IN THIS ISSUE:
Overcoming Life Digest Past Archive Menu
What Does The Bible Say About — A Covenant With God
Letters To The Editor — Our Answers
Spiritual Warfare – Requirements for Good Soldiers
Exposing Satan’s Devices — Power Over The Devil
End Times – Mark of God or Mark of the Beast
Prophetic Voice To The Church — Prophecy for the Church
Little Foxes (Little Compromises) — T-Shirt Messages
Share and Tell – Internet Testimonies
Prayer Focus Spotlight — Intercessory Prayer
The Storm – Kurt Thurston
Book Review of The Month — The Eternal Church
Purpose and Vision — Subscription Information
by R.S. “Bud” Miller
GOD’S COVENANT PEOPLE
As a believer, as well as a minister, I stay excited about what God has said in His Word. In this writing, I want to share some things the Lord has shown me concerning one of the cornerstones of the Bible: the blood covenant. Christians for too long have not understood their covenant relationships with God, individually, and corporately as the Body of Christ. God wants us to partake of our covenant rights and privileges, because that will enable us to walk in His power and authority.
The understanding that born-again believers are God’s covenant people (Galations 3:7-8) will make a tremendous difference in your Christian walk. We need to not only understand covenant relationships, but we need to understand our responsibilities and our privileges. It is time for the true Church to rise up in the Spirit and accomplish the work God has given us to do in the Endtime Harvest.
For too long God’s people have allowed Satan to steal their most prized possession, our spiritual inheritances as sons of the living God. We are the Israel of God under the New Covenant (Galatians 6:16). The Apostle Paul also called us “children of the promise” (Romans 9:8), and the Apostle Peter said we are “a holy nation” (1 Peter 2:9).
The majority of Christians have not taken possession of the title deed to their inheritances, bought and paid for by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. We live as spiritual paupers in many instances, far beneath the level of prosperity God would have us to live. Because of not knowing their covenant rights, many Christians have not stood against the attacks of the enemy against their bodies, their finances, their marriages, and their families.
Many people sit back when the attacks come, fold their hands, and say, ” I guess there is nothing I can do. This is just the way life in this world is.”
The weakened condition of the Church today is the same situation as the Apostle Paul saw in the church at Corinth when he wrote that many of them were weak and sickly and even some had died because they did not discern the “Lord’s Body” rightly (1 Corinthians 11:29). He was not referring to an outward failure in taking communion. He was saying the Corinthian Christians did not truly understand what Christ had provided for them in the New Covenant.
The eternal blood covenant provides for anything we need covered in this life. Many Christians still live under the bondage of legalism, trying through works of the flesh to “earn” salvation or favor with God, as if we lived under the Old Covenant but had no animal sacrifices to ratify the covenant for us. Born-again believers from the time of Jesus’ resurrection have been covered by a better covenant, one that was made by Jesus once and for all (Hebrews 7:22).
I pray the information in this book will enable the reader to truly lay hold of the covenant blessings that already are his, or hers. And I would say to my readers with the author of Hebrews:
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21
(To be continued next month)
(Excerpt from the book entitled COVENANT: God’s Guarantee for Victorious Living)
B. Tyson responds to ”Letters to the Editor” from DJH (See February Edition of the Digest):
I read a lot of your material. As I was printing it off I am pleased to see more and more of God’s Word becoming public again. Just a note about DJH’s letter to the editor, it’s funny how quick man will spend money for evil without batting an eye; but oh, how hesitant we become when religion is involved. I will be consulting with my pastor about your Bible School. If he approves I plan to subscribe. Meanwhile, keep up the good work and add me to your prayer list.
May God bless you, B. Tyson
“What is the difference between the new and the old testament?”
The Bible is divided into two parts: the Old Testament with 39 books and the New Testament with 27 books. It was written in two different time periods. The New Testament was written over a period of about 60 years, following the death and resurrection of Christ. The Old Testament was written from the time of Moses up to about four hundred years before Jesus was born, when the “book” (scroll) of Malachi was written.
