IN THIS ISSUE:
The Bible Approach to the Plight of Elian Gonzales — Betty Miller
Breaking Curses From Our Lives — R.S. “Bud” Miller
Spiritual Warfare — The Helmet of Salvation
Exposing Satan’s Devices — Controlling The Emotions
End Times — A Literal Mark of the Beast? Prophecy — Post Y2K Prophetic Words From God’s People
Book Review — Prayers That Avail Much
Tribute To A Mother — Laura LoveLittle Foxes (Little Compromises) — Why Do People Curse?
Prayer Focus Spotlight — May 4th, National Day of Prayer
Counselor’s Corner — An Attitude of Gratitude — Alfred H. Ells
Personal Word From the Millers — Special Greeting
Purpose and Vision — Ministry Information
THE BIBLE APPROACH TO THE PLIGHT OF ELIAN GONZALES
By Betty Miller
The History of Elian’s Plight
In November of 1999, Elian Gonzales and 12 other people, including his mother, boarded a small boat.They were headed to the United States, seeking freedom from the Communist country of Cuba. On their journey, they encountered rough seas that caused their boat to sink. Six year old Elian was placed on an inner tube by his mother. Many of the passengers including Elian’s mother and stepfather drowned. Elian was found two days later, floating 3 miles from Pompano Beach, Florida (in the same inner tube that his mother had placed him in.)
At the date of this article, Elian’s story is as follows: After arriving in the US, he was in the custody of his uncle who lives in Miami, Florida over the last few months. Elian’s uncle wishes him to stay in the U.S., but Elian’s father and Fidel Castro are demanding that he be returned to Cuba. Elian’s situation has captured international attention because of the strong feelings of the populace in two countries: Cuba — Elian’s homeland, and the USA — the land to which he escaped. If Elian was allowed to stay in the U.S. he would achieve his mother’s will/goal of having the opportunity of a better life and enjoying the freedom of living in the U.S.A. Because of legalities and the relationship between Cuba and the USA, the boy’s father was sent to the USA to regain custody of his son. This sparked even greater crowds of angry protestors in both countries to put pressure on their governments to control Elian’s future by establishing who would have the custody over him.
In the USA, the streets of Miami filled with demonstrators, with cries to keep the boy here. Elian’s uncle refused a federal court order to turn the boy over to the his father and appealed the court order, demanding a lawful hearing. The hearing is now set in the month of May. In the meantime, the US Federal officers sought to negotiate with Elian’s relatives’ lawyer for a peaceful turn-over to the boy’s father. Because of their refusal to submit to the authorities, the Federal authorities decided to use force to capture the boy in his uncle’s home and take him to his father.
Americans watched in disbelief, as Federal agents, heavily armed, raided the home at the point of a gun and grabbed the child in a Gestapo type seizure. This was done in the early morning hours the day before Easter. He then was reunited with his father at an air base near Washington. They are to remain in the US until the hearing for the appeal in May.
Which Side Is Right According to Bible Principles?
Christians on both sides of the issue (those praying for the boy to be united with his father, and those who want Elian to remain here with his uncle) intensified their prayers, each for asking for their desired outcome. Which side should we be on as Christians and how should we pray? How would God rule in this issue? I am not going to approach this from a political issue, although the process for capturing Elian was certainly not the way most Americans would approve of. Rather, let us look at it from a Biblical standpoint. Does God’s Word have anything to say about such cases? Are their principles in the Bible that would guide us as how we should pray for this situation?
Actually, both sides of this issue have Biblical grounds for their feelings about this case. The Bible clearly teaches that children are the parent’s responsibility and that they have authority over their children, as they are gifts from the Lord. However, the Bible also teaches that we are to help the poor and afflicted and the strangers in our land.
Ephesians 6:1-4: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. 4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
Ezekial 41:21: “So shall ye divide this land unto you according to the tribes of Israel. 22 And it shall come to pass, that ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. 23 And it shall come to pass, that in what tribe the stranger sojourneth, there shall ye give him his inheritance, saith the Lord GOD.”
Psalm 82:3-4: “Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.”
In the light of these scriptures, then how should we pray? What about other custody cases in our nation where two parents are divided? Which parent should maintain custody over their children when the father and mother are each fighting over their children in divorce proceedings? In cases like this how would the Lord settle the dispute? To answer these questions we must look at how God deals with men in relation to the laws of the Bible and His grace extended to men through Jesus Christ.
How To Judge What Is Right According To The Bible
We have been given the Bible so we know how to judge according to God’s Word. We are to see if things line up with the Word of God. The law was not made for the purpose of saving or justifying. It was made to show us our need of cleansing from sin and to point us to the great source of cleansing, Jesus Christ, our Lord. The Bible speaks of the law as a mirror to show us what kind of sinful people we really are.
“For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed” (James 1:23-25).
It is obvious that a mirror (the law) cannot remove a spot from the face. Its work is to reveal the spot and to point the dirty one to the sink for the actual cleansing. The law, in like manner, only condemns the sinner by giving him knowledge of his condition, and then pointing him to the cross for true cleansing.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).”
