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NOTE TO OUR READERS: The Overcoming Life Digests were first published between the years of 1997 and 1999; therefore, some of the articles may contain commentaries that reflect the issues of that time. However, all of the teaching content is still applicable today and we feel will continue to bless our readers, even though many of the author’s commentaries reflect a history of the ministry during those years. In some cases, we have also updated some articles in order to address more relevant events or current stats.

IN THIS ISSUE:

Overcoming Life Digest Past Archive Menu

What the Bible Says About the Violence of Today — Betty Miller
Spiritual Warfare — Identifying the Enemy
Exposing Satan’s Devices — Should We Ignore Satan?
Babylon And The Beast — The Fall of Babylon
Prophetic Voice to the Church — Prophecy for the Church
What Does God’s Word Say About — Diet?
Little Foxes (Little Compromises) — Avoiding Tattoos
World Wide Literature Update — Pastor R. S. “Bud”Miller
Share and Tell — Mission Outreach Testimonies
Prayer Focus Spotlight — Unity in the Church
Overcoming Temptation — Pastor William Mark Bristow
Book Review of the Month — War On The Saints
Purpose and Vision — Subscription and Publication Information


WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT THE VIOLENCE OF TODAY

By Betty Miller

With the horrendous terrorist attack against the USA in 2001 etched in all of our minds, violence and terrorism in our land has become a major concern of the government leaders, as well as governments throughout the world. Individuals are also worried and fearful of what could happen to them in an age of such a threatening society.

How are Christians to respond to these evil days? First of all the Lord gave the warning as His second coming approached we would see these attitudes occurring in the world.

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. 2 Timothy 3:1-4

There is no doubt about the hour in which we live being the season for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ as we link the above scripture with others in the Bible.

So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark. And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Matthew 24:33

In order for us to compare our day with the day that Noah lived we can look in the book of Genesis 6:5-13:

And God saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord . These [are] the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man [and] perfect in his generations, [and] Noah walked with God. And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Genesis 6:5-13

The Bible describes our day very clearly from these scriptures. The condition of violence that caused the earth to be destroyed in Noah’s day is the same condition our earth is in today. Many people today are crying for the violence to be removed or restrained in our society. They are demanding that governments do something about this wickedness but they do not realize what is causing it. They believe if only the government would pass certain laws this would correct the violent behavior.

The government has done many of these things and there are simply not enough laws to cover every offense nor enough men to police the system nor enough prisons to contain the wicked. Thank God for good police systems and prisons that hold societies’ wickedness in check. God in His mercy has used good governments to restrain lawlessness throughout history. However, corrupt governments have caused much suffering for mankind also.

Today many different kinds of programs and methods are being implemented to deal with the violence. However, it can never be totally removed until its root cause is corrected. Today’s madness cannot be dealt with by hiring more policemen to monitor and arrest offenders and then building bigger prisons to hold them. Our prisons are overflowing now.

Men and their programs only prune the branches of an evil tree, while the root system remains intact. What is the root of violence? It’s rebellion against God and His laws. Therefore as long as the root system is untouched the tree will only grow more branches and bear more rotten fruit.

To remedy our problems in the earth we must all repent and turn to God and keep His laws and commandments and allow Jesus to change our evil natures into His nature of goodness. This total corporate turning to God can only take place when God brings judgement against evil and removes it, and then sets up His millennium kingdom in the earth. However, we must repent now so we can avoid the violence that will increase. In a time of violence many innocent people are destroyed, as well as the wicked. We should pray and seek God with our whole heart to be among those that shall be spared destruction. Only a true repentance and revival can save us.

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. Matthew 24:12-14

The Bible prophesies the events that will take place just prior to this time of the gospel going out to the whole world. The explosion of violence worldwide is one of those events. We are beginning to see this process take place in part as we are in the shadow of the millennium kingdom now. The Bible also speaks of a time of judgement that occurs during a tribulation period before the Lord’s second coming.

The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [one]; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. Matthew 13:38-43

The tares (wicked people) in this parable are being bundled for destruction because of their evil ways while God is also separating His people from the world system so He might protect and reward them. Although judgment usually has an evil connotation to it (the execution of the penalty for sin); it also has a positive side. Judgement has to do with the sowing and reaping process. This is defined in Galatians 6:7-9:

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galations 6:7-9

From this we can see that the negative side of judgment is evil that is sown reaps destruction, while on the positive side, good that is sown through Jesus is rewarded. God’s judgment on evil is seen by the curse that is on wicked men, while God’s judgment for the righteous will manifest in His blessings and rewards on them. Some innocent people are destroyed also, but they will receive their reward in heaven; The Bible declares the way into the kingdom of God is strait and narrow and few be that find it.

Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. Luke 13:24

Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:14

Because men do not like a straight or restricted way we are seeing destruction on a massive level at this hour. This is not God initiating destruction against mankind through the curses in the earth, but it is the result of the fruit of evil manifesting in destruction. God can do no evil. He is righteous and pure. The negative judgments that are in our world, manifesting in violence, terrorist acts, wars, earthquakes, floods, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. are a direct result of broken spiritual laws.

But [as for them] whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord GOD. Ezekiel 11:21

The command to God’s people in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation is for us to be lights filled with His love and glory. God promises His people a place of peace and safety in the midst of violence. Just as Noah and his family were kept safe from the flood waters in the ark, we are kept safe from the flood of violence in our spiritual ark, Jesus. The only safe place for us as Christians is our surrender and obedience to God. Then, there is safety in being in the will of God. It matters not what physical place we are living, our safety is in Him as promised to us in Psalm 91. We daily pray and claim these scriptures. A portion of that Psalm should encourage all of us.

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; [nor] for the arrow [that] flieth by day; [Nor] for the pestilence [that] walketh in darkness; [nor] for the destruction [that] wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; [but] it shall not come nigh thee. Psalms 91:5-7

Some Christians will ask why they have been victims of violence and suffering if God’s Word promises them safety? First, to answer this we must define the two kinds of suffering: (1) Suffering for Christ: This suffering is the kind we go through for the cause of Christ as we are persecuted for being righteous. Examples are: going the extra mile, turning the other cheek, going without pleasures for the gospel’s sake, suffering because of others wrong doings toward us, etc. The other is (2) Suffering because of our sins or others: Sins of commission bring curses. These are deliberate sins of rebelling against God’s ways. Sins of omission can also cause us to suffer. These sins are the failure to pray, give, obey and take the time to learn of God’s ways. James 4:17 says, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”

Many Christians are suffering not because they are outright rebellious, but because they are ignorant of God’s Word or His ways. Hosea 4:6a says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Some Christians are suffering because they are lazy and complacent. They do not pray as they should nor read their Bibles, witness, nor give their tithes and offerings, etc.

God’s safety is promised by our relationship with Jesus. Psalm 91:1 says, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” If we want to be protected under God’s wings in this violent hour we must:

  1. Totally commit to God’s will
  2. Obey His Word in the Bible
  3. Overcome self, sin and Satan

To be an overcomer at this hour and conquer the threat of violence against us, we must walk in faith and trust in God’s promises of safety and deliverance. Remember Jesus said in Matthew 24:6, 13-14: “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations: and then shall the end come.”

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SPIRITUAL WARFARE

IDENTIFYING THE ENEMY

Identification is important. In a natural battle, it’s essential to know where the enemy is. Often he’s camouflaged. How does Satan camouflage himself? He tries to look like God. Certainly he doesn’t approach committed Christians saying, “Here I am, the devil, follow me.” Committed Christians love their Lord too much to fall for the overt sins. Satan’s tactic is to deceive us into thinking that what we’re doing or believing is of God when it is not. He wants to get us off track. He does this, for example, when He convinces Christians that God’s healing is for some but not for them.

We need to check out our thinking with the truth of the Word. Too many people passively accept what someone tells them about God or someone’s misinterpretation of the Scriptures. Many times a person’s understanding of the Word is in error because of his own carnality, immaturity or lack of commitment. Rather than accept someone’s misunderstanding, we need to go directly to the Bible and find out what it really says. Through the Word and the Holy Spirit within us, we are to check out everything we hear.

For instance, we are to examine these teachings in the light of the Scriptures. We approach God saying, “Lord, I don’t know if that’s true or not. I lay aside any pride and humbly ask that You would show me the truth in Your Word.” If we want to be an overcomer, we will approach Him with humble hearts, truly desiring the truth, then we’ll be able to change our doctrine if necessary.

(Excerpt from the book entitled Personal Spiritual Warfare)

MINISTRY BOOKSTORE (Click here for order information)

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EXPOSING SATAN’S DEVICES

SHOULD WE IGNORE SATAN?

Many people say they don’t want to talk about the devil so as not to bring any glory to him. However, the Bible does not teach that we are to ignore the devil so he will flee, but rather we are to resist the devil so he will flee (James 4:7).

How are we to resist the devil? We resist him by using the Word of God against him. We must talk about the devil if we are to understand how to overcome him and expose his evil ways. We cannot defeat an enemy we ignore. The way in which people talk about the devil is what causes an imbalance. If it produces fear, it is not the Lord.

Being overly demon-conscious can cause fear. Some people get so devil-conscious, they begin seeing demons in everyone and everything. This is an extreme which should be avoided. Yet we should not go to the other extreme which totally denies the existence of the devil, demons and eternal hell.

In fact, this extreme is one of Satan’s favorite devices: the belief that he and his horde of demons do not exist. He would like for us to believe that he is just a myth (a silly-looking man in a red costume with a long tail). However, he is very real, and one look around will show us the works he is responsible for: the drug scene, violence, sickness, sexual perversion, broken homes, hatred among races, witchcraft, sin and division within the body of Christ.