The Old Testament was written in the original Hebrew language, with some chapters in Aramaic. The New Testament was written in Greek with some few phrases also from the commonly spoken Judean language of the day, Aramaic, as opposed to the written language of Hebrew.
The word testament is the King James-era English word for covenant, or contract. Therefore, the books of the Bible are divided according to the two blood covenants God has made with mankind. The old covenant was made between Abraham and God (Genesis 15) and covered Abraham’s descendants through Isaac and Jacob, the natural race of Israel. The new covenant was made with Jesus as both parties, God and man; the sacrifice; and the mediator. A mediator is someone like an attorney who works out the clauses to a contract with both parties.
The new covenant covers members of all races who will accept Jesus as Savior and Lord by faith. The new covenant fulfilled the promise of the old (Hebrews 8:6) and, ratified by the blood of Jesus, extended God’s plan for reconciling man to Himself to cover all races, nations, and cultures (Galatians 3:28-29).
Testament or covenant also can mean what we today call a “will”, a last will and testament. So in that sense, the new covenant is the spiritual way in which Jesus left (willed) all of the blessings of Abraham (Galatians 3:14) to those who become “born again” under the new covenant and are also children of Abraham (Galatians 7). In addition, He willed to us redemption for our (Adamic) sin natures that enables us to become new “creatures” (2 Corinthians 5:17) and have eternal life with God, the Father.
God always has dealt with man through relationships. Adam and Eve were in a personal relationship with God before they fell into sin. In every age afterwards down to Abraham, God had at least one man (such as Noah) who would come into a relationship with Him and through whom He could execute His plan for the redemption of man.
With Abraham, God “cut” a blood covenant to cover Abraham and his descendants until Jesus would come (Genesis 15:8-21). The ten commandments and the other health, civil, and religious statutes that were given to Israel some four hundred years after the Abrahamic covenant spelled out certain principles God laid down for them to live by and which the Israelites were to obey because of the covenant. This became known as “the Law,” which actually was the details of how the covenant would work in the nation and in their lives.
The Law was God’s Word for that period and the standard by which man lived in order to receive the blessings or curses of the covenant. In any covenant, there are “assets” or good things that go with keeping it. Breaking a covenant or contract, on the other hand, means trouble, which in Bible terms is called receiving curses. However, Paul made it very clear that the Law never took the place of the Promise (the covenant) to Abraham. Jesus was the “promised seed of Abraham” who was to inherit all of the promises, so through Jesus, all those who are born again also inherit these promises of blessings (Galatians 3:29).
People became a part of the old covenant by being a member of the people of Israel through faith and obedience to God, whether they were born into one of the tribes or whether they joined themselves to one of the tribes (Deuteronomy 4:6,13,34; Exodus 12:19; Isaiah 56:3-5). Reading the Old Testament books carefully will show that, even then, the attitude of the heart was more important than legalistically keeping the Law and more important even than being born into Israel (1 Samuel 15:22).
Under the New Covenant, the Law or God’s standards are “written on our hearts” (Romans 2:15), which means we have the Holy Spirit within us to remind us of right and wrong. Once we are saved, we have the power to overcome sin through the Holy Spirit and can receive the blessings of Abraham under the new covenant (Galatians 3:14). This is called “living under grace.”
However, since the time of Adam and Eve, God has dealt with mankind in two ways: love and mercy (grace) or wrath and judgment. Grace is defined as “undeserved favor.” Also, it is the ability to keep the law, which is called “divine enablement.” Grace gives us power over sin, according to Romans 6:14, because we now have the “Covenant Maker” within us.
Grace does not mean being able to break the law and get away with it. Grace does not mean God looks the other way when we sin. It does mean that if we fail and break the law, forgiveness is immediately ours when we repent. The blood of Jesus already covers us. We can still overcome, although we may not yet perfectly be conformed to His image. We have the power or grace to become the sons of God (John 1:12).
