Friday, September 23, 2016

THE MARRIAGE COVENANT



by Pastor Mike Taylor

IN the beginning, Genesis,
2:21  And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
2:22  And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
2:23  And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
2:24  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

The marriage covenant between one man and one woman is under all out assault in this country and around the world. No longer is the covenant God instituted regarded as sacred with men and women jumping from one relationship to another in a hop scotch of perversions, male with female, same sex perversions, and ... well, you name it. Liberal society has abandoned the God ordained institution as the building block of a healthy society to it’s eventual demise and destruction.

As noted in the above verse, God made one woman for one man, and a man for woman and blessed the union of the two being joined as one flesh. He made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Bruce. If Adam and Eve had not broken the commandment of God, nothing of the problems we have today would be present, but when Eve saw the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the wily old serpent we call Satan, lied to her and tempted her to fulfill her human desire of being “enlightened” to the ways of humanist desires to rule one’s self and “do their own thing”. When God questioned Adam and Eve and their sin was out in the open, God pronounced curses upon them. One of them is found in the following verses.


Genesis 3:16  Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

Thus, God is saying that a woman's desire would be to gain the upper hand over her husband, but because she is the weaker vessel, her husband would put her down by force, if need be. The curse is that, in the annals of history, women had lost the battle of the sexes. History bears this out. Until the advent of women's rights movements, women were virtually their husband's property, treated as heir-producing machines, given little freedom, and forced to serve their husband's every whim. In many cultures, men bought and sold women like cattle. Some cultures maintain this custom even today.

Only when true Christianity flourishes is there any real easing of this curse. Ephesians 5:22-33 teaches how we can decrease its effects within our marriages—by emulating the virtues of Christ's relationship with the church. Thus, wives are told to submit rather than contend, and husbands are commanded to love rather than dominate. Men and women have misunderstood for thousands of years what the relationship between a man and women actually encompasses and it takes God’s Holy Spirit to reveal and at the same time, it takes conscious effort to overcome the evil, ingrained habits 6,000 years of misguided  thinking has produced.

Ephesians 5:22-33

5:22  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
5:23  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
5:24  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (emphasis mine)
5:26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
5:27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
5:28  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
5:29  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
5:30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
5:31  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
5:32  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
5:33  Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

See the two-way act of giving pointed out by God’s Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul in the above scripture quote? Both husband and wife put each other first, right behind their relationship to God Almighty who must be pre-eminent in your mind and your heart. The father is to be the priest of his family, teaching and supporting his family in godly conduct and pointing his children to Jesus Christ.
Our desires—whether it is husband and wife in marriage, or in business, or in politics among nations—keep crashing into one another, because we don’t put God first in all relationships, or with our relationship to Him as our Master. Conflict will never end until everyone is keeping the traditions of God. That is why we are in the process of being sanctified. It is our responsibility to convert over to God's way so that we stop crashing into one another. We have to overcome this error in education and this attitude to gratify the self and look to God, the author and finisher of our faith.

Satan is ultimately the source of both of these errors. We have to recognize that we are still influenced and that we pick up on his broadcasts. It makes submitting so difficult. The adversary is still working and bringing about conflict. Anywhere Satan goes, conflict erupts. He is a master at producing it.

GOD’S RECIPE FOR SUCCESSFUL IN LIFE

God gave us a recipe of successful living in relationship with God the Creator and with his fellow man, when He gave mankind the Ten Commandments. Of those commandments, the fifth commandment speaks directly to parents and children.  It lays the foundation of responsibility that each has to the other. When children submit to their parents, and parents provide a loving environment to nurture their children in living according the to Word of God, the children and society directly benefit from being obedient to it’s precepts. The family is the cornerstone of national government, and when the home is right, the social structure follows. When marriage and family unity are held in high esteem and a fear of violating God's standards is instilled, sin can be held in check. When we follow God’s commands, we reap blessings and when we violate His command, each of us receive discipline for breaking God’s Word.  For in discipline, Hebrews 12:11 declares, "Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."  When chastened and we repent than we are a better man or woman because of it. Those of us who have recovered what we lost, can relate to the pain of the trial endured by breaking God’s commands, and those who do not learn continue to struggle from relationship to relationship. Can you say Kim Kardashian and other Hollywood starlets?

MARRIAGE  COVENANT DESIGNED FOR THE CHILDREN

God wants Godly children raised by Godly parents:

II Timothy 3
3:1  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
3:2  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3:3  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
3:4  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
3:5  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.