Satan tries to escape the blame for his evil deeds by whispering lies to people, such as, “This problem only happened because you live in the world and these things are just part of this world so you might as well accept them. As long as you are here you are going to have to put up with sickness, turmoil etc.” However, God says: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). We do not have to put up with Satan’s evil attacks against us and our loved ones; through prayer we can overcome him just as Jesus overcame.

(Excerpt from the book entitled Exposing Satan’s Devices)

MINISTRY BOOKSTORE (Click here for order information)

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BABYLON AND THE BEAST

THE FALL OF BABYLON

Revelation 14:8 says “And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” We’re going to see this Babylonian system, the world system, fall. The world system is already shaking, it’s already falling. We’re seeing things fall that we thought were never going to fall. We cannot put our trust in anything in the world. If our trust is in a retirement check we may not get it. If it’s in social security it may not be available. It is not wrong to take social security but we shouldn’t rely on anything or anyone outside of the Lord as He is our provider. He will always take care of us, only not always in the way we think. So who or what can we trust? We had better be trusting God as our source in the days ahead because the whole Babylonian system is falling.

“Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city” (Revelation 13:8a). What great city? The great city Satan built, his system and his people. “Because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication” (Revelation 13:8b). Every single nation has committed fornication with the system of the beast. I love my own country, America, but she is under the beast system just like every other country. America is not doing the will of God; she’s not serving God. If she was she wouldn’t be in such a miserable state.

There is more freedom in America than in many nations, but she’s still part of the beast system for Satan has infiltrated all nations. (Heretofore, God has blessed America because of the holy nation within her, that is, the Christians within this nation.)

The wine that all nations have drunk of is the wine of false teaching, whether it be false doctrine or false teaching in medicine, politics, economics, or whatever. For example, economics in our nation has not been taught on the basis of God’s Word. It’s been taught on the basis of lust: buy now and pay later; but the day to pay soon comes.

That day is here for America so we’re seeing bankruptcies and economic failings. The Bible teaches economics in a different way. God is the great economist and can teach us how to get our finances in order. He can teach us how to be free from debt. Unfortunately, even Christians who are delivered from debt often fall back into it because they want things now rather than waiting for God’s provision.

If God is speaking to get out of debt, then we must obey God and ask for His grace to be content and to wait for His provision. We’re to be content with what we have and use our faith to see God supply whatever else may be needed. “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content” (1 Timothy 6:7-8). We don’t condemn anyone for being in debt, but we should make becoming debt-free a goal. Let’s make it our goal to get out of debt, rather than getting deeper in. We need to stop some place and say, “No more! I’m not heading that direction any more. God help me; show me Your plan for getting out of debt.” Then God will help us.

God has His economic system that works if we obey it. He has His system for all things. Credit card debt can also be a snare for many. Credit in itself is not evil as the Bible declares God’s people are under financial blessing, able to lend and not borrow. Deuteronomy 28:12 says, “The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto the land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.”

If credit cards are used for convenience and keeping records and the repayment terms are kept timely, there is no sin involved. However, if we abuse them and we have a disease called “credit-card-itis,” we should dispose of them until we are disciplined enough to use them wisely. Sin is not in “things” but rather in the heart of man.

This applies to watching television also. If we are disciplined enough to watch Christian programs and videos and certain other secular programming that doesn’t defile us, it is not sinful. However, if we cannot control what comes over the set, it would be better not to own one. We did not have a TV in our house for over 15 years because the Lord directed us to get rid of it. Today we have one, but we only see things we feel are not detrimental to our walk with God. Psalm 101:3 says, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them which turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.”

If we have lust and materialism in our hearts, we are sure to misuse all of our modern day equipment and opportunities, including credit. If lust is a problem, we should ask God to cleanse us from this sin. Spiritually the “mark of the beast” is not credit card numbers, but rather being numbered by the beast nature within. (I am not saying there will not be some kind of physical marking, but before the physical comes about, things will have already occurred in the spirit that will produce the manifestation of the things in the physical.)

Bud and I both had to be set free from the bondage of credit, as it had a power over us instead of us in control over it. Since we desire to be overcomers, the Lord gave us a plan to become debt free. He will do the same for all who desire to live the overcoming life.

(Excerpt from the book entitled The Mark of God or The Mark of the Beast)

MINISTRY BOOKSTORE (Click here for order information)

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PROPHETIC VOICE TO THE CHURCH

As some may not be familiar with prophecy in the church. We want to share this short explanation of Biblical prophecy before we share an actual prophecy from God.

First, what is Godly prophecy? It can be summed up as words that are spoken on behalf of God. A prophet or prophetess is one who is a spokesman for God. It is a divine utterance that comes from the Holy Spirit. (Note: Just as there are prophetic words from God, there are also false prophecies that the Lord warned us about in the Bible. In Matthew 7:15-16a, Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruit….” We must prove the source of prophecy before accepting it as coming from the Lord.)

