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Overcoming Life Digest – Volume 7

NOTE TO OUR READERS: The Overcoming Life Digests were first published between the years of 1997 and 1999; therefore, some of the articles may contain commentaries that reflect the issues of that time. However, all of the teaching content is still applicable today and we feel will continue to bless our readers, even though many of the author’s commentaries reflect a history of the ministry during those years. In some cases, we have also updated some articles in order to address more relevant events or current stats.

IN THIS ISSUE:

Overcoming Life Digest Past Archive Menu

Warning!! A Contagious Epidemic is Spreading — Betty Miller
The Old Covenant — R.S. “Bud” Miller
Letters To The Editor — Testimonies
Spiritual Warfare — Endurance and Discipline
Exposing Satan’s Devices — Evil Can Be Turned To Good
End Times — Mark of God or Mark of the Beast
Little Foxes (Little Compromises) — Neglecting the Little Things
How Did Heaven Receive Diana? — Dennis Peacocke
Book Review —The Doctor and the Word
Poetry Corner — Doomsday
Purpose and Vision — Subscription and Publication Information


WARNING!!
A CONTAGIOUS EPIDEMIC IS SPREADING

by Betty Miller

The Lord has called this ministry to be a prophetic voice to the church. One of the aspects of prophecy is to warn God’s people of impending danger and how to avert it. This epidemic is grieving the heart of God because it is preventable and can be stopped. It has spread among all churches and is particularly rampant in society. Even God’s ministers are not immune and many of them are infected with it.

What is this evil plague? You may be surprised as it appears rather harmless at first glance. It is now so commonplace that people are deceived into just accepting it as normal, instead of recognizing and resisting it. This epidemic is the practice of lying and dishonesty.

What does the Bible say about lying? A lying tongue is not only something God hates, it is also something that is an abomination to Him.

These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. Proverbs 6:16-19

As the moral climate of our society has been deteriorating, lying has become a major problem. The business world is particularly plagued by this problem — men’s dishonesty with each other, meetings “forgotten”, company theft, promises not kept, contracts broken, etc. Lawyers have increased in numbers over the last decade, mainly because of irresponsibility and broken contracts among men due to lying. A news organization recently did a survey here in America and asked people several questions to determine the percentage of people who lied or were dishonest about things. Some of the questions were:

  • Do you cheat on your Income Tax Return?
  • Do you compliment people when you really don’t mean it?
  • Do you tell your spouse to tell callers you are not at home when you are there?
  • Do you tell “little white lies” if it will keep you out of trouble?
  • Do you tell creditors that “the check is in the mail” when you have not yet mailed it?
  • Do you exaggerate in repeating things you have heard?

The results of this survey determined that nearly 80% of Americans are not truthful under certain circumstances. This is understandable when we look at the morals of our society but what about Christians? Have they fallen into the habit of lying also? Also, what constitutes a lie according to the Bible? Anything that is not the truth is a lie and God’s Word the Bible tells us what is truth. The Bible is the standard or measuring rod we must use in determining truth. Sadly, Christians are also succumbing to this epidemic of lying. Lying to each other has now become so commonplace, Christians too, have become liars.

Have you been lied to lately? Was it another Christian that lied to you? A minister perhaps? Each of us have had our trust in people undermined, or in some cases even destroyed because of lies. We would all agree that lying is an ugly evil. The Bible tells us that lying began with the devil and that he is the father of lies.

Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. John 8:43-47

The Bible is filled with admonitions against being dishonest and lying. One of the Ten Commandments states, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” (Exodus 20:16).

Before we point our finger at another for being a liar that we feel God needs to deal with, let us examine our own lives to see if we are infected with the same disease. What kind of witness are we to those around us? Are we deceived and have we become liars ourselves? Let us first give a definition as to what a lie is according to Webster’s dictionary:

  1. To make a statement that one knows is false, especially with the intent to deceive.
  2. To give a false impression or action or false statement, especially with the intent to deceive.
  3. To make a false statement in order to evade the truth.
  4. The invention of a false story or excuse in order to deceive.

Perhaps for a Christian, a Biblical definition of lying could be summed up in this statement: Any time our word does not agree with God’s Word.

In Numbers 23:19 the Bible says, “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” When we do not keep our word we are guilty of lying. Over the last year I have lost track of the number of times Christians have failed to keep their word to me. I am not angry or resentful or bitter over this, as the Lord has worked those attitudes out of my life. I have learned to take every offense to Him in prayer and He then removes any personal ill I might have and He gives me a forgiving and gracious attitude toward others. However, since I began to notice how many of God’s people were not keeping their word, I received a prayer burden of intercession for this evil to be removed from God’s people.