Paul further emphasizes this point in Galatians 2:16: “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh by justified.”
Law and grace do not work in competition with each other, but in perfect coordination. The law points out sin, and grace saves from sin. The law is the will of God, and grace is His undeserved favor and power to do the will of God. We do not obey the law in order to be saved, but because we are saved. Although we live in the dispensation of grace, and the Old Testament saints lived under the dispensation of the law, both are still valid today as Jesus said in Matthew 5:17, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” From this Scripture we can see that the law is still valid in the New Testament. The laws of the Bible tells us we are to keep the laws of our government as long as they do not contradict the laws of God.
How To Judge What Is Right For Elian
Now applying this in the case of Elian, the law of our land will make a ruling regarding his fate — and all involved will have to abide by that ruling. However, because our government is dealing with this as a political incident they are not taking into account the spiritual consequences that this boy will face as a result of their decision. Strictly looking at this in the natural many people think Elian would have more opportunity by being raised in a free society so they want him to stay in the USA. Others think it wrong for the boy to be denied the presence and influence of his own father in his life. However, many on both sides are forgetting this child’s spiritual welfare.
God’s heart and judgement for Elian would be that he receive the most important thing that any human being needs. That need is that he be born again and receive eternal life. Wherever Elian is raised he and his family need the influence of the Bible and Christianity in his life. At first glance, we would think surely that would be in our Christian nation of the USA. However, because our nation has strayed from its Christian roots many people here are not being given a Christian witness when they come to this country. In fact, the materialism, lust, pride, murder, racial strife and other ills are fostering a climate that is making it harder and harder for people to know the Lord.
Our nation is being called by God to return to Him. However, we are not seeing a national revival (yet). In fact, some foreign nations are experiencing revival and seeing the power of the Holy Spirit touch lives in their homelands in a way far greater than what most of the churches in America are seeing at the present.. Even the church in Cuba over the last few years has experienced much growth in their midst, despite the Communistic government there.
If the court rules Elian is to return to Cuba with his father could we not pray and believe that he would be saved and used of God to show his people the way of salvation? On the other hand, could we not also believe that if that would never happen there, that he be awarded custody to his uncle and remain here to find and serve God? As Christians, could we not pray and believe that the Lord will do what is right for Elian? I believe prayer is a greater force for good than to get in strife and argue with other Christians over the fate of Elian. We must not limit what God can do in the life of this boy. Daniel, in the Bible was taken captive to serve a Babylonian king yet, he was used mightily of God regardless of his circumstances.
We do have several guidelines that we suggest, in praying in these kinds of circumstances. In the area of custody battles, girlfriend/boyfriend relationships, divorce and property disputes, legal suits, etc. we have found that it is not wisdom to side in prayer with people when we do not know all the circumstances and the condition of men’s hearts. We would rather pray that the Lord’s will be done in the matter and trust God and leave the outcome to Him.
Genesis 18:25b: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
This may not seem like a definitive answer to this complicated question. However, since God alone knows all hearts, He knows the place that is truly best for Elian.
Here are examples of how to pray when two sides are warring: If a party requests prayer to get custody of a child in a divorce dispute, we usually pray this kind of prayer “Lord, we know it is your will that children be raised in the ‘nurture and admonition’ of the Lord so we pray that this child will be raised in a Christian home.” Agreeing with every request when one does not know the hearts of men and all the circumstances is sometime not in the best interest of the child. In regard to property disputes and suits, we can take the same position and pray that what the Lord sees is fair and equitable will be done in regard to both parties.
In areas where the will of God is not clearly defined from scripture, we should use common sense, wisdom and be led of the Spirit as how to pray. Our most effectual prayer in cases where there is strife between parties is that the will of God be done for all involved and that things be settled peaceably and fairly according to the Word of God. This is our prayer for all involved in the Elian Gonzales case. We shall trust God, who sees all men’s hearts, that Elian will be around those who will bring him closer to God and that God will bring good out of this ordeal for His glory. Bottom line is not where Elian’s geographical destination is, but rather, where his eternal destination will be and that for Christians should be our real concern.
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COVENANT: GOD’S GUARANTEE FOR VICTORIOUS LIVING
By Pastor R.S. “Bud” Miller
Breaking Curses From Our Lives
Today, we think of “cursing” as someone using foul language, profanity, or perhaps, even blasphemous words against God. Our definition usually is synonymous with “swearing.” This is a form of cursing, but it is only a small portion of what curses mean in the Bible.
Cursing in the Bible is not only speaking evil of someone, but evil coming upon someone. If a person is under a curse, according to the Bible, evil has come upon them in some way. Sickness, tragedy, or bad circumstances are occurring in their lives.
Please Note: This does not mean that every difficult circumstance that we go through is a curse. Sometimes God leads us through circumstances to stretch our faith. This is for our own good, as it is helping us to grow stronger and identify ourselves with Him. However, He is not bringing anything upon us, but rather leading us through a circumstance so that we might experience His overcoming power. For the duration of this article we are referring to an evil curse that comes not from the hand of God, but from the enemy.
