A Great Perplexity: A Full Heart Which Yearns To Pour Forth Its Praise,
But Yet Fears When Emptied Must Again Leave His Presence.
It is not so much your praise that is the more important as it is His presence. But if it is your praise which brings His presence,
then continually praise Him, so per chance He will abide. How oft have we seen a child hold a parent's presence with their praise at
bedtime, only to exhaust their little minds and be reduced to a plea: "No, Daddy," or, "No, Mommy, please don't go."
The look in their face—desperate sincerity. The tug of their tiny hand—Bold Petitioning Love! A father or mother's heart melts for an
additional moment, at their pleading side. Is our Heavenly Father any less caring when we to Him are sincerely praying?
THIS IS PRAYER!
The Joy To Know He Is Always There, At Your Side, Watching You!
AND SO PRAY:
"Abide Heavenly Father, that I may bask in your presence. Please, Father, do not from my side go. Stay forever.
And should I sleep, run to play, or serve, do not from my side forsake, that I may do so with full assurance you
will be there all the while—In My Presence."
- Author: Ken Livingston
Read entire In His Presence prayer guide.
"Thou hatest wickedness."
"Be ye angry, and sin not." There can hardly be goodness in a man if he be not angry at sin; he who loves truth must hate every false way. How our Lord Jesus hated it when the temptation came! Thrice it assailed Him in different forms, but ever He met it with, "Get thee behind me, Satan."...
He hated it in others; none the less fervently because He showed His hate oftener in tears of pity than in words of rebuke; yet what language could be more stern, more Elijah-like, than the words, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer." He hated wickedness, so much that He bled to wound it to the heart; He died that it might die; He was buried that He might bury it in His tomb; and He rose that He might for ever trample it beneath His feet. Christ is in the Gospel, and that Gospel is opposed to wickedness in every shape. Wickedness arrays itself in fair garments, and imitates the language of holiness; but the precepts of Jesus, like His famous scourge of small cords, chase it out of the temple, and will not tolerate it in the Church. So, too, in the heart where Jesus reigns, what war there is between Christ and Belial! And when our Redeemer shall come to be our Judge, those thundering words, "Depart, ye cursed" which are, indeed, but a prolongation of His life-teaching concerning sin, shall manifest His abhorrence of iniquity. As warm as is His love to sinners, so hot is His hatred of sin; as perfect as is His righteousness, so complete shall be the destruction of every form of wickedness. O thou glorious champion of right, and destroyer of wrong, for this cause hath God, even Thy God, anointed thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.
- Author: C.H. Spurgeon
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Go ahead. Spread your
wings. You have them. Speak your heart to Him in prayer. You can do it. He is listening and waiting to make or renew your acquaintance.
Feel Him lift you by His gentle breeze that blows upon you,
as you soar high into His presence, taking you from the storm clouds that for this moment surround
you... Read More
In the first of this chapter Eliphaz, one of Job's 3 friends who came to visit him for encouragement, is now accusing Job and rebuking him for sin he thought Job had committed.
Though wrongfully accusing Job, the words of Eliphaz's counsel seen in the above verses is God's Word and does not violate His teaching in any other scripture
nor is it refuted by Job or God as being unwise in the instruction of His wisdom when it is applicable (all scripture is...profitable...2Ti.3:16).
It is astounding advice and every bit true. I find it to be one of the best summations of Biblical teaching for the healthy state of man, in both
his natural and spiritual life, following close to Jesus' Sermon on the Mount and His teachings on discipleship and
- Author: Ken Livingston
Read entire article and more.
Thomist dispensationalist Norman Geisler during the Bill Moyers special on reconstructionism stated that Christians want a moral nation,
not a Christian nation,1
he was speaking in the vein of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, arguably the most influential
political philosopher of the last three centuries...
