3 Dimensions of the Spirit (Part One)

“…becuause thou knewest not the time of thy visititatioin” Luke 19:44

 

The bible teaches us that there are three ways in which God revals himself to man. He visits man, he manifest himself to man and he inhabits man and in each varying degree there is a deeper revelation, understanding and commitment to God. I have often wondered why God would chose to reveal himself to man in varying degrees of revelation. I beleive that the reason God does this is to test the faith, commitment and desire that we have to really know him. We can see throughout scripture that many different men and women  were given the opportunitty to know God but many of them becuase of the degree of their commitment fell short of what God had truly intended and purposed for their lives. If we truly want to become everything God has intended us to be we cannot neglect our time of visitation.

VISITATION

Sadly like in the days of Jesus there are many who never knew that God had visitied them and that God what was willing and ready to pour out his mercy, love and blessings upon them. So many people  and more specifically so many Christians are so caught up with this world, with success and with their  finances that often time they fail to see that God is in the midst of their dilema, that God is willing, ready and able to do a great work in them. I would like to say that I have learned in my time walking with God that he is not as concerned about some of things we concern ourselves with but what God is truly concerned about is his ultimate purpose for our lives. The reality is that God often times is waiting for us to recognize him in our dilemna, to recognize him in our everyday lives, to recognize that he is truly in the midst of us if we would only open our eyes. I am reminded of the Apostle Pauls conversation with the Athenians in Acts chapter 17, in speaking to them about their religion and superstitions he reveals to them that God was there all along despite their blindness, “His purpose in all of this was that  the nations should seek after God and feel their way toward him and find him, though he is not far from anyone of us” (NLT). Recognizing that God is in your midst and that he is worthy of your attention is the first step in moving deeper into what God has truly intended for your life. This is where many fall short, they recognize that God was in their midst, they recognize that God had visited them but they failed to embrace and give attention to this visitation of God. They fail to realize that this visitation from God was meant to be a launching pad for the rest of their lives, this visitation was meant to reveal the power of God in your life and in your dilemnas, this visitation was intended to take you from the ordinary to the extadordinary. How sad it will be when you come to the end of your life and you realize that God had visited you and you did not fully embrace this opportunity of supernatural change, direction and provisison for your life. So many will never go to the next level with God because they fall into one of these two categories, they have had a visitation and did not embrace this visitiationor the failed to ever recognize that God was visiting them. There have been many who have had a visistation of the divine but that will be the extent of their experience with God. If we fail to embrace and commit to the moment of divine visitation we will never see the supernatural manifestation of  God in our lives. Living for God should be a expereince of glory to glory, in other words one experience with God should lead to a deeper experience with God or in this case divine visitation should lead to supernatural manifestation.

God Bless,

© 2011 Apostolic Messenger

 

 

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Asking God to Redefine

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“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

 

This is an article that was written by a young lady in our church (Tanya Chavez) for the church Newsletter. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. 

Definitions vary across the world. Poverty in America is defined by a family income of $15,000 or less. In Haities we can see poverty portrayed as people who are in desperate need of resources “eating mud cakes.” This entire month I have been bombarded with different ideologies (definitions so to speak) when seeking conversation among friends. I feel as if I am getting so wrapped up in the minds and comments of men, that I am loosing sight of Jesus. There are times I literally feel like I need to escape and just ask God, “What do you define success as?” I want to live to please God and the bible says I ought to do this. Therefore my definitions that have been influenced by men, need to be redefined by God. Continuously He reminds us that “My ways are not your ways” (Isaiah 55:8). We can continue to measure success around the definitions our family and peers provide, or we can be encouraged and look to God’s word. Think of the word, “Restore.” This word can be found in the bible supporting our definition. But what about Psalm 69:4 where the Psalmist is crying out to God, “Though I have stolen nothing, I must restore it.” What was he trying to restore? Under mans definition, this cry doesn’t make sense. He had done nothing and there was no need of “restoration”; and yet he had the ability to acknowledge that Gods understanding outweighs ours. To understand there’s some things I may not be aware of in my life that need to be restored; But He knows! Join in with the Psalmist and ask God to “Restore” you under His “definition.”

By Tanya Chavez

Holiness in the Tongue

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“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1 15-16 KJV 

What is holiness? The bible teaches us that God is Holy and He requires His people to live holy lives. But what does He mean by holy? Does He mean to live like a monk in a monastery completely separate from modern society? No, that would not be practical for any of us and that is not the realistic calling of the Bible. God’s commandment to His people was given to them within the context of society that was expected to work, have families and normal relationships. Practical Holiness is a call to live in this world without letting the world live in us. The root meaning of Holy is to separated or sanctified – this means to live in a modern world in a way that is pleasing to God. When it comes to holiness God always begins in the heart for this reason I would like to discuss this question. Where does practicing true God pleasing holiness begin?

THE GOD OF YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER

The Bible teaches us in Hebrews 11:13 that, “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever”. What does this mean? This means that who God was in the Old Testament remains the same in the New Testament and what God expects of His people does not change. In the Old Testament God gave a command to His people He said in Leviticus 11:45, “…ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” and in the New Testament the Apostle Peter writes in 1 Peter 1:16, “Because it is written, be ye holy for I am holy.” He is the God of yesterday, today and forever; many modern Christians have forgotten that God still absolutely requires us to live a holy, pleasing life before Him. Peter goes as far as to call us a royal priesthood, a chosen generation, a peculiar people. Wow what an amazing and glorious privilege to be considered in the eyes of God royalty, chosen and peculiar.

TRUE HOLINESS BEGINS IN THE TONGUE

The Apostle Peter states in his writings that we ought to be holy in all manner of conversation, some versions of the bible say conduct but for the sake of this study will stay with King James Version of conversation. Peter declares to us be holy in your conversation, I think all of us can understand that conversation begins in the tongue. And so it is that practicing holiness begins with us beginning to bridle our tongue. We must understand that the tongue is directly connected to our hearts (spiritually speaking). Our tongues will always give evidence of what the condition of our hearts is. Jesus said this concerning the heart and the mouth, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man” whether we realize or not it is our tongue that defiles us. We cannot truly practice holiness when our tongues are out of control, when they are unbridled and quench the Spirit that God has poured in us. It does us no good to practice holiness in other areas of our lives and our tongues continually are out of control.

