“DOWN TO THE WIRE…..” Prophets & Preachers WORD UP!

“And  now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with ALL BOLDNESS they may SPEAK THY WORD.” ACTS 4:29

That was Peter, praying as the disciples were being persecuted and threatened, he did not say, “Oh, sorry Lord, I can’t say that” and tuck tail and run. No he PRAYED FOR BOLDNESS. Not popularity, not bigger crowds, but BOLDNESS TO PREACH GOD’S WORD.

We’ve a wee problem going on right now. Seems courage has been lost, maybe it was never found. Our generation came up with a different church mindset, it is more about making the Gospel appeal to everyone. But Jesus said that if he is lifted up HE WILL draw all people unto Him. So we really don’t need to try to force the Gospel to be “appealing” and try to conform to the world in hope of converting the world.

Actually the world has  done a great job of converting the church. On the rise is a group of people who weld the Gospel sword in a church setting, as long as it sounds good, looks good and keeps the congregation in a realm of happy. But when they have a message that they KNOW is to be shared, they refuse to do so because of the fear of repercussion and the fear of maybe placing their own lives in peril for preaching those words.

I am sorry, bad news, can not stand before God and tell him that we were afraid and to be a coward will bring a cowards death, it will not extend your life and you should have read the fine print before taking the job, “whosoever seeks to save his life, shall lose it.” That we were afraid to speak HIS TRUTH as HE COMMANDED US.

That is the generational difference, generations of old sought the Gospel because they desired the Gospel. And many paid a hefty price, through persecution for that Gospel, but it was not watered down and it held the word of Life and the power of it was intense and so indwelling that one could risk life and limb for it.

More bad news, we are heading into the time of the persecution, the flood sent after the woman’s child, the church. And no one is going to stand through that if they can not stand in their own church and proclaim the truth. So now may be a good time for many to decide what they believe, what they will stand for and if it has not been for the necessity of the Gospel, now may be a good time to get out.

Does anyone really believe that the candy coats like “Ole Joelsteen” who will stand for nothing except standing for nothing, cheapening the Gospel to the level of condoning sin and outright lying against God by saying he will accept it into heaven, the money preachers, like “Markdown Mike” and “Ron Parsnip” and “Stu Munskey”are really going to stand against the forces of that persecution?

 What about the “prophets” who promise peace over people and nations, who are so far away from God, that they openly worship anything but him, and yet these prophets scream peace, peace, when there IS no peace, think they’ll risk their heads for those prophecies?

If you answer Yes to any of those questions, you really need to study a little more history and a lot more Bible. Lets check a prophet and then checkout what becomes of false prophets.

We’ll start with a “priest” badmouthing a real prophet because they so do not want to hear judgment and we’ll hear them telling him to stop it and just go away and do it somewhere else, and  then we’ll hear his answer.

AMOS 7:10-17 ” Then Amaziah,  the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying,  Amos hath CONSPIRED against thee in the house of Israel: the LAND is not able to bear (ENDURE) all his WORDS.

For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land. {Not what they wanted to hear}.

Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O, thou seer, GO, FLEE thee AWAY into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, AND PROPHESY THERE. but PROPHESY NOT AGAIN any more at Bethel, for it is the king’s chapel, and the king’s court. {He kinda forgot that it actually belonged to the Lord}

 Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was NO prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was a herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit.

And the LORD TOOK ME as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, GO,  PROPHESY UNTO THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL.  Now, therefore hear the word of the Lord: Thou sayest (you say), prophesy NOT against Israel, and drop NOT thy word against the house of Isaac. THEREFORE thus saith the LORD; Thy wife shall be a harlot in the city, and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be divided by line; and THOU SHALT DIE in a polluted land: and Israel shall surely go into captivity forth out of his land.

Trying to run him off really didn’t help them too much, what he was doing was NOT out of his own will, it was God’s will over his life and God’s will IS supreme

Now, we’ll go to a question God posed, as to why they did not want to know judgments, if someone is told what they are doing is wrong, they then have a chance to correct their behavior and repent. He also addresses the false prophets and the cause of the destruction’s.

