Recognizing False Prophets —Betty Miller
God Keeps His Word — R.S. “Bud” Miller
Purpose and Vision — Ministry Information
Share and Tell — Testimony of a Former Hindu
Spiritual Warfare — Battle in the Mind
Exposing Satan’s Devices — Satan A False Light
End Times — The False Prophet Beast
Book Review — A Simple Christmas
Little Foxes (Little Compromises) — What Does the Bible Say About Piercing the Body?
Prayer Focus Spotlight — Calling All Intercessors
Keeping Christ in Christmas — Special Guest, Larry Burkett
Thanksgiving Proclamation — President George Washington , 1789
Personal Word From the Millers — Holiday Greeting
By Betty Miller
Prove All Things
1 Thessalonians 5:21: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”
To recognize false prophets we must heed the above verse and “prove all things.” One does not arrive at being an overcomer until he first learns the all important lesson of testing or “proving” the issues of this life. In the hour that we live there are so many things that are false and evil. We must be constantly on guard and “prove” or test things, lest we become ensnared by something that is wicked. Cults are spreading. Eastern idolatrous religions are creeping into our country in very subtle forms, and many Christians are being deceived and have accepted their practices without even being aware of their evil. Some religious groups have existed for years under the guise of Christianity, and yet are far from the teachings of Jesus Christ. The Lord warns us of these false teachers and tells us to beware of them.
Looking at Matthew 7:15-23, we find Jesus gives us the guideline for determining false prophets:
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
God’s Standard, The Bible
Certainly, we are admonished to be on guard. However, some go to such extremes as to become narrow-minded and closed to some beautiful truths in the name of being careful. What should our role as Christians be in regard to acceptance of a new thought, idea or doctrine? We are told to prove all things, not to reject them because they might be strange or new to us. However, we should not receive them either, until we first prove them. How do we prove things? All true Christians are in agreement that our standard is the Word of God, the Bible. God left us this Book as a reference, standard, or gauge so we could know whether something is good or evil, truth or error, right or wrong. (2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”)
One of our major faults as Christians is that we tend to quote men on certain subjects instead of referring to the Book God gave us. We recognize that God gave us men to lead us into the truths of God, but our problem becomes who are the true men of God and who are the false ones that Christ warned us about? Sometimes we tend to evaluate men according to the size of their ministries, their popularity with men, or their endowment of certain gifts, etc.
Check the Fruit
The Lord said in verse 20 of Matthew 7 that we would know them by their fruits. What are these fruits? Galatians 5:22-24 defines them as being the fruit of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” We are told to look at their lives and see if these fruits are predominant in them and examine if they are living the crucified life. Of course, we must allow for imperfections that have not been overcome yet; but we should readily see the fruit of the Spirit in more abundance than the imperfections. One way we can check this is to notice the words that a man speaks. The Scripture says in Matthew 12:33-35, “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.”
Pride and Lustful Lifestyles
Many people have been led astray when they could have recognized the wrong spirit simply by the braggadocios and prideful words of men who exalted themselves instead of Christ. Others would have been spared if they had examined the lifestyles of certain men who claim to be God’s anointed. Their lifestyles are far from being temperate, reflecting the most expensive and extravagant clothes, diamonds, homes, cars, etc. This is not referring to well-dressed men and women, nice homes, and quality things but the extremes which reveal anything but the nature of Christ. Of course, neither is the other extreme of poverty the nature of Christ. Men of God should live temperate, moderate lives, overcoming poverty and avoiding extreme wealth. Jesus always went about giving to the poor. He never stored up His wealth even though He apparently handled a lot of money, thus the need for a treasurer, Judas (John 13:29). He gave away the things He could have used on Himself, yet He never lacked as He went about ministering. He should be our example today. The affection and lust for the things of this world do not portray the Spirit of Christ.
True Prophets Reflect Jesus
Examining the conversation of these leaders can quickly reveal the God they serve. Do they speak of God’s kingdom, His righteousness, and His love; or does their conversation center on the things of this world and life? Are they peacemakers, sowing mercy and love? Are they gentle and patient, or do they lose their temper easily? Do they walk in faith, or are they continually looking to other men for their needs to be supplied? Are they always pressuring people for money, or do they simply receive those gifts of money as unto the Lord? Do they have the joy of the Lord, or do they minister out of duty? Are they truly joyous with that joy spilling over to others, or do they continually complain and gripe over all the things that are not pleasing to them? Is goodness evident in their lives instead of evil? Do they put people in bondage by always threatening them with the wrath of God, or is freedom of choice extended with the warning of the penalties of sin? Jesus came to set us free, not to bring us under the bondage of men.
Let us prove all leaders and see if their fruit is good fruit. Do they love and not hate, have joy instead of depression, and promote peace instead of strife? Are they longsuffering (patient) or impatient, gentle or harsh? Do they show love and tolerance for those that oppose them? Do they walk in faith, or doubt and unbelief? Are they meek, giving God the glory for their talents and gifts, or do they pridefully talk of all they are doing or their group is doing? Does temperance prevail not only in their lifestyle, but in their personal habits as well, or do extremes exist that do not glorify God? In essence they will not live for themselves, but for others as Jesus did. Do they reflect Jesus? They will live a crucified life that glorifies God! Proverbs 20:11 says, “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.”
