"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will direct your path."
What we are able to see in our difficult walks in life is limited but God sees everything--our past, our present, and all of our future. There is no darkness in Him... Read More
Looking back over difficult times in life, if God had granted some of my prayers I know now it would have taken me in the wrong direction. There were times
I thought God never heard my prayer--only later to see God had a better plan--He saw the whole picture. He knew what was best for me. As I had trusted my
friend and his directions, God gives us specific directions in His Holy word, the Bible, to guide our way. We must trust Him...
- Author: Bill Lowery
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and more. Its FREE!
When Praying, Do Not See Time And Eternity, Earth And Heaven,
Being Divided By So Great A Chasm That Cannot Be Bridged By The Holy Spirit Who Lives Within The Heart
Ready To Make Intercession For The Sincere Believer!...
As a child, our world was so close we could not yet see in our minds afar; so He seemed so near. But as we grow older our world
expands, our minds stretch, and He, at times to some, seems so distant that we often hear one say, "God, if you are out there or
up there, and if you can hear me...?", as if to say He is just too far away our words may not be able to reach Him. Could this be
one reason Jesus said unless you come as a little child you cannot see the Kingdom of Heaven?
THIS IS PRAYER!
His Kingdom On Earth! God, Not There, But Here, In My Heart As I Pray: "Thy Kingdom Come." This, I Must Believe When I Pray!
AND SO PRAY:
"Forgive me, Heavenly Father, when I doubt whether you hear when I pray. And may I always pray in such a way that reveals a
childlike faith in a close and Intimate Father."
- Author: Ken Livingston
Read entire In His Presence prayer guide.
2 Samuel 23:5
"Yet He hath made with me an everlasting covenant."
This covenant is divine in its origin. "HE hath made with me an everlasting covenant." Oh that great word HE! Stop, my soul. God, the everlasting Father, has positively made a covenant with thee; yes, that God who spake the world into existence by a word; He, stooping from His majesty, takes hold of thy hand and makes a covenant with thee...
Is it not a deed, the stupendous condescension of which might ravish our hearts for ever if we could really understand it? "HE hath made with me a covenant." A king has not made a covenant with me—that were somewhat; but the Prince of the kings of the earth, Shaddai, the Lord All-sufficient, the Jehovah of ages, the everlasting Elohim, "He hath made with me an everlasting covenant." But notice, it is particular in its application. "Yet hath He made with ME an everlasting covenant." Here lies the sweetness of it to each believer. It is nought for me that He made peace for the world; I want to know whether He made peace for me! It is little that He hath made a covenant, I want to know whether He has made a covenant with me. Blessed is the assurance that He hath made a covenant with me! If God the Holy Ghost gives me assurance of this, then His salvation is mine, His heart is mine, He Himself is mine—He is my God.
This covenant is everlasting in its duration. An everlasting covenant means a covenant which had no beginning, and which shall never, never end. How sweet amidst all the uncertainties of life, to know that "the foundation of the Lord standeth sure," and to have God's own promise, "My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips." Like dying David, I will sing of this, even though my house be not so with God as my heart desireth.
- Author: C.H. Spurgeon
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I Corinthians 9:19-20
"For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."
The following is a practical suggestion for sharing Christ with someone else. They are questions that have been refined and
proven with time and success. By no means are they meant to simply be a mechanical formula devoid of prayer and invitation
to the Holy Spirit for His blessing in this most personal and eternally serious moment, both for the subject and yourself in
your fulfillment of His Great Commission...
It is assumed that you already have refined your own testimony to what Christ has done for you, both at the Cross and most recently
(a short summary and one in length; this prevents rambling when time is precious)! It also assumes that you have a working knowledge
of the Bible, both Old & New Testaments, especially in the area of what His Word says regarding this very subject. But remember,
it is not necessary that you be a scholar, just one with a genuine personal relationship with Jesus and a subsequent love for Him and
His 2 commandments. Let Jesus be your example. And lastly, don't worry about what you don't know. Just tell them what you do know.
So let's begin...
- Author: Ken Livingston
Read entire article and more.
he twentieth century has brought forth unparalleled challenges to
the historic Christian faith. During this century, Christianity's relevance and ultimate validity have been questioned as never before.
This assault on the central truth claims of Christianity has come from two distinct fronts: atheistic secular humanism and the growing
climate of religious pluralism...
