Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Porn is devastating an entire generation of young people and new studies show that first exposure is starting younger and younger.
The increase of pornography use and addiction among adults is a growing concern around the world. Sadly, it is far worse for today's children who are growing up in a fully connected world. Porn is devastating an entire generation of young people.

According to ChildLine founder Dame Esther Rantzen, "Young people are turning to the internet to learn about sex and relationships. We know they are frequently stumbling across porn, often unintentionally, and they are telling us very clearly that this is having a damaging and upsetting effect on them."
How bad is the problem?

Many studies report that the average age of a child's first exposure to pornography is at 11 years old. But security technology company Bitdefender's research states that children under the age of 10 now comprise 22% of online porn viewing for youth under 18 years old. The under 10 years-old group now accounts for one in 10 visitors to porn video sites.

As licensed clinical social worker Donald P. Huerta explains, "Many kids I have seen in my private practice who are struggling with an addiction to pornography were initially exposed to it through a friend, by newspaper underwear or swimsuit ads, on an ad that popped up while searching the internet or by an accidental click on the internet while doing homework. 

After the unintentional viewing and subsequently wrestling with guilt and shame, they secretively continued looking for the pictures or movies that held similar images and became more intentional in their searches for it."

Over a quarter (26%) of 13-to-17-years-old teenagers admit to viewing pornography at least once a week. And if you think the problem doesn't exist within the church, seventy percent of Christian youth pastors say they have had at least one teenager come to them in the last 12 months for help in dealing with pornography.

"Never before in the history of telecommunications media in the United States has so much indecent and obscene material been so easily accessible by so many minors in so many American homes with so few restrictions." -U.S. Department of Justice

Google Analytics data shows that pornography-related searches increase by 4,700% when children are out of school.

In view of such staggering statistics, how does porn harm children?

1. Viewing pornography affects their attitudes and values

Consider how easy it is for advertisers to influence our behavior to buy a product with just a short television commercial. Similarly, a very brief viewing of pornography can influence a child's attitudes about sex, women, and other values.

The American Bar Association reports, "Excessive media use, particularly where the content is violent, gender-stereotyped, and/or sexually explicit, skews children's world view, increases high-risk behaviors, and alters their capacity for successful and sustained human relationships."
Gail Dines, CEO of Culture Reframed, said, "If you're socializing a whole generation into porn sex, which is what we're doing because porn is the major form of sex education today, then what kinds of fathers, partners, lawyers, judges, policemen are they going to be when they've had their capacity for intimacy, connections and relationships hijacked by the porn culture?"

2. Porn interferes with their development and self-identity

There is a significant relationship between teens who use porn frequently and feelings of loneliness and major depression. They also have lower levels of self-esteem.

Pornography alters a child's normal personality development process related to their sexuality, their body, and sense of self.

"During certain critical periods of childhood, a child's brain is being programmed for sexual orientation", reports ProtectKids. "During this period, the mind appears to be developing a "hardwire" for what the person will be aroused by or attracted to. 

Exposure to healthy sexual norms and attitudes during this critical period can result in the child developing a healthy sexual orientation. 

In contrast, if there is exposure to pornography during this period, sexual deviance may become imprinted on the child's "hard drive" and become a permanent part of his or her sexual orientation. "

Children learn a considerable amount by imitating what they see other people do.

We have mirror neurons in our brain that help us to learn - when we learn to tie our shoe laces by watching someone else, that is those mirror neurons at work.

Neuroscientist, Dr William Struthers, who wrote Wired For Intimacy; How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain, says, "These mirror neurons are involved when someone views pornography because what they view, they vicariously experience and learn from."

By viewing pornography, the child's brain is being programmed to what they are seeing which forms their understanding of sex and intimacy.

3. Children are not emotionally or physically able to handle pornography

When children view unfamiliar people in sex acts, it becomes an overwhelming and frightening experience that they cannot comprehend.

According to the Association for Natural Psychology, "Pornography, as well as exposure to sexual innuendo, in movies for pre-teens, can evoke emotions of worry and confusion. More often than not, children have no one, with the exception of equally confused peers, with whom to discuss what they've seen."

"Pornography, as something that children and teens do not necessarily understand, becomes overwhelming and confusing for most children and teens. This can surface in ways difficult for parents or teachers to decode, such as oppositional behavior, preoccupation with sex, and inability to concentrate.

