THE IMPERSONATOR

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At this moment I am sitting in my yard listening to a flock of blue jays squawking in the woods. They discovered a four or five foot pine snake in a tree and, surrounding him, are making a terrible racket to scare him off. In the photograph above, the snake is impersonating a tree limb by stretching himself between the two small, limbless tree trunks. He is lying still, patiently waiting for a bird to land so he can inject his poison.

This scene calls to remembrance another snake that uses deception. The Apostle John described him like this:

“… the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world…. ” Revelation 12:9

This snake disguises himself as “truth” through various false religions. Since he deceives the whole world, he is a pro at “blending in the surroundings” and mixing his lies with the “truth”, in order to ensnare the unwise and unsuspecting.

But, no fear disciples of the Lord Jesus, the word of God and the Holy Spirit will guide you through his “garden”, that is, this world. Therefore:

“Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in your faith and in the knowledge that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering.”    I Peter 5: 8-9

Carl

“…the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.”

This diseased leaf is from a live oak tree infected with the deadly Oak Wilt fungus. While in the Texas Hill Country, I learned that this reddish pattern is one of the ways to detect the fatal disease. It is an outward manifestation of an otherwise invisible, usually fatal, malady.

When I saw this, I was immediately reminded about what King David wrote in Psalms 1 concerning the righteous man who meditates on the word of God:

“And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.”

King David uses a tree planted by a streams of water as a metaphor to describe a person who meditates on God’s word. Notice as a result of meditating on God’s word, the tree is firmly planted and its leaf does not wither.

The tree is not blown over by the wind. The person who meditates on what God says is not carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming (Ephesians 4:14). Because he knows God’s truth.

The word of God is like a river of life bringing spiritual “nutrients” to us as we sink our roots or thoughts into it. Because “the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12), it can change us, bringing refreshing where there is drought! The Holy Spirit uses it to “judge the thoughts and intentions of ” our hearts bringing revival to us as we deal with what He reveals, good or bad. He wants to restore us to fellowship with the Son and the Father “…so that our joy may be made complete (I John 1:4).

Proverb 11:28 says

“He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.”

Are we spiritually dry today? Do we feel like our spiritual “leaf” is not flourishing but withered; evidence of an invisible disease eating away at our soul? Has the wind of life blown us over or broken part of our values?

Maybe we are feeding our souls too much on the “bread” of the world, the words and images that constantly bombard us during a typical day. Words and images that may even tickle our fancy and offer a distraction from the abrasion of the world but, when it comes to feeding our human spirit, that which communes with God’s Spirit, it is just vanity….nothingness. Like eating sugar all day; sweet but does us no good.

If this is you, I encourage you to plug into His streams of water today. Pick a scripture from the word of God and meditate on it for five minutes or through out the day. Use your mind to dissect the verse and get all of the “water” out of it you can. You will be surprised what His Spirit will show you. Let it free you from the things that choke out the word of God IN YOU: the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of riches (Matt. 13:22). The things that bring drought to your soul, paralyzing your mind, making your will passive and depressing your emotions.

May we let the abundant life Jesus talked about begin to flow out of us as we meditate on His Word. May His word reorder our priorities, expose the enemy’s snares, reveal sins that have defiled us, renew fellowship with Lord Jesus and Father God. He will pour His peace and joy into your spirit which will change the state of your soul!

Lord Jesus said

“It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’ ”

Let us not try to feed our spirits with the world’s “bread” but with His Truths revealed in the Holy Bible.

Blessings and peace to you in Christ Jesus.

Carl

God’s Time Table

Time is not idle.

God Almighty’s clock is ticking.

Time is marching to the Second Coming

The Day of Vengeance of our God is looming (1)

The Year of Redemption will be in the Son of Man’s heart

Man can not stop God’s timing or turn it back

We can only worship the Lord with reverence

And rejoice with trembling

How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! (2)

The day cometh

The Day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night

While they say “Peace and Safety” destruction will suddenly come

The godless shall not escape

No. Not one. (3)

There is no fear of the Lord before their eyes (4)

But those who trust in Jesus Christ will not be surprised

The Day will not overtake them like a thief

They all are Sons of Light

They all are Sons of Day

They are alert and sober

Not asleep in the light

For God has not destined them to wrath

But for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ

Therefore encourage one another

As you see the Day approaching (5)

For Time is not idle

God Almighty’s clock is ticking

The Day of Vengeance of our God is looming

The Year of Redemption will be in Jesus’ heart (6)

Even so, Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen. (7)

1. Isaiah 63: 4, Isaiah 61: 2b

2. Psalm 2: 11-12

3. I Thessalonians 5:2-3

4. Romans 3:18

5. I Thessalonians 5:4-11

6. Isaiah 63:4, Isaiah 61:2b

7. Revelations 22: 20-21

In Defense of the Faith

Dear Reader: the following is an question concerning the authenticity of the Bible that was received by The Berean Call. Dave Hunt, the author of the God Makers, The Mind Invaders, and The Woman Rides The Beast, gives an excellent answer. I pray you are blessed by the discussion. Carl

February 1, 2019 Dave Hunt – Berean Call– February Newsletter

What about Satan as Serpent?