I first began praying about my own life and asked God to expose any areas where I might be guilty of this sin. I have tried to obey Romans 12:17-21 which says, “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” Most of the time I would just forgive these lying offences and would just pray for them and try to “live peaceably with all men.” However, in prayer, the Lord spoke to my heart that I must go one step further and “speak the truth in love” to my brothers and sisters if I truly loved them.

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. Ephesians 4:15-16

If we, as the body of Christ, are to mature and grow up we must conform to the truth which is Jesus. The devil is behind every lie and as Christians we are admonished not to lie to one another. Colossians 3:9-10 says, “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.” 

The two main reasons we lie are usually rooted in either fear or pride. Fear is the first reason. We are afraid of the consequences if we tell the truth. Yielding to fear shows a lack of trust in God to take care of the situation. If we yield to God and do it His way He will usually give us favor with those that we fear. The other reason is pride. We are prideful and concerned about what men will think of us (desiring man’s approval instead of God’s approval.)

Jesus always kept His Word. God still keeps His Word and is faithful to keep every promise He makes in the Bible. That is why He is reliable and we can trust Him. We are called to be like Him. The Bible says that out of a man’s mouth proceeds what is in His heart. If we tell lies or fib then it means that we need a heart cleansing.

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man… Matthew 15:18-20a

We need to ask God to cleanse our hearts and begin reading and studying the Bible so that His Word resides in our hearts. As we keep His Word and water it with prayer it will produce good fruit in our lives. Lying is not only speaking an untruth; another form of lying is not keeping our word to others. Luke 8:15 says, “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” 

Let us look at some specific ways the devil gets us to lie. We will expose some of his devices. These sorts of lies are being practiced by many Christians. Now remember, we are guilty of lying when we do not keep our word. Even if these sorts of lies seem harmless and don’t appear to really hurt anyone else, they are harmful to our own souls. The more we practice telling untruths of any kind, the duller our conscience becomes.

  • “I will call you back tomorrow.” (This excuse is often used with a deliberate intent to deceive. The person does not call back at the appointed time and will call back at a much later date with excuses of why they were unable to call which usually goes something like: “I just was so busy, I meant to call , but did not get around to it.” We all have been guilty of this, but we need to realize when we say we will do something we need to keep our word. We do understand there are legitimate reasons that make it impossible at times to keep our word. This is not the case we are referring to here. It would be better to not make this promise or to say, “I will try to call you back tomorrow.”)
  • “I will be happy to do that for you.” (Whatever promise was made, it was not kept and their word about the matter causes them not to be trusted. The Holy Spirit is trying to purge this lack from His people and is using a group of men known as “Promise Keepers” to help restore trustworthiness back in the heads of families by stressing that they need to keep their promises.)

We could list numerous examples but these two cover a lot of territory; any time we say the words “I will” we need to be responsible to do it. We all, on occasion, fail to do the things we have good intentions of doing or we are hindered in some way and can’t do them. However, if we are unable to keep an appointment we should be thoughtful enough to call and cancel, or tell of our delayed arrival. We are living in an age when there are so many uncaring attitudes expressed. As Christians, we can be good witnesses by being different.

One of the biggest faults of many Christians, and our society as well, is that we tend to over-commit and then we are unable to keep our word. It is disheartening to see this shift prevalent in businesses. They commit to the jobs, then, are not able to produce them on time and thus the standard for business practices is shifting to not expecting them on time. Business people must now factor in lengthy time delays just to compensate for people’s lack of business ethics.

People that tend to over-commit sometimes have a pride problem and are people pleasers. They want people to like them so they offer to do things for them, and because they are unable to keep their promises to all they end up not being able to keep their word; thus they are dishonest. In business it is usually greed that tends to cause them to over-commit. They want more business and more money, even when they must work from a backlog that was promised timely.

As Christians we need to ask the Lord to forgive us if we are guilty of lying or deceit. It is a very serious matter with God when we lie. (We can read of the incident of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts Chapter 5 in the Bible. They both fell dead when they lied to the Holy Spirit.)

The Bible also lists this sin of lying as one that can lead us to hell along with some other grievous ones. Revelation 21:7-8 says, “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

We can be overcomers through the power of the Holy Spirit as we seek to be like Jesus. We not only do not want to lie, but we also want to keep our word so that people know we are honest and trustworthy. As Christians, we want to represent our Father well in this life and be honest and free from fabrication and fibbing.

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COVENANT: GOD’S GUARANTEE FOR VICTORIOUS LIVING

by R.S. “Bud” Miller

Note: This teaching is continued from last month’s Overcoming Life Digest – Volume 6

OUR GOD IS A COVENANT GOD

His everlasting covenant means from eternity to eternity. It will never be broken. God established it in the blood of Jesus, and it will never be broken by God or changed. The stability of God is mind-boggling to us. We cannot really understand what “everlasting” means! Now, we are going to take a more in-depth look at the first covenant, the one God made with Abraham. We need to see why God would make a covenant He knew His people would fail to keep.