Even today, in many cultures, witch doctors or shamans put curses on people through demonic powers. In some cultures, for example, “voodoo” is practiced. This includes such practices as sticking pins in a doll made in the image of a person, usually with some of that person’s hair, fingernail clippings, and so forth incorporated into the doll. Hateful words are projected as the doll is stabbed over and over. There also are more gruesome practices used. However, with all evil witchcraft rituals, it is the hatred and evil projected from these people that is aimed at the targeted person that causes the harm. The curses spoken over that doll do not come to pass because of the doll or the pins. There is no power in those inanimate objects. They come to pass because of the demonic power operating through the person speaking forth the curses.
In many cultures, other than Western Societies, people have no problem understanding these curses and blessings, because the presence of demonic beings is very real to them. In fact, in many places, they leave offerings to appease evil spirits, for the purpose of warding them off so they will leave them alone.
If you have been affected by a curse such as listed above, we have good news for you. By accepting Jesus, you can be free from demonic oppression and actually have authority over the devil and his curses (Luke 9:1) instead of his spirits having power over you or your family.
Can A Curse Affect A Christian?
In today’s culture, some Christians still have curses operating against them. That is because various occult practices are openly practiced in our societies in this day. Many Christians need to be freed from curses spoken against them before they were saved, or from curses that have come upon them through involvement in idolatry and witchcraft (Deuteronomy 29:24-28).
We have been redeemed from the curse, but if we walk in willful rebellion, we are “breaking covenant” and that leaves holes for the enemy to bring a curse on us. Many Christians mistakenly believe that the devil cannot come near them in any way. The Bible does not support this theory. When Paul wrote to “not give the devil any foothold, or a place” (Ephesians 4:27), he was writing to Christians! Curses can work against Christians if they are in rebellion, out of the will of God, or not walking in faith and love. However, if we are walking where God wants us to walk, a hundred curses against us would just bounce off and would do us no harm.
The story of Balaam and Israel gives us a good example of this principle (Numbers 22). Although Balaam was not an Israelite, he was a prophet of God. The kings of Moab and Midian wanted him to curse the Israelites during the journey from Egypt to Canaan. Elders of those nations offered him what apparently was a lot of money, and he tried to do what their king wanted — but he could not. He tried three times but was unable to do anything, but bless Israel.
Jesus Took the Curse For Us
Before we are born again, we walk under the law of sin and death; but, after we are regenerated, we are under the law of life in Christ Jesus, who became a curse for us.
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).
“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:13-14).
How wonderful is our inheritance as Christians! We do not get the evil that should be ours. We all deserve hell, but when we come to Jesus, we get Heaven. We are not under the curse of sickness and death any longer. We now have power over sin through Jesus. Sin can no longer pull us around like bulls with rings in our noses. You know, leading an animal by that ring must hurt his nose sometimes. Many of us have been led around hurting with rings in our noses!
However, we have to want to overcome the habit of sinning. God will not violate our wills. If we want to keep on sinning after we are saved from the law of sin and death, He will allow us to do so. We need to clearly understand that when we sin, it produces the death principle in our lives.
Although we are children of God and have been given the covenant of blessing, “idols” in our hearts and lives can cause us to be open in some ways to the curse. Those who come under the curses of God are unbelievers and Christians who knowingly and deliberately continue to sin.
Breaking a Curse
The way to break a curse is to repent for whatever involvement has occurred on the enemy’s territory and rebuke the devil out of your life. You should also pray something along the following lines:
“Father, I ask you first to forgive me for my sins and cleanse me from any area where I have allowed the devil to enter my life. I renounce any involvement with the works of darkness. In the name of Jesus, I now cancel every curse, and Father, I ask you to forgive the people who have spoken them against me. I thank you that those curses will no longer operate against me. In Jesus’ name, they are broken right now, by the power of Almighty God. I cancel every evil that was spoken against me and ask you to cover me and my family with your protection according to your Word in Psalm 91.”
The Bible tells us in James 4:7 to “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
If we think that someone is speaking a curse upon us, we should not send a curse back on the one who sent it to us. We are not to return evil for evil, but rather overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). Ask God to forgive them, because many times they do not know what they are doing. If you intercede for such persons, you are obeying the Word, which allows the Holy Spirit to cancel the curse automatically if we are speaking good and praying for those who would seek to harm us. We should also quote the scriptures that promise us protection such as Psalm 91.
Remember the devil is the fallen one and we have power over him, so we need not fear him. As we use our authority over him in faith, he cannot hurt us. We have power over all curses through our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Luke 10:18: “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
(Continued next issue)
Note: This teaching is continued from last month’s Overcoming Life Digest. See Table of Contents at top for Archives.
(Excerpt from the book entitled: COVENANT God’s Guarantee for Victorious Living by R.S. “Bud” Miller)
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By Betty Miller
The Helmet of Salvation
We are told in Ephesians 6:14 to have on the spiritual armor of God which keeps us protected from the enemy. One of the main pieces of that armor is the helmet of salvation (Ephesians 6:17). We’re to cover our minds, to protect them from that which would damage our spirits. Proverbs 4:23 tells us, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” We must guard our minds because the mind is the channel to the heart. We must keep out the thinking of the carnal world and the devil’s garbage.