Question: I think one of the great evidences against the authenticity of the Bible is its treatment of the serpent. In the Bible, the serpent is the embodiment of evil, whereas ancient myths and religions give exactly the opposite view. The Bible equates the serpent with the devil, but the most ancient religions, some of which are even practiced  to the present time, almost universally identify the serpent as the Savior, or at least as benevolent and to be worshiped. How can the Bible be true at the same time be so much out of touch with what is clearly the common intuition of humanity?

Response: This is a fascinating subject, and its implications go beyond our ability to understand fully. There is no doubt that the Bible repeatedly identifies Satan both as the serpent and the dragon, not only in Genesis 3 but elsewhere. For example, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the Devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world” (Revelation:12:9 – “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”)

In view of the usual human revulsion and fear of both dragons and serpents, one would think that Satan would do everything possible to deny such a connection, yet the opposite seems to be the case, for some strange reason. How intriguing it is that both are so closely associated with nearly all pagan religions. The dragon is found on thousands of temples throughout Asia, while the serpent permeates and even dominates the religion of India.

Serpent Worship Everywhere

In the temples of ancient Egypt and Rome the body of the god Serapis was encircled by the coils of a great serpent. In Hinduism one of the three chief gods, Shiva, has serpents entwined in his hair. Yoga is symbolized as a raft made of cobras, and its goal is to awaken the kundalini power coiled at the base of the human spine in the form of a serpent. Numerous other examples could be given, from the plumed serpent Quetzalcoatl, the Savior-god of the Mayas, to the annual snake dance of the Hopi Indians. One of the greatest authorities on the occult (himself a practitioner of occultism) has written:

“Serpent worship in some form permeated nearly all parts of the earth. The serpent mounds of the American Indian; the carved-stone snakes of Central and South America; the hooded cobras of India; Python, the great snake of the Greeks; the sacred serpents of the Druids; the Midgard snake of Scandinavia; the Nagas of Burma, Siam, and Cambodia . . . the mystic serpent of Orpheus; the snakes at the oracle of Delphi . . . the sacred serpents preserved in the Egyptian temples; the Uraeus coiled upon the foreheads of the Pharaohs and priests—all these bear wintess to the universal veneration in which the snake was held. . . .”

” The serpent is . . . the symbol and prototype of the Universal Savior, who redeems the world by giving creation the knowledge of itself. . . .  It has long been viewed as the emblem of immortality. It is the symbol of reincarnation.” (Manley P. Hall, The Secret Teachings or all Ages: An Encyclopedic outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Sybolical Philosophy (The Philosophical Research Society, Inc, Lost Angeles, CA 90027, 1969)

In Greek mythology a serpent was wrapped around the Orphic egg, the symbol of the cosmos. Likewise at Delphi, Greece (for centuries the location of the most sought-for and influential oracle of the ancient world, consulted by potentates from as far away as North Africa and Asia Minor), the three legs of the oracular tripod in the inner shrine of the temple were intertwined with serpents. As one further example, consider the Greek and Roman god of medicine, Aesculapius, whose symbol of modern medicine, the caduceus, was derived.

In the temples erected in his honor, Aesculapius was worshiped with snakes because of ancient myth that said he had received a healing herb at the mouth of a serpent. Here again we have the Genesis story perverted: The serpent is not the deceiver and destroyer but the Savior of mankind, replacing Jesus Christ. At graduation ceremonies of medical schools around the world, where prayers to the God of the Bible or to Jesus Christ would not be allowed, graduates, upon receiving their MD degrees, still repeat loudly in unison the Hippocratic oath. It begins, “I swear by Apollo, by Aesculapius, by Hygeia and Panacea, and by all the gods and goddesses. . . .”

Surely the Bible’s depiction of Satan as a serpent and dragon, the deceiver and destroyer of mankind, and then as the god of this world who originates pagan religions, fits the evidence. Furthermore, the very fact that the Bible stands alone against all ancient religions provides further evidence that all of them have a common source and that the inspiration behind the Bible is, exactly as it claims, independent of theirs. In fact, the two sources of inspiration are obviously diametrically opposed.

The Making Of A “Footstool”

The Lord says to my Lord

“Sit at My right hand,

Until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet”

The Lord will stretch forth Thy strong scepter from Zion

saying,

“Rule in the midst of Thine enemies.”