"Exposure or over-exposure can also lead to some symptoms associated with depression and ADHD, symptoms associated with bipolar disorder, or suicidal ideation."

According to Dr. Ted Roberts, the host of the Conquer Series, the prefrontal cortex of the brain is where reasoning, decision making and judgement take place and isn't fully formed until the age of 25. This means children are being exposed to pornography long before they can comprehend the dangers associated with it or make judgments on what they are seeing.

4. Porn may cause children to act out sexually

Since children often imitate what they've seen, some studies show that pornography may lead them to act out sexually among smaller and more vulnerable children.

ProtectKids explains, "Over 66 percent of the males and 40 percent of the females reported wanting to try out some of the sexual behaviors they had witnessed. And among high schoolers, 31 percent of the males and 18 percent of the females admitted actually doing some of the things they had seen in the pornography within a few days after exposure."

Young people are also more likely to engage in 'sexting' photos or messages on their mobile phones, which can leave them exposed to cyber-bullying.

Studies have also shown that boys exposed to a large amount of pornography before the age of 14 tend to be more sexually active as adults. Additionally, new research has found a link between exposure to pornography and sexual violence.

The challenge is clear

Pornography presents a major harmful assault on today's young people. They will have to deal with the negative impacts porn has on them into adulthood unless we take action now to help them avoid a lifelong porn addiction.

Thankfully there is a growing movement of parents and teenagers who are fighting for this generation and helping them break free from pornography. Churches are beginning to run the Conquer Series not only for adults, but also for father-son groups.

The Conquer Series, a 12-DVD cinematic production, will help you understand how the mind processes pornography and how you can learn to fight back and find freedom for your own sexual addiction, and also how to lead your children to grow in integrity amidst a porn saturated culture.

As the fathers go through the Conquer Series with their sons, they are not only dealing with pornography in their home, but seeing a transformation of the depth in their relationship with each other.

Teenagers as young as 15 and 16 who have seen the devastating effects of pornography in their lives and the students around them, are taking a stand and leading their peers through the series.

Today's children face a world saturated with sexual content, but the Conquer Series is a powerful resource helping them fight the battle.

Visit ConquerSeries.com to watch the film trailer and find out more.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