Examining lives by this standard we must be careful not to go to extremes ourselves and expect total perfection of all ministers. There are many godly men and women who are called of God, who have overcome in many areas, although they still have some weak areas. They are believing as they walk with the Lord that these too will be perfected. We are especially called to be patient and loving towards our brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Excerpt from the book Prove All Things
By R.S. “Bud” Miller
Note: This teaching is continued from last month’s Overcoming Life Digest. See Table of Contents for Archives.
God Keeps His Word
The night God cut the blood covenant with Abram, He told Abram that his descendants would be servants in a strange land for 400 years, but then He would judge the nation holding them in bondage. After that, they would be brought back to occupy the land (Gen. 15:13,14).
God did exactly as He had told Abraham He would do. He judged Egypt and led the Israelites to freedom and eventually to the Promised Land. When the Israelites were in still in slavery, Exodus 2:24 says that God “heard their groaning and remembered his covenant” with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God had confirmed His and Abraham’s covenant with Isaac and Jacob. The same covenant was not confirmed again until 400 years later when He led His people out of Egypt. However, God never forgot that He had “cut covenant” with Abraham, which would include Abraham’s descendants, because God had said this contract was “everlasting.” If we feel that God has forgotten the covenant He made with us, we must go back to the last promise He made to us and hold on to it in faith. God’s word is absolutely true, even if our outward circumstances do not show the manifestation of His promise (yet).
When it was God’s timing to take the Israelites back to Canaan, He honored the blood covenant and delivered them. His plan of deliverance began with a man named Moses, who was keeping his father-in-law’s sheep in the “backside of the desert.”
Now Moses was a descendant of Levi, one of Abraham’s great-grandsons. The story of his early life, recorded in Exodus 2, illustrates how God has His hand on those He calls from the time they are born to bring them into His purposes in His timing, if they will submit to His will. The story of Moses shows God’s faithfulness to keep His promises, for the sake of His people and for the sake of His own great name.
As a baby, Moses should have been killed, because the Pharaoh of that time had decreed that all Hebrew male babies be killed. That was his method of “population control.” But God saw to it that Moses not only lived but was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter and brought up in the palace as royalty!
As a grown man, Moses chose to be a Hebrew and not an Egyptian by trying to be a champion for his native people who were being oppressed. Like many of us, however, he did not seek God as to His timing and His way of doing things. He tried to handle it himself, which resulted in his committing murder and having to flee for his own life.
Moses ended up in Midian, north of Egypt in the wilderness, with some distant relations. They were descendants of Abraham through a son by his second wife (Gen. 25:2). In Midian, he married a priest’s daughter and spent the next 40 years working for his father-in-law, apparently herding sheep for the most part. It would appear to anyone that Moses had failed at his original God-given desire and destiny. He had wanted to help his fellow Hebrews, but instead he ended up in exile, hiding for his life. What a dismal conclusion to the story this would have been, if God had not honored His covenant!
However, the real story of Moses begins when he was called by God at 80 years of age for the purpose intended for him all along. Moses was even older than Abraham when God called him out of Ur! God has a way of using people mightily when it appears that all hope and favorable opportunity have left them. He has a habit of stacking odds against Himself, so He might show himself strong and mighty in our behalf. This should give all of us hope. God can use you for His purposes, if you are truly yielded and obedient, no matter how old you are or what you’ve done.
One day at Mount Horeb as he was tending sheep, Moses suddenly saw a bush on fire that did not burn up.
“And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I” (Exodus 3:4).
God had Moses take off his shoes because the ground becomes holy where the Lord is. Then God explained:
- Who He was — the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
- Why He was there — because He had heard the people’s groans,
- What He was going to do — send Moses to bring them out of Egypt.
The things Moses did, God did, Pharaoh did, and the people did during the time they were being brought out of Egypt make this one of the most exciting stories in the Bible. You can find it in Exodus 3-14.
Three months after they left Egypt, they arrived at Mount Sinai (Ex. 19:1). There the Lord confirmed the covenant with them through Moses and added the Law (The Ten Commandments) as a way of outwardly helping them keep the covenant.
We are going to look at what happened between God and Abraham’s descendants as the blood covenant was confirmed to them. On the mountain of Mount Sinai, God gave the structure, guidelines, and ways in which the old, imperfect covenant could be kept current to cover every generation until the Heir (Jesus) came to whom all the promises were made.
(To be continued next month)
(Excerpt from the book entitled: COVENANT God’s Guarantee for Victorious Living by R.S. “Bud” Miller)
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.