The Old Covenant: Sealed by Abraham’s Obedience

And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. In the same day, the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates. Genesis 15:17-18

The first blood covenant God made with man was with a Hebrew named Abram, born in “Ur of the Chaldees” (Genesis 11:31). Ur was in the area between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, ruled at that time by ancient Babylon. Today, that area is partly Iraq and partly Iran.

The first place we hear of Abram in the Bible is just after the story of the Tower of Babel. Moses related events from creation to the Old Covenant by hitting the high points of history in ten chapters. The rest of Genesis — forty chapters — deals with Abram and the growth of his descendants from one man into “God’s people.”

Abram, renamed Abraham by God late in his life, is the most important of a number of important men in the Old Testament. He probably was the most important man who lived from Adam to Jesus.

  • Adam was the first man.
  • Enoch walked with God and did not taste death but was translated to Heaven.
  • Noah was the only righteous man in his generation. He obeyed God and became the ancestor of everyone now living, believers and unbelievers.
  • But Abram was the “father of faith,” the earthly father of all of the children of God, natural and spiritual. (Galations 3:27-29)

More important is the reason Abram became the ancestor of all true believers: He is the only natural man to cut a blood covenant with God.

However, because he was a natural man, that first blood covenant between God and man was imperfect. Nevertheless, it was very important in God’s plan, because it was the first “legal” step toward re-establishing relationships with His creation, mankind. The first blood covenant was a “pattern,” a type, shadow, or picture of the real eternal covenant God planned to make in the “fullness of time” (Galations 4:4) in order to reconcile mankind to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Abram was characterized from the very beginning by obedience. At each point, Abram had to move forward in faith and obedience, not knowing the whole story. Without that simple trust in God’s word and without a submissive and obedient heart, he would never have received the promises or been the man to cut “blood covenant” with God.

God did not tell Abram in the beginning that He planned to make a blood covenant with him. God did not tell him at first that the land He would show him was to be his, or that he would have a son (Genesis 12:7). In spite of not knowing what lay ahead, good or bad, Abram obeyed God at every step (Hebrews 11:8-12).

He had to wait a long time to see Isaac, his only son by Sarai (Sarah), his wife. He was 100 years old when the son finally was born! However, he did attempt to decide for himself how God was going to give him this son. Some of us can identify with that. We cannot wait for our answers with the patience God requires of us, so we try to help Him.

God waits to fulfill our prayers many times, not just for His purposes, but to build the faith and character it takes to believe Him. We need to learn to stand on His Word and not look at circumstances. The only way we will receive our blessings, our answers to prayer, is the way Abraham did: through faith and patience (Hebrews 6:12).

The basic promise God gave Abram before he left Ur was this: “If you will leave your country, relatives, and even your father’s house, and go to a place I will show you, I will bless you” (Genesis 12:1-3). The details of that promise were repeated to Abram by God several times over the next 25 years. The details were:

Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. Genesis 12: 1-3

God’s blood covenant with Abram was built clause upon clause over the 25-year period. Promise after promise followed obedience in previous stages. That is how God leads all of us from promise to fulfillment: “line upon line, and precept upon precept” (Isaiah 28:10).

Finally, the covenant was cut (Genesis 15), then it was sealed in the flesh of all of the males in Abram’s household (Genesis 17:21-27), and after all those years, the promised son arrived. Isaac was a “miracle baby” foreshadowing the real Promised Seed and Miracle Baby to be born hundreds of years later.

(To be continued next month)

(Excerpt from the book entitled COVENANT: God’s Guarantee for Victorious Living)

MINISTRY BOOKSTORE (Click here for order information)

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

This month we are sharing a sampling of some of the mail we receive that we hope will bless you as it did us.

