IN THIS ISSUE:
Overcoming Life Digest Past Archive Menu
What Does The Bible Say About — The Holy Spirit?
Letters To The Editor — Our Answers
Spiritual Warfare — Requirements for Good Soldiers
Exposing Satan’s Devices — Who Is Satan?
End Times — Judgment on Sin
Prophetic Voice To The Church — Prophecy for the Church
Little Foxes (Little Compromises) — In Business
World Wide Literature Update — Pastor Bud Miller
Share And Tell — Prison Outreach Testimonies
Prayer Focus Spotlight — For Business Men
Waiting For The Stop Sign — Pastor Joanne Bush
Book Review Of The Month — Business By The Book
Purpose and Vision — Subscription Information
NATURE AND CHARACTER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
by Betty Miller
The nature and character of the Holy Spirit are equivalent to God’s personality. By understanding the Holy Spirit’s nature and character, we come to know what God is like.
If we are going to have the Holy Spirit’s character worked within us, we are going to have to know Him. We first must be “born again” and then we can be filled with the Holy Spirit if we ask God for this blessing and gift that comes from Him. Luke 11:13 says “If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him.” We will come to know Him better by seeking Him and studying God’s Word.
As we know the Holy Spirit, we will recognize that which is not of Him. If we know the real thing, we will quickly spot the counterfeit, just like a banker who knows authentic money so well that the counterfeit is obvious. By knowing the Holy Spirit’s nature, we will be able to say, “No, that’s not of the Lord” whenever Satan tries to trick us. For example, if the enemy causes a divorce or a tragic accident, we will know better than to attribute it to God. After all, God blesses His children; it is Satan who robs, kills, and destroys.
The thief cometh not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10
When Jesus walked the earth, what did He do? He went about doing good.
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil: for God was with him. Acts 10:38
This reveals God as One who does good since to see Jesus was to see the Father (John. 14:9). You will note in studying the New Testament, that none were turned away who came to Jesus for healing. God is a God of blessing; He doesn’t say, “Sorry, I cannot heal you” to those who look to Him. Jesus did warn some who were healed to “sin no more.” That was because they needed to make certain corrections in their lives to keep the enemy from coming back in.
The Holy Spirit is here today to minister the same way Jesus ministered. The Holy Spirit lives within us, as Christians, to bless others, not to turn them away. Even the disciples did not always realize this. At one point, James and John asked Jesus about destroying a village with fire from heaven. Jesus rebuked them, saying He came to save, not destroy. (Luke 9:55-56: “But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.”) If we study the life of Christ, it reveals how the Holy Spirit will act today.
Note this prayer of Christ: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them…and (Thou) hast loved them, as thou hast loved me” (John. 17: 20-21a, 22a, 23b).
Jesus was asking on our behalf that we might be given what He had received. He asked that God’s love and glory would be ours so that we, in turn, would impart that to others, that we might all be one. It is the nature of the Holy Spirit to share. We are not to hold Jesus unto ourselves, but we are to give of Him unto others.
The Holy Spirit will never act contrary to God’s nature. Remember that above all. So what is God’s nature? The fruit of the Spirit answers that question: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance” (Galatians 5:22-23a).
This fruit will be manifest in our lives as we walk in the Spirit. “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). Walking in the Spirit involves walking in His fruit. We need to understand what the fruit is — which describes God’s character — if we are going to walk in it. Also, by examining the fruit, we will better understand the Holy Spirit’s nature and character.
The fruit of love is the first fruit listed and it is the one we are told to walk in so we might please our Father. We are called as Christians to overcome evil with good; to love when hated. Romans 12:21 says “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” We can only do this through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Once again I stumble upon material where money is asked for, for the study of the Bible. Pardon me, if I sound like someone else you have heard before, but I have great concern of people that request money, for teaching of God’s word. I believe any one can recieve from God by calling out to him. (GOD ALREADY KNOWS WHO WILL AND WHO WANT).
I think any one with belief in God would want to share by word of mouth instead of wanting to set up some type of payment with that person for money in return. This is written in early scrolling of your material and I hope that I do not offend any one for I know that people believe with all that heart this is the way for God’s word to go out. Thank you for allowing me to visit.
Thank you for visiting us. We always are open to people’s opinions in this matter. However, we look to the Bible for, not your opinion or our opinion, as to what is right, but rather what the Bible has to say about what is right and wrong. We have been very prayerful before the Lord as to what He would have us to do, not only in this area, but all areas. We would love to give all of our materials away but they cost money to print and publish. (In fact we have given many, many away over the years and still do, when we would have the funds.)
