Do Not Be Deceived: Romans 13 & 1 Peter 2

Some false pastors are teaching that these two New Testament passages mean Christians must obey the government, and take the mark of the beast. I am going to show, to my satisfaction at least, how these false pastors are wrong. Dead wrong.

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.
Romans 13:1-5 NKJV

13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, 14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men— 16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. 17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
1 Peter 2:13-17 NKJV

Do not be deceived, taking the mark of the beast is eternally fatal!

Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.
Revelation 14:9-11 NKJV

Bible Theme – Obey God, Not Man

The Apostle Peter

The Bible is full of examples that clearly teach Obey God, Not Man. Let’s start with Peter, who wrote one of the passages above.

But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”
Acts 5:29 NKJV

Esther

The book of Esther is the story of how the Jews brought this law of the king to naught. That is, they did not automatically obey the king!

Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from all other people’s, and they do not keep the king’s laws. Therefore it is not fitting for the king to let them remain. If it pleases the king, let a decree be written that they be destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who do the work, to bring it into the king’s treasuries.”

10 So the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. 11 And the king said to Haman, “The money and the people are given to you, to do with them as seems good to you.

12 Then the king’s scribes were called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and a decree was written according to all that Haman commanded—to the king’s satraps, to the governors who were over each province, to the officials of all people, to every province according to its script, and to every people in their language. In the name of King Ahasuerus it was written, and sealed with the king’s signet ring. 13 And the letters were sent by couriers into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their possessions. 14 A copy of the document was to be issued as law in every province, being published for all people, that they should be ready for that day.
Esther 3:8-14 NKJV

The Hebrew Midwives

Here is an example from when Israel was in slavery in Egypt.

15 Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of one was Shiphrah and the name of the other Puah; 16 and he said, “When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.” 17 But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive. 18 So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this thing, and saved the male children alive?”

19 And the midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are lively and give birth before the midwives come to them.”

20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty. 21 And so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them.
Exodus 1:15-21 NKJV

To be very, very clear: The midwives disobeyed and lied to the king of Egypt. It says they feared the Lord. We might summarize, “The fear of the Lord can include disobeying and lying to the government.” And God clearly approved of their actions!

And so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them.

Exodus 1:21 NKJV
Rahab

Next, let’s look at Rahab, who helped Israel overthrow Jerico.

Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.”

So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there. And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, “Behold, men have come here tonight from the children of Israel to search out the country.”

So the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to search out all the country.”

Then the woman took the two men and hid them. So she said,Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they werefrom. And it happened as the gate was being shut, when it was dark, that the men went out. Where the men went I do not know; pursue them quickly, for you may overtake them.” (But she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order on the roof.) Then the men pursued them by the road to the Jordan, to the fords. And as soon as those who pursued them had gone out, they shut the gate.

Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, and said to the men: “I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. 10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11 And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. 12 Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the Lord, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father’s house, and give me a true token, 13 and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.”

14 So the men answered her,Our lives for yours, if none of you tell this business of ours. And it shall be, when the Lord has given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with you.”

15 Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall; she dwelt on the wall. 16 And she said to them, “Get to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you. Hide there three days, until the pursuers have returned. Afterward you may go your way.”
Joshua 2:1-16 NKJV

As far as the king of Jericho was concerned, Rahab committed treason. She lied, hid the spies, and helped them escape. How did God feel about her actions? He was so pleased she gets a double mention in the New Testament. She is listed among the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11.

By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.
Hebrews 11:31 NKJV

Her faith is also commended in the book of James.

Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
James 2:25 NKJV

By the way, I think Rahab was a former harlot at the time she helped the spies. She had enough flax on her roof to cover the spies. Why would you have that much flax unless you were making flax into cloth?

(But she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order on the roof.)
Joshua 2:6 NKJV

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego

King Nebuchadnezzar told Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego to bow to his idol or they would burn. To the king’s face they told him they would not obey his command.