                   THE SECRET OF POWER WITH GOD
                               By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
1. Through COMMUNION with God, we are filled with the life of God. Without the life of God we are in total spiritual darkness. The Bible says: "In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehended it not.” (John 1: 4,5)
2. Through COMMUNION with God, the Holy Spirit reveals the will of God. The Bible says: “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Rom. 8: 26)
     Often, we do not know how to pray intelligently so are at a loss to know how to pray. But when we pray in the Holy Spirit, He comes to our rescue and prays through us to the Father. The literal Greek says, 'The Spirit Himself takes a hold of against our infirmities and prays through us to the Father.' This often happens when we pray in other tongues. The Holy Spirit prays through us to the Father.
3. Through COMMUNION with God, the Holy Spirit changes us into the image of God. The Bible says: “And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the pirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the  firstborn among many brethren.” (Rom. 8: 27, 29)
      “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed in the same IMAGE from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor. 3: 17,18)
4. Through COMMUNION with God, we are led by the Spirit to go forth with the power of God. It was the Holy Spirit that filled Jesus of Nazareth during His water baptism in the Jordan River. Immediately thereafter, our Lord was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. (Luke 4: 1-13)
     “And Jesus returned in the Power of the Spirit into Galilee; and there went out a fame of Him through all the region round about. And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Esaias. 
    "And when He had opened the book He found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He hath anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor, He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” (Luke 4: 14-16).
    St. Peter stated: “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with Power: Who went about doing Good and healing all that were oppressed of the Devil: for God was with Him.” (Acts 10: 38)
      In His book titled Prayer, James H. McConkey wrote, “Communion is the daily looking unto Jesus for the continuous inflow of His divine life.” And that is the key to power with God. It is the mystery that our Heavenly Father had kept hidden for ages and generations but was given to St. Paul, who revealed it to the Church.
     Almighty God walked with Enoch, He communed with Moses as face to face, He called Abraham His friend and David was called a man after God's own heart, yet He did not reveal the Mystery to them. And when Jesus walked with His disciples and apostles, He did not disclose the Mystery to them, either.
                                  WHY SAUL OF TARSUS?
    He waited until He had the right man in place, a man feared by the church and revered by the enemies of the cross. Saul of Tarsus was a man God could trust, a man deeply committed and so dedicated to the Jewish Laws that he would put wrongdoers to death believing he was pleasing God. 
     Here was a man who would obey God, once he heard the truth. Here was a man who would carry the name of Jesus Christ and His Gospel to the Jews and who would establish the church in the Gentile world.
      St. Paul reveals the hidden Mystery: “How that by revelation He made known unto me the Mystery; as I wrote before in few words. Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ. Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit:
     “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel. And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, Who created all things by Jesus Christ.” (Eph.3: 3-6, 9)
    What was this great MYSTERY which our Heavenly Father had kept hidden from the beginning of the world and was revealed to St. Paul? It was Christ living in the believer, His body. His Church would consist of Born Again, Spirit-filled Gentiles and Jews, making us into new creatures in Christ.
     “Even the mystery which hath been hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of His glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col.1: 26, 27)
     The Bible states: “And He is the HEAD of the Body, the Church: Who is the beginning, the first born from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell. And having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in Heaven. (Col.1:18-20)
                                    TO BE LIKE JESUS!
     How is this possible? The Bible clearly gives us the process through which this is possible: “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor.3:7,8)
     James H. McConkey writes: “You have heard the story of the sea and the cloud. The sea looked up into the heavens and saw the beauty of the great white summer clouds, and longed to become a cloud. So it struggled, and strove, and tossed itself into the air, and dashed itself against the rocks, but all to no purpose.
     “And then the sun looked down upon the sea, and said: “Be quiet; be still; and just look unto me.” And then the tossing sea grew quiet, and ceased its striving, and lay there with open face beholding the glory of the sun. And as it did so, the sun steadily, moment by moment, drew and changed, and transformed the sea, until bye and bye, in the heavens was another cloud in all its beauty.
     “What the sea could not do with all its striving, the sun did, simply through the sea's looking unto it. And so too we struggle and strive, and work to be like JESUS, but somehow - we do not know how; we do not understand anymore than we understand how as we look to Jesus in the place of prayer; as we look unto Him in the place of communion; as our souls cease their striving and their vain struggles to make the old flesh life like Him – which can never be – and just look helplessly, to Him, somehow we are changed into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    As we look unto Jesus we come to look like Jesus. Those who wait upon Him shine with His glory. When Moses came out of the mountain, his face was shining with the glory of God. Why? Because he had gazed into the face of God for forty days. And when he came down, he stood a transfigured man before the people, with the image of God in his face, so that he had to cover it, for they could not bear looking upon it.
     “How beautiful then is it that as we look unto Jesus, we are transformed into the image of Jesus. Then even down here in the dark night of faith, somehow or other, we GROW like Him. The moment a man perfectly sees Jesus, that moment a man is going to be perfectly like Jesus.”
                            WHEN JESUS RETURNS FOR US!
     St. Paul wrote: “Wherefore seeing we are also compassed about with so great a a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
     “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher (perfecter) of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12: 1,2)
Let us seek God to be filled with the blessed Holy Spirit and power. Remember that Jesus had to pour out His BLOOD on the cross, so that He could receive the promise of His Father to pour out the Holy Spirit on His church!
     That Christ will return to take us all home is guaranteed. Jesus promised: “In My Father's House are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will COME again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14: 2,3)
   When we see Jesus face to face we shall truly be like Him. How wonderful. The Bible states: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall APPEAR, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3: 2)
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Cor. 13: 12); “And now little children, abide in Him; that when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” (1 John 2:28). Amen.