The Lord spoke to our hearts that if the Bible itself cost money and had to be bought and paid for (which is His Word); He certainly was not opposed to books that pertained to His Word being bought and sold. If you own a Bible you either paid for it or someone else paid for it and gave it to you, but you had to buy it. You did not receive the entire contents of the Bible by word of mouth.
The Lord is not opposed to the selling of Christian materials, what He is opposed to is the attitude in our hearts regarding money. If it is simply a means of exchange to use in this world, the Lord doesn’t object to its use.
It is the evil use of money that the Lord hates (greed, lust, manipulation, idolatry, materialism, etc.)
I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. John 17:15
Since the Lord has called us to this Internet ministry and we are sowing our time and prayers in this direction. Scripture also says that we should be able to reap the carnal things we need back through this source should He choose to bless us that way.
Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. 1 Corinthians 9:14
If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? 1 Corinthians 9:11
Our main reason for selling our books is that it is a way in which we can get the gospel out to many more people. We are limited as to how many people we can personally share with mouth to mouth. The Lord has blessed us with some truths and revelation that we desire to share with others so that they might know the true and living God and live the overcoming life. Ultimately God is our source and we do not limit Him as to how He would choose to meet our needs.
REQUIREMENTS FOR GOOD SOLDIERS
Obedience the First Requirement
Our warfare is spiritual. We’re not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against principalities and spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). Our battle is not against human beings, but against Satan and his demonic powers. To win this battle, we must be good soldiers in Christ. And to be good soldiers, we must meet certain requirements.
Good soldiers are determined to win, to be overcomers. Remember the three overcoming keys from Revelation 12:11: “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” First, we overcome by the blood of the Lamb; we’re redeemed and filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, that we might walk in His power, not ours.
As good soldiers walking in His might, we wage war with the Word of our testimony. That Word is the Scriptures, not our own human words. Speaking God’s Word puts the enemy to flight, not speaking our own human thoughts.
Thus, as good soldiers we put our emphasis on the Word of God. We know that brings the victory. Whether the problems are financial, marital, emotional, or whatever, we find out what the Bible advises. Then we apply it to our situation and gain the victory.
Marriages are failing today because couples are ignoring God’s principles. They’re living selfishly, doing their own thing. God’s way, though, is to lay down one’s life for another; that’s His love.
Such love doesn’t come automatically; it is both taught and learned. The Bible tells older women to teach younger women how to love their husbands (Titus 2:4). Spouses must learn to love with God’s love. A teachable spirit is a must for this.
Good soldiers are 100 percent committed and obedient to God’s Word. A 90 percent commitment won’t win the war, for the enemy will use the 10 percent lack to contaminate the portion given to God. Good soldiers know total victory comes only through total commitment and obedience.
Where full commitment is lacking, Christians receive only temporary relief from their problems. They attend church, receive prayer, and walk away with temporary relief, when what God has available is total recovery. Temporary relief is like tearing off the top of a weed, but leaving the roots. Getting to the root of the problem for total recovery requires total commitment.
Of course, good soldiers “love not their lives unto the death.” We should have an attitude of preferring death to hurting Jesus or disobeying God. Sometimes it takes many years for Christians to reach this point. Those who do lead lives of joy, victory and peace.
Christians can be divided into two groups: overcoming Christians leading lives of victory, and defeated Christians enduring lives of heartache. It’s not that one group is more favored by God than the other. God is no respecter of persons (Colossians 3:25). It’s simply that the victorious group applies and obeys God’s Word in their lives. God’s not favoring them; He’s favoring His Word. Since He’s partial to His Word, if we line up with it, we automatically receive favor and blessing.
Defeated Christians, those who don’t live according to God’s Word, tend to be plagued with problems that are never solved. All Christians, of course, experience problems, but the good soldiers will be overcoming them with joy. Rather than constantly being under a load of problems, good soldiers will be finding the solutions.
Part of the problem for many American Christians is a lack of the mentality that says, “Lord, I’m going to serve You at all costs.” Believers in countries where Christianity is persecuted know what it means to serve at all costs, even at the cost of their lives. That’s the kind of determination required of good Christian soldiers, loving God more than fearing man.
Should the day come in America that religious freedom be denied, we would quickly see the separation of true Christians from the phonies. Even at the threat of death, true Christians will still serve Jesus. Though we haven’t been put on the line in this way, we are put on the line in our hearts when we take the stand: “I’d rather die than sin against God or yield to the world’s standards.”
(Excerpt from the book entitled Personal Spiritual Warfare)
SATAN’S DESCRIPTION AND DEEDS
Who Is Satan?
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. 2 Corinthians 2:11
Before we discuss some of the devices of Satan, we first need to know who he is. The name “Satan” comes from a Hebrew word signifying an adversary, an enemy, and an accuser. In God’s Word, we discover that Satan is God’s enemy and is against all for which God stands. He is the archenemy of good.