God is raising up many prophetic voices in the earth today. His gifts of prophecy are basically of two types. One is the “simple gift of prophecy” which every believer can express under the unction or direction of the Holy Spirit after they have been filled with the Holy Ghost.

The other is the “office gift” of the spirit which is given to a prophet or prophetess who is called to the “five-fold” ministry office as outlined in 1 Corinthians 12:28 which says “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” Also Ephesians 4:11-12 which says “And he gave some, apostles; and some prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers. For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”

The basic difference between these two types is, the simple gift of prophecy is given to all spirit filled believers as spoken of in 1 Corinthians 14:31: “For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.”

It is for the purpose of edification, exhortation and comfort as spoken of in 1 Corinthians 14:3: “But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.”

The “office gift” of a prophet or prophetess is given to speak to the body of Christ at large. The ministers who are called to the office of a prophet or prophetess will deliver messages also which include edification, exhortation and comfort but their messages can also be directive in nature and futuristic in content as well (Ephesians 4:11-15).

Presently, God is leading His people with prophetic preaching and teaching. A prophetic movement is taking place in the world.

PROPHECY FOR THE 1990′S AND BEYOND

The following prophetic words were given to Betty Miller by the Holy Spirit on December 23, 1989 which was shared with the local church. It was also printed in tract form and has been distributed for a number of years. We want our newsletter to be a ministry to God’s people so we are including this word to help prepare for the remaining days ahead. This message will be printed here in a series form to be continued in future Digests.

CHANGE – The 1990′s hold many changes. Change must come to the Body of Christ in order for revival to come in the earth. As changes are wrought within, changes shall be perceived without. The Church is going to take on a new look and the world will no longer mock her. They will either love and respect her or hate and fear her. This, however, will only come about after the Lord has done the work in His Bride, the church.

INCREASED PRAYER NEEDED – The Lord is calling and warning His people to heed His Word, His prophets and His ministers because the final call is coming soon and it will be too late for many who thought they could continue in their carnal life styles and just “add on Jesus.” God is emphasizing prayer, both personal and corporate. The Lord will be requiring of us to correct any faulty prayer habits. We must have regular, disciplined prayer lives. The “nickel-and-dime” prayers will no longer be accepted or sufficient to shield us from Satan’s onslaught. We must all partake in personal, family, and church prayer times. The Lord will lead us into spiritual warfare so that we may begin taking our promised land. Spiritual warfare is not to be considered an option, but a necessity.

(To be continued in future issues of the Digest)

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WHAT DOES GOD’S WORD SAY ABOUT….DIET?

By Betty Miller

God gave us His laws so that we would know how to eat wisely. Keeping these laws will not produce holiness, nor gain us entry into heaven. However, we can benefit from them and be able to serve the Lord better if our physical bodies are in good shape.

We must trust the creator to know what is best for us to eat, instead of eating according to our traditions. He not only made our bodies, but all the animals as well and He certainly would not have made the distinction between “clean and unclean” in Leviticus 11 if it makes no difference what we eat. 1 Corinthians 10:31 sums it up beautifully, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

So, in all our partaking of food or drink we must ask ourselves, “Is what I am doing pleasing to God? Will my diet nourish my body so that it will be efficient in His service? Will it make my mind keener, my muscles stronger, my judgement more sound, my influence for the Lord more potent?”

Some things that we drink are just as bad for our bodies as the food we eat. We must ask God to deliver us from every desire to eat or drink anything that would defile our temples. Not only should our spiritual temples be cleansed but our physical ones as well, so that we might serve the Lord without any hindrances. If we really desire to become an overcomer, we will bring our bodies into subjection to the Holy Spirit as Paul did in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27:

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

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LITTLE FOXES

(Little compromises that cause big problems)

Song of Solomon 2:15 says, “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” Foxes sometime in search of food would enter into the grape orchards and devour the grapes and spoil the crop. However, the little foxes were too small to reach the grape bunches so they would chew on the vines and it would kill the whole vine. Instead of the farmer just losing his crop, he would lose his vine which was more disastrous. Spiritually some things we do or allow that we might think is little or insignificant can also be disastrous for us.

SHOULD TATTOOS BE AVOIDED?

By Betty Miller

The Bible warns us against tattoos in Leviticus 19:28 (Amplified) which says, “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the Lord.”

I know some will have a hard time receiving this teaching because tattooing has now become an accepted practice in our society. However, just because society approves of something does not make it right in God’s eyes. Our society at large, also approves of abortion and divorce as well. However, the Bible makes it clear that God doesn’t approve of these things.

