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Posts Tagged ‘Lamentations’


KJV and NKJV Scripture

– Let no man deceive you, for that day shall not come except there come a falling away first.  And, that the man of sin be revealed – the son of perdition. – 2 Thessalonians 2:3

– And deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast. – Revelation 13:14

Adolf Hitler once said, “If you tell a big enough lie, and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”  He most certainly used this approach to his advantage, along with some charismatic oratory, as he rose to become Führer over Germany just before World War II.  The country had fallen into a crippling financial crisis after World War I, but most of its citizens clearly wanted an easy solution to their difficult problems.

As it has so often been in other countries through the centuries, these people desired to see and hear some new person with some new pitch promising to fix their ills (Acts 17:21).  They wanted another name under heaven to create a government in a nation that still could not save them (Acts 4:12, Lamentations 4:17). They also needed a scapegoat (Leviticus 16:10) to pin the blame on – and Hitler did just that with the Jews.

By the time Hitler seized power, he had achieved his goal of deceiving the people, by getting them to buy into and believe nothing but a bunch of likeable lies. Still, as Martin Luther King, Jr. once touched upon, everything Hitler did to get elected was perfectly legal – but everything he did after was purely evil.  Well, there is one waiting in the wings to do what Hitler did, but on a world-wide stage before Christ can return.

As problems keep mounting around the globe, and iniquity keeps increasing, the love of many – even Christians – will grow cold (Matthew 24:12).  More and more will scoff at God’s promise of sending Jesus back with salvation.  Instead, they will walk away from Him and after their own worldly lusts – because all things keep continuing on this planet just as they have from the beginning of creation (2 Peter 3:3-4).

Just like it was in the Old Testament, people will see a God who is supposed to be One of righteous judgment and love above – as sitting idly by upon the circle of the earth (Isaiah 40:22), or One who is handing down some very wrong judgement from heaven.  Violence, spoiling, strife, and contention will be increasing.  As wickedness begins to surround the righteous, they will see His laws as being quite loose (Habakkuk 1:3-4).

Many will have had enough of God in man’s last days. They will not do what He says despite lip service claims of loving Him (Ezekiel 33:31, Mark 7:6, Luke 6:46).  Some will even think He views evil as good (Malachi 2:17).  Because He does not seem to be doing much about the world’s wickedness, at least not as fast as human courts handle wrong-doing, they’ll say He’s not doing His job (Ecclesiastes 8:11-13).

It will all be the perfect time for perdition’s son – the most evil one ever – to step into the world’s spotlight. One who will appear to have the perfect solution to every planetary problem.  Citizens of all countries will follow this individual.  People of every belief will be easily deceived by his pernicious ways.  What Hitler did will pale in comparison to what will happen on a global scale when perdition’s son enters the picture.

Who will oppose and exalt himself above all that is called God – or worshipped – so he is God.  Sitting in His temple and showing he is God (2 Thessalonians 2:4).  Whose working is after Satan – with all power, and signs, and lying wonders.  With all deception of unrighteousness in those who perish – as they didn’t receive the love of truth, that they might be saved (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10, John 3:17, Hebrews 9:15).

And for this reason, God shall turn people over to reprobate minds and send them strong delusion – so they should believe a lie.  It’s that they all might be damned who did not receive the truth, but who had pleasure in unrighteousness and things still worthy of death.  Taking delight, despite knowing God’s fiery sentence against such disobedience (Romans 1:28-32, 2 Thessalonians 2:10-11, 2 Thessalonians 1:8).

Will this son of perdition catch people off guard and take the world by surprise?  Well, he shouldn’t unless God’s many warnings are ignored (e.g. Matthew 16:1-4).  One major sign he is gaining followers will be the widespread apostasy among those who once believed (2 Timothy 3:1-6).  The ones ever learning but who never come to the knowledge of truth (2 Timothy 3:7) about how narrow heaven’s path is (Matthew 7:14).

How will it all happen?  There has been a slow but sure, subtle and subversive movement underway in this world for a long time.  It is being perpetrated by false prophets and apostles, along with the prince of the world himself.  These are the ones perverting God’s Word to pursue worldly pleasures or plans, and move people who buy into and believe such lies, far from the gospel they first heard (Galatians 1:6-7).

It’s all designed to undermine God’s authority and diminish His truth, deceiving as many as possible their lustful worldly ways are okay with Him, and it’s all “being Christian.”  This is how believers will fall from repentance as commanded (Hebrews 6:4-6, Acts 17:30) and begin repeating old walks and talks (2 Corinthians 5:17).  Perdition’s son will arise from the midst of this disobedient, unbelieving apostasy.

Also, crumbling economies, shaky peace in many places, corruption and dishonesty at all levels of government, increasing world hunger, dwindling natural resources, and reigning confusion in religion, will convince many this evil is of God.  To where they wonder why should they wait on Him or His promises any longer (2 Kings 6:33).  So, perdition’s son will offer a final solution for world peace and prosperity.

Even though it will be under the guise of a “one world, one way, we’re all children of God” mindset – it will all be meant to defraud.  It’s so Satan can try to complete his last chapter in devouring as many souls as possible (1 Peter 5:8) and deceive the whole world – the only job he has had since the start (Revelation 12:9).  To the point were Jesus Christ might not find any faith left on earth upon returning (Luke 18:8).

We’ve been seeing pieces of this pernicious puzzle being put into place for decades now.  One was the founding of the World Bank in 1944 – and subsequent criticism for its consolidation of power among the strongest economic countries – despite representing all 188 nations on earth.  Another piece has been the recent and rapid rise in the practice of ecumenism, and many Christians seem actively involved in it.