MICAH 3:1-11:” And I said,  Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of Israel, Is it not for you to know judgment (justice)?  Who HATE THE GOOD, and LOVE THE EVIL, who pluck off their skin from off them (my people), and their flesh from off their bones; Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them, and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and flesh within the cauldron.

Then shall they cry unto the Lord, but he will not hear them he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings (been evil).

Thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets THAT MAKE MY PEOPLE TO ERR, that bite with their teeth, and CRY,PEACE (all is well) and he that putteth not into their mouths ( gives them nothing), THEY MAKE WAR AGAINST HIM.

Therefore, NIGHT shall be unto you, that ye have not a vision; and it SHALL BE DARK unto you, that ye shall not divine; and THE SUN SHALL GO DOWN OVER THE PROPHETS, and THE DAY SHALL BE DARK OVER (for) THEM.

Then SHALL the SEERS BE ASHAMED, and the DIVINERS, CONFOUNDED (embarrassed) : yea, THEY SHALL ALL COVER THEIR LIPS (mouths); for THERE IS NO ANSWER OF (from) GOD.

But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord, and of judgment (justice), and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.  Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment (justice), and pervert equity.  They build up in Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity.

The heads thereof  judge for reward, and the PRIESTS thereof TEACH FOR HIRE (pay), and the PROPHETS DIVINE FOR MONEY: YET WILL THEY LEAN UPON THE LORD, AND SAY, (saying) IS NOT  THE LORD AMONG US? NONE (no) EVIL CAN COME UPON US.”

We know this also references our modern-day churches and it is truly eerie, THEY do all these things and still proclaim that God is with them and no evil shall come, but we see God’s thought on the subject and the justice He shall have.

The day is coming that there will be a separation and as He said judgment must begin at His house and we will see many, many who will cave to the pressure of the persecution but those who will stand, will need to be as Peter and the disciples when they PRAYED for that boldness, no one wants to be hated, no one wants to be threatened, but if you suffer persecution for the Gospel, you ARE BLESSED.

I do understand, God knows my multi based “fan club” ( I mean that with the utmost sarcasm)  but we have to be strong and be, as JESUS told us, “of a good courage”, knowing that your courage is NOT your own but it is HIS courage, that He will give you, so you can truly “do ALL things through Christ” who strengthens you.

He was persecuted and hated, the prophets were hated, the disciples were hated, those murdered through-out history for the Gospel, and those who are martyred even today were also hated, but they were bold and of good courage, they were brave for the WORD even when they didn’t feel very brave.

Why on earth would we be an exception to that rule? I am sure someone is going to be like, “Well, that is your risk, I AM NOT doing it”, well, don’t.

That is between you and God, but don’t be expecting Him to protect if you will not stand for Him.

Doesn’t quite work that way. And don’t think just because I am at a computer it changes my life, my job has barely begun and I am no exception to those rules, all my work is dated and in a specific order for a reason and this post is no exception.

We are down to the wire on it and you are going to have to have a plan for a worst case scenario and you can not hold back messages and warnings that God is putting in your heart that are for the ears of all believers that He has given you an audience with.

So what do we do? You can’t hide, you can’t run, and if you are smart you will not denounce your calling, we will need to put away all the jealousy, resentment, and our religious snobbery and truly be in one mind and one accord, of one heart, and one thought to see His kingdom come……… Now back to the Book of ACTS, revisiting our starting verse.

ACTS 4:29-33: ” And now, Lord, behold their threatenings; and grant unto THY SERVANTS, that with all boldness they may speak thy word.

BY STRETCHING FORTH THINE HAND TO HEAL; THAT THE SIGNS AND WONDERS MAY BE DONE BY (through) THE NAME OF THY HOLY CHILD JESUS.

And WHEN they had PRAYED, the PLACE WAS SHAKEN where they were assembled together; and THEY WERE ALL FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST, and they SPAKE THE WORD OF GOD WITH BOLDNESS.

And the multitude of them that BELIEVED WERE OF ONE HEART AND OF ONE SOUL: neither said ANY of them that ought (any) of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things in common.

And WITH GREAT POWER GAVE THE APOSTLES WITNESS OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD JESUS: and GREAT GRACE WAS UPON THEM ALL.”

