Read with an open mind and heart, as the Holy Spirit
may illuminate your spiritual understanding
which transcends all human ability.
may illuminate your spiritual understanding
which transcends all human ability.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!" -Matthew 6:22-24
Which "light" do you have? Is the light actually darkness from the Satanic kingdom or is the light actually the Spirit of the living God from the Kingdom of heaven? Let's look a little deeper into this. We are living in the last days and they will be marked by deception. Deceived people do not know they are deceived. Self-deception is one of the worst forms of deception, because you can't see, even though you truly believe that you can. In fact, you will die believing that you know the "truth", when all along, you really believed a lie. You won't know until it's too late in the fiery furnace of hell. There is no way out. Light comes in many forms. It could be a lite bulb, a lighter, a fire, a candle, a feeling, a ray of sun, an emotion and even a bright gleaming of one's face. Every type of light I have mentioned is earthly.
Spiritual lights can come in many forms. Orbs, angels, mystical clouds, ghosts, demons and even God or other forms of gods. This is where it gets tricky. Jesus warns us over and over again about deception in the end times. He even told us that Satan disguises himself as an "angel" of LIGHT. Even his ministers will come in the same form(2 Corinthians 11:14-15).
When our eye is focused on the Light of Christ, our whole body will be full of His Light. The person with a single eye is devoted to treating other people right. The single heart, the single eye has integrity and is full of the light of God's truth because it is not cloaked with deception that darkens the soul by cover ups and selfishness. The single heart has nothing to hide because everything is out in the open. The single heart can see clearly and has discernment because it is full of God's light. The single eye sees properly and is clearly focused. It views treasures, especially wealth, with the right evaluation. It sees the great value of heavenly treasures and the worthless value of earthly treasures.
The eye that is single has the ability to discern good from evil, to know that all that glitters is not gold and glamorous. People with a single eye are concerned about others. They are focused and alert to needs that people may have and they do something about it by meeting those needs with their assistance, encouragement or generosity. They realize that loving and caring for others in the name of Christ is "heavenly treasure" that pleases God.
The bad eye is out for himself. It has no single-minded devotion to Christ because of embracing the pursuits of one's own desires apart from Christ. Consequently, the understanding is corrupted. Jesus' assessment is that if the "eye is bad," then every part of one's being will be affected. If the light of understanding that comes through the gospel and steadfast devotion to Christ is clouded or corrupted, then every part of that person's understanding is influenced. The way he looks at life, circumstances, tragedies, disappointments, relationships cannot be done with godly understanding. His "whole body" is "full of darkness." It is certainly not that a person is non-religious or that he is unintelligent. He may be very religious and extremely bright, but his heart is set on the wrong kind of treasures. He is earthbound, and has no consciousness of storing up treasures in heaven. His heart is found treasuring his own sinful desires, and he probably does not even recognize that anything is wrong with the condition of his heart.
That darkness is GREAT. Compromise begins one after another. They actually begin to believe that evil is good for them. They begin to take the forbidden fruit. They feel as though they begin to become like God having knowledge. They think their evil is good in God's sight. Self righteousness. They begin to practice occult in the Church. Slowly but surely, they go to prophets to get a "Word from the Lord". They begin to read fortune cookies and practice the Chinese therapies for relief for pain. Maybe they will even begin to practice Yoga. They even smoke pot. They encounter demonic manifestations that come in counterfeit forms and they believe it is God, because it FEELS good. The list is wide and the road leads to destruction. The light they have is actually darkness. How GREAT is that darkness when they believe they are in the Kingdom of God. They believe God is blessing them and God actually approves of them.
There is time to repent while you live. Go to the foot of the cross and repent of your pride. We have a counterfeit light in the end times. Do not trust your "experiences" if they don't line up with God's Word in context. Oh foolish Church! Who has bewitched you?!