Family problems predicted for the end times in II Timothy stem from misguided or faulty childrearing practices. While researching for this message I found 7 benefits to proper child rearing. Because marriage is focused on the children of the next generation, we need to realize that:
1) God established the institutions of marriage and the family for the purpose of producing godly offspring.
2) We must learn to love and respect our children, realizing that, despite their relatively diminutive size and comparative inexperience, they are far from unimportant.
3) We must have vision from God's revelation in our childrearing practices, enabling them to fulfill their awesome potential.
4) We must guard against Satan's attempts to thwart or destroy them.
5) We must realize that our children have access to God through us.
6) We must see God as the model parent and emulate His practices.
7) We must see ourselves as the primary teachers preparing them to become responsible and productive members of God's coming Kingdom which we is fast approaching.

When you study the commandments of God, no less than three of the Ten Commandments—the fifth, seventh, and tenth—directly involve strengthening marriages and families and preserving their unity and sacredness. They are given to protect the institution of marriage from assaults from without and within. Of course, all of God's commands, if followed, will work to strengthen man's relationship with God and fellow man, but these three are aimed directly at securing these sacred bonds. When considering any of God's commands, we find that they are broad in scope and ordained, not just to regulate our physical relationships, but also our spiritual one with Jesus Christ.

DIVORCE AND THE DESTRUCTION OF THE FAMILY

Matthew 19:3-9,
19:3  The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
19:4  And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
19:5  And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
19:6  Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
19:7  They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
19:8  He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
19:9  And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

Men, as well as women, put away their spouse because of convenience, or they are bored, or they don’t feel completed, or they are blah, blah, blah, and the list goes on and on....just fill in the blank. Now there are marriages that God gives authority to annul which include adultery and fraud, but not out of convenience or it’s just too “hard" to work on.

Because marriage is a creation of God, it possesses a sacredness that no man-devised institution can ever have. This world is trying to exchange the sanctity of marriage for its complete opposite, the profane, but this secular approach will never produce a healthy society.  See Romans 1:16-32 concerning homosexual unions and God abandoning them to reprobate minds.

Each of us are the temple of God and to abuse God’s temple will result in severe retribution and discipline from our Creator God. As noted in 1st Corinthians:

6:15  Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
6:16  What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
6:17  But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
6:18  Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
6:19  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
6:20  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

From God's perspective, marriage is a lesson in learning balance. Marriage is combining the godly characteristics of a man with the complementary godly characteristics of a woman to produce one flesh and one spirit. It is combining each spouse's efforts harmoniously, first between themselves and later adding children to the mix. We can perceive it as though God has placed the husband on one side of the balance and the wife on the other, asking them to balance each other, not only alone but also when other factors are added, such as children. God desires us to do this, not just for the good of the marriage and each spouse's relationship with God, but also to display the proper example to the children and others.

1st Peter,

3:1  Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
3:2  While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
3:3  Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
3:4  But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
3:5  For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
3:6  Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
3:7  Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.


I counsel men and women who have become disillusioned with the vows they took concerning “till death do us part” and the sacredness of their covenant relationship being the same as Jesus Christ loved His bride, the Church, that He gave His life’s blood for her on a Roman cross. How many men would die in the same way for their own flesh, namely their spouse? How many wives would esteem their husbands greater than themselves, even as we obey and press onward for the prize of our Husband of the Church, the bride of Jesus Christ our Savior? Anyone who feels defeated in their marriage has lost the commitment, the emotional connection, the God given sacredness of their union and need to re-examine why they loved each other in the first place. Let me be frank, there is a difference in love and lust. There is a difference of a lusty emotional bond found in sexual union and the bonds of the Spirit found in the marriage covenant. Not only are you making a commitment to love your spouse as yourself physically, but emotionally and spiritually....as you LOVE YOURSELF!! How many marriages would be strong and secure if each partner in that union gave 100% to the needs of the other? But we see marriages failing because of immature concepts of “it’s all about me". What would be the divorce statistics if you followed this one rule? I would venture it would be cut in half or better. So I ask you, you wouldn’t stick a needle in your own eye, would you? So why would you do the same either physically, emotionally, or spiritually to  the person who is of your own flesh, your husband or wife?

Further, understand one thing my reader, marriage is a warm up for what’s coming. If you are faithful in your covenant here on earth, it is to prepare you for a greater and eternal covenant found in Jesus Christ for all eternity. Blessings come from learning here on earth, or curses if you do not learn it . I see both, but the curses way too often. Oh, I know what you’re thinking. It takes two to tango and right  you are. Both must be doing their part through God and their marriage for any of this to work. If one of them sits down on the job, verbally or physically abuses the other, then the marriage will fail even if it’s contrary to God’s law, because being mortal, each of are weak and prone to depression because of the stress of a bad situation. It takes two to make a good marriage and it only takes one to ruin it. God hates divorce as His Word says so, but when only one is trying to hold the marriage together, then the chances of success are slim to none.