REQUIREMENTS FOR GOOD SOLDIERS
Living By God’s Standards
Good soldiers live by God’s standards. Thus it’s crucial not to be ignorant of what God has to say, as I was for many years in the area of healing. I wasn’t healed until I learned that healing was God’s standard.
We want God’s standard in every area of our lives. Recently our church went through a difficult financial battle. Mainly we wanted to win that battle because the Word says, “Owe no man anything, but to love one another” (Romans 13:8). God’s standard told us to be free from debt. We wanted to line up with His Word, not just be relieved of financial pressure.
Good soldiers check every area of their lives to be certain they are lined up with God’s Word, whether it’s their marriage, their children, their church relationships, their diet, their finances…everything.
When I first began to study the Bible, I was often shocked at what I discovered. Finding a new truth in the Scriptures, I would think, “Lord, am I supposed to be doing this? I’ve never done this in my life!” Then I would ask God for His strength to line up with His Word. I would pray, “O God, I didn’t know this was a sin.” In our hearts, we sometimes have a feeling that what we’re doing is wrong, then as God’s Word clearly reveals it as sin, we know the truth.
I remember hearing a message that pointed out a sin I’d been participating in. Surprised, I said, “God, forgive me; deliver me from that sin.” I hadn’t even seen my sin because the influence of the world has brought so much compromise to our standards. The world has lied that black is white, that it’s all right to do such-and-such.
When the world says something is not sin, but the Bible says it is, good soldiers listen to God’s truth. For example, our American society says abortion is fine; God’s Word calls it murder because it is the taking of a life.
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee… Jeremiah 1:5
We have to check society’s standards against the Word of God. We cannot do what society approves of if God’s Word doesn’t approve.
To be good soldiers, we’re to study the Word, allowing it to become absorbed within, an actual part of us. After all, when a crisis hits, we won’t always have time to search the Scriptures for a solution. If we haven’t already absorbed the truth within, it’s not going to be what we respond with. The computer abbreviation G.I.G.O. (garbage in, garbage out) has application to us. If we program garbage into our hearts and minds instead of God’s Word, then when a crisis hits, garbage will come out.
For example, consider the Christian in a marriage crisis who spends days gazing at soap operas that constantly depict couples getting divorces, lacking in faithfulness and chastity, and showing no forgiveness. As the Christian’s marriage comes under pressure, the apparent solution is what the couple did in the latest soap opera: divorce. That’s garbage in, garbage out.
It’s escaping, rather than applying God’s principles to overcome the problem. A whole generation, particularly in America, has been negatively affected by television. They’ve been brainwashed into accepting worldly standards. This deception has even extended into the churches where many are preaching a compromised gospel, a watered-down version rather than the full truth.
As compromise is preached, the church ends up acting just like the world. No wonder the church’s divorce rate is as high as society’s. Instead of applying God’s principles to remedy a bad marriage, Christians are following the world’s escape route. Yet God has provided a way to overcome any problem we face, if we’ll fill our hearts and minds with His Word. We can never get too much of His Word.
Soldiers who neglect the Word of God end up backslidden. Years ago that was my condition. One of my first mistakes was to quit reading the Word. Oh, I still prayed a little. You know how we are; we still want to talk to God. When I did open the Bible, I found my standards had slipped. If I had stayed exposed to the Word, it would have served as the plumbline keeping me lined up with His standards.
That’s why it’s so important to read and study the Word, to hear the Word expounded at church, to listen to Christian tapes, and so forth. If we are straying, the Word acts like a compass pointing back to the standard. Without consistent exposure to God’s Word, the standard that holds us steadfast, we can drift out of His will and straight into sin. It’s so easy to drift away from the positive things of God.
For example, if we don’t fellowship where faith is preached, our faith can start to slip. If we go where messages are full of doubt and compromise, then we’ll walk in doubt. Wise soldiers fellowship where the messages are ones of faith, of overcoming, of laying down one’s life for Jesus. As that standard is held before us, we’ll be conformed to it by the work of the Holy Spirit. God’s Word is the anchor that keeps us from drifting away from His standard.