 “I like what I have seen and read so far. You don’t seem to be afraid of the issues of our day. Praise the Lord!” John (Shenandoah, IA, USA)

 “This Web site has been a great help to me when pursuing answers to questions about prayer and salvation, I also use it quite often to locate Bible verses when I am writing letters to friends. I recently witnessed to a good friend of mine, and this site provided great verses which dealt with the power of praying for others. I think God purposely had me punch in this address so I could find these verses and share them with my friend. My friend, incidentally seems to be on the path to salvation. Thank you!” Sarah (Newark, IL, USA)

“Dear Pastors, It has been very encouraging to see your deep concern for the Word of God released to bring a fresh anointing and empowerment for His people.” Pastor C. Daniel Fernandez (Calcutta, India)

“YOUR SITE IS “THE” #1 PLACE ON THE INTERNET TO FIND PRECISE, AND VERY ACCURATE INFO ON OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. I THANK YOU FOR YOUR MINISTRY, AND MAY WE ALL GROW MORE IN THE LORD DAILY.” Dustin (Leavenworth, KS, USA)

“I really enjoy being able to come home after school and go onto the internet and find something that isn’t all about sex or crime or drugs or enemies or war, but about Jesus Christ, which is my favorite topic on earth, and something I can be proud of. Thanks for what you’ve done in the prayer requests, I only hope those prayers are answered with a YES.” Amanda Sue (Ovid, MI, USA)

“This site has the best literature on biblical doctrine that I have found anywhere on the net. Continue to lift up the teachings of Scripture in this same God glorifying way.” Christopher (Mobile, AL, USA)

“I didn’t know there was Christian e-mail. I got happy when I knew that. I really wish you to be used by God in his making. I was studying today about the faith. I learned that we use to pray for things we are almost sure we can do, or things that don`t require too much faith. But most of the times God wants to invite us to participate in something that only he can do. It requires much faith and we are going to be able to see God doing wonderful things around us, we can know like that more about him, about his purpose, ways, power and fidelity. It`s wonderful we believe in the same God even though we are so far away from each other. Que Dios los bendiga. Con carino desde Colombia:” Kelly Barranquilla, Colombia)

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SPIRITUAL WARFARE

By Betty Miller

Note: This teaching is continued from last month’s Overcoming Life Digest – Volume 6

ENDURANCE AND DISCIPLINE

Good soldiers must learn how to endure hardness. 1 Timothy 1:18 says, “War a good warfare.” War is hard work; any war requires enduring some hardness. First there’s boot camp. Here soldiers learn strict obedience, discipline, and strategy of war. Can you imagine a boot camp trainee saying, “Officer, how about breakfast in bed?” Some Christian soldiers act like that when they cry out, “O God, give me this, give me that. A new Cadillac automobile, Lord, and a new house. I claim this; I claim that.” Such Christians, expecting God to serve their every want, are not true soldiers. They mistakenly treat God like a bellhop that they can signal, “Come wait on me, God, come wait on me.” They seldom, if ever, say, “What would You have me do for You, Lord? What would You have me do today?”

We’ll never be good soldiers until we have the attitude, “Here I am, Lord, use me in service unto You.” We’re to serve God, not vice versa. Of course, if we have a valid need, we can ask and God will surely respond. A battlefield soldier might ask for more ammunition. God will certainly supply more ammo if we ask for it

God will make sure we’re equipped to serve Him. He’s the perfect boss, the best we could ever work for. He has a good expense account, meeting all of our needs. In everything He has called me to do, He has always furnished a way, given me favor, and paid for it. He’s always there to take care of His soldiers. God, the captain of the army, is concerned about us as His soldiers. He’ll show us how to attain victory in our personal lives. As we learn how to win our personal battles, He then wants us to start winning battles for others. Our purpose is to help others attain victory in their lives, too.

We help others, and others help us. Many times I’ve felt, “Lord, I can’t fight this battle any longer. Raise up intercessors, Lord. I need prayer support.” If you reach that place where you can no longer battle alone, ask God for the intercessory help. He may tell you to call a certain fellow soldier. I’ve done that and received the necessary reinforcement. As we stay sensitive to the Holy Spirit, He’ll provide the necessary ammunition.

We’re guaranteed victory in every battle we go through, if we obey God. That’s an important “if.” If we obey God, we can’t lose. It needs to be so real to our spirits that we’re on the winning side. The devil is the loser. We only lose if we fall into disobedience or rebellion. As we engage in spiritual warfare, our heart attitude must be one of faith and victory. We can’t be saying, “O God, why have You left me here in such a difficult spot?” Instead, the faith attitude says, “Lord, I’m growing weary, but give me Your strength and reinforcements. Help me because I want to be Your overcomer.”

See the difference? When pressure mounts, we have two possible responses. One of complaining, whining and wanting out, or one saying, “Lord, give me Your help and strength to overcome.” The choice is ours. Let’s say, “Although I can’t do it, Lord, I know You can do it through me.” I’ve had sessions like that, crying out on the floor before God. But God always made a way through His power and His might. Ephesians 6:10 points out that it’s His might, not ours: “…be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.”

2 Timothy 2:3 says, “…endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” The trying of our faith takes place when our situations become difficult to bear. God knows when we’re being tried. And if we’re still praising and trusting Him, our attitude is precious to Him. “…The trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold…” (1 Peter 1:7). As we stand strong through a rough battle, God knows we’re doing it because we love Him.

