Encouragement to Endure

Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 6:00 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “My Jesus, I Love Thee.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Matthew 4:1-11 (NIV).

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Led by the Spirit

Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. God will not tempt us to sin, but he does lead us down paths where we might be tempted to sin, i.e. he allows (permits) Satan to tempt us. So, why does he do this?

God Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, is completely sovereign over all he has made. God/Jesus is absolutely in control of all things and is supreme in authority over all rulers and authorities on this earth and in the heavenly realms (See: Eph. 1:15-23; Eph. 6:12; Col. 1:15-20; Col. 2:9-10; 1 Pet. 3:21-22; Rev. 3:14). Satan (Lucifer), who was once an angel in heaven, rebelled against God because he wanted to be God, and so God threw him and his followers to the earth (See: Ez. 28:11-19; Is. 14:12-15; Lu. 10:18; 1 Tim. 3:6; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 1:6; Rev. 12). God could have completely destroyed Satan and the angels who followed after him, but he didn’t. Why didn’t he? Why did he allow Adam and Eve to be tempted by Satan in the Garden of Eden, knowing that they would fall into sin?

The Bible says that Jesus, who was God incarnate, learned obedience through the things that he suffered, and once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him (Heb. 5:7-9). We learn in scripture that suffering produces endurance, which produces character, which produces hope (Ro. 5:3-5). When we share in Christ’s sufferings, we become like him in his death (Phil. 3:7-11). Trials of various kinds come into our lives to test our faith, in order that it might produce steadfastness in us, so that we might become mature and complete, lacking in nothing (Jas. 1:2-4). When we go through various trials and temptations, and we receive God’s strength, encouragement and comfort through them to endure, and to not give way to the flesh, we can then comfort others who are going through similar difficulties with the strength, encouragement and counsel we received from God. As well, through our trials we learn to not rely upon ourselves, but on God (2 Co. 1:3-11).

To me, this last sentence (above) says it all. God did not create us to be puppets on a string. He created us to love, worship, and honor and obey him, to be in fellowship with him, and to walk in his love, grace and righteousness because we want to; because we choose to. Through life’s difficulties, which includes temptations to sin, if we respond rightly to these trials and temptations, we should be drawn of the Spirit into a closer relationship with God/Jesus, and to fuller dependence upon him for all things. Having gone through these trials, and having resisted the devil and fled temptation, and having drawn near to God, by the Spirit, it should put within us even greater determination, resolve and desire to walk in the Spirit and not according to our flesh. In other words, we learn obedience, too, through the things that we suffer. So, suffering is for our good.

The Temptations

Satan often tempts us to sin when we are at our weakest moments. Jesus had been fasting for 40 days and nights, and he was hungry. The first temptation was to try to get Jesus to question his Sonship and to feel as though he had to prove he was the Son of God. Satan tempted Eve in the garden in like manner when he said to her, “Did God really say…?” One of Satan’s greatest weapons against us is to try to get us to doubt God and his word or who we are in Christ, and to try to get us to give in to fear thinking we have to take matters into our own hands.

I believe Satan is presently tempting Christians here in America with a similar temptation to doubt God and his word and to feel as though we must take matters into our own hands out of fear of what might happen to us if we don’t, as though God is not capable of taking care of us.

Jerry Falwell, Jr., president of Liberty University, the largest Christian college in the USA, recently made some disparaging remarks about Muslims at a convocation service at his school, and in front of thousands of students. He was evidently responding to what he believed had taken place in San Bernardino, California within the past week. He apparently believed the news media’s story that a husband and wife (both Muslims) shot and killed 14 people at a party, and that this was an act of terrorism against the US inspired by ISIS.

So, he encouraged all his students, possibly close to 100,000 of them (including the 95,000 online students), to get concealed-carry (gun) permits so they could “end those Muslims before they walked in and killed them” (referring to the purported terrorist incident in CA). He also said, “Let’s teach them a lesson if they ever show up here.” And, he made jokes about his own gun concealed in his pocket to the applause and loud cheers of his audience. The manner in which he disseminated his ignorance and obvious hatred of Muslims came across to me like someone inciting a lynch mob. The message came across loud and clear: “Let’s get them before they get us,” i.e. in reference to his remark stating that his students should “end those Muslims before they walked in.” And, many of the students cheered and applauded their leader because they obviously bought into the same lies as he did.