We must also guard ourselves and our children from the devil’s music. We should not allow them to listen to music that encourages rebellion and evil. Some music conveys a spirit of witchcraft and rebellion that enters into the spirit of the listener. It is no wonder so many teenagers are committing suicide as the spirit of death is the theme of much of the contemporary music. Another tool the enemy uses against our children is video games. Pass by a video arcade and if you have spiritual discernment you can see the snakes crawling in there. The things that children are exposed to are the things that will have an influence in their lives. It should be no surprise as to why our children our are behaving strangely. They are receiving negative things in the spirit realm because they are not wearing the helmet of salvation. Their minds are being brainwashed by the devil.
If I am some place where demonic music is being played, for example, in a shopping mall, I silently pray “Lord, I put on the helmet of salvation so that this music will not enter my spirit.” With that faith and prayer barrier I’m not bothered, but without it, I start getting nervous. It is especially disturbing for those rarely around such music. Those who habitually listen to evil music can become addicted to it. Since they are continually exposing themselves to it the demons who inhabit it can oppress and torment them. Demons thrive on it and drive those who are addicted to acts they would not normally be involved in. For those who doubt that demons could be attracted to certain kinds of music, please remember that the Holy Spirit is also attracted to certain kinds of music. If you have been in an anointed music service you have experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit. Simply said, the musical source attracts either evil spirits or the Holy Spirit and angels.
We should guard the ear gate and the eye gate of our bodies so that unclean things do not enter in. A recently executed killer of many women admitted that pornography played a major role in corrupting his soul. Stand against this evil and ask God for deliverance if it has touched your life.
As responsible parents, we too, must guard what our children hear and see. Many end up placing their offspring in Christian schools because so much of what children receive in public schools does not line up with the Word of God. The secular humanism that pervades in some schools actually instigates rebellion against parental authority. So then, we not only need to guard our own minds, but also our children’s as well. By putting on our helmet of salvation, which is the Word of God in our minds, it causes us to renew our minds so that we have the mind of Christ.
(Continued next issue)
Excerpt from the book Personal Spiritual Warfare; Click here to order from the CHAPEL BOOKSTORE
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EXPOSING SATAN’S DEVICES
By Betty Miller
CONTROLLING THE EMOTIONS
Let us look at some of the spiritual armor that will guard our emotions in Ephesians 6:14, “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth and having on the breastplate of righteousness.” 1 Peter 1:13 gives us a definition of the loins. “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” We are to gird the loins of our mind with truth. Jesus and His Word are truth, so this Scripture means that we are to allow Jesus to rule our minds and we are to read God’s Word. As we read and study God’s Word and fellowship with Him, we soon will find our thinking changed. Our task is to put the Word into our minds; God’s part is to transfer it from our minds to our hearts. If we are truly fellowshipping with the Lord, we will not allow a day to go by without reading the Bible. In fact, this is a good gauge that can reveal our relationship with God. If we love the Lord, we will love His Word.
Not only are we to have our minds girded with truth, but also “having on the breastplate of righteousness” is a requirement. A breastplate covers the heart area. Symbolically this would mean our emotions should be covered with Christ’s righteousness. One of Satan’s main targets is to strike us in our emotions. If we do not know our standing in Christ, he will succeed at condemning us and discouraging us.
First of all, we must define the word righteousness according to the Greek definition. It means to be “just” or “right” before God, or to be in “right standing” with Him. The Bible declares in Romans 3:10, “…There is none righteous, no, not one” and in Isaiah 64:6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags….” If we are all unrighteous, then how do we put on the breastplate of righteousness?
We receive this righteousness at the moment we receive Christ. Through His death and resurrection we can now have eternal life and His righteousness.
“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:19-21).
Repenting of our sin and asking Jesus to come into our hearts puts us in “right standing” with God. We must realize we are now righteous if we are a born-again Christian and must no longer allow Satan to condemn us. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).
Of course, we grow in God’s righteousness as we continue to walk in Him; thus we become holy. However, by faith we are righteous the moment we receive Jesus. We have access to the throne of God and can approach our Father because the blood of Jesus has cleansed us from all unrighteousness. When Satan comes with the lies of “You can’t expect God to answer your prayer because you sinned yesterday,” or “He will not answer, but will punish you,” we will recognize these accusations for what they are–lies. We know when we ask God to forgive us that He does not hold anything against us and He forgets our sins. “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more” (Hebrews 10:17). If God does not remember our sins anymore, then we should not allow Satan to remind us of them after we have asked for forgiveness. This is putting on the breastplate of righteousness. We declare by faith we are righteous because of what Jesus has done and command the devil to depart along with his accusations. We are righteous because of Jesus!!
Excerpt from the book Exposing Satan’s Devices; Click here to order from the CHAPEL BOOKSTORE
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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? Personally, I find it hard to believe that men are going to be tattooed or branded with a literal set of three sixes on their foreheads or hands or that the letters J-E-S-U-S will be literally 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 DECEPTION OF THE BEASTS
A Literal Mark of the Beast?