When the road has been rough, I’ve sometimes said, “Lord, I’ve never had it as rough as You did. You had nails in Your hands, a spear in Your side, and a crown of thorns on Your head. My suffering is so little compared to Yours.” Remembering what the Lord endured always makes my load lighter.

Then too, consider the suffering church; in certain foreign countries, Christians are heavily persecuted, crammed into filthy prison cells, tortured for Christ’s sake. Few of us have had to endure such hardships. We’re fortunate our sufferings are so light. Considering that, we can pray, “Lord, we’ll not complain about our situation. Thank You that we have it as easy as we do.” That grateful attitude will bring us through our battles even more quickly.

Rather than our being grateful, the devil wants us deep in depression. His plan is to get us to cry out, curse God and give up. As circumstances go from bad to worse, most people at least feel like giving up and abandoning God. Job’s wife advised him, “Curse God and die.” But Job still followed God. Later he realized God wasn’t the one afflicting him; it was Satan. Through it all, he learned he had a problem with self-righteousness and pride. When he repented of standing on his own righteousness, God restored to him double what the enemy had taken.

We can easily fall into spiritual pride or self-righteousness, thinking, “Why is this happening to me? After all, I’ve done absolutely everything God’s required of me.” Christians have said, “I don’t have any sin in my life.” This very attitude can reflect pride that blocks what God wants to do. We need to say, “Lord, I’ve done everything I know to do, but if I’m blind to something more, then show me. I know You have full wisdom and will give me Christ’s victory over this.” As we have faith, God will give any additional information needed to win the battle.

(Excerpt from the book entitled Personal Spiritual Warfare)

MINISTRY BOOKSTORE (Click here for order information)

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EXPOSING SATAN’S DEVICES

Note: This teaching is continued from last month’s Overcoming Life Digest – Volume 6

EVIL CAN BE TURNED TO GOOD

Many of us have been deceived by the devil and have taken steps we later have discovered were the result of deception by the enemy. We thought we were doing the will of God, but found we had been misled. Eve was innocently deceived by the serpent, but then by God’s grace, He promised that through her seed would come the defeat of the one who had deceived her. (Genesis 3:15: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”)

Yes, God can turn the very devices of the enemy into weapons of victory over him! Willful transgression brings the judgment of God upon it, even though the transgressor can be forgiven. Moreover, every single thing in which Satan may have deceived us as innocent victims of his wiles can become the very cause of his defeat. God gives comfort to those who have been fooled by Satan. This is especially true for those of God’s children who have been deceived by “supernatural manifestations” which afterwards were found not to be of God, and to those who have fallen into depression, darkness and despair. We can rise from despair by asking God to turn what Satan has meant for evil into good for our lives and for all those involved. Genesis 50:20 states, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”

(Excerpt from the book entitled Exposing Satan’s Devices)

MINISTRY BOOKSTORE (Click here for order information)

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END TIMES

MARK OF GOD OR MARK OF THE BEAST

Note: This teaching is continued from last month’s Overcoming Life Digest – Volume 6

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.

RULING IN GOD’S KINGDOM

We are not talking about a political ruling here as the political systems of this world are going to fail. We are to rule and reign in the spirit which brings about the second coming of the Lord and the establishment of His kingdom. The tribulation period on the earth is the rooting out of those things which offend, the falling of this world’s systems to make ready for the establishment of God’s kingdom in the earth, and the ushering in of the millennium at Christ’s return. The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah was commissioned by God to do the same thing. Jeremiah 1:10 says, “See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.”

The Lord desires us, His church, to root out and pull down through our prayers those things that are hindering the kingdom of God. A good recent example of this is the coming down of the Berlin Wall and the falling of the spirit of communism that was behind it. The church’s prayers can affect the political kingdoms of the world to make ready for the planting of the kingdom of God. Our prayers and obedience will hasten the coming of the Lord. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Peter 3: 10-13).

“And there was given unto him a mouth, speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months” (Revelation 13:5). This 3 1/2- year period is not meant as a literal number, but rather as a spiritual one. To the Jews, 3 1/2 stood for an unknown period of troublesome times. The number also represents judgment. Since 3 1/2 is half of perfect 7, it’s half of perfection – a number of trouble and judgment.

Great trouble is coming upon the earth, trouble and tribulation such as the world has never before witnessed. “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book” (Daniel 12: 1). It’s not going to merely strike areas here and there as in times past, but it’s going to hit on a world-wide scale. Revelation 13:5 tells us the devil will have “power…to continue” during this troublesome time. This will be so because it’s going to take time before the church realizes her authority and uses it against the enemy, and it’s going to take time for the church to fight her smaller battles against Satan. The enemy doesn’t like it so he is trying to keep the church from pressing into that place of authority and taking this earth from him.