First off, our government and the New World Order “Beast”-controlled media tell lies to us all the time and for evil purposes. They (the US/N.W.O.) are the terrorists of the world who recruit, train, equip and finance Al Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIS and the like. They first create crisis situations within nations via false flag operations, i.e. via orchestrated and/or staged terrorist strikes (like 9/11/01) or mass murders, and/or weather-related disasters, subversions, riots, uprisings, and factions between people groups, etc. Then, they go into these nations (including America) under the guise of going after the terrorists or to solve the nations’ internal problems. Yet, they are really there to take out government heads, to overturn sovereign nations, to confiscate property not their own, to steal other nations’ natural resources, to kill and to destroy, and then to bring in the “international community” (alias “the beast”) to set up transitional governments (N.W.O.). And, this has now come to America.

What we must know as Christians is that Obama and Pope Francis, as well as other New World Order voices, have been hard-selling the message for some time now that we – the people of the world – must all come together as one, meaning under a one-world totalitarian regime (beast one) and one-world religion (beast two). According to them, we must rid ourselves of all which divides us as the people of this earth, part of which means that we must get rid of the gospel of salvation and all who hold fast to the tenets of the Christian faith and practice, in order to make way for a more harmonious existence among people of all walks of life and of all religions. Christians have already been accused in the media of being bigoted, hate-mongers, intolerant, judgmental, and unsympathetic extremists, and J. Falwell Jr.’s remarks have only helped to fan the flame for even more severe accusations against Christians, which serves a political objective for the N.W.O.

Basically, by J. Falwell Jr. inviting his students to get guns in order to “end those Muslims” before they get us, and to “teach them a lesson,” he has opened the door wide for Christian persecution here in America, which was the plan all along, and Donald Trump is playing that card, too. What the N.W.O. “Beast” wants is to have an excuse to clamp down on radical Christians and to force them into compromise with the beast, or to face the consequences. J. Falwell Jr.’s remarks only help to validate Obama’s and the Pope’s messages that we need to get rid of all which divides us as a people of this world so that we can live together in harmony, that is under totalitarian control where “freedom of religion” means freedom to conform to the one-world religion or face the consequences. Either we give up our beliefs that Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father and to heaven and that the gospel of salvation means death to sin and living to righteousness, and we agree to unify with a one-world religion, or we will face tremendous persecution. This is what is coming to America.

So, the temptation right now is to give in to fear based upon the lies our government and their media feed us every day now, it seems, and to take matters into our own hands, and to take out our purported enemies before they take us out, as though God is not sufficient for our protection, or as though God would be pleased with such actions. The temptation is also to believe the lies our leaders and their media are feeding us daily without even questioning what is being told us to be sure that what they are telling us is really the truth. The temptation is also to ignore Jesus’ teachings on how we should respond to persecution from our enemies. He told us to love our enemies, to pray for them, to bless (not curse) them, and to do good to them. He commanded us to go out into the world with the gospel of salvation in order to make disciples of Christ of people of all nations, not to kill them. The temptation is also to doubt who we are in Christ and all the many promises given to us by God. Yet, He said he would never leave us or forsake us, that he will watch over and care for us, and that he will supply all that we need, so we are not to fear.

“I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!” (Lu. 12:4-5)

Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?” (Heb. 13:5-6)

His Tender Mercies / An Original Work / January 26, 2014

Fear not! I’m with you.
Be not dismayed!
God watches o’er you.
Trust Him today.
He’ll lead and guide you;
Give you His aid.
He’ll love and keep you
With Him always.

Walk in His footsteps.
He’ll lead the way.
Trust in His love;
Believe that He cares.
He will not leave you.
Faithful He’ll be.
His tender mercies
Now you will see.

Fellowship with Him
Throughout the day.
Tell Him your heartaches.
He’ll heal always.
Rest in His comfort.
He is your friend.
Your faith He’ll strengthen,
True to the end.

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