Posts Tagged ‘booklet’

NEW BOOKLET: God’s Help and Comfort Through It All

NEW BOOKLET: God’s Help and Comfort Through It All by Warren B. Smith is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet. The Booklet is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of God’s Help and Comfort Through It All, click here.

God’s Help and Comfort Through It All

By Warren B. Smith

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)

For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. (Isaiah 50:7)

For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. (Isaiah 41:13)

Henry Francis Lyte completed the lyrics of his hymn Abide With Me shortly before his passing in 1847. Aware that death was near, he directed his hymn to God who he described as the “Help of the helpless.”

Abide with me! Fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me!

The 1719 hymn O God, Our Help in Ages Past by Isaac Watts and William Croft, reminds us that God has been our help in the past and will continue to be our hope in the years to come:

O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come; Be Thou our guide while life shall last, And our eternal home.

The following Scriptures refer directly to the help and comfort God brings to those who put their faith and trust in Him:

God’s Help

God is Our Helper
Behold, God is mine helper. (Psalm 54:4)

So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. (Hebrews 13:6)

God Helps Us
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isaiah 41:10)

For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. (Isaiah 50:7)

God is Our Help and Our Shield
Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield. (Psalm 33:20)

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. (Psalm 28:7)

God is Our Help and Our Deliverer
But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God. (Psalm 40:17)

But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou art my help and my deliverer; O LORD, make no tarrying. (Psalm 70:5)

God Helps Deliver Us From the Wicked
And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him. (Psalm 37:40)

Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity? Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence. (Psalm 94:16-17)

We Pray to God for Help
Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. (Psalm 108:12)

Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy: That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, LORD, hast done it. (Psalm 109:26-27)

Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. (Psalm 12:1)

O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help. (Psalm 71:12)

Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me. Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation. (Psalm 38:21-22)

Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me. (Psalm 40:13)

Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men. For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O LORD. They run and prepare themselves without my fault: awake to help me, and behold. (Psalm 59:2-4)

God is Our Help in Times of Trouble
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. (Psalm 60:11)

Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me. (Psalm 116:5-6)

We Rejoice in God’s Help
Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. (Psalm 63:7)

God Helps With Our Infirmities
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Romans 8:26)

Our Help is in the Name of the Lord
Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:6-8)

God’s Comfort

God is the God of All Comfort
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3)

God Comforts His People
I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass. (Isaiah 51:12)

Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. (Isaiah 49:13)

God’s Holy Spirit is Our Comforter
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:26)

God’s Holy Spirit Abides with Believers Forever
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:16-17)

God Comforts with His Word
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15:4)

God Comforts Those Who Are Cast Down
Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus. (2 Corinthians 7:6)

God Comforts in Our Tribulation
Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. (2 Corinthians 1:4)

God Comforts in Times of Despair
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

God Comforts on Every Side
Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee! Thou, which hast showed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth. Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side. (Psalm 71:19-21)

God Comforts Those Who Mourn
The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound . . . to comfort all that mourn. (Isaiah 61:1-2)

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)

God’s Comfort Can be Maternal
For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. (Isaiah 66:12-13)

God Comforts us With the Promise of His Return
. . . we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18)

Forty Helpful and Comforting Verses

The Lord is Around His People
As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever. (Psalm 25:2)

He Goes Before Us
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

He Never Leaves Us or Forsakes Us
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5)

Nothing Can Separate Us From the Love of God
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)

He Has Given Us His Word
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

His Word is Quick and Powerful
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

His Word Never Passes Away
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (Matthew 24:35)

He Gives Us Wisdom
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5)

He Will Guide Us Continually
And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. (Isaiah 58:11)

He Will Direct Our Paths
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

He Supplies all our Needs
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

The Lord’s Compassion Never Fails
It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

He Gives Strength to the Weary
Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31)

He Gives Us His Peace
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

He Keeps Us in His Peace
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (Isaiah 26:3)

His Peace Keeps our Hearts and Minds
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

He is Our Refuge
The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. (Psalm 9:9)

He Delivers Us From Affliction
Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. (Psalm 34:19)

He Gives Us Rest
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

He Perfects His Strength in Our Weakness
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

We Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Us
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13)

He Works All Things For Good For Those Who Love Him
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

He is Able to Keep Us From Falling
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. (Jude 1:24)

He Protects Us
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. (Isaiah 43:2)

He Lifts Up a Standard Against the Enemy
When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. (Isaiah 59:19)

No Weapon Shall Prosper Against Us
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper. (Isaiah 54:17)

He Gives Us the Victory Through Jesus Christ
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)

He is Faithful to Complete His Work in Us
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)

He is Our Guide Unto Death
For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death. (Psalm 48:14)

He Gives Us Eternal Life
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Eternal Life is a Gift from God
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

God Sent His Son to be the Propitiation for Our Sins
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

If We Confess Our Sins He Forgives Us
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Whoever Calls Upon the Lord’s Name Shall be Saved
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13)

By Grace We Are Saved Through Faith
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)

He Has Prepared a Place for Us
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:1-3)

He Will Raise Us Up
Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. (2 Corinthians 4:14)

His Glory Will be Revealed in Us
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)

He Will Wipe Away All Tears
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:4)

What God Has Prepared For Those Who Love Him
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Our Helper and Our Comforter

Lines from the following two hymns echo what the Bible makes very clear. God is our rock, our hiding place, our refuge and defense—our helper ever near. He is our shelter in the time of storm, our wonderful Savior and comfort sweet. In good times and in bad, He is our Helper and our Comforter through it all.

The Lord’s our Rock, in Him we hide, A Shelter in the time of storm;
Secure whatever ill betide, A Shelter in the time of storm.

A shade by day, defense by night, A Shelter in the time of storm;
No fears alarm, no foes afright, A Shelter in the time of storm.

The raging storms may round us beat, A Shelter in the time of storm;
We’ll never leave our safe Retreat, A Shelter in the time of storm.

O Rock divine, O Refuge dear, A Shelter in the time of storm;
Be thou our helper ever near, A Shelter in the time of storm.

 Shelter in the Time of Storm
Vernon J. Charlesworth (1878)

There is a place of comfort sweet,
Near to the heart of God.
A place where we our Savior meet,
Near to the heart of God.

Near to the Heart of God
Cleland B. McAfee (1903)

To order copies of God’s Help and Comfort Through It All, click here.

NEW BOOKLET: Sound Doctrine Through It All

NEW BOOKLET: Sound Doctrine Through It All by Warren B. Smith is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet. The Booklet is 10 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Sound Doctrine Through It All, click here.

By Warren B. Smith

Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass. (Deuteronomy 32:1-2)

How precious is the Book divine, by inspiration given! Bright as a lamp its doctrines shine, to guide our souls to heaven.—John Fawcett, How Precious is the Book Divine (1782)

Doctrine and Dogma

It is not very popular these days, but the Bible tells us to study and to rightly divide the Word of God:

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
Scripture tells us that the Word of God is “quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword”:
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
Scripture assures us that God’s Word really is God’s inspired Word, and that it is profitable for doctrine:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
But in the deceptive times in which we live, doctrine has become, for many, a harsh and even hated word. Yet, according to Strong’s Concordance, the word doctrine in Greek simply refers to “instruction” and “teaching.” Webster’s New American Dictionary defines doctrine as “something taught as the principles or creed of a religion, political party, etc.; tenet or tenets; belief; dogma.” The word dogma also takes a bad rap and is similarly defined by Webster as “a belief or set of beliefs that is accepted by the members of a group without being questioned or doubted.” These definitions are very straightforward, but the words doctrine and dogma still carry heavy negative connotations—even in the minds of many believers. If someone holds to doctrinal truth and refuses to compromise, they are frequently regarded as being too “dogmatic” and “hung up on doctrine.”

Spiritual Experiences

Today, spiritual experience is taking precedent over sound doctrine, and it is leading to great deception in the church. Having an “encounter” with God has become more of a priority than knowing and rightly dividing the Word of God. And in the process, deceptive spirits have moved into the lives of undiscerning believers as they temptingly offer counterfeit spiritual experiences—all in the name of “God,” “Jesus,” and the “Holy Spirit.” And this is exactly what the Bible said would happen in these last days:
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. (1 Timothy 4:1)For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
The word doctrine is specifically cited in the New Testament forty-nine times. Any teaching—especially whatever comes through personal experience as seemingly “new revelation,” “new truth,” or “new doctrine,” must always be measured by God’s Holy Word (Acts 17:11) and spiritually tested for truth and authenticity (1 John 4:1-3). Not every spiritual encounter is from God. There is a deceiver. The following selected Bible verses underline the importance of sound doctrine and the necessity of keeping, abiding, and holding fast to God’s Word.

