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Overcoming Life Digest – Volume 14

IN THIS ISSUE:

Judgment Hangs Over the Nation —Betty Miller
Covenant (Purpose of the Law) — R.S. “Bud” Miller
An Ordinary Daisy —Testimony
Spiritual Warfare — God Guides Us by the Spirit
Exposing Satan’s Devices — Battling To Win Takes Effort& Time
End Times — The False Prophet Beast & The False Church
Book Review — God’s Plan To Protect His People In The Coming Depression
Little Foxes (Little Compromises) —Selling Out For The Desire of the Moment
Beware of Pyramid Schemes — Special Guest, Mark Buckley
Personal Word From the Millers — Special Greeting
Purpose and Vision — Ministry Information


JUDGMENT HANGS OVER THE NATION

By Betty Miller

Judgment Begins at God’s House

1 Peter 4:17 says, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.” Ezekiel 8 speaks of the abominations in God’s temple and throughout Israel. Sin had become so vile that a holy God could tolerate no more. The command came to destroy all that was an abomination. Likewise, today sin exists in God’s house. There’s lying and cheating, greed and materialism, adultery and other sexual sins in church leadership. Many abominations can be found in our churches; such sin deeply grieves the Holy Spirit.

Obviously, sin abounds in our country too. As a result, our nation is racing toward judgment. It’s going to take wholesale national repentance to avert judgment. Ninevah was spared because it repented upon hearing Jonah’s proclamation. America, too, can be spared since prophetic words of judgment are conditional. This principal applies to all nations of the world. Fortunately, repentance averts judgment. First, though, the judgment is taking place within the church. Because God is purging His people, we see churches falling and sin in leadership being revealed. Hidden filth is being uncovered. Once the church is clean, she can enter into the glory promised her. Let’s intercede for those within the church who are yet walking in filthiness. Let’s cry and sigh for purity.

God Marks the Intercessors

Ezekiel 9:4 says, “And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” Is your heart grieved over abominations taking place in the church today? Sin is not restricted to the world, for the world’s abominations have crept into the church. There are unmarried couples living together who think it’s acceptable since certain pastors no longer hold a standard against adultery. There are even homosexual pastors. God can and wants to deliver people from homosexuality which is a sin that many have condoned, whereas God considers it an abomination. God loves the homosexual and wants to free him or her, however God hates the sin. We’re allowing sins in the church that were never allowed before.

We’re to be sighing and crying over the abominations in the church, crying out, “O God, this isn’t holiness, this is impurity.” According to Ezekiel 9:4, those who have a burden over the lack of holiness in the church are going to be marked by God. God says He’s going to mark those who are grieved over sin, those who are holy and pure in heart, those of who see the abominations and cry out for holiness in the church. Was the mark spoken of in Ezekiel 9:4 a literal mark? I don’t believe it was. Instead, I believe these intercessors were spiritually marked two ways. First, they had the mind and heart of God as they were intercessors. Second, they had angelic protection assigned to them so that no harm could befall them.

Holiness is no longer a popular thing to teach. Many feel that the grace of God covers everything, no matter what we do. The way God’s grace covers everything is by our first repenting of the sin. Repentance means to turn from the sin, not to keep doing it. In error, many have been taught we can keep on sinning and sinning and sinning, and God will keep on forgiving and forgiving and forgiving. God is merciful and forgiving but there is a point that if we’ve refused to turn away from our sin, the sin will overtake us and drag us right into Satan’s territory. That’s because being sorry is not true repentance, thus God can’t forgive it. We must turn from sin. True repentance is turning from sin, not just saying we’re sorry for doing it. Many are sorry they’ve been caught, but they’re not sorry from their heart; they’re not truly repentant for the sin. Judas was sorry for his betrayal of Christ, but he was not truly repentant.

Ezekiel 9 deals with holiness. The mark of God is going to be put on those seeking holiness. Do we think this is going to be a literal mark? Are we going to have G-O-D written on our foreheads? Of course not. We recognize that mark is a spiritual one. To be marked with God’s mark on our forehead is to be marked with the mind of Christ. What we’re to have is the mind of Christ, God’s thinking, His Word indelibly written into our mind that we might think His thoughts and speak His words from our hearts. That’s what it means to have His mark set upon us. In the natural, if we spend enough time with someone we become marked by that exposure. If we’re around Jesus long enough, we’re going to act like Him, we’re going to look like Him, we’re going to speak the words He speaks. But if we stay around the devil’s crowd long enough, we’re going to act like them, think like them, and speak the way they speak. So we’re going to either be marked by the Word of God or marked by the enemy, the beast system, the world system. If our minds are not marked by the way of the Lord, they’re going to be marked by Satan’s ways. Revelation 14:1 describes this marking also.

We need to understand this concerning the mark of God. In Ezekiel, His mark went upon those crying over the abominations. Remember Lot, his soul was vexed day and night while he was in corrupt Sodom. We should be vexed over what’s taking place in the church today when we confront it or hear of her sin. Continually I’m grieved over things I hear, such as the condoning of homosexuality to the point of allowing homosexual church leadership. Too many pastors are not holding up the holy standard of God’s Word. Instead they’re yielding to the beast system; they’re being marked with that system rather than with the mark of God and the mind of Christ.

