that He died and rose on the third day and now sits next to His Father in Heaven?
If you have done these things with all your heart, you are a child of God. Praise the Lord and now a target of spiritual attack and oppression. The good news is, according to scripture, we are given power to bind things here on earth through the name of Jesus Christ, who has given us His authority. When these things come at you, rebuke them in name of Jesus.
Friends, we need to understand that these forces are legalistic and seek to lay claim to you, but you are no longer under that authority, you belong to God, and God is not going to send you to hell simply because you are afraid and it clouds your thinking. Second, do not talk back to those thoughts, don't reason with them, don't give them your time, simply rebuke them in the name of Jesus. Then declare your relationship with God. Love on Him. Praise His name. Thank Him for doing what you asked for, even before you see it manifest. When we look at the Bible and see what we are referred to (sheep), He, Jesus is the good Shepherd. I leave you with this passage you might want to take a look at. Most of us have probably heard this may times, but really meditate on it. I can remember hearing my dad say this verse when I was very young, but had no clue to what it meant. It was my dad’s favorite scripture.
Psalms 23:4 Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.
I love you and I pray that this was a blessing to someone. Next week, God willing, I would like to have Pastor Babcock share a message that Leanna and I heard him teach on Communion. It is a message that I think everyone who hears will be blessed from and could change your heart and life.