Rousseau, defender of the infallible (and imaginary) "general will," of the indivisibility of human sovereignty, and of social egalitarianism,2
was also one of the first Enlightenment proponents of "civil religion," as set forth in chapter 8, book 4 of The Social Contract. Rousseau recognized the inescapably religious character of law and society, but deplored the influence of Christianity and Christians on the commonweal. He had nothing but contempt for a Christian citizenry:
. . . no State has ever been founded without a religious basis [but] the law of Christianity at bottom does
more harm by weakening than good by strengthening the constitution of the State.3
Rousseau depicted Christianity as an impotent, vacillating, dualistic, masochistic faith:...
- Author: Andrew Sandlin
Read entire article and more in our award-winning
Top Articles Feature.
The following is taken from the Book, Adam2: A Guide For The Walk Home, written by our founder.
It is A Commentary On The Gospel Of John, complete with a background look at the contemporary Jewish groups active in Jesus' day.
It includes a summary of each chapter, a redacted study of each disciple, a brief study of Gnosticism of the time, pertinent timelines,
and much more. Each chapter of study includes extensive Biblical references to the notes on the chapter.
A chronological excerpt of each section will be posted here at the beginning of each month. You can access free of charge at any time
a complete online digital version
for your further study. In addition, a link will be provided to purchase the book on CD to install on
your own computer for convenience of study and print. All we ask is that you observe the stated copyrights as with any book you buy over
the counter, limiting your print to only one hard copy for your own personal use. If further hard copies are necessary,
please contact us for an additional nominal fee. Thank you for your interest in this study. Our hope and prayer is that
through the work of the Holy Spirit as you study you will be blessed by it, and if so, recommend it to a friend.
Turning from the Preface last month to the Introduction to the book: Adam2.
Although it is not necessary in order to experience and appreciate the depth of God's transforming love through His Son Jesus, it is, on the other hand, both rewarding and at the same time stimulating to know of the people and events in the history of the life and times of our Lord Jesus Christ. A wealth of this information
awaits the Bible student who wishes to delve into this wonderful yet tragic and diverse period. For our study, however, we are limited in what can be incorporated for an overall understanding of the setting of John's gospel. But when we do have a working grasp of these times, people, and events, names on pages explode into full
dimensional personalities. Standing as a spectator before their lives as they unfold upon the page, afresh to them then, yet seen in total by ourselves today, we can all but sense their presence, hear their voices, perceive their appearances, and discern their spirit. Aided by the Holy Spirit, we catch a glimpse back in time into
their hopes, fears, motives, aspirations, and all the other complexities common to people of every generation, even ours today, thus making our reading relevant to our own personal lives. We are transformed by what we learn, never to be the same once having read it. Make no mistake, God intends and without respect or failure, does touch one who opens and reads His Word. Of this, be assured! (Isaiah 55:11) Our darkness becomes brighter, our eyes clearer, our understanding
greater, our hope strengthened, our faith stronger, and our link to the chain of the continuity of Christ's Church since He walked the earth, more visible. And, when He begins doing His work through it, you will discover a profound love for Him unimaginable, only to grow the more you feed!
Therefore, it is hoped that included in the text of this limited study of John's gospel will be enough information written in such a way that it will bring these times, people, and events to life for this illuminating process to occur within each reader. It is also hoped that before anything is read of this writer the reader will
first prayerfully immerse him or herself in the words of the Holy Scripture for His illumination process to begin. To read these words alone, yes, one may learn, but illumination essential for personal spiritual growth comes only through His Word.
Though there were many groups present in Jesus' day, both political and religious, and each was not isolated from the context of the whole, only those major Jewish groups thought to be more germane to the scriptural setting are here considered. The order in which these Jewish groups are chosen to be examined is done to allow a
natural development of the material as to their probable chronological appearance in history. In each group, we will look at its name and possible origins, trace its development and activities, identify its nature and some beliefs, compare or contrast its relation to other groups, and conclude with their role, if any, in Christ's death.
Although some of the events and characters seen within this time are inspirational, some, however, are quite disturbing. I tell you these things that you might know that our Lord did not live within a sterile social vacuum. Like all humans, if we are to believe scripture
5:8-9), He was touched by the surroundings
in which He lived that He might, with full understanding and compassion, reach out to us in our own time and circumstances. This was evidenced time and again in His encounter with hurting people wherever He went. To the blind, He gave sight; to the hungry, He fed by the thousands; to the mourners standing at the side of their deceased
loved ones, He wept and restored life; to a thief who cursed Him in death, he gave the treasures of Paradise; even to those responsible for His physical crucifixion, as we shall see, He offered forgiveness and life.