(Excerpt from the book entitled Personal Spiritual Warfare)
WE HAVE POWER OVER THE DEVIL
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. 2 Corinthians 2:11
Although Satan has only a short time, he is doing great damage in the earth today. He particularly has stepped up his work due to the nearness of the Lord’s return. He knows the Bible says that at that time he will be cast out of the earth, just as he was cast out of heaven. We have no reason ever to fear the devil when we belong to God and are walking in His will. In fact, we have been given authority over Satan and all his devils.
And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwith-standing in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. Luke 10:17-20
Many of God’s people suffer needlessly under Satan’s oppression and evil works because they have not been taught their authority in Christ. In the name of Jesus, we can cast out demons and set the captives free (Mark 16:17-18). The Lord told us that nothing could harm us and that all power over the devil is ours. However, we must use this power or authority if we are to walk in victory. One of Satan’s devices is to keep us ignorant of the fact that we have authority over him.
SATAN BLAMES GOD
Another device of the devil is to blame God for our problems. Satan sends accidents, tragedies, illnesses and financial crises, then tries to convince us that God is chastising us for some wrong. This evil lie of the enemy defames our precious Father Who loves us so much He sent His only Son to die for our sins. If He was willing to do this, giving up His most priceless possession for us, would He then put horrible things on us, while denying us good things? No, our God came to redeem us from the curse, not to put one on us. Satan is the trouble-maker, the robber, the thief and the master liar. Jesus, while on earth, went around doing good, healing the sick, setting the captives free and ministering the message of love. The truth is that God chastises us through His Word. When we do wrong, our spirits are chastised and the Lord speaks to us about our wrong.
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him. Hebrews 12:5
We must see the root of our problems is sin and the devil influences us to sin thus creating our problems. Jesus died to deliver us from sin and thus the ensuing problems created by that sin.
Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts. Jeremiah 2:19
(Excerpt from the book entitled Exposing Satan’s Devices)
My initial interest in the mark of the beast came at the age of 12 in a small Baptist church. Although I did not fully understand the pastor’s message about the mark, it did leave an indelible mark of curiosity in my mind. I prayed at the time for an understanding of Revelation 13, never dreaming that it would take many years before my prayer would be answered.
As I grew in age and in God, I prayed other prayers that had a bearing on my receiving this revelation. Among those prayers was this: “Lord, I want to be an overcomer so I will not take the mark when it comes.” When I prayed to be an overcomer, I never realized it would include overcoming pride, fear, selfishness, and other sins in my life. I discovered that before revelation comes to us, first there must be transformation; our sinful lives must be exchanged for His life of commitment, obedience and servanthood.
I bring this revelation to you as the Lord’s servant commissioned by Him to share it for His purposes. I do not claim to be a theologian; I am simply sharing what He has revealed to me. Unlike the books in the past the Lord has commissioned me to write, this one on end times has given me the greatest intercessory prayer burden for His people and the lost. May God’s light on this subject deliver and protect many deceived persons who stand in the shadow of the mark of the beast.
Humbly His Handmaiden,
Much has been said on this subject of the mark of the beast, but little said about the mark of God. Will there be a literal mark tattooed on people’s foreheads and/or their hands in these end times to make it possible to buy and sell in a one-world monetary system that is being set up by an antichrist?
We can certainly see the possibilities of this becoming a literal reality in our day with the technology of laser beam tattoos and our president speaking of a “new world order.” Even now, pets can be tracked by tiny computer chips about the size of a grain of rice which have an identification number programmed into it that can be injected under the skin with a hypodermic needle. A special scanner generates a radio signal that reads the number through the skin of the animal when it is found.
This book is not disputing the possibilities of a literal tattoo, but rather exposing the spiritual implications behind that plan of Satan. How will this come about? Will it be one of the above new technologies or something yet to come? We don’t believe men are going to be tattooed or branded with a literal set of three sixes on their foreheads or hands, any more than we believe the letters J-E-S-U-S will be on the foreheads of God’s servants as spoken of in Revelation 22:3-4: “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.”