Surprising as it may seem to some, Satan was not always evil. In the beginning, he was an angel created in perfection and beauty. Angels were given a will with a free moral choice, and “Lucifer” (Satan’s name before he was cast out of heaven) chose to do evil and rebelled against God. He was cast out of heaven to the earth because of his sin. His present domain is limited to the earth and hell.
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. Isaiah 14:12-15
Satan’s sins were pride and covetousness. He desired God’s throne and set his will against God’s will. Five times he said, “I will” in this portion of Scripture.
This is still man’s sin today: the refusal to do God’s will, with the same attitude of “I will.” Satan chose to rebel and it brought him down to hell. Men are making the same choice today and those who rebel will ultimately go down to the pit (hell) with the devil.
Lucifer had been gifted with beauty and had walked upon the holy mountain of God. But even with all this, he was not content with his position and by trying to usurp God’s authority, sin entered into him when he attempted to overthrow God’s kingdom.
…Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more. Ezekiel 28:12-19
From these verses, we see that God did not create Lucifer evil, but made him perfect. By Satan’s own choice, he became evil and was cast out of heaven.
SATAN CAST OUT OF HEAVEN
The Lord never meant for evil to exist. It was simply the opposite of good, and since it takes a free will for evil to come into existence, Lucifer was the first created being to exercise his will against God. Since that time, others have followed. Satan caused a third of heaven to fall with him by influencing other angelic beings to make war against God (Revelation 12:4a). They too were cast out of heaven. They have since become evil spirits due to their choice. They now roam the earth, with Satan as their leader and master. These invisible supernatural beings still have power, but it is directed toward evil works of darkness. Satan is still ruling in the earth today, not only over the evil spirits, but also over evil men who choose the same path of rebellion against God. He is the dark prince of this world. We can see a glimpse of his evil wisdom, strength, glitter, and his inevitable end by reading the previous passages. We must remember that he has only limited power, but nevertheless he does have power, and those who do not know him and his devices inevitably become his victims.
JESUS DEFEATS SATAN
Those who are “born again” and filled with the Spirit of God have no need to fear this evil foe as he has been defeated by our God. Jesus defeated him and stripped him of his power two thousand years ago. Jesus paid the price of our sins on the cross and then rose from the dead bringing life to all who would follow Him. Satan’s authority has been taken away from him. We now have authority over him through Jesus Christ.
I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Revelation 1:18
Revelation 12 records the account of Satan’s overthrow by Christ. We are first given a vision of what takes place in heaven, then the Bible reveals the earthly scene:
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. Revelation 12:7-12
(Excerpt from the book entitled Exposing Satan’s Devices)
JUDGMENT ON SIN
Judgment is already falling. What’s happening to church leadership? Their sins have found them out. The Word says our sins will find us out. “But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). If we have hidden sins, they’re going to be exposed. So if we have any hidden sins, we need to go to God right now and cry out for deliverance. We need to get on our knees, pray and fast, and seek God for deliverance. If we don’t, our hidden sins are going to be exposed. But if we take care of those sins in the prayer closet, they won’t have to be exposed.
It’s not by works that we gain deliverance from hidden sins. We cannot break sinful habits in our own strength. It’s only by faith in God and by His power that we’re able to gain the victory. Most Christians can testify of how God has delivered them from a major sin. Many have been delivered from alcohol, or tobacco, or adultery. If Jesus has delivered us from one sin, can He not also deliver us from the rest of them? We have the attitude, “Well, I’m just a sinner and can only continue sinning.” No, God is saying He has given us the power over sin. He’s telling us if we use His tools and His power we can overcome any sin in our lives. God is wanting us to deal with the sin problem.
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. Romans 6: 14-18
Sin is the problem with the world. The world is full of problems because of sin. People go to counselors to get their problems smoothed over when they really need to be facing their sin problem. Many psychiatrists listen for hours on end to their patients when they need to tell them their problem is sin and they need to repent. That’s what’s causing the majority of people’s problems. They’ve even verified that most of those in mental institutions are there because they cannot face the fact that they have committed wrong. Instead of facing their sin, they blame it on someone else. They don’t take the responsibility; they excuse themselves. They blame their parents: “If they hadn’t raised me the way they did I wouldn’t be this way.” They blame the car accident: “I’m injured today because of what the other driver did.” Even when someone is physically injured, they don’t have to take on bitterness and hatred. Some people pick up those negative emotions when they’ve been hurt or offended.