HE WHO CONTROLS THE TONGUE CAN CONTROL THE BODY

Did you know that the bible teaches us that whoever can control their tongue can also control their entire body? Holiness that is practiced often ends in failure because we have not brought our tongues under the power of the Holy Spirit. Listen to what the Apostle James says about controlling the body, “…If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” The man that can control his speech, his conversation can bridle; bring into subjection the whole body. It is at this point that I declare to you again that holiness begins by controlling the tongue. Likewise James also reminds that the man that cannot control the tongue will defile his whole body (James 3:8).

WE WORSHIP GOD WITH OUT HEARTS AND TONGUES

We must consider the fact that it is our tongues that we use to worship God, to pray to God, to encourage one another and to share His holy word with one another. And yet many times we use this same tongue to hurt one another, to curse one another, to gossip about one another and to argue with one another. James ask us a simple question, “…can a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?’ The answer is no, either a fountain gives off good water or bad water not both. He uses this question to ask whether our tongues should be in this condition where they are giving praise to God on one hand and the other being used in a carnal unholy way. He says this should not be so. James says, “Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.” Our tongues should have the liberty to praise God and open our hearts before Him and likewise be under the control of the Spirit and used to build up and edify.

THE TONGUE SHOULD GIVE LIFE AND SAVE FROM TROUBLES

The Bible says in Proverbs that, “in the tongues is the power of life and death.” We can give life to people and ourselves through the use of the tongue or we can destroy others and ourselves through the power of the tongue. Consider these scriptures in regards to the power of the tongue:

Proverbs 15:4 “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit”

Proverbs 21:23 “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles”

Many people cannot practice holiness in their hearts because they have a breech in their spirit. What this means is that their spirit is like a wall that has been broken in a certain place and that wall no longer has the power to keep good things or bad things out it has been breached. So anytime God pours in His blessing the enemy can easily come through the breach and rob the person of what God has given him. How can we practice holiness when our spirits have been breached because out tongues are out of control. Many of the troubles that we suffer are caused be our very own tongues.

BEGIN HOLINESS WITH YOUR TONGUE AND THE BODY WILL FOLLOW

If what James is teaching us in his writings is true, then controlling the tongue is the key to practicing holiness before God. He teaches us that if we get a hold of our tongue and are able to control its speech then naturally the power to control our entire bodies will follow in line. A holy tongue means a holy heart and this is the holiness that God is after, holiness and purity in the depth of our inner man.

God Bless,

© 2008 Apostolic Messenger

Heaven what kind of place is it?

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Mans imagination cannot fathom the immense greatness of heaven. Our minds are limited in their ability to perceive supernatural things such as heaven. What is heaven, where is heaven, how does heaven look and who will be in heaven these are some of the questions that man has attempted to answer regarding heaven? Words cannot describe such a supernatural place neither can the mind perceive such divine things in our present carnal state. The only answers we have regarding heaven are the divine scriptures which have been given to us by God. Surely it is a great, awesome, unimaginable wonder.

SCRIPTURES DESCRIBING HEAVEN

The Father’s House:

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2

A Heavenly City:

“But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” Hebrews 11:16

A Holy City:

“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Revelation 21:2

The Throne of God:

“Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.” Revelation 7:15

A Place of Holiness:

“And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Revelation 21:27

 

A Place of Divine Joy:

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4

A Place of Prestine Beauty:

“And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.” Revelation 21:18 

A Place of Worship:

“And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.” Revelation 5:14

A Place of Perfect Light:

“And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” Revelation 21:23

A Place where God Dwells:

“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Revealtion 21:3

Meditate on these scriptures and consider whether it is worth living and suffering for the Creator of the heavens and earth. Consider that one day you shall see God as He is; in His perfect beauty and holiness. Remeber we are only pilgrims in this world, sojourning till we find a city whose builder and founder is God. It will be a glorious day the moment we meet our Father in heaven. Is your name written in the Lamb’s Precious Book of Life? Are you ready to stand with God and behold the wonders and the beauty of that city called New Jerusalem? It is going to be a glorious day when the bride meets Jesus in Heaven.

We Shall Reign with Him:

“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Revelation 3:21

God Bless,

 

 

Call to Devotion

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“And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Mark 1:35 

If there is one thing that we as Christians lack in our spiritual lives it is a daily-consecrated time of devotion to God. To many times we look at our devotional time as a hard arduous task and I will admit that praying is not easy but it doesn’t have to be something that is looked upon as rigid. Our prayer time or devotion time to God should be the most beautiful refreshing time of the day for us. It is in devotion that God restores me, forgives me, speaks to me and strengthens me. It is for these reasons that my time of devotion to God should be the most important part of my spiritual walk. There are no spiritual secrets to learning to devote yourself to God in prayer and spirit. It is a matter of practicing it daily until it becomes an habitual part of your spiritual life. The need and rewards of daily prayer are to many to list and the reality is that to few Christians really practice a life of daily devotion to God; it simply is the greatest need in the church today. If you are struggling in your prayer life I want to encourage you to start again, ask God to give you the strength.
Here is a sample of a one-hour devotion you could practice:

10 minutes of your favorite worship music
10 minutes of reading the bible
10 minutes of worship (no music)
5 minutes of confession
10 minutes praying for need of the church and others
10 minutes praying for your own needs
5 minutes of worship

Remember the idea is to get into that daily habit of prayer. As you grow in your prayer life you will find your own way of praying. For example when I first started praying I used to listen to worship music to help me concentrate but I eventually grew to the point where I needed to pray in a quiet atmosphere. Now my devotion is pretty simple, I read the word of God for about 10 minutes and then I pray. I spend the first part of prayer in simple worship to God and then I usually start my confession and petition for forgiveness. I then begin to thank God for all He has done and provided. I then begin to intercede for others; praying for the needs of the church, needy, family and those in authority. I usually end my prayer by praying for protection against the enemy and worshipping God for hearing my prayer. For me this easily fills up an hour of devotion. I believe that if the majority of Christians would practice this hour of devotion in their daily lives they would have no problem living in the fulness of God’s will.

“And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:40-41

The greatest growth I have had in my spirituality has come through the practice and power of daily devoting myself to prayer. The secret to overcoming temptation is found in finding God’s strength in prayer before the temptation comes. If we wait till the temptation arrives to pray then it is proably to late. Overcoming and being victorious are found in gathering up God’s strength and grace before the moment of testing and temptaiton comes. If you want to grow, if you want to know God more intimately you must learn to devote yourself to God in prayer. Their simply is no other way.