How will the beast mark those who follow him, and what is the mark of God set upon those who follow Christ? Let us begin with the mark of the beast, then look at how we are to receive God’s mark which protects us from destruction in these end times.
MARK OF THE BEAST
Scripture’s Description of the Beast
1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies: and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.
10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
Revelation is a coded book. It was written for Christians so that only they could understand it. Those who do not have the Holy Spirit are bewildered by the imagery in this book of the Bible. Even as Christians we have difficulty when approaching Revelation. How do we understand its code? The Bible interprets itself so we can understand Revelation by looking to other portions of the Bible for clues to its interpretation. When we study one portion of the Bible, we can find the same truth in another portion that sheds light on what we are studying. Since
Revelation is a coded book, we won’t understand it without the help of God’s Spirit who inspired it, plus a child-like approach to His Word. We must have God’s Spirit and an understanding of the Scriptures to comprehend Revelation. Revelation was written symbolically; a great deal of it is not literal. If we don’t understand that Revelation is speaking of spiritual things, then we’re going to misinterpret it. We’ll end up looking for literal frogs and heads and horns and an actual beast.
To illustrate a portion of the code that almost all Christians are familiar with, consider the usage of the term “lamb.” We know when the Scripture refers to “the Lamb,” it is symbolically referring to Jesus and His sacrificial death on the cross as He was “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). It is not referring to a literal lamb, the offspring of a sheep. So for us to understand the symbolism of the “beast,” we must go to the Scripture for that definition. A modern-day analogy is that we could not operate a computer unless we understood computer language. We must get a Bible definition of “beast” and the Bible definition of “mark” to understand the mark of the beast.
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and I saw a beast rise up and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. Revelation 13:1
God wants us to understand the meaning of the terms in this verse, and throughout all of Revelation. He promises that if we wholeheartedly seek Him, He will hear and answer (Jeremiah 29:12-13). If we want to understand, we can. It may not come all at once, but as we seek Him, He will open our eyes. One of our shortcomings as Christians is that many of us have listened to end-time teachings but never have asked the Holy Spirit if the teaching is the truth. We’ve considered ourselves ignorant and assumed the teachers must have all the answers. But God wants each one of us to understand His Word, and He will give us understanding as we seek Him for it. He will confirm His true teachings if we seek Him by faith and with a pure heart. We have a responsibility to “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
(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.
LIVING FAITH REQUIRED
Speaking faith alone will not bring victory unless it is matched by a living faith and obedience to Christ and His Word. All will have to walk in faith to be overcomers in this hour. Those who truly are “faith” and “Word” people will do mighty things for God and His gifts and miracles will be exhibited for all to see. Daniel 11:23b says “…but the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits.”
Those who remain in doubt and unbelief will fall away as they criticize and judge this new move of God wrongly. The gap between those that are truly of God and those that are hypocrites and false prophets will widen and a separation will clearly be seen.
And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. Daniel 12:9-10
And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. Daniel 12:3
He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still. Revelation 22:11
(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.
Imprinted T-shirts with different messages are seen throughout the world today. Some of these messages are harmless and even carry messages that are good. Many Christians wear them as witnessing tools, (prayerfully, their lives reveal the fruit of the Spirit if they are displaying His name in public).
However, the devil is always around to take things and pervert them for his purposes, he is using T-shirts to advertise evil. Satan has used the seemingly trivial display of ideas on these shirts to do great harm to unsuspecting people and especially our children. Let us look at how this is accomplished by the enemy.
In recent years, the Lord has been giving His Church much revelation in the area of the power of His Word and our confession of that Word in our lives. As Christians, the Word of God is our standard, and we are to order our lives by it. Anything that does not agree with His Word we are told to resist and to overcome.