Most of us walk on eggshells. We don't even realize it. We are so afraid to say or do the wrong thing fearing a particular person or persons will leave us high and dry. The truth is, they will. The other side of it is, we do the same to others. Our tolerance becomes lessened as we age. We don't bear up or put up with each other as the Bible commands. In the New Testament of the Bible, we don't see the followers of Jesus backsliding or discarding each other for petty things. They left Jesus when He was arrested and only John and a few women showed up at the cross. People forsook Paul too. He was alone. But I am speaking about relationships. Our Church has gotten to a place where people really think they are Christians but they don't "love" each other fervently. It's all based on conditions. You can be best friends with someone for 20 plus years, and overnight, it's over because someone got offended. Instead of going to that person with the offense, their heart becomes hardened and you will never hear from that believer again. We all do it to each other. How grieved God must be with all of us. We are all guilty. We are all selfish. This is the condition of the hardened heart. We refuse to repent to the other person and make restitution to them. Sorry is NEVER enough. Not even with God. There must be true repentance before reconciliation. Sometimes the offense is so bad, reconciliation is a futile choice. Sometimes you keep giving chances and you get tired of the drama. It is understandable and wise to guard your heart. I mean...who wants constant drama? How can we say we love God who we can't see, but we don't love a believer who we can see? It's not possible.
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a LIAR; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. (1 John 4;20)
God loves us unconditionally. He is the only one who will. He compels us to come to Him but we constantly reject Him. He still loves us even all the way to hell. I can't imagine how He feels when he see his own creation in torment. In the story of Lazarus and the rich man in hell, he called the rich man in torment...Son. Wow. How powerful and sad. There is nothing we can do to change who He is. God is love. It is His love that changes us. After we RECEIVE it. It is free. By grace we have been saved. What a beautiful gift. Yet, He has certain requirements after salvation. It is terrifying. Search for the verses that say "if". There are conditions. He also has conditions, even though He loves us unconditionally whether we choose life or death.
My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.” – Matthew 18:35
that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; – Romans 10:9
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. – Galatians 6:9
If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. – James 1:26
So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; – John 8:31
“Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death.” – John 8:51
Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. – John 14:23
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. – John 15:7
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. – Matthew 16:24
After we get saved, we MUST obey Him. We can't just live any way we want and think we can go to heaven. We won't. God has conditions. It's a heart issue. With our mouth we praise Him but our hearts are FAR from Him! Don't let anyone tell you lies. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. He is amazing!
When you evaluate the people around you, you have to ask yourself...."If I stand against their ungodly, worldly religious and moral views, will they turn on me?" When you carefully evaluate and ponder the answer, it will alarm you. Most people will turn on you. Oh yes, they will. It keeps us from even going down that road. We don't even want to think about it. We are afraid to lose them. The truth is, we are all afraid to be alone. Most don't care if their loved ones are heading to hell, so they keep their mouth shut. We want everyone to like us. We know that if we truly took a stand against our parent, sibling, child or friend, for what they believe, they will get angry at us leave us. They will accuse us of being self-righteous. They don't believe a good God will send them to hell. They may play the narcissistic "silent treatment" or discard you altogether. Yes, they know that it hurts you. That's why they do it. It's all about "control". Control and manipulation which is truly the essence of the "witchcraft spirit". The witchcraft spirit hates the Jesus in you. It wants to isolate you. The wolf always isolates that one sheep so he can devour it. The safety of the lone sheep is with the body of the sheep and the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd cares for the life of His sheep. If you can't fellowship with other sheep in person, at least do it on the phone or video chat.
Your true family are the believers of Christ. Most of the people I have known in my life including MOST of my family have discarded me. Why? Because of my stand for Jesus. Yours will too. That's if you REALLY take a stand. That does not mean you are against them. It means you are for Jesus. Your very presence irritates their demons. When they hear your name, they cringe and roll their eyes. The false jesus they serve is different than your Jesus. That's why you can't get along as so-called Christians. One jesus is from Satan, the other from God. LOVE is the fruit of true believers. Don't be too alarmed. Jesus said this will happen. They will HATE you. They won't understand why they dislike you so much. They will slander you. Jesus said they will falsely accuse you. They will find others along the way to join in their disgust and bitterness. They will believe the lies of Satan about you. He is the accuser of the believers and they willfully believe the lies. One day, they will have to give an account to God who will judge the living and the dead.