God Bless,

What Prophets and Angels Desire

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 “As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven–things into which angels long to look.”

1 Peter 1:10-12 NASB

THE PROPHETS

What a wonderful thought the scripture gives us. Imagine the prophets inquiring of God what they were prophesying about? They did not understand the words that the Spirit of God was putting in their hearts concerning the times of the gentiles. They only new that their would come a suffering messiah to redeem the gentiles but they did not know who or in what time or dispensation this would come to pass. The only revelation they were given concerning this glorious Gospel is that they were ministering to a people who had not yet come into existence. The bible teaches us that these prophets preached unto us the Gospel through the power of the Holy Ghost before the appointed time. The awesome revelatiion about this is that you and I are the aforementioned people living in the aforementioned time which the prophets were inquiring about. We are the gentile people of biblical prophecy, we have our proper place in God’s word it is you and I that have been born into the season of biblical fulfilment. The blessing that you and I possess is the full revelation of God’s plan and mystery concerning His perfect will. What a blessing it is to understand this.

CONSIDER THIS

Have you ever really stopped and considered how blessed we are to have the understanding that we have. To have access to the fullness of God’s counsel, to be able to diligently look into the fullness of His word and come away from it with a perfect understanding of His plan, purpose and work. Have you ever considered that prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Amos and Daniel to a name a few who did not have the privilege to know the things that you now know, “And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” Many great and righteous men have wanted to know and understand what we now have free access to the complete revelation of God’s word. Look what Jesus said to his disciples concerning the mysteries of the Kingdom, “For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” Wow! That is the only thing I can think of when I consider that I have an understanding that great men and prophets of God desired to have.

EVEN THE ANGELS

Even the angels desire to look into the things we understand. This is an amazing thought because the angels have been there with God since the beginning. They were there when Lucifer was cast out of heaven, they were there when God created Adam, they were there when Jesus Christ was born, they were there when He was crucified, they were there when He rose from the dead and they were there when He resurrected. Yet they do not have a full, complete understanding of why? Why did He die, why does He love them so much, why did He choose this way? Yet you and I understand, “…thou has made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.”

CREATED FOR GLORY

How wonderful to know that man was created in the likeness and image of God. Adam created to reflect the perfect virtues of God. Hence when God fellow-shipped with Adam His son, He would always see Himself in Adam. That was the pinnacle of man’s glory the moment that God was able to see Himself in His creation. That is the glory of God in man, when man reflects the perfect virtue and love of Christ. When relationship with God is so profound that words are not needed to tell people how much I love Christ they need only to look at my life and see God reflected. This is the glory of God in man, the fulness of His Spirit radiating through the life of men and women who have been redeemed by His precious blood.

THE PRECIOUS BLOOD

This is what the angels and the prophets did not understand. They did not understand in the plan of redemption, His creation that had fallen into a sinful nature would be restored back into a position where they could reflect and radiate the glory of God. They did not understand that to accomplish this it would take the perfect blood of Jesus Christ. They did not understand that this perfect blood without spot or blemish would not only cover man’s sin but completely wash them out, “how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

CONSIDER THE WORD

Consider this. God has chosen you. He has chosen you to understand, He has chosen you because you were born in the time of prophetic fulfilment. Consider that God has blessed to understand His plan, His purpose, His work and His love for you. Consider that God has given you a place in His word and in His divine plan. Consider the fact that you were born for a specific time, reason and place. When the prophets were moving under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit they were speaking about the time in which you would be living, they were prophesying about events that would take place within the contextual timeframe of your lifespan. They spoke of things they did not completely understand but were positive would come to pass. Consider that you and I are living the prophetic time-line of God and are blessed to have an understanding of these things. Remember Jesus words, “For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.”

God Bless,

© 2007 Apostolic Messenger Minister Daniel Bracamonte

Another Generation

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“…After them another generation rose up who did not know the Lord or the works He had done for Israel.” Judges 2:10

FORGETTING THEIR GOD 

It is amazing at how quickly after the death of Joshua that the people of Israel had forgotten about the Lord, how quickly they turned away from their faith and took after the pagan religions of the nations around them. What could cause such a great nation a holy people to turn so quickly from the ways of the Lord. The bible teaches us that as long as Joshua lived the people served the Lord and continued to worship Him and offer sacrifices. But when Joshua and the Elders died the new generation no longer knew the Lord, they no longer understood the law nor served the God of their fathers, “they did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord”. How could a generation so easily lose touch with their faith, so easily turn from the God of their forefathers, so easily follow the ways of the pagan nations.

A GENERATIONS FAILURE

The generation the entered into the promise land with Joshua was the generation of faith. It is important to understand that many that entered into the promise land were born in the time of Israels wilderness wanderings. They were eyewitnesses of God’s glory and power. They knew Moses and had witnessed many miracles in the desert, they had personally experienced the divine provision of God. They knew the law, they understood the priesthood and the sacrifices, they in the desert had learn to worship and serve God. They had direct revelation of the divine! This generation served God with all their hearts and they rendered unto God the reverence and the worship that was due unto him – but in all of this they still had a great failure. This is what the  book of Deuteronomy teaches the Hebrew nation concerning God and His law, “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Then it shall come about when the LORD your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you eat and are satisfied, then watch yourself, that you do not forget the LORD who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (Dt 6:7-12 NASB). The command was to teach diligenty the next generation so that they would not forget. This was the great failure of Joshua’s generation their failure to teach their children about God, about His laws, about the beauty of their faith. This generation failed to bring their children into a love relationship with God, not a relationship of just biblical rules and regulations but a relationship that abounded with Holy love for God. This generation after Joshua did not remember the Lord, they did not remember that God had brought out their forefathers form Egypt, they did not understand the bondage their forefathers had been in and they had no sense or understanding of the great deliverance God had done for their forefathers. It was simply a generation that forgot!

