Where do you stand?

Dear Reader, do you Know God? Do you Know His Salvation, Jesus? Do you Know yourself at all? Do you Know yourself a sinner in need of God's Salvation (Jesus)? If you do or if you already have received God's Salvation (Jesus) then, "O joy!" It is said that there is great joy in heaven among the angels and on earth among the saints (believers), over one sinner who repents. If you are a believer then I rejoice with you in our "common Salvation" Jesus, (Jude 1:3). But if you are not a believer or if you are still searching or if you are a back-slider in heart, then let me simply say, "Now is the day of Salvation, now is the day to repent" (2 Cor. 6:12).

Tomorrow may very well be too late for you. For it is written, "There is no sanctification in the grave." Don't think for one moment that you are going to waltz through this life, living out your own selfish desires and ambitions without a thought towards God, sin, self and Salvation (Jesus) and that when you die you will suddenly desire Heaven, God, His Righteousness and His Salvation (Jesus). It doesn't work that way. In fact Jesus told a parable to the contrary, in the parable of The rich man and Lazarus. (Luke 16:19-31).

Even though that rich man was in hell, he asked Abraham to send a mere man to relieve him of his torment, he did not ask God to save him. He received the answer according to his request. "Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things and likewise Lazarus evil things, but now he is comforted and you are tormented. Besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us." (Luke 16:25-26). Who said hell isn't forever?

Where in scripture does it say there is a purgatory? Jesus specifically spoke of Heaven and Hell. He never spoke about purgatory and if there was a purgatory He would certainly have told us so. Infact if one should go back to the origin of the purgatory teaching they will find it is rooted in Roman/Greek mythology or some other pagan belief system.

While I'm on the subject, there is another pagan practice that has infiltrated the Catholic Church - icons and the worship of Mary ever virgin, Mother of God, and the worship of saints.

According to scripture, Mary went on to have at least six other children with Joseph. (See Matt. 13:55 and Mark 6:3). And the scriptures say that, "We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of Grace (Jesus), that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in our time of need." (Heb. 4:16).

We do not need Mother Mary and dead saints to intercede for us when we are invited to come to the throne of Grace (Jesus), boldly and speak to our living Father God, through the blood of Jesus. Is God's Salvation, Jesus, so inadequate that we need Mary and past saints to intercede for us? Is Jesus unable to completely save anyone from themselves? I think not. "He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He now lives to make intercession for them." (Heb. 7:25). We have only "One mediator between God and man (humankind), the Man Jesus Christ." There is no other name given to mankind on earth or in heaven by which we may be saved, except the One, Jesus Christ. (Acts 4:12).

God's Salvation is not something, it is Someone. His name is Jesus. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life," (John 3:16). "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world but that the world through Him might be saved. Those who believe in Him are not judged." Those who believe in Him! You may know that God loves you, but knowing that God loves you does not save you from yourself. It is His Grace or to put it another way, it is His Son that saves us. Grace is undeserved respect. It is written that God is not a respector of man. That scripture is true, if it wasn't then Grace would not be grace. Jesus is the Grace of God in human form.

God's Grace, Jesus, is there for the one who would come to Him humbly and confess that he is what he is, a sinner in need of God's forgiveness. Isaiah 57:15 says: For thus says the High and Lofty One, Who inhabits eternity, Whose name is Holy, "I dwell in the high and holy place, with the person who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones."

Psalm 9:12 declares, "When He avenges blood, He remembers them; He does not forget the cry of the humble." 1 Peter 5:5 says, " Be clothed with humility for God resists the proud, but gives Grace (Jesus), to the humble." Jesus is given to the humble and contrite. We've also heard the saying that, "Pride goes before a fall." The humble do not have shame but the proud will be put to shame.

Which one are you? The Bible speaks of two kinds of people; the godly and the ungodly, the holy and the unholy, the believer and the unbeliever, the humble and the proud, the children of the devil and the children of God. Jesus said to them, "If God was your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God, nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to accept My words. You are of your father the devil and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:42-44).