SOCIETY CRUMBLES AS THE FAMILY CRUMBLES

I shudder to think about the direction of this country,or this world is taking concerning the institution of marriage that God ordained from creation. In man’s perverted mind, they have substituted whatever relationship they envision, contrary to the Word of God.  The USA and the world battles with homosexual unions and wants to call them marriages (but God calls an abomination), or they want polygamy, they want sexual deviance on any level their evil minds can imagine. What’s next? Sex with donkeys and other beast of the field?  Reader take note that any, and I mean any deviation from the law of God and His institution of marriage, which was ordained and blessed from the beginning of time is doomed to failure and ruin. All you have to do is look at history and see what other ancient civilizations have trotted down this same wide path that leads to their own destruction and the demise of their society.

Think of it like this. Each person on this earth was born for one purpose, and one purpose only. What is that purpose? To be introduced and either accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and your  Husband for all of eternity, or to reject Him for all eternity. Relationships define how it will all come about for us in that next life. Some learn the lessons of this life, through much suffering and pain. They may finally find happiness in a relationship built around God, but unless God is dead center, right in the middle of your relationship where you walk hand in hand following after the God of the Bible, Jesus Christ, the Lord, then according to statistics,  you have as much chance of success in that marriage as ice not thawing on the beaches of Miami. Each of us must put Jesus Christ the center of our lives, our marriages, our family relationships, and our family unit. If not then your marriage, and by extention, this nation will go the way of Rome, and for that matter, the rest of the world, because marriage is the center of any culture, a godly couple raising godly children for the next generation coming up. Everything else is a perversion and distortion of God’s Commandments, because marriage is a covenant relationship, as is our relationship to Jesus Christ, God of creation, either good or bad. It is a mirror reflection.

This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying God be centered in your marriage relationship. If you need counseling, prayer, or just a listening ear, then email me at realteam1999@sbcglobal.net, or visit me online at www.churchofgod-usa.org. God bless you all, till we meet at Jesus Feet. 


Comments

Sultana Butt
07/28/2013 11:15pm
My only memories associated with marriage are those of pain and alienation. My parents were divorced and my own husband also divorced me. I hate reading about marriages because they remind me of my own failure.
Reply
Clare
07/29/2013 1:33am
Thank you for this timely scripture-based message in an age where perversion and sin in general is rationalized as acceptable. I grew up in the 50's and early 60's and have seen our society plummet exponentially, and it is all because of what you state here. Come soon, Lord Jesus!
Reply
Kim Bartley
07/29/2013 7:09am
Very good, I enjoyed reading this, Please send me more.
Reply

OBEDIENCE BY FAITH



By Pastor Mike Taylor


Psalms 119:105  Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

When I was a child, I followed my parents teachings, because they said so. Being a little guy, these people I called “mommy and daddy" were relied on for everything. They were so much stronger and bigger than me and how could I not do as I was told? When my dad said jump, it was usually “how high?”. Or at least in following his verbal command, I jumped at doing what he said because of fear.

All of us remember as being children, when our parents told us something to do, even though we did not understand why, we did it anyway. Remember being a little person and saying that often uttered word, “why”? In my house, the response was usually, “because I said so”. And if we disobeyed the rules of our parents or the warning not doing as we were told, what was the end result? Correct, we got our behind tanned with a wide belt or a paddle. We obeyed out of fear. Fear of discipline and the pain it would result in.

OUR HEAVENLY FATHER

 I remember growing up in the Baptist church and hearing messages that could only be described a “hell fire and brimstone” sermons. A lot of people came to the altar to repent out of having the living daylights scared out of them. No one who came down wanted to experience a never ending judgment of torment by fire. Was their basis for repentance based on faith and pure unadulterated fear of an all consuming God? Of course, the answer was fear, but better fear than no response at all. Many of these same people when they felt that had appeased God, returned to their lifestyles, as if nothing had ever happened in their lives. Why is that?  Because they got past their fear. Oh, they knew that to sin was not part of their “being saved”, but hey, I did it this time and nothing happened, right? If I do it again, maybe nothing will happen again. God doesn’t see and I won’t get caught. So they keep doing the same sin, over and over and expect no discipline for their actions. They reason “God is love and He saved me, so I’m good”. No need to fear anymore.  I  have many people email me and lament that the world believes that if they say a simple prayer, that they have a free pass now to do whatever they want and get away with it.