ROMANS 10: 14,15(a): “ HOW then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and HOW shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and HOW shall they hear without a preacher? And HOW shall they preach, except they be sent?

Preaching is for others to believe, to glorify God, to encourage of heaven and New Jerusalem, to exhort and to warn of sin and hell. Preaching is to lead others to the love and peace that is Christ and if you are unwilling to do that you only hinder the kingdom and those hindrances will soon cease.

Think about it! Peace and Love till next time!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω / Rev. Nina BrownJohnson / 2016

“EXPOSURE”

 ISAIAH 7: 14,15:  “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (God with us). Butter and honey SHALL HE EAT, that HE MAY KNOW TO REFUSE EVIL AND CHOOSE THE GOOD.”                                                                                                                       

As we know these scriptures reference Jesus, whom was given good things and treated gently and kindly so HE WOULD KNOW and NOT choose the wrongs paths.

This is a very good argument against spanking and physically harming children and the more common emotional isolation and emotional abuse with words and shame.

Jesus was given good things so he would REFUSE the bad. I belong to the thought group that the major influence on a person is their environment and that if you can change that environment their life can be completely made new. That is not to say that environment can alter God’s will, it can’t, He is still God and still keeps His divine hand over many lives, EVEN when those lives are in absolute disarray.

But the environment of their circumstances can lead that to being a longer process, with many, many obstacles to be overcame. The enemy reverses all things of God and it becomes offering you the bad choices to make you feel compensated in that it presents itself as the only good out there for you.

As you notice this IS in reference to his childhood, we don’t need a Freud wanna be to enlighten us here, that this the time period where snares are set and where we are enslaved through psychological bondage. It is always accomplished in innocent, fragile minds and souls because the enemy wants to ensure it will last a life time.

You can see this so clearly in gangs and cults, and even often in certain types of prostitution and always, always in cycles of domestic abuse and the repeated problem of “picking the wrong guy”, you can’t PICK that many wrong guys! And it is also true for guys who chose women who belittle and mentally emasculate them, they often have domineering mothers and all in all the exposure produces a picture worth a thousand words, and those words speak volumes in lives.

It is the deceptive homing device planted long ago in vulnerable psyches that attracts the wounded to them and sends an unspoken code to predatory forces that you will be a perfect victim. Anyone really believe the “sixth sense” stalkers and serial killers possess (possessed is more like it) in tracking their victims is an all natural evil attribute that they just happen to have been born with? Research it, if you can’t see the demonic force at play there, you will never see it.

So what about the billions and trillions who WERE not given the good and did not know how to refuse the bad, when they seriously believe that “not as bad as…” is the only option given them? If life had been exposure to  evil after evil after evil?

That life will be like an overexposed photo, the light areas will be blurred and washed out, kinda like light IS there only not clear or well-defined.  What we have been exposed to does have impact on whom we become, the choices we make, and the way we live our lives BUT IT DOES NOT DETERMINE WHO WE ARE in Christ. 

That is the greatest news of the Gospel, there is NO life so dark, so tortured, or so messed up that it can not be redeemed by the one who gave it, but it is ALL in the exposure.

If you are underexposed to the good things, love, gentleness and a caring environment of respect, all the dark images will become darker. When someone has been exposed to violence, abuse and mental terrorism that exposure manifests itself in attempts to fit in and belong, feel love, feel whole and feel accepted and a need to be “normal” it explains how young people can be lured into joining gangs with them being beaten nearly to death as an initiation into that “family” and young women can be lured with attention and a false sense of security by men into a life of prostitution.

For many it will manifest as one big ride on a roller coaster of self-destruction, sick to death, desperately knowing you need to get off, but not ever figuring out how to make it stop.

Seeing it yet?  It all an attempt to feel LOVE, real love, love that will give itself FOR YOU not ask you to sacrifice yourself for it. Acceptance that you are accepted FOR you, not who someone else told you that you were or that you had to be. Belonging to a FAMILY, a family that protects YOU and cares for you and does not require your blood as proof of allegiance.

Jesus said “…and he that loseth his life FOR MY SAKE SHALL FIND IT you know what He is saying is this, LOSE your LIFE.