Psalm 110: 1-2

Let us begin 2019 by remembering that our Heavenly Father is in control of the future. “As consistently explained in the New Testament, this opening verse describes the determination of God the Father (the Lord) regarding the ultimate victory and dominion of God the Son (my (David’s) Lord) …” (Moody Bible Commentary).

As we read about Christians being persecuted and killed in Laos, Nigeria, North Korea, China, India, Egypt and other Muslim countries, let us remember that the Messiah is coming to Jerusalem (Zion) again. Coming to judge the nations and establish His Kingdom on the earth.

Not as a suffering Messiah but as a Warrior King.

This is no New Age Christ-consciousness, cosmic panentheistic Christ, some spark of divinity in everything, Higher Self, Avatar, or just one of the faces of divinity that flow to the All encompassing One. This is the One who died on the Roman cross for the sins of the world returning as the powerful Holy Son of God, in the splendors of holiness, to judge the wicked who have rejected Him.

All of these people who take pleasure in destroying and persecuting His children will themselves be suddenly destroyed by the Warrior King, King Jesus. The terrible day of the Lord will come. His patience will be exhausted. The iniquities of the rebellious will be ripe and full measure.

Listen:

“The Lord is at Thy right hand;

He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.

He will judge among the nations,

He will fill them with corpses,

He will shatter the chief men over a broad country…

Psalm 110: 5-6

Isaiah 63:1-6 gives us a vivid description of what Psalm 110 tells us:

Who is this who comes from Edom,

With garments of glowing colors from Bozrah,

This One who is majestic in His apparel,

Marching in the greatness of His strength?

“It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”

Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press?

“I have trodden the wine trough alone, And from the peoples there was no man with Me. I also trod them in My anger And trampled them in My wrath; And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments, And I stained all My raiment.

“For the day of vengeance was in My heart, And My year of redemption has come.

“I looked, and there was no one to help, And I was astonished and there was no one to uphold; So My own arm brought salvation to Me, And My wrath upheld Me.

“I trod down the peoples in My anger And made them drunk in My wrath, And I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.” …

Though Revelation tells us the rebellious and idol worshippers will cast their idols away and try to hide from “terror of the Lord and the splendor of His majesty” (Isaiah 2:21), NONE will escape.

Psalm 110 is cited directly by the writers of the New Testament nine times with exclusive reference to Messiah. In Hebrews it quotes the following verse in a discussion on how “the atonement afforded by the priestly work of Messiah is not only perfectly efficacious but is also eternal”. (Moody Bible Commentary)

“THE LORD HAS SWORN

AND WILL NOT CHANGE HIS MIND

‘THOU ART A PRIEST FOREVER’ ”

Hebrew 7:21 (Psalm 110: 4)

God gave visions to Daniel in Babylon that revealed Gentile world dominance would end in the future and the Messiah would come to Israel. This gave the stunned captives HOPE as they reflected on how God had severely disciplined them (Israel) for forsaking Him.

In like manner, as we see the world and parts of Christendom fleeing from a loving God into the arms of the great Seducer, as we are confronted with our own shortcomings and failures, may we be STRENGTHENED knowing that our Savior Jesus is coming as a Warrior King. He will rescue His Bride, the Church, and Israel and bring justice. His numerous enemies will become His “footstool”; they will be put under His feet once for all. God the Father is even preparing it now and will bring it to pass in His own time.

“…then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. I Corinthians 15:24-25

This “PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET” is the “footstool” that God is preparing for His Son.

Are you already in subjection to Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Do you fear or reverence His name? The following reveals the difference in the lost and the saved on that terrible day of God’s wrath:

… For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says the LORD of hosts, “so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.” [2] “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. [3] You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,” says the LORD of hosts. …. Malachi 4:1-3

If you are not born again according to John 3, please call upon the Lord now while He is still seated on His throne of grace. Repent of your sins and ask Him to save your soul from destruction.

… THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART”— that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says,“ WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED …. Romans 10:8-11

Heavenly Father, the One who holds the future in His hand, thank you for your purposes and ways that you have revealed to the Church. Thank you for protecting your children and keeping them from the evil one as Jesus prayed in John 17:15. Be with our brothers and sisters who are suffering and dying in other countries for the sake of Jesus. Help them to remain faithful until the end. Give them the grace and love of Jesus to endure their sufferings. Do not let us forget these people but to pray daily for them and help physically where we can. Save those who torment them for they know not what they do. In Jesus’ precious name we ask these things. Amen

He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” (Rev. 22:20) God’s mercy and grace be upon you.