Judgment Falls

Ezekiel 9:5 says, “And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity.” This speaks of the hour of judgment coming. When Jesus came to the earth the first time, He came as a Lamb. When He comes the second time, it will be as a lion, that is, with judgment to deal boldly with sin. So many Christians have no understanding of this. They think Jesus is coming again to deliver them out of all this earthly mess. In reality, He’s coming to judge them of the self-pity and apathy in their lives, sin, etc. Too many Christians are crying out for God to deliver them out of their situations, when God wants them to be a minister of deliverance to those around them in those situations. They’re to be on fire for God, doing warfare for Him, taking territory for His kingdom. They shouldn’t be crying to get out of this earth when God has placed them here to be His useful instruments.

In this judgment that’s coming upon the church, He says, “Spare not” (Ezekiel 9:5). A time is coming in which God says, “This is the end of the grace period.” It’s payday. Every man is now going to be paid for his deeds, whether they be good done unto God or evil done unto the devil. That’s what judgment is–it’s payday. We get paid for what we’ve done. It’s a day of justice, equity, and fairness. This does not mean we’re saved by works; we’re saved by grace. But we are to do good works. Our good works show that we have been saved. If we’re truly Christians, we’re going to be doing good works. If we’re not doing good works, we need to examine our Christianity. Good works show that we have a relationship with Jesus. They don’t get us to heaven; Jesus does that. But Jesus says those who love Him will keep His commandments (John 14:21). We’ll not keep on sinning if we love Him, and God will empower us to overcome that sin.

Judgment for evil is hanging over this nation and others as well. The only way it can be lessened or averted is for the church to repent, be cleansed and begin to pray and obey the will of God. My prayer is that each of us will do our part so that our own nations can fulfill their destinies for good in the earth. May the judgment coming to the U.S.A. be unto repentance and not unto destruction of our nation.

Excerpt from the book Mark of God or Mark of the Beast

CHAPEL BOOKSTORE (Click here for order information)

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COVENANT: GOD’S GUARANTEE FOR VICTORIOUS LIVING

By R.S. “Bud” Miller

Purpose of the Law

At Mount Sinai, God began to lay out the provisions found in “the Mosaic law;” provisions that would serve as a guideline (or a teacher) to keep the disobedience of His people in check and to lead them to Jesus (Galatians 3:24). (This is also where Moses received the “Ten Commandments;” God’s laws to man). God called them “a stiff-necked and wicked people,” as the Bible records this seven times before the second generation ever got to the Promised Land.

God in His mercy, and for the sake of His covenant, gave us the structure of “the law” to aid obedience. If we do not have it within us to obey God simply because we love Him, specific commandments are given them covering every area of life. When the Law was given, Israel did not have to think about “the rules”or want to do them, but they had to obey or suffer the penalties given by God for breaking them. God did this for the purpose of establishing order for the corporate life of the community.

Think how much God wanted to have a people who would be bound to Him by “blood ties!” However, instead of having mature covenant partners, as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had been, God had to treat the Israelites as children.

So many people, even today, do not really understand the purpose of the Law. God never intended it to be a substitution for the Holy Spirit, but to work with the Holy Spirit, leading men to salvation. It is a tool that the Holy Spirit uses–but by itself, the Law can do nothing. The law was given to keep sin from completely destroying the world, until Jesus would berevealed. It was to act, in some ways, as a “restrainer,” monitoring the actions of those who would inherit the kingdom, until the laws of the kingdom would be written on our hearts. Until then, the purpose of the Law is to show us that we need a Savior.

When Moses told the people all the things God had said, they insisted they would obey all the words of the Lord. Moses wrote down all that God had told him in a “book,” and then, with the young men, sacrificed burnt offerings to God. He sprinkled the altar with the blood of the offerings and took the book of the covenant and read to the people again all the words of the Lord, and they “answered with one voice” that they would be obedient.

It seems that Israel really did want to bring honor to God and keep His covenant. Even so, they were afraid of God. This wasn’t the holy, reverential fear that we are commanded to have. That sort of fear draws us to worship, respect and honor God. Rather, this tormenting fear made them afraid to enter God’s presence. Nevertheless, they thought that if they kept God’s laws at a distance and didn’t have anything else to do with Him, that God would be satisfied. How they underestimated the passionate heart of God, and His longing to be in intimate friendship with us! How they also underestimated themselves, thinking that such a distant relationship with God would satisfy them. All of those who base their relationship with God on an outward keeping of the law, will never be satisfied. It is utterly impossible for the human spirit to obtain satisfaction out of such a relationship. We were created to worship and live with God, and until we do, we will never be able to keep His law. The law will become a substitution for His presence, and therefore a form of idolatry. Those in such circumstances, are doomed to break the law they are trying so desperately to keep, and find themselves no closer to the living God then when they started. This tragedy was committed by many in Israel, and sadly, by many who are seeking God today as well.