LOSE the thoughts that tell you are not worth love, your thoughts that nothing good will ever happen for you because you “don’t deserve” to be happy. These ARE NOT GOD’s thoughts toward you, they are programmed lies to keep you miserable and in bondage.

LOSE the friends and family that only weigh you down and constantly reaffirm all the negative views and hate filled words that have already been more than hammered into your soul.

LOSE the users and losers and those who only want you as the whipping boy to curse and run after when they are stoned or drunk.

LOSE everything that hurts, binds, disturbs, and hinders your growth, peace and happiness.

FIND a NEW LIFE that heals, delivers, brings peace and above all a love and an acceptance by one whose love can not even be described.

FIND a God that loves as a father, a REAL father, not the biological person that aided in conception, who was so vicious and vile that he was wished away.

FIND a God that will be closer than any friend, brother, or sister, that will be there through your tears and will never give you “told you so’s” or down you.

FIND a spiritual spouse whose love  is so strong that HE died FOR YOU not want you to risk your life. or kill, or  steal for him.

FIND a God in whose arms your weakness IS made strong, whose GENTLENESS will make you great.

Find a God whose peace, mercy and understanding are unsearchable, who WILL cast your sins, failures and mistakes as far as the east is to the west and wash your crimson sins white as snow and make YOU completely NEW again.

The best part with Jesus is that He loves us JUST FOR US! He does not care what we have done or where we are or how we got there, and He will heal every one of those wounds that lead you to those dark places, He just wants to help you and save you and help you get on with the life HE wants to give you. But as always I really wish He would just come down and take us over BUT He does not work that way, He will not force His will on you, But He IS always there, waiting for YOU to ask Him, as Jesus does stand at the door and knock at our hearts BUT the handle is on our side, He can’t come in if we will not let Him.

And maybe the enemy is bugging you out with well, what does she know, perched on her  religious high horse? Well, actually I am perched on my super groovy swivel stool and I am not religious, I am saved. I am saved from the hardest things to overcome, demonic exposures straight from hell, my own bloodline, and most of all myself. My readers have most of my story weaved throughout enough posts to piece together some things but I had a brother, he was my part-time babysitter when I would be alone with him but I lived in a home with him 24/7. He had issues, and was also quite gifted at drawing pentagrams ( if that gives you a little insight to exposures) I did not even know what they were until I got a lot older, so he had problems and he made sure I did too. Mental terrorism can be quite effective at producing wounds that last twenty-seven years and those wounds can lead a life of living in sin, working in sin and an overwhelming need to fit in, belong, and just be normal. But I harbor no ill will and God has truly taught me that people have problems because they have been exposed to things that have harmed their souls.

The “normal” part is always what gets us all we hide our pain and the shame (which should not be there) in constantly trying to prove  how normal we are. But with me I could never escape  the spiritual chase of it all and my life truly was just one trauma after another and making it past eighteen was a feat in itself, enough pressure, a failed marriage thanks to my refusal to convert to Catholicism and I ended up right where the devil had wanted all the time and it was the ONLY place I fit in.

The thing with wounds that have been untreated for so many years grow deeper and deeper but once we allow God to heal us they become scars, I could never show anyone my wounds and once God started leading me with my writing, I began to understand how important it is to not hide the scars because some times the wounded need to see the scars of those that have been healed. Without those scars I may not have what I have today and that is a relationship with the very one who created me. And EVERYONE has a story and we can always find others who have fared far worse and have made it out.

” And THEY overcame him (satan) BY the BLOOD OF THE LAMB, and BY the WORD of their testimony”….. forget what you have been exposed to, do not allow it to determine your today and your tomorrow. It does not define who you are, reach out and give Him your all and BE who HE created you to be.

If you “lose” life as you know it, what have you lost?  Pain, sorrow, pressure? What will you find? Peace, love, and joy, I may always have a hurdle or two but I also have a peace and a reassurance that I have a God who really does love me, in spite of me and no matter who rejects me, ridicules me or just outright despises me I am still His child and I have a peace in it all that He never fails, if I hold His hand He will not let me fall.

This song was on my heart to go with this and I feel it is for someone, if you have never heard it, please listen and please surrender, it is the most beautiful experience you will ever know.

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω Rev. Nina BrownJohnson 2016

 

“Laying down some odds, How about 450 to 1?”

” Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto Mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table” 1 KINGS 18:19

The great contest on Mount Carmel, most know the stories of Elijah and Elisha, they fill most of the pages of the Bible books First and Second KINGS. Elijah was particularly gifted with the prayer to call fire down from heaven and did it quite often and in this story he was to have a great contest to prove once and for all that the real God and only God would send fire down from heaven, while the pagan god never answered. And the lowest number against him was four hundred and fifty, could go higher but still a staggering number.

He had to stand often and often he stood alone, well as far as human help goes. Moses stood against all of Egypt and against a Pharaoh whose heart had been hardened by God himself.

Ester had to stand against the law of Persia and knew this stand in her plea to the King may end her life.  And most importantly Jesus stood against the Jews, the Pharisees, the Sadducee, the Sanhedrin, and when He needed his friends the most:

“And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and he saith to his disciples  Sit ye here, while I pray. 

And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and  began to be sore amazed ( greatly troubled), and to be very heavy (deeply distressed); and saith unto them, My soul IS exceeding SORROWFUL UNTO DEATH; TARRY ( wait) YE HERE, AND WATCH.

And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said,  Abba, Father, ALL THINGS are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless NOT WHAT I WILL, But  WHAT THOU WILT (your will).

And he cometh and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, Sleepest thou? Couldest thou not (could you not) WATCH ONE HOUR? WATCH YE AND PRAY, lest ye enter into temptation, The spirit  truly IS ready, but the flesh IS weak.

And AGAIN HE WENT AWAY, and prayed and spake the same words. And when he returned, he found them ASLEEP AGAIN, (for their eyes were heavy) neither wist (knew) they what to answer him. 

And he cometh the THIRD TIME, and saith unto them  SLEEP ON NOW , and take your rest (are you STILL sleeping and resting?); It is enough (too late) THE HOUR IS COME; behold, the Son of Man is (IS BEING) betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me IS AT HAND (draws near)  MARK 14:32-42

 Three times, He asked if they would just be with Him, just to stand with him and be there for Him, and as we know they did not. The Bible cuts them some slack with the fact that they were tired, their eyes were heavy, but still He had told them before this that the “prince of this world” was coming and hated Him and He stood and He stood alone against all the power hell could muster, as he said it was the “hour of darkness” it was their time to act against Him.  

Sometimes we too must stand without human comradery. I think that is the main reason we are given such details in this story, three times with His heart heavy and breaking and facing a horror so great He could not have possibly imagined it. He KNEW that he was going to die, He KNEW it would be at the hands of the forces of hell unleashed, How does someones mind deal with that?  Remember Jesus came to earth as a HUMAN.

So what are your odds? How many will you have to stand against IF you will stand for truth, justice and the word of God in these last days? I would like to point out a little something right here about my own “stand” I worry so often about the parallel between me and my calling and yet I can go to the word of God and know that I am not “alone” in my heartache.

I love America, I love and respect all who had died for this country and those who sacrifice everyday for our freedom and I detest our enemies and yet I am to bring forth heaping helpings of “woe unto’s” because our leadership and the powers that be have trampled over the word of God and all that WE WERE FOUNDED ON and the America I loved is becoming a memory and a horrifying beast is rising in her place.

We are all at a cross roads now, we have to stand for what is right and be willing to be the one who will speak for the truth, no matter how many speak against us. And I do mean justice in all areas. We are told if we disagree with something and we speak against it that we are intolerant, but the Bible says “to know to do good and do it not, is a sin unto YOU”, when we know that someone is hurting someone else or putting others in danger or that they are being steered down the wrong path it is our moral obligation under God to gently speak to them and to stand for right even when THE WHOLE WORLD says that you are wrong.

The closer we get to the end of it all,or rather the beginning of all that is good, the more we will risk by standing, but those listed above and the countless others not listed were willing to risk it all and we have to be willing also.

We may feel that our friends have forsaken us and that everyone is against but just as the ANGELS came to strengthen Jesus, all of heaven is with you when you stand for Him:  

2 TIMOTHY 4:14-18 Apostle Paul speaking: “Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: of whom be thou ware (you beware of him) also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.