Let us make a bold statement. You can not offend God.  God is  not a God of meanness. You can not cause Him any injury or inflict harm on Him. God does not sit around just waiting for you to mess up and hit a button labeled “smite". But God IS a God of judgment. God will ultimately discipline all who He calls His children, just as your human parents did, in love. Why? Because He wants you to grow in His nature and His ways. He wants to spend eternity with His children and cannot abide sin in our lives. God disciplines on two levels, first in correction and in then in final judgment. Question? How much can you push God, by repeating the same sins over and over and not have correction and final judgment? Yes, God is a God of mercy and patience, but there is a time when God’s patience runs out. Ecclesiastes:

8:11  Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

8:12  Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:

8:13  But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.

Those who have no fear of God and  have no need for God, think they can do whatever they please, as they rely on themselves. Godly fear is a product of wisdom and those who do not fear God out of respect and reverence, God calls a fool. Psalms:

14:1  The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

14:2  The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.

14:3  They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

BLESSINGS AND CURSES

Looking back at the bible’s example of a people most blessed, and those most cursed because of their disobedience, we look at Israel who disobeyed God and did not continue to fear Him.

Deuteronomy:
28:1  And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:

28:2  And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.

As you read this passage, God explains to the nation of Israel the blessings they will receive if they hearken unto the voice of God and follow His commands. But beginning in verses 15 to the end of the chapter, God warns them of not following His commandments. The curses and judgments are staggering until God says:
28:66  And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life:

Disobedience to the voice of God affected the national character, until  many years into the future, God had had enough of their disobedience of His Word and His people, the nation of Israel were sent  into exile, not once, but twice until modern day revival of that nation.

JESUS, GOD OF THE OLD TESTAMENT ON EARTH

Travel with me, many years into their future, after Israel had been returned to their homeland to be rebuilt at the end of the Babylonian exile into the time of the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ on earth. When Jesus began to teach, one of the most memorable of His sermons was the Sermon on the Mount. Here Jesus explained what was meant in the Old Testament of the commandments given to their fathers. What did Jesus say ?

Matthew 5,
5:18  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
5:19  Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

In this sermon, our Lord developed what was written in the Old Testament, known to them as the Torah, or Teachings. These were the commandments given by this same God standing before them having fleshed them out in their spiritual intent so it could be understood plainly.

Let me make something very plain to the reader who may misunderstand. This is not about Law keeping, as no one can keep the Law. Paul spoke of this very fact, they were are not subject to the Law and it’s penalties, because we have been saved by grace and the Law has no effect on us....in penalty. What does Jesus mean then when He spoke of the commandments of God, emphasized by Himself and preached with authority?  Jesus was saying that if you follow the commandments as a way of life, to trust God that He knows what is best for each of us, then blessing will result. If we do not, then curses will follow. Let me illustrate.

Look at any prisoner in our penal system. Have any of these people followed the commandments of God? Of course not, as they have broken norms of society that are based on law. Man made laws came from one authority, Almighty God and based on the Ten Commandments and His judgments.  If you follow the law, you will have blessings such as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and our Constitution, but if you break the laws, as each of these prisoners did, then you have lost your rights and have been cursed and incarcerated for a predetermined amount of time. You have lost your freedom, your property, possibly your family, and ultimately some loose their life.

Turning to the born again Christian who follows after Jesus in belief and faith. What has happened to this person? They have become a  new creature in Christ Jesus and they follow His example. What is His example? Following what He said beginning with the Law of God handed down to mankind and ultimately to His sermon on the mount. Jesus gave us commandments to follow for a reason. It is the recipe for a productive and meaningful life. The world follows after their own lust and do what is right in their own eyes. Right or wrong, they follow their own humanistic idea of what is good for them. They have no need for God. Why? Because they do not trust Him. They don’t wish to know Him because they love their sinful ways. We who are called of God, have put our trust in our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus who knows the beginning from the end, and ultimately what is best and right for each of us.

Each of us choose consciously who we will follow. Jesus said in John:
14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

14:7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

Our Father in Heaven, God Almighty, knew that we could not keep the letter of the Law. It is not in our nature or character to seek God or to know Him.

Psalms:
10:3  For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.

10:4  The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

10:5  His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them.

Man by nature, who is mortal, and prone to sin, does not follow after God or search for Him. God seeks us and draws us to Himself, through the work of the Holy Spirit to see Jesus, the only payment for the sins that we commit.

