Evil Begins with One Thought.

I was watching a British show about Sherlock Holmes the other day and noticed that in the story a whole family was destroyed by one person with one evil thought that turned into an obsession.

The story was about three sisters who lived together. One of them got married and one of them wanted her husband. It ended in murder of one sister and the other two sisters estranged.

That day, I also listened to a podcast called, Joyce Meyer’s Talk it Out. Three of Joyce’s friends talk about a subject that affects their lives. It’s a lovely podcast.

They talked about “thoughts” and how when they were first Christians, they didn’t understand that thoughts are not always our own, but many can come from God or Satan. I had felt the same when I was first a Christian. I would have evil thoughts and was horrified by them. I wondered if I was really a Christian. But eventually I came to see that the thoughts were temptations from Satan.

I do know the Bible supports this theory. I will share some Bible verses with you.

How Satan speaks to us:

The evening meal was underway, and the devil had already put into the heart of Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.  John 13:2

 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry.

The tempter came to Him and said, “If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

But Jesus answered, “It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:1-4

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can make your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  

Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground, and having done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness arrayed, and with your feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.   Ephesians 6:10-17

How God speaks to us:

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.   Isaiah 30:21

 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”  Matthew 16:23

… some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming!”

But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?  Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk?’  But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” Then He said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your mat, and go home.”  And the man got up and went home.   Matthew 9:3-7

Jesus said, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. “  Matthew 6:1

How we speak to ourselves:

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when by his own evil desires, he is lured away and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.  James 1:13-15

Like the woman in the Sherlock Holmes story, she had a desire. She desired her sister’s husband.

The remedy to these temptations is easy: quote the Bible, as Jesus did, say to God and yourself, “I will not think about this anymore”, and pray for God to help you to throw that thought into the sea.

The quotes I use the most are: “You are a shield around me, my glory and the lifter of my head.”  “May everything that breathes, praise the Lord.” “The Lord is a strong tower I run to and am safe.” “The Lord is the strength of my life and my portion forever.”

Evil thoughts don’t hang around when the Lord is praised.

God Woke Me to Pray.

Drawing by William T. Walters, Baltimore, 1863 – 1864

Last week, I had a dream. I didn’t know at first if it was from God until I spoke with my husband when he came home from work. It then became evident the dream was from our Savior.

I dreamed I was in bed and woke up to get a drink of water. I walked in the living room and saw a glass floating in the air. I thought, “This is the work of Satan.”

I wasn’t afraid. I walked over to the glass and felt it and saw there was nothing holding it up. I then felt a cloud of evil around me. I said aloud, “In the name of Jesus Christ, go away Satan!” I felt half the cloud leave. I was surprised there was any evil left, so I said it again, “In the name of Jesus Christ, go away, Satan!” Then all the evil left the room. This was when I woke up.

My first thought was, “Something terrible is going to happen to someone in the family.” So, I prayed for God to be with us. I also wondered if the dream was from God, because I wasn’t really sure. It was a clear, strong dream, which is the way he has given me dreams in the past; but still, I didn’t understand the dream completely so I wasn’t sure.

When my husband came home, I told him the dream. He didn’t know what it meant either except maybe Satan was going to try to harm someone.

Then he said, “You won’t believe what happened to me today! We were driving to work, (he is in a carpool) and all of a sudden, a herd of deer ran out across the highway. I barely stopped in time. Then I flashed my lights so the people coming from the other direction would slow down, and they did. And then as we were nearing the city, I was going 60 miles an hour; we turned a corner and there was a dead dear laying across the lane I was in. I quickly shoulder-checked and there was no one next to me so I darted over and missed hitting the deer!” They were both very close-calls, and I was driving the sports car, not the SUV.”

Then he finished talking saying, “Two times in one morning!” I looked at him and immediately understood the dream. The Lord had me pray two times, not once, for Satan to be driven away from the family. My husband looked at me, and I could see he understood too.

We are so thankful to God for saving my husband and co-workers from two potentially terrible accidents. Who knows what may have happened to them. Only God. But he made a way of escape for them and I can’t thank him enough.

This morning, I was reading Psalm 30, which reminded me of what happened.

I will exalt you, Lord,
    for you lifted me out of the depths
    and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
 Lord my God, I called to you for help,
    and you healed me.
 You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
    you spared me from going down to the pit. Verses 1-3

You turned my wailing into dancing;
    you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
    Lord my God, I will praise you forever. Verses 11, 12

We are all in a spiritual battle for our spirit, soul and body. Paul describes this in Ephesians.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. “  Ephesians 6:12

Jesus prayed to his Father about his followers, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” John 17:15

I pray this quite often, and this time there was an urgent need for that kind of prayer, and God woke me to do it. Believe me when I say, I am the least of the followers of Jesus; and as my husband always says, “Don’t forget the Lord used an ass.” Lol. But I wanted to tell people, tell the world, what God did for us that day. I praise his holy name.