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Testimony of a Former Hindu
Dear Bud & Betty,
Greetings in Jesus Name:
I am from Malaysia and I truly enjoy the Overcoming Life Digest. Although I enjoy reading all the articles, I find the Little Foxes enlightening and informative. Last Friday, when I entered the GCN chat room, they were discussing about tattoo and piercing (tongue). One of the believers there was telling them it was wrong for Christians to have tattoos. Since I was formerly a Hindu, I know tattoo is from Hinduism and also witchcraft. Also, Hindus pierce their tongue with small spears and prick the entire body with little hooks and go in trances. I have witnessed this personally. But praise God, I never took after any of these rituals even when I was a Hindu. Praise God, I managed to convince a few about the evil of tattoo. One of them asked me for scripture verses which I promised I would send. But during the weekend, I was busy and also, I couldn’t find the relevant scriptures. I prayed to the Lord to help me. Then He reminded me of an article I read in your Digest last year. So I send them your article instead. Praise God for the articles in Little Foxes. Keep up the good work.
I print out your digest and pass it around to believers and also place a copy in my church library. I didn’t come across an article on the evil of social drinking or occasional drinking. A couple of weeks ago, I got angry with a pastor in GCN chat room who asked me about adult beverage (alcohol) in Malaysia. As a believer I take a strong stand against liquor. Besides, although formerly my family were Hindus, my father and brothers don’t drink alcoholic drinks. Therefore when non Christians take a strong stand against alcoholic drinks I don’t understand why believers should compromise. I will appreciate it if you can publish an article on this “little fox”. I have also included your link in my homepage.
Thank you and keep up the good work,
Editor’s Note: Each month The Overcoming Life Digest has an article entitled Little Foxes. This article always features a topic on how little things or little compromises can create big problems. This edition of the Digest is featuring an article on Body Piercing since this is a growing fad among the youth. Past Little Foxes articles can be accessed by going to the Overcoming Life Digest Archives. The article on Tattoos that Karen mentions in her letter can be accessed at the Bible Answers
For those that would like to also read some of the letters we receive we have a Testimony Page comprised from e-mail from many people around the world. They have really blessed us and we pray they will bless you too.
By Betty Miller
Battle in the Mind
What is spiritual warfare and how do we fight in this battle? Where does the battle begin? It begins in our minds. “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Where are the strongholds? They’re in our minds. That’s why Paul says we’re casting down imaginations and everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God as our thinking comes under His obedience. Consider this: ultimately, the only power Satan has over believers is the power of deception. If he plants a lie into our minds and that lie becomes a stronghold, we’re doomed to defeat.
God’s Healing is for Everyone
For instance, what if we believe that God does not want to heal everyone? What if we think He’s selective in His healing? Then if we become sick, the enemy will whisper that God heals some, but not us. He’ll tell us we’re the exception to the rule. Having embraced a lie, we won’t be able to receive our healing. The enemy keeps us from victory by feeding us a lie. The truth is that God is no respecter of persons. His healing is available to everyone. It’s like salvation. Christ died on the cross so that everyone might be saved — everyone! But not everyone is saved because they have not accepted the provision. Christ’s provision includes healing: “By whose stripes ye were healed” (I Peter 2:24). Note the past tense: were healed. It has already been done. Legally it’s ours. All we have to do is receive it by faith, just like salvation. Neither are automatic. To receive healing we come in faith believing that it’s ours because God has provided it. Otherwise the enemy will use a stronghold in our minds to rob us of our inheritance. We’re to cast down any imagination that the enemy has exalted above the knowledge of the Word of God. That’s why we need to know God’s Word. Then when we face trials, the knowledge of the truth will provide whatever we need to overcome the enemy. So if the enemy hits us with sickness and follows with the lie that God put it on us to teach us a lesson, we’ll know the truth.
God Doesn’t Use Sickness to Teach Us Lessons
God never uses sickness to teach us. He teaches us through His Holy Spirit and His Word. If school children listen to their teacher and read their textbooks, they learn. But if they don’t listen and study, they fail at test time. It’s the same for us. If we’ve been ignoring our teacher, the Holy Spirit, and neglecting our text, the Bible, we’ll fail life’s tests. But if we’ve done our homework and the Word has been worked into our spirits, we’ll overcome. Every time the enemy lies to us, we’ll counter with the truth of the Word. Some victories will be instant, others will require our continually standing on the Word. Because His Word is true, eventually every victory will be manifested. Some people will learn while they are in their trials only because they start seeking God more diligently, however the Lord doesn’t bring destruction on us so we can learn. Evil troubles come from the enemy and the Lord warned us that we would encounter these things because we live in this world and the god of this world, Satan is always trying to destroy people.
We Have Victory Through Christ’s Power
However the Lord gave us promises so we could overcome. The Bible says in 1 John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
Ephesians 6:10 tells us to “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.” In our own strength, we’re powerless against the devil. He’s a supernatural being and as human beings we cannot overpower him. The exception, of course, is the human who is in Christ. In Christ, we have authority over Satan; without Christ, we’re already defeated. That’s why the world is being wiped out by the enemy. They’re defenseless against his assault on their marriages, their children, their finances, their health.
God’s strength changes us. When I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, I boldly began witnessing whenever I had the opportunity. I was unashamed of the gospel, whereas before I had been timid about sharing my faith. This holy boldness is also to be upon us when we confront the enemy. Christians need not fear the devil. Even a newborn babe in Christ has more power over the devil than the devil has over him. The enemy would try to bluff us into thinking that he is to be feared and that we dare not arouse him. He does this to keep people passive, to keep them from pressing in to their inheritance in Christ. But does the Word say to ignore the enemy? No. It says to resist the enemy and he will flee (James 4:7). To resist him we must identify him; we must know where he is positioned. Some would advise not to talk about the enemy, thinking such attention brings him glory. Not the way we talk about him. We’re talking about how to identify, fight and overcome him!