Read Entire Introduction and Work..►
- Author: Ken Livingston
This is the first in a series of 5 articles addressing the changes in worship and other areas of church life regardless of
its age or size. Without delving into the background of this phenomenon just yet, we will get right to your questions,
questions, as you shall see, indicating you are not alone in having. I know these questions are quite disturbing to you,
as they should be, and are to us as well. Please take your time as you read through the articles. We recommend
reading them in the order given.
Each article is based on a point of discussion as these questions began to come to me. In the fourth and especially
the fifth and final article, we will try and lay out more specifically some things behind your questions and give some
implications we see where this might be headed. Thank you for taking the time to consider this and we pray you will
find at least in part some understanding that evades you just now, and that God will give you a peace about what
you are experiencing...
Is your church emulating and imitating the world more and more? Do you find within your own house of worship a look that mirrors in alarming
similarity the same on Sunday as an arena you sat within on Friday or Saturday at a secular event—a music concert, basketball game, a
stage performance, etc.? Are the sights and sounds surrounding "worship
" becoming all to familiar of such places of mass gatherings or media
presentation, complete with its own version of a JumboTron
switching scenes down to the calculated second of the average attention span?
Is the music becoming more and more exclusively contemporary in secular sound, repetitive in chorus or extended refrains for emotional excitation,
as though mimicking that of chanting for a favorite team at a sporting event? Is there a conformity by your church to the designs and creations
of modern culture to appeal
to greater numbers for increased size, budgets and programs? Is the decision making of your church being centralized
more and more into the hands of a few or one person, with no voice allowed from the people? Is there a design by that leadership for members to
treat certain other members with deference or prejudice, even to ostrasize and marginalize them in fellowship, to be treated in ways other than as Christ
commanded—to love one another as He loved us—all for the purpose of "unity of the church
" rather than unity in Christ as He prayed in John 17
and Paul teaches in Galatians 6:10? Is there a move to remove all traditional sights, sounds and symbols of those employed in previous generations
in representation of the appearance of a religious "church" building within the community, even eliminating the use of the word altogether?
We will stop; but these are only a few questions in the rapidly growing list of many the serious worshiper and follower of Christ should consider
in his or her changing church life today, more so than in any previous generation in America, or the world for that matter. Oh, and one other
important question: What is the role and will of the Holy Spirit in all this? (John 3:8) We raise these
questions, not because we are against all change in church polity and practice, especially those that would take us back to our Biblical roots, but
that you may know what is happening right now in church offices all across America and around the world, look to the Bible to answer the questions
for yourself, know where you stand, not be led blindly, and finally, as Jude teaches, we "...
exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith..." (Jude 1:3)
As in Jesus' own day,
the true worshiper who comes to worship in spirit is becoming and will be almost non-existent at the end (Luke 2:25-38). The "house of God", as then,
is now becoming something to "behold." (Mk.13; Lu.21) As we move closer and closer to the time of the end as Jesus foretold, the false, or as is called
the prostitute church of Revelation (chapter 17), will emerge, subtly as it manifests itself in the beginning, as more and more are awakening to this
reality, until it has drawn many away from sound Biblical doctrine, principles, teachings and practices. As a consequence of this allure and worldly
practice, many also will be drawn within her proud campus walls and lulled into a false sense of salvation and security without ever being truly regenerated,
born again (John 3), and expected to submit to a life set apart from worldliness to holiness. Whether intended or not, what is developing across
America, and around the world for that matter, is the sad scene of "church" becoming a spectator sport and attendees fans of their team.
They can't tell you much about sound doctrine but they can sure tell you how exciting it is to see what awaits them each Sunday, enthusiastic to give
free tickets to friends, family and co-workers for their attendance. Finally, in that end-time of which Jesus spoke, a great confluence
concomitant with the convergence of world political power, there will be the death of many of its followers before she herself is slain by the very
political powers she has sought, and aided, to gain favor and to whom she has aligned...