ANOTHER GENERATION’S FAILURE

Their is another great failure that must be noted. Not only did Joshua’s generation fail but the generations after Joshua failed. They failed in the aspect that whatever was taught about God was rejected in favor for the pagan religions that surrounded them. This generation wanted to be free, free from the faith of their fathers, free to experiment and try new religions and philosophies, they failed to realize that the more they wrapped themselves with the ideas of paganism and liberalism the more they became bound to the system of the world. This generation was inexcusable, they could not blame their sins and idolatry on their forefathers because the bible teaches us that in times of distress God would raise up men and women Judges who would remind them and teach them about God, they themselves would see the provision and power of God, this is what the Word of God says, “Then the LORD raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them. Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they played the harlot after other gods and bowed themselves down to them. They turned aside quickly from the way in which their fathers had walked in obeying the commandments of the LORD; they did not do as their fathers. When the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge and delivered them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed and afflicted them. But it came about when the judge died, that they would turn back and act more corruptly than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them and bow down to them; they did not abandon their practices or their stubborn ways” (Judges 2:16-19 NASB). Inexcusable was this generation and thats how God is He will hold each and everyone of us accountable to His Word. Whether mother or father, daughter or son each one of us is accountable to God on an individual basis their is none that will have an excuse before God both rich and poor, small and great will have to give account to the same God. The Apostle Paul said it more profoundly than all I think because he said, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”

BREAK THE CYCLE

One of the deepest spiritual truths that the book of Judges reveals is this sinful cycle that man lives in. One of the phrases that you will continually run into when reading the book of Judges is “And the children of Israel again did evil the sight of the Lord” they were in continual cycle:

1. They would find themselves oppressed and in need of God

2. They would call on God

3. God would hear, raise a Judge and deliver them

4. The Judge would die and they would return to their wicked ways

This was sinful cycle that the Israelites were constantly in. They only called on God when they had need and they would serve Him for a short while but would always return to their wicked way (how this must hurt God). This is the same cycle we see in many believer today, the same cycle we see in much of the young generation. I think of 911 and other times of great tragedy do you remember how full the churches were, do you remember even presidents and great leaders praying and crying out to God. I remember brothers and sisters young and old seeking God for protection, deliverance and guidance but after a short while those that were so moved returned to their old ways. How easily we forget, how easily we let go; when will we break the cycle? The cycle will be broken when we become like Ezra and Nehemiah when men and women have a burden for the Word when men and women both young and old seek God daily and do not just call on Him in time of tragedy. The cycle will break when our hearts burn with a Holy love for God. When we become like the two men on the road to Emmaus, “Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked to us by the way, and while he opened to the Scriptures?” Will our hearts ever come to that place where we don’t need tragedy and great deliverance for us to be moved in His kingdom. Will we ever just be in that place where our hearts burn because He speaks to us. This cycle, this tragedy of our generations growing up without faith in God will end when our hearts begin to burn in us, when we we are consumed by a holy passion for God. When excuses are laid to the side and we get to that place where our hearts will burn for His presence, His anointing, His glory in our lives. Before we give the next generation our Godly standards and before they can embrace the spirtiual precepts of God Word we must be sure that their hearts first burn for God. Rules and regulations will not keep them; but a burning in the heart for Him, for His word, for His holiness this will keep them, this will keep us.

God Bless,

© 2007 Apostolic Messenger Minister Daniel Bracamonte

Christian Halloween?

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ARTICLE BY ART BRAIDIC AND DENNIS FISCHER FROM BLOW THE TRUMPET

Every year, millions of children throughout the world celebrate the custom of Halloween. During this celebration, they dress up in costumes, parade through neighborhoods knocking on doors, and declare the words “trick or treat,” expecting to receive candy or some sort of gift. But is Halloween something Christians should celebrate? Is this the kind of festival Jesus Christ would want us to observe?

First, understand that although Halloween professes to be a Christian holiday, it is anything but Christian. This custom was celebrated by the pagan world centuries before the New Testament Church was ever founded and it was not introduced into the professing Christian world until centuries after the deaths of the apostles. In fact, if you search the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, you will not find a single line advocating the observance of this holiday or anything like it. On the contrary, God condemns such practices throughout the scriptures.

A Strange Superstition
Halloween is one of the strangest holidays mankind celebrates. It is an amazing paradox, an unusual mixture of Christian terms and ancient pagan religious rites. Moreover, despite the technological and intellectual advancements our society has made, it still clings to ignorance of the past. As a result, we celebrate ancient superstitions by partaking in pagan rites, dressing up as witches, goblins, ghosts, skeletons, and demons.
What is this holiday? Where did it come from and why is it celebrated? It certainly did not come from the Bible or the early Christian Church raised up by Jesus Christ and the apostles (Mt. 16:13-17). Consider what authorities say regarding the origin and practice of Halloween.

Ralph Linton, on page four of his book, Halloween Through Twenty Centuries, explains the connection between the current practice of Halloween and a pagan rite practiced by the ancient Druids.

The American celebration rests upon Scottish and Irish folk customs which can be traced in direct line from pre-Christian times. Although Halloween has become a night of rollicking fun, superstitious spells, and eerie games that people take only half seriously, its beginnings were quite otherwise. The earliest Halloween celebrations were held by the Druids in honor of Samhain, Lord of the Dead, whose festival fell on November 1.

Furthermore, the Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition, Volume 12 says:

It was a Druidic belief that on the eve of this festival, Saman, lord of death, called together the wicked souls that within the past 12 months had been condemned to inhabit the bodies of animals… (pp. 847-858)

The Yearbook of English Festivals by Dorothy Gladys Spicer adds the following:

All Hallows’ Eve or All Hallow E’en, with its tradition of witches, ghosts, hobgoblins and spirits, its games and incantations, still is a gay time for pranks and parties in many North country homes. Fun-loving Americans have borrowed from their British ancestors many Hallow E’en games such as apple-bobbing, nut roasting and tossing of apple parings. Transplanted to the New World soil, the old practices have become revitalized, and currently are observed with more enthusiasm than in the country of their birth.

To ancient Druids, the end of October commemorated the festival of the waning year, when the sun began his downward course and ripened grain was garnered from the fields.” “Samhain, or ‘Summer’s End,’ as this feast to the dying sun was called, was celebrated with human sacrifice, augury and prayers; for at this season spirits walked, and evil had power over souls of men.

Not until the fourth century did the pagan vigil for the god of light give way to All Hallows, the mass for Christian saints; and not until the tenth, did the Druids’ death feast become All Souls’ the day of prayer for souls that had entered rest. Cakes for the dead were substituted for human sacrifice, fortune-telling for heathen augury, lighted candles for the old Baal fires.

