Justifying the end…

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Proverbs 14:12 

Old, old saying that we are all probably quite familiar with…”The end justify the means.” And we all know that this pretty much is saying that when you have a purpose or achieved goal that nothing, nothing is off limits or out of bounds in achieving that desired end result.

That mentality is quite common in the world and even encouraged and it can be a task for new converts or even old seat warmers to remember when fighting the temptation to steer away from the Word of God and choose “other alternatives” when achieving what they feel is something that must take place or the end result of a situation that they have been faced with and it is very easy to be swayed into believing that whatever it takes God will be okay with because he loves us but when it comes to the Kingdom of Heaven that God has commanded that his people “come out and be separate” and the false doctrine doctrine teaching of that anything and everything is okay with God is an absolute lie.

The world may have changed but God’s standards have not nor will they ever and what He said 2000 years ago is just as true today.

God means what He says and says what He means.

When God saves us, cleanses us and delivers us we are so new, so alive, so clean and there is nothing like the initial feeling of having the sins of a lifetime washed away and being made new  in Christ, but again that is initially.

And as Scripture also teaches us we are babes in Christ, but the time comes for those babes to grow and just as we grow in the natural, growing spiritually involves many ups and downs and the growing process can be at times very painful.

We do not learn to trust God unless we are faced with a situation that seems so hopeless and helpless that our only option is that we must trust God.

We do not learn to walk in faith unless we are suddenly met with a darkened path that can only be walked by faith.

And we will never ever develop the kind of patience that Jesus referred to when he told us that in it we will possess our souls, unless that patience is tried.

Our souls can never understand true peace unless until we have understood true exhaustion.

These are Christian growing pains, because we must grow in Christ and that is a process, day by day, year by year, we grow in Christ and as we grow and the time comes, just a baby bird must learn how to stand up in his nest before he will ever take flight.

We as Christians are allowed to learn “to stand” just as we grow from babies to toddler and before we can ever walk must less run we have to learn how to stand. 

I have noticed more in the recent years than ever, is by convincing Christians that somehow we can still hold fast to the beleif that the end will justify the means.

And that is not saying God leaves us, he never ever leaves us and he is always there to help us and as we start swaying, stumbling, almost falling as we try to stand He is the father who gently takes our hands and steady’s us again.

And this is the place where so many stumble and take hold of the wrong hand and often during these times rather than knowing  that God is there is can be easier to allow the enemy to convince us that if we are to stand we will need to do whatever it takes to stand on our own.

That is NOT God’s idea on how we are to handle anything.

Often through our upbringing and society we can easily fall back into the old mindset and completely forget the truth that we once knew and soon enough struggles will come and then we must decide are we going to revert back to the old way of thinking, listening to the wrong voices of handling life or do we take God at His word.

The best description of this growing process, it’s purpose, and the ease of not quite grasping it can be found in 2 Peter 1:2-9: “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through (in) the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to (by) glory and virtue:

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature HAVING ESCAPED the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to you faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

And to knowledge temperance (self-control); and temperance patience (perseverance); and to patience godliness;

And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (love). 

For if these things be in you (are yours) and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren (useless) nor unfruitful in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off (is short sighted), and hath FORGOTTEN that he was purged (cleansed) from his old sins.”

So you can see this for the process that it is and it is a process, little by little, step by step as God transforms us(as scripture says, by the renewing of our MINDS) to become the en and women he created us to be in Him.

And we must have these attributes. But we are human, we will stumble, we will struggle but again if we accept the fact that this IS part of that process and quit believing the lies of the enemy that tell us that if we were were really “where we should be…” that is the biggest lie of all, we re never where we should be or otherwise we’d be out of here!

This is the same issue that Jesus had with the Pharisees and all the “perfect” people that ostracized those he came to save and he hate it!

And we are often harder on ourselves than the enemy or others could ever be and we have to stop this and accept, really accept Jesus, his forgiveness and get on with our work for the Kingdom while we still have time to work.