Ecumenism is an organized attempt to unite various religions and theologies, etc. – into one blended body of belief through the use of doctrinal error – rather than dividing over Biblical truths as God commands (Matthew 10:34-37, Romans 16:17, 2 Corinthians 2:17, Titus 1:10-13).  It can go by names such as interfaith or Chrislam.  However, its working is after Satan (2 Thessalonians 2:9), and not our Saviour.

If the Antichrist is to succeed in rounding up the masses, he has to get everyone he can on the same page.  He will have help from false prophets who will arise and deceive many.  Fostering ecumenical unity by assembling different beliefs together on Sundays. Claiming it is advancing the gospel, when it is their own agenda in the world or Word.  Preaching perverse things like gain and being of one purse as godly.

Once people’s pocketbooks and professions of faith are in alignment with a world system, it will be easier for the son of perdition to rise through the political ranks and assume global rule and authority.  As it was with Hitler, it will all seem perfectly legal as humans buy into his lies disguised as truth.  This man will likely be as charming, using words smoother than butter and softer than oil to disarm (Psalm 55:21).

When people decide they do not have to keep their whole armor of God on at all times (except maybe on Sunday) – they’re not doing all they can to withstand all the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11-18).  This is when he gains advantage over souls.  This is when Christians begin falling away from repentance and start becoming ignorant of subtle and pernicious devices Satan uses to deceive, devour, and destroy.

Ignorance is never bliss for any believer as it is a rejection of God’s truth … and not receiving it by believing Satan’s lies more.  For this, God will send such people strong delusions (as noted before), so they keep believing the devil’s falsehoods.  Full of boasting, pride, and other ungodly traits marking end times apostasy.  Willingly ignorant of how only eight souls were saved after a water deluge long ago.

The devil’s aim all along has been to tear down each and every denominational, geographical, economic, educational, racial, and religious barrier to unite men in rebellion against the God of the Bible.  Sitting right beside us in Sunday pews (Revelation 2:13), or even preaching from the pulpits (Ephesians 6:12).  Still blinding minds from seeing the truth with his bright worldly lights and beguiling lies (2 Corinthians 4:4).

This earth is not Christ’s kingdom (John 18:36).  It is the devil’s dominion, who has power over all deaths (Hebrews 2:14) until Jesus returns.  The only desire he has ever had in this evil world he is the prince of – has been to deceive souls so gradually – they don’t realize it’s happening.  Satan wants to finish what he started in the Garden of Eden – by uniting the human race against God in full service to and worship of him.

This plan, whose final pages will be authored and finished by the son of perdition, seems to be working to near perfection in today’s church.  Believers who have already been deceived have somehow managed to author and finish their faith before Jesus ever does (Hebrews 12:2).  Now, many just seem like they are hanging around in a daze and haze of confusion God never authors; not sure of what they should be doing.

Jesus was not crucified for any Christian to ever be uncertain about what God wants them doing.  Those confused are being disobedient (1 Peter 2:6-7).  Still, such individuals have drawn up their own criteria for certain salvation prior to death.  This mind removes any need for repenting of sins by faith in Jesus – and as commanded by God.  It is drawing back from faith unto perdition; an unrepentant state of existence.

This fits neatly into the son of perdition’s program to drag as many into the pit with him.  Systematically picking off those who are erring spiritually (James 1:16, 2 Peter 3:17).  Physical lions generally prey upon young, sick, or straying animals.  Satan is a spiritual lion who preys in a like manner.  Seeking out the young ior unstable n faith, those sick or dull of hearing God’s Word, or straying back to the world.

Still, it’s all part of God’s eternal plan whose ending was declared from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).  To see who would get beguiled by Satan’s subtlety, or guided by Christ’s simplicity.  To see who would be led by God into all truth with no lie, or misled by the devil’s lies – all illusions of truth.  To see who would stay on heaven’s narrow path all the way, or would fall off for good by fully believing perdition’s son.

In conclusion, the following is taken mostly from Ian Vincent’s 2013 book “Reality Church“: “One way to look at all of this regarding the son of perdition, or man of sin – is to closely observe how the world today – both secular and religious is heading.  And, to see if there are any across-the-board trends and common threads which could help piece together a composite identikit picture of this person – so it’s not so sketchy.

This is based on the idea that the man of sin will embody and incarnate everything the final generation on earth aspires to become.  The son of perdition will encapsulate the hopes and dreams of humanity, and speak on behalf of mankind as head of the human race.  Hence, he will dethrone Christ.  He is an anti-Christ or a false Christ, but who will fool the planet by deceiving the people into believing he is Jesus.

This world right now is paving a path for this man and creating a job vacancy for him to fill as its last leader. A global spirituality has been rising to the surface for years, such as the emergence of ecumenism and the Emergent Church,  There’s also been a desire for a common economy and currency for some time (e.g. The European Union), as many nations seem to be teetering on the brink of complete financial ruin.

Combined with a steady decline into moral decay in a large part of the modern world, perdition’s son will still convince people all is fine with their faith.  They can still love the world and its things, pursue greedy ways, and follow sin’s motions without worry about eternal consequences for such disobedience, because God loves them enough to let them do whatever they want.  After all, He has already saved them, right?

The throne for this one-man triumvirate (political, economical, religious) is being readied.  Those whose names are not written in the Book of Life, of the Lamb slain from the world’s foundation – will worship him (Revelation 13:8).  His crowning achievement will be to trick the earth into thinking he knows God’s truth better than He does, and deceive them into believing he is Jesus.  He seems to be well on his wicked way.