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

         THE BOOK OF GOD
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
     “Oh, give me that book. At any price, give me the Book of God! I have it: here is knowledge enough for me. Let me be a man of One Book.” - John Wesley
     JOHN WESLEY founded the Methodist Church in England after losing his parish in the Anglican Church, for preaching the true evangelical Gospel of Jesus Christ. He stood on his father's grave and preached to the people. They asked him, “What will you do now that you have lost your parish?” He answered, “The world is my parish!”
    Before long, he was preaching to 50,000 people in cow pastures and elsewhere and the Revival swept England, and Methodist Churches were springing up everywhere! Historians now believe that John Wesley's Revivals could well have kept Britain from a similar fate of that which almost destroyed the nation of France!
    In his great humility, that mighty man of God wrote, “I am a creature of a day, passing through life, as an arrow through the air. I am a spirit come from God, and returning to God. Just hovering over the great gulf; till a few moments hence, I am no more seen! I drop into an unchangeable eternity!
    “I want to know one thing, the way to Heaven: How to land safe on that Happy Shore. God Himself has condescended to teach the Way; for this very end He came from Heaven. He has written it down in a BOOK! Oh, give me that Book! At any price, give me the Book of God. I have it: here is knowledge enough for me. Let me be a man of one Book!
      Many religious books were available, but JOHN WESLEY wanted none of them. He wasn't in the habit of reading nonsense, false prophecies, mere speculation and down-right lies! His heart was set on the Holy Bible, which promises a man eternal life if he seeks God with a true heart and sincere spirit!
     Jesus Christ declared: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again.” (John 3: 3, 6, 7).
                 THE HOLY BIBLE IS THAT BOOK!
     The Bible says: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the Light of men.
    “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1-4,10,12,14)
     You cannot divorce Jesus Christ from His Word. He is the Living Word and the Holy Bible is the Written Word! JESUS the Word was incarnated (God in human flesh) to become God's Paschal Lamb and die vicariously for the sins of the world! He was born to die so that we could live. His death was victorious and His Resurrection was glorious!
    Some people ask: “On what basis have you derived that the Holy Bible is the inspired, sacred, inerrant Word of God?” I could cite hundreds of reasons but I only need one. Jesus Christ the Son of God, Who is all Wisdom and all Knowledge, believed it to be the very Word of God and quoted from it regularly!
     “For had ye believed Moses:  ye would have believed Me; for he wrote of Me. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it, and was glad... Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” (John 5:45, 46; 8:58); “And have ye not read this Scripture; the one which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner?” (Mark 12: 10)
     “But He said unto them, Have ye not read what David did when he was an hungered, and they that were with him and they that were with him... Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the Sabbath days...?” (Matt. 12: 5,6; “Then He said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets  have spoken?” (Luke 24:25)
      St. Paul enumerates some of His grandeur, power and attributes: “In Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the Head of all principality and power.” (Col. 1:2 ,9,10)
     The Bible records the historical birth of Jesus of Nazareth in Bethlehem, as was prophesied by Isaiah the prophet seven hundred years earlier. His vicarious death by crucifixion was recorded by Jewish Scribes and officials of the Roman Authority.   
    His glorious resurrection from the dead was recorded and magnified by the Holy Spirit through the ministries of His Apostles, disciples and followers, who preached the Gospel, healed the sick and cast out devils in His name. The Roman guards who were overcome by the presence of God's angels at the tomb of Jesus, quite possibly secretly spread the news of what happened that morning.
    The Roman Centurion who witnessed the earthquake and verified Jesus' death to Pontius Pilate, undoubtedly investigated the damaged temple including the torn veil which had opened the Holy of  Holies to public view. Tradition says that the Centurion became a missionary and died as a martyr for Jesus. The Empty Tomb proved that Jesus had risen from the dead on the third day. There was no trace of a body, but His burial clothes and napkin were left behind.
    There are three things that humanists, atheists and Christ haters can't figure out. It almost drives them crazy, namely the Empty Tomb, the Missing body of Jesus and the Conversion of the Saul of Tarsus, the Jewish Enforcer!
     Our Saviour stated: “No-one knows the Father except the Son.” (Matt. 11: 27); “My teaching is not Mine, but My Father Who sent Me.” (John 7:16); “Verily, verily I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
      “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to Heaven but He that came down from Heaven, even the Son of man which is in Heaven.
      He declared: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3: 11-16)
       The reason that I trust Jesus Christ is because He is the Word of God and the Author of the Bible. Even though He was incarnated (God in human flesh), He was still in “the bosom of the Father” (John 1:18) and as verse 13 confirms: “even the Son of man which is in Heaven.” In the natural, this is beyond human reasoning because the Mystery of the Triune God is incomprehensible. He does not ask us to understand Him, however, but simply to believe Him. And that is not difficult!
