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Victory or Shame?

Victory_or_Shame

Yesterdays victory for Christian fundamentalists is a disgrace to us liberal Christians. We do not believe in Kim Davis’ breaking the rule of law nor trying to impose her religious beliefs and moral values on gay citizens who have as much right to free speech and beliefs as protected by our constitution.

– Luis Josephus

RealJesus Logo+75x75REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
www.RealJesus.net
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See also: “4 Reasons Kim Davis Is Wrong”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-boeskool/four-reasons-kim-davis-is-wrong_b_8074614.html

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The Sorcerer’s Sin

Cast out the demon of bitterness

“For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” – Acts 8:23

In the Book of Acts we read the account of Simon the sorcerer’s sin. When the apostles heard of a revival taking place in Samaria, they sent Peter and John to minister the Word of God there. Many had believed the gospel under the preaching of Phillip and were water baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. But none had received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. So the apostles laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit (with the evidence of speaking in tongues).

Among those who supposedly had believed in Jesus was a Samaritan sorcerer by the name of Simon. Keep in mind, that a sorcerer in those times was the equivalent of what we would call today “an occultist”, “New Ager”, or “wizard” – one who tries to control others by practicing witchcraft, conjures up spells, and traffics with demons. They were generally God-haters who sold their souls to Satan in order to gain supernatural powers from the devil.

Apparently, Simon the Sorcerer attended the Samaritan’s revival meetings, saw people giving their lives to Jesus, and witnessed all manner of supernatural signs and wonders that God began to do. Miraculous healings were taking place and demons were exorcised, as well as people getting baptized in the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, and living transformed lives.

As it often happens, when people start seeing the awesome move of God in a church or town, the word gets around and large crowds begin to gather. Many in these crowds genuinely commit their lives to following Jesus, while others only make a superficial profession of faith. Those who genuinely are saved will give evidence of changed lives and bear the good fruits of salvation. Others profess to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, but, either never demonstrate changed lives, or after a time they forsake Him and return to their old ways.

Peter discerns Simon to be a false professor.

Having the gift of discernment from the Holy Spirit, the apostle Peter saw right through Simon the Sorcerer and realized he was a phony. Peter told him, “Your heart is not right in the sight of God…For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” (Acts 8:21-23). The word Bitterness in the original Greek (pikria – pik-ree’-ah) means an embittered, resentful spirit.

Peter rightly discerned the root of bitterness in Simon the Sorcerer’s heart and  his desire to deceive and manipulate others. This prompted his eagerness to purchase the gift of the Holy Spirit from Peter and John. Although Simon had believed in Jesus and had been water baptized, the residue of an evil heart continued to govern his life as he still sought power to control others for selfish or self-exalting purposes.

Peter confronted Simon to repent and be delivered. However, Simon refuses and continues to follow the dictates of his bitter heart. If only Simon had willingly forgiven those who he had become embittered to, he could have been saved and set free from his bondage to the demons that controlled him. Forgiveness is the only remedy for bitterness. It flushes out all “poison” from the heart with the power of the cross of Jesus Christ.

Remember that unforgiveness has destroyed the faith of many believers in Jesus Christ. If you have any resentment or bitterness towards anyone in your life, get rid of it today.

– Luis Josephus

Logo_75 x 75_jpgLUIS JOSEPHUS MINISTRIES
http://www.LuisJosephus.com
EMAIL US
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COMMENT from Cynthia Spinner: “This is good, thank u my friend, perfect timing, it confirms what I am studying. G-d intervenes and confirms through people. Amen.”


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Religious Persecution

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like unto whitewashed sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outwardly but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.“ – Matthew 23:27

Most believers in Jesus Christ are well aware of the fact that if we are truly living for God and pursuing a godly life, the unbelievers and the evil world system will persecute us. This type of persecution doesn’t usually take us by surprise. But when the persecution comes from within the Church and our own Christian brethren, it can be devastating. Oftentimes we stand in amazement and even shock. We reason to ourselves, “How can someone who professes to be a Christian be so cruel, judgmental or hateful towards another brother or sister in Christ?” Furthermore, this kind of attack is even more devastating when it comes from a pastor or other religious leader.

If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you.

“Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my teaching, they will keep yours also. “ – John 15:20

No matter how much it might hurt to be persecuted, misunderstood or even maligned by your own Christian brethren, we must remember that Jesus experienced the same. So many of the “religious types” were opposed to His teachings and godly example. Instead of praising Messiah Jesus for teaching the truth and exposing religious error, many of the Jews turned on Him. They went out of their way to oppose Him and discredit Him. They slandered His ministry and accused Him of serving the devil (Beelzebub).

The majority of the Jewish religionists that Jesus confronted with the truth of the gospel and His Messiahship didn’t want to hear Him because they were evil and religious hypocrites. Jesus described the religious leaders and the people who were following these blind leaders of the blind as “white-washed tombs.” They appeared righteous on the outside, but their hearts were full of deceit, hypocrisy, lust, and all manner of wickedness.