Legally the earth belongs to us. Jesus gave it to us. When Christ died on Calvary he gained back the earth that Adam had lost. The first Adam lost it when he sinned; the second Adam got it back. “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1).

(To be continued next month)

(Excerpt from the book entitled The Mark of God or The Mark of the Beast)

MINISTRY BOOKSTORE (Click here for order information)

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LITTLE FOXES

(Little compromises that cause big problems)

Song of Solomon 2:15 says, “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” Foxes sometime in search of food would enter into the grape orchards and devour the grapes and spoil the crop. However, the little foxes were too small to reach the grape bunches so they would chew on the vines and it would kill the whole vine. Instead of the farmer just losing his crop, he would lose his vine which was more disastrous. Spiritually some things we do or allow that we might think is little or insignificant can also be disastrous for us.

NEGLECTING THE LITTLE THINGS

The “little fox” of neglecting what we consider small or little things can ultimately become our downfall. Many people are discovering this truth the hard way. An example would be someone who didn’t keep good books in relation to his taxes on a daily basis and then was audited by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS would require the necessary documents to substantiate the amount of income tax that was owed. All the little daily receipts add up, and if they were lost, thrown out or misfiled the IRS could demand payment on the income not backed up by those records. That could be costly, especially since the IRS in the USA adds penalties and interest to the amount owed. Neglecting to keep good records in this case could amount to a substantial loss of hard-earned money, or in some cases, even charges of fraud could be filed against the taxpayer. Although he may have done no wrong, his faulty bookkeeping would penalize him.

How does this relate to us spiritually? Many people are going through severe trials at the present and they do not understand why these things are happening to them as they are good, God-fearing Christians that are not deliberating sinning in any way. In pastoring, many times we have had Christians make this statement to us, “I just don’t understand why this problem is happening to me. I haven’t done anything that is wrong.” Possibly, the root of their problems lies in the fact that it is not what they are doing but the problem is what they are not doing. You see, the Bible talks about sins of omission as well as commission. Sins of commission are sins that we commit against God, while sins of omission are those things we neglect to do; those things we omit. The Bible tells us this in James 4:17, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”

This means that the lack of reading the Bible, praying, giving and witnessing (to name a few) are sins. Many Christians are suffering because they fail to do these things on a regular, daily basis. The devil talks them out of their Christian duties because they feel they just don’t have time or resources to do them. They reason, that they will wait until a more convenient season when they have more free time. Believing this lie of the enemy causes them to procrastinate and the little daily times with God are lost. Then, when a crisis comes about and they begin to reach out to God, they have a hard time hearing His voice because they have not sought Him daily in the little things. The Lord tests us in giving us opportunity to be faithful over what we have before He will give us His true riches. One way He does this is to see how we take care of what belongs to another (many times it is those who are in authority over us). How do we spend another man’s money? How do we take care of another man’s business?

He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Luke 16:10-13

We must not be neglectful in the little, daily responsibilities but rather be good stewards of that which we have been entrusted with. Time is one commodity that we all have been given an equal distribution of. We all must give an account of how we have spent our time as well as our money. One thing we have noticed with some entrepreneurs is that they are always going to give when they hit the “big deal” but they are not faithful to give of their smaller income. When and if they do hit the “big deal” they will not usually give then either because they weren’t faithful in giving in the smaller amounts.

For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strowed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strowed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. Matthew 25:14-29

Let us not be neglectful in doing the little things we think would not matter. If you are having trouble praying, reading the Bible, giving, etc., start to change in small ways. For example you could start reading just one scripture a day. You then can work up to reading a chapter a day. If you need help in studying the Bible, we have free Bible Study material on our website that can help you in a systematic study of God’s Word. If you have trouble praying, start by just praying 5 minutes a day and then you can increase it. Those that work in offices, could take 5 or 10 minutes of your lunch hour to pray and study (Don’t do it on your boss’s time as he paying you for a day’s work). If you say you don’t have any money to give, try giving up soft drinks for a week and giving that amount to the work of the Lord. Start by giving at least something to God’s work. There are many good works of God that are suffering because God’s people are not faithful in giving a tithe (10% of your income). God will bless you as promised in the book of Malachi 3:8-12.

Don’t let this “little fox” of neglecting the daily duties of the Christian life destroy your walk with God. Remember the old adage: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Take action today and be faithful over the little and the Lord will make you master of much.