Once those doors are shut is is over, once our lives are completed there will be no second chances to come back to earth and complete the job he had given us to do. Remember those treasures you are storing up, remember those crowns that you will be given to lay at the feet of the King?

But above all remember those whose lives you WILL NOT touch and remember the difference that you DID NOT make.

And as harsh as that may sound, it is a very good incentive to us when we think outside of the box of our own head and look at the bigger picture which is why Peter tells us so clearly that we need these attributes, and note that he does not at anytime lay down a number of days, months, years that we should achieve any of these attributes or the total culmination of them all because there is no time frame.

Just that we are to build upon these and we acquire them through the need and dependence upon them to finally reach our true goal- the true “end justification” which is LOVE, love as Christ wants us to love.

It is a process, because even though you may have faith but if you do not have self control what could happen with that faith?

Maybe you have brotherly kindness and can be helpful to those in need and maybe your heart goes out to them and you are lead in someway to reach out to them and perform some sort of act of service but you lack diligence, your heart may reach out but you will not be able to complete the task, without diligence we see nothing through.

And he tells us at the end that IF we lack these things we are SHORT SIGHTED, we cannot see far off. meaning we can not see the end, the ETERNAL outcome and it is then that we are tempted into playing the game of “The end justifies the means” because we are searching for that quick fix.

Another set back to modernism of the church, we can not lie, or avoid the truth or pretend to like those who our hearts are filed with unresolved hurt against, we can not do any of these things out of any agenda because it is still sin and using it as a ‘”Means to an end” is also a sin.

Again part of that growing process, but as we grow in Christ and we CHOOSE to follow a plan that is at the very least questionable in comparison to the Word of God on handling that subject and while that little voice inside is telling us this is not quite right and we reason within ourselves that it is not that big of a deal and reassure ourselves with our own reasoning… it is sin.

Honesty, whether that honesty seems good or bad to others, God requires honesty, and as James 4:17 states “Therefore to him that KNOWETH to do good and doeth it not, to him it IS sin.”

We are not bound by what we do not know,and if we do not understand the things that we should not do and do them, God will let us know in our hearts or by a word of exhortation that we should not do those things, He will ensure we get the message, because He loves us, and that love is unconditional and He wants us to have the life of peace and joy,a life that was purchased by him for us, a life that was paid for in his agony, his blood and his life and when we choose our own path we are devaluing his sacrifice.

If we are to be part of the outpouring of the last days, which we know that we are in, and we truly want to see his Kingdom come we have to get these “little foxes” under control and out of our lives. We all struggle, we all have questions about our identity from time to time, that it normal and God promises are so pure and so perfect, we are PROMISED that he will never leave us, no one loves us like Jesus and no one ever will!

He wants us to succeed and if that means picking us up and dusting us off and giving us a hug every fifteen minutes we are on this earth HE WILL.

He is gentle, kind, and merciful beyond human comprehension and he does not expect us to be anything other than who he created us to be and to keep his commandments, love and honor him and do the best that we personally are capable of doing. 

But in that we also must be willing to choose the correct path and the correct response to the things that life throws our way, it is often said concerning parenting to “choose your battles wisely” and I do believe many fights in battles that were never theirs for the fighting, such as staying in situations out of pride, not wanting to be the “one who gave in” when it would be more wise to walk away

Remember that God wants us to come to him with all that weighs you down, he wants you to bring to him every problem that you can’t solve because in truth we can’t solve anything and we often make things much worse and God will come to our rescue when we ask but often we are left with damages that we should have never had to incur.

Know this, that if you have to pray one hundred times a day that God hears every single pray and he honors humility and truth and when we say God I can’t…. that is exactly when he will let you know that even so, HE CAN and he is not interested in what you can do for yourself he is interested in you trusting him. 