While secularism constitutes a significant threat, the issue of religious pluralism poses an even greater challenge. The technological advances of our
century have resulted in a truly global society. America in particular is a nation of diverse ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds. Our nation is
founded upon the principle of toleration, particularly in the area of religion. We are guaranteed the right of free exercise of religion. This principle
of equal toleration of religion is so strong, in fact, that the worst name one can be called today is an "intolerant religionist." What has happened,
however, is that our idea of democracy has been applied to ultimate truth. Equal toleration of religion has been taken to mean that each religion is
equally valid (i.e., all religions lead to God). This is a fatal non sequitur
- Author: Kenneth R. Samples
Read entire article and more in our award-winning
Top Articles Feature.
The following is taken from the Book, Adam2: A Guide For The Walk Home, written by our founder.
It is A Commentary On The Gospel Of John, complete with a background look at the contemporary Jewish groups active in Jesus' day.
It includes a summary of each chapter, a redacted study of each disciple, a brief study of Gnosticism of the time, pertinent timelines,
and much more. Each chapter of study includes extensive Biblical references to the notes on the chapter.
A chronological excerpt of each section will be posted here at the beginning of each month. You can access free of charge at any time
a complete online digital version
for your further study. In addition, a link will be provided to purchase the book on CD to install on
your own computer for convenience of study and print. All we ask is that you observe the stated copyrights as with any book you buy over
the counter, limiting your print to only one hard copy for your own personal use. If further hard copies are necessary,
please contact us for an additional nominal fee. Thank you for your interest in this study. Our hope and prayer is that
through the work of the Holy Spirit as you study you will be blessed by it, and if so, recommend it to a friend.
This month we will study Gnosticism from the book: Adam2.
II. GNOSTICISM: A MAJOR FIRST CENTURY HERESY
A. THE ORIGINS OF GNOSTICISM.
When Gnosticism is spoken of today, it is typically implied to be Christian Gnosticism. In the main, this may be the case,
but this heresy can be traced in its primitive forms to pre-Christian thought. Our limited space, however,
permits us to look only at a brief sketch of this Hellenistic heresy that found its way into the first century Church.
To continue with our previous pattern of development, let us consider first its name and origins before exploring its
essence, practices, and impact upon Christianity.
Gnostic comes from the Greek word, ginosko. Ginosko has its origin in gnosis, which means
"to know," and is found repeatedly in the letters of John. In the Greek, there are separate words to express the
various elements of one idea or thought. For instance, in
Jn.3:2 & 11,
"know," in this case, is, oida, which means, "to see, have seen, have known." It does not carry with it the
implication of full knowledge, as seen in the word, epignosis, found in the following examples:
The absence of this knowledge is seen in, agnosia
or in another form referring to a person with whom we are most familiar, agnostic. Knowledge is not to be confused
with "wisdom" or "intelligence," which are two entirely different things. In the Greek, these are, sophia (cf.
and, sunesis (
Around these three, gnosis (knowledge), sophia (wisdom), and sunesis (intelligence),
the Greeks ascended in philosophy, which began with Thales of Miletus, ca. 640 B.C., and reached its
zenith under Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle three hundred years later (about the time Alexander the Great came to power).
Athens of Greece and Alexandria of Egypt (where a large Jewish populous thrived) became the capitals of culture and
philosophic thought. Unlike other periods previous and following, the golden years of Greek philosophy during Socrates,
Plato, and Aristotle's time were unparalleled (and to which the Jewish philosopher looks with great admiration).
Within this time, ethics and morality were inculcated and held in the highest esteem. The Epicureans would later arise,
bringing with them their pleasuristic philosophies, and, finally, the Gnostics with their licentious practices.
Continuing reading Gnosticism and Work..►
As with much of society's debt to the Jewish contributions to a civilized world, particularly in the area of law,
ethics, and morality, Jewish thought is also accepted as a considerable influence in Greek philosophy and modern thought.
(And it can be said in reciprocity, as observed in the late examples of the Alexandrian Jewish philosopher, Philo
(a contemporary of Christ), and Maimonides, or Moses ben Maimon, 1135-1204). The dualistic idea seen in early Jewish
teachings—good and evil, material and spiritual—was expanded in Greek philosophy.
At the core of Greek philosophy is reason. With reason, or the ability to think or ponder, considered as the unique
element that marks man apart from animal, the natural question that followed was: to what level can man ascend in his thoughts?
Namely, what is the highest truth? In Emil Fackenheim's treatment on the Greek's idea of Via Contemplativa,
to the Greek philosopher, "the highest truth is Divine, and the highest thought at which man can aim is the contemplation
of it" (p. 155). Accordingly, knowledge nor the quest for it was regarded higher than one contemplating upon the Divine,
no matter how frequent or fragmented it may occur. One who was able to achieve this level of thought was said to attain
that life in "imitation of God," or to us, Salvation. Thus, to the Greek, wisdom, and hence "life,"—the ascension of the
spark of life from the material into the spiritual—came through contemplation.