God’s Bible Doctrine

All Scripture is Profitable for Doctrine
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Jesus Taught Doctrine
And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine. (Mark 4:1-2)
And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces. (Mark 12:38)
The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said. (John 18:19-21)
People Were Astonished at Jesus’ Doctrine
And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. (Matthew 7:28-29)
And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine. (Mark 11:18)
And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days. And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power. (Luke 4:31-32)
Jesus’ Doctrine Was God’s Doctrine
Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. (John 7:14-16)
God’s Doctrine was Delivered to the Church
But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. (Romans 6:17)
God’s Doctrine is Good Doctrine
Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. (Proverbs 4:1-2)
God’s Doctrine is to be Understood and Learned
They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. (Isaiah 29:24)
Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little. (Isaiah 28:9-10)
God’s Doctrine Nourishes
If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. (1Timothy 4:6)
God’s Doctrine Edifies
How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. (1 Corinthians 14:26)
Laboring in Doctrine is Honorable
Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward. (1 Timothy 5:17-18)
Good Works Come From Good Doctrine
In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity. (Titus 2:7)
We Are to Attend to Doctrine
Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. (1 Timothy 4:13)
We Are to Speak Sound Doctrine
But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine. (Titus 2:1)
We are to Exhort with Sound Doctrine
Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. (Titus 1:9)
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (2 Timothy 4:3)
We Are to Adorn Doctrine in All Things
Not purloining, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. (Titus 2:10)
We Are to Teach No Other Doctrine
As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine. (1 Timothy 1:3)
We Are to Beware of the Doctrines of Men
Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. . . . How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. (Matthew 16:6, 11-12)
Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. (Colossians 2:20-23)
We are Not to Teach the Doctrines of Men
Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Matthew 15:7-9)
We Must Beware of False Doctrine
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (Romans 16:17-18)
Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. (1 Timothy 1:9-11)
We Are to Continue in Doctrine
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:41-42)
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. (1 Timothy 4:16)
We Are Not to be Carried Away with False Doctrines
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. (Hebrews 13:8-9)
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. (Ephesians 4:14)
We Must Remove Ourselves From Those Who Teach False Doctrines
If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Timothy 6:3-6)
Sound Doctrine Will Not be Endured
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
We Must Not Give Heed to Seducing Spirits and Doctrines of Devils
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. (1 Timothy 4:1)
We Must Abide in the Doctrine of Christ
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (2 John 1:9-11)
We Must Beware of Doctrines of Vanities
But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities. (Jeremiah 10:8)
We Must Repent of False Doctrines
But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. (Revelation 2:14-16)

Conclusion

In a period of time when the Word of God is being discounted, denigrated, and deconstructed, it is especially important that we hold fast to the Word of God and the doctrines it espouses. The Bible states that “blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it” (Luke 11:28). The Bereans were commended by the apostle Paul because “they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily” to see whether the things they were being taught and told “were so” (Acts 17:11). May God bless and keep you as you search the Scriptures and endeavor to stand fast on the Bible’s inspired teachings and inspired sound doctrines.

Prayer

I will not forget thy word. Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word. (Psalm 119:14-17)

To order copies of Sound Doctrine Through It All, click here.

Other Titles in Warren B. Smith’s Through It All Series
Rejoicing Through It All
Praising God Through It All
Trusting God Through It All
Being Thankful Through It All
Remaining Hopeful Through It All
Blessings Through It All
Remaining Faithful Through It All
Standing Fast Through It All
To order copies of Sound Doctrine Through It All, click here.
To see a list of all Warren Smith’s books, booklets, and DVDs, please visit his website at www.warrenbsmith.com.

Standing Fast Through It All

(From Warren B. Smith’s booklet Standing Fast Through it All)

bkt-ws-stf-3By Warren B. Smith

If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. (Proverbs 24:10)

Hostility towards those who hold fast to the Lord Jesus Christ and the literal teachings of the Bible has increased greatly. Biblical Christians endeavoring to stand in their faith have been shocked and saddened at the growing antagonism coming at them not only from the world but from within the professing church itself. This booklet will attempt to convey what Scripture tells us about remaining faithful in the midst of this spiritual opposition—what to expect and how to respond.

Standing
Standing is to be stationary; to persevere, to endure, to stand fast. While the world moves “forward” with its distorted agenda, God’s people are exhorted to stand fast in their faith as they stand against false teachings and the wiles of the Devil.

Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. (2 Thessalonians 2:15)

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:10-11)

The act of standing fast is to be steadfast. Steadfast means firm, fixed, settled, or established. Not changing, fickle or wavering; constant. As believers, we are to remain steadfast and unmoveable in our faith as we resist the Devil and the temptations of the world.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58)

But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end. (Hebrews 3:13-14)

Keeping
To keep is to hold fast, preserve, and maintain. We stand fast and remain steadfast by keeping God’s Word, keeping His ways, keeping His works, and keeping the faith.

But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. (Luke 11:28)

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (John 14:23)

Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. (Proverbs 8:32)

But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations. (Revelation 2:25-26)

Continuing
To continue is to stay, abide, remain, stand. We do not change. We do not depart from the faith. We do not fall away from the faith. We continue in the faith.

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31-32)

But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them. (2 Timothy 3:14)

And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. (Acts 14:21-22)

Enduring
To endure is to remain, to undergo, to bear trials. It is to have fortitude, to persevere, abide, take patiently, suffer.

But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Matthew 24:13)

Behold, we count them happy which endure. (James 5:11)

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

The Cost
There is a cost that comes with our faithfulness to God and His Word. The price we pay is having to endure the trials, tribulation, and persecution that comes with our faith.

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish it. (Luke 14:28-30)

Thanks to God’s Word, we know what to expect and how to respond to whatever befalls us. Mercifully, we are given the assurance that with God’s help we can endure even the most challenging and difficult trials and temptations.

What to Expect and How to Respond

1) Expect Trouble

Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward. (Job 5:7)

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows. (Mark 13:8)

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)

Biblical Response

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. (Psalm 46:1-3)

In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me. (Psalm 86:7)

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. (John 14:1)

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. (2 Corinthians 4:8-10)

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (Matthew 24:6)

Prayer

The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses. (Psalm 25:17)

2) Expect Suffering

For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. (Philippians 1:29)

For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:5)

Biblical Response

But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. (1 Peter 4:13)

Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. (1 Peter 4:16)

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:17-18)

And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. (Acts 5:40-41)

For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. (1 Peter 2:19-20)

Prayer

Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death. That I may show forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation. (Psalm 9:13-14)

3) Expect Grief and Sorrow

For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow. (Ecclesiastes 1:18)

For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun? For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity. (Ecclesiastes 2:22-23)

Biblical Response

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)

Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. (Ecclesiastes 7:3-4)

As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. (2 Corinthians 6:10)

For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. (2 Corinthians 7:10)

Prayer

Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly. (Psalm 31:9)

4) Expect Persecution

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. (2 Timothy 3:12)

Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you. (John 15:20)

Biblical Response

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12)

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. (Matthew 5:44)

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)

Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word. I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil. (Psalm 119:161-162)

Prayer

O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me. (Psalm 7:1)

5) Expect Affliction

Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. (Psalm 34:19)

That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. (1 Thessalonians 3:3)

For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. (Mark 13:19)

Biblical Response

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. (2 Corinthians 4:16-17)

This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. (Psalm 119:50)

It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. (Psalm 119:71)

Prayer

Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted. (Psalm 25:16)

6) Expect Tribulation

Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. (Acts 14:22)

Biblical Response

When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them. (Deuteronomy 4:30-31)

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope. (Romans 5:3-4)

Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation. (2 Corinthians 7:4)

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer. (Romans 12:12)

Prayer

And, behold, as thy life was much set by this day in mine eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of the LORD, and let him deliver me out of all tribulation. (1 Samuel 26:24)

7) Expect Temptation

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. (Revelation 3:10)

Biblical Response

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41)

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. (James 1:2-3)

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. (James 1:12)

Prayer

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Matthew 6:13)

8) Expect Trials

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. (1 Peter 1:7-8)

Biblical Response

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. (1 Peter 4:12-13)

Prayer

O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee. (Psalm 25:20)

9) Expect Hatred

Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. (1 John 3:13)

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. (Luke 21:17)

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9)

Biblical Response

Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. (Luke 6:22-23)

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. (Matthew 5:44 )

Prayer

Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters. (Psalm 69:14)

10) Expect to be called Beelzebub/Satan

It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? (Matthew 10:25)

Biblical Response

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12)

Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. (Romans 12:14)

And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. (1 Corinthians 4:12-13)

Prayer

My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me. (Psalm 31:15)

11) Expect You May Die for Your Faith

Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter. (Psalm 44:22)

These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. (John 16:1-2)

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9)

Biblical Response

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer . . . be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. (Revelation 2:10)

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. (Psalm 116:15)

For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death. (Psalm 48:14)

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Revelation 12:11)

Prayer

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

12) Expect to See Jesus

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:13)

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. (Revelation 1:7)

For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Matthew 24:27)

Biblical Response

Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching. (Luke 12:37)

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:25-28)

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (1Thessalonians 4:16-18)

Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. (Luke 12:40)

Prayer

He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20)

13) Expect a New Heaven and a New Earth

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:1-2)

Biblical Response

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. (Revelation 21:7)

Conclusion

Life can be extremely difficult and challenging. It is not easy being a biblical Christian. If we continue in His Word and remain steadfast in our faith, we are promised trials and tribulation. We know that we will be mocked, hated, betrayed, persecuted, and maybe even killed for our faith. But we are not to be deterred by a world and an apostate church that would seek to undo our testimony. Even in our most trying moments, we are encouraged to rejoice and be thankful as we glorify God and exhort one another daily to be steadfast in our faith until the very end:

Rejoice evermore. (1Thessalonians 5:16)

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1Thessalonians 5:18)
I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. (Psalm 86:12)

But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end. (Hebrews 3:13-14)

Overcomer
To overcome is to subdue, conquer, prevail, to get the victory. Overcomers do not fall away. We are to be more than conquerors—we are to be overcomers. Paul said:

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39)

Jesus said:

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. (Revelation 3:21)

Charge

With spiritual darkness coming on fast, we must share God’s Word and work while we can.