 

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BITTERNESS


KJV and NKJV Scripture

– Looking diligently, lest any fall of the grace of God. Lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled. – Hebrews 12:15

– Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you – with all malice. – Ephesians 4:31

Bitterness towards life, or the Lord, arises out of false perceptions it brings that things aren’t quite working out how a person hoped they would at some prior point.  Notions of rewarding jobs, joyous marriages, riches, etc. – never materialized – and fault always lies with others (including God).  So, the bitter soul stews and simmers on, with unhealthy views of life.

However, instead of doing anything about it, often born out of a “why bother” mind, because nothing has really worked out before, the bitter person usually sits around a lot wallowing in self-pity.  Pointing critical, accusatory, and fault-finding fingers outward and skyward, but seldom back at themselves.  This type of blame game started back in the Garden of Eden.

All the while, bitterness slowly spreads like a spiritual toxin inside a soul.  However, it is hard to spot just by looking at a person, because a sweet smile on Sunday at church can hide a spirit soured by resentment the rest of the week.  Words spoken smoother than butter can mask bitterness in the heart (Psalm 55:21).  Still, God sees it all (1 Samuel 16:7, Hebrews 4:13).

Our Father cannot show anybody a more excellent and better way, if they should ever be in the galls of bitterness (1 Corinthians 12:31, Acts 8:23).  Why? Well, with God, it keeps people bound in the bonds of iniquity and sin (Acts 8:23).  Bitterness is any feeling He has dealt (or is dealing) unfairly or unjustly, and this isn’t possible (Ezekiel 33:20, Deuteronomy 32:4).

Everything past in our life is required by God, and it will be this way as long as we live (Ecclesiastes 3:15). However, how will He ever create a new path in the wilderness if we keep looking back over our shoulder in remembrance of the bad things from days gone by making us bitter now (Isaiah 43:18-19)?  Repeatedly rehashing them leaves little room for future hopes.

God will never cause us grief or afflict us willingly – there always a reason (Lamentations 3:32-33).  It’s just that we are not to know the times or seasons He has put in His own power (Acts 1:7).  Faith and belief says we trust in Him, and He knows what He’s doing – even if we don’t understand (Proverbs 3:5-6).  We either grow better from trials and troubles, or bitter.

Bitterness is also feelings of resentment with God – and there can be a wide variety of reasons why.  One could be some private displeasure about blessings He certainly seems to bestowing on others from above – when we think we are the ones showing Him much more love than they are – and that we should be the recipients.  It creates a sense of indignation inside us.

When these feelings of resentment get released out into the open, expressed in words or actions, it is how Christianity can start feeling like it is nothing more than a tense, stressful contest.  It becomes ungodly. There’s lack of contentment.  Believers start unwisely comparing and measuring aspects of their walk with God against those of others (2 Corinthians 10:12).

In turn, this creates an uneasy air of contention, and generates confusion God never authors (1 Corinthians 14:33).  It is a precursor to every evil work within the churches (James 3:14-16).  It births sinful pride and the evil rejoicing of boastings (James 4:16).  This is how believers become apostates by serving Satan more than God (Romans 1:25,30, 2 Timothy 3:1-2).

We are all prime candidates for bitterness, if we ever become weary of life, or in our walk with the Lord (Job 10:1).  Relationships, jobs, finances, Christianity, etc. – are not creating the better lives we hoped they would at their outset.  We can get to a point where we think “What’s the point?”  This is vanity – useless, a waste of time, and not producing desired results.

We have to be careful and prayerful our belief does not end up being in vain (1 Corinthians 15:2).  Bitter roots cannot possibly produce the spiritual fruits God commands us to continually bring forth – meet for repentance (Galatians 5:22-23, Matthew 3:8, Acts 17:30).  Instead, they bring forth toxic, spoiled, and worldly fruits like resentment, anger, and envy.

Whatever the reasons for bitterness, they are all displeasing to God.  Bitterness prevents Christians from following peace and holiness with all men below heaven, and keeps them out because of it (Hebrews 12:14-15).  It breeds contention, birthed only from foolish pride (Proverbs 13:10), with others and Him. Contention creates conflict and friction – not peace.

Bitter Christians don’t think right thoughts (Philippians 4:8-9).  It means they cannot have victorious walks with Jesus in such vexed states of mind.  The final 13 paragraphs from the Charming Health website (with some personal additions and Scripture support) give an extensive and excellent description of bitterness, as well as the inner and outer damage it causes:

Bitterness is emotional suicide.  It’s like drinking poison, and then hoping the other person gets ill. People embroiled in bitterness have an incredible memory for the tiniest little details, and they wallow in puddles of self-pity and resentment.  They record every offense in their heart and head – more than ready to show others how much they have been hurt.

Bitter people defend and carry grudges constantly. They feel they have been hurt too deeply and too often, and think this exempts them from their need to forgive (Matthew 6:14-15).  Their hearts can overflow with so much resentment, they no longer have any capacity to love.  Bitterness takes their soul captive, consuming positive emotions, and robs them of joy.

Bitterness is frozen anger in latent form.  When it is manifested, it becomes a vicious malignancy making one extremely vulnerable to very unwise choices and decisions, developing destructive thought patterns infiltrating body and soul.  It saps the mind’s vitality. If allowed to fester unaddressed, bitterness can pave a path to seeking out vengeance and acts of violence.