In sharing this teaching, I am not trying to condemn anyone who already has a tattoo; but rather to warn those who are considering getting one. God loves us, and even when we make mistakes in poor judgment, He doesn’t condemn us, but rather tries to help overcome the consequences of those mistakes. Having a tattoo will not keep anyone from serving the Lord. We know some very godly people who have tattoos and are serving the Lord and their tattoos may not interfere with what God is doing through them. Anything Satan tries to use for evil, God can turn and use it for good when we commit totally to Him. God takes us as we are and uses us if we will yield to His will. God will use any of us when we come out of the world and start serving Him with our whole hearts to do His will. Our past is under the blood of Jesus and the sins and mistakes of the past will not hinder our God in our serving Him. Only a hard and unrepentant heart keeps us tied to the old life.

There are many dedicated and sincere Christian people that have tattoos. This article is not meant to say they do not love the Lord. God not only can use them, but does use them. The issue is not whether God can use someone, but rather should Christians pursue getting tattoos? Just because something is popular does not mean it is right. We should always examine things by the “roots and the fruits” of the thing in question.

Tattooing Has Witchcraft “Roots”

In addition to the above verse, Scripture also warns us not to disfigure our bodies in following verses:

And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. 1 Kings 18:28

 Ye are the sons of the LORD your God; you shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness on your foreheads for the dead. Deuteronomy 14:1

When it speaks here about doing this in relation to the dead; this was a witchcraft rite done to mourn or remember their dead. Therefore tattooing, cutting one’s body and shaving one’s head in defiance have their origin in witchcraft practices. Tattoos have their “roots” in witchcraft. Many young people today are doing these very things because of some evil witchcraft influences in their lives that they are unaware of. They do not realize that partaking of these can open the door to wrong and defiling influences in their lives. Evil videos, depraved rock music albums, wicked Internet games and violent movies are displaying evil trends in order to destroy our youth. Satanic tattoos, skin heads and other cultic rites are opening many of our children to demonization.

This is what makes it spiritually dangerous for people. People do not realize displaying a satanic mark or symbol can open the door for Satanic attack which allows the enemy entrance in their lives. It is not the mark itself, but rather the sin behind it. Today this practice is growing because of the spread of False Religions. Some people are so hideously covered with tattoos that their appearances look evil. Others, only have small tattoos that they believe are trendy or artistic.

Now this article is not meant to hurt or offend those that have tattoos, but rather to help people avoid getting tattoos that later on they might regret (especially young people). Many tattoos have evil and witchcraft themes that are portrayed as devil faces, skulls, ugly demonic signs, vulgar pictures, etc. These things hurt the human spirit, just as satanic displays of any kind do. Some tattoos are obviously Satanic as they look devilish, while others may be flowers or innocent looking names or objects but it is the spirit behind this compromise that makes it dangerous for a Christian. God loves the person who has tattoos just as He loves all of us. However, He would rather we did not deface our bodies in any fashion.

Some people object to using Old Testament scripture as a reference to tattoos since the New Testament doesn’t speak of these things. However, in the New Testament we are even called to a higher law. We are to have God’s laws written in our hearts. When we remain close to the Lord and obey Him, He can direct us in things that are not good for us. For example although the Bible does not say, “Thou shalt not smoke” or “Drug addiction is bad for you;” we know that these things are destructive to the human body. In the New Testament, we are told to glorify God in our bodies. This would include not marring our bodies with tattoos, as the principles in the Bible clearly tell us it is wrong to defile our bodies.

Our Bodies Are A Temple

When the Lord created man and woman and placed them in the garden along with His other creations. He spoke these words in Genesis 1:31: “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” When the Lord created the human body, He pronounced that the way He created it was very good. The Lord desires that our bodies be a reflection of His own beauty. When people tattoo their bodies they are tampering with what the Lord said was very good the way He made it. We should never mark our bodies as this is unnatural. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we are admonished not to defile them. Tattoos on one’s body is like graffiti on a wall. Having tattoos on our bodies does not glorify God.

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

What is it within man that makes us dissatisfied with the way the Lord made each of us? Most people are not happy with the way they look so they seek ways that will cause them to feel better about themselves or cause others to accept them. This is not wrong when it comes to having good grooming habits, but we need to understand true beauty comes from within, not from what we wear or how we look. When the emphasis is put on the outward appearance we can be ensnared in vanity, rejection, fear, pride and even racial discrimination. One of the most wonderful things about receiving the Lord is that He wants to deliver us from the outward things that we think we need to feel good about ourselves. When we are in sin we do not feel worthy or acceptable, but through Christ we are. When we can fully walk in the knowledge that we are acceptable before God through Christ, we are then free to be the person God made us to be without having to create a different image. Many people are consumed with trying to be different or become acceptable not only by getting a tattoo but by other things as well.