At Mount Sinai, the Israelites’ took the first step to disobedience when they refused to hear God for themselves, the way their fathers had heard Him and the way in which Moses heard Him. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had talked with God, who visited them or spoke to them from Heaven. However, instead of drawing near to God to learn from Him, the Israelites said, “Oh, don’t let God talk to us! We’re too afraid. Let Him talk to you, Moses, and you tell us what He says! (Exodus 20:19).”

So Moses took his brother Aaron, Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu, and seventy elders of Israel part way up the mountain. There they saw God, and they ate and drank (Exodus 24:9-11) and “worshipped afar off.” But only Moses and Joshua went on up to the place where God was resting on a pavement of sapphires, and Joshua waited some way off. A cloud of the glory of the Lord covered the mountain for six days, and the seventh day, God called to Moses out of the cloud (Exodus 24:16-18), and Moses was on the mountain forty days and nights after that.

The elders were supposed to wait there for Moses, and while he was gone, they were to handle any problems that came up among the Israelites. It is sad to say, but in the midst of all of this powerful demonstration by God, Israel began already to forfeit their rights under the Covenant. Even while Moses was seeking God on their behalf and establishing them as a nation under God, they fell into gross disobedience, turning to idolatry and revelry.

Did you ever wonder how the Israelites could fall into idolatry so quickly after committing to obey God’s covenant promises? God had revealed His majesty and power to His people. They knew He was the true and living God. He had appeared before them in fire and smoke, and He had spoken before them audibly. They realized they had been in the very presence of God and had the covenant confirmed between Him and themselves. They had spoken out of their own mouths three times that they would keep their part of the covenant, which was to obey God. It was understood by all who were present that the purpose of the “Book of the Covenant” was to remind them of what they had entered into with God and to what they had agreed.

Yet, despite this, they had contented themselves with a distant relationship with God. Though they had been so eager to keep His covenant and commandments, they almost immediately slipped into some of the worst sins they had done. They deceived themselves, by calling their pagan festival, a “festival to the Lord” (Exodus 32:5). Perhaps they actually thought God would be honored by it. We may wonder at their ignorance and rebellion, yet all of these stories were written for our benefit. 1 Corinthians 10:11-12 says “Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”

Let us be warned: It is impossible to keep the Law, God’s covenant, without knowing and loving God. That is why the first and greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind. If we try to keep the law apart from the first commandment, we will only deceive ourselves as the Israelites did, and fall into idolatry. God’s covenant is not a set of rules to obey. It is a relationship. If we fail to enter into a love relationship with God, we are not only breaking the covenant, but the purpose of it as well. How can we expect to obey a set of rules, without being motivated by love for the One who gave them? And how can we love the One who gave them, unless we know Him? And how can we know Him, unless we draw near to Him? By building a golden calf and worshiping it at a “festival to the Lord” the Israelites betrayed how very shallow their understanding of the Lord was. They had seen His glory and miraculous deliverance, and they had even committed to entering into a covenant with Him. Yet, because they did not really know Him, they could not keep His covenant.

Lack of drawing near to God will rob us of covenant blessings, just as drawing near to Him puts us in a place to receive them. Many Christians today forfeit covenant blessings as Israel and Judah did. Perhaps it is because we are so often satisfied with just the smallest benefits of covenant with God. Even as the Israelites, we are happy as long as we have enough money, good health, and other benefits of a “good life.” God wants to give us these things, but they are only the smallest beginning of the benefits that being in covenant with Him can bring.

Through this episode in Israel’s history, we can get just a glimpse of how much God loves His people. Do you see how much He craves intimacy with you? Can you understand how He could love us enough to allow His only begotten Son to be sacrificed as a lamb in order to seal once and for all the blood covenant that makes all those who will receive it His children?Beloved, He loves us! If we try to keep God’s covenant only by our own strength and will power, we deceive ourselves. The only way is through humility, the power of the Holy Spirit, crying out to God for grace, and most of all seeking to know Him. It is with such men, that God establishes covenant. More than any outward law or tradition, He wants us to dwell in His supernatural presence, through the blood of the Lamb, washed clean, and transformed into His image by beholding His loveliness. He has offered to us freely, what the Law could never earn us. The surpassing treasure and true benefit of covenant is simply this: to know God as a friend.

Note: This teaching is continued from last month’s Overcoming Life Digest. See Table of Contents for Archives.

(Excerpt from the book entitled: COVENANT God’s Guarantee for Victorious Living by R.S. “Bud” Miller)

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SHARE AND TELL

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

An Ordinary Daisy

From as far back as I can remember, I wanted to be extraordinary. I didn’t want to be just another person in the nameless mass of humanity. I wanted to stand out as someone who actually broke out of the prison that most of us are born into; the prison of such a short wisp of a life–gone almost before it starts, no remembrance of it when gone, and no lasting impression made while alive. I’m aware that many, if not most of us, face this same struggle. I don’t know if mine was more profound than most. I only know that it was a driving force of my existence from the time I was an early teenager.