John:
6:44  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
6:45  It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

When we accept Jesus Christ by faith, as our Savior and Redeemer, we use that faith and belief to follow His way of life. Why do we follow His example and live His commandments? Because we TRUST Him!  To follow after Jesus produces blessing in this life, and all of eternity. To not follow after Jesus, accept Him as personal Savior by faith, leads to the flip side of this life, curses in this life and for all eternity. Follow Jesus produces right living and being obedient to His command produces another by product of our belief......character. Through trials and life’s never ending struggle to put on the new man and avoid evil, we become more like Jesus Christ and less like the world. It will never be complete in this life, but will be accomplished finally when our Savior and Lord changes us into what He is....Immortal Spirit.

Romans:
5:1  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
5:2  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
5:3  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
5:4  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5:5  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

NATIONAL DISOBEDIENCE

As the individual decides to follow or to not follow after God, it permeates into all of society when a society has thrown the commandments of God to the curb.

I have seen what I never thought I would see, but I have. What I have seen in our nation is an apathy for doing what is right in political office. Never would I have thought to have seen that the office of the leader of the most powerful nation on earth, the President of the USA be given a pass over lewd behavior, or lying to the people, or trampling on our freedoms. It didn’t just start with this president, but has been going on for decades. We saw Bill Clinton who had an affair while in office and nobody held him accountable, they even glorified his behavior stating “When Clinton lied, nobody died” meaning GW Bush was guilty of lying and then gave a pass for a Liberal President for sexual misconduct and lying while in office. OH, Bush had his grievous errors in judgment and people blame him for starting unneeded wars, but this President that now graces our TV’s most every night, by and far, takes the cake.

And we the people, do not hold our elected officials that are supposed to be speaking for us to a higher standard of conduct. This includes our Congressman, our Senators, and our local officials at the state levels. No, we have become them. They are a reflection of the moral decay and the departure from common decency and following after God’s commandments, and the commands of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in both halves of the Holy Book we call the Bible. Remember what we just quoted in Deuteronomy 28 concerning blessing and curses? The national tone is one of moral bankruptcy and a decline in righteous living. No other nation has been given so much, as to require even the more.

Luke 12:48  But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

All the world knows better but ignores the God of the Bible. As for mentioning the USA, she has turned her back on the benefactor who made  her great. Nation after nation has fallen because they did not follow the ways of God and chose not to honor or reverence Him. The USA is not any different. She has been blessed more abundantly than any nation on earth. She has had her zenith and her star has shown to the ends of the earth, but she has rejected her God and taken on pagan gods of idolatry and filth of perversions.

It all starts with you and is a reflection of our national tragedy. You who read this, are you following the commandments of God? Have you followed His way of living based on the life of Jesus Christ? Have you believed in your heart, repented and decided that you have no hope apart from Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on Calvary’s cross to be the substitute for what you and I both deserve, which is death? Put your trust in the only hope you have for blessings in this life and the next. If you feel down, depressed, hooked on drugs or alcohol to numb that empty feeling of hopelessness you feel inside, then look up from the bottom of that pit you are living in and see the outstretched arms of God in the flesh, Jesus the Christ. He seeks to deliver you from the life you are living and only wishes to fold you in His arms. Feel and listen to that still small voice who speaks to your inner being? Jesus is the way, the only way and there is NO other way to be saved.

OBEDIENCE BY FAITH!

Obey His voice and His calling by faith. Accept His invitation to repent of those sins you have committed and will commit in this mortal life. Stand before Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit and ask for forgiveness and mercy to cleanse you from all unrighteousness...You know what? He will do as you ask.

John 6:37  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

6:38  For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

6:39  And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

Paul the apostle wrote in Romans
3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (ALL OF US)

Romans 10:9-10
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

John 3:16
3:16  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.

3:17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

3:18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Romans 8:38-39
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Revelation 22:17
The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.

That Water of Life, is Jesus Christ. He paid the penalty for disobedience to His righteous law that convicts us all. To come to Him, is to make a personal choice to follow Him, to trust Him, by faith and actions to live as He lived to the best of our mortal ability TILL HE COMES. SO COME LORD JESUS.

This is pastor Mike Taylor, praying you obey that still small voice calling you to repentance and accepting Jesus as your personal Savior, by FAITH.
If you need prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear, email me at realteam1999@sbcglobal.net, .
 God bless you, till we meet at Jesus feet.