At this point, Jewish thought and Greek thought divorces in at least two areas,
(1) the source of wisdom, and (2) the study and practice of knowledge. Although both minds were in agreement
as to the pinnacle of man's thoughts (
for the Jew, wisdom has its basis in the fear of the Lord (
Ps.111:10). This wisdom did not come from the exercise of reason in contemplation, as the Greek saw it, rather,
it came purely from God's revelation to one whose heart was prepared in fear (yare, in Hebrew, meaning, "reverencing" -
This revelation, transcribed and handed down from generation to generation, became the focal point of the Jewish search.
Therefore, for the Jew, a life devoted to the study of this record is regarded as supreme; for it was through the holy
lives of their predecessors God's words came, thus, it is from them wisdom for salvation is obtained (
and one's understanding of his own place within creation finally seen. Note one contemporary Rabbi's observations on
the place of Torah in a person's life:
Torah, "Instruction," is the visible bond between God and Israel. It is God's Torah, but also ours to evolve
out of our historical experience. It is given us every day anew. It is not in heaven, but here with us.
"The word is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart that you may observe it." [
Deut.30:14]...In Torah God speaks to us, but in human terms, through language. As human beings, we interpret God's utterance.
Torah thus becomes the word of God and of man, reflecting human understanding. This understanding varies with
times and circumstances...Every Jew must look at himself or herself and ask, Where do I stand? With the help of the
information and guidance provided by Torah, the Jew may find an answer to that question, to the demands of conscience
and the issues of life. Ben Bag Bag said: "Turn it [Torah] and turn it again, for all is in it. Look in it, grow gray
and old in it, never turn away from it for there is no better guide for you than it (Abot 5:25)." (Trepp, pp. xi, xii, 1, xiii)
- Author: Ken Livingston
In light of current world events, I was asked recently to comment on what seems to be an ever-growing darkness in so many
areas of our lives today. This is a brief excerpt of those thoughts.
If one has lived long enough, we remember days of our past when the events of the world did not encroach and embed itself
into our lives with the alarming number, regularity and intensity it seems today. We enjoyed days, if not weeks or months,
without waking to a new or ongoing crisis that captured our attention. Our activities were not overshadowed with the pall
of today that seems never-ending, provoking such anxiety we see and hear throughout our society. We awoke in our mornings
to the peaceful hopes and expectations of continuing to pursue our happiness in the course we were making for our lives,
satisfaction that came from all levels and stages of our progress in life. Occasionally, if we had heard from someone
during the day of a newsworthy event, we might find the time from our busy lives to tune in at the end of the day to the
news to see firsthand additional details that aroused our attention. We might even discuss it with others for a short time
before moving on to other more personal priorities—job success, family events, community involvement, church and
recreational activities, etc.
Divisions that divide us today along so many lines were not exacerbated by politicians seeking votes, certainly not to the extent
we were less civil to each other as today. For most of us, life had yet to become a "game" with clearly defined sides in vehement
opposition to one another. Labels were something on a product we purchased. Many of us did recognize moral and legitimate social
injustices and worked cooperatively toward ending those divisions that prevented the fulfillment of the dreams of our forefathers,
dreams we share in becoming one within a nation that values the rights of individuals without abolishing those of others.
Our desire was that all would be given the opportunity to achieve their God-given potential. We understood there was much
work to be done, not only in our own personal lives, but within our society. We elected representatives to see to the matters
of government that we could not ourselves. We trusted them for the greater priorities of our nation and not to intrude upon our
liberties promised within our constitution, especially infringement upon our religious freedoms and conscience. Our constitution
was a contract we all understood to mean the church was not the government nor the government the church, taking to itself matters
of social, moral and religious duties that has long been the calling and mission of the church, proselytizing from it through programs
to obtain votes to grow it in competition and final defeat of it, using taxes gained at the point of the gun in contrast to tithes and
offerings freely given to the local church. How is the church expected to compete with that system? To this point, we have abrogated our
place in our society today.
Read Entire Article...►
- Author: Ken Livingston
The following is taken from the Book of Old Testament Summaries. This specific summary was written keeping in mind a parent's desire for their children to grow in God's wisdom as they grow into maturity. It is highly recommended for print and gift to any child, young man or woman, along with the Bible and emphasis of the original text of Proverbs' reading first.