When I really gave my life to the Lord at age 18, this desire was automatically transferred into the kingdom of God. I was determined to not be an “ordinary Christian.” I was going to do outstanding things for God, at any personal cost or sacrifice. I would never, never be a mere pew warmer. In those years I was quite zealous for God, and on my college campus, I had a reputation (which I loved) of being “on fire for God.” I attended Christian meetings almost every night of the week, spent much time in prayer and reading the Bible, and shared the Gospel everywhere I went. My desire and love for the things of God was genuine. However, I did not see that lurking under the surface of my zeal was a deep insecurity that the enemy would try to use to destroy me.

I didn’t see that much of my so called “fire” for God was really just a fire for myself to be acceptable in my own eyes. I truly loved the Lord, but it would have shocked me if I could have seen back then (or probably even now!) how much of what I did for the Lord, was really just for myself. I laughed at the Pharisees when I read how Jesus preached at them for doing what they did so men could see them and admire them. It never occurred to me that I might be in that category myself. No one likes to see the worst in themselves, and many times we are truly blinded to it. It takes the gentle work of the Holy Spirit, peeling away layers of pride, deception, sin, and insecurities for us to see ourselves as we really are.

Since that time, God has led me through many things to break this deadly “religious spirit.” I don’t have time to share them all here, but I will say that the work has been sometimes painful, but always cleansing and freeing. Most of our striving is based on the simple fact that deep down inside we aren’t really sure that anyone (least of all God) likes us for who we are–especially at our weakest and most horrible. Most of us can accept that He loves us because He is God, but we tend to look at it as a broad sort of “tough love”–He loves us, but is more saddened by us than anything, and tolerates us because of His own goodness–but He doesn’t really like us that much.

Recently, the Lord showed me in a beautiful way, how wrong we are to think this of Him. I was at a prophetic conference in Colorado, and one of our assignments was to turn around to the person behind us (someone we did not know) and pray together, and then share what the Lord had shown us about each other. Needless to say, some were nervous that they wouldn’t “get anything” from God, but we all obeyed. The man whose hands I was holding began to share what he was seeing about me, and one of the words that he used was a Daisy. For some reason this sort of bothered me deep inside. A Daisy seemed so…ordinary, so weak and unimpressive. Surely that wasn’t how God saw me, was it?

Later as, my friends and I shared the words we had given and received, I didn’t mention the Daisy at all, because I felt sort of ashamed about it. All I mentioned about it was that the guy I prayed with had called me a flower.

The next and final day of the conference, all the attendees were assigned to go to various “prophetic teams” of people who would pray and prophesy over us before we went home. As I was being prayed over, one of the ladies in the team said, “Lord, I see here a Daisy, and that there is something so special to you about a Daisy heart.” Again, I felt a slight flare of annoyance, but I ignored it, so I could “move on in the spirit” to everything else they were saying. Much of what was said ministered deeply to me, but as it turned out, nothing touched me more than the reference to the Daisy.

Immediately after the prayer, as I was walking to meet my friends, I heard the voice of God speak clearly to my heart. “Mercy, why do you love Daisies so much?” This surprised me. This may seem unbelievable, but right up until that very moment, I had actually forgotten how much I genuinely love Daisies! “Well, they just cheer me up I guess” I said to the Lord. “I like them because of their simple beauty. They aren’t overblown or pretentious. They seem clean and pure and wholesome and real. They just make me smile. I guess I can’t really explain all the reason why I’m attracted to them–I just am.” Immediately, I began to cry, as I realized what the Lord was trying to show me.

It is often said that the hardest person to live with and love unconditionally is ourselves. Yet, I believe that just as we are attracted to things like Daises, so God made us to be attracted to ourselves as well–and I am not talking about vain narcissism or arrogant pride. These are Satan’s counterfeits for this truth of God. His ways breed envy and disdain for our fellow man. God’s ways, however, release us to find joy in being just who He created us to be— a unique reflection of His image. When this work is completed in us, we can truly rejoice at the marvelous things He has done in others without feeling the slightest twinge of envy, competition, or inferiority.

Could it be that many of us would like ourselves a whole lot more if we weren’t so busy trying to impress ourselves and others, trying to create another persona that we feel more comfortable in? Could it be that if we would simply let God be Himself in us, we might actually like the person that emerges–that hidden, weak, scared side of us that we try to keep stuffed away from prying eyes? In that area of our being (even in the most humiliating part of it) lies a precious seed planted by God. God wants to breathe on it and cause supernatural life to grow from that place that we hate the most. In fact, this is where He will bring forth the greatest beauty in us–if we will let Him. All it takes is bravery; which is another word for faith. This He gives freely and abundantly to all who call on Him in truth.

Whether we ever make the history books of this world is of very little consequence. The records that are kept by man are incomplete and biased anyway. We all remember things differently from each other, and couldn’t possibly do justice to even one life, let alone the billions of people that have lived on this planet. However, there is a Book that has recorded each and every one of our lives–a History Book kept by the only One who sees everything that really happened and who is impartial in His records. In His Book, no one is overlooked or forgotten, regardless of the importance their life on earth. We may weep over injustice in human history and our own fears of being forgotten, but I tell you that with God there is no such thing. A Day of reckoning is coming–and on that day, all of history will be judged by the only One who can judge it righteously and mercifully.