You will walk alone. The more narrow(holier) the road, the lonelier the path. Everyone forsook Jesus when He got arrested. They could not even stay awake one hour to pray for Him. The ones whom you thought would protect you, will leave you too. People are fickle. One day, they are your best friend or spouse, the next they are gone. Our love comes from God. Only then, can we forgive, love our enemies and pray for them. Our true family are the true believers of Christ. There are not many. We must forsake all to follow Him. They might think you are crazy, but it won't stop you. You will have to forsake all to follow Jesus. No more compromise. No more lukewarmness. Get rid of those ungodly and lukewarm Christian friends who influence you. They are leading you to darkness and compromise. How great is your reward in heaven! It is better to be alone than the enemy of God. If they don't want you around, then give them what they want. Stop begging people to love you. Love is a choice. Even God does not beg anyone to love Him. Billions of people hate Him every day and they are in hell. But I guarantee they thought they were going to heaven. Now they are truly alone. Forever in torment. Dear brother or sister, it is a high calling to serve our Master. The Maker of heaven and earth. You will be hated more than loved. Prepare your heart. You must die to yourself daily and take up your cross and follow Jesus. Even if it costs you your life. Don't seek to save your life. You will lose it. Forsake it for Jesus, and you will find your life. If you are not being persecuted and shunned, something is truly wrong with your walk with God.
"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way." Matthew 5
Hmmm...rest? But how?...you say. Wait, Yasmeen, don't you know what we are facing in the coming days? Yes. I have heard. My heart is beating fast, I can't sleep peacefully and my neck and back hurt. The world is coming to an end and the prophets are all saying the same things. They are saying peace for another 4 years. The same President will be in office. I doubt it. What if war starts? What if, what if, what if? This can't be good. How can I let all the media, the so-called prophets and conspiracy theories rob me of my peace? Because I am CONFUSED. Everyone is saying something different. I mean, it sounds like the twilight zone. But how did Jesus sleep so soundly in the back of that boat when the disciples thought they were going to die?
God is not the author of confusion. My confusion is stealing my peace and giving me anxiety. Are we all going to die? If not by a gunshot, then by the virus? Maybe they will throw me into a Fema camp? Wait, Jesus slept through the storm. Peaceful. How can I get that peace? I lay there and I hear His still small voice. "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You" (Isaiah 26:3). But it's so hard! Jesus said we will hear about wars and rumors of wars. Are these rumors or true? The truth is, it doesn't really matter. Whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. We are always in His presence. We will die at some point anyways. BUT...this is the day the Lord has made. I will REJOICE and be GLAD in it. Only God knows the future. No man knows. "In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him" (Ecclesiastes 7:14).
Sooo...we should enjoy our lives. Get up in the morning. Enjoy tea or coffee. TURN OFF THE NEWS. Take a break from Facebook. Thank God for waking us up to praise Him another day. Listen to worship music. Shout to the Lord and be thankful for what you do have. Don't think about what you don't have. Take a hot bath or shower. Sleep often. Brush your teeth. Put on nice cologne or perfume, even if you are alone. Oh..shave please. Even if no one sees you. You are getting up for God daily and you are a steward of your body. Take care of it. I wonder if the angels know you are stinky? Haha. Decide not to think about anything negative or critical today. Think on things that are pure and righteous. Don't talk to anyone who brings you down for a few weeks...or never. Stay away from selfish people who don't care about you. Light a nice candle. Open the Bible. It's you and Jesus. Spend time with Him. You can't fix anything. Worrying will cause you sickness. Stress is the number one cause of disease. If someone dies, you can't control it. Let go of control. If those relationships aren't fixed, so be it. Let it go. They need God. Not you. We are all going to die unless the Rapture happens 1st. If someone chooses not to be a part of your life, it's okay. It may be best for all involved. It's not healthy. Life didn't turn out the way you wanted, but it could be an interesting Holy Ghost adventure. Just you and Jesus. Be with those who celebrate you, not tolerate you. Take the Yoke of Jesus on your shoulders. Forgive constantly. Stop rehearsing the bad that was done to you. It's over. Bury it. Leave it at the foot of the cross. Repent of your constant complaining and negativity. Remember God hates it. You should too. It's robbing your peace. Take a chair, get bundled up and sit outside for a little while. Feel the fresh air. Breathe it in! Watch the sunset every night. God painted it for YOU! Make some hot chocolate. Learn to bake something new. I did. Now I am addicted to homemade fudge. Turn OFF the NEWS. Find someone to love. Bless them somehow. Call them. Give to them. It's better to give than to receive. Be free in Jesus Name. Live while you can and enjoy your freedom in Christ. One day, the bad things and bad people won't matter. They will all go to the grave. So...LIVE and preach the Gospel. Love God and others. Dress up from time to time and wear your fanciest clothes at home, for now. You can't take them with you, so enjoy now and be grateful. Cook yourself a nice meal. Get rid of your bad friends. Stop trying to figure it all out. You won't. I promise.