Read Entire Article...►
- Author: Ken Livingston
The following is taken from the Book of New Testament Summaries.
[Likely a circular letter written by John to all the Churches in Asia Minor where he ministered,
with his home now in Ephesus since the fall of Jerusalem in A.D.70.
The heresy of Gnosticism (denying that Christ came in the flesh while accepting the premise of His teachings)
was beginning to entrench itself as a cult within the Christian community, and whose main proponent,
John's arch enemy in the faith, also resided in Ephesus, now the Christian capital of the world.
John writes to refute such damnable error, 2:21-26.]
It is ludicrous to suggest such fallacy to John, a man of flesh who had been with Jesus of like flesh since being called at
a relatively young age (likely late teens and youngest of the 12) from the fishing trade on Galilee to walk the dusty trails of Canaan,
freeze together in its cold winter nights, bathe together in Jordan, dine together in the upper room, whose head had leaned upon a pulsating
breast at that last table. NO! He would have none of this! These modern day "scholars," these "Johnny-come-lately" preachers were not there
as he and others. They did not see what he saw; they did not touch as he had touched; they did not examine for truthfulness and subsequent
belief and commitment as he had. There is no comparison between these false teachers' witness and testimony and his own. Theirs is hearsay at best,
conjecture most likely, both inadmissible in any court of law, in any day; his was an eyewitness account, and that over three years, not
to mention the confirming ministry and miracles of the Holy Spirit as Jesus promised subsequent to His departure, still evident in the lives
of present day believers! NO! He will have none of this! (Who would you believe?) To John, this man Jesus spoke truth, pure Truth, and in Him
he did not discover, nor detect, one shred of deception, fallacy, error, misrepresentation, inaccuracy: no, not so much as even a blunder,
mistake, misquote, or misspeak! He is that True Light, God's Truth, come to shine in men's darkness, exposing error and sin while illuminating
the way back to God for the sinner; and His Light is greater than men's darkness, incapable of being extinguished (
(See summary on James 1. John had reported in a recent similar writing [his gospel] that Jesus Himself said,
"I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD," and "I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE: NO MAN COMETH UNTO THE FATHER, BUT BY ME."
Ask the Apostle Paul of this Light, Acts 9:3-9; II Co.4:3-7; II Thes.2:3-12.) Knowing this personally to be true,
and its wonderful truth the source of his own great joy, he is confident that when believed by others, it too will explode in their hearts,
producing that same satisfying love and abundant joy. A sinner once blind, now made to see, once lost in darkness, now saved by the Father's own Son.
Who among us could not help but be overcome with such relief, such wonder, such gratefulness, such joy at the absolute certainty of such Truth!
And so he writes...
Read Entire Summary...►
Knowing that the lust to sin resides in the flesh, and that the flesh is of the world, and as long as the flesh remains alive,
as it has always sinned, it will continue to be predisposed toward. Anyone who denies this knows not the truth of God's Word.
Moreover, since Christ came, He not only paid the price of our past sins, but all sin yet to be committed by the flesh as long
as it remains alive! However, unlike before when we were alien to Him, His Spirit then not living within us, we now have His
abiding presence, power, and forgiveness to overcome as He overcame, if we continue to abide in Him. Therefore, John writes
to so encourage. Sin is the only condition that separates one from His fellowship, but not His love. Because His love
continues, His forgiveness is possible when requested and that fellowship will be restored. So, when one finds himself fallen,
as one on occasion will fall, believe His promise that He will never leave nor forsake, and immediately ask for His forgiveness
which He will not deny. But be forewarned, as Christ was holy, He calls all to be holy. It is impossible to abide in Him who
is holy, if His holiness is not continually clothed upon us (His forgiveness for our sins and His imputed righteousness).