Words are very powerful as the words we speak will influence not only our lives but others as well. Lawyers use words to build their cases, for instance. Positive and uplifting words make us all feel better, while evil and negative words destroy and hurt us. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
Keeping this in mind, let us apply this to the advertising on T-shirts. Business men realize the power of advertising, as that is how their businesses are built: through word of mouth or through written ads in papers, on billboards, etc. When we wear negative or Satanic words on our bodies, we are advertising to others our intentions through those words. The devil being a legalist then takes advantage of this open door to bring about his plans in our lives.
Let us use a couple of examples to see how this operates. I remember a young Christian girl who came to church with a T-shirt that said, “I’m a Sex Bomb, Ignite Me!” Her parents totally ignored the implications of this “not-so-subtle” announcement. These parents yielded to their daughter’s desires by allowing her to wear what she wanted to and later they wondered why she ended up in premarital sex.
Many daughters of well-meaning parents end up pregnant before marriage, or other circumstances just as bad simply because parents fail to recognize the warning signs of lust upon them. Lust is encouraged when parents compromise and allow their girls to wear worldly dress such as bikini bathing suits or display Hollywood sex idols on posters in their bedrooms. This, of course, is an obvious danger sign most Christians would recognize but what about the more subtle messages the enemy uses?
Another shirt ad I saw recently said, “RESPECT YOUR ELDERS” across the top; then beneath this caption it had these words: “Wolf (30 million years old); Whale (50 million years old); Loon (100 million years old).” Although this is meant to be a cute joke, it reflects the attitude and beliefs of our younger generation at large: disrespect for leadership and the theory of evolution. Both of these things come from the devil as most young people have no respect for authority, and they know nothing of their origin.
Because they do not know God created them with a lofty purpose in mind, they have the attitude of “live any way you desire today, as you have no eternal hell to face, because you have evolved from an animal, so you will die as one, and it will all be over.” This T-shirt is simply reflecting the current attitudes in our society; however, no Christian should indulge in this type of humor. Ephesians 5:3-4 says, “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.”
What about ball teams who have names that reflect evil? A ball team in Arizona is called the “Sun Devils,” and most people desiring to support their home teams wear these shirts. What’s in a name? Surely this is harmless?
Jesus apparently put a lot of emphasis in using names, because He told us we could cast out devils in His name. When Jesus said this, He was saying that the authority of using His name was powerful enough to deal with devils. Behind every name is the authority of that name. An example of this is when a husband empowers his wife to use his name for banking or other purposes, it is the same as if he used his own name.
Now what does this have to do with a name on a T-shirt? If we have the devil’s name on us it gives him the legal authority to claim that territory just as on the positive side we find safety when we call on the name of the Lord. Proverbs 18:10 says, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.”
Displaying evil names and pictures by wearing these types of T-shirts can be invitations to the devil to attach himself to a person or to cause a curse to come against them. Although this may seem like a ridiculous assumption to some, we would encourage you to pray about this and ask the Lord if you or your children have any open doors through this “little fox.”
Psalm 105:1: “O Give thanks unto the Lord; call on his name: make known his deeds among the people.”
This month we thought you might be blessed by some of the letters we are getting on the Internet. Here is a sampling of some of our guests comments. Praise be to our Lord!
DEAR CHRIST UNLIMITED MINISTRIES:
Thanks to you and your website, I have decided to let Jesus into my heart and to forgive my sins. I read your part on PRAYER FOR THOSE SEEKING GOD, and I realized that this was the one thing that was missing in my life. I would like for you to E-mail if you have any information on after you have accepted Christ! THANKS AND GOD BLESS YOU!!!!!
We are thrilled that you have accepted the Lord as your Savior. Welcome to the family of God! We want to send you some material to help you in your walk with God. If you will give us your postal mailing address, we will get it out for you this week. We have this material in hard copy (book form) or on disc. Please let us know what would be best for you. Bless you in your new life in Christ. We will be praying for you.