Verses to remember:

1 Corinthians 10:13: “There hath NO temptation taken you but such is COMMON to man; But GOD IS FAITHFUL, who will NEVER suffer (permit) you to be tempted (tested) above that which ye are able;  but will with the temptation ALSO make a way to escape, that ye might be able to bear it.”

It comes to everyone and God will NEVER allow it to destroy you IF you take his way out. But if you choose to follow your own path, you can not blame God because God gives us FREE WILL, the choice is ours.

Romans 6:14: “For sin SHALL NOT ave dominion (rule) over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”

Plead the blood, plead the blood!

Revelation 12:11: “And they OVERCAME him (the enemy) BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB, and by the word of their testimony; and that they loved not their lives unto death.”

To wrap up, we must be our guard, sometimes that path will seem  right but it can lead to the ways of death, spiritually speaking, a little this or a little that, “this one time” is only minute in our reasoning and sin leads to more sins, that is why our beginning verse starts singular, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” and becomes plural. 

That WAY leads to those WAYS.

So stay on guard and never con yourself or letting anyone else con you into believing that we will ever justify our own on way, only God can justify us and games… God does not play!

Thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020 Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

FEAR…

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”  Luke 12:32

My original thought a week or so ago was that I wanted to write something for St Patrick’s Day and I would name is “Turning Green” and it would be about envy

But My, how things can change in a couple of weeks.

And I am quite sure everyone, everywhere at this moment in time as we are all being quarantined into our own little spots in the world. 

Schools closed, churches advised to close, many working from home, people stocking up food, stocking up supplies and what about all those who can’t?

The President telling us to keep our groups to the number ten. 

Ironically ten is the number of completion and in the end all the face masks and hand sanitizer in the world isn’t going to change the fact that we live on earth and earth is fragile, and we are fragile. 

Whether this was a man-made weapon gone wrong or if it is truly just a mutation of some otherwise harmless virus that somehow manged to evolve itself into a killing machine is completely irrelevant in the end, and yes I did just say that it is completely irrelevant.

In the grand scheme of things, we are human, humans die, no one wants to die but every single day of our lives we face death.

When we get out of bed everyday we face death.Even in the best of health we could die at any second, simply driving down the road we are usually listening to music or planning our day or our thoughts are on pressing things of the moment or future plans but nevertheless, we could potentially die with one wrong move of that vehicle or because of the wrong move of another.

The only difference is that now we are painfully AWARE the danger.

We are extremely aware, the news tells us that we could die, the internet tells that we could die and all that can be heard and seen tells, reaffirming the fact that we could all very well die.

And do know I am not in any way making light of any of it, i have study prophecy for years and there are certain things that are what they are and there are certain things that will be because the Bible has already been written.

Just as Jesus said concerning his own death after His resurrection, from Luke 24:44: “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were in written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.”

So we know what is written is written and it all has to come to pass just as God said that it would but God has hope and comfort in all things.

So I am not getting into that at the moment but it is good time to really reflect on the reality that there are some very scary, quite horrifying events that will take place on this earth.

The time of all those things are for God and God alone to know and be judge of but Jesus gave us very clear markers to know how far we have came on that path and he gave us those because he does not want us to be terrified and blindsided that those things would come and we would not know what was happening. 

And so we go on into this post, we are now as a people, not a nation, not a race, but all of humankind dealing with this one common enemy- the virus- whose name I have heard so much these past weeks that I don’t even want to use it.

But we now all have a common foe, and that foe is bringing global fear and the fear is the true enemy, not the virus.

Fear destroys, it kills, it steals, it takes your peace and your joy and even though you live, it steals your very life because if we are so terrified, consumed by the though of losing our lives how are really ever going to live?

So I want to “talk” to you about fear, perfectly normal to be afraid, David was very afraid when Saul was trying to kill him,  Peter was horrified and Daniel really did not want to be eaten alive but he knew he had to trust God, he knew this was a very real possibility and he knew that he would be thrown into the lions and he was but God delivered him.   