I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. (John 9:4)

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)

Encouragement

When we grow weary and faint, we must remember that our strength comes from the Lord. He will renew us for the task at hand. His grace is sufficient, and He perfects His strength in our weakness. As we are strengthened and encouraged, we must encourage others that God’s Word is true and that His truth will prevail in the end. Evil will be vanquished, and those that are planted in the house of the Lord will flourish in the courts of our God.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31)

When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever: But thou, LORD, art most high for evermore. For, lo, thine enemies, O LORD, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered. . . . Mine eye also shall see my desire on mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me. The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. (Psalm 92:7-9, 11-13)

This booklet is part of Warren B. Smith’s Word of God booklet series. To order copies of Standing Fast Through It All, click here. 

NEW BOOKLET: The Expectation of His Return

bkt-ir-exp-sNEW BOOKLET:  The Expectation of His Return by Dr. Harry A. Ironside is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract.  The Booklet is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of  The Expectation of His Return, click here. 

The Expectation of His Return

By Dr. Harry A. Ironside

In the Epistle of the Romans, we have the words:

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. (Romans 8:18-23)

Then if you will also turn to Philippians:

According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:20-21)

The Christian has a wonderful expectation. Our Lord Jesus Christ while He was here on earth had a great deal to say about His second coming. I have never been able to understand why some persons who profess to be Christians (and I would not dare doubt in some instances but they are really such) seem to have no interest whatsoever in the truth of the return of our blessed Savior. I have often heard people say, “I am not interested in the second coming of Christ. The only thing that concerns me is to be ready when He comes.”

Of course it is very important that we should be ready when He comes, but to say, “The only thing that concerns me is to be ready for that event,” seems to me to be the quintessence of selfishness. Am I only concerned about my personal readiness? Do I not have a deep, warm expectation in my soul, looking forward to that glorious day when the Savior shall return? Am I not longing to see Him?

He has said that He is coming back, and He told us to watch and to wait for His coming, to be like men that wait for their Lord when He will return from the wedding. And surely if we have learned to love Him, if we know Him as the One who died for us and washed away our sins in His precious blood, we certainly ought to be looking eagerly for His return.

EXPECTATION IS NOT FEAR
Some people think of the second coming of the Lord as though it were a dreadful event, an event from which we might well shrink, because they confound the second coming of Christ for His people with the day of judgment for a godless world; but these are two very distinct events.

When He said, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also,” He was not referring to the final day of judgment. He was speaking of the time when He will come back and raise the dead and change the living, those of His own redeemed people, and take them up to be with Him in the Father’s house. Surely there is nothing to dread about that. It is no fearful portent, the thought of the Lord’s coming.

On one occasion I was asked in a certain Canadian city to give an address to the ministerial union on the second coming of the Lord Jesus, and so I went down with a heart and mind full of the subject, and found nearly seventy of the city’s preachers gathered together. It was my privilege to talk to them for about forty minutes on what I believe the Word of God teaches concerning this great expectation of the Church. When I had finished, the moderator of the meeting, who was a Presbyterian minister, rose and said, “My friends, I want to give my personal testimony concerning this subject. I was a minister for a great many years before I ever took the time to study what the Bible has to say about the second coming of the Lord, but some years back I became deeply interested and I searched the Scriptures for all references to the subject. You know, as that truth opened up to me, I got a new Bible. It just seemed as though my Bible was entirely different. So many things were plain that had been dark before.” Then he said, “Now I would like to have you tell us how this subject appeals to you.”

There happened to be present a very venerable old gentleman, an Anglican clergyman, who had received a great many honors because of his scholarship and ability. He had written a great many books, and I had read all of them, so I was quite interested when he was pointed out to me. The moderator knew he was in the audience that day and because he seemed in a certain sense to be a dean of them all, he turned to him and said, “Doctor, wouldn’t you like to speak to us on the subject?”

The dear old gentleman stood up and in that fine, cultured way that is so characteristic of Anglican clergyman, said something like this: “Well, my dear brother, I am really sorry that you referred to me at all, because I never like to take issue was a visiting speaker. I would far rather have just said to our brother at the close, ‘Thank you,’ and left it at that; but since you put me on the spot, it is necessary for me to express myself, and I regret to have to say that I do not find myself at all in agreement with the speaker who has addressed us today. Of course, I think there is something in the Bible about the second coming of the Lord, but just what it is I do not know, and I do not think anyone else does. I have listened carefully to what he has presented, and I have been thinking that if his presentation of the subject is the correct one, it must be an awful thing to believe, as he says he believes, that Christ may come back at any moment. Why, if one believed that, it would unnerve him completely. Suppose I were out making pastoral calls and the awful thought came to me that Christ might come today! I would not be able to continue my work, but would want to get back to my study and read the prayer book and try to get ready for that awful event.”

Well, you know it was a little difficult for me. I was much younger than he and I did not want to be discourteous, but I said to him, “Doctor, I hope that you do not mean us to infer that one could have been a member of the great church to which you belong and have taken all the ecclesiastical and academical honors that you have and yet never have been washed from his sins in the precious blood of Christ! For Doctor, if you have been saved through what the Lord Jesus did when He was here the first time, whether you realize it or not, you will be ready when He comes the second time.” Because it is not our understanding of the doctrines of the Lord’s return that makes us ready to meet Him, or our growth in holiness, but the fact that Another has, in the blessed will of God, shed His blood and died for us, cleansing us from all sin.
THE FOCUS OF OUR EXPECTATION
To me, the expectation of the Lord’s imminent return is one of the most precious hopes that I have, “According to my earnest expectation and my hope.” He was looking for the coming of the Savior, and he said, “I do not want to be ashamed. I want to be found, while I am watching for him, laboring always for His glory, endeavoring to bring others to Him, and seeking to manifest Christ in my daily life so that I can always say, ‘For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.’”

This poor world needs the coming Savior. Suppose our Lord had come ten years ago.* Then the world would never have known the dire conflict that is prevailing at the present time. Why do we see the nations engaged in bloody conflict one with the other? It is because when the Prince of Peace came here to dwell amongst men in lowly grace He was not recognized. He was rejected. He came to bring peace, but men said, “We will not have this man to reign over us”; and so, according to Hosea He said, “I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.” He has gone back to the Father’s right hand and is there preparing a place for His redeemed. [** This booklet by Dr. Ironside was written in about 1940, during WW II.]

This is one aspect of it, but the other aspect is this: He is coming back to this poor world, and He is going to reign in righteousness for a thousand wonderful years, and then will be fulfilled the prophecy, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Micah 4:3). Oh, how the world needs Christ, who is that “blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:15)!
THE EXPECTATION OF CREATION
That is what the apostle is referring to, especially in the eighth chapter of the Book of Romans, when he says that “the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” And we know by the context of this passage that this expectation is shared by the entire creation, for creation’s blessing will come with that manifestation. And when will the sons of God be manifested? The sons of God are already in the world at this time, but their manifestation has not come yet. They are in the world, but the world knows them not, even as it knew Him not; but we read that when He is manifested, then shall we be manifested. When He reigns, then we will appear with Him in glory! That will be the time when earth’s blessing will come, when creation will be liberated from the bondage of the curse.

Look at John’s Gospel, chapter 14, the passage we all love and the portion which I think fits in so well at every Christian funeral. I do not know that I have ever been called upon to say a few words at the burial of a saint of God but that I have felt I must read these words: “Ye believe in God, believe also in me .” That is, Christ is saying in effect, “I am going away from you, so you won’t be able to see Me; but you believe in God the Father, though you cannot see Him. Now I want you to believe in Me, God the Son, when you cannot see Me.” And so He has gone back to the Father. We cannot see Him, but we love Him, and we love to serve Him, and we wait for His return.

“In my Father’s house are many mansions,” many resting places, many abodes. It is the same word as the one translated “abode” a little farther down in the chapter: “We will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (verse 23). So He says, “In my Father’s house are many abodes, many places of rest.” Many of God’s dear children know very little of rest here, but they will rest there in the presence of God and His Son when they put on their resurrection bodies.

“If it were not so, I would have told you.” There are so many things that the saint of God longs for that perhaps are not based upon positive Scripture, but He says, “If this were not a fact, if this hope, this expectation were not based on truth, I would have told you. I would not want you to be deluded; I would not want you to be deceived.” When we look forward to resting in His presence, when we think of Heaven as the Father’s house, it is not just a lovely dream, it is not mere imagination. It is a blessed, precious truth vouched for by our Lord Jesus Himself. He came from the Father and went to the Cross for our redemption. He has gone back to the Father to prepare a place for us.