Excerpt from the book Personal Spiritual Warfare
SATAN A FALSE LIGHT
Satan is an angel of false light. He certainly has glitter and glamour, but his fire turns to ashes. The Bible tells us that those who refuse to be taken in by Satan’s false light will one day be able to see him for what he is.
Isaiah 14:16, “They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?” Isaiah 14:12, “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.”
The name Lucifer comes from the Latin words “lux” (light) and “ferre” (to bear). He originally was a light bearer; since being cast from heaven, he is now only the bearer of false or “black” light. He is the prince of darkness and much of his evil work goes on in dark places. He also attacks the dark places of our knowledge of God, and since we do not have God’s light in those areas, he is able to do his work of deception.
The Hebrew word for Lucifer is “heylel.” If we look at the root word of “heylel” we find that it is a false light or the false son of the morning. Jesus is the true morning star. The root of “heylel” is the word “halal” and its varied meanings give us a description of Satan: “to shine; hence to make show, to boast; and thus to be clamorously foolish; to rave; to celebrate; also to stultify: (make) boast (self), celebrate, deal, make foolish, glory, to give light, be (make, feign self) mad (against), etc.” (Definition taken from Strong’s Concordance). Glittering Lucifer is the old serpent, the devil. Serpents enjoy dark holes, thus we see how darkness is more conducive to Satan’s evil ways, like dark nightclubs, bars, and parked cars at night. Most criminals and molesters prowl in the darkness. Witchcraft and seances are practiced in the dark. The Bible says, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (John 3:19-21).
Excerpt from the book Exposing Satan’s Devices
MARK OF GOD OR MARK OF THE BEAST
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.
Throughout the Scriptures, the word beast refers to a system, and not to a man. The beast is a system that rules the world; it’s an antichrist system. Daniel 7 speaks of beasts and identifies them as earthly kingdoms. So the beast in Revelation is a beastly system that’s ruling the world (it’s a dictator beast). This beast is not just one human being, rather it is a system that has infiltrated every area whether it be politics, medicine, art or science; the beastly system is everywhere. This system is typically overseen by a powerful government with those in power making decisions that perpetrate the worldly system throughout mankind. When Revelation 13:1 speaks of the beast rising up out of the sea, what is meant by the sea? The Scriptures speak of the sea as “masses of humanity.” This beastly system is rising up out of humanity, out of all the people on the earth. When John, the author of Revelation, stood upon the sand of the sea, he was standing upon that which could not be numbered, among all the people of the earth.
The False Prophet Beast
By Betty Miller
“So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns” (Revelation 17:3). The scarlet-colored beast represents the false church and false prophets. In the Bible, scarlet is symbolic of the blood of Jesus, but this scarlet color is not of God. The false church is trying to look like Jesus. With seven heads and ten horns, this beast has much authority and leadership. This beast is not one person, but pervades everything, be it politics, medicine, arts, science – it’s everywhere.
In being “full of names of blasphemy” the beast is that which calls good evil and evil good. That’s what blasphemy is. When people curse God, they’re cursing good or calling it evil. People have to know God exists in order to blaspheme Him. So much of the blasphemy coming from this beast is symbolic of the great apostasy when people who’ve known God fall away from Him. In so doing they’re blaspheming God; they’re coming against Him. Things that are an abomination to God are also blasphemous.
“And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication” (Revelation 17:4). Purple was the color kings wore so her purple clothing symbolizes authority. She’s at the head of the false church. She’s decked with the wealth of this world. She has great wealth. She’s been involved in the filthiness of fornication as people have fornicated with her over money. People have sold their souls for money in the buying and selling system of the world. The world’s system is buying and selling, but God’s system is giving and receiving. We’re in this world so we have to buy and sell, but we don’t sell out to the system. We don’t sell our souls for money. I believe that in the millennium God will establish his economic system of giving and receiving. God’s Word says, “Give, and it shall be given unto you” (Luke 6:38a). When we plant into God’s kingdom through giving, we receive back. At present, we yet use the world’s system of buying and selling, but the system doesn’t touch us because it’s not in our hearts.
(Excerpt taken from the book 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 7:15-16 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 fruits….” 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.”
Ephesians 4:11-12: “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 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.
A Simple Christmas
Hundreds of ways to bring Christ and joy back into Christmas in the spirit of More-with-Less
By Alice Chapin
Are you yearning for a Christmas filled with celebrations that actually mean something? Are you tired of the tinsel and credit card debt; the depression and exhaustion that this holiday now means to so many people? Do you want to establish family traditions that will teach your children to honor Christ during the holidays and give them beautiful memories for the future? If so, this book will be an inspiration to you.
A Simple Christmas will take you through the holiday season, offering hundreds of creative and meaningful activities that you can do as a family (and with friends) all during the month of December and into New Year’s. The 250 pages in this book are literally bursting at the seams with heart-warming ideas. The books offers suggestions for:
- Keeping the spiritual heart of the holidays, with peace and joy.