Anyone can do “good deeds” but they do not necessarily justify us in God’s eyes, or win His heart. The Pharisees are proof of that. What He really wants from us is honesty and humility. Our own “righteous actions” can never cover the nakedness of that part of us that we are ashamed and embarrassed about. We may feel that we haven’t done anything really worthwhile, and that we aren’t very high up on God’s list of important things to do, and if we only become a better Christian He will love us more– but that is a lie straight from hell. Of course God wants all of us to mature in the faith and to do the works He did–but the purpose of all of this is so that each one of us can become a friend of God. Friendship with God should be our goal, not great works to do for Him. If we are His friend, great works will follow, simply born out of a love relationship with Him. Our works won’t make us proud of ourselves, either. They will make us proud of Him!

I know I still have a ways to go, in letting God transform my old ways of thinking and acting. I realize an important key is to not become absorbed in myself–my strengths and weaknesses, but rather, to become absorbed in Him. Where does healing come from? Where is the fountain of life that washes away all that smells of death and despair? If the world knew, how they would run to it! If the Church really knew, oh how we would run to it!

I have no fancy answer to finding that healing River. The Bible says that if we believe in Him, it is flowing from our innermost being. The Bible says that it is already there! In the River is all that we need. It may come manifested in healing words spoken to us by a brother or sister in the Lord. It may come from many different sources, one of the greatest being to love and pray for those around us (even those we have a problem with) the way we ourselves would like to be loved and prayed for. But most of all, it will come from one place; the Secret Place of the Most High. If you have never been to a secret place with Him–or if it has been many years, ask God to take you there, just as you are. His spirit will wash you and make you beautiful in His eyes. The more of your own sin that you recognize and repent of, the more room you will have for Him in your heart–and this is something that you can never be worthy of. All He wants is for you to accept it and take the time to dwell in it. This is an act of His grace and love to you–little ordinary you. Weak and unspectacular as you are, He loves you far more than you can begin to imagine. Your life has been written in God’s History Book, and if you seek Him with all your heart, the story of your life will be one of beauty, strength and grace.

_________________________

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SPIRITUAL WARFARE

By Betty Miller

God Guides Us By The Spirit

God’s sons are led by His Spirit. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14). This is an essential truth to grasp. If we’re led by circumstances, how we feel, or by anything less than God’s Spirit and His Word, we’re going to be led astray by the enemy. Too many Christians are led by feeling: “I don’t feel like doing that.” It doesn’t matter whether we feel like it; if God says to do it, we’ll be able to do it in His strength. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). God will give us the strength and power to do His will.

These Christians are led by their emotional feelings which they confuse for the Holy Spirit. They think they must be in love because the feeling is so “right.” However, many that have these feelings for someone else already have a mate–hence, their feelings are illegal feelings. The will of God will never lead us outside of the Word of God. We should always submit our feelings to the will of God. We should always allow the Spirit of God to influence our feeling, not the other way around. God will always give us the proper feelings when we ask Him and will remove the wrong feelings also.

Another group of Christians are led about by circumstances. While circumstances can be a factor in guidance, they’re not to be the major criterion. To make them such is putting the cart before the horse. Some would pray, “Lord, if You want me to go pray for that sick brother, then send a red sports car past my window.” That’s the last car the enemy would let go by.

Granted, such fleecing worked for Gideon. And many times God will honor the fleeces of baby Christians because they don’t yet know how to hear His voice. But He wants us to grow beyond that level of proposing things to Him, of saying, “Lord, if such-and-such happens, then I’ll know to do thus-and-thus.” Instead, He wants us to be sensitive in our spirits to His voice. Once we’ve received His guidance in our spirits, the circumstances will line up. He’ll make the necessary provision for us.

For example, we may feel called to minister somewhere. We sense it in our spirits and we’re set to obey. Then we pray for the open doors and God will open them. Too often Christians approach it backwards. They say, “God, if the door is open, then I’ll go do it.” God doesn’t want us relying upon open doors for guidance because Satan can open doors too. The enemy of our souls can send along the wrong person or provide the wrong opportunity. We must check things out in the spirit rather than naively assuming that everything is of God. The world has mocked Christians for being naive, swallowing everything without having God’s wisdom. Ask for God’s wisdom in all circumstances.

Excerpt from the book Personal Spiritual Warfare

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EXPOSING SATAN’S DEVICES

Betty Miller

THE SPIRITUAL WARFARE BATTLE

Battling To Win Takes Effort And Time

Many times, there are certain things we must do before we can receive our answers. Then again, it may simply be a matter of time before our answers come as it was with Daniel. In Daniel 10 we read there was a delay of three weeks between the time God heard Daniel’s prayer and the time God spoke to him. There was a war going on in the heavens that tried to prevent Daniel’s answer from coming, but because of his faith and fasting the answer did come.