      God still answers PRAYER! He has not changed His Word or methodology to please some airy- fairy, arrogant, proud, puny, so-called intellectual academics who parade themselves as knowing more than the Holy Spirit and our Lord Jesus Christ.
      Yet, the Church of Jesus Christ has pulled back from the front lines of battle with the Devil. Fear has overcome faith and secular humanism has trumped genuine spirituality. Some of God's servants are intimidated by the pervading philosophy of political correctness, evolutionary theories and new age teaching.
   They have traded the truth for a lie, and bought into the philosophy that God no longer does miracles and that we must discount the Bible and put our trust in the arm of flesh. Many preachers have inadvertently been deceived by the phraseology of the so-called 'Higher Critics' who have cleverly implanted doubts by parsing certain words in the Bible. They have insidiously driven a wedge between Almighty God and His Own Word.
     How can you trust God, if you cannot trust His WORD in totality? Those men in the interest of their profession as theologians trained in linguistics singly or in concert with colleagues – often make pronouncements, depending on their own preconceived ideas which often leads to doubts about the meaning of certain texts.
      In his book, 'God Has Spoken' J.I. Packer writes: “Mesmerized by the problems of rationalistic criticism, we can no longer hear the Bible as the Word of God. Liberal theology, in its pride, has long insisted  that we are wiser than our fathers about the Bible and must not read it as they did, but must base  our approach to it on the 'assured results' of criticism, making due allowance for human imperfections and errors of its authors.
   “This insistence has a threefold effect. It produces a new papalism – the infallibility of the scholars, from whom we learn what the 'assured results' are. “It raises a doubt about every single biblical passage, as to whether it truly embodies revelation or not. And it destroys the reverent, receptive, self-distrusting attitude of approach to the Bible, without which if cannot be known to be GOD'S WORD written.”
     There is only one Word to describe the insidious work of such deceived or deceptive men and their work and that is “DEVILISH'! The Bible declares: “For the Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb.4: 12).
    “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Tim. 3: 16, 17); “For prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1: 21)
    “Who hath delivered us from the power of Darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son: In Whom we have Redemption through His BLOOD, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
      “For by Him were all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: ALL things were created by Him, and for Him: and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. And He is the HEAD of the body, the Church; Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell.
    “And having made Peace through the BLOOD of His Cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in Heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled. In the body of His flesh, through Death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight.” (Col. 1: 13-22)
       MOSES stated: “Ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is or hath been heard like.” (Duet.4:32)
      ISAIAH declared: “For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord and there is NONE else. Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together:
    “Who hath declared this from ancient time? Who hath told it from that time? Have not I the Lord? And there is NO God else beside Me; a just God and a Saviour; there is NONE beside Me. Look unto Me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is NONE else.” (Is. 26:18, 21,22)
      “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is NONE else; I am God and there is NONE else, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My Counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.” (Is. 46: 9, 10)
     King David stated: “For ever, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in Heaven.” (Ps. 119:89). And St. Paul commanded: Preach the Word; be instant in season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Tim.4: 2-4).
               NOT ONE WORD HAS FAILED!
      King Solomon stated: “Blessed be the Lord that hath given rest unto His people Israel, according to all that He promised: there hath not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised by the hand of Moses, His servant.” (1 Kings 8: 56)
      As children in DVBS and church we used to sing: “Jesus never fails, Jesus never fails; Heaven and earth may pass away, but Jesus never fails.”  We were, of course, saying what God's Word, the Holy Bible declares: “The promises of God in Him (Christ) are YEA, and in Him AMEN, unto the glory of God by us. Now He which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God. Who hath also SEALED us, and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our heart.” (2 Cor. 1:20-22)
     Another hymn we cherished is, 'Standing on the Promises of God'. Some of the words were: “Standing on the promises of Christ my King. Through eternal ages let His praises sing; Glory in the Highest, I will shout and sing. Standing on the promises of God. Standing on the promises which cannot fall, Listening every moment for the Spirit's call; Resting in my Saviour as my all in all, I'm standing on the promises of God.”