Do not believe and live as the Gnostics who think that the acts of the body do not have an impact upon the condition of the spirit,
themselves living in revelry while maintaining their piety and superiority of spirit and knowledge. This was not Christ's life,
nor should it be His true follower's. As He was anointed, so too are his true disciples. This they have known from the beginning;
so, they are not to be persuaded by these latter day antichrists. It would be shameful to believe them now, denying Jesus' Earthly life,
physical suffering, and victory, to discover your tragic mistake when He appears on the contrary. If He was righteous,
then how can one claim to know Him and willingly remain unrighteous? This is not Christ's way! He not only makes us righteous
through His atoning and anointing work, He gives to us the desire to be righteous as well. If one does not hate the thing that
Christ hates—sin in the sinner or in one's self—then how can he be Christ's?
Having already introduced the dual nature in the argument of knowing if one is in Christ—hating that which He hates
(2:15), and conversely, loving what He loves
(2:10) — John continues on this theme, expanding now on the latter aspect.
It is not enough to hate sin, but one must be obedient to His only commandment given (
to love the brethren, and not just the brethren, but one's enemy as well (for he too Christ died Mat.5:43-48),
if one can be counted truly in Him. And whatever this one may appear to be at present, it is not known for certain,
but will be revealed when Christ shall return; for both will appear in likeness, clearly of the same origin—the Father in Heaven.
For this cause it is "natural" that he who is of Him now in this life, will do those things He Himself did while among us,
manifesting His love for all men, every manner of sinner. As His works were righteous, the believer's will be as well;
as He was compassionate, he will be likewise—God in him, manifesting Himself still to the world. This is our assurance
that we are in Him, and have unlimited access for life's needs as He has given
John now gives clear testimony to the correct identity of the true believer and genuine teacher. There are many spirits in the world,
the Holy Spirit having come at Pentecost being the authentic, but only He will manifest God's love toward all men,
especially to the family of God. That one who denies that Christ came in the flesh for sinful men denies the price
the Father paid in ordaining His only begotten Son to take away man's sin upon the cross through His physical suffering
and death, denying the sacrificial price He paid through His love for His Son, therefore, denying the depth of the Father's
love for man himself. This is the Father's love, so great as to sacrifice His beloved that He might win back us all,
and receive His successful Son again into His glory once His mission of suffering and redemption was completed on Earth. (
17:1-8,26; Heb.2:9-18, key vs.16. This Jesus, who was Christ from birth, was human, from the seed of Abraham!)
This, the spirit of antichrist cannot comprehend, nor is capable of communicating to the heart of man, for the love of God
does not reside within him. If attempted for deception, it is hypocritical, and is clearly transparent to the eye of the
Spirit-filled believer! This is how that false spirit can be identified in man to the true believer; so do not accept a man
for what he says, but what the Spirit shows you. If his "love" is conditional and selectively targeted, especially
toward those who can best benefit him, while ignoring, despising, or hating altogether those who would serve him no good,
this man has not the love of God in him; therefore, his spirit is false. This is how we know who is of kindred spirit,
of the same family in Christ. (Mat.12:46-50; Mat.7:21-23; Rev.22:14-15. Not just having the knowledge of,
but doing as well.) Consequently, it is not enough for one to say that he loves his brother, for we would never have known the
love of the Father had He not shown us through the actions of His Son. Hence, love is only known through the deeds one does
toward the object of one's stated love.
- Author: Ken Livingston
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Has church been getting you down lately? Do you have more questions than answers about the major
shift in your experiences in worship, in the objects, music, and even the sermons? We may be able to help.
Know first, you are not alone! More people are awaking to a deceptive practice that
began years ago. In addition, we have put together 5 articles to try and answer some
of those questions and help with your understanding. The first are more practical in nature as they
relate to your questions. However, the 5th is more specific in identifying a major factor behind the
changes you are experiencing. We hope this will not be the end of your exploration of this
growing cancer on the church. If you're fine with it, we wish you the best but some of us
have not nor will buy into it.
You may print and disseminate in whole or part but without modification and citing their original source.
I teach Old Testament to a group of young people who have committed their lives to Christ and are involved in a national
group called Master's Commission. I would like permission to share your tests with them during a 10 week Bible Course.