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SPECIAL GUEST

How Did Heaven Receive Diana? by Dennis Peacocke

As the multitudes all but worshipped Princess Diana in her death, I found myself thinking about what Diana herself was going through before her Maker and Judge. Was He praising her for her life and obedience to Him? In what ways had she testified on earth to the life and death of His son, Jesus Christ? Had she honored and kept His commandments, human weakness not withstanding? Did the host of heaven honor her entry in any similar proportion to the grief being displayed on earth with her departure?

Why didn’t we hear these kinds of questions being asked? I’m sure, in some quarters, they were being asked, but not by any public figures of whom I am aware. Indeed, these kinds of questions challenge our humanity with a perspective that levels all our earthly shrines and our independent and rebellious values.

Princess Diana was a beautiful woman, a loving mother, publicly given to certain causes now politically correct, and yet mercilessly hounded by the press. She ran with the world’s “beautiful people,” and the elite of the world of popular culture obviously really cared for her, but who was Diana before the Lord?

Is it unkind to ask such ultimate questions? I personally was impressed with her public poise and vulnerability. Her patience with her adulterous husband and absurdly difficult royal duties amidst the scrutiny of the world’s media was extraordinary. I believe she truly cared for people in pain; nevertheless, death, the ultimate reality, demands from our lives that we grapple with the ultimate questions.

Did she ever press the AIDS patients, to whom she gave her human compassion so freely, with ultimate questions about their soon coming appearance before their Maker? And how did she encourage the poor to break out of their personal bondages of sin so as to sow seeds of action which could break the cruel chains of poverty and hopelessness? Where was the hope and the remedy beyond the assuaging fact that someone very rich and very famous cared enough for them to make a public appearance and raise some money? I applaud Diana’s identification with those in pain; what I am questioning is her willingness to speak about the politically unpopular spiritual solutions to that pain.

Diana had heard the gospel numerous times. Did her life evidence that she both lived and accepted it? Is Jesus “bigoted’ to require such things, and is it insensitive and culturally inept of me to ask? Diana, apparently, was enthusiastically ensnared in fornication, and possibly at the brink of bringing royal approbation to an Islamic husband. What Christ taught on these issues leaves us in pain relative to her life.

I’m sure I would have liked her had I known her and fully identified with her humanity, realness and courage. That is not the point. The question is this: how did Jesus, who demonstrated supreme indifference to man’s quest for popularity and acceptance from the culture shapers receive her? Obviously, I don’t know. What I do know is that Christ warned us about the approbation of man. He said:

Woe to you when all men speak well of you…” (Luke 6:26)

The Princess lived a semi-tragic life. The media forced upon her a transparent one. The real issue is, thirty-odd years of popularity against eternity’s values, where public opinion and political correctness mean nothing. Diana is now being judged by another measuring rod and that is the bottom line.

______

The above article was taken from the October issue of The Bottom Line, a commentary about world issues by Dennis Peacocke. Dennis Peacocke has traveled extensively over the last twenty-five years, ministering out of his concerns and experience as a Christian author, pastor, business owner, social analyst, and conference speaker. Challenged by the issues of social justice and economic-political growth, Dennis graduated in political theory from Berkeley, at the height of the turbulent 60’s. His current responsibilities include: President of Strategic Christian Services and Chairman of the Fellowship of Christian Leaders and the Strategic Resource Group. Dennis resides in Santa Rosa, California with his wife, Jan, and their three adult children.

If you would like to receive his monthly newsletter, please contact:

Strategic Christian Services
P.O. Box 2709
Santa Rosa, CA 95405
(707) 578-7700

Email: scsnet@sonic.net

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BOOK REVIEW

THE DOCTOR AND THE WORD by Reginald Cherry, M.D.

——————————————-

Dr. Reginald Cherry believes that God heals through the supernatural as well as through natural means such as modern medicine, foods, herbs and other natural substances. While his unique approach to practicing medicine may surprise some, nobody’s been more amazed than those healed by it. As you take a journey through the Bible with Dr. Cherry and his patients, you’ll too discover God’s pathway to healing for you and your family. In The Doctor and the Word, Dr. Cherry answers these questions:

  • Has God anointed particular foods to heal and prevent sickness?
  • What are God’s dietary laws, and how can you apply them?
  • What are the hindrances to healing?
  • Does the Bible show how to prevent heart disease?
  • Can I take medicine and still stand in faith for my healing?

With so many people seeking alternate medicine today this book provides a wonderful balance for those who know God uses doctors as well as prayer to bring healing to our bodies. Two outstanding things impressed me about this book. Dr. Cherry seeks God on an individual basis as how to treat each patient . Advice is given to the spiritual man as well as the physical man. The entire man is ministered to–spirit, soul and body. Secondly, I found no mixture of New Age philosophy in his book. He truly is using the Word of God as a guideline. So many alternate approaches to health and healing today have a mixture of New Age deceptive practices that can ensnare people in the underlying false doctrines of that movement.