      The promises of God in the Holy Bible are sure and steadfast and will be fulfilled, as stated.  The Scripture says: “Then said the Lord unto me, Thou hast seen well: for I will hasten My Word to perform it.” (Jer. 1: 12). “Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto His people Israel, according to all that He had promised: there hath not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised by the hand of Moses His servant.” (1 Kings 8: 56)
      God is transcendent, other worldly, above and beyond. He is omnipotent, everywhere present at once. He is holy, pure, righteous, infinitely good, compassionate and gracious. He is merciful and just and changeless, the same yesterday, today and forever.
      He kept His Word to Adam. He kept His Word to Noah. He kept His Word to Abraham. He kept His Word to Joseph. He kept His Word to Moses. He kept His Word to Jesus. He kept His Word to Peter, He kept His Word to John. He kept His Word to Stephen. He kept His Word to Philip. He kept His Word to Paul and He will keep His Word to us!
     Repeatedly, the Bible records that things which happened to our Lord Jesus Christ were fulfillment of the prophecies given earlier by prophets of God! The Bible says: “Knowing this first that no prophecy of the Scriptures is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not by the will of man: but Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1: 20, 21)
   “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof. For correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Tim.3: 16, 17); “For the Word of God is quick (alive) and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and the marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12)
      Jesus said: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Words shall not pass away.” (Matt. 24: 35); “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1: 1,2, 14)
      “Of His Own Will begat He us with the WORD of TRUTH, that we should be a kind of first fruits of His creatures. Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted WORD, which is able to save your souls.” (James 1:18-21)
    After His resurrection, Jesus spoke to His disciples: “And He said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning Me.” (Luke 24: 44)
    In his message to the household of Cornelius, St. Peter stated: “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, for God was with Him...To him give all the prophets witness, that through His Name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.” (Acts 10: 38)
     PROF. FREDERIC HARRISON, in a lecture given at Oxford, stated: “The English Bible is the best that our literature can give us in simple noble prose.” SIR WALTER SCOTT stated: “In the whole world it is THE BOOK; all other books are mere leaves, fragments.”
    PROF. DYSON HAGUE said: “Yes, it alone is the universal Book, the eternal Book. It is a Voice; all others are merely books for the hour. The Bible is the book of all time. It stands alone; unapproachable in grandeur; as high above all other books as heaven is above the earth, as the Son of God above the sons of men.”
      MARTIN LUTHER said: “God writes the Gospel not only in the Bible, but creation itself. O Lord, how manifold are Thy Works. In wisdom Thou hast made them. The earth is full of its riches.” (Ps. 104: 24). “Martin Luther lived and moved in the heart of the Scriptures and this was the secret of his strength.” - Philip Schaff, noted historian
       ST. AGUSTINE said: “If God is Love, then there must be in Him a Lover, a Beloved and a Spirit of Love.” JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU (1712 - 1778) a French philosopher stated: “Behold the works of our philosophers, with all their pompous diction, how mean and contemptible are they in comparison with the Scriptures.”
                      A REALLY GREAT QUESTION! 
     “Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger forever, because He delighteth in Mercy. He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities. And Thou will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7: 18, 19)
    The prophet asks the question: “Who is a God like unto Thee? That is a really great question. First, no other God exists. There may be imitators, demon impersonators or man-made gods, but there is only one TRUE GOD! Second, look at what He does. He is Righteous, Just, Good, Merciful, Long suffering, Patient, Forgiving, Gracious and Compassionate!
     He pardons iniquity, meaning He has power to forgive Sins. He retains not His anger forever. He knows our weaknesses. He overlooks our errors when we repent.  He delights in mercy. He doesn't delight in punishing us because He loves us. He has compassion on us. He subdues our iniquities by giving us power to overcome sinful habits.  He forgets our sins when He forgives them. He shows great mercy upon us! There is no god like God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Son and the Holy Spirit!
   “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him. As far as the East is from the West, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us. Like as a Father pitieth His children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him. For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.” (Ps. 103: 11-14)
     “Behold for PEACE I had great bitterness: but Thou hast in LOVE to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for Thou hast cast all my SINS behind Thy back.” (Is. 38: 17). The Hebrew word used here refers to the part of the back between the shoulder blades. It is impossible to see anything that is behind your back, between your shoulder blades! 