Love in Christ,
Bud & Betty Miller
CHRIST UNLIMITED MINISTRIES:
I came upon your page actually by searching for something else. However, I ordered two of your books and have enjoyed them very much. I really learned a lot from “The Pathway into the Overcomer’s Walk”. Thank you so much for writing them. I never realized how to apply what I was reading in the Bible to my life. I have really been striving to hear from God and one of the things I’ve learned is to pray according to His will and not so much what I want. I have shared one of the books with a friend and she has enjoyed it very much. Thank you again. -C.R.-
Subject: Prayer Request
I saw your offer to pray for people in the internet. Now I ask you to pray for my father (78 years old) who has cancer in his throat. Also for my two sons which are familiar with drugs and satanic practices. If you need additional information please let me know. God bless you and your work! Thanks and kind greetings from Germany, -E.N.-
Dear Mr. & Mrs. Miller,
I would be very thankful to you if you said a prayer for me. Please ask the LORD to help me to follow his Word. I have strayed from him over many years. I have been praying to Him but I really did not understand what prayer was until I read your mini-teaching on prayer. I found it very insightful. I and my family are having many problems right now. We need some kind of a miracle to take us out from under all our problems. God knows what we need. Please ask him to answer our prayers. I don’t think I ever had anyone pray for me before. Thank you !
Subject: pray for me
Please, my name is —–. I’m a brazilian kid, I am 6 years old and i wish you pray for my christian life . I want walk with Jesus every day of my life in this planet.
Organization: internet in a mall
Subject: prayer request
hi,my name is _____. I am 14 yrs old, I just need you to Pray for my mother. since she is a single parent, she works very hard to support the family well. she has never had time to go to church so, I really hope and pray that her boss would let her have sundays off work so she can go to church. because ever since she stopped, she has been lost.
Thank You, D.
PRINCIPLES FOR EFFECTIVE INTERCESSION
We would like to give a definition of intercessory prayer. What is an intercessor? “One who takes the place of another or pleads another’s case.” Intercessory prayer then is praying for others. The Bible tells us that Jesus intercedes for us and therefore we are to intercede for others.
He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53: 11-12
We are listing some of the principles for effective intercessory prayer as we feel the Holy Spirit is “spotlighting” individual and group prayer for others at this time.
1. Make very sure that your heart is clean before God by having given the Holy Spirit time to convict, should there be any unconfessed sin.
If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me.” Psalm 66:18 (Also see Psalms 139:23-24, Palms 51:1-2,10,12,17)
2. Acknowledge that you cannot really pray without the direction and energy of the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we know not how to pray as we ought. Romans 8:26
3. Die to your imaginations, desires and burdens for what you feel you should pray.
Lean not unto your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5-6
He who trusts in his own mind is a fool. Proverbs 28:26
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5
My thoughts are not your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8
4. Ask God to utterly control you by his Holy Spirit. Then thank him for doing so!
Be (ye being) filled with the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18
Without faith it is impossible to please him. Hebrews 11:6
5. Praise him now in faith for the remarkable prayer experience you are going to have. He is a remarkable God and will do something consistent with his character.
6. Deal aggressively with the enemy. Come against him in the all-powerful name of the Lord Jesus Christ and with the “Sword of the Spirit”- the word of God.
Submit yourselves therefore to the Lord; resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7
7. Wait in silent expectancy. Then, in obedience and faith utter what God brings to your mind believing.
My sheep hear my voice…and they follow me. John 10:27
Be sure not to move onto the next subject until you have given God sufficient time to discharge all he wants to say to you regarding this particular burden; especially when praying in a group.
8. Always have your Bible with you should God want to give you direction or confirmation from it. Pad & Pen are helpful as things come to mind.
Thy Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalms 119:105
9. When God ceases to bring things to your mind for prayer, finish by praising and thanking him for what he has done. Remind yourself that.
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Romans 11:36
A Warning: God knows the great weakness of the human heart towards pride and if we speak of what God has revealed and done in intercession, it may lead to our committing this sin against God. God shares his secrets and burdens with those who are able to keep them. There may come a time when he will definitely prompt us to share, but unless this happens we should remain silent!