Failure to confess and correct bitterness causes it to spread like a cancer no longer in remission.  Unlike a physical kind confined to just one body, bitterness is a spiritual kind infecting and sickening others.  It’s often expressed as anger, jealousy, dissatisfaction, or hate. It keeps focus below, on getting back or even, but not getting and staying on the narrow path to heaven.

It is true many life events can be unpleasant, causing grief and pain.  However, responding in any prolonged bitterness fuels more bitterness far down the road.  A reservoir of resentment is drawn upon over and over. It can be passed down to children and hold people in its vice-like grips.  It can even generate fiery, deadly feuds between families, like the Hatfields and McCoys.

Some of these events can be quite sudden, such as the literal loss of a loved one, or a source of income. Some are subtler, happening more slowly over time such as the loss of reputation, social status within a group, or control.  Regardless, they all sow and grow bitter roots and fruits.  Resentment and bitterness are unacceptable to God as they’re self-defeating and sin.

Existing bitterness in a Christian means they are not abiding side by side with God, so He can burn up the unrighteous roots producing such resentment (John 15:1-6).  These roots cannot bring forth anything but rotten fruits defiling a soul.  Some of them are guilt, arrogance, frustration, surmising, melancholy, sloth, and envy, creating instability in mind and spirit.

Extended bitterness produces physical ailments like insomnia, ulcers, anxiety, fear, depression, and heart attacks.  Mental consequences are hyper-critical views and attitudes about life.  Nobody can do things right (including God) except the bitter person.  Those who associate with such souls may sympathize for a time, but can end up avoiding them, lest they get drawn in.

Still, we are responsible for what we say, think, and feel.  God’s plan is to make us better so we can enter into heaven – not bitter so we cannot.  What makes people so bitter are worldly attitudes they develop growing up, and then carry in life towards situations and others.  As Christians, we’re being transformed by His truth, so old ways aren’t conformed to again.

Continuing in bitterness is not rooted and grounded in God’s love within through the power of the Holy Ghost (Ephesians 3:16-17).  It is building faith upon a faulty foundation (Luke 6:47-49, 1 Corinthians 3:11).  It is not repenting (Luke 13:3,5).  Perishing awaits, unless one is purified by obeying the truth through the Spirit, unto unfeigned and fervent love of all (1 Peter 1:22).

God cannot possibly work His good will and pleasure in bitter hearts (Philippians 2:13).  Those battling with Him and others in futile resistance to His ways, and in refusal to His voice (Hebrews 12:25).  It’s enough to wrestle against the rulers of darkness in this world (Ephesians 6:12), without having to get into bitter, resentful wars with heaven and the brethren as well.

If we are being humbly obedient to God (Philippians 2:8) we are submitting to His power inside us.  We are not to resist it (Romans 13:2), as it’s the only power we will ever get to put off all forms of malice (second lead verse).  External means or methods, including guidance from other Christians, cannot cure bitterness.  All they do is give place to the devil.

Characterized by hostility (not hospitality) bitterness brings forth unforgiving, sputtering, and backsliding spirits full of negative attitudes almost always plotting and scheming, along with grouchy and complaining mouths.  Love can certainly dispel it all, but it spells disaster if left uncorrected.  Satan’s job is to devour, destroy, and kill souls – exactly what bitterness does.

 

 

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KJV and NKJV Scripture

– But grow in grace, and in the knowledge or our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. – 2 Peter 3:18

– Behold now, Your servant has found grace in Your sight, and You have magnified Your mercy in saving my life. – Genesis 19:19

Grace is unmerited favor.  It gives people something they do not deserve.  It is giving others benefit of the doubt.  It hearing them out about a matter – instead of jumping in with a piece of mind, or to a conclusion and passing judgement too speedily.  It is allowing another person extra time to do something when deadlines have already been set and established.

It was God’s grace that sent His Son to the Cross (Hebrews 2:9), giving Christ something not deserved – death.  So we might live through Jesus (1 John 4:9) and be kept from something we all deserve from birth (2 Corinthians 1:9).  This is called mercy.  Mercy is also unmerited favor.  Mercy is how we make it out of bed each morning of our life (Lamentations 3:22-23).

God will have judgement without mercy upon anyone who shows no mercy to others; for mercy rejoices against judgement (James 2:13).  Christians are to grow in grace and in knowledge of Jesus (lead verse), or else it gives place to Satan (Ephesians 4:27).  It gives him space to lead believers away in err (2 Peter 3:17), if they forget what grace and mercy mean.

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KJV and NKJV Scripture

– Who did hinder you, that you should not obey the truth?  This persuasion does not come from Him who called you. – Galatians 5:7-8

– Wherefore we would have come unto you – even I, Paul, once and again – but Satan hindered us. – 1 Thessalonians 2:18

We can never blame any disobedience to God – on God.  Our Father’s commands aren’t meant to grieve us (1 John 5:3), but to grow us up in grace (2 Peter 3:18).  To stop us from serving sin (Romans 6:6) by serving Him, and to keep us humbly obedient until death like Jesus (Philippians 2:8).  Thus, He’ll never hinder our obedience (lead verse); never tempting us to commit any sinful, disobedient act (James 1:13).

If we are ever persuaded to disobey God; then do – it is from sinful lust still in us.  It hasn’t been confessed for forgiveness (1 John 1:9), then corrected with His chastisement (Hebrews 12:5-11).  If God punishes to right us, then we go out and disobey the same way, we offend Him again with sin.  We did not learn our lesson (Job 34:31).  It means we’re still conformed to this world in some fashion or form (Romans 12:2).