At my first answer (defense) NO MAN STOOD WITH ME, BUT ALL MEN FORSOOK ME: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge (pray that they will not be held accountable.)

Notwithstanding THE LORD STOOD WITH ME, AND STRENGTHENED ME; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all Gentiles might hear: and I  was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

And the Lord shall deliver me out of every evil work (all plots against him), and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen”

So we see this was quite an ordeal for Paul, being attacked and persecuted and NO ONE, NOT ONE would come to his aid or speak on his behalf BUT God WAS with him.

So stand, even if the lowest odds against you are 450:1, know that for those who are in bondage to be free, for the deaf to hear and the blind to see, no matter how high the odds against you climb, and if all your friends desert you and those who should speak on your behalf refuse to, know this:

PSALM 27:3 “ Though a HOST SHOULD ENCAMP AGAINST ME (army surrounds me): MY HEART SHALL NOT FEAR: THOUGH WAR SHALL RISE AGAINST ME, IN THIS WILL I BE CONFIDENT.”

Be the voice who will speak what everyone else is thinking, often many are against certain ideas and injustices but too many are afraid to say what no one else wants to.

Be strong and stand when everyone chooses to lie down and be walked over. Stand when all have fallen to their knees bowing to what cannot save. Stand while others sit at the table of the enemy trying to preserve their own flesh. Stand and in the day of judgment you will still be able to stand before your Lord and Your King. As he urged the Disciples so does He urge us concerning the last days:

LUKE 21:36 : “WATCH ye therefore, and PRAY always, that YE MAY BE ACCOUNTED WORTHY TO ESCAPE ALL THESE THINGS THAT SHALL COME TO PASS, AND TO STAND BEFORE THE SON OF MAN.”

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω Rev. Nina BrownJohnson 2016

Shared from YouTube

“Sizing up the stumbling block”

And WHOSOEVER shall offend (PUT A STUMBLINGBLOCK IN THEIR PATH) one of these little ones that believe in me, IT IS BETTER FOR HIM (WOULD BE BETTER FOR THEM) THAT A MILLSTONE WERE HANGED ABOUT HIS NECK, AND HE WERE CAST INTO THE SEAMark 9:42 

“Then said he to his disciples, It is impossible but that offences (stumbling blocks) will come, (it IS impossible for offences NOT to come) but WOE UNTO HIM (those) WHOM THROUGH THEY COME!

IT WERE BETTER for him (would be better for those who set the stumbling blocks) that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and cast into the sea, THEN HE SHOULD OFFEND ONE OF THESE LITTLE ONES. (CAUSE SOMEONE TO STUMBLE) LUKE 17:1,2

Stumbling block, quite an interesting word, always reminds me of setting a trap and chasing someone down a preplanned path in hope that they will fall across the wooden beam that had been placed there and carefully hidden under brush.

It actually comes from a Hebrew word that when translated into the Greek is “skandalon”, which in turns translates into our modern English word SCANDAL.

What a better way to ruin a persons reputation, self-esteem, and life as they know it that to create a scandal about them, and of course completely behind their back.

Jesus is talking about those who would intentionally cause his children to fall and be hurt as they try to walk on their path with Him. As we see He is not fan of it and is very point-blank in what His judgment is concerning the vengeance that will be suffered at His hand by those who would do this.

The Bible has so many wonderful scriptures on how we are to treat others, such as “love your neighbor as yourself” “carry each others burdens”, and even if we see someone struggling in a temptation, we are to help that person, without them being ostracized,  belittled and  or creating a SCANDAL about them.  

And to reject, ridicule someone and to publicize any ones failure is punishable by falling into the SAME snare and that is indeed Bible.

What about someone who SAYS that they love a person and secretly bad mouths them and tells others that they are a bad influence and goes over and above anything normal to keep their physical person interjected between this person and their friends with the constant pretense that they are “protecting” them, even demanding that the other person not be spoken too or included in any way and yet, they LOVE them.

What if the ostracized person is a teen? Nothing like bullying, even better when the bully is a grown up or at least is according to their age?

Just as satan invites himself into places that he is not welcome, just as when he stopped by in the Book of Job, as the sons were worshipping God, just to see whom he may devour.