Comments

Maureen
08/12/2013 3:40pm
Pastor Mike, You are such a blessing to us all! Another wonderful article. I smiled as I read your words, because I have many times compared my earthly father to my heavenly Father in wanting to be obedient to Him. In my mind I came to realize that I didn't have to like or agree with something God has in his word, but instead need to accept and believe, because God "said so." The world has it's standards and God has His. I want to be obedient and follow God's standards. I don't see my salvation as a free pass to sin, but an invitation to thank God and praise God by trying to be as much like His son as I can. We that are born again Christians have received the ultimate gift and must never forget the tremendous price Jesus paid on that cross for our souls and the ONLY reason we won't spend eternity in hell. Praise God!
Reply
Gerald Hadley
08/12/2013 6:36pm
Pastor Mike, I love sermons that are backed up with Scripture, and yours always are. Good article.
Reply
Clare
08/12/2013 11:50pm
Thank you so much for this much needed message of God's truth. If only all Christian preachers everywhere would teach this, our nation might be better off now. But prophecy tells us otherwise, for our Father knows who will choose Him and who will not, knowing the end from the beginning.
Reply

IS SATAN, THE DEVIL REAL?



by Pastor Mike Taylor 
Isaiah 14:12  "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

14:13  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

14:14  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

14:15  Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit."


The bible speaks of a powerful angelic being that was called, in the beginning, Lucifer. The bible describes him as a most beautiful and powerful being that God had ever created. He was covered with the most precious of stones and his brightness was called “son of the morning.”

Ezekiel 28:12-13 "Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre,(Satan) and say to him, 'Thus says the Lord God: "You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created."

Ezekiel 28:14 "You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. v. 15, You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you."
v.16  By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 


Lucifer was one of the main cherubs and was a powerful member of the Ark Angels, Gabriel and Michel being the other two mentioned in the Bible. He was an angel with great authority and possibly the most powerful of the three that served in the Temple of God.  It was, until Lucifer became consumed with his own beauty and pride entered into his heart. Lucifer was as we are agents of free moral choice. Lucifer was the ruler of this earth, before our creation. His world was the one we now live on. What this earth was like before creation of Genesis 1, is not known, but the fossil records show that there was a world in times before our time, that was much different that what we experience now.

The bible speaks of a war breaking out in heaven as Lucifer convinced 1/3 of the heavenly host under his charge to rebel against God the Father, the Ancient of days with a deception that God wasn’t fair, or we deserve better, or some other lie that we can only theorize, but many angels followed him in war. Revelation speaks of this war:

12:7  And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
12:8  And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
12:9  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Revelation 12:12-13 "Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time." Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. (Jesus Christ)

Unfortunately, Lucifer now renamed Satan the Devil, has been cast down to earth, his former abode and it is the same home that we reside in. Some people don’t believe he really does exist and it is one of Satan’s master strokes of deception, that he doesn’t exist. Some blame him for everything, or the “devil made me do it” as Flip Wilson used to say as “Geraldine’, or in the other extreme, they totally ignore him as any consequence in their lives. The bible gives ample proof that he is more than an adversary for the typical human being that is outside the protection of God the Father, through Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit as protectors. Satan is a destroyer of men’s souls.

It appears that the more carnally educated a person is, the less Satan is regarded as real, and vice versa, the less educated a person is, the more the devil is blamed for everything. In reality, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle of the two extremes. Satan is called our “adversary.” Who is this angel that the masses fail to recognize as theiradversary and the corrupter of their souls?


RULER OF THIS PRESENT AGE

I’m going to lay a foundation from the scriptures so that we will understand more of what we are dealing with.

Revelation 12:3-4, 9 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars [notice stars] of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. . . So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan [there he is identified], who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Stars are used in this passage and is a word used for angels. This was a major battle in heaven and the rebelling angels lost it and were cast out of heaven.

II Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment…..

Here we continue on our explanation of what has occurred on this earth long before us. Another step is clarified in regard to the positions that the angels (or demons, if we want to call them that) are holding at this time. There is some debate over the word used in Greek here that Peter describes as “chains”, but might be interpreted as a pit, or silo which we know is a long cylinder dug in the ground in ancient time, or above the ground to store grain in modern times, but is used here to denote a place of darkness, restraint, or prison. The word "Hell" here in the English versions comes from the Greek 'tataroo' and it means "a place of restraint."


Jude 6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day.