The Pride of Satan. The Humility of God.

Many Bible scholars believe Isaiah 14 is written about Satan and his fall from heaven. Some don’t. Personally, I do think it is about him.

I was listening to a sermon last night and the preacher said we should notice how Lucifer keeps saying, “I Will,” and wants to rise higher and higher.

Martin,_John_-_Satan_presiding_at_the_Infernal_Council_-_1824

“How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! (Lucifer)

You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!

You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens;

I will raise my throne above the stars of God;

I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.

I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”

But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.

Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate:

“Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble,

the man who made the world a wilderness, who overthrew its cities

and would not let his captives go home?”    Isaiah 14:12-17

 In Ezekiel 28, there is more written about Satan. There is no one else who is like the person in these verses:

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, take up a lament concerning the king of Tyre and say to him: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“ ‘You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.

You were in Eden, the garden of God;

every precious stone adorned you: carnelian, chrysolite and emerald,

topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl.

Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared.

You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you.

You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones.

You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you.

Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned.

So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, guardian cherub,from among the fiery stones.

Your heart became proud on account of your beauty,

and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor.

So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.

By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries.”

This part speaks of his death:

“So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you,

and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching.

All the nations who knew you are appalled at you;

you have come to a horrible end and will be no more. ”

If we contrast the words of Jesus with the words of Satan, we can see how Satan wanted his own will. He wanted to rise higher, be in God’s place and rule the universe. Whereas Jesus came down from heaven, became a man and did his Father’s will.   Ezekiel 28:11-19

Jesus came down.

Our_Lord_of_Asia 

Painting by Uber User: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Uber_painter&action=edit&redlink=1

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”   John 6:38

“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28

“Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men.” 

“…and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross. Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”   Philippians 2:6-11

Revelation: The Dragon and the Little Horn.

This is a series of chapters from my sister’s book, “The End is Near.”

Continued from previous post:

          “And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child.  But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.  And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood.  But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth.  So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” 

                                                                                                                     Rev. 12:13-17

          Satan is furious about losing to Jesus and decides to go after those who follow Jesus.  The true followers of Jesus were forced to flee, many hiding in the mountains and forests where they were able to avoid the flood of people searching for them (see Appendix 2).  Those who remained in the populated areas were less able to avoid persecution.  The persecution lasted “…a time and times and half a time…” which is the 1260 days mentioned in verse 6.  It is calculated this way: “a time” is one year, “times” is two years, and “half a time” is six months, giving a total of 1260 days (360 + 720 + 180 = 1260).  This time period is also mention in Daniel 7.

            “…out of this kingdom (Rome) ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings.  He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One…and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.”  Dan. 7:24, 25

Do you remember the mouthy, blasphemous horn we saw in chapter two of this book?                           mouth

It is mentioned in Daniel 7:8 and Daniel 8:9-14, 23-26 as arising after Greece.  But we had questions about this because we knew Rome followed Greece.  Well, here our questions are answered. 

This mouthy, blasphemous horn does arise after Greece, but we can see here that it comes out of Rome and after the Western Roman Empire had been carved up into ten kingdoms.  And this horn does uproot and subdue three of the ten kings. 

When the Emperor Justinian declared the Bishop of Rome as head of the Christian churches and gave him civil powers to go with his new religious powers, three of the ten kingdoms opposed this.  The Heruli, the Vandals and the Ostrogoths fought against this new arrangement but by 538 CE the last of them had been crushed.

map10

 The Bishop of Rome, the Pope of the Catholic Church, the blasphemous horn, was now unopposed and was able to wield its unlimited powers as it saw fit for 1260 years.

This is Belle writing now:  In case you think my sister is being cruel, bigoted and wrong about the Pope being the little horn, I am adding quotations from the early Protestants.