Some Christians argue that they have the name Jesus or some Biblical word or sign tattooed on their body so they can witness by the tattoo. However, God is more concerned how we are living our lives than by displaying a religious mark on our body. That is not the highest way He would have us witness. The Lord would rather us witness to others by the character of Christ being demonstrated in our lives than display Christian slogans that many times are not matched by the life of Christ. Certainly, the Lord can use a tattoo of a cross or other religious symbol when a Christian has one of these as God knows the heart of the one who truly wants to share Christ with others. However, it is not necessary to use any worldly thing to attract sinners. It is the Holy Spirit who draws people to Christ through any yielded vessel of the Lord. When we pray and witness to others the Lord will cause them to listen.

Just because a person has had a tattoo, it will not prevent God from using people to witness nor keep them from being a minister of God. God looks on the heart and can use different things to testify of Christ’s love, even tattoos. However, well-meaning people can be deceived in their methods of evangelism.

The Youth Culture and Tattoos

I really believe that one of the compromises we see today is parents allowing their children to mark or tattoo their bodies. Christians can look at someone who has tattoos all over them and know by discernment that it is not God, but the same Christians may get a small tattoo themselves or allow their children to have one without thinking anything about it. Toy makers today even sell washable ink transfer kits so children can mark their bodies with designs. This may seem like a harmless game but this is the enemy preparing or setting up our children early to receive real tattoos later on.

Many young people today do not realize that they may be sorry in the future that they chose to put tattoos on their bodies today. We know of many people who have said to us that they wish they had not been foolish when they were young as now they must live with the reminder of what they did when they were young. Only a few people have the money to have them removed by laser.

Years ago our young boys in the military had to go to foreign lands to get a tattoo, now tattoo parlors are everywhere because our nation here in the USA has opened its doors to many heathen practices and false religions. Another danger in receiving tattoos is a medical one through faulty procedures. One of the latest discoveries of another way AIDS is being transmitted is through contaminated ink or dirty tattoo needles. If fresh ink is not used, then the last person who was tattooed who had any kind of transmittable disease could leave behind that virus or bacteria. Not only Aids, but Hepatitis as well, has been traced to tattoo ink and needle contamination.

Some young people are having them done in defiance and rebellion to their parent’s wishes because they want to be like their friends. This is displeasing to God as the Lord tells children to honor and obey their parents.

Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Colossians 3:20

The reason so many people are deceived on this issue, as well as others, is that there is a lack of knowledge in the things of God and a lack of discernment in the body of Christ. Hosea 4:6a says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Many have not been taught nor grounded in the Word of God. We as church leadership owe an apology to the youth of our day because many of us have failed in our responsibility to speak out on the issues of the day and have allowed the influences of the world to shape our society. Many Christian parents have failed in their responsibility also, as they have been too involved in chasing the American Dream instead of raising our children in the nurture and admonition of God as commanded in the Bible. Ephesians 6:4 says, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

One note of warning to the church on this subject of tattoos. We have a generation now of young people that love the Lord yet do not understand all of His ways. Soon we are also going to be seeing a great revival among the youth of the world. The youth of this day want a real cause to live and die for. Most have not seen true Christianity. However, when they do come to Christ many will be bringing their tattoos, dress, music and old habits with them right into the church. We must be sure that we do not despise them nor look down on them, but rather welcome and love them and gently teach them the ways of the Lord. We are called to love and pray for them and help them avoid making some of the mistakes we have made in our own walk with the Lord. We need to be true mothers and fathers to them. Yes, we must speak the truth in love, but let us make sure we are loving them and not condemning them. On the other hand, we must not accept all that they would desire to bring with them that would harm them and compromise the Word of God. We will all need God’s grace to bridge the generation gap. We would recommend a great article written by a young Christian on this very subject. Click here to read Bridging the Generation Gap.

If you, through ignorance, have received a tattoo or allowed your children to have one, you should pray against any evil or witchcraft that may have come through the circumstances when that tattoo was received. Some people receive tattoos before they are “born again” and after they are touched by the Lord, they wish they had never had it done. The Lord loves you, so do not come under any condemnation, just pray over them and ask the Lord to remove any spiritual influences denoted by the tattoo and He will do it. The Lord looks on our hearts and motives and judges us by those, not our outward appearance. However, if the tattoo bothers you and you cannot cover it, you can have it removed by laser surgery.

The bottom line for this issue would be to ask the popular youth slogan, “What Would Jesus Do?” I don’t believe we will ever see Jesus with a tattoo. The only scars on His body are the ones put there by evil men that crucified Him. They were not self inflicted. Overcomers will put away anything that leads to bigger compromises.

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WORLD WIDE LITERATURE UPDATE

By Pastor R. S. “Bud” Miller

We here at Christ Unlimited Ministries have had a vision for world literature evangelism for the last number of years. During this time, we have had a steady increase of Bibles and teaching material go out all over the world to hungry souls who desire the truth of God’s Word.