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.
Daniel 3:16-18 NKJV

King Nebuchadnezzar had them thrown in the furnace, but the story doesn’t end there.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?”

They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”

25 “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”

26 Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace andspoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. 27 And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.
Daniel 3:24-27 NKJV

It gets even better!

28 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! 29 Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.

30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon.
Daniel 3:28-30 NKJV

The bottom line: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego refused to obey the king and it turned out very well for them.

Daniel

Some people hated Daniel, and they tricked King Darius into making a law they knew Daniel would disobey.

So these governors and satraps thronged before the king, and said thus to him: “King Darius, live forever! All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter.” Therefore King Darius signed the written decree.
Daniel 6:6-9 NKJV

Daniel’s enemies were right. He did not break his habit of praying to God. He chose to disobey the king’s new law.

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.
Daniel 6:10 NKJV

He was cast into a den of lions.

16 So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.” 17 Then a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signets of his lords, that the purpose concerning Daniel might not be changed.
Daniel 6:16-17 NKJV

But God did not let the lions harm Daniel.

21 Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.”

23 Now the king was exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God.
Daniel 6:21-23 NKJV

Far too late, Daniel’s enemies realized they had made a bad decision.

And the king gave the command, and they brought those men who had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions—them, their children, and their wives; and the lions overpowered them, and broke all their bones in pieces before they ever came to the bottom of the den.
Daniel 6:24 NKJV

Conclusion

All these people disobeyed the government: Peter, Esther, the Hebrew midwives, Rahab, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and Daniel. I know of no places in the Bible where it teaches Always Obey The Government, other than Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2, and I’m in the process of proving their true meaning is understood Spiritually.

Bible Theme – Good Called Evil, And Evil Good

The Bible clearly condemns unrighteous judgment.

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Isaiah 5:20 NKJV

He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just,
Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.
Proverbs 17:15 NKJV

Also, to punish the righteous is not good,
Nor to strike princes for their uprightness.
Proverbs 17:26 NKJV

It is not good to show partiality to the wicked,
Or to overthrow the righteous in judgment.
Proverbs 18:5 NKJV

You have wearied the Lord with your words;
Yet you say,
In what way have we wearied Him?
In that you say,
Everyone who does evil
Is good in the sight of the Lord,
And He delights in them,”
Or, “Where is the God of justice?
Malachi 2:17 NKJV

Roman Punishment For Treason

The Romans used severe and cruel punishment for traitors. If people had a letter from Paul or Peter which could be interpreted “Disobey Caesar!” they could impaled or flogged to death.

[Impalement] is still known as one of the most painful and gruesome methods of execution/torture. The person was pierced through the vagina (women), rectum (both men and women), through the side or through the mouth. The victim would then slide down the pole by his/her own weight and just left to die. Since it didn’t cause death immediately, it would cause a lot of damage to the person who was still alive and who could still feel everything.

 What were the execution methods used in Ancient Rome?

The punishment for treason during the time of Nero was to be stripped naked, having his head held up by a fork and being whipped to death.

Roman punishment and Roman criminal law

Therefore I believe the true meaning of Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2 is hidden from those without Holy Spirit understanding. The letters had to pass Roman censors.

Read With Spiritual Understanding

Please Be Wise!

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.
Proverbs 25:2 NKJV

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
Matthew 10:16 NKJV

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
1 Corinthians 13:11 ESV

Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.
1 Corinthians 14:20 NKJV

that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
Ephesians 4:14 NKJV

Study And Decide For Yourself!

Now the Bereans were more noble-minded than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if these teachings were true.
Acts 17:11 BSB

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV

Recall…
  • Remember the behavior of Peter, Esther, the Hebrew midwives, Rahab, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and Daniel.
  • Remember “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
  • Remember the cruel deaths of traitors to the Roman government.
… There Is A Knock On The Door
  • Virginia, USA, 1860: “Are you hiding any runaway slaves on your farm?”
  • The Netherlands, 1943: “Are you hiding any Jews in your house?”
  • Somewhere, 20xx: “Do you have any Bibles?”
Romans 13:1-5

Consider the highlighted part of this Scripture.