And they kept silence and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen. Luke 9:36 (Jesus transfigured)
But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19
by Kurt Thurston
Last August, while praying, I saw a vision. In the vision saw myself along with the people of our church on a very large ship. I could tell that we had been there for a while and that the trip had been rough. There were looks of discouragement on many faces as the ship was being tossed from side to side by the wind rain and waves. Many were hanging on but some were letting go. I felt that my reason for being there was to tell them the Lord was saying, don’t let go find your place in the ship and hang on with all confidence. As I proclaimed the word many gave heed, but some just let go and were swept away into the dark of the storm. My heart sank but I still pressed on. I turned around to see what was coming ahead and I could not believe my eyes. I saw a giant black title wave that reached all the way to the sky and I knew that all those who did not find there place in the ship, would be swept away.
When I sought for the interpretation of the vision I gained some understanding that I shared with the body at that time. Over the past year there have been multiple confirmations and prophetic revelations pointing toward the coming of a great storm so I know that the vision has not fully come to pass yet. I feel that not only the local assembly but also the body of Christ at large needs to hear and heed the warning.
THE WARNING: “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8). This is a time when the body of believers must find there place under the head that is Jesus Christ. Just as every member of the crew of a sailing ship must know their duty and be devoted to it until the very end. Don’t allow the enemy to divide us from the fellowship of believers, knowing that God has brought us together for the maturing of the saints. There can be no more uncertainty, we must know what we believe. We must put away every fear and be willing to be the overcomers He has called us to be. We must know what the Lord has purposed for us individually and get on with fulfilling it as a part of the true body of Christ.
Where there are divisions there is immaturity both in character and in understanding. The Lord Jesus Christ has made provision for every one of us to mature into the fullness of our calling as well as the fullness of His character. As those who say we believe in Christ and have made Him Lord of our lives, we must forget the past and hold tight to His purpose as we heed the voice of the Spirit. Without the unity of the Holy Spirit and the brethren all we have is a belief that can be altered by difficult circumstances and the tongue of the deceiver. Simply said, it is time for the Church to grow up.
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart. Ephesians 4:14-18
The storm will come, but those who follow the leading of the Spirit, need not fear.
Kurt Thurston is a teacher and music director in his church in Richmond, Indiana called Living Word Christian Fellowship. He can receive email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE ETERNAL CHURCH by Dr. Bill Hamon
This month we are recommending another book that we consider a “classic”. We believe it should be in every serious Bible student’s library. The Eternal Church is the best book we have ever read in regard to the history of the church at large.
Dr. Bill Hamon, the author, is president of Christian International Ministries in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. He is a present day apostle/prophet. The insights revealed in this book verify this office.
The Eternal Church gives a panoramic view of the Church from its birth to its ministry in the age to come. This is not just another book on church history but rather reveals the plan and purpose for the church as she is brought into full maturity.
If you are one who is interested in the present move of God through the Holy Spirit, this book will be of great value to you. It not only reveals how the church age will consummate in these end times but deals with the eternal church’s destiny throughout the ages. It uniquely gives us a picture and overview of all of God’s saints throughout the ages and their role in the eternal church also.
Rev. Paul E. Billheimer says of this work, “The Eternal Church, by Dr. Bill Hamon, recognizes the central importance of the Church, not only in time but, above all, in the age of all ages. According to this monumental work, the Church dominates all history as well as all future events unto the eternities to come. This book breaks virgin soil. So far as I know, it is the first in its field.”
Dr. Hamon is blessed with a prophetic anointing and we find this prophetic insight running through the entire book. This book was required reading for all of our Bible School students as we consider this an indispensable book on church history.
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.
CHRIST UNLIMITED PUBLISHING
President: R.S. “Bud” Miller
Editor: Betty Miller
Electronic Editor: Courtney Gould
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All scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise noted.
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