VULNERABILITY is beautiful. We DON'T understand our hearts. We can see EVIL in others, but we have a lot of trouble seeing it in OURSELVES. That’s why God asks us to POUR our hearts out to Him. He knows that if we do so, He’ll expose our heart. He doesn’t expose it to condemn us but instead to heal and transform us. It’s also why God asks us to read the Bible. The Bible is called the Living Word. It cuts between the soul(will, mind, and emotions) and the spirit(where God dwells). The Bible EXPOSES our HEART. In other words, the light of the Gospel exposes the human heart in its greed, immorality, deceitfulness, jealousy and weakness. But the Gospel doesn’t end with our darkness. It exposes the darkness in our hearts for the very reason that God wants to give us His Light instead. He wants to set us free from darkness. The only requirement is our honesty, vulnerability and humility. The only requirement for receiving God’s help is asking for it. Let Him in to the secret places in your heart that you are afraid for Him to see.
We discover that no friend, no doctor, no medication can fill the deepest longings of our hearts, and so we cry out to the living God…and He meets us right there in our place of deepest emptiness. He gives us His strength in place of our weakness. He gives us His love in place of our selfishness. He gives us His joy in place of our despair. He gives us His hope in place of our hopelessness. It’s God’s nature to give, because He is love. And so that’s why being vulnerable feels like the worst thing but is really the best. Trust. It is the hardest to trust God because we can't trust others. It's hard to be vulnerable without trust. I promise you, Jesus will never break your heart, cause you harm or abandon you like everyone else. I know it's hard to believe. But just believe. Take one step. Take a chance to finally be free. Let Him in. Let Him love you in the darkest parts, the deepest hurts and break down those walls. He stands at the door of your heart. Can you hear Him knocking? Open the door. If it's hard, just do it slowly but at least open it. No more dry religion or hollow sermons.
Why can't you love? Why does every relationship seem shallow? You keep choosing those around you who are closed off. Unable to give you intimacy. It's safer but empty. Why get hurt? I understand. But how beautiful it is to take a chance at being hurt rather than being hollow as the sound of a dried up well. You won't let anyone in. You are alone. In the depths of your soul, you are truly alone. Unable to feel the much needed love and healing that comes from the Almighty. He truly is the Mighty Counselor who you can be open and vulnerable to. He can love you like no other. In the depths of hell or to the heights of heaven, you cannot escape His love for you. You will live alone and die truly alone, no matter if you are truly alone or if you have many by your bedside...without God. There is nothing without Him. All is meaningless and empty. But the moment you become vulnerable to Him, you will thirst no more. Out of your belly will flow rivers of living water. The well of your soul will be full. No longer dried up. Ah...what joy!
"The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”
(John 7:38, NLT)
As I journey through this life, there are many lessons that I have learned along the way. One of the most important is: People don't change. Stay with me on this. I don't have enough fingers on my hands to count the times I have said to myself..."Maybe now things will be different". I thought that "time" would heal all wounds. I even pondered that maybe they will know what they did or maybe they felt the the pain of loss enough to change. Maybe that person may value me now? Maybe the pain of separation or the end of a relationship taught that person not to do that behavior again? I always thought that a person could truly change.
One of the hardest lessons in life is not believing what GOD says. Humans tend to make up their own opinion rather than hearing the Truth. What is "Truth"? Pilate—the man who handed Jesus over to be crucified—turned to Jesus in His final hour, and asked, “What is truth?” Jesus had just revealed: “I have come into the world, to testify to the truth.”
Psychologists, your friends, parents, and the world teaches us that people can and do change on their own when they make that "decision". God, on the other hand says that people do not change-without HIM. He said the heart of a man deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). Then Jesus continues and talks about a man's heart in the New Testament. He says, "For out of the HEART come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander" (Matthew 15:9).
What does that tell us? That tells us that NO MAN can change without the supernatural work of God Himself. That person whom you are expecting to change, can not change. It's their PRIDE. Until that person is brought to the foot of the old rugged cross, he will remain the same. He or she can modify their behavior for a time, but they will go back to their evil nature. They WILL hurt you again the SAME way. Unless they are truly born-again from the Holy Spirit, they will repeat the same sins. Their sinful behavior could be lying, cheating, adultery, anger, unforgiveness, fornication, drunkenness, slander, pride, bitterness, jealousy, cold heart, abusive language, outbursts of anger, grudges, envy and the list goes on.