Jesus telling us to “Fear not, little flock…” is one of my favorite verses, that is God telling YOU, me, all that serve and love Him, the most simple of messages for us to not be afraid, a message we have heard often through lives from childhood as our Mothers, Fathers, and other adults reassured to not be afraid, letting us know that everything would be okay, and we trusted that.

Now think of this. that verse was spoken by the one who holds the universe in his hands and is surely will take care of you.

So please don’t look at this world, like an old friend used to tell me “Just don’t look down” keep your eyes focused on the good things, happy things and think about things that bring you joy and peace, this virus and this time of uncertainty and fear will not be forever but God and his eternal promises are forever.

So read his word and pray and pray for all those whoa re trapped in that  fear because fear is destructive and its affects can last well past the course of those things that bring that fear to us.

And may I please suggest that you read Psalm 91 and quote it and believe it over you, and your loved ones.

I want to also leave you with a though tonight, you know when God brought the plagues upon Eygpt and they were covered in absolute darkness the Hebrews, God’s people still had light in all their dwellings.  SAME GOD and the same God will take care of you and see us all through whatever this world holds and whatever is yet to unfold.

Praying God’s peace and love, blessings and most of all his perfect love, which casts out all fear for you and yours this season of life.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

 

Either way…it IS forever

“And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.” Luke 16:23 

“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying,  How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell upon the earth? Revelation 6:9,10

Now normally I don’t start off with two seemingly unrelated verses but I promise these verses are some of the most important yet rarely mentioned words in the Bible. To be honest, I have never heard the teachings of the end time warnings taught on, never once have I heard anything preached or taught about how those who do not accept Christ before His return can still be saved.

They can be saved but they will die in that process and you can read more about those things in these past teachings: The Betrothed and The Beheaded each one will explain the blessed state of both the end time groups that will be part of the Kingdom of Christ.

If you notice the parallel of the verses above, you’ll notice something quite interesting. The first is from the story of Lazarus and the rich man, we’ll get into more of that in a bit, but to do a quick relay of it, the rich man had had  a great life here on earth, everything he could dream of  and never had a care as to where he would sleep or where his next meal would come from.

Lazarus on the hand… well, we’ll listen to Jesus’ description concerning both of these men. “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, fared sumptuously every day (lived in luxury): And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried.” Luke 16:19-22

We don’t have to be rich to be like the rich man. Our world has become so VIRTUAL that we have lost touch with what is TRUE REALITY.

We have so much invading our minds and so much to “occupy” our minds that we often trade out the truth for those lies, and as we know leads to damnation.

Social media and web games, and the host of internet resources now preoccupying peoples time, life, and in my personal belief has become the “god” of many, so who has time ponder the universal questions of heaven and hell, life and death, and more importantly death and the eternal life AFTER this death?

How can they possibly be troubled with the thoughts while there are statuses to post, great selfies to be taken, and of course the never-ending bash posts to spew hatred that they have not courage to say in person nor the common social graces to not make a spectacle of themselves in doing these things.

Please don’t take that wrong, there is nothing WRONG with playing some games and doing some web surfing and I think it is a fabulous tool especially for those who are living alone, or grieving because it does provide a little “escape”.

But when it starts becoming more important than spending time in prayer with God, or attending church, praying for people, and reading and studying the Bible, then it has become much more than a hobby.

And I do know that there are many good uses for technology but we all know the majority of it is not for good.

How can we even hear God when we can’t even hear?

The most profound, life changing message I heard, (excluding the one that got me saved) came one night when I was watching a local Pastor on television and He preached on Tophet and how that the people sacrificed their children, burning them alive, to pagan demons and that their custom was to play drums and “music” to drown out the screams of the children.

That message made such an impact on me, that I just prayed for God to NEVER let me fail to hear the cries of others.