We’ve all been hurt in this world. It’s inevitable since we’re in the world that is under the power of the devil or the “beast system”. It’s how we handle those hurts and wounds that determines whether we’re going to have victory. We need to give them to Jesus. Our prayer should be, “Jesus, somebody hurt me today. Forgive him and help me to overcome. Cleanse me from any bitterness.”
In this hour of judgment, all who take “the mark of the beast” are going to be destroyed.
If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark on his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. Revelation 14:9b-10
This destruction will be upon those who’ve picked up that worldly humanistic thinking. They’re going to fall. Because they don’t have the thinking of God, they’ll be destroyed by the plagues and other calamities that are in the world. In these last hours we’re not going to be able to stand unless we’ve got the Word of God in our minds and hearts and are doing the works of God. That’s the only way we’re going to be able to stand. Otherwise we’ll not be able to stand when, for example, whole cities are plagued with disease. Fear will grip our hearts and we’ll be open to receive the diseases, too, if we’re allowing fear to rule in our lives. What we’re going to have to do is stand up and say, In Jesus’ name, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). I’ll not receive a spirit of fear.
FEAR OF GOD, OUR PROTECTION
One fear most Christians have not conquered is the fear of what man will say. We fear what our spouses, or church friends, or outsiders will say more than we fear what God will say. We need to fear God more. Instead of fearing what man will say about us, we need to have that holy respect for God because our only safety is in Him. This is not a tormenting fear of God, but a respect for Him and His Word. If He says something, we respect what He says because we believe His Word.
If we’re marked with God’s Word in our minds and hearts and doing His works, then the devil is no match for us. The devil is the defeated one. He had a fatal blow struck to his head through Jesus Christ. We can now crush him under our feet with the Word of God, if we stand. But those Christians who aren’t standing are being swept away even now. Loved ones are being snatched away as the enemy is creating terrible devastation upon the earth through such assaults as financial destruction, broken homes, kidnapped children, runaway teens, unwed mothers, terriblediseases, and so forth. What are we going to do in these times? We’re going to stand on the Word because the Lamb has overcome the beast. We’re not taking the beast’s mark.
(Excerpt from the book entitled The Mark of God or The Mark of the Beast)
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.
Judgment is twofold:
(1) The wicked are punished for their deeds as the penalty for sin is executed upon them.
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
(2) The righteous are rewarded for their faithfulness.
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. Galatians 6:7-9
Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded. Proverbs 13:13
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrew 11:6
The rebellious, proud and disobedient Christians will come under judgment with the world unless they repent. Lukewarm or carnal Christians will not be able to remain in that condition.
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye slave, that thou mayest see. Revelation 3:15-18
Financial integrity will be required of all of God’s people. God has already been dealing with leadership in this realm, and He will now deal with the flock also. He will require all to be obedient in the area of finances.
The Lord has tolerated our unfaithfulness in this area, but no longer will He tolerate it. Judgment means fairness will be executed. A small percentage of God’s people have been obedient in the area of tithes and offerings, while the rest of the body has refused to take its responsibility; these non-givers have come and partaken of what other’s money has supported. No longer!
Severe financial judgments will come upon all who fail to tithe and give at God’s direction. Some will lose all they own before they will yield to God in this area.
This is not God’s will, as God does not want His people to lack, but their own disobedience will leave the door open for Satan to rob them. Only faith in God for His provision will stand in the coming days.
As institutions, investments, jobs, and savings disappear and fail, God’s true people will be taken care of in miraculous ways. God will speak clearly to His own to share with one another plus give sacrificially to His true works. There will be provision for His people that will flow as they are in the Kingdom of God and not a part of the world system that is failing.
There will be no lack in God’s Kingdom for all that is unctioned by Him. The Lord will restrain His people from giving to fleshly works and will give discernment to His people about where they are to give.
(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.
As Christians, compromising in the work place and in our work ethics in little things, is an area that can be an open door for the enemy to gain an advantage over us. This “little fox” is so common place that many Christians are not only failing to recognize it but are also guilty of it.
When Christian business men work hand and hand with Christian employees by Biblical work ethics and standards, it produces a just and fair work place. In the past when our nation had a strong Christian influence, this combination led to our nation being known for quality workmanship. Other nations were seeking to buy merchandise with the “Made in U.S.A.” label. Because our nation as a whole has turned away from its moral standards and we have failed in our Christian influence in the workplace, everyone is suffering.
Christians are mocked because we do not exemplify a Biblical standard in our business lifestyles. How are we to witness and share the gospel of Christ if our work habits are not exemplary?
Many of the younger generation were not taught proper work habits and now have difficulty in holding a job. Children’s messy rooms are a symptom of how a generation of parents has neglected to teach their children this truth while they were growing up.