Satan hinders us from many things (2 Corinthians 12:7, second lead verse) such as obeying God.  If we’re drawn away from Him by lust, we have been enticed by the devil and erred from God’s way.  Lust conceived brings forth sin.  Sin when finished brings forth death (James 1:14-16).  Succumbing to worldly temptation means we’ve yielded to tools Satan uses to swerve us away from His truth (1 Timothy 1:5-6).

The devil gets advantage of us if we become ignorant of such devices (2 Corinthians 2:11).  Failing to obey God means we have failed to resist Satan so he will flee (James 4:7).  We have failed to put on our whole armor of God each day.  We have not done everything our Father commands to withstand the devil, and his fiery darts of disobedience during our evil days upon this earth (Ephesians 6:13-18, Matthew 6:34).

We give plenty of place to Satan when we disobey God (Ephesians 4:27), because we’ve chosen to serve and worship him more than God, changing His truth into a lie (Romans 1:25).  If so, God has power to make us sin so many other ways (Romans 1:26-31). Despite knowing His judgement of death against such; we do them.  Taking pleasure because we still prefer worldly lust over godly love (Romans 1:32).

Each time we willfully sin as Christians, we turn aside after Satan again (1 Timothy 5:15).  This, after we had been released from his power (Acts 26:18) upon being born again (John 3:5).  When we disobey this way, we have departed from our Father in unbelief (Hebrews 3:12-19) – counting the blood of the new covenant as unholy (Hebrews 10:27-29).  There’ll never be another final sin sacrifice (Hebrews 10:10).

Hinder means to create difficulties for something or someone, causing delays or obstructions.  Tragically, there’ll always be Christians who think God’s promise of sending Jesus back is still far off – or never going to happen (Ezekiel 12:27-28, 2 Peter 3:4).  They say in heart, “The Lord delays His coming (Luke 12:45)” – so they delve into disobedience without delay, as if there’s no more hell to pay (2 Thessalonians 1:8).

God will never create difficulties for us, causing us grief or affliction, without reason (Lamentations 3:32-33).  If there is anything hindering us in bringing forth all the spiritual fruits He commands us to produce – meet for our repentance unto salvation, we cannot point fingers at Him (Galatians 5:22-23, Acts 17:30, 2 Corinthians 7:10, Matthew 3:8).  We can’t say “What are You doing (Job 9:12)?” – as if He is at fault.

Why?  Because the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and reserve the unjust unto the day of judgement … but chiefly those who walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness (2 Peter 2:9).  There is condemnation to Christians who live as such – and it still leads to death if unconfessed and uncorrected.  Only mortifying the deeds of the body through the Spirit leads to life (Romans 8:1,12-13).

If there is any hindrance to this, it is only because we still want to keep on living in the world like we always have.  Loving its things (1 John 2:15-16) and filled with our own ways.  This is why believers backslide – often perpetually (Proverbs 14:14, Jeremiah 8:5). Leaving little in Satan’s way to hinder him and lead worldly Christians away in err (2 Peter 3:17); and making a shipwreck of their faith (1 Timothy 1:19).

 

 

 

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KJV and NKJV Scripture

– Only by pride cometh contention; but with the well advised is wisdom. – Proverbs 13:10

– Woe unto him that strives with his Maker! – Isaiah 45:9

The simplest definition of “contention” means being opposed to something or someone.  Carried out to extremes, it develops a zeal to emerge as the winner in arguments or debates with anybody – including with God.  Contentment usually only comes with victories – while losses often generate contempt.

Any contention in life develops an existence of strife, discord, or disagreement with any number of people. It does the same with our Father above.  Contentious opposition to His ways can birth enmity or bitterness (Hebrews 12:15), leading to discontent lives of always questioning Him in an air of conflict and quarreling.

It’s a sign of having a carnal mind still conformed to the world; not renewed and transformed by His truth yet (Romans 8:7, 12:2).  It creates spiritual stress, struggles, or stagnation – and a burdensome, heavy yoke (Matthew 11:30).  It often creates a confusion God is never the author of (1 Corinthians 14:33).

Contention is a state of dissention with heaven.  It keeps hearts far from it – even though lips may speak many feigned words to the contrary (Mark 7:6).  It’s not growing in God’s grace, but it gives place to the devil – and space for his many devices of devouring (2 Peter 3:18, Ephesians 4:27, 2 Corinthians 2:11).

It is sin – for only by pride does it arise (lead verse). It is being at odds with God – at any time, for any reason.  It is disobedient complaining coming from a lack of faith and trust – and this is displeasing to Him (Numbers 11:1, Philippians 2:14, Hebrews 11:6).  It is walking contrary to His ways (Leviticus 26:27-28).

To contend, or being in any contention with God is ungodly.  Some synonyms for both words reflect this, such as conflict and friction.  It’s hard to walk with anyone in such disharmony (Amos 3:3).  People can only disagree with others for so long, before they say “so long.”  The same goes with God (Hebrews 3:12).

Contention implies God does not know what He is doing.  It suggests He is unfair (Ezekiel 33:20), lying (Hebrews 6:18), or wrongly judging because violence, spoiling, and strife abound (Habakkuk 1:3-4).  Those contentious with God tend to perceive their goodness or innocence (Proverbs 20:6, Jeremiah 2:35).

However, our Father is always right – His ways are perfect (Deuteronomy 32:4).  Contention with Him says He is not – and makes mistakes.  If we say we’re Christians, then we have been born again of the Spirit (John 3:5).  We’ve been reconciled back to God into one body by the Cross of Christ (Ephesians 2:16).