That's right, even though God is the Father of Creation, He is not the creator of lies. Sin did not originate from God but from His enemy the devil.  He is a murderer from the beginning. He is a liar and the father of lies. Those who do not do the will of God, do the will of the devil. Eve's example is the prime one. Yes, it is black and white there is no gray. Jesus said, "Whoever is not for me is against me" (Matt. 12:30). He couldn't have said it more plainly. He also said that whoever hates Him, hates The Father who sent Him. Those are pretty strong words, and they were not spoken just so that the speaker could hear the sound of His own voice, He was telling THE TRUTH.

Now you may have noticed that I use the names Jesus and God interchangeably. Jesus called Himself God. That is why He was killed. They said that He blasphemed. How dare He put Himself on the same level as God, when He is merely a man! So was He lying, or was He a raving lunatic, or was He simply telling it like it is. I cannot begin to quote the numerous times Jesus said He and the Father are one. "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also and from now on you know Him and have seen Him" (John 14:7). "He who has seen Me has seen the Father." (vs.9) and "Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in Me?" And the real winner, "Before Abraham was, I AM." (John 9:58). Col. 2:9 spells it out, "For in Him (Jesus), dwells the fullness of the Godhead in human form and you are complete in Him (Jesus), who is the Head of all principality and power."

Do you question the existence of the Trinity and what it is? You fool do you not know that you yourself are a trinity? You have a mind, a body and a spirit - you are a trinity. Now if you were made in the image and likeness of God, then how come God cannot be a trinity? (Gen. 1:26-27). Think about it! Unlike us, God is not confined to a physical body. In fact Jesus said, "God is Spirit." So first and foremost God is Spirit. The Bible reveals to us that God does have a mind. It is the Holy Spirit who inspired men to write the Bible - to reveal the mind of God towards mankind. And Jesus is the one and only human (bodily) expression of God you and I will ever see. You think about that!

And while you're thinking about it, ask Him to show you the condition of your own fallen (human) nature. For, "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it? I, The Lord, search the heart, I test the mind." (Jer. 17:9-10). Only the Holy Spirit of God can discern for us, the motives of our own heart. Then prepare to make your peace with your God, or perish. May you come to know His Love and Grace, Jesus, which makes for your own peace and mine. For to know the Love and Grace of God, Jesus, surpasses all knowledge and wisdom (understanding).

"Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice and to heed (listen) than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry." (1 Samuel 15:22-23). You prove your Love for God by your obedience. "If you love Me you will obey My commands." (John 14:15). "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you." (John 15:14). A friend of God would be an enemy of Satan and a friend of Satan is an enemy of God. A friend of God will love, worship, and obey God and God alone.

"Come now, and let us reason together," says The Lord, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land, but if you refuse and rebel you shall be devoured by the sword, FOR THE MOUTH OF THE LORD HAS SPOKEN." (Is. 1:18).

"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous (fanatic - in a good way) and repent. Behold, I stand at the door (of the human heart) and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door (their heart), I will come in to him (into their heart), and dine (live) with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne." (Rev. 19-21). "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (Rev. 21:7-8).

I do not know what difficulties you are struggling with in your life. I do not know your pain, your failures, or your disappointments. I do not know what was done to you as a child or as an adult. You may have been sexually abused by your father or raped by someone who professed they loved you. You may have been physically, emotionally and verbally beaten into the ground like I was - beaten into submission. You may have suffered the betrayal of a spouse or the tragic loss of a beloved child.

Whatever it was that was done to you - the hurt feels the same - it throbs. All these things were allowed to happen to you to bring you to this point, to bring you to an end of yourself. Where you will be opened to receive God's Grace, Jesus Christ. If you are still unwilling then you must be cast out as reprobate silver is cast out. Reprobate silver is silver that has gone through the fire, through the refining process. Even though it has gone through the fire it will not yield its dross, it still clings to its dross. That is how those people are, who hold on and nurse their wounded spirit/pride and refuse to accept God's forgiveness.