- Leading your whole family is doing things together.
- Finding happiness in reaching out to others and giving yourself away.
- Coping with pressures and extra expenditures.
- Overcoming the blues and even enjoy spending the holiday alone.
- Dealing with selfish or excited youngsters.
- Reshaping customs to focus more on the Christ of Christmas.
As I read through this book, I found myself becoming more thoughtful about life in general and inspired to reclaim, not only Christmas, but many other areas in my life that have been too easily dictated by the self-dominated society. Perhaps the chapter that touched me most of all was “Goodwill and Peace to All.” Christmas is about giving and receiving–and most of all to honor the One who has freely given us every good and perfect gift. May we bring joy to Him this season, as we remember those who are less fortunate than ourselves. As we all know, but so easily forget, Christmas is not about the obligatory gifts hastily ripped open and often never used. It is about giving of our time, sharing of our memories and skills, and teaching others to do the same.
The spirit of Christmas is a lifestyle, not something that can be simply turned on during the holiday season. Even so, at Christmas I think we all yearn a little more to express God’s love in meaningful ways to the world around us, and exalt the truth of Jesus Christ to those who do not yet know Him. A Simple Christmas brings these foundational truths of Christianity to the forefront of our hearts and shows us practical things we can do, not only to make the holiday more meaningful, but also the rest of our lives as well. The book is not only spiritually uplifting, but also practical. It comes equipped with a budget guide, and Christmas goals worksheet for you to use as a planning tool. It will help simplify your Christmas and place the focus on the real meaning of Christmas.
Alice Chapin is the author of many articles and thirteen books, all written to fulfill her life’s goal of helping others. The titles of some of the books she has written are 400 Creative Ways to Say I Love You, Gifts of Love, Reaching Back, 365 Bible Promises for Busy People, 365 Bible Promises for Hurting People, 365 Bible Promises for People Who Worry a Lot or a Little. Alice Chapin is a pastor’s wife and has been on the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ International for twenty years. She and her husband, Norman, live in Newnan , Georgia, and have four grown daughters. She attends Central Baptist Church in Newnan.
The book, A Simple Christmas, is available in paperback in our CHAPEL BOOKSTORE.
(Little Compromises That Cause Big Problems)
By Betty Miller
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 are little or insignificant can also be disastrous for us.
What Does the Bible Say About Piercing the Body?
Many of the young people in our society here in the USA are embracing a dangerous “little fox” or seemingly “little thing” that may seem harmless. The young people are saying that it is a “trendy” thing to do. Many of them are showing off multiple ear, nose, tongue, eyebrow and navel jewels and rings attached to their pierced flesh. Some even have this done on unspeakable parts of their bodies. These are abnormal and unnatural.
As many people are not aware of the spiritual dangers in such practices, this article is not meant to condemn any that may already have this done. However, we would urge you to seek the Lord as to any further involvement in this practice. The Lord loves everyone, no matter what we are currently doing however, His desire is to show us a better way.
The Bible warns us against cuttings in our flesh in Leviticus 19:28 which says, “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord.”
Our young people do not realize what they are doing has its roots in witchcraft and the practices of false religions. Those that have made trips to other parts of the world have viewed the bodies of those who have not only pierced and tattooed their bodies but have gone further, with mutilating their bodies. It is repulsive to see someone deform the body that the Lord made in perfection. The Lord admonishes us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20,
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
If we are to glorify God in our bodies, how do body piercings glorify Christ?
In 1 Kings 18 we find the story of Elijah contesting the evil prophets of Baal (a false god of that day whose followers practiced witchcraft). The prophets of Baal worked themselves into a frenzy trying to get their god, Baal to show himself mightier than the true and living God. However, the God of Elijah proved to be the true God. During the frenzy of the Baal worshipers they began to disfigure their bodies as we see from this scripture in 1 Kings 18:28, “And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.”
Another scripture that warns us not to disfigure our bodies is Deuteronomy 14:1(Amp.): “You are the sons of the LORD your God: you shall not cut yourselves, or make any baldness on your foreheads for the dead.”
When it speaks here about doing this in relation to the dead; this was a witchcraft rite done to mourn or remember their dead, so cutting, piercing and tattooing have its origin in witchcraft practices. The verse below reveals a connection between foreign gods and earrings.
Genesis 35:2: “Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: 3 And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. 4 And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.”
Perhaps a more well known scripture having to do with earrings is the record of the children of Israel falling into rebellion and worshipping the golden calf while Moses was up in the mount with God receiving the Ten Commandments. Here we find they took their earrings and cast them into the fire and make a golden idol out of them which greatly displeased the Lord.
Exodus 32:2-3: “And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron.”
There is one specific verse in the Old Testament which uses the Hebrew word, “lachash,” which is a word specifically associated with witchcraft. Here, the jewelry is used as an amulet to cast a spell.
Isaiah 3:18-23: “In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon, 19 The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, 20 The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, 21 The rings, and nose jewels, 22 The changeable suits of apparel,and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, 23 The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the veils.”