Reconciliation means being brought into agreement and alignment with something or someone.  If we are Christians, then it is God.  Contention prohibits any concurrence with Him.  If we claim belief, then we always agree with God.  If we don’t, we are devoid of the truth, despite any claims to the contrary.

Our Father’s commandments are not meant to be grievous, but to grow us up into mature Christians (1 John 5:3).  Contentions against Him grieve the Holy Spirit – and we’re warned not to do this (Ephesians 4:30).  When we do, it upsets and saddens God.  It shows we haven’t learned Christ (Ephesians 4:20-32).

Remember, our Father causes and creates all things in life – light and dark, good and evil (Isaiah 45:7). However, He will never grieve or afflict us willingly without reason (Lamentations 3:32-33).  Griping or grumbling about troubles or trials in life is not the way to grow spiritually and in grace (2 Peter 3:18).

We must look within at sin still not confessed and corrected as the source of any difficulty with Him.  Sin angers God, especially when committed by Christians who cannot be ignorant about His command to repent (Acts 17:30).  Otherwise, complaining and contention with Him are bound to begin (Lamentations 3:39).

If contentious arguing arises against God, it is being lifted up in the same arrogant pride that got Satan cast out from heaven (1 Samuel 2:3, Proverbs 16:18, Luke 10:18).  Christian novices are prone to prideful contention – and this puts them in danger of falling into the condemnation of the devil (1 Timothy 3:6).

New believers are unlearned and unstable.  They still wrestle with Scripture and require a lot of spiritual milk.  The Bible is hard to understand (1 Peter 2:2, 2 Peter 3:16).  It includes those who should be teachers by now; but who have to keep being retaught the first principles of God’s oracles (Hebrews 5:12).

Contention can also be fostered by failing to speak or preach wholesome words becoming sound doctrine (1 Timothy 6:3-4, Titus 2:1).  Instead, it is putting a personal “spin” on Scripture.  With catchy quotes or phrases sounding very spiritual and godly, but being unable to affirm them with His Word (1 Timothy 1:7)

However, this is swerving from the truth (1 Timothy 1:6), and being removed to another gospel (Galatians 1:6).  This is how people get deceived by vain words (Ephesians 5:6).  Contention has likely led to rewrites of Scripture into many new versions so they sound more agreeable to man (Revelation 22:18-19).

Whatever the cause, contention is never a good state to be in very long.  Satan roars around like a starving lion, waiting to lead us away in err (1 Peter 5:8-9, James 1:16, 2 Peter 3:17).  The devil is our 24/7 accuser (Revelation 12:10).  Stirring up contention with God is a deadly device he uses to devour souls.

This doesn’t mean we will never be contentious with others – even with believers.  We were all raised in the world first, and have various viewpoints, theories, and opinions about life we may still be entangled in (2 Timothy 2:4).  Jesus has to untangle these so we stop minding earthly matters (Philippians 3:19).

These can lead to sometimes heated disagreements with each other.  In the book of Acts, contention separated two brothers in Jesus.  What happened would be similar to a group of church elders today unable to agree on who to send on a mission trip. However, why it happened merits some examination.

Paul and Barnabas were at an impasse about whether to take John Mark – the cousin of Barnabas – as a third companion to go visit brothers in cities they had previously preached in.  They wanted to see how these brothers were faring.  The contention was so sharp, they went separate ways (Acts 15:36-39).

Scripture reveals they never met face to face again. Still, Paul later makes favorable mention of Barnabas (1 Corinthians 9:6), and expresses a desire for John Mark to join him in ministry (2 Timothy 4:11).  Even though Barnabas and Paul disagreed, they did not end up making a mountain out of a molehill.

Also, keep in mind their dissension did not involve Scriptural content or doctrinal issues.  They did not engage in profane or vain babblings about the Bible (1 Timothy 6:20, 2 Timothy 2:16).  The split between the two men involved a personal dispute based upon a judgement call on who to take with them.

To their credit, neither Paul or Barnabas permitted the contention to sideline them from personal efforts in spreading God’s Word.  Yes, it was prideful and partial (1 Timothy 5:21).  However, they didn’t allow their inability to arrive at a decision to get them angry enough to sin more against God (Ephesians 4:26).

There will always be times when brothers and sisters in Christ will not see eye-to-eye in matters of opinion. However, the important thing is how we respond.  Do we mope, sulk, and stew because somebody didn’t agree with our point of view – or do we stay focused on doing God’s will, regardless of disagreements?

Paul and Barnabas pushed forward, putting their hand to the plow (Luke 9:62).  As a result, more work was done for God because of how they handled their rift. They didn’t permit it to spoil them spiritually.  They didn’t let it fester and end up getting the best of them in ignorance of Satan’s devices (2 Corinthians 2:11).

There’ll be several situations throughout life leading to potential strife, dissention, or disagreement.  It’s even understandable between Christians, depending on the progress of their spiritual growth.  We still have to live in the world, but we have to watch with caution what we’re filling our hearts with (Luke 6:45).

Even with the Spirit inside us, our flesh lusts against it, and vice versa.  We don’t always say or do things we want to or should (Romans 7:18-19, Galatians 5:17).  However, contention is strife, and strife leads to evil works (James 3:16).  Individually, or in the churches where it has no place (1 Corinthians 11:16).

God tells us to take heed because we can easily be consumed if we continue biting and devouring each other in any contention (Galatians 5:15).  This shows a total lack of devotion to God’s ways and discipline in our walk with Him.  There’s no rest in life (Proverbs 29:9).  Contention makes people tense and on edge.