The lost of this world and those who do not even realize that they are being “sacrificed” to the god of this world, through their refusal to acknowledge, or even SEEK Jesus and His salvation because the sounds of this world drown out any whisper they may hear. And that same effect is what I am going for today.

I want to make you think about something, if you believe and have never committed to that belief or if you are an absolute atheist and choose not to believe anything, I have a message on both counts. Refusing to believe does not exempt anyone form the law of God, you are not going to look at Him and use the excuse that you did not believe, because whether you believe or not has no bearing on his existence. 

And if you don’t believe you have chosen to drown out the voice in your own soul because even our hearts assure us that there has to be more than this life.

Love, love never dies and the love you have felt, received and given lives on, if you do not believe in an afterlife you are not acknowledging the power of love.

If you have had a terrible life on earth, like Lazarus, doesn’t something inside of you hang on to hope that there has to be something better?

And if you have had a great life here on this earth, why would you want to ever risk an eternal life of misery and torment beyond comprehension because of your failure to acknowledge the one who gave you your very life?

The rich man lifted up his eyes in hell, one moment on this earth the next moment lost for all of eternity.

As the Bible teaches us, we are FIRST natural and then SPIRITUAL, and that is the problem of our own wisdom, we think we know everything and base that arrogant self-righteous thought on our carnal, NATURAL knowledge.

But we CAN’T even begin to understand the truth until we become SPIRITUAL and we must accept Jesus before that can take place and those who are literally making reservations for hell because they DO BELIEVE in the afterlife but believe satanic lies that it will be like the parties here on earth are taking natural to the most unnatural extreme.

The rich REMEMBERED earth, He FELT unquenchable thirst. and he BEGGED his brothers be warned to not “come to this place” and as he was told that they would not BELIEVE even one from the dead, think about it when we refuse to believe that Jesus rose, we ARE being his brothers.

Being DEAD from earth but ALIVE in hell, he still felt, thought, and expressed and was AWARE of both worlds.

Now the passage from Revelation concerning those that had DIED, been murdered, martyred, FROM this earth.

They also are very AWARE of both worlds, they also THINK, FEEL, and EXPRESS themselves and they ALSO want someone to “come” back on their behalf, they want VENGEANCE against those who killed them.

They REMEMBER how they died.

And just as the rich man’s request was refused, they also are told that they must rest for a little while until THOSE WHO ARE ALSO  YET to be killed as they were and THEN justice would come. And as Jesus promised to”wipe ALL our tears away” in that faithful glorious day, we will KNOW but we will be made new, all things WILL be made new in that day. 

So today, if you have not accepted Jesus, don’t wait another day because we are not promised the next breath, the next day, not one moment of our life is guaranteed.

But God in His mercy and kindness GAVE us these lives, He GAVE us this day, and he GAVE us all the choice, the CHOICE of where our true LIFE will be spent because this place, this earth, is but for a moment and when death comes, then and only then does REALITY truly begin. In that life there is no second chances, it is what it is, but in this life, no matter how bad it has been, Jesus CAN can everything, He CAN give you on this earth a life you could NOT even imagine with joy, peace, and blessings in this world.

And the assurance that you don’t have to fear that moment when all things become eternal. Ask any believer and they will tell you that the single most profound moment in their life came when they REALIZED that it was God’s mercy alone that had kept them and protected them until they came into the truth.

And the realization that truly they had been ONE breath away from being lost eternally, and my dear friends is what make us want to see ALL come to that truth.

So know this, either way, we will ONLY begin when this world ends and either way IT will be forever, so please choose today and choose Jesus, THE ONLY WAY!

Thanks for reading!

Love&Peace from my heart to yours, till next time!

Φλογιζω360 NBJ 2019

For more on these subjects: “Bought & Sold” Riches Untold 

                                             Prophets, Prodigals, & Puttin’ it off…….

                                              Just kinda like… MESSED UP…

                                              To shun the Son….