This is what makes it spiritually dangerous for people. People not realizing this opens the door for Satanic attack because they
have a mark or opening which allows the enemy entrance in their lives. Today this practice is growing because of false religions and pagan influences infiltrating the church.
Many of our young people are getting body piercings and tattoos out of a spirit of rebellion against their parents advice. Many men are also wearing earrings to make a statement of their rebellion by showing that they are “macho” or homosexual. Because the youth of our day are despising and rebelling against their parents this is very displeasing to the Lord as one of the Ten Commandments in the Bible is to honor our parents (Exodus 20:12, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee” and Colossians 3:20: “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.”)
Some complain and say that most of the women today in our society wear pierced earrings and they attempt to use this as an excuse for the bizarre body piercings they are flaunting. The Lord always judges what we do by our motives as He looks on the heart. It is a different matter when women wear pierced earrings as a custom, without the rebellion and pride attached to it. However, this could even be wrong if women are filled with vanity and pride over their appearance. Remember God looks at our heart attitudes. In fact, the Bible speaks of a generation of women that will be alive at the coming of the Lord that will be judged severely for their flirting and their haughtiness. Let us look again at the prophecy in Isaiah 3:16-24 (NIV):
16 The LORD says, “The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with out stretched necks, flirting with their eyes, tripping along with mincing steps, with ornaments jingling on their ankles.
17 Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion; the Lord will make their scalps bald.”
18 In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces,
19 The earrings, the bracelets and veils,
20 The head dresses and ankle chains and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms,
21 The signet rings and nose rings,
22 The fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses
23 And mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls.
24 Instead of fragrance there will be a stench; instead of a sash, a rope; instead of well dressed hair, baldness; instead of fine clothing, sackcloth: instead of beauty, branding.
25 Your men will fall by the sword, your warriors in battle.
We are living in a day that the Bible speaks of in 2 Timothy 3:1-7:
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
If you have been one that has been led away by lust or have been rebellious against your parents, you can come to the Lord and repent and He will give you a new start and a desire to live a holy and obedient life unto God. We should remove anything that portrays rebellion and ask the Lord to forgive us and give us a submissive spirit. Jesus does not condemn us, but rather, will help us. He loves us and invites us to a wonderful life in Him.
One note of warning to the church on this subject of body piercings. We have a generation now of young people that love the Lord yet do not understand all of His ways. Soon we are also going to be seeing a great revival among the youth of the world. The youth of this day want a real cause to live and die for. Most have not seen true Christianity. However, when they do come to Christ many will be bringing their tattoos, dress, music and old habits with them right into the church. We must be sure that we do not despise them nor look down on them, but rather welcome and love them and gently teach them the ways of the Lord. We are called to love and pray for them and help them avoid making some of the mistakes we have made in our own walk with the Lord. We need to be true mothers and fathers to them. Yes, we must speak the truth in love, but let us make sure we are loving them and not condemning them. On the other hand, we must not accept all that they would desire to bring with them that would harm them and compromise the Word of God. We will all need God’s grace to bridge the generation gap. We would recommend a great article written by a young Christian on this very subject. Read “Bridging the Generation Gap.”
Bottom line in regard to body piercings would be to ask the popular youth slogan, “What Would Jesus Do?” I don’t believe we will ever see Jesus with any body piercings that He placed on Himself. I can’t imagine Jesus with a tongue ring or a navel piercing. The only scars on His body are the nail pierced hands and feet put there by the evil men that crucified Him. They were not self inflicted. Overcomers will put away the “little foxes” that lead to bigger compromises.
EDITOR’S NOTE: We are including a testimony of a former Hindu who knows only too well that body piercings and tattoos are a form of witchcraft:
I am from Malaysia and I truly enjoy the Overcoming Life Digest. Although I enjoy reading all the articles, I find the Little Foxes enlightening and informative. Last Friday, when I entered the GCN chatroom, they were discussing about tattoo and piercing (tongue). One of the believers there was telling them it was wrong for Christians to have tattoos. Since I was formerly a Hindu, I know tattoo is from Hinduism and also witchcraft. Also, Hindus pierce their tongue with small spears and prick the entire body with little hooks and go in trances. I have witnessed this personally. But praise God, I never took after any of these rituals even when I was a Hindu. Praise God, I managed to convince a few about the evil of tattoo. One of them asked me for scripture verses which I promised I would send. But during the weekend, I was busy and also, I couldn’t find the relevant scriptures. I prayed to the Lord to help me. Then He reminded me of an article I read in your Digest last year. So I send them your article instead. Praise God for the articles in Little Foxes. Keep up the good work. Karen
Calling All Intercessors
We now have an Intercessory Prayer Page. If you would like to be an intercessor and prayer for the needs of the church around the world as well as this ministry, INTERNET INTERCESSORS
Keeping Christ in Christmas
by Larry Burkett
It irritates me when I see Christ being taken out of Christmas. That is not limited to only non-Christians–even Christians have adjusted to the commercialism of the holiday season. Obviously, not all of it is bad–in fact the holiday season provides the opportunity for families to reunite and also provides a pleasant break from our routines. I personally look forward to these days as an opportunity to visit with friends who are much too busy at other times in the year to just stop and relax.