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.
Romans 13:1-5 NKJV

For he is God’s minister to you for good.” In my opinion, if he is the devil’s minister to me for evil, I must obey God, not him.

1 Peter 2:13-17

Consider this highlighted Scripture.

13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, 14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men— 16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. 17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
1 Peter 2:13-17 NKJV

“… the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good.” In my opinion, if the government is praising evildoers and punishing the good, I must obey God, not the government.

Conclusion

I believe the Bible clearly teaches we must obey God, not men. This is true even of Romans 13:1-5 and 1 Peter 2:13-17, where this truth is hidden from natural man’s understanding. Fear, love, and obey God!

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Matthew 10:28 NKJV

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.

Seek His Face

Oh, give thanks to the Lord!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!
Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord!
Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face evermore!
Remember His marvelous works which He has done,
His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth,
O seed of Abraham His servant,
You children of Jacob, His chosen ones!
Psalms 105:1-6 NKJV

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.
10 When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the Lord will take care of me.
Psalms 27:7-10 NKJV

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive blessing from the Lord,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face. Selah
Psalms 24:3-6 NKJV

16 Hear me, O Lord, for Your lovingkindness is good;
Turn to me according to the multitude of Your tender mercies.
17 And do not hide Your face from Your servant,
For I am in trouble;
Hear me speedily.
18 Draw near to my soul, and redeem it;
Deliver me because of my enemies.
Psalms 69:16-18 NKJV

Answer me speedily, O Lord;
My spirit fails!
Do not hide Your face from me,
Lest I be like those who go down into the pit.
Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For in You do I trust;
Cause me to know the way in which I should walk,
For I lift up my soul to You.
Psalms 143:7-8 NKJV

if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.

Use a Topical Notebook

I have a notebook in which I write references and notes on various topics of interest to me. Over time it has become a valuable reference, as well as having been the source of many blog posts.

I have to fight over-organization. That is, if I’m going to clean up my office I am prone to start by sorting paper clips, or if I’m going to clean up my shop I have to fight to not start by sorting a coffee can of bent nails. 🙂 So notice that this notebook is not alphabetized. Here’s an older, over-organized notebook:

In the notebook I’m using now I add a new topic pretty much anywhere, by guessing how much space it will take. It has worked well.

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.

The Blessed Hope

I think about the blessed hope all the time.

11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
Titus 2:11-14 NKJV

As people continue to reject God, things are getting more and more crazy. Proverbs gives an explanation.

Where there is no vision [no revelation of God and His word], the people are unrestrained;
But happy and blessed is he who keeps the law [of God].
Proverbs 29:18 AMP

When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild.
But whoever obeys the law is joyful.
Proverbs 29:18 NLT

I think I understand how Lot felt. Sometimes I just have to close all my social media programs and walk away for awhile, as I start to feel so sad for the people who won’t do well at the great white throne judgment, unless they repent while they still can.

For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, 11 whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.
2 Peter 2:4-11 NKJV

In my inner self I groan for righteousness!

Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
2 Peter 3:13 NKJV

Righteousness is coming! Jesus is coming back! I don’t know the day or the hour, but I know it is soon! Then suddenly I will be free of this corrupted flesh that refuses to obey God, and is subject to pain and sickness. I will put on the incorruptible and get on with the business of eternal life!

51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
1 Corinthians 15:51-54 NKJV

That is my blessed hope, to be completely free of unrighteousness and all its bad effects. This earth is not my home, I’m a citizen of heaven!

20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
Philippians 3:20-21 NKJV

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.

Comfort In Trouble

I am meditating on these passages, and will let them speak for themselves.