Whatever your pain, whatever your failure, whatever your disappointment - there is One who knows and understands and desires to heal your pain. He will not impose Himself or His desires on you because of His great integrity. You need to come to Him and openly and honestly pour out your heart to Him. You need to trust Him with your life. He is not a human being who changes like the weather. God is unchangeable, His nature and His character never changes.

The scripture says, "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever." How long is forever? Do not be distrustful. Tell Him what ails you, what was done to you, how you were misused and abused and cast aside like a worthless piece of garbage.

He is your Great Physician and if He cannot heal your wounded spirit, no one can. Psychology, Psychiatry, or Doctors cannot heal what God can. His name is Jehovah-rapah (to heal), the God who heals. Jehovah-rapha is another one of the many names that describes God's nature and character. Would you let Him be the Father to you, that you never had? Would you let Him be the spouse to you that you never had? Would you let Him heal your pain? Would you surrender your miserable life to Him and let Him indwell you with His Holy Spirit, His Spirit of Grace, which makes for your own peace? Would you let Him in? Would you?

Or are you going to lock Him out of your heart, out of you life? Are you going to hold on to your wounded pride? How long do you think you can hold on to your misery? Forever? Or would you listen to His words of comfort? God's Word is a healing balm. It says in Psalm 107:20, "He sent His Word and healed them and delivered them from their destructions." Jesus said in John 6:63, "The words that I speak to you they are spirit and they are life." Unlike man's words, God's Word is life giving because it is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, to cut to the quick of the soul, to separate bone from marrow.

Remember God literally spoke the world into creation. Words have the power to heal or to kill the spirit. I should know.

Why do you seek solace in that bottle? Or why do you seek to get high on Heroin or Cocaine? I experimented with Cocaine to see if the high was as good as they say it was. Even on such a high as that the hole in my heart could not be filled. No, it would take more than Cocaine to fill my needs. Or do you seek to fill that void in your heart with different lovers? All the fame and fortune in the world would not heal the pain of the rejection of a parent that walked out on you as a child. All your professional success will not win the favour of God. It is your humble obedience and trust in Him that will win His favour. All the friends in the world would not secure your eternal salvation. There is only One Friend who can secure your eternal salvation. Would you be the friend of God and the enemy of Satan or would you have it the other way around?

I've never met a person who wants to go to hell. Everyone I talk to not only wants to go to heaven, but thinks they will go there. Yet, by the very way they live their lives, they prove that they are enemies of God and friends of the Devil. On what basis do they think they deserve to go to heaven? They say that because God loves them, God will not send them to hell. Yet God's Word says no such thing, infact God's Word says the complete opposite. God has appointed a day (era) of Judgment.

If God does not judge sinners then He is a liar and an unrighteous God and cannot be trusted. Would a sinful person be comfortable in heaven? I don't think so. There is no place in heaven for sin, for it is written that no sin shall enter there. So those who think that they will or ought to be in heaven and are living in rebellion, will find no peace in heaven. Some have said that a loving God would not destroy peoples' souls in hell, that if there is a God who destroys peoples' souls in hell then they want nothing to do with Him. They forget that He is also a Righteous Judge. Some say that a loving God would not cause people to suffer so horrendously. Some look at the suffering going on in the world today and say, surely if there was a God, He would have done something by now.

So because they see the suffering continuing, they reject the whole notion of the existence of God. They just cannot reconcile the contrasts they see in the world around them. They just cannot make sense of all this mess. Indeed they cannot because they do not have the mind of God. They cannot see beyond this present world to the eternal one that is coming but God can. God sees into eternity and His plans are perfect and no one will thwart God's perfect plan. God allows suffering because suffering is His refining fire, to drive people to seek Him out. But we live in such a backward, adulterous, rebellious generation that instead of turning with all our heart to seek out God, we turn around and curse Him to His face. We blaspheme God. We shake our fist at Him.

Think with me for a moment here. Who created this mess? In the first book of the Bible the book of Genesis, we read that everything God created was good. God created a perfect world without any mess. After mankind sinned, God subjected the entire creation to futility. "Cursed is the ground because of you," He said to the man. Yes dear Reader we are living under a curse. That curse has not been lifted and will not be lifted until this cursed planet is shaken to its core and destroyed and Jesus returns to planet earth to restore all things. Life on this earth is futile, except it is lived in the fear of God.