THE EXPECTATION OF GOING HOME
I love to think of Heaven as a home. Some of us have not known very much of a home here on earth. It is said of the one who wrote that most beautiful of all songs about home that he was a wanderer all his life. I refer, of course, to John Howard Payne who wrote, “Home, Sweet Home.” Some of us have not enjoyed much of the comforts of home down here on earth, but oh, what a home He is preparing for us up yonder!

At death, the believer goes home, but that is not the final thing, that is not the fullness of our expectation, for the Lord Jesus says, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” Dear Christian, do get hold of this truth in the early days of your Christian life. The Lord Jesus says, “I will come again.” How can anybody say he doesn’t believe in the second coming of Christ in view of a promise like that? It is amazing how people twist those words to try to make them say anything but what they really say.
FALSE VIEWS OF OUR EXPECTATION
Some people tell us that He simply meant that He was coming to individual souls when they were converted, to dwell in their hearts. That is not what He is talking about. He says, I am going “to receive [them] unto myself, that where I am there [they] may be also.” There are other folk who think that when the Lord said those words He was referring to the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, that the Holy Spirit, being Jesus’ other self, came down to make good this promise. But I think that when people talk like that, they forget that the great bulk of the promises of the second coming in the New Testament were given after the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost. It was after the Holy Spirit fulfilled the Lord’s words and came as the Comforter that He moved the hearts of saints to cry, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” and to look on with eager, glad expectation to His personal return.

Then some people say, “Well, it just means that He is coming in the hour of death. When the believer comes down to death, the Lord will be there to take him home to Heaven.” And yet, if it is just as true now as it was before the Cross that angels transport ransomed souls to Heaven, it is a very different thing from the personal coming of Christ. The beggar Lazarus died and was carried by angels to Abraham’s bosom, and I suppose that angels take the saints now into the presence of the Lord. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14). But Jesus speaks of a personal coming. That is not death; it is the destruction of death for the believer.

There are some people who confound the Lord’s return with the judgment day of all of the unsaved. There is nothing about that judgment here. “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” There is no hint of a judgment of the lost there. It is the returning bridegroom coming for His bride and taking her with Him into the Father’s house to share the rest and the glory of the blessed place. The manner of it is described for us in the fourth chapter of the First Epistle to the Thessalonians, a passage with which we are all familiar, unless it be those to whom these things are new and strange. Beginning with verse 13 we read:

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [or precede them] them which are asleep. For the Lord himself [Notice how distinctly personal that is!] shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. (vss. 13-16)

See the contrast between the Lord’s coming and death. Death is not the Savior’s return, but when the Savior returns, death is destroyed for the believer.

[T]he dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. (v. 16-17)

THE TWO GROUPS OF BELIEVERS
You see, there will be the two classes of believers who will have part in the glorious event of the Lord’s return. There will be those who are asleep, that is the saints who have died. The bodies of many of them have gone back to the dust from which they came, but they will be raised and those bodies tenanted again by the glorified soul and spirit of the believers. But then there is another group—the believers actually living in this world when Christ returns.

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (v. 17)

Would it not be a wonderful thing if we Christians who are living today should be among that number! If, before death claims our bodies, the Savior should return and we would be caught up together with the resurrected saints in clouds to meet the Lord in the air! Of course, these bodies of ours will have to undergo a great change in order that that may be, but in Philippians 3 we read of that change:

For our conversation (or citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body. (3:20-21)

or literally, “transform the body of our humiliation.” This body, you see, is called the body of our humiliation. You know how often you are humiliated in your body, don’t you? It is such a drag on the spirit at times. Well, when the Savior comes, He will change the body of our humiliation.

“. . . that it my be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (vv. 20-21).

We read of this more particularly in Paul’s Epistle to the Corinthians. There the apostle says:

Behold, I shew you a mystery (I tell you a secret, something nobody knew anything of until is was revealed); We shall not all sleep (that is, we shall not all die), but we shall all be changed (whether living or dead, we shall all be changed), In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump (the trump that ends this dispensation of grace): for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption (that is, the dead, the corrupted bodies of the dead will be raised in incorruption), and this mortal (that is, the living) must put on immortality. (1 Corinthians 15: 51-53)

Those who are now living in mortal bodies will suddenly be given immortal bodies when Jesus comes back again, and in those bodies will live forever.

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (vs. 54)

No wonder the apostle can exult in triumph:

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (vs. 55)

He says:

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (vss. 56-57)

THIS IS OUR HOPE!
This, then, is our expectation; this is our hope! And the Lord would have us living day by day in view of the possible fulfillment of the promise of His coming again. When you get up in the morning, cultivate the attitude of soul that leads you to say, “Christ may come today; and if He were to come today, I want Him to find me walking in obedience to His holy Word.” And when you go to sleep at night say, “Christ Jesus may come tonight, and I can rest in perfect peace, knowing that when He comes I shall be caught up to meet Him.”

To order copies of  The Expectation of His Return, click here. 

NEW BOOKLET: How to Know if You Are Being Spiritually Abused or Deceived—A Spiritual Abuse Questionnaire

NEW BOOKLET: How to Know if You Are Being Spiritually Abused or Deceived—A Spiritual Abuse Questionnaire by Chris Lawson is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract.  The Booklet is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is a portion of the content of the booklet. The full booklet has 101 questions. To order copies of How to Know if You Are Being Spiritually Abused or Deceived—A Spiritual Abuse Questionnaire, click here. 

bkt-cl-sa-sHow to Know if You Are Being Spiritually Abused or Deceived—A Spiritual Abuse Questionnaire

By Chris Lawson

Do you know a loved one, a neighbor, or a co-worker who is in a cult or an abusive church or group? Or perhaps you yourself are in such a situation. The Spiritual-Abuse Questionnaire in this booklet will help shed light on this issue.

Spiritual abuse occurs when a leader, a church, or a belief system, whether well intentioned or not, dominates, manipulates, or castigates individuals and even entire families through fear tactics, mind control, or some other psychological or emotional abuse.

Sadly, the mask of spiritual abuse deception can be worn by anyone. The following two Scriptures are reflective of what happens when the position of authority is abused within a spiritual/church setting (e.g., self-exaltation, heavy-handed leadership, etc).

The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means [by their own authority]; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof? (Jeremiah 5:31)

I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. (3 John 9-10)

It is my hope that this booklet will help people who have been through or are experiencing things similar (or worse) to what my family and I personally experienced years ago.

If you have been spiritually abused, take heart; the true Jesus desires to help and heal you as He has helped countless others.

Spiritual Abuse Questionnaire

This questionnaire is designed to help the reader think through a number of areas he or she may have never seriously considered before. As you read each question, circle either YES or NO. When you reach the end, go back through the list and prayerfully consider the questions you have answered YES to.

Answering YES to any of the following questions may be an indication of an unhealthy problem in your group or with your leaders. Answering YES to more than just a few questions is a definite cause for concern.

If this is the case, it is recommended that you take a much closer look into your group or organization’s history, purpose, and goals. Observe closely the methods, activities, and lives of the leaders. Are they using abusive and manipulative tactics on people?

The basic Yes or No questions of this questionnaire enable the reader to think critically on his or her own—something generally not allowed in abusive systems.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please note also that while this booklet can be a useful tool in helping to bring clarity to difficulties in a church or ministry, the questions offered here should also be tempered with careful thought and godly counsel. Answering yes to just a few questions does not automatically mean you are in a cult or abusive situation. One thing for certain is that every church or group is composed of fallible people who are not always as loving as they should be. Nor should we expect to be in a place where there is no authority over us. Be reflective, therefore, to your answers to the following questions with the goal of being fair to both your church or group and to yourself.

QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR CHURCH OR GROUP’S LEADERS

  1. Are you in any way fearful of your leader(s)? YES / NO
  2. Does your church or group revolve around one main charismatic personality who is the final arbiter of “truth”? YES / NO
  3. Do your leaders make claims of being “Anointed,” having “Elijah’s Mantle,” having “Apostolic Authority,” etc.? YES / NO
  4. Does the main leader or the leaders in your church or group always insist that they are right? YES / NO
  5. Does your group, church, or movement employ a corrupted modern-day version of the Moses/Aaron style of leadership where the pastor/leaders allegedly—by themselves—hear directly from God, like Moses? (This form of leadership is unlike the balanced plurality of elders found in the New Testament.) YES / NO
  6. Does the pastor/leader of your group, church, or movement surround himself with “people-pleasers” rather than with qualified men whose personal and public lives maintain the biblical leadership characteristics as found in I, II Timothy and Titus? YES / NO
  7. Is you group, church, or movement set up like a pyramid, with a hierarchy—with one single man at the top? YES / NO
  8. Are you discouraged or prohibited from freely asking questions about the background of your leader(s) and your group? YES / NO
  9. If so, are you looked down upon and considered to be divisive? YES / NO
  10. Would you be rebuked or chastised/punished by your leader(s) if you researched the background and history of the group and its leader(s)? For instance, would doing a background check on your leader be considered “disloyal” or “sinful”? YES / NO
  11. Are you discouraged or prohibited from freely discussing teachings, “prophecies,” or so-called new revelations that your group leader(s) has/have stated in the past or present? YES / NO
  12. Are you allowed to ask your leader(s) questions regarding their background in ministry, education, teaching, policies, etc.? If not, why? YES / NO
  13. Do you view those who are assisting your group or church pastor/leader as ones who simply “do what they are told” rather than people who can rationally think for themselves and if need be would not be afraid to confront the main leader(s) if questionable practices/teachings arise? YES / NO
  14. Are the leaders of your group, church, or organization above reproach (without blame) in morals, ethics, teaching, and the handling of your groups finances? How do you know? YES / NO
  15. Do any of your leaders have a criminal record? YES / NO
  16. Would your leader(s) allow you to freely ask questions or research their background in order to find out if they have a criminal record? If not, why? YES / NO
  17. Has anyone in your group ever tried to persuade you to NOT research the personal background of the leaders? YES / NO
  18. When issues are brought up about abusive situations, do your leaders say, “You just need to have more faith!” or, “You are being disloyal to leadership!”? YES / NO

QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR GROUP AND ITS TEACHINGS

  1. Do you feel your group twists or takes Scripture out of its historical context and consistently or often misapplies Bible verses? YES / NO
  2. Does your group or church “allegorize” and “spiritualize” Scripture instead of utilizing a literal, grammatical, historical approach to interpreting documents, like you would in any legitimate Bible college or court of law? YES / NO
  3. Are you told what you will believe; and is questioning authority and doing further research on your own, aside from the group, discouraged or frowned upon? YES / NO
  4. Are you guided through the Bible by your leaders but at the same time not allowed to study the Scriptures on your own, apart from the group or organization’s own published materials? YES / NO
  5. Do your leaders claim to receive “new revelations,” a special “anointing,” and so-called “words” or messages from God? YES / NO
  6. Do your leaders withhold or avoid providing you and your group with a written “Statement of Beliefs” or “Statement of Faith”? YES / NO
  7. If you attend a group that is a recognized charity organization, have the leaders illegally withheld from you the organizations written bylaws when you have asked for a copy? YES / NO
  8. Is it difficult to get a straight answer from the group leader(s) on the group’s teachings? YES / NO
  9. Is your group secretive about any of its teachings, practices or meetings? YES / NO
  10. Does your group take “oaths” or have you commit to unrealistic expectations? YES / NO
  11. Are your leaders ever “harsh” in tone with you, or do you ever feel like an animal that is “driven hard”? YES / NO
  12. Have you been taught, told, or commanded not to share any of the teachings, doctrines, or practices that your group is involved in? YES / NO
  13. At any time of involvement with your group, have you ever been instructed to cut all ties with the past, with relatives (spouse, children, in-laws, etc.), or with friends? YES / NO
  14. Do your leaders favorably quote and endorse known false teachers and false teachings in their own sermons/teachings, messages, and materials? YES / NO

QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR GROUP OR CHURCH’S POLICIES

  1. Does your group have any written or unwritten policies that allows leaders to use threats, pressures to conform, bribes, intimidation, verbal abuse, out-loud shaming, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or substance abuse, etc.? YES / NO
  2. Is foul language (cussing) or public humiliation used in any way as part of the public or private teaching within your group? YES / NO
  3. Would you say that your church or group has an extreme policy or guidelines for “disciplinary actions”? YES / NO
  4. Is, or could, your group’s policy on “discipline” be dangerous, illegal, or abusive in any way? YES / NO
  5. Do you think law enforcement officials would have a problem with the disciplinary guidelines and/or practices of your church, group, or organization? YES / NO
  6. Does your group restrict you from “visiting” other churches? YES / NO

QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR GROUP’S LITERATURE AND MULTIMEDIA

  1. Do you rely completely, without question, upon the literature and information that your church/group gives you—for your own spiritual growth? YES / NO
  2. Will you be disciplined if you ever, at any time, listen to, read, or view literature and multi-media materials that are not from your group, church, or organization? Materials could include such things as books, journals, tracts, magazines, newsletters, CDs, DVDs, audio cassettes, videos, websites, etc. YES / NO
  3. Are you only allowed to use study aids, books, etc. that are from your group or organization? YES / NO
  4. Have your leaders ever told you that all Bible study materials outside of your group are considered worldly, bad, apostate, “of the devil,” or evil? YES / NO

QUESTIONS ABOUT MORALS AND ETHICS, HEALTH, AND CONSCIENCE

  1. Are you emotionally dependent on or require the “approval” of your leaders for what you do—what you eat, what you wear, where you go, what you say, who you spend time with, who you marry, the music you listen to, etc.? YES / NO
  2. Do you feel as though your life (or ministry) is being “micromanaged” by others? YES / NO
  3. Are your leaders cruel, vindictive, intimidating, or overbearing? YES / NO
  4. Do any of your leaders justify sexual immorality by telling you or anyone else things like “God told me it is okay for us to do this,” or “The Lord revealed this to me,” or “No one will ever know”? YES / NO
  5. Have you ever been instructed, led, forced, or coerced into any type of sexual activity with any of your group’s leaders—or anyone else in the church, group, or organization? YES / NO
  6. Are you or have you ever been commanded, forced, coerced, extorted, or manipulated into financial giving, tithing, “sowing your seed-faith offering,” etc.? YES / NO

QUESTIONS ABOUT MAKING PERSONAL CHOICES

  1. Do you feel you are manipulated when making personal choices about diet, clothing, time commitments, church/group service, tithing, friendships, dating, spouses, purchases, etc.? YES / NO
  2. Are choices ever made by any of your leaders that go against your own conscience? YES / NO
  3. Do authority figures within your group ever demand answers from you or use threats to get their way? YES / NO
  4. Do your leaders or the group-dynamics implemented in your group make you feel as though you cannot come and go as you please; meaning, you feel as though you’re expected to be at all or most of the meetings, and if you are not, you are in trouble? YES / NO
  5. If you are experiencing abuse in any way, very likely you are fearful or nervous about leaving your group, church, or organization. Are you fearful in any way that if you left, you would be hounded and harassed? YES / NO
  6. Do your leaders, or the group itself by consensus, make choices to involve you in things that you don’t like or would prefer not to be a part of? YES / NO
  7. Are you pressured, manipulated, or coerced into making decisions—any decisions at all—regarding anything with the group and its leaders, members, and activities? YES / NO
  8. Do you feel guilty or “dirty” after making decisions because . . . “that is just what our group does”? Or, is the proverbial “red flag of conscience” waving inside of your heart and mind saying, “This is just not right at all,” or, “This is weird” or, “We should not be doing or allowing this!”? YES / NO
  9. Is pressure put upon you in any way to avoid “outside information” about your group—like online reviews, assessments, and critical essays that contain quotes from your leaders and/or your organization’s published resources? YES / NO
  10. Are you fearful that if you make an accidental “wrong choice” your leaders will punish you or purposefully humiliate you in front of your peers, family, or the group/church congregation? YES / NO
  11. Have you ever been punished or abused in any of the following ways: Physically abused, out-loud verbal shaming in front of others, given the non-verbal “silent treatment,” given coded non-verbal abuse such as “the look,” financially mistreated or extorted and as a result suffered financial repercussions, sexually abused in any way, emotionally manipulated, purposefully betrayed, been the victim of sexual innuendos, spousal divisiveness, etc.? YES / NO
  12. Are spoken or unspoken must-obey “dress code rules” implemented in your group, and, if broken, will this lead to “disciplinary action”? (This is beyond simple personal modesty in dress in social, cultural, and cross-cultural settings.) YES / NO
  13. If you are a woman, are you taught or commanded that you absolutely must wear long skirts, have long hair, avoid all make-up, and wear a head covering in order to please God? Will you be chastised or considered “carnal” if you do not comply with these rules? YES / NO
  14. If you are a woman, do your group leaders tell you that you are to submit to your husband no matter what he does to you or tells you to do even if it is illegal or physically, sexually, or emotionally abusive to you or your children? YES / NO
  15. If you are a husband and father, are your church leaders overly involved in telling you what to do with your wife and children (beyond the normal parameters of biblical counseling and advice)?

This has been a portion of this booklet. In the full booklet, there are 101 questions. You may purchase a copy of the booklet in its entirety by clicking here. The cost for one booklet is $1.95 (quantity discounts for 6 or more copies)

NEW BOOKLET: A Christian Perspective on the Environment

NEW BOOKLET: A Christian Perspective on the Environment: How the Catholic Pope and Other Leaders Are Uniting the World’s Religions Through Environmentalism by Roger Oakland is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract.  The Booklet is 18 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is part of the content of the booklet. To order copies of A Christian Perspective on the Environment, click here. 

BKT-RO-ENV-SA Christian Perspective on the Environment: How the Catholic Pope and Other Leaders Are Uniting the World’s Religions Through Environmentalism

By Roger Oakland

(Below is an extract from the booklet.)