Far from being Christian, Halloween is an old pagan holiday masquerading as though it were one of the customs of the Church. Despite this, professing Christians encourage their children to get into the spirit of this pagan custom! The celebration of Halloween is clearly a relic of pagan times and superstitious tradition. Notice what the authoritative Encyclopedia Britannica says about this holiday. It long antedates Christianity. The two chief characteristics of ancient Halloween were the lighting of bonfires and the belief that this is the one night in the year during which ghosts and witches are most likely to wander about. History shows that the main celebrations of Halloween were purely ‘Druidical,’ and this is further proved by the fact that in parts of Ireland October 31 is still known as Oidhch Shamhna, ‘Vigil of Saman.

Saman or Samhain was the pagan lord of the dead among the Druids. However, this pagan holiday was not celebrated among the Druids alone. It has been and is currently celebrated around the world in different forms, but always with the same general pattern and meaning.

Halloween was also a Roman festival. Consider the words of the Encyclopedia Britannica regarding this celebration.

On the Druidic ceremonies were grafted some of the characteristics of the Roman festival in honor of Pomona held about November 1, in which nuts and apples, representing the winter store of fruits, played an important part.

Halloween can be identified in various forms all around the world. It is found in both Christian and non-Christian countries. This is because its origins predate Christianity. Marie Trevelyan, in her book Folk Stories of Wales, writes the following.

In Wales it was firmly believed that on All Hallows’ Eve the spirit of a departed person was to be seen at midnight on every crossroad and every stile. (p. 254)

The practices involved in Halloween are also found in Mexico. In the book Adonis by Frazer, the practice of Halloween is clearly identified, not only by its date, but also by its symbolism and rituals.

The Miztecs of Mexico believed that the dead came back in the twelfth month of the year, which corresponded to our November. On this day of All Souls the houses were decked out to welcome the spirits. Jars of food and drink were set on a table in the principal room, and the family went out with the torches to meet the ghosts and invite them to enter. Then, returning to the house they knelt around the table, and with their eyes bent on the ground, prayed the souls to accept the offerings. (p. 244)
The elements of this holiday are also found in Cambodia. According to E. Aymonier in the work Notice sur le Cambodge, people would chant,

O all your ancestors, who are departed, deign to come and eat what we have prepared for you, and to bless your posterity and to make it happy. (p. 59)

It is clear that the trappings of Halloween have covered nations around the world. It is equally clear that the practices embraced by this holiday are not Christian at all.

Its Symbols and Superstitions

Understand the shocking truth from history as to why this holiday was celebrated! Ruth Kelly, a recognized authority on Halloween, wrote that because the Druids believed in the immortality of the soul, they concluded that a person’s spirit would pass from them at death and seek out another body in which to reside.

[The pagan Druid priests] . . . taught the immortality of the soul, that it passed from one body to another at death . . . They believed that on the last night of the old year the lord of death gathered together the souls of all those who had died in the passing year and had been condemned to live in the bodies of animals, to decree what forms they should inhabit for the next twelve months. He could be coaxed to give the lighter sentence by gifts and prayers. (The Book of Halloween, p. 10)

Many Druids believed that black cats were in fact reincarnated human beings, and that the Priest had the ability to divine the future through them. If any crossed your path, however, it would mean they might posses you, a very bad omen. Halloween was celebrated to preserve in the minds of the people the false doctrine that the soul is immortal and that the dead are not really dead. The Celtic peoples believed that the souls of good men went to paradise while the souls of those who did evil were reincarnated in the form of animals for a year. The only chance these disembodied souls had for a decent afterlife was to return on this day of Samhain, and find a human body to possess. It is important to understand that November was regarded by the Celtic people as the beginning of the New Year. Therefore, it was a perfect time for their priests to remember and celebrate the dead.

All Saints Day

Today, Halloween is celebrated on the evening of All Hallows or All Saints Day. Because days were customarily reckoned as beginning at sunset, Halloween was celebrated in anticipation of November 1, which was dedicated to the Lord of the Dead. Halloween is founded on a fear of the spirits of the dead possessing those who are alive. This fear is driven by a belief that man has an immortal soul. It is important to understand that the Bible clearly declares that only God has immortality at this time. The apostle Paul, when writing to Timothy about Jesus Christ, said,

Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; Whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to Whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. (1 Tim. 6:16)

The clear teaching in the Bible is that the soul is mortal and that it is appointed unto all men once to die (see Hebrews 9:27). The book of Ecclesiastes actually states that the same fate befalls both man and beast.

For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them; as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast; for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. (Eccl. 3:19-20)

God’s Word repeatedly explains that the dead are in their graves awaiting a resurrection. The dead have no contact with the living. However, because almost all heathen nations have no knowledge of the true God, they have created times and superstitions that honor their dead.

Who is the Lord of the Dead?

Shortly before his crucifixion, Jesus was questioned by the Sadducees about the concept of a resurrection. In order to demonstrate that there will be a future resurrection from the dead, Jesus told them:

But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken to you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. (Mt. 22:31-32)

It is important to understand what Jesus meant by these profound words “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” The Sadducees to whom Jesus was speaking did not believe in a resurrection. They also accepted only the Torah as holy scripture. With this in mind, Jesus quoted the Torah (Ex. 3:6) to prove that a resurrection would one day occur. He did this by illustrating that long after the death of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, God continued to refer to Himself as their God: “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,” not “I was the God…”
The point Jesus was making was that although these patriarchs were dead (Heb. 11:13), they will live again in the resurrection, as will all of God’s people (Dan. 12:2; Lk 14:14; Jn 5:28; Rev. 20:4-6). Although these men were dead, they were as good as alive at that moment because God’s promise of a resurrection is immutable (Rom. 4:17). With this understanding, Jesus’ words take on greater meaning. The God of the Bible is the GOD OF THE LIVING, not the God of the dead! To worship the true God, we should not celebrate rites dedicated to the dead. However, among the heathen Druids, Samhain or Saman, is the lord of the dead and that lord is none other than Satan himself! Therefore, when people celebrate the dead, they unknowingly honor the devil!

Is Ignorance an Excuse?

What if people don’t know who it is they serve when they celebrate Halloween? Is it alright to keep this holiday if you do not know what it represents? The resounding answer to this question is NO! When writing to the Church at Galatia, the apostle Paul indicated it was possible to worship something that didn’t even exist.

Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. (Galatians 4:8).

The heathen who thought they were worshiping the true God were actually serving demons. Young people today who dress up in weird costumes and demand “trick or treat” are not serving the true God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Rather, they are unwittingly serving the god of this world who has blinded them (2 Cor. 4:4). Do you want to serve the lord of the dead? Halloween is a holiday dedicated to worshiping the lord of the dead. The true God is the God of the living

Trick Or Treat

Do you know where the practice of children knocking on doors and shouting “trick or treat” originated? At this special time of the year, it was believed that there was a very thin line between the living and the dead. During the time of Samhain, people believed ghosts of the dead were able to mingle with the living. It was feared that the dead would come back in search of bodies to possess the next year. This was the only means for these spirits to have an after-life. Fearing possession, the townsfolk did many things to trick the spirits or scare them away.
At this time, Druid priests wore masks so they would not be recognized and attacked by evil spirits. Some believed that the spirits would leave you alone if you tricked them by dressing up to look like them. Others thought the wearing of frightening costumes would scare the evil spirits away. Many people even carved demonic faces in turnips or potatoes and put candles inside them, an early Jack-o-lantern, to frighten the spirits.
The “treat” part of this holiday came from attempts by some to “buy off” these evil spirits by giving them gifts. Some believed these spirits imprisoned the bodies of animals and could be released by giving gifts or tribute to the lord of the dead. James Napier, in his book Folklore, wrote about this practice.

There was a prevailing belief among all nations that at death the souls of good men were taken possession of by good spirits and carried to paradise, but the souls of the wicked men were left to wander in the space between the earth and moon, or consigned to the unseen world. These wandering spirits were in the habit of haunting the living… But there were means by which these ghosts might be exorcized. (p. 11)

The idea that spirits possessed animals was just one belief. Others believed that the souls of the dead returned to their original homes and were to be entertained there with food and drink. If they were not given the things they desired, these spirits would cast spells and cause absolute havoc to the inhabitants of the home. Alexander MacGregor, in his book Highland Superstitions, writes,

It was the night for the universal walking about of all sorts of spirits, fairies, and ghosts, all of whom had liberty on that night. (p. 44)

In an effort to exorcize these ghosts, people were encouraged to set out food as a form of treat. If the demons were satisfied, they would leave the individual in peace. If not, they would leave an evil spell.
Ralph Linton (Halloween Through Twenty Centuries) concludes that the practice of leaving gifts for spirits is the origin of today’s practice of trick or treat when he states “…certainly it comes from pagan times.” In Ireland up to the turn of the century, it was customary to have a procession “led by a man in a white robe wearing a horse-head mask… The horse was sacred to the Sun God,” says Linton, which indicated that this custom was a survival of a Druid rite. “The procession levied a contribution from the farmers in the perverted name of what probably was an old Druid god. Unless the procession was “treated liberally with gifts,” the farmers were “tricked” with the threat of a curse that would ruin next year’s crops! The present day practice of “trick or treat” is nothing less than a continuation of these degenerate and absurd customs which came out of paganism.

How Did Halloween Become Christian?

The first of November, celebrated among pagans in honor of Samhain, is celebrated today in thousands of Christian churches around the world. The Catholic Encyclopedia states that the purpose of this day is to “honor all the saints, known and unknown.” Additionally, according to Pope Urban IV, this day was designed to address “any deficiencies in the faithful’s celebration of saints’ feasts during the year.”
But how did the veneration of saints, supposedly alive in heaven, come to be celebrated on the same day used by pagans to honor evil spirits? According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Church believed that every martyr should be honored and it appointed a common day for all of them.

At this point, It is important to understand that the general practice of the Christianized Roman Empire was to convert pagans as quickly as possible. From the time of Constantine who made Christianity the state religion, the pagan religion and practices were appropriated for use in order to encourage conversion by those who were deeply tied to paganism. To do this, the names of pagan gods were changed to those of Christ, Mary, and the saints.
The book, The Mysteries of All Nations by Grant, records the story of how the pagan celebration we call Halloween became a Christian practice. Grant explains that the Emperor Hadrian rebuilt the Pantheon about 100 A.D. and dedicated it to the goddess Cybele and other Roman gods. The Pantheon became the central edifice for worship. However, before the sixth century, Rome was invaded and controlled by barbaric tribes. After the defeat of the Barbarians by Emperor Phocas, the Pantheon was retaken and given to Pope Boniface IV as a gift. As a result, this great temple now became “holy” and was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and all the saints. It became a shrine where Christians could pay homage to Mary and others who had died in the faith. An annual holiday was commemorated to this end. May 13 was first chosen and this day became known as “All Saints Day.” Later, the date was changed to November 1 and the name changed to “All Hallows,” and ultimately to “Halloween.” The book, Strange Stories, Amazing Facts, by the Readers Digest Association explains how pagan practices became a part of Christian worship:

Although Christianity has swept the world in a relatively short time, as the histories of great religions go, the early missionaries faced an up-hill task. The pagans were reluctant to give up their false gods and ancient practices. So the missionaries, unable to convert them easily to an entirely new code of worship, did the next best thing. They took the pagan festivals as they were, and gradually grafted the observances of the new faith onto these festivals and rites and customs surrounding them.

Like Christmas and Easter, the festival of Halloween originated in a pagan celebration, even though its name is derived from the Christian festival of Al Hallows’ or All Saints’ Eve.

It was introduced in the seventh century to commemorate all those saints and martyrs who had no special day to themselves and was held on May 13th. But in the eighth century, All Hallows’ day was moved to November 1, to counteract the pagan celebrations held on that date. Only since the late 18th and early 19th centuries has Halloween developed into a festive time for children, with costumes, lanterns, and games. Before then it was regarded as a night of fear, and wise men, respectful of hobgoblins and wandering demons, stayed indoors.

On page 6 of his book, Ralph Linton explains how All Saints’ Day became a Christian practice.