God has especially blessed and anointed our literature ministry and it has been His gifting to us. We have been able to furnish Bibles, teaching aids, Bible study material and tracts to ministers in third world countries, without any cost to them. We praise God for this. Since we have been so blessed, we have the burden to help foreign ministers around the world by giving freely of what we have received.

We believe the written word is more effective to communicate the Gospel to the lost than the spoken word. Looking at some of the things the written word can do that the spoken word doesn’t accomplish, we see:

  1. It can be secured and studied in secret.
  2. It gets undivided attention in quiet hours.
  3. It leaps across barriers and racial lines.
  4. It goes where the missionary often cannot go.
  5. It lives after spoken words are lost.
  6. It is the most economical way of carrying out the Great Commission.
  7. It never needs to rest.
  8. It never gets sick.
  9. It always speaks the language of the people without an accent.
  10. It keeps repeating its message until it is understood.
  11. It is often more convincing than the spoken word.
  12. It is respected by people around the world as people generally believe that if it’s in print it must carry certain truths.

We are convinced that the following statement by Dr. Oswald J. Smith is true - ”The only hope for the fulfillment of the Great Commission world-wide is the systematic distribution of the printed Gospel.”

Praise the Lord! God is responsible for His Word going out to touch lives. Isaiah 55:11 says, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth, it shall not return unto me void but it shall accomplish that which I please and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

The Lord is using every means of communication at this hour to get His Word out to a lost and hungry world. With the enormous break-throughs in technology in the last few years, it is now possible for the church to cross “the finish line” in regard to getting the gospel of the Kingdom message to the entire World (Mark 16:15-20).

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SHARE AND TELL

Psalm 105:1: “O Give thanks unto the Lord; call on his name: make known his deeds among the people.”

Here are a few of the results we are hearing from the world wide literature outreach:

“I have taken your literature into Vietnam. What a great blessing to the leaders of the underground Churches there……….”In our work to the refugees of Mt. Pinatubo we have distributed your literature there. They are asking for more like hotcakes…. we have none left.” MISSIONARY U.H.

“As of now we request copies of the books from your “Overcoming Life Series” and 2 books of the “End Time Series”… Once again we give glory to God for the truths we learn from your books. We really appreciate the way you deal matters seriously and correctly. May God continue to use you and meet the necessary funds for printing needs you have to handle. May your family be in perfect health and of sound mind. God bless you always is our prayer.” PASTOR PAYPAYA FROM THE PHILIPPINES

“We thank you for the first package of your books, Personal Spiritual Warfare, Exposing Satan’s Devices, and Mark of God or Mark of the Beast. We also thank you for the other package you sent with 18 copies of your books. We share them to our students and some of our members but the books are not enough to share to all the members and then to reach other people. The book is like a hot cake. It containing the truth. I am giving to my members free so that they can read it and see the truth. The work here in Nigeria are going on very well in all the branches. We are spreading the truth we read from your books to others. We are winning many souls for Christ through your books.” PASTOR AKPAN FROM NIGERIA

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PRAYER FOCUS SPOTLIGHT

UNITY

We want to encourage the body of Christ to focus their prayers for God’s people to come into unity and to be at peace with one another. Psalm 122:6 says, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem…” We have used this scripture in praying for literal Jerusalem which is good as certainly we are called to pray for peace in the world and the Middle East needs peace desperately.

However, we know that Jerusalem is also a type of the church and we should be praying also for peace and unity in our own ranks. Revelation 21:2 says, “And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

The law of unity is a powerful force in the spiritual realm. If we as believers would unite in one purpose (God’s purposes) the enemy would not have any victories over us.

For an example of how powerful a united purpose can become, we can look at Genesis 11. The people here at the tower of Babel had the same mind and purpose and that was to build a tower to reach up to heaven.

In this case their motives were evil and God had to confuse their plans, but God Himself said in verse 6, “And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”

If evil men had this kind of power using unity in a negative way; on the positive side, think what the body of Christ could accomplish if they came into unity with God’s plans. There would be nothing the devil could do to prevent God’s people from being victorious. This would include taking the reign of this world away from the devil and restoring it to God.

Ultimately, this is what God is planning at His return. However, He needs the body of Christ to cooperate with Him and begin now to believe for and work toward peace and unity in our ranks so that His will shall be done in the earth and not just in heaven. This is the prayer our Lord prayed and He still desires it to be a reality. Matthew 6:10 says “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

Let us begin confessing and praying the following scripture for God’s people:

1 Corinthians 1:10: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you: but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement.”

Our Lord’s prayer in John 17:21: “That they all may be one: as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”

– The Editors –

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GUEST OF THE MONTH

OVERCOMING TEMPTATION by Pastor William Mark Bristow

The other day I read something written years ago. The statement was something like this, “A victorious Christian life may still be a tempted life.” I had never thought about it in just that way. Somehow in my mind I had the idea that ALL temptation (all desire for anything wrong) would be completely done away with at some point in my Christian walk.