“Then said he (an angel) unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia” (Daniel 10:12-13). The angels and fallen angels are both referred to as “princes” and “kings” in these verses. These angels had a battle in the heavens because of Daniel’s prayers.

Today we have been challenged to stand up in the Lord’s army and fight the same kind of spiritual battles. Paul was a New Testament saint who fought spiritual battles and won, and he encouraged Timothy to do likewise.

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith…” (2 Timothy 4:7). “This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare…” (1 Timothy 1:18). How do we fight in this battle, and what are our weapons? Let us look at Ephesians 6:10-18 for our answers.

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints…”

This epistle was written to the Christians at Ephesus, but is also for us as Christians today. We must realize we are in a spiritual battle as long as we are on this earth.

This Scripture starts out by admonishing us to “…be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.” We do not have to depend on our strength, for it is no match for the devil. It is the name of Jesus and His power that gives us victory over the devil. We must put on the whole armour to be sure of our victory because the devil is waiting to discover any cracks in it. He is full of wiles and tricks.

Excerpt from the book Exposing Satan’s Devices; Click here to order from the CHAPEL BOOKSTORE

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END TIMES

MARK OF GOD OR MARK OF THE BEAST

Betty Miller

INTRODUCTION

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.

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The False Prophet Beast

“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” (Revelation 13:11). What beast is this? This refers to the false church, the counterfeit (the false prophet beast). This beast had two horns like a lamb meaning he looked like the church; he looked like Jesus, but he spoke as a dragon. Today in the church the dragon is speaking through many so-called pastors and church leaders (false prophets). It looks like the lamb; they’ve got “church” written on the outside and they perform religious ceremonies. But they’re speaking like the dragon, not like the Lord.

This false church is leading millions to hell because the church members think they’re on the right track and heading for heaven, yet they’re being deceived. “And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast” (Revelation 13: 12a). In many countries there is a religious system that has much authority, even politically. This church power is ruling along with the government power. There are people within this church who are born-again Christians, but the church system itself is a beastly one. Many have taught that this particular religion is the beast, but it’s false teachings are only a part of the beast. All false teachings and deceiving practices that have infiltrated any religious group make up the beast.

The False Church

This beast “…causeth the earth and them that dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed” (Revelation 13:12b). The false church, the false system, is causing millions of people to worship the devil without even realizing it. Millions think they’re serving the Lord and going to heaven when in reality they’re heading for hell because of the beastly system being preached throughout false churches, groups and movements. “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men” (Revelation 13:13).

How many of us realize that not all miracles are from the Lord Jesus Christ? There are counterfeit miracles caused by the devil. Satan counterfeits all the things of God. For example, if someone prays for an individual’s healing and healing occurs; if that healing was not done in Jesus’ name, it’s a false healing. Unless healing is done in Jesus’ name, it’s false. These “great wonders” and “fire coming down from heaven” represent false anointing. We refer to the power of the Holy Spirit as fire, as the anointing of God. In contrast, the false anointing has fallen on the false church.

There are supernatural things happening in the false church, but God is not the source of these supernatural occurrences. The Holy Spirit will always glorify Jesus and draw attention to Him not to a man. Many present day “miracles” are not causing men to repent and turn to Jesus but rather men are seeking these “power anointings” for the excitement of a new experience. Some of these so called “miracles from heaven” are even creeping into the true church. Deception and delusion are so strong today and many of God’s people do not have the discernment they should have to recognize the source of these miracles. This is because of a lack of commitment and obedience on their part. Many are being deceived because holiness and purity are not being preached. The false churches are preaching a false gospel that is ensnaring many into its web of deceit. They represent the earnest attempt of millions of people to fulfill deep and legitimate needs of the human spirit.

Excerpt taken from the book The Mark of God or The Mark of the Beast;

CHAPEL BOOKSTORE (Click here for order information)

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PROPHETIC VOICE TO THE CHURCH

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

First, what is godly prophecy? It can be summed up as words that are spoken on behalf of God. A prophet or prophetess is one who is a spokesman for God. It is a divine utterance that comes from the Holy Spirit. (Note: Just as there are prophetic words from God, there are also false prophecies that the Lord warned us about in the Bible. In Matthew 7:15-16 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.


BOOK REVIEW

God’s Plan to Protect His People in the Coming Depression

By David Wilkerson

David Wilkerson has a prophetic gift and has faithfully been warning the church for years to prepare for the days that we are now entering. This book is a sequel to the earlier book he wrote this past year, America’s Last Call. In that book he warned of a coming financial collapse of America’s economic system because of the many sins and abominations in our nation. Because of the hardness of men’s hearts and the failure of God’s people to repent God has no choice but to allow judgment to come so that our nation can be cleansed of its wickedness.

In God’s Plan to Protect His People in the Coming Depression he says, “One-third of the world is now suffering economic depression! No one will ever convince me that America can avoid a full-blown depression. In fact, I believe it has already begun. Soon the financial bubble will burst and we are going to be shocked by the blindness and ignorance of our leaders and financial experts.They have no idea of the severity and suddenness of the coming storm. Soon the cry will be: Was there nobody in charge? How did this happen?