If you want help in the area of nutrition, exercise and a healthy lifestyle that is based on the Word of God, this is the book we would recommend. Dr. Cherry says, “As both a doctor and a Spirit-filled Christian, I wrote this book as a testimony that God heals both naturally, and supernaturally. I have seen Him combine both medical treatment and spiritual power to miraculously cure and prevent disease. Quoting Dr. Cherry, “My wife Linda and I are praying in agreement that through the pages of this book God will touch your life and impart to you your pathway to healing.” –Betty Miller

Dr. Reginald Cherry and his wife, Linda, host TBN’s popular television program, The Doctor and the Word, which is seen in millions of homes weekly. Dr. Cherry currently practices diagnostic and preventive medicine in Houston, Texas. A graduate of Baylor University and the University of Texas Medical School, Dr. Cherry formerly practiced preventive medicine with Dr. Kenneth Cooper in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Cherry and his wife attend Pastor John Osteen’s Lakewood Church in the Houston area. You may visit Dr. Cherry’s website at: www.thepathwaytohealing.com or he receives email at: drcherryproducts@owd.com

The book, The Doctor and the Word, is available in hardback priced at $14.99 in our Chapel Bookstore catalog or from your local Christian bookstore.

MINISTRY BOOKSTORE (Click here for order information)

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POETRY CORNER

DOOMSDAY
(A Ballad Portraying the Lives of Many of the Young Women of Our Day)

by Betty Miller

Another cocktail party–a meaningless night;
Now I recall those words that left me uptight.
It seems it’s always the conversation topic of the day,
“Is our world headed for doomsday?”

“Doomsday”– why should that concern me?
I’m a single girl who is footloose and fancy-free.
No worries or problems– why should I fret?
Why should anything hold over me, a threat?

A modern miss– yes, that’s me;
Cocktail parties are my “cup of tea.”
Yes, very chic and right in style,
The opposite sex, I try to beguile.

I have fancy clothes and a nice apartment to show;
With a new car, on my merry way I go.
Life has no purpose or meaning for me,
From one party to the next is my life, you see.

I was free until that night we were all gathered ’round,
And I discovered the awful truth–I was bound!
I’d heard that conversation topic before,
But this time it hit me with a deafening roar.

“Doomsday–that what we’re headed for!
No matter where you turn, there’s no exit door.”
That was Bill–he’d studied ecology
You could mark what he said, for he had a degree.

“Nature’s out of balance and it’s too late now.
If we’d started sooner–maybe somehow.
Of smog or famine, we’ll die the death.
It’s coming soon–we’ll all take our last breath!

Even now, leopards no longer stalk the jungle floor.
Where do you find them? The nearest department store!”
Then John, the silent type who never says much
(For his stability is alcohol, his crutch),

Spoke these words in an awesome tone,
“One nuclear war, and we’ll all be gone!”
Jane chimed in, “He’s right, you know.
For all we know, tomorrow we blow!”

Sue, who was out of it, just giggled and chimed,
“You’ll see your God before bedtime!”
Suddenly it hit me–what am I going to do?
Revelation came even in the foolishness of Sue.

Doomsday, doomsday, doomsday…
No, no, go away, go away!
To my host and hostess, I paid a quick farewell.
My soul, by now, was in it’s own private hell.

Hell–I hadn’t thought about that word for many years.
Flashback–my dear aunt crying tears.
When I was a young girl, she watched over me.
She took me to church every Sunday, faithfully.

Those tears, they were shed for my sake.
I wish I could remember just what she’d said.
Something about Jesus dying for me,
And a home in heaven for eternity.

Why does that come back to me tonight?
Yet, I know it’s because of my soul’s maddening fright.
Fear of death had it’s grip on me,
With tears in my eyes, I could hardly see.

At last I was home! Maybe inside that door
Security would come, and death would knock no more.
But alone, it was maddening and only grew worse
Doomsday, doomsday, was this a curse?

Where do I go? What can I do?
Is there anyone I can turn to?
Then I remembered these words,
“Have you tried prayer?”

Was this the answer?
Would God really care?
Would He hear a sinner who’d forgotten Him?
Could He overlook all of my sin?

I was desperate; afraid of death and hell,
And in my heart I knew too well,
That doomsday was my destiny
Unless God could set me free.

“Forgive me, Father,” I began to cry.
“I no longer want to live a lie!
Save my soul and come into my life.”
Immediately it happened–gone was the strife.

Doomsday–no longer do those words hold a threat over me,
When I asked Jesus into my heart, I was finally free!

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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 and Revelation 21:7.

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All scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise noted.

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