We are instructed in Proverbs 22:6 to “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when his is old, he will not depart from it.”
The key in this verse is the word “training”. Training involves more than just teaching. The best teachers teach not only the procedure for doing a job, but also a set of values for producing that job.
Whatever reasons we give for our neglect in training our children, the truth is we did not take the time needed to train our children properly. We are a world in a hurry which is a big hindrance to good workmanship. Slothfulness, shoddy workmanship and disorganization reflect a lack of caring. Many people take short cuts that hamper the quality of the job, just to finish the task so they can eliminate any problems of the moment. Later the job must be repeated which wastes time because the job was not done right the first time.
We need to teach our children not only how to do a good job, but also train them to do their best. Teaching is simply communicating knowledge, while training involves conveying a value system. Good teachers who teach moral values along with proper instruction produce quality schooling and the best workers.
If we as parents compromise in our lifestyles and work ethics before our children then we communicate those ideas to them.
If we have been deceived or perhaps have just become negligent in any area pertaining to our work ethics, we could be guilty of hurting our children or our witness for the Lord.
Here is a checklist for employees to see if perhaps any “little foxes” have been spoiling our vines:
- Examining what motivates us to work. Love of money, fear, duty and necessity are some of the world’s reasons to work. Our reason should be one that is motivated by love for our Lord.
- Taking short cuts that will lessen the finished product because of laziness or impatience. This wastes time because a job is done the quickest way and not the best way.
- Hiding mistakes that are costly to others because of fear or pride.
- Stealing from our employer which increases his operating costs, that in turn, causes company wages or bonuses to be less.
- Working in a careful manner to avoid carelessness to prevent accidents. Safety rules need to be obeyed which help lower insurance costs.
- Communicating properly when we have a problem with the boss, instead of gossiping about him to other employees?
- Being responsible and disciplined, workers who are dependable and loyal.
- Avoiding slothful habits, such as tardiness and absenteeism without a cause. (Pretending to be sick just because we do not want to go to work is outright deception).
- Lying about our qualifications when applying for a job causing the employer to believe we can do more than we are actually trained or qualified to do. (This puts the employer at risk because of inferior work that will be produced.)
- Walking out on a job without proper notification.
Here is a checklist for employers or manufacturers that is also in order:
- Creating inferior products because of greed. (Things that wear out quickly so they must be replaced sooner so the manufacture will profit more.)
- Representing our products falsely by exaggerated marketing ads just to make sales.
- Treating our employees the way we would want to be treated. (Fair and just wages and benefits should be given to all workers without being a respecter of persons.)
- Furnishing comfortable and good working conditions for our help.
- Observing the Sabbath rest for all employees as well as ourselves. (Workaholics will eventually experience burnout and God knew as human beings we all need a day of rest and refreshing in the Lord.)
- Terminating employees unfairly because of greed. (Often loyal older employees are replaced by younger ones at a lesser salary to avoid retirement benefits and the higher earned salary of the older worker).
- Correcting our workers when necessary with kindness and grace.
Although these lists are by no means complete, this will give us a starting place to examine if we are living a Christian life in the marketplace. Notice the examples used in this list are character related and unless people come to God and allow Jesus to change their evil nature, our nation will continue to plunge into a deteriorating workplace. We as Christians should be examples in leading the way of good work ethics in the marketplace. It is sad that many Christians fail to do this and our witness in the world is not Christian at all as we act like the rest of the world.
Many Christian employees justify their actions because they feel they are just compromising in little things that do not matter. Such things as: Telling little white lies, tardiness, misusing their privileges, failure to keep their word, gossiping in the office, taking advantage of their sick leave, using the company telephone, postage, equipment, etc. for personal use, expecting salaries beyond their work production, producing sloppy work, etc.
Christian employers who violate God’s principles are guilty too, of wrong treatment of employees, improper conduct, unfair wages, overworking employees, failure to supply safe working conditions, ignoring communication problems and unjustly terminating employees.
The Word of God tells us how we can please God in the workplace in Matthew 25:23: “His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Being faithful in the little things will promote us to rule over larger things. The same is true on the negative side, neglect in little things can cause big problems. May the Lord show us the “little foxes” in our workplaces that are creating big problems.
We must remember as Christians our ministry is to live the Christian life any where we are. The most important thing is our relationship with people. We must guard and watch our attitude in the office one toward another as well as our outreach to the people God sends us to be a witness. Remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Luke 6:31).
We need to strive for excellent work and be like our Lord. Scriptures that pertain to the workplace that we all need to keep in mind are as follows:
- Isaiah 12:5: “Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.”
- Colossians 3:17: “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
- Colossians 3:23: “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.”
- Ecclesiastes 9:10: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”
- Luke 16:10: “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.”