“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads” (Revelation 13:15-16). The government could cause this literal mark; however, Satan is already spiritually marking many people with his thoughts and causing them to do his works with their hands. Many are already spiritually marked and they do not even realize it. If there is going to be a literal mark, the government could cause that through computer technology. But long before people receive a literal mark in their right hand or forehead they are going to be spiritually marked with the beastly system.
One of the deceptions the devil is using, is that of convincing Christians they can resist and not take a physical mark when it comes, when all the while, many are being marked with Satan’s beastly thinking in their minds. They’re being marked every day as they absorb ungodly television programming and other worldly influences. They are reading ungodly literature that is marking their minds. Ask anyone addicted to pornography if they do not feel their minds are marked with an evil that they are unable to shake. The only hope for millions of porn users is to be freed by the saving grace of Christ and have their minds cleansed by His power. People that are indulging in worldly things to the neglect of reading the Bible and their service to God in prayer will find their minds marked by the ways of Satan and the world. So many people are being marked daily without even realizing it.
“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast…” (Revelation 13:15a). Satan will give power to his followers to do certain things. They will speak and cause “…as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed” (Revelation 13:15b). Jesus said there would be those who would even try to kill Christians. They would even think they were doing God a service (John 16:2). There are those who try to make life difficult for us, when they find out we are Christians. The persecution of Christians will only get worse as we approach the coming of the Lord. In this last hour, some will hate godly people so much that they’ll try to kill us (Luke 21:6-19). They will say, “Don’t have anything to do with those Christian people. Don’t sell to them, don’t do anything for them.” They’re so wicked themselves that the holiness of God’s people will convict them. They won’t be able to stand the presence of anyone walking in holiness and purity since they will not want to line up with God’s Word themselves.
“He causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads” (Revelation 13:16). Notice the preposition, “in,” not “on” — in their mind, in their hand. “He causeth all” — who is the “all”? It is all who are not Christians. True Christians will not receive the mark because they have the power of Christ protecting them. They are in God. But the devil will cause everyone else that is not in God, to be marked by him. They will become like Satan; they will become his children.
The right hand is symbolic of authority and power. Ephesians 1:20 says Jesus is seated at the right hand of God. This is a position of authority and power, so taking the mark in the right hand is also symbolic of using Satan’s power, authority and influence for evil and selfish works.
We must read the Word of God and put His word in our minds so that we mark our minds with the mark of God. We must then do the works of God in His power and authority which will mark our hands as instruments of God. Using His authority and power that He has invested in us, we will be able to change the world for good. Will you be marked with the “mark of the beast or the “mark of God?” The choice is yours.
(Continued next issue)
Excerpt taken from the book The Mark of God or The Mark of the Beast; Click here to order from the CHAPEL BOOKSTORE
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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 that 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.
Post Y2K Prophetic Words From God’s People
Editor’s Note: This edition of the Digest we want to share some of the prophetic words we received through a couple of His praying people. The Lord continues to speak to all of us, through, not only His prophets, but His people who are listening, as well. He is saying that we should continue to prepare for the troubled times just ahead. We all need to repent and stay close to the Lord so He can protect and lead us in His ways. There is much work ahead for the people of God as we prepare to help harvest the souls that will come out of much tribulation. The Lord in His grace has given us extra time to prepare. Y2K was an act of His mercy as it spurred many people to take action and think about what they needed to do in case difficult times touched their lives. Spiritual preparation is the most important. By being close to the Lord you will be able to hear what you need to do in the natural. We encourage each of you to seek the Lord for wisdom, guidance, and direction on how you should live, prepare and serve Him in the next few years.
Philippines 4:19 says: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Isaiah 58:11-12 says: “The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations.“
The God of the Bible will warn and will take care of His people! And that is the bottom line!
Subject: Repentance Needed
I’m coming to you with something that came to me recently during a time when I was seeking answers through prayer and fasting. It came to me on Sunday, 16 Jan 00. I don’t know how to really say it in words, so here goes. I was going through a difficult time time, so I dealt with it the only way I knew how, through prayer and fasting. Then the Holy Spirit came on me and began to let me know something BIG was going to happen in about 2.5 years and America should start getting Back to Basics to begin preaching more repentance and prayer.
I continued on and he started showing me in the book of Jonah, how Jonah had gone down to Nineveh to preach about how they were to be overthrown because of their evil ways. They, “Nineveh,” repented and God saw that they went away from their evil ways and He stopped the disaster. But later they begin in their old ways again and God destroyed their city. As in America there will more relaxed attitudes and more people will start to go away from God thinking that nothing is going to happen since nothing happened at Y2K during the turn of the new year as in Nineveh. Please hear the warning, it scared me when He showed me this. I tried to put out of my mind, thinking maybe I was wrong, or people would think I’m crazy, why would God choose me, when, again it was presented to me on Wednesday morning in my morning devotional. He showed me that the devil puts those thoughts in my head. Forgive me if my spelling isn’t always correct or my sentences aren’t perfect, but I came to you for you guidance also.
