As The Wind Blows

Beautiful October

Autumn is always a windy time of year here in the northern Great Lakes area.   Leaves die from lack of sunlight, fall to the ground and the wind grabs them and swirls them everywhere. Lately it seems our winds aren’t just from the north (as I remember from years past) but every possible direction; often the winds are opposing each other.  I know it’s frustrating for my neighbors and friends, as I’ve watched rake their leaves into nice, neat piles only to have the wind seemingly come from nowhere and scatter the leaves again.
The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Church in Ephesus about their new-found lives in Jesus Christ.  Some individuals within the church began to stir up the people with doctrines and beliefs that opposed the true gospel message of Jesus Christ.  The result was divisions and schisms.  Paul’s letter “set them straight”. In chapter 4 of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul exhorts and encourages the church as Ephesus with guidelines and Godly wisdom for the Body of Christ.

4: 1-16 ” Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says, ‘WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.’ (Now this expression, ‘He ascended,’ what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together * by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. “  (NASB)

I watch or read daily of these doctrines of heresy be thrown from every direction; just as those autumn leaves.  The leaves will die, biodegrade and be used by the earth as fertilizer for the following spring.  Interestingly, the heretical doctrines will die along with all those (and there are as many as colors of fading fall leaves) deceivers, heretics, antichrists, liars, deceivers, wolves in sheep’s clothing, blasphemers and the subtle sweet teachers of extra biblical insight and prove to be “leaven” that will nourish the great falling away! For those who believe these deceivers what can be done?   There are only two possible outcomes.  One, if they continue believing in these doctrines of men and NOT of the Holy Word, they will DIE–perish; but with an imperishable body they will suffer the wrath of Almighty God for eternity.  Or, rather than listening to others, they will pick up a Bible and use it!!  Read it, study it, feed on it, use it as a proofing source for all teaching.  IF, they will ‘open the spiritual eyes of their understanding’ and see the lies and immediately repent–turn away from them and return to the Truth of the Holy Scriptures, they will DIE — perish; but the imperishable body they will enter the Kingdom of Heaven and rejoice.  May we all be praying for the Body of Christ that none be led astray… sending blessings ♥ Streim

 

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Remind Me Lord…

Titus was a young Gentile the Apostle Paul led to Christ.  Titus traveled with Paul on several missionary journeys. At one point, Titus accompanied Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem. Paul’s intent during that visit was to preach the Gospel message to the Jewish leaders, in private.  The Jewish leadership expressly told Paul that Titus be circumcised.  Paul opposed this.   Galatians 2:3-5 ”  But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.”  After Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome, Titus accompanied Paul to preach the Gospel in the east.  Landing on the island of Crete, they spread the Good News of salvation through Jesus to different cities there.  Paul could not stay, so he left Titus to help put in place some the new congregations.  However, Titus met with quite a bit of opposition.  Paul’s short letter is spiritual advice for Titus (possibly in response to a request from Titus).

Titus 3: 1-11 Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men. But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. Reject a factious (other translations use divisive) man after a first and second warning, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.”

These first 11 verses of chapter 3 I have read every day for a week.  I was feasting on the Word! (see Deuteronomy 8:3) The spiritual wisdom Paul shared with Titus reminded me as well; as Paul begins this chapter “Remind them…”  Prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and discernment when reading this, as with any of God’s Holy Word. ♥ Streim

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What Do Cheerios and 21st Century Christianity Have In Common?

Cheerios Flavors

What do Cheerios and today’s Christianity have in common? 

You can choose whichever gospel suits your taste.

 When my children where young (many decades ago)… Cheerios was one of approximately five brands of cold cereal.  Almost every Sunday I filled two small Tupperware containers with Cheerios.  They served as a perfect snack to keep my young ones (toddlers) quiet during morning church service.

Today, when I went shopping for Multi-grain Cheerios (I’m an old fogie who has to lower my cholesterol).  I was literally amazed at how many different flavors Cheerios now has.  I counted thirteen, including caramel flavored, peanut butter, chocolate, banana nut, fruity, frosted and more.  My amazement with the 13 plus varieties of Cheerios led to me thinking of the times we are in.

When I stated above “You can choose whichever gospel suits your taste.” I was not in any way making reference to denominations.  If you note, I said “whichever gospel “.  I do believe there are only two gospels.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ according to the Word of God and the gospel of man (this one has all the varieties) and each comes from the word of certain men.  The Word tells us in the last days, as I believe (according to Scripture) this is what we’ll see.  1 John chapter 4 says:

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.  Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:  And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come ; and even now already is it in the world.  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.  They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world hears them.  We are of God: he that knows God hears us; he that is not of God hears not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.  Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God.  He that loves not knows not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.  No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and his love is perfected in us.  Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.  And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.  Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him, and he in God.  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him.  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is , so are we in this world.  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear hath torment . He that fears is not made perfect in love.  We love him, because he first loved us.  If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he hath seen , how can he love God whom he hath not seen ?  And this commandment have we from him, That he who loves God love his brother also.

 Jesus said in Matthew 7:15
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves

Paul in Colossians 2:8
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Peter (the disciple) wrote in 2 Peter 3:17
Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before , beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness

Titus wrote in his short letter in 1:10
For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision

Jeremiah, in the Old Testament prophesied in 9:5  “And they will deceive every one his neighbor, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity
And again in Jeremiah 29:8For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners , that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed”

Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus in 4:14
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;” and again in chapter 5:6 “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things comes the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.”

And this statement that Paul wrote to the Thessalonians in his second letter to them
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed , the son of perdition;” (2:3)

Do you KNOW the true Gospel?  Is it being taught/preached at your church?  The other day, a radio talk show host said something that really summed up the man-made gospels versus the True Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ taught in the Word of God. (this is not verbatim)  “Do you look at the world through the eyes of Word of God or do you look at the Word of God through the eyes of the world?”  Mike Le May*
*Please check the radio ministry  http://standupforthetruth.com/
God bless take a stand for Jesus today!  ♥ Streim