So, this horde of demon angels who has as their chief commander, Lucifer, Satan the Devil leading them , but many of them were cast into a pit called Tarturos which was a place lower than Hades or the grave, and chained until judgment is brought upon them. How many demonic spirits does Satan have to do his bidding? The Bible speaks of thousands upon thousands administering to Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand standing before Him in a vision given to Daniel chapter 7 of the throne room of God. Of the 1/3 of all angelic host that fell to the earth, it would be millions of demonic forces that attack mankind daily to tempt them to do evil, or come against them physically or spiritually. God gave each of these angels led by Lucifer dominion over this earth, and the responsibility to tend to the earth, as their domain, but they left it and rebelled, so God chained them to the earth in utter darkness, meaning no light of the Word of God, or the Father’s presence that brought them life. They were totally and forever separated from the love of God because of their rejection of His authority and His righteousness.

Jesus said Satan was a murderer and the father of lies….John 8:44

….He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.


In summary up to this point, it’s clear how all of this fits together now, especially with those verses that we saw in Peter and in Jude; how clear it becomes when putting this together with Revelation 12, that what occurred was that God assigned the angels to the earth, that they were under their commander, Lucifer, who was the sum total of all that God could create by fiat and cram into a created being; that he was perfect in his ways until iniquity was found in him. We see a picture of a being of awesome beauty, of awesome power, of tremendous intelligence, also though a creature of free moral agency.

We are not given a full description of what Satan looked like as Lucifer, if he was human looking, or what his shape was, but he was a created being of incredible beauty and brightness. But what was totally perfect, evolved by his own mind and actions into something totally perverse, totally wicked, and committed to destroying God’s creation of mankind, as they were given the promise of being the Son’s of God and entering into God’s Family.

Can you picture in your mind, what might have been the reaction that Satan took when he realized God’s plan to make Man in His own image? I’m only thinking out loud, as I have no idea what went through this angelic beings thought process, but it would explain why and how he felt that God was not fair, that God was putting these frail humans before Lucifer and his host of angelic beings. He was not satisfied with his station in the plan of God. He wanted more, more power, more authority, and rejected being submissive to any other power other than his. He wanted to be God.

What are we up against?

I think that it's necessary for us to deal with the reality of one aspect of the situation. I don't think that God wants us to hide from these things. Once you begin to see what is arrayed against us, you are going to know that it is by grace that we are saved. If we had to fight Satan and his demons without God being on our side, we would lose in the blink of an eye. It would be that one-sided.


We live in a physical realm, but there is a spiritual realm that we cannot see with the human eye. It is a war that is being fought all around us, and it is for the souls of men and the defeat of God’s perfect plan. 


Satan is described as a roaring lion in 1st Peter 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

A lion cares not for the prey, but to destroy the prey for food, to conquer it, to overpower the prey, to kill. So the analogy of Satan as a roaring lion gives you some idea of his intent. He cares not for you, he stalks you, he desires your destruction, and he desires to make God out a liar at your expense.


AN ARMY OF MINISTERING SPIRITS

 
In the book of Daniel, it gives you an idea of how powerful this force called Satan really is. Daniel had been praying for Israel for weeks, and the Messenger of the Lord came to him:

Daniel 10:10  And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.

10:11  And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.

10:12  Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.

10:13  "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia"


This King of Persia in interpreted to mean probably Satan himself fought against this Messenger, which was most likely Gabriel and it required Michael to come to his aid as the Messenger has “wrestled” with the angel for 3 weeks in a spiritual battle to keep him from answering  Daniel’s prayer. Can we get an idea of the power that this being that withstood the Messenger of God?

There is really a great deal of encouragement that comes from this section in Daniel 10. You can understand why the Apostle Paul and also the psalmist said that the angels are ministering spirits. They are ministering to the heirs of salvation. My reader these ministering Spirits are our protectors. This happened without Daniel even knowing what was taking place to prevent an answer to his prayer. These Ministering Spirits stand between us and certain annihilation, as that is Satan’s plan, to destroy every human being that he can convince to reject God and His free offer of grace found in His only begotten Son. He wishes to destroy you physically and ultimately spiritually for all eternity. He wishes you to join him in sure destruction in a fire burning with brimstone and sulfur that was designed not for men, but the devil and his angels.


Mankind is fighting a huge army of demons that have been cast down to earth to do the bidding of their chief captain, Satan. But our army, the army of God, is much stronger than the army we fight for all who believe. When Elisha prayed for his companion to see what was with them was stronger than what was surrounding the camp, as his servant was scared to death:




II Kings 6:15  "And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
6:16  And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
6:17  And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha."


God struck this army with blindness and the army was defeated. So our army of 2/3 of the heavenly host are on guard to protect his chosen people, the elect, the children of God. But it is not enough just to believe that there is a God, you must do more.


WHAT MUST I DO?