You will read about a number of topics in God’s Plan to Protect His People in the Coming Depression that will help you to understand what is happening in this country. Some of these topics are: The lessons we never learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s — Overcoming fear in perilous times — How to prosper in hard times, God’s way — How to prepare for the coming depression (spiritually and physically) — God’s covenant promise to preserve and provide for his people in the worst of the coming chaos — Scriptures to live by in perilous times — Resting in Jesus in hard times.

If you are concerned about Y2K, the stock market, or future events, this is one of the books you will need to prepare for the days ahead. We recommend it for our readers.

….Book Review by Betty Miller

David Wilkerson is founder of Teen Challenge, Inc. the worldwide Christian drug and alcohol rehabilitation ministry. He is author of The Cross and the Switchblade,The Vision, Revival On Broadway, America’s Last Call and many other books. He and his wife, Gwen live in New York City, where he serves as senior pastor of Times Square Church.

This book and America’s Last Call are available for $8.00 each in our CHAPEL BOOKSTORE (Click here to order)


LITTLE FOXES

(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.

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Selling Out For the Desire of the Moment

Many people could give testimony as to how they have regretted giving in to their desires of the moment, as a few moments of pleasure resulted in a life time of regret. The teenage girl who engaged in premarital sex and became pregnant, later lives with the shame and responsibility of her moment of passion. The young man who tried out drugs for the first time and was caught and jailed for possession of illegal narcotics. The married man or woman who cheated on their mate in a one night fling and ended up losing their marriage over that “one time.” These are just a few examples of how seemingly small things can cause enormous consequences. These “little foxes” brought destruction to the entire vine and lives are forever changed because of a one time mistake.

The Lord warns us in the Word of God to flee from these kinds of temptations. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 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.

The Lord would have us call on Him when we are faced with temptation so that we don’t sell out to the enemy. He wants to help us so that we do not have to face the problems created by our sin. Even if we fail, God will help us get up and go on and can turn what Satan meant for evil into good. However, it is better that we do not fall into the pit to begin with as we will be spared much suffering and sorrow.

God certainly will forgive our sins and cleanse us from our guilt and shame. However, we must walk through the consequences of our sins. Some consequences are greater than others. There is an example of this in the Bible. It is the story of Esau selling his birthright for a little food in Genesis 25:

29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint:
30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.
31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?
33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.

Esau was the oldest son and the father’s inheritance went to the first born as his birthright. Jacob was the younger brother but he understood the value of the birthright better than the one to whom it belonged. In those days whatever a man agreed to with his lips was done. For a little bowl of lentil soup, Esau lost his birthright. He was then rejected because he thought so little of his inheritance. Many today are selling out their Christian birthright for a little “pottage of flesh” when God has so much better for them.

Proverbs 28:21b says, “….for a piece of bread that man will transgress.”

Sometimes it is the “little foxes” that bring a man down. The seemingly little things can defile us. As Christians we must be careful, not careless so we do not lose our inheritance in the Lord.

Hebrews 12:16-17, “Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”

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SPECIAL GUEST

Beware of Pyramid Schemes

by Mark Buckley

There are several variations of pyramid schemes going on in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A. right now. One entails people taking $2,000 to a meeting. The $2,000 is “gifted” to someone else and then the person takes eight other friends who “gift” others with $2,000. After their friends bring $2,000, the original person receives $16,000. This may seem like a great way to make money quickly. In reality, it brings pain, hurt, and confusion to many who get caught up in it. Pyramid programs by their very nature are designed to produce a great return for those who get involved early on, and anguish for those who are last to participate.

During the early part of 1997, Albanians were experiencing their first fruits of democracy. The people had not been exposed to many business practices, either legitimate or fraudulent, because of the Communist regime. When some devious individuals introduced a pyramid program to Albania, hundreds of thousands of people participated. When the nation was saturated with this program, the last people in realized that they had nobody to collect money from and the pyramid collapsed. At that point, thousands of the people went on a rampage. Anarchy broke out and a civil war began. To this day, the nation has not regained its stability. The people were naïve and somehow felt that they could get rich without really working, simply by investing in a pyramid scheme.

People should know better, but unfortunately there are many gullible people in the world. Most pyramid schemes are run by people who do not care about the other participants. They know that a great majority of them will lose money, but since their motivation is greed, that doesn’t stop them.

There are ethical and scriptural reasons why Christians should not participate in pyramid schemes:

1. They are illegal. The operators of the schemes will often tell people that they are legal. They will also fight charges in court to delay the legal process from shutting them down, because the longer they keep going, the more money they make.

2. The Bible says “Be not deceived, God is not mocked, whatsoever a man sows, that he shall also reap.” (Galatians 6:7). If you sow your time, energy or money into a program that ultimately causes financial loss, suffering and confusion to others, even if you made money temporarily, you will ultimately reap suffering, confusion and financial loss as a result.

3. Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Matthew 7:12). We would not want anyone to get us involved in any endeavor, which would cause us financial loss. Therefore, as believers, we should not entice other people into a pyramid program which may cause them to experience financial loss. Is it really worth destroying relationships with people you know and love for money?

4. Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is better than great riches.” If you participate in a pyramid program, you are damaging your good name. People will begin to mistrust your motives. They will see you as a person who’s willing to take advantage of them in order to bring profit to yourself.

5. The love of money motivates people to care more about self-interests than their neighbors or brothers. All pyramid programs will end up burning more people than they help. The basic mathematics of these programs necessitates that there will be many times more people losing than gaining money. That great majority of people will feel hurt, used, and abused. They will be disappointed and lose trust in anyone who got them involved in these programs. “The love of money is the root of all sorts of evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10). As Christians, we should be promoting righteousness, peace, and joy. Our relationships should be built on love and trust.

6. The Bible says, “You must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.” (1 Corinthians 5:11). Swindlers take advantage of other people’s weaknesses to make money for themselves. Greedy people are motivated by a desire for personal gain at others’ expense. Covetousness is a form of idolatry (Colossians 3:5). We should flee such unrighteousness.

7. “Those who do not work should not eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). The desire to make money without working for it is an unrighteous desire. God uses work to build and shape our character. He delights in providing for those who put His Kingdom and His Righteousness first. Some people talk about using wealth that they are going to gain from pyramid schemes or gambling to promote God’s Kingdom. God’s Kingdom is not promoted by unrighteousness. It is promoted through the loving sacrifice of those who are obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Why is it that some Christians lack significant spiritual responsibility? One reason can be found in Luke 16:11 where Jesus said, “If you are not trustworthy in the use of unrighteous mammon, who will trust you with the true riches?” The way we handle our money is something God uses to determine whether He will trust us with the true riches of His Kingdom, which includes caring for His people and the release of spiritual gifts in our lives.

I urge you to flee from any unrighteous business dealings, pyramid programs, gambling, or activities that are promoted by greed. God’s work is promoted most fruitfully by people who learn to love and give wisely, from an obedient, cheerful heart. If you keep God’s Word, you will grow in the knowledge of Him and prosper in your soul. If you seek His Kingdom first and His Righteousness, He promises that you will always have enough of everything you need to enjoy this life. We only have one life to live; let’s live it God’s way!

The basic mathematics of these programs necessitates that there will be many times more people losing than gaining money. He who separates himself seeks his own desire; he quarrels against all sound wisdom. Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Summation of Ethical & Scriptural reasons to avoid pyramid schemes:

1. They are illegal.
2. You reap what you sow.
3. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
4. A good name is better than riches.
5. The love of money is the root of all sorts of evil.
6. You must not associate with…[the] greedy, or a swindler.
7. Those who do not work should not eat.
_______________

This article was taken from the Living Times magazine July, 1997 issue, published by Living Streams Church. Used With Permission.

Mark Buckley pastors Living Streams Church located in Phoenix, Arizona. He is a gifted and anointed author and has had his works published in Ministry Today and Charisma magazines among others.

Or write to: Living Streams – P.O. Box 44800 – Phoenix, AZ 85064

You can be blessed by reading more of Mark Buckley’s articles at the Living Streams Website: https://www.livingstreams.org/

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PERSONAL WORD FROM THE MILLERS

Dear Internet Friends:

Blessings to you in Jesus’ name! We pray that the tone of this Digest doesn’t provoke you to fear, but rather, leads you to a closer walk with the Lord. Recently, we were privileged to attend a national conference hosted by Wagner Leadership Institute in Colorado Springs. This timely event brought together many major prophetic voices of our land, from various streams within the body of Christ. Many of the attendees came from all over the world. Before the public meeting, these prophets and intercessors came together in a private meeting to discuss what they felt the Lord was speaking to this nation (and world) in this hour. Their consensus is printed in this Digest (courtesy of Generals of Intercession) and we encourage you to not only read it, but pray over it as well. We have been sharing some strong words on our website lately, but because so many trusted voices in the Church have been getting the same messages so strongly, we feel compelled to share them with you.

We are living in a time of God’s mercy, in that He is sending frequent warnings through as many different channels as He can. Even Hollywood and the secular world have been producing subjects that foretell apocalyptic events. God doesn’t want the coming judgments to blindside us or destroy us. If He did, He wouldn’t bother to warn us! In fact, a common thread running through each of these messages is the compelling refrain–If we repent and intercede, the judgments can be less severe and devastating. If there ever was a time to seek the Lord and cease from “life as usual” it is now. God is positioning His people (those who are willing) to shine with his light during this time of darkness and chaos on the earth. This light will draw multitudes of spiritually starved people to the truth, and through people like you, the name of Jesus will be exalted!

May God richly bless you and hold you and your loved ones in the palm of His hand through this season. We love you in the Lord and continue to pray for all who visit this website.

Until next time,

Bud and Betty

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PURPOSE & VISION

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

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

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