But we have become terribly imbalanced. We give a myriad of useless gifts at Christmas because it’s expected of us and we feel guilty if we don’t. The commercialized world now makes a $100.00 toy seem perfectly normal. It’s easy to observe the stress that our imbalanced society places on family members. Christian parents who cannot provide the latest indulgences to their children are often depressed and distraught. Obviously, no one purposely makes them feel unworthy or insignificant, but the overwhelming emphasis we place on giving at Christmas certainly does.
So great is this social pressure that the closer we get toward Christmas Day, the more depressed and unworthy those who can’t indulge feel. Unfortunately the pressures don’t end once Christmas is past either. Those who can’t afford to compete in their gift-giving often dread congregating with their friends immediately after the holidays, because at “show and tell” time they don’t have much to show. It is not a conscious act on the part of most people to openly display their pride. Rather, because we are in a competitive society we often determine a person’s worth by his ability to buy things. “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).
One extreme is not balanced by going to the opposite extreme. The distortion of Christmas won’t be corrected by eliminating all gift-giving and observing Christmas as a “religious” holiday. The fact is, we do live in this world, and our families are greatly influenced by others. What we need to do is swing back toward the middle and eliminate the need to compete with others. Then we will have the freedom to develop God’s plan for our families without the pressure from the commercial world.
In order to do so, I believe that as Christians, we must first believe that God’s plan is different from the world’s, and is more–not less–fulfilling. It is a deception to think that by adopting a more disciplined lifestyle we are somehow denied the “good life.” It’s like saying that by avoiding drugs, we deny our children the euphoria that would make them feel “good.” But to decide that any and all drugs are evil and absolutely refuse to use them makes for a painful experience if you have to have a broken leg set. The key, as always in God’s plan, is balance. That always comes from following God’s wisdom.
SHIFT OF ATTITUDES
Gift-giving at Christmas is a relatively new idea. Until a couple of centuries ago, Christmas was reserved as a religious holiday on a noncommercial basis. Many of our forefathers would have believed that trading presents on the day set aside to observe Christ’s birthday was near blasphemy. However, gift giving became a generally accepted practice and was used primarily to show appreciation to loved ones. Gifts were usually simple, regardless of the means of the giver so as to not embarrass those who couldn’t afford to give very much. For a long while in most countries, gifts were exchanged on New Year’s Day (not a bad idea today–think of the great buys you could get!). Christmas gifts were limited to food for the poor or special gifts to pastors and missionaries.
As with most things that start out right, somewhere along the way the direction shifted. By the early twentieth century, families were exchanging simple gifts, usually handmade, on Christmas Day. Certainly there was really nothing wrong with that, except that under the growing influence of secularism it was a golden opportunity for Satan to divert our attention from Christ to Santa Claus. By post-World War II, Santa was the dominate figure at Christmas and December was the calendar month for retail sales of all kinds.
How did it happen? It would seem apparent that Christians aren’t as wise in the things of the Lord as non-Christians are in the things of the world. The secular world is always looking for ways to shift attention from God to material things, and we’re naive enough to go along. By the time we realize that our whole direction has been diverted, as it has been at Christmas, we believe it’s too late to change, so we give up. “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world” (1 John 2:16).
WHAT TO DO?
By anyone’s standard, the way Christmas is celebrated today is a gross commercialism of the most important birth in history. But we don’t need to preach to the unsaved world to put Christ back into Christmas. They shouldn’t; we should. One thing I learned a long time ago in counseling is not to try to overcorrect too quickly. Not only are past habits, such as overindulging at Christmas, difficult to change, but quite often others around us don’t see things just the way we do. If you attempt to stamp out all Christmas gifts suddenly, you’ll end up with a revolt on your hands. The correct way to is make some positive steps to establish a better balance.
Step 1: Stamp out Santa Claus. Christian parents should let their children know that Santa is a fraud. Santa’s harmless you say? Not so, when parents knowingly deceive their children about an apparently omnipotent being who travels the world in the wink of an eye and disburses presents on the basis of good or bad. It may be a small matter, but it is a place to start.
Step 2: Husband and wife should pray together and agree on a reasonable amount of gift-giving. Once you have reached a decision that you feel is God’s plan for your family, don’t get caught by Satan’s condemnation as Christmas approaches. The pressure to buy when everybody else is buying will be difficult to resist unless you absolutely agree. And again, I repeat, don’t overcorrect. Develop a balanced attitude that will accomplish your goals over the next few years.
One method that has proved successful to many families is to commit an equal amount spent on gifts to feeding the truly needy. In many areas of the world, an amount equal to most of our gift purchases would feed and clothe a family for several months. By giving to a specific family through a Christian organization, your children can see the purpose and value of your sacrifice and theirs. “And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you he shall not lose his reward” (Matthew 10:42).
Step 3: Stamp out credit. As bad as commercialized Christmas is, commercialized Christmas on credit cards is even worse. Many families literally indenture themselves to creditors for a whole year just to buy some useless junk at Christmas. As Christians, we need to decide if we really serve the God of the universe. If so, then He knows our needs and will meet them through His people without indebtedness.