Friend in Christ, Brian
Subject: The Coming Devastating Tornado
A Dream Received by Della Ferguson:
The dream starts out with me sweeping. We were cleaning. The people that were helping me were brethren. I did not recognize the faces but I knew that they were brethren. While we were cleaning, tornado sirens began to go off. I said to the people, “We must go to the basement.” When we arrived there, I looked out and saw the tornado. It was small and weak, so weak that you could see through it. It hit a portion of the house but did not have enough strength to do any damage. After the tornado was gone, we went back upstairs and continued cleaning.
Again the sirens began to sound and again I said to the people, “We must go to the basement.” Some were hesitant, so I pulled on one of them by the arm and felt a great urgency, as I said, “Let’s go!” I felt that everyone needed to take cover. I am not sure if everyone went down or not. When I got to the basement, I saw the basement doors were open. So I went to close them. When I got to the doors, I saw that they had released the children from school to watch the tornado. The children, along with other people, were all over the hillsides watching the tornado with no fear, expecting it to be weak as the first one had been. I then turned and faced the direction they were looking and I saw an enormous black…very black…tornado. I could not believe the people were just standing there.
I began to shut the basement doors. There were two doors and as I was pulling the doors together, two little blond-haired children quickly came in. After I closed the doors, I latched a hook and eye latch and bolted the doors with a dead bolt. I turned around and saw that I was in a storage area. I went in further, there was another set of doors and I latched and bolted them as I had the other doors. The people there in the basement were at peace because they were in a place of safety. Then the dream was over.
When I awoke, the first thing that came into my mind was this whole situation with Y2K. I felt that the Y2K problem is the first weak tornado, and the second big black tornado is something far greater than Y2K. (It would seem the dream is saying that the great fear concerning Y2K is unfounded, that it might well come with little impact to most of us personally. However, we should be watchful and listen for instructions from the Lord since there is something behind it that will be terrible.)
If you are interested in other prophetic words you may go to these links:
What Does God Word Say About Prophecies
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Prayers That Avail Much, Volume 1
by Germaine Copeland
Every one of us want our prayers to be effective, or we wouldn’t be praying at all, right? Yet, why do so many of our prayers seem to lack power and fail to bring results? Could it be that we still need to learn how to pray more effectively?
This wonderful collection of Word-based prayers by Germaine Copeland is a great place to start in learning how to pray with confidence and authority. These prayers are not merely “positive confessions” meant to be repeated by rote memory–rather they are a powerful way to get the Word of God deep into your spirit. The power of these prayers is that they are entirely based on Scripture itself. By praying them, you are “standing on the Word” and in so doing, waging warfare against the enemy.
In this little booklet, prayers for many subjects are addressed, including: Personal prayers, prayers to the Father, prayers for individual concerns, prayers for family relationships and ministers, prayers for the salvation of the lost, national government, deliverance from demonic forces, and many others (over a hundred in all).
Here is a sample prayer:
To Live Free From Worry
Father, I thank you that I have been delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of Your dear Son. I commit to live free from worry in the name of Jesus, for the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
I humble myself under your mighty hand that in due time You may exalt me. I cast the whole of my cares (name them)–all my anxieties, all my worries, all my concerns, once and for all–on You. You care for me affectionately and care about me watchfully. You sustain me. You will never allow the consistently righteous to be moved–made to slip, fall, or fail!
I cast down imaginations (reasonings) and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of You, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. I lay aside every weight and the sin of worry which does try so easily to beset me. I run with patience the race that is set before me, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith.
I thank you father, that You are able to keep that which I have committed unto You. I think on (fix my mind on) those things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and deserving of praise. I let not my heart be troubled. I abide in Your words, and Your Words abide in me. Therefore, Father, I do not forget what manner of person I am. I look into the perfect law of liberty and continue therein, being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the Word and thus blessed in my doing!
Thank You, Father. I am carefree. I walk in that peace which passes all understanding in Jesus’ name! Amen.
Scripture References Used In This Prayer
2 Timothy 1:12
1 Peter 5:6-7 (AMP)
2 Corinthians 10:5
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Prayers That Avail Much, Volume 1 is priced at $9.99. Check our CHAPEL BOOKSTORE (Click here to order)
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TRIBUTE TO A MOTHER
By Laura Love
There are six kids in our family. We had very little money growing up, but my mom made sure there was plenty of love. When we would fight, we were sent to our room and could not come out until we were hugging and kissing. That brought us so close together. Our friends thought we were a weird family because my brothers would hug me in public and our friends would never do that—ever! My mother made love such a big thing that it surrounded our family. It was even our last name.
It’s great to have a mother who will feed you and buy you clothes to wear. But when your mother is your best friend where you can share your feelings without being condemned, when you can do things and really have fun together—that’s something special. Confiding in your mother as your friend is better than any friend, because she has more knowledge and wisdom and she really cares more than anyone in the world.
Honesty is important. When you’re honest with yourself it’s easy to be honest with your mother. When you’re a friend to yourself, it’s easy to be a friend to your mother. When times are tough, let the Holy Spirit comfort you. My mom taught us how to love Jesus first and when you do that—everything works out.