In July of 2016, I was invited to present a paper on the environment from a Christian perspective to the International Symposium on Energy and Environmental Management and Technology held in Rome, Italy. The following information you are about to read is that paper and relates to the issue of the environment, from a biblical and Christian viewpoint.

Although I do not consider myself to be an authority on the subject of the environment, and certainly others are more qualified to speak on this issue than I, there are a few areas where I feel I am able to contribute.

First, I have been a Christian for nearly four decades—my conversion to Christianity coming at the age of thirty. Second, because I have a background in biology and agriculture, I have always had a keen interest in environmental issues. And third, as a Christian, I believe it is the responsibility of every human being to be concerned about our planet and the ecological relationship we have with all living creatures that God has created.

Throughout my life, I have made a number of observations about the past, the present, and where society seems to be headed in the future. I grew up in western Canada on a wheat farm and hold an active interest in this farm to this day. I was educated during the ’50s and ’60s through the Canadian public-school system, then later at the University of Saskatoon in Saskatchewan. During these years, like my colleagues, I was brought up in the educational mindset that taught that our world could be understood from a purely natural and mechanistic worldview. The concept that “God is dead” and that “science and technology” will bring utopia to the earth, were two foundational ideas in my belief system during that period of time.

By the’70s and ’80s, it became obvious to many, including me, that a paradigm shift in thinking was underway. It was apparent that many of the byproducts of our technology had the potential for destroying us—the pollution in the atmosphere, our lakes, rivers, oceans, and the soil. Not only was our planet being threatened, our bodies were being pumped full of molecular time bombs that silently tick away. Even more significant was the fact that humans had developed the potential to completely annihilate the entire planet through weapons of mass destruction.

By the early ‘80s, it became apparent to many that there needed to be a solution to the overwhelming problems we were facing as a global community. Scientists described global crisis situations such as global warming and the ozone depletion that would have an effect on the entire planet. It was determined by experts in the field that these global problems, if they were going to be resolved, needed global solutions that could be implemented internationally.

Today, most people recognize we are at a major crossroad in earth’s history. Few would argue that environmental problems need to be discussed and management solutions proposed; otherwise the future of life on our planet as we know it could be in jeopardy.

Over the past 35 years, some have been suggesting that we should look to spiritual solutions for motivation and a method to resolve the problems that the naturalistic worldview has created. For example, Sri Chinmoy, a spiritual leader who has held weekly meditation meetings at the United Nations headquarters in New York since 1970 has stated:

Science and spirituality must be united. They need each other. Without the one, the other is incomplete, almost meaningless. Together they are not only supremely complete but also divinely meaningful.1

Former Vice President Al Gore has been one voice outspoken about his desire to have people see the connection between spirituality and the environment. In his widely distributed book Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, Gore presented the point that “only a radical rethinking of our relationship with nature can save the earth’s ecology for future generations.”2

In a chapter of his book titled “Environmentalism of the Spirit,” Gore called for a “new ecological awareness”3 and the consideration of a “new faith in the future.”4 He suggested it was imperative to call for a “spiritual response”5 to the global environmental problems we are facing. He challenged readers to consider “evolution” as the basis of an ecumenical faith that he suggested could unite science and religion as a means of saving our planet from ecological disaster. He stated:

And if we could find a way to understand our own connection to the earth—all the earth—we might recognize the danger of destroying so many living species and disrupting the climate balance.6

Then developing this idea further Gore suggested:

The long and intricate process by which evolution helped shape the complex relationship of all living and nonliving things may be explicable in purely scientific terms, but the simple fact of the living world and our place on it evokes awe, wonder, a sense of mystery—a spiritual response—when one reflects on its deeper meaning.7

The Parliament of the World Religion’s and “Mother Earth”

Now, fast forwarding, I would like to quote from a report written by author Carl Teichrib regarding his personal experience at the Parliament of the World’s Religions held in Salt Lake City October of 2015. In the introduction of his article, he wrote about his observations at the opening session:

“What if the world were a place where it was effortless to recognize our common humanity, our shared virtues and concerns, and our collective devotion to the Earth?” asked Rabbi Amy Eilberg. “What if the whole world, all seven billion of us, were like this?”

Ojibwe “Grandmother” Mary Lyons told the multitude, “When you breathe in, you breathe in a breath of Mother Earth. And when you exhale, those are your ancestors.”

New York Times best-selling author on spirituality, Marianne Williamson, wowed the crowd with her charisma: “Every woman here who is a healer is a priestess. Every woman here who is a teacher or an educator is a priestess.” Her call to sacred femininity energized the great crowd, bringing them to their feet again and again during Williamson’s eight-minute speech.

“A Divine Goddess is not just beautiful,” Marianne exhorted, “she’s fierce. And when you mess with her babies . . . and you mess with her earth, she’s had enough of that [expletive word]. And we’re here on her behalf . . . you know what to do, go do it.”

The response to Marianne wasn’t a standing ovation. It was more. Women wept, danced, raised their hands, shouted and whistled and clapped. Someone yelled out, “Marianne for President!” Drums pounded in affirmation. I have no doubt that some of the attending men poured out their adoration too, as the Plenary was open to all, but where I was sitting, the male gender was largely absent.8

The observations made by Teichrib at the plenary session of the Salt Lake City Conference is very revealing. It seems a paradigm shift is underway. This “collective shift” towards a one-world religion designed to save the planet has reached the point of no return. The avalanche has already been unleashed towards a global government forcing a global religion. Saving the planet from ourselves is the impetus. For those who want to remain on the sidelines, the environment police have sounded the alarm—either get with the program and jump on board the environmental bus to save the planet, or you will be thrown under the bus without any warning.

Climatic change was a major topic of discussion according to the first-hand testimony of Carl Teichrib at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City regarding the relationship of the environment to the coming one-world religion based on the common belief of evolution. One thing that was evident throughout the conference is the belief that evolution is the uniting factor and the only hope for mankind. In other words, it is an evolutionary imperative for man to recognize the dangers facing the planet and take the next step towards godhood or suffer the consequences. Teichrib reported:

Climate change was another major theme, and the Climate Plenary started with a multi-faith children’s choir followed by opening words from Marc Barasch, founder of the Green World Campaign: “We’re here today to explore the connection between the life of the spirit and the fate of the Earth… We stand as one people under the same Tree of Life… and we are seeking, each in our own way, to harmonize a profound sense of oneness and wonder with the urgency of our times, so that Tree will continue to flourish.”

Karenna Gore, the Director of the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and daughter to Al Gore, was the Climate Plenary moderator. Her father . . . sent a special video message to those in attendance, reminding us that Pope Francis had earlier called on global action to “solve the climate crisis.”

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, holding the office of Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, represented the Catholic Church to the Parliament’s plenary on climate change. To this end, Auza noted Pope Francis’ connection between the “true right of the environment” and “social justice,” and that the Pope views this within the context of “integral ecology.” Auza then read a selection from the Pope’s encyclical On the Care of Our Common Home. “When we speak of the ‘environment,’ what we really mean is a relationship existing between nature and the society which lives in it. Nature cannot be regarded as something separate from ourselves or as a mere setting in which we live. We are part of nature, included in it and thus in constant interaction with it.”

As the Archbishop explained, “the Earth, our Sister, mistreated and abused, is lamenting.” What we need, he said in reference to the Pope’s green vision, is an “ecological conversion.”

Chief Arvol Lookinghorse, another plenary speaker, told the crowd that we are at a crossroad—face the consequences of environment destruction, or “unite spiritually in this global community.” Lookinghorse challenged the audience: “Mother Earth is sick and has a fever, so . . . stop the fracking, stop that KXL, stop abusing Mother Earth.”9

This idea that “Mother Earth” is sick is strangely familiar in light of the Bible and also history. Throughout biblical history, mankind has always leaned toward this direction of worshipping the creation and not the Creator. For example, Paul warns about this in the letter he wrote to the Romans as recorded in the first chapter. He stated quite clearly:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (vs. 16-17)

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. (vs. 18-19)

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (vs. 20-21)

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen (vs. 22-25)

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (vs. 26-32)

The Christian View (And Responsibility) of the Environment

First, it is important to clear up a misnomer regarding what some people think Christians believe about the environment. Based upon Genesis 1:26 and 27 (two verses where God instructed mankind to have dominion over the creation), some say the Bible gives man the mandate to do whatever he wants, in whatever way he wants, thus having no respect for the planet and the ecosystem.

Often this argument has been used to blame the “Christian worldview” as the reason for our ecological problems. In response to this, let me say that I have had the opportunity to travel to several of the countries that have enforced atheism and have outlawed Christianity for several decades. The disregard for the environment in these areas has been deplorable. Christianity should not be blamed for environmental genocide; the problem has been created by mankind’s selfish lust for power and greed.

The biblical Christian view on the environment is very simple: God, the Creator of all things, did indeed create all things. Although there are some who would try to say that God used evolution as a process to create, such a view is a contradiction of terms. Evolution, by definition, is a natural process that does not require supernatural intervention. Naturalistic evolution is based upon time and chance—natural selection by natural direction rather than supernatural intervention that requires an intelligent Creator Designer God. I am convinced that the complexity I see within nature cannot be explained by fortuitous events that accumulate over vast periods of time driven by random chance.