Protestants

Many Protestant reformers, including Martin Luther, John Calvin, Thomas Cranmer, John Thomas, John Knox, and Cotton Mather, identified the Roman Papacy as the Antichrist.[38] They held that the Antichrist power would be revealed so that everyone would comprehend and recognize that the Pope is the real, true Antichrist and not the vicar of Christ. The Centuriators of Magdeburg, a group of Lutheran scholars in Magdeburg headed by Matthias Flacius, wrote the 12-volume “Magdeburg Centuries” to discredit the papacy and identify the pope as the Antichrist. The fifth round of talks in the Lutheran–Roman Catholic dialogue notes,

In calling the pope the “antichrist,” the early Lutherans stood in a tradition that reached back into the eleventh century. Not only dissidents and heretics but even saints had called the bishop of Rome the “antichrist” when they wished to castigate his abuse of power.[39]

The Pope as the antichrist was so ingrained in the Reformation era, that Luther stated it repeatedly. For example:

“This teaching [of the supremacy of the pope] shows forcefully that the Pope is the very Antichrist, who has exalted himself above, and opposed himself against Christ, because he will not permit Christians to be saved without his power, which, nevertheless, is nothing, and is neither ordained nor commanded by God”.[40]

and,

“nothing else than the kingdom of Babylon and of very Antichrist. For who is the man of sin and the son of perdition, but he who by his teaching and his ordinances increases the sin and perdition of souls in the church; while he yet sits in the church as if he were God? All these conditions have now for many ages been fulfilled by the papal tyranny.”[41]

John Calvin similarly wrote,

“Though it be admitted that Rome was once the mother of all Churches, yet from the time when it began to be the seat of Antichrist it has ceased to be what it was before. Some persons think us too severe and censorious when we call the Roman Pontiff Antichrist. But those who are of this opinion do not consider that they bring the same charge of presumption against Paul himself, after whom we speak and whose language we adopt .. I shall briefly show that (Paul’s words in II Thess. 2) are not capable of any other interpretation than that which applies them to the Papacy.”[42]

John Knox on the Pope wrote,

“Yea, to speak it in plain words; lest that we submit ourselves to Satan, thinking that we submit ourselves to Jesus Christ, for, as for your Roman kirk, as it is now corrupted, and the authority thereof, whereon stands the hope of your victory, I no more doubt but that it is the synagogue of Satan, and the head thereof, called the pope, to be that man of sin, of whom the apostle speaks.”[43]

Thomas Cranmer on the Antichrist wrote,

“Whereof it followeth Rome to be the seat of Antichrist, and the pope to be very antichrist himself. I could prove the same by many other scriptures, old writers, and strong reasons.”[44]

John Wesley speaking of the identity given in scripture of the Antichrist wrote,

“In many respects, the Pope has an indisputable claim to those titles. He is, in an emphatical sense, the man of sin, as he increases all manner of sin above measure. And he is, too, properly styled, the son of perdition, as he has caused the death of numberless multitudes, both of his opposers and followers, destroyed innumerable souls, and will himself perish everlastingly. He it is that opposeth himself to the emperor, once his rightful sovereign; and that exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped – Commanding angels, and putting kings under his feet, both of whom are called gods in scripture; claiming the highest power, the highest honour; suffering himself, not once only, to be styled God or vice-God. Indeed no less is implied in his ordinary title, “Most Holy Lord,” or, “Most Holy Father.” So that he sitteth – Enthroned. In the temple of God – Mentioned Rev. xi, 1. Declaring himself that he is God – Claiming the prerogatives which belong to God alone.”[45]

Roger Williams of the Vicar of Christ or Pope wrote,

“the pretended Vicar of Christ on earth, who sits as God over the Temple of God, exalting himself not only above all that is called God, but over the souls and consciences of all his vassals, yea over the Spirit of Christ, over the Holy Spirit, yea, and God himself…speaking against the God of heaven, thinking to change times and laws; but he is the son of perdition.”[46]

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antichrist

 

 

Revelation: War in Heaven.

Excerpts from my sister’s book, “The End is Near.”

Continued from previous post…

“A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman…and she was with child…Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems…And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.  And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. 

Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.  And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon.  The dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.  And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.””  Rev. 12:1-10

          Here we see the birth of Jesus: the birth of Christianity. 

birth2

Satan tried, and failed, to kill Jesus through king Herod when Jesus was born (see Matt. 2:13-20).  Prior to Jesus’ death, Satan was the ruler of this world within limits set by God (see Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7; Matt. 4:8, 9), but Jesus’ sacrificial death redeemed the world from Satan’s control and Jesus became the absolute ruler of this world (see Rev. 5:9-13; Rev. 12:5).  Satan did not want to give up control so a war broke out and he and his angels were thrown out of heaven by force. 

satan

Satan is no longer allowed to come before God in heaven and accuse us of anything.  We now belong to Jesus and he represents us before God as our redeemer, our savior, and substitutes his perfection for our faults.