     “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His Holy name. Bless the Lord O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who FORGIVETH all thine iniquities; Who HEALETH all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; Who crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's. The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.” (Ps.103: 1-6)
     The BIBLE states: “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers has sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is His Name? What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shall thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent you ... This is My name for ever, and this is My memorial unto all generations.” (Ex. 3:13-15).
    “I AM the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour ... Fear thou not, for I am with thee...Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord...I even I, am the Lord; and beside Me there is none else, there is NO God beside Me: I girded thee, though thou thou hast not known Me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside Me. I AM the Lord, and there is none else.” (Is.43:3,5,10; 45:5,6)
     For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” (Mal. 3: 6); “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Heb.13:8
      The Character of God: How can mortal man define it? It is impossible to define the character of Almighty God. How can mortal man define the Righteous, Holy, Pure, True and irreproachable  character of the Heavenly Father Who offered the inexpressible gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, to deliver lost humanity?
     Incomprehensible is the word that best lends itself to this most difficult task. Here are some of the characteristics which we carefully call the attributes of God: justice, merciful, gracious, love, goodness, holiness, eternal, righteous, sovereignty, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, self -existence, transcendence, immanence, immutability.
      Jesus Christ says: “Come unto Me all ye who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11: 28); “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Words shall not pass away.” (Matt. 24: 35); “All power is given unto Me in Heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matt.28: 18, 20).
                    MY PERSONAL TESTIMONY!
     The God of the Universe is my personal Saviour, Lord and Friend! He is my Advocate, Physician, and Counsellor. His Name means, ‘The God who saves, the God who heals, the God who protects and the God who delivers from all Evil’!
    He is Yeshua ha Mashiach - the Salvation of God and King Messiah - Jesus the Christ of God! Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father! (Phil. 2: 10). He is nearer than the breath I breathe and the blood that flows through my veins, because He is in me and I am in Him and I am hid with Christ in God! (John 6: 48-63; 14:16-23; 15:7; 2 Cor.5:17)
   I am His doulos (gr. love slave) because He owns me, having purchased my eternal salvation at the cost of His own precious blood. And I will be eternally grateful to Him for His compassion, love and mercy toward me, a lost and condemned sinner afloat on the sea of life, filled only with plans for material wealth and worldly ambition!
    In His great mercy, He waited for me to realize that I needed Him. It took a miracle to recruit me into His Army. When my father was instantly healed in his gall bladder through the Radio Ministry of Oral Roberts and baptized in the Holy Spirit a few days later, I saw for the first time in my life the reality of God working in people’s lives.  (1 John 1: 1-7)
               NO LONGER ONLY A THEORY!
     It was no longer only a theory, but Jesus Christ became a living reality whom I could no longer resist. By following Him, I was offered eternal life instead of having my own way which would end in eternal death! (1 John 5: 10-13)        
    When He called me I said, “Yes! I want this. This is real, not just a figment of the imagination or a set of rules and regulations, but LIFE in its highest form. I humbled myself to embrace the Life Giver Himself, the God of Creation, the Lord of lords and the King of all kings and Ruler Divine, Jesus Christ the Great Physician!
     St. Paul stated that he was not worthy to be an apostle because in his ignorance, he had persecuted the followers of Christ! (Eph.3: 7, 8; 1 Cor. 15: 9) In that respect, we are all guilty if we do not give God the praise, honour and glory that He deserves and demands.
    Praise be to the matchless name of Jesus Christ, my Faithful High Priest, Who pleads my cause before our Heavenly Father (Heb.7: 24, 25) and my Deliverer who keeps the Evil One at bay and fleeing in terror! (James 4: 7)                                                       
     Speaking to His disciples, Jesus said: “Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth; but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you.” (John 15: 14,15)
      He shared with them His innermost feelings just before going to the Cross. He had prior knowledge. He knew His mission and He shared with His disciples what His Father had told Him; That He had come to earth to die for the sins of the world and rise again in power and great glory in order to redeem Adam’s fallen race!
     He divulged that He had come to do His Father’s Will. He spoke with them of His love and compassion for the lost, sick and dying, and He proved His great love and grace by forgiving the sinful, healing the sick and showing mercy to the outcasts.
    Jesus healed all who came seeking His merciful touch. He had great compassion for the weak and struggling souls who reached out in their desperation for His holy touch!
                  GOD’S GRACE, MERCY & LOVE!
    The Gospel of God's grace, mercy and love: There is nothing like it and never will be! In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus unburdened His heart to His Father as He cried out: “O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; Nevertheless, not as I will, BUT AS THOU WILT.” (Matt. 26:39)