Settle it once and for all. Don't allow yourself to keep getting hurt and disappointed over and over again and another year after year. The enemy is using them to keep you hurt and in bondage. They will NOT change without Jesus intervening in their life. Adulterers remain adulterers without the shed blood of Jesus our Messiah. Liars remain liars. Bitter people remain bitter. Pride keeps a person from being humble enough to bow their knees before God. The Fruit of the Holy Spirit produces good behavior (peaceful), not rotten. The evil fruit is a result of the fallen man. Satan is behind it. Resolve it once and for all. That's why they keep repeating their behavior. Their spirit is unregenerate. They are LOST and they don't know it.
True Christians show the LOVE of God and their fruit is excellent. You will feel SAFE and LOVED around those who have the Holy Spirit inside of them. You will feel disturbed and unsafe around those who don't. Wisdom and understanding from God will give you peace. You will be able to forgive, pray for them for God to change them and have good boundaries. Some relationships may even come to an end for your own well-being. The Lord has a way of keeping us in His Word. Remember to let GOD be true and every man a liar (Romans 3:4). Let go and trust God!
How long will God allow someone to continue to spread lies about you? Why has He allowed your enemies to prosper? Why has He let that person destroy your reputation? Does God not care?
How many of us feel this way? I can recall the countless times I have thought about this in my own head. I couldn't understand why Jesus has allowed people to lie about me and lie to destroy my reputation. I had spent countless years dealing with liars on every level. My own family, the people who I thought were my friends, ex's, a boss and even my own Pastors.
The only way to get answers in our life to the most disturbing experiences, is to begin to seek God, pray and read His Word. All of the answers in LIFE are in His Word. Satan wants us to get angry at God and blame Him. He puts thoughts into our mind like..."Well...see if God cared, He would have stopped them", or...."If God really loved you, He would have destroyed them. You see, God doesn't care about you". The enemy will do ANYTHING to accuse God to you. He HATES God. He twists everything. He is called a LIAR and the Father of Lies.
We live in a fallen world. Satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). He controls the minds of the unbelievers and many professing believers in Christ. Bearing false witness means we are a lawbreaker. It is the 9th commandment in the Bible (Exodus 20:16). God calls it a SIN. He does not take this lightly. Many people are filled with bitterness. Their intent and motive is the key. People who lie to destroy others actually have hate in their hearts. Any man who does not LOVE does not know God (1 John 4:8). They exaggerate stories and even tell truths mixed with lies to destroy one's reputation. They are driven by an evil desire to make sure that person is hated by others. In the Bible, Potiphar's wife lied about Joseph and that landed him in jail. The beauty of Joseph's suffering is that God used it for good. He had gone through so much, but yet the Lord did a mighty work in his life. He was used to bless his family, who were his own enemies. He took care of their needs at the end.
The 1st thing we must do is FORGIVE. God said if we do not forgive others, He will not forgive us and then He will send the tormentors (Matthew 18:24). You will bring others into your bitterness and begin to start a clan against an individual. The ROOT of bitterness must be uprooted and repented of. Every time you think about that person, you will have a demonic hatred. You will become like them.
The 2nd thing is we must love and pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44). I know this is hard. They are on their way to hell and they don't know it. Self-deception is POWERFUL. They have no idea the Satan is going to destroy them. We must pray that they repent. We must OBEY God no matter how we FEEL. They beat God's servants and they don't realize they are a tool of the enemy (Matthew 24:49).
The 3rd thing is we must do good to them in time of need (Romans 12:20). Do you remember how much God has forgiven you for? He could have crushed you while you living in sin. You didn't deserve His mercy. He causes it to rain on the just and the unjust. If they come to you for food or water, feed them. It doesn't mean you are "friends" or you trust them. It just means, you are obeying God above your FEELINGS.
The 4th thing is to pray that God will deal with them. No one gets away with anything. Some people's sins are found out in this life. Others in eternity. Let God take vengeance. Don't rejoice when they fall. God will be displeased with you. Pray that God will bring them to repentance. Don't take it into your own hands.