James 2:19 "You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!"

 The demons believe in a most powerful God, who is our Father, our Creator and they tremble at the very thought of Him.

They know God's awesome power and they, unlike man, tremble! Maybe the better English word would be shudder before God! They recognize His power. They are terrified at the thought of God. They are thoroughly convicted that God is!


This verse goes a long way toward helping us to understand that saving faith is not the intellectual acceptance of a theological proposition, that is, that God is, but rather a belief that expresses itself outwardly in a changed life.

Do you understand what I said? The demons believe. They tremble in fear, but they will not obey God. We, too, can believe that God is. We give intellectual assent to a theological proposition. "Yes I believe that God is." But we may not even shudder and most assuredly, most of mankind will not submit.

Satan is most assuredly very real. To deny his existence is to put yourself most vulnerable to his evil ways, his temptations, and the wiles within his power to destroy each and every one of you. His most distinct focus and deception is for you to deny he lives for if he doesn’t exist, then you erroneously believe neither does God. So why would you need the One, when the other doesn’t exist?  But the bible proves that he does exist and is called the prince and power of the air, or god of this world, but God has made a way to defeat him:

 Ephesians,
2:1  " And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2:2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
2:3  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
2:4  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
2:5  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
2:6  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
2:7  That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
2:9  Not of works, lest any man should boast."



To fight the good fight with must have the right armor, we MUST believe in the only begotten Son of God, in whom is the only Hope of defeating this most powerful adversary, Satan the devil. Don’t ever under-estimate his power.


Romans  10:9  "that if thou mayest confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and mayest believe in thy heart that God did raise him out of the dead, thou shalt be saved,

10:10  for with the heart doth `one' believe to righteousness, and with the mouth is confession made to salvation;"



If you realize that Satan is a real power in this earth, then how can we fight such a powerful force that shows its evidence all around our world today, in wars, famine, suffering, and men doing unspeakable things to one another?  I spoke of armor, what armor?

Ephesians 6:11  "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

6:14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

6:15  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

6:16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

6:18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;"


If  you have not believed in the the Way, the  Truth, and the Life, then you are already defeated. Satan has you exactly where he wants you. You can believe there is a power called Satan, or you can ignore him, because to him, it doesn’t matter, as long as you don’t believe in his ultimate defeat, Jesus the Messiah.

If you have believed, then live a life that testifies to that fact. Embrace the Lord Jesus Christ and let Him be your protector, your shield, you buckler, your high tower, and the only true God in your life. With His grace and mercy along with multiple millions of Ministering Spirits, he can defeat the wiles of the devil that only wish to destroy you, because my friend, Satan is indeed, very real.

This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying for God’s salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ, to be a part of your life. If I can help you in any way, pray with you, counsel you, or just lend an empathetic ear to your cares, then drop me a line to realteam1999@sbcglobal.net,


God bless you all, till we meet at Jesus Feet.



Comments

mike pentycofe
08/31/2013 1:17pm
another great message exposing satan and the powers of darkness of this world. But as the WORD of GOD tells us greater is he that is in you than you ( the Holy Spirit of GOD ) than he that is in the world. (the devil satan ) The end is fast approaching (rapture ) reach as many as you can Pastor Mike ! Your co-laborer in Christ mike pentycofe
Reply
Linda Sutton
08/31/2013 7:46pm
Pastor Mike, That is the most enlightening message I have ever heard. Thank you so very much! I believe that God has anointed you to bring this message to us. Please don't discourage, I needed to hear that tonight to explain to me what my grandson is going thru and disrespecting me. It's meant to tell me that our problems are not financial and physical, but his being lead away from the Lord by these forces. That's where I need to focus my prayers. On his safety and strength against the devil. He is 19 and has moved in with his girlfriend and her family. Please help me pray for Collin. He received Christ at 8 years old. I was there at our Passion play. But that's who satan targets, right?

God bless you, Pastor Mike. Hope to meet you at Jesus feet, very soon.
Love, in Christ, Linda
Reply
08/31/2013 9:32pm
Phenomenal lesson Pastor Mike. Thank you for faithfulness and sharing the Gospel and desire to reach the lost and encourage and teach us all.

We truly are wrestling with the great liar and his minions in a constant battle. I know he relentlessly tries to make my life miserable but our Father is far greater and one day all wrongs will be made right and all scores will be settled and we will rejoice together in victory.

I pray for your protection and ministry. Time is short and there are many to reach before the opportunity to do so comes to an end.

Maranatha Brother Mike,
Mark Sweet
Reply