- Proverbs 11:1: “A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.”
- 1 John 2:5-6: “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby we know that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”
- Ephesians 6:5-9: “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.”
- Romans 12:10-11: “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.”
From the desk of Bud Miller
We thank God that we are making progress in the things the Lord has commissioned us to do here in the ministry. With the completion of most of the Bible study material, we are now in the process of getting this data in the proper electronic format to be able to place it all on the INTERNET.
Electronic technology via the INTERNET has opened a whole new mission field for Christians and a brand new way to obey Christ’s command to: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel..”. The INTERNET serves as the backbone to our nation’s Information Superhighway. It is growing at a phenomenal rate with about 10,000 users being added daily. There are currently an estimated 165 million users world-wide. This is one of the most exciting opportunities to reach the lost and strengthen the church that we have ever seen.
Many other Christian ministries are now in CYBERSPACE. The Lord desires a Christian influence on this vast network as this is a way to witness 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
The Lord spoke to us three years ago to reserve the domain name “Bible.com”. At the time we were barely into computers. What a wonderful opportunity He has given us to share via this media. We are able to minister in a number of ways besides offering our Electronic Bible study to those who desire to take an Overcoming Life course in the Word. We are also offering free information tracts, taking prayer requests and offering free Bibles and other Christian material that can be down-loaded. We plan to have a full “Christian Resource Center” in time to help spread the gospel throughout the world. The Lord is confirming this new ministry in spite of the many obstacles we have had to overcome to get this in operation. We want you to know that we pray for all who write with specific needs. We are claiming that we shall all be overcomers for the glory of God!
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 testimonies we are hearing from our Prison Ministry Outreach:
“Your words of encouragement have been my backbone, and the books have kept me in constant learning (like manna). I pick up one of Betty’s books and read and study along with my Bible and I’m all right. The loneliness, the bitterness, the humiliation, the pain and the suffering have all been relieved while I am in study and prayer. Praise God!” R. B. from Raiford, Florida
“Hello, I’m an inmate here in Michael Unit, and I want to thank you for writing such a true book called, Exposing Satan’s Devices. I have accepted Jesus Christ in my heart, and I just wanted to share the news with you.” R. G. from Tennesee Colony, Texas
“I recently read Mark of God or Mark of the Beast by Betty Miller. I thought it was a real blessing. I am currently incarcerated at Douglas, Arizona. The reason for this letter, I am without funds at the moment so I was wondering if a copy of this book could be sent to my mother? I told her about it, and she would like to read it. Thank you very much if you can help me out. God bless you all.” M. F. B. from Douglas, Arizona (Editor’s note: We sent her one; thanks to the people who help us in this ministry.)
The target of our prayers this month is for Christian business men and women who have a calling to be a channel of financial blessing to the body of Christ thereby increasing the Kingdom of God. Although this is not the only call that some of you have, it is one of the major assignments God has for you to accomplish. Many of you are entrepreneurs who come from diverse backgrounds and God has divinely placed you where you are for His purposes. God wants you to know it is His stirring and gift within you that has given you a desire and love to promote, sell, and make business deals.
He desires for you to be successful and fulfilled in that calling. It is the enemy (Satan) in times past who has directed your giftings to promote and make money for your own self gratification. Now that you have dedicated your life to Christ, He is redirecting your desires, talents and influence for the purpose of them being a blessing for the Kingdom of God.
God has placed in each of your spirits the desire to give into His Kingdom. However, there are strong evil spiritual powers arrayed against you to keep you from accomplishing the call and vision He has given you. We would like to encourage others to pray with us this month for all Christian business men and women. We feel this is our assignment to intercede and pray against Satan’s plans.
Since this is an area in which we have been trained, the Holy Spirit gives us words of knowledge and other information to be of help in prayer in this area. He also gives His other intercessors the same supernatural knowledge because He knows the things in each of your lives that are preventing His blessings from being poured out on you in the abundance that He desires.
This is an extension of God’s love for you. We don’t know about you, but Bud and I covet the prayers of God’s people as blessed treasures from Heaven. This is truly a divine appointment as we have a special excitement in our spirits about what the Lord is going to do through many of your lives in the business world.
Here are some things that we feel apply to all of you: (Most of you are doing some of these things already; and a portion of them, to some degree; however, please allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you the portion that applies to you.
1. The main thing the Lord spoke to us as intercessors was that each of you needed to be strengthened in your relationship with God. This was to be done by seeking God in prayer, reading the Word of God and becoming a part of a good fellowship of Spirit-filled believers in your area. (You need their support and also your growth in God depends on others in the body imparting His life to you.) As you put God first in your life, all the other things you are seeking will be added unto you (Matthew 6:24-34).