I know that some of the people reading this have desperate needs. I also know that others sincerely want to help but don’t know who has needs. The use of credit allows those who have needs to temporarily buffer themselves from God’s real source. “As it is written, ‘He who gathered much did not have too much and he who gathered little had no lack'” (2 Corinthians 8:15). I believe Satan has used credit cards to cheat God’s people out of blessings and to keep them in bondage.
With all the other important issues to deal with, such as crime, abortion, and drugs, a logical question would be, “Why bother with such a minor issue as gifts at Christmas?” Because gift-giving is one area totally under our control, and like the Easter bunny, it is leaven that Satan sprinkles in the church. The practice of giving gifts is not the problem, just as the use of credit is not the problem. It is the misuse of these things that entangles us and diverts attention from Jesus Christ to material things.
We have enlisted in God’s army and now we can’t identify the real enemy. “No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier” (2 Timothy 2:4).
Our problem is that we keep trying to negotiate a compromise with an enemy who is totally dedicated to destroying us. It’s time that, as Christians, we decide to draw a battle line again. When it comes to commercializing Christ’s birth or resurrection, we need to establish a balance.
Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17).
This material was taken from the book “Using Your Money Wisely” by Larry Burkett. Published by Moody Press, a division of the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, IL. Used with Permission.
Larry Burkett’s Money Matters NewsletterWeb Site (Business and Money Matters)
The book, Using Your Money Wisely, is available in paperback in our CHAPEL BOOKSTORE .
If you would like to create a meaningful and Christ-centered holiday season, we would also recommend an excellent book, A Simple Christmas, by Alice Chapin.
A Day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer
The Year of 1798
“Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly implore His protection and favor– and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint committee requested me to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially in a form of government for their safety and happiness.
“Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday…to be devoted by the people of these states to the service of that great and glorious Being Who is the beneficent Author of all that was, that is, or that will be–that we may then all unite in rendering Him our sincere and humble thanks…
“And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions…to render our national Government a blessing to the people…to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations…and to bless them with good government, peace and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true knowledge and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of prosperity as He alone knows to be best…”
–President George Washington, 1798
Dear Internet Friends:
The Lord is so good! We are so blessed to receive your many letters. You have encouraged us as we continue to labor in this great field of the Internet. We regret we are unable to answer each one. However, we do read and pray over all our mail. The Lord spoke to us that our new pulpit is now our writings going forth through this media. Your love, prayers and support make it possible.
We pray this Digest has been a blessing to you. There are a lot of people that make it possible. We are grateful for each of them. We especially thank our intercessors and partners as they have been faithful to pray for us. God is answering your prayers. We now have extra help which has lightened our load. Thank you.
We have had a lot of questions about the Y2K problem so we are including updates on this situation in each new Digest. People are asking us what we are receiving from the Lord. The most important thing is that we must prepare spiritually for the days ahead as there will be other problems besides Y2K facing our nation. Hearing the voice of the Lord will be very important for all of us. We also feel everyone should make some physical emergency preparations also. The main areas would be to have some water and food storage and an alternate light and heat source. This would be wisdom in the hour we live anyway, as the Bible calls these days the time of trouble, perilous times, and the days of darkness.We will write a detailed recommendation in the next Digest. The Lord knew His people would be facing these times so He will make provision for all who are looking to Him. We must remember that the Lord is in control and that He promises protection and provision for all of His children who are seeking Him. He is calling us to walk in faith, not fear and to trust Him in all things. We must all continue to witness and share our faith with those who have not heard. The hour is late and Jesus is coming soon.
Just to update you about some changes on the site. We now have the Bible Study Course available for download.We also have a page now that lists our personal prayer requests and we would appreciate your prayers for us.
We have also added a lot of new topics to the Bible Answers link that you may want to check out.
We pray that the Holiday season will be a time of blessing for you and your family. Thanksgiving and Christmas are wonderful days to share our faith. We plan to have a simple Thanksgiving and Christmas and focus on relationships with family and friends. We also want to spend time in prayer, praise and worship, for truly our Lord Jesus Christ is greatly to be praised!!
In His Service,
Bud & Betty Miller
P.S. Mercy wants to share a Christmas greeting also:
Happy holy days everybody! God bless us everyone! I just want to thank you for all that you have shared with us this year–in spite of all the mail we receive, that are so many of you who we know by name and who now seem like old friends to us. It has been a true pleasure to get to know you in little ways and to carry your prayer burdens with you. Something personally that I love about working on the Internet, is getting to know such a cross-section of Christianity from all over the world and every denomination. Though we may have differences in how we interpret certain passages, different strengths and weaknesses, different emphases and giftings; we all are truly part of the same Body. It fills my heart with such joy when we can all work together for the common goal of glorifying the Lord in all that we do. My prayer this Christmas, is that we will give to the Lord a gift that will please Him most. One of those would be that we will truly love each other from the heart, and hold love a higher law than the doctrines that we don’t see eye to eye on. This is a commandment from God, and was part of Jesus’ last prayer on earth in the garden of Gethsemane (right before He was crucified):
“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one. I in them, and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you loved me” (1 John 17:22-23).”
AMEN! We love you Lord Jesus. Happy birthday
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