Lastly, move on. Ignore them. Don't become distracted. Weapons will form but they will not prosper. God has the final word. The enemy will get you all caught up in his agenda to make you angry and unfruitful. Stay OUT of Satan's battlefield. The Battle is the Lord's!
Exodus 14:13-14 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”
"But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed." Romans 2:5
So many church members and Clergy have hardened hearts. I can't tell you how many people I have come across in my life as a Christian who feel no remorse or moral obligation in making things right that they have done wrong. Yes, professing Christians and Pastors. This has left me to believe their heart is like a rock. It is not longer convicted (if ever) by the Holy Spirit. It is impossible to be right with God and do others harm. It is impossible to be a Christian and not care for the welfare of others. I am going to list several symptoms of a hardened heart:
1. Their heart is not affected by the love of Christ. They will not express natural care or concern for their family, friends, or brothers and sisters in Christ. The welfare of their fellow man is based on prejudice. One has to agree with them in order to receive love. Otherwise, you are on your own. Loving one's enemies does not register with them. Their hardened heart is unable to become melted by the love of Christ and thus enabling them to love others. They secretly become your enemy and the enemy of the cross. Love is not felt as a reality. All emotions are held back and their stubbornness bottles up their feelings. which they cannot express. They are not horrified against cruelty and the destruction of lost souls in eternity. You talk to such people about their sins, and they say, "What have I done? Whom have I injured? I have wronged no man; I have paid all my debts; and I have done my duty to my neighbors and friends around me." Now in all this the hardness of heart prevents the person from understanding really what his duty is. He satisfied himself with not having defrauded, or with not having otherwise positively injured his neighbor. They are self deceived.
2. Hardness of heart generally manifests in superficially confessing any wrong done to man or to God.
3. When they cause others to stumble or cause pain, they will take no remorse or any responsibility in setting things right by asking for forgiveness and repenting to another.
4. The hard-hearted have no true brotherly love. They do not feel for Christ's people, or feel for Christ's church. They can see the church attendance is low, meetings poorly attended, but little of the spirit of prayer in the church, sinners remaining unconverted, and Christ dishonored in the house of his friends; and neither sigh nor cry in view of such a state of things.
5. Selfishness in trade is another effect and manifestation of hardness of heart. You will always observe that such men are difficult to get along with. Their rules are, "Take care of number one;" "Charity begins at home;" "Let every man look out for himself;" "My business is to make as good a bargain as I can."
6. God will be neglected; prayer will be neglected; praise will be neglected; obedience will be neglected; love will be withheld; confidence will be withheld; gratitude will be withheld; obedience from the heart will be withheld; and nothing will be present but cold formality and religious affectation.
7. The hardened heart is slow even to admit that it deserves damnation. It doesn't feel it.
8. Another of its effects and manifestations will be the absence of tenderness and kindness. It will be unappreciative of the guilt of sin; it will not realize the nature of sin as consisting in the neglect of God, his rights, feelings, authority, well-being. The confession that this neglect is sin, will be cold, heartless, emotionless.
9. No conviction or guilt for harming others or disobeying God.
10. The hardened heart cares not for the eternal state of human beings who have rejected Christ. Nor do they anguish or grieve for them.
Many seem really given over to hardness of heart and blindness of mind. This is an awful state to be in. It is awful to the subject of it.A hard-hearted person is in a most deplorable state; in a most unhappy state; in a most guilty state; in a state fatal to his salvation, if he abides in it. Again, it is an awful state in respect to all those connected with a hard-hearted person. What an awful thing it is for a church to have a hard-hearted minister! And it is an evil thing for a minister to have a hard-hearted church, and a hard-hearted congregation
Fanatics are always hard-hearted. Fanaticism is not to be confounded with enthusiasm.
Persecutors are always fanatics, and they are always hard-hearted.
Fanatics feel, but not charitably, not kindly. Even in prayer, or conversation, or preaching, or exhortation, the very tones of the voice, the gestures, the looks, manifest the hardness of the heart. They do not speak tenderly or compassionately. If they have occasion to probe the conscience, to reprove or rebuke, they do not do it benevolently, but malevolently. They seem to take a pleasure in rebuke. They mistake their fanatical unkindness for Christian faithfulness.
We see why it is that some people are always so full of fault-finding. They never seem to be kind, loving, forbearing. They do not yearn over those that are rebelling, and love them back to obedience;
Now, please remember that hardness of heart is a voluntary state of mind. It is a state of mind that continually resists the Holy Spirit; it is a self-justifying, cruel state of mind; it grieves, it dishonors God; it ruins the souls of men.