2. The Lord is also very concerned about your mates and family as your mates are just as much a part of your calling as you are. The Lord is stressing special prayer for your marriages and families. The enemy has and is using a spirit of division against some of your marriages and family relationships. (The Lord would have you and your mate meditate on 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 and 1 Peter 3:1-12 if this is an area you are being attacked. Remember your battle is not against each other but the common enemy, Satan.) For those that are not having this problem, don’t neglect your mate or children by becoming a work-a-holic as God will take care of the business if you will seek Him for wisdom and direction and give you a proper balance between the two. We are praying also for your mate not to resist or resent the call on your life, but you must not neglect your marital responsibilities.
3. The third area the Lord is directing us to pray is in the area of your finances since this is an important part of the vision and call He has for each of you. We are praying for you to have an understanding of His spiritual principles and what God’s Word has to say about finances. [A good book we would recommend to help you in this area is entitled Business By The Book by Larry Burkett.] MINISTRY BOOKSTORE (Click here for order information)
Pray that the Lord would clarify your vision from Him by making a list of the things you feel He would have you do in your business and personal lives. You are then to present it to Him and ask Him if anything on your list needs changing or purifying. The Lord wants the fruit of your labors and your gifts to glorify Him. These are not be given to works of the flesh or carnal ministries.
Remember the tithe (10%) already belongs to God and we don’t even give to God until we have given God His 10% first. This portion is to be given to those getting the gospel out; not to the needy or poor, although He wants us to help in that area also. (What a generous business partner the Lord is!! Who else would give you 90 percent and they take only 10 percent?).
Also in the area of business, the Lord does not want any of you unequally yoked with unbelievers so you are to be cautious about who you take as business partners (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). Also because you all have BIG VISIONS, one area the Lord spoke for us to pray about is that you would not despise the day of small beginnings and be faithful in the small things so that He can make you master of much. Don’t be trapped into waiting for the big deal to come through, before you give. Give out of the small amounts, then God can trust you with the larger amounts (Luke 16:10-13).
4. The last area He zeroed in on was in the area of building up your character. We are praying against the enemy from trying to deceive you and tempt you with worldly desires and fleshy traps. We are praying against pride, lust, greed, fear, insecurity, lying spirits, humanism, etc. Most specifically that you would bear eternal fruit and not be robbed of your heavenly rewards. We are praying 1 John 2:15-16 for you; that you would “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” We are closing with the prayer that God would fill you with His Spirit and give you His faith, love, wisdom, and guidance so that your vision would come to pass quickly and that you will produce eternal fruit that will remain.
WAITING FOR THE STOP SIGN TO TURN GREEN
by Pastor Joanne Bush
I was on my way to the office. I followed the same route I had travelled for the past five years. I passed the same houses; glanced at the same businesses; crossed the same intersections. About a mile from the office I stopped at a stop sign at one of the familiar intersections. I continued to sit there for about three or four minutes, deep in thought. Finally it dawned on me. I was at a four-way stop. This was NOT a traffic light, but a stop sign. There I sat, waiting on that stop sign to turn green.
How many times do we expect different results from doing what is familiar to us? A large company recently came up with a way we can eat fat without getting far. Yet, this new ingredient cannot be put into food without a health warning label attached to the packaging. Several years ago an artificial sweetener, widely in use, was discovered to have possible cancer causing agents in it. Warning labels were placed on the food packaging that contained this sweetener. Another artificial sweetener was discovered. Many reports have disclosed possible health problems associated with this ingredient. Why is it that we do not hesitate to eat a piece of chocolate cake loaded with ingredients with warning labels to our health?
I began gaining weight several years ago following a difficult illness which kept me hospitalized for almost thirty days. The doctor told me that I would have to be very careful concerning what I ate if I didn t want to gain any weight. I was a size 7 at the time he warned me. A few months later, as a result of my active life, I had dropped down to a size 5. I didn t think I would have anything to worry about and the doctor could have made a mistake. Almost twenty years later and close to 150 additional pounds, I came to realize that I had not listened to the voice of knowledge or experience. The dieting syndrome added more than half of the weight I carried. I discovered that one of the many reasons for re-gaining weight was a lack of behavioral change. I turned to diet drinks (loaded with sodium and this dangerous sweet stuff), diet snacks and other foods containing artificial ingredients of varying kinds. My hope was that I could eat what I still enjoyed (and as much as I wanted) without any of the pain. I did not change any of my habits. I was willing to eat the artificial sweeteners which were not good for me so that I wouldn t have to change my lifestyle. New health problems evolved which has been linked to the added chemicals in my food. It finally dawned on me that dieting was not how I was going to lose weight. Losing weight to look good became secondary to how I was physically feeling.