So why should God come down from high heaven and clean up this mess we created? Where is it written that because God loves the world He is obligated to clean up the mess we made? Yet, He has set aside a Day to do just that, a Day of Judgment. The Book of Revelation also tells us that even though people will experience all these sufferings, they will not repent and turn to God and that is exactly what is happening around the world today. People are hardening their hearts against God to their own destruction.

You'd better make yourself ready to meet your Maker. That is the only thing you are required to do while you live here on this cursed planet. You are to live by faith, faith in God and His Saviour, Jesus Christ. As it is written, "The just shall live by faith." Trust God no matter what trials come your way and wait upon Him for your salvation. He alone is able to save us from the pit of hell. Jesus also told us that, "In this world you would have tribulation but take courage I have overcome the world." Tribulations are here to stay until Jesus comes again, so get use to it.

Christians are not exempt from brutal suffering. All the disciples and apostles of the early church met the same fate as their Master. They were all literally murdered. Peter, who denied Jesus three times prior, thought he did not deserve to be crucified right side up like His Lord. He was crucified upside down. The Apostle John, who used to recline on Jesus breast, who wrote the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation, was burned with hot oil. The Apostle Paul, who preached the Gospel to the Gentiles and languished in chains for years, was taken outside of town and decapitated. Many believers were killed by no other than the Catholic Church,* when they refused to convert to Catholicism and worship Mary. The Christian Church stands today because of the martyrs who died for the faith.

*The current Pope, John Paul II recently apologized for the past atrocities of the Catholic Church upon Christians and Jews alike and asked forgiveness. A few days later he visited Israel for the first time. Makes you wonder.

So don't expect to suffer less than the best, and those early believers were the best. They set the standard for us to follow. If they can follow their Master, so can you. The question to ask yourself is, will you follow the Master?

But! You say. That was the early church, we don't need to be like that today. Today the church is flourishing and the freedom of religion protects us from persecution. Gary Giff, who preached salvation to me, says that religion is the enemy of God. Religion gives people a false sense of security. He may be right because there are many who go to church religiously and still walk in darkness. They are not fooling God. They are only fooling themselves.

Gary also said that religion did not originate from God. There seems to be some proof to bear him out in this argument. The oldest known religion is Hinduism and it is as pagan a religion as you will ever find on this earth. The entire Indian sub-continent is subjected to its religion and if its religion worked, then why is India still a hell hole to this day? Its people locked in a caste system that is organized slavery and racism at its best.

Did not Lenin say that religion is the opiate of the people? Was he wrong? Anyone with a logical mind can see the traps religion presents. The unbelieving world may be ignorant about God's Truth but they are not foolish when it comes to recognizing hypocrisy in religion today. They are intelligent enough to recognize that religion gives one a false sense of security. They've seen enough to make them wary of religion, period.

Who were Jesus' enemies? Who were His persecutors? Who wanted him crucified? It was the religious Jewish establishment.

From birth someone or something has sought to kill me. I was born oxygen deprived, I was born ultra sensitive. Throughout my life that continued. From my own brothers who sought to beat me into the ground (into submission), both physically and verbally - to the man I married who tried to destroy me spiritually. To a boyfriend who would rather I sleep with other men as long as he could live off of me. To one, Gary Giff who preached Salvation to me and tried to kill me with cocaine in the process. Still, I have come out as more than a conqueror because of Him who loves me so. Even though I did not know it at the time, a Sovereign God had me in His hand and His hand was on me.

I would consider it a great honour and privilege to have my blood shed for the furtherance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the least I could do in return for the One who loved me enough to send me a Saviour. A Saviour who suffered and died for me just so that I may live with Him in His Kingdom, after the end of time. My friend, it is not what you know that saves you, it is WHO you know and trust. I can say with the Apostle Paul, "I care to know nothing, except Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ crucified," (1 Cor. 2:2).

In His Name,



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