Mom is so full of love. She’s so joyful and fun! A lot of kids just don’t realize how wonderful their mom is until they see other families being abused, or families who don’t know Jesus, or not having enough food to eat. Just stop and look at your mom and think of all she’s done for you from day one. Nurturing you when you were a baby, caring for you when you were sick, raising you through school, wanting be there if there’s ever a problem. Shouldn’t she be your best friend? My mom is more precious than gold!
Editor’s Note: Laura and her family are personal friends of ours and have been a blessing over the years. Laura’s words should remind all of us mothers that the most important thing we can give our children is love. The Bible speaks about a women in Proverbs 31 whose children call her blessed. We should also remember our mothers on this Mother’s Day as the Word of God says in Ephesians 6:2: “Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”
Laura and her mother Jan Helgeson can be contacted by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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(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 sometimes 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.
Why Do People Curse?
Matthew 15:1:1 “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.”
Matthew 15:17-20: “Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.”
Curse Words Reveal the Condition of a Man’s Heart
Jesus taught in the Bible that when a man curses it is a sign of evil that was in that man’s heart. It is popular today for both men and women to curse. They never think of it as an evil condition in their heart, but rather a small thing that everyone does. These small words of cursing the Bible says, will defile the whole man if they are not repented of and stopped. Just as the “little foxes” destroyed the farmer’s vines so cussing and using the name of the Lord in vain causes one to become defiled.
Popular movies and T.V. are responsible for causing society to accept foul language as the “norm.” They portray cursing as a way to vent anger and tell people off. The very attitudes behind cursing show that it is not right as cussing is used to demean and put down people. These words can be mild expletives to horrible blasphemies. Since the devil is the one who inspires these evil utterances he causes people to use our Lord’s name in the most ungodly ways.
In the modern definition of cursing, usually people use the name of Jesus or God in vain and swear with curses such as “go to hell” or “damn you.” These words clearly show it is an evil coming from the devil. Have you ever wondered why people do not not use the names of gods of other religions when they curse? The names that the devil hates and uses people to voice hateful curses are “God,” “Christ,” “Jesus Christ” and “Jesus.” Terms about hell and heaven are also used in derogatory ways. The very misuse of these words should prove the existence of God and the reality of a heaven and hell.
Even Christians have been tricked into using bad expressions when they are upset. They are take-offs of the Lord’s names such as: “Geeze” or “Jes” (short for Jesus), “Good Gosh,” “Gosh Darn,” “Lordy.” This is known as “shoot cussin.” There are other terms used, which we will not repeat, as they are vulgar profanities. However, these illustrations make the point.
If this has been a problem in your life ask the Lord to forgive you and deliver you so that your words may be gracious and loving words full of grace and truth. He will help you overcome this problem through His power.
Matthew 12:34-36: “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 35 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. 36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”
Psalm 19:14: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”
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By Alfred H. Ells, M.C.
AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord,
so walk in Him, . . . overflowing with gratitude.”
Addicts in recovery are often admonished to develop “an attitude of gratitude” as an essential ingredient of living a healthy, addiction-free life. It strikes me that this is good advice for all of us and most especially for people in ministry. Gratitude, or thankfulness, is often hard to come by when life is filled with problems, pressures and people who do not seem to appreciate our sacrifice for them.
While clergy and ministry leaders often receive a lot of positive feedback and even idolatry, they also get unkind words, criticism and even rejection from those they have sacrificed to help.
The notion that we can receive more hurt from those we help the most, is often true. Research appears to validate the fact that people who care for others less fortunate than them, are often the brunt of unrealistic expectations and hence receive rejection and criticism for having imperfectly helped. In counseling circles this phenomena has led to previously generous and compassionate therapists becoming discouraged and hardened to helping those who need it the most.
In ministry circles, anyone who has pastored a church or worked in a ministry for a number of years has their own story of individuals that have been ungrateful for the help they have received. The lack of gratitude from others and the oftentimes-outright criticism, hurts. It tends to harden or embitter the minister, contributing to burnout, depression, isolation or an unwillingness to risk caring again. The minister loses his/her “attitude of gratitude.”
How then does one maintain an “attitude of gratitude” when those that should be grateful aren’t? See if the following thoughts help.
MAINTAINING YOUR“ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE”
1. Examine your true motives for helping (Jeremiah 17:10). Did you help the person out of your desire to please the Lord and be obedient or out of your own desire to feel good about yourself or have others appreciate you? Too often our motives for helping others and serving God are about fulfilling our own needs and self-centeredness. Did you really offer assistance or minister to the person “as unto God?”
2. Remember, payback rarely comes from the one who you give to. It is a recognized fact that blessing and gratitude will usually come from sources other than the person you helped. Only one of the ten lepers (Luke 17:11-19) that Jesus healed returned to glorify God and give him thanks. I believe this is one way Jesus helps us keep our motivation right . . . giving without expectation of return.
3. Recognize your offense (Matthew 18:7). Too often when others are ungrateful we tend to minimize the offense or disregard it. However, in doing so we do not resolve it. We merely distance ourselves from the person or situation and use our emotional defenses to keep from feeling the pain. Over time, the offense creates in us a hardened attitude and we lose the joy of serving Jesus and others.