Pride and sin causes hearts to grow hard, especially continual and unrepentant sin. Now we know that “if we confess our sins, [Jesus] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins” (1 John 1:9). However, if we don’t confess our sins, they have a cumulative and desensitizing effect on the conscience, making it difficult to even distinguish right from wrong. And this sinful and hardened heart go along with the “seared conscience” Paul speaks of in 1Timothy 4:1–2. Scripture makes it clear that if we relentlessly continue to engage in sin, there will come a time when God will give us over to our “debased mind” and let us have it our way. The apostle Paul writes about God’s wrath of abandonment in his letter to the Romans where we see that godless and wicked “men who suppress the truth” are eventually given over to the sinful desires of their hardened hearts (Romans 1:18–24).
Most people are under severe demonic attacks and they are unaware that witchcraft spirits are at work. Don't think that for one moment, that the enemy has left you alone when you are being used by God in a mighty way. Threats, fits of rage, anger, wrath, temper tantrums, violence, bullying, silent treatment, tears, alienation, deflection, slander, triangulation, abandonment, walking on eggshells, manipulative crying, etc. are forms of control designed to destroy the child of God. This is completely satanic. These are all forms of manipulation to control, hinder and destroy the child of God. The controlling person makes the person feel bad through guilt to control them. They twist the truth to make the victim feel like the abuser. In public, everyone likes them, but in private they abuse that person. If you have to resort to manipulation for a desired outcome, most likely that desired outcome, is wrong. Even if the desired outcome in itself is not sinful, The willingness to sin for it has created an idolatrous desire. This is a form of witchcraft.
Stop allowing people to speak evil over your life because they are upset with you and want to control your life. Pastors trying to curse members and members trying to curse the pastors; people trying to manipulate and control people for finances; prophets lying to make merchandise out of the people; apostles trying to control the people and become an idol and god to them, wanting them to bow down and worship them like they are God. Controlling spirits, trying to use the Word as a weapon against the people! Family members trying to control, manipulate and destroy other family members!
God wants to break the stronghold of witchcraft Jezebel off the people. Some of you feel the suffocation and the chain of the enemy. Many of you do because you have connected to these spirits because you didn’t seek God, but you ran after the gifts of those false prophets and apostles!!
A large portion of warfare that is coming against you is because you have entertained them and sowed into them which has formed a covenant and connection with the evil that they operate in. It’s time to repent and renounce your involvement with these evil works so that these chains of bondage shall be destroyed.
Because the people are lazy and won’t pray and seek God for themselves and many of them have secret sins of which they won’t repent and get delivered from. They have gotten caught up in these works.
Emotional rollercoasters rides and merry-go-rounds will keep you in derision and conflict. This causes you to sacrifice truth, in exchange, for emotions. This is idolatry. This is seducing and bewitching you from the truth to keep you from obeying it. If you stand up to a manipulating person, you fear the consequences of their wrath. In 1 Kings 21:1-16, we see the makings of a daytime drama. Jezebel’s husband wanted a vineyard, but the landowner, Naboth, in obedience to God (vs. 3), refused to relinquish his property. Ahab gave up and sulked, but Jezebel chose to use her influence. She decided to do something about it.
You see, Naboth stood up to Ahab and refused to let Ahab control him. This is a great example of boundaries and standing up for what you believe. This is about control. Manipulators ignore the facts. They control through emotions. Jezebel is a control freak. She wanted to have control over the kingdom, the family and over God's servants. Ahab sulks and Jezebel steps in, using her influence to manipulate the legal process. She draws others into her scheme, allowing Ahab to take possession of the vineyard. Manipulators are always trying to force by imposing their will unto others. They are self-willed. It has to be about them. They never think of the well being of the other person. What ever you do, you will never be able to make them happy. The problem is not you. It's them. They are operating in a witchcraft spirit.
For a Christian, manipulation means attempting to gain control of someone or circumstances using unbiblical means by inciting an emotional reaction rather than a Biblical response. There is an interesting biblical term that may come close to describing manipulative individuals. The word is oppressor. There are several Hebrew words that have been translated into English as oppressor. Take the word, ‘asoq’, for example. According to the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, the word is concerned with acts of abuse of power of authority, the burdening, trampling, and crushing of those lower in station. Another interesting word for oppressor it ‘tok’. Used in Proverbs 29:13, the term connotes fraud and deceitfulness…manipulators deceitfully conceal significant information from those whom they are trying to control. We must bind and cast out that spirit of oppression in the authority of Jesus Names and put on the garment of praise.