How often are we willing to make substitutes in our lives that give us a desired change, yet brings danger to our lives at the same time? I think that some of it stems from the thought that when we do not encounter problems right away, we figure we have beat the system and those consequences are for the other person…not us. Our natural inclination, then, is to continue doing the wrong things, oblivious to the pain it can cause in our life.
(Ecclesiastes 8:11, NIV) When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong.
There is a danger in looking to get rid of the surface pain in our life without attempting to correct the root of the problem. That correction takes time and it is not always easy. The pain of change can cause us to develop the attitude that God is trying to keep all the fun stuff away from us. That isn t true. He really doesn t want us to be unhealthy spiritually or naturally. He does not want us to look okay on the outside of our lives and, yet, dying on the inside because what we have been eating spiritually is full of artificial ingredients. Going to church and reading our Bibles helps us look good on the outside. Putting into action what we learn when we go to church and read in our Bibles helps us look good on the inside as well. He wants the best for us, even though we do not always understand at the time that it is the best for us. The secret to going through the process of growth and deliverance from a bad situation is to look ahead at your goal. As you keep looking ahead, the little victories will quickly turn into larger ones as you are encouraged to move on.
One of the first things that happened to me when I started eating correctly was not weight loss. It was finally sleeping through an entire night and waking up feeling rested. Next I watched my attitude change. y creativeness returned and I was motivated again. I was so enthralled with these changes that it was a little while before I noticed that my jeans were getting looser and the shine had returned to my hair. Sixty pounds later I have discovered that when I become discouraged, whether it is because I still need to lose more weight or because of how I am feeling because of the years of bad eating, I look at the victories I have already experienced. I know that as long as I continue to do what I did for the smaller victories, I am closer to the ultimate victory…my goal of becoming healthy.
The victories you need in your life may not be as far away from you as you thought. When the immediate pain is gone, instead of going back to bad habits, use that time to insure the pain does not return by going to the root of the problem. Don t be disillusioned by shrew marketing that guarantees you a quick change without any efforts. Quick changes usually involve artificial ingredients that can cause us lots of problems much later. Quick changes do not allow our muscles to develop in areas where endurance is necessary.
And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:4 (NASB)
In the King James Version, the word endurance is the same word as patience. If we do not develop patience, we will never see our goal. For me it was becoming healthy, inside and out. For you it may be getting over stress, increasing that bank account, raising your children, learning a new trade, avoiding divorce, getting rid of addictions or simply learning how to enjoy yourself. All of these areas of our life are important to God. Since they are important to God, it is important that we follow God s plan in accomplishing these goals.
The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Psalms 138:8 (NASB)
Sometimes, sitting at the stop sign waiting on it to change green could be a sign that a change in our behavior is needed. After all, that sign is not going to change. And we will have the opportunity to encounter it again tomorrow…unless we change our route.
Joanne Bush pastors a church in Indianapolis, Indiana called Majestic Love Center. She is an anointed handmaiden of the Lord that is gifted in sharing the Word of God. She is a vessel filled with God’s love even as the name of her church signifies.
BUSINESS BY THE BOOK by Larry Burkett
“Business by the Bible?!” To some businessmen and women the thought itself is as incompatible as oil and water. “Bankruptcy,” they say, “would be the ultimate outcome.”
“Not so,” says Larry Burkett. “Over the long run, biblical principles do work. Take the example of the Japanese, for instance. General Douglas MacArthur, as military governor of Japan after World War II, established many basic biblical doctrines as part of the Japanese business ethic. This highly efficient system of labor/management cooperation, combined with the Japanese fierce national loyalty, propelled the Japanese beyond their teacher.”
“Biblical principles were even a part of American business theory at one time. Ethics and Christian principles were taught in 19th century business schools in America, along with accounting and economics. And our economy boomed.”
Business by the Book offers radical principles of business management that go beyond the Ten Commandments and other biblical maxims. Principles that affect:
- Hiring and firing decisions
- Management selection
- Employee pay decisions
- Borrowing and/or lending decisions
- Discounting policies
- Forming corporations and partnerships
- Business tithing
During the past fourteen years, as Larry has been teaching these principles to business owners and managers throughout the country, hundreds of businesses have been rejuvenated and thousands of lives have been changed. “If you desire long-term growth and stability, God’s way is the only way,” says Larry Burkett.
Biblical principles will pay a lasting dividend!
Larry Burkett is the founder of Christian Financial Concepts, the world’s largest Christian financial counseling organization.
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.
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President: R.S. “Bud” Miller
Editor: Betty Miller
Electronic Editor: Courtney Gould
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