The wisdom of the Lord is hidden from those whose feet are swift to their own selfish devices.
A proverb is God's window through which only those who fear may peer to obtain His wisdom
necessary for making one wise for righteous and peaceful living, quiet from the fear of present
evil. It is to be sought with the whole heart! (See Job 28.)
Those who seek wisdom with the whole heart shall be established in Him, but the wicked,
blinded by their own imaginations, will be cut off. Therefore, seek wisdom, whose way is
straight, that you might be made upright and established early in life.
Wisdom established early will guide you through the valleys of the shadows of death into the
peaceful pastures of a lengthened life. Her commands and ways are to be obeyed in all arenas
of life to drink the dew of her priceless nectar. The fool, thinking himself wise in his own
deceits, will not taste the drops of her vine, and in the end, only shame will be his bitter fruit!
Although a father may teach wisdom's virtues to a son, her understanding, as it came to the father,
can only come to the son whose heart is made tender in Godly fear. She will not force herself upon any man.
But when she is embraced, if duly treated with deserved respect, holding firmly to her hand
and forsaking her not, she will promote to an honorable life and lengthened end.
Many will come to tempt you away, lying lips of an adulteress' look; listen not to their
counsel, but to her alone be true! Do not sow the seeds of her kindness upon the harlot's bed
to be lost in the passing pleasures of her sinful ways. Nourish only from her bountiful
treasures. Be a faithful steward to the gift of God's wisdom, for He watches over His own.
Beware, the son who forsakes her will go astray!
The ways of the wicked have no place at her table. Be diligent in protecting and providing for
her, keeping her pure in your heart, for God hates her sevenfold enemies. Strike no hand with
one who would do her harm, nor give place for any substitution. Keep holy that union that it
may go well with your soul, for God will seek revenge upon all who have mistreated her.
Wisdom, unlike the harlot, will always be true. She is to be trusted. Keep her as the apple of
your eye, looking not into the harlot's window as you pass it by. Kept as a constant companion,
as a sister on your left and a kinswoman the right, wisdom will guide you past the harlot's
enticing entrances, that may for a moment seem sweet to your smell, but through which many
have gone before you, enlarging the pits of hell.
Wisdom is not mute, but her voice goes unheeded in the silent vacuum of many men's ways.
Though she shout from the pinnacle of the highest peaks, they pass her by never knowing she
is ever so near! Only to the one with an understanding heart will she reveal the priceless riches
of her truthful treasures. Fruitful are her ways and eternal companion to the Creator she has
been. Ask from a pure heart and see if she will not evince the mysteries of their eternal
communion. The secret of the stars lie within her bosom. Stand by her gates and see if the
Lord Himself is not near, waiting to give life to all who appear. Only a fool would reject so
great a love, choosing death over life—how utterly absurd!
Her call has been heard in every land. A great banquet awaits the crusader in quest of wisdom's
riches. He will not waste her guiding morsels she spreads before his feet on one who does not
go his way! Nor should he mistake the lure of the false feast flaunted by the harlot, for many,
thinking themselves to be gallant, only finding themselves to be fools, have fallen in mortal
defeat, passing through her one-way doors to that dark dreadful eternal dungeon.
The son who is successful in capturing wisdom's affection is a delight to his parents, and his
reputation is long remembered. His lips are like a needy gate to his neighbor, but the fool's
are never shut. Through the lips of the wise other men get wisdom. (Faith cometh by hearing
and hearing by the word!) But her riches bestowed upon his labor is nontransferable to the
wicked, not in life, nor at death; but, like an old friend, will greet him when life's journey is
complete. (Deeds done in His name will result in rewards in the life to come!)
Read Entire Summary...►
Moreover, in the final scales of God's justice will be seen the two types of all men: the just
and the unjust. Wisdom is His weight, and she is pure and true. In the heart of the unjust is
seen pride and shame—marriage partners in the bed of his destruction. (Shame can only be
avoided when pride is shunned. Where there is pride, shame is as sure to follow as night does
day.) His ways will be filled with rottenness, and when weighed, minus wisdom, will come up
lacking. In the heart of the just, humility finds its partner in wisdom, producing fruit to the
good of his soul, evenly balanced to His weight when weighed. Wisdom, therefore, comes only
to the humble, and in the humble can be found no pride, for she will not partner with shame!