16 Who will rise up for me against the evildoers?
Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?
17 Unless the Lord had been my help,
My soul would soon have settled in silence.
18 If I say, “My foot slips,”
Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up.
19 In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
Your comforts delight my soul.
Psalms 94:16-19 NKJV

Hear my cry, O God;
Attend to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Psalms 61:1-2 NKJV

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
Psalms 46:1-3 NKJV

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.
Psalms 43:5 NKJV

Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 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 and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; thatwhere I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
John 14:1-4 NKJV

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 14:27 NKJV

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
John 16:33 NKJV

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV

15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Colossians 3:15-17 NKJV

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.

Activating Angels

If you are going to inherit eternal life, God’s angels are available to help you, to minister to you.

“Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 18:10 NKJV

13 But to which of the angels has He ever said:

“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”?

14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?
Hebrews 1:13-14 NKJV

11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
Psalms 91:11-12 NKJV

I want to show you from the Bible how to ‘activate’ them, that is, how to get them working on your behalf. But first some cautions. Satan is deceiving many about angels!

Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.
2 Corinthians 11:14 BSB

Angels from God will always acknowledge Jesus, as did those in the empty tomb.

Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other womenwith them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’
Luke 24:1-7 NKJV

Be sure to test the spirits!

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
1 John 4:1-3 NKJV

And never, ever worship angels, or spend time with those who do! Angels are God’s servants just as we who are saved are God’s servants.

18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.
Colossians 2:18-19 NKJV

Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.
Revelation 22:8-9 NKJV

Nevertheless, the ministry of angels is important. They ministered to Jesus after His temptation in the wilderness.

Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
Matthew 4:11 NKJV

An angel appeared to Jesus and strengthened him when He was praying before His arrest and crucifixion!

41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” 43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Luke 22:41-44 NKJV

Angels may appear to us in dreams and visions.

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”
Matthew 2:13 NKJV

About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!”
Acts 10:3 NKJV

Angels might show up and tell us what to do.

Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert.
Acts 8:26 NKJV

Angels gave Elijah food that gave him strength for 40 days!

Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.
1 Kings 19:5-8 NKJV

Angels can make mincemeat of our enemies.

And it came to pass on a certain night that the angel of the Lord went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead.
2 Kings 19:35 NKJV

Therefore, since angels can do all these and many other things too, it is worth knowing how to get them to act. This Scripture tells how.

Bless the Lord, you His angels,
Who excel in strength, who do His word,
Heeding the voice of His word.
Psalms 103:20 NKJV

That is, speak God’s Word! God’s Word is the most powerful thing there is. It created all creation!

By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
Hebrews 11:3 ESV

Speaking the Word was Joshua’s ‘secret’ of success.

“Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:7-9 NKJV

In prayer, pray much more about the answer than the problem.

29 “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”
Acts 4:29-30 NKJV

If you don’t know much about speaking God’s Word in prayer, please see this post. How to Pray While Driving, Walking, Etc.

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.

Wars and Rumors of Wars

My YouTube feed was full of wars and rumors of wars videos this morning. It reminded me of this passage.

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Matthew 24:4-8 NKJV

I don’t know the day or hour, but soon things are going to get really ugly.

Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.
Isaiah 24:1 KJV

17 Fear and the pit and the snare
Are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth.
18 And it shall be
That he who flees from the noise of the fear
Shall fall into the pit,
And he who comes up from the midst of the pit
Shall be caught in the snare;
For the windows from on high are open,
And the foundations of the earth are shaken.

19 The earth is violently broken,
The earth is split open,
The earth is shaken exceedingly.
20 The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard,
And shall totter like a hut;
Its transgression shall be heavy upon it,
And it will fall, and not rise again.
Isaiah 24:17-20 NKJV

I’m not going to be here. Jesus is going to spare me!

Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
Revelation 3:10 NKJV

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 NKJV

Will you be counted worthy to escape the horrors to come?

34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 Forit will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.
Luke 21:34-36 NKJV

Believe in Jesus to have eternal life, and to be counted worthy to escape!

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
John 3:14-17 NKJV

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.