Jesus Christ never manipulates us to achieve His end or purpose. He never treats us as if we are mere objects. He always treats us with dignity, as people. Perhaps people have pushed you around and have taken advantage of you over the years to such an extent that it is impossible for you to conceive what it would be like to be treated with dignity. Though Satan is neither omnipotent nor omniscient, he has tremendous powers of manipulation. The Bible says, "And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness" I John 5:19.
To resist Satan without submitting to God is only half the strategy. But even after recognizing the enemy and deciding to seek help, we must still put on the armor. God's arsenal is open to us. The battle array comes in all sizes.
"Wherefore take unto you the whole amour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" Ephesians 6:13-17.
I believe we are living in the last days. The remnant church is being affected by blatant opposition from a cold and calloused society. Jesus said these things would prophetically happen. Yes, especially in our own church and families. In fact, I believe 2 Timothy 3:1-13 describes a "narcissistic" society in the end times. People are becoming cold-hearted. They profess to know God, but their behavior shows otherwise. Their conscience is becoming seared as with a hot branding iron. They no longer feel bad for their wrong behavior or coldness of heart. This sinister behavior is prevalent and expected in heathens, but it is becoming more prevalent in the church. Even some heathen have more love than professing believers of Jesus Christ. This is the great deception.
I receive so many emails about family members and church members who profess to be Christians, but they backbite, are full of malice and they have no natural love for those who are serving the Lord. In fact, They are self deceived and deceiving others. They are full of hypocrisy and lies. They are full of jealousy and hatred for the true believer who stands against our immoral society. It is not normal not to have "natural affection". You would have to become bitter, and full of unforgiveness to develop a cold heart. We are supposed to "love our neighbors as ourselves" according to God's Word. Most professing Christians cannot "love" let alone lay down their life for the other person as Jesus instructs us to do.
We live in a day where people are selfish. They are not concerned that their choices are about pleasing themselves. They blaspheme God in their morals, words, and conduct. Again, they profess to know God. They are unholy in their thoughts and behavior. It's all about 'them". Many of them are in our families. Many are sitting next to us on the pews on Sunday morning. Sadly, some of them are preaching from the pulpits. They have a counterfeit faith like Pharaoh's magicians.
What should the remnant church of Jesus Christ do? How should we handle such blatant evil? I believe the Scriptures below, tell us to stay away from such people in 2 Timothy 3 verse 5. We have to turn away from them. "Loving" our enemies does not mean we allow them to harm us. It means we expose the works of darkness, not cover them up. One sinner destroys much good. It is very loving to call things as they are. If you love people, you will not lie to them about their evil. The most unloving people will never warn others about the judgments of God.
If we allow ourselves to be around people who are angry, evil, malicious, unholy, lovers of selves, high-minded, traitors, fierce, without any love for us, proud, and pleasure seekers, we will be changed by them and develop a root of bitterness that will turn us away from the living God. The Bible tell us to stay away from an angry person or else we will become like them and destroy our souls! Read Proverbs 22:24. Most people will harden their hearts towards you and disappear or hate your walk with God and discredit you. Let them. Allow God to deal with them. Vengeance is His, not yours.
We will suffer persecution in our church and families. It is prophetic. Jesus commands us to forgive these type of people, but He does not tell us to be friends with them. We have to set up Godly boundaries to protect ourselves. God has His own boundaries and He has requirements before any one of us can enter into His presence. We must too! We must not enter into debate with topics like this. Stay away from people who love strife. Their heart is already bitter and the conversations will only get worse. Stay in forgiveness and allow your heart to stay tender in this lawless generation. This life is temporary. Our days are numbered. Keep yourself pure and unspotted from this world. Stay obedient. Keep close those who reverently serve the Lord. Let your 'love" walk be tender towards all but don't become a coward to bullies. Allow the Holy Spirit to minister to your wounds. Keep your eyes on things in heaven, not here on earth. Keep your eyes on Jesus and He will keep you in perfect peace. The joy of the Lord is your strength. Guard it and guard your heart!
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their's also was. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."