All Saints Day was introduced into the church calendar because the year was not long enough to make it possible to dedicate a special day for each spirit of the Catholic Church.. The day chosen was one already associated in the popular mind with a thronging of spirits of the dead, which was quite in line with church policy of incorporating harmless pagan folk ideas… Gregory III (731-741) consecrated a chapel in the basilica of St. Peter to all the saints and fixed the anniversary [honoring them] on November 1. (Halloween Through Twenty Centuries)

Notice what once was a memorial for each martyr on different days became a general day in honor of the dead who were believed to be alive in heaven. Protestants have continued the celebration of Halloween in part because “it was on this day in 1517, that Martin Luther posted his epoch-making ninety-five theses on the door of the castle church at Wittenberg” which started the Protestant Reformation. “He chose Halloween night because he knew that the townsfolk would be coming to the church that night.” (Halloween Through Twenty Centuries, Ralph Linton, pp 9-10).

Because the leaders of the Reformation did not believe in Saints, there could be no “All Saints Day.” No “All Saints Day” meant no “Halloween.” Therefore, to please those who still wanted to celebrate these festivities, the Halloween revelries were moved to November fifth and renamed “Guy Fawkes Day.” Guy Fawkes was one of a group who plotted to blow up the Protestant English Parliament. Guy Fawkes Day celebrated the failure of this plot. Still it was Halloween in spirit; bon fires were lit, lanterns were carved in turnips, and children went begging for money. Halloween survived the Protestant reformation to live on with all its ancient and pagan traditions.

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

When the average person thinks of Halloween, there are visions of jack-o-lanterns with candles inside to make the jeering faces look even more eerie. There are thoughts of skeletons and ghosts, goblins and devils. Black is a favorite color of Halloween and rooms are made to be dark and scary.

Consider for a moment the symbolism of Halloween. What has that symbolism to do with the true God or Christianity? The symbols of Halloween are blackness and darkness. These are symbols of Satan. God is light and there is no darkness in Him (I John 1:5). Does the symbolism surrounding this holiday reflect what God would appreciate? Does this holiday, with it’s dark symbolism, seem like something God would accept from us? Would Jesus Christ celebrate Halloween, considering its symbolism and images?

What about the whole concept of “trick or treat”? In principle, this is no less than simple extortion. Halloween encourages wrong by suggesting that if you don’t get what you demand, you are justified in causing harm or damage. Such a belief goes totally contrary to the scriptures.

Halloween is the very antithesis of Christianity. Jesus Christ tells us in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” God further tells us, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).
There is nothing connected to Halloween that is even remotely Christian. Its images are of death, demons, the spirit world, ghosts, goblins and mysticism. All this is totally contrary to God’s word. Halloween is pagan in origin and it’s symbols and practices are not of God. Halloween is about the dead. God is the God of the living.
Furthermore, we need to understand that Halloween is not just an ancient pagan festival of the past. It is still celebrated by the occult in our land today. One practicing witch writes the following in the Leaves Of Wonder Website.

Samhain… is the most important of the Wiccan Sabbats… The deities are in their darkest, most fearsome aspects… Though fearsome, he [the Lord of Death] is also comforter and teacher of the dead, preparing them for the next lifetime.

Speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, God admonished Israel to refrain from learning pagan practices and indicated that there would be severe consequences for failing to obey.

Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord, “Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. (Jer. 10:1-2)

But the Lord is the true God, He is the living God, and an everlasting king: at His wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide His indignation. Thus shall ye say unto them, “The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens… (Jer. 10:10-11)

God’s word is clear. Pagan practices, including Halloween, are to be rejected by His children. He not only forbids inquiring after false gods and practicing their ways, but He outlines the consequences for violating His command.

God’s Holy Days

But God does want us to worship Him and that worship must be in spirit and in truth (Jn 4:24). In order for us to properly honor God, He has created specific festivals. These festivals outline His plan of salvation and identify who He is and how He will accomplish His purpose for all mankind. These Holy Days, which are commanded assemblies, include the Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles. These great feasts, which were designed personally by God, were kept by the champions of faith in the Old Testament as well as Jesus Christ and the apostles in the New Testament. The book of Acts indicates that the early Church celebrated these Holy Days (Acts 18:21; 20:6; 27:9). The great prophet Zechariah indicated that the time would come when the entire world, under Christ’s millennial rule, will keep His feasts (Zech. 14).

A Final Thought

Understand the truth about Halloween: it is a spiritual counterfeit! It is a pagan holiday. It is based on the worship of the dead. In short, Halloween is the trick, not the treat. It is the trick that has been played on an unsuspecting world. Fortunately, the Bible declares that the time will come when Jesus Christ will rule the entire world and the knowledge of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea (Isa. 11:9). In that day, people will honor God’s Sabbaths and His Holy Days. Once people begin to celebrate God’s true Holy Days, Halloween will begin to look “hollow” instead of “hallow.”

 To see this article in it orginal content click www.blowthetrumpet.org Bro. Noe thanks for the link to this great article.

God Bless,

Incomparable Christ

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THE POEM

More than nineteen hundred years ago there was a man born contrary to the laws of life. This man lived in poverty and was reared in obscurity. He received no formal education and never possessed wealth or wide-spread influence. He never traveled extensively. He only once crossed the boundary of the country in which He lived. But this man’s life has changed the course of history. In infancy He startled a king; in childhood he puzzled doctors; in man hood He ruled the course of nature, walked upon the waves, and hushed the sea to sleep. He healed the multitudes without medicine and made no charge for His services. He never wrote a book. Yet His life has inspired more books than any other man. He never wrote a song. Yet He has furnished the theme for more songs than all songwriters combined. He never founded a college. But all the schools put together cannot boast of having as many students. He never marshaled an army, nor drafted a soldier, nor fired a gun. Yet no leader ever had more rebels surrender to Him without a shot fired. He never practiced psychiatry. Yet He has healed more broken hearts than all the doctors far and near. Once each week the wheels of commerce cease their turning, and multitudes gather to pay homage and respect to Him. Though time has spread nineteen hundred years between the people of this generation and His birth, He still lives. His enemies could not destroy Him, and the grave could not hold Him. This man stands forth upon the highest pinnacle of heavenly glory, proclaimed of God, acknowledged by angels, adored by His people, and feared by devils, as the risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

-Author Unknown

Neglected Prophecy

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“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition…For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.II Thessalonians 2:3,7

GREAT FALLING AWAY

There are many prophecies in the bible some fulfilled and some yet to be fulfilled. But one of the most often neglected prophecies in the word of God is this prophecy given to the believers by the Apostle Paul. He teaches us that in the last days before the return of Christ their is going to be a great falling away an apostasy. You wont find many preachers preaching this and you wont encounter to many teachers teaching this. But this prophecy cannot be neglected because it is sure sign that we are in the last days. As we see this prophecy being fulfilled we can know that the return of Christ is imminent and we must all tarry the more in the Spirit.