      Angels came to minister unto Him in His hour of temptation and we have come to understand that they are also messengers sent to minister to us in the time of need. (Psalm 34: 7; Heb.1: 14) )
     As Jesus prayed on the Rock of the Agony in Gethsemane, His sweat became like drops of Blood, knowing that He was entering the final phase of His Redemptive plan that had been formulated before the creation of the world! (Luke 22: 43, 44)
     The Gospel of God’s grace and mercy! There is nothing like it anywhere. No love story as tender, no message as powerful, no news as far reaching and enduring as the Gospel and no Name as great as the name of Jesus Christ the World's Only Saviour!
  St. Paul speaks of “the unsearchable Riches in Christ,” and the “eternal purpose which God purposed in Christ Jesus.”
    He prayed: “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3: 17-21)         
     No wonder King David said: “The fool (idiot) has said in his heart there is no God.” (Psalms 14: 1)  An idiot can say that there is no God. He is an idiot and does' not know any better!
      After more than fifty years of study, research and travel meeting people from all walks of life, I can certainly ascertain that infidels, atheists and New Age advocates are spiritually retarded, proud and ignorant about the real issues of life.
       By the same token, I can safely say that most of the great men I have studied or met, believed in the God of Creation and His wondrous works! The brutish man has the characteristics of a stupid and irrational person and a fool knows nothing!
     King David was a prophet of God. He stated: “For Thou, Lord hast made me glad through Thy work: I will triumph in the works of Thy hands. O Lord, how great are Thy works! And Thy thoughts are very deep. A brutish man knoweth not: neither does a fool understand this.” (Psalm 92: 5, 6)
     GEN. DOUGLAS MacARTHUR said: “Believe me, Sir, never a night goes by, be I ever so tired, but I read the Word of God before I go to bed.”
    THE WHITE HOUSE, WASHINGTON: January 25, 1941. To the Armed Forces:
As Commander-in-Chief I take pleasure in commending the reading of the Bible to all who serve in the armed forces of the United States. Throughout the centuries men of many faiths and diverse origins have found in the sacred Book words of wisdom, counsel and inspiration. It is a fountain of strength and now, as always, an aid in attaining the highest aspirations of the human soul.” Very sincerely yours, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
   GEORGE WASHINGTON (1789-1791) stated: “It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible.” Fifty two of the fifty six signers of the Declaration of Independence were Christians!
     ROBERT R. LEE said, “The Bible is a Book in comparison with which all others are in my eyes of minor importance.”
     NAPOLEON BONAPARTE stated: “The Bible is more than a book. It is a living being with an action, a power which invade everything which opposes its extension.”
      The HOLY BIBLE is the first book ever to be printed in 1452.  Miles  Cloverdale printed the first English translation of the Holy Bible in the year of 1535.
      ALBERT CAMUS said: “I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out that there isn't, than to live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is.”
  JOB, the oldest patriarch of the Bible stated: “For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter Day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” (Job 19: 25-27)
     ST. PAUL, the brilliant theologian, who met Jesus in a blinding light that charred his eyes, and was tutored by Him and even carried into Heaven and saw such things that he was forbidden to reveal, stated: “I believe God.” (Acts 27: 25).
     All Glory, Praise and Majesty be unto to God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost forever and ever, for He has redeemed us unto Himself for His good pleasure and our eternal blessedness and joy!
                ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED!
     The Bible says: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Heavenly places in Christ: According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:
    “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will. To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.
   “In Whom we have REDEMPTION through His Blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His Grace. Wherein He hath abounded unto us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the Mystery of His Will, according to His Good Pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself:
  “That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in ONE all things in Christ, both which are in Heaven, and which are on earth, even  in Him: In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.” (Eph. 1: 3-11).
     The call of God still goes out to the lost, sick and suffering: “Come unto Me all ye who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you REST.” (Matt. 11: 28).
  DR. OLE HALLESBY, Evangelical Lutheran Church, Norway (Devotional Jan. 28): “Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” (Matthew 21: 21, 22)
   “Now and then, we make discoveries which almost take your breath away, namely, when we see what great powers are present in this realm of the invisible. This is especially true when these powers are put to our disposal, when God performs a mighty miracle simply because we ask Him to do so.” 
   JOHN WESLEY stated: “Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth.” Amen.

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