Wisdom, then, being found in the heart of the righteous, will shine on the just as a life vest of
honor! And like rising water, wisdom will seek out the lowest in the Earth, gently lifting up
the downtrodden, supporting them upon her shimmering surface, eventually exalting to
higher ground on a more distant and safe shore. But for the wicked who does not possess her, in
choking derision his shame will heavily clothe him. So, he who chooses her will ride above
all, upon her ways away from that which would have before destroyed him. But the self-exalted
wicked, without her aid, will be overthrown against her wake as she comes to lift the lowly.
Riding upon the sea of life, righteousness obtained from wisdom will keep the just above the
fray, while the wicked, whose appetite for evil is limitless, will succumb in his own devices.
Wisdom instructs and guides the wise in the safe channels of his life, but the course of the
wicked she will not plot. Though the ways of wisdom's partner may be toilsome, yet her
reward for his labor is plenty.
Wisdom will exalt the ways of her lover, if he will prefer hers to his. Life, liberty, and joy will
be his rewards, and he will be a shining beacon to others. Indeed, kings who favor him,
because of his righteousness, will find his nation highly exalted. But the fool, void of her
company, will be an enemy to himself and all those around him. His ways without her
guidance, though seeming right to him at the time, will only lead him down the broad path to
destruction. And all those who follow his popular course for the season, zealous to impose it
upon others, stooping to deceitful means, blind leading the blind, will in the end be clothed
with his same degrading shame.
Wisdom's voice is always singular, with a soft tongue untainted with inciteful speech. Her
words are life for her lover and a vintage wine for his soul, able to secure it peace in any
storm. At her table is a continual feast where all men have an invitation to attend, but few
with the key for admittance. At her doors are her guards who test for humility and the fear of
the Lord. Only the righteous shall pass, but the fool will be turned aside. No heart with pride
and counterfeit will enter here! Hell, as the only alternative, is deep and her doors wide for
those who refuse to listen to wisdom's call to life, or try to enter without her key!
Like a goldsmith who weighs fine gold for counterfeit, able to detect the slightest impurity,
God, who created the spirit, knowing even the number of hairs on that person's head, will weigh each
soul upon return when its body is dead. And if wisdom is found lacking, within the spirit will
be detected the impurities sufficient to be eternally rejected! Only the fruit of wisdom's works
is capable of purifying a man's heart. Lying and deceit are the fruit of an uncleansed life.
Such things are an abomination to God and will put the spirit He created at eternal enmity
with Him. So get wisdom and get life, that the spirit once given may rightfully return and not
Deceit and dishonor are companions to the fool on the road to destruction, but wisdom will
purify the heart who walks in the fear of God. From the heart of the wise, made pure by her
process, flow words tempered by her touch. But the fool's many words, produced from an
unclean heart, are a poison to himself and all who are around him. Happy is the man who has
wisdom as his companion, for she is his guardian against all life's impurities—and medicine
when affected. And know this: Silence makes even the fool appear wise, only to be exposed
at the resumption of his many words!
Like a child who plays with matches, a fool is with his words; both have the potential of
extreme destruction! (See Doeg as an example, I Sam.22:9,22; Ps.52; James 3:6.) The
tongue of the fool has been the deadliest instrument in the history of man. Kings have fallen
and brothers irreconcilably offended. But the man who knows wisdom weighs carefully his
words, and through them to him will be attracted a friend of good favor who will be closer
than a brother.
Wisdom, if she be a man's only possession, is greater than all the Earth's treasures (Job 28:13-19).
Unlike friends and family, she will remain loyal when all have forsaken you. Since wisdom is
God's eternal companion, and by her He hung the stars and set the bounds of the seas, it
should come as no surprise when she is found in the heart of the poor; God's careful eye is
always there. (See #8, 8:23-31.) And if a person, through some intentional or incidental
compassion, should care for just one, God clearly sees and will faithfully repay! (Heb.6:10)
But for the fool who scornfully oppresses, God will equally repay with his judgment. A man
without wisdom may devise many unwise ways to have his way, but be forewarned son, in
the end, all ways lead to Him for His judgment. All will be laid bare, without excuse!
- Author: Ken Livingston
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Has church been getting you down lately? Do you have more questions than answers about the major
shift in your experiences in worship, in the objects, music, and even the sermons? We may be able to help.
Know first, you are not alone! More people are awaking to a deceptive practice that
began years ago. In addition, we have put together 5 articles to try and answer some
of those questions and help with your understanding. The first are more practical in nature as they
relate to your questions. However, the 5th is more specific in identifying a major factor behind the
changes you are experiencing. We hope this will not be the end of your exploration of this
growing cancer on the church. If you're fine with it, we wish you the best but some of us
have not nor will buy into it.
You may print and disseminate in whole or part but without modification and citing their original source.
for being there.