That’s why he sends people to create scandals, to separate the lambs from the flock, when they are hurt, and shunned, he convinces them that they are a bad person and that everyone hates them, left abandoned by the flock, he then can move in for the kill, laying waste the path that God  had preordained them to walk in His Kingdom.

No shocker that Jesus’ judgment is that it would be better for the one who causes it to be drowned  than to meet with the fate that he will deal to them.

But God is faithful and he keeps our mouths shut and sends us help and His reassurance that vengeance is His and we are in no way to repay evil for evil. But when it comes from someone who pretends to be all good and all love, and  tries to set it up as though everyone else is just crazy, well, God had someone pray for me and these are the scriptures I was given when I was recently dealing with a situation: 

Proverbs 26:21-28:  As COALS are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so IS a CONTENTIOUS MAN (PERSON) TO KINDLE STRIFE. The WORDS of a TALEBEARER ARE as WOUNDS, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

BURNING LIPS and a WICKED HEART ARE LIKE  a potsherd covered with silver dross.

He that HATETH, DISSEMBLETH (DISGUISES) WITH HIS LIPS, AND LAYING UP DECEIT WITHIN HIM;

When he speaketh FAIR (TRIES TO TELL YOU HOW MUCH THEY LOVE YOU), BELIEVE HIM NOT: FOR THERE ARE SEVEN ABOMINATIONS IN HIS HEART.

WHOSE HATRED IS COVERED BY DECEIT, HIS WICKEDNESS SHALL BE SHOWN BEFORE THE WHOLE CONGREGATION.

WHOSO DIGGETH A PIT SHALL FALL INTO THEREIN: AND HE THAT ROLLETH A STONE, IT WILL RETURN (ROLL BACK ON) UPON HIM. 

A LYING TONGUE  HATETH  THOSE THAT ARE AFFLICTED (CRUSHED) BY IT; AND A FLATTERING MOUTH WORKETH RUIN.”

Pretty good advice, they will fall into their own pit, so if you know someone who is tempted to spread rumors, gossip, and just try to ruin someone else, here is some more Biblical advice to share with them, that may make them think twice:

ROMANS 14:13 : “Let us NOT therefore JUDGE one another any more: BUT JUDGE THIS rather, THAT NO MAN PUT A STUMBLING BLOCK OR AN OCCASION  TO FALL IN HIS BROTHERS WAY.”

And if you are being bullied or suspect someone else is, as in my situation, pray about and keep praying till you get your answer, it is hard especially for kids to talk about and God WILL let you know. I promise.

Never cover for a bully, they ARE NOT your friend and their only desire is to hurt you and see you miserable, whatever their motive may be. And as our scripture shows when they say the love you and have your best interest in mind, DON’T  BELIEVE THEM. Real friends may have to tell us something sometimes for our own good that we may not want to hear, but they do it with love and they never hover over us and control us and every move that we make.

Love is NOT harsh and Love will NEVER hurt you or say mean, unkind things about you. Love will never spread rumors, or tell lies to control your friendships. That is Not love.

That is the devil and as the T Mac’s song goes, he needs to  “Go on, get his junk out of here” NO ONE NEEDS IT and NO ONE WANTS IT. Talk to someone who you can trust or call a help number. Don’t spend another second being the victim of someone’s insecurities.

So you really have to size up the stumbling block, if  it something small, maybe  you can solve by just cutting off all contact with the bully, try to avoid them if at all possible and when it is not possible always have another person with you, maybe give up social media for a while or close out an account and reopen using maybe your middle name or initials that the bully would not be aware of, and limit contact with anyone who could give them information about you but ALWAYS let a friend or trusted person KNOW what you are doing and why. That protects you.

 If is a really big stumbling block and they are threatening you or ruining your reputation, it may be necessary to take legal action, there is no shame in that, that is why we have laws in place to protect us and I know, I’ve had to stand up to an abusive boyfriend kind of bully as a very young woman, I know it is scary and it is hard but you will be glad you did, and my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. People who threaten you count on that fear to keep you held there, don’t give them that. And if you know someone who is being bullied, you be strong for them and help them and let others know what is going on so that they can get help. Remember when you are afraid TRUST in HIM. Love and peace to you in Jesus’ name.

N. Brown Johnson 2016