Carl

Meditation and Yoga

Recently, on a morning news show, the host interviewed a company whose sole purpose evidently is to promote meditation. Their website’s homepage simply states “Meditation made simple.” The interview revolved around the fact that the company will be applying for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for their meditation app. With this approval, a medical doctor could prescribe meditation according to their app. If I understood correctly, this would be a first-of-its-kind government approval. Though it was not revealed on the show, my research revealed that one of the company founders is a former Buddhist monk. Their website just states he is a former monk.

I find it very interesting that in the future, if the company is successful in their attempt to gain FDA approval for their app, your doctor may be able to prescribe meditation for its alleged benefits, based on this app.

With this in mind, I want to share a quote from The Kingdom of the Occult by Walter Martin.

“The New Age movement today must be recognized for what it is: the ancient world of the occult presented in new terminology. ”

(Note: the term “New Age” is also expressed by the terms “spiritual” or “spirituality” in today’s culture.)

” The New Age movement has mushroomed throughout the world, particularly in the United States. Cloaked in acceptable and seemingly harmless terms, such as the widespread exercises of yoga and meditation, is the hidden agenda of the occult. When one meditates or practices yoga, the mind is said to be emptied to allow the person to become one with the universe, but this is where the person opens the mind and heart to false spirits that await every opportunity to invade a soul that is normally guarded.”

“Noted German authority on the occult Dr. Kurt Koch states the following about the occultic side of yoga: “This technique of relaxation and these ’emptying exercises,’ so highly spoken of by the yogis lead to the inflowing of another spirit—other spirits. The students of yoga did not notice it.” Similarly, Dr. Koch, who has compiled volumes of case studies on people involved in the occult, wrote the following about meditation: “My counseling work in East and West has given me insight into the nature and practice of meditation…I am totally opposed to meditation in the Far Eastern pattern… We cannot empty ourselves by means of techniques and postures—-then other powers flood in.”

“It is difficult to find any New Ager who does not practice either meditation or yoga, but Dr. Koch’s warning is clear: if one empties the mind, it becomes an open vessel for other spirits.”

“It is important to note what Jesus said concerning spirits, particularly demonic spirits that invade human bodies: ‘When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first” (Matthew 12:43-45).”

“From Jesus we learn, then, that demonic spirits can inhabit human beings. Rather than experiment with the occult and New Age practices, where the person unwittingly opens the soul to demons, it is much better to close the door and refuse participation.”

As you can see, the practice of yoga and Far Eastern meditation, can open a person up to demonic spirits. And Dr. Koch said the participants never noticed the demonic spirits entering them.

Think about that for a moment.

Jesus spent time in His earthly ministry casting demonic spirits out of people. The number of evil spirits in people varied. One boy had one demon. When Jesus confronted a demonic mad man, He asked him “What is your name?” . The demon said ” ‘Legion’; for many demons had entered him”, i.e. the man. (Luke 8: 26-33) A “legion” of Roman soldiers consisted of 5000 soldiers. Scripture does not say it was that number of demons but understanding that fact adds weight to “many”.

As far as alleged benefits, the Dalai Lama, a Tibetan Buddhist, said if we would start teaching meditation to every 8 year old, in one generation we would have a peaceful world. Researchers in New Zealand, The Netherlands and the UK found out that meditation does not change how adults behave toward others. To find the whole article, search for “Meditation DOESN’T make you a calmer person – The Berean Call”.

We encourage you to keep away from any occult practices and keep the door to your mind and soul closed to all except Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit. And never participate in any practice that requires you to empty your mind. Biblical meditation does not require an emptying of the mind.

Thank you for your time and may God richly bless you in wisdom and understanding.

Carl

Root of All Evil

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This tip jar is at a south Louisiana convenience store.  The clerk modified the scriptural message to fit her need. Some people were taking advantage of her offer.

This image reminds me of the apostle Paul’s instructions to Timothy in I Timothy 6:9-10:

“…but they that after giving the matter mature consideration desire to be wealthy, fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and hurtful cravings which are of such a nature as to drown men in destruction and perdition; for a root of all the evils is the fondness for money, which certain ones, bending their every effort to grasp, have been led astray from the Faith and have pierced themselves through with many consuming griefs.  (Wuest Expanded Translation – added emphasis)

May money have the proper place in our lives and not be an idol.

“Let your manner of life be without love of money, being satisfied with your present circumstances. For He himself has said, and the statement is on record, I will not, I will not cease to sustain and uphold you.  I will not, I will not, I will not let you down.”  (Hebrew 13:5 Wuest Expanded Translation)

Bless be God The Father who has redeemed us out of the slave market of sin by the precious blood of Jesus His Holy Son and transferred us into His eternal kingdom in-Christ!

Keep yourself from idols.

Carl