The Christian view is that creation is the handiwork of the Creator. Although the original creation was perfect, we now live in an imperfect world. When man allows his greed to supersede environmental need, this degeneration and contamination accelerates further.

As well, the Christian view is that the Creator is sovereign and eternal while man is not. God is the Creator of all things, and He is separate from His creation. What’s more, creation is not to be worshipped but respected while God is to be worshipped and adored. In other words, God created everything, but everything is not God.

The Psalmist in the Bible wrote, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (Psalms 139:14). A Christian believer who truly believes that God is the Creator of all things has a reverence and awe for God and His creation. Because of this reverence and accountability, there comes a responsibility. This responsibility should reflect on the way we treat other people, the environment, and all things that exist because there is a God.

Pope Francis’ Interspiritual “Global Common Good”

While I am not a Roman Catholic, I do respect and care for Roman Catholics. As fellow members of the human race, we should all love and respect others and treat one another the way we would want to be treated. Likewise, everyone should also have the moral right to examine the beliefs of others just as we should examine our own beliefs. Otherwise, like the blind leading the blind, we will all end up falling into the pit. Unfortunately, the one-world religion will be close-minded to a pursuit of truth.

For example, in order to be scientific and reasonable, we need to examine the claims of others and test the beliefs carefully. If we do not do that, blind faith can lead to a blind faith that can actually lead towards a cultish mentality. Every reasonable person knows that cults are often very dangerous as people can be blindly driven towards false conclusions that often end in disaster. Those who refuse to follow some of the cultish teachings are often told to leave the cult or are excommunicated by the cult leaders, and even their families do not accept them any longer. This, of course, is very devastating for those who have left the cult for another point of view.

Because I study the news from a biblical perspective, it has come to my attention that some very strange teachings have been presented recently in the name of Christianity with regards to saving the planet. For example, it would be important to read the following statement taken from an article titled “Vatican Official Calls for Greater International Effort to Combat Climate Change”:

Addressing the World Health Organization’s annual World Health Assembly, a Vatican official welcomed the call for universal health coverage in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. Msgr. Jean-Marie Mupendawatu, the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, also called for a greater international effort to combat climate change for the sake of global health.

“With regard to action to combat climate change and its impact on health, my delegation wishes to underscore the need for more political will and strong commitment from civil society in order to reach truly meaningful and effective global agreements on the environment,” he said. “Often international negotiations cannot make significant progress due to positions taken by countries which place their national interests above the global common good.”10

Where will this “greater international effort” for the “global common good” lead? How far will we go? There is one direction it is going that is most evident. At one time, Christian history reveals that Roman Catholicism and Islam were two different religions. Allah was the “God” of Islam, and Jehovah was the God of the Jews. Now that we have reached the new millennium and there is a desperate need for peace in the world, Islam and Roman Catholicism are joining forces. While this may seem to be unrelated to the environment, there is actually a connection. A one-world government requires a one-world religion. They go hand-in-hand. What’s more, I am convinced this binary partnership can only be forced on society by an electronic system of surveillance that requires global communications.

The environment is also a necessary factor in resolving global warming or global cooling depending on how data is interpreted. One thing for sure is that the climate is changing as we witness more storms, droughts, famines, and floods than ever before while the population increases.

With all this in mind, the head of the world’s largest congregation is taking action. In September of 2015, during Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, he spoke at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, New York. His remarks did not seem to stir much of mainstream media or even leaders in the Christian church, but what he said was significant in understanding the direction that things are going right now. The pope stated:

I would like to express two sentiments for my Muslim brothers and sisters: Firstly, my greetings as they celebrate the feast of sacrifice. I would have wished my greeting to be warmer. My sentiments of closeness in the face of tragedy. The tragedy that they suffered in Mecca.

In this moment, I give assurances of my prayers. I unite myself with you all. A prayer to almighty god, all merciful.11

In an article titled “In New York, Pope Francis Embraced Chrislam and Laid a Foundation for a One World Religion,” one commentator writing about the pope’s speech states:

[Pope Francis] did not choose those words by accident. In Islam, Allah is known as “the all-merciful one.” If you doubt this, just do a Google search. And this is not the first time Pope Francis has used such language. For instance, the following comes from remarks that he made during his very first ecumenical meeting as Pope…

“I then greet and cordially thank you all, dear friends belonging to other religious traditions; first of all, the Muslims, who worship the one God, living and merciful, and call upon Him in prayer, and all of you. I really appreciate your presence: in it I see a tangible sign of the will to grow in mutual esteem and cooperation for the common good of humanity.

“The Catholic Church is aware of the importance of promoting friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions—I wish to repeat this: promoting friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions—it also attests the valuable work that the Pontifical Council for interreligious dialogue performs.”12

While it may seem odd to some that Islam and Roman Catholicism are joining hands, it is becoming more and more acceptable to the millennial generation who have been taught that texting is better than talking and reading. They have also been taught that there is no right or wrong and that Christianity and Islam or any other religion belong in the same camp. Even the gods of the pagans qualify for the new spirituality within the boundary of what is called modern-day Christianity.

The above is part of the content of this booklet. To order this booklet, click here.

Endnotes:
1. Sri Chinmoy, Inner and Outer Peace (Montreal, QB: Peace Publishing), p. 32.
2. Al Gore, Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company), cover flap.
3. Ibid., p. 262.
4. Ibid., p. 263.
5. Ibid., p. 264.
6. Ibid., p. 264.
7. Ibid., p. 264
8. Carl Teichrib, “Things Change. Fast: A Report on the Parliament of the World’s Religions” (Forcing Change Newsletter, Vol. 9, Issue 10, October 2015), used with permission.
9. Ibid.
10. “Vatican Official Calls for Greater International Effort to Combat Climate Change” (Catholic World News, May 26, 2016, http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=28408).
11. To read full transcript: http://faith.nd.edu/s/1210/faith/interior.aspx?sid=1210&gid=609&pgid=27546&cid=53261&ecid=53261&crid=0&calpgid=10746&calcid=25903.
12. Michael Snyder, “In New York, Pope Francis Embraced Chrislam and Laid a Foundation for a One World Religion” (http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/in-new-york-pope-francis-embraced-chrislam-and-laid-a-foundation-for-a-one-world-religion, September 27th, 2015), used with permission.

The above is part of the content of this booklet. To order this booklet, click here.

NEW BOOKLET: Signs & Wonders! Five Things You Should Consider

NEW BOOKLET: Signs & Wonders! Five Things You Should Consider by David Dombrowski is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract.  The Booklet is 10 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Signs & Wonders! Five Things You Should Consider, click here. 

BKT-DD-sw-sSigns & Wonders! Five Things You Should Consider

By David Dombrowski

Setting Things Up With Great Delusion

Jesus taught his disciples that in the last days, a time of mass delusion will come upon the earth. He said:

For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. (Mark 13:22-23; emphasis added)

Likewise, Paul spoke of this time when he said:

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. (1 Timothy 4:1)

If we look at what is happening in the world today, the only logical conclusion is that we have already entered into that period of history. The world is going through a mystical paradigm shift where an increasingly high number of people are engaging in occultic mystical practices which are leading them into a New Age all-paths-lead-to-God kind of mentality.

This is not only happening in the world, but it is happening in the church as well. It is shocking to see that doctrines and values formerly held sacred are now being discarded. Many Christian leaders today have replaced the reading and study of Scripture with having spiritual experiences or what Jesus referred to above as signs and wonders. In effect, multitudes of Christians are being led to believe that if they can have some type of spiritual experience or witness a miracle, that will bear more validity than the words of Scripture itself.

What we have now generated is a delusion so great that if one has an “experience” that contradicts the Bible, one will hold the experience as valid and not the Bible because the experience is seen as tangible and therefore more real. But this is an insult to our God because as David points out in a Psalm:

I will worship toward thy hold temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. (Psalm 138:2; emphasis added)

God holds His Word in highest esteem as being entirely truthful, but many would rather trust and rely on their own experiences as their standard for truth.

We have become like the masses in former centuries who believed that the world is flat (because it appears to be flat), while the Bible itself refers to it as a globe (Isaiah 40:22). Frankly, in a practical day-to-day sense, it makes no difference to me whether the earth be flat or round, except perhaps a fear of falling off the edge if I went too far, but when it comes to spiritual matters, the truth is essential as to where I will be spending eternity. You see, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ Himself, who is all Truth and paid the price to take us to heaven; but we also have a deceiver, Satan, who is the father of lies and is intent on leading us to hell.

It is imperative to realize that not all paths lead to heaven, or should I say, there is only one path to God, and Jesus is that Path (John 14:6). All the other paths of the world believe that man is intrinsically good and can therefore earn his way to heaven. Only the Gospel reveals the truth that we were born sinners, and our transgressions have alienated us from God; but Jesus paid the price for our sins, and through His death and resurrection we have, by faith, salvation (having been forgiven), righteousness (imputed and not earned), peace with God, and the grace for holy living (being “raised with Christ”).