This is why we are well-advised to learn godly wisdom (lead verse).  It is letting God tame our unruly and evil tongues by His truth (James 3:8) – learning like David how to ask Him to set a guard over our lips (Psalm 141:3).  So our words are few and we refrain from rash talk (Ecclesiastes 5:2, Proverbs 10:19).

Strife in life leads to a lot of wrong, unrighteous, and ungodly thinking (Philippians 4:8).  Precious time is wasted and mental energy is spent dreaming up ways trying to prove a point on any topic, even Scripture, to those we disagree with.  Giving them a piece of our mind can’t lead to peace of mind (Philippians 4:9).

No thought can be hid from our Father (Job 42:2) – God knows them all (Ezekiel 11:5).  Even if we may think our contention is hidden to the masses in our mind, it is immediately manifest before the Almighty (Hebrews 4:12-13).  We can fool others with feigned and fake faith, but not God (Jeremiah 3:10).

We can also go out and speak the most convicting words about God – then come back home and rail accusations against Him behind closed doors about something we think He is doing wrong.  However God knows our abode; when we come and go.  If we rage against Him like this, it can’t be hid (2 Kings 19:27).

Many things increase vanity in this life and contention with God is one (Ecclesiastes 6:10-11).  It is counter-productive to bringing forth spiritual fruit meet with our commandment to repent of sins (Matthew 3:8, Acts 17:30, Galatians 5:22-23).  Who are we to contend with God and command Him (Job 40:2)?

Contention with God shows Him we desire to establish our own righteousness and then declare it as such – just as the Israelites did.  However, it’s not submitting to His righteousness (Romans 10:3).  Instead, it is subversive and condemns Him.  If we do, we disannul His judgment, just so we can be righteous (Job 40:8).

Contention is everything but peace.  It is sin and it is ungodly.  We are to follow peace with all men, and holiness or we won’t see God (Hebrews 12:14).  If we should stay ungodly by blaming Him for our problems in prideful contention, and fail to repent of our ways, we will not stand in the judgement (Psalm 1:5).

Therefore, God tells us to avoid foolish questions, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law. They are unprofitable, and vain (Titus 3:9).  Starting strife is like opening floodgates to release dammed up water.  So we don’t meddle with contention, we’re to walk away from it, before it begins (Proverbs 17:14).

However, there is one thing we all have to contend for – and earnestly, meaning intently and seriously.  It is the faith once delivered to the saints of yore (Jude 1:3).  It is the kind Jesus wonders about; if it will be found upon returning (Luke 18:8).  It means we have to be in contention with the devil (Proverbs 28:4).

It means we have to hold fast.  It is keeping our souls from straying by having them firmly secured by the anchor of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 6:19).  This is so we hold fast to instructions from God (Proverbs 4:13), the profession of our faith without wavering (Hebrews 10:23), and all that is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

It is so we can hold fast to the form of sound words (2 Timothy 1:13).  So we hold fast and repent unto salvation as commanded – or perish (Revelation 3:3, Acts 17:30, 2 Corinthians 7:10, Luke 13:3,5).  If we don’t it will be easy to backslide into contentious ways – and hold fast to deceit (Jeremiah 8:5-6).

Prideful deceit is the state of our heart from the start of life (Jeremiah 17:9, Obadiah 1:3, 1 John 2:16).  If we should keep slipping (Hebrews 2:1) back to it as believers, we swerve from a good conscience, to contention again with God (1 Timothy 1:5-6).  It’s how we veer off the straight path (Matthew 7:14).

Straying in any contention too long is staying in uncorrected sin.  It’s failing to consider the eternal consequences of disobedience (2 Thessalonians 1:8). If we remain in contention too long, we will have no excuse if God says to us when we meet Him, “Depart from Me, for I never knew you (Matthew 7:23).”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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KJV and NKJV Scripture

– He that speaks of himself – seeks his own glory. – John 7:18

– Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger and not your own lips. – Proverbs 27:2

When man searches for his own glory, it is not glory in the eyes of God (Proverbs 25:27).  Glory-seeking like this leads to a lot of prideful speaking.  Personal pronouns like “I” and “my” preface communications followed with words about how proud one is of such things as their children, charity, or careers.  This talk has crossed from world to Word, with many Christians openly and pridefully glorying of works and churches.

Satan fell like lightning from heaven a long time ago (Luke 10:18) – never to return because of his pride. The devil wanted a glory only God is ever entitled to. Our Father will not give His to another (Isaiah 42:8). So, since then, Satan has been roaring around like a starving lion here on earth, going to and fro (1 Peter 5:8, Job 1:7), seeking whom he can devour.  People like Job, who had developed a huge “I” problem.

Here is a man God called upright, and who eschewed evil (Job 1:8).  It did not matter to Satan.  The devil saw Job’s worldly blessings as his hedge for honoring God (Job 1:10), and his self-glorying (Job 29:20) as a reason to destroy nearly everything Job had.  Seeking God’s permission first as is always the case – Satan then promptly proceeded to eradicate almost all of it in the span of a single day (Job 1:12-19).

Job’s worst fears had just been realized (Job 3:25). When his three friends heard about all that had just happened, they showed up in support.  However, all four sat silent for a week.  Job’s grief was great.  Why did God allow such horrific affliction (Job 2:7, 11-13, Lamentations 3:32-33)?  Well, Job was a man of flesh whose glory was fresh inside him (Job 29:20).  This is always unacceptable to God (1 Corinthians 1:29).