Of course, I know the scripture, Hebrews 4:15: “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Jesus was tempted. We read of those temptations in Luke Chapter 4. Those temptations were real. Jesus felt the pangs of desire for power and glory when Satan made an offer with the stipulation that Jesus worship him — or else those temptations were a farce. But He was tempted, yet without sin.

So often I have prayed for someone to be set free from the bondage of alcoholism, drugs, and other things that wreak havoc in lives. Once freed from the control by the power of God, they feel something is terribly wrong because they find themselves still tempted again at times in the same area. More than once I have heard, “I must not be set free. Something still has hold of me.”

Temptation comes when we are drawn away by our own lusts (James 1:14). Satan can also tempt as we notice in Luke Chapter 4. There is something we must realize. As long as you and I are in this physical body we are going to be tempted. Realize there is no sin in being tempted. Realize you and I do not have to YIELD to temptation in any way. Remember sin is a choice. (Let’s be honest. I’m a human being and I’ve sinned before. I know how this thing works.) I have a choice. If I’m tempted to do something wrong, I can choose to do right and God will empower me to keep that choice, or I can choose the wrong and Satan will eventually enslave me again.

If Satan tempts, we are told to “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you(James 4:7). Submission to God is an attitude of the heart shown by obedience to His Word. Resist means to refuse to cooperate with the devil. If the temptation comes out of our own lust the scripture instructs us, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh(Galatians 5:16). To walk in the Spirit means to live in prayer and in the Word of God. Really this is not much different than walking with a friend. You become friends with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.God loved us so much He provided for victory. He provided for victory even if we have a failure and yield to temptation.

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 1 John 2:1

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

You and I need not live in defeat. The Apostle Paul said, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).

Mark Bristow and his wife, Lisa pastor a church in Monahans, Texas called Grace Fellowship. He is an anointed servant of God who is blessed with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit operating in his ministry. He is also multi-talented in a music ministry of leading in praise and worship vocally as well as on the organ and piano. Mark Bristow can be contacted via email at gfc@classicnet.net.

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BOOK REVIEW OF THE MONTH

WAR ON THE SAINTS  by Jesse Penn Lewis with Evan Roberts

We highly recommend all those who are currently engaged in spiritual warfare to read this classic. This book was written at the turn of the century by a very anointed woman minister who was involved in the revival in Wales. Evan Roberts, an evangelist in that revival assists Mrs. Lewis in the writing of this expose of many of the subtle manipulations of the devil.

Mrs. Lewis deals with the danger of passivity in Christians in a masterful way. It is one of the best teachings we’ve read with practical examples of how the devil can take advantage of passive and uninformed Christians.

All serious prayer warriors need this book, however we don’t recommend it for new or immature believers as it is a lengthy and weighty treatise. The hardback edition we are offering is the unabridged work. This is not the same book offered in most bookstores.

The Trust that published her works edited out much of the original material. The unabridged edition we are offering does not eliminate her teaching on demonic oppression and possession. She also deals with how demons gain entry into people’s lives.

MINISTRY BOOKSTORE (Click here for order information)

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PURPOSE & VISION

THE OVERCOMING LIFE DIGEST is published for the purpose of strengthening the Body of Christ by furnishing teaching literature and a prophetic voice to the church in these last days. CHRIST UNLIMITED is helping and working with all Bible-believing Christians regardless of their church or denominational affiliations in promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. CHRIST UNLIMITED believes the hour is late and we must fulfill the great commission. We, as Christians, desire to cooperate with the Lord in breaking down denominational walls, for a united front line against the kingdom of darkness and setting up the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

CHRIST UNLIMITED MINISTRIES, INC. and CHRIST UNLIMITED PUBLISHING provide such tools through literature as to enable the saints of God to take the Kingdom and walk in the overcoming life as promised us in John 10:10 and Revelation 21:7.

PUBLISHER

CHRIST UNLIMITED PUBLISHING
President: R.S. “Bud” Miller
Editor: Betty Miller
Electronic Editor: Courtney Gould

SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION

At the present this magazine is NOT available in hardcopy nor do we email individual copies. However, copies of all publications are available online at http://bibleresources.org/overcomig-life/. Don’t forget to check back frequently to view new volumes as they are posted.

THE OVERCOMING LIFE DIGEST is a publication of:
CHRIST UNLIMITED MINISTRIES, INC.
P.O. BOX 850
DEWEY, ARIZONA, 86327 USA
www.bibleresources.org

Your designated contribution of any amount will be used to send literature and Bibles to foreign ministers, prisoners and other needy Christians. Contributions to CHRIST UNLIMITED MINISTRIES, INC. are tax deductible under 501(c) (3) of the IRS Tax Code.

Click Here for Details on How to Donate to Christ Unlimited Ministries

All scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise noted.

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