APOSTASY

Apostasy as defined by the dictionary is a falling away or a defection from the truth, a rejection of a once held standard or faith. I would just like to add that in reality this is a result not the root of apostasy. The root of Apostasy or falling away in its bluntest form is spiritual compromise. It is a compromise of biblical truth (spiritual law) with paganism. To be pagan is to be void of spiritual and moral accountability. When I use the word paganism here I am referring to the spirit of the world and can include such doctrines as materialism, hedonism, gnosticism heathenism, Buddhism, Hinduism and any other doctrine of self pleasure or self worship. Paganism or worldliness is the worship of ones self above the creator and in the spiritual sense of Apostasy it is the philosophy of needing to compromise with the world, as to fit into society or the system of the world to find true happiness. I believe it was Paul who told Timothy, “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.” I am afraid that time has already arrived. We see churches and pastors who do nothing but preach about wealth, and kingdom prosperity, while there are literally thousands of people who attend their services never having heard the full counsel of Gods word. We see society leaving the principal foundations of our nation “In God we Trust” chasing after every new age, pagan, hedonistic doctrine. Gnostic’s and atheist are infiltrating the very fabric of our society at an alarming rate. It is a great falling away from spiritual truth, it is an Apostate society.

MYSTERY OF INIQUITY

Pual reveals to us in the scripture that this spirit of paganism this spirit of moral corruption is actively at work in this world; he calls it the, “Mystery of Iniquity” and in its context of the scripture it is the spirit of Anti-Christ. It would help to define this:

1. Mystery in the Greek is Musterion and it means a hidden thing not obvious to the understanding, a hidden agenda or purpose.

2. Iniquity in the Greek is Anomia and it is the condition of being without the law, having contempt for the law and in violation of the law.

Therefore the Mystery of Iniquity can be defined as: a hidden agenda for the purpose of deceiving people into a state of rejecting spiritual law. It is the working  of satan through  the avenues of politics, society and false doctrines for the purpose of rejecting or replacing the spiritual law or teaching of Jesus Christ.

SPIRIT OF ANTICHRIST

In studying the word Anti-Christ I came across something that was quite revealing. In the scripture Anti-Christ does not necessarily always mean something that is against or directly opposed to Christ. The word Anti-Christ within its definition can also mean IN PLACE OF CHRIST. And this is the agenda of satan not only to oppose Christ directly but to replace Jesus Christ in our faith. To place another that looks like Jesus, sounds like Jesus, and feels like Jesus but that is not Jesus.  Here is a direct quote I ran across in my studies, “Former United Nations official Robert Muller readily preached and still advocates a new global order which incorporates a politically internationalist New Age Jesus” (Qoute from the End Time Magazine April 2006). What does that mean? That means reinventing Jesus to fit the culture and beliefs of the masses. Not necessarily rejecting Christ just replacing Him with a different more pleasing, culturally acceptable Jesus. The Jesus we preach is to controversial, He doesn’t fit the agenda of today’s modern society. Not even the church wants this Jesus. Why? Because the Jesus of the NT wasn’t politically correct, He wasn’t passive in His teachings, He didn’t leave options or different roads to heaven. Yes He was loving but He demanded change, transformation. He was not a Jesus that was tolerant and that’s what this world is looking for a tolerant Jesus. Jesus was controversial then and He is still controversial in this day and age – the same yesterday, today and forever.

PSEUDO KINGDOM

A Pseudo Kingdom is something that has deceptive resemblance, it is deceptively similar. It looks strikingly similar but there are suddle differences that are not noticeable to the naked eye. It is the work of the MYSTERY OF INIQUITY to set up this Pseudo Kingdom and the purpose of this Pseudo Kingdom is three-fold:

1. Infiltrate the true Christian faith with paganism and worldliness this can be accomplished through the spirit of compromise

2. Once the faith has been infiltrated dictate Christian doctrine through false prophets, teachers and false movements of the spirit. (Prosperity Preaching, Word of Faith Movements, Pagan Mega Churches)

3. Set up a throne for a false-christ to replace the real Christ

So then a Pseudo Kingdom would in reality be a Pseudo Christianity. It is a faith that looks like, sounds like and feels like but at its core it is not the real deal. And that is the work of Anti-Christ to set up an apostate kingdom through the engine of compromise. If compromise is the engine then the fuel for this apostasy is self-love.

THE GREAT FALLING AWAY

The falling away its not numbers or multitudes leaving our churches. The falling away is leaving the very first principals of Christ teachings, changing His teaching to fit a modern society. This is the great falling away seeing the spirit of the world and paganism infiltrate our faith. They wont all fall away at one time but steadily and slowly many will beging to give in to the seducing and lying spirits. Spirits that say, its okay to compromise, its okay to change a little here and a little there. It is a dangerous thing when we begin to compromise in the name of spiritual liberty, in the name of spiritual enlightenment, in the name of cultural relevance.

THE SPIRIT OF COMPROMISE

How does this spirit of compromise begin to work and minster in the believers. When our lives become more important in this world than in God’s Kingdom. When self becomes the center of my worship. When we try so hard to accommodate the world in our spiritual walks, trying to find a middle ground where I feel satisfied in society and in my Christian faith. When I began to lose my passion and hunger for God’s kingdom then I am in danger of compromising my most holy faith. Now is the time to draw close to God for His kingdom is at hand. Now is the time to stand and proclam the full counsel of God, now is the time to do as Jude exhorted us, “Contend for your faith”. That means to stand and fight, be diligent in your faith, fight for the truth. It is time that we as the household of God stand together and proclaim we shall not compromise, we shall not give up our most Holy Faith.

“Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come. These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us. But you are not like that, for the Holy One has given you his Spirit, and all of you know the truth. So I am writing to you not because you don’t know the truth but because you know the difference between truth and lies. And who is a liar? Anyone who says that Jesus is not the Christ. Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist.  Anyone who denies the Son doesn’t have the Father, either. But anyone who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father. And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us.I am writing these things to warn you about those who want to lead you astray. But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true-it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.” 1 John 2:18-27 NLT

God Bless,

© 2007 Apostolic Messenger Minister Daniel Bracamonte