Modern Day Pharisees

Sadly, the Christian churches today are full of the same religious hypocrites and white-washed tombs (you know who you are). Many will write me hateful emails for speaking the truth. These modern-day Pharisee are always busy doing the work of their father the devil instead of the work of Christ. They love to criticize instead of encourage, to tear down instead of build up. They attend our Christian churches and prayer meetings right alongside of us, but they are not our true brethren. They are imposters that Satan has planted within the church – whited tombs which appear to be beautiful and attractive on the outside, yet filled with foulness and corruption inside. The “act” they put on in church is only a pretense; their religious appearance is only a mask that conceals their spiritual blindness. They are the “Tares” that Jesus spoke about in Matthew 13:40-43. He said these Tares would grow among the Wheat. But in the end, they would be plucked-up and thrown into the fire to be burnt.

“As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” – Matthew 13:40-43

The Lord Jesus shares the pain of the righteous.

When you’re persecuted for righteousness by religious hypocrites, remember that Satan and his followers (within the Church) delight to persecute those who truly love the Lord Jesus Christ and follow His principles of truth and righteous living. Stand firm in your commitment to God; persecution is a sure indication that you’re on the right track and living a life that God is well pleased with. Commit your hurt, pain and suffering to Him who judges justly.

“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” – 1 Peter 2:23

Finally, do not forget that the Lord Jesus loves and cares for you deeply, and shares your pain. We have a sympathetic High Priest who Himself experienced the same religious persecution, trials and tribulations (Hebrews 4:15). Go to Him in prayer and you will receive grace, mercy, strength and comfort to help you cope and remain victorious.

–         Pastor Luis Yosefus

REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
www.RealJesus.net
realjesusministries@gmail.com

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Bitterness is like a cancer

Grace For Today“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”– Ephesians 4:31-32

It is astonishing to me how many born-again Christians I have met in my 20+ years of ministry that allow themselves to indulge in the spirit of bitterness. They are ultra-critical of other brothers and sisters in Christ and unmerciful to the failings of others. Yet, if you observe their lives, they are full of faults and failures themselves. If that be the case, why are they so quick to point out the faults of others? Jesus rebuked this kind of hypocrisy in Matthew 7:1-5:

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the log in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. “

Those who are critical and bitter towards other brothers in Christ are generally completely blind to their own faults. They slander and rage and speak filthy words of others when they should be loving and forgiving. They also do great damage by corrupting the minds and manners of those who give ear to their malicious gossip.

Christians should beware of all such bitterness in their hearts and evil-speaking. They will eventually grieve the Holy Spirit to the point that the Lord Himself will judge them severely. One way that God judges the believer who refuses to turn away from this type of sin is to allow bitterness to spread like a cancer throughout their entire mind and body until it produces complete spiritual (and sometimes) early physical death.

We are admonished in God’s Word to “get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, slander, and malice”. We are to forgive those who have done us wrong. We are also to stop focusing on the faults of others. As true followers of Christ, we are to be kind and compassionate towards one another, just as in Christ God is towards us.

Ask yourself, how can you expect God to forgive you when you are not willing to forgive?

Are you seeking the blessings of God? Then you must first learn to be a blessing towards others. For you will reap what you have sown (Galatians 6:7-8). If you sow bitterness and malice towards others, you will reap bitterness and malice towards yourself. If you harbor a corrupt disposition of bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil-speaking and malice, you will only end up hurting yourself.

Don’t let the spirit of bitterness eat you alive like a cancer.

Instead,  put on the “new man” which is created in the likeness of our Lord Jesus Christ. Remember that even after He suffered everything that He went through, He never allowed bitterness to enter His heart. One of the last words Jesus spoke as He was dying regarding His enemies, was, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

–         Pastor Luis Yosefus

www.RealJesus.netREAL JESUS MINISTRIES
www.RealJesus.net
realjesusministries@gmail.com

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Comment from Brenda Scmidt: “So true, brother Luis!”

Comment from Gary PoppaBear Adams: “Most have never found a LOCAL church with the Fruits and Gifts of the Spirit to deliver them from carnal attitudes.”


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A Double-Minded Person

But when you pray to Him [Jesus], be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the LORD, because he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” – James 1:6-8 (JCV)

Webster’s Dictionary defines DUPLICITY as “contradictory doubleness of thought, speech, or action, especially the belying of one’s true intentions by deceptive words or action.” The apostle James warns against being “double-minded” Christians – of saying your one thing and doing something else entirely. As followers of Jesus the Messiah we must live up to what we profess.

We must not be divided in our loyalties, that is, whether we’re going to follow the immoral ways of the world, or the moral ways of God. When we try to walk on both sides we are unstable Christians and appear to be hypocritical in our religion. Jesus saves us to live a new life of faith and obedience to God, not to continue living the same way we’ve always lived before — in darkness and disobedience. Jesus calls us to walk in the light, as He is in the light, and not be double-minded.