Trust in God, Not in Military Strength

I think Joshua met Jesus and not an angel in this passage. Joshua worshipped the Commander of the army of the Lord.

13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?”

14 So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.”

And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?”

15 Then the Commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.
Joshua 5:13-15 NKJV

God’s angels don’t want man’s worship!

Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.

Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”
Revelation 22:8-9 NKJV

I want to point out Joshua’s first question and Jesus’ answer.

13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?

14 So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.”
Joshua 5:13-14a NKJV

I think the lesson is very clear. The question is not, “Is God for us or for our adversaries?” The right question is, “Are WE on God’s side?” For right-is-wrong, wrong-is-right, abortion-filled America, the answer is a loud and resounding “No.” No, the present USA is not on God’s side!

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Isaiah 5:20 NKJV

20 “‘And you took your sons and daughters whom you bore to me and sacrificed them as food to the idols. Was your prostitution not enough? 21 You slaughtered my children and sacrificed them to the idols.’”
Ezekiel 16:20-21 NIV

So beware trusting in America’s military might! One time God used four lepers to make a whole army flee.

Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, “Why are we sitting here until we die? If we say, ‘We will enter the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall only die.” And they rose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians; and when they had come to the outskirts of the Syrian camp, to their surprise no one was there. For the Lord had caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses—the noise of a great army; so they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us!” Therefore they arose and fled at twilight, and left the camp intact—their tents, their horses, and their donkeys—and they fled for their lives.
2 Kings 7:3-7 NKJV

Another time God used a single angel to wipe out an army.

Then the angel of the Lord went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead.
Isaiah 37:36 NKJV

Here are just three of many applicable Scriptures.

Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.
Psalms 127:1 NKJV

And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.’”
2 Chronicles 20:15 NKJV

The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
But deliverance is of the Lord.
Proverbs 21:31 NKJV

Things continue to heat up in the Middle East, and I don’t see the superpower USA listed as a combatant in the Ezekiel 38 & 39 war. How can that be? I think the USA will cease to be a superpower. In about an hour, when it happens.

In at least a spiritual sense, have you come out of the world?

And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ Therefore her plagues will come in one day—death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.
Revelation 18:4-8 NKJV

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.

DeMolay, Yoga, and Ray Kurzweil

A high school friend of mine was in DeMolay, and by his description it sounded like an interesting and fun organization. Something like the Boy Scouts but with more fun and less hiking and camping. But I never “got around to” investigating further and perhaps joining.

In college I was interested in Yoga, but again, never “got around to” actually doing any of it.

And as a young Christian with a degree in Computer Science, Ray Kurzweil was a fascinating person and technological hero. He had invented a device that could read books aloud to blind people, and he had invented an electric piano that sounded so good that professional concert pianists debated which sounded better – the Kurzweil or an actual concert grand piano. I was interested in reading his books, and I recall holding them in my hands in both bookstores and public libraries. But I always put them back on the shelf, deciding to “read them sometime later.”

Now I see my procrastinations as examples of God protecting me from things that would harm me — even before I was officially saved! DeMolay is part of Freemasonry. Yoga can be a gateway to demonic activity. And by my understanding, Kurzweil is working on technology to upload his consciousness into a computer, to achieve eternal life without God.

He has written three books on the subjects of nutrition, health, and immortality: The 10% Solution for a Healthy LifeFantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever and Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever. In all, he recommends that other people emulate his health practices to the best of their abilities. Kurzweil and his current “anti-aging” doctor, Terry Grossman, now have two websites promoting their first and second book.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Kurzweil

Clearly, God was protecting me from things that could have hurt or destroyed me. I suspect these three are just the tip of the iceberg. How many car accidents didn’t happen because His angels intervened and I knew nothing about it? How many books that looked interesting did I put back on the shelf? How many wolves-in-sheep’s-clothing did I not listen to?

Thank you Father, for Your protection, especially when I didn’t realize I was being protected!

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.