Nothing could make the enemy of our souls happier than to steal away our soul, and his primary way of doing this is through deception because Satan is a master of lies.

Are All Signs and Wonders From the Same Source?

Knowing that we are in a time of great delusion, let us focus here on one aspect of it, where Jesus referred to it in Mark 13 as the realm of signs and wonders.

In doing a Scripture search on the words “signs” and “wonders” appearing together, I expected to find only a few references but was surprised to find eighteen references in the Old Testament and fourteen references in the New Testament. The majority of these references in both the Old and New Testaments were used in a positive sense. In the Old Testament, the most common examples were those referring to how Moses delivered the Israelites through signs and wonders, while in the New Testament, the most common examples were those of God confirming the preaching of the Gospel by the apostles through signs and wonders. When used in a negative sense, the words “signs” and “wonders” were usually used together in a prophetic warning to avoid false leaders and prophets.

Now, the point I wish to make here is that we cannot make a sweeping statement saying that all signs and wonders are bad, nor can we say that they are all good; rather we need to look beyond the physical manifestations and determine the source from which they come. But in the cases of Moses and the apostles, God was confirming the ministry and message of these men. Too often, however, signs and wonders are unquestioningly accepted as being “from God.”

As a former Catholic, I can remember stories from my youth up of miraculous signs taken as divine confirmation that God has spoken, be it the apparitions of Mary giving messages that contradict Scripture or of communion wafers that bleed or pulse contradicting the message of the Gospel (Jesus clearly said that the “flesh profiteth nothing” (John 6:63) and the book of Hebrews speaks of a sacrifice made once for all time—Hebrews 9:27-28;10:10,12,14). In the case of the Catholic Church, there are strange manifestations that inevitably glorify man, and those who perform such wonders bear a message that requires redemption through human performance as opposed to grace by faith alone. It is not always easy at the surface level to recognize the meaning behind a sign or wonder, but we do have the Holy Spirit and the Word of God as witnesses for us.

A key passage from the Old Testament that strictly forbids the unquestioning acceptance of all signs and wonders is the following:

If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.” (Deuteronomy 13:1-4; emphasis added)

Notice how explicit these instructions are about maintaining a faithful and unwavering devotion to the Lord even when the sign or wonder has “come to pass!” It is never enough that a sign or wonder happens; it must always be tested as to whether or not it supports and confirms God’s Word.

Yet, for many people today (including many Christians), if a strange, paranormal manifestation occurs, that is evidence enough that it must be from God without any recognition or acknowledgment that dark supernatural forces can do these things. For example, the manifestations of holy laughter, “slaying in the Spirit,” jerkings, convulsions, twisting, contortions, and animal-like behaviors have all been witnessed under the “ministering” of eastern gurus who draw on kundalini energy (serpent power) to do their work. And, as discerning believers, when we listen to the doctrine or teaching of these ministers (who are so wrapped up in manifestations that they hardly preach at all), we can only conclude that these are wolves in sheep’s clothing deceiving and being deceived. Many of the ministers actually even mock the preaching of God’s Word and arrogantly proclaim or imply that because they have the power to do these things, they are greater than all preachers. But God has chosen to use the “foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21).

Now, I’m not saying that these ministers necessarily know they are wolves. For the most part, they believe they are doing God a service. But as Jesus pointed out, many ministers are just hirelings in that they “careth not for the sheep” (John 10:13); they will fleece the flock for gain, but they will not lay down their lives for the sheep. Jesus said, “I lay down my life for the sheep” (John 10:15).

Preparing the Way . . . But For Who?

Unbeknownst to themselves, many of today’s ministers are paving the way for the Antichrist. They are like John the Baptists for the Antichrist as their efforts are actually preparing the hearts of the people for such a leader. This is especially true of ministers who minimize the preaching of sound doctrine and maximize on manifestations “from God.” I say this because the Antichrist will be a master of signs and wonders, which will actually be his trademark and likely the primary way he will get the world to believe in him. In speaking of the coming Antichrist, Paul had this to say:

And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:8-10)

Meanwhile, people’s hearts are being conditioned for this figure who will integrate the economic, political, and religious sectors together under a worldwide peace plan while confirming his authority and power through lying wonders. It will be a “grand day” for the world as millions will be duped by a man with a charismatic mantle and anointing like unto Adolf Hitler who stirred up a nation; but this time it will be the whole world. In fact, there are many similarities today between our country (the USA) and much of the world with that of the mindset of much of society in Germany prior to Hitler coming into power: In both cases, we see an emergence of anti-Semitism, even among those claiming to be Christians; churches and Bible colleges are becoming more and more liberal and humanistic in theology and rule; spiritual apostasy can be seen everywhere; and political powers are bringing about radical changes to the infrastructure of our society. At Lighthouse Trails, as we watch the pace of things accelerating, we often wonder if we may have less time than we think.

This is a time in history when it is imperative for Christian believers to stay alert and warn all we can about the delusion coming upon the world and the apostasy taking place in the church. The future will unfold as predicted in the Bible, but we can be prepared and help prepare others for whatever comes.

Signs and Wonders, and A True Minister of God

As for the signs and wonders delusion, it is important to remember that if someone performs a sign or a wonder, he is operating beyond the realm of his own strength and mere physical laws, but we cannot automatically assume he is operating from God just as we cannot assume he is operating from the demonic realm. To help us discern, we can apply the test of 1 John 4:1-3 and ask ourselves what is the message of the person performing the wonder? Is he glorifying God and promoting the Gospel, or is he glorifying himself as if he were greater than all other ministers? The mark of a true minister of God is humility and not pride. Jesus said of the true John the Baptist, “Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist” (Luke 7:28). Here is a man who was anointed of the Holy Spirit while still in his mother’s womb (Luke 1:15, 41). Yet, we also read in John 10:41 that “John [the Baptist] did no miracle.” John was a unique individual, and we need more like him. When he said of Jesus, “this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:29-30), in a few words, John indicated his attributes. He was a humble man with the right priorities who remained obedient to his mission. He did not need to do a sign or a wonder because he revealed Jesus and had prepared the way for Him.

The Purpose of Signs and Wonders

Signs and wonders are performed for a purpose.

In the Old Testament, they were performed to deliver God’s people:

Which hast set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even unto this day, and in Israel, and among other men. . . . And hast brought forth thy people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs, and with wonders. (Jeremiah 32:20-21)

In the New Testament, Jesus performed signs and wonders to show that He was approved of and from God. Peter spoke of this on the day of Pentecost:

Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs. (Acts 2:22)

The apostles likewise did signs and wonders:

And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. (Acts 2:43)

The book of Hebrews makes it clear that these signs and wonders were done to confirm the Gospel message:

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation [the Gospel message]; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? (Hebrews 2:3-4)

Yet, we know that Jesus rebuked the seeking of signs and wonders where the Gospel is not received and believed:

Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. (John 4:48)

And this is the way it is today. People flock to witness manifestations, but they will not flock to hear the Gospel—to hear about sin and judgment and faith in the finished work of Christ on the Cross. The fact is, we do not need to be seeking signs and wonders because that is not where the real power lies. The prophet Elijah, a man who called fire down from heaven to burn his sacrifice, subsequently had an encounter with God while hiding in a cave. As the Lord passed by, He sent powerful manifestations: first, in a strong wind that “rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord” (1 Kings 19:11); second, there was an earthquake; and third, there was a fire. Yet, it says that the Lord was not in any of these, and Elijah remained unmoved from his fear and despair. But, after the fire, there was “a still small voice” (vs. 12) and then we read, “And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave” (vs. 13).

The point is really quite simple. While God can demonstrate His power in marvelous and supernatural ways, it was the word of the Lord that brought Elijah out of the cave, encouraged him, instructed him, and sent him on his way. And this is the problem with signs and wonders that are not accompanied by and supported by God’s Word; nothing really changes of lasting value. People may witness signs and wonders, but that is not going to bring personal transformation or eternal salvation to them. Only when a life has been surrendered to the Lord through faith in hearing the Gospel do we have changes that are of a true and lasting spiritual value. We know that the apostles went out to preach the Gospel, and signs and wonders followed them—the emphasis being on the Gospel. Paul made it clear in his letters that the power that changes lives for eternity is in the Gospel. It is the power to save:

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

I know there are people reading this who have great needs and are hoping for a word of encouragement to get through a particular situation. And there always will be needs of one sort or another where at times it seems that it would take a miracle to get through the present challenge. If you feel this way, let me say this: God is faithful, and He is there for those who hope in His mercy (Psalm 147:11). But as Christians, let us be careful not to be caught up in fear and worry that would rob us of our effectiveness for God and of the abundant life God has for us. Jesus said:

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

Remember also that Jesus said:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things [our needs] shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)

God is faithful, and He can be depended upon to deliver us in whatever trials we face. Peter writes in his epistle:

Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. (1 Peter 4:19)

We are on a journey through life, and there are many obstacles along the path that would slow us down and rob us of our attention to the things of the Lord. Let us not lose sight of our destination.

To order copies of Signs & Wonders! Five Things You Should Consider, click here. 


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