4. Forgive, forgive, forgive (Matthew 6:12)! Do whatever you need to do to forgive the ungrateful person. This is your only assurance of not repeating their mistake and being ungrateful for what God has done for you through others. To forgive means to not dwell on the ingratitude, to not talk about it to others and to not allow it to stand in the way of your relationship with the person.
5. Others are often ungrateful because of their wounds. It is hard, if not impossible, to be grateful when one is feeling wounded or hurt by the actions of another. Ingratitude on the part of another can be a reflection of how much pain is still unhealed in that individual’s life. Apparent pride can also be a symptom of the need to bolster oneself too much because of insecurity. Give the other person the benefit of your acceptance of their imperfection (1 Corinthians 13:5-8). After all, you also have weaknesses (Romans 3:23).
6. Examine your past . . . you may be reaping what you have sown (Galatians 6:7). I vividly remember the Lord cautioning me years ago to not be ungrateful for a certain ministry that I had left due to problems with its leadership. His words were clear that I would reap what I sowed. If you have not honored and been grateful for the authorities and ministries, though imperfect, that God has placed in your life, you may be reaping what you have sown. If so, repent, make amends to those you have criticized and be grateful to God for them, even if they hurt you.
7. Accept God’s favor for your unjust treatment (1 Peter 2:19-24). When we suffer for doing good, we receive favor from God. The key however, is to endure the suffering patiently. Enduring, forgiving and going on when others are ungrateful for what we have done, garners favor with God. Isn’t this what we all truly want, God saying “well done thou good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23)?
8. Take the log out of your own eye (Matthew 7:5). When those we have served strike out against us or show little gratitude, it is wise to look first at our own behavior. What is God trying to show us about ourselves. What they say may not be the total truth but there may be a ‘nugget of truth’ in their words that God wants us to hear. Use the incident as a learning experience. If you’ve done wrong, repent, make amends where appropriate, and go on.
9. Understand that ingratitude is a sign of the times (2 Timothy 3:2). In the last days people will be lovers of self and ungrateful. This means that the spirit of our age will foster ingratitude. We must be the opposite in order to show forth the presence of Christ in our lives. We must cultivate “an attitude of gratitude”.
“…so walk in Him, . . . overflowing with gratitude” (Colossians 2:6,7).
This article was taken from the Counselor’s Corner, VOLUME III, ISSUE 2, published by Counselor’s Corner. Used with permission.
Alfred Ells is a senior therapist with New Life Clinic, a Christ-centered counseling and educational ministry. He is a gifted marriage and family counselor, seminar speaker and author of several best-selling books, including One Way Relationships, Released to Love and Family Love.
Al has been counseling and consulting with churches, organization and individuals for over twenty years. He earned his Masters of Counseling degree at Arizona State University. He founded “House of Hope Counseling;” assisted in the establishment of “Hope Community (Rapha-Hope)” in Scottsdale; a Christ -centered residential addictions treatment facility, “Remuda Ranch;” a Christ centered program for women with anorexia or bulimia, located in Wickenburg, Arizona, and “Life Gate;” a residential treatment facility for adolescents and their families.
Al resides in Mesa, Arizona with his wife Susan. They have four children.
E-mail Al at: email@example.com Or write to: Alfred H. Ells, M.C., Counselor’s Corner, 2855 East Brown Road, Suite 3, Mesa, Arizona 85213, U.S.A. Phone:(480) 325-9350.
PERSONAL WORD FROM THE MILLERS
Spring Greetings to you! Here in Arizona, the lilacs are blooming and we are getting ready to plant our garden. (Yes, we do have vegetation other than cactus in Arizona, if you were wondering)! We are all looking forward to the summer, as we are expecting many positive changes to be made on the website in the relatively near future. We will keep you posted on that end. Do pray for us to be guided by the Holy Spirit.
We want to thank you for all your letters and feedback on our website. We really appreciate your comments; ranging from testimonies of how God touched you through the site, to constructive criticism (which we are always open to, and will take before the Lord in prayer). We enjoy hearing from all of you, and only regret that we simply are not able to answer each of you personally. If you have ever taken the time to write us, we want to thank you right now.
We continue to be excited for all that God has in store, and are honored to be working with Him in this Internet outreach. Truly, this is a “God-thing!” We know that He is calling you–and each one of us–into an even deeper walk with Him. Our prayer for you is that you will see His beauty and love in a more complete way than you ever have before–and that as you behold Him you will be transformed from glory to glory. He is raising up holy and committed people on the earth, and He has called you to be a part of that number! Give Him all that you have. Lay down the things that you have been holding back. You can trust the Lord to never misuse you or waste the things that are most precious to you. He will give you a treasure far greater than anything this world can offer.
Our prayer is that all who visit this website will know the love and transforming power of the Lord. He can bring goodness out of the most desperate life and can redeem the worst sinner.
May you be filled with faith and courage as you pursue Him!
God bless and keep you,
Bud and Betty Miller
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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.
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