The 29th chapter of Job clearly shows how blinded he had become by both his prideful “I” issues and “my” mentality.  From the 6th to 25th verse, God’s name is not mentioned once.  However, Job uses “I”, “my”, and “me” 39 times in just 20 verses.  He just cannot stop talking about himself here.  Job certainly seemed to cherish the idea he was choosing out the paths in life for other people – instead of God (Job 29:21-25).

Seeking our own glory sows seeds of arrogance and pride.  Unrighteous roots soon form and branches of bragging, gloating and showboating are fast to follow. Such is boasting in everything but the Cross of Christ (Galatians 6:14) … and it is not glorying in personal infirmities so God’s grace can be sufficient at all times – that the power of Jesus can rest upon us continually (2 Corinthians 12:9, 1 Peter 4:14).

During the Jews’ feast of tabernacles, some of Christ’s brethren implored him to start showing himself more openly than he had been doing (Mark 1:43-44, Mark 8:27-30).  Otherwise, what was the point of Jesus being so secretive (John 7:2-4)?  However, Christ couldn’t seek glory belonging only to God by broad-casting heavenly works and miracles to as many as possible – as one leper did (Mark 1:45, John 7:18).

We are all to give proper glory to the Lord – humbly; not pridefully – before He causes darkness.  Before our feet stumble upon the dark mountain – and when we look for light again – He shall then turn it into the shadow of death (Jeremiah 13:16).  It isn’t the gushy and loud lip service glory given most frequently on a Sunday morning; but by quiet life service like Christ, born out of a steadfast, unwavering faith within.

So we can keep ourselves unspotted from the world as much as possible (James 1:27).  So we prove our own works to God – and have rejoicing in ourselves alone – and not in another (Galatians 6:4).  So we’re happy having faith to ourselves and do not flaunt in front of others (Romans 14:22).  So the glory stays right where it is supposed to – above and not below (1 Chronicles 29:11, Psalm 57:5, Psalm 113:4).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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KJV and NKJV Scripture

– And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things.  Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. – 1 Corinthians 9:25

– For He is like a refining fire and a fuller’s soap.  And, He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver – that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. – Malachi 3:2-3

In order for it to perform as designed, steel has to first be treated with heat at various temperatures depending on what it is to be used for.  Flexible and bendable steel used in things like metal springs or hoses is exposed to hotter degrees.  This is a type of refining process called tempering.  It is so the steel in these instances of being treated with higher heat can withstand years and years of use and abuse.

Although the outer surface might get dinged up or dented quite a bit along the way, the steel won’t snap or break because of improper tempering.  It’s able to serve according to its intended purpose for a long time.  Another type of refining heat process burns away impurities called dross from precious metals such as silver and gold.  If not, they wouldn’t be as pretty to look at, nor have much value or worth.

Well, we are all valuable and worth more than gold to God.  It’s just we are all born with a lot of dross and untempered hearts.  This is why must be born again (John 3:5) at some point before we die, for there is no other way for our Father to refine us with His fire, except from within.  We have many worldly impurities for Him to purge – and frail, flawed, infirm flesh to temper and strengthen (Psalm 39:4, Romans 6:19).

We can’t do any of this with an external power we are never given by God to begin with (John 19:11, Acts 17:28).  However, if we have already received the Holy Ghost upon being born again, it was a baptism of fire (Matthew 3:11).  We should remember feeling it inside instantly when God shed His love abroad in our dark hearts back then, commanding His light to shine out from them (Romans 5:5, 2 Corinthians 4:6).

Since that time, we have had a spiritual blaze burning inside our body.  This is God’s refining fire.  We have to constantly keep it stirred up so that nothing of the world quenches it (2 Timothy 1:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:19).  Subsequently, if we humbly obey God unto death (Philippians 2:8), and abide with Him side-by-side until then, He will purge and burn up all roots and branches of unrighteousness (John 15:1-6).

Even still, we should never think it strange concerning any fiery trial God uses to try us (1 Peter 4:12).  They are to teach us suffering like Christ endured (1 Peter 4:13), to work patience (James 1:3), and purify our hearts by faith (Acts 15:9).  All trials are required by God (Ecclesiastes 3:15).  All of them must have an earthly and eternal purpose as He will never grieve or afflict us willingly (Lamentations 3:32-33).

Still, trials are never joyous (Hebrews 12:11).  Just as there can be heated ones in a human courtroom, the same kinds can be handed down from heaven.  Some can make us feel like we have been tossed into a fiery furnace of affliction for far too long at times (Isaiah 48:10).  However, raging against God with railing accusations of Him not being fair is not the way to cool things down (2 Kings 19:27, Ezekiel 33:20).

Accepting by faith our Father is trying to temper, refine, and purify our soul from the inside out, and acknowledging Him in all ways as we walk through the fire of trials (Proverbs 3:6), is a far better way to not get burned.  If we fully believe as those young Jewish men thrown into an actual furnace did, God will walk by our side through the flames, so we can emerge without even being singed (Daniel 3:10-27).

Tried by His holy refining fire, strengthened within and tempered by the power of His heavenly might (Ephesians 3:16-17), and souls purified with heat like precious silver and gold in His sight.  So we can stand fast and firm in our faith (1 Corinthians 16:13) – yet remain flexible and bendable enough to bear years of potential abuse and accusations from those who still resist or refuse the truth (2 Corinthians 11:4).

Unless we go back and follow worldly gods after each refinement.  We will know if we’re still minding earthly matters and setting affections on them (Philippians 3:19, Colossians 3:2).  Our conversation will follow (Exodus 23:13), with corrective consequences to consider.  God may have to turn up the temperature knob on His refinery of affliction (Daniel 3:19